This story from Planet Money's Alex Blumberg and NPR's Laura Sydell aired this weekend on This American Life. A shorter version of the piece is also airing today on All Things Considered. Here's the story.
This week TheGuardian newspaper shared with its readers a document that few people ever get to see — an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court telling Verizon to share countless phone records with the National Security Agency. The White House would not confirm the existence of this surveillance effort, but it insisted Congress is fully briefed about such activities. Members of Congress confirmed that they knew.
Keyboardist, composer, arranger and bandleader Clare Fischer was known for his versatile and deft touch with everything from classical to jazz to Latin and Brazilian music. He began his career after earning his Master's degree in composition from Michigan State University, where he worked as a pianist and conductor for the vocal group The Hi-Lo's. After working with The Hi-Lo's for five years, he went on to work with Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd.
Lizz Winstead has an impressive resume. She's a veteran stand-up comic, co-created both The Daily Show and Air America Radio, and is the author of the book Lizz Free or Die. But Winstead is also a bonafide word nerd and game fanatic. Which means she was right at home on the Ask Me Another stage.
Brian Castner arguably had one of the most nerve-wracking jobs in the U.S. military. He commanded two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in Iraq, where his team disabled roadside IEDs, investigated the aftermath of roadside car bombings and searched door to door to uncover bomb-makers at their homes.
It is as embarrassing a diplomatic gaffe as you can make: French President François Hollande was in the same room as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, this morning, when he offered the "Chinese people" condolences for the 10 citizens it lost during the Algerian hostage crisis in January.