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Parallels
2:11 am
Sun October 13, 2013

A Decade On, A Boy, A Ball And A West Bank Wall

A decade ago, Israel's separation barrier cut off Ishaq Amer's home from its Palestinian village.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 3:29 am

A little more than a decade ago, in an effort to improve security, Israel began building a physical barrier in and around the West Bank.

The Amer family is among the Palestinians whose lives were disrupted. The concrete wall and fence cut them off from their village. Their son was separated from his soccer buddies, the most important thing in the world to him at the time.

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It's All Politics
12:41 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Senate Gets A Dose Of Scolding With Its Morning Prayer

Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black has been using his morning prayer to express his displeasure with political gridlock.
Drew Angerer AP

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 10:21 am

It's easy to tune out when the Senate goes through its morning rituals. The president pro tem calls the chamber to order; there's the Pledge of Allegiance. One morning could sound like any other.

Except for the past two weeks. Barry C. Black, the Senate chaplain, has been using his morning prayers to say exactly what he thinks is wrong with Washington lawmakers: "Remove from them that stubborn pride, which imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism."

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The Salt
12:38 am
Sun October 13, 2013

(Cabbage) Heads Will Roll: How To Make A Food Network 'From Scratch'

According to journalist Allen Salkin, Emeril Lagasse initially opposed bringing Rachael Ray, pictured here in 2007, onto the Food Network – and, at first, Ray agreed with him. "You have this all wrong," she told executives, "I'm beer in a bottle; you guys are champagne."
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 3:47 am

Mario Batali, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray are just a few of the stars the Food Network helped create. But what the network gave, it could also take away.

In From Scratch, author Allen Salkin takes an unsparing look at the network's progression from struggling cable startup to global powerhouse, and the people — Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen — who rose and fell along the way.

Salkin tells NPR's Rachel Martin that while the network was intended for cooks, it wasn't run by them.

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Parallels
12:38 am
Sun October 13, 2013

For Myanmar's Kachin Rebels, Life Teeters Between War, Peace

Members of the Kachin Independence Army train at a refugee camp in northern Myanmar.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:04 pm

Despite progress in its transition to democracy, Myanmar has struggled to end all the ethnic insurgencies that have long divided the country.

Now the Kachin — the last of the insurgent groups that have been fighting the government — have signed a preliminary agreement that could end the conflict.

The agreement falls short of an actual cease-fire, but calls for both sides to work "to end all armed fighting."

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Malala On Nobel Prize: 'I Think I Have Won' With Nomination

During her trip to Washington this week, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai met President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia Obama in the Oval Office.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 1:00 pm

  • Malala Yousafzai, 16, and her father, Ziauddin

It seems odd to say that someone "lost" the Nobel Peace Prize. But that's what some folks were saying this week about Malala Yousafzai, who was favored to win the award because of the resilience she showed after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

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Afghanistan
12:07 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Taken By The Taliban: A Doctor's Story Of Captivity, Rescue

Dr. Dilip Joseph, standing, teaches medical personnel in Afghanistan.
Courtesy of Dilip Joseph

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 1:04 pm

The U.S. has been fighting the war in Afghanistan for more than 12 years, and few Americans have come to know the country in the way Dilip Joseph has. Joseph, who has been there 10 times in the past four and a half years, is a doctor who works with a nonprofit group and trains health care workers.

The job has taken him to clinics and community centers deep in the war zone. "The motto is to 'work yourself out of a job,' " he says. "Equip others, train others in areas where you've gotten training."

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Pop Culture
12:07 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The New And The Next: Six-Second Comedy And A Spin On News

Courtesy of Elise Andrew

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:27 am

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Music Interviews
12:07 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The Minds Behind 'Einstein On The Beach' Talk Shop

A scene from the revival of Einstein on the Beach.
Los Angeles Opera

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:15 am

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Movie Interviews
11:29 am
Sat October 12, 2013

'God Loves Uganda': How Religion Fueled An Anti-Gay Movement

Christopher Senyonjo says he was excommunicated from the Anglican church in the early 2000s, but continues his ministry and activism.
Crispin Buxton

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 4:40 pm

Four years ago, a bill was introduced in Uganda's parliament that would criminalize same-sex relations. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has not yet become law, but it has drawn international attention to the animosity against gays in the African nation.

In the documentary God Loves Uganda, director Roger Ross Williams traces the bill's origins to the American evangelical missions in Uganda.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Sat October 12, 2013

North Dakota's Delay In Reporting Oil Spill Raises Questions

Cleanup went on Friday at the site of an oil pipeline leak and spill north of Tioga, N.D. Officials took nearly two weeks to tell the public about the break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

The handling of an oil spill in North Dakota is raising questions, after a state agency waited to tell the public it had taken place. A wheat farmer was the first to recognize the spill had happened; it became public knowledge nearly two weeks later.

Here's how the AP describes the spill's discovery:

"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday."

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Author Interviews
10:34 am
Sat October 12, 2013

The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 9:53 am

Thomas Jefferson had a vast personal library reflecting his enormous curiosity about the world. Among his volumes: a Quran purchased in 1765 that informed his ideas about plurality and religious freedom in the founding of America.

In her book Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders, author Denise Spellberg draws parallels between the beliefs of the founding father and religious tolerance in the United States today.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Crime Ring That Used Kids In Robberies Gets Jail Time In France

Adults who ordered children to commit dozens of robberies have been sentenced to jail terms in France, after a court found members of three Croatian Roma families guilty of using the kids to carry out the crimes.

The court convicted 26 members of three families for the crimes, handing down sentences of between two and eight years in prison.

From the Agence France-Presse:

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Visit Obama; Boehner Says Talks Are Over

Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves after discussing the government shutdown with his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill Saturday. Boehner reportedly told his colleagues that talks with the White House had ended without a deal.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 1:02 pm

President Obama hosted the Senate's leading Democrats at the White House for more than an hour Saturday afternoon, in a session that came the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

No details were available about the Democrats' discussion, which is one of several lines of communication that are aimed at reaching consensus on a budget deal. Earlier Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House were over, after the president rejected the GOP's most recent plan.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Grand Canyon And Other National Parks Reopen, On States' Dime

Tourists stop on the roadside near Mount Rushmore, after their visit was canceled due to the government shutdown. South Dakota and other states have reached an agreement to fund operations to reopen the parks.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Thanks to agreements between the Department of the Interior and several states, a dozen popular national parks are open again, at least temporarily. The parks range from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon; the states are paying to keep them open for up to 10 days.

State officials say it's particularly important to have the parks open during the Columbus Day holiday weekend. National Park Service employees began opening some facilities Friday; others will reopen today or Monday.

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The Two-Way
4:46 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Kerry And Karzai Meet To Discuss U.S. Presence In Afghanistan

Ahead of an expected — and repeatedly delayed — news conference, an Afghan worker leaves the area where Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were expected to speak Saturday in Kabul.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:12 am

The U.S. desire to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan is the subject of talks today in Kabul, where Secretary of State John Kerry is in prolonged discussions with President Hamid Karzai. Most of the U.S. troops would continue training Afghan forces, while another contingent works against terrorist groups.

As for how many Americans would be posted to Afghanistan, NPR's Sean Carberry says a precise number hasn't emerged, but he adds that "through conversations and comments by military officials, the range is about 5,000 to 10,000."

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Cyclone Phailin Hits India With 120 MPH Winds; Thousands Flee

A man covers himself with a plastic sheet as a shield as he walks to a safer place near Gopalpur in eastern India Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people living along India's eastern coastline took shelter from the massive powerful cyclone Phailin.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:35 am

Cyclone Phailin has struck India's east coast in the Bay of Bengal, where more than 500,000 people have evacuated from vulnerable areas along the coast. Phailin reportedly packed sustained winds of more than 120 mph when the eye of the storm hit; strong winds will likely persist for hours to come.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET:

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Shots - Health News
3:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Health Insurance Exchanges Suffer Ills Of Geography

Alexandra Dixon is one of 350 "navigators" hired to help people sign up for health insurance in Maryland.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 4:05 am

These first two weeks have been rocky for the state health insurance exchanges. The online marketplaces opened across the country Oct. 1, with computer glitches and staffing shortages.

Even the states that have agreed to run their own exchanges are having a hard time. In states that have not embraced the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is struggling to fill in the gap.

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Asia
3:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

'This Chap Has Been A Colossus': Indian Cricket Star To Retire

Students hold a poster of Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar in March at school in Chennai, southern India.
AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:31 am

Sachin Tendulkar is not only perhaps the best batsman to ever play cricket, he is considered an icon. Thursday, he announced his plan to retire.

It's almost impossible to find an American sports analogy for how huge Tendulkar is in India, where interest in cricket tends toward obsessive, says Indian Parliament member Shashi Tharoor.

"He is certainly the greatest Indian to ever wield a cricket bat, and possibly one of the greatest in the history of the entire sport worldwide," Tharoor explains to Weekend Edition host Scott Simon.

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Arts & Life
3:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

A Traditional Wedding Brings The Polish Highlands To Chicago

Dressed in traditional Polish Highlander garb, guests pile into carriages that will bring them to the church for the official wedding ceremony.
Linda Paul for NPR

Last weekend, a quiet block on the northwest side of Chicago appeared to be taken over by villagers from the mountains of southern Poland. That's because a Polish Highlander wedding was getting underway. But even before the couple arrived, there was a lot of pomp, circumstance — and moving of cars.

Any time now the bridal party will be arriving and Andy Zieba — father of the bride — is ringing doorbells, asking neighbors if they can please move their cars.

"Excuse me, ma'am? You don't know who's the Honda belong to?" he asks.

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Politics
3:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Some In Congress Have Behaved Badly From The Start

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The shutdown of the U.S. government has sparked lots of finger-pointing and name calling in Congress. But our friend A.J. Jacobs says this is hardly the nastiest dispute in the history of our democracy. A.J., an editor-at-large at Esquire Magazine - until they come to their senses - joins us now from New York. A.J., thanks so much for being with us.

A.J. JACOBS: Thank you for having me.

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Politics
3:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

D.C. Tourists Shell Out Admission Fees Amid Shutdown

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The government shutdown is now entering its second week. That's left many lawmakers with little to do and many tourists in Washington, D.C. wandering wanly through the streets of the city, wondering how to spend their pre-planned vacations. NPR's Alan Yu checks in with some of them.

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Sports
3:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

'Fun' Teams Out Of Baseball Playoffs

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's time now for sports and we have to begin with the sad and tragic story. The two-year-old son of Adrian Peterson, the great running back of the Minnesota Vikings died this week apparently of abuse and allegedly by a boyfriend of the little boy's mother. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi Scott.

SIMON: Hard to know what to say.

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The Salt
1:07 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Women, The 'First Brewers,' Lean Into Craft Beer-Making

Meg Gill is the president and co-founder of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Her brewery is favored to win awards at the Great American Beer Festival.
Melissa Kuypers NPR

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 5:09 am

Thousands of beer aficionados are in Denver this weekend for the Great American Beer Festival. Some 600 breweries from around the country are represented at the marquee event for the craft-brewing industry.

And while this annual competition has long been male-dominated, that's starting to change.

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StoryCorps
1:02 am
Sat October 12, 2013

With Veteran's Life In Peril, His Parents Take Up The Fight

The Schei family in 2010 (from left): Anneka, Gordon, Erik, Deven and Christine.
Courtesy of the Schei family

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 7:28 am

In October 2005, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Erik Schei was shot in the head during his second tour in Iraq. The bullet shattered the top half of his skull.

Christine and Gordon Schei got the phone call about their son's injury at around 4 a.m. Christine Schei says her husband was "white as a sheet" and shaking after answering.

A sniper had struck their son; a bullet "entered above his right ear and exited above his left," Gordon Schei says.

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It's All Politics
1:01 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Would The U.S. Be Better Off With A Parliament?

A view of the German Bundestag, or federal Parliament, in Berlin.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:31 am

There are many reasons for the gridlock in Washington. Some are recent developments, as the U.S. becomes more politically polarized. Others are structural, built into the American political system.

Regardless, the extreme paralysis that has recently become the norm in D.C. almost never happens in Western European democracies.

"You're asking: Do other democracies have this problem? And the answer is: Not many," says Jane Mansbridge, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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The Salt
10:54 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Feminist Hulk Smash Shutdown, Rescue Women On Food Aid!

Courtesy Jessica Lawson

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 4:09 pm

The government shutdown is frustrating enough for furloughed workers, but for families dependent on federal food assistance, it's infuriating.

Enter the Feminist Hulk.

The Twitter monster is smashing the shutdown's threats to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food and Nutrition program, which provides food aid to pregnant women and mothers of young children deemed to be at risk of malnutrition. And she's urging her nearly 74,000 followers to help.

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Parallels
10:54 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

What Did The Arab Spring Cost? One Estimate Says $800 Billion

Anti-government demonstrators crowd Cairo's Tahrir Square in February 2011. A report from HSBC says Egypt and other Arab Spring countries will lose a total of $800 billion by the end of next year because of the unrest.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:41 am

The Arab Spring unleashed massive, region-wide political turmoil, unseated longtime strongmen and it's still playing out. But what did it all cost?

A lot, according to a new report from the bank HSBC:

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Shots - Health News
10:53 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

More Evidence Against Vitamin D To Build Bones In Middle Age

If only it was as simple as popping a supplement and being set for life. But alas, no.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:51 am

It's not easy being a wonder vitamin these days. Just when it looks like you're the solution to every health problem, some doctors come along and burst your bubble. Now it's happening to vitamin D.

The supplement has been widely promoted to prevent osteoporosis and fight a host of other ills. But recent studies haven't found much benefit, for bones or for general health.

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Music Interviews
9:03 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Electronic Music's Godfather Isn't Done Innovating

Morton Subotnick performs at New York's La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in 2004. The pioneering electronic composer recently created a mobile app for children.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 3:05 am

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Diary: More Talk But No Deal

Republican senators after their meeting with President Obama, which was described by one as inconclusive.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:46 pm

As the partial government shutdown drew to the end of its 11th day, Friday found Democrats and Republicans continuing to talk. But there was no breakthrough to reopen the government and keep the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations.

Obama Rejects House GOP Proposal

The central hang-up remained House Republicans' insistence that Democrats agree to conditions before Republicans agree to hike the debt limit and reopen the government.

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