All Things Considered for Friday, August 16, 2013

NSA Accused Of Repeatedly Violating Privacy Rules

Documents released to the Washington Post by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden show the agency overstepped privacy rules.
Robert Siegel talks to political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss Egypt and a meeting of the GOP.

Letters: Val Kilmer, Pet Raccoons

Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel read from listeners' emails about Val Kilmer and pet raccoons.
At the beginning of the year, Al-Jazeera purchased Al Gore's Current TV. It's plan was to transform Current into a new Al-Jazeera channel aimed at American viewers. The new 24-hour cable news network, Al-Jazeera America, launches next week.
The Justice Department has called for prison sentencing reform — but it's really Congress that would have to carry it out. The time may be right: Crime is down, and even conservatives favor sentencing reform to save money.

The Shift In Black Views Of The War On Drugs

Attorney General Eric Holder called this week for sweeping changes to America's drug laws. He's part of a growing movement of black leaders pushing for major changes to the nation's 40-year war on drugs. But for decades, many African-American leaders supported tough sentencing rules.

Bill Would Keep Lead Ammunition Out Of Condors' Diet

California condor conservationists are among those pushing for a statewide ban on lead ammunition in California. Some of the critically endangered birds are dying of lead poisoning. The Los Angeles Zoo has been breeding condors in captivity for decades to restore the species' population. Now a major part of their job is treating birds who've dined on lead-tainted animal remains in the wild. They — along with a bill making its way through the Legislature — identify lead bullets as the top condor threat. But hunters and shooters question lead's environmental impact. And they say a ban would leave them with few affordable, convenient options.
Just 40 days after winning the women's single title at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli of France announced on Wednesday that she is retiring from tennis at age 28. Bartoli joins a relatively short list of top athletes who decided to call it quits in their prime. Audie Cornish talks to Stefan Fatsis for more.

Summer Nights: Dancing In Chicago

If you want to learn to samba, tango, waltz or get jiggy, all you have to do is wander into a Chicago park. The city of Chicago hosts the largest annual outdoor dance series.

In Egypt, Another Day Of Clashes And Violence

Islamist protesters clashed with security forces in several parts of Cairo as well as other cities on Friday. Dozens were killed or wounded. The Muslim Brotherhood ordered the protest marches on what it's calling a Day of Rage. The government warned that security forces would use live ammunition to protect state institutions.
Robert Siegel talks with former Ambassador Thomas Pickering about how the U.S. might approach the crisis in Egypt.
The carvings etched into limestone boulders near Pyramid Lake in western Nevada show that the early North Americans were surprisingly creative artists. The carvings, which are at least 10,000 years old, are abstract, geometric designs including shapes that look like diamonds and trees.
Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, North Carolina has a new law to require photo ID at the polls and to shorten early voting. Proponents say the law will stave off voter fraud. Opponents say it will effectively quash the vote of many poor minorities.

Why Do Cargo Planes Have Spottier Safety Records?

Audie Cornish talks with Alan Levin, a Bloomberg News reporter covering aviation safety and the Federal Aviation Administration, about cargo plane safety and why cargo plane accidents appear to be increasing worldwide

4 Reasons Subprime Loans Are Back (For Cars)

More than a third of auto loans are now going to subprime buyers, according to one estimate. Here's why.

Peru's Oil Rush Threatens Native Tribes, Again

Three ministers in Peru have resigned over pressure to continue oil exploration in the Camisea area of Peru. In the 1980s uncontacted tribes were partially wiped out by diseases brought in by oil workers. Now there are plans to expand the project into areas where other uncontacted tribes are living. Among the oil companies involved is American hunt oil.
The race to create a viable Internet-based TV service is on, and the contestants include the biggest names in computer technology: Apple, Microsoft, Intel and Google. Sony has apparently reached a deal — as preliminary — with Viacom to carry the company's cable channels on its planned web TV service.
This summer, The New York Times moved all of it reporters' email to corporate Gmail accounts. This move to a third party could leave Times reporters and their sources with fewer legal protections if they are the subject of a government investigation.
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