Europe
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Toil And Trouble: Eurozone Pot Continues To Boil

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

There's more gloomy news from the eurozone this week. Italy saw its sovereign debt rating lowered by one agency, at just a couple of notches above junk status. In Spain, civil servants, coalminers, and others took to the streets once again to protest more spending cuts and tax hikes. And Germany's highest court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of two measures considered central to efforts to try to contain the euro crisis.

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Science
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Starry-Eyed In Arizona Observe The Heavens

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There may be no better town in America for observing the heavens than Tucson, Arizona. It has low humidity, high elevation and a darkened desert. That part of the state has attracted quite a few astronomers, both professional and amateur. We sent NPR's Peter Breslow to Tucson to seek out this community of stargazers.

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History
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

50 Years Ago, Communications Became Global

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Fifty years ago this week, communications went global. July 12, 1962 the Telstar 1 satellite from AT&T became the first commercial spacecraft to beam television images from the United States to Europe.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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Europe
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Italians Commemorate Costa Concordia Wreck

Work has begun to remove the tons of rocky reef embedded into the Concordia cruise ship's hull, off Giglio Island in Italy. The plan is to eventually tow the wreck away from the island in one piece.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Last January, the captain of the Italian mega-cruise ship Costa Concordia committed an apparent act of maritime bravado a few yards from the shore of a Tuscan island. Thirty people were killed, and two are still missing.

Six months after one of the biggest passenger shipwrecks in recent history, relatives of the dead attended a memorial service Friday near the site of the disaster.

The solemn notes of Mozart's Requiem echoed through the small church of Saints Lorenzo and Mamiliano on the island of Giglio.

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Business
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

$6B Deal Eases Credit Card Surcharge Restrictions

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Visa, MasterCard, some of the nation's other largest banks have agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement of a class action suit involving credit card transaction fees. Now, those are what merchants pay when you use plastic instead of cash. Retailers allege that the two largest payment networks conspired with the banks to keep so-called swipe fees high. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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Presidential Race
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Obama On The Stump In Virginia

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As Mitt Romney defends his business record, President Barack Obama is on the campaign trail. He'll be in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. today. Yesterday, the president traveled to the Tidewater region of southeastern Virginia, and he continued to make his pitch that he is the best champion for the middle class. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Politics
5:57 am
Sat July 14, 2012

'Exhaustion' Can Signify A Lot More Than 'Tired'

The office of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. initially said he had gone into seclusion for exhaustion. Later, that was revised to a mood disorder.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

We may never know all the reasons why Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., has dropped out of sight, but history teaches us that if a public figure is linked to "exhaustion," the word can be code for something more problematic than simply being tired.

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National Security
5:50 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Osama's Driver Freed In Latest Guantanamo Release

Ibrahim al-Qosi, shown here on July 11 in Khartoum, Sudan, was released from Guantanamo Bay prison this week after spending a decade there. He was Osama bin Laden's former driver, and he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy with al-Qaida and supporting terrorism. There are now 168 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

The latest detainee to leave the Guantanamo Bay prison boarded an Air Force jet earlier this week. His destination: Sudan. The man, 52-year-old Ibrahim al-Qosi, had admitted to being Osama bin Laden's bookkeeper, driver and sometime cook, and he was one of the first prisoners to arrive at Guantanamo in 2002.

Now, he is the latest to leave. His departure brings the total detainee population at the U.S. naval base in Cuba down to 168 — from a high of 680 in May 2003.

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World
5:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Vive La France ... And Its High Taxes On The Wealthy

A French military brass band parades on the Champs-Elysee during a rehearsal as part of the Bastille Day celebrations, which take place Saturday.
Loic Venance AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

As the French people celebrate their revolution on Saturday, Bastille Day, the founding principles — liberte, egalite and fraternite — seem to be alive and well.

New President Francois Hollande embraced equality on the campaign trail this spring. To reduce the French deficit, he proposed raising taxes on large corporations and the super-rich. The move helped his campaign take off, says Gerald Andrieu, a political journalist with Marianne magazine.

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Around the Nation
5:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Honor Delayed: WWII Vet Layed To Rest Decades Late

Staff Sgt. John Hogan was killed during World War II. Though he died almost 70 years ago, Hogan is only now going to be buried at Arlington Cemetery.
Courtesy of Ed Hogan

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 12:38 pm

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John Hogan was killed in action. But not recently, and not in Afghanistan. He was a young gunner on a bombing mission during World War II when his B-17 was shot down over Germany.

Now, 70 years later, Hogan will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Back in 1944, the small, tight-knit town of West Plains, Mo., was knocked to its knees when one of its brightest and most promising young men went missing overseas.

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