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The Salt
10:54 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

The other Mars Curiosity rover, made of gingerbread and on display on the Caltech campus.
Brian Bell courtesy California Institute of Technology

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 7:47 am

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Tue December 18, 2012

How Much Good Can You Do? There's A Calculator For That

Toby Ord, founder of Giving What We Can.
Giving What We Can

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:16 am

This time of year, many are thinking about giving to one charity or another and wondering just how much good their donations will do.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
9:44 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Officials In Newtown Follow A Well-Worn Media Script

Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police conducts a news briefing Saturday in Newtown, Conn. The strategy for dealing with the wave of news media in Newtown echoes that of some past tragedies, experts say.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:04 am

Fielding questions from reporters Friday in the first hours after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance made one thing perfectly clear: The news media could consider him the one and only reliable source for information on the tragedy.

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The Salt
9:36 am
Tue December 18, 2012

One Airport's Trash Is 2 Million Worms' Treasure

Charlotte Douglas International Airport has deployed an army of 1.9 million worms to eat through its organic waste. The airport has reduced the trash it sends to the landfill by 70 percent.
Julie Rose

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:16 am

Food waste is not just a problem for restaurants — airports also have to deal with piles of this kind of garbage.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Coal May Pass Oil As World's No. 1 Energy Source By 2017, Study Says

China and India are projected to propel coal's challenge of oil as the world's top energy source within the next five years, according to a new study. Here, a man rides a bicycle toward a coal-fired power station in China's Guangdong province last year.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 9:49 am

Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Latest Syrian Fighting Touches Off A New Exodus

The family of this Palestinian boy was among many that fled the Yarmuk refugee camp near the Syrian capital Damascus after fighting in recent days. The boy and his family are shown at another refugee camp, this one in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, on Tuesday.
AFP/Getty Images

NPR is not identifying the author, a Syrian citizen, for security reasons.

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It's All Politics
8:54 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Low-Profile Power Player Jack Lew May Be In Line For Treasury Post

President Obama walks with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew on March 2 on the South Lawn of the White House.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:16 am

Ask the average person — even in Washington — who serves as President Obama's chief of staff and you'll probably get a blank stare.

Jack Lew hasn't been heard or seen in the "fiscal cliff" drama unfolding between the White House and Congress. But the former budget director, who took over the top White House job last January, has become a key player behind the scenes.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Obama Supports New Bid To Ban Assault Weapons, Close Gun Show 'Loophole'

At the Freddie Bear Sports shop in Tinley Park, Ill., Jason Zielinski shows AR-15 style rifles to a customer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:59 am

President Obama has thrown his support behind a leading Democratic senator's effort to reinstate a ban on assault weapons — another sign that Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has put gun control back on Washington's political agenda.

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Shots - Health News
8:20 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Dangers of 'Whoonga': Abuse Of AIDS Drugs Stokes Resistance

A whoonga smoker near Durban, South Africa, shows a crushed AIDS pill in the palm of his hand before mixing the drug with marijuana.
John Robinson AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:01 am

Opportunists who market street drugs may be undermining the global struggle against AIDS.

In South Africa, two mainstay HIV drugs have found their way into recreational use. That may help explain why some HIV patients are resistant to these front-line medicines even if they've never been in treatment before.

It can happen in two ways.

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Shots - Health News
7:47 am
Tue December 18, 2012

A View From The Ground: Thailand Confronts Drug-Resistant Malaria

Dr. Aun Pyae Phyo examines a baby at the Whampa malaria clinic on the Thailand-Myanmar border.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:16 am

Global efforts to combat malaria are under threat from new strains of drug-resistant malaria, which are cropping up in Southeast Asia.

Over the last decade, the number of malaria deaths around the world has dropped sharply, from just over 1 million in 2000 to roughly 600,000 last year.

Much of that progress is due to the widespread use of drugs containing artemisinin. The new malaria drugs quickly kill the parasite.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Tue December 18, 2012

No Federal 'Cyberstalking' Charges Against Woman In Petraeus Affair

Paula Broadwell in July 2011.
ISAF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:54 am

Paula Broadwell, whose affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus led to his resignation from the post of CIA director, will not face federal charges related to the alleged cyberstalking of another woman, according to a letter sent by the Justice Department to Broadwell's attorney.

Robert Muse, Broadwell's lawyer, has released the letter from Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow that says, in part:

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Music
7:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Danica McKellar: Billy Joel Helped Teen Stress

You may remember Danica McKellar as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years. Today, the actress is also a math advocate and the author of Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape. In Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, McKellar talks about the songs that helped her beat stress as a teen and inspire her as an adult.

Education
7:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Catching Up With Remedial Courses In College

There's a lot of talk about students struggling in K through 12 classrooms. But once they get to college, many students fall even further behind. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sarah Gonzalez, NPR's StateImpact Florida reporter, about the high number of college students enrolling in remedial classes.

Children's Health
7:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Kids And Teens: Is Pot Bad If It's Legal?

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:56 am

There are some warnings parents drill into their kids: don't drink, don't smoke, and don't do drugs. Now that Washington state and Colorado have legalized marijuana, those conversations just got more complicated. Host Michel Martin speaks with pediatrician Dr. Leslie Walker for advice on how to talk with young children and teens about marijuana.

Politics
7:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Can Lawmakers Prevent Mass Shootings?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, now that a couple of states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, can parents still tell their kids to just say no? We'll hear from a pediatrician who works with substance-addicted teens about why it's still important to have the talk about drug use, and to pay attention to what you as a parent are modeling with your own behavior. That's coming up.

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Remembrances
7:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

War Hero, Trailblazer: Remembering Sen. Inouye

Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii passed away Monday at the age of 88. Inouye was one of the longest-serving members of the Senate and a veteran of World War II. Host Michel Martin pays tribute to the senator, reprising a conversation they had on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Global Health
6:34 am
Tue December 18, 2012

States Dreading Fiscal Cliff Outcome — But Indecision May Be Worse

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says uncertainty about a federal budget deal in Washington played a big part in his recent announcement of cuts to his state's budget by $500 million.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 7:35 am

It's not the cutting, it's the uncertainty.

That's the lament these days from governors and mayors awaiting the outcome of federal budget negotiations.

They know they're likely to take a hit; they just don't know how bad it's going to be.

"How do you budget for the unknown?" wonders Ed Long, the county executive in Fairfax County, Va. "Our worst fear is that by [the federal government] not acting, the economy is going to get worse going forward."

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Nancy Lanza, Gunman's Mother: From 'Charmed Upbringing' To First Victim

Nancy J. Lanza, mother of suspected mass shooter Adam Lanza, was one of the 26 victims of the mass shooting on Friday.
Handout Courtesy of family of Nancy Lanza via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:34 am

Before he forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday and began a rampage that would leave 20 children and six adults dead, police say, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother at their home in Newtown, Conn.

Who was Nancy Lanza, 52?

A picture is emerging.

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Europe
5:59 am
Tue December 18, 2012

In France, Free Birth Control For Girls At Age 15

An employee tidies boxes of medicines displayed in a pharmacy in the city of Caen in western France last month. Beginning in 2013, girls between the ages of 15 and 18 will be able to get birth control free of charge, and without parental notification.
Charly Triballeau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:16 am

Beginning next year, young women in France between the ages of 15 and 18 will have access to birth control free of charge, and without parental notification. The French government says the new measure is intended to reduce pregnancies in this age group that result from a mixture of ignorance, taboo and lack of access to contraception.

One place where information is available on birth control, abortion and sexual abuse is a family planning clinic in a gritty neighborhood in the east of Paris.

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Shots - Health News
5:50 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Seniors Looking To Quit Smoking Get More Help From Medicare

Medicare is making it easier for beneficiaries to stamp out cigarettes for good.
larding Flickr

Everyone knows that quitting smoking is one of the surest ways to reduce the risk of dying.

But it has taken a long time for some Medicare beneficiaries to get the same kind of help with quitting that's routinely available to people with private health insurance.

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The Two-Way
4:08 am
Tue December 18, 2012

For Two Cubans In Guantanamo, Daily Commute Between Two Worlds Ends

Luis La Rosa, left, and Harry Henry on one of their last days at work on the U.S. Naval Station Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Suzette Laboy AP

We've had to focus on news about the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., since Friday, which means we missed some interesting stories over the past few days. NPR intern Rachel Brody shares one of them.

This is a story about a daily commute that spanned regimes, not just miles.

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The Two-Way
3:22 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Is A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Near?

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House last month.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:50 am

(Scroll down for updates on the GOP's "plan B" and White House rejecting it.)

Talks are "heating up."

Differences are "narrowing."

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The Two-Way
3:01 am
Tue December 18, 2012

NBC News' Richard Engel, Two Colleagues Freed From Syrian Captors

NBC News' Richard Engel. (2009 file shot.)
Meet the Press Getty Images

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and two members of his production team are free after five days of being held captive in Syria.

The network says Engel and his colleagues were traveling with rebels in Syria last Thursday when they were kidnapped by armed men. Their captors "executed one of the rebels 'on the spot,' " NBC says.

Monday evening, NBC reports:

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The Two-Way
2:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

In A 'Numb' Newtown, Students Head Back To School

In Newtown: A memorial to the victims.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:00 am

  • NPR's Don Gonyea, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Most students returned to school today in Newtown, Conn., site of Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead or dying.

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Animals
2:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Christmas Comes Early At Australia's Taronga Zoo

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
2:06 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Questions Answered About Indiana Jones Package

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Remembrances
1:07 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Sen. Inouye, A War Hero Who Broke Barriers, Dies At 88

Inouye's wife, Maggie, waves to a neighbor as she, the senator and son Kenny prepare to leave their home, Aug. 4, 1973, in Bethesda, Md.
Bill Weems AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:06 am

Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye, the Senate's senior member, died at a Bethesda, Md., hospital Monday. He was 88 years old and was suffering from a respiratory ailment. The Japanese-American was known for his heroism in World War II and for breaking racial barriers.

Born to Japanese immigrants in Hawaii in 1924, the young Inouye dreamed of becoming a surgeon, but world events intervened as he was listening to the radio on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941.

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NPR Story
12:21 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 1:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with pressure to sell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
11:37 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Coverage Rapid, And Often Wrong, In Tragedy's Early Hours

Flowers, candles and stuffed animals make up a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn., on Monday. Much of the initial news coverage of Friday's events was later found to be inaccurate.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:09 am

Nearly everyone reported so many things wrong in the first 24 hours after the Sandy Hook shootings that it's hard to single out any one news organization or reporter for criticism.

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It's All Politics
11:03 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

South Carolina's New Senator A Tea Party Favorite, Staunch Obama Critic

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott smiles during a news conference announcing him as Jim DeMint's replacement in the U.S. Senate at the South Carolina Statehouse on Monday in Columbia.
Rainier Ehrhardt AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:18 am

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley named a fellow Republican, Rep. Tim Scott, as the state's next senator on Monday. He replaces retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and will make history as the first black senator from the South since 1881.

Haley, however, wanted everyone to know her selection was based on Scott's merit, not his race.

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