WPPB

NPR News

A baby robot has been born. Now, with little DeeChee's help, researchers are studying how babies transition from babbling to forming words.

Dr. Caroline Lyons of the University of Hertfordshire is one of the computer scientists who helped design DeeChee the robot. She tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that humans are also critical to their experiments.

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."

Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.

"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.

Paraguay's Congress Votes To Oust President

Jun 22, 2012

Paraguay's congress voted to remove President Fernando Lugo. The impeachment proceeding was a lightening process in which with both chambers approved his destitution in a little more than 24 hours.

Paraguay's La Nacíon reports that Vice President Federico Franco will assume the presidency after Lugo was found guilty of "performing his duties badly."

Title IX, which turns 40 on Saturday, has helped reverse years of bias, banning sex discrimination in federally funded schools and colleges.

Its guarantee of equal access to sports was a small part of the original legislation. But it's become the most recognizable part of Title IX. That guarantee has not always played out, and the law has its critics. For four decades, however, it's played a huge part in shaping lives.

'I Can Handle This World'

The Midwest is known for its roadside attractions — world's largest ear of corn, heaviest ball of twine, biggest truck stop.

But it's also home to one of the largest collections of grottoes in the world. Most of these man-made caves were created by immigrant priests at the beginning of the 20th century. And the mother of them all — encrusted in $6 million worth of semiprecious stones — is in West Bend, Iowa.

This weekend, the Grotto of the Redemption turns 100.

Coming a week after President Obama announced that he would defer deportation proceedings for many young illegal immigrants, it was safe to predict that he'd get an appreciative response from an audience of Latino leaders. They didn't disappoint.

Who hasn't dreamed of having their own coral-fringed island, lounging on its sandy beach, coconut daiquiri in hand?

Germany scored three goals in the second half to knock Greece out of the European Championship, today.

As we reported, it was a match dubbed the "debt derby," because it pitted the Eurozone's weakest economy with its paymaster.

The AP adds:

A highly resistant form of a common bacterium recently popped up in two Rhode Island patients, only the 12th and 13th times it has been spotted in this country.

Kofi Annan is trying to rally the international community to bring the violence in Syria to an end. Annan even suggested that Iran should be consulted, an idea the United States doubts.

NPR's Michele Kelemen filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The joint UN and Arab league envoy, Kofi Annan, is trying to convene a meeting next weekend in Geneva. He told reporters there it is time for countries with influence to increase the pressure on the parties in Syria to stop the killing and start talking.

When Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of most major U.S. banks on Thursday, you'd have thought Friday would be a tough day for bank stocks.

But bank stocks ticked up — largely because investors were relieved. They had feared the downgrades would be worse. The Dow Jones industrial average was recovering from Thursday's 250-point drop, the second-worst of the year.

Paul Revere Williams began designing homes and commercial buildings in the early 1920s. By the time he died in 1980, he had created some 2,500 buildings, most of them in and around Los Angeles, but also around the globe. And he did it as a pioneer: Paul Williams was African-American. He was the first black architect to become a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923, and in 1957 he was inducted as the AIA's first black fellow.

A jury found Msgr. William J. Lynn, of Philadelphia, guilty on one count of endangerment stemming from allegations that he helped coverup the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. Lynn was acquitted of another count of endangerment and one count of conspiracy, the AP reports.

Elizabeth Fiedler of member station WHYY reports that the jury was hung on rape and endangerment charges against Lynn's co-defendant Rev. James J. Brennan.

Hours before he was scheduled to be sworn in as Greek's newest finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos fell ill and was rushed to the hospital "complaining of nausea, intense abdominal pains and dizziness," Reuters reports.

Of course this all comes just after Greece elected a new parliament and just after Greece formed a new three-party coalition that has the task of wading through national and Eurozone politics to negotiate a bailout.

Two of the middle school kids who brutally bullied a school bus monitor in Greece, New York are apologizing to Karen Klein.

MSNBC says they've sent notes to police who have forwarded them to Klein.

Advocates for cannabis decriminalization have long touted marijuana's potential medical benefits, but some new research suggests that the grass, as it were, may not always be greener.

Plenty of people aren't waiting for marijuana to become legal to start trying it as a medicine, though. About 1 in 10 patients referred to a McGill University pain clinic in Montreal for fibromyalgia over a six-year period were using marijuana to deal with the chronically painful condition, a new study found.

In a split decision, the Arkansas Supreme court has ruled that the laws governing executions in the state were unconstitutional.

The court found that only the legislature should control the process and Arkansas had given that power to its department of corrections.

This weekend, gay pride celebrations will mark the first year since the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," the law that banned gays from serving openly in the U.S. military.

Denny Meyer, 65, is a veteran who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. During a recent visit to StoryCorps, he remembered what it was like to be both gay and a sailor in the late 1960s.

"In those days, we served in silence. And not one day passed when you didn't worry that you were going to be found out," he says.

From Our Readers: TV? What TV?

Jun 21, 2012

Our piece about a Supreme Court's decision to dismiss fines against ABC and Fox, led to comments from households that have greatly reduced their television intake. Of course, most acknowledged the obvious — they're still on the internet (hardly a space known for its sterling regulation of decency), and did we detect a little of one-up-manship?

The credit rating agency Moody's Investor Services just downgraded the ratings of 15 of the world's largest banks.

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were among them.

The AP reports:

"The ratings agency said late Thursday that the banks were downgraded because their long-term prospects for profitability and growth are shrinking.

Pages