NPR News

Pages

Humans
12:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pitch-Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:01 pm

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:52 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Federer Loses In Wimbledon's Second Round As Upsets Continue

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer leaves the court Wednesday, after losing in the second round to Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Roger Federer, who last year won his seventh Wimbledon title, is out of the 2013 tournament after falling to Ukrainian Sergei Stakhovsky, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. The upset comes two days after Rafael Nadal, who was in the same side of the bracket as Federer, was upset in the first round.

Sergiy Stakhovsky is ranked No. 116 in the world. Federer is ranked No. 3 in the world. The victory is Stakhovsky's first against an opponent ranked in the top 10.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:56 am
Wed June 26, 2013

NFL Tight End Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder

Aaron Hernandez was cut by the New England Patriots after he was arrested Wednesday. Hernandez faces first-degree murder charges in the death of Odin Lloyd, 27.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Pro football player Aaron Hernandez, who until today was a member of the New England Patriots, was charged with murder and other crimes in a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday. He was arrested this morning and formally charged this afternoon, with authorities blaming him for the death of Odin Lloyd, 27, whose body was found on June 17.

A judge has ordered that Hernandez be held without bail.

Read more
Parallels
9:22 am
Wed June 26, 2013

The U.S. Wants Mr. Snowden. Why Won't The World Cooperate?

Journalists show passengers arriving at Russia's Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday an image of Edward Snowden.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 3:53 pm

China appeared perfectly happy to let Edward Snowden slip away despite a U.S. request for his arrest. Russia appears to enjoy thumbing its nose at Washington as Snowden cools his heels at a Moscow airport. Ecuador is toying with the notion of granting him asylum.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

WATCH: Reactions To Gay Marriage Rulings

Read more
The Two-Way
8:42 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Revised GDP Numbers Weaker Than Projected

The nation's gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced within the U.S., grew at a rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's a downward revision from the 2.4 percent rate previously reported.

Read more
Parallels
8:31 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Angry Chinese Workers Resort To Direct Action

American Chip Starnes, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, waves Monday from a window where he is being held by angry workers inside his plant at the Jinyurui Science and Technology Park on the outskirts of Beijing. He remained confined to the plant on Wednesday.
Andy Wong AP

When Chinese workers have a grievance, they are increasingly taking dramatic and direct action.

As we've reported, an American executive at a Chinese factory has been prevented by workers from leaving the plant since Friday. Chip Starnes of Specialty Medical Supplies says it's a misunderstanding following a decision to shut down part of his medical-supply business and move some jobs to India where wages are lower.

Read more
Beauty Shop
7:31 am
Wed June 26, 2013

'Devious Maids' On TV: Thumbs Up Or Down?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, Texas is scheduled to execute the 500th prisoner since the death penalty was reintroduced. We are going to introduce you to Kirk Bloodsworth, who was the first prisoner released from death row 20 years ago because of DNA evidence.

Read more
Shots - Health News
7:24 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Men Pick Robotic Surgery For Prostate Cancer Despite Risks

A billboard advertising robotic surgery hangs outside Boston's Fenway Park in 2009. Hospitals and doctors have heavily promoted robotic surgery.
Charles Krupa AP

Pretty much every medical organization has told men to back off on screening for prostate cancer, because it can lead to unneeded treatment, including surgery that can leave a man incontinent and impotent.

But it's hard to resist a robot.

Read more
Law
7:19 am
Wed June 26, 2013

SCOTUS Ruling: A Giant Leap Forward For Gay Marriage

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we want to talk about a new TV show that has people thinking about how Latinas are depicted on TV. We'll head into the beauty shop for that conversation. But first, we are going to turn back once again to the Supreme Court, which released two major rulings today on the issue of same-sex marriage. The court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which has barred federal benefits to same-sex couples.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:52 am
Wed June 26, 2013

After DOMA: What's Next For Gay Married Couples

Edith Windsor is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court on March 27, when the court heard oral arguments in the case that challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 10:47 am

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:33 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Laughing Gas Gets A Safety Check

Is nitrous oxide during surgery safe?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:32 am

To anesthesiologists, laughing gas is no joke.

Nitrous oxide was one of the first chemicals used to make surgery and tooth-pulling painless. Back in the 1840s, Horace Wells, a dentist in Hartford, Conn., did his best to popularize it as an anesthetic agent. Despite some failed demonstrations early on, use of the gas during surgery eventually became routine.

Read more
Law
6:13 am
Wed June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court's Landmark Decision On Same-Sex Marriage

David Greene speaks with NPR's Nina Totenberg about the Supreme Court's landmark decision granting federal benefits to married same-sex couples.

Law
6:13 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Law
5:51 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Read The Rulings: Inside The Same-Sex Marriage Decisions

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:22 am

Matt Stiles is data editor on NPR's News Applications team. Follow him on Twitter at @stiles. Erica Ryan (@ericalryan) is a digital news editor.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
5:08 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Court Overturns DOMA, Sidesteps Broad Gay Marriage Ruling

Plaintiff Edith Windsor of New York waves to supporters in front of the Supreme Court in Washington after the court heard arguments on her Defense of Marriage Act case.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 10:51 pm

The Supreme Court issued rulings on two highly-anticipated cases on gay marriage today. By 5-4, it ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.

Read more
Code Switch
4:56 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Are HBCUs In Trouble? An Evergreen Question

President Obama spoke last month at commencement ceremonies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, which brought fresh attention — and scrutiny — to historically black colleges.
Carolyn Kaster ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:46 am

Earlier this month, St. Paul's College, a tiny, 125-year old liberal arts college in southern Virginia, quietly announced that it was throwing in the towel and would be closing its doors at the end of June.

The 600-student college had been struggling for years to find funding and to remain in good standing with the accrediting body that governed it. But St. Paul's president said that its plan to merge with another unnamed historically black college or university (HBCU) had suddenly and unexpectedly imploded, leaving the school's board of trustees with few options.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:09 am
Wed June 26, 2013

WATCH: Teary Paula Deen Says She's No Racist

Celebrity chef Paula Deen poses for a portrait in 2012, in New York. In her deposition for a lawsuit by a former employee, Deen admits to having used racial slurs, among other things.
Carlo Allegri AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:18 am

Paula Deen, the Food Network star under fire over a racially charged deposition, says she is no racist.

Deen, who has been dropped by the Food Network and as spokeswoman for Smithfield Foods, gave a teary interview to the Today show this morning.

Read more
The Salt
4:03 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Fruity With A Hint Of Bologna: A Slacker's Guide To Wine Tasting

Swigging for science: A hint of oak, our wine tasting newbies learned, is more common in reds than whites. It's a marker for expense in both.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:29 pm

Wine tasting has taken it on the chin recently.

"There are no two ways about it: the bullsh*t is strong with wine."

That's what Robert T. Gonzales recently wrote on io9.com in a post that eviscerated wine tasting as a form of skilled craft. "Wine tasting. Wine rating. Wine reviews. Wine descriptions," he writes. "They're all related. And they're all egregious offenders, from a [expletive deleted] standpoint."

Read more
Parallels
3:28 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Jordan Accused Of Targeting Online Dissent

A Jordanian woman surfs the Web at an office in the Amman, Jordan, on Sept. 30, 2009. The country's government is under fire from media activists for blocking hundreds of websites across the kingdom.
Ali Jareki Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:43 am

Jordan's King Abdullah vowed to make the desert kingdom a "free Internet" country as he began his rule more than a decade ago. On June 2, when local Internet providers were ordered to block hundreds of news websites across the kingdom, Web publishers protested the broken promise and international media watchdog organizations charged censorship.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:15 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Book News: Turkish Protesters Form 'Taksim Square Book Club'

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

Read more
The Two-Way
2:46 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Expected To Issue Historic Rulings On Gay Marriage

Gay rights activist Vin Testa of DC waves a flag outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on Tuesday in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:38 am

Update at 10:45 A.M. ET:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:42 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Prime Minister Julia Gilliard Ousted By Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during question time at Parliament House on Wednesday in Canberra, Australia.
Stefan Postles Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:40 am

In a move designed to salvage upcoming elections, Australia's Labor Party ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard in favor of Kevin Rudd.

Reuters explains the politics:

"Rudd, a former diplomat who speaks Mandarin, won a Labor Party ballot with 57 votes to Gillard's 45. Gillard promised to quit politics if she lost the ballot.

Read more
Business
2:35 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Delta CEO Helps Worried Mom Make Her Flight

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to today's last word in business - which is: Courtesy Seating.

Jessie Frank was a distraught mom who was going to be late picking up her daughter at camp.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

She was on stand-by in Washington, D.C. for an over-booked Delta Flight to New York, when a man offered up his seat. Turns out it was Delta CEO Richard Anderson. His kindness helped the mom and earned some good PR for the company.

Read more
Europe
2:22 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Famous Hawk Is Back In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Wimbledon is underway, which means the tennis world's most famous hawk is back in the spotlight. No, not the Hawk-Eye ball tracking technology linesmen use to help make calls, an actual hawk. His name is Rufus, and his job is to scare pesky pigeons away from the All England Club before the crowds of tennis fans arrive. Rufus also worked the 2012 Olympics. The hawk, of course, has his own Twitter account to squawk at his admirers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
1:19 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Archbishop Prays For 'Peaceful, Perfect End' For Nelson Mandela

A well-wisher walks in front of a wall in Pretoria covered with messages for ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela on Wednesday.
Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:26 am

Nelson Mandela remains in a South African hospital in critical condition.

South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited the hospital to pray with his family on Tuesday. On his Facebook page, Makgoba posted the prayer he said for the 94-year-old anti-apartheid legend and former president. He wrote:

Read more
Europe
1:06 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Russian Official Encourages 'Food Patriotism'

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene with health advice from Russia.

Gennady Onishchenko, the country's chief sanitary inspector, is encouraging food patriotism. Translation: More borscht - cut the meals at McDonald's. The fast food chain is popular in many Russian cities. But Mr. Onishchenko had more to say. To beat the summer heat, he said people should just get to work early, rather than wear, quote, "spotted little pants that stop above the knees." We think he's referring to shorts.

Environment
12:42 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Coal Industry Concerned By Obama's Climate Change Plans

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And before leaving on his trip to Africa, President Obama had some other words on another subject. He announced a wide-ranging plan to address climate change. Rather than taking that plan to Congress and fighting it out, Obama is using his executive powers to implement it without new laws. The president wants the Environmental Protection Agency to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. The biggest source of those emissions is coal-fired facilities.

Read more
Africa
12:40 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Obama's Africa Trip To Focus On Democracy, Investment

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

President Obama flew home from Europe less than a week ago, and this morning, he is headed back overseas. This time, Air Force One is bound for Africa. It's a weeklong journey that will take the president and his family to three countries covering vastly different regions. This is Obama's first extended trip to the continent as president.

Read more
Law
12:25 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Frees 9 States From Voting Laws Oversight

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The U.S. Supreme Court usually saves its biggest decisions for the last few days of a term, and this year is no different.

Read more

Pages