Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:42 am
There's lots of science trying to connect a baby's birth date to health later in life. It's usually about serious diseases that have no clear cause, like schizoprenia, autism and multiple sclerosis.
And it's almost all junk science, the medical equivalent of astrology. That's because though studies have shown a correlation between season of birth and disease for MS and other disorders, they've never been able to show how seasonal differences in people's bodies or the environment could cause disease.
Adm. Samuel Locklear, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., if the U.S. had the ability to intercept a North Korean missile launched "within the next several days."
Razan Shalab Al-Sham, in bright blue, works for the Syrian Emergency Task Force. She helped provide uniforms for the new civil police force of Khirbet al-Joz in northern Syria.
Credit Deborah Amos / NPR
Razan Shalab Al-Sham, 26, is from a wealthy Syrian family and has been working to bring supplies into the country for the Syrian Emergency Task Force. Here she meets with local councils in Syria who came to the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep.
In November, Razan Shalab Al-Sham, the daughter of a wealthy Syrian family, led the way to the Syrian farming village of Khirbet al-Joz to deliver an unusual kind of aid: police uniforms. A cold winter rain turned the frontier forest between southern Turkey and Syria into a muddy march up a mountain ridge along a smugglers' trail. She climbed the mountain to make the delivery herself.
Protesters march last week in Miami, in support of immigration overhaul legislation. The marchers were calling for a new immigration system with a path to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the country illegally.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Country star Brad Paisley released a new album today, not usually something that becomes a national news item. But one song on "Wheelhouse" is generating conversation even before most people get a chance to hear it.
"Accidental Racist" is a collaboration with rapper LL Cool J. Brad Paisley sings of a Southern white man in a Starbucks who believes he's being judged for the Confederate battle flag on his T-shirt and responds with an appeal for understanding.
Tonight, there's a chance for a rare double in NCAA Division I college basketball.
As we reported earlier, if the University of Louisville scores a victory in the women's championship game, it will be only the second school to capture both the men's and women's titles in the same year.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Over the past few weeks, a white supremacist prison gang called the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has emerged as one of the groups that may have had a motive to murder two prosecutors in Kaufman County. While any connection to those crimes is speculative at this point, there are stronger links between another white supremacist gang called the 211 Crew and the murder of Tom Clements, the head of Colorado's prison system, last month.
KPMG has withdrawn as auditor of Herbalife and Skechers USA after the accounting firm revealed that one of its partners may have sold inside information on the companies to a third-party stock trader.
Nutrient-supplement seller Herbalife briefly halted activity in its shares after the revelation, only reopening trading Tuesday afternoon. The company's stock was down 21 cents at $38.18 Tuesday. The broader market was mixed.
Nearly two decades ago, a North Korean official threatened to turn Seoul into a "Sea of Fire." South Koreans responded by cleaning out the shelves of supermarkets and preparing for an attack that never came.
"It's nonsense," Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani says of the fuss created by some conservative TV talkers who think Ouazzani was made to look as much like President Obama as he did Satan in The History Channel miniseries "The Bible."
In the 75 years since it was introduced, Americans have been arguing over the minimum wage.
Some say government intervention to artificially raise wages lowers demand for workers and interferes with economic freedom — preventing people who would be willing to work for less from getting jobs at all. They argue that the minimum wage especially hurts teenagers and young adults with few or no skills.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 11:27 am
Which Japanese-manufactured car is the world's most popular vehicle? Maybe none of them. It might just be the Ford Focus.
More than a million Focus models were sold worldwide last year, with Toyota's Corolla coming in second. Next was Ford's top-selling F-Series pickup, sold almost exclusively in the U.S. and Canada, according to the marketing firm R.L. Polk.
For years, Jherek Bischoff has played in indie-rock bands, including Amanda Palmer's Grand Theft Orchestra. But on his new album, Composed, he found himself moving away from a rock sound and writing his own orchestral arrangements.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 11:27 am
The person behind the elaborate online hoax in which a fake website and Twitter feed falsely proclaimed Pastor Joel Osteen's intent to renounce Christianity and shut down his influential Houston ministry says that his goal wasn't to attack Osteen personally.
"I would like to state unequivocally my intent was not to defame Mr. Osteen," the person behind the hoax wrote in an email, adding that "he seems like an infectiously nice and genial character."
Mental is madder than madcap. I heard one critic sniff, "It's kind of broad" — and, Your Honor, the defense agrees! But if broad means "unsubtle," it doesn't have to mean "unreal." Mental makes most other movies seem boringly, misleadingly sane.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. If you're like most Americans, you probably have some debt, and that's a bummer, but how do you think you'd feel if you were in debt because of a guy who beat you? Later, we are going to talk about what might be the hidden cost of domestic abuse. That's financial abuse. We'll have that eye-opening conversation in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Louisville Cardinals capped off a dramatic journey through March Madness to take the NCAA men's crown last night. We'll look back on the men's college basketball tournament. We'll look ahead to the women's final. That conversation is just ahead.
Pakistani vendors in Lahore fix posters of candidates taking part in the upcoming May parliamentary elections. Pakistani officials have provoked both laughter and criticism in recent days as they vetted potential candidates in the country's upcoming national elections with questions that veered between the controversial and the bizarre.
Credit K.M. Chaudary / AP
Mussarat Shaheen, Pakistan's dancer-actress turned politician, addresses her supporters in Islamabad in 2000. Better known for provocative moves than her piety, she recently rattled off a series of verses from the Quran when quizzed by an official.
Credit B.K. Bangash / AP
Pakistanis in Quetta protest against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on March 24, the day Musharraf returned home after more than four years in exile. But his attempt to stand in upcoming elections is facing multiple legal challenges.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:05 am
The culling of candidates in the run-up to Pakistan's May 11 election is providing the country some badly needed levity.
The "Pakistani Inquisition," as it's been dubbed, has election commission officials grilling office-seekers on their Islamic bona fides.
Many have stumbled badly, only to be disqualified.
But not Mussarat Shaheen, who performed impeccably. The former dancer — fabled for her Pushto films — was asked by an official in the city of Dera Ismail Khan to recite a verse of the Holy Quran, to test her mettle as a candidate for the National Assembly.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:24 am
An audio recording has surfaced of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides seeming to discuss whether they would use actress Ashley Judd's past bouts with depression against her if she challenged McConnell in 2014.
Beer lovers might be alarmed to hear that beer can pick up small amounts of arsenic as it's filtered to be sparkly clear.
But researchers in Germany reported Sunday that they've found arsenic in hundreds of samples of beer, some at levels more than twice that allowed in drinking water.
When we checked in with experts about arsenic and the filtering process, which is also widely used in the wine industry, they weren't too surprised. That's because the filtering agent in question, diatomaceous earth, is a mined natural product that contains iron and other metals.