1:27pm

Thu December 1, 2011
The Two-Way

U.N. Says Death Toll In Syria Has Surpassed 4,000

Despite international condemnation and tough sanctions from the Arab League, the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has continued clashing with protesters.

The United Nation's top human rights official said today that the death toll during the eight-month conflict has reached at least 4,000 and he characterized the conflict as a civil war.

The AP reports:

Read more

1:25pm

Thu December 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Afghan Rape Victim Pardoned After Agreeing To Marry Her Attacker

For many women in Afghanistan, life has not changed significantly in the 10 years since the fall of the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

An Afghan woman who was sentenced to prison after being raped by a relative — because in the eyes of authorities she had committed adultery — has been pardoned by President Hamid Karzai.

But her freedom comes with a price, according to news reports: She must become the second wife of the man who attacked her. Karzai's office says the woman and her attacker both have agreed to the marriage.

Read more

1:02pm

Thu December 1, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

MRIs More Likely To Be Negative When The Doctor Profits

Do you really need that MRI, or is your doctor just trying to make a buck?
iStockphoto.com

If your doctor says you need an MRI, your health may not be the only thing on his mind. Doctors who have a financial interest in the imaging equipment are more likely to send patients for scans when they don't have anything wrong with them. That's the conclusion of a researcher who combed through hundreds of patient records to examine MRI referral patterns.

Read more

1:00pm

Thu December 1, 2011
NPR Story

'American Pie' Doesn't Belong To Saratoga Springs

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Forty years and a few days ago, an eight-and-a-half-minute song broke on to the record charts, soon drenched the radio and claimed a permanent place in the lives of millions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMERICAN PIE")

DON MCLEAN: (Singing) I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride. Something touched me deep inside the day the music died. So bye, bye, Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.

Read more

1:00pm

Thu December 1, 2011
Author Interviews

Award-Winner Nikky Finney On Life As A Poet

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 2:51 pm

Nikky Finney's Head Off & Split tells the stories of contemporary African-American life from the Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina.
David Flores

Nikky Finney has dreamed of being a poet since she was a teenager. She published her first book in 1985, and has taught writing for years at the university level.

Now, she's reached a pinnacle of success in the literary world: Her book, Head Off & Split received the National Book Award for poetry.

Read more

1:00pm

Thu December 1, 2011
Media

NPR CEO Gary Knell's First Day At Work

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 8:29 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Wanted: a high-powered executive to run a nonprofit, far-flung public radio organization. Pluses include a trusted name, award-winning news and music programs, a growing audience and a talented staff. Minuses: some funding problems, a few self-inflicted controversies, the transition to digital media and staff who all think they're smarter than you.

Read more

12:41pm

Thu December 1, 2011
Author Interviews

Going 'One On One' With Sports' Greatest Stars

Some of the most talented and temperamental athletes and coaches in the world have opened up to John Feinstein.

The acclaimed sportswriter's latest book One on One: Behind the Scenes with the Greats of the Game details his conversations over the years with notoriously difficult coaches like Bobby Knight and star athletes like Tiger Woods and John McEnroe.

Read more

12:39pm

Thu December 1, 2011
The Two-Way

'All Eyes On Sarkozy,' As He Sets Out Vision For Europe

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech on road safety at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Nov. 30.
Philippe Wojazer AFP/Getty Images

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to deliver a speech that will set out his vision for Europe. This is a big speech: First because Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been leading the efforts to save the euro and contain the European sovereign debt problems. Secondly, Sarkozy is facing a tough reelection campaign next spring and he is expected to make the case that he's the best person to take the country forward.

Read more

12:29pm

Thu December 1, 2011
Television

At Midseason, Serial Dramas Serve Up Some Big Twists

Showtime's Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall, just served up the biggest twist of the season to date.
Randy Tepper Showtime

By now, I hope my position on spoiler alerts is firmly established. My feeling is that once something has been televised, it's fair game for discussion. I feel it's the responsibility of the person who's delaying his or her enjoyment of a TV show to avoid mentions of it, rather than putting the onus on critics. And believe me, I know that's not always easy. I have to do some time-shifting myself — there are so many good shows presented on Sundays this season that it sometimes takes me the whole week to catch up on the episodes I've recorded.

Read more

12:15pm

Thu December 1, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

End Of An Era: Lipitor Goes Generic

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 10:26 am

After 17 years, the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor is going generic.
JB Reed Landov

Medication used for lowering cholesterol should also be lower in price now that two generic brands have entered the ring.

Back in 1996, cholesterol-fighter Lipitor became the fifth drug of its kind to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This week, the biggest hit in the history of the pharmaceutical industry lost its patent protection in the U.S., opening the door to generic versions to replace the iconic brand.

Read more

Pages