Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:24 pm
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.
Wow. For all we know this could be the next European TV program to become a hit in the United States. You've heard of "Downton Abbey," this program goes a little more continental. The program by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is spreading to other countries, sparking a discussion of the edgy subject of inheritance.
Texas has executed a Mexican national for killing a Houston police officer in 1994. Mexico opposes the death penalty and the execution revived a long-running diplomatic row between the United States and Mexico.
Protesters in Ukraine have given their country's president an ultimatum. They say he must call early elections or unrest will grow even worse. This country of 45 million people is fighting over which way it leans - toward European nations to the West or eastward toward Russia, which once controlled Ukraine. Protests began when the president gave in to Russian pressure to block a trade deal with the European Union. And those protests have turned deadly this week with at least two people killed - more by some estimates.
Spain's banking system on Thursday is marking an end to its reliance on bailout loans from Europe that were desperately needed 18 months ago to shore up its banks after a construction boom-and-bust.
Spain is now the second eurozone country to cleanly exit its bailout program, after Ireland.
It's a dramatic difference from a year and a half ago, when demonstrations erupted outside banks in Spain almost daily. At the time, record numbers of Spaniards were losing their homes in foreclosure. Unemployment soared past 25 percent and kept rising.
If you don't live in the Northeast, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey may sound like just another obscure government agency. But it's suddenly been in the spotlight because of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.
The agency's name is a bit of an understatement. The Port Authority manages the biggest port on the East Coast, along with three major airports, the key bridges and tunnels across the Hudson River, bus and rail lines, and even the World Trade Center site.
The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.
Most of the sports in the Winter Olympics involve great physical strength or agility. The goals are easy to understand: to go faster, to jump farther or more spectacularly. But one Olympic sport — curling — is as much about strategy and physics as physicality.
On the outskirts of London, in a basement room of the British National Archives, a historian delicately turns pages that have the brittle feel of dead leaves. Each is covered in text — some typewritten, some in spidery handwriting from a pen that scratched across the page 100 years ago.
"Saturday, the 26th of September, 1914," reads one. "The most ghastly day of my life. And yet one of my proudest, because my regiment did its job and held on against heavy odds."
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:21 am
An independent panel created after the 9/11 attacks says bulk collection of billions of American phone records violates the letter and the spirit of the law.
The new report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board undercuts the foundation of the National Security Agency's long-running phone metadata program, and suggests it conflicts with plain language in the Patriot Act and other laws on the books.
NPR obtained a copy of the report, which will be discussed and voted on Thursday at an open board meeting.
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson talks about the national implications of the Virginia attorney general's decision.
Virginia's new attorney general has decided to switch sides in an important case that is challenging the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.
In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Democrat Mark Herring said his office will no longer defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages.
"As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians' rights," Herring said. "The commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied."
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:58 pm
In the annals of corrupt governors, former Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell's place remains to be seen.
He was indicted along with his wife Tuesday for allegedly taking illegal gifts, vacations and loans while in office, but the governor says he's innocent.
Either way, in light of the allegations against McDonnell, the first governor in Virginia history to face felony charges, we thought we'd take a look back at other examples of gubernatorial bad behavior in recent decades that resulted in fines, probation or even a prison stint.