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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target.
LLNL

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:00 pm

Researchers at a laboratory in California say they've had a breakthrough in producing fusion reactions with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they've produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. "We've gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel," he says.

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Shots - Health News
8:16 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse

Barbara Mancini with her father, Joseph Yourshaw.
Barbara Mancini via Compassion & Choices

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 10:39 am

A Pennsylvania county judge has thrown out an assisted suicide case against a 58-year-old nurse named Barbara Mancini, who was accused of homicide last year for allegedly handing her 93-year-old father a bottle of morphine.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Justice Thomas: Americans More Race Conscious Now Than In '60s

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Michael Dwyer AP

This Yahoo News report is causing some conversation today:

"Americans today are too sensitive about race, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a gathering of college students in Florida on Tuesday."

Yahoo's Chris Moody reports that at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a nondenominational Christian school in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thomas said:

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Parallels
6:28 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Global Military Spending Set To Rise In 2014

A visitor to a military exhibition in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 6. Global military spending is expected to increase this year for the first time in five years. The biggest increases are expected in China and Russia.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters/Landov

After years of decreases, military spending is expected to rise globally in 2014 for the first time in five years.

And the rising defense budgets of China and Russia are a key reason why.

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All Tech Considered
6:19 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Weekly Un-Innovation: There's Nothing To See Here

You saw Nothing.
Milan Vermeulen Courtesy of Nothing

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:10 am

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

Normally we cover high-tech innovations in the form of gadgets that are supposed to make your life easier. But today, we're writing about ... Nothing.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Let's Weather The Storm: Share '3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside'

Last week in Indianapolis, the Kehoe children — from left, Maria, Anthony and Veronica — played with shaving cream as their mother Joanne tried to keep them occupied when the weather outside was awful.
R. Brent Smith AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:46 am

As folks in the Deep South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast deal with yet another severe storm that's bringing rain, ice, sleet, snow or some combination of all those, let's see if we can help each other out.

So, please share in the comments thread or on NPR's Facebook page your "3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside."

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Shots - Health News
5:25 am
Wed February 12, 2014

The High Cost Of Treating People Hospitalized With West Nile Virus

Small but costly: Dozens of mosquito species carry West Nile virus in the U.S.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:11 pm

Fifteen years ago an unwelcome viral visitor entered the U.S., and we've been paying for it ever since.

The U.S recorded its first case of West Nile virus back in 1999. Since then, the disease has spread across the lower 48 states and cost the country around $800 million, scientists reported this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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Parallels
4:41 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Belgian Proposal: Terminally Ill Kids Could Choose Euthanasia

Protesters in Brussels, Belgium, march on Feb. 2 against a proposed law that would allow terminally ill kids to choose euthanasia.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:00 pm

This week Belgium is expected to become the first country in the world to allow terminally ill children to choose euthanasia.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for those 18 and over, and the number of adults choosing a doctor-assisted death has been rising annually, reaching 1,432 in 2012.

But a bill before Parliament would lift age restrictions and allow terminally ill children to ask to be euthanized if they are in unbearable pain and treatment options are exhausted. In addition, their parents and medical team would have to agree.

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The Two-Way
4:10 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Thawing? Two Koreas Hold Highest-Level Talks Since 2007

In this handout image provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, Kim Kyou-Hyun (right) the head of South Korea's high-level delegation, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Won Tong-Yon before their meeting Wednesday in Panmunjom, South Korea.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:09 am

Quickly organized talks held Wednesday between representatives from South and North Korea marked the highest-level such meeting between the two nations since 2007, South Korea's Yonhap news reports.

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The Two-Way
2:50 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Republican Faulconer Elected Mayor In San Diego

San Diego Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer celebrated with his family and supporters Tuesday night as votes were counted.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:35 am

Six months after Democratic Mayor Bob Filner left office in disgrace because more than a dozen women had stepped forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, San Diegans have chosen a Republican to take over.

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The Two-Way
2:07 am
Wed February 12, 2014

'Crippling' And 'Paralyzing': Southern Storm Is Wicked

Not a good day for a drive: A Georgia Department of Transportation sign warned motorists in Norcross Wednesday morning, and few were on the roads.
John Amis AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:24 pm

(Click here to jump to a quick look at the latest news about the storm.)

As a wicked storm of ice and snow spreads over parts of Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas and heads toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the National Weather Service is again warning that it's getting ugly out there.

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Food
1:32 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style

The majority of patrons at Shanghai's Fortune Cookie restaurant are foreigners, particularly Americans who crave the American-Chinese food they grew up with but can't find in China.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:25 am

Imagine living in China and missing Chinese food. It happens. American expatriates who grew up with popular takeout dishes like General Tso's chicken can't find it in China because it essentially doesn't exist here.

Much of the Chinese food we grew up with isn't really Chinese. It's an American version of Chinese food. Chinese immigrants created it over time, adapting recipes with U.S. ingredients to appeal to American palates.

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NPR Story
12:22 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Snowborder Shaun White Will Leave Sochi Without A Medal

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Snowboarders have a new set of heroes who are not American. Last night, at the snowboard halfpipe event in Sochi, not a single member of Team USA was on the podium. The winners were Swiss and Japanese. Maybe the biggest disappointment was the fourth place finish by Shaun White. He's the American who, for years, has been the focal point of snowboarding's rise in popularity.

NPR's Robert Smith was there and tells us what it means for the sport.

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NPR Story
12:22 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Mass. Suit Aims To Clarify Religious Groups' Latitude In Hiring

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And when it comes to hiring pastors and teachers, religious organizations - churches and schools - are exempt from most laws against discriminating and employment. Now a lawsuit in Massachusetts aims to clarify how much leeway those institutions have. For example, can they discriminate against people in same-sex marriages for non-religious jobs like gym teacher or cafeteria worker? NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Matthew Barrett thought he'd scored his dream job when he was hired to be the boss of a school cafeteria.

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NPR Story
12:22 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Tennessee Volkswagen Workers Vote On UAW Membership

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:57 am

In Chattanooga on Wednesday, workers at Volkswagen's auto plant will vote on whether to unionize. This is billed as the most closely watched unionization vote in the South in decades.

Art & Design
10:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

At Last, New York Fashion Week Brings 'Good News For Real People'

Needleman says The Row has created an oversized sweater and sweater-skirt "that looks like if you were to lay down, you could just wrap it over yourself like a blanket and go to sleep."
Arno Frugier The Row Fall 2014 Collection

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:27 am

This year, the models on the runway at New York Fashion Week look downright comfortable — and Deborah Needleman, editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, says that's "good news for real people."

In the semi-annual event, fashion editors and store buyers attend elaborate runway shows staged in tents at Lincoln Center and other locations around New York City. Designers present clothes to them that consumers may see in stores in the fall.

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The Salt
10:38 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean

A customer shops for milk at a Safeway in Livermore, Calif. Although it may seem counterintuitive, there's growing evidence that full-fat dairy is linked to reduced body weight.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:52 am

I have to admit, I melt at the creaminess of full-fat yogurt.

It's an indulgence that we're told to resist. And I try to abide. (Stealing a bite of my daughter's YoBaby doesn't count, does it?)

The reason we're told to limit dairy fat seems pretty straightforward. The extra calories packed into the fat are bad for our waistlines — that's the assumption.

But what if dairy fat isn't the dietary demon we've been led to believe it is? New research suggests we may want to look anew.

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Governing
10:37 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

To Rent Or Buy? For The Federal Government, It's Complicated

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 10:25 am

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has been in the hot seat in recent weeks for mishandling the leases for some of its office space. The Department of the Interior's inspector general found that BIA violated multiple rules, including overpaying for space and renting too much of it — in some cases without government authority to do so.

In all, the report found the BIA actions will cost taxpayers $32 million.

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The Picture Show
10:36 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Photos: Moroccan Motorcycle Mashup

"Kesh Angels"
Hassan Hajjaj Courtesy of Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:00 am

In the 1990s, Hassan Hajjaj assisted on a magazine photo shoot in Marrakesh when he had a realization: All the models, the photographer and even the clothes were from another country. Morocco, the country he grew up in, was simply the backdrop.

"From then I said it'd be great to present my people in their environment in their kind of way of dressing," he says in an interview on NPR's Morning Edition, "and play with it in that fashion way."

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Parallels
10:35 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Samba School Murder Exposes The Dark Side Of Rio's Carnival

Viviane Araujo, a Salguiero samba school queen, performs at a rehearsal for Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Marcello da Cunha Freire, vice president of the popular samba school, was murdered last month in a drive-by shooting.
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:44 am

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a glittering affair that attracts tourists from all over the world. There is, however, a murky and sometimes violent underbelly to the celebrations that recently came under the spotlight after the murder of a top samba school official.

One evening last month, Marcello da Cunha Freire was leaving his office in Rio's Vila Isabel neighborhood when a car pulled up next to him.

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Parallels
10:34 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

For Elephants And Rhinos, Poaching Trends Point In Wrong Direction

Two adult white rhinos stand in an enclosure at South Africa's Entabeni Safari Conservancy in 2012. Entabeni is one of the world's only dedicated orphanages for rhino calves whose parents were poached for their horns — a trend that is rising.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:48 am

South Africa has a stable government that makes wildlife protection a high priority. But even in that country, there's been a dramatic surge in poaching, particularly for rhinos.

A decade ago, fewer than 100 rhinos were killed in a year. Last year, it was more than 1,000, says Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"When you're talking about something that is more valuable than gold, and it is easily accessible, you're going to create the atmosphere where people are going to take advantage of that," he says.

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The Salt
1:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Thank You, Shirley Temple, For The Original 'Mocktail'

A Classic Shirley Temple
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:38 pm

Generations of little girls have watched the ebullient Shirley Temple light up Depression-era black and white films, her glossy curls bouncing and her voice chirping. Generations, too, developed a taste for the Shirley Temple drink — traditionally, ginger ale with a dash of grenadine, maraschino cherry and lemon for garnish.

The drink, it seems, has a shelf life as long as her movies.

That's because the saccharine beverage in a girly pinkish hue has long embodied glamour in a glass for tweens and the younger set.

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Around the Nation
1:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Straw Buyers Exchange Vermont Guns For East Coast Drugs

An evidence locker at the Vermont field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is filled with confiscated guns.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:00 pm

In Vermont, opiate addiction is the high-profile focus of Gov. Peter Shumlin's latest set of policy initiatives. But the state's addiction problem has led to another dangerous issue:

Vermont's loose gun laws and a high demand for drugs make a lucrative market for drug dealers who accept guns in return for the drugs they sell.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Budget Pruning Leaves Canadian Potted Plants Out To Dry

Plants for auction on GCSurplus, the Canadian Government's site for the sale of surplus goods. Plants from the House of Commons may soon join them.
Courtesy of Public Works And Government Services Canada

In Canada, even the ficus trees haven't been spared the budget cut hatchet.

The potted plants in Canada's House of Commons buildings, the CBC reports, will soon be rounded up and auctioned off as part of federal belt-tightening measures.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Graco Recalls Nearly 3.8 Million Child Car Seats

The My Ride 70 was one of the models recalled by Graco.
Graco

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:24 pm

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car seats because buckles may be hard to release, posing a danger in the case of an accident.

The AP reports that despite the massive recall, which involves 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is unhappy with the company.

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Around the Nation
12:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It

A new study shows that the income gap between young adults who go to college and those who don't only continues to grow.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:00 pm

In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.

Yes, a new study of young people finds. The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of special projects at Pew, says it's pretty much case closed when it comes to the benefits of going to college.

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Education
12:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

A 'First Of Its Kind Conference' About Sexual Assault On Campus

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Educators from around the country have spent the last two days talking about sexual misconduct on college campuses. The conference that wrapped up today at the University of Virginia was billed as a first of its kind. It comes nearly three years after the government issued legal guidelines for universities to deal with such misconduct.

As Sandy Hausman of member station WVTF reports, attendees learned how to better support victims, and students spoke out against stereotypes.

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Law
12:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Law Enforcement Straddles Atlantic To Round Up Alleged Mobsters

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Sports
12:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Shaun White Misses The Medal Stand As 'I-Pod' Gets The Gold

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 9:30 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where American snowboarder Shaun White attempted a three-peat today. He was trying to be the first three-time gold medal winner in the half-pipe competition, actually the first American man to win three consecutive golds in any Winter Olympic event. And NPR's Robert Smith watched the action today and joins us now from outside the half-pipe venue. Robert, how did things turn out for Shaun White?

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Economy
12:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Fed Chair Promises Continuity Before Congress

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Janet Yellen made her first appearance on Capitol Hill today as the new leader of the Federal Reserve. Her message was clear. There will be no sudden changes in Fed policy. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep pulling back its big stimulus program despite concerns about the economy.

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