While much of the focus this past week has been on an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., diplomats and law enforcement officials in the U.S. and Europe also began to take aim at Syria for an alleged conspiracy to intimidate dissidents abroad.
Syrian-American Mohamad Soueid was indicted in the U.S. on charges he passed information about dissidents back to the country's intelligence services.
On Monday, a judge is set to decide whether he should remain in prison pending his trial.
A relatively small election is getting intense interest in Arizona. It's an election to recall State Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of Arizona's strict immigration laws. As NPR's Ted Robbins reports, the recall election is splitting the community along religious as much as political lines.
Liberia held presidential elections this week. The front runner and current president of Liberia is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this month. But awards notwithstanding, Liberia remains a place recovering from a 14-year-long civil war, with much of the country too poor even to have electric power or clean running water. Scott Simon talks with Tim Butcher, former Africa correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, about the challenges facing the country.
Baseball playoffs are heating up with pennants on the line. Over in the NFL, the game everyone's watching this week is a battle of rising teams. Meanwhile, the NBA is still locked out, and if it stays that way, it could mean no Christmas games. Host Scott Simon and NPR's Tom Goldman talk sports.
A grand jury has indicted the Roman Catholic bishop of Kansas City for failing to report suspected child sexual abuse. Bishop Robert Finn has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of not reporting to police that he had seen child pornography on a priest's computer. It's the first time a bishop has been indicted since the church abuse scandal became public 25 years ago. NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports.
Alabama has what many consider to be the strictest anti-immigration law in the country. Now that the law has been in effect for a few weeks, the state's residents are starting to see what some of the unintended consequences are. Andrew Yeager of member station WBHM reports from Birmingham.
When we last heard from Harold Camping, the Family Radio broadcaster was conceding he'd been wrong about The Rapture beginning on May 21 — a prediction that had some folks selling their worldly possessions and traveling the nation to warn that the end was coming soon.
The government is trying to modernize the nation's air traffic control system, but cost overruns, software problems and management concerns are making some wonder whether the so-called "Next Generation" system may take another generation to complete.
The radar screens in the nation's aircraft control towers are based on technology dating to World War II. Many of the routes airliners fly were laid out at a time pilots followed bonfires for navigation at night.
The disclosure of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in the U.S. is certain to worsen relations between Riyadh and Tehran, despite the baffling and improbable details that have emerged so far.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been deteriorating for some years now, however, with growing hostility bubbling just below the surface. In that context, the plot may make more sense than is immediately apparent.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out this week puts a new name at the top of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: Herman Cain. The poll shows the former head of Godfather's Pizza at 27 percent, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney just 4 points behind. Cain spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about his surge to front-runner status.
Scott Simon: So how do you keep your campaign from going the way of Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump — for that matter, every other front-runner?
We fans of the Chicago Cubs rarely hear good news in October, so there's a little buzz of excitement around Wrigley Field these days about the possibility of Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein reportedly coming to Chicago to take over a similar or expanded role with the hapless Cubs.
In 2004, Epstein helped guide the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years and to another title in 2007. In Chicago, he'd be trying to end a Cubs' championship drought dating back to 1908; the Cubs haven't even been to the World Series since 1945.
Federal officials continue to probe allegations of misconduct related to a famous report on dead polar bears that raised concerns about climate change. Later this month, officials plan to re-interview one of the two government scientists who wrote that report.
The new development suggests that scientific integrity remains a focus of the investigation, which recently detoured into allegations that the other researcher under scrutiny broke rules related to federal funding of research. Both scientists work for agencies of the Department of the Interior (DOI).
Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 4:49 pm
Virgin Galactic announced today that NASA has booked its first charter flight to space on the company's SpaceShipTwo, which the company says will take off from its New Mexico spaceport.
The contract could be worth up to $4.5 million if NASA exercises its right to book two more flights. Virgin said NASA will use its flight on the spacecraft for "engineers, technologists, and scientific researchers to conduct cutting-edge experiments in space."
Originally published on Sat October 15, 2011 9:52 am
After a 19-month review, the Obama administration has concluded that it can't implement the CLASS Act, the community-based long-term care program that was the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's most heartfelt contribution to the Affordable Care Act.
Twitter may turn out to be a great tool for tracking epidemics and how people deal with them.
Some scientists tracked tweets about swine flu back in 2009 and 2010, then looked at how the tweets lined up with vaccination rates.
By comparing the Twitter data with vaccination estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the group saw patterns between what people were saying about flu shots and whether or not they were getting sick.
Originally published on Sat October 15, 2011 12:24 pm
Ask yourself what sort of energy plan you would likely get from a conservative governor from the oil and gas patch who gets a lot of political and financial support from the fossil-fuel industry and who is openly hostile to the federal government and that's pretty much the energy plan Texas Gov. Rick Perry proposed Friday.
That was the year interracial marriage made headlines. Just take the Hollywood classic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Thefilm was a new kind of love story for Hollywood. The movie was about a black man who wanted to marry a white woman — a huge taboo at the time.
The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza has surprised a lot of people by rising to the top of the pack in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Herman Cain hasn't been traveling to many pancake breakfasts in Iowa or town halls in New Hampshire, but his polished speeches and debate performances have thrilled Republican voters.
S&P's statement said that despite "resilience" in Spain's economy this year, there were "heightened risks to Spain's growth prospects" due to high unemployment, tighter financial conditions, a high level of debt and a broader eurozone slowdown.
Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 11:52 am
"The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the parts of Alabama's immigration law that require proof of lawful residency in the U.S. and track immigration information about newly enrolled students," The Huntsville Times writes.
You remember how Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain defended himself after Sarah Palin called him the "flavor of the week?"
Like his rolls-off-the tongue 9-9-9 tax overhaul plan, Cain came back with a zinger of a comeback during an interview with Jay Leno:
"I happen to believe that there's ice milk and there's Häagen-Dazs Black Walnut. Substance. That's the difference," Cain said. "I got some substance here. Okay? I'm Häagen-Dazs Black Walnut. It lasts longer than a week."
For first time since the 17th century, judges in Ireland no longer need to wear horsehair wigs while in court.
According to The Irish Times, the new rule won't just modernize the look of the court, it will also save the Irish government money. It has been paying about $3,000 each for wigs as new judges are appointed to the Supreme, High and Circuit courts.
Liam Fox, Britain's defense minister, has resigned after questions arose about the relationship and influence of his adviser and friend Adam Werritty.
"As I said in the House of Commons on Monday, I mistakenly allowed the distinction between my personal interest and my government activities to become blurred," Fox said in his resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. "The consequences of this have become clearer in recent days. I am very sorry for this."
Wall Street protesters avoided a showdown Friday that could have forced them from their Manhattan camp, but they still face the same question that would have confronted them if they had been evicted: Where do they go from here?
Cincinnati and Charlotte, N.C., are similar in size and culture, and now they are going head to head in an effort to gain the favor of Chiquita. The fruit company is considering moving its Cincinnati headquarters, taking more than 300 jobs with it.
Residents of both cities refuse to sit idly by. They have taken to Twitter to communicate directly with the company's chief executive officer, Fernando Aguirre.
Aguirre spends a lot of time tweeting, from talking about his job to complimenting people to commenting on baseball.