NPR News

Pages

Education
9:58 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

A Rhodes-Like Scholarship For Study In China

The Schwarzman Scholars program, planned for the campus of Beijing's Tsinghua University, is described as "a 21st century college designed to inspire interchange."
Artist's rendering courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:09 am

If you're interested in studying in China, a new scholarship program could help you on your way. Rivaling the prestigious Rhodes scholarships, the new Schwarzman Scholars program was announced recently by Stephen Schwarzman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone Group, one of the world's biggest private-equity firms.

The financier says he plans to raise $300 million, including $100 million of his own money, to fund a new program aimed at bringing students from around the world to study at Beijing's Tsinghua University.

Read more
Music Interviews
9:03 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Iggy Pop: 'What Happens When People Disappear'

Iggy & The Stooges just released a new album, Ready to Die.
David Raccuglia Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 1:55 pm

Of the many things made in Michigan that have become part of the fabric of American culture — the auto industry, Motown — punk rock is often overlooked. In 1967, years before The Sex Pistols performed incendiary anthems, Iggy Pop and his band The Stooges created an explosive new sound in Detroit that would influence generations of musicians.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

FBI Asks For Public's Help In Benghazi Investigation

The FBI is seeking information about these individuals.
FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking the public for help in finding three individuals who were on the grounds of the U.S. mission in Benghazi, the day an attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

"These individuals may be able to provide information to help in the investigation," the FBI said in a short release.

Read more
The Salt
2:10 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Who Paid For Last Summer's Drought? You Did

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field near Fritchton, Ind., last summer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Say the words "crop insurance" and most people start to yawn. For years, few nonfarmers knew much about these government-subsidized insurance policies, and even fewer found any fault with them. After all, who could criticize a safety net for farmers that saves them from getting wiped out by floods or drought?

Read more
The Salt
1:39 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Bones Tell Tale Of Desperation Among The Starving At Jamestown

The four cuts at the top of this skull "are clear chops to the forehead," says Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley. Based on forensic evidence, researchers think the blows were made after the person died.
Donald E. Hurlbert Smithsonian

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:48 pm

"First they ate their horses, and then fed upon their dogs and cats, as well as rats, mice and snakes."

So says James Horn of the historical group Colonial Williamsburg, paraphrasing an account by colony leader George Percy of what conditions were like for the hundreds of men and women stranded in Jamestown, Va., with little food in the dead of winter in 1609.

They even ate their shoes. And, apparently, at least one person.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Bolivian President Evo Morales Expels USAID

Bolivian President Evo Morales sings his national anthem during the annual May Day march in La Paz on Wednesday. He announced during a speech that he was expelling the U.S. Agency for International Development from the country.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 3:45 pm

Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development from his country, accusing it of undermining his government.

"We have decided to expel USAID from Bolivia," Morales said in a May Day speech outside the presidential palace in La Paz.

He said he'd ordered the country's foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, to notify the U.S. Embassy of the decision.

Read more
Business
12:51 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Deal To Protect Bangladeshi Factory Workers Still Elusive

NPR

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:48 pm

This week, major retailers including Wal-Mart, Gap and others met with labor activists in Germany, hoping to hammer out a deal to improve working conditions in Bangladesh.

The meeting came less than a week after a devastating building collapse in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, killed more than 400 workers. At the meeting, activists pushed retailers who use factories in Bangladesh to start spending their own money to make those workplaces safer.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:51 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Second Thoughts On Medicaid From Oregon's Unique Experiment

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:48 pm

Two years ago, a landmark study found that having Medicaid health insurance makes a positive difference in people's lives.

Backers of the program have pointed to that study time and again in their push to encourage states to expand the program as part of the federal health law.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:03 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

A Sleep Gene Has A Surprising Role In Migraines

Bates experienced migraines as a child. She made this painting to depict how they felt to her.
Courtesy of Emily Bates

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:33 am

Mutations on a single gene appear to increase the risk for both an unusual sleep disorder and migraines, a team reports in Science Translational Medicine.

The finding could help explain the links between sleep problems and migraines. It also should make it easier to find new drugs to treat migraines, researchers say.

And for one member of the research team, Emily Bates, the discovery represents a personal victory.

Read more
Africa
12:01 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

S. African Leader Under Fire After Awkward Visit With Mandela

In this image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma sits with ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela on Monday. Mandela was hospitalized in late March with a lung infection, and in images from the visit, appeared largely unresponsive.
SABC AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:48 pm

In South Africa, controversial images of a frail and ashen Nelson Mandela being visited by South Africa's current president aired on national television this week. Some people claimed it was a political publicity stunt.

The footage is fueling fresh debate about what is proper and what constitutes invasion of privacy regarding the ailing, 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid legend.

President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by two other top officials of the governing ANC party, visited Mandela at his Johannesburg home on Monday.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:25 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Justice: Prison Compassionate Release Programs Inconsistent

Inmates file by a guard tower at California's Chino State Prison in 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 4:18 pm

"Compassionate release" programs that free inmates with terminal illnesses and limited life expectancies are poorly run and lack clear standards, the Department of Justice's inspector general said on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports:

Read more
World
11:24 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Why Chemical Weapons Have Been A Red Line Since World War I

Soldiers with the British Machine Gun Corps wear gas masks in 1916 during World War I's first Battle of the Somme.
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:48 pm

President Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons could change the U.S. response to the Syrian civil war. But why this focus on chemical weapons when conventional weapons have killed tens of thousands in Syria?

The answer can be traced back to the early uses of poison gas nearly a century ago.

In World War I, trench warfare led to stalemates — and to new weapons meant to break through the lines.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:19 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:33 am

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:20 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Mate Doesn't Have Your Back? That Boosts Depression Risk

Having a special someone won't fend off depression if that person doesn't have your back.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:21 am

Having a mate is supposed to be good for your mental health.

But if that mate is critical or can't be counted on when the going gets tough, that's worse than having no mate at all, researchers say.

"The quality of your relationships matters more than quantity when it comes to depression," says Dr. Alan Teo, a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan who led the study.

Read more
Afghanistan
10:16 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Secret Cash To Afghan Leader: Corruption Or Just Foreign Aid?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged a report this week that the CIA has regularly been sending him money. Afghans seem to have mixed feelings. The president is shown here speaking at an event in Kabul on March 10.
S. SABAWOON EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:48 pm

After a report in The New York Times this week, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the CIA has been secretly delivering bags of money to his office since the beginning of the war more than a decade ago.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed May 1, 2013

WATCH: Civil Unions Are Legal In Colorado

Anna, left, and Fran Simon, both of Denver, Colo., are the first same-sex couple to be issued a Civil Union license at a midnight ceremony in the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder, at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building on Wednesday.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:13 pm

At midnight, civil unions became legal in Colorado. The state joined eight other states with similar laws and nine others — plus the District of Columbia — to permit gay marriage.

As has become the custom, couples lined up at courthouses across the state in the middle of night, waiting for the clock to strike 12 to receive their paperwork and exchange their vows.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:37 am
Wed May 1, 2013

NASA Details Space Telescope's Cosmic Near Miss

This diagram shows Fermi and Cosmos 1805 on a collision course.
NASA

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:58 am

A new video reveals just how close NASA came last year to losing its $500 million Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in a narrowly averted collision with a defunct, Cold War-era Soviet spy satellite.

On March 29, 2012, Julie McEnery, the project scientist for Fermi, received an automatically generated email warning that the two satellites were due in just a few days to pass within 700 feet of one another as their respective orbits crossed.

Read more
The Salt
9:23 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Chicken Diapers? Urban Farming Spawns Accessory Lines

Clucking all the way to the bank: A hen models a polka-dot diaper from MyPetChicken.com, a multimillion-dollar business that sells everything from chicken caviar treats to day-old birds.
Courtesy of MyPetChicken.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 5:19 am

There's free range and then there's free rein — around your house.

When Julie Baker's backyard birds started spending more time inside, it was tough to keep them clean. So she got innovative.

She sewed up a cloth diaper — chicken-sized, of course — added a few buttons and strapped it onto her little lady.

One thing led to another, and eventually, a business was born.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Pakistani Army Chief Unhappy Over Treatment Of Musharraf

Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, talks to media in northern Pakistan last year.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

The army chief in Pakistan, a country with a long history of military coups, has hinted that he's unhappy with the detention of former President and ex-General Pervez Musharraf.

Read more
It's All Politics
8:29 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Personality Or Party? Mass. Senate Race Shows Value Of Both

Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez speaks last month in South Boston, Mass. On Tuesday, Gomez won the GOP nomination and will face Democratic Rep. Ed Markey in a June 25 special election.
Elise Amendola AP

When Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was tapped to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, his state — and national — party bosses were wringing their hands.

Why? The prospect of Republican Scott Brown launching another campaign to return to the Senate, where he served after winning a special election in 2010 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last November in a race for a full Senate term.

Read more
Health Care
7:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Deported While Unconscious

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, you might be thinking about freshening up your spring wardrobe, and you might find yourself excited by the low prices being advertised at your favorite store at the mall. And then you hear that there were hundreds of deaths at a factory in Bangladesh. Our next guest is going to tell us what one might have to do with the other. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

Read more
Latin America
7:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Obama Crosses The Border

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are going to spend some time today talking about relationships across borders, especially the southern border. Later, we will hear about a practice called medical repatriation that's been documented by a law school think tank. Researchers there claim that a number of hospitals around the country have been sending undocumented patients back to their home countries, even while they're unconscious, to avoid paying for expensive care.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:54 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Boston Police: Three More Individuals In Custody

Items FBI agents say were inside a backpack recovered from a landfill in New Bedford. Investigators say the backpack was thrown in the trash by friends of Tsarnaev.
FBI

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:53 am

(Most recent update: 4:36 p.m. ET.)

Three 19-year-old men — two of them University of Massachusetts Dartmouth college students from Kazakhstan who were friends with Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — were taken into custody Wednesday by authorities in Boston. The third individual, an American citizen, was also a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev was enrolled.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Pew Study: Many Muslims Believe In Mixing Mosque And State

Faithful in Bangladesh offer Friday prayers during a street protest in the capital, Dhaka, in March.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:13 am

Most Muslims around the globe tend to be deeply committed to their faith and believe that it should shape not only their personal lives, but the societies they live in, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center (PDF).

Pew's face-to-face survey of more than 38,000 Muslims, including many in the United States, between 2008-12 produced a telling snapshot of attitudes and beliefs.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Snow In May? The Nation's Midsection Bundles Up

Snow clings to flowers in Denver on Wednesday. As much as a foot of snow is forecast for some areas of Colorado.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:56 am

Update at 4:55 P.M ET: The Associated Press reports that Cheyenne, Wyo. has now received at least 15 inches of snow.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:31 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Ratting Out TB: Scientists Train Rodents To Diagnose Disease

Abdullah Mchumvu has been training African giant pouched rats for more than a decade in Morogoro, Tanzania.
Jonathan Kalan for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 5:39 am

Rats are notorious for spreading nasty diseases. Think the plague, lassa fever and even salmonella.

But could some jumbo-size African rodents help health workers diagnose diseases more quickly? They just might.

A group in Tanzania is training rats to detect tuberculosis in people. The critters in question are African giant pouched rats. They are about twice the size of your average house gerbil — and half as pretty.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:27 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Judge Doubles Down On Double Entendres In Strip Club Case

The judge's name for the case says quite a bit about his opinion.
WOAI.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:27 pm

In what Huffington Post Business calls "one of the funniest, most eloquent court documents we've ever seen," a federal judge in Texas has loaded up his ruling on a case involving San Antonio strip clubs with at least 17 double entendres.

Read more
Business
5:51 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Chuck E. Cheese Slims Down Along With Restaurant's Profits

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you're like me you remember some great birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese. The mascot at the pizza joint, an oversized rodent, gave the best birthday hugs. But these days Chuck E. is just not himself. It looks like he's been on a major diet. The restaurant chain has had a few tough years.

Strange News
5:51 am
Wed May 1, 2013

High Schoolers Show Up For Prom On Wrong Night

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Prom is the high school highlight for many teens. But maybe not for 400 students from Bloomington High here in Southern California, who showed up for their prom a week early. The invitations had the wrong date. Faced with students in gowns and rented tuxes, the venue managed a makeshift party complete with DJ and chicken strips. One mother wasn't impressed. Those chicken strips, she said, were the most expensive the kids would ever eat.

The Two-Way
5:47 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Study: Release Program For Terminal Inmates 'Poorly Managed'

A new watchdog report (PDF) says a Federal Bureau of Prisons program designed to help terminally ill inmates get early release is "poorly managed and implemented inconsistently."

The study by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which was released Wednesday morning, finds that in 13 percent of cases in which prisoners were approved for the program, inmates died before bureaucrats in Washington made a final decision.

Read more

Pages