Spanish Court Convicts Three in Bombings

A three-judge tribunal found three men guilty in the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

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LUKE BURBANK, host:

Welcome back to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. We're always online for you. That's npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Luke Burbank.

ALISON STEWART, host:

And I'm Alison Stewart.

Some amazing music coming up from Peter Bjorn and John. But right now, let's hear today's top stories from Rachel Marten. Morten? Martin.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.

LUKE BURBANK, host:

Martin.

RACHEL MARTIN: Good morning, everyone. I go by many names.

A Spanish court yesterday convicted a total of 21 men in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which were the most deadly ever carried out in Europe. But three other men who were accused of being the organizers of the attacks were not found guilty of direct involvement. The three-judge tribunal acquitted a total of seven suspects and found 18 others guilty of lesser charges related to the attacks, including belonging to a terrorist organization.

One defendant was released because of lack of evidence. Survivors of the attacks and families of the victims said they were shocked that the alleged leaders of the attack were not found guilty of the most serious charges, and they called the verdict shameful and unjust.

It looks like NASA will soon release a report about airline safety that the agency has been keeping quiet because of concerns the information could damage the airline industry. NASA administrator Michael Griffin yesterday told a congressional panel his agency will soon release information from tens of thousands of interviews with pilots about safety issues.

The report apparently raises some red flags about air safety, showing that the rate of planes hitting birds or planes coming too close to one another is double the rate estimated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Griffin said the report was kept secret because NASA doesn't have the right to release confidential data that could damage specific airlines.

Finally, today, if you haven't heard the New York Marathon is coming up this weekend. Thousands of runners will make their way through the 26.2-mile course, but they won't be doing it with iPods or other musical devices. Race officials have banned them this year. While some runners say music is distracting, for others - like yours truly - it's a major motivator. You know, right as your side cramps up and you can't bear to make that last mile and you just want to quit and go eat some bacon, but then you crank of Survivor on your iPod and all of a sudden you're Rocky. You're the king the world, and you just can't be stopped.

(Soundbite of song, "Eye of the Tiger")

MARTIN: You know, let's listen to it a little more.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "Eye of the Tiger")

MARTIN: No more. Race officials have banned the devices this year, citing safety concerns. Elite and professional runners don't typically need the distraction of music, but critics say the ban could alienate some recreational runners from future races. Race officials admit the ban is tough to enforce, though, and they will be policing the running field on Sunday.

That's the news. It's always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

STEWART: Luke, don't you run with music?

BURBANK: I do when I run, which is almost never.

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