This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Be careful what you wish for. After John McCain so quickly clinched the Republican presidential nomination the last time around, the party changed its rules with an eye to extending their primary season, reaping public interest for months like the long Democratic primary season of 2008. You might wonder how they feel about that now. John McCain himself has dubbed this campaign the nastiest he's ever seen - akin to watching a Greek tragedy.
This week, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum got their secret service code names. Mr. Romney is Javelin. Mr. Santorum is Petrus. We asked Ian Chillag and Mike Danforth from the NPR podcast How to Do Everything to look into how secret service code names are assigned.
IAN CHILLAG, BYLINE: Presidents have been getting codenames all the way back to Harry Truman. The secret service called him General.
MIKE DANFORTH, BYLINE: Here's historian Michael Beschloss.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
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SIMON: And coming up, we'll talk about the scandal rocking the NFL. But first, in the NCAA last night: North Carolina needed overtime to put away Ohio. Kansas defeated NC State. Baylor beat Xavier. And Kentucky toppled Indiana 102 to 90. And with that win, the powerhouse Wildcats moved into the elite 8 of the tournament. NPR's Mike Pesca reports.
In a cave-like basement bursting with rickety old bicycles, tires and churning middle-schoolers, Daniel Furbish barks orders.
Close-cropped beard, pen behind his ear, Furbish is an artist-turned-teacher from a military family — creative and disciplined. He started his Nashville, Tenn., bike-building workshop as a summer experiment. He thought, "What if I take donated bike parts and teach kids to put them together?"
Americans have always been fascinated by con men. Why else would we have so many movies about legendary swindlers? Most real-life cons are probably less entertaining than the ones on the silver screen, but in her new book, Amy Reading unearths a historical swindle that rivals anything ever imagined by Hollywood.
To reach Oakhurst, Calif., drive away from the green fields of the Central Valley, past miles of pistachio trees showing their spring buds and up toward the snow-topped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
Here, just a few miles from the entrance to Yosemite National Park, is the Sweetwater Steakhouse, a local watering hole where no one is shy about their opinions of President Obama's signature initiative.
Crowds of people dressed in white and waving yellow flags lined the highway outside the Leon airport in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato to welcome Pope Benedict XVI. They cheered wildly when the grinning, 84-year-old pontiff sped past in his glass-sided popemobile.
The pope began his weeklong trip to Latin America on Friday afternoon. He's spending the weekend in Mexico before heading to Cuba.
Democrats lost no time in attacking the budget plan House Republicans introduced Tuesday. The plan saves money by overhauling Medicare, but Democrats argue it will destroy the program.
One of the Democrats leading the charge is Vice President Joe Biden. Taking on the role of candidate, Biden was in Coconut Creek, Fla., giving the second in what he promises will be a series of campaign speeches challenging the Republicans.
Students walked out of more than 30 Miami schools on Friday, some chanting "Justice for Trayvon," in a sign of solidarity with the 17-year-old black student who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month in Sanford, Fla.
Protesters numbered more than 1,000 at some schools, others fewer than 100. Some teachers and principals gave their tacit approval.
The first walkout was at Carol City High School, where Trayvon Martin was a student last year. Hundreds of his old schoolmates walked out in the middle of the school day.
A discarded chunk of a Russian rocket forced six space station astronauts to seek shelter in escape capsules early Saturday, then ultimately safely passed in front of the space station, according to NASA.
NASA spokesman Rob Navias told The Associated Press ahead of the incident that the space junk would barely be close enough to be a threat. But if it had hit the station, it could have been dangerous, so the astronauts — two Americans, three Russians and a Dutchman — woke early and climbed into two Soyuz vehicles ready to rocket back to Earth just in case.
Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 10:50 pm
Former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine directly ordered that $200 million from a segregated customer account be transfered to cover a $175 million overdraft in a London account. That's according to a memo (pdf) from the House Committee on Financial Services, which is scheduled to hold a hearing next week about the spectacular collapse of MF Global.
Jim Yong Kim, President Obama's nominee to be the leader of the World Bank, is an unconventional choice. As a global health expert, he's a medical doctor who helped start an international health organization. He currently serves as president of Dartmouth College.
"Despite its name, the World Bank is more than just a bank," Obama told reporters during the White House announcement Friday morning. "It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency."
Across the country, thousands of people skipped lunch Friday to protest what they see as a threat to religious liberties in the United States.
The protesters' specific complaint was the birth control mandate in the new health care law, but the discontent runs far deeper.
It didn't take much for the Rev. Pat Mahoney, an evangelical minister, to warm up the crowd in Washington. He gazed out at hundreds of people who filled the plaza in front of Kathleen Sebelius' office at the Department of Health and Human Services.
An Army staff sergeant's alleged massacre of Afghan civilians has brought new calls for the United States to leave Afghanistan even before the timetable set by President Obama, who has announced that the U.S. combat mission will be over by the end of 2014.
Some Republican presidential candidates are among those publicly asking if now is the time for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan.
Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 5:21 pm
Frederick Scott Salyer, 56, has pleaded guilty in a massive tomato price fixing scheme that investigators say affected almost every American home.
Salyer, the former chief executive officer of SK Foods LP, said he bribed purchasers and fixed prices for the sale of his tomato products to McCain Foods USA Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc.
Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 6:40 pm
An independent review of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) enforcement at the Upper Big Branch (UBB) coal mine in West Virginia says the agency failed to spot "a number of enforcement deficiencies" at the mine which were major factors in the April 2010 explosion that took 29 lives.
We've known for a while that people who grow up on farms are less likely to have ailments related to the immune system than people who grow up in cities. Those include asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.
If Danish pigs can live with fewer antibiotics, why can't their American cousins?
It's a hot topic, especially today. Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to proceed with a 1977 plan to outlaw the use of certain antibiotics as growth promotion drugs.