Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. That's why an Oklahoma City house has been dubbed The Twin House, after a third consecutive couple living there had twins - a boy and a girl each. Current tenants, Brady and Chelsea Smith, said they didn't believe in the twin mojo when they moved in. Then an ultrasound showed she was expecting twins. New father Brady Smith told the Oklahoman, now his friends won't even drive down the block.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
The city of Timbuktu is free...
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mali, Mali, Mali, Mali...
INSKEEP: ...and residents cheered as French and Malian forces entered the city. Those forces swept aside Islamist rebels who'd controlled the place for months. The Islamists rule included amputations and the destroyed ancient tombs. It ended with the burning of a library housing priceless manuscripts.
An immigration plan announced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and overhaul legal immigration. It also calls for improved border security and better tracking of individuals in the U.S. on visas. Steve Inskeep talks with one of the senators behind the plan, Republican Jeff Flake from Arizona.
Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.
Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."
The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Terry Lathem, a graduate student in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, takes notes aboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft gathering samples of microorganisms in the atmosphere.
Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.
A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.
The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Li Tiantian, a human rights lawyer, is under heavy surveillance by Chinese authorities. She says police tried to get her boyfriend to break up with her by showing him photos of other men she had been involved with.
Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:27 pm
When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.
After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.
Five of the eight senators who proposed a bipartisan plan for an immigration overhaul attend a Capitol Hill news conference Monday. From left are John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Schumer of New York, Marco Rubio of Florida, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:41 pm
A bipartisan Senate plan unveiled Monday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system frames a pitched debate expected in Congress around the areas of border enforcement, a path to citizenship for those already in the country and the future flow of new arrivals.
Gold mines are reopening in California, some dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. Soaring gold prices are drawing mining companies back into the Sierra Nevada foothills. But some communities fear the effect on local environments.
Dan Boitano, a fifth-generation miner, has been working as a tour guide in the Golden State's historic gold country. His family has been around since the Gold Rush.
Up until a few years ago, he was still guiding tours for visitors.
Reading always seemed to be the most private of acts: just you and your imagination immersed in another world. But now, if you happen to be curled up with an e-reader, you're not alone.
Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."
Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:15 pm
If doctors would just pay attention to how much things cost, they might be more careful when ordering tests for patients, right?
Well, that's the theory behind some research and projects to cut wasteful health spending. But a study at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that changing doctors' behavior may be not be as easy as simply making them aware of prices.
U.S. troops in Afghanistan appear to have mixed feelings about the decision lifting the ban on women in combat positions. Some women already operate in combat zones. Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley is shown here with her Marine Corps team in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
The new U.S. military policy on women serving in combat roles was crafted in Washington, but it will play out in places like Afghanistan.
And sitting outside at the military base at the Kabul airport, male and female troops offered their thoughts on what the new policy might mean.
"I wasn't completely surprised with it. It's not anything we haven't discussed before," said Capt. Monica Paden, a military intelligence officer from San Diego. "We have been slowly being integrated into combat arms and into units in support roles."
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:52 pm
The Reuben has long suffered from two problems. Firstly, it often lacks the structural integrity to hold together as a sandwich. The second problem is that I am not constantly surrounded by a dozen of them.
The Reuben Egg Roll from Hackney's in Chicago solves the first problem, at least, stuffing corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese in a crispy egg roll shell, Thousand Island on the side.
Ian: I feel like you meet this food, and you're like, "Wait, your name is Reuben?"
A salesperson demonstrates the Apple iPhone 4 in New Delhi, India. While mobile device use is growing rapidly in emerging markets, Apple's current product line may prove prohibitively expensive for many consumers.
Herding cattle up the side of a mountain might seem like a lot of extra work, but for thousands of years, people have hauled their cows into the Alps to graze during the summer months. Why? It's all about great-tasting cheese.
Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
Credit Tam Turse / Metropolitan Books
Nick Turse is the author of KillAnything That Moves, about the Vietnam War.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:06 pm
On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.
The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.
My favorite item from the growing mountain of Pride and Prejudice bicentennial trivia comes courtesy of an article in something called Regency World Magazine, which is going gaga over the anniversary. The article, "Albert Goes Ape for Austen," describes how a 200-pound orangutan named Albert, living in the Gdansk Zoo in Poland, insists on having 50 pages a night of Pride and Prejudice read to him at bedtime by his keeper or else he refuses to go to sleep.
After seeing its sales take a hit in 2011 because production was hurt by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early that year, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to retake the No. 1 spot as the world's top automaker.
The company sold 9.75 million vehicles, to No. 2 General Motors' 9.3 million. Volkswagen was No. 3, with 9.1 million vehicles sold.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Late last week, North Korea responded to new U.N. sanctions with hyperbolic language. A statement described the new measures as a declaration of war. Pyongyang deserves special vitriol for the United States, our sworn enemy, it said. A new nuclear weapons test would target the United States, and it described its new long-range missile as designed to strike U.S. territory.