"There are no two ways about it: the bullsh*t is strong with wine."
That's what Robert T. Gonzales recently wrote on io9.com in a post that eviscerated wine tasting as a form of skilled craft. "Wine tasting. Wine rating. Wine reviews. Wine descriptions," he writes. "They're all related. And they're all egregious offenders, from a [expletive deleted] standpoint."
Jordan's King Abdullah vowed to make the desert kingdom a "free Internet" country as he began his rule more than a decade ago. On June 2, when local Internet providers were ordered to block hundreds of news websites across the kingdom, Web publishers protested the broken promise and international media watchdog organizations charged censorship.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Wimbledon is underway, which means the tennis world's most famous hawk is back in the spotlight. No, not the Hawk-Eye ball tracking technology linesmen use to help make calls, an actual hawk. His name is Rufus, and his job is to scare pesky pigeons away from the All England Club before the crowds of tennis fans arrive. Rufus also worked the 2012 Olympics. The hawk, of course, has his own Twitter account to squawk at his admirers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
To love the novels of Cesar Aira you must have a taste for the absurd, a tolerance for the obscurely philosophical and a willingness to laugh out loud against your better judgment. His latest novel to be translated into English, The Hare, is set in the Argentine pampas at the end of the 19th century. But don't let any veneer of realism fool you.
South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited the hospital to pray with his family on Tuesday. On his Facebook page, Makgoba posted the prayer he said for the 94-year-old anti-apartheid legend and former president. He wrote:
Good morning, I'm David Greene with health advice from Russia.
Gennady Onishchenko, the country's chief sanitary inspector, is encouraging food patriotism. Translation: More borscht - cut the meals at McDonald's. The fast food chain is popular in many Russian cities. But Mr. Onishchenko had more to say. To beat the summer heat, he said people should just get to work early, rather than wear, quote, "spotted little pants that stop above the knees." We think he's referring to shorts.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. In the midst of the housing crisis in 2008, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were brought into government hands. And today, over 90 percent of mortgages are guaranteed by the U.S. government. That's a potential burden for taxpayers if mortgages fail. Yesterday, a bipartisan Senate bill was introduced to try to unwind the government takeover, as well as Fannie and Freddie. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
And before leaving on his trip to Africa, President Obama had some other words on another subject. He announced a wide-ranging plan to address climate change. Rather than taking that plan to Congress and fighting it out, Obama is using his executive powers to implement it without new laws. The president wants the Environmental Protection Agency to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. The biggest source of those emissions is coal-fired facilities.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
President Obama flew home from Europe less than a week ago, and this morning, he is headed back overseas. This time, Air Force One is bound for Africa. It's a weeklong journey that will take the president and his family to three countries covering vastly different regions. This is Obama's first extended trip to the continent as president.
Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 10:13 am
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This was the scene last night in the Texas Capitol building.
MONTAGNE: Crowds who came out to support a nearly 11-hour filibuster by Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis erupted in screams in an attempt to stop a vote on a bill that would have forced all but a handful of abortion clinics in Texas to close. That's because, among other things, the bill would require clinics be upgraded to ambulatory surgical centers, something that the clinics say they can't afford.