One week ago, the Yarnell Hill Fire covered only a few hundred acres, burning in dense brush 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. Then last Sunday, it exploded. Powerful winds and dry fuel propelled the fire across thousands of acres in a matter of hours, engulfing 19 elite firefighters who were trying to keep it from reaching the nearby town of Yarnell.
Nearly 700 firefighters stepped in to battle the blaze after that. A week later, the fire is nearly contained.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
The Roman Catholic Church will soon have two new saints - two saintly popes: John XXIII and John Paul II.
Church watchers are pondering what the elevation of these two men says about the current pope, Francis, and his priorities. Those church watchers include John Allen, correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. We called him yesterday.
Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.
Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.
"At least 29 pupils and a teacher have been killed in a pre-dawn attack by suspected Islamists on a school in northeastern Nigeria, reports say." (BBC News)
The BBC's Will Ross, reporting from Lagos, adds that "it sounds like a horrific attack." Survivors say the gunmen set fire to buildings. Some of the students were burned alive, he reports, while "others were shot as they tried to run away."
Update at 9:22 p.m. ET. Snowden Reveals Documents On Brazil:
Amid requests and offers of asylum in Latin America, Edward Snowden has apparently released documents showing that the U.S. spied on millions of emails and phone calls of Brazilians. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast Desk the report, published in the Rio de Janeiro paper O Globo, was co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who has been covering the National Security Agency's programs.
(We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:05 p.m. ET.)
The death toll from clashes Friday and into early Saturday in Egypt now stands at 36, authorities say. That estimate, released just before 11 a.m. ET, was up from the 30 deaths that had been reported when the day began.
The ouster of Mohammed Morsi puts the U.S. in an awkward position: By law, the administration is supposed to cut off aid to a country after a military coup, but Egypt's military has been a key to regional stability. As the administration considers its next steps, it's come under criticism from all sides in Egypt over how it's handling the situation.
Scott comes to BSPR from WFAE in Charlotte, N.C., where he served as local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” for the past eight years. He began his new position as Morning Edition Host/Senior Editor for BSPR in 2012.