Tech companies that cooperated with government intelligence-gathering efforts by allowing access to their databases say they did so only reluctantly and that it never involved 'direct access' to servers, according to The New York Times.
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:
John Morse isn't bogged down in personal scandal. The Democratic president of the Colorado Senate isn't accused of ethical improprieties or anything else that might directly violate his oath of office.
But by pushing a sweeping gun-control measure he's alienated a swath of voters who are determined to toss him out of office before his term ends.
On Monday, groups opposing restrictions on guns turned in twice as many signatures as they needed to trigger a recall election against Morse. A recall of another state senator appears likely.
Investigators in Santa Monica, Calif., were trying to piece together a motive in a shooting rampage in which four people were killed before police fatally shot the gunman.
The assailant, dressed in black and carrying a semi-automatic rifle, first shot and killed two men – believed to be his father and brother – at a home about a mile from Santa Monica College. Authorities were soon called to the burning home, but it wasn't immediately clear if the fire was arson.
Marching bands, beauty queens and Chita Rivera are set to make their way down New York City's Fifth Avenue on Sunday for the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.
With 80,000 marchers and 2 million onlookers, the event is one of the country's biggest ethnic celebrations.
In the run-up to the parade, rows of street vendors have lined up north of the parade route, in New York's East Harlem neighborhood — also known as Spanish Harlem for the wave of Puerto Ricans that settled here after World War II.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The news that the National Security Agency is collecting reams of telephone data and tracking Internet behavior has alarmed civil liberties groups. President Obama believes U.S. citizens have no need to worry.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: One of the things that we're going to have to discuss and debate is how are we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy, because there are some tradeoffs involved.
Latin America has some of the highest crime rates in the world. And that includes extortion, which doesn't just terrorize but also takes a huge economic toll on ordinary citizens. In many Latin American countries, it's costing billions of dollars and hindering development. As part of our series on violence in Latin America, NPR's Carrie Kahn takes us to Mexico, where some estimates say extortion costs more than $30 billion a year. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Extortion costs an estimated $3.2 billion in Mexico annually.]
In June 2012, Nik Wallenda — of the great Wallenda Family circus dynasty — walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. On June 23, he plans to cross the Grand Canyon the same way. Wallenda has also recently written a memoir called Balance: Christian Faith and Miraculous Results.
Richard Pryor occupies his own special category in comedy. He played Las Vegas and made popular movies, and performed routines that were almost short stories — searing, profane and moving.
Pryor grew up in his grandmother's brothel in Peoria, Ill.; she beat him, too. He was expelled from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, but spent much of his military stint in prison. And with a special fever of genius — torched by drugs, fueled by grief and enlivened by exhilaration — he created unforgettable depictions of what it's like to feel left out of American life.
Heard any really good jokes lately? Andrew Hudgins is one of America's most noted poets, but he says he has a hard time recalling any actual lines of poetry. He can, however, recite knock-knock jokes he heard in the third grade. Ever since then, he has favored the kind of humor that can make people squirm or even make them angry. Jokes about religion, race, sex, weight, the O.J. Simpson case, Natalie Wood's death, and punch lines from Adolf Hitler's generals — everything is fair game.
Throughout the entertainment industry, alumni of a tiny, vocational high school program are at work: building sets in Hollywood, mixing sound on Broadway, performing on TV shows like The Office. They're graduates of the Addison Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), an incubator for actors and theater technicians at the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, Vt.