NPR News

Pages

4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
Election 2012

Washington State To Hold Nominating Contest

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

The next big day for Republican presidential hopefuls is Super Tuesday. But on the way to Tuesday, the candidates are making stops in Washington state. Republican caucuses there are set for tomorrow morning.

And as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, with the fight for the nomination still tight, for once the caucuses in Washington state may actually mean something to the presidential race.

Read more

4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
Energy

Liquid Metal Battery Could Budget Sun's Energy

David Greene talks to materials chemist Donald Sadoway from the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Long Beach, Calif. Sadoway is the co-inventor of the liquid metal battery. It's inexpensive, super efficient, sustainable and can provide large scale energy storage.

3:41am

Fri March 2, 2012
StoryCorps

'Life Is Really Good,' Says Cancer Survivor, 12

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:27 am

Jennifer Coursey with her son, 12-year-old Grant Coursey, at StoryCorps in Ukiah, Calif.
StoryCorps

When Grant Coursey was a toddler, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer often found in young children. A tumor had wrapped itself around Grant's spinal cord and had grown so that it pushed against his lungs.

Now 12, Grant is cancer-free; he received his first "clean" scan 10 years ago in March 2002. He had to undergo several procedures to rid his body of the cancer.

Recently, Grant and his mother, Jennifer, sat down to talk about his young life and how cancer has affected it.

Read more

3:37am

Fri March 2, 2012
Fine Art

In 'Ocean Park,' Gentle Portraits Of California Light

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:31 am

Richard Diebenkorn's 1975 work Ocean Park #79, features pastel blues, lavenders and aquas — and thin strips of deep red and green at the top to draw the viewer's gaze upward.
The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

In the late 1960s, while America was in turmoil over the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, a painter in Santa Monica, Calif., was creating a series of tranquil, glowing canvases that made his reputation and transfixed art lovers. Those works — the Ocean Park series — are now on view at the Orange County Museum of Art, about an hour's drive from the place where they were painted.

Read more

3:36am

Fri March 2, 2012
Asia

Looking For Elephant Ivory? Try China

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:53 am

A Malaysian customs official examines elephant tusks at a port in Kalang. Malaysia has become an ivory transit hub, with African elephant tusks bound for China. Worldwide, authorities seized more than 5,000 smuggled tusks.
AFP/Getty Images

Armed with tips from animal welfare activists, I recently went on an ivory hunt with my Chinese assistant, Yang, in an antiques market in Beijing.

Activists say China's growing purchasing power is driving global demand for products from vulnerable animals, everything from elephant ivory to rhino horn.

Two huge stone lions stood sentinel outside the four-story market nestled among a forest of buildings off one of Beijing's beltways. In China, vendors usually accost shoppers and try to lure them into stores.

Not here.

Read more

12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Governing

Shrinking Community Grants Put Cities In A Crunch

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:24 am

Budget cuts approved by Congress in the past two years are trickling down to local communities, and officials there are not happy. They say that reductions in community development block grants will hurt the nation's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Two years ago, the federal government gave out about $4 billion in such grants to low- and moderate-income communities. This year, the figure is $3 billion — a 25 percent cut. And as that pie has shrunk, those whose slices have shrunk even more are hungry for answers.

Read more

12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Planet Money

What The IRS Could Learn From Mormons

The money Mormons tithe goes to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and then is distributed to congregations around the world.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Many religious traditions stress the importance of charity. But Mormons are remarkable for the amount and the precision with which they give to their church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each Mormon in good standing should tithe 10 percent of his or her income. The money goes right to church headquarters in Salt Lake City and then is distributed back to congregations around the world.

"That's written in stone, and preached from the pulpit," says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, who is Mormon.

Read more

12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Europe

Putin Heavily Favored As Russians Pick A President

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:12 am

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a campaign speech during a rally of his supporters in Moscow, Feb. 23. Putin is mounting a vigorous campaign in the face of growing opposition but is expected to win Sunday's presidential elections.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

When Russians go to the polls Sunday, they will have several choices for president. But none is a serious threat to Vladimir Putin, who has been the most powerful figure in Russia for the past 12 years.

Boris Makarenko, a longtime observer of Russian politics, says the candidates arrayed against Putin are all more or less part of what Kremlin leaders call "the systemic opposition."

In other words, he says, they are "the tolerable opposition ... which can never even hope of replacing them in the Kremlin."

Read more

12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Around the Nation

Underground Cold War Relics As Doomsday Castles?

Larry Hall shows off the old vents and 9-foot-thick walls of a missile silo he's developing into condominiums.
Frank Morris

One clear threat once menaced civilization: nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The Cold War is over, but decades later, some of the fortifications built to fight that war still dot the American landscape.

Four years ago, Larry Hall bought a nuclear missile silo out on the open rolling land north of Salina, Kan. Hall paid $300,000 and spent much more to clean out all the scrap metal and stagnant water.

Read more

12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Governing

Government Backs Up On Rearview Car Cameras

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 6:47 pm

A camera is used instead of a rearview mirror on the Toyota NS4 plug-in hybrid concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 10.
Mike Cassese Reuters/Landov

6:23pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Judge Who Emailed Racist Obama Joke Calls For Investigation On Himself

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:32 pm

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull says he will apologize to President Obama and ask for a panel of judges to investigate his conduct after a Montana newspaper reported he had sent a racially inflammatory message using his courthouse email account last month.

The Great Falls Tribune reported the judge had forwarded the following message to six of his friends February 20:

Read more

6:07pm

Thu March 1, 2012
News

Nation's Toughest Immigration Law Stays Put For Now

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:38 pm

A line of people wait outside the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments over tough new laws targeting illegal immigration in Alabama and Georgia on Thursday.
John Amis AP

Portions of Alabama's strict immigration law will remain in force until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on its predecessor, the Arizona statue that ignited a national firestorm in the debate over illegal immigration.

A panel of three judges from an Atlanta federal appeals court decided Thursday to put off action on lawsuits against measures in Alabama and Georgia. Oral arguments are set for April 25 before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Arizona's enforcement policy.

Read more

6:03pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Europe

Will The New AK-47 Be As Popular As The Original?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

A Colombian police officer stands guard next to seized Chinese-made AK-47 replicas on Nov. 18, 2009. The guns have become so ubiquitous around the world that Russia's planned redesign may not do much to booster sales.
Luis Robayo Getty Images

The Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK-47, is one of the most dangerous and widely used weapons in the world. For more than 60 years, nations, rebels, gangsters and child soldiers have wielded the gun.

And now, Russian officials say it's outdated. As part of a $700 billion army modernization program, the country has announced a redesign of the rifle.

New York Times foreign correspondent C.J. Chivers — author of The Gun, a book about the Kalashnikov — tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the updates are mostly cosmetic.

Read more

5:35pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Salt

Seattle's First Urban Food Forest Will Be Open To Foragers

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 7:41 pm

Designers of a food forest in Seattle want to make blueberry picking a neighborly activity.
iStockphoto.com

If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.

Read more

5:30pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Suspect In Ohio School Shooting Charged With Three Counts Of Murder

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 photo, seventeen-year-old T.J. Lane is led from Juvenile Court by Sheriff's deputies in Chardon, Ohio.
Mark Duncan AP

Prosecutors have officially charged 17-year-old T.J. Lane in the shooting rampage at an Ohio high school.

The charges — three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder and one count of felonious assault — were filed in juvenile court, but the AP adds that this could be the first step toward charging him as an adult.

A hearing is set next week in Geauga County to determine whether he'll be charged as an adult.

The AP reports:

Read more

5:02pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Army Drives Rebels From Embattled City

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 12:17 am

Syrian mourners in Qusayr, a few miles outside Homs, carry the body of a man killed by shrapnel, during his funeral on Tuesday. After a month-long assault by the Syrian army, rebels were forced to retreat from Homs on Thursday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

A key rebel stronghold in the central Syrian city of Homs has fallen to the Syrian army.

Residents fled as government forces bombarded the city's Baba Amr neighborhood for nearly a month. On Thursday, the rebels withdrew.

When the Syrian uprising began nearly a year ago, Baba Amr saw regular, daily protests. Then after months of being shot, detained and tortured, protesters began taking up arms. Those armed civilians were later joined by defectors from the Syrian military, and together, they called themselves the Free Syrian Army.

Read more

4:50pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Air Pollution In An Unlikely Spot: An Indoor Hockey Arena

Ah, hockey.

Ice chips spray as a player skates to a stop and digs for a puck in the corner. A cool breeze wafts over the rink in the wake of opposing players rushing down the ice to stop him.

And then there's the yellowish blanket of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas that's an ingredient in smog, hovering over the ice.

Say what?

Early last year, 31 people got sick after spending time at an unnamed indoor ice arena owned by a private school in New Hampshire.

Read more

4:38pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Around the Nation

Teen Charged As Juvenile In Ohio School Shooting

A teenager was charged Thursday with killing three students in a U.S. school shooting, the first step in proceedings that could see him charged as an adult and face the possibility of life without parole if convicted.

The charges accuse T.J. Lane, 17, of killing three students and wounding two others in the shooting Monday morning at Chardon High School, about 30 miles east of Cleveland.

He is charged in Geauga County juvenile court with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault

Read more

4:14pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

NASA Struggles With IT Security, Loses Space Station Code

The International Space Station, seen from the shuttle Discovery
NASA

The "algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station" were lost when an unencrypted NASA laptop computer was stolen in March 2011. That tidbit came in testimony Wednesday delivered by NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin as he reported on the space agency's IT security track record.

Read more

4:11pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Education

Case Renews Focus On Race In College Admissions

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 8:39 pm

Students hoping for a repeal of California's ban on affirmative action in college admissions protest outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Feb. 13. The Supreme Court will decide an affirmative action case next fall that could affect college admissions policies across the country.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

College and university presidents are wringing their hands over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to revisit the issue of affirmative action next fall. Critics of racial preferences are thrilled because the court could significantly restrict the use of race in admissions, but proponents of affirmative action say this would be a huge setback for institutions struggling to diversify their student body.

Read more

4:06pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Mahler For The People: The L.A. Philharmonic In Caracas

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:32 pm

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel leads the L.A. Philharmonic in a rehearsal of Mahler's Symphony No. 4, on tour last month in Caracas, Venezuela.
Brian Lauritzen KUSC

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and its conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, have just returned from a tour in Caracas, Venezuela, where they performed Gustav Mahler's 8th Symphony.

Read more

3:52pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Europe

Students, Police Clash As Spain Reaches Boiling Point

Police restrain a student protesting against education cuts during a rally in Valencia, in eastern Spain, on Feb. 20. Spaniards are beginning to feel the effects of $20 billion in austerity measures, and discontent is growing.
Juan Carlos Cardenas EPA/Landov

Spain's austerity measures have begun to spark clashes, and a high school in Valencia — Spain's most indebted province — has become a flash point for nationwide rallies.

Last month, police arrested 25 demonstrators there, where cellphones captured video of heavy-handed beatings and parents were shocked to see their children on TV, pinned down by police.

The skirmish was a possible sign of what's to come as the conservative government pushes through more spending cuts and people settle into a period of sacrifice in hopes of economic recovery.

Read more

3:09pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Student Protesters Shut Down UC Santa Cruz Campus

Students at the University of California Santa Cruz have shut down most of the school by blocking off entrances to the campus.

The protests are part of a nationwide campaign called "Occupy Education," which is endorsed by the Occupy Wall Street movement. The demonstrators are protesting against budget cuts to higher education.

The AP reports:

Read more

3:07pm

Thu March 1, 2012
It's All Politics

Late Conservative Blogger Breitbart Had Impact On Right, Left

In life, Andrew Breitbart was the conservative blogger and provocateur whose sometimes controversial efforts against his ideological adversaries, both real and imagined, made him one of the most polarizing figures on the contemporary political scene.

In death, however, it was clear Breitbart had earned the respect not just of conservatives but of some progressives, too, who may have disagreed with his political views and tactics, but admired his energy and the entrepreneurial spirit with which he waged his campaign.

Read more

2:55pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Middle East

In Iran's Election, Not All Candidates Are Welcome

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:10 pm

Women sit at a bus stop under election posters in Qom, about 75 miles south of Iran's capital, Tehran, on Tuesday. Iran's parliamentary elections on Friday are expected to be a contest between various conservative factions. Many candidates seeking change have been barred from running.
Raheb Homavandi Reiters/Landov

Iran holds parliamentary elections on Friday, the first since the disputed, and many believe fraudulent, presidential election in 2009.

But unlike that presidential poll, candidates seeking to take on the country's conservative rulers will not be taking part Friday; they are mostly under house arrest or have been in prison for years now.

The focus will be on which conservatives end up on top and how many votes are cast.

Read more

2:03pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Ariz. Sheriff Arpaio Will Release Findings On Obama's Birth Certificate

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

You might have thought that with the feds knocking on his door over what they say are numerous violations of civil rights, Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be busy planning his defense.

Instead, the controversial sheriff is taking the fight to them. Arpaio announced that he was ready to release the findings of his investigation into the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate.

Read more

1:52pm

Thu March 1, 2012
NPR Story

'Beautiful Souls': Unlikely Resisters Inspired To Stand

Beautiful Souls explores why four brave individuals choose to stand up for what's right.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, And Heeding The Voice of Conscience In Dark Times, journalist Eyal Press writes about "unexceptional people who took great risks" to help others.

The book profiles four individuals — a Serbian solider, a financial whistle blower, a Swiss police officer and an Israeli soldier — all unlikely resisters who end up going to great lengths to challenge authority.

Press talks with NPR's John Donvan about the things that inspire ordinary people to take a stand.

Read more

1:50pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Books

Trading The Road Of Anger For The Path To 'Patience'

In Patience, meditation instructor Allan Lokos says peacefulness is an art that you can practice, develop and build.
Tarcher

Patience is a virtue that can be hard to recover when you're trapped in rush-hour traffic or stuck in a long line at the bank.

In Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living, Allan Lokos explains the importance of abandoning anger and unhappiness and walking the path to patience.

Lokos, founder and guiding teacher at The Community Meditation Center in New York, talks with NPR's John Donvan about how to master the art of patience.

Read more

1:35pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Russia, China Join Call For Syria To Let U.N. Human Rights Official Visit

In what Israel's Haaretz.com is referring to as a "rare move" by longtime supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, Russia and China today joined other members of the U.N. Security Council in calling on Syria to let U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos see what's happening inside that nation.

Syria so far has not allowed Amos to visit.

Read more

1:30pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Europe

As Election Nears, Russians Express Frustrations

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:10 pm

Thousands of Russians form a 10-mile human chain around a Moscow ring road on Monday during an opposition protest against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He is expected to win the March 4 presidential elections but is facing growing opposition.
UPI/Landov

Cars decorated with white ribbons and carnations drove around Moscow's Garden Ring Road in a wet snow this past Sunday, honking cheerfully to the thousands of demonstrators on the sidewalk who formed a human chain around the city.

Elena Korobova was a link in that chain.

"I want to get rid of Putin, because I don't like his policy, I don't like what he's doing for Russia," she says of Vladimir Putin, Russia's current prime minister.

Read more

Pages