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Shots - Health News
7:04 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Outbreak In Saudi Arabia Echoes SARS Epidemic 10 Years Ago

Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf on Sunday. In eastern Saudi Arabia, where outbreaks of the MERS virus have been concentrated, people have resumed their habits of shaking hands and kissing.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

A detailed analysis of how the disease called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome spread through four Saudi Arabian hospitals this spring reveals disturbing similarities to the SARS pandemic that terrified the world a decade ago.

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Code Switch
7:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

For Black Americans, An Even Split In Financial Perceptions

If our survey is any indication, this cash-rich stock photo model probably feels pretty good about life.
Willie B.Thomas iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 9:07 am

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health recently polled 1,081 African-Americans about their lives. One of the areas respondents were asked about was their perceptions of their financial status.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Obama Working On Plan That Limits Power Plant Emissions

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, W.Va.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 9:29 am

President Obama will soon unveil a plan that will put limits on the carbon emissions of existing power plants, the administration's top energy adviser says.

The New York Times reports this is the most consequential part of a bigger plan to curb climate change. The newspaper adds:

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Watch: Stephen Colbert Drops The Act To Honor His Late Mother

Comedian Stephen Colbert.
Scott Gries Picturegroup

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 9:24 am

For almost four minutes last night, comedian Stephen Colbert dropped the act. And he delivered a beautiful, heartfelt eulogy for his late mother, Lorna Colbert.

There's not much more we can add, just watch:

Lorna Colbert was 92.

All Tech Considered
5:38 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Will Video Ruin Instagram's Appeal?

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, has announced a new video feature.
Ramsey Mohsen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 12:31 pm

UPDATE on Thursday at 1:44 p.m. ET: Instagram For Video Arrives

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Book News: Alice Munro, Author Of Pensive Short Stories, May Retire

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Thu June 20, 2013

A Plaque And A Flag: U.S. Tries To Revive Taliban Peace Talks

Guests arrive for the opening ceremony of the new Taliban political office in Doha on June 18.
Faisal Al-Timimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 8:40 am

How hard will peace negotiations in Afghanistan be? For the past day — and before the first official meeting — the United States has been scrambling to get all parties to the table.

The talks were scheduled to begin today in Qatar, but now they are on hold.

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The Two-Way
4:40 am
Thu June 20, 2013

SCOTUS Watch: High Court Could Decide Four Major Cases

Members of the media wait for court rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Monday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 8:44 am

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. No Big Decisions:

The Supreme Court did not hand down any of the big opinions we were waiting for. That means that as its 2012 term comes to a close, we are still waiting for major decisions on gay marriage, affirmative action and voting rights.

The Court will hand down decisions again on Monday at 10 a.m. ET. We'll be here.

But, lest you think it didn't make any news today, it did hand down three opinions:

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Europe
4:35 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Parisians Encouraged To Be Kinder To Tourists

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Parisians are known for turning up their noses, especially at tourists. Now the city is looking to show a little love. A new campaign is distributing 30,000 pamphlets called "Do You Speak Touriste?" The pamphlet lets Parisians know that Italians like handshakes, Chinese respond to a smile and a hello in Chinese. And Americans, the pamphlet says, well, we like to feel the prices are fair. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:25 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Baby Saved By Daughter Of Baseball Great Joe Torre

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 8:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with news of a miracle save. A one-year-old boy climbed out the window of an upper floor apartment. Suddenly that baby was dangling from an awning of a yogurt shop on Manhattan's East side. The parents were asleep. The baby fell safely into the arms of Cristina Torre. The daughter of baseball manager and former catcher Joe Torre made the catch herself. Joe Torre tells the New York Post his daughter always did have quick hands.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Remembrances
3:09 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Actor James Gandolfini Dies Suddenly While On Vacation

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:25 am

The 51-year-old actor died on Wednesday in Rome. Reports attribute his death to a heart attack. Gandolfini had been a character actor for years before he was given a chance to read for Tony Soprano in a new series about a New Jersey mob boss HBO was producing in the late 90s.

National Security
2:58 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Director Mueller Told Senate Panel FBI Uses Drones

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good Morning.

In one of his final appearances on Capitol Hill, normally media-shy FBI Director Robert Mueller made some news. Mueller, who's retiring in September, acknowledged that the FBI has started to deploy unarmed drones in the U.S. Still, he played down how often agents use those drones.

NPR's Carrie Johnson has more.

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Business
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Founder Of Men's Wearhouse Fired By Company's Board

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's report on some changes in the American clothing world. George Zimmer, of Men's Wearhouse, might still like the way he looks, but we can guarantee he doesn't like this. The famous face - and gravelly voice - and founder of the company, is out. The company gave no reason for the abrupt firing. But Zimmer is speaking out, as NPR's David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: His graying beard is instantly familiar. And he speaks with that signature deep, gravelly voice when delivering this famous tagline:

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Middle East
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

What Does It Mean That Iran's President-Elect Is A Moderate?

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's look overseas now, where the election of Iran's new president shocked many analysts - even one who used to work for him.

HOSSEIN MOUSAVIAN: I was surprised. I really could not imagine Rowhani would be able to win the election in the first run(ph).

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Economy
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Fed Warns Stimulus Package Will Be Ratcheted Down

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Those Chinese figures helped Asian markets to take a big tumble today, as did yesterday's comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He said the Fed will likely begin slowing down its economic stimulus later this year. The Fed's massive bond buying program - which is a major part of that stimulus - is seen as a big reason behind recent rallies in the financial market.

NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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Planet Money
1:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

A Surprising Barrier To Clean Water: Human Nature

Rodan Gatia gets water from a spring. A chlorine dispenser is behind her.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:38 am

In many parts of the developing world, drinking a glass of water can be deadly — especially for young children, who can die of diarrheal diseases contracted from dirty water.

So getting clean water to people in the developing world has been a top priority for aid groups for a long time. But it's been a surprisingly hard problem to solve.

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Business
1:02 am
Thu June 20, 2013

If Supplies Of Oil Are Up, Why Is Gas Still Pricey?

Jim White of Pennsylvania pumps gas at a BP station in Ocala, Fla., in April. The price of gasoline remains stubbornly high, which may put a crimp on summer travel plans.
Doug Engle Ocala Star-Banner / Landov

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 6:00 pm

Supplies of oil have been surging this year, and U.S. drivers, who have been switching to more fuel-efficient cars, are using less gasoline.

That would seem to be the right economic combination to push down prices at the pump, but gasoline prices have remained stubbornly high this summer.

Even some people in the industry are wondering whether the law of supply and demand somehow has been repealed.

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It's All Politics
1:01 am
Thu June 20, 2013

How Ted Cruz's Father Shaped His Views On Immigration

Ted Cruz celebrates his victory in the Texas Senate race with his father, Rafael, and daughter Caroline on Nov. 6, 2012, in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP

As the Senate debates a massive overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, one of its newest members has emerged as a leading opponent of the bill's most controversial feature: a path to citizenship for millions living in the country unlawfully.

The views of that freshman senator — Texas Republican Ted Cruz — have been significantly colored by the saga of his own father, an immigrant from Cuba.

"In my opinion, if we allow those who are here illegally to be put on a path to citizenship, that is incredibly unfair to those who follow the rules," Cruz has said.

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Movies
1:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Translated Into Navajo, Star Wars Will Be

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:44 am

When Dave Nezzie met his future wife, Amanda, they quickly fell in love over a galaxy far, far away.

"I think that was one of the first things that bonded Dave and I together, was our love for Star Wars," says Amanda Nezzie. "Our children have also caught the Star Wars bug."

The family lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and one of the biggest struggles they've had living off the reservation is teaching Dave's native Navajo language to their kids.

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Research News
1:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

What Makes Rituals Special? Join Us For A Google+ Conversation

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:30 am

Click play on the video player above to watch my Google+ conversation with Harvard behavioral scientist Francesca Gino and Slate's Human Nature correspondent William Saletan about the role of ritual in human life.

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Parallels
12:58 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Can This Dominican Factory Pay Good Wages And Make A Profit?

Aracelis Upia Montero works at the Alta Gracia garment factory in the Dominican Republic. She says she was desperately poor before she began working at the factory, which pays much higher than usual wages. "I'm now eligible for loans and credits from the bank because I earn a good salary," she says.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:37 am

Aracelis Upia Montero bounds through the front door of her wood and cinderblock house, calling out for her children. The bubbly 41-year-old Montero — whom everyone calls Kuki — proudly shows guests around her cramped single-story home in Villa Altagracia in the Dominican Republic.

Montero points out her new living room furniture. In the past couple years, she has added two bedrooms and now has indoor plumbing. She has also built a little apartment at the end of her dirt driveway that she rents out.

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All Tech Considered
12:57 am
Thu June 20, 2013

In More Cities, A Camera On Every Corner, Park And Sidewalk

Micaela Torres and 2-year-old Jakai Johnson swing underneath a surveillance camera at Miwok Park in Elk Grove, Calif. The city's police department collects more than 100 video feeds from across the city.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

This report is part of the series NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century.

Surveillance cameras, and the sophisticated software packages that go with them, have become big business. Many small- and medium-sized cities across American are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cameras and software to watch their residents.

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The Salt
12:56 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Gourmands Through The Ages: 'A History Of Food In 100 Recipes'

Detail from a painting found on the walls of a 4,000-year-old tomb in Luxor, Egypt, that depicts bread making.
Werner Forman Archive

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 8:58 am

Think our current culture has become food-obsessed? Take a look at this wall painting from ancient Egypt.

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NPR Story
8:18 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

'Sopranos' Actor James Gandolfini Dies At Age 51

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The actor James Gandolfini has died. He played dozens of parts over decades of his career. But there is one role that he'll be remembered for, a troubled mobster with an anxiety problem: Tony Soprano.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SOPRANOS")

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Microsoft Responds To Fan Outcry, Changes Xbox One Policies

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Fans spoke, and apparently Microsoft listened.

In a reversal of the company's previous position, Microsoft announced Wednesday that its forthcoming Xbox One gaming console would no longer require a regular Internet connection and would not restrict used or shared games.

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It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Capitol Hill's Partisan And Racial Divide Cast In Bronze

Vice President Biden joined congressional leaders at the Capitol Hill dedication ceremony for a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Carolyn Kaster AP

A 7-foot-tall statue of famed, lion-maned abolitionist Frederick Douglass that was dedicated Wednesday on Capitol Hill is perhaps best understood as a bronze symbol of the partisan divide in Washington and of racial politics.

The ex-slave, who later became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, was a federal official and an important journalist of his day. It took years for a statue of him to land a spot because it became a proxy in the fight over voting rights and statehood for Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Federal Agents Accuse Two Of Plotting Deadly X-Ray Weapon

Two men in upstate New York have been arrested for planning to build a "radiation particle weapon" that could be mounted on a vehicle and used to target people, according to a report by the Albany Times-Union Wednesday. The men allegedly planned to sell the device to either the Ku Klux Klan or Jewish groups.

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

A Day After Making List, One Of FBI's Most Wanted Caught

Just a day after being added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, a former University of Southern California professor was arrested in the Mexican beach resort of Playa del Carmen.

Reporting for our Newscast unit, NPR's Carrie Kahn says 64-year-old Walter Lee Williams had been pursued by the FBI since 2011.

She says the indictment against Williams alleges he used his position as a professor of gender and sexuality studies to travel internationally and prey on underage boys.

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Economy
3:36 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

G-8 Nations Pledge To Crack Down On Corporate Tax Evaders

Leaders take part in the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland on Tuesday. Their discussions included tax-avoidance issues.
Ben Stansall WPA Pool/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

The world's wealthiest nations are promising to fight what they call the scourge of tax evasion. This week's meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries concluded with a pledge to end the use of tax shelters by multinational corporations.

But there are still big questions about how they will make a dent in the problem.

In the aftermath of the global recession, countries all over the world have struggled with budget shortfalls. More and more of them have come to blame part of their revenue problems on one culprit — tax avoidance.

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

A Dry Reservation Clashes With Its Liquor Store Neighbors

Oglala Lakota activist Debra White Plume (left), tribal president Bryan Brewer (center) and other protesters create a blockade to prevent trucks from delivering beer to a liquor store in Whiteclay, Neb. The town, which borders the Pine Ridge Reservation, has been the site of recurring protests over alcohol.
Charles Michael Ray/SDPB

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

At the Pine Ridge Reservation just outside the town of Whiteclay, Neb., an upside-down American flag flies on a wooden pole next to a teepee. About 60 people gathered here Monday to protest as beer truck drivers unloaded cases into a Whiteclay liquor store a few hundred yards away.

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