"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters, and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she made disparaging comments about him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb" comments about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


'Convention' Of Convicted Terrorists At N.Y. Trial

Apr 24, 2012
Originally published on April 24, 2012 10:27 am

There have been hundreds of terrorism trials in the U.S. since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but the case unfolding in Brooklyn, N.Y., is different. While its focus is on defendant Adis Medunjanin and the role he allegedly played in a 2009 plot to bomb New York City subways, the trial itself breaks new ground. It marks the first time the public is hearing in open court about real al-Qaida plots from the people the terrorist group actually dispatched to carry them out.

Medunjanin is a beefy naturalized American of Bosnian descent. In court on Monday, he sat in the middle of a long defense table wearing a business suit and a tie. He has a long, bushy beard, thick glasses and delicate hands. He seemed calm as witness after witness — a veritable who's who of convicted terrorists — testified not just about the plot but also about the mechanics of al-Qaida itself.

The prosecution alleges that Medunjanin and two other men traveled to Pakistan in 2008 in hopes of joining the Taliban. They ran into an al-Qaida recruiter instead who convinced them to go back to the U.S. and launch an attack there. The trio allegedly planned the attacks for September 2009 to coincide with the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

What made this plot so serious, law enforcement officials say, is that it wasn't just aspirational — it was operational. Medunjanin, former Denver shuttle bus driver Najibullah Zazi, 26, and Zarein Ahmedzay, 27, allegedly had the know-how they needed to build the explosives, put them in backpacks and ignite them on the trains. Zazi and Ahmedzay pleaded guilty to terrorism charges two years ago.

Medunjanin's defense says he split from his friends and backed away from the plot before it was going to occur

'Convention Of Terrorism Suspects'

"It's rather ironic that this case has attracted so little attention," says Matthew Waxman, a law professor at Columbia University who used to work on detainee affairs for the Bush administration. "This trial has been an occasion for a convention of terrorism suspects."

The convention of terrorists has included not just Zazi and Ahmedzay, but also two other men who in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks had been accepted into al-Qaida's inner circle: Long Island resident Bryant Neal Vinas, and a British man, Saajid Muhammed Badat, who was convicted in the U.K. in 2005 of plotting to blow up an airplane.

Badat, 33, provided the most striking testimony. He spoke for three hours by videotape Monday. Al-Qaida had chosen him for a mission. He was supposed to be a second shoe bomber, joining fellow Englishman Richard Reid. He was dispatched in 2002. But he ended up not going through with his part of the attack, and was arrested in 2003 for his role in the conspiracy.

While in prison in Britain, he began to rethink his links to al-Qaida and eventually started cooperating with authorities. Scotland Yard has been vague about when that happened exactly, but what the Metropolitan Police will say is that his help has been invaluable in breaking up plots and understanding al-Qaida as an organization.

In testifying at the trial in Brooklyn on Monday, Badat became the first terrorist convicted in the U.K. to present evidence in a U.S. trial. Officials say he is lined up to testify in as many as 18 different terrorism cases, starting with the Brooklyn trial.

Badat wasn't expected to discuss the details of the subway plot. Instead, he shed light on the inner workings of al-Qaida itself — talking about guest houses, media operations and the way reconnaissance and attacks were developed. He was asked by al-Qaida's second in command at the time, Abu Hafs al-Masri, to research possible Jewish targets to attack in South Africa. He trained would-be jihadis in explosives. He went though al-Qaida's intelligence course and helped the group translate propaganda videos into English.

He spent time with the man who is thought to be al-Qaida's highest-ranking American, former Florida resident Adnan Shukrijumah. Badat said he sat down with Osama bin Laden after he was assigned the shoe-bombing mission, and the former al-Qaida leader told him why blowing up a plane was so important.

"He said that the American economy is like a chain," Badat testified. "If you break one link of the chain, the whole economy will be brought down."

Turning On Al-Qaida

Badat's testimony Monday is the terrorist equivalent of what happened in an organized crime trial when a "made" guy in the Cosa Nostra would turn state's evidence.

"We'd get someone who is a card-carrying member of la Cosa Nostra. He would become an expert witness testifying as to what it meant to be a member of la Cosa Nostra, what you went through, swearing to the oath of silence, that sort of thing," says Peter Ahearn, a former FBI special agent in charge. "These guys they are rolling out to testify against al-Qaida are doing the same thing. This was part of their plea deal, to cooperate, and now we're hearing their testimony."

Ahearn speaks from experience. He was in charge of the FBI's Buffalo, N.Y., office during the Lackawanna Six case. That was America's first brush with possible homegrown terrorism. A handful of men from the steel town of Lackawanna left upstate New York and traveled to Afghanistan in the spring of 2001. They trained in an al-Qaida camp and then returned to the U.S. just weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks. Those men also agreed to testify as part of a plea agreement.

"It was their knowledge of the process that they went through in the training camps that set the tone for a trial," Ahearn said.

What makes the Brooklyn trial of Medunjanin particularly unusual, Waxman of Columbia University says, is the sheer number of convicted terrorists who have shown up in court. He says the testimony, and the way the trial is unfolding, is proof that the criminal justice system can handle terrorism cases — and tough cases with classified material don't need to be sent to military commissions at Guantanamo.

"In the past, the idea of prosecuting terrorists here in New York has generated huge outcry," he says. "But this high-profile trial is going on right here."

That outcry was one of the reasons why the Obama administration ended up having to move the biggest terrorism trial — that of the alleged Sept. 11 conspirators — from the Eastern District of New York to Guantanamo.

The arraignment in that case is scheduled for May 5. Badat, the British shoe bomber-turned-witness, said in court Monday that he wants to testify for the prosecution in that case, too. He said one reason he agreed to cooperate in terrorism trials is that he wanted to testify against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks. Badat said he had come to believe that al-Qaida generally, and Mohammed in particular, was manipulating Muslims into doing things they shouldn't be doing.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.