The city of Istanbul for the fifth time is bidding to host the 2020 summer Olympics. It pitched itself as "an emerged nation" to the Olympic Committee. But at the same time, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells guest host Wade Goodwyn, images of police firing tear gas canisters and water cannons at anti-development protesters seemed to send a different kind of message this week.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. It has been another day of terrible tornadoes in Oklahoma. Supercells have moved across the state focusing their fury on the Oklahoma City metro area. It was just two weeks ago that another tornado devastated the city of Moore, killing 24 people.
Once again, the long-standing controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins is in the news. In May, 10 members of Congress sent a letter to the team's owner and several others urging a name change.
When a tornado roars into a populated area, the change is often drastic and deadly, and it happens within minutes. As the people of Oklahoma struggle to look beyond this month's devastating storms, residents of Xenia, Ohio, are reflecting on the tornado of 1974.
Xenia, in southwest Ohio near Dayton, became well-known to the nation that year. "Everywhere I go, and I've been all over the U.S., if I say I'm from Xenia people say, 'tornado,' " says Catherine Wilson, who runs the historical society in Xenia. She still gets a lot of questions about the twister.
Sixteen million men and women served in uniform during World War II. Today, 1.2 million are still alive, but hundreds of those vets are dying every day. In honor of Memorial Day, NPR's All Things Considered is remembering some of the veterans who died this year.
There were no "typical" tours of duty in World War II, but U.S. Army nurse Mildred Dalton Manning's was particularly extraordinary. Manning, along with six dozen other nurses, was held captive by the Japanese for almost three years. The group became known as the "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor."
For New York Mets fans, 1986 was a glorious year. The Mets won an epic seven-game World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Millions turned out for a raucous parade through Lower Manhattan the next day. One man conspicuously absent from the celebrations was Dwight Gooden, the Mets' 21-year-old star pitcher, who had a blistering fastball and nasty curve.
President Obama says he wants Congress to keep student loan rates from doubling July 1st. If lawmakers don't act, those rates will jump from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports the president held a White House event this morning to increase the pressure.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: It was a steamy morning in the White House Rose Garden when President Obama stepped out in front of a group of college students and graduates. The president said it's inspiring to spend time with young people.
We knew it couldn't last. We've been reporting some good news about the economy lately. The housing market has been doing quite well. Unemployment is high, but it's been falling. But today, the government released some key economic data and it suggests things are not quite as good as they seemed. Adam Davidson with NPR's Planet Money team joins us to explain. And, Adam, what did we learn today?
Cities like Houston are dotted with air-sniffing monitors that measure levels of benzene and other potentially unhealthy air pollutants. But those monitors can't answer the question we care about most: Is the air safe?
That's because there's no simple relationship between toxic air pollutants and health risks. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are trying to get a leg up on that problem. They are building an instrument that uses human lung cells to measure health hazards in the air more directly.
We are standing in front of a huge bank of screens, in the middle of which is a glowing map that changes focus depending on what the dozens of controllers are looking at.
The room looks like something straight out of a NASA shuttle launch. The men and women manning the floor are dressed in identical white jumpsuits. With a flick of a mouse, they scroll through dozens of streaming video images coming into the center.
The clock is ticking for those who hope Illinois will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night, and the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House, where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it.
If you stand in front of Almena and Sidney Poray's house in Baton Rouge, La., and look straight down the street, past the other houses and the shade trees, you see more than a dozen plumes of exhaust in various hues of gray and white.
"That's something you see every day, the same thing if not more," says Almena Poray. "Sometimes it's a darker gray; sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."
Pull into the Bourbon Drive-In just off U.S. Highway 68 near Paris, Ky., and it's like stepping back in time. Patricia and Lanny Earlywine own the 7-acre drive-in. It's been connected to the family since the theater opened in 1956. Even the popcorn machine is original.
"To do a drive-in, it sort of gets in your blood. You have to love it," Patricia says.
From New Mexico to New York, 10 state university systems have announced they are joining the ranks of elite institutions embracing the massive open online course, or MOOC, system.
On Thursday, they unveiled a landmark partnership with Coursera, a for-profit tech company with 3.5 million registered students. It's the biggest effort to catapult degree-granting institutions into the world of global education.
When Herman Boudreau joined the U.S. Army in 1941, he set in motion a lifetime of public service. Boudreau, who died in April at age 93, served in the Army in New Zealand and the South Pacific during World War II.
He spent more than two years fighting the Japanese, and years later shared many of his war experiences with his daughter, Nancie Smith. In one incident, she says, he had to secure an airfield while removing the last Japanese resistance on three occupied islands.
Over the course of his career, Michael Caine has played big parts and small parts, all of them memorable. His films include everything from Alfie to The Man Who Would Be King, from The Cider House Rules to The Dark Knight.
"I've been very fortunate," Caine tells NPR's Robert Siegel, "because I spent my life doing something that I love doing so much, I used to do it for nothing. So you can't have a better life than that."
There was great fanfare when the Mars Science Laboratory launched in November 2011, and again when its precious cargo β NASA's Mars rover Curiosity β touched down on the red planet in August 2012.
The eight months in between had drama of their own. Curiosity was constantly bombarded with radiation as it traveled through space β high-energy protons thrown out by the sun, and galactic cosmic rays slicing through the solar system from distant supernovas.
All Things Considered's Found Recipes series isn't just about food. It's about drinks, too β including those that require a valid form of ID.
And the best cocktail is one that's well-balanced, according to bartender Chad Phillips. It will "leave you feeling completely satisfied and better about your life than the second you sat down at my bar," he says.
As the American military winds down its efforts in Afghanistan, grand plans for nation building are giving way to limited, practical steps: building up the Afghan forces and denying the Taliban key terrain, especially the approaches to Kabul.
About an hour south of the capital Kabul, one Green Beret team returned to a village where American forces had pulled out.
Lt. Col. Brad Moses, who was in the Sayed Abad district four years ago, wandered around the government center and expressed disappointment at the scene.
There is no shortage of wonders on display at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, under way this week outside Washington, D.C. Students are easily spooling off words such as wiesenboden and machicotage. But even the Scripps Bee judges were flummoxed when 7th grader Katie Danis made this request today.
KATIE DANIS: Would you mind if I were to, like, sing the letters, it would help me. I could do that.
BLOCK: The judges conferred, and said OK. So here's Katie Danis, sing-spelling stabilimeter.
The American soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in Afghanistan last year plans to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty. Lawyers say Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will plead guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder next week and that his sentencing trial will be held in September.
This year, nearly 1.7 million students will graduate from college. Many of them are engaged in a new ritual of the digital age: cleaning up and polishing their online profiles. The demand is so great an entire industry has sprung up to help.
According to numerous surveys, the vast majority of hiring managers routinely Google potential job candidates. And what they see on that first page of search results matters β a lot. Just ask Pete Kistler, who was a college junior when he started applying to a bunch of computer software firms, looking for a summer job.