Now, we want to turn to a high school competition that is taking off this weekend, and no, we are not talking football or cheerleading. This is the finals of the nation's largest rocketry tournament. One hundred teens will gather for the Team America Rocketry Challenge this weekend in Washington, D.C.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, as a child, did you ever build a rocket? Well, how about one that can take two raw eggs 800 feet up and bring them back safely again? That's exactly what students from Memphis' Wooddale High School managed to do, and now they're competing in a national competition this weekend. We'll hear their inspiring story in just a few minutes.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a leading moderate Muslim leader in the U.S., was once the lead cleric associated with the proposed Islamic community center some critics called the "ground zero mosque." In late 2010, a debate over the location of the community center, now called the Cordoba House, became a contentious issue during the midterm elections.
During the debate, Rauf was called a "radical Muslim" and a "militant Islamist" by critics of the proposed community center. He was accused of sympathizing with the Sept. 11 hijackers and having connections to Hamas.
Six years ago, Indiana Democrats didn't bother fielding a candidate against Sen. Richard Lugar. But with his loss in Tuesday's Republican primary, they think they have a real chance to take Lugar's seat.
Democrats argue that the new GOP nominee, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, will prove too conservative even for the Republican-leaning state.
"There's a lot of animus here because of the way Mourdock has campaigned," says Ann DeLaney, a former Indiana Democratic Party official.
Think you're safe from norovirus, the nasty bug behind the stomach flu, if you steer clear of someone who has it?
Think again. Researchers in Oregon investigating an outbreak of stomach flu among some young soccer players learned the virus can hitch a ride on those reusable plastic bags many of us have gotten accustomed to carrying to and from the store.
One of the most infamous ships still sailing can't dock at its final resting place just yet.
India's Supreme court has ruled that the Exxon Valdez (now called the Oriental Nicety) cannot enter a scrap yard in the western state of Gujarat until its owners can prove the tanker has been cleaned of mercury, arsenic, asbestos, residual oil and other potential contaminants.
Yves Klein made his project "FC1" with water, a blowtorch and two models. The women pressed their wet figures against a fire-resistant board, then stepped away. Afterward, Klein torched the board — an effect that left behind blurry silhouettes of models.
In the history of Major League Baseball, only 15 players have hit four homeruns in a single game. Well, last night, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton became Number 16. He hit four balls out of the park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Orioles' fans weren't happy. Hamilton's Rangers were trouncing their team. Still, they gave Hamilton a standing ovation as he took his place in center field in the eighth inning. As Hamilton put it, that let's you know they are true baseball fans.
And let's stay in Iowa. It was only a few decades ago that railroad tracks laced the state's countryside, linking even the smallest Iowa communities to the rest of the country. Many of these short line railroads have been disappearing. They're being turned into farm land or in some cases, bicycle trails. But in one Iowa community, farmers and businessmen are using their own money to preserve their railroad connection. They see it as an economic lifeline.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. There are new developments this morning in the story of the al-Qaida plot to bomb an airplane heading to the United States. It turns out that the man who was thought to be the bomber was actually a double agent - that, according to U.S. officials.
Special envoy Kofi Annan says unacceptable levels of violence and abuse are continuing in Syria. He said military activities have declined somewhat but the level of violence is still too high. Annan warned about the devastating repercussions if the fragile peace plan failed.
Some other news. Two words - pink slime - have been powerful enough to cost the jobs of 650 meat-processing workers.
Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank reports on the backlash against a ground-beef filler.
PAT BLANK, BYLINE: Officials with Beef Products Incorporated, or BPI, will permanently close three production plants in Waterloo, Iowa; Amarillo, Texas; and Garden City, Kansas; by the end of the month.
And now we go to southern Afghanistan for an update on an incident that threatened to undermine America's mission in this country. In March, an American soldier massacred villagers near a remote outpost west of Kandahar. An Army sergeant, Robert Bales, is in custody, accused of that crime.
I reached NPR's Tom Bowman who is in Kandahar now, just back from the area where Sgt. Bales was assigned.
And Tom, I understand you were just a mile or two from where those killings took place.
Japanese automaker Toyota on Wednesday announced its January to March profits quadrupled over last year to $1.5 billion. The company struggled with production after last year's earthquake and tsunami caused huge delays at its factories. With production back to normal, Toyota expects this to be its most profitable year since before the global financial crisis.
North Carolina has become the 30th state to approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. State law already prohibits same-sex marriage, but supporters of this amendment say they wanted extra protection. Jessica Jones reports from North Carolina Public Radio.
Violinist and music educator Roman Totenberg had a long and distinguished career as a concert violinist, and taught for many years at Boston University and other schools. He was also the father of NPR's Nina Totenberg. He died Tuesday at the age of 101.
Attorney William T. Gibbs (left), and Tregg Duerson, son of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, announce the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL on Feb. 23 in Chicago. The lawsuit accuses the NFL of negligently causing the brain damage that led Duerson to take his own life at 50, by not warning him of the negative effects of concussions.
Even as the great, sad Junior Seau killed himself, more and more other old football players are joining in class action to sue the National Football League. They're claiming, generally, that while the NFL understood — for years — how vulnerable its players were to head injuries, the league did not sufficiently warn players about the danger of concussions.
Nor did the teams first do no harm — instead, allowing players to go back into games when they should have been kept out of the action.
President Bush and then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry shake hands at the end of a presidential debate in 2004 in St. Louis. Researchers want to better understand why partisans' views of the facts change in light of their political loyalties.
When pollsters ask Republicans and Democrats whether the president can do anything about high gas prices, the answers reflect the usual partisan divisions in the country. About two-thirds of Republicans say the president can do something about high gas prices, and about two-thirds of Democrats say he can't.
It sounds like a typical American success story: A young boy becomes an academic standout, an Eagle Scout and high school valedictorian. Later, he attends college and then law school, all on full scholarships.
But Jose Godinez-Samperio's story is not typical. He's an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — and now he's fighting to be admitted to the Florida bar.
Godinez-Samperio was just 9 years old when he came to the U.S. with his parents. They entered the country legally, but overstayed their visas and settled in the Tampa area.
Cybersecurity analysts work in the watch and warning center during the first tour of the government's secretive cyberdefense lab intended to protect the nation's power, water and chemical plants, electrical grid and other facilities on Sept. 29, 2011, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
For the CEOs of companies such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, talk of cyberweapons and cyberwar could have been abstract. But at a classified security briefing in spring 2010, it suddenly became quite real.
"We can turn your computer into a brick," U.S. officials told the startled executives, according to a participant in the meeting.
Protesters march outside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Hotel where Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is speaking to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce on April 17 in Springfield, Ill. Walker faces Democrat Tom Barrett in a recall election June 5. The events in the state over the next four weeks could be a sign of where the U.S. is headed in the months ahea
Back before the conflagration that was World War II, some of Europe's great powers engaged in a surrogate struggle by arming the warring factions in the Spanish Civil War. It was a great way to test their latest weapons and tactics.
Here in our country and in our time, the role of Spain is being played by the state of Wisconsin, where a political civil war has raged for nearly 18 months — presaging the fierce national politics of this presidential year.
Watch Wisconsin over the next four weeks, and you will see where we are headed as a nation in the months ahead.