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It's All Politics
12:20 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

'We Have To Do More': Michelle Obama's Next Four Years

First lady Michelle Obama greets students at Harper High School in Chicago on Wednesday. Twenty-nine current or former Harper students have been shot in the past year, eight of them fatally.
Nancy Stone AP

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 5:07 pm

This week marked a new step in Michelle Obama's evolution as first lady. In her hometown of Chicago, she delivered one of the most emotional speeches of her career — about kids dying from gun violence.

"I'm not talking about something that's happening in a war zone halfway around the world," she said. "I am talking about what's happening in the city that we call home."

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The Record
12:20 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

The Music Of The Venezuelan Presidential Campaigns

Alvaro Perez volunteers as a DJ at a socialist party stand in Caracas, Venezuela, playing songs in support of candidate Nicolas Maduro.
Jasmine Garsd NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 5:07 pm

On Sunday, voters in Venezuela will head to the polls, and in Caracas, the noise level is as high as voters' emotions. There is a background noise that accompanies everyday life in Latin America, a constant soundtrack: music blaring from food stands and cars, loud automobiles that are so run-down they defy the laws of physics, street vendors yelling product names. I've spoken to many immigrants to the U.S. who, like me, first arrived to live in the suburbs and found the absence of bochinche, or ruckus, maddening.

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Media
11:29 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Great Long-Form Journalism, Just Clicks Away

As newspapers around the country struggle with declining subscription rates and smaller staffs, passionate, long-form digital storytelling is creating new ways of delivering richly detailed reporting.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 6:12 am

In the age of hundreds of cable channels, millions of 140-character bulletins and an untold number of cat videos, a fear has been growing among journalists and readers that long-form storytelling may be getting lost.

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Commentary
11:26 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Week In Politics: Gun Control, Immigration, Obama Budget

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:20 pm

Melissa Block talks to regular political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss gun control legislation, immigration and President Obama's budget.

The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Congress Repeals Financial Disclosure Requirements For Senior U.S. Officials

A tourist takes cover underneath an umbrella while snapping a photo of the U.S. Capitol on March 6, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:43 pm

Joining the Senate, the House of Representatives approved a measure today that repeals a requirement that top government officials post financial disclosures on the Internet.

The House, like the Senate, acted quietly without a vote. Instead, they sent the measure to the president's desk by unanimous consent.

The provision was part of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (Stock), which became law in March of 2012. The act was intended to stop members of congress from profiting from nonpublic information.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Goat's Head Sent To Cubs Owner Not From The 'Rahm-Father'

Storm clouds pass over Wrigley Field on July 1, 2011, in Chicago.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:54 pm

While many in Chicago immediately thought of the famous "Billy Goat curse," when a severed goat's head was delivered to Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts at Wrigley Field this week, I immediately wondered if it was a message from the "Rahm-father," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

After all, Ricketts is in the midst of intense negotiations with Emanuel's administration over renovating the iconic 99-year old ballpark, as I reported last week.

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The Picture Show
10:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Trains, Punks, Pictures And Books You Maybe Shouldn't Read

Photos from the book A Period Of Juvenile Prosperity
Mike Brodie Twin Palms

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:20 pm

Mike Brodie's life, when narrated by an outsider, seems a lot like free association — where one thing leads to the next, leads to the next, etc.

Before he discovered trains, Brodie was bagging groceries in Pensacola, Fla., and really into BMX. Then he met a girl. She worked at the Chinese restaurant in the same strip mall and, he says, "she was like a punk rocker."

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The Salt
10:29 am
Fri April 12, 2013

When Snacking Attacks: A Vending Machine Remembrance

Farewell: the vending machines in the cafeteria at 635 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Many office workers will tell you that proximity to a vending machine is both a blessing and a curse.

A walk to the automated food dispenser takes all of 11 seconds for me. It can be a welcome break from hours in front of a computer, or an antidote to absurd deadlines or gnawing hunger pains. But of course, the sugary, salty contents also shout at you, interrupting your writing and editing, in less dire situations — especially when they're so close by.

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Code Switch
10:15 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Six Moments Of Code-Switching In Popular Culture

Gloria from "Modern Family" does a whole lot of code-switching on the show, especially when her family comes to town to visit baby Fulgencio.
Modern Family

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Shots - Health News
10:08 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Wait For Obamacare Price Tags Could Last Months

If buying health insurance were only this easy.
iStockphoto.com

Vermont became the first state to provide a glimpse, although an imperfect one, of how much individual health insurance might cost under the Affordable Care Act.

Rates made public there last week, while of limited relevance to the rest of the country because of the state's unusual insurance market, showed little change from current prices. The prices reassured health law supporters fearing headlines about sticker shock.

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All Tech Considered
9:35 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Immigration Isn't The First Cause Zuckerberg Has Liked

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the launch of FWD.us, an organization promoting immigration and eduction reform. But it's not the first issue he's taken up. In the past, he's donated money to superPACS, politicians and education.
Jeff Chiu AP

Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders in Silicon Valley are banding together to push for comprehensive immigration reform, the Facebook co-founder announced this week. But Zuckerberg has dabbled in politically charged matters in the past.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Bands Aren't The Only Things That Incubate At Music Festivals

Customers line up for an ice cream van at the 2011 Glastonbury Music Festival in southwest England.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:04 pm

Coachella, the massive outdoor music festival that kicks off this weekend in Indio, Calif., has become an "incubator" not just for new bands, but for rising food entrepreneurs, according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News earlier this week.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Fri April 12, 2013

In 2012, Obamas Made $662,076, Paid $112,214 In Taxes

U.S. President Barack Obama.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:19 am

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama report that they had an adjusted gross income of $608,611 in 2012. The couple gave $150,034 to charity and ended up paying $112,214 in taxes.

That's an effective tax rate of about 18 percent.

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Shots - Health News
8:39 am
Fri April 12, 2013

As New Flu Cases Rise In China, U.S. Steps Up Its Response

A child wears a mask near a closed section of a poultry market in Shanghai, where health workers detected the new bird flu, H7N9.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:23 am

The toll from a new flu strain is mounting in China.

Forty-three people have been sickened and 11 have died from the virus, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The pace of infections has quickened over the past few days, with three to five cases reported daily.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Funny Man Jonathan Winters Dies

Jonathan Winters on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1969.
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:20 pm

Jonathan Winters, known to one generation for his 1960s comedy albums, frequent Tonight Show with Johnny Carson appearances and comic movie characters, and to another generation as Robin Williams' baby on Mork & Mindy, has died. The news is coming from The Associated Press, TMZ, the NPR Arts Desk and other news outlets.

Winters was 87. TMZ says he died Thursday night "of natural causes in Montecito, Calif. ... surrounded by friends and family.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Russia's Putin Announces $50 Billion In New Space Spending

A Soyuz capsule touches down in Kazakhstan in September, but by 2020, Russian cosmonauts might be splashing down instead.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:52 am

Moscow will spend $52 billion on its space program through 2020, including money for completion of a new launch facility on Russian soil.

The announcement came from President Vladimir Putin as he spoke to orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Cosmonaut's Day, the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight by Russian spacefarer Yuri Gagarin.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Toy Or Trouble? 'Mexico Barbie' Has Passport, Chihuahua

Mexico Barbie.
BarbieCollector.com

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:35 am

Mattel says its "Dolls of the World" line of Barbies come with passports, stamps and, with many of the toys, an "animal friend."

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Music Interviews
6:48 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Dale Watson: A Honky-Tonk Man With An Outlaw Spirit

Dale Watson (second from left) and His Lonestars. Their new album is titled El Rancho Azul.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 6:34 pm

Honky-tonk veteran Dale Watson has an impressive white pompadour and arms that tell his story: flag tattoos of Alabama, where he was born, and Texas, where he lives. Musical notes circle his biceps. And he has an inked portrait of his first musical inspiration — his late father, a truck driver and sometime country singer who passed on to Dale his love of traditional country, from Hank Williams to Lefty Frizzell.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Second Rape Case To Draw Social Media Buzz Will Be Reviewed

A few days after Rehtaeh Parsons' mother turned off the hospital life support systems and allowed her daughter to die, computer activists claiming to be affiliated with the hacker group Anonymous are threatening to reveal the identities of Parsons' alleged rapists.

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NPR Story
5:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Consumers Cut Back, Sales Reports Show

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 5:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with less shopping.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Shots - Health News
5:45 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Annals Of The Obvious: Women Way More Tired Than Men

DRB Images LLC iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 4:00 am

Feeling run down? Dog-tired?

Who isn't, right?

But who's more exhausted: men or women?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the answer, though it's one that you probably could have arrived at without a second's thought.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Update: BBC Will Play Clip Of 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead'

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1996.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:31 am

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET. Radio 1 Will Play A Snippet:

There's word from NPR's Philip Reeves in London that BBC's Radio 1 now says its weekend Official Chart show will play "a clip in a journalistic environment" of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead," which critics of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pushed up the British charts this week after the Iron Lady's death.

The BBC has more:

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Judge Rejects $20-Million Severance For American Airlines CEO

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton stands next to a control tower at Berlin Brandenburg Airport in March 2012.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:56 am

A severance package of $20 million might have seemed reasonable to American Airlines CEO Tom Horton, but a U.S. bankruptcy judge says it's too much.

The proposed payout, part of a deal that would merge American parent AMR and US Airways Group, first caught the attention of U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis, a Department of Justice official monitoring AMR's Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Explosives Said To Be In Package Addressed To Sheriff Arpaio

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Laura Segall Reuters /Landov

Authorities in Arizona say a package addressed to controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was safely destroyed Thursday after a test for explosive residue confirmed it "contained black powder," The Arizona Republic writes.

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Wholesale Prices Plunge, But So Do Retail Sales

A steep drop in gasoline costs fueled a 0.6 percent decline in wholesale prices from February to March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, the so-called core rate of inflation was also in check: those prices rose a modest 0.2 percent.

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Middle East
3:07 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Police In Dubai Adds Lamborghini To The Force

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 4:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Conspicuous consumption is the art of buying lots of expensive stuff to show off. It is part of daily life in the Emirate city of Dubai, even for the police. They just added a slick green and white Lamborghini with a $400,000 price tag to their force. It goes more than 200 miles per hour, which is useful in the fast moving kingdom.

Police say about 15 percent of the speeding tickets go to motorists going more than 130 miles per hour. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
3:05 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Dodgers' $147 Million Ace Greinke Breaks Collarbone In Brawl

Ouch! Carlos Quentin (left) of the San Diego Padres charged the mound Thursday after Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke (right) hit him with a pitch. In the brawl, Greinke broke his left collarbone.
Denis Poroy Getty Images

Talk about an expensive bust:

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Latin America
2:53 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue

Laureano Marquez, a popular Venezuelan writer and political satirist, says he is always opposed to the government in power. "The mission of humor is to show the people that things can be better," he says.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

Earlier this week in Caracas, we were about to go to an interview when it had to be rescheduled. The man we were going to speak with was unavoidably detained — kidnapped, to be precise.

It took awhile after that for Laureano Marquez to free up his schedule and meet us in a coffee shop.

"I'm so sorry," he said when he finally arrived, as if it was his fault for being thrown into a car and driven off to the far reaches of town.

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Asia
2:25 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Japanese Blogger Obsesses Over Vending Machine

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 5:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

For most of us, the office vending machine is good for a mid-day pick-me-up; that's pretty much it. But for one Japanese man it is much more. He hosts a blog called "I Take a Picture of the Vending Machine Every Day or So, I'm Very Sorry." Since 2005 he's taken nearly daily pictures of the same vending machine. Over the years the sodas move, the ads change, and there was that true moment of drama - the machine started taking digital payments.

The Two-Way
2:13 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Book News: DC Comics Introduces First Transgender Character

An image of Batgirl from the cover of "Batgirl 19," in which it is revealed that Batgirl's roommate is transgender.
DC Comics

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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