Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 1:00 pm
The controversy over President Obama's targeted-killings-by-drone policy is a reminder that the default position of presidents in times of crisis is generally to side with national security over civil liberties.
The No. 1 song in the country right now is "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a rap group out of Seattle. Their claim to fame: They got the song to the top of the chart by themselves, without being signed by a major label.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Joe Palca, sitting in for Ira Flatow. If you add it up, we spend a lot of time sleeping, about a third of our lives, actually, and it turns out our bodies don't just power down as we slumber. Research is showing that sleep plays an important role in how our brains process and store the information that we learn throughout the day.
You know the theory that a big collision, a comet or an asteroid, something like that, helped kill off the dinosaurs? The idea has been around for a while. But this week, new research published in journal Science provides more accurate dates for the giant impact and the dino demise.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Joe Palca. Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? These days if you're not careful, your phone knows where you are, and there's a good chance somebody else does, too. Or you've noticed that the ads on sites you visit are starting to look a little too personalized, like how did they know I was planning a vacation to New Orleans.
The United States Postal Service said it lost $1.3 billion in first quarter of its fiscal year. While that's still a huge number, it's a big drop from the $3.1 billion loss the service posted during the same time period last year.
We want to go live now to the nation of Tunisia, where tens of thousands of people turned out today for the funeral of an assassinated opposition leader. Political tensions turned violent as young men clashed with police. The scene was a reminder of the precariousness of the situation in Tunisia - two years after the Arab Spring revolution began there. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley was at the funeral and joins me on the line. And Eleanor, what was the scene at this funeral? What did you see?
"Police and mourners clashed at the mass funeral on Friday of secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid, whose assassination has plunged Tunisia deeper into political crisis," Reuters writes.
According to the wire service, "braving chilly rain, at least 50,000 people turned out to honor Belaid in his home district of Jebel al-Jaloud in the capital, chanting anti-Islamist and anti-government slogans."
As a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, Richard Land has spent nearly 25 years on the front lines of America's so-called 'culture war'. Now, as social conservatives worry that they're losing key policy battles, Land tells host Michel Martin that he may be stepping down from his post, but not from the fight.