NPR News

Pages

NPR Story
3:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

N.C. Governor Causes Controversy With Poet Laureate Appointment

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We have a report this morning on a controversy in the rough-and-tumble bare-knuckle world of poetry. North Carolina has a new poet laureate, Governor Pat McCrory appointed a state employee whose work is self-published. The governor acted without input from the state Arts Council which has some in the literary community upset. Here's Duncan McFadyen of member station WFAE in Charlotte.

Read more
NPR Story
3:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

'Voices of Cycling' Duo Has Shared A Mic For 29 Years

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:17 am

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen have covered the Tour de France, the sport's most grueling race, together for decades and have developed a rapport that viewers appreciate.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
1:34 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Physicists Crush Diamonds With Giant Laser

Physicists put diamonds at the center of this massive laser, to see what would happen.
Matt Swisher Matt Swisher/LLNL

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Physicists have used the world's most powerful laser to zap diamonds. The results, they say, could tell us more about the cores of giant planets.

"Diamonds have very special properties, besides being very expensive and used for jewelrey etc.," says Raymond Smith, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. "It's the hardest substance known to man."

Read more
Parallels
1:32 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Amid A 'Shimmering' Tension, A Walk Through Israel And The West Bank

Paul Salopek, National Geographic fellow, looks out over Jerusalem during his seven-year journey by foot from Africa to South America.
Bassam Almohor National Geographic

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Not long ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek traveled through Israel and the West Bank as part of his journey walking from Africa to South America. He was there this spring, before the current violence erupted. Talking recently from Cyprus to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, he says the long-standing conflict was part of daily life.


Interview Highlights

On coming under fire from Israeli soldiers

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Skimping On Sleep Can Stress Body And Brain

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:58 am

"The lion and calf shall lie down together," Woody Allen once wrote, "but the calf won't get much sleep."

Read more
News
6:02 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Obama Unrolls New Sanctions Against Russia

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama had some announcements today on U.S. policy overseas. In the White House briefing room, the president ran through a long list of what he described as pressing foreign policy challenges - questions about the election results in Afghanistan, Iranian nuclear talks, the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel and finally, the situation in Ukraine. The U.S. government imposed new sanctions on Russia today over interference in that country. Here's how President Obama summed it up.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

Read more
U.S.
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother — her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Federal Judge Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional In California

California's death row at San Quentin State Prison is crowded, but the execution chamber has been idle since 2006
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 5:56 pm

A federal judge has ruled that California's use of the death penalty is dysfunctional and violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney's ruling came in response to an appeal by Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to death in Los Angeles in 1995 for the rape and killing of his girlfriend's mother three years earlier.

Read more
The Salt
4:07 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth

This young male, buried at a prehistoric site in Central Sudan, probably munched on the roots of a plant called purple nutsedge.
Donatella Usai Centro Studi Sudanesi and Sub-Sahariani

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:52 pm

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Militias Clash At Libyan Airport For Fourth Day

Flames and smoke billow from an airplane at the Tripoli international airport on Wednesday, the fourth day of fighting there
MAHMUD TURKIA AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:08 pm

The control tower and 20 aircraft have been damaged by shelling at Libya's main airport in Tripoli as fighting continued there for a fourth day.

"It's a disaster for the country at large," says Dirk Vandewalle, an expert on Libya at Dartmouth College.

Since the revolution that deposed longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, the central government has relied on — and financially supported — militias to help fill the power vacuum.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:45 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Visa Checkout will store customers' credit card numbers and billing addresses once without their having to re-enter the information each time they shop online.
Visa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 9:28 am

Here's an experience many of us have had: You're shopping on your smartphone. You click on the shoes or books you want. But then, when you get to the shopping cart, you abandon ship.

Visa says that's a big problem for retailers. On Wednesday, the credit card company announced it's rolling out a brand new system designed to get us to spend more money online.

One Password, Many Tokens

Visa is actually trying to fix two problems with one swipe.

Read more
Law
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

With New Virtual Currency Rules, N.Y. Regulators Tread A Fine Line

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:31 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Banking regulators in New York State are expected to release new rules this week governing Bitcoins and other virtual currencies. From member station WSHU Charles Lane reports that many industry experts welcome the regulations but some worry that they could end up limiting the creative potential of this new way of doing business.

CHARLES LANE, BYLINE: In many ways virtual currencies are just like old-fashioned money. You can buy furniture, books, beer, whatever. But some say it's even better than money.

Read more
Politics
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Miss. Primary Saga Rolls On, As McDaniel Refuses To Back Down

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Mississippi's Republican Senate runoff was decided three weeks ago, but the loser in that race refuses to accept the results. Longtime Sen. Thad Cochran is the certified winner, but his tea party-backed challenger, Chris McDaniel, alleges there might have been thousands of improper votes cast and today another twist. NPR political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that twist. And Charlie, State Sen. Chris McDonnell's campaign held a much anticipated press conference today. But what actually happened?

Read more
Media
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Time Warner Rebuffs Rupert Murdoch's Big-Dollar Bid For Media Giant

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. There are few media companies bigger than 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. And today came reports of a possible merger that would create a huge new empire. If Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox bought Time Warner, all of these media brands could have the same owner. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) The Simpsons...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

Read more
Law
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

With A Rules Change For A Lever, Senate Ends Judge's 17-Year Wait

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A Missouri lawyer won Senate confirmation today as a federal judge. That came 17 years after he was first nominated to the bench by President Bill Clinton. Ronnie White's nomination in the 1990s triggered a fight between civil rights groups and some police groups. But as NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, a change in Senate rules helped him advance this time.

Read more
Middle East
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

On Two Sides, Two Funerals — While Death Toll Mounts In Gaza

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

As the violence between Hamas and Israel continues, so too do the funerals that come in its wake. NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro and Emily Harris attended two such funerals today, in Tel Aviv and Gaza respectively, and they tell of what they learned there.

Middle East
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

The Devastation On The Ground In Gaza City

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Patients With Low-Cost Insurance Struggle To Find Specialists

Dr. Charu Sawhney examines patient Mang Caan. Sawhney supports the Affordable Care Act, but has been frustrated by how difficult it is to find specialists who accept some of the plans her patients bought.
Carrie Feibel for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

The Hope Clinic in southwest Houston is in the very heart of Asia Town, a part of the city where bland strip malls hide culinary treasures — Vietnamese pho, Malaysian noodles, Sichuan rabbit and bubble tea.

Inside the clinic, internist Charu Sawhney sees patients from many countries and circumstances. She's a big believer in the Affordable Care Act since most of her patients have been uninsured. She actively pushed many of them to sign up for the new plans.

Read more
Parallels
1:06 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Syria's Army On The Verge Of Retaking The Country's Largest City

A Syrian man carries a girl on a street covered with dust following a government airstrike in Aleppo on Tuesday. Rebels took the eastern half of the city in 2012 but are now in danger of being forced out by President Bashar Assad's troops.
Baraa Al-Halabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

When Syria's rebels were on the offensive in 2012, they captured the eastern half of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside. But now President Bashar Assad's troops are poised to retake all of the city that is the largest in Syria and served as the prewar financial capital.

A new military campaign is heating up as Assad, who assumed power when his father, Hafez Assad, died in 2000, was sworn in Wednesday for his third term as president. A rebel defeat could be a crushing blow to what is left of the country's three-year rebellion against the Syrian regime.

Read more
World
12:41 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Arts Program Makes Israeli And Palestinian Youth Hopeful For Future

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Read more
Politics
12:41 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Cory Booker Wants To Help Ex-Offenders Be Economically Productive

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away.

Cory Booker was in the political spotlight long before he was sworn in as New Jersey's junior senator in 2014. His first campaign to become mayor of Newark was the focus of an award-winning documentary. Part of his term in that office was chronicled in a television series for the Sundance Channel.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire complained about a Democratic effort to reaffirm a contraceptive mandate at a Tuesday news conference
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:34 pm

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

Read more
Africa
12:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Nigeria's Boko Haram 'More Extreme Than Al-Qaida,' Journalist Says

This week, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai met with some of the girls who escaped Boko Haram's captivity. The Islamic extremist group gained attention in April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria. Many girls are still missing.
Olamikan Gbemiga AP

The Nigerian group Boko Haram is part of a new generation of Islamist extremists. It was founded in 2002, but received only limited, periodic attention until April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls after raiding a school in northeastern Nigeria and threatening to marry the girls off or sell them as slaves. Some girls escaped, but many are still missing.

Read more
All Tech Considered
12:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 3:12 pm

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

Read more
The Salt
12:13 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Not So Offal: Why Bone Soup, A 'Perfect Food,' Tastes So Meaty

Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for "bone soup." The fattiness of the marrow rounds out the chili, tomato, fennel, cumin and ginger.
Konstantin Kakaes for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:43 pm

I ate the best meat I've ever eaten through a straw.

When the Singaporean food stall proprietor who'd just served me a plate of bones first offered the straw, I refused. I didn't want to take any shortcuts as I worked the tastiest bits of marrow out from the skeletal hollows.

Read more
Music
11:55 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Every Composer Needs A Great Storyteller

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:39 am

The legendary German conductor Otto Klemperer was one of the most profound musicians of the 20th Century. In the 1960s, nearing the end of his career, he overcame many physical handicaps to create an astonishing body of recorded classical music. EMI has just reissued a broad spectrum of his recordings, including a box set of one of the composers he's most associated with: Gustav Mahler. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review of Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9 / Das Lied von der Erde.

Read more
Code Switch
10:51 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Viola Davis Gets Groundbreaking Role As ABC Bets On Diversity

Actress Viola Davis speaks about her new ABC show How to Get Away with Murder at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:49 am

Read more
It's All Politics
10:21 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Palin's Call For Impeachment Reopens Debate Over ... Sarah Palin

Former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin introduces U.S. Senate challenger Chris McDaniel at a May 29 rally in Ellisville, Miss.
George Clark AP

It's nice to see Sarah Palin back in the news. Nice, that is, if you're a Sarah fan — or if you're a Democrat, or a member of the media.

Palin's fans, and they are legion on the right, love her reliably tough-talking take on how conservatives should fight President Obama and his use of executive power to circumvent Congress.

Read more
Goats and Soda
10:19 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Move Over Hong Kong: The World's Priciest Cities Are In Angola And Chad

Photos of Luanda, Angola, tell a tale of two cities: sprawling poor neighborhoods and a glitzy waterfront.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images; Michael Gottschalk/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:23 am

Ask someone to guess the world's two most expensive cities and it's a safe bet that the capitals of Chad and Angola — two of Africa's more impoverished nations — won't leap to mind. Geneva, perhaps, the home of Rolex watches, or one of those moneyed Asian capitals — Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore or Tokyo — or maybe, if you're thinking Nordically, somewhere in Scandinavia, somewhere like, say, Oslo, where a beer in a pub can famously set you back $15.

But Luanda? N'djamena?

Read more

Pages