It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. A trial begins today in a case that once again puts a spotlight on Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense law. That's the law that allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves without first trying to retreat. The law came to national attention a couple of years ago when a Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot an unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
Seun Summers (left) and Idris Brewster have been best friends since before they were kindergartners. They're both college sophomores today, and their parents say each is thriving in his respective school. (Seun is at York College, part of The City University of New York; Idris is at Occidental College in Los Angeles.)
Credit Jason Kempin / Getty Images
Two families are featured in <em>American Promise</em>: Tony and Stacey Summers (left) stand next to their son, Seun. Filmmakers Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster are with sons Idris and Miles (right).
Monday evening, PBS will air American Promise, a documentary that traces the lives of two African-American students for 13 years. They both enroll as kindergarteners at The Dalton School, an elite private day school in New York City that says it's making a commitment to diversity.
When we talk about a triple threat we're often talking about a versatile athlete. Think about a basketball player who can score, defend, and rebound. In show biz, B. J. Novak may be that triple threat. He can do standup, act, and write successfully in all cases. He got his start doing standup comedy. That led to a job on the hit comedy series "The Office" where he had a regular part and was one of the writers.
Scientists may have filled in a gap in one the fundamental theories of physics. We've always been told that magnets have two poles, north and south. But theory suggests there should be something called a magnetic monopole, a magnet that has either a north pole or a south pole but not both of them. So far no one has found this elusive magnetic monopole.
New York could soon become the first state in the nation to write comprehensive regulations for the largely lawless world of virtual currencies.
The biggest one, Bitcoin, has many boosters, but it has also been connected with some spectacular crimes. On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the arrests of two men accused of using Bitcoin to help their clients buy and sell over $1 million in illegal drugs.
This Sunday's Super Bowl features the number one defense, the Seattle Seahawks, against the number one offense, the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. That is a surprisingly rare matchup, number one defense against number one offense. It's only happened a few times in all the Super Bowls to date. But of course that means there is a defense and an offense in the game that are not number one. NPR's Mike Pesca looks at what having greatness in one phase of the game does to the rest of the team.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama faces a big choice about immigration: whether to deport Justin Bieber. The Canadian pop star was arrested for drunk driving. A petition at the White House website calls to revoke his green card; it calls Bieber a terrible influence on our nation's youth.
"Nations" is missing the apostrophe, and Bieber doesn't actually have a green card. But never mind. The petition gained over 100,000 signatures, which means the White House must answer it.
The Super Bowl is just four days away in New York.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Actually, New Jersey.
INSKEEP: The teams have arrived at their New York hotels.
MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.
INSKEEP: The game itself will be played at New York's MetLife Stadium.
MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.
INSKEEP: Local towns have been hoping for an economic boost from hosting the big game. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some officials in New Jersey complain that tourism dollars seem to be flowing instead to New York City.
Some other news now. One if the longest-term inmates of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has had a parole hearing yesterday. He's a man from Yemen, allegedly a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden. Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald was among the reporters allowed to see a portion of parole hearing on a video screen.
CAROL ROSENBERG: We saw Abdul Malik Wahab al Rahabi, a man who arrived on the day that Guantanamo Prison opened, sitting at a table while his advocates made an argument that he should be allowed to someday go home.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Snow and ice sweeping through the South caused an epic traffic jam yesterday around Atlanta. One couple stuck on the freeway found themselves in a different kind of jam. Their unborn baby wouldn't wait to get to the hospital. So the father and a local police officer helped deliver the baby girl right there in the middle of afternoon rush hour. Mother and baby ultimately made it to the hospital, and yes, they are doing fine. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Del., has begun implementing the national Common Core State Standards for academics. The GOP largely backs the standards that are rolling out in 45 states, but Tea Party conservatives have been critical — and liberals increasingly have the same complaints.
Supporters of the new Common Core education standards adopted by 45 states say the standards hold American students to much higher expectations, and move curriculum away from a bubble-test culture that encourages test preparation over deeper learning.
All that took was a two year delay. House and Senate negotiators last night reached a compromise on the Farm Bill. That legislation deals with agriculture, of course, and also governs the federal food stamp program, from which billions will be cut. Derek Wallbank of Bloomberg News has been covering this story. He's on the line. Welcome to the program.
DAVID WALLBANK: Thank you very much for having me.
The third anniversary of Egypt's revolution was marked with violent clashes across the country between pro and anti-government demonstrators. By Sunday morning at least 49 people had been killed and more than 1,000 arrested.
Well, let's move from the pre-telecast to the artists you did see on TV, if you were watching; the winners and nominees who were on stage at the Staples Center for a marathon evening ceremony. NPR television critic Eric Deggans joins us to talk about the big show.
ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: First, let me ask you this. With most of the awards given out actually before the ceremony, the Grammys - unlike the Oscars - are not really an awards show. What would you call it?
Three years ago, the popular uprising in Egypt was considered a democracy movement. But now the military is in control of the government and the freely-elected president is in jail. To discuss the state of Egypt, Steve Inskeep talks to Issandr El Amrani of the International Crisis Group.
In this encore report, we hear about a small museum in an elevator shaft in lower Manhattan. It's only six feet square, and only about three or four people can enter it at a time. The exhibits document the weird and wonderful of modern life, including prison contraband made from bread. (This piece originally aired on Jan. 2, 2014 on All Things Considered).
Tuesday night is the State of the Union Address — the biggest opportunity President Obama gets all year to speak to the American people about his priorities. There's also another speech that night — the GOP response. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner announced Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington State would deliver the official rebuttal.
Al Jones of the West Virginia Department of General Services tests water as he flushes faucets and opens a rest room at the State Capitol in Charleston, W. Va., on Jan. 13, four days after a chemical spill into the Elk River. It wasn't until Jan. 21 that state officials were told by Freedom Industries that a second contaminant had also entered the river.
The fact that a second contaminant in West Virginia's drinking water eluded detection for nearly two weeks — despite intense testing of the water — reveals an important truth about how companies test drinking water: In most cases, they only find the contaminants they're looking for.
Wow. For all we know this could be the next European TV program to become a hit in the United States. You've heard of "Downton Abbey," this program goes a little more continental. The program by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is spreading to other countries, sparking a discussion of the edgy subject of inheritance.
Texas has executed a Mexican national for killing a Houston police officer in 1994. Mexico opposes the death penalty and the execution revived a long-running diplomatic row between the United States and Mexico.
Protesters in Ukraine have given their country's president an ultimatum. They say he must call early elections or unrest will grow even worse. This country of 45 million people is fighting over which way it leans - toward European nations to the West or eastward toward Russia, which once controlled Ukraine. Protests began when the president gave in to Russian pressure to block a trade deal with the European Union. And those protests have turned deadly this week with at least two people killed - more by some estimates.
It's difficult to understand why certain athletes are harshly singled out by the media, but one of the most baffling examples has to be the criticism displayed toward figure skater Nancy Kerrigan after she was clubbed in the leg at a practice session just weeks before the 1994 Olympics.
The ex-husband of another member of the U.S. women's team, Tonya Harding, was convicted of arranging the attack. Harding herself was fined and banned from the sport.
There are more than a thousand species of sharks and rays in the world, and nearly a quarter of them are threatened with extinction, according to a new study. That means these ancient types of fish are among the most endangered animals in the world.
Nehida Bne Menneh stands amid the rubble of her home in a small Palestinian herding camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It was destroyed for being in an area Israel long ago declared a closed military zone.
Credit Emily Harris / NPR
A view of the camp the day before it was destroyed by Israeli soldiers On order from the Israel High Court.
NPR's Emily Harris sent this postcard after visiting a community of Palestinian herders whose camp was demolished for being in a closed Israeli military zone.
It's about 20 minutes by four-wheel drive up a rocky canyon to Khirbet 'Ein Karzaliyah, a near-barren plain with a small spring. A handful of families live here, including more than a dozen children and over 700 sheep and goats.