Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. You can spend tens of thousands on a liberal arts degree, or just buy a fake diploma. The artist David Hockney's fake diploma is expected to sell at auction this week for up to $27,000. He created it in 1962 when he was denied a real degree by the Royal College of Art because he refused to write a final essay. And who know? The work of a famous artist might end up worth more in the long run than a real diploma.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The leaks this month by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed just how widespread government surveillance of phone and online information actually is. The revelations of the government's PRISM program have been raising the concerns about privacy, but also have boom to companies that promise greater privacy online.
Emma Jacobs of member station WHYY in Philadelphia has this report.
Technology really does seem to make the world smaller, and this morning, we'll hear this morning how that applies to protest movements. Turkey saw a fresh wave of anti-government demonstrations over the weekend.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And in Brazil, the president is holding an emergency meeting today on how to respond to protests sweeping that country. An estimated quarter of a million Brazilians were on the streets yesterday, with a wide range of grievances.
Good morning, I'm David Greene with a story that perfectly fits the headline: only in Russia.
A 23-year-old in the north of that country was looking to find some scrap metal. You know, to make an extra buck. So he stole a small metal bridge which he took home and cut up with a welding torch. Authorities looking for the culprit and the missing pedestrian bridge didn't have to search very hard. He had dragged the bridge with his tractor, leaving a trail all the way to his house.
NPR's business news begins with another bad day for Chinese stocks.
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GREENE: The major indexes in China closed down more than five percent - making it the worst day of losses since 2009. And the plunge reverberated, weighing down markets across Asia. The losses we apparently caused by the Chinese government's ongoing attempt to reform its banking system. It's using high interest rates to cut down on risky loans, making access to cash very tight. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's no great secret that Republicans are behind in applying digital technology to politics. They admitted as much after the last presidential election. And in an effort to catch up, over the weekend, political conservatives staged an event called the Liberty Hackathon in San Francisco. The sponsor of the app building competition was the Charles Koch Institute, named for its benefactor the billionaire backer of the Tea Party Movement.
NPR's Nathan Rott went to the event and sent us this report.
In Turkey over the weekend, police used water cannons against demonstrators in Taksim Square. The latest confrontation comes at a delicate time. Turkey is waiting a decision on whether it will host the 2020 Olympic Games.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that Turks are wondering if the government will react with even tighter restrictions on descent, or bend to demands for greater political openness.
Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insist that gun control legislation is not dead — they say they're strategizing on how to bring the issue back to the Senate floor.
Even if it does return, one proposal unlikely to survive is an assault weapons ban. Military-style assault rifles now form a nearly $1 billion industry supported by gun owners who spend thousands of dollars collecting these firearms.