We're remembering this morning the first American woman to go into space: Sally Ride. She died yesterday in San Diego. Ride made her historic trip into space in 1983 aboard the space shuttle Challenger, a trip that made her an instant folk hero. NPR's Joe Palca has our report.
JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Sally Ride was born on May 26th, 1951. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just outside Los Angeles, where she went to Westlake High School.
SUSAN OKIE: She prided herself on being an underachiever.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
Mitt Romney speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada today, and he's expected to call for a stronger military, as well as no cuts to the defense budget. He's also likely to criticize President Obama's policies on Iran and Syria. Yesterday was President Obama's day at the VFW convention, and NPR's Don Gonyea was there.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
We're going to hear next of the Penn State scandal as it looks from State College, Pennsylvania. The university says it accepts the penalties imposed yesterday by the NCAA. College sports' governing body responded to what it called a tragic failure to expose child sexual abuse by a former assistant football coach.
But some in State College say the penalties are too much, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field on July 17 near Fritchton, Ind. The corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades.
Stop by most any unirrigated farm across the lower Midwest and you'll see crops in distress. Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it's not likely to drive many out of business.
Most of those farmers carry terrific insurance, and the worse the drought becomes, the more individual farmers will be paid for their lost crops. The federal government picks up most of the cost of the crop insurance program, and this year that bill is going to be a whopper.
Among those on Mitt Romney's list of potential running mates, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has youth and experience, he's a conservative from a swing state, and he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up.
But the chairman of the House Budget Committee would not be the safest of choices.
Back in February, when the Republican primary was still in full swing and the party's right wing was conspicuously unhappy with the idea of Romney, tax hawk Grover Norquist spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
As occurs after seemingly every mass killing that involves firearms, the shootings in a suburban Denver movie theater last week have renewed calls for tougher gun control laws.
Just as predictably, those calls have led to pushback by gun-rights advocates who accuse those calling for stricter legislation of trying to exploit the tragedy to restrict Americans' Second Amendment rights.
Worth noting is that neither of the two major-party candidates running for the White House has engaged in any current gun control debate.
In the days since the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., there's been little discussion of the laws that allowed the gunman to acquire his arsenal.
Authorities say suspect James Holmes, who was arrested at the scene of the shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more, was armed with a modified assault rifle, two pistols, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told CNN this weekend that the guns are not the problem.
Congress created a monster when it decided that the entire government will face across-the-board cuts in January, unless an agreement on deficit reduction is reached.
The deadline for the automatic spending cuts — called sequestration — is now approaching, and the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry say those cuts would be horrible.
The Pentagon, perhaps the world's premier planning agency, views the threat of a 10 percent budget cut like an invasion from Mars. It's too awful, too scary and, as Pentagon press secretary George Little puts it, too "absurd."
Two American women cyclists from Idaho will race at this summer's Olympics. And their events couldn't be more different: Kristin Armstrong races the clock, wearing an aerodynamic teardrop helmet in the time trial.
Meanwhile, mountain biker Georgia Gould combines speed with technical prowess to navigate rocky descents and dirt trails.
This week, President Obama and Mitt Romney are addressing the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The president spoke today; Romney, tomorrow. The VFW is the oldest and largest veterans group. About 5,000 members were on hand today in Reno, Nevada. The president's speech was different from his address the last time he spoke to this gathering, in 2009. Then, his focus was on the two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today, he was cheered when he spoke of the end of combat operations in Iraq, and when he said this: