Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the '70s and '80s and had more commercial ambition, she'd probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:52 am
When former General Electric CEO Jack Welch tweeted on Friday that the drop in the unemployment rate last month was "unbelievable" and that President Obama and his campaign aides "will do anything ... can't debate so change numbers," he aligned himself with conspiracy theorists who were asking if some sort of "October surprise" had been pulled.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It was the sort of report card that could crush a budding young talent. In 1949, a teacher at Eton belittled John Gurdon's dreams of becoming a scientist as quite ridiculous. If he can't learn simple biological facts, the teacher sniffed, pursuing science would be a waste of time. Gurdon eventually did go on to study zoology. And this week his breakthrough in reprogramming cells received the Nobel Prize for Medicine. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka have been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their "groundbreaking discoveries" about the "fine-tuned system of interactions between billions of cells" in the human body, the Nobel Prize committee announced this morning.
This week has brought one of the most disturbing images to emerge from years of conflict, in Pakistan. A 15-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed, with a bullet wound in her head. This is her punishment. She had the courage to demand the right for girls to get an education, and because she criticized violent Islamist militants who aim to stop girls, like her, from doing that. From Islamabad, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
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A House committee is investigating last month's attack that killed the ambassador to Libya and three other Americans at a consulate in the city of Benghazi. And today, senior State Department officials will be on the receiving end of politically-charged questions. Republicans say that the Obama administration rejected repeated requests for more security.
And staying here in California, our last word in business is lights, camera, sold.
The sale of Variety is officially a wrap. The venerable 107-year-old show biz daily has been bought for $25 million by Penske Media, the owner of Variety's upstart online rival Deadline.com. Like its longtime competitor, the Hollywood Reporter, Variety has had trouble making the switch to digital media, but it still turns a profit. So in the language that Variety helped make famous, Penske seems to believe this deal will be boffo and not a flopola.
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All this week, we've been reporting on the winners of this year's Nobel Prizes. And today in Stockholm, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The chair of the Nobel Prize committee for chemistry described the importance of the discovery by giving the assembled reporters a little scare.
For the past decade, scientists have been toying with the notion of encapsulating medicine in microscopic balls.
These so-called nanospheres could travel inside the body to hard-to-reach places, like the brain or the inside of a tumor. One problem researchers face is how to build these nanospheres, because you'd have to make them out of even smaller nanoparticles.
For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.
Richard Branson is not your average entrepreneur. He dropped out of school at 15 and, despite suffering from dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, went on to found Virgin Group, a business empire that includes airlines, cellphone companies, banks, hotels, health clubs and even a space travel business.
The U.S. Supreme Court returns on Wednesday to the emotional issue of affirmative action in higher education. The court will once again hear oral arguments on the issue, this time in a case from the University of Texas.
Over the past 35 years, the court has twice ruled that race may be one of many factors in determining college admissions, as long as there are no racial quotas. Now, just nine years after its last decision, the justices seem poised to outright reverse or cut back on the previous rulings.
Baltimore Orioles Nate McLouth (from left), J.J. Hardy, Robert Andino and Manny Machado high-five teammates after Game 2 of Major League Baseball's American League Division Series against the New York Yankees. Somewhere, commentator and Orioles fan Frank Deford is also giving high-fives.
My first protocol on rooting in sports is that you should stick with the teams that you grew up with. I know we're a transient society, but that's just it: Continuing to cheer for your original hometown teams is one way of displaying the old-fashioned value of allegiance.
If you grew up in Cleveland, say, and moved somewhere Sun Belt-ish, I know how hard it is, but the measure of whether you are a good person is that you must remain loyal to the Browns and Indians and that team that LeBron James left behind.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:56 pm
With 27 days until the general election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was on an Iowa farm Tuesday where he did what he's done for months: criticized President Obama's economic policies, though his critique understandably had an agricultural slant.
In this combination of photos, American physicist David Wineland (left) speaks at a news conference in Boulder, Colo., and French physicist Serge Haroche speaks to the media in Paris after they were named winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics.
You wouldn't be surprised to learn that a laboratory run by the U.S. Department of Commerce is working on more precise methods to measure stuff.
However, you might not expect it to be at the cutting edge of the mind-bending world of quantum physics. But on Tuesday, David Wineland became the fourth employee at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, a federal lab, to win a Nobel since 1997. Wineland learned he will share the Nobel Prize in physics with Frenchman Serge Haroche for work that's both esoteric and practical.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case that could determine the future of policies that include race as a factor in university admissions.
Credit Marisa Vasquez / The Daily Texan
Students rally Oct. 3 in the wake of reports of water balloon attacks on minority students at the University of Texas at Austin. Campus police are investigating the incidents.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a landmark case about race and college admissions. In 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas, Austin.
Fisher sued the university, claiming she was denied admission because of her race. Her suit, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, could mean the end of admissions policies that take race into account.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys. And today, he was sentenced to at least 30 years in a state correctional facility.
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Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a landmark case about race and college admissions. In 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Fisher claimed she was denied admission to UT because of her race.
All of these reduced appetites might seem like bad news for the restaurant business, but surgeon-distributed food discount cards aim to make dining out cheaper and more practical for gastric bypass patients.
But is this kind of encouragement really a good idea?
Job seekers line up to register at a Miami job fair in January. A new study shows that Florida voters discuss joblessness in ways quite different from those in Ohio and Virginia, two other presidential battleground states.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:21 pm
Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, which uses demographic, voting and cultural data to study communities. It is part of the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Jefferson Institute, which teamed with NPR to examine what can be learned about different communities through online text analysis. The project had Knight Foundation funding.
Since the beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment has driven much of the national conversation, and with good reason.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:50 pm
Culture warriors on the left and right would be wise to carefully examine a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing that a growing number of Americans are moving away from religious labels.
The study, titled "Nones" on the Rise, indicates that 1 in 5 Americans now identifies as "religiously unaffiliated," a group that includes those who say they have no particular religion, as well as atheists and agnostics.
Shemekia Copeland says she didn't really find her singing voice until her teen years, when her father, the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, began suffering from health issues. On her new album, 33 1/3, she finds a different kind of voice — one that's eager to participate in a national dialogue.
Bavarian bishops walk in a procession to the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers near Bad Staffelstein, Germany, in May. A decree by the German bishops' conference warns that German Catholics who do not pay a state church tax will be denied sacraments.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce during a meeting of NATO defense leaders in Brussels Wednesday that Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford will be nominated to succeed Gen. John Allen as the top commander in Afghanistan, according to a defense official familiar with the decision.