The St. Petersburg Times is in the middle of publishing an investigative report on the Church of Scientology. It's based on two high-ranking church leaders who have left the church. The first part was published Sunday. Today's second installment details the alleged destruction of evidence after the death of a church member who was kept in isolation for weeks in Clearwater.
The most compelling story I heard all weekend I heard on This American Life on MPR on Saturday. It was a segment on the origins of things. We never think how things we take for granted got to be in the first place. How is it, for example, that the government can keep you at arm's length from certain information by claiming national security? It turns out it stems from the 1940s crash of a B-29. Widows of crewmembers sued by the government refused to turn over copies of the accident report. The crew was working on a top-secret project and the government claimed to turn over the report would be to reveal those secrets. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the government (US vs. Reynolds) , even though it never reviewed the document.
When the accident report was declassified, there were no secrets in it, only evidence of wrongdoing. But it was too late. The legal precedent stands to this day, even though it was built on a lie. Here's a Web site dedicated to the case.
John Hodgman wowed 'em at the White House Radio-Televisions Correspondents Dinner in Washington over the weekend. He wowed me because he mentioned his dad is from my declining Massachusetts mill city hometown.
The Lowry Avenue bridge demolition was filmed by Chuck Olson. Here's a video of its last day. Sometimes, filming these things can be dangerous (language warning).
This would've been a great weekend for one of our "Weekend in Minnesota" photo tours of the region. Aside from the demolition, we had Rock the Garden in Minneapolis, a country music festival in Wisconsin, a classical music festival on the civilized side of the St. Croix, and the strongest man competition in Rochester.
A tombstone tells the story. Have you ever read the obituaries in the morning paper, trying to get a clue as to the cause of death? In Ancestry Magazine, Ellen Notbohm, who went to North Dakota to look for her family's history, stumbled across the tombstone of Evan Paulson. "Killed while on duty (a)s Night watchman at Mayville, N.D. Sept. 3, 1893 1 o'clock a.m.," it said. The "most atrocious crime in Traill County" is forgotten no more. (h/t: Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald). MPR's Nikki Tundel tracks the trends in tombstones in this classic from last month.
Midmorning - Are teachers just interchangeable parts? In the first hour, Kerri Miller and her guests discuss changes in the way teachers are evaluated. Second hour: Alzheimer's and aging. Aside: Check out Euan Kerr's story on a play at the Guthrie that uses comedy to discuss Alzheimer's.
Midday - Ambassador Bruce Laingen, who was in charge of the U.S embassy in Tehran, Iran when taken hostage in 1979. Before the protests broke out in Iran, Laingen talked about President Obama's Iran strategy in this article in The National. Second hour: "What Makes a Small Town Work?" A panel discussion from Grand Rapids.
All Things Considered - Five years ago, the first families in a wave of 5,000 Hmong refugees arrived in Minnesota. Toni Randolph talks to several families and resettlement experts about how they're adjusting. NPR in Washington will have a story from Cleveland, celebrating the fact the Cuyahoga River doesn't catch on fire anymore. Of course most of the mills and manufacturing plants are closed in Cleveland, which is bad for the economy, but apparently good for the environment. NPR's Kathy Lohr will also report from Wichita on how things have changed with the death of Dr. George Tiller.
Tomorrow on Morning Edition - What's it going to be like to go car shopping with fewer dealers around?
The National Quality Minority Forum today unveiled its National HIV/AIDS atlas, showing county-level prevalence data of the illness throughout the United States. The licensing agreement is pretty restrictive -- you need to register and, technically, you're barred from linking to the site -- which would seem to defeat the purpose of providing more information.
Through the end of 2008, 8,819 people in Minnesota have been diagnosed with HIV; 2,976 have died.
Hennepin County has the most AIDS cases, not surprisingly. Several cases were diagnosed in greater Minnesota in 2008, however.
White people had the largest share of HIV diagnosis in 2008. The infection rate increased for white men in 2008, but dropped for African American and Hispanic men.
The rate increased for white and African American women.
The primary mode of exposure for males continues to be male-to-male sex (MSM) while for females the predominant mode of exposure is heterosexual sex.
Nationwide, New York and California have the highest concentrations of HIV/AIDS, which isn't new. However, parts of the South appear especially hard-hit by the virus, the Associated Press reported today. More than half the 48 counties with the highest rates of the AIDS-causing infection were in Georgia.
But Keller said when he talked to Rodhe, he was told the decision to keep his kidnapping secret was "completely the right thing to do." According to Keller, Rodhe's captors were "absolutely obsessed" with his value as a commodity and were determined to keep him, suggesting that if the world knew of Rodhe's capture, it would have been more difficult for him to have escaped.
Curiously, Hockenberry never asked Keller about the balancing the ethics of keeping a news story quiet and whether similar kidnappings have been kept quiet out of similar fears of harm to the person kidnapped
It's the last night of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Demonstrators gathered to protest those in power, but they didn't have a permit. Up to that point, they had broken no law. But when they didn't disperse, they were rounded up.
In Tehran, demonstrators opposed to those in power protested -- apparently peaceably -- in the street. When they didn't disperse, they were rounded up.
"What we can do is bear witness and say to the world that the incredible demonstrations that we've seen is a testimony to, I think, the -- what Dr. King called the 'the arc of the moral universe.' It's long but it bends towards justice," President Obama said this week.
Clearly, there's a difference in the level of violence between authorities and demonstrators. But on the fundamental question of whether protesters -- if peaceful -- should be allowed to take to the streets against a government, is there a difference?