The Justice Department's massive copyright case against the file-sharing website Megaupload.com had the Internet world hopping this week. But it also got lawyers talking, about the scope of a criminal investigation that spanned eight countries and the hard-nosed tactics that the government deployed.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Rick Santorum is officially the winner of the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican presidential caucus. The state Republican Party reversed itself from a previous assertion that it would not declare one, given problems at eight precincts, as The Des Moines Register reported.
In a news release late Friday, the party said it called the race "in order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released Jan. 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa."
When the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI shut down the web site Megaupload yesterday, there were many responses, from outrage to confusion to applause, and nearly as many questions. One that stood out was simple: If Megaupload provides a service that can be used for legal pursuits, are they legally responsible for the users who use it to illegally share copyrighted material?
The album Little Spark evokes a sound you might have heard 40 years ago, piercing through the static of your AM radio. The big string sections and angelic choruses are all there, echoing the hallmarks of classic orchestral pop. But Little Spark is the work of a modern singer-songwriter named Jessie Baylin.
Javier Sicilia is a novelist and a poet. In 2009, he was awarded Mexico's prestigious Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize. This September, he read a poem dedicated to his son, Juan Francisco, at a rally:
Despite a furious lobbying effort by the Catholic Church, the Obama administration today said it won't weaken new rules that will require most health insurance plans to offer women prescription contraceptives at no additional out-of-pocket cost.
Saturday's South Carolina Republican primary may be the last good chance for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's challengers to stop his march to the nomination. Every election year since 1980, the winner of South Carolina's Republican primary has gone on to win the nomination.
Food is getting elbowed out of the discussion on climate change, which could spell disaster for the 1 billion people who will be added to the world's population in the next 15 years. That's the word today from scientists wondering why food and sustainability get such short shrift when it comes to thinking about how humans will adapt to climate change.
If you're seriously into reading, chances are, if you're not a nerd, then you've at least got some nerdy DNA somewhere in your intellectual genome. I know I do. But as a reader I sometimes feel like I'm being asked to identify with a hero who isn't nearly geeky enough â€” a hero with uncorrected vision and excellent orthodontics and really good hair. Sure, he's nice, but I doubt I would have wanted to sit at his table in the cafeteria in high school.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, one of the Tea Party's early superstars, has seen her approval ratings fall, and some of her core supporters are baffled by Haley's endorsement of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Haley won election in 2010 as a true fiscal conservative, capturing the endorsement of Sarah Palin, who said Haley was willing to challenge the good old boys of the state's politics.
Federal judges have been getting hammered pretty hard in this Republican presidential campaign.
Rick Santorum has joked about banishing liberal, federal judges to Guam. Erstwhile candidate Rick Perry has been a longtime advocate for states' rights, calling himself a "tenth amendment believing governor." And Newt Gingrich has repeatedly criticized the country's judicial system, targeting what he calls quote "activist judges."
The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fixing to get, as we Southerners tongue-in-cheekly say, about as slippery as a greased pig in a hog wallow. Nasty as a old possum in a croaker sack. Murky as South Carolina swamp mud.
The Republican primary focus is shifting to the South, where folks talk and act different from the rest of the country. And where they look for different characteristics in candidates than other regions of the ...
In a presidential election that most expect will be all about the economy, South Carolina is a state where economic issues are front and center. The state's unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, well above the national rate. But even that number is deceptive. There are pockets around the state where the conditions are much more severe. In Lancaster County, for example, the rate is above 12 percent.
Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 2:30 pm
The arrests of four executives of Megaupload, a major Internet file-sharing site, have triggered an online backlash, and raised fresh questions about electronic piracy and copyright violations. What's behind the controversy? NPR asked two experts to help clarify the facts behind the arrests.
Palestine might not seem like a breeding ground for race car drivers. After all, the area is dotted with checkpoints and roadblocks, hundreds of obstacles that can cramp a driver's ability to explore a car's limits.
But that hasn't stopped a group of Palestinian women from driving very fast, winning races and making a name for themselves along the way.
Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 1:39 pm
The mystical healing properties of tears are invoked in fairy tales and fantasies from Rapunzel to Harry Potter. So it may surprise you to hear that tears really are pretty powerful, on the microbial level at least.
We wouldn't want to say that $7,922,500 isn't an awful lot to pay for one set of four books.
But we do have to point out that it's not a record.
Thursday, we previewed the Christie's New York auction of a rare set of John James Audubon's Birds of America. As we reported, there was talk that it might fetch more than the record $11.5 million paid for another full set of the books in 2010.
A judge in New Zealand today ordered that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) and three others remain in custody at least until a bail hearing on Monday as the legal process of possibly extraditing them to the U.S. to face copyright infringement and conspiracy charges got underway.
Search and rescue operations at the wreck of the Costa Concordia have resumed, after being halted for a third time, due to choppy waters and the partially submerged vessel's tendency to shift on the rocks near Italy's coast.
An online battle is raging between Israelis and Arabs, with each side unveiling credit card and other personal information of thousands of private citizens, as well as temporarily disabling high-profile websites, like the Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabian stock exchanges.
So far, the recent Web assaults seem to be the work of bored young people venting frustration. But others worry that these actions could easily escalate into a much larger online fight.
In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.
The contract was so risky â€” and such a big deal â€” because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.
"Back then, even one straw belonged to the group," says Yen Jingchang, who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. "No one owned anything."