Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 3:17 pm
A judge has rejected a plea agreement from the former head of a sports memorabilia auction house who admitted to using shill bidders to drive up prices and to altering the most valuable baseball card ever sold.
William Mastro of Mastro Auctions admitted to doctoring the 1909 Honus Wagner cigarette card that was once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky. The card sold for $2.8 million in 2007.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:04 am
Federal officials say a large study of premature infants was ethically flawed because doctors didn't inform the babies' parents about increased risks of blindness, brain damage and death.
The study involved more than 1,300 severely premature infants at nearly two dozen medical institutions between 2004 and 2009. The infants were randomly assigned to receive two different levels of oxygen to see which was better at preventing blindness without increasing the risk of neurologic damage or death.
The man whose research led to the world's first test-tube baby more than three decades ago, has died at age 87.
Robert Edwards, who later won the Nobel Prize, began experimenting with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in the late 1960s. His work, controversial at the time, eventually led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978.
Since then, IVF has resulted in about 5 million babies worldwide, according to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:37 pm
Roasted fish on a stick is OK, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to cook up some fish soup?
That's what might have crossed the minds of hunter-gatherers who made the world's first cooking pots. A new analysis of pottery made 15,000 years ago in what's now Japan reveals that it was used to cook seafood, probably salmon.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Robin Kelly's in in Chicago, Anthony Weiner wants back in in New York, and Mitch McConnell claims somebody broke in and bugged his campaign office. It's Wednesday and time for...
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Nixonian...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
In this day and age, interfaith marriage doesn't seem like that big a deal. They represent close to half of all marriages in this country over the past 10 years. The decision can also come with a price, though: disagreement on how to raise children and higher rates of divorce. There are benefits, as well, according to Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of "Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America." She'll join us in just a moment.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:04 am
The patent medicines sold in days gone by may, contrary to the name, not have had real government patents. But that didn't stop their makers from claiming the concoctions could cure ailments ranging from indigestion to jaundice and fever.
Now, researchers have put some of these old elixirs and pills in the Henry Ford Museum's large collection of patent medicines to a modern test. They found a mix of potentially harmful metals like lead and mercury along with benign ingredients, including calcium and iron.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, can I tell you how great you look? No? Well, that's my Can I Just Tell You essay and it's coming up in a few minutes.
But first, we are focusing on the economic progress or lack thereof facing African-Americans. This year marks the 50th anniversary of a number of important dates in civil rights history, including the march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we are going to talk about some provocative new research that sheds some light on how personal relationships play a role in getting a job and we'll talk about how that plays out differently or may play out differently for whites and minorities. That's coming up later in the program.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:50 pm
The U.S. Postal Service has backed off a plan to halt Saturday mail delivery, saying that Congress has forced it to continue the service despite massive cost overruns.
In a statement released Wednesday, the USPS Board of Governors said restrictive language included in the latest Continuing Resolution, which keeps the government operating until September in lieu of a budget, prevents it from going ahead with the plan.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:41 am
A young man is parading the streets of the city of Glasgow with a slogan daubed onto the back of his black leather jacket in big, freshly painted white letters. "We're havin' a party," it declares. "Thatcher's dead."
In what was the coal belt of northern England, a burly former miner lights up an enormous cigar and takes a satisfied puff. He says he's looking forward to a few celebratory drinks.
Hundreds of miles to the south, in Brixton, south London, a boisterous crowd prances around, joyously boozing and setting off fireworks under the wary gaze of police in riot gear.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The CIA and the military have been transformed in ways that have blurred the boundaries between them. The shape of the new military intelligence complex is the subject of my guest Mark Mazzetti's new book, "The Way of the Knife." He writes: The CIA is no longer a traditional espionage service, devoted to stealing the secrets of foreign governments. The CIA has become a killing machine, an organization consumed with man-hunting.
In 1955, John R. Cash was a sometime auto mechanic, sometime appliance salesman who liked to play the guitar and sing, mostly gospel songs. The "R" in his name didn't stand for anything — and, in fact, he'd been named J.R. at birth and had to come up with "John" when he joined the Air Force. He'd spend the rest of his life reinventing himself.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:52 am
We last updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET:
Saying "this is a start and it's not the end of our work," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed Wednesday morning that he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have put together a bipartisan plan that they believe will "keep guns out of dangerous hands."
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 10:46 am
UPDATE at 11:05 a.m. ET: Obama: Growing Economy, Shrinking Deficits Both Possible
President Obama unveiled his 2014 budget proposal Wednesday, calling it a "fiscally responsible blueprint" that can help grow the economy and shrink deficits.
The president said his plan addresses the debate about how to expand the economy while reducing government red ink: "This budget answers that argument because we can do both," he said at the Rose Garden.
The federal government each year gives needy college students billions of dollars they don't have to pay back — $34.5 billion to be exact. More than 9 million students rely on the Pell Grant program. But a new study says much of the money is going to people who never graduate.
Sandy Baum, an expert on student financial aid, has been leading a group in a study of the 48-year-old Pell Grant program. Their report, commissioned by the nonprofit College Board, confirms what many have known for years about grant recipients.
Television is going to the dogs. The satellite company DIRECTV recently introduced DOGTV to its line up. The channel, just for canines, will cost humans 5.99 a month. The programs feature soothing music and animations. DOGTV's CEO says this helps ease the loneliness and boredom that pets feel when they're left at home all day.
Hey, what do you think?
(SOUNDBITE OF A DOG BARKING)
GREENE: What's that, boy? You'd rather have a dog station on the radio?