Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and human rights activist, was released from prison late Wednesday night, and told western reporters, "In legal terms, I'm — how do you say? — on bail. So I cannot give any interviews. But I'm fine."
The state news agency says Mr. Ai was released after 80 days "because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes," which the state says is tax evasion, though he was held by the internal security bureau.
Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was captured this week after 16 years as a fugitive. His years in hiding were aided by corrupt FBI agents who protected him in exchange for information. Host Scott Simon talks to former Boston Globe reporter Dick Lehr, author of Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, about the relationship between Bulger and his contacts.
Despite the pressure to draw down troops in Afghanistan quickly, President Obama was being tugged in the opposite direction. His military advisers wanted to keep more of the "surge troops" for a longer period of time. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR Pentagon Correspondent Tom Bowman, reporting from Afghanistan, about the president's decision to withdraw U.S. troops.
President Obama says if America wants a strong, growing economy, it needs robust, growing factories. In Pittsburgh Friday, Obama launched a new partnership with businesses and universities. It's designed to give a boost to the manufacturing sector in hopes that factories will then offer more, good-paying jobs. The announcement capped a week in which Obama also began winding down the war in Afghanistan and tip-toed around the fight over same-sex marriage. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
New York became the sixth and the largest state to approve same-sex marriage Friday night after a contentious debate in the state legislature. Host Scott Simon gets the details from Karen DeWitt of New York State Public Radio.
It's 96 days now since President Obama ordered U.S. forces to begin airstrikes against the forces in Libya of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. That's six days longer than the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which says a president can carry out a military campaign without congressional authorization. Two measures were brought before the House of Representatives that might have provided such authorization, albeit with strings attached. Both failed. NPR's David Welna reports.
Baseball players are cursing the sun, football players are still cursing the owners, and basketball players may join them. Host Scott Simon and NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman discuss Wimbledon, the NBA draft and labor talks in the NFL and the NBA.
Next week, the Greek government will reveal a five-year austerity plan drafted by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.
Parliament's approval is required if Greece is to receive an installment of $17 billion as part of last year's international bailout. But the new measures include even deeper spending cuts and tax hikes than those that have triggered weeks of massive street demonstrations.
Many economists believe Greece's international lenders are prescribing a harmful and inefficient medicine.