The federal government once considered whistle-blowers a nuisance or worse. But over the past few years, that attitude has slowly started to change. More agencies have been reaching out for tips about fraud and abuse in and outside the government, even if digging through the stacks of complaints can present a challenge.
Think back to those movies in the 1970s — movies filled with heroic figures who risked it all to expose unsafe factories and police corruption, like New York cop Frank Serpico exposing his less-than-clean colleagues.
Zuoxiao Zuzhou is a Chinese singer whose accented, croaky voice is hardly ever in tune. But for his fans he's the voice of a generation — one of the very few voices who dare to speak out. After a collaboration, Cowboy Junkies member Michael Timmins called him "China's Leonard Cohen."
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, with a tale about a very early love. Way back in 1931, Norma and Norman Burmah were perhaps destined to complete each other. They married shortly after meeting at a Louis Armstrong concert. They went on to run a catering business and raise a family in New Orleans, and this year became the longest-known married couple in the U.S. Norma is 99, Norman 102, and living happily ever after in their home in Louisiana. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Clean your plate. You heard that from your mom. Now a restaurant in Sapporo, Japan says that to its customers. If you order their signature dish, it's all you can eat - a bowl of rice topped with salmon roe - you must eat it all or pay a fine, which goes to hardworking fishermen. But one server says that hardly ever happens because most diners clean their plates.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
With Congress headed for a recess, prospects are dimming for a deal to keep the nation from falling off the next fiscal cliff - sequestration. That's the term for automatic spending cuts that go into effect March 1.
NPR's Mara Liasson explains how the White House and Congress got to this impasse and why it's so hard to get past it.