NPR News

Pages

Author Interviews
1:00 am
Fri November 23, 2012

'Unorthodox' Book Of 'Jewish Jocks' Puts Stereotypes Aside

American lightweight Benny Leonard, pictured in 1925, is remembered as one of boxing's greatest.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

There have been a number of books about great Jewish athletes, starring legendary baseball players like Sandy Koufax or Hank Greenberg, the "Hebrew Hammer." But a new book doesn't focus only on Jewish players — it looks at the myriad ways Jews have contributed to the American athletic landscape. Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame is a collection of essays compiled and edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy of The New Republic magazine.

Foer and Tracy join NPR's Linda Wertheimer to discuss the rise of Jews in big-league sports.

Read more
StoryCorps' National Day Of Listening
12:58 am
Fri November 23, 2012

A Father Remembers The Son He Lost To War

Matthew Bolar was killed on May 3, 2007, in Baghdad. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay spoke recently with Matthew's father, Gordon, who wanted to pay tribute to his son.
Courtesy of Gordon Bolar

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

Army Spc. Matthew Bolar was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq five years ago. He was 24 years old.

"He was a young man who knew what he wanted to do. And military service was the way that he chose to go," his father, Gordon Bolar, recently told his friend StoryCorps founder Dave Isay.

Read more
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:57 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Sandy Victims Get Bird's-Eye View Of Homelessness

Maurice Geddie of Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood picks up a free turkey donated by a local grocery store. He's hoping his wife will be willing to cook it, though she's been stuck cooking for storm victims at shelters for weeks.
Ailsa Chang NPR

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 3:09 pm

It's been almost a month since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast, and for many people, it means the first Thanksgiving outside of their destroyed homes or without the friends or family they usually visit.

In New York City, Thanksgiving has been mass-produced in shelters, churches and community centers where thousands upon thousands of storm victims can find free meals.

Many of them are sharing their first post-storm Thanksgiving with people who are hungry year-round.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Israel Makes Arrests For Tel Aviv Bus Bombing

Israeli police officers examine a blown up bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:04 am

Israel has arrested several people, including an Arab Israeli, in connection with the Tel Avis bus bombing that wounded 27 people on Wednesday.

The arrests were made Wednesday, but details were only revealed Thursday because of a gag order, the Haaretz newspaper reported, citing security sources.

Here's more from the newspaper:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

100-Vehicle Pileup In Southeast Texas Kills 2, Injures Dozens

At least two people are dead and dozens injured in a 100-vehicle pileup on Interstate 10 in southeast Texas that's being blamed on early morning fog on Thanksgiving Day.

KFDM TV reports that the dead included a man and a woman in a Chevy Suburban that was crushed by a tractor trailer. State troopers told the TV station that between 80 and 120 people were hurt; they were taken to hospitals in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Winnie. The crash occurred southwest of Beaumont, 80 miles east of Houston.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:48 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

The Motive Of The Mapmaker

In A History of the World in Twelve Maps, Jerry Brotton examines the maps of ancient history and the way Google Earth allows people to see the world today.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 10:56 am

World maps help us make sense of the world around us, and our place in it.

While mapmakers may portray their world maps as accurate, scientific and neutral, every single one describes the world from a certain worldview and culture. From ancient Babylonia to the Renaissance, cartographers have been driven by politics, religion, emotion and math.

Read more
Arts & Life
1:48 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Bill Connolly's Funny, But Not Clever Comedy

Comedian Billy Connolly received that Outstanding Contribution to Television and Film Award at the 2012 BAFTA Awards in Scotland.
Tony Lyon

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:33 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly has been performing for over 50 years now. His TV credits include the sitcom "Head of the Class." He co-starred with Judi Dench in the movie "Mrs. Brown." New projects include Dustin Hoffmann's directorial debut, "Quartet," with, among others, Maggie Smith. And he plays a dwarf king in "The Hobbit." But what he does, as he puts it, is standup comedy.

(SOUNDBITE OF STANDUP SHOW)

BILLY CONNOLLY: Algebra was a mystery to me.

Connolly, 1A plus 1B?

Read more
Around the Nation
1:48 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Listening To Service Members, Veterans

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. For the fifth year now, the oral history project StoryCorps has put special attention on the day after Thanksgiving, the day often called Black Friday, StoryCorps transforms into the National Day of Listening.

Read more
From Our Listeners
1:48 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Missing: Loved Ones On Thanksgiving

It's a tradition for many of us to gather with family and friends on Thanksgiving. The menu and the festivities are often the same: A look at the big parade in New York City on TV, maybe a game of touch football. But some friends may not be able to make it to dinner: the loved ones serving in the military overseas, a family member who's passed away since this time last year, or maybe someone who has to work today. Host Neal Conan takes calls from listeners who want to share stories about who's not at their Thanksgiving table this year.

Environment
1:42 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

'Erin Brockovich' Town Faces New Threat

Hinkley, Calif., may soon become a ghost town as residents move away from contaminated water.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 3:20 pm

Hinkley, Calif., is the small town that battled toxic groundwater and inspired the 2000 film Erin Brockovich. Now residents say they are experiencing a sequel to their story.

Read more
Europe
1:36 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Burgundy's Yield Fails To Meet Grape Expectations

Workers pick fruit Sept. 22 during the grape harvest at the Gevrey-Chambertin vineyard in France's Burgundy region. Bad weather has reduced the grape yield by as much as 70 percent in some vineyards.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 3:09 pm

Neat rows of grapevines run down the slopes of the Cotes de Beaune, all the way to the gravel driveway at Chateau de Corton Andre. The castle's traditional Burgundy black-and-yellow-tiled roof glistens in the autumn sun.

Read more
Latin America
12:33 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Animals Seized From Colombian Narcos Find A Home

Ana Julia Torres cares for hundreds of abused animals at a refuge in Cali, Colombia, including this lion named Jupiter. Many of the animals were previously owned by drug traffickers who have been arrested.
Juan Forero NPR

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 3:09 pm

Villa Lorena, in southwestern Colombia, is an animal refuge like no other.

There are four lions, nine Bengal tigers, jaguars, cougars, a crocodile, a speckled bear and an ostrich. There's a chimpanzee named Jocko, spider monkeys and hundreds of brightly colored birds.

One thing they all have in common — they've been abused, says Ana Julia Torres. Monkeys have been beaten. Birds have had their beaks cut off.

"They're lame, or have lost limbs; they're blind, or can't focus, or have lost an eye," Torres says.

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:08 am
Thu November 22, 2012

An Early Peek At Our Favorite Music Of 2012

Sharon Van Etten's Tramp was released in February by Jagjaguwar.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:29 am

Read more
Around the Nation
7:03 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Table For One, Please. A Solo Thanksgiving

Some people just aren't into the big Thanksgiving Day extravaganza.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 6:19 pm

This is America, where Thanksgiving is portrayed in popular culture as a time for gatherings of loving families and friends, holding hands while saying grace over a roast turkey, passing casseroles and footballs, reminiscing about the past and dreaming of the future.

But. This being America, we also know that traditions — just like every other aspect of contemporary life — become more complex the more we examine them.

Read more
Books
7:03 am
Thu November 22, 2012

'Gershwins And Me' Tells The Stories Behind 12 Songs

Michael Feinstein (right) worked for six years as Ira Gershwin's cataloger and archivist.
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 8:46 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 17, 2012.

Long before singer and pianist Michael Feinstein became famous in his own right, he had the privilege of working closely with legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin, as his archivist and cataloger. In his book, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs, Feinstein writes firsthand about the musical world of the American composers and brothers, George and Ira Gershwin.

Read more
Middle East
5:22 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Ruling Party's Shift Causes Consternation In Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman shake hands in front of the media after giving a statement in Jerusalem last month. Netanyahu said his Likud Party will join forces with the hard-line party of his foreign minister in upcoming parliamentary elections.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:02 am

Some analysts have suggested that one impetus for the Israeli military strikes in Gaza is the upcoming election season in Israel. With elections set for January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu changed the political landscape last month by announcing that his Likud Party would run along with a right-wing party led by hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Likud Party leaders complained that they were left in the dark before the prime minister effectively vaulted Lieberman into the No. 2 political position.

Read more
World
4:51 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Centenarian Rejects School's Offer, Teapot Returned

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Sweden, Anna Erickson got a letter accepting her into the local preschool. It had gone out to everyone in town born in '07. Great, except for one detail: Anna was born in 1907. So the 105-year-old won't be showing up to class. In New York, the elegant Waldorf-Astoria experienced a blast from the past this week when a man returned one of the hotel's silver-trimmed teapots, pilfered back in the 1930s. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

World
4:42 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Santa Denier Arrested In Kingston, Ontario

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Kingston, Ontario held its annual Santa Claus parade this past weekend. But Virginia, we are sad to report a Grinch was in attendance. As the Christmas-themed floats cruised down the street, a man began shouting, claiming that Santa Claus does not exist. Apparently, he had gotten into the Christmas spirits instead of the Christmas spirit. He was arrested for public intoxication. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Salt
3:58 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Ingredients For A Homestyle Thanksgiving, 200 Miles Above The Earth

Space food.
courtesy NASA

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:20 pm

For Thanksgiving, NASA's space food experts always try to make sure astronauts get to enjoy traditional holiday fare, even if its not exactly home cooking. And being so far from home, astronauts can get pretty attached to their comfort foods.

This year, Kevin Ford, the commander of Expedition 34 and currently working at the International Space Station, says he has the ingredients to make one favorite Thanksgiving dish the NASA nutritionists may not have anticipated: Candied yams with marshmallows.

The yams are thermostablized and come in a plastic pouch.

Read more
Business
2:45 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Rich Jaroslovsky's Gadget Picks For 2012

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 1:54 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As we charge into the holiday gift buying season, gadgets are usually near the top of many people's wish lists. Our regular technology commentator Rich Jaroslovsky of Bloomberg News tells us about his gadget picks for 2012.

Rich, thanks for joining us.

RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: First, Rich, let's look at the camera. It's an amazing little machine. It doesn't even vaguely look like a camera. It looks like it must be expensive and do lots of clever tricks?

Read more
NPR Story
2:45 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Egypt's Morsi Praised For Cease-Fire As Talks Begin

In this image provided by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right), Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meets with Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Sunday. Morsi has won praise for brokering the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel.
AP

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:02 am

The cease-fire between Hamas and Israel has been a political boost for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The Islamist leader spent hours in meetings and on the phone with world leaders, including President Obama, and got results: a cessation of violence that puts Egypt back on the international map. But Morsi faces a test Thursday night, when negotiations on the details begin.

Read more
NPR Story
2:45 am
Thu November 22, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business goes out to all you last-minute airline travelers on this Thanksgiving Day.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And the last word is: Leave that cranberry sauce at home.

MONTAGNE: The Transportation Security Administration has posted a special Thanksgiving notice on its website, reminding flyers about the foods they cannot hand carry through the security checkpoint.

WERTHEIMER: The list includes gravy, creamy dips, spreads.

Read more
Music
1:51 am
Thu November 22, 2012

'Don Giovanni' To 'Nixon In China': Holiday Feasts In Opera

President Nixon pardons a turkey in 1969. There's quite a celebratory banquet scene in the John Adams opera, Nixon in China.
Nixon White House Photographs Series The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:45 am

As you prepare to feast upon cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and your choice of entree this Thanksgiving, there's also an operatic feast to be had.

Read more
The Salt
1:26 am
Thu November 22, 2012

A Readable Feast: Poems To Feed 'The Hungry Ear'

Still Life with Fruit and Nuts, by Robert Seldon Duncanson
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:45 am

This Thanksgiving, as hearty aromas fill the house, take a moment to savor a different kind of nourishment — poetry about food.

The Hungry Ear, a new collection, celebrates the pleasures and the sorrows of food with poems from Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath and dozens more. Poet Kevin Young cooked up — or edited — this readable feast. He tells NPR's Renee Montagne that, much like the best meals, the best poems are made from scratch.

Read more
Business
1:25 am
Thu November 22, 2012

On Thanksgiving, Stores Serve Up A Side Of Shopping

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations Wednesday ahead of the pre-Black Friday event at the Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Rosemead, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 5:11 am

Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.

"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."

Read more
It's All Politics
1:23 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Before The Showdown: The Long Road To The Fiscal Cliff

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to announce a debt ceiling deal in July 2011. That deal laid the foundation for the across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day, 2013.
Harry Hamburg AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:45 am

New Year's Day typically inspires hope and new beginnings. But this next one may be cause for trepidation. Tax cuts for all income levels expire on Jan. 1, 2013, and most federal programs will face a 10 percent haircut — because Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.

Read more
Movie Interviews
10:03 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

We Ask A Historian: Just How Accurate Is 'Lincoln'?

Lincoln biographer Ronald White lauds the accuracy of Daniel Day-Lewis' depiction of the 16th president.
DreamWorks

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 8:20 pm

A great many families going to the movies over this Thanksgiving weekend will probably see Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's new film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and an impressive cast.

Based on a biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin, but scripted by playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, it's been very well-reviewed, but here's a question: How true to history is it?

Read more
It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Bad End Is Just The Latest For A Snake-Bit District

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, seen here in October 2011, resigned from Congress on Wednesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:20 pm

Talk about your snake-bitten congressional districts.

The Thanksgiving-eve news that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was resigning from Congress after reports that he has bipolar disorder and is the subject of a criminal probe of his spending of campaign funds, is just the latest in a series of bad endings for those who have represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District in Washington.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:29 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

With Routine Mammograms, Some Breast Cancers May Be Overtreated

A mammographer prepares a screen-film mammography test for patient Alicia Maldonado at a hospital in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 4:01 pm

The endless debate over routine mammograms is getting another kick from an analysis that sharply questions whether the test really does what it's supposed to.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, coauthor of the analysis of mammography's impact, which was just published in The New England Journal of Medicine, tell Shots that the aim was to "get down to a very basic question."

Read more
Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Through Meditation, Veterans Relearn Compassion

Veterans participate in a therapy session at the Veterans Affairs center in Menlo Park, Calif.
VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 4:52 pm

Marine Esteban Brojas is rocking back and forth in his chair in a rehabilitation center for veterans in Menlo Park, Calif. He rubs his hands together so quickly you can hear them.

"You know, you're going into a building, and you know there's a grenade being popped in there," he says, "and there's a woman and a child in there ... and you're part of that?"

Read more

Pages