A new report says instant messaging is surpassing old-fashioned texting in Britain. It may seem too soon to talk about the good old days of texting, but technological turnover is another sign of the times. Also on the decline: phone numbers.
The president's speech Friday offered a revealing look into the nation's phone data collection program and the direction of the surveillance policy debate. But some of biggest controversies have been put off or pushed to Congress.
Venezuela is running out of newsprint and newspapers are shutting down. Media outlets say that it's another form of harassment by a government that often doesn't like what independent media reports.
After failing to agree upon an extension for federal jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, Congress is vowing to keep trying. The help can't come soon enough for many of the 1.4 million unemployed who saw their checks suddenly cut off last month.
An appeals court ruled against the New Orleans public school system this week — a decision that could bankrupt the Orleans Parish public schools. The five-judge panel ruled that the school board wrongly terminated some 7,000 teachers and other school employees after Hurricane Katrina. For more information, Melissa Block speaks with education reporter Sarah Carr, who has written a book on the changes to the New Orleans school system after Katrina.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will visit Florida this weekend to raise money for Gov. Rick Scott, his first major fundraising trip as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. The trip may answer some questions about how the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge will affect his path to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
When peace talks open in Switzerland, one common concern between the West and Syria is expected to be the threat of Islamist extremists and the rise of al-Qaida-linked militias. Thousands of Sunni militants from around the world have joined the rebel groups in Syria, but there are other groups of militant foreign fighters who support the Syrian regime. Iraqi Shiites are being recruited in the thousands to bolster Syria's armed forces. Recruiting billboards and social media help portray the fight as an existential battle between Sunnis and Muslims.
NPR Justice Department correspondent Carrie Johnson discusses some of the most significant proposals detailed by President Obama on Friday. The president outlined changes to the way the National Security Administration conducts surveillance. In particular, he proposed modifications to one of the NSA's most controversial practices: the bulk collection of telephone records of calls made by Americans.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talks with NPR about why it's often better to advise and assist than to get involved militarily. And he looks at the Pentagon's looming budget crisis.
The president said intelligence agencies would now need court approval before accessing phone data of hundreds of millions of Americans. He also directed the agencies to stop spying on the leaders of friendly nations. The changes come amid criticism directed at the NSA.