Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with an update on Sparky, the Arizona State Sun Devil. The university mascot is a devil with a pitchfork and horns. He got a makeover with help from Disney. But as we've reported, this effort to make a friendlier, more accessible devil created a monster. Many students hate the new Sparky with an almost religious fervor, so the university has surrendered. Authorities will re-redesign the devil costume and let alumni and others vote on the design.
We hear, occasionally, about a flea market find that turns out to be a valuable work of art. This morning the tale of a tiny Chinese bowl, pretty and looking like an open blossom. It was bought for $3 at a tag sale in New York. The bowl sat for several years on a mantel before the owner wondered where it came from, turns out the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago. Yesterday, the bowl sold at auction for $2.25 million.
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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama is making his first visit to Israel since he's been in the White House. His past relations with Israel's government have not always gone well. Though the two nations insist they're reached new levels of security cooperation, they have publicly debated issues ranging from Iran to the Mideast peace process.
Let's hear now about a dramatic trial in Guatemala. That country's former dictator is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from the killings that happened in the early 1980s. Seventeen hundred indigenous Guatemalans - the Ixils people - died during one of the bloodiest periods of the country's three-decade-long war, a war that ultimately claimed more than 200,000 lives. At the time the U.S.-backed strongman, Ephraim Rios Montt, ruled the country.
Basketball fans have one more day to fill out their March Madness brackets. They'll need to predict not just the champions and their route to victory, but also the paths of all the losers. It's not easy. In fact, no person or computer has yet been able to do it.
Ever since the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, there's been a raging debate over how to keep America's schoolchildren safe. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre proposed stationing an armed guard in every school in the country. Critics said that idea was impractical and would be too expensive to carry out.
But many schools and school districts already have armed police officers. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, about one-third of the schools in the U.S. have added some kind of armed security, according to federal data.
Lawmakers in Cyprus are trying to ease rage over a proposed tax on all bank deposits by exempting people who have relatively small accounts. It's part of a bailout plan for that Mediterranean country negotiated with the E.U. and IMF over the weekend, but the compromise on taxes may not be enough for Cyprus' parliament to pass the plan.