Good morning, I'm David Greene. Being the first person to set foot on the moon would make anyone's heart skip a beat. Well, not apparently Neil Armstrong. An auction house in Amherst, New Hampshire, is about to take bids on Armstrong's EGK. It's a printout of the Apollo 11 astronaut's heart rate as he first stepped onto the surface of the moon in 1969. The printout is about six inches long and shows some fairly steady beats. Well, that's for one man. No word yet on mankind. It's MORNING EDITION.
When thieves in a small Belgian town tried to shake the cops, they dumped the safe out of the getaway car. The safe popped open, spilling $1.3 million worth of cash. People scrambled to pick it up. One woman even brought out a broom. Well, it's now two weeks later and police are asking for the money. They have setup a mailbox for people to drop off cash anonymously. Only half the money has been returned so far. Oh, and somebody has already broken into the mailbox.
And we have Cokie Roberts on the line. She joins us most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, David.
GREENE: So one of those last words in Emily piece, tightrope, I mean, that...
GREENE: ...feels like that's where President Obama is on Syria. I mean, he was already in a difficult position, and now we have an American ally we believe bombing Damascus. What sort of position is the White House in?
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
Syria has accused Israel of flagrantly violating international law after a series of airstrikes on targets near the Syrian capital over the weekend. Now, Israel has not officially accepted responsibility, but Israeli sources say the targets included Iranian-made missiles bound for Hezbollah fighters in neighboring Lebanon.
Republican Mitch McConnell has been the Senate minority leader since 2007, and he's the longest-serving senator in the history of Kentucky. He's up for re-election next year — and polling in the state shows his popularity is suffering.
If the Republicans can snag a half-dozen more seats in the Senate in 2014, McConnell could finally become majority leader. But first, he has to convince Kentuckians he's not out of touch with them.
The economy may be on the rebound, but many cultural institutions are still struggling to regain their financial footing. That's especially true for one of the country's most recognized museums — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Known internationally for its research as well as its exhibits, the Field Museum must pay off millions in bond debt — and toe an ethical line as it does.
Secretary of State John Kerry sets off for what he calls "a long overdue" trip to Russia on Monday, and Syria is likely to top the agenda.
But U.S.-Russian relations are frosty these days. The U.S. is imposing targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators, while Moscow is preventing American families from adopting Russian children.
That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva changes their microbiomes.