Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Weddings are always a whirlwind - from the engagement to the wedding photos, which for a couple in Saskatchewan, Canada involved a real tornado. As the bride and groom posed for a close-up, down the road from their ceremony a funnel cloud swirled behind them. The tornado touched down far enough behind them that the wedding photographer was able to capture the moment - perhaps the best wedding photo-bomb ever. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Remember that old safety advice - if your fireworks don't go off, lean over the top and shake them. That's a joke but this is not. John Fletcher of Michigan celebrated Independence Day by setting off 10,500 firecrackers attached to his body. He's done this for years. In the past, he's fractured ribs and been knocked unconscious. This year, he only got a bloody nose. Though he admits, he says, he is a little nuts. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Let's take a moment to remember Edward Shevardnazde. He was the foreign minister for the Soviet Union in the 1980s. That means he was one of the faces of the Soviet Union during its final period of reform under Mikhail Gorbachev. When that union broke apart, Shervardnazde became the president of his home republic, Georgia. And he has died at the age of 86. We're going to talk about Shevardnazde with Pavel Palazhchenko. He was an interpreter for both Gorbachev and this Shervardnazde. He's on the line. Welcome to the program.
When investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson left CBS this year, she did not go quietly. She contends, the network refused to run stories that might damage President Obama. And her claims have become a flashpoint in arguments over ideological bias in the media. NPR's David Folkenflik has more.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. Last year, British graffiti artist Banksy took New York by storm with a month-long guerrilla art campaign. Part of that included putting dozens of his signed, spray-painted works up for sale for just $60 each at an anonymous sidewalk stall. It was not a huge success. Over seven hours, just three people bought eight pieces of art. Now two of those have been sold at auction in London for $215,000, roughly 1,800 times the original price. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. We begin this hour with more positive signs about the nation's economy. The Labor Department this morning said the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly six years last month, and employers added some 288,000 jobs to their payrolls. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.
Now let's get one more perspective on a deeply polarized debate, a debate set off by this week's Supreme Court ruling in a case brought by the craft store chain Hobby Lobby. The court found that some business owners with religious objections to contraceptives cannot be required to provide them to their employees with their health insurance plans. But does that ruling end there? Our Steve Inskeep digs deeper into what's fueling this debate.
And our Last Word In Business today is, if they won.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RULE, BRITANNIA!")
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Imagine an America where trucks are called lorries, garbage cans are bins.
GREENE: Taxicabs are black, elevators are lifts, and English muffins are, well, just muffins.
MONTAGNE: That's the idea behind, If We Won. It's a cheeky, new advertising campaign from Newcastle Brown Ale. It envisions what the United States would be like if Britain had won the Revolutionary War.
Sunni militants claimed vast swaths of Iraq last month, thanks largely to the collapse of the Iraqi army.
But three weeks later, the army has been able to win back some territory. The gains come after a call to arms by Shiite religious leaders in the holy city of Najaf, where deep emotion and symbolism are inspiring Shiite volunteers.
Najaf is home to the ancient Valley of Peace cemetery, which seems crowded. Miles of desert stretch under blistering sun, the gilded domes of mausoleums pressed up against the dusty headstones of the ordinary dead.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Ukraine wants its dolphins back. It seems when Russia invaded the Ukrainian nation of Crimea, it also seized Ukraine's military dolphins. Those dolphins were trained to detect mines and enemy divers. Now they're under Russian control. A Russian news site reports Ukraine is demanding Russia return the dolphins as it has other military equipment. But Russia is saying nyet, the dolphins are in the navy now - the Russian Navy. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.