Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne, with news about the news. A new study finds 50 percent of Americans would rather know more about current events than fashion, sports or celebrity. So much so that one in three admitted pretending to know about a news story to impress someone. And, knowledgeable or not, 70 percent said they'll find any opportunity to argue about the news regardless of topic, though the favorite choice is politics.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Jennifer Lopez says she's sorry for singing "Happy Birthday" to the president of Turkmenistan. The country's known for being repressive. Human rights groups say government critics can be tortured or thrown in jail. A publicist says Lopez didn't know any of that when she put on a traditional Turkmen dress to serenade the president. At one point, Lopez's choreographer tweeted: I wonder where all my Turkmenistan followers are. Guess he didn't realize that Twitter is banned in the country.
Education has been a critical topic for Michel Martin at NPR's Tell Me More, and we are eager to again tackle the topic of learning and education.
On Monday and Tuesday, July 1 and July 2, Tell Me More will host a live radio broadcast and Twitter chat from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., focusing on education and, even more broadly, on learning.
The talk of the sports world this morning is women's golf. A rare moment brought on by a 24-year-old from South Korea. Inbee Park won the U.S. Women's Open yesterday on Long Island. It was the third major championship on the women's pro tour this season. And Park has won all three.
In fact, she's the first woman to win the first three majors of the year since the legendary Babe Zaharias in 1950.
NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning.
Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State in the 1970s made the term shuttle diplomacy famous in the Middle East. Some of his successors used the same strategy, but it had been a while. Well, now it's John Kerry's turn. He emerged yesterday from long separate sessions with Palestinian and Israeli officials, saying the start of peace negotiations could be within reach. NPR's Emily Harris reports.
NATO troops pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, leaving some Afghans concerned about security. The withdrawal of foreign troops also opens up multiple chances for a successful democracy. A new generation is emerging in Afghanistan that is more educated, more connected with the world and more hopeful about the future than previous generations. Renee Montagne talks to with Shaharzad Akbar, chairperson for Afghanistan 1400; and Haseeb Humayoon, founding partner and director of QARA Consulting.
Robert Rotenberg has written four legal thrillers set in Toronto, that old industrial city on the shores of Lake Ontario. He's a criminal lawyer — all his books are centered on trials — and he loves his city so much that he makes multicultural Toronto a character in his books. His first release, Old City Hall, is even named after a Toronto landmark: a beautiful stone building that is now used as a courthouse.
Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, last July. Now, he is aggressively fighting Scottish plans to build 11 wind turbines off the coast overlooked by his golf course and other proposed projects.
Credit Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
Sheep graze on land in front of wind turbines in Cowdenbeath, Scotland, in Nov. 2012. Scotland's ambitious plans for renewable energy are clashing with Donald Trump's plans to develop a luxury golf resort on the country's northeastern coast.
Credit Danny Lawson / PA Photos /Landov
Trump holds the plans for the MacLeod Course, his second Scottish golf course, during a visit to the Trump International Golf Links, on June 6.
Credit David Moir / Reuters /Landov
Trump, left, follows bagpipers to the opening of his Trump International Golf Links golf course near Aberdeen, northeast Scotland, last July.
Summer is the perfect time for a night out at the cinema, but maybe you've noticed something missing at the movies: women.
Women make up a minority of movie creators: 7 percent of directors, 13 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers; that's nearly five men for every woman working behind the scenes.
Out of last year's biggest movies, 28 percent of speaking characters were female. That's downfrom a third just five years ago, according to the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.
It's no secret: Texas is big. And it's getting bigger.
The Lone Star State has added about 5 million people since the turn of the century, and its population is expected to swell by another 5 million by 2020.
This week, NPR examines the dramatic demographic shifts underway in the Lone Star State in our series Texas 2020. We'll look ahead to how the second-biggest state could change in the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of America.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 people die in large truck and bus crashes every year in America, according to the Department of Transportation, which also says 13 percent of those deaths were caused by fatigued drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to see those numbers go down, so the enforcement of a new set of rules starts Monday.
We'll stay out on the open road for this next historical note. 60 years ago today, the first Corvette rolled off the production line. Ever since, they've earned about as many admiring stares as they have speeding tickets, and they're a constant inspiration for screen and song.
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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Yep, there she is: A real dream buggy. The Corvette: Speed, class, looks.
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THE BEACH BOYS: (Singing) Yeah, my fuel injected Stingray and a 413.