Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:31 pm
The man behind Beanie Babies, the toy animals that saw their heyday in the mid-1990s, has agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion for failing to report income held in Swiss bank accounts.
H. Ty Warner, 69, has been charged in U.S. District Court with felony tax evasion. The indictment alleges that in 1996, Warner traveled to Zurich to open an account with Union Bank of Switzerland with the intent to "evade and defeat" taxes on $3.1 million in foreign income.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear about the songs that keep Cuban-American rapper Pitbull grounded, that is when he's not cranking out his own chart-topping hits. First, though, we want to tell you about a new documentary series that takes a look at the long, some might say, overlooked, history of Hispanics in this country. It's called "Latino Americans."
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour, we will meet the new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, and we'll find out how she's already gotten a lesson in grace under fire after her Indian-American heritage drew a swarm of haters on the web. It's the first of two conversations we'll have this hour about the interesting politics of beauty right now.
Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, took the crown in this year's Miss America beauty pageant. It was the 87th year of the competition, and Davuluri was one of two Asian-Americans in the final round. Although she's just a few days into her reign, Davuluri has already made history. She's the first Indian-American Miss America.
Her win highlights how far the U.S. has come, but also how far the country has to go: Racist tweets flooded in on Twitter right after her victory.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:25 pm
A study on guns, violence and mental health, long scheduled to be published this week, finds that gun ownership is a bigger factor than mental illness when it comes to firearms deaths. But the data suggest that both play roles.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 11:59 am
Sheriffs' deputies who were testing a new sonar device on a lake in western Oklahoma's Custer County have come across two grim discoveries that may help solve two cold cases from decades ago.
The local Elk City Daily News says the "practice run for new sonar technology at Foss Lake became a recovery effort after officials discovered two vehicles submerged near the marina — with human remains inside."
It was Sept. 10, the newspaper says, when sonar detected "two cars side by side in about 12 feet of water."
A police officer blocks photos from being taken outside Zhongnanhai, the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China, in Beijing last year.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Zhang Xuezhong, a professor of law, was recently suspended from teaching at his university in Shanghai. Among Zhang's offenses was writing articles that urge the Chinese Communist Party to respect the country's constitution.
Credit Ma Zhancheng / Xinhua/Landov
President Xi Jinping speaks at a congress in Beijing marking the 30th anniversary of the implementation of China's constitution, on Dec. 4, 2012. In the speech, he vowed to uphold the constitution and the rule of law.
Several weeks back, officials with the East China University of Political Science and Law met one of its professors, Zhang Xuezhong, at his favorite hangout, a coffeehouse in Shanghai.
Sitting in a private room, they told him he was suspended from teaching for articles he had posted on the Internet. In them, Zhang had argued that China's government needs to build a real rule of law — one to which even the party is accountable — as well as a system of checks and balances.
One way to start, he says, is to live up to the promises made in China's 1982 constitution.