In a career that spanned half a century, actor and comedian Andy Griffith starred in five different television series, made more than 30 movies and even recorded a Grammy Award-winning gospel album. He died Tuesday morning in North Carolina at the age of 86.
I know you're skeptical. Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man was last slinging webs just five years ago. Broadway's Spider-Man started singing about webs less than two years ago. Now here comes another Spider-dude: This Andrew Garfield guy. So he'd better be really something, right? Well, as it happens, he is.
Every day at 11 a.m., a few big banks tell the British Bankers' Association what it costs them to borrow. Out of that comes LIBOR â€” the London Interbank Offered Rate, a dull but vital interest rate that underpins trillions of dollars of transactions globally, from home mortgages and personal credit cards to major corporate lending.
Mingo County, deep in the southwest corner of West Virginia, has sent a "protest vote" to the attention of President Obama. In the May 8 Democratic primary, voters chose a man named Keith Judd to run for president. He got 61 percent of the vote.
Judd won't be available. He's serving a 17-year sentence for extortion. From prison in Texas, he managed to file the papers, pay the fee and get on the West Virginia ballot.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. In what the government is calling the biggest health care fraud settlement in history, drug maker Glaxo SmithKline has agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and pay $3 billion. As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, the Justice Department says Glaxo used illegal tactics to promote two popular depression drugs and failed to report safety data on a third drug for diabetes.
New Orleans became a blank slate after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. And ever since, entrepreneurs have rushed in to experiment with new ideas for building and running a city.
Among them is a startup called Neighborland.com, a social media tool for sharing ideas to make your neighborhood better. After signing in to Neighborland, you can find your neighborhood and post your idea. The posts all start with "I want," and you fill in the rest.
We've been asking what you already love. What is the heart of your city? You've been sending pictures and some of you have sent us sound.
BILL DEPUTY: This is Bill Deputy(ph). New Orleans, Louisiana has many signature sounds. Music spills out of the clubs, the clang of the streetcars. But what defines the soundscape of this city is the sound of the steam calliope on the Riverboat Natchez.
Afghanistan desperately needs to jump-start its economy if it hopes to stand on its own after NATO's drawdown in 2014. But there's a major constraint for a country trying to build a modern economy: electricity shortages.
Afghanistan ranks among the countries with the lowest electricity production per capita in the world. Despite billions of dollars in projects over the past decade, at best one-third of the population has access to regular power.
"We had two shows that night," says Bobby Womack, recounting a recent concert in Houston. "It was a small theater, about 5- or 6,000 people. The second show, I was just out of it; they had to take me to the hospital."
It was a serious scare for the 68-year-old singer-songwriter â€” who has also lived through drug addiction and the deaths of two sons â€” and it didn't end that night.
When Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was 8 years old, her life underwent a dramatic change.
Melvinia Shields was a slave who grew up at a South Carolina estate with a relatively large community of slaves she knew well. But then she was moved to a small farm in northern Georgia where she was one of only three slaves; most white people in the area didn't own any.
Mark Dermul is a serious Star Wars fan. He was just 7 years old in 1977 when the original movie hit the theaters. As soon as the huge Star Destroyer flew across the opening scene, he was hooked.
"It hasn't left me," he says. At 42, Dermul now guides tours throughout North Africa, visiting sites that were featured in the blockbuster films.
On one 2010 trip back to planet Tatooine â€” OK, Tunisia â€” he and his tour group noticed that Luke Skywalker's boyhood home was decaying. They jumped into hyperspace â€” OK, the Internet â€” to save it.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with Heidi Cullen, chief climatologist at Climate Central, a non-profit science journalism organization in Princeton, New Jersey. They discuss wildfires and extreme heat in the Midwest this week and how these climate conditions are tracked by Earth-observing satellites.
Billy Lynn is a 19-year-old college dropout living in the small Texas town where he grew up. After he's arrested for trashing the car of his sister's ex, he's given two choices: face jail time or enlist in the Army.
He chooses the Army. And Iraq.
Author Ben Fountain's debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, is the story of what happens to Lynn after he joins Bravo Company in the early years of the Iraq war.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly. They discuss the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Health Care act, Chief Justice John Roberts' role on the court and what the decision means in this election year.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, Balotelli. Mario's moment to shine.
SULLIVAN: That was the call on ESPN of the heroics of 21-year-old Mario Balotelli. He scored both of Italy's goals in their win over Germany in the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. The Italians now advance to the final tomorrow.
Metric has long been identified as an indie-rock band, but it recently embraced the "indie" part of that descriptor in a big way.
For their last album together, the band's members formed their own company â€” Metric Music International â€” to distribute the record, organize a tour and handle promotion without a label's support. The result was the biggest album of Metric's career: Fantasies sold half a million copies worldwide.
It's a bit less likely now than a week ago that you'll hear people accuse the Supreme Court of being politicized.
That's because this week, the court ended its session with two controversial decisions â€” neither one of which was decided on the usual and predictable split between the five justices appointed by Republican presidents and the four appointed by Democrats.
But that doesn't make the court any less of a political animal.