NPR News

Pages

The Salt
10:59 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Does Your Gas Tank Hold Enough Food To Feed 22 People?

Robert Byron iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:35 am

Here's a little math problem for you: How many calories go into the ethanol that's in your tank of gas?

Enough to feed 22 people, if you're talking the bare minimum calories needed in a single day, according to researchers at the New England Complex Sciences Institute.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:58 am
Fri October 5, 2012

For Obama, 7.8 Could Be Lucky Number

President Obama smiles during a rally Friday at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:09 am

To become president and to be re-elected president takes much luck (among other factors, like money and political skill.) And President Obama appears to be one of the most fortunate presidents in recent memory with the release of the latest employment report.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:56 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Teenage Boy Scout Denied Organization's Top Rank Because He's Gay

Ryan Andresen
Karen Andresen via Change.org

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:53 pm

Ryan Andresen spent 12 years as a Boy Scout. Now that he's 17 and about to graduate from high school, he completed the final requirement to receive the Eagle Scout award, which signifies the highest rank in the organization.

Except, according to his mother, Karen, when he submitted the paperwork, the scoutmaster for Troop 212 in the San Francisco Bay Area told him he could not give him the Eagle Scout honor because Andresen is gay.

Read more
Business
10:27 am
Fri October 5, 2012

One Jobs Report, Two Different Political Spins

Democrats say the economy is growing and jobs consistently are being added. But Republicans note that the pace is far too slow to absorb the more than 12 million people still looking for work.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:22 pm

With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.

The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.

Read more
NPR Story
10:11 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Why Mobile Maps Sometimes Lose Their Way

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Starting route to Empire State Building: Head northwest on West 43rd Street.

FLATOW: That's the voice of Apple's maps app for iOS 6. She sounds confident enough, but how do you know she'll actually lead you to the correct destination? Because as users all over the world have figured out, Apple's maps and their driving directions have some serious problems. Apple has even apologized for it.

Read more
NPR Story
10:11 am
Fri October 5, 2012

A Beetle That Puts The 'Extreme' in Extremity

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: What you got for us this week?

LICHTMAN: This week's video pick is about a very menacing creature, and I want to give our listeners a chance to guess what it is based on some clues from University of Montana, biologist Doug Emlen and Erin McCullough.

ERIN MCCULLOUGH: These males have a giant pitchfork sticking out of their forehead.

Read more
NPR Story
10:11 am
Fri October 5, 2012

How Astronomers Measured the Edge of a Black Hole

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:41 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Read more
'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:01 am
Fri October 5, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 4, 2012

Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Republican Mitt Romney delivers a needed jolt to his campaign at the first presidential debate. Ron Elving and Ken Rudin dissect the memorable moments and look ahead to next week's matchup between Vice President Joe Biden and Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political news in this week's roundup.

Faith Matters
9:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

50 Years After Vatican II Transformation Continues

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, it's time for "Faith Matters." That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. In a few minutes, we will hear from an American monk who has been tapped to lead one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism, and we think you will be interested to hear of his unusual path to his current place.

Read more
Presidential Race
9:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Does Jobs Report Mean Things Are Getting Better?

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the sweeping move to modernize the Catholic church known as Vatican II turns 50. We'll talk about that in Faith Matters in just a few minutes.

But, first, it's still all about the economy. The economy is still center stage this election season. This morning's jobs numbers are providing fresh material for the ongoing contest between the candidates and their philosophies and records.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
9:17 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Botulism Outbreak Tied To Contaminated Prison Hooch

A hoarded baked potato appears to have been the source of botulism in some prison-made hooch.
iStockphoto.com

Behind bars, nothing says party quite like "pruno."

Pruno is a kind of homebrew made from whatever prisoners can get their hands on. Some fruit, a little water and sugar are usually enough to make alcohol-producing yeast happy.

But it seems a baked potato saved for weeks before it was added to a pruno batch last year at a Utah prison caused the second-largest botulism outbreak in the U.S. since 2006.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Court Clears Way For Terror Suspect To Be Sent From U.K. To U.S.

"After a legal battle covering several years in each case, five suspected terrorists, including radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri will be extradited to the U.S, U.K. judges have ruled." And, the BBC adds, Britain's Home Office "said it welcomed the High Court's decision. 'We are now working to extradite these men as quickly as possible,' a spokesman said."

Read more
The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Labor Secretary Says Talk Of Fudged Jobless Numbers Is Insulting

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The news that the nation's jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August immediately led some of President Obama's critics to charge the the books had been cooked to help his reelection campaign.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:44 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8 Percent; 114,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:27 am

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August even though just 114,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Those hard-to-reconcile figures — a decline in the jobless rate even though job growth was relatively weak — appear to be at least partly explained by a sharp increase in the number of Americans who found part-time jobs and counted themselves as employed.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:24 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Sacre Bleu! French Bees' Taste For M&Ms Makes For Colored Honey

We knew the Honey Nut Cheerios bee liked sweet stuff. But imagine what would happen if he met green M&M?
Doug Kanter/Rusty Jarrett AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:32 am

Why were their bees producing honey in shades of blue and green, wondered beekeepers in the Alsace region of France?

The answer, according to France 24 and Le Monde, was that the bees apparently like M&M's.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney: I Was 'Just Completely Wrong' On 47 Percent

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a rally in Fishersville, Va., on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's much-discussed remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who "will vote for the president no matter what ... believe that they are victims ... [and] pay no income tax" did not come up in Wednesday night's debate with President Obama.

Read more
Middle East
5:21 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Dubai To Build Replica Of Taj Mahal

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The emirate of Dubai has created many wonders - a snowy ski hill in the desert, the world's tallest building. Its latest mega-project could be called a labor of love. The luxury hotel Taj Arabia will be a replica of the Taj Mahal, only four times the size. The 17th original in India was built by an emperor as a shrine to his beloved late wife. Dubai is pitching its faux Taj Mahal as a destination for weddings. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:18 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Reports: Two Suspects In Libyan Attack Detained In Turkey

Damage inside the burnt U.S. consulate in Benghazi after an attack on the building Sept. 11.
Gianluigi Guercia Getty Images

"Turkish media are reporting the apprehension of two suspects in the Sept. 11 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

He tells our Newscast Desk that:

Read more
Europe
5:15 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Guards Chastised For Showing Inmates Prison Flick

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Monkey See
3:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

The Gold Standard: In NPR's survey, most readers chose Sean Connery (above, in Goldfinger), as the best James Bond. Daniel Craig placed second in our survey.
The Kobal Collection

It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

Read more
Sports
3:28 am
Fri October 5, 2012

U.S. Speedskater Admits To Sabotaging Rival's Skates

Simon Cho competes in the men's 500-meter finals at the 2011 ISU World Cup short track speedskating final in Dresden, Germany. He won the event.
Robert Michael AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:19 pm

American speedskater Simon Cho says what he did was "wrong" when he yielded to what he claims was persistent pressure from a coach to tamper with another skater's blades at the World Short Track Team Championships in Poland last year.

"Tampering with someone's skates is inexcusable," Cho told NPR in his first interview about the incident. "And I'm coming out now and admitting that I did this and acknowledging that what I did was wrong." The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune also spoke with Cho earlier this week after the NPR interview.

Read more
NPR Story
3:28 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Mystery Solved: Why Was Some French Honey Green?

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 5:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Oh my gosh, today's last word in business is the most compelling report about our food supply since a few minutes ago, when we exploded the way that the bacon shortage was hyped. This story seems to be true.

Beekeepers in eastern France were upset, recently, to find that their bees were producing honey in unusual shades of blue and green.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
3:28 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Venezuelans In Fla. Face 900-Mile Trip To Vote

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:58 am

Venezuelans go to the polls Sunday in an election that will decide if President Hugo Chavez remains in power. Polls indicate it's his most serious electoral challenge since taking office nearly 14 years ago, and it's mobilizing large numbers of voters in Venezuela — and in the U.S.

Nearly 20,000 Venezuelans living in Florida are registered to vote, and most arrived in the past decade, since Chavez took power. He upended the old power structure, installing a socialist government that seized property and nationalized industries.

Read more
Planet Money
1:43 am
Fri October 5, 2012

No One Trusts China's Unemployment Rate

Mark Ralston AFP/GettyImages

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:09 pm

Ask an economist like Eswar Prasad, who used to work at the International Monetary Fund, "So, do you know, what the unemployment rate in China is?"

And he'll answer, "We don't."

The official unemployment rate, put out by the government, Prasad says, is 6.5 percent, but according to him, "that number has no credibility at all."

He's not the only dubious one.

Read more
Solve This
1:21 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney, Obama Far Apart On Closing Budget Gap

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:33 am

Here's one thing President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could agree on during their first debate this week: Something has to be done about the enormous gap between what the federal government collects in taxes and what it spends.

But the two men fundamentally disagree on what to do about that budget deficit.

The Problem

Read more
Europe
1:18 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Not Everyone In Spain Eager To Wager On EuroVegas

Spaniards protest the construction of the EuroVegas gambling complex at Puerta del Sol in Madrid last month.
Gustavo Cuevas EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:03 pm

American billionaire, casino mogul and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson has a new project: a $35 billion gambling megacity in Europe. He has chosen debt-ridden Spain as the location for "EuroVegas," which is expected to bring up to 250,000 much-needed jobs.

But many Spaniards are divided over whether they want casinos in their backyard.

Read more
The Salt
1:16 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Shake It Up, Baby: Are Martinis Made The Bond Way Better?

One martini; shaken, not stirred.
Karen Castillo Farfan NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:12 am

In the movie Goldfinger, a minion of bad guy Auric Goldfinger asks 007: "Can I do something for you, Mr. Bond?"

"Just a drink," Sean Connery's Bond replies, deadpan. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," he intones.

From Connery to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, this preference is repeated again and again in 007 flicks. (Check out this video montage for the full Bond effect.)

Read more
The Salt
1:15 am
Fri October 5, 2012

In Haiti, Aid Groups Squabble Over Rival Peanut Butter Factories

Alex E. Proimos Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:00 pm

Can there be too much life-saving peanut butter?

In Haiti, two different humanitarian groups have built new factories to make this product, which is used to treat severe malnutrition and maybe someday prevent it. The problem is, Haiti doesn't appear to need two of them. Each factory, all by itself, could satisfy Haiti's current demand.

Read more
StoryCorps
8:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

For Special Education Teacher, 'Every Day Is Precious'

Ken Rensink found his calling, teaching special education, after a debilitating accident when he was 19. Now 47, he talked about his journey with friend and colleague Laurel Hill-Ward at StoryCorps in Chico, Calif.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 7:04 am

Ken Rensink's path to special education teaching began when he was 19, just one day after he completed his training for the U.S. Army Reserves. He fell asleep at the wheel of his car, hit a telephone pole and nearly lost his life.

"I was paralyzed from the waist down," Ken told friend Laurel Hill-Ward, a Chico State University professor who trains special education teachers. "My left arm was so weak, I could barely hold a plastic cup of water."

Read more
It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Obama Aims Post-Debate Barbs At Romney As Many Ask: Why'd He Wait?

President Obama drew a crowd in Madison, Wis., the day after his widely panned first debate against GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:39 pm

For President Obama, Thursday appeared to have its share of what the French call staircase wit.

We've all experienced it. Heading up the stairs to bed, you think of the perfect response to something someone else said earlier. Of course, it's too late.

The day after his widely panned presidential debate performance, Obama delivered the sort of retorts to his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, that were mainly absent the night before.

Read more

Pages