Even al-Qaida gloats about what's possible under U.S. gun laws. In June 2011, a senior al-Qaida operative, Adam Gadahn, released a video message rallying people to take advantage of opportunities those laws provide.
"America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms," Gadahn says, explaining that "you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center" and buy a gun without a background check.
Then a faint smile crosses Gadahn's face. "So what are you waiting for?" he asks.
Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.
It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.
It's 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and Bassem Youssef's show is on TV screens at cafes throughout downtown Cairo.
It's the Egyptian political satirist's first show since he was summoned to the prosecutor general's office to answer questions about the jokes he makes on TV. After the interrogation, he was released on about $2,200 bail.
On this night, the show opens with a joke about Youssef himself.
Much of our coffee comes from places where the environment is endangered and workers earn very little — sometimes, just a few dollars for a whole day's work. Coffee farmers have helped cut down tropical forests, and most of them use pesticides.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 8:24 am
Disgraced Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong "unjustly enriched" himself through his contract with the U.S. Postal Service, the Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed against the cyclist Tuesday.
One hundred years ago, European statesmen — emperors, prime ministers, diplomats, generals — were in the process of stumbling, or as Christopher Clark would say, "sleepwalking," into a gigantic war. The Sleepwalkers:How Europe Went to War in 1914 is Clark's history of Europe in the years leading up to World War I — a war that claimed 20 million lives, injured even more than that and destroyed three of the empires that fought it. Clark joins NPR's Robert Siegel to talk about the book.
Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen — coauthors of a new book, The New Digital Age — recently returned from a highly publicized trip to North Korea. In the second part of their conversation with NPR's Audie Cornish, they discuss the role of the Internet in more repressive countries.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 10:56 am
The partisan rift over disclosing political donors has widened since last year's election. But now, along come Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., with a bill that would radically expand the disclosure of political money trails.
Their bill is aimed at outing the wealthy donors, corporations and unions that financed some $300 million in secretly funded campaign ads last year. Most of the anonymous money was raised and spent by 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, including the conservative Crossroads GPS and the liberal Patriot Majority.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:39 pm
A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday threw out three out of seven murder charges against Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion doctor being tried for "killing viable fetuses while performing abortions," The New York Times reports.