NPR News

Pages

StoryCorps
1:17 am
Sat April 13, 2013

A Pianist's Ultimate Sacrifice: Giving It All To Go To War

Staff Sgt. Daniel Hodd on deployment in Anbar Province, Iraq, 2008.
Courtesy of Daniel Hodd

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 11:25 am

In 2001, Daniel Hodd was 17 and starting a promising career as a concert pianist. But he also wanted to become a U.S. Marine.

"At 3 years of age, you walked over to the piano, and you just started playing," Evelyn Hodd tells her son.

He played until he was 17 and performed in the Metropolitan Opera Theater. Juilliard offered him a scholarship. But Daniel decided to go to the military instead. He enlisted in 2002 and deployed to Iraq in 2003.

"That was devastating for me. And then, you had an accident," his mother says.

Read more
Asia
1:17 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Diplomacy, Warnings Mark Kerry's Visit To Korean Peninsula

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Secretary of State John Kerry's in China as the world waits to see whether North Korea will test-fire a missile. Secretary Kerry hopes that Chinese leaders will put pressure on their traditional ally, the North Koreans. Before arriving he said there's no group of leaders on the face of the planet with more capacity to make a difference than the Chinese.

Read more
Politics
1:17 am
Sat April 13, 2013

'Straw Purchases' Get Keen Eye In Gun Debate

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Congress reached a compromise this week. If that's not surprising enough, the issue is guns.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: On this vote the yeas are 68, the nays are 31. Three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn, having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:17 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Saying Goodbye To The Grand Canyon's Mail Mules

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The U.S. Postal Service announced this week that it would postpone the end of Saturday mail delivery, which it had proposed to stop earlier in the year, but mail service will halt at the bottom of the Grand Canyon where mules have delivered the mail since the 1920s. The company that runs the mule train says they will no longer deliver packages starting next week. The service was a way for loved ones to send care packages to guides rafting down the Colorado River. Laurel Morales of member station KJZZ reports from Flagstaff.

Read more
Venezuela After Chavez
12:33 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Even In Death, Chavez Dominates Venezuelan Election

Venezuela's acting president, Nicolas Maduro, speaks during his closing campaign rally in Caracas on Thursday. The hand-picked successor of Hugo Chavez faces opposition candidate Henriques Capriles in snap presidential elections on April 14.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 4:59 pm

In Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro — the president of a powerful government — should be at center stage. But as he runs in Sunday's snap presidential elections, it's his larger-than-life predecessor who is getting much of the attention.

The death of Hugo Chavez, who taunted the U.S. and empowered the poor, is triggering the special vote. And Maduro is using Chavez's voice and image to ensure that the late president's socialist system remains in power for many more years to come.

Read more
Environment
12:33 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Now Endangered, Florida's Silver Springs Once Lured Tourists

A glass-bottomed boat glides along water in Silver Springs, Fla. The springs, once a major tourist destination, have declined both in volume and in water quality.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 12:24 pm

Before Disney World, Silver Springs in Central Florida was for decades one of the state's most popular tourist destinations.

Even if you've never visited Silver Springs, you might have seen it. The 1960s television show Sea Hunt was filmed here, as were countless movies, including Tarzan and Creature From the Black Lagoon.

The crystal clear water of Silver Springs made it invaluable to Hollywood. Guy Marwick, the founder of the Silver River Museum, says it drew more than 1 million visitors a year.

Read more
Commentary
12:11 am
Sat April 13, 2013

In NPR's New Building, Everything Will Be Better ... Again

NPR is heading to its fourth home, at 1111 North Capitol St. in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:11 am

  • Susan Stamberg Hosts 'All Things Considered' On July 10, 1972
  • Barbara Hoctor And Bob Edwards On 'Morning Edition,' Dec. 31, 1979
  • Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr On 'Weekend Edition,' Feb. 19, 1994
  • Susan Stamberg's Voice In NPR's Elevators At 1111 North Capitol
  • 'All Things Considered' Story On The Move From M Street In 1994

Starting Saturday, Weekend Edition is broadcasting under the fourth roof that's sheltered National Public Radio. NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg has worked in all of the locations since NPR went on the air in 1971, and once again she shepherds us to our new home.

Read more
Politics
12:10 am
Sat April 13, 2013

What Obama's Tax Proposal Could Cost Him, And Us

Copies of President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 are distributed to Senate staff on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 7:50 am

President Obama's newly released tax return shows his effective income tax rate was 18.4 percent last year. He'll likely pay a somewhat higher rate in 2013, and that tax bill would be even bigger if Congress were to adopt the recommendations in the president's own budget, unveiled this week.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:09 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Immigration Debate Puts Farm Workers Union In Spotlight

United Farm Workers members were among the crowd that filled the lawn on Capitol Hill during an immigration rights rally Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 4:58 pm

A new immigration bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week, calling for better border security and a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the United States without legal status.

One big hurdle toward that was cleared this week when the United Farm Workers reached a deal with growers that would address wages and caps the number of visas allowed for new workers.

Read more
Remembrances
12:07 am
Sat April 13, 2013

How Did All Those People Get Inside Jonathan Winters?

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:11 am

You can call anyone but Einstein a genius and start an argument.

Well, maybe Einstein or Jonathan Winters. The comedian, who died Friday at the age of 87, was immediately hailed by Steve Martin, Robin Williams and others as a genius.

He made hit comedy albums, was a regular on the old Tonight Show, memorably knocked down a gas station in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World and co-starred with and inspired Robin Williams.

Read more
Music Interviews
9:03 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Dave Matthews Takes John Denver's Music 'To Tomorrow'

Album cover

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:31 am

By the time John Denver died in a plane crash in 1997, he had written and sung a remarkable assortment of cherished music: "Rocky Mountain High," "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Sunshine on My Shoulders," "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and many more. He was often mocked by edgier musicians for being a kind of musically soft, spongy Wonderbread of a singer-songwriter. But his songs have endured — and influenced more than one generation.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Rare On-The-Job Death For Avalanche Forecaster In Utah

Craig Patterson, 34, a seven-year veteran of avalanche forecasting for the Utah Department of Transportation.
Utah Department of Transportation

Dale Atkins has been tracking hundreds of avalanche deaths for years but the fatality report that arrived from Utah Friday morning was especially shocking.

"It's way too close to home," says Atkins, the Colorado-based president of the American Avalanche Association. "It's mind numbing...it's a slashing chill."

Read more
The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Maria Tallchief, Brilliant American Ballerina Who Broke Barriers, Dies

Ballerina Maria Tallchief. Undated photo.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:13 pm

Read more
It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Tiny Group Linked To McConnell Recording Causes Big Stir

Sen. Mitch McConnell and his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, at a Republican dinner in Winchester, Ky., last month.
Roger Alford AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 2:19 am

So who exactly comprises Progress Kentucky, the superPAC linked to the surreptitious recording of a meeting at Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign headquarters? In the recording, an aide is heard disparaging actress Ashley Judd, who was then considering a Senate run to challenge the Senate's top Republican.

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages