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Ohio officials have decided they will hand over five animals to the widow of a man who last October paralyzed a community by releasing 56 lions, tigers, bears and other exotic animals from his farm.

(The milestone was reached at 2:14 p.m. ET.)

With the addition of some steel columns, 1 World Trade Center has reached a height of symbolic importance.

At 1,271 feet (and growing) it is 21 feet taller than the observation deck on the Empire State Building.

A large 0.9 percent gain in consumer spending from January to February was followed by a more modest 0.3 percent increase from February to March, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Personal income, meanwhile, was up 0.4 percent in March. It had risen 0.3 percent in February.

With Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner due in China for economic talks that start on Thursday, the U.S. and China are rushing to avert a diplomatic crisis over the fate of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng.

China is clamping down on social media as it grapples with a crisis over the escape of a high-profile dissident, apparently to U.S. protection. The case presents new difficulties for a Chinese leadership already struggling to deal with the scandalous downfall of a powerful politician, and it complicates U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Beijing this week.

Yet China's use of social media in dealing with these two recent crises has been a study in contrasts.

"CIA drone missiles hit militant targets in Pakistan on Sunday for the first time in a month, as the United States ignored the Pakistani government's insistence that such attacks end as a condition for normalized relations between the two perpetually uneasy allies," The Washington Post writes.

On a recent Friday night, 30 men and 30 women gathered at a hotel restaurant in Washington, D.C. Their goal was love, or maybe sex, or maybe some combination of the two. They were there for speed dating.

The women sat at separate numbered tables while the men moved down the line, and for two solid hours they did a rotation, making small talk with people they did not know, one after another, in three-minute increments.

The rising tide laps at the feet of local children and fishermen and submerges all but the tops of the mangrove trees of Tiwoho village in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province. At one degree of latitude north of the equator, the climate here is about the same all year round: hot, wet and perfect for the forests of salt-tolerant trees that grow along sheltered coastlines.

Every presidential nominee going back to 2000 has revealed the names of influential supporters known as "bundlers" because of the way they persuade others to give money to a candidate. Every nominee, that is, until Mitt Romney.

The most anyone can give directly to any presidential campaign is $5,000, and everyone who gives that much is listed in the Romney campaign's monthly disclosures.

When it comes to the bundlers, though, the campaign chooses to keep those names secret.

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As high school seniors wrestle with big decisions before Tuesday's deadline about which college they want to go to, some of the nation's top liberal arts colleges are dealing with big decisions of their own. Many of the most elite private schools are trying to figure out how they may have to adapt at a time when they're seen as a more expensive — and less direct — path to landing a job.

President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda are meeting at the White House on Monday — the first such meeting between U.S. and Japanese leaders in three years.

Political turmoil in Japan has led to a constant turnover in leadership: There have been six prime ministers in as many years.

According to columnist Rex Huppke, there was a recent death that you might have missed. It wasn't an actor, musician or famous politician, but facts.

In a piece for the Chicago Tribune, Huppke says facts – things we know to be true – are now dead.

Sudan has declared a state of emergency as tensions mount along the disputed border it shares with its new neighbor, South Sudan.

As the AP reports, declaring a state of emergency gives the government expanded powers of arrest. On Saturday, Sudanese officials claimed they had arrested four people, including three foreigners.

When more than 100 tornadoes raked the Great Plains a couple of weeks ago, emergency responders ran headlong into a growing phenomenon: roads bottled up by swarms of tornado chasers.

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Now, back here in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama will host Japan's prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, at the White House tomorrow. It's been more than three years since a Japanese head of state attended a White House summit.

In Hockey Playoffs, A Question Of Fairness

Apr 29, 2012

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And now, let's turn our attention to the world of sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE BALL GAME")

WYNONA CARR: (Singing) Life is a ball game being played each day. Life is a ball game...

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A senior U.S. official, Kurt Campbell, has arrived on an unscheduled trip to Beijing, apparently to negotiate over Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, believed to be under U.S. protection. The fate of the activist puts both China and the U.S. in a tricky diplomatic bind, with no easy answers.

Ever since Egypt's revolution last year, many Israelis have wondered what it might mean for the peace treaty that the two countries signed in 1979 – the first such agreement between Israel and an Arab state.

Israel's embassy in Egypt was attacked last September and badly damaged. Islamist parties sharply critical of Israel have proved popular, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which won Egypt's parliamentary elections.

By ending a historic gas contract with Israel, is Egypt laying the groundwork for a fundamental shift in relations? Not quite, says Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group.

Malley, program director for the Middle East and North Africa, talks to NPR's David Greene on Weekend Edition about last week's announcement, which raised questions of political rifts. Malley says:

Twenty years ago Sunday, Los Angeles erupted into destructive riots after the verdict in the Rodney King trial. The violence lasted six days and left more than 50 dead and over $1 billion in damage. NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates remembers; she lived in the one of the neighborhoods that went up in flames.

Several years ago, I interviewed Karl Fleming for the 40th anniversary of the Watts riots. He was a veteran journalist who'd covered the civil rights movement in the in the 1960s for Newsweek.

Spain has Europe's highest unemployment rate, with nearly 1 in 4 people out of work. The country has dipped back into recession, and layoffs are on the rise.

But there's one organization there that's still hiring: the Catholic Church. A group of bishops has launched a savvy campaign on YouTube to recruit new priests from the swelling ranks of Spain's unemployed.

The Los Angeles riots began 20 years ago Sunday, when a jury acquitted four police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King in 1992.

While the ashes were still smoldering, then-Mayor Tom Bradley announced a new organization that would repair the shattered city, Rebuild L.A. Its mission was to spend five years harnessing the power of the private sector to replace and improve on what was lost. While it created a lot of hope, it created even more disappointment.

Before the soldiers of the 182nd Regiment of the Army National Guard came home, they were asked how many were unemployed or looking for work. The answer: about one in three.

As more soldiers return to civilian life, a civilian job may not be there waiting. Service members with the National Guard have the extra challenge of convincing employers to hire them when they may be called to active duty for a year or more. There are laws designed to protect vets from losing their jobs or promotions because of their service, but it's hard to prove when it happens.

In a little more than 10 years, the total amount of student loan debt in this country has doubled to more than $1 trillion. In the not too-distant-future, student loan debt will eclipse the amount of money Americans owe on their cars and credit cards.

Sixty-eight years ago today, the Allies launched a massive dress rehearsal for the invasion of Normandy — the famous D-Day landings that would happen five weeks later. But that rehearsal turned into one of the war's biggest fiascos.

It took place on Slapton Sands, a beach in southwestern England. British historian Giles Milton wrote about the rehearsal on his blog last week.

More than a decade after 9/11, heightened security at U.S. airports has become routine, yet some religious and minority groups say they're unfairly singled out for even more screening. Well, now there's an app for that.

The mobile app is called FlyRights. Travelers who suspect they have been profiled take out their smartphone, tap a finger on the app and answer about a dozen questions. Then they hit "submit" and an official complaint is filed immediately with the Transportation Security Administration.

Joel Osteen is one of the most influential religious figures in the world.

He's a New York Times best-selling author. His television program reaches more than 10 million households in the U.S. and is seen in more than 100 nations across the globe. On Sunday night, he's hosting America's Night of Hope at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

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