It came in like a wrecking ball. Well, a wrecking snowball. Two math majors at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, created a wintery masterpiece - a giant snowball weighing about 800 pounds. The students built it on the quad but decide to roll it along a walk, on the theory that a rolling ball gathers more snow. Then it got away from them, taking off down the hill and smashing into a dorm wall and crushing it.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White are favored to win gold in ice dancing. The pair took silver in the last Olympic Games in Vancouver, and expectations are high that they'll do even better in Sochi.
Let's check in on the Winter Olympics now. It's been a rough time so far for team USA. They have only won four gold medals in ski and snowboard slope style and in women's snowboard half pipe. The U.S. has struggled in the more traditional sports of the Winter Olympics. That could, though, change today. The U.S. has the best bobsledder in the world, Steve Holcomb. And he races the two-man today.
NPR's Robert Smith joins us from the Sanki Sliding track in the mountains above Sochi. Robert, good morning.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
There are some basic things we take for granted, at least in the developed world, that the air we breathe or the water that flows into our homes won't make us sick. So imagine you turn on your local TV news to this.
(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS REPORT)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: State of emergency in several counties tonight after a chemical spills into the water supply. Good evening. I'm...
Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, talks with NPR's Arun Rath about his organization's mission and financial struggles. The nonprofit, which is going into its 26th year, is the largest gang-intervention program in the country.
In Jacksonville, a trial that has once again thrown a spotlight on the state's Stand Your Ground law has ended with a mistrial on the main charge of murder. Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old software designer, was charged with murder and four other counts after shooting and killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music.
NPR's Greg Allen has been following the case and joins us now. Greg, mistrial on murder, but what about the other charges?
On Sunday, the K&N Pro Series East begins down in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. And if the track and pit look a little more diverse than they have in the past, that's in part because of a NASCAR program designed to entice different communities to try out the sport.
Market research says NASCAR's bread-and-butter fan base is about 60 percent male and 80 percent white, mostly from the Southern and Midwestern states. But as the country continues to become even more diverse, the sport is working to make sure its fan base is, too.
We have an update now on the efforts to end the civil war in Syria. A second round of talks in Geneva this week ended in a stalemate. Both sides have raised questions about whether a third round will go forward at all. In homes this week, some residents were allowed to flee the city, which has been under siege for more than two years, the only tangible success from the negotiations.