This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The news that the National Security Agency is collecting reams of telephone data and tracking Internet behavior has alarmed civil liberties groups. President Obama believes U.S. citizens have no need to worry.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: One of the things that we're going to have to discuss and debate is how are we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy, because there are some tradeoffs involved.
Latin America has some of the highest crime rates in the world. And that includes extortion, which doesn't just terrorize but also takes a huge economic toll on ordinary citizens. In many Latin American countries, it's costing billions of dollars and hindering development. As part of our series on violence in Latin America, NPR's Carrie Kahn takes us to Mexico, where some estimates say extortion costs more than $30 billion a year. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Extortion costs an estimated $3.2 billion in Mexico annually.]
People might not want to stand near Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard if they want to keep their suit clean, but if they want a snack.... Earlier this month, someone hurled a sandwich slathered in Vegemite, the yeast extract that's Australia's national spread, at the prime minister. It missed by a wide mark. A student was suspended for 15 days, but he denies being the culprit.
SIMON: We've got conference championships going on in basketball and hockey. Can the Heat burn off the Pacers? Will this be the last rodeo for a great Spurs franchise or another gold ring? And four former champions are on ice in the NHL. Howard Bryant of ESPN The Magazine, the TV network and the website and the virgin cold-pressed olive oil joins us from the studios of New England Public Radio in Amherst. Howard, thank so much for being with us.
Teenagers can seem sullen, moody and uncommunicative, unless you know how to listen to them. James Harbeck does. He's an editor and linguist in Canada who's analyzed sounds that can be distinctly annoying to adults. James Harbeck joins us from the studios of the CBC in Toronto. Thanks so much for being with us.
JAMES HARBECK: Hi. Nice to be here.
SIMON: First, what made you devote any scholarship to this?