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Trumpeter Amir ElSaffar grew up near Chicago, playing jazz trumpet. In the early 2000s, while in his mid-20s, he began investigating the music of his Iraqi heritage, studying in Baghdad and with expatriate musicians in Europe. Then he began combining the two.

At 7 a.m. on a recent weekday morning, the Bedford Diner, in Bedford, Pa., is jumping.

Way in the back, some tables have been pushed together for a weekly prayer breakfast that's really a gathering of old friends — all military veterans, some of whom are retired. Art Halvorson, a 58-year-old regular here, is a real estate developer, a former career coast guard pilot and now a Tea Party-backed candidate going after seven-term Rep. Bill Shuster in next year's Republican primary.



A new billboard in the nation's capital is stirring some controversy. It tells jury members to forget the law and vote their conscience. It reads - "Jury duty? Know your rights. Good jurors nullify bad laws." And it's caught the attention of prosecutors, not surprisingly. The group behind the ads is called the Fully Informed Jury Association. It says jurors should acquit defendants if they disagree with the law, even if all evidence points towards a guilty verdict.



This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, activists in Washington, D.C. are asking jury members to vote their conscience not the law. We'll ask why some people think jury nullification is the only way for minorities to get a fair day in court. That's in just a few minutes.

Cutting SNAP Benefits Not A Snap Decision

Nov 4, 2013



This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll get an update on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. But first, we turn to an issue that affects one out of every seven humans in America, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. Back in 2009, in the depths of the recession, President Obama increased SNAP benefits using stimulus funds, but the temporary increase expired this past Friday.

Four men in Nairobi, Kenya, are facing charges that include harboring terrorists who conducted an attack that left at least 67 people dead in September. The formal charges are the first filed over the assault and standoff at Nairobi's Westgate Mall.

One of the men is accused of offering refuge to a gunman after the attack, according to court documents cited in Kenyan media. Authorities say others allowed the attackers to stay at their homes before the attack. At least one of them also faces charges related to false identification documents.

Reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors, the hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors has agreed to plead guilty to insider trading, pay a $1.8 billion fine and end its investment advisory business.

Reuters reports:

"U.S. prosecutors on Monday filed a letter describing the deal to the judges in a pair of cases - one criminal, the other a civil forfeiture action - against SAC Capital stemming from a massive insider trading investigation. The judges would have to approve the deal."

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says reports that the NSA circumvented the Internet giant's efforts to protect its users' data are "outrageous."

Schmidt made the comments in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up in Baltimore, and it was there, as a teenager, when he first felt like he was being singled out for his race. He and a friend walked into a store, and the employees followed them the entire time as they shopped.

Pakistan, Geo TV

We begin in Pakistan where an Islamabad court has granted former President Pervez Musharraf bail over a military operation to force militants from the capital's Red Mosque.

The former military leader has been charged with murder over the death of a radical cleric who died in the 2007 raid.

Musharraf cannot leave Pakistan without government approval. He has been under house arrest since April.

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

This week, the political headlines are expected to be dominated by several important off-year elections whose outcomes seem a foregone conclusion, if you believe the polls.

Democrat Terry McAulliffe in Virginia and Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey have significant polling leads in their governor's races. In New York City, Democrat and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio appears poised to win in a blowout.

On this 34th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, thousands of Iranians gathered outside that building to once again chant "Death to America."



Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Senator Rand Paul is not happy to be accused of plagiarism. He told ABC if dueling was legal, he might challenge one of his critics and seemed to refer to TV host Rachel Maddow. There's just one complication - under all dueling customs, if he challenges Maddow she gets to choose the weapon. Abe Lincoln was once challenged to a duel and chose broadswords, letting the long-armed Lincoln reach his opponent first. That duel was called off. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Something Fishy Is Going On In Michigan

Nov 4, 2013



Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Something fishy is going on in Michigan. A 20-pound carp is campaigning as a write-in candidate for the city council in Ann Arbor. The fish was removed from a pond last year and released into a nearby river. That's the biography, as we understand it. From the candidate's Twitter feed, the fish describes himself as a politician and bottom-feeder. He tweets: Since I have no actual feet, I don't have to stand for anything. People in Michigan cast their votes tomorrow.

The trial of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi opened and then was quickly adjourned Monday in Cairo.

The judge ordered a delay to Jan. 8 after Morsi refused to recognize the court's legitimacy or wear a prison uniform, and after Morsi and other defendants disrupted the proceeding with chants that included "down with military rule, this is a state not a military camp."

Amy Tan was 200 pages into a new novel when she attended a large exhibition on Shanghai life in the early 1900s. While there, she bought a book she thought might help her as she researched details on life in the Old City. She stopped turning pages when she came upon a group portrait.



Now, during the government shutdown, many House Republicans said the policy was unwise, but persisted for weeks in voting with their speaker, John Boehner. One reason was party loyalty. Another reason, according to analysts, was fear. Lawmakers did not want to run the risk of a challenge in a Republican primary from candidates saying they weren't trying hard enough.



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Greene.

Last month's government shutdown could deliver its first political victim tomorrow. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is trailing in the Virginia Governor's race. During a campaign appearance this weekend, President Obama tried to tie Cuccinelli to the shutdown, and also to the Tea Party. Cuccinelli, in turn, tried to link his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to the troubled rollout of Obamacare.

The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.

Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don't seem to do as well. We don't seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.

Like many Syrian exiles, Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at National Defense University, is frustrated by U.S. policy toward Syria. He says there's been only a trickle of U.S. aid to the secular, nationalist opposition in Syria, while the Islamists have no trouble raising money through their networks in the Arab world.

After spending months working on a series of stories about the trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies, I decided it might be interesting to explore my own microbiome.

So I pulled out my credit card and paid the $99 needed to sign up for the American Gut Project, one of a couple of "citizen science" or crowdsourced microbiome projects.

Today the beauty of Los Angeles is dramatically symbolic of the ancient prophecy the desert shall "blossom like a rose."

This blossoming was made possible by the birth of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, opened 100 years ago this month. The opening of the aqueduct might as well have been the birth of the modern West and the image of the city as a Garden of Eden.

The vast quantities of water the aqueduct moved made Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and other cities across the region possible.

The small town of Rjukan has long had to make do without sunlight during the cold Norwegian winters.

But that changed Wednesday, when the town debuted a system of high-tech mirrors to reflect sunlight from neighboring peaks into the valley below.

Rjukan, originally founded 100 years ago as an industrial outpost for the energy company Norsk Hydro, is nestled between several mountains and does not receive direct sunlight from late September to mid-March — nearly six months out of the year.

Small flickering oil lamps known as diyas are lighting up Indian homes in South Asian communities around the globe on Sunday as hundreds of millions of people observe Diwali.

Otherwise known as the Festival of Lights, it's a religious celebration of self-awareness and reflection. Diwali is a public holiday in a number of other nations, but it's not nearly so well-known in the U.S., where families must rely on themselves to keep the tradition alive.

For years, Newark, N.J., had the reputation of being a crime-ridden, low-income city. Former Mayor Cory Booker helped change that perception.

Thursday, the Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, and it's unclear what that means for the city's future.

While Booker brought attention — and funding — to Newark, he couldn't completely tackle the violence that has persisted for years. As mayoral candidates begin making their cases, crime is a common theme.

'Now A City Of Hope'

PHOTO: A Partial Solar Eclipse As Seen In New York

Nov 3, 2013

If you were on the East Coast and got up very early this morning, you may have gotten a celestial treat.

As the Capital Weather Gang explained, this eclipse was a hybrid event, appearing as a total eclipse or annular eclipse in some places on Earth. The Weather Gang explains:

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Says He Will Not Resign

Nov 3, 2013

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he is "going to ride this storm out."

Of course, he is referring to the scandal that has overtaken his term as mayor of Canada's largest city. As Mark reported, for months now, there have been reports that there is a video out there that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack cocaine.

The United Nations General Assembly may approve a plan soon for the world's space agencies to defend the Earth against asteroids.

No Clemency For Snowden, U.S. Officials Say

Nov 3, 2013

Congressional leaders and the White House had one message for Edward Snowden on Sunday: There will be no clemency for illegally leaking documents that have revealed some of the U.S. government's most secret programs.

Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California, and her House counterpart, Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, expressed that view on CBS' Face the Nation and White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said pretty much the same on ABC's This Week.