Morning Edition for Thursday, August 29, 2013

Freedom bells rang out in Washington and across the country on Wednesday, as Americans marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. President Obama, who's often noted his own debt to the civil rights leader, praised the tens of thousands of Americans who marched with Dr. King in 1963. He also challenged a new generation to continue to press for racial and economic justice.
President Obama's speech capped a day of festivities in Washington, D.C. that began with a march across the National Mall. That's where thousands gathered against a backdrop of tight security and rainy weather. On the white marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial, national leaders took turns addressing the crowd.
The Onion, which turns 25 on Thursday, was founded by two Madison, Wis., college students as a local satirical newspaper "intended mainly to ... sell pizza coupons," says its editor-in-chief. But the self-proclaimed "America's Finest News Source" became much more than that.
The Earth's average annual temperature has been rising for decades, but not in the last 15 years — colder winters and hotter summers notwithstanding. Now scientists offer evidence that this "pause" in average warming is because a cooler Pacific is temporarily taking up more heat than usual.
New York City public advocate Bill de Blasio has surged to a commanding lead among Democratic primary voters. De Blasio's timing couldn't be better. In less than two weeks, those voters will go the polls to begin choosing the successor to Michael Bloomberg.
It's been 8 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward. Ronald Lewis, who lives there, says rebuilding is a story still in progress. In a shed in his backyard, he's collected New Orleans memorabilia, evidence "of the resilience of the people."

Ford Fusion Cruises Off Dealers' Lots

Ford is ramping up production of the popular midsized car. The automaker is adding 1,400 workers, and a second shift at one of its Detroit area plants. The Fusion has helped deliver the best numbers the automaker has seen since 2006.

In Colombia, Starbucks To Take On Juan Valdez

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has announced it's going to expand to Colombia — a country known for its Arabica beans and for the mythical coffee farmer Juan Valdez. He's helped sell Colombia's coffee for 50 years.
Fast food workers across the country have been protesting for higher pay. And in many cities, there are movements to create "living wage" laws. Renee Montagne talks to Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas about how he decided to raise wages for his dishwashers and cooks.

In Spain, You Have To Pay To Play

Bunol, Spain, held its annual La Tomatina food fight on Wednesday. About 20,000 people pelted each other with tomatoes. Money is tight in Spain these days, with the country deep in recession. So for the first time, participants had to pay for the right to smear each other with some 130 tons of overripe, dripping produce.
President Obama says, though he has not decided whether to take military action against Syria, he is convinced the government used chemical weapons against the Syrian people. He is consulting with U.S. allies over whether to launch a limited strike. Meanwhile, Congress will be briefed on the situation Thursday.
In London, Prime Minister David Cameron had planned to get backing from Parliament Thursday – approving a possible military intervention. Instead, he's been forced to back down. The Labour Party announced it would vote against military action in Syria.

Firefighters Battle To Get A Grip On Calif. Rim Fire

In California, there are more than 4,500 firefighters battling the wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park. The Rim Fire is more than 300 square miles in size. Crews have been making progress by doing controlled burns of things like brush that would feed a bigger blaze.
Automakers have set up shop in Silicon Valley and are looking to the digital world as a way to lure younger drivers. Car companies are looking outside their industry to learn how make cars an extension of all the services millennials already love.

2013 College Football Season Opens On Thursday

College football fans are excited. NCAA Division 1 play starts Thursday night with 17 games on the schedule. Most of the heavyweights, including top-ranked Alabama, start their campaigns Saturday.
Fast food and restaurant work used to be seen as an entry point for the young. Today, the average such employee is 29, and nearly a quarter are parents. For these workers, current wages are hardly enough to support them, let alone their families.
Dumplings are a huge part of Chinese culinary tradition, and restaurants there cater to the nation's obsession with a dazzlingly array of dumpling shapes and fillings, including green frogs stuffed with bullfrog meat and a flock of birds filled with roasted Beijing duck.
Tarquin Hall's mystery novels, starring the Punjabi detective Vish Puri, are a merry introduction to India's cultural and culinary delights. Puri, who calls himself the subcontinent's "most private investigator," tackles corruption, forbidden love and the clash of science and superstition.

Cat Sets Record For Long Hair

A Persian long hair in Seattle named Colonel Meow set the record. His hair stretches 9 inches. It's not that crazy for that breed of cat. His owners swear that Colonel is not using any product.

Hello Kitty: Updated Monopoly Game Available

The Monopoly game hitting store shelves contains a sleek kitty, which will join the classic Scottie dog and top hat. Fans adopted the cat in an online vote earlier this year. The company shelved the iron after a 78 year run.
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