I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will remember Sherman Hemsley, the actor who played the brash, abrasive, yet hilarious George Jefferson. That's later in the program.
The President of Ghana unexpectedly died Tuesday, and Ghana's former Vice-President John Dramani Mahama has been sworn in as the country's new leader. The peaceful transition is in contrast to past coups and political problems. Host Michel Martin recently spoke to Dramani Mahama about the Ghana's turmoil, which he details in his new autobiography My First Coup D'Etat.
Greek track star Voula Papachristou has been suspended from her country's Olympic team, after she made a comment about Africans who live in Greece. The comment was widely noticed on her Twitter feed, and resulted in her removal from the London 2012 roster.
On Twitter, Papachristou also reportedly expressed support for the right-wing Greek political party Golden Dawn, particularly its views on immigration.
The Hellenic Olympic Committee said that Papachristou "is suspended after her comments that go against the values and ideals of Olympism."
"Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes later today on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January," The Associated Press writes.
So, Democrats will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts only for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone.
Just as every Olympic athlete trains their heart out, every Olympic expert seems to wear themselves out describing what an unmitigated sham is being perpetrated on the host city. Many of those criticisms are valid, of course — especially concerns about overbuilding facilities.
Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.
From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:
The statistics on HIV and AIDS in South Africa are daunting.
In a country of 50 million people, more than 5.5 million people are living with HIV and almost 2 million people are on HIV drug treatment. Each year, roughly 300,000 more South Africans are infected with HIV, and half a million come down with tuberculosis.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Matthew Feldman won't be competing in the Olympics, but he'll be trying to break a record this Friday in joggling. That's what it sounds like: juggling while jogging. He's trying to run one mile, continuously juggling five objects. He broke the Guinness world record in practice, and if he doesn't drop the ball Friday, he can make it official. But there are no gold medals for joggling so far. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
George Jefferson was an upwardly mobile black businessman with a longsuffering wife, equal parts pride and frustration when it came to his family and neighbors. Actor Sherman Hemsley brought that vivid character to life on television in the 1970s and '80s. He was 74 when he died yesterday at his home in El Paso, Texas. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has this remembrance of the actor behind the headstrong, high-strung center of "The Jeffersons."
M1 Abrams battle tanks are the rock stars of military armor. They're made in only one place: Lima, Ohio. The Army says it's done ordering them, but Congress appears intent on spending millions for more, arguing that cutting production is bad for the economy and national security.
NATO officials were hoping that insurgent activity in Afghanistan would taper off during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but so far, insurgents appear to be pressing ahead with their summer offensive.
More than a dozen NATO troops and contractors have been killed since the beginning of Ramadan last Friday. In general, insurgents have been busier this summer than last, and more often than not, civilians are paying the price.
This fall, the U.S. Navy will contract three Cold War-era aircraft carriers — the USS Forrestal, the USS Saratoga and the USS Constellation — for scrapping. Often called "supercarriers" owing to their massive size, the ships contain nearly 60,000 tons of steel and other metal each.
All three carriers are likely to be sent to the landlocked city of Brownsville, Texas, to be ripped apart.
Tucked in the olive groves and rocky hills of northern Syria, the small village of Qurqanya doesn't seem like much.
Scratch the surface, though, and you realize that this is a hub for the revolution in northern Syria, where a kind of shadow state is forming.
As the Syrian state recedes, the people in this village and villages around it are filling in the blanks with their own institutions and, for better or for worse, their own ideas about how a country should be run.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, influential conservative and pugilistic dissenter, is challenging everything from a recent leak about Supreme Court deliberations, to conventional wisdom about the court and its history.
In a new book co-authored with Bryan Garner, Scalia spells out his judicial philosophy, and on Tuesday, the always voluble, charming and combative justice sat for a wide-ranging interview — about the book, his relationships on the court, and the recent leak alleging anger among the justices over the recent health care decision.
When Pennsylvania officials begin their defense of the state's new voter identification law in court Wednesday, they will do so after agreeing to abandon a central argument for why such laws are needed.
In a Pennsylvania court filing, the state says it has never investigated claims of in-person voter fraud and so won't argue that such fraud has occurred in the past. As a result, the state says, it has no evidence that the crime has ever been committed.
If somebody hadn't thought to start them up again 116 years ago, would ESPN have invented them to fill in summer programming?
I'm not being cranky. It's just that most of the most popular Olympic sports are the groundhog games. Swimming, gymnastics and track and field come out every four years, see their shadow and go right back underground where nobody pays any attention to them for another four years. Can you even name a gymnast?