Sportswriter Frank Deford talks with Sugar Ray Leonard in 1981. "I was so lucky," Deford says. "The chance that you got in those days to get close to athletes is so much more than the writers get today."
NPR listeners normally hear from sports commentator Frank Deford for three minutes at a time Wednesday mornings, as he opines on the latest follies of the sporting world. But Deford fans have been getting to hear the veteran sportswriter at greater length lately. He's on a book tour for his new memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. When Deford stopped in Washington, D.C., NPR's Steve Inskeep had the chance to interview him in front of a lively crowd.
A report says in 2010, 38 percent of 911 calls in New York City were accidental calls lasting just seconds. Most, according to the New York Daily News, appear to be calls made from pockets or purses. There were actually more of these calls than calls that warranted a response by a police car.
President Obama has completed what he calls his "evolution" on gay marriage. After equivocating on the issue for more than a year, he now says same-sex marriage should be legal. Obama's endorsement of gay marriage makes it a prominent issue in the November election.
The Federal Reserve has announced three of China's largest state-owned banks have been given approval to expand their operations in the U.S. Analysts say that ICBC, China investment Corp., and Central Huijin Investment will likely look to purchase regional U.S. banks and establish a footprint in the American market.
States are moving to set up health insurance exchanges — a pillar of Obama's health care law. But many GOP governors find themselves in an awkward position. David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, talks to Steve Inskeep about why the governors' positions on exchanges are complicated.
Exotic animals are already restricted in many states. Lawmakers in Ohio are considering legislation that would ban dozens of exotic animals as pets. Among other things, owners would have to apply for permits for existing animals.
Credit Dan Curtis Productions / The Kobal Collection
In the influential Dark Shadows, a 1960s ABC soap opera with a gothic and supernatural bent, Jonathan Frid played Barnabas Collins, a vampire who returned to claim his coastal Maine manor.
Credit Warner Brothers Pictures
In the new film adaptation of Dark Shadows, Johnny Depp plays Barnabas. Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, wrote the screenplay for the movie and says the idea of living forever as a vampire continues to fascinate.
Credit Quantrell D.Colbert / The CW
Ian Somerhalder plays the charming and dangerous Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries, a gothic soap opera that shares some similarities with Dark Shadows.
When it comes to monsters on television, vampires have the market more or less cornered. Think about it: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries ...
Vampires' enduring popularity on TV may not be eternal, but they have been appearing on the small screen for decades. Mark Dawidziak, who's written books about vampires and teaches a class at Kent State University on their appearances in film and TV, says that part of the way vampires have remained a force in popular culture is through their evolution on TV.
A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds economic mobility differs significantly across the United States. The report finds Americans are more likely to move up the economic ladder if they live in the northeast.
Yves Klein made his project "FC1" with water, a blowtorch and two models. The women pressed their wet figures against a fire-resistant board, then stepped away. Afterward, Klein torched the board — an effect that left behind blurry silhouettes of models.
In the history of Major League Baseball, only 15 players have hit four homeruns in a single game. Well, last night, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton became Number 16. He hit four balls out of the park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Orioles' fans weren't happy. Hamilton's Rangers were trouncing their team. Still, they gave Hamilton a standing ovation as he took his place in center field in the eighth inning. As Hamilton put it, that let's you know they are true baseball fans.
Special envoy Kofi Annan says unacceptable levels of violence and abuse are continuing in Syria. He said military activities have declined somewhat but the level of violence is still too high. Annan warned about the devastating repercussions if the fragile peace plan failed.
Violinist and music educator Roman Totenberg had a long and distinguished career as a concert violinist, and taught for many years at Boston University and other schools. He was also the father of NPR's Nina Totenberg. He died Tuesday at the age of 101.
In northern Iowa, a group of farmers have banded together to buy nearly 30 miles of railroad track to assure they can get their grain to the ethanol market. Short line tracks are being idled across the country as railroads concentrate on longer trains.
North Carolina has become the 30th state to approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. State law already prohibits same-sex marriage, but supporters of this amendment say they wanted extra protection. Jessica Jones reports from North Carolina Public Radio.
Officials with Beef Products Incorporated, or BPI, will permanently close three production plants in Iowa, Texas and Kansas by the end of the month. BPI is the maker of finely textured beef. Critics call it pink slime. About 650 people will lose their jobs.
Reporting from the Afghan capital Kabul, Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks to Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin about the strategic partnership recently negotiated between the U.S., and the case Afghanistan will be making for future economic support.
Kimberly Lankford, personal finance writer for Kiplinger.com and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, talks to David Greene about the shifting market for long-term-care insurance, and if it is still worth buying.
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And now we go to southern Afghanistan for an update on an incident that threatened to undermine America's mission in this country. In March, an American soldier massacred villagers near a remote outpost west of Kandahar. An Army sergeant, Robert Bales, is in custody, accused of that crime.
I reached NPR's Tom Bowman who is in Kandahar now, just back from the area where Sgt. Bales was assigned.
And Tom, I understand you were just a mile or two from where those killings took place.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. There are new developments this morning in the story of the al-Qaida plot to bomb an airplane heading to the United States. It turns out that the man who was thought to be the bomber was actually a double agent - that, according to U.S. officials.
Japanese automaker Toyota on Wednesday announced its January to March profits quadrupled over last year to $1.5 billion. The company struggled with production after last year's earthquake and tsunami caused huge delays at its factories. With production back to normal, Toyota expects this to be its most profitable year since before the global financial crisis.
The Gold Bullion Development Corporation, a Montreal-based exploration company, will allow its shareholders to have their dividends paid in gold. Company President Frank Basa has been paid in gold for more than 20 years.
Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky walks into court in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2011. A Moscow appeals court upheld the second conviction of Khodorkovsky, reducing his prison sentence by one year for a total of 13 years. He will be released in 2016.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown selects two recent pieces of news commentary and a memoir on political resistors.
A 19-year-old University of Iowa student paid $20 for a stolen driver's license and debit card. He took the ID to a bar. But the bouncer instantly recognized the ID was stolen. Because it belonged to him.
An L.A. County detective testified that he gave a suspect the Miranda warning. But a TruTV reality show was following him around. Video shows the detective actually said, "You watch TV. You know your rights and all that?" Prosecutors say that's not close enough.