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7:30am

Tue March 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Latest From Afghanistan: Some Gunfire, Small Protests, Reaction Muted So Far

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 3:25 pm

Afghan protesters shouted anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration in Jalalabad earlier today.
Noorullah Shirzada AFP/Getty Images

There are fears that the killing of 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday, reportedly by a U.S. Army staff sergeant who gunned down the men, women and children in cold blood, will inflame the people of that nation.

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6:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Five Things To Watch For In Tuesday's Alabama, Mississippi GOP Primaries

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 9:56 am

Can Mitt Romney finally win a Southern state Tuesday? Here, Romney greets Alabamans at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mobile on Monday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Alabama and Mississippi will play unaccustomed high-profile roles Tuesday as each candidate for the Republican presidential nomination looks to voters in those states to give his candidacy a boost — toward inevitability, if you're Mitt Romney, or just one more week if you're Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich.

So voters and analysts alike will be watching the two states closely Tuesday to see whether Republicans there chose to go with the most electable candidate, who many say is Romney, or the most conservative, a label Santorum and Gingrich say fits them.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
NPR Story

Shooting In Kandahar Further Alienates Afghans

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When an American soldier reportedly walked through two villages in southern Afghanistan and methodically killed 16 civilians, including children, it caused an uproar from Kabul to Washington, D.C. Now, let's get a view from where the killings happened - Kandahar. I first met Ehsan Ullah two years ago when I reported on a Canadian-funded girls' school that he runs in that city.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
NPR Story

How Will Kandahar Shooting Affect Afghan Policy?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

One analyst calls last weekend's massacre in Afghanistan an enormous gift to the Taliban. It is the latest of several incidents that amount to lost battles in a political war.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
NPR Story

In South, GOP Voters Balance Faith, Defeating Obama

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 10:23 am

Supporters and volunteers of the Alabama Republican Party gather outside before a forum at the Alabama Theater in Birmingham, Ala., on March 12.
Marvin Gentry Reuters /Landov

It's election day Tuesday — this time in the Deep South as voters in Alabama and Mississippi head to the polls. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney spent some time campaigning in the two states while Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich blanketed the region. And Santorum and Gingrich met at a forum Monday night in Birmingham in a last-minute effort to woo undecided voters.

The setting couldn't have been more picturesque: the stately Alabama Theater in downtown Birmingham. About 2,000 Republican faithful turned out for the presidential forum, which began with a prayer.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Asia

Beijing Bling: Wealth On Display In China's Congress

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 3:14 pm

Yang Lan, TV host and delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, carries a Marc Jacobs handbag outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3. Nicknamed "the Oprah Winfrey of China," Yang has also been seen wearing a Giorgio Armani jacket during the legislative session.
Wang Zhou/Imaginechina AP

A leather belt from Hermes priced at almost $1,000 — nearly a year's salary for the average Chinese farmer. A bright pink, $2,000 trouser suit from Emilio Pucci. A red snakeskin Celine handbag that costs $4,500.

These weren't items at a fashion show, but luxury goods spotted on delegates hurrying to China's annual legislative assembly sessions.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Government Accused Of Reprisal Attacks

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 6:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're following news this morning of more killings in the Syrian city of Homs. That's the city where rebel neighborhoods came under artillery fire for weeks and where two Western journalists were killed. Rebels later retreated, but residents and activists say pro-government militias have massacred dozens of civilians, mainly women and children. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following this story from Beirut.

And, Kelly, what evidence you have?

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Business

U.S. Pressures China To Ease Mineral Restrictions

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with trade moves against China.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Business

Treasury Raises $32 Billion In Bond Auction

What is remarkable is that those who bought bonds will get a tiny rate of return. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about what the results mean, who's buying Treasuries and how the borrowed funds are being spent.

4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Afghanistan

Shooting Adds To Afghans' Anti-American Feelings

U.S. officials have not released the name of the U.S. soldier accused of killing some 16 Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan over the weekend. The shootings come as anti-Americanism already is boiling over in Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month.

4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Politics

Why Compromise Is A Bad Word In Politics

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 6:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's one thing that many people mean when they say Washington is broken. They may mean that politicians from different parties seem unable or totally unwilling to compromise, and many voters hate that. And yet many voters also hate it if politicians from their own party should compromise with the other side. That could be considered giving in. NPR's science correspondent Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly to talk about social science research, and he's found some that relates to this political problem. Hi, Shankar.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Around the Nation

Lewis-McChord Soldiers Generate Alarming Headlines

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The American soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 men, women and children in two Afghan villages was from an Army base outside Tacoma, Washington. The Army/Air Force installation, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is one of the biggest in the military.

It's also, as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, one of the most troubled.

(SOUNDBITE OF AIRCRAFT)

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Business

What's The Chance Of Getting A Lost Cellphone Back?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is 50-50.

Those are the odds you'll ever see your lost cell phone again. That's according to a study by a security firm, the people behind the Norton AntiVirus software. The company set up an experiment where they purposely lost smartphones in public areas, you know, elevators, shopping centers, airports, places you may have left your phone at some point.

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12:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength

Record-High Food Prices Boost Farmers' Bottom Lines

An Illinois farmer checks the blades on his combine while harvesting corn last October. The value of the 2011 U.S. corn crop was more than $76 billion.
Seth Perlman AP

Part of a series

Thanks to high commodity prices and surging productivity, U.S. farmers earned a net income of nearly $98 billion last year — a record, according to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

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12:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

As Cholera Season Bears Down On Haiti, Vaccination Program Stalls

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 2:07 pm

Thousands of doses of cholera vaccine sit in a refrigerated trailer in a United Nations compound in Saint-Marc, Haiti. Vaccination was supposed to begin last week, but bureaucratic problems have delayed the start. April is the beginning of Haiti's rainy season, which will likely intensify Haiti's cholera outbreak.
John Poole NPR

The vaccine — $417,000 worth of it — is stacked high in refrigerated containers to protect it from the Haitian heat.

Hundreds of health workers are trained and ready to give the vaccine. They're armed with programmed smartphones and tablet computers to keep track of who has been vaccinated and who needs a second dose.

And 100,000 eager Haitians, from the teeming slums of Port-au-Prince to tiny hamlets in Haiti's rice bowl, have signed up to get the vaccine.

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12:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Money & Politics

Low-Profile SuperPAC Targets Powerful Incumbents

The superPAC Campaign for Primary Accountability is taking aim at Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus and other congressional incumbents.
YouTube

12:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Afghanistan

Killings A Blow To U.S. Strategy In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 8:25 am

A U.S. soldier, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, stands outside a military base in Panjwai, Kandahar province, south of Kabul, on Sunday.
Allauddin Khan AP

The killings of some 16 civilians in Afghanistan on Sunday allegedly by a U.S. soldier are raising new questions about U.S. military strategy: whether the surge of American troops worked, and whether the U.S. troops have won over the Afghan people or alienated them.

The place where the killings happened was a "no-go zone" for American and even Afghan troops as recently as two years ago — it was Taliban country.

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12:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Author Interviews

Jodi Picoult Turns Tough Topics Into Best-Sellers

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 11:24 am

Adam Bouska Atria Books

When you think about blockbuster best-sellers, genres like mystery, crime and romance typically come to mind. Ethical or moral fiction? Not so much. But that's how Jodi Picoult, who has 33 million copies of her books currently in circulation, describes her novels. So how did an author who writes about divisive issues get so popular?

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12:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Opinion

A Talk To Remind You Of What You Believe In

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 8:55 am

iStockphoto.com

As the presidential primary season marches on around the country, the nasty political ads and robo calls are taking their toll. Many people are, to paraphrase former Vice President Al Gore, getting snippy about their political differences. If we're going to make it till Election Day, commentator Gwen Thompkins thinks we'd better all learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.

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9:54pm

Mon March 12, 2012
NPR Story

Shooter Latest

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 10:24 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to learn more now about the alleged shooter and what the incident might mean for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. I'm joined by NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. And, Tom, the sergeant has not yet been named, but you have been finding out some more details about him. What have you learned?

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6:10pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Election 2012

Even For Romney, Delegate Math Still A Problem

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 5:48 pm

Mitt Romney waits to speak while being introduced Monday during a campaign stop in Mobile, Ala.
Win McNamee Getty Images

For many following the Republican presidential contest, the big question is who's winning.

That's not easily answered if you go only by who has won each state's primary or caucus. But if you measure who's won the most pledged convention delegates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is clearly in the lead.

So much so, in fact, that Romney's campaign insists there's no way his rivals can catch up or keep him from getting the 1,144 delegates needed for securing the nomination in Tampa this summer during the Republican National Convention.

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6:04pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Middle East

Israel: Rocket Shield Is Deflecting Gaza Attacks

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 8:30 am

The Israeli military says its Iron Dome system has been extremely effective against Palestinian rockets coming out of the Gaza Strip. Here, an Israeli missile is launched Monday near the city of Ashdod in response to a Palestinian rocket.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

In the Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian families mourned their dead.

Those killed included a 65-year-old farmer who was watering his tomatoes and checking on his greenhouses, his 35-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old boy.

Israel says Palestinian militants were hiding among the local population and firing rockets from northern Gaza into southern Israel. Palestinians in one Gaza community told NPR that militants had been operating in the area but said the civilians were innocent.

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5:55pm

Mon March 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Journalist Marie Colvin Laid To Rest In New York

Rosemarie Colvin, mother of slain Times of London correspondent Marie Colvin, walks behind the casket of her daughter after a funeral at St. Dominic's Catholic Church on Monday in Oyster Bay, New York.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

The American journalist killed while on assignment in Syria was laid to rest in New York today.

At a ceremony in Oyster Bay, New York, Marie Colvin, who worked for the British paper The Sunday Times, was remembered as an "outstanding reporter" who took risks because she thought what she did was important.

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5:21pm

Mon March 12, 2012
The Two-Way

The Talk Of SXSW: The Mobile Location App 'Highlight'

Jessica Weaver, center, hands out trinkets advertising the new mobile app "Highlight" to passers-by outside the SXSW Interactive Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas on Saturday.
Jack Plunkett AP

When we look at our Twitter feed, all we see is SXSW. That's the South by Southwest festival that happens every year in Austin, Texas. At one point, it used to be all about music, but now the interactive portion of it has become just as big.

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5:16pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Music Reviews

Review: Two New Perspectives On Jazz, Gospel

Critic Tom Moon reviews two contrasting perspectives on the intersection of jazz and gospel music. Multi-instrumentalist Don Byron has just released "Love, Peace and Soul" featuring his New Gospel Quintet. Also out is a set of duets between the late pianist Hank Jones and bassist Charlie Haden, titled "Come Sunday." Moon says the two projects reimagine old-time religious tunes in surprisingly different ways.

5:15pm

Mon March 12, 2012
The Salt

Death By Bacon? Study Finds Eating Meat Is Risky

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:14 pm

This would be considered a "once in a while" food.
iStockphoto.com

Bacon has been called the gateway meat, luring vegetarians back to meat. And hot dogs are a staple at many a backyard BBQ.

But a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that daily consumption of red meat — particularly processed meat — may be riskier than carnivores realize.

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5:13pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Romney Says No Thanks To Medicare

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at the Whistle Stop cafe in Mobile, Ala., on Monday, his birthday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

So Mitt Romney is turning 65. And on his landmark birthday, he's doing the exact opposite of what roughly 99 percent of Americans do at that age: He's not signing up for Medicare.

The news was broken by the blog Buzzfeed, and quickly confirmed by the Romney campaign.

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4:35pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength

On Utah's 'Silicon Slopes,' Tech Jobs Get A Lift

Josh James co-founded the Web analytics site Omniture in 1996, then sold it to Adobe for $1.8 billion in 2009. Domo is James' latest startup.
Derek Smith

Last year, Utah created jobs at a faster pace than any other state in the country — with the single exception of North Dakota. While the boom in North Dakota is being driven by oil and gas, the hot job market in Utah is being powered by technology companies.

Computer-system-design jobs in Utah shot up nearly 12 percent in 2011. Scientific and technical jobs jumped 9.7 percent. With job opportunities expanding, the state is having little trouble attracting new residents.

For Jill Layfield, the decision to move here from Silicon Valley was not a tough call.

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4:29pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Presidential Race

Hey, Y'all: Why Romney Might Just Win In The South

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 6:08 pm

Carla Castorina of Hurley, Miss., holds a sign supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney after a campaign rally at the Port of Pascagoula in Pascagoula, Miss., on March 8. Polls show a tight race in the state, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
Dan Anderson Reuters/Landov

Mitt Romney's stilted efforts to relate to Dixie voters by tossing off a few "y'alls" and references to grits have been roundly mocked as awkward pandering.

And rightfully so, says political scientist Marvin King, who cringed at the GOP candidate's sprinkling of vernacular and Southern stereotypes into his patter during appearances in Mississippi and Alabama. The two states hold their Republican presidential primaries Tuesday.

"You can tell Romney wasn't expecting to campaign down here, and it shows," says King of the University of Mississippi.

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4:21pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Circumcision May Lower Risk For Prostate Cancer

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 5:18 pm

Circumcision might reduce a man's risk of cancer.

Really?

It's possible, though not yet proved.

But the latest evidence in favor of protection comes from a study just published in the journal Cancer.

University of Washington researchers found a 15 percent lower risk of prostate cancer in men who'd been circumcised before they first had intercourse compared to men who hadn't been.

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