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The Two-Way
3:53 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Jobless Claims At Five-Year Low; Home Building Hit Five-Year High In 2012

Going up in Chicago: Row houses under construction.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:53 am

There were 335,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 37,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's the lowest total for any one week since January 2008.

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Around the Nation
2:47 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Electric Bikes Make Auto Show Appearance

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Walk a street in Beijing and you'll likely hear a whirring noise as an electric bicycle glides past. They're common in China. One auto maker wants to make them more common here. The makers of tiny Smart cars put an electric bike on display at the Detroit Auto Show. People at that show can also find bikes with pedals, like the Toyota Prius-branded bike.

Around the Nation
2:43 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Michigan Man Reels In Giant Goldfish

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. I have goldfish. They're small. On the other hand, my goldfish don't live in a lake, or at least one has gotten very, very big.

Fishing at Lake St. Claire, Michigan last weekend, Mark Martin reeled in a goldfish big enough to mount on his wall. Most likely dumped by a former owner, it weighed more than three pounds and is nearly 15 inches long. It might be a record catch, if Michigan kept records on goldfish.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
2:23 am
Thu January 17, 2013

In Algeria: Some Hostages May Have Escaped

Algerian men look at national newspapers headlining the terrorist attack and kidnapping in Amenas at a news stand in Algiers on Thursday.
Ouahab Hebbat AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 11:57 am

Events are happening quickly at the gas facility in eastern Algeria where Islamist militants seized a large group of hostages — perhaps as many as 41 of them foreigners who apparently include some Americans — on Wednesday.

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Mental Health
12:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Mental Health Advocates Welcome Obama's Gun Orders

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:40 am

While many of the proposals President Obama unveiled Wednesday focused on toughening gun laws, they also included efforts to address the nation's fragmented and porous mental health system.

Around the Nation
12:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

FAA Grounds Boeing's New Jetliner In The U.S.

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Still more trouble for Boeing's newest passenger jet, the 787, known as the Dreamliner. The FAA has grounded all U.S.-owned 787s because of safety concerns. This follows an earlier move by Japan doing the same. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports for today's Business Bottom Line.

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Politics
12:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Obama Calls On Congress To Act To Reduce Gun Violence

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama says he's done what he could on his own. Yesterday he signed 23 executive orders related to gun control. They will allow federal agencies to strengthen the existing background check system and improve the tracking of stolen guns. The big ticket items, like universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity clips, will need congressional action.

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Shots - Health News
10:48 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Bad Flu Season Overshadows Other Winter Miseries

People line up at a Duane Reade pharmacy in New York behind a sign announcing the recent flu outbreak.
Andrew Kelly Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

Dr. Beth Zeeman says she can spot a case of influenza from 20 paces. It's not like a common cold.

"People think they've had the flu when they've had colds," Zeeman, an emergency room specialist at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., tells Shots. "People use the word 'flu' for everything. But having influenza is really a different thing. It hits you like a ton of bricks."

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Losing Our Religion
10:46 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

On Religion, Some Young People Show Both Doubt And Respect

NPR's David Greene leads a discussion about religion with a group of young adults at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

This is the second of a two-part discussion. Read Part 1.

A third of young adults in this country say they don't identify with any organized religion. NPR's David Greene wanted to understand why, so he met with a group of men and women in their 20s and 30s, all of whom have struggled with the role of faith and religion in their lives.

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Losing Our Religion
10:46 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Making Marriage Work When Only One Spouse Believes In God

Peyer says that even though she and her husband believe different things when it comes to God, they have found ways to accept and support each other's beliefs.
Leah Nash for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

Maria Peyer and Mike Bixby are one of those couples who just seem made for each other. They hold hands when they sit and talk. They're happy to spend the morning cooking brunch with their children in their home in southern Washington.

Bixby and Peyer have known each other since they were young, but got married only a few years ago.

"It just hadn't been the right time, until it was. God bless Facebook," says Peyer.

"She Facebooked me, and asked if I remembered her, and then it just went from there," Bixby says.

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Shots - Health News
1:53 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Schedule Of Childhood Vaccines Declared Safe

Some parents have worried that kids get too many vaccinations too quickly. A review of all the available research suggests those concerns are misplaced.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

Childhood vaccines for diseases like measles, polio and whooping cough have repeatedly been proved safe and effective. Even so, some parents still worry that the schedule of vaccinations — 24 immunizations by the age of 2 — can be dangerous. That worry is likely misplaced, according to a yearlong review of all available scientific data.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Americans Among Hostages Seized By Militants In Algeria

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 2:25 am

Militants seized dozens of hostages, apparently including Americans as we reported earlier, in a deadly raid on an Algerian gas facility Wednesday.

As State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said earlier: "The best information we have at this time is that U.S. citizens are among the hostages."

Now, more is becoming known about what happened in the Algerian gas field, and about some of the hostages.

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U.S.
1:16 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Violence-Riddled Chicago Hopes Gun Proposals Will Help Shield It

Community leaders and family members of murder victims attend a press conference Jan. 3 at St. Sabina Church in Chicago to make a plea for stronger gun regulations.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

As President Obama unveiled his gun control proposals Wednesday, he highlighted mass shootings at schools in Colorado, Virginia and Connecticut. He also mentioned another group of children, not in school — the ones on the street corners of Chicago.

Chicagoan Annette Holt was at the White House during Obama's address. Her teenage son, Blair, was shot to death five years ago on a Chicago bus as he shielded a fellow student from a spray of bullets.

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The Salt
1:09 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Jihadi Fighters Win Hearts And Minds By Easing Syria's Bread Crisis

A man makes bread as residents, background, stand in line in front of a bakery during heavy fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government forces in Aleppo, Syria, on Dec. 4, 2012.
Narciso Contreras Associated Press

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

In Syria, the staple of most meals is a thin, round, flat bread that we would probably call pita.

Back in November, as fierce fighting raged across Syria, people started to run out of this bread. Government forces were attacking bakeries in rebel-held areas and cutting off electricity so mills couldn't grind flour. By late last year, Syrians were desperate.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Manti Te'o Girlfriend Story Was A Hoax; Linebacker Says He Was Taken In

The sports website Deadspin says the story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o losing a girlfriend to leukemia is a hoax.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:35 am

Manti Te'o, the Notre Dame linebacker who nearly won the Heisman Trophy this season, is at the center of what Deadspin reports is a "hoax," in which the story of a girlfriend — and her tragic death — was fabricated. The site is questioning the existence of a girl Te'o has said inspired him to new heights. We'll update this post with new information as it emerges.

Update at 9 p.m. Notre Dame News Conference

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Politics
12:54 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Interior Secretary's Legacy Defined By Issues Of Oil

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks at the dedication for the Southwest's first urban wildlife refuge on the southern edge of Albuquerque, N.M., on Sept. 27, 2012. Salazar has announced that he'll leave his post in late March and return to Colorado.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

The Department of the Interior is huge — more than 70,000 employees manage a half-billion acres of public land, mostly in the West. The department does everything from operate national parks to administer Native American social programs and manage wild horses.

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It's All Politics
12:39 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Decades-Old Gun Ban That's Still On The Books

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officer Jay Phillippi looks over a fully automatic Thompson machine gun that was turned in during a "Gifts for Guns" program in Compton, Calif., in 2005.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

When President Obama laid out his proposals Wednesday to reduce gun violence, he included a call for Congress to ban "military-style assault weapons."

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Environment
12:11 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Could Some Midwest Land Support New Biofuel Refineries?

Vegetation like the kind growing here at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station could one day be used to feed small biofuel refineries spread throughout the Midwest.
J.E.Doll Michigan State University

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

Millions of acres of marginal farmland in the Midwest — land that isn't in good enough condition to grow crops — could be used to produce liquid fuels made from plant material, according to a study in Nature. And those biofuels could, in theory, provide about 25 percent of the advanced biofuels required by a 2007 federal law.

But there are many ifs and buts about this study — and, in fact, about the future of advanced biofuels.

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Shots - Health News
12:02 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Skin Doctors Question Accuracy Of Apps For Cancer Risk

Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Mannino checks a sailor for skin cancer the old-fashioned way during a screening exam at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego.
MC2 Dominique M. Lasco U.S. Navy

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 3:51 am

Skin cancer? There's an app for that.

But the same smartphone that brings you Fruit Ninja might not be the best tool for diagnosing deadly melanoma.

Smartphone apps that evaluate moles for skin cancer risk missed threatening moles one-third of the time, according to a study by dermatologists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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NPR Story
11:51 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Taliban Militants Target Afghan Intelligence Center

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Afghanistan today, Taliban militants staged a brazen attack in the heart of Kabul. Their target was the headquarters of the National Directorate of Security or NDS - it's Afghanistan's equivalent of the FBI.

As NPR's Sean Carberry reports, the attack began with a suicide bombing, then five militants tried to storm the compound.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS AND GUNFIRE)

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NPR Story
11:51 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Algeria Hostage-Taking Could Be Retaliation For France's Actions In Mali

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Algerian Islamists attacked an oil and gas field at dawn this morning in the desert on the border with Libya. They claim to have taken nearly 200 people hostage. In addition to Algerians, they claim to hold seven Americans, as well as French, British and Japanese citizens.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris reports the hostage-taking appears to be the first act of retaliation for France's actions in Mali.

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U.S.
11:44 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Some States Put Brakes On Driver's Licenses For Illegal Immigrants

Lucas Codognolla, 22, receives his license after qualifying for it under President Obama's federal immigration policy, which allows some young immigrants who are in the country illegally to stay in the U.S. for at least two years.
Craig LeMoult for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

Lucas Codognolla's hands shake as he waits in line at the Bridgeport, Conn., DMV for his turn to take the road test.

"I don't know if it's nerves or the excitement, you know?" he says.

The 22-year-old's family emigrated from Brazil when was just 9. When he turned 16 and wanted to get his driver's license, his parents sat him down and told him the truth: He was in the country illegally.

Initially, he lied to his friends about why he couldn't drive, he says. But then, as he got older, driving simply became necessary.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Wed January 16, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Sees Profits Rise, Halves CEO's Salary For London Debacle

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:41 am

JPMorgan Chase reports that its profits were up 53 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 — but CEO Jamie Dimon's pay will be cut in half, after the bank lost billions of dollars on risky bets made in its London office. The incident tarnished the reputation of Dimon, who had successfully steered his bank through the recent financial crisis.

"This past year has been a bruising one for Dimon," as NPR's Steve Henn reports for our Newscast unit:

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Shots - Health News
11:28 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Mental Health Gun Laws Unlikely To Reduce Shootings

State Senator Jeff Klein (L-R), Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins congratulate New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after he signed the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act on Tuesday.
Hans Pennink Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:11 am

States aren't likely to prevent many shootings by requiring mental health professionals to report potentially violent patients, psychiatrists and psychologists say.

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It's All Politics
10:52 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Even Post-Sandy Hook, Politics Suggest Prospects Dim For Obama's Gun Plan

President Obama and Vice President Biden announce the administration's new gun control proposals Wednesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 11:31 am

President Obama's historic plunge Wednesday into the politics and realities of gun control in America has mobilized advocates on both sides of the issue.

But though his major proposals, from banning assault rifles to more stringent background checks and ammunition limits, are being rolled out in the shadow of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., their Capitol Hill prospects remain highly uncertain given long-standing resistance to such efforts.

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It's All Politics
10:08 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Dear Mr. President: Tell Obama Your Priority For His Second Term

via Tumblr

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:16 am

In anticipation of Inauguration Day, NPR photographer Becky Lettenberger and producer Justine Kenin visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to ask Americans: "What do you want President Obama to remember in his second term?"

This video shows some of the answers we received outside the White House. But that was just the start of a project that we're calling "Dear Mr. President."

Now we want to hear from you.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Outsourced: Employee Sends Own Job To China; Surfs Web

Plugged in, but not at work: Web security personnel were called in to find out how a company's network was being accessed from China. They found that an employee had outsourced his own job.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:41 am

What began as a company's suspicion that its infrastructure was being hacked turned into a case of a worker outsourcing his own job to a Chinese consulting firm, according to reports that cite an investigation by Verizon's security team. The man was earning a six-figure salary.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Conrad Bain, Mr. Drummond On 'Diff'rent Strokes,' Dies

Conrad Bain, with actors Todd Bridges (left) and Gary Coleman (right) in 1978 when they were starring on Diff'rent Strokes.
NBC Television Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 10:59 am

He'll always be best known as "the kindly white adoptive father of two young African-American brothers in the TV sitcom Diff'rent Strokes," as The Associated Press writes.

Conrad Bain, 89, died Monday in Livermore, Calif., his daughter says.

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Shots - Health News
8:35 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Why A Young Man Died In A Nursing Home, A State Away From His Mom

Zach Sayne at age 5, with his mother Nola.
Courtesy of Nola Sayne

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 11:12 am

Zach Sayne was 25 when he died earlier this month at the place that had been his home for 15 years — a children's nursing home in Alabama.

But that was too far away, 200 miles too far, for his mother in Georgia. Nola Sayne was trying to bring him back, closer to her home. The story of why she couldn't reveals the bureaucratic traps, underfunding and lack of choices that plague state Medicaid programs.

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The Salt
7:39 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Cutting Sugar Consumption Helps Keep Extra Weight Off

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 10:48 am

How evil is sugar? That's long been a hard question for researchers to answer. Most of the studies about sugar's health effects to date have been too small, too short-term, or too poorly designed to nail it one way or another.

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