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Around the Nation
5:40 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Hey Punxsutawney Phil! Where's Spring?

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

As snow blanketed parts of the country yesterday, many turned their anger towards a weather predictor. Last month, Punxsutawney Phil forecast an early spring. One shivering Ohio prosecutor filed a lighthearted criminal indictment against Phil for fraud. But the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club says it's not Phil's fault. He says he misinterpreted the groundhog's message, which has the prosecutor reconsidering charges.

Business
3:39 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Ford Unit Apologizes For Demeaning Ads

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And out next business story fits in the category of what were they thinking? Ford Motor Company is apologizing for ads sketched up by an agency in India - ads that have been decried as demeaning to women. They are cartoon drawings showing off how spacious a Ford trunk can be. One spoofs Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. He's at the wheel, and in the trunk, three women, tied up.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Law
3:39 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Abortion Opponents Gear Up For More Battles

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now to a debate over abortion that has escalated after some recent moves by states. The North Dakota legislature just passed a series of bills, including the strictest abortion ban in the country. And lawmakers there voted to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year which would end abortion entirely. Earlier this month, Arkansas passed a 12-week ban. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that more states are debating stricter laws with hopes of getting one of them before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Business
3:29 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Opposition Blocks Return-Free Tax Filing In U.S.

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Imagine a world with no tax returns.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: OK, it's just a fantasy. But actually, in some countries taxpayers can sign up to receive simply a bill. The government sends you a tax bill, you pay it and, voila, that's it.

Now, there was an effort to bring return-free filing to the United States, but that effort came up against stiff opposition. And to find out why, we called Liz Day of ProPublica. She's been digging into this issue.

Liz, thanks for joining us.

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Shots - Health News
1:28 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Maybe Isolation, Not Loneliness, Shortens Life

People who are socially isolated may be at a greater risk of dying sooner, a British study suggests. But do Facebook friends count? How about texting?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:54 am

Loneliness hurts, but social isolation can kill you. That's the conclusion of a study of more than 6,500 people in the U.K.

The study, by a team at University College London, comes after decades of research showing that both loneliness and infrequent contact with friends and family can, independently, shorten a person's life. The scientists expected to find that the combination of these two risk factors would be especially dangerous.

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Shots - Health News
1:27 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Attracts Other States' Interest

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks at a rally promoting the expansion of Medicaid in the state in front of the Capitol in Little Rock on March 7.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Since the Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion under the federal health law optional last year, states' decisions have largely split along party lines. States run by Democrats have been opting in; states run by Republicans have mostly been saying no or holding back.

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Around the Nation
1:26 am
Tue March 26, 2013

'American Winter' Families Struggle To Survive Fall From Middle Class

Pam Thatcher and her family ultimately moved into her mother's two-bedroom apartment because they couldn't make rent.
Courtesy Devon Terrilll Viewfilm productions/HBO

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

It's a visual no parent wants to picture: a child describing what it's like to live in a house with no power for lights, heat or cooking. For many middle-class American parents, it's hard to imagine their family ever facing a situation like that. But a new HBO documentary suggests that many seemingly prosperous parents are only a few misfortunes away from dark houses and empty refrigerators.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
5:39 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

In First Of 2 Gay-Marriage Cases, Court Turns To Proposition 8

Snow covers flowers in front of the Supreme Court building on Monday in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, the justices hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Outside the Supreme Court, lines began forming nearly a week ago. By Monday, the line had snaked down the court steps and to the corner, with people braving freezing temperatures and snow in anticipation of the historic arguments on same-sex marriage on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The justices are first hearing a constitutional challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage. A second day is devoted to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples married in the nine states where such unions are legal.

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Heavy Rotation
1:55 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Tame Impala.
Maciek Pozoga Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. KCRW music director Jason Bentley can't get enough of the new Frightened Rabbit album. Alisa Ali, a DJ for New York's The Alternate Side indie-rock channel, picked a great new track by the promising Glasgow act CHVRCHES. Baltimore's Friday-night hip-hop show Strictly Hip Hop highlighted the new jam by Joey Bada$$.

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Afghanistan
6:08 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Kerry Stops In Afghanistan On Diplomatic Mission

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad and today he made an announced trip to Afghanistan to try to smooth over the latest disputes with President Hamid Karzai. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with the secretary and joins us now from Kabul. Hey, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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Europe
5:31 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Pope Calls To Cancel His Newspaper Subscription

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. We've been hearing a lot of stories of the new pope's modesty, and now this. The pope called a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk to cancel his own subscription. The shocked kiosk owner thought it was a joke until his holiest customer said, seriously, I'm calling you from Rome. The news vendor told an Argentine daily of another humble habit. The then-cardinal always collected and once a month returned the rubber bands from his newspapers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:16 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Golfer Sergio Garcia Climbs Tree To Avoid Penalty

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Pro golfer Sergio Garcia hit a ball into a tree at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. The easy choice: Just take a one-stroke penalty. Drop the ball to the ground. But Garcia did it the hard way. He climbed 15 feet up the tree and played the ball from there. Balancing himself with one hand on the club, he somehow knocked the ball onto the fairway. Well, what is the best club in such a situation? One PGA announcer suggested a tree iron.

Europe
3:13 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Exiled Russian Oligarch's Death Launches British Probe

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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Economy
2:47 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Examining Dual Trends In The Economy

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Both housing and the stock market have been on the upswing in recent months. But a full recovery in the housing market would be more significant to the overall economy. That's because more Americans have something at stake in home values than in stock prices.

Around the Nation
2:47 am
Mon March 25, 2013

N.J. Beach Houses Sell Well Despite Sandy

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 9:13 am

Despite the enormous destruction Hurricane Sandy caused to the Jersey Shore, realtors who specialize in the region say business has been steady. Plenty of home buyers and investors appear eager to jump into the market. Damaged homes and lots have been selling for discounted rates, while prices are inching up on houses that survived since there are simply fewer properties available.

Law
1:15 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Supreme Court Hears 'Pay To Delay' Pharmaceutical Case

The Supreme Court takes up a case Monday about whether brand-name drug manufacturers can pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:39 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case worth billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and American consumers. The issue is whether brand-name drug manufacturers may pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market. These payments — a form of settlement in patent litigation — began to blossom about a decade ago when the courts, for the first time, appeared to bless them.

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Around the Nation
1:15 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Free Tax Help Protects Low-Income Filers From Pricey Loans

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:50 am

As this year's tax deadline approaches, hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans are relying on free services to help them with their returns.

Tax preparation fees — even a few hundred dollars — can be a burden for those living on the margins. And taxpayers desperate for cash can fall prey to high-cost loan offers that eat into their refunds

At the free tax-preparation site at the main library in Washington, D.C., about 30 taxpayers wait for help from volunteers.

Read more
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
1:14 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Shift In Gay Marriage Support Mirrors A Changing America

Same-sex marriage advocates protest outside the county clerk's office in San Francisco on Feb. 14.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:42 am

When Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman recently reversed his stance on gay marriage after his son came out as gay, he joined a tidal wave of Americans who have altered their views on the subject.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:13 am
Mon March 25, 2013

How An Unlikely Drug Helps Some Children Consumed By Fear

George McCann has been diagnosed with a subtype of bipolar disorder called the "fear of harm" profile, and finds that a prescribed dose of ketamine every few days alleviates his symptoms.
Michael Rubenstein for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:01 am

As far back as he can remember, George McCann lived in fear. When he was asleep he would have horrific nightmares filled with violent images. When he was awake, he often felt threatened by people, including members of his own family. And when he felt threatened, he would become aggressive, even violent.

George spent his childhood certain that something very bad was going to happen. And when he was 12, it did. His unrelenting fears led to a violent outburst at school. And George landed in a psychiatric hospital.

Read more
Remembrances
8:55 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Nigeria's Outspoken Writer Chinua Achebe Dies At 82

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, who played a critical role in establishing post-colonial African literature, has died. The author of Things Fall Apart was 82.

Around the Nation
4:51 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Petition Calls On Congress To Dress Like NASCAR Drivers

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
4:44 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Town Board In N.Y. Revises Booing Ban

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Lawmakers in Riverhead, New York heard the voice of the people, a very loud boo. The town board made news by banning people from booing at meetings, which apparently met with criticism since Newsday reports they have revised the rule. You may boo at meetings now, but there is still a prohibition against disruptive behavior. So, how to boo without being disruptive? Maybe this way: Wait your turn to speak and then say: My name is Steve. Boo?

NPR Story
2:26 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Obama Asks Young Israelis To Push For Mideast Peace

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:24 am

President Obama is urging both Israelis and Palestinians not to abandon long-stalled peace talks. The president has been practicing some low-key shuttle diplomacy this week.

NPR Story
2:26 am
Fri March 22, 2013

'Tiny Fraction' Took Advantage During Iraq's Reconstruction

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All this week on MORNING EDITION, we've been marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. That invasion was followed by years of war and reconstruction, the war and reconstruction taking place at the same time.

And today, to get a better idea of the monetary costs, we speak with Stuart Bowen once again. Since 2004, he has been the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. And earlier this month, he released the final report from his office.

Stuart Bowen is in Baghdad. Welcome back to the program.

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NPR Story
2:26 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Kids' Voices Key On Both Sides Of Gay-Marriage Debate

The Rev. Gene Robinson, along with his daughter Ella and partner Mark Andrew, attend a news conference after Robinson was confirmed as bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minneapolis in 2003. Robinson was the church's first openly gay bishop, and his daughter is an advocate for gay marriage.
Eric Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:21 pm

When the Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage next week, much of the debate will revolve around children. Opponents have long argued that kids' best interests require both a mom and a dad. Recently, however, more children of same-sex couples have started speaking out for themselves.

Read more
Research News
1:02 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Mosh Pit Math: Physicists Analyze Rowdy Crowd

Fans in the mosh pit during the performance of Liturgy at the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park, Chicago, on July 14, 2012.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Read more
Movies
1:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Not Doing So 'Boffo,' 'Daily Variety' Drops Print Edition

Print versions of Daily Variety, like this one from 2003, will no longer be available on L.A. newsstands. Variety will continue online and in a print weekly, but the daily print edition is being dropped.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

For eight decades, Daily Variety has been a Hollywood must-read for everyone from studio heads to actors looking for a big break. But the days of assistants running out to grab the "trades" are over: This week, the Los Angeles institution published its last daily edition.

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Business
1:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Google's Eric Schmidt Heads To Another Isolated Asian Nation

Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman and former CEO, stands near a statue of the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang in January. He's headed now to Myanmar, another largely untapped market.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who went to North Korea in January, is making a short visit Friday to Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Why is the senior executive of a U.S. technology powerhouse visiting some of the poorest and least wired countries in Asia?

Schmidt will be the first top U.S. executive to travel to the Southeast Asian nation since it began emerging from decades of international isolation under a military dictatorship.

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StoryCorps
12:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Living And Loving Through The Bubonic Plague

John Tull, 63, and Lucinda Marker, 57, survived a bout of the bubonic plague in 2002.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

The bubonic plague killed about one-third of Europe's population during the Middle Ages, but today the bacterial infection rarely shows up in the U.S. Only a handful of people catch it each year.

But in 2002, Lucinda Marker and her husband, John Tull, were bitten by fleas infected with the plague near their home in New Mexico. They then took a trip to New York City.

Read more
Movie Interviews
10:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Tina Fey, Movie Star? Not Quite Yet, She Says

Tina Fey stars as Princeton University admissions counselor Portia Nathan in the new comedy Admission. Fey says the movie's frankly manic depiction of the college application melee appealed to her.
David Lee Focus Features

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Writer, actor and producer Tina Fey stars in a new movie out today called Admission, a film that's nominally about getting into college. Fey plays an admissions officer at Princeton University, one of those diligent bureaucrats who cull thousands of applications in search of a small cadre of brilliant young people who will be the freshman class.

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