This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Colorado, cooler weather and some rain has helped crews begin to get a handle on the Black Forest fire that's burning just north of Colorado Springs. Yesterday, several thousand people were allowed back into their homes, but an estimated 30,000 people remain evacuated from the area.
The blaze has claimed two lives, and it has destroyed at least 473 homes. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports from Colorado Springs.
Protesters who were camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park say they won't pack up and go home despite a government offer to avoid bulldozing the park without court approval and a public referendum. Protest organizers say that other demands such as releasing detained protesters have not been met.
Whitey Bulger is finally on trial ,after 16 years on the run. The Boston mobster who was once on the FBI's Most Wanted List is accused of murdering 19 people, as well as extortion and racketeering. Prosecution alleges he worked as an FBI informant in exchange for protection. Dick Lehr is the co-author, with Gerald O'Neill, of "Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mobster." He joins us from member station WBUR in Boston. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Dick Lehr's co-author is Gerard O'Neill.] Dick, thanks for being with us.
Sometimes history stares you in the face, and you look in the wrong direction.
As a young reporter in the late 1970s, I did stories about some of the first automatic teller machines as they came into use. Most of my stories bore in on the concerns that seemed most urgent back then: Will people trust getting money from a machine, not a person? What if you ask the machine for $50 and it spits out $20?
Today, those worries sound as antique as wondering if the Iron Horse would put a lot of blacksmiths out of business — which I guess the automobile did.
Lawmakers in Illinois are headed back to work next week to address the state's $100 billion pension crisis, the worst unfunded pension liability in the nation. While almost all states faced pension funding issues during the recession, none of them are looking at a predicament as severe as in Illinois. Every day it doesn't get fixed, the burden on taxpayers grows larger.
Here's what we know about a National Security Agency program that collects vast amounts of data on the electronic activity of Americans: While controversial, a leaked secret document authorizing the collection makes it clear that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has decided that the collection of metadata for every call made in and into the United States is legal under Section 215 of the U.S.A.
This week, the Internet radio broadcaster Pandora made what seems like a backward move — technologically speaking. Pandora purchased a local radio station in Rapid City, S.D. The company says it's aiming to get the more favorable royalty rates given to terrestrial broadcasters, but the move has songwriters and composers up in arms.
Despite a number of victories for gay rights and national polls reflecting a growing acceptance of gay men and women, there is a population within the LGBT community that often feels left out of the national debate.
Since public revelations that the National Security Agency is collecting telephone records and reviewing Internet communications in the U.S. and abroad, officials have been making the case that the programs are vital. They argue that the tactics match the new ways terrorists are planning and communicating.
There was a time when America's enemies conspired face-to-face, or communicated through couriers, or by leaving messages for each other somewhere. But in the digital age, that has changed.