President Obama announced, last week, a hugely ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and push the country towards cleaner energy. Right now, just nine percent of our energy consumption comes from renewable sources.
Former U.S. secretary of energy Steven Chu would like to see us get to 50 percent by the middle of the century. Chu left the cabinet in April, but even before that, he began talking to utility companies could adopt a radically different business model.
And farther south on the African continent, President Obama is wrapping up a three-country tour. He's in Tanzania now, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president and reports on Obama's first day in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.
The Lone Ranger has long been a fictional hero, taming the Wild West with his trusty Indian guide, Tonto. The faithful companion helps the white man fight bad guys, and does so speaking in pidgin English.
Tonto made his first appearance on the radio in the 1930s, voiced by a non-Native American actor, John Todd. In the series, Western settlers face down what they call "redskins" and "savages." And trusty Tonto is always on hand to interpret the smoke signals.
Four-year-old Orion Qurbonaliev is lucky to be alive. Just last February, the little boy was lying comatose in the tuberculosis ward of a hospital in southern Tajikistan. The bacteria had spread to his spine and paralyzed the right side of his body. He was severely dehydrated and malnourished.
The staff on the government-run ward had run out of options for treating Orion. "They just left this kid to die," says Tina Martin, a nurse with Doctors Without Borders.
Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne, with news about the news. A new study finds 50 percent of Americans would rather know more about current events than fashion, sports or celebrity. So much so that one in three admitted pretending to know about a news story to impress someone. And, knowledgeable or not, 70 percent said they'll find any opportunity to argue about the news regardless of topic, though the favorite choice is politics.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Jennifer Lopez says she's sorry for singing "Happy Birthday" to the president of Turkmenistan. The country's known for being repressive. Human rights groups say government critics can be tortured or thrown in jail. A publicist says Lopez didn't know any of that when she put on a traditional Turkmen dress to serenade the president. At one point, Lopez's choreographer tweeted: I wonder where all my Turkmenistan followers are. Guess he didn't realize that Twitter is banned in the country.
Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State in the 1970s made the term shuttle diplomacy famous in the Middle East. Some of his successors used the same strategy, but it had been a while. Well, now it's John Kerry's turn. He emerged yesterday from long separate sessions with Palestinian and Israeli officials, saying the start of peace negotiations could be within reach. NPR's Emily Harris reports.
The talk of the sports world this morning is women's golf. A rare moment brought on by a 24-year-old from South Korea. Inbee Park won the U.S. Women's Open yesterday on Long Island. It was the third major championship on the women's pro tour this season. And Park has won all three.
In fact, she's the first woman to win the first three majors of the year since the legendary Babe Zaharias in 1950.
NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning.
NATO troops pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, leaving some Afghans concerned about security. The withdrawal of foreign troops also opens up multiple chances for a successful democracy. A new generation is emerging in Afghanistan that is more educated, more connected with the world and more hopeful about the future than previous generations. Renee Montagne talks to with Shaharzad Akbar, chairperson for Afghanistan 1400; and Haseeb Humayoon, founding partner and director of QARA Consulting.