NPR News

Pages

Election 2012
4:05 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Calif. Affirms Death Penalty, Amends 'Three Strikes'

Mike Reynolds authored California's three-strikes law after his daughter, Kimber, was killed in a 1992 purse snatching. On Tuesday, Californians approved a ballot initiative that weakens the law — a measure Reynolds opposed.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:15 am

Several thousand prisoners in California may be eligible to apply for sentence reductions, after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative Tuesday that alters the state's controversial three-strikes law.

But voters also rejected a proposition that would abolish the death penalty in the state. Proposition 34 would have replaced capital punishment with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Read more
NPR Story
3:35 am
Thu November 8, 2012

South Africa Bank Notes Feature Nelson Mandela

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is Mandela money.

That's Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and first black president of South Africa. He's now also the first black person to grace South Africa's currency.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
3:35 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Syrian Opposition Groups Try To Reinvigorate Mission

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Opposition groups working to bring down the regime in Syria are meeting in Doha, Qatar in a furious bid to reorganize and reinvigorate themselves. The aim is to form a legitimate government in exile that would be recognized by the international community. This new effort to bring together the Syrian opposition is strongly backed by the U.S. NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Doha and joins us to talk about it.

And let's start by you telling us exactly who is there.

Read more
NPR Story
3:35 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Nor'Easter Hits Sandy-Ravaged East Coast

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Last night, a nor'easter blew hard along the coast bringing new misery to those in New York and New Jersey, already without heat, power or, in some cases, a place to live.

We're joined now for more on that storm by NPR's Martin Kaste who's in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Good morning.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Tell us where you are and what you're seeing, Martin.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:30 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Hospitals Gamble On Urgent Care Clinics To Keep Patients Healthy

Dr. Wanda Simmons-Clemmons examines Dawn Antonelli at the PromptCare urgent care clinic.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:51 pm

When Stephen Wheeler realized he had an aching, swollen finger, he called his primary care doctor, who works for MedStar Health. The doctor referred him to PromptCare, an urgent care clinic in a strip mall in the Baltimore suburbs.

Wheeler says he probably would have ended up waiting a long time if he'd gone to the doctor. And even longer at the emergency room.

Read more
The Salt
1:29 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Americans Rediscover The Kick Of Hard Cider

A growing number of U.S. consumers are finding much to enjoy in this fruity alcoholic beverage, driving an increase in cider sales. The Vermont Hard Cider Company now produces 70,000 cases of Woodchuck Hard Cider each week.
Ben Sarle Vermont Hard Cider Company

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:52 pm

A couple hundred years ago. hard apple cider used to be the drink of choice for thirsty Americans. It was easy to make and easy to find. But as people moved into cities, and beer became more popular, cider fell out of fashion.

Now it's come roaring back. U.S. hard cider sales are up 65 percent over last year, and just about all the big beer companies sell it, as well as many artisan brewers. Finding cider at your local bar is often no longer a problem.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:27 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Fixing Long Election Lines May Be Easier Said Than Done

Voters line up in the dark Tuesday to cast their ballots at a polling station in Miami. President Obama said the long lines nationwide were something "we have to fix."
Wilfredo Lee AP

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

Although voting problems in Tuesday's election were fewer than some people had expected, there were extremely long lines at many polling sites; so many that President Obama noted them in his victory speech.

"I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time," he said, adding, "by the way we have to fix that."

Read more
U.S.
1:26 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Opening Lines Set For A Deal To Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Wednesday that House Republicans are willing to accept new revenues "under the right conditions."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:50 pm

With the election over, attention in Washington has turned to the nation's debt and deficit challenges — most immediately the looming fiscal cliff. That's the $600 billion worth of expiring tax breaks and automatic spending cuts set to start taking effect Jan. 1.

The president and Congress agreed to those automatic measures to force themselves to find a more palatable compromise to rein in deficits. On Wednesday, there was an attempt to jump-start that process.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:25 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Obamacare Is Here To Stay, But In What Form?

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signs a bill in June 2011 to pave the way for a health insurance exchange in the state.
Ed Andrieski AP

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

President Obama's re-election and the retention of a Democratic majority in the Senate means the likelihood of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act has receded.

So what now?

"The law is here and we should at this point expect it to still be here Jan. 1, 2014," says Alan Weil, executive director of the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:21 am
Thu November 8, 2012

The Beatles' Surprising Contribution To Brain Science

The Beatles rehearse for that night's Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1963.
Central/Hulton Achive/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:18 am

The same brain system that controls our muscles also helps us remember music, scientists say.

When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system — not areas involved in hearing — that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.

Read more
The Record
10:03 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Studying How, And What, We Download

Drake, who had the top torrent downloaded in the U.S. in the first half of 2012, according to Musicmetric, poses at the MTV Video Music Awards in September.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:27 am

As we near the end of another year, the music industry has a few reasons to be optimistic. Digital music sales are expected to reach record highs this year, and legal streaming services continue to gain in popularity. But unauthorized music file sharing is still going strong.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:37 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

West Nile Cases Still Climbing As Temperatures Drop

Mosquitoes are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas, Texas on Aug. 16, 2012. Dallas County has seen the highest number of cases of West Nile virus of any county in Texas: 379 this year, as of Oct. 25.
LM Otero ASSOCIATED PRESS

Summer may be long gone, but cases of West Nile virus are still popping up – making this year's outbreak the worst so far in the U.S. since 2003.

New tallies released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bring the total case count for the year to 5,054, and the death toll to 228 — more than the past four years combined.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Man Behind Anti-Islamic Film Sentenced To Year In Prison

The man behind the anti-Islamic video that is believed to have sparked protests in the Muslim world was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison for violating the condition of his probation.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder immediately sentenced Mark Basseley Youssef after he admitted to four of the eight alleged violations, including obtaining a fraudulent California driver's license.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Did SuperPAC Money Hurt Romney More Than It Helped?

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson at the presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama, in Denver on Oct. 3. Adelson invested millions in an effort to help elect Romney — but only after bankrolling a superPAC for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in his anti-Romney Republican primary battle.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:46 pm

Republican strategist Karl Rove's on-air refusal to accept his own network's election night call putting Ohio in President Obama's win column dominated the blogosphere Wednesday.

And, why not? Rove's Crossroads political money empire had showered Republican candidates with close to $300 million this election cycle, a funding gusher courtesy of the 2010 Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and other recent court decisions.

Read more
U.S.
3:41 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Frustrated Long Island Braces For New Power Outages

Patty Manfredonia, president of a volunteer ambulance company in Sayville, N.Y., has been collecting blankets for Long Island residents without power. A new storm Wednesday is already causing new outages.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 6:49 pm

Normally, the nor'easter bearing down on the Northeast on Wednesday wouldn't be a tremendous cause for concern. But the storm, delivering snow, sleet and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, is expected to hit parts of Long Island and New Jersey still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

How To Cope If Your Candidate Lost

Beth Beene cries as Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., gives his concession speech after losing the 2004 presidential election.
Carolyn Kaster AP

You swore your allegiance. You voted. Perhaps you even volunteered your time. But your candidate just lost. What do you do now?

Some psychologists say you can look to the coping tactics of die-hard sports fans, who generally have to deal with defeat more than once every four years.

Play the blame game: You can blame the defeat on someone or something other than your candidate, says Tufts University associate professor of psychology Sam Sommers. In sports, you can blame factors like weather, an injury, or — most often — the referees.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:24 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Outside Groups Spend Big On Elections, But Don't Have Much To Show For It

Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush, speaks last year in Corpus Christi, Texas. Rove is the chief fundraiser for the biggest outside spender this election season: the twin groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.
Michael Zamora AP

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:50 pm

This presidential election attracted $1.5 billion in outside spending — TV ads, robocalls and other political activity by groups created to take advantage of the new rules of campaign finance law.

On the day after the voting, the track record of the groups, most of them conservative, is open to question.

Tuesday night was a rough one for Karl Rove. The GOP guru is the guiding light and chief fundraiser for the biggest outside spender: the twin groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.

Read more
Law
3:00 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Marijuana Legalization Faces Federal Hurdles

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now a pair of historic votes among last night's many ballots measures. Voters in Colorado and Washington State passed initiatives legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. But as the governor of Colorado said last night, don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports that the measures are in direct conflict with federal law.

Read more
Commentary
2:59 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Mid-Week In Politics: Voter Demographics And More

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.President Obama wins a second term; Democrats flip a handful of seats. in both the House and the Senate; and Republicans begin a new round of soul-searching.

SIEGEL: It's only Wednesday, but we have more than enough to talk about with our Friday regulars - E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution; and David Brooks, of the New York Times. Welcome to both of you.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

New Pill For Rheumatoid Arthritis Gets FDA Nod

A bottle like this one containing Xeljanz, a new arthritis drug from Pfizer, would cost more than $2,000 wholesale.
Pfizer

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:02 pm

In the Election Day scramble you might have missed that Pfizer got a new drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis.

Pfizer expects the twice-a-day pill called Xeljanz will be available in pharmacies later this month.

The drug won't come cheap. The wholesale price will run about $2,000 for a month's supply, the company says.

Read more
Environment
2:54 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Can Dumping Iron Into The Sea Fight Climate Change?

John Disney (second from left) looks over the underwater probe used in his company's ocean fertilization project, at a news conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, in October.
Andy Clark Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:50 pm

Environmental officials in Canada are investigating what some have called a "rogue climate change experiment." Over the summer, a native village on the coast of British Columbia dumped more than 100 tons of iron sulfate into the ocean. The idea was to cause a bloom of plankton, which would then capture greenhouse gases.

That's the theory, anyway. The reality is a bit more complicated.

Read more
Economy
2:54 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Obama Must Hit Ground Running As Fiscal Cliff Nears

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And Robert Siegel. The confetti has fallen in Chicago, where President Obama celebrated a decisive reelection win early this morning. Now comes the hard work of preparing for a second term. Before flying back to Washington this evening, Mr. Obama acknowledged some of the big issues ahead.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Egypt Moves To Ban Online Pornography

With Islamist groups growing more influential, Egypt's state prosecutor on Wednesday ordered a ban on Internet pornography, citing an earlier ruling that hadn't been implemented.

Throughout the Arab Muslim world, pornography is not permitted, though in Egypt and some other places the government has not actively tried to prevent access to online sites.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Senate Democrats Add To Majority: Caucus Now 54 Plus One

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., receives a kiss from his grandson Wednesday in Great Falls, Mont. Tester won re-election in a tight contest with Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg.
Michael Albans AP

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:33 pm

A very good general election for Democrats got even better on Wednesday when they retained U.S. Senate seats in Montana and North Dakota, both of which had looked ripe for Republicans throughout much of the campaign.

Victories by Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, in contests so close that concessions from the losing Republican candidates didn't occur until Wednesday, helped Senate Democrats reach 54 seats in the next Congress. That was a net increase of one seat from their current majority.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

After Romney's Loss, Mormons Lament What Might Have Been

Mormons line up outside the historic Salt Lake Temple for an annual conference in April 2010.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:43 am

Poor Chris Stewart. The former Air Force pilot had just won a landslide victory in his first bid for Congress in Utah, but the crowd of Republicans listening to his acceptance speech at a Salt Lake City hotel kept pointing to the massive television screen behind him.

"Do you want me to stop?" Stewart asked. "You would rather listen to Gov. Romney than to me, wouldn't you?"

Some in the crowd shouted "Yes!" and the sound of Romney's concession speech filled the room.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:49 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Controversial Members Of Congress Come And Go

OUT: California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark arrives at an Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club endorsement meeting in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 7. He lost his race Tuesday to a fellow Democrat.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:02 pm

Is civility about to stage a comeback in Washington? Some of the most controversial members of Congress have lost their seats.

Still, there appears to be little danger that vitriol is about to go out of style. A number of outspoken members are coming back, including at least one who had previously lost his seat.

Also, while there may be a net loss in the number of members who have attracted a great deal of media attention by making testy statements or ending up in ethics investigations, some who have been more moderate in temperament won't be coming back, either.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:42 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

How Obama Took The Battleground States

Obama supporters react as President Barack Obama was declared the winner Tuesday, during the Nevada State Democratic Party gathering at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
John Gurzinski AP

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:16 pm

The much-hyped battle for the battleground states turned into more of a rout on Election Day, as President Obama swept through eight key states and looked on course to capture Florida.

Swing states — Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire — viewed as tossups a day before the voting fell without much fight into the blue column. Only North Carolina went for Romney.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Shake A Leg Or Throw A Fist? Which Will It Be On Capitol Hill?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (left) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada during their recent interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes.
CBSNews.com

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:44 pm

Shall we dance?

That's the key question for Congress now that another budget crisis is near. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, today said he's ready to do a little two-stepping with Republicans to twirl away from the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff.

"It's better to dance than to fight," the former amateur boxer told reporters at a press conference. "Everything doesn't have to be a fight."

Read more
Author Interviews
1:04 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Ornstein: Could A Second Term Mean More Gridlock?

Basic Books

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 11:00 am

President Obama has been re-elected. Democrats and Republicans have maintained their respective majorities in the Senate and in the House. So does this mean there will be more partisan gridlock?

Norm Ornstein, a writer for Roll Call and a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that it's a mixed message.

Read more
Music News
12:38 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Always A Rose: Elliott Carter Remembered

Elliott Carter at Tanglewood in 2008 on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz is sitting right behind Carter.
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 4:02 pm

Read more

Pages