NPR News

Pages

NPR Story
2:48 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Turkish Protesters Refuse To Leave Gezi Park

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Protesters who were camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park say they won't pack up and go home despite a government offer to avoid bulldozing the park without court approval and a public referendum. Protest organizers say that other demands such as releasing detained protesters have not been met.

Read more
NPR Story
2:48 am
Sat June 15, 2013

What Whitey Bulger Means To Boston

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 10:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Whitey Bulger is finally on trial ,after 16 years on the run. The Boston mobster who was once on the FBI's Most Wanted List is accused of murdering 19 people, as well as extortion and racketeering. Prosecution alleges he worked as an FBI informant in exchange for protection. Dick Lehr is the co-author, with Gerald O'Neill, of "Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mobster." He joins us from member station WBUR in Boston. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Dick Lehr's co-author is Gerard O'Neill.] Dick, thanks for being with us.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:03 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Illinois Pension Crisis: This Is What Rock Bottom Looks Like

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called members of the Legislature back to work for a special session to help resolve the pension crisis.
Seth Perlman AP

Lawmakers in Illinois are headed back to work next week to address the state's $100 billion pension crisis, the worst unfunded pension liability in the nation. While almost all states faced pension funding issues during the recession, none of them are looking at a predicament as severe as in Illinois. Every day it doesn't get fixed, the burden on taxpayers grows larger.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:48 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Based On What We Know, Is The NSA Verizon Request Legal?

The National Security Agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
NSA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:48 am

Here's what we know about a National Security Agency program that collects vast amounts of data on the electronic activity of Americans: While controversial, a leaked secret document authorizing the collection makes it clear that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has decided that the collection of metadata for every call made in and into the United States is legal under Section 215 of the U.S.A.

Read more
The Record
12:28 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters' Group Calls It A 'Stunt'

Blake Morgan's songs were played some 28,000 times over a 90-day period on Pandora, earning $1.62 in royalties.
Jim Herrington Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 11:40 am

This week, the Internet radio broadcaster Pandora made what seems like a backward move — technologically speaking. Pandora purchased a local radio station in Rapid City, S.D. The company says it's aiming to get the more favorable royalty rates given to terrestrial broadcasters, but the move has songwriters and composers up in arms.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:27 am
Sat June 15, 2013

'I'm Not The Only One': Transgender Youth Battle The Odds

Once homeless herself, Kimberly McKenzie now works for Lamp Community, a nonprofit that helps the homeless.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 11:40 am

Despite a number of victories for gay rights and national polls reflecting a growing acceptance of gay men and women, there is a population within the LGBT community that often feels left out of the national debate.

Read more
National Security
12:25 am
Sat June 15, 2013

The Case For Surveillance: Keeping Up With Terrorist Tactics

The National Security Agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
NSA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 11:40 am

Since public revelations that the National Security Agency is collecting telephone records and reviewing Internet communications in the U.S. and abroad, officials have been making the case that the programs are vital. They argue that the tactics match the new ways terrorists are planning and communicating.

There was a time when America's enemies conspired face-to-face, or communicated through couriers, or by leaving messages for each other somewhere. But in the digital age, that has changed.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:24 am
Sat June 15, 2013

How Rock 'N' Roll Can Explain The U.S. Economy

Bruce Springsteen performs during halftime of the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2009. In music, and increasingly in other industries, a relative handful of top performers take more and more of the spoils, says White House chief economist Alan Krueger.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:10 pm

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger took some ribbing from his boss this week. President Obama noted that Krueger will soon be leaving Washington to go back to his old job, teaching economics at Princeton.

"And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his: 'Rockanomics,' the economics of rock and roll," the president said. "This is something that Alan actually cares about."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:22 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Moderate Wins Iran's Presidency In Rebuke To Hard-Line Clerics

Moderate presidential candidate, Hasan Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator, flashes the victory sign as he leaves a polling station in Tehran on Friday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 1:54 pm

(This post was last updated at 3:45 p.m. ET)

Hasan Rowhani, the lone moderate in Iran's presidential elections, has secured victory and headed off a runoff vote in a symbolic rebuke to the country's hard-line Islamic clerics.

Rowhani, 64, won nearly 51 percent of the vote in a field of five other candidates, all but himself considered conservatives who were more or less in line with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rowhani's closest rival, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqher Qalibaf, came in a distant second, with less than 17 percent of the ballots.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Report: Former Nazi SS Officer Living In Minnesota

A June 3, 1944, photo provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shows SS chief Heinrich Himmler (center) as he reviews troops of the Galician SS-Volunteer Infantry Division.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:44 pm

A 94-year-old man who allegedly was a top commander of a Nazi SS unit responsible for the massacre of civilians during World War II is reportedly living quietly in Minnesota, according to an exclusive report by The Associated Press.

The news agency says it obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act that show Michael Karkoc lied to officials in 1949 about his past in order to immigrate to the United States.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

The Parking Spots That Cost More Than Half A Million Dollars

Parking spaces behind 298 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston are seen Friday. The two open spaces at right, front and back, were sold at auction for $560,000.
Michael Dwyer AP

As it turns out, prime urban parking can be almost as valuable as a single-family home. A Boston woman bought two parking spaces for $560,000 at auction Thursday, winning a tough bidding war that increased by the tens of thousands at each turn.

The buyer, Lisa Blumenthal, said the spots will be used for guests and workers, at the hefty price of $280,000 each — nearly 90 percent of the worth of the median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:33 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Rule Would List All Chimps As Endangered, Even Lab Animals

Chimpanzee Toni celebrated his 50th birthday at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich on Nov. 22, 2011.
Sven Hoppe DPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 4:45 am

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new rule that would extend "endangered species" protections to chimpanzees held in captivity. Nearly half of all the chimps in the U.S. live in research facilities, and the regulation changes would make it more difficult to use these animals in medical experiments.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:56 pm

Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth.

The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages.

Read more
Code Switch
12:49 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

11-Year-Old Keeps Singing In Face Of Hate

Sebastien de la Cruz gave an encore performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the NBA Finals game on Thursday.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:59 pm

It's not often an 11-year-old boy gets to sing the national anthem twice during the NBA Finals.

But, as our friends at The Two-Way reported, it's been a surprising week for Sebastien de la Cruz of San Antonio.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

U.S. Navy Approves Use Of Lowercase Letters

Teletype operators relay U.S. military communications in North Africa during World War II.
AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:33 pm

A recent directive issued by the U.S. Navy was transmitted in the customary format, using all uppercase letters. Sailors, it said, are:

"AUTHORIZED TO USE STANDARD, MIXED-CASE CHARACTERS IN THE BODY OF NAVY ORGANIZATIONAL MESSAGES."

Read more
Business
12:06 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Housing Market Watchers Edgy As Mortgage Rates Keep Climbing

Home values have been rising in recent months, but mortgage rates have taken a rapid turn upward as well. Some investors are worried that the housing recovery may stall if mortgage rates jump too quickly.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:12 pm

Mortgage rates have seen a relatively sharp rise this month. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan hit 4 percent earlier in June — a big jump from the record lows of recent years. Some investors are now concerned that the housing recovery could be stifled if rates continue to rise quickly.

The Federal Reserve has two main missions: to maximize employment and minimize inflation. Right now, there are few, if any, signs that prices for goods are spiking, and the job market is still crawling out of its long, deep slump.

Read more
Middle East
12:06 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Voters Head To The Polls To Pick New President In Iran

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The voting is over in Iran's presidential election to choose a successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The vote comes amid controversy over Iran's nuclear program, ever-tightening sanctions led by the U.S. and economic trouble. This is the first presidential election since 2009, when the disputed result sparked months of protest, followed by intense repression.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:04 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Think Your Job's Hard? Try Being A Congressional Spy Watcher

Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky arrives in Chicago with President Obama in March.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:32 pm

As the controversy over the National Security Agency's phone and Internet data gathering reminds us, one of Congress' most challenging assignments is oversight of the nation's intelligence community.

Keeping tabs on the part of the federal government that constantly invokes national security to justify its opaqueness has its obvious difficulties and frustrations.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:19 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Australian General's Frank Talk On Sexual Abuse Wins Fans

Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Australia's army chief, has simple advice for those who don't want women in the service: "Get out."
YouTube

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:27 am

The growing problem of sexual assaults in the U.S. military has led to arguments in Congress, where lawmakers disagree over how to confront the issue. Top military officers have also weighed in on the topic. But in Australia, where the military has its own sexual assault problem, the army chief has a simple solution: "Show moral courage and take a stand."

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
11:16 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Playing Mozart — On Mozart's Violin

Violinist Amandine Beyer holds Mozart's own violin backstage at Boston's Jordan Hall on Monday.
Kathy Wittman Courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:21 am

The violin and viola that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played himself are in the United States for the first time ever. The instruments come out of storage only about once a year at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. The rest of the time, they're kept under serious lockup.

Read more
Planet Money
9:51 am
Fri June 14, 2013

When People Make Their Own Banks

Harlem funeral directors Tamara Bullock and Patricia Hamilton are going to spend their next savings-club payout on a sky-diving trip (unless Bullock can get out of it).
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:12 pm

Miguelo Rada doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd have extra cash. He just spent 32 years in prison, he lives in a halfway house in West Harlem, and his current income comes only from public assistance.

He uses food stamps for food, wears hand-me-down clothes and buys almost nothing. He is also an unofficial bank.

"If somebody asks me, 'Can I borrow $20?' If I have it I'll say, 'Here!' " he says.

This kind of borrowing is one way people do what economists call "consumption smoothing" – basically making spending more regular, even when income is not.

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:50 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Doctors To Vote On Whether Cheerleading Is A Sport

University of Louisville cheerleaders hurled into the air during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Wichita State in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 2:43 am

This weekend the American Medical Association will kick off its annual exercise in medical democracy.

The group's House of Delegates will meet in Chicago to vote on resolutions that range from a demand that private insurers pay doctors at least as much as Medicare does to a call for federal legislation affirming the right of doctors to talk about gun safety with patients.

Read more
The Salt
9:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

New Blood Sparks Identity Crisis For Fraternal Group Of Farmers

"A œGift for the Grangers" was a recruitment poster for the National Grange printed in 1873. Grange membership around this period was estimated by some to be as high as 2 million. Today it'™s less than 200,000.
National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:12 pm

Lots of passionate people are taking up farming these days, motivated by frustration with industrial farming, concerns about the environment, and a desire to build community and local food markets. Some of these new farmers have joined the Grange, a long-established fraternal organization for farmers with roots in social activism.

In Oregon, Granges dominated by this new generation have banded together in a coalition dubbed "Green Granges," which work together to advance the issues they care about.

Read more
The Salt
8:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Nudging Detroit: Program Doubles Food Stamp Bucks In Grocery Stores

A customer in the produce section at Metro Foodland, one of the Detroit grocery stores participating in a healthy food incentive program for people with SNAP benefits. The store will add a section of specially marked local produce as part of the program.
Courtesy of the Fair Food Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:35 am

In recent years, programs that double the value of food stamp dollars spent at farmers markets have generated a lot of attention. The basic idea: Spend, say, $10 in food stamps and get an extra $10 credit for purchases at the market.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:11 am
Fri June 14, 2013

U.N. Chief Opposes U.S. Military Support For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:58 am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he opposes the U.S. decision to provide Syrian rebels with military support.

"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."

Read more
It's All Politics
7:53 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Why Partisans Can't Kick The Hypocrisy Habit

Sign of the times: A recent study found that people are more likely to have hostile feelings toward people of another political party than members of another race.
iStockphoto.com

American politics has become like a big square dance. When the music stops after an election, people switch to the other side on a number of issues, depending on whether their party remains in power.

That was pretty clear this week, when polls revealed more Democrats than Republicans support tracking of phone traffic by the National Security Agency — the exact opposite of where things stood under President George W. Bush.

Read more
The Salt
7:29 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Sorry, Dr. Oz, Green Coffee Can't Even Slim Down Chubby Mice

Raw, green coffee beans. To roast or not?
Aidan via Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 8:54 am

The diet world has a new golden child: green coffee extract.

A "miracle fat burner!" "One of the most important discoveries made" in weight loss science, the heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz said about the little pills — which are produced by grinding up raw, unroasted coffee, and then soaking the result in alcohol to pull out the antioxidants.

Read more
The Protojournalist
6:26 am
Fri June 14, 2013

The Protojournalist: An NPR Project

Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:19 am

Seeing journalism changing. Storytelling, too.

Looking for new ways to tell stories. Like looking for alternative energies.

Stories are found everywhere – in a game, in graffiti, in a list, in a painting, in a sunset. In a face. In a life. On a screen. New tools create new ways to tell stories.

We can break news and break barriers at the same time.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Sanford Under The Spotlight As Trial Begins

Sanford Under The Spotlight As Trial Begins The national media has descended on the town of Sanford, Florida, for the trial of George Zimmerman. He's the man accused of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett to find out how emotions are running in his town.

Faith Matters
6:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Orthodox Jews Gear Up For First Women Leaders

Breaking the norms of faith isn't always easy — especially for Orthodox Jews. But Ruth Balinsky Friedman wants to take up the traditionally male-dominated role of faith leader. She speaks with host Michel Martin about what a woman can bring to the position.

Pages