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12:34 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Cigarette Makers Frustrated As Product Approvals Stall

A clerk prices cigarettes at Discount Smoke Shop in Ballwin, Mo. The Food and Drug Administration, which must approve all new tobacco products or any changes to existing brands, has not cleared any products since assuming that responsibility in 2009.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 2:28 pm

It's been only a few years since Congress granted the federal government the power to approve how tobacco products are made and sold in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration's new Center for Tobacco Products, established under a 2009 law that gives the agency jurisdiction over tobacco, must review all new cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, as well as any changes to existing brands.

But the agency has yet to clear any products under the new system, and some cigarette makers are frustrated by the backlog of applications.

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Books
11:54 am
Fri January 11, 2013

No Going Back: A Hard Look At Bipolar Disorder

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:11 pm

For years, I've taken issue with depictions of mentally ill characters in books and movies. Irrational behavior is easily explained away: They're crazy! No need to elaborate further.

So when I picked up Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, I was apprehensive that the main character, an untreated bipolar Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and child for an international adventure, might be a kooky manic cliche.

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Movie Interviews
11:45 am
Fri January 11, 2013

In 'Barbara,' A New Look At Life Behind The Wall

Barbara shows a quiet, restrained normalcy in the former East Germany.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:21 pm

The historical drama is a staple of the film awards season, and the tortured history of modern Germany — with its echoes of the brutal Third Reich and war — has played a central role in many an award-winning film. But the new film Barbara, which was Germany's official entry to this year's Oscars, is a nuanced portrait of the more recent history of a newly reunited East and West.

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Shots - Health News
11:38 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Businesses Sue Government Over Birth Control Mandate

The Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores has gone to court to block a provision of the administration's health law that requires employers' health plans to pay for contraceptives.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:07 pm

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, few would have predicted that one of the most contentious provisions would have to do with contraception.

But today federal officials are grappling with more than 40 lawsuits claiming that the requirement for most health plans to provide contraceptive coverage to women violates their religious freedom.

And religious groups aren't the only ones going to court.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
11:38 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Superstorm Sandy Victims Resettle Thanks To Small Town's Efforts

Deborah Rassi, 59, cleans her new kitchen. She's holding a bag of donated clothing, one of many that volunteers left in the new mobile home.
Neena Satija WNPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:11 pm

Thousands of Superstorm Sandy victims are still displaced more than two months after the storm. So, some locals in Connecticut hatched a plan to relocate some of them to a brand-new neighborhood with homes of their own.

Deborah Rassi and her family from Staten Island, N.Y., have been in the small, rural town of New Milford, Conn., for three days.

She was happy to be unpacking at her brand-new mobile house, which came with bags of donated clothing.

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It's All Politics
11:37 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Post-Election Americans Perceive Less Class Conflict and Tension Over Immigration

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:19 pm

You might think that after a pretty rancorous election season there would be lingering acrimony between people who belong to groups embroiled in some of the campaign's most heated debates. But if there is, a new study by Pew found that many Americans don't feel that way.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Former Marine Who Shot At The Pentagon Sentenced To 25 Years

Yonathan Melaku, the former Marine who admitting to shooting at several U.S. military buildings in the Washington, D.C., area in 2010, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, in a plea deal that makes his sentence non-negotiable. After his arrest, Melaku was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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Shots - Health News
11:19 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Despite Billions In Aid, Many Haitians Still Live In Squalid Camps

Jacqueline Syra has been living in the La Piste camp for three years. She says she has no idea when she will be able to leave.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:06 am

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the powerful earthquake that destroyed much of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. The quake killed roughly 200,000 people and left 1.5 million Haitians homeless.

Despite billions of dollars in international aid and pledges to help Haiti rebuild from the disaster, very little new, permanent housing has been built. And about 350,000 Haitians are still living in squalid, makeshift camps — where they face an array of health challenges.

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It's All Politics
11:07 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Rockefeller's Exit May Test How Deep The Red Runs In W.Va.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced Friday that he won't seek re-election in 2014 and will retire after having served 30 years in the Senate.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The announcement from Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., that he will not seek a sixth term in 2014, would seem to give Republicans a big opening in a state that has gone deep red in recent presidential elections.

But West Virginia's animus toward recent Democrats in the White House, especially President Obama, doesn't necessarily translate into Republican advantages in statewide races.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Spike That Email About Welfare And Work; Fact-Checkers Say It's Not True

If this arrives in your inbox, fact checkers advise just hitting delete.
PolitiFact.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:58 pm

If you've gotten the "Death Spiral" email that's apparently been arriving in many inboxes, here's the verdict from two major, nonpartisan fact checkers:

It is NOT true, as the email claims, that in 11 states there are more people on welfare than there are working.

The debunkers: both PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Computer Users Should Disable Java 7 Owing To Security Flaw, Experts Say

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:43 pm

Millions of computer users who run the most recent versions of Oracle's Java software should disable the product owing to security flaws, says the cybersecurity section of the Department of Homeland Security. The agency says, "Web browsers using the Java 7 plug-in are at high risk."

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World
9:46 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Juarez Priest Finds 'Hand Of God In The Midst Of Mayhem'

Father Kevin Mullins' parish, the Comunidad Catolica de Corpus Christi near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is located at the epicenter of the country's drug cartel war. After years of violence, murders are down and the city's shuttered shops and cafes are beginning to reopen.
Christ Chavez For NPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:11 pm

Father Kevin Mullins steers his old Chevy pickup up a steep road to a hilltop dominated by a large statue of the virgin. She has a commanding view of this troubled corner of Christendom.

Here, the states of Texas, New Mexico and and Chihuahua, Mexico, intersect amid barren hills freckled with ocotillo plants and greasewood.

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The Salt
9:24 am
Fri January 11, 2013

In The Battle Between Health And Taste, Why White Bread Still Wins

White bread, we just can't quit you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:59 am

The tantalizing aroma of freshly baked brioche is hard to resist, while a virtuous loaf of whole wheat often lacks that same allure. Blame it on the ferulic acid.

See, whole-wheat bread contains all parts of the wheat, including the bran, but white bread does not. That bran in the wheat bread contains the aforementioned ferulic acid, which overrides the compounds that give white bread its mouthwatering smell, according to new research.

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Shots - Health News
8:47 am
Fri January 11, 2013

CDC Says Flu Could Be Waning In Places, But Worst May Not Be Over

Registered nurse Michelle Newbury and physician assistant Scott Fillman see patients Thursday in a tent set up for people with flu symptoms, just outside the emergency entrance at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:45 am

Federal healthy officials said Friday there are some early signs this year's flu season may be easing in some parts of the country. But they stressed it's far too early to tell whether the flu season has peaked.

The number of states reporting widespread flu activity is up to 47, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But flu activity nationally fell slightly in the CDC's most recent data. Five states reported less flu than a week earlier, according to the CDC.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Jimmy Savile Sexually Abused Hundreds, Police Report Concludes

A new police report says of the late Jimmy Savile, seen here in 1973, "the scale of his abuse is believed to be unprecedented in the UK."
R. Poplowski Getty Images

British TV personality Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011, was a sexual predator who abused hundreds of victims on a scale that is "unprecedented" in Britain, according to a comprehensive police report on the disgraced celebrity. The report by a team that included 30 detectives found that Savile exploited "the vulnerable or star-struck for his sexual gratification."

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Fri January 11, 2013

With End Of U.S. Forces' Role In Sight, Obama And Afghanistan's Karzai Meet

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and President Obama during Friday's news conference at the White House.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:18 pm

American and coalition forces will move into a "support" role in Afghanistan starting this spring, President Obama announced Friday afternoon at the White House during a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Obama said Afghan soldiers "are stepping up" and U.S. forces can now step back.

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Religion
7:08 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Evangelical Pastor Pulls Out Of Inaugural Event

Evangelical pastor Louie Giglio of Atlanta has withdrawn from giving the inaugural benediction. He's being criticized for remarks he made against homosexuality about two decades ago. Host Michel Martin speaks with Laurie Goodstein, national religion correspondent for The New York Times, about the reaction to Pastor Giglio.

Religion
6:33 am
Fri January 11, 2013

The Buzz On Silent Retreats

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:56 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're almost two weeks into the new year. We're thinking about the resolutions that many people may have made, and you often hear people talking about getting their finances in order or eating better or getting in shape, but we also notice that many people are telling us that they are resolving to unplug more from the stress of our fast-paced lives. Some people are saying that they're going to spend more time in silence, so why don't we give it a try? Here it is. Let's go.

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Economy
6:33 am
Fri January 11, 2013

New Mortgage Rules Not A Fix All

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:55 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released new rules for mortgages this week. But neither the banking industry, nor consumer groups are completely happy. Host Michel Martin gets a sense of the current state of mortgages and foreclosures with real estate columnist Ilyce Glink and Keli Goff, political correspondent for The Root.

Beauty Shop
6:33 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Gun Control Reform Possible Without NRA Support?

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:56 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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Shots - Health News
6:25 am
Fri January 11, 2013

How Military Research On Anthrax Could Lead To A Weapon Against Gluten

Students at the University of Washington used a protein-folding program initially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to come up with a treatment for celiac disease.
DARPA

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:06 am

Why would the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — the people who helped bring the world stealth fighters and GPS — fund research into man-made proteins that could make it easier for some Americans to eat pizza?

That's what we wondered when we read that the Pentagon's gee-whiz research arm provided support for work on a drug to treat celiac disease, a condition that interferes with the digestion of gluten in wheat and other foods.

So we asked.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Fri January 11, 2013

'State Of The Union' Set For Feb. 12

President Obama, Vice President Biden (at left) and House speaker John Boehner at the 2012 State of the Union address.
Saul Loeb DPA /Landov

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has sent President Obama the invitation that precedes each year's State of the Union address:

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Ai Weiwei: In China, Lack Of Truth 'Is Suffocating'

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in June 2012.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 7:15 am

  • From WBUR: Ai Weiwei on the suffocation of truth.
  • From WBUR: Ai Weiwei on being known despite censorship.
  • From WBUR: Ai Weiwei on life in prison.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who has been outspoken about the lack of freedom in his homeland and was imprisoned in what he and his supporters say was an effort to keep him quiet, told our colleagues at Boston's WBUR this week that the lack of truth in China is "suffocating ... like bad air all the time."

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Shots - Health News
5:44 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Merck Halts Sale Of Niacin Drug In 40 Countries

Tredaptive, a booster of good cholesterol, is dead.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:29 am

Drugmaker Merck just stuck a fork in a vitamin-based drug to prevent heart disease and stroke.

The company is withdrawing Tredaptive, a long-acting pill combining niacin (No. 3 in the long list of B vitamins) and laropiprant, a chemical that reduces the unpleasant skin flushing caused by high doses of niacin.

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The Two-Way
3:38 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Feeling Miserable? You're Not Alone, And The Flu Epidemic Has Yet To Peak

Reaching for relief: A customer at a pharmacy in New York City was grabbing some medicine on Thursday.
Andrew Kelly Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:50 am

If you haven't caught the flu yet or don't know someone who has, you might want to buy a lottery ticket today. You're one lucky person.

As The Associated Press writes, "from the Rocky Mountains to New England, hospitals are swamped with people with flu symptoms." More than 40 states report "widespread" outbreaks. The flu's been blamed for the deaths of at least 20 children, the AP adds.

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Around the Nation
2:42 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Lost Duffel Bag Returned To World War II Vet

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Nearly seven decades ago, a young soldier from Indiana left his green duffel bag on a French battlefield in World War II. This week, William Kadar's granddaughter, also an Army veteran, presented him with the bag still stenciled with his name and serial number. A teenager in France had found it in his own grandfather's house. Kadar was captured by the Germans, and has said: It's a miracle I came home.

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

The Two-Way
2:21 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Reports: FAA To Order Review Of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The interior of a United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:05 am

Update at 9:42 a.m. ET. Review Ordered:

Saying that "we are confident about the safety of this aircraft, but we are concerned about these incidents," Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta confirmed Friday morning that his agency has ordered a review of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner after a series of problems in recent days, including fuel leaks and an electrical fire.

The planes are not being grounded. Boeing says it welcomes the review and is confident in the aircraft's safety.

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Around the Nation
2:17 am
Fri January 11, 2013

After Pot Skit, School Invites Jimmy Kimmel To Visit

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Humboldt State University invited Jimmy Kimmel to come see for himself. The TV host mocked the university for its marijuana research program. He ran a fake commercial, saying graduates could enjoy careers like dog walking or Occupying Wall Street. The university and student body presidents wrote a letter saying the skit was funny, but unfair. And now the school has invited Kimmel to deliver its commencement address. No word if he'll bring a match.

Business
12:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

International Twitter War Becomes An Opera

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is being set to music. Truth really is stranger than fiction, which is how a TV interview with President Richard Nixon could become a famous play, and how The New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright could create a forthcoming play on the Camp David accords. Now, an international Twitter war is becoming an opera.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Last summer, The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman criticized the economic austerity of Estonia.

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