There was a 7.9 percent jump in the number of construction permits issued to home builders in May, the Census Bureau says.
That increase boosted permits to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 780,000 — the most since September 2008, The Associated Press adds. It's a signal that construction will be strong in coming months.
Now that Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball players, the debate resumes about whether one of baseball's greatest pitchers should or shouldn't get into the sport's hall of fame.
At the zoo in North Carolina C'sar the elephant seemed sad. He was lethargic and losing weight. Vets thought it was his poor eyesight. Cataract surgery helped but now he's far sighted. So his caretakers ordered contact lenses — they'll be a bit smaller than tennis balls.
Today's developments in Europe's financial crisis focus mainly on Spain:
-- The Wall Street Journal writes that "Spain, on the edge of losing debt market access, paid around 2 percentage points more in interest rates Tuesday than a month ago to lure investors to its Treasury bill sale, an ominous sign ahead of a critical government bond auction Thursday."
Facing another major government offensive in central and northern Syria, rebels have expanded their presence on the ground. The army's offensive against the rebels has been so ferocious that a U.N. monitoring mission was suspended due to the violence.
In southern Texas and in Arizona, people are paying a lot of attention to the presidential election - Mexico's presidential election. From member station KJZZ, Peter O'Dowd explains why millions of Americans are awaiting July 1st, Mexico's election day.
Later this week in Egypt, the official results of the presidential election will be announced. Steve Inskeep talks to Egyptian journalist and commentator Issandr El Amrani about why there haven't been mass protests over the military council's power grab during the election.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
A federal jury has acquitted baseball pitching ace Roger Clemens on all charges. The jury found Clemens not guilty of lying to Congress and of obstructing a congressional investigation into performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg was in the courtroom. She has this report.
The Federal Reserve starts its latest two-day meeting Tuesday, and analysts around the globe are wondering whether the central bank will end ease monetary policy. The meeting follows some tough U.S. labor data and the recent Greek elections.
Now in Hollywood last night, Microsoft unveiled its newest product: a tablet computer to compete with the iPad. Putting out a computer is an unusual move for Microsoft, which is mostly known for software.
NPR's Mandalit del Barco was at the announcement.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: At Milk Studios in Hollywood, a photo studio for the stars, Microsoft engineers revealed their snazzy new tablet, which they call Surface.
And today's last word business is about a bank takeover that was more of a fake over. Businessman Li Chunping made headlines in China earlier this year. He spoke in the Chinese media of how he took over an American bank - the Atlantic Bank of Delaware, which he said went bankrupt in 2008.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
The story got him plenty of public praise. The communist party touted him as a model citizen, rising from poverty to be a successful businessman in the rice trade. He even got a position as a government adviser.
Atlanta rapper Michael Santiago Render, known professionally as Killer Mike, released his sixth album this month. It's called R.A.P. Music. The album's title isn't about hip-hop, per se, but refers to an acronym tweeted by another Georgian, a critic named Maurice Garland, two years ago. "He just put it up randomly: 'Rap music is supposed to be Rebellious African People,' " Killer Mike told Morning Edition. "I said, 'Yo, i'm naming my next album that.' "
You can hear a portion of the show's interview with Killer Mike at the audio link, but keep reading for more.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference on June 7 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ban wants to focus on making energy available to the poorest populations of the world.
Diplomats and activists from around the world are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to talk about how the planet's growing population can live better lives without damaging the environment. The Rio+20 meeting marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio, a watershed meeting to address topics as diverse as climate change and biodiversity.
At this follow-up meeting, delegates hope to highlight an issue that was almost absent from the Earth Summit: making energy available to everyone in the world.
Mohammed Tolba (center) talks with friends at a coffee shop in the Cairo suburbs. The 33-year-old Egyptian is trying to change the public perception of Salafists, Muslims who believe in a literal interpretation of the Quran.
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
Tolba sports a bushy beard — a marker of religious conservatives — yet also wears Western-style jeans. He says he doesn't agree with all aspects of modern life in Egypt, yet he knows he cannot change things overnight.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team began in Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, drove across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.
The Southern Baptist Convention is expected to elect its first black president on Tuesday: Fred Luter, a former street preacher who turned a dying New Orleans church into a powerhouse. His election is a milestone for the 167-year-old denomination at a time when minorities make up a growing share of a shrinking membership.
With just over a half-million residents, Portland, Ore., is not exactly a major metropolis. In this bike- and mass-transit-friendly city, there are typically more bikes and buses plying the downtown streets than taxis and town cars.
So when Mike Porter wanted to drum up business for his town car company, he did what a lot of businesses do: He took out a Groupon ad, offering a discounted fare to or from the airport.
Credit Becky Palmstrom and Shannon Service for NPR
Vannak Prum of Cambodia was sold onto a Thai fishing boat where he was forced to work in miserable conditions for three years before escaping. Thailand's huge fishing industry is coming under increasing criticism for using trafficked workers who have been sold to unscrupulous ship captains.
Credit Becky Palmstrom and Shannon Service for NPR
Prum drew this picture of the Thai boat on which he was held and forced to work as a fisherman.
Thailand supplies a large portion of America's seafood. But Thailand's giant fishing fleet is chronically short of up to 60,000 fishermen per year, leaving captains scrambling to find crew. Human traffickers have stepped in, selling captives from Cambodia and Myanmar to the captains for a few hundred dollars each. Once at sea, the men often go months, or even years, without setting foot on land.
Producer Amy Ziering and Director Kirby Dick accept an award at this year's Sundance Film Festival for their documentary The Invisible War, which looks at sex crimes in the military.
Credit Andy Morataya / U.S. Air Force
Maj. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog is the outgoing director of the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. The Pentagon is revamping its policies on reporting sex crimes, but there are still questions about how well it will work.
The Pentagon has announced new steps to deter assaults and make it easier to prosecute offenders, a move that follows President Obama's recent remark that sexual assault "has no place" in the U.S. military.
Still, many victims believe it will be difficult to change a military culture that makes it tough for the victims to report these crimes.
For victims, the nightmare starts with the attack. Many say that things get worse when they try to do something about it.
The U.S. Supreme Court, headed into the homestretch of its term, once again weighed into the question of whether lab technicians must testify in criminal cases about test results. But in four separate opinions that spanned 92 pages, the justices were anything but clear.
Jim Flechtner's satirical letter to The Courier (Findlay, Ohio), pointed out irreconcilable differences between the Holy Bible and the "bisexual" Buckeye and called for grassroots campaign to remove the "shameful" state mascot.
Without reading too much into the author's original intent, the letter does connote a bit of Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal in 1729 and the rich history of subsequent modest proposals since.
The prosecution presented its last witness today in the trial against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The New York Times reports the witness was the mother of one of the eight boys who accused Sandusky of sexually abusing him.
After all, Haiti hadn't recorded cholera for as long as a century, Nepal had experienced a cholera epidemic in the months preceding the soldiers' arrival, and the Haitian and Nepalese cholera strains were found to be nearly identical.