Michael Smith, of Norridgewock, Maine, has a really convincing tattoo of a handgun on his lower stomach. This week, he woke up to a crew cutting trees outside. He marched out to tell them to stop with his shirt off. A bit later he woke up again, to a SWAT team with rifles trained. The tree cutters had mistaken his tattoo for a real gun tucked in his belt.
Smith told the police, quote, "I got plans today. I don't want to get shot." He was not charged.
My colleagues and I drove 2,428 miles and remained in the same place.
We gathered a team, rented a car, checked the batteries in our recorders and cameras. We moved from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. We crossed deserts, plains and mountains. But all the while, we were living in Borderland — zigzagging across the frontier between Mexico and the United States.
Fans of Formula One racing love the roar of the engines.
(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINES)
MONTAGNE: But this year's F1 cars are hybrids and that familiar roar has been reduced to a purr.
(SOUNDBITE OF CARS)
MONTAGNE: Australia's Grand Prix organizers are not loving the quiet. They say fans aren't getting what they paid for. One official described the new engines - hmmph, like harpsichords in a chamber orchestra.
More mystery in the story of that missing jetliner. Malaysian officials say files from a flight simulator owned by the captain of the plane were deleted last month. They're trying to retrieve them. Investigators are examining the pilot's simulator to see if it provides any clues about the fate of the jet.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. The events in Crimea have generated much talk about a new Cold War, harking back to a time when the relationship between Washington and the Kremlin was all about power moves and proxies.
At the White House on Tuesday, President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to two-dozen soldiers whose service ranged from World War II to the Vietnam War. These soldiers are being commemorated after congress mandated a review to make sure that no one was overlooked because of prejudice.
One of them is Santiago Erevia, who risked his life on a May afternoon in 1969, charging toward bunkers held by the North Vietnamese.
Now, as Eleanor just told Renee, the government in Kiev says the world is with them and not with Russia.
This morning, the White House and European countries announced new sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials over their role in Crimea. Joining in our studio to update us is NPR's Michele Kelemen. Michele, good morning.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Aspiring high school mathematicians gathered in New York for March Mathness. Even for kids who don't love sports, the professor leading the event told The Times there are a billion reasons to love brackets this year: Warren Buffett's reward for picking the winners for all 67 NCAA games. The math geeks are hoping linear algebra and complex computer codes will help them beat the odds: 9.2 quintrillion to one. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Recently Christopher Viatafa did something many of us have done: He Googled his own name. But what he found wasn't so normal. It was his own face, on Northern California's Most Wanted website. He allegedly pulled a gun at a party last summer and fired it into the ground. In what authorities are calling an act of good judgment after a very bad call, Viatafa turned himself in. He's been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He's now listed as a captured fugitive.
And as Eleanor just told Renee, the government in Kiev says the world is with them, and not with Russia.
Let's bring in NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson into this conversation. She's in Berlin. She's been monitoring the European reaction to the vote in Crimea.
And, Soraya, as we mentioned, the EU, like the United States, threatening sanctions against Russia. EU foreign ministers are actually meeting today to draw some up and take a vote. What exactly are these sanctions?
The most re-tweeted photo ever was Ellen DeGeneres's star-studded Oscar selfie. OK. So Colin Powell is not a big tweeter, but yesterday the former secretary of State posted on his Facebook page a photo of his very handsome young self, looking in the mirror with camera in hand. Black-and-white, pretty old-fashioned, but it allowed Powell to boast: I was doing selfies 60 years before you Facebook folks.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. Earlier this week I made a joke about hipsters and it caused an overwhelming reaction from listeners, especially on Twitter. So we started wondering what makes someone a hipster anyway. Some of our overnight producers have thoughts.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Hipsters are hairy.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Rolling your own cigarettes.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Flannel is back.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Fedoras.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: Being about to move to Portland.
In the summer of 2009, three young Americans went for a hike. Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were living together in Syria, teaching and writing. Their friend Josh Fattal was visiting from the U.S. The three took a tour to a waterfall in the Kurdish highlands of Iraq, and as they hiked along a road that turned out to be the border with Iran, an armed man in uniform waved them over.
The next thing they knew, they had embarked on a two-year ordeal in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. They join NPR's Renee Montagne to talk about their new memoir, A Sliver of Light.
The Big East basketball tournament is underway at Madison Square Garden in New York City. For many fans it is nothing like it used to be. In the 1980s, even up until recently, this was a marquee event for college basketball and for New York.
With Russia making moves on Ukraine's Crimea region, German leader Angela Merkel has been talking tough, and perhaps no Western leader understands Vladimir Putin's intentions better than Merkel.
The German chancellor has been on the phone with the Russian president more than half a dozen times since the crisis began. Yesterday, she warned that Russia would suffer massive political and economic damage if Russia follows through on annexing Crimea - if, as many expect, Crimeans vote for that this Sunday.
Tourists always try to get the famously straight-faced British royal guard to crack a smile. This week, a guy with a Borscht Belt touch pulled it off. Yankel Ineyamuka(ph) stood next to one of the Queen's Guard in his tall red hat and offered an absurd monologue in how they were at school together at Kensington, how he never talked. And what finally got the guard to giggle, how his mom picked him up from school until he was 20.
The city of Birmingham, England has been promoting a wedding fair on the city council's website. The only problem: that event is taking place in Birmingham, Alabama. And this is not the first such mix-up. In 2008, the city council accidentally sent out pamphlets picturing the U.S. city's skyline instead of their own. After the recent confusion, a city spokesman joked that the council's website is so successful, even events 4,000 miles away are desperate to advertise on it.