In the 1500s, Italy is bursting with some of the most influential and vivid figures in history. Many — like Leonardo da Vinci, who balanced art and the sciences; Galileo Galilei, who turned his telescope to the heavens; and Niccolo Machiavelli, who calculated the ruthless politics of the day — are still remembered even now for their major contributions.
Author Sarah Dunant has drilled down into the Italian Renaissance for over a decade — reconstructing a time of artistic innovation, political corruption and war into captivating, and highly accurate, fiction.
For a little more than a month now, we've been reporting on the IRS's flagging of Tea Party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Through it all, some basic questions remain: Who ordered the targeting? And why?
We don't have any satisfying answers to those questions yet — and it seems neither do the congressional investigators. But along the way, as new revelations have trickled out, we've noticed some surprising and even puzzling facts about the situation that haven't gotten much attention.
Yesterday, seven people were killed and 24 wounded in bomb attacks in Iraq as a surge of violence there continues, 2,000 dead since April; numbers that haven't been seen since the worst days of 2006 and 2007. Then as now, the fighting is largely between Sunnis and Shiites, but this time, inflamed by the civil war raging next door in Syria.
A person having a stroke may not be in a war zone, but his or her life is in danger all the same. That's enough to trigger post-traumatic stress disorder in some stroke survivors, researchers say, with symptoms like panic attacks, nightmares and flashes of anger.
Face mask-clad Singaporeans enduring record-breaking smog got some more bad news from their government on Thursday: The pollution may last awhile.
The choking smog that blanketed the city-state earlier this week, generated by burning clear-cutting fires in Indonesia, has gone well beyond the "hazardous" level on the Pollutant Standards Index, hitting 371 on Wednesday before coming back down to about 250. The previous record was 226, reached in 1997.
When the State Department released its annual report on human trafficking Wednesday, we got a chilling reminder that even in 2013, slave labor is still embedded in the global food system.
As many as 27 million men, women and children are estimated to be trafficking victims at any given time, according to the report. And some of those victims, the State Department says, are later forced to work in agriculture and food processing (though no one has a good idea how many).
Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:53 am
We don't know how, but we missed a major scandal brewing in the Navy for decades. It's important, so even if we're a little late to the story we still wanted to point it out: Cap'n Crunch is an impostor.
The Cap'n was unmasked on June 14 by a food blogger, who noticed the uniform he wears on cereal boxes had the stripes of a commander, not a captain. That is: A captain has four stripes on his sleeve, while a commander has three.
Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 11:02 am
The Supreme Court has struck down a law mandating that nonprofit organizations adopt a policy opposing prostitution as a condition for receiving federal funds for HIV/AIDS programs abroad, saying such a requirement violated the groups' free-speech rights.
In the 6-2 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts led the majority, with Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, music may often get Brazil into the move for a carnival, but it's also inspiring and being inspired by protests going on in that country. We'll hear some of it in just a few minutes.
Thirty-five percent of women around the world have been raped or physically abused, according to statistics the World Health Organization released Thursday. About 80 percent of the time this violence occurs in the home, at the hands of a partner or spouse.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.