This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow, who's out today. This week, the FDA approved a new influenza vaccine for this year's flu season, and soon enough summer will be over and you'll be standing in line again at your pharmacy or doctor's office, participating in that yearly ritual - your annual vaccination allocation.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. We're in the midst of the worst drought in over 50 years. Water tables are dropping faster than they can be replenished, and at the same time an op-ed in the New York Times today says that the United States is estimated to lose about one in six gallons, one in six gallons of clean water every day due to leaky pipes in the ground.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Do you know your blood type? You may have wondered about it this week if you heard news linking blood type to your risk of heart disease. In that study, researchers determined that those with blood type O had the lowest risk of heart disease and those with AB the highest.
You might take that sound for granted. I know I do. That's because most of us hear it all the time, at least in this country. Toilets are everywhere here in the U.S. But a lot of people around the world don't hear that sound every day, because two-and-a-half billion people, with the B, don't have a safe, sanitary place to go to the bathroom, according to the World Health Organization.
Up next, math books get a makeover. You may remember my next guest from her acting roles on "The Wonder Years." Winnie Cooper may ring a bell or "The West Wing." But for thousands of girls today, she's the writer and personality behind a bestselling series of books that aim to teach girls about math. First, there was "Math Doesn't Suck," then "Hot X: Algebra Revealed," and now we're onto geometry.
This interview was originally broadcast on July 26, 2011. Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time is now out in paperback.
Knockemstiff, Ohio, is a tiny hamlet in southern Ohio. In the 1950s, Knockemstiff had three stores, a bar and a population of about 450 people. Most of those people, says fiction writer Donald Ray Pollock, were "connected by blood through one godforsaken calamity or another."
Longtime troubleshooter Lakhdar Brahimi has, as expected, taken on the extremely difficult challenge of being the "joint special representative for Syria" who will try to broker a peace plan for that nation on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 21, 2012. Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is now out on DVD.
Actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the real world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. But his new movie, The Dictator, is a scripted comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York.
Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:46 am
Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR), an NPR congressional reporter.
Advocates say a public prayer amendment to the Missouri state constitution will strengthen the right to pray in public. But critics say it'll marginalize non-Christians. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with Missouri State Rep. Mike McGhee who sponsored the initiative, and the Anti-Defamation League's Karen Aroesty, who opposes it.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday that he's paid a rate of at least 13 percent in taxes over the past 10 years. But the Obama campaign again called on Romney to release more tax returns. Guest host Jacki Lyden discusses this and other political news with Univision's Fernando Vila and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Craig Gilbert.
A group of Catholic nuns say they're worried about the way GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will approach poverty and safety-net programs, if elected. So the nuns have invited him, and his running mate Paul Ryan, to spend a day with them, helping the poor. Sister Simone Campbell discusses the invitation with guest host Jacki Lyden.
Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:02 am
A federal court has rejected part of Florida's new election law that would have restricted the number of early voting days across the state. The court said the new law cannot take effect in five counties where the African-American vote could be key in November.
The ruling — which was announced late Thursday — is a win for voting rights groups, who say the new law was meant to suppress minority voters in Florida in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
"The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office has placed Walter White on their priority list of the county's most wanted," The Tuscaloosa News reports. "White, 55, was on probation for a 2008 charge of making methamphetamine when he was arrested on similar charges in Bibb County earlier this year."
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. She's no sheep dog, but Zoe the dog has adopted a little lamb. The lamb was born on a farm in Australia and abandoned by his mother. That's when farmers brought him to their Dalmatian, how immediately began doting on Dotty. Actually, not that surprising, since Dotty - as his name suggests - is a white lamb covered in unusual black spots, looking exactly like a Dalmatian. What you might call a sheep in dog's clothing. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Members of the all-girl punk band Pussy Riot: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right), Maria Alyokhina (center) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (left) in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow earlier today.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. In Russia today, a judge has delivered a guilty verdict for three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. The band members were given a two-year sentence. They were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, after staging a protest in Moscow's main cathedral last February.
The United Nations role in Syria is changing and so too is its personnel. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is expected to tap a veteran U.N. troubleshooter to take over from International Envoy Kofi Annan. At the same time, U.N. military observers are wrapping up their mission. NPR's Michele Kelemen has the latest.
Sometimes it can feel like a lot of what we hear is bad news. Well, we're going to hear next about some stories that inspire. All month, we've been collecting stories on NPR.org about good things Americans are doing, how they're working together to improve their communities.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
We call it Participation Nation. You've told us about a California doctor who turned a two-room free clinic into a community health center.
GREENE: A writing program to help young people in Maine become storytellers.