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Research News
11:22 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Worms' Bright Blue Death Could Shed Light On Human Aging

A nematode worm glows as it nears death in this screenshot from a YouTube video showing the work of researchers in London.
Wellcome Trust YouTube

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 2:50 pm

Last year, researchers at University College London's Institute of Healthy Ageing were looking through their microscopes when they saw something amazing.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Mugabe Declared Winner In Zimbabwe's Presidential Poll

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. He's shown here at a July 30 news conference.
Tsvanigirayi Mukwazhi AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 10:06 am

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. But the opposition says the vote was rigged.

Mugabe won by 61 percent, with his main challenger, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, trailing far behind in the official results from the July 31 vote. Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union, also managed a comfortable win in parliamentary elections.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Interpol Issues Alert Following Al-Qaida-Linked Prison Breaks

Libyans gather near a burned-out vehicle after an attack outside the courthouse in Benghazi on July 28, the day after more than 1,000 inmates escaped during a prison riot.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 10:32 am

A series of high-profile prison breaks linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan has prompted Interpol to issue a global security alert asking member countries to "swiftly process any information linked to these events."

The Lyon, France-based international police agency noted that because al-Qaida was suspected to be involved in the jailbreaks, it was urgent to determine whether the organization was directly linked and to capture the escapees.

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Code Switch
8:17 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Jobless Rate Falls For Blacks, But It's Not Good News Yet

Employment Specialist Louis Holliday, right, helps an applicant file for unemployment at a Georgia Department of Labor career center last month in Atlanta. The jobless rate for African-Americans fell from 13.7 to 12.6 percent in July, but that's still twice the rate for whites.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 8:46 am

The labor market continues its recovery; the economy added 162,000 jobs in July and pushed the unemployment rate to a 4.5-year low. After a string of bad news, things seem to be to turning around for African-American workers, too.

"The operative word is growth," says Bill Rodgers, an economist at Rutgers University.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Pentagon Papers Leaker Daniel Ellsberg Praises Snowden, Manning

Daniel Ellsberg was a military analyst in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of U.S. government decision-making in Vietnam.
Paul J. RIchards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:49 am

Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who in 1971 leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers detailing the history of U.S. policy in Vietnam, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday that unlike Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, he "did it the wrong way" by trying first to go through proper channels — a delay that he says cost thousands of lives.

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Code Switch
4:54 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Obama Warms To Speaking Personally About Race

President Obama speaks about the George Zimmerman acquittal nearly a week after the ruling.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 8:46 am

On race, Barack Obama often says he is not president of black America, but of the United States of America. Though he has not avoided the subject during his time in office, he tends not to seek out opportunities to discuss racial issues.

"He wanted to address them in a time and a way that accomplished specific objectives," says Joshua Dubois, who ran the White House's faith-based initiatives during Obama's first term.

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The Two-Way
3:03 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Suicide Bombers Attack Indian Consulate In Afghanistan

Security officials investigate the scene of an attack near the Indian consulate in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Saturday.
Babrak Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 10:26 am

A botched attack on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad has left nine civilians dead in addition to the three suicide bombers, security officials say.

NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul that the Taliban has disclaimed responsibility for the bombing in which two-dozen people were also wounded.

Sean says the explosion occurred outside the consulate but that most of the victims were at a neighboring mosque. Two other attackers died in a gun battle with security forces.

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Politics
2:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

A New Class Of Radio Rolls Into The City

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 9:27 am

In a musty, old row house in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Jim Bear is about to begin his radio show.

"Good afternoon, everybody," he says into the microphone. "You're listening to G-town Radio at GtownRadio.com. We are the sound from Germantown."

Right now G-town is just an Internet radio station. But if the folks at G-town Radio are successful, they'll soon be broadcasting their signal over low-power FM, a new class of non-commercial FM radio.

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The Salt
2:33 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Bringing Home The Woolly Bacon From Hungary

A Mangalitsa pig in 2008.
Li'l Wolf/Flickr

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:30 am

On a cold February evening in Budapest a few years ago, I was invited to go to a small festival on the edge of the city's main park. There, I was told, I would eat pig.

This was not unusual: In Hungary, the word for barbecue, szalonnasütés, means bacon cooking, whereby a piece of bacon is held over an open fire as the fat drips onto an awaiting slice of bread.

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NPR Story
2:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Drugs And The Future Of Baseball

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 8:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
2:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Wildlife Sound Archivist Remembered

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 8:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Twenty years ago today, Ted Parker, one of the world's great ornithologists and sound recordists died in a plane crash in Equator. He was only 40. Parker contributed nearly 11,000 wildlife recordings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay library.

He could identify some 4,000 different bird species by sound alone. In this audio montage, the lab's director, John Fitzpatrick offers a remembrance.

JOHN FITZPATRICK: I've rarely met anybody as passionate about his love of nature and of birds than Ted Parker.

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Around the Nation
1:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Cow Town Opts For Funk Over Funky Smell

As part of its rebranding effort, Greeley has adopted the slogan "Greeley Unexpected," appearing on a billboard on Highway 34 in Weld County, Colo.
Nathan Heffel for NPR

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 8:46 am

Greeley, Colo., has an image problem. Actually, it's more of an odor problem.

A meatpacking plant is on the northeast side of town, and when the wind blows just right, you can't miss the smell — a cross between a slaughterhouse, a cow farm with manure and other unidentified odors.

In fact, the city's website says back in the 1960s, folks joked that that odor was merely "the smell of money." One of the town's main industries was, and is, cattle.

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Politics
1:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Durbin, Harkin Take On Immigration Critic In His Own District

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) listens as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks at a forum on immigration in Ames, Iowa, on Friday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 8:46 am

Two top Senate Democrats took the fight for an immigration bill to the home district of one of the issue's toughest critics, Republican Rep. Steve King, on Friday.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) went to Ames, Iowa, to make hay out of King's remarks about the "Dreamers," those young people brought here as children by their undocumented parents.

"There have been some characterizations of these young students that aren't fair at all," Durbin said at a rally on Friday.

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Food
12:59 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Pickling Up Your Next Summer Picnic

Mike Odette, chef and co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant, finds beets and turnips that will make tasty refrigerator pickles at the Columbia, Mo., farmers market.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:55 pm

Mike Odette, chef and co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant in Columbia, Mo., is trolling the local farmer's market. He usually hunts for ingredients for his next menu, but today he's searching for veggies to take on a picnic.

A slaw using creamy mayonnaise might spoil in the summer heat. So Odette favors a simple summer vinaigrette that's equal parts cider vinegar and sugar. He recommends making it the night before.

"It benefits from sitting in the refrigerator overnight," he says, "so the flavors can develop, and you could even dress your slaw on your picnic."

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Parallels
11:44 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Bhutan's New Prime Minister Says Happiness Isn't Everything

Tshering Tobgay receives appointment as prime minister in the Bhutanese capital, Thimpu, last week.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 3:28 am

Sad but true, Bhutan's Gross National Happiness index is not immune to politics.

Much has been made in recent years of the measure preferred by the tiny Buddhist kingdom over such cold and utilitarian Western-style metrics as gross domestic product.

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Ecstatic Voices
9:03 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Songs Of Africa: Beautiful Music With A Violent History

Fred Onovwerosuoke founded the St. Louis African Chorus 20 years ago.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:00 am

For the next year, NPR will take a musical journey across America, which is one of the most religiously diverse countries on earth. We want to discover and celebrate the many ways in which people make spiritual music — individually and collectively, inside and outside houses of worship.

The founder of the choral group Sounds of Africa is Fred Onovwerosuoke. He was born in Ghana and brought up in Nigeria, and his choir in the heart of the U.S. — St. Louis, Mo., to be exact — has recorded his arrangements of African sacred music by a composer named Ikoli Harcourt Whyte.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Potential Whitey Bulger Witness Was Poisoned

Stephen Rakes as he arrived at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston on June 12 for the first day of the "Whitey" Bulger's trial.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Police in Massachusetts arrested a man they say poisoned Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who was a potential witness in the case against notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

The important detail: The Boston Globe reports Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said they believe William Camuti, 69, "acted alone" and they did not believe the homicide was connected to the Bulger case.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Jury Rejects Death Penalty For Somali Pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011.
Joe Grande AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:22 pm

A Virginia jury has recommended life in prison for three Somali pirates convicted of murdering four Americans seized from a sailing yacht off the coast of Africa in 2011.

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Congressional Recess Isn't A Cease-Fire; It's A Chance To Reload

Bill O'Leary The Washington Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:32 pm

As Congress heads off for its 2013 summer recess, who could blame a citizen for thinking that maybe the slogan above the House dais should be changed from "In God We Trust" to "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here."

Experts in government like Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have repeatedly warned that compromise, the lubricant that makes the U.S. system work, has been a missing ingredient in recent Congresses, especially in the House. And there were no signs Friday that anything will be different when Congress returns in September from its five-week break.

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Shots - Health News
12:39 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Congress May Be Getting Its Own Obamacare Glitch Fixed

If you worked here, you'd be worried about losing your employer-funded health insurance contributions.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:16 pm

As its last official action before leaving for a five-week summer break, the House today voted — for the 40th time — to block implementation of the federal health law.

But it was something that happened late Thursday night affecting members of Congress and their staffers' own health insurance that attracted more attention around the Capitol.

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It's All Politics
12:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Obama Nominee For IRS Chief Has History With Tough Tasks

President Obama has nominated John Koskinen to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:26 pm

The Internal Revenue Service, under attack by congressional Republicans, has been operating without a permanent commissioner. President Obama nominated John Koskinen on Thursday for what might be seen as a thankless job.

The president called his nominee "an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform." But Koskinen will have his work cut out for him, starting with his Senate confirmation hearing.

History With Struggling Agencies

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Supreme Court Denies California Delay On Prisoner Release

A California Department of Corrections officer looks on as inmates at Chino State Prison exercise in the yard in 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant California an extension on an order issued by the justices more than two years ago for the state to release some 10,000 inmates from its overcrowded prisons.

The high court's original May 2011 ruling held that congested conditions in the California's 33 prisons amounted to cruel and unusual punishment as defined by the Eighth Amendment. The court gave the state two years to comply with an order to free the prisoners and alleviate the overcrowding.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
11:28 am
Fri August 2, 2013

In Egypt, 'Third Square' Protesters Seek Middle Road

Activists from a group called "Third Square," which promotes a middle way in the rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the army's overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, shout slogans as they gather to oppose both parties at Sphinx Square in Giza on July 30.
Asmaa Waguih Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:05 pm

Tensions are running high in Egypt, as supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi continue their protests. But they aren't the only ones.

Barely two weeks after Morsi was toppled in early July, a new protest movement emerged on the scene in Cairo.

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U.S.
11:13 am
Fri August 2, 2013

The Old Gig: Catching Frogs On Warm Summer Nights

Tommy Peebles shines a light on the pond. With the help of Bick Boyte, the two Tennesseans catch frogs with homemade "gigs" for a frog leg fry they hold every year.
Stephen Jerkins for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:05 pm

Bick Boyte plops a 1-pound bullfrog in his aluminum canoe, still half alive. He resumes his kneeling position, perched upfront, on the hunt for a big bellower. Boyte hears the "wom, wom, wom" and knows frogs are within reach.

Boyte and Tommy Peebles have been "gigging" Tennessee ponds together since their daddies first taught them. Boyte now owns a truck dealership. Peebles is a real estate lawyer. But in the warm moonlight, they revert to their boyhoods. Peebles does the paddling.

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NPR Story
11:13 am
Fri August 2, 2013

N.C. Abortion Law Sparks Protest; Governor Responds With Cookies

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 12:19 pm

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory sent out a plate of cookies to abortion law protesters who had gathered outside the governor's mansion on Tuesday. Audie Cornish speaks with Mary C. Curtis, who writes for the Washington Posts' blog She the People, about the incident and North Carolina politics.

Code Switch
10:43 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Research Says: Actually, Where You Go To College Matters

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:08 pm

There are lots of questions for high school grads: Should you go for an associate degree or a bachelor's? A community college or a four-year university? Does it really matter where you go? If we're comparing top-tier schools with open-access ones, then yes. It matters a whole lot, and it has long-lasting effects.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Fri August 2, 2013

House Votes To Quash Obamacare, For The 40th Time

The chamber of the House of Representatives.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted Friday to suppress President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment for the 40th time since the law was passed in 2010.

The vote to gut the Affordable Care Act — or Obamacare — was a near-party-line 232-185 vote. And like the previous 39 times, this is a symbolic vote, because the Democratic-controlled Senate will not take up the measure.

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Shots - Health News
10:00 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Could Hotter Temperatures From Climate Change Boost Violence?

A police officer guards Cambodia's famed temple of Angkor Wat. The powerful city-state collapsed in 1431 after suffering through two decades of droughts.
Heng Sinith AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:48 am

Rates of homicide and other violent crimes often spike in cities during heat waves. People get cranky. Tempers flare.

So as the Earth gets hotter because of climate change, will it also become more violent?

Many scientists have thought so. And now a team of economists offers the first quantitative estimates for just how much weather changes might amplify human conflict.

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All Tech Considered
8:16 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Suspicious Searches, Def Con And Moto X

The press set up to film Army Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency, at the Black Hat hacker conference on Wednesday.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 8:56 am

Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog, and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

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Shots - Health News
8:05 am
Fri August 2, 2013

That Face-Lift May Buy You Only Three Years Of Youth

Plastic surgeons tend to say a patient is going to look "refreshed," not younger.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:48 am

The lighting in the NPR newsroom isn't doing me any favors. Maybe it's time to get some "work" done? Then again, cosmetic surgery makes people look only about three years younger and no more attractive, according to a study that tries to add some objectivity to a very subjective field of medicine.

The researchers took before and after photos of 49 people who underwent facial cosmetic surgery at a private practice in Toronto. The patients ranged in age from 42 to 73. Some had face-lifts and neck-lifts; others had brow-lifts or had their eyelids done.

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