This summer, Weekend Edition Saturday is listening to the sounds of music al fresco. Today, we present an audio postcard of a trumpeter we recently heard blowing "The Star-Spangled Banner" just down the street from NPR.
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.
The Greece Central School District in Western New York has decided on a punishment for the students seen bullying their 69-year-old school bus monitor on a YouTube video that went viral earlier this month.
Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams said the parents of the four middle school students agreed to a one-year suspension and 50 hours of community service with senior citizens. They will also be required to complete a bullying prevention program.
When the Supreme Court upheld the central tenet of President Obama's health care law, it meant that several lower court fights on other aspects of the sweeping legislation can move forward.
Those cases, including high-profile lawsuits by Catholic organizations challenging the law's contraception coverage rules, would, obviously, have been affected if the court had found the individual mandate unconstitutional or struck down the law in its entirety.
But with the law intact, the lawsuits â€” many of them held in abeyance pending the high court's decision â€” will proceed.
We've chosen some popular books for our monthly Backseat Book Club selections, but nothing quite like the boffo best-sellers in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
How popular are these books? Consider the numbers: There are six books, and a seventh is on the way. They've been translated into 40 languages and there are 75 million copies in print worldwide. And it was our 2009 interview with author Jeff Kinney that originally inspired us to start a book club just for kids.
The odds of making it in the classical music business are long, but for the past two years, 25-year-old viola player Nathan Schram has received a stipend, health insurance, lots of amazing performance opportunities and a real-world education teaching violin students at an inner-city elementary school in Brooklyn. Now, Schram and his colleagues have to say goodbye to The Academy.
We're going to try to break down now just what those penalties will be for those who don't buy health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office projects in the year 2016 four million people will pay the penalty. I'm joined now by Timothy Jost. He's law professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and he's been looking into these numbers. We should say, Professor Jost, first off, you are also a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, right?
In 2009, as President Obama was trying to convince Congress to pass his health care legislation, he stridently refused to characterize as a "tax" the penalty that would be imposed for not obtaining insurance under the law's individual mandate.
On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts begged to differ â€” while using the tax classification to save Obama's signature domestic accomplishment by a single Supreme Court vote.
Corruption is usually thought to be a bad thing. But in China, the answer is no longer crystal clear.
For decades, the country's Communist Party has declared that corruption threatens its very survival. But there are signs that this is changing. Recently, the state-run media have begun arguing that corruption can't be stamped out, so it should be contained to acceptable levels. And some corruption appears to be tacitly condoned.
By a vote of 373-52, the House passed a massive bill that among other things keeps the interest rate on student loans from doubling on July 1.
"The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive bill on Friday combining funding for transportation programs, low-interest student loans, and the National Flood Insurance Program," the Reuters reports.