The U.S. Supreme Court has handed public employees a victory, ruling that they cannot be fired for testifying truthfully on matters of public concern. The unanimous decision broadens protections for government employees. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports.
Soccer's World Cup always produces some great underdog stories. One of them, this year, comes from Ecuador. That tiny South American nation is making a rare World Cup appearance. And nearly half of its players come from the same poor and sparsely populated coastal province called Esmeraldas. John Otis has the story.
OMAR ESTUPINAN: (Reading) Segundo Castillo, Walter Ayovi...
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. In 1918, schools were shut down in Norfolk, Virginia, because of the deadly Spanish-flu pandemic. When they reopened, then 15-year-old Lela Burden was holding down two jobs. She didn't come back. This week, 96 years later, Burden received an honorary high school diploma - a fitting tribute for a woman who noted on her 110th birthday, you learn something everyday, every time you wake up. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with news of a rhododendron rescue. Who knew a shrub known for its brilliantly colored blooms could be life-threatening? But a couple hiking in Ireland's Knockmealdown Mountains was trapped when they got lost on a hillside so thick with wild rhododendrons, one rescuer told the BBC it was as impenetrable as a jungle - so dense that people could not hear each other, which is why it took five hours to rescue them. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Got a piece of a Kit Kat bar? In Japan, that could be your ticket to ride. People traveling on the Sanriku Railway there can now use special Kit Kat candy wrappers as train tickets. It's part of a campaign to revive tourism after the tsunami in 2011, which badly damaged the railway's tracks and bridges. In Japan, it's common to give Kit Kats to wish somebody good luck for the next year. It also means a train ride. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The International Space Station is getting a real coffee maker. Not surprisingly, this first-ever, zero-gravity espresso machine is Italian, developed by the coffee company Lavazza. Up until now, astronauts made do with the instant stuff. The brewer should be there in time for the arrival this fall of Italy's first woman astronaut. She tweeted her excitement - I'll get to operate the first space espresso machine. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
We now turn to Brazil and the World Cup. Yesterday, the host country played Mexico, and it was a disappointing performance for home-team fans. It was a draw. Neither side scored. Still, Brazilians are feeling more positive about the World Cup. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Sao Paulo.
And let's stay with the World Cup in Brazil, where Uruguayan fans and media are crying foul - not on the soccer pitch, but involving Brazil's customs.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Customs officials confiscated more than 80 pounds of a favorite snack spread from Uruguay's soccer team, one of the World Cup favorites, when they entered the country last week. The spread, called dulce de leche, is like the Nutella of South America. You can spread it on bread; use it as ice cream topping.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The FBI is a serious agency doing serious business, and apparently to conduct that business, agents need to know what ONUD stands for in the Twitter-sphere. That would be, oh, no, you didn't. A Freedom of Information request has forced the FBI to open its internal guide to shorthand on Twitter and other social media, which includes LFBBEG - looking for big, bad evil guy. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Schools out for millions of American kids - no more homework for a couple of months. Students in a town in central Sweden may be doing even better. The city council is debating whether to do away with homework entirely. Local officials argue that students should be able to learn everything they need during school hours and, says one, not burden their parents with it. Now there's a thought. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Cats know how easy it is to get up a tree and firefighters know how hard it can be to get down. Yesterday in Pennsylvania, firefighters rescued a cat and its rescuer. Stuck in the top branches was Tara Dennis. The Erie Times-News reports that after hearing the cat cry for a couple of days, she'd gotten up on a roof, crawled out on a branch, tucked the cat into her shirt and then a neighbor had to call 911 to rescue her. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. It was not a team of paleontologists but a group of stags who made a rare discovery recently in New Mexico - make that a stag party. T hey were cruising by the lakeshore at Elephant Butte State Park when they discovered the skull of a mastodon with teeth and tusks intact. The prehistoric elephant lived about 3 million years ago, predating both the woolly mammoth and the earliest-known bachelor party. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
There were times a few years back when the emergency room at SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse looked like a scene from a zombie movie. Dr. Ross Sullivan, a physician there, recalls one afternoon when staff wheeled in a man with dilated pupils who was covered in sweat.
"The patient was screaming obscenities, and anybody he would pass, he was threatening and saying he was going to kill them," Sullivan recalls.
Police suspected the patient had taken "bath salts," the notorious synthetic stimulants that were ravaging scores of American communities at the time.
We'd like to take a moment now to remember legendary radio host Casey Kasem who died yesterday. He was the voice behind the hugely popular music countdown program, the long-running American Top 40, which he launched in 1970.
(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW, "AMERICAN TOP 40")
CASEY KASEM: There it is - the number one song in the USA on American Top 40 for the fourth week running - "Hey Ya!" by OutKast.