NPR News

Pages

Politics
12:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Senator Cory Booker: Workhorse Or Show Horse?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we'll speak with a roundtable of educators about school safety. That's a subject that's on our minds a year after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and weeks after two more teachers were killed in their schools. That conversation is coming up.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Pakistan Says Drones Killed Far Fewer Civilians Than Thought

A U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:12 pm

While human rights groups and other watchdogs have put the civilian death toll in the hundreds, Pakistan's Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that just 3 percent of the deaths from U.S. drone strikes since 2008 were noncombatants.

The ministry says 317 drone strikes have killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians in the last five years.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:33 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Why Insurers Cancel Policies, And What You Can Do About It

Many people who buy their own health insurance are being told their policieswill be canceled. New coverage may cost more and sometimes less, but it can't be denied because or pre-existing conditions.
iStockphoto.com

Health insurers are ending policies for what could turn out to be millions of Americans. The moves have rattled consumers and stoked new debate about the health care law.

No one knows for sure right now how many of the estimated 14 million people who buy their own insurance are getting cancellation notices, but the numbers appear to be big. Some insurers report discontinuing 20 percent of their individual business, while other insurers have notified up to 80 percent of policyholders that they will have to change plans.

Read more
Parallels
11:08 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Armies Can't Find Joseph Kony. Can Crowdfunding?

Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is being pursued by U.S. Special Forces and African armies. If he can raise enough money, adventurer Robert Young Pelton will be tracking him, too.
STR AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:23 pm

U.S. Special Forces haven't found Joseph Kony. Several African governments have searched in vain for the notorious Ugandan warlord. And a social media campaign among young Americans, which last year focused attention on Kony's atrocities and went viral, has waned.

But Canadian Robert Young Pelton, an adventurer/journalist/entrepreneur, thinks he can track down Kony in central Africa — and he's prepared to do it if he can raise $450,000 from crowdfunding.

Read more
The Salt
10:57 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Before Marathoners Had Energy Bars ...

These are food.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:36 am

In its October/November issue, Running Times has a piece by distance running great Bill Rodgers. Among the most compelling of his reflections are the details on his diet while training for the 1976 New York City Marathon:

Read more
All Tech Considered
10:18 am
Wed October 30, 2013

(Don't) Pardon Me: One Man's Fight Against Distracted Walking

These days, pedestrians tapping away while walking are hard to miss.
Andreas Tittelbach iStockphoto

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

We've all grumbled about the growing ranks of phone-gazing zombies, drifting along the sidewalk or holding up the checkout line. Texting while walking, distracted walking, the smartphone sidewalk scourge — whatever you call it, this phenomenon has rapidly become a nearly inescapable frustration of modern life.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:39 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama's 'Keep Your Health Care Plan' Pledge Fails Fact Checks

September 2010: President Obama at an event in Falls Church, Va., where he answered questions about his health care plan.
Dennis Brack/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:30 am

As lawmakers grill Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the botched startup of HealthCare.gov and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan fact checkers are giving failing grades to President Obama's oft-repeated pledge to Americans that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

Read more
Parallels
9:28 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Someone In Central China Really Stinks At Photoshop

In a photo originally posted to a county government website, local officials purportedly visit a 100-year-old woman in Anhui province. They sure are tall, aren't they? And what happened to the legs of the guy on the right?
Ningguo Civil Affairs Department via Chinanews.com

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:32 am

Local Chinese government propagandists have outdone themselves in what seems to be the increasingly competitive category of bad Photoshop.

This week's entry hails from Ningguo County in central China's Anhui province. The workmanship is so bad, it seems almost, well, effortless.

Read more
Intelligence Squared U.S.
9:23 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Debate: For A Better Future, Live In A Red State?

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt (left) and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore argue in favor of the motion "For A Better Future, Live In A Red State" at an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on Oct. 18.
Rob Andrew Intelligence Squared U.S.

When it comes to things like the economy, taxes, health care and education, is it better to live in a red state or a blue state?

Some argue that red-state tendencies toward lower taxes and less regulated, more free-market systems make them ideal places to work and raise a family. But others counter that residents of blue states are wealthier, have more educational opportunities and benefit from a commitment to a social safety net.

Read more
The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Haiku In The News: Reality In Riyadh

A Saudi woman walks past vehicles stopping at a traffic light in Riyadh, where there is a government ban on women driving.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:15 pm

Poetry is important. And the hope for this standing feature of The Protojournalist is that by searching for a poetic nugget in the constant rush of news we can slow down for a moment and contemplate what the news story really means.

Like finding a lovely pebble in a mountain stream. Or a dropped earring on a crowded sidewalk.

Haiku in the News — you can find other examples here — is not designed to be a trivial thing.

Gray Lady Poems

Read more
The Salt
9:09 am
Wed October 30, 2013

How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?

The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.
Steven Depolo Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:22 am

Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:08 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., differ in style and ideology but show signs of having a good working relationship.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:17 pm

Two wily veterans of Congress' fiscal wars will lead the budget talks scheduled to start Wednesday: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees.

As the 29 lawmakers on the budget conference committee — 22 from the Senate and seven from the House — sit down to begin negotiations, they'll have in Ryan and Murray two lawmakers who from most accounts get along well despite their many differences.

Read more
Shots - Health News
7:55 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Victims Of Tainted Steroid Injections Still Struggling

Scans from patients with fungal meningitis show evidence of a stroke (left) and arachnoiditis.
New England Journal of Medicine

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:41 am

A year ago, public health officials were scrambling to figure out why people across the country were suddenly coming down with life-threatening cases of meningitis.

The outbreak eventually was traced back to contaminated steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center. All told, 751 people contracted fungal meningitis and other infections from the tainted shots; 64 died.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Job Growth Slowed Further In October, Survey Signals

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair earlier this month in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:21 am

Only a relatively low 130,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls in October and the labor market in September was even weaker than first thought, according to the latest data from the ADP National Employment Report.

Read more
Politics
6:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Lawmakers To Grill Sebelius On Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. More hearings come today on the messy rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will face questions from the House, Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, yesterday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid testified before a different committee. Marilyn Tavenner offered consumers an apology for the problems at the health care.gov website.

Read more
Parallels
6:30 am
Wed October 30, 2013

World Headlines: China Calls Tiananmen Attack Terrorism

A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk Tuesday where it is believed a car drove up before it plowed through a crowd and crashed and burned in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Ng Han Guan AP

China, CCTV

We start this morning with more news on that deadly crash in Beijing's Tiananmen square.

Authorities say they've arrested five people in Beijing in connection with Monday's crash that killed two people and injured nearly 40. They labeled the incident a terrorist attack.

Police said the attack was "carefully planned, organized and premeditated."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:14 am
Wed October 30, 2013

75 Years Ago, 'War Of The Worlds' Started A Panic. Or Did It?

Invader? No, it's a man dressed as one in 1988. He was in Grovers Mill, N.J., at a 50th anniversary celebration of The War of the Worlds broadcast.
Chris Lischy AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:18 am

We interrupt this blog to bring you a special bulletin:

Martians have invaded New Jersey!

OK, as far as we know that hasn't happened.

But we wanted to issue that faux alert because 75 years ago tonight, as our friend Korva Coleman pointed out on the NPR Newscast, Orson Welles and his troupe of radio actors interrupted the Columbia Broadcasting System's programming to "report" that our planet had been invaded.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:40 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Wednesday Political Mix: Obama's 'Read My Lips' ACA Problem

President Obama would like you to remember that Obamacare was based on Massachusetts legislation signed in 2006 by then governor and Republican Mitt Romney, pictured at the signing ceremony. And that rollout started slowly, too.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:40 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

The Affordable Care Act should dominate Wednesday's news cycle thanks to scheduled high-profile appearances by President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to defend the law.

Read more
All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Weekly Innovation: A Light Bulb That's Also A Flashlight

When charged, the Bulb Flashlight can stay on for three hours.
Courtesy of the MoMA Store

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:48 am

Each week, we highlight a design or product innovation that you might not have heard about yet. Many of them come through your submissions (here's the form), but this week's idea came to us from our NPR Two-Way blogger, Eyder Peralta, who thought this was pretty cool. We did, too.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:43 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Sebelius: 'Hold Me Accountable For The Debacle'

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as she was sworn in prior to the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:28 pm

  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Secretary Sebelius on who's responsible for 'this debacle'

(We last added to this post at 4:10 p.m. ET.)

"You deserve better. ... I apologize. ... I'm accountable to you."

That's what Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Americans on Wednesday morning during a Congressional hearing into problems with the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov website and Republicans' concerns about the Affordable Care Act.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:15 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Will GPS Cannon Spell The End Of High-Speed Chases?

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Police cars in Iowa and Florida are testing a secret weapon: a small cannon embedded in the grille. It shoots tracking bullets containing tiny GPS devices that can stick to the trunk of a suspect's car. Police could then follow a suspect at a leisurely pace instead of embarking on a dangerous high-speed chase. The weapon, very James Bond, except American police would need to get a warrant before attaching a GPS to a car. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
3:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores Play The Print Card Against Amazon

Barnes & Noble is one of several stores that have refused to carry Amazon Publishing's books.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

When it comes to book publishing, all we ever seem to hear about is online sales, the growth of e-books and the latest version of a digital book reader. But the fact is, only 20 percent of the book market is e-books; it's still dominated by print. And a recent standoff in the book business shows how good old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar bookstores are still trying to wield their influence in the industry. You might even call it brick-and-mortar booksellers' revenge.

Read more
NPR Story
3:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Without Earmark 'Grease,' Some Say, Spending Bills Get Stuck

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

While Congress tries to get to the bottom of what went wrong with the Affordable Care Act website, it's got other problems on its mind. Leading the list is the inability of lawmakers to carry out their most fundamental constitutional responsibility: appropriating the money needed to run the government in a timely fashion.

This month's shutdown was only the most recent fallout of the breakdown in appropriations. Some lawmakers say the Republican ban on earmarks nearly three years ago has only made things worse.

Read more
NPR Story
3:44 am
Wed October 30, 2013

When Celebrity Retirements Don't Quite Stick

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And long time PBS news anchor Bill Moyers says his show will go off the air in January. His announcement yesterday sounded familiar to his fans because he's retired before. In fact, twice before.

BILL MOYERS: "The Journal" comes to an end with this broadcast.

MONTAGNE: That's the sound of Moyers' 2010 retirement, which didn't last.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Bill is back. "Moyers & Company."

MOYERS: Welcome. I'm glad we could get together again. It's good to be back.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
3:44 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Another View On How To Fix The Debt

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's hear an argument to worry more about the federal deficit.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Yesterday, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told us borrowing is not the nation's No. 1 problem. He'd rather invest in better roads or education.

LARRY SUMMERS: It's just as much a burden on future generations to defer maintenance as it is to pass on debt. It is just as much a burden on future generations to leave them undereducated in global competition as it is to pass on debt.

Read more
NPR Story
3:44 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Afghan Translator Credited With Saving Soldier Arrives In U.S.

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's get an update now on a story we brought you last month. An Army Captain named Matt Zeller waged a one-man campaign to get an American visa for his Afghan translator. A special program does allocate visas for Iraqis and Afghans who have put their lives in danger helping U.S. forces. In the eyes of some of their countrymen, they are tainted forever by their association with America.

Here's what Zeller's translator said about his situation.

Read more
Sweetness And Light
3:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Can NASCAR Steer Itself Back Into Popularity?

Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

As the NASCAR season climaxes, America's prime motor sport continues to see its popularity in decline. For several years now, revenues and sponsorship have plummeted, leaving an audience that increasingly resembles the stereotype NASCAR so desperately thought it could grow beyond: older white Dixie working class.

Both ESPN and the Turner Broadcasting Co., longtime NASCAR networks, took a look at the down graphs and the down-scale demographics and didn't even bother to bid on the new TV contract.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa

The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:27 pm

Update on Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. ET:

A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:22 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Arguments Over Social Security Pit Old Vs. Young

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Congress has until Jan. 15 to come up with another spending plan. As they negotiate, one thing you'll hear a lot about is overhauling entitlement programs — particularly Social Security.

The program accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending. One argument in favor of cuts is that Social Security amounts to a huge transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

Read more

Pages