National & World News from NPR

In an interview with CNN, The Donald did not back down from his opinion that President Obama was not born in the United States.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer presented him with the overwhelming evidence that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, but Donald Trump just raised his voice as he and Blitzer accused each other of sounding "ridiculous."

CNN calls it a "smackdown," and, indeed, it was a pretty contentious interview. Take a look:

The most potentially influential politician you've probably never heard of, former two-term Maine Gov. Angus King, on Tuesday officially entered the race to replace retiring moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe.

King, 68, an alternative-energy entrepreneur and supporter of President Obama, filed more than 6,000 signatures with Maine's secretary of state to ensure his place on November's ballot.

He'll run as an independent, as he did for his successful gubernatorial runs in the 1990s.

On a recent Monday morning in Washington, D.C., a group of 3-year-old preschoolers bumbled their way into a circle, more or less, on the rug of their classroom. It was time to read.

The children sat cross-legged as their teacher, Mary-Lynn Goldstein, held high a book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. There was a short conversation about pigeons, then, for reasons that weren't entirely clear, cows; and then Goldstein began to read. She read as most teachers read, occasionally stopping to ask a question, point out a picture or make a comment about the story.

Facebook Stock Falls Another 9 Percent

May 29, 2012

Facebook's stock fell $3.07 to end the day at $28.84. That's first time it's fallen below $30 since the stock went public.

That price is also 24 percent below its opening price of $38.

The Wall Street Journal that the drop had to do with negative sentiment about the stock, as well as the fact that today traders were able to trade on derivatives.

The Facebook stock saw so much trading, the Journal reports, that it triggered Nasdaq's short sale circuit-breaker.

Congress is considering legislation allowing the government to search through Internet traffic for early warnings of cyberattacks. The bills are controversial — worries about government surveillance have led to protests online.

The government does have a tool that could calm fears about this kind of legislation — it just doesn't use it.

America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

At the moment the polls close in Texas Tuesday evening, most media outlets and very likely even the Mitt Romney campaign will declare that he has secured enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

For what it's worth, there are two problems with that statement. First, as a practical matter, Romney actually won the Republican nomination when the other candidates competing for delegates in the primaries and caucuses stopped doing so. That was weeks ago.

Back in early April, a Philippine navy frigate tried to arrest Chinese fishermen accused of poaching sharks and giant clams.

But more is at stake than a boatload of seafood.

Neighboring countries say confrontations like this are growing as China asserts claims to territory well beyond its coastline. And analysts think China is testing America's resolve in the region.

Philippine officials say China still has more than 30 boats in the contested area, which is widely known as Scarborough Shoal, though the Chinese call it Huangyan Island.

Saying that each one of the recipients has touched countless lives, President Obama presented 13 Presidential Medals of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House today.

All of the people on the stage, Obama said, "are my heroes individually." He said that if it were not for John Doar, the Justice Department official who personally escorted University of Mississippi's first black student to campus, he would not be president.

One of the day's most-discussed stories has to be The New York Times' report headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves A Test Of Obama's Principles And Will."

It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."

This is the first of two stories we're doing this week on organ transplants. See the second story, What Air Traffic Can Teach Us About Kidney Transplants

Ashley Dias, 26, is waiting for lungs. She has cystic fibrosis and needs a lung transplant to survive. She's got a tracheostomy tube in her neck so she can only mouth out words.

At sunset tonight Manhattan's grid will match up perfectly with the sun, producing a dazzling, golden display on each one of the city's streets.

It happens twice a year and it's been termed "Manhattanhenge," coined by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.

NPR's Margo Adler sent this report for our Newscast unit:

Yesterday, a short piece in a Japan-based foreign affairs magazine caused a lot of surprise: U.S. Special Forces have parachuted into North Korea "to spy on Pyongyang's extensive network of underground military facilities," The Diplomat reported.

The New York Times' Frank Bruni floated the idea, saying he'd heard "a vague murmuring" about Michelle Obama running for the Senate from Illinois in 2016.

It's the sort of question you toss out to a table full of politics buffs — sharing a pitcher of cold beer. (We'll provide the aficionados; you imagine the table and the cold pitcher.)

Which presidential election in American history most resembles the coming election between President Obama and Mitt Romney — and why?

If a goat walks about 2,000 miles from Arizona to Chicago can that "reverse the curse" that has plagued the Cubs for nearly 67 years?

Odd as that question sounds, it's about to be put to the test.

Five Cubs fans and a goat have just finished a three-month walk from Mesa, Ariz., to the Windy City and are due at Wrigley Field this afternoon when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres.

The International Monetary Fund's boss, Christine Lagarde, made a lot of Greeks very angry with an interview she gave The Guardian on Friday.

Essentially, Lagarde said she has very little sympathy for the Greeks and that if they want to solve their financial problems they should just pay their taxes.

Here's what she told the paper exactly:

Understanding New Orleans' Murder Epidemic

May 29, 2012

The murder rate in New Orleans has consistently been well above the national average. But Mayor Mitch Landrieu is searching for answers to change that. He speaks with host Michel Martin about his five-step plan to lower the murder rate, his plans to reform the police department, and being mayor of a city in recovery.



I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, he's bringing new flavors from Latin America to places like Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Washington, D.C. We'll talk Nuevo Latino cuisine with the award-winning chef, Guillermo Pernot. That's in just a few minutes.

But first, we're going to continue our conversation with the mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu. We're talking about his administration's efforts to stop the killing in his city. Per capita, New Orleans has the highest murder rate in the country.

Word from the antivirus experts at Kaspersky Lab that "we've found what might be the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed," and that this Flame spyware is targeting Iran and some places in the Middle East, is getting lots of attention this morning:

-- "Massive Cyber-Attack Discovered, Researchers Say." (BBC News)

Can someone actually be hooked on a behavior, like gambling?

Problem gambling isn't considered a true addiction in medical circles. But that may change as psychiatrists revise the diagnostic manual that spells out criteria for more than a dozen varieties of mental disorders.

Last week, the researchers who put out the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers said their index rose in May to "its highest level since October 2007" — before the last recession began.

But when it comes to economics, there always seem to be an "on the other hand" moment coming — especially when the economy appears to be at a turning point.

If you listen to the Morning Edition interview with first lady Michelle Obama, you'll know she's come out with a new book about the White House garden.

The National Spelling Bee gets going Wednesday and the story that's got everyone buzzing is about the youngest competitor in the contest's history: 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison from Woodbridge, Va.

She is, as Washington's WJLA-TV says, a "precocious little girl" who "is anything but ordinary" and will be on stage with others twice her age.

The news has gotten worse from Italy. Just after 9:15 a.m. ET, The Associated Press reported that authorities say at least 15 people were killed today by an earthquake that struck the northern part of the country.

Our original post, from 8:05 a.m. ET:

As residents in Northeast Florida give thanks that Tropical Storm Beryl did relatively little damage over the weekend and did not develop into a hurricane, they're also grateful that it brought rain to an area plagued by drought.

"The U.N. said Tuesday that entire families were shot in their homes during a massacre in Syria on Friday that killed more than 100 people, including children," The Associated Press reports. And as nations around the world have reacted this morning to news about the atrocities, they're expelling Syrian diplomats in protest.