Darth Vader walks the Earth today. By that, we mean he's walking all over the place. Fans of the sci-fi franchise are celebrating Star Wars Day — or May 4 for the less geek-inclined.
The day brings an excuse for people to dress as storm troopers and rebels and celebrate the films that first hit theaters in 1977. Star Wars Day is also being commemorated by businesses offering deals — discounts on videos, comics and other merchandise, from backpacks to Vans sneakers. You can find a list of the deals here.
The postseason continues for the Los Angeles Clippers, who won a pivotal Game 7 Saturday night, days after the team's owner was banned for life by the NBA. The Clippers ended the Golden State Warriors' season in a back-and-forth game that came down to the final minute.
In a high-octane game that was marked by the Warriors' 3-point shooting and the Clippers' late dunks, Los Angeles held on to win, 126-121.
A gun store in Maryland had been set to become the first in the country to sell something called a smart gun. But after receiving death threats, the owner of that store has changed his mind. The Armatix iP1 is electrically programmed to make it hard for anyone but the gun's owner to fire the weapon. Some gun rights activists worry that if the pistol is popular, lawmakers will require all firearms to adopt this technology. That, they say, will encroach upon second amendment rights. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. There is more grim news out of Afghanistan this weekend. As many as 2,500 people are feared dead after two devastating landslides in the northeastern part of the country Friday. Torrential rains caused a hillside to collapse, burying hundreds of homes and more than 30 feet of mud.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The execution of a death row inmate in Oklahoma this past week has reignited the debate over the use of lethal injection in this country. According to reporters at the scene, Clayton Lockett writhed in pain after receiving the lethal combination of drugs. He had a heart attack 43 minutes later and died. On Friday, President Obama called the execution, quote, "deeply troubling" and ordered the Department of Justice to review how the death penalty is applied across the country.
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.
As a criminal justice reporter for The Associated Press, Michael Graczyk has covered hundreds of executions of death row inmates in the state of Texas. This means, of course, that he must be there to witness those deaths.
President Obama made fun of himself at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday, the annual nerd-ball schmooze fest where Washington's media stars get comfy with a mix of political bigwigs and Hollywood beautiful people to celebrate a year of journalism.
Obama, known for his comic timing and delivery, didn't disappoint.
California Chrome won the 140th running of Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville Saturday. The horse was favored to win, despite quirks that set him apart from his more traditional competitors.
"Derby dreams do come true," an announcer said after the race.
The easiest time to get hired at one of the seven oil refineries in the Los Angeles area is during what's called a turnaround. These breaks, when the refineries are shut down for routine maintenance, are incredibly labor-intensive. And refineries want to get them done as quickly as possible.
So companies need enough people to get the job done. But those workers must have specific skills.
In this line of work, as with other U.S. industries, there's a skills gap.
The Ukrainian government is describing its offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country as an "anti-terrorist operation," language that offends the separatists and Russia.
In turn, Russia is using even stronger language, saying that the Ukrainian military has launched a "punitive operation." While that may not carry any special meaning to Western ears, it has far more sinister implications for Russians.
When you consider that critics have been writing about him for over 60 years, it can seem as if there's nothing left to say about Sonny Rollins. But there is – because over the decades, the "Saxophone Colossus" has never stopped growing or adding to his sound.
UCLA cancelled a $3 million donation from LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, because of racist comments Sterling made in a recording. The donation was to go towards kidney research. Host Arun Rath speaks with Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, about why institutions return money that could still be used for good causes.