Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It was the sort of report card that could crush a budding young talent. In 1949, a teacher at Eton belittled John Gurdon's dreams of becoming a scientist as quite ridiculous. If he can't learn simple biological facts, the teacher sniffed, pursuing science would be a waste of time. Gurdon eventually did go on to study zoology. And this week his breakthrough in reprogramming cells received the Nobel Prize for Medicine. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This week has brought one of the most disturbing images to emerge from years of conflict, in Pakistan. A 15-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed, with a bullet wound in her head. This is her punishment. She had the courage to demand the right for girls to get an education, and because she criticized violent Islamist militants who aim to stop girls, like her, from doing that. From Islamabad, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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All this week, we've been reporting on the winners of this year's Nobel Prizes. And today in Stockholm, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The chair of the Nobel Prize committee for chemistry described the importance of the discovery by giving the assembled reporters a little scare.
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A House committee is investigating last month's attack that killed the ambassador to Libya and three other Americans at a consulate in the city of Benghazi. And today, senior State Department officials will be on the receiving end of politically-charged questions. Republicans say that the Obama administration rejected repeated requests for more security.
And staying here in California, our last word in business is lights, camera, sold.
The sale of Variety is officially a wrap. The venerable 107-year-old show biz daily has been bought for $25 million by Penske Media, the owner of Variety's upstart online rival Deadline.com. Like its longtime competitor, the Hollywood Reporter, Variety has had trouble making the switch to digital media, but it still turns a profit. So in the language that Variety helped make famous, Penske seems to believe this deal will be boffo and not a flopola.
For the past decade, scientists have been toying with the notion of encapsulating medicine in microscopic balls.
These so-called nanospheres could travel inside the body to hard-to-reach places, like the brain or the inside of a tumor. One problem researchers face is how to build these nanospheres, because you'd have to make them out of even smaller nanoparticles.
For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.
Richard Branson is not your average entrepreneur. He dropped out of school at 15 and, despite suffering from dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, went on to found Virgin Group, a business empire that includes airlines, cellphone companies, banks, hotels, health clubs and even a space travel business.
The U.S. Supreme Court returns on Wednesday to the emotional issue of affirmative action in higher education. The court will once again hear oral arguments on the issue, this time in a case from the University of Texas.
Over the past 35 years, the court has twice ruled that race may be one of many factors in determining college admissions, as long as there are no racial quotas. Now, just nine years after its last decision, the justices seem poised to outright reverse or cut back on the previous rulings.
My first protocol on rooting in sports is that you should stick with the teams that you grew up with. I know we're a transient society, but that's just it: Continuing to cheer for your original hometown teams is one way of displaying the old-fashioned value of allegiance.
If you grew up in Cleveland, say, and moved somewhere Sun Belt-ish, I know how hard it is, but the measure of whether you are a good person is that you must remain loyal to the Browns and Indians and that team that LeBron James left behind.
And here's another story we've been following throughout the morning: Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June, of sexually abusing 10 boys. NPR's Jeff Brady was in the Pennsylvania courtroom today. He joins us now. Jeff, what's the sentence? More details.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Planning a wedding can feel like running a marathon. A couple in Oregon took that metaphor a step further and married while running one. The bride wore white. Her veil attached to a baseball cap. The groom a tuxedo T-shirt. It was a race that sparked their romance. So Eric Johansson and Katie Holmes decided to run 20 miles of the Portland marathon before stopping at a park to exchange vows. Then the newlyweds ran the final 6.2 miles. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Palestinian territories may seem an unlikely place to hold an Oktoberfest beer festival. But since 2005, one small West Bank village has been doing just that. During the festival, the village's largely Christian community swells to nearly 10 times its usual size. Thousands of visitors arrive to sample the many brands of beer produced by the local brewery. And as Sheera Frenkel reports, it also gives the territories a chance to show off a side of itself that many would not have guessed existed.
NPR's business news starts with a passage to India.
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INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meet their counterparts in India today. The U.S. wants to boost economic ties with the country that it on its way to becoming the most populous in the world. Talks have been pushed forward by India's new liberalizing economic reforms.
As part of Solve This, NPR's series on major issues facing the country, we're examining the presidential candidate's approach to boosting employment. After looking at President Obama's strategy, it's time to examine the plan of GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Jerry Sandusky is expected back in a Bellefonte, Pa., courtroom Tuesday for a sentencing hearing. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys. Now young men, some of the victims will be given an opportunity to tell the court how the abuse affected their lives.
Sandusky has been in a county jail since the jury convicted him on 45 out of 48 counts, but after the hearing, he likely will be moved to a state prison.
Author Robin Sloan has spent time on both sides of the digital divide, both as a short-story writer and an employee at Twitter — where he described his job as "something to do with figuring out the future of media."
Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris. She also has received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album. The kind of music she makes doesn't attract much commercial attention — and that seems to suit her just fine.
At a recent academic conference, Michigan State University professor Natalie Phillips stole a glance around the room. A speaker was talking but the audience was fidgety. Some people were conferring among themselves, or reading notes. One person had dozed off.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with news of the evacuation of Akron City Hall. Authorities found a suspicious pipe labeled with the word Kaboom. Turns out it was accidentally left behind by Natural Hunka Kaboom, who comes to watch city council meetings. The pipe was an extendable shower rod he used as a walking stick. Mr. Kaboom tells the Akron Beacon Journal he meant no harm and that his name really is Kaboom. He changed it legally to promote his pest control business. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Oregon residents are being asked to please contact police if they happen to see a 30-foot tall gorilla. He's wearing sunglasses and polka dot shorts, carrying a hot tub and may or may not be inflated. This giant gorilla stood for years on top of the Spas of Oregon store in Gladstone. John Harrison, the owner, is not sure how the thieves took down that gorilla, but he is offering a reward for the return of the animal he calls Marty. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Which brings us to our next story. As Americans try again to heat up the solar industry, let's get an update on the competition. We reported last week on the West Coast solar power company that is trying to succeed where companies like Solyndra famously failed. American companies have struggled because they've been undermined by cheap imports from China. So it is meaningful to note that China's solar power industry is a mess.
We're going to talk about that with Beijing-based economist Patrick Chovanec. Welcome back to the program.
OK. Let's review an exciting weekend of Major League Baseball playoffs. Two teams won single game playoffs to get into the full-blown playoff series that are now underway. The Yankees, Reds, Nationals and Tigers have all been winning. And if I did not just mention your team, that's because your team is now in a hole. NPR's Mike Pesca's here to help feel your pain.
Mike, good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: In a hole, or out of it entirely.
Bruce Osterweil is a lucky man to live just a short walk from where San Francisco's Golden Gate meets the cold, rough waters of the Pacific Ocean. He is also a lucky man to have married his wife, Patricia Furlong, who has long provided the family's health insurance through her job at a small financial consulting firm.
But last month, Osterweil's wife turned 65 and decided to retire, and although she may walk away with a crystal bowl or a golden watch for all those years of service, she will also walk away from her company's generous health insurance benefits.
After failing to predict the Arab Spring, intelligence officials are now exploring whether Big Data, the combing of billions of pieces of disparate electronic information, can help them identify hot spots before they explode. The intelligence community has always been in the business of forecasting the future. The question is whether tapping into publicly available data — Twitter and news feeds and blogs among other things — can help them do that faster and more precisely.