Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with a story of the power of words. Trevis D. Baker swore at a cop in Rochester. Police arrested him, but New York State's highest court threw out the charges. He has a First Amendment right to swear, so long as it's not a challenge to fight. Because the arrest was invalid, the court disallowed a search police conducted afterward.
Good morning, I'm David Greene with this headline: "Hung-over Energy Secretary Wakes Up Next to Solar Panel." It's a fake story from The Onion, with a doctored photo showing Secretary Steven Chu in bed with a solar panel. Chu played along. On Facebook, he said he won't confirm or deny the charges, but clarified his recent announcement that he's stepping down is unrelated.
He even gave a plug to the energy source, saying: It's no surprise lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:32 pm
(We'll be updating this post throughout the day; most recently at 12:30 p.m. ET.)
Police in Southern California were still searching Friday for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, who they say is the lone suspect in a series of shootings over the past week that have left three people — including a cop — dead. It's feared he is intent on killing more police officers in revenge for his firing from the L.A. police force four years ago.
Boeing engineers in the Pacific Northwest are voting on whether to authorize a strike. The labor dispute is playing out against a dramatic backdrop. Here, the engineers are needed, now more than ever, to help fix the batteries on Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliner.
As Ashley Gross of member station KPLU reports, that's given the engineers something that is rare for unions, these days - leverage.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. The upside of the approaching storm in the Northeast is that many people have a long weekend. Schools and businesses are adjusting to forecasts of major snowfall. New York City, we're told, could get at least a foot of snow. Two feet are expected in Boston, where the list of school closings is already quite long, and where P.J. Mensel has been getting ready.
Catholics in Los Angeles are reassessing the legacies of their church leaders. A court order led to the release of thousands of pages of documents on sex abuse. The documents relate to something we've heard about on this program, that Cardinal Roger Mahony shielded abusive priests while he was archbishop. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.
When it comes to civil rights battles, your mind might naturally wander south, to places like Alabama or Mississippi; which makes the legal fight playing out in New Hampshire seem unusual. The state is trying to get out from under federal oversight of its voting procedures. And the outcome could resonate in a major, upcoming Supreme Court case on voting rights. NPR's Carrie Johnson has more.
All right. And our last word in business today is snakebite.
Over the next couple of weeks skies in many parts of Asia will be lit up with fireworks to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Dragon is ending and Sunday marks the start of, yes, the Year of the Snake.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
It's been a tense 24 hours in Southern California. The former Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with three murders is still at large this morning, despite a manhunt that has spanned hundreds of miles.
An asteroid the size of an office building will zoom close by Earth next week, but it's not on a collision course, NASA says.
Still, some people think this near-miss should serve as a wake-up call.
"It's a warning shot across our bow that we are flying around the solar system in a shooting gallery," says Ed Lu, a former astronaut and head of the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting humanity from asteroids.
The asteroid known as 2012 DA14 was first spotted last year by astronomers in Spain. It's thought to be about 150 feet across and made of rock.
Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.
More than 200 houses of worship damaged in Superstorm Sandy have applied for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But given the separation of church and state, it's unclear whether federal funds are available to them.
The sanctuary of Temple Israel of Long Beach, N.Y., was flooded with more than 10 feet of saltwater in some places, says Rabbi David Bauman.
"Roughly 5 to 7 feet [of water] in most, and there were surges — particularly in our mechanical room — that went upwards of 12 to 14 feet," he says.