One suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is dead, and authorities want to capture the other one alive. Steve Inskeep and David Greene talk to NPR's Carrie Johnson and Tom Gjelten and Curt Nickisch of member station WBUR about the latest developments.
To understand the scope of the major story we're following this morning, you have to imagine something like a camera zooming in and out of focus. We zoom in on a residence in Watertown, Massachusetts, and then pull back again to a metropolitan area that is largely shut down today. We pull back even further and talk about international terrorism and connections to the country, or rather to Russia and to the Russian Republic of Chechnya.
Steve Inskeep speaks with NPR's Scott Horsley, who has the White House perspective on news of the Boston Marathon bombings manhunt. NPR has confirmed that the two suspects were from Chechnya. For insights on that region, Morning Edition talks with Matt Rojansky, deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Now, this investigation and manhunt that Dina and Steve just spoke about, they come in the wake of that marathon bombing in Boston Monday. In Texas, we had this deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant. That is a lot of tragic news to digest in a week. And there is a human tendency to think that these events are somehow connected, even when they're not.
Parts of the Boston metropolitan area were full of police activity Thursday night amid a hunt for persons wanted in connection with the bombings at the Boston Marathon. David Greene and Steve Inskeep talk to NPR's Dina Temple-Raston and Fred Bever of member station WBUR, who are in Boston, for an update on what's known regarding the investigation.
An international dream team of flu experts assembled in China today.
Underscoring the urgency that public health agencies feel about the emergence of a new kind of bird flu, the team is headed by Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organization's top influenza scientist.
Before he left Geneva, Fukuda explained the wide-open nature of the investigation in an interview with NPR.
In 1987, Jack Richmond was driving a forklift at work when the vehicle overturned onto him, crushing his leg below the knee. His daughter, Reagan, was just 2 months old at the time.
"Initially when they told me I would lose my leg, I was in denial and disbelief and kind of like, 'What, why? Can't you fix it?' " Jack tells Reagan in a visit to StoryCorps in Knoxville, Tenn. "But it just couldn't be saved."
"And you had a brand new daughter — me," says Reagan, now 25. "What were you thinking?"
In state legislatures around the country, lawmakers are debating important subjects — education reform, election laws, gun control and abortion. But in Florida, one of the hottest issues to come before the Legislature this term involves cats.
There, lawmakers are considering a contentious bill that would offer legal protection to groups that trap, neuter and return feral cats to their colonies.
All this morning, we have been following the aftermath of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas last night. When volunteer firefighters in the city of West, Texas - that's about 20 miles north of Waco - first arrived to battle a fire at the plant, they encountered a disaster in the making.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
We're told this fire was burning at the site of a couple of storage tanks, each of which had the capacity to carry 12,000 gallons of ammonia.
The nation's attention turns this morning to a tiny city in Texas. It's simply called West. It is the site of a fertilizer plant from which a message went out to police radio last night.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: There has been an explosion on the fire scene. There are firefighters down at this time. Again, there has been an explosion on the fire scene. There are firefighters down at this time.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. There may be only one place in the world you will not hear Psy. His video "Gangnam Style" was seen 1.5 billion times, including several thousand in my household. His new video, "Gentleman," has 142 million views so far but is not on South Korean Public Broadcasting.
In that video, Psy dances up the street and kicks an orange cone that says no parking. South Korea's KBS says abusing public property does not meet its standards. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Dating can be tough in a small country like Iceland. There are only 320,000 people and many of them are distant relatives. So the government came up with an idea. They created a genealogy Web site. There's even a Smartphone app. Just tap phones with your date. And if you happen to share a grandparent, you'll get an alert. If a date is out of the question, the app does also track relatives' birthdays and so you can send them a card.
Like many California cities hit hard by the real estate crash, Indio (near Palm Springs) has been forced to make steep cutbacks to avoid bankruptcy. But unlike other cities, Indio hosts the highest-grossing music festival in the world — Coachella — which wraps up this weekend. It has made city leaders eager to capitalize on Coachella's riches.
Sam Torres, plumber by day, Indio city councilman by night, says he was prepared to become the most hated man in the city, and he very well may have achieved that goal. His offense? Proposing a 6 percent tax on Coachella tickets.
Two prominent Harvard economists have admitted there are errors in an influential paper they wrote on government debt. This paper was widely cited in recent budget debates. But the economists insist their mistakes do not significantly change their research.
NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In their 2010 paper, Ken Rogoff and Carmen Rinehart argued that economic growth falls significantly when a country's debt level rises above 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.
April 18, 2013, is a big day for Superman. The Man of Steel, more powerful than a locomotive, turns 75. Most of us know Superman's story — faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Less well-known is that the superhero is not native to the lost world of Krypton, nor the rural Kansas burg of Smallville. Superman is Cleveland's native son — at least as far as the city's residents are concerned.
At the 2011 Academy Awards, the film Restrepo was among the documentaries nominated for an Oscar. It follows an American platoon on a remote mountaintop in what was, at the time, the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.
To make the film, writer Sebastian Junger teamed up with British photojournalist Tim Hetherington — who, walking the red carpet that night at the Oscars, might as well have been a young actor straight out of central casting: tall, handsome, charismatic.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with good luck to Sean Parker and his bride-to-be. She's a singer; he's a Facebook billionaire and founder of Napster. Mr. Parker committed $10 million to their wedding. He paid for waterfalls, bridges and ancient ruins created for the occasion. Guests will wear outfits created by the costume designer from "Lord of the Rings."
Chris Holmes worked at a London airport, but his true love was always making cakes. So Holmes decided to quit his job to run his own bake shop, which brings us to his resignation letter. He wrote it on a cake with icing. He said he wanted more time with his family. He wished his colleagues well. It took two hours, more time than he had ever spent on a birthday message or anniversary wish. A photo of his work went viral, publicity that he really felt was icing on the cake.
Now, the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon struck at a very special type of sporting event. Marathons have been called the most democratic of sports, with the fewest physical barriers between athlete and spectator.
NPR's Mike Pesca examines whether the attack could permanently damage that accessibility.
Oakland, Calif., was once a hub of African-American culture on the West Coast.
In the 1940s and '50s, Oakland was home to an entertainment corridor nicknamed The Harlem of the West. In the '60s, the city gave birth to the Black Panther Party. By the '80s, black folks made up nearly half of Oakland's population.
Yet another movie about Jackie Robinson arrived as baseball held its annual commemorative celebration of No. 42, but officials of the game are fretting over the fact that only 8 1/2 percent of current major leaguers are black.
Given that African-Americans only constitute about 13 percent of the U.S. population, and that rarely do we have any industry or school system or community population that correlates exactly to the whole country's racial or ethnic makeup, baseball's somewhat smaller black cohort hardly seems like an issue to agonize over.