Royal Dutch Shell could drill several exploratory oil wells into the waters off the north shore of Alaska this summer. The potential prize is huge, but so is the risk, should there be an oil spill in this pristine and remote region. And that risk is on everyone's mind since the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago.
Shell is now training hundreds of workers to confront oil in icy waters. But for now, the training is taking place in the calm, ice-free waters far to the south, near the port of Valdez.
The eastern shore of Lake Erie is known as the "Sponge Candy Crescent." During the region's long winter months, this crunchy, chocolatey candy is a mainstay — especially for large gatherings and holidays. But come hot weather, you can't get the temperamental treat.
Ko-Ed Candies sells a lot of chocolate Easter bunnies, candy bars and other sweets, but co-owner Sandy Whitt says her customers mostly crave sponge candy.
Earlier this week, Taiwanese-American attorney Grace Meng won the Democratic primary for New York's newly redrawn 6th Congressional District. She says she thinks of herself as an all-American kid, even if others didn't always see her that way.
"Growing up as a kid in Queens, there weren't really many Asians at all," Meng says. "I remember one day, my mom gave me dumplings to bring to school, and people were all like, 'What is that?'"
Meng says she would have preferred peanut butter and jelly.
European countries have agreed to stop importing Iranian oil as of Sunday. This could make it harder for Iran to find markets for its crude. Iran has been filling up tankers off its coast, but analysts say it could run out of storage capacity. This photo shows oil tankers off Iran's coast in January.
Credit Atta Kenare / AFP/Getty Images
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, shown speaking June 2 under a portrait of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said Iran will not bow to sanctions.
The sanctions noose around Iran is set to tighten Sunday as the European Union imposes a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil.
The new sanctions are aimed at putting pressure on the Islamic Republic to make concessions on its nuclear program. Iran insists the program is limited to peaceful, civilian purposes, but many Western nations believe Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions.
The move against Iran comes at a time when oil prices have been dropping for the past couple of months.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with Heidi Cullen, chief climatologist at Climate Central, a non-profit science journalism organization in Princeton, New Jersey. They discuss wildfires and extreme heat in the Midwest this week and how these climate conditions are tracked by Earth-observing satellites.
The second biggest soccer tournament in the world — the Euro 2012 — wraps up Sunday in Kiev, Ukraine. One of the marquee names for the Italian side is Mario Balotelli. Born to parents from Ghana, Balotelli is constantly harassed by racist fans and sometimes by players on the field. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with Daniel Taylor of The Guardian about Balotelli's hot temper and how the taunts sometimes take their toll.
Billy Lynn is a 19-year-old college dropout living in the small Texas town where he grew up. After he's arrested for trashing the car of his sister's ex, he's given two choices: face jail time or enlist in the Army.
He chooses the Army. And Iraq.
Author Ben Fountain's debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, is the story of what happens to Lynn after he joins Bravo Company in the early years of the Iraq war.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly. They discuss the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Health Care act, Chief Justice John Roberts' role on the court and what the decision means in this election year.
Egypt's newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was sworn into office Saturday before the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo. Morsi is the first freely elected president of Egypt and its first Islamist head of state.
The day before his inauguration, Morsi addressed a huge crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the revolution that ousted his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
"I'm standing before you, Egyptian people, those who voted for me, those who opposed me," he said. "I am yours."
Metric has long been identified as an indie-rock band, but it recently embraced the "indie" part of that descriptor in a big way.
For their last album together, the band's members formed their own company — Metric Music International — to distribute the record, organize a tour and handle promotion without a label's support. The result was the biggest album of Metric's career: Fantasies sold half a million copies worldwide.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIMON: And Wimbledon is underway, the world's oldest, most esteemed, greenest and strawberries and creamiest tennis tournament. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic seem set on the collision course for a semifinal. Maria Sharapova on course for a potential showdown with Kim Clijsters. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com, ESPN the magazine, and ESPN the full grain, fibrous and nutritious snack cracker on the line from the All England Club.
Of course, Egypt has a new president - an Islamist from the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood. Mohamed Morsi took the oath of office in Cairo today, a day after appearing at Tahrir Square to proclaim that the people are the real source of power, not the generals and the supreme military council. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Cairo that despite the swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Morsi may not have really taken hold of the reins of power.
PRESIDENT MOHAMED MORSI: (Foreign language spoken)
Firefighters are slowly gaining ground on the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado. It's scorched about 17,000 acres and believed to have claimed two lives.
More than 300 homes have burned. There's been a lot of talk about how many houses were lost in the fire, but Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown wants you to know there's a flip side to that: He says crews worked hard to minimize damage.
The heat and drought that brought much of Colorado Springs into danger has also hit the Midwest. Temperatures broke 100 degrees in the Great Plains, and the heat and the lack of rain is endangering what was expected to be a bumper crop of corn. Tim Lenz is a farmer near the town of Strasburg in south central Illinois, where he grows corn and soybeans. Mr. Lenz, thanks for being with us.
TIM LENZ: Thank you.
SIMON: What's it been like there for the past couple of weeks?
For more than 30 years, Richard Miles and Reg Mead scoured the fields of their native Jersey with metal detectors, hoping to one day come across an ancient coin or two. Earlier this week, the detector beeped and they found the world's largest-ever stash of Celtic coins. Host Scott Simon speaks with Reg Mead about their find.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama told residents of Colorado yesterday that the country has their back. The president visited an evacuation center and met with some of the firefighters who have been battling the deadly Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs.
Facing an unexpected ruling validating the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress promised to redouble efforts to repeal it, starting with another vote in the House early next month. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's David Welna to explain the battle ahead.
Now, to our occasional WEEKEND EDITION series Taste of Summer.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME")
SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) Hot fun in the summertime.
SIMON: A few weeks ago, Alton Brown shared some grilling secrets with us. Today, it'll be ice cream. Whether plain old standard vanilla, or artisanal organic squash blossom rhubarb poblano crunch - a flavor I just made up, by the way - summer is the season of ice cream. And so today, we head to the Pumphouse Creamery in Minneapolis.
A spectator cools off with a spray mist during first round play Friday at the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
Credit Jim Mone / AP
Chicago White Sox' Eduardo Escobar closes his eyes as trainer Herm Schneider sprays him with cool water during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis on Wednesday.
Credit Sitthixay Ditthavong / AP
From left, construction workers Santiago Gomez, Jorge Moreno and Abel Lozano take a break from the extreme heat during a road construction project in downtown Chicago, Thursday. Little relief from the heat is expected in the next few days.
Credit Nam Y. Huh / AP
Jason Gerald (left) and Adam Hoffman jump into the Lake Michigan at Montrose Beach in Chicago on Thursday.
Credit Jim Schulz / AP
In this photo provided by the Chicago Zoological Society, Honey, a 2-year-old American Guinea hog at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill., cools off.
Credit Gerry Broome / AP
Doug Jones, owner of Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro, N.C., waters vegetables Friday as temperatures in the South soar. Triple-digit temperatures are expected for several days in North Carolina.
Credit Bruce Schreiner / AP
Children cool off from the intense heat at a waterfront park in downtown Louisville, Ky., on Friday.
Credit Chuck Burton / AP
Aletta, a rough-legged hawk, flaps her wings as she gets a cooling shower from a hose at the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday.
Credit Gerry Broome / AP
Doug Jones, owner of Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro, N.C., waters vegetables as temperatures in the South soar, Friday, June 29. Triple-digit temperatures are expected for several days in North Carolina.
It came down to the wire, but finally, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal that keeps the interest rate on government-backed student loans from doubling. It will save the average borrower about $1,000 a year, but the compromise is likely to cost students a lot more than that over the long term.
The agreement that lawmakers passed Friday will keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. Anthony DeLaRosa, a 23-year-old University of Colorado graduate, says it's a big victory.
More than 10,000 athletes are headed to London this summer to run, swim, cycle, shoot, fence and compete in the events of the Olympic Games. Each of them has a story — what they've won, what they've lost and what they've sacrificed just to get their chance to get there.
Chris Cleave's latest novel, Gold, tells the stories of three world-ranked cyclists — Zoe, Jack and Kate — who are training for their last chance at Olympic gold. Zoe and Kate are friends as well as rivals; Jack and Kate are raising an 8-year-old who suffers from leukemia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (left) and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (right) during a summit of European leaders in Brussels. They reached an agreement on a growth plan for the continent, and world markets surged.
It has taken several years of financial upheaval and nearly 20 summits, but the prospect of Europe's disintegration has apparently frightened leaders into working together.
This seems to be the larger message emerging from the European summit in Brussels, Belgium, where EU leaders agreed Friday to a $150 growth plan for the struggling economies across the continent. The deal sent stock markets surging in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere.
An image grab taken from Egypt's Nile TV shows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (center) taking the oath of office during the official swearing-in ceremony at the Constitutional Court in Cairo on Saturday.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
In this handout picture made available by the Egyptian presidency, Egypt's Islamist president-elect Mohamed Morsi addresses tens of thousands of Egyptians in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square on Friday.