NPR News

Pages

NPR Story
2:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Wolves Starchy Diet Led To Domesticated Dogs

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 7:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It took a very long time for this...

(SOUNDBITE OF WOLF HOWLING)

MONTAGNE: ...to evolve into this:

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG BARKING)

MONTAGNE: But the gray wolf is the ancestor of all domesticated dogs, including that Jack Russell terrier we just heard. Just how wolves came to live with people isn't really known. But as NPR's Veronique LaCapra reports, a new study suggests that food may have played a role.

VERONIQUE LACAPRA, BYLINE: Most dogs will eat just about anything.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG EATING)

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:40 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Female Smokers Face Greater Risk Than Previously Thought

Women smoke in New York City's Times Square.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:19 am

There's still more to learn about the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.

Studies in this week's New England Journal of Medicine show that the risk for women has been under-appreciated for decades. New data also quantify the surprising payoffs of smoking cessation — especially under the age of 40.

Read more
Africa
1:39 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Algeria Attack A 'Wake-Up Call' For Energy Companies

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:19 am

A week has passed since the terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria, but risk analysts and security experts are still undecided about the incident's likely impact in the energy world.

The price of oil, a good indicator of anxiety in the energy market, went up modestly right after the attack, but then it stabilized. No energy company has suspended operations in Algeria, nor has any company announced it will hold off on future investments in North Africa, a key source of oil and gas supplies.

Read more
Research News
1:37 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Shall I Encode Thee In DNA? Sonnets Stored On Double Helix

William Shakespeare, depicted in this 17th century painting, penned his sonnets on parchment. Now his words have found a new home ... in twisting strands of DNA.
Attributed to John Taylor National Portrait Gallery

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:19 am

English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.

It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.

Read more
Music Interviews
12:01 am
Thu January 24, 2013

The 'True Story' Inside Aaron Neville's Doo-Wop World

Aaron Neville's latest album, My True Story, is a collection of the doo-wop songs he grew up singing in New Orleans.
Sarah A. Friedman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:19 am

At 72, the prince of R&B has reverted to childhood. Aaron Neville has a new album called My True Story, and it's a collection of the songs he sang growing up in the projects of New Orleans in the 1950s and '60s, back when doo-wop was king.

"I've been into every doo-wop there is," Neville says. "I think I went to the university of doo-wop-ology."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

White House Will Move Forward With Gen. John Allen NATO Nomination

The White House said today that it would move forward with the nomination of Gen. John Allen to become NATO commander.

Allen's nomination was put on hold after he became ensnared in the extramarital affair scandal that led to the resignation of CIA Chief David Petraeus. As we reported, the Pentagon's Inspector General exonerated Allen of any wrong doing yesterday.

NPR's Tom Bowman filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Read more
Law
4:42 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Lawsuit Questioned Constitutionality Of Ban On Women In Combat

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now for some reaction to that decision, we turn to Anne Coughlin. She's a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, and her research inspired a lawsuit brought by two women in the Army Reserve seeking to reverse that ban. The suit argues the ban is unconstitutional. Anne Coughlin, welcome to the program.

ANNE COUGHLIN: Thank you so much, Melissa. I'm happy to be here.

BLOCK: And first, your thoughts when you heard this decision from Secretary Panetta today.

Read more
Business
4:06 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Dreamliner Woes Expose FAA's Potential Weak Spots

National Transportation Safety Board investigators inspect a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Japan's Takamatsu Airport. A Federal Aviation Administration investigation into the plane's troubles has widened into a review of the agency's certification process for new airliners.
Jiji Press AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

One week after Federal Aviation Administration officials grounded Boeing's newest jet, the world's entire 787 Dreamliner fleet remains parked. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Tuesday he couldn't speculate on when a review of the plane would be complete.

Investigators in the U.S. and Japan remain perplexed as to why batteries on two planes suffered serious failures. Now Boeing, its flagship jet and the certification process for the 787 are under intense scrutiny.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Transportation Secretary: Duration Of Dreamliner Review Is Unknown

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks during a news conference at the Transportation Department in Washington in January.
Susan Walsh AP

If you were dreaming of flying soon in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you have to wake up: Federal Aviation Administration isn't rushing its review of the grounded aircraft.

"We need to get to the bottom of the recent issues with the batteries in the 787 and ensure their safety before these aircraft can be put back in service," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today at an Aero Club luncheon in Washington.

Read more
Fine Art
3:20 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

In 'According To What?' Ai Weiwei Makes Mourning Subversive

Grapes, a spiky cluster of wooden stools from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is part of Ai Weiwei's repurposed furniture series.
Cathy Carver Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 2:48 pm

How do we honor the dead? How do we commit them to memory? And how do we come to terms with the way they died?

Read more
The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Stunning Photos: In Chicago, Firefighters Battle Huge Flames In Arctic Cold

Firefighters spray down hot spots on an ice covered warehouse that caught fire Tuesday night in Chicago.
John Gress Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 4:24 pm

Firefighters in Chicago responded to the largest fire in years last night. According to The Chicago Tribune, at one point a third of the city's firefighters were battling the blaze at a vacant warehouse.

Luckily no one was hurt, but the arctic temperatures the area is experiencing meant the firefighters faced issues like frozen hydrants.

The pictures of the action, however, are made simply stunning because of the ice.

Read more
Middle East
3:12 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

An Israeli Political Newcomer, Who May Soon Be An Insider

Yair Lapid and his new political party, There Is a Future, got the second-most votes in Israel's election on Tuesday.
Oliver Weiken EPA /Landov

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 7:17 am

Israel's surprisingly close parliamentary elections Tuesday have brought political attention to a man accustomed to the bright lights of television: former journalist and media personality Yair Lapid.

His Yesh Atid — or There Is a Future — Party got 19 seats in parliament, making it the second-largest voting bloc behind Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, which won 31 seats.

Read more
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:12 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

In Lower Manhattan, Sandy Still Keeping Businesses Dark

People walk past a closed business affected by Hurricane Sandy in the heavily damaged South Street Seaport in New York City in December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

When compared with its neighbors Coney Island and the Rockaways, Manhattan seemed hardly touched by the waters and winds of Superstorm Sandy in late October. But almost three months later, areas of lower Manhattan are still laboring to recover.

Earlier this month, a museum devastated by Sandy finally reopened. About 800 people packed the lobby and upstairs galleries of the South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan as Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the crowd.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:02 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Ob-Gyns Told To Look for 'Reproductive Coercion'

When an intimate partner interferes with contraception, doctors should know about it.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 4:30 pm

Womens' doctors should be on the lookout for patients whose partners are unduly pressuring them to become pregnant — or even sabotaging their efforts to use contraception.

That's the advice from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which just published recommendations for doctors about reproductive and sexual coercion.

Read more
World
2:28 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

U.S. Military Seeks Its Role In Troubled North Africa

Gen. Carter Ham, who heads the U.S. Africa Command, meets with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika last September. Amid upheaval in the region, AFRICOM is still attempting to define its mission.
Farouk Batiche Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

The recent crises in northern Africa, from Libya to Mali to Algeria, have raised a host of questions about the role of the American military command responsible for the entire continent.

Founded in 2007, the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was created to train African militaries so U.S. troops would not be called upon in times of crisis.

Read more
The Salt
2:15 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

When Spilled Food Makes A Huge Mess (In A Tunnel Or On A Road)

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:42 am

Rarely do we consider the trucks, trains and tankers that transport our food around our cities — and around the world. It's not until an accident happens, and the food inside these vessels comes pouring out, that we remember all this food in motion around us, and how damaging it can be when it spills.

The truth is, a lot of food is extremely sticky, bulky — and sometimes, flammable. And apparently, the people who move it around are just as accident prone as the rest of us.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:35 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Scientists Put An End To Moratorium On Bird Flu Research

Health workers in Nepal culled chickens and destroyed eggs following an outbreak of bird flu in Kathmandu in October 2012.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Controversial experiments on bird flu could resume within weeks because leading influenza researchers around the world have finally called a halt to an unusual moratorium that has lasted more than a year.

The voluntary pause in the research started back in January 2012. Scientists had genetically altered the bird flu virus H5N1, changing it in ways that allowed it to spread through the coughs and sneezes of ferrets — the lab stand-in for people.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Panetta Lifts Ban On Women In Combat Roles

In a May 9, 2012 photo, Capt. Sara Rodriguez, 26, of the 101st Airborne Division, carries a litter of sandbags during the Expert Field Medical Badge training at Fort Campbell, Ky. Female soldiers are moving into new jobs in once all-male units as the U.S. Army breaks down formal barriers in recognition of what's already happened in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kristin M. Hall AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 6:04 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban that prohibited women from serving in combat, a congressional source tells NPR's Tom Bowman. The move opens up thousands of front-line positions.

Panetta is expected to announce the decision along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday.

Citing "senior defense officials," the AP adds:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Junior Seau's Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against NFL

Junior Seau, seen here playing for the New England Patriots toward the end of his career, suffered from a degenerative brain disease, scientists say.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 4:40 pm

The family of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL, the Associated Press is reporting.

According to the wire service, Seau's family accuses the NFL of "acts or omissions" that "hid the dangers of repetitive blows to the head."

Read more
The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Burning Cheese Closes Norwegian Road For Days

A truckload of brunost cheese, like the kind seen here, recently caught fire in a Norwegian tunnel.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

It was probably a first for Norway when a truck trailer full of sweet goat cheese caught fire near the town of Narvik late last week, blocking a road tunnel. it took four days for firefighters to put out the flames. No one was hurt. Norwegian Broadcasting says the tunnel was so badly damaged that geologists are checking it for safety, and any lingering toxic gases.

Read more
Global Health
11:58 am
Wed January 23, 2013

In Syria, Addressing Medical Needs In An Embattled City

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 2:07 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Now to the civil war in Syria. Rebels report new rocket strikes by government forces today - attacks, they say, that killed six members of one family. Nearly two years after the government sent army tanks to crush anti-government protests, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday he does not see much prospect for a negotiated resolution, and he warned that the humanitarian situation in the country is dire.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:54 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Don't Expect States To Cooperate

States are moving further apart on hot-button issues such as abortion and health care — and many may resist laws set in Washington.
Frankljunior iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:01 pm

Blue states and red states are moving further apart.

That's one of the clear lessons from the annual "State of the States" report, which the Pew Center on the States is rolling out in a string of assessments this week.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:47 am
Wed January 23, 2013

A Tennis Tale: Once Famous, 'Gorgeous Gussie' Dies In Obscurity

Gertrude Moran, "Gorgeous Gussie," playing at Wimbledon in 1949. Her attire, which included a bit of lace, shocked some.
George W. Hales Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:10 am

Read more
Religion
11:45 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Amidst Church Scandals, Who Still Joins The Priesthood

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:18 pm

A decade after news of the sex abuse scandal in the Boston archdiocese of the Catholic Church broke, reports of abuse continue to emerge. The number of priests in the U.S. is in rapid decline, raising questions about who still chooses the job and how the work has changed after high-profile abuse scandals.

From Our Listeners
11:45 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Letters: 'Django Unchained', Rereading Classics

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 2:09 pm

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including reaction to the movie Django Unchained, Florida's python problem and rereading high school classics.

The Two-Way
11:42 am
Wed January 23, 2013

London Police Arrest Two In 'Muslim Patrol' Incidents

A screen grab taken from a video posted on YouTube.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 3:58 pm

Over the past week, London has been hit by a series of incidents in which a group of self-styled vigilantes have accosted Londoners for not adhering to what they say are Islamic standards.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:23 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Why Some Hospices Turn Away Patients Without Caregivers At Home

Some hospices require patients to have a caregiver at home. But for many families, that's just not an option.
Guven Demir iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:56 am

Choosing hospice care is never an easy decision. It's an admission that the end is near, that there will be no cure.

But even after a family has opted for this end-of-life care, some still face an unexpected hurdle: Twelve percent of hospices nationwide refuse to accept patients who don't have a caregiver at home to look after them, according to a recent survey of nearly 600 hospice providers published in Health Affairs.

Read more
Asia
11:19 am
Wed January 23, 2013

'Friends' Will Be There For You At Beijing's Central Perk

Customers chat at a Beijing cafe modeled after the Central Perk cafe in the hit American sitcom Friends, in 2010. Nearly a decade after the series ended, the popularity of Friends continues among young Chinese, who use the show as a language-learning tool and enjoy its depiction of young Americans.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Almost a decade since the end of the hit American TV series Friends, the show — and, in particular, the fictitious Central Perk cafe, where much of the action took place — is enjoying an afterlife in China's capital, Beijing. Here, the show that chronicled the exploits of New York City pals Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey is almost seen as a lifestyle guide.

Tucked away on the sixth floor of a Beijing apartment block is a mini replica of the cafe, orange couch and all, whose owner Du Xin introduces himself by saying, "Everyone calls me 'Gunther' here."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:38 am
Wed January 23, 2013

House Passes GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan; Senate Democrats Offer Their Support

The House of Representatives (Jan. 3 file photo).
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:01 pm

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: By a vote of 285-144, the House just passed a Republican plan that postpones for three months the federal government's next bump up against the so-called debt ceiling.

As we said earlier, the measure would head off another big battle over raising the government's borrowing authority — such as the one in 2011 that almost led to a government shutdown.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:24 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Union Membership Continues Decline; Now At Lowest Level Since 1930s

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:34 am

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says union membership continues to decline in the United States.

In 2012, American Union membership rate dropped to 11.3 percent from 11.8 percent in 2011. As The Washington Post reports, that's the lowest level since the 1930s.

Read more

Pages