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All Tech Considered
1:03 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Tech-Savvy Cities May Be 'Smart,' But Are They Wise?

Cable cars move commuters over a complex of shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro, one of many cities taking part in the smart city boom around the world.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

This summer, NPR's Cities Project has been looking at how cities around the world are solving problems using new technologies. And though there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, New York University's Anthony Townsend remains skeptical.

Townsend, whose book Smart Cities is due out in October, tells NPR's David Greene about the causes, benefits and potential dangers of the smart city boom.


Interview Highlights

On what caused the smart city boom

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Environment
1:01 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another

Antelopes stand at alert at the presence of a human visitor in the sparsely populated Centennial Valley of Montana.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

To keep America's wilderness anything like it used to be when the country was truly wild takes the help of biologists. They have to balance the needs of wildlife with those of cattle-ranching and tourism, and even weigh the value of one species against another. Ultimately, they have to pick and choose who makes it onto the ark. And, as scientists in Montana's Centennial Valley have discovered, all that choosing can be tricky.

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Fine Art
12:59 am
Thu July 11, 2013

At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases

In this 2007 Ellsworth Kelly piece, four separate oil-painted canvases combine to form a single work, Green Blue Black Red.
Jerry L. Thompson Courtesy of Ellsworth Kelly

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

American artist Ellsworth Kelly turned 90 in May, and there's been much celebration. On Wednesday, President Obama presented Kelly with the National Medal of Arts. Meanwhile, museums around the country are showing his work: Kelly sculptures, prints and paintings are on view in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. In Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection is featuring his flat geometric canvases, layered to create wall sculptures.

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Music News
12:58 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Robin Thicke, Beyond His Breakout Hit

YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 8:29 am

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World
5:46 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

50 People Believed Dead In Quebec Train Explosion

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Canadian police say they found five more bodies in the rubble of the small village in Quebec devastated by a train explosion on Saturday. That brings the confirmed death toll to 20. And officials say the 30 people still missing are now presumed dead. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann is on the scene. He joins us now on the line.

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It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

House GOP: We Won't Consider Senate Immigration Bill

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:21 pm

The prospects for an immigration overhaul effort that could reshape the contours of American society appeared grim Wednesday after a closed door meeting of House Republicans.

A majority of the fractious House Republican Conference lined up in opposition to (barely) bipartisan legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, despite the urging of leaders to do something on the issue.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Snowden Is A Whistle-Blower, Americans Say In Poll

More than half of Americans in a new Quinnipiac University national poll see former National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden, who spilled secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, as a whistle-blower, not a traitor.
Ole Spata DPA /LANDOV

More than half of American voters in a new Quinnipiac University national poll say that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. Interviewers asked more than 2,000 people about the National Security Agency contract worker who leaked secret documents about U.S. surveillance. They also asked about the line between privacy and security.

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Shots - Health News
3:51 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

GOP Says, Why Not Delay That Health Care Law, Like, Forever?

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks at a press conference Wednesday on Republican plans to delay enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Looking on are Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Sensing that recent delays in key portions of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obama administration at a weak point in its rollout of the law, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to cripple the measure, at least in the eyes of the public if not in fact.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Asiana Flight 214: Both Pilots Were Well-Rested, The NTSB Says

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman briefs reporters on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:37 pm

The two main pilots on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the jetliner that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, had each gotten eight hours of sleep the night before their trip to San Francisco, says the National Transportation Safety Board.

The agency's chief, Deborah Hersman, provided that information and other updates to the media and the public on the investigation into the crash that killed two passengers and injured dozens.

Here are details from today's briefing:

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Animals
3:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Barking Up The Family Tree: American Dogs Have Surprising Genetic Roots

Modern Chihuahuas trace their genetic roots in America to back before the arrival of Europeans, a new study suggests.
mpikula iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:58 pm

America is as much of a melting pot for dogs as it is for their human friends. Walk through any dog park and you'll find a range of breeds from Europe, Asia, even Australia and mutts and mixes of every kind.

But a few indigenous breeds in North America have a purer pedigree — at least one has genetic roots in the continent that stretch back 1,000 years or more, according to a new study. These modern North American breeds — including that current urban darling, the Chihuahua — descended from the continent's original canine inhabitants and have not mixed much with European breeds.

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Shots - Health News
3:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Rich With Water But Little To Drink In Tajikistan

A boy collects water at a new spigot in Shululu, Tajikistan. Before the government built a new water system, villagers were allocated half-hour time slots to collect water from a trickling tap.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 10:18 am

The Central Asian nation of Tajikistan has huge rivers. They begin atop some of the world's highest mountains and then flow west through the country's lush, green valleys. Yet for many Tajik families, getting enough water each day is still a struggle.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Marco Rubio: Poster Boy For The GOP Identity Crisis

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., walks toward the stage as he is introduced at a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in June.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:13 pm

The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.

Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.

"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. "And it is hard to get a party moving when you don't have somebody at the top who is a core leader who can be directive."

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Shots - Health News
3:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Bros Get Wasted; Girls Get Tipsy: Why Boozy Talk Matters

Man, you are going to get wasted. The words drinkers choose to describe their behavior may say a lot about the risks they face.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:11 am

Guys can really get hammered, can't they? I mean, totally trashed. Not me. I may have gotten a little buzzed at that birthday party, but that's it.

The words people use to describe their drinking behavior can say a lot about how they perceive drinking, a perception that may not match reality, researchers say.

And the language may also reveal risks that may not be obvious to the drinkers themselves.

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Code Switch
2:52 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

New Series 'The Bridge' Seeks An Audience In Two Languages

Mexican homicide detective Marco Ruiz (played by Demián Bichir) must work with his American counterpart, Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger), to solve a murder on the U.S.-Mexico border in FX's new series The Bridge.
FX Network

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:53 pm

The U.S.-Mexico border plays a starring role in the new FX series The Bridge.

Characters in the television crime drama, which premieres Wednesday night, regularly cross back and forth through the border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The show's dialogue also frequently switches between English and Spanish, setting a new standard for bilingual drama on American television.

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Around the Nation
2:52 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Summer 'Heat Tourists' Sweat With Smiles In Death Valley

Tourists walk across the Badwater Basin, which sits 282 feet below sea level, in Death Valley, Calif., on June 30. People from around the world flock to the area to experience temperatures that rise to the high 120s on a regular basis.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 9:11 pm

It's no secret that Death Valley, Calif., is one of the hottest, most unforgiving places on Earth come summertime. July 10 is the 100th anniversary of the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet — 134 degrees Fahrenheit — and the heat is drawing tourists from all over the world to Death Valley.

Like Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, Death Valley becomes a melting pot of foreign accents. On a recent afternoon, Belgian tourist Yan Klassens admires the view of the Badlands from Zabriskie Point, describing it as "nice, awesome and colorful."

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Law
2:33 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Scalia V. Ginsburg: Supreme Court Sparring, Put To Music

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:39 am

On the day after the Supreme Court concluded its epic term in June, two of the supreme judicial antagonists, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, met over a mutual love: opera.

When it comes to constitutional interpretation, the conservative Scalia and the liberal Ginsburg are leaders of the court's two opposing wings. To make matters yet more interesting, the two have been friends for decades, since long before Scalia was named to the court by President Reagan and Ginsburg by President Clinton.

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

The Science Of Twinkies: How Do They Last So Darned Long?

Unlike the dodo that sits next to it on an NPR Science Desk shelf, this year-and-a-half-old Twinkie is still around — but that doesn't mean you want to eat it.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:56 am

We have to confess: When we heard that Twinkies will have nearly double the shelf life, 45 days, when they return to stores next week, our first reaction was — days? Not years?

Urban legend has long deemed Twinkies the cockroaches of the snack food world, a treat that can survive for decades, what humanity would have left to eat come the apocalypse. The true shelf life — which used to be 26 days — seems somewhat less impressive by comparison.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty To 30 Federal Counts In Boston

MIT police officers stand at attention outside a federal courthouse where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to 30 counts today. He is also accused in the death of MIT officer Sean Collier.
Winslow Townson AP

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 7:47 am

Appearing in the same Boston federal courtroom as many of the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to 30 counts Wednesday, during an arraignment hearing.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Lawmakers Express Concern About U.S.-Chinese Pork Deal

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee had a lot of questions today about the takeover of Smithfield Foods. That's because a Chinese company has offered to buy America's largest pork processor. Both Democratic and Republican senators have expressed concerns about the $4.7 billion deal and its potential effects on U.S. food safety and security.

NPR's John Ydstie has been following the testimony today and joins us now. Hi, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

House Republicans Start Crafting Their Own Immigration Bill

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The push for a big rewrite of the nation's immigration laws has moved from one side of the Capitol to the other. Late last month, the Democratic-led Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul. Now it's up to the GOP-led House to act.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Conservative Group Picks Primary Fight With GOP Incumbent

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is being challenged in next year's Republican primary by a candidate backed by the Club for Growth.
John Miller AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 5:40 pm

An influential conservative group is going after longtime Republican Rep. Mike Simpson from Idaho — and it's getting started nearly a year in advance of the 2014 primary.

The Club for Growth is throwing its weight behind GOP challenger Bryan Smith, calling him a fiscal conservative: anti-tax and pro-growth. The lawyer from Idaho Falls is the first candidate endorsed through a website the club launched earlier this year called PrimaryMyCongressman.com.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Report: Upside-Down Sensors Toppled Russian Rocket

The spectacular crash.
YouTube.com

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

In A First, Unmanned Navy Jet Lands On Aircraft Carrier

A Navy X-47B drone, seen here last month being launched off the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush, successfully landed on the ship Wednesday, a first.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:10 am

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Shots - Health News
1:28 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Mastermind Of 'Body Stealing' Scheme Dies

In 2008, Michael Mastromarino was sentenced in a New York City courtroom for enterprise corruption, body stealing and reckless endangerment.
Jesse Ward AP

Dr. Michael Mastromarino died Sunday after battling liver and bone cancer. He was 49.

Mastromarino pleaded guilty to "body stealing." In 2008, he was sentenced to up to 58 years in prison.

But he continued to insist that he'd been misunderstood. He spoke to NPR, working with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, last year from a prison near Buffalo, N.Y.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

U.S. Job Market Seen As X Factor In Fed's Stimulus Plans

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Stocks rose in the moments after details of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting were released today.
Richard Drew AP

The Federal Reserve must ensure the U.S. job market is in full health before it begins to ease its aggressive bond-purchasing program, its top officials said at the Fed's latest policy meeting. This afternoon, the central bank released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of June 18 and 19.

In that session, the officials cited a moderate pace of economic expansion, but said it was coupled with an unemployment rate that remains high.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Landmark Paris Mansion Is Damaged By Fire

Firemen battle flames at the 17th century Hotel Lambert early Wednesday in Paris.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 9:06 am

Paris' historic Hotel Lambert, once home to the likes of Voltaire and Chopin, was partly damaged by fire early Wednesday.

The BBC reports that the 17th-century structure lost a section of its roof and a central staircase and saw water and smoke damage to celebrated fresco paintings by Charles Le Brun, who also designed the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

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Author Interviews
12:47 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

'Blue Plate Special': A Generous Helping Of Life

Author Kate Christensen weaves her love of food and cooking into a new memoir.
Michael Sharkey Doubleday

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:56 pm

When novelist Kate Christensen was just a toddler, she witnessed her father beating her mother. It was a scene that would haunt Christensen for decades.

And so it's with a description of that morning that she chooses to begin her memoir Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites. The book that unfolds is an examination of the reverberations of her father's violence in her life, and a meditation on how her love of food helped her cope.

As a child, she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, she refused to identify with her mother in the scenario.

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Business
12:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

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Books
12:28 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

'Eating On The Wild Side:' A Field Guide To Nutritious Food

The cover of Eating on the Wild Side.
Little Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 8:17 am

We like to think that if we eat our recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, we're doing right by our bodies. Think again, says health writer Jo Robinson.

In her new book, Eating on the Wild Side, Robinson argues that our prehistoric ancestors picked and gathered wild plants that were in many ways far more healthful than the stuff we buy today at farmers' markets.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Illinois Is 50th State To Legalize Carrying Concealed Weapons

Illinois became the last state in the U.S. to legalize carrying concealed weapons after state lawmakers overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Tuesday's votes — 41-17 in the Senate and 77-31 in the House — came just before a federal appeals court deadline to pass a form of concealed-carry.

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