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The Two-Way
3:13 am
Wed November 20, 2013

White Supremacist Murderer Who Shot Larry Flynt Is Executed

Joseph Paul Franklin in a photo taken in 2012 by the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:47 am

Joseph Paul Franklin, the white supremacist who was convicted of eight murders, suspected in as many as 20 others and who shot Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in 1978, was put to death Wednesday in Missouri.

St. Louis Public Radio followed the news overnight as Franklin ran out of legal challenges.

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The Two-Way
2:37 am
Wed November 20, 2013

'I Relied Upon My Faith,' George W. Bush Tells Jay Leno

Former President George W. Bush gave Tonight Show host Jay Leno a painting Tuesday night. Since leaving the White House, Bush has taken up painting.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno's YouTube channel

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:37 am

Making a relatively rare appearance on national TV, former President George W. Bush told Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Tuesday's show that "I relied upon my faith, my family helped a lot and I had a good team around me" while in the White House.

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Pop Culture
2:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Monty Python To Reunite For Stage Show

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The rumors are true. Terry Jones confirmed to the BBC that Monty Python will reunite for a stage show. It's been more than three decades since the last proper Python project. The group is beloved on both sides of the Atlantic for its surreal sense of humor, with a touch of slapstick.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL")

GRAHAM CHAPMAN: (as King Arthur) Now, stand aside, worthy adversary.

JOHN CLEESE: (as the Black Knight) 'Tis but a scratch.

Animals
2:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

National Zoo Creates 'Name The Panda' Contest

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. We've brought our staff into the studio to respond to this sappy story about the baby panda at the National Zoo. The zoo in Washington is holding an online contest to name the panda. The name will be bestowed December 1st when the cub is 100 days old. Meanwhile, we can report the kid went for a walk. Colleagues were told she crawled out of the den all by herself, though she then got tired and went to sleep in the doorway.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Aw.

The Two-Way
2:01 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Life Is Slowly Returning To Shattered Philippine City

Some people marched in the rain Tuesday in the Philippine city of Tacloban, which was crushed by Typhoon Haiyan.
David Guttenfelder AP
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn, in the Philippines, talks with Steve Inskeep

There was almost nothing left standing or working in the Philippines city of Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan tore through on Nov. 8.

No electricity. No clean water. No undamaged buildings.

As one official told NPR's Anthony Kuhn, "we have citizens, but no city."

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Around the Nation
11:44 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Early Warnings Saved Lives In Weekend Storms

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:34 am

The death toll from Sunday's tornado outbreak across the Midwest stands at eight. Many of those who witnessed the devastation say they're shocked that number isn't higher. Early warnings delivered by text message may have helped limit the casualties.

Politics
11:44 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Obama Concedes Botched Insurance Website Rollout Cost Time

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:34 am

The Obama administration is asking for people who've been turned off by the government's problem-plagued insurance website to come back. Officials say the website is working better now, though it's still far from fixed.

Author Interviews
11:44 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Gov. Scott Walker Recounts First-Term Battles In New Book

Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a rally for South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley on Aug. 26 in Greenville, S.C.
Richard Shiro AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 11:54 am

In his new book released this week, Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reflects on the political firestorm he survived at home in 2012 — and diagnoses what went wrong for the national party.

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All Tech Considered
10:23 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Profit, Not Just Principle, Has Tech Firms Concerned With NSA

Google and five other companies sent a letter last month to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee supporting legislation to reform NSA surveillance programs.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 7:51 am

Along with the privacy advocates and the national security establishment, there is another set of players with strong views on NSA surveillance programs: U.S. tech companies.

Google and five other companies weighed in on the surveillance debate last month, sending a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supporting legislation to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs.

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Around the Nation
10:18 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

The Art Of Letter-Writing Isn't Lost On These Scribblers

Do you write letters anymore? A few determined people are doing their best to keep them arriving in U.S. mailboxes.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 6:00 am

When was the last time you wrote a letter?

If the answer is "not recently," then you can count yourself among the millions of Americans who just don't write letters anymore. The post office says the average American home receives only one personal letter about every two months.

But there are a few determined people who are doing their best to wreck that average.

"It's becoming a lost art," says Deb Bruzewski.

Every day she curls up on her plaid couch in her home in Auburn, Mich., to write a few of her 60 letters for the week.

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Africa
10:16 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

In Nigeria's Bloody Fight, Who's Gaining The Upper Hand?

Men walk amid rubble after Boko Haram militants raided the town of Benisheik in northeast Nigeria, on Sept. 19. The Islamist group has been waging an insurgency in northern and central Nigeria for the past four years and was recently placed on the U.S. list of terrorist groups.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:51 am

For four years, the Islamist militants of Boko Haram have been waging a deadly campaign in northern and central Nigeria, killing thousands of people. In response, the Nigerian military is cracking down on the group, and the United States last week designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

In Basketball, It's Always About What's Next

This year, there are three college players being called "the next LeBron James." Meanwhile, many are speculating about where the first LeBron James, now playing for the Miami Heat, will be next season.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 7:51 am

College basketball seems to get started sooner every year, like puberty in American children. Why does everything have to begin so early now, before you have time to get ready for it?

Things move so fast in college basketball that there are three players this year who are being called "the next LeBron James. " In the NBA, most of the talk is already about where the superstars will be next season.

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The Two-Way
9:47 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

First Satellite Developed By High Schoolers Sent Into Space

NASA's PhoneSat, a 4-by-4-inch CubeSat satellite, will use an Android smartphone as its motherboard. It was among the 29 satellites launched Tuesday from Wallops Island, Va. Another miniature satellite, developed by high school students, also was on board.
Dominic Hart AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 7:51 am

The first satellite ever developed by high school students to make it to space is believed to be orbiting Earth after getting a ride aboard a U.S. military rocket Tuesday night from Wallops Island, Va.

Fittingly, perhaps, you can send it a text message.

The satellite, using a voice synthesizer, is built to transform that text into an audio message that can be heard over certain radio frequencies around the globe, and in different languages.

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Parallels
2:30 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Londoners Urged To Cycle, But Commute Can Be Treacherous

Cyclists negotiate rush hour traffic in central London on Nov. 15. Fourteen London cyclists have died so far this year, all in accidents involving heavy goods vehicles.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

London's colorful mayor, Boris Johnson, has made it a priority to get more of his constituents on two wheels. But a series of deaths on the city's roads have shaken cyclists and noncyclists alike.

The number of Londoners cycling to work has more than doubled in the past decade. On some roads, cyclists now make up more than half the rush hour traffic.

And for years, Johnson has been among them. Many think the London mayor has his eye on Prime Minister David Cameron's job.

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The Salt
12:09 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

What's Trending In Food Magazines? Thanksgiving Classics

Three food magazines featured a pumpkin pie finished with a bruleed top for Thanksgiving this year, according to The Bitten Word.
Courtesy of TheBittenWord.com

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:53 pm

For many of us, Thanksgiving is just not the same without turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. In other words, tradition tends to trump trendy.

Yet food magazines always encourage going beyond the usual suspects. And who among us has time to try them out in advance of Thanksgiving?

Zach Patton and Clay Dunn, that's who. They're the married couple behind the food blog The Bitten Word.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Robert Conley, First Host Of 'All Things Considered,' Dies

Robert Conley celebrated the 40th anniversary of NPR's All Things Considered in the network's Studio 2A.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:01 pm

Robert Conley, the first host of NPR's All Things Considered, died over the weekend.

It was Conley who on May 3, 1971, set the tone for NPR's flagship newsmagazine. As one of the show's current hosts Robert Siegel explains, Conley established that the program would be different.

To begin that first broadcast, for example, Conley launched into an unscripted, five-minute riff that introduced a 23-minute piece covering a massive anti-war protest in Washington.

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Politics
12:09 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Duncan Apologizes For 'Clumsy' Common Core Remarks

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:54 pm

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is in some hot water over remarks he made last week suggesting that opposition to Common Core of Standards was coming from "white suburban moms." He has since pulled back from those remarks.

Around the Nation
12:09 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Iconic Sheep Return To Tucson Mountains, But Is It For Good?

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:54 pm

The last desert bighorn sheep that roamed the mountains above Tucson, Ariz., died in the 1990s, the victim of human encroachment, mountain lions, and fire suppression. Now, the iconic Southwest animal — picture the Dodge Ram's grille — is back. A herd of 31 was released Monday morning after being transplanted over the weekend from the Yuma area in the far west of the state. Why would the sheep survive this time?

Shots - Health News
12:06 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Why College Campuses Get Hit By Meningitis Outbreaks

Six students and a visitor have fallen ill with meningitis at Princeton University in New Jersey, shown here in August 2013. All have recovered or are recovering, officials said.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

For the past nine months, Princeton University in New Jersey has been trying to halt an outbreak of bacterial meningitis in its students without success. So it's going to offer students a vaccine that's not yet approved for broader use in the US.

Since bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the brain and spinal cord that can cause brain damage and death, having it on campus is no small matter.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Beyond The Caricature: 5 Things To Know About Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his office after councilors passed motions Monday to limit his powers.
Chris Young The Canadian Press

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 11:50 am

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was thrust into the international spotlight after he admitted to smoking crack. Since then, a caricature of the politician has emerged: a bumbling, error-prone addict, whose everyman persona has helped him maintain his popularity in Canada's most populous city.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $13 Billion In Record Settlement

In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:38 pm

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.

The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.

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Parallels
8:57 am
Tue November 19, 2013

How Will Afghan Forces Fare As NATO Troops Draw Down?

An Afghan soldier stands guard in the western city of Herat in October. U.S. Maj. Gen. James McConville, who commands coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, says Afghan forces did hold their ground this year, but "they're not winning by enough that the enemy is willing to stop fighting yet."
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:54 pm

Shiite Muslims gathered in Kabul last week to celebrate Ashura, one of the holiest days on their religious calendar. Hundreds of shirtless men chanted and flogged themselves with chains tipped with knife-like shards of metal.

In the past, these public Shiite commemorations have become targets of the Taliban and other Islamist extremists. In 2011, a suicide bomber killed 56 Shiites marking Ashura. But this year, security was particularly tight.

Shopkeeper Noor Aga said the celebration was magnificent, and he felt safe.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Safety Agency Opens Probe Into Tesla Fires

Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO Elon Musk (in driver's seat) and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen (in passenger seat) drive the new Tesla Model S all-electric sedan in Hawthorne, California on March 26, 2009.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has opened an investigation into battery fires in two Tesla Motors Model S sedans.

The fires — three reports in six weeks — have sparked concern about the safety of the electric cars. The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

King Of Thrones: America's Best Restroom Is In Minneapolis

In the Game of Thrones, this is the winner: the fanciful restroom of the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.
Varsity Theater

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 11:38 am

It pays to be unique when you're going for the title of best restroom in the land. Design details are crucial, and so is the choice of materials. It also doesn't hurt if you serve drinks in a commodious chamber. Those are the strengths of the Varsity Theater, a concert hall in Minneapolis that has won America's Best Restroom Contest for 2013.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan's Exact Death Toll May Never Be Known

In Tacloban, the Philippines, graffiti on the side of a grounded ship sends a message out to the world.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:30 am

The hard work of getting aid to survivors and accounting for the dead continues in the central and southern Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.

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It's All Politics
8:14 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Senate Finance Chairman Floats International Tax Code Overhaul

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., arrives for a hearing with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Capitol Hill last month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:20 pm

The U.S. tax code is messy, complicated and full of loopholes. And if you're searching for the most incomprehensible, technically dense part of that code, international tax law would be a good place to start.

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Parallels
7:55 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Landlines, It Turns Out, Aren't Vanishing Everywhere

A Cambodian gambler talks on 18 cellphones at once at a boxing match in Phnom Penh in 2010. There are nearly 132 cellphones for every 100 Cambodians, but the country has also seen a surge in the number of landlines.
Tang Chhin Sothy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:03 am

On All Things Considered, NPR's Martin Kaste reported Monday on U.S. landline infrastructure. One fact stood out: 96 percent of homes had landlines in 1998, and that number is down to 71 percent today.

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The Salt
7:48 am
Tue November 19, 2013

How To Prepare For Climate Disasters? Artist Says Dehydrate Food

Fan raises egg-laying hens in the yard behind his studio on Staten Island.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:59 pm

Emergency aid workers are rushing this week to get food aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines — just the latest reminder of how vulnerable the food supply can be when disaster hits.

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It's All Politics
7:32 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Crossroads GPS Reports A Single Donation Of $22.5 Million In 2012

An image from a "fiscal cliff" ad released by Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies in 2012.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 6:41 am

The "G" in Crossroads GPS stands for "grassroots," but the politically oriented nonprofit received more than 80 percent of its money last year in donations of $1 million or more — including a single gift of $22.5 million.

An NPR review of its latest filing with the IRS shows that 99.8 percent of its $179 million came from donations of $5,000 and above. And because the group operates as a 501(c)(4) "social welfare" organization, the identities of all its donors remain a secret from the public.

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Parenting
7:17 am
Tue November 19, 2013

China Eases One Child Policy, What's Next?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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