Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:32 am
The head of the U.S. Postal Service has acknowledged that every piece of domestic mail is photographed for processing and that the information is sometimes made available to law enforcement, according to The Associated Press.
In an interview with the news agency, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says that exterior images of individual pieces of mail are snapped at some 200 processing facilities around the country primarily for sorting purposes, but that the images have been used "a couple of times" by law enforcement to trace letters in criminal cases.
MONTAGNE: The Labor Department says the U.S. economy added 162,000 new jobs last month. That's lower than many economists expected. Still the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent. Workers did have fewer hours on the job and hourly earnings fell in July, for the first time since last fall. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Penn State hopes to reduce its health care costs by helping employees become healthier. But some faculty members complain that charging them $100 a month for refusing to participate in a health improvement program is unfair.
Credit Jeff Brady / NPR
Matthew Woessner, an associate professor at Penn State's Harrisburg campus, says the university's Take Care of Your Health initiative compromises individual liberties and privacy.
If you work for Penn State and don't agree to step on a scale or have your waist measured, it could soon cost you $100 a month. The Pennsylvania State University is joining a growing list of employers penalizing workers who want company-sponsored health benefits but refuse to participate in health improvement programs.
University officials say they need to take dramatic steps to reduce health care costs, and getting their workers in shape is one way to do it.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:11 am
America's unemployment rate sank to 7.4 percent in July, a drop of two-tenths of a percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says in its monthly summary of the U.S. economic situation. But employers added 162,000 jobs last month, coming in below economists' expectations.
A couple of guys with serious investment banking experience are moving into the marijuana business. They've launched the first multimillion-dollar private equity fund devoted entirely to what they like to call the "cannabis space."
It started when Brendan Kennedy was working at the Silicon Valley Bank and learned of an entrepreneur who wanted to sell software for marijuana dispensaries. The idea piqued Kennedy's interest. A few days later, a radio show about legalizing pot piqued it even more.
After some 20 trials over two decades, Italian media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi received his first definitive conviction Thursday for evading almost $10 million in taxes while he was prime minister.
After more than seven hours of deliberations, Judge Antonio Esposito read the ruling of the five Supreme Court judges: "In the name of the Italian people," the judge declared, "Berlusconi's conviction and prison term are irrevocable."
Cozzie Watkins of Charlotte, N.C., holds a sign while joining a "Moral Monday" protest against recent actions of the North Carolina Legislature, in Raleigh last month.
Credit Gerry Broome / AP
Opponents of voter ID legislation protest in the gallery of the House chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly, where lawmakers debated and then passed a sweeping voter identification law in April.
Credit Ted Richardson / AP
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory delivers the State of the State address, in Raleigh on Feb. 18.
Pat McCrory hasn't fared too well with protesters.
The Republican governor of North Carolina has signed off on a vast array of conservative legislation this year, cutting taxes, slashing unemployment benefits and abolishing teacher tenure. So much change so fast has led to protests, including "Moral Monday" events staged at the capitol a dozen weeks in a row by the NAACP.
Edward Snowden has chosen where to live in Russia, which granted him asylum Thursday, his lawyer said. Here, Snowden is seen at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on July 12. At left is WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:20 am
NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who spent more than a month at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport before being granted a one-year asylum Thursday, has picked out a place to live in Russia, his attorney there says.
Snowden is wanted on charges of espionage by the United States for leaking classified documents about secret U.S. surveillance programs. His departure from the Moscow airport ended, temporarily at least, weeks of uncertainty over his fate. He had applied to several other countries for asylum, as well.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:46 pm
Few details have emerged about the U.S. plan to shut down embassies that would normally be open this Sunday. A senior State Department official says that the U.S. facilities may be closed for more days, as well. The closures are being described as "precautionary steps" that are being taken "out of an abundance of caution."
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. As Shavonnte Taylor was riding the metro in D.C. yesterday, headed to a prenatal doctor's appointment. Her baby was due in a few weeks, but as she was changing trains her contractions began. Fellow metro riders, including luckily an EMT, sprang into action. And in a few minutes, right there on the platform, a healthy boy was born. Appropriately, that station is called L'Enfant Plaza. As in l'baby. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
When you check social media and you're not caught up on your favorite TV show, say, you never know when you might encounter a spoiler. Somebody on Twitter, some blog says too much about what happened in a plot line. My big spoiler moment came when I saw a post about a death on "Downton Abbey" and I thought that everything was just ruined. But is it really that bad when this happens? NPR's Neda Ulaby has this encore story about how spoilers might actually make you enjoy something more.
In Spain, efforts at economic recovery are being overshadowed by a bribery scandal. Top politicians have been accused of taking under-the-table cash from construction companies. The ruling party's former treasurer is in jail. And yesterday, the prime minister had to explain himself in parliament. Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.
Zimbabweans remember well that 2008 presidential election, when many in the opposition were rounded up, tortured, and scores were killed. Ultimately Robert Mugabe stayed in power - 33 years now and counting. Fungai Machirori, who's 29 years old, is part of a generation that grew up under Mugabe. She's a poet and the founder of Her Zimbabwe, a not-very-political platform for women to share their stories.