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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Study Finds Vast Majority Of Americans Felt Great Recession Personally

The Great Recession touched a vast majority of Americans personally, a new study from Rutgers' Heldrich Center finds.

The most stunning number in the study: "Some 73 percent [of Americans] either lost a job themselves, or had a member of their household, a close relative, or a friend lose a job at some point in the past four years."

The report is pretty depressing. A few more findings:

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The Salt
4:07 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Fried Chicken And Sweet Tea: Recipe For A Stroke

Delicious, yes. But it's really not health food.
Todd Patterson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:04 pm

Fried chicken washed down with sweet tea — it's a classic Southern lunch. That fat/sweet nexus is also a recipe for a stroke, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, have been trying to nail down how diet relates to stroke, particularly in the "Stroke Belt" — the Southeastern states that have the dubious distinction of hosting the nation's highest stroke rates.

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Movie Interviews
3:32 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Warm Bodies' Director: Teen Romance, Undying

Nicholas Hoult, Rob Corddry and Teresa Palmer lurch through a scene in Levine's zombie romantic comedy.
Jonathan Wenk Summit Enterainment

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:50 pm

This past weekend, a surprising little movie topped the box office over pop-action juggernaut Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook.

Warm Bodies is a zombie romance brought to you by the man behind the recent cancer comedy 50/50; clearly, director and screenwriter Jonathan Levine has an interest in genre bending, and this latest flick is equal parts Night of the Living Dead and Romeo and Juliet. It's told through the eyes of R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie living in an airport.

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Science
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Blocking Iran With A Global Game Of Nuclear 'Keep Away'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (center) visits a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran, in 2008. Enriching uranium requires many fast-spinning centrifuges, arranged in what's called a cascade.
Iranian President's Office AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:27 pm

Iran's government on Thursday made clear it has no interest in direct talks until the U.S. eases sanctions that have been squeezing Iran's economy. But the Obama administration isn't budging and says the ball is in the Iranians' court.

The suspicion that Iran wants to make a nuclear weapon is the rationale for the sanctions as well as for veiled threats of U.S. or Israeli military action if those sanctions fail.

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National Security
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Brennan Objects To Use Of Waterboarding In CIA Confirmation Hearing

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Animal Magnetism: How Salmon Find Their Way Back Home

Bright red sockeye salmon swim up the Fraser River to the stream where they were hatched.
Current Biology, Putman et al.

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:50 pm

Before they end up filleted and sautéed on your dinner plate, salmon lead some pretty extraordinary, globe-trotting lives.

After hatching in a freshwater stream, young salmon make a break for the ocean, where they hang out for years, covering thousands of miles before deciding its time to settle down and lay eggs in their natal stream.

So how do these fish find their way back to their home river?

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It's All Politics
3:01 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

After Tough 2012, Gallup Enlists Polling Expert To Investigate

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:44 pm

The Gallup Organization, one of the polling industry's oldest brand names, is calling in an outsider to do a comprehensive review after its 2012 election polls consistently favored Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

University of Michigan professor Michael Traugott, a past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, has been working with Gallup since December to test several of its methods. Among them: how many interviews are conducted by cellphones; how it measures likely voters and early voters; and how it assesses the impact of get-out-the-vote efforts.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama Will Attend Slain Chicago Teen's Funeral

Hadiya Pendleton.
Courtesy of Pendleton family via the Chicago Tribune MCT /Landov

First lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who made national news after she was gunned down just a mile from President Obama's Chicago home.

As we reported at the time, Hadiya attended President Obama's inauguration. Her death was mentioned by the White House and during a Senate hearing on gun violence.

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Art & Design
2:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

New York's Grimy Garment District Hatches Designers' Dreams

From West 24th to West 42nd Street, New York's Seventh Avenue is also known as "Fashion Avenue." It's home to major designers as well as those who are just starting out, like Ann Yee and Daniel Vosovic.
Michael Katzif for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:07 pm

Thursday marks the beginning of New York Fashion Week, where big-name designers like Michael Kors, Anna Sui and Vera Wang will debut their Fall 2013 collections. It's part of an industry that generates billions of dollars of revenue for New York City, employing hundreds of thousands of workers. But the real business of fashion happens several blocks south of the glamorous Lincoln Center runways, in New York's Garment District.

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Science
2:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Fresh Clues In Dinosaur Whodunit Point To Asteroid

Scientists have confirmed that the impact of a giant asteroid and the mass extinction of the dinosaurs happened at the same time.
Courtesy of Don Dixon/cosmographica.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:53 pm

Some 66 million years ago, about 75 percent of species on Earth disappeared. It wasn't just dinosaurs but most large mammals, fish, birds and plankton. Scientists have known this for a long time just from looking at the fossil record. If you dig deep enough, you find lots of dinosaur bones. And then a few layers up, they're gone.

But scientists couldn't figure out exactly what had caused this phenomenon. Of course, there were lots of theories.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Children of Latino Immigrants Skew Even More Democratic Than Parents, Study Says

Immigrants take the U.S. oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:12 pm

Immigrants from Asia and Latin America are more conservative than their U.S.-born children, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

And while most immigrants from Asia and Latin America identify with the Democratic Party, the report found that Hispanic members of the second generation — those born in the United States with at least one parent born outside of the country — were even more likely to identify as Democrats than their parents.

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Asia
2:45 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Move Over James Bond, China Has An Unlikely Box Office Champ

The surprise hit Lost in Thailand, a road comedy that cost less than $5 million to make, has become China's highest-grossing domestic film.
Enlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:32 am

Movies are big business in China, and 2012 was another record year: Theaters raked in about $2.7 billion, pushing China past Japan to become the world's second-largest market.

Those blistering sales were expected; China's ultimate box-office champ, however, was not.

Hollywood blockbusters usually do well in China. And last year, competition was stiff, including a new installment of Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible franchise, as well as Skyfall, the latest James Bond flick.

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It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Rubio's Job: Play Second Fiddle To The President, And Don't Mess Up

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Drone Program Under Scrutiny As CIA Nominee Testifies

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, prepares to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 4:44 am

Update at 5:35 pm ET. Brennan on drones:

As senators questioned John Brennan, the nominee to head the CIA, one of the recurring themes was the broader impact of the lethal drone strikes.

Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, asked whether the Obama administration was killing terrorists who might otherwise be captured and interrogated.

Brennan insisted that it was always preferable to capture and question terrorists to gather intelligence, and he said lethal strikes were taken as a last resort.

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Shots - Health News
1:19 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Catholic Bishops Reject Compromise On Contraceptives

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the administration's attempted compromise on contraceptive coverage is unacceptable.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

It seems the third time wasn't the charm, after all.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has officially rejected the Obama Administration's latest attempt to ensure that women with health insurance get access to no-cost contraceptive coverage without violating the rights of religious employers.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Mr. Bean's Supercar Crash Racks Up $1.4 Million Repair Bill

Rowan Atkinson (in character as Mr. Bean) in 2007.
Lisa Maree Williams Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:15 pm

Rowan Atkinson, the British comedian who's probably best known to Americans as Mr. Bean, is in the record books for something that's not all that funny.

According to reports from The Scotsman and other news outlets in the U.K., Atkinson's insurers paid 910,000 British pounds (about $1.4 million) to repair the McLaren F1 supercar that he wrecked in 2011. That's a U.K. record, newspapers say.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

NOAA Names Louis W. Uccellini As National Weather Service Director

Louis W. Uccellini.
NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has named Louis W. Uccellini the 16th director of the National Weather Service.

As The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports, the NWS is "reeling from recent controversies over its budget and an exodus in senior leadership."

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Asia
1:03 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

American Woman Gives Domestic Abuse A Face, And Voice, In China

Lee, the American wife of "Crazy English" founder Li Yang, leaves court after a session for her divorce trial in Beijing last March. Earlier this month, she was granted a divorce, as well as a restraining order against Li.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:30 pm

The faces of American Kim Lee and her Chinese husband, Li Yang, both in their 40s, once graced the covers of books that sold in the millions. He was China's most famous English teacher, the "Crazy English" guru of China, who pioneered his own style of English teaching: pedagogy through shouted language, yelling to halls of thousands of students.

His methods were given official recognition after he was employed by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee to teach Olympic volunteers.

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Shots - Health News
12:29 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Botulism From 'Pruno' Hits Arizona Prison

If you must make pruno, avoid potatoes.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:10 pm

Well, it has happened again. Twice.

Inmates at a maximum security prison in Arizona were stricken with botulism after consuming homemade hooch that's called "pruno" inside the big house.

Eight inmates wound up in the hospital in November after drinking the stuff. In August, four prisoners at the same facility were hospitalized.

The symptoms of botulism include blurred vision, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing and breathing.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Oh, Poop! Animal Shelter May Still Need More Newspapers

A dog eagerly awaits adoption in an animal shelter.
iStockphoto.com

When San Francisco's Animal Care & Control put out the word last month that it needed more newspapers to line the cages for dogs that have to take care of business, the city's library system stepped up to help.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

NTSB Says Regulators Should Reconsider Approval Of Dreamliner Battery

Pieces of damaged electrode coils from a battery cell that resulted in a fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane at Logan International Airport in Boston.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:26 pm

The head of National Transportation Safety Board said today that the FAA should reconsider their approval of the Dreamliner's lithium-ion battery.

Essentially, the NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said during a news conference, what Boeing told the FAA about the risks involving the battery have proved different in practice.

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NPR Story
11:25 am
Thu February 7, 2013

While Studying Ice, Scientists Discover Huge Penguin Colony

A few members of the newly discovered 9,000-strong emperor penguin colony on Antarctica's Princess Ragnhild Coast.
International Polar Foundation

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:55 pm

In 2009, a team of researchers from the British Antarctic Survey were studying satellite images of the Antarctic when they noticed something interesting: trails of penguin poop. That showed signs of a huge emperor penguin colony.

The existence of the colony was unconfirmed until a team of researchers from the International Polar Foundation visited in December 2012.

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NPR Story
11:25 am
Thu February 7, 2013

A Preview Of Brennan's Confirmation Hearings

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:12 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This afternoon, the Senate Intelligence Committee takes up the nomination of John Brennan to be the next director of the CIA, a hearing that will feature a festival of euphemisms. One man's targeted killing is another man's assassination.

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NPR Story
11:25 am
Thu February 7, 2013

With Pot Legalized, States Enter Uncharted Waters

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:14 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. When Colorado and Washington state voted to legalized recreational marijuana last November, they moved their states into uncharted waters. It's one thing to say possession of an ounce of pot is legal; it's another to set up a way to regulate this new business.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Thu February 7, 2013

NFL's Gregg Williams, Who Orchestrated Bounty Program, Is Reinstated

Gregg Williams, then a coach with the New Orleans Saints, in August 2011.
Bill Haber AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:16 pm

Less than a year after orchestrating a bounty program in Saint Louis, Gregg Williams will be back in the NFL next season. The Tennessee Titans have hired the former Saints defensive coordinator as a senior assistant coach.

Back in May of last year, Williams was suspended indefinitely for being part of a scheme in which he set up cash rewards for hits that knocked opponents out of games.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Thu February 7, 2013

What Nations Were The Most Forward-Looking In 2012?

The Future Orientation index shows a strong correlation between Internet activity and its gross domestic product. Countries in blue are deemed forward-looking.
Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:16 pm

Germany was the world's most future-oriented country in 2012, followed by Switzerland and Japan, according to the "Future Orientation Index." Researchers found that in Germany and 10 nations last year, more people used Google to search for "2013" than for "2011."

The 11 countries represent a gain over 2011, when only seven countries had as many searches for the upcoming year as for the prior one.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Makeup Artist Who Created Yoda Dies; Stuart Freeborn Was 98

One of makeup artist Stuart Freeborn's best-known characters, Yoda.
Tim Whitby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

The makeup artist who gave Star Wars' Yoda and Chewbacca their out-of-this-world looks, and helped bring to life other memorable characters such as the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died.

Stuart Freeborn was 98. According to The Associated Press, his granddaughter Michelle Freeborn "said he died Tuesday in London from a combination of ailments due to his age."

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Poll: 9 In 10 Americans Support Background Check For All Gun Sales

A photo illustration showing a Remington 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a Colt .45 semi-auto handgun, a Walther PK380 semi-auto handgun and various ammunition clips with a copy of the US Constitution on top of the American flag.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 11:07 am

A new Quinnipiac University poll finds Americans overwhelmingly support background checks on all gun sales.

The poll found that 92 percent of Americans support the checks, while 7 percent oppose them.

Quinnipiac also found that 52 percent support stricter gun laws and 56 percent support "a ban on the sale of assault weapons."

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The Salt
10:09 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Chain Restaurants Boost Sales With Lower-Calorie Foods

Ordering the small fries? You're part of a trend.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:54 pm

Lower-calorie foods are driving growth and profits for chain restaurants, according to fresh research, suggesting that people are making smarter choices when it comes to burgers and fries.

We're still ordering the burger and fries, mind you. But we're going for smaller portions and shunning sugary drinks. French fry sales dropped about 2 percent from 2006 to 2011, while sales of lower-calorie beverages rose 10 percent, the study found.

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Around the Nation
9:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Ending Saturday Delivery, End Of The Post Office?

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:28 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Yesterday we told you about how middle class paychecks are feeling the pinch right now for a number of reasons - healthcare co-pays and premiums, rising gas prices, among other reasons. Today we want to tell you who is doing well. And we'll tell you that conversation in just a few minutes.

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