NPR News

Here's good news for geezers — or for merely middle-aged folks — who'd like to stay fit and independent far into their later years.

You don't have to lift heavy weights to build muscle strength. Lifting lighter weights can be just as effective if you do it right, and you're much less likely to hurt yourself, researchers say.

An Associated Press investigation has concluded that the U.S. military and its allies in Afghanistan have been "under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops."

According to the wire service:

In a bid to encourage its members to become organ donors, Facebook just announced that "starting today, you can add that you're an organ donor to your timeline, and share your story about when, where or why you decided to become a donor."

Also, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg write, "if you're not already registered with your state or national registry and want to be, you'll find a link to the official donor registry there as well."

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to lead a major international company, a committee of U.K. parliament members concludes today in a scathing report about the News Corp. chief and the actions of his British tabloids, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk.

The report also accuses Murdoch's companies of "misleading a parliamentary committee," Philip says, and exhibiting "willful blindness" regarding their illegal activities.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is fighting desperately to hold on to his job with five days to go until the French presidential runoff against socialist rival Francois Hollande.

Both candidates have been trying to appeal to supporters of France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who came in third place in the first round of balloting held last month. Sarkozy, from the center-right, finished in second place, with Socialist candidate Francois Hollande taking first with nearly 29 percent of the vote.

The real estate market has turned around in some parts of the U.S., but many buyers aren't seeing true bargains anymore. Investors are driving up prices, and inventory is low, especially for homes priced under $250,000. That's not great news for anyone hoping to buy an affordable house to live in.

Arizona is home to one of the nation's extraordinary turnarounds. The Phoenix-area median home price rose 20 percent over the past year — 6 percent in March alone. And Tucson was recently named the nation's best market for investors. But the easy money has already been made.

A year ago Tuesday, Navy SEALs attacked Osama bin Laden's secret compound in Pakistan and may have fundamentally changed al-Qaida as we know it.

The Obama administration's top counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, spoke Monday in Washington, D.C., and seemed on the precipice of talking about the terrorist group in the past tense.

Electropac, a firm that makes printed circuit boards in New Hampshire, once had 500 paid employees. Today, it has 34. But thanks to a state program for the unemployed, it also now offers unpaid internships.

Across the country, unpaid internships are on the rise for older adults looking to change careers or rebound from layoffs. In New Hampshire, a state-run program encourages the unemployed to take six-week internships at companies with the hope of getting a permanent job.

Walk through any nursing home, and your first thought might be: "I need to take care of Mom myself."

Few people want to turn over a loved one to institutional care. No matter how good the nursing home, it may seem cold and impersonal — and very expensive. But making the choice to provide care yourself is fraught with financial risks and personal sacrifices.

Those who become full-time caregivers often look back and wish they had taken the time to better understand the financial position they would be getting themselves into.

A collection of activists — from labor unions to immigrant rights groups — are planning protests across the country tomorrow to mark May Day.

Of course, the highest profile organization is Occupy Wall Street, which has called for a "general strike" and says events are planned in 135 U.S. cities.

Here's how the movement describes its plans on its website:

A video released Monday by President Obama's re-election campaign looks a whole lot like an abridged version of something you might expect to see in a prime-time slot at the Democratic National Convention.

More Than 100 Dead In India After Ferry Capsizes

Apr 30, 2012

More than 100 people are dead after an overcrowded river ferry sank in India today. The AFP reports the ferry sank after being split into two by a storm.

The AFP adds that about 100 others were missing:

"As rescuers struggled in heavy rain to find survivors weeping relatives lined the shores of the fast-flowing Brahmaputra river in Assam state, desperate for news of family members on board the vessel.

This story contains offensive language.

The ugliness of racism is at the heart of a new museum in Michigan. The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Big Rapids features thousands of troubling artifacts and sometimes horrifying images. There are slave whips and chains; signs that once dictated where African-Americans could sit, walk or get a drink of water; and teddy bears turned into messengers of hate.

Should women in their 40s routinely get mammograms to detect breast cancer?

Two studies released Monday aim to help resolve that question, which is one of the most intense debates in women's health. The studies identify which women in their 40s are most likely to benefit from routine mammograms.

For years, the mantra was that regular mammograms save lives. So many people were stunned in 2009 when an influential panel of experts questioned that assumption.

As the U.S. and China seek a solution to the case involving a prominent Chinese activist, it's worth remembering this isn't the first time the two countries have waged this kind of negotiation.

Chen Guangcheng, an activist who's been blind since he was a small boy, escaped house arrest in an eastern Chinese village and was taken to Beijing, where he's believed to be under U.S. protection.

A similar, high-profile case took place in 1989, when astrophysicist Fang Lizhi and his wife took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

America's big technology companies are negotiating the details of a new privacy system called "Do Not Track," to let people shield their personal data on websites. There's no deal yet, but people inside the talks say the main reason American companies are even considering "Do Not Track" is the pressure they're feeling from Europe.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sets off Monday night on a trip that was supposed to be a routine checkup on U.S.-China relations.

Instead, she is flying into a firestorm after a high-profile dissident's daring escape from house arrest. The blind legal activist, Chen Guangcheng, is now believed to be under U.S. protection — and diplomats are scrambling to try to resolve the issue quickly.

On her first visit to China as secretary of state in 2009, Clinton emphasized other issues besides human rights.

In Israel, A Rift On How To Deal With Iran

Apr 30, 2012

As Israel wages an intense daily debate about Iran and its nuclear program, a rift between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel's former intelligence chiefs has become public.

The recently retired head of internal security, Yuval Diskin, has bashed Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Ehud Barak, calling them unfit to lead the country.

Robots Win Battle For Attention At Science Fair

Apr 30, 2012

Kids love robots.

A family visit to the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington this weekend drove that point home again and again.

This is the first in a series of stories on losing faith.

Teresa MacBain has a secret, one she's terrified to reveal.

"I'm currently an active pastor and I'm also an atheist," she says. "I live a double life. I feel pretty good on Monday, but by Thursday — when Sunday's right around the corner — I start having stomachaches, headaches, just knowing that I got to stand up and say things that I no longer believe in and portray myself in a way that's totally false."

Nearly two decades after the Bosnian War ended, thousands of Bosnian women who were victims of sexual violence are still seeking justice.

Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, commemorated the 20th anniversary of the start of the war this month with a young people's choir performing John Lennon's song "Give Peace a Chance." Row after row of empty red chairs marked the more than 11,500 people who died during the siege of the capital.

When the Obama administration proposed new restrictions on teens working on farms last year, labor leaders and child welfare advocates cheered.

Throughout the Republican primary campaign, opponents of Mitt Romney have handed President Obama lots of potential general-election fodder in their attacks on the front-runner.

And now that Romney is the presumptive GOP nominee, he's dipping back four years to the 2008 Democratic primary battle for some ammunition of his own.

The legal defense team for George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, has created a website, Facebook page and Twitter account to protest his interests.

Cellphones were once simple tools for making calls on the go. But the phones have quickly become all-purpose devices, used to send email, read articles, find restaurants — and tell time.

And as more people carry that tool in their pocket or purse, fewer are relying on wristwatches to keep on schedule.

Monica Espitia is one of them. "Since I've had a cellphone, I pretty much stopped wearing watches," she says. "Until I went on vacation and I didn't know what time it was."

Although he did not directly address the whereabouts of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, President Obama said when the United States talks to China, it always brings up "the issue of human rights."

"We think China will be stronger if it opens up and liberalizes its own system," the president said.

Former President Jimmy Carter was no doubt minding his own business, which these days usually means being some place in the world doing good works, when his name came up in the 2012 presidential campaign, and not in a good way.

Talking to reporters Monday in New Hampshire, the unofficial GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, uttered Carter's name in defending himself against Democratic attempts to raise doubts about whether Romney, like President Obama, would have ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

A horrible car accident Sunday in the Bronx, which killed seven people from one family, happened on a "cursed" section of the Bronx River Parkway where six people died in a terrible 2006 accident, New York's Daily News reports.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez may be once again headed to Cuba for cancer treatment.

Natural gas pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners is buying Sunoco in a deal valued at about $5.3 billion.

The acquisition would give Energy Transfer the capability to transport crude and other liquid hydrocarbons that are being produced in greater quantities thanks to the boom in shale drilling. Sunoco's pipelines crisscross the country, connecting the Great Lakes and Northeast to America's refining center along the Gulf Coast.

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