Now to a big story out here in Culver City, California.
(SOUNDBITE OF RAILROAD BELLS)
BLOCK: That is the sound of change. Light rail has come to the Westside of Los Angeles. The new Expo Line begins in downtown L.A. and heads west. Yesterday, it reached Culver City, and the new stop isn't far from us here at NPR West. This first phase of the line runs roughly 8.6 miles and cost $932 million.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
In Sanford, Florida, new details emerged today about what Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman says happened the night he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder.
As NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami, Zimmerman's lawyers have released recordings of police interviews with their client in the hours and days after the shooting.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has purchased almost the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai. Melissa Block talks with Mike Wilson, author of a book on Ellison, about the purchase and other eccentric moves by the software magnate.
The recent firing of the president of the University of Virginia brought that public university into the national spotlight. But on Thursday, the Commonwealth of Virginia contributes only seven percent of the university's budget. Many other public universities receive similarly small percentages of their funding from state budgets, which raises the question — how public are our public universities? Robert Siegel talks to Eric Kelderman, reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In a blow for public sector labor unions, the Supreme Court ruled that non-members — who are required to pay dues in closed shops — do not have to pay special assessments to finance the union's political activities. The Justices said the First Amendment requires an opt-in system.
California Governor Jerry Brown has reached the outline of a budget deal with state Democratic leaders. The two sides have been wrangling over deep cuts to social programs. The agreement is just the latest development in the story of California's budget crisis — with negotiations over pension cuts still looming and a November ballot initiative that will ask Californians to raise their own taxes to prevent steeper cuts to the state' schools. Melissa Block talks with Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio in Sacramento.
It almost certainly won't solve the European sovereign debt crisis. But the way it's being framed, tomorrow's European Championship quarterfinal is starting to sound like its next chapter: Greece vs. Germany; austerity vs. stimulus; intact eurozone vs. one without Greece.
The Wall Street Journal reports that some have dubbed the game a "debt derby" that pits "the euro zone's most cash-strapped nation against its Teutonic task- and paymaster." The Journal adds:
To hear Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tell it, it's happenstance that his newly published memoir, An American Son, became available just as the speculation about Republican vice presidential possibilities is heating up.
Rubio, a rising Cuban-American star in his party, told NPR's Robert Siegel, co-host of All Things Considered, in a Thursday interview:
Vietnam has contained the fatal bird flu cases that raged in the late 2000s, but it is still struggling with new cases of the virulent disease. Here, a poultry trader loads live chickens onto his motorbike on March 16 at a market outside Hanoi.