Top Of The News

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The latest headlines.

BILL WOLFF: From NPR News in New York, this is the Bryant Park Project.

(Soundbite of music)


Overlooking historic Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, live from the NPR Studios, this is the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. News, information, and one question, who made the potato salad? We'll find out why that phrase is in the top 10 on Google Trends when we hit The Most. I'm Alison Stewart. It is Thursday, July 24th, 2008, the penultimate broadcast of the Bryant Park Project.

You know, I went back in the Wayback Machine to find out what we were doing a year ago, and I went on the blog, and a year ago today, we were just having our little morning meetings and the YouTube debates were up. And we talked about a teenager who got on the plane - a plane with meningitis. And we were cooking up our fifth pilot. Our fifth pilot show was on July 25th, 2007. Oh, how far we've come. We were a grownup show for awhile.

Hey, but we do have a grownup show for you today, a whole bunch of stuff on tap. First up, the "Grand New Party" is the name of a book by a couple of 20-something Republicans who say they have an idea or two about how and what their party of choice should be doing to woo new members. We'll talk to one of the authors.

And I have a little news about another NPR assignment for yours truly. I just have to figure out how to get there in one piece, details on that on the way. And of course, this is our second-to-last show and along the way this week, a discussion has cropped up, you know, about what radio will look like in five years, 10 years. How're we going to get our news in the future? We'll mull this over with someone who has an idea or two.

And we'll continue our weeklong series, the five stages of grief, mashed-up with our BPP feature, Best Song In The World Today. All right, we've gone through denial, anger, bargaining, and now today, depression. But before we go all Debbie Downer, here's the BPP's Mark Garrison, with some news headlines.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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MARK GARRISON: Thank you, Alison. We've got two reports from the campaign trail. Democratic candidate Barack Obama gives a major speech in Berlin today. He chose a spot near the famed Brandenburg Gate, so he's getting questions about history. NPR's Don Gonyea is traveling with the campaign.

DON GONYEA: Senator Obama was asked to compare this speech to famous speeches given in Berlin by Ronald Reagan. That was the "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" speech, and of course, John F. Kennedy's speech, "Ich bin ein Berliner." He said, be clear, they were presidents of the United States when they delivered those speeches. He is a candidate. He says it is a good speech. He says he feels good about it. He says it will talk about the importance of the trans-Atlantic relationship between the U.S. and Germany and Europe, Europe, more generally.

GARRISON: NPR's Don Gonyea on the road with Obama and on an awesome line. Obama's Republican rival, John McCain, campaigns in Ohio. That's an interesting change in plans from a New Orleans campaign swing. NPR's Scott Horsley explains.

SCOTT HORSLEY: John McCain was scheduled to be in New Orleans for a meeting with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The 37-year-old Indian-American is often mentioned as a possible running-mate, but the McCain campaign scrubbed the New Orleans trip and said the Jindal meeting will be rescheduled. The official explanation was bad weather from hurricane Dolly, which might have interfered with a planned helicopter trip to an offshore oil platform. The forecast in New Orleans is for partly cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms. The air also holds a whiff of fuel oil after a barge collision that dumped more than 400,000 gallons of oil into the Mississippi River. The spilled oil wasn't from an offshore platform, but it might not have been a great visual backdrop for a candidate who's trying to promote more offshore drilling.

GARRISON: NPR's Scott Horsley reporting. Quick update on the oil spill Scott mentioned. A tanker ship slammed into a fuel barge. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil poured into the Mississippi. The river is closed for miles, from New Orleans down south. Could be days before it opens.

You hear about oil and you think about high gas prices. They hurt sales of large trucks, so people who need a pickup might buy a smaller one instead. Now, new crash-testing raising worries about small truck safety. This from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, who does the crash test you always see on TV, they gave a couple of small pickups their worst crash rating of poor. Several others earned a marginal rating. That is the second lowest score. Only one small pickup, the Toyota Tacoma, got a top rating.

Finally, a follow-up on a story we brought you a long time ago in The Most. The headline included the following words and in close proximity, Nazi, orgy, scandal. Won't go into too much detail, but basically the British tabloid News of the World reported that Max Mosley - he is the president of Formula One Racing - joined a large group-bondage party with Nazi themes. The report was based on video of the session. Mosley fessed up to the S&M part, but denied any Nazi themes. Then he sued the paper. Today, he won. A British court said the reporting violated his privacy and awarded him about 120,000 dollars. Later this hour, we'll have The Most for today, but that's all we have for the moment. More news online at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

STEWART: That was an awesome phone line. Two tin cans and a rope? Maybe?

GARRISON: We try. Nothing can stop us recording the news.

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STEWART: And news from the News of the World.


(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: That fine, fine, fine paper. Thanks, Mark.

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