"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/.


Trayvon Martin Case 2.0: Digital Trial Before Jury

May 3, 2012
Originally published on May 3, 2012 1:33 pm

If the parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin can use social media and the Internet to demand justice, so, too, can the boy's killer.

Lawyers for George Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the 17-year-old's death, have created a Facebook page, Twitter account, website and blog to counteract the vitriol heaped on their client.

Zimmerman's legal team has entered the virtual echo chamber to communicate directly with supporters and detractors alike of the neighborhood watch volunteer who says he shot the unarmed boy in self-defense.

It's an extraordinary move for defense attorneys in a criminal case. But, then, this case isn't ordinary.

The Feb. 26 shooting went viral, gaining national attention, in large part due to the use of Change.org and Twitter by the boy's parents and supporters who pushed for Zimmerman's arrest.

The initial decision by police not to arrest Zimmerman at the scene has raised the question of police misconduct. And race has become a flashpoint: Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic, has been accused of racially profiling Martin, who was African-American. The two factors have led to comparisons with the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

If this becomes the Simpson case for the digital era, as some have predicted, it is unfolding long before it might ever reach a trial as both sides now try to shape public perception.

"If you are facing serious prison time, you want to load the dice as best you can," says crisis management specialist Eric Dezenhall, who advised attorneys representing Michael Jackson in a 2005 molestation trial, in which the singer was acquitted. "If you know that the case is being publicly debated, if there's any chance of convincing the public that your client is innocent, you're going to try to do it using real facts and plausible narratives."

Building A Defense Strategy

In the same way that Martin's supporters credit social media with generating public pressure for an arrest, the platform now could provide Zimmerman's attorneys an advantage in preparing their defense.

Prosecutors are free to monitor such public forums, but they are prohibited from participating in the discussions. But the defense can fully participate, analyze the prevailing opinions, and build their strategy accordingly.

The presiding judge in the case has refused to grant the prosecutor's request to impose a gag order on the attorneys.

"All the social media could make jury selection for the prosecution really problematic because you don't know what information [jurors] have had access to," says Barry Krisher, a retired prosecutor who served 16 years as the state's attorney for Palm Beach County, Fla. "My concern is, do they have a version of the facts in their mind that I have to counteract before I even put my case on?

"Am I starting on an equal footing with the defense because he's been able to put his positive spin out there?" Krisher says. "You're walking out there potentially into a minefield."

Unusual Tactics

Posting on the new blog at GZlegalCase.com, the Orlando law firm of Mark O'Mara, who is Zimmerman's lead attorney, acknowledges the tactics are "unusual." But, the attorneys say, "social media in this day and age cannot be ignored" and it would be "irresponsible to ignore the robust online conversation."

They have much to confront. Tweets have been particularly inflammatory in accusing Zimmerman of being a racist. Discussion threads have included death threats against Zimmerman.

Zimmerman's team has set up a separate website to raise money for his legal defense and other expenses while he lives in an undisclosed location. The website replaces one established by Zimmerman before his arrest that raised roughly $200,000, according to O'Mara.

The attorneys have issued guidelines for communicating on their platforms. They say they won't disclose evidence in the case or discuss Martin's "character." They insist they will remove any offensive posts.

Mining Social Media Treasures

In a post on their Facebook page, which received nearly 2,000 "Likes" as of early Wednesday, the attorneys said: "We want you to be able to express how you feel about the case and topics surrounding the case, and we welcome support [and] criticism, and we hope you find that reflected in the way we have moderated this forum."

One user responded: "As if this entire affair wasn't disgusting enough.... Mr. O'Mara, you may well live to regret this public pandering. I mean that in the sense of the hit to your reputation."

Another user wrote: "Do you think an average person would actually WANT to kill someone if they didn't have to? When you have no other option than to die yourself or sustain serious and maybe permanent injury, wouldn't you do whatever you can."

Analyzing the opinions and tastes of social media users is an important tool for advertisers, retailers or other consumer companies. For attorneys in a sensitive, polarizing criminal case, the practice is new territory — and a potential "treasure-trove," says Florida jury consultant Amy Singer.

Singer said Zimmerman's attorneys essentially could market-test parts of their legal argument online. Questions posed on Twitter about Zimmerman's account of the shooting or the police investigation could well be questions that future jurors raise.

"There are so many rumors and so much psychology going into this case that I don't think O'Mara had any choice but to join in the conversation," Singer says. "You have to know what questions about the case people want answers to, what emotions they have about certain evidence."

Singer analyzed some 40,000 tweets for the defense team of Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty last year in the death of her young daughter. Americans overwhelmingly reacted to the verdict with shock. If prosecutors had applied the same scrutiny to social media users following the case, Singer says, they could have "sharpened their focus and better explained in court those things that were important to people [online]."

But Dezenhall, the crisis management specialist, warns that the Zimmerman team's efforts could backfire.

"You could tick off a judge or a potential jury," Dezenhall says. "Nowadays, you have to be careful of this theme of a Machiavellian defense team manipulating the media. That the very act of engaging in communications tactics is somehow evidence of gaming the system."

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