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4:59pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Middle East

The Woman Behind Egypt's Crackdown On Aid Groups

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 6:39 pm

Egyptian Planning and International Cooperation Minister Faiza Aboul Naga (shown here in Washington, D.C., last April) has repeatedly warned Egyptians about the alleged danger foreigners pose to their country. She is the driving force behind recent efforts to prosecute 43 people, including American and other foreign democracy activists, for operating illegally in Egypt.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

In Egypt, a female Cabinet minister has emerged as the driving force behind a crackdown on U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups.

The attacks of Faiza Aboul Naga — a holdover from the regime of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak — have made her a hero to many Egyptians who believe she is defending their country's honor. But the threat she poses to billions of dollars in U.S. aid and international loans could make her power short-lived.

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4:31pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Doctors 'Disgruntled' And Frustrated By Looming Medicare Cuts

A looming 27.4 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements likely won't happen. But next year, any cuts could be greater.
iStockphoto.com

The good news for the nation's doctors — and the millions of Medicare patients they care for — is that assuming everything goes as planned, the 27.4 percent cut in reimbursements that would have taken effect March 1 won't.

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4:27pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Halt In 'Colbert Report' Production Reportedly Due To Family Emergency

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 6:46 pm

Provocateur comedian Stephen Colbert is known for many things. Silence has not been among them — until now. An abrupt suspension in his Colbert Report's production schedule sparked rumors online Thursday, after Comedy Central said it would air reruns for three days this week.

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4:19pm

Thu February 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Ally Friess Praises Old-School 'Contraceptive': Aspirin Between Knees

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 10:01 am

Foster Friess got somewhat off message during an MSNBC interview Thursday.
Eric Gay AP

Foster Friess, Rick Santorum's billionaire supporter, drew some attention from his candidate Thursday with a comment about contraception that was, to say the least, unusual and surefire fodder for late-night TV comedians .

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4:18pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Election 2012

In Arizona, Romney Can't Take Mormons For Granted

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 6:41 pm

Karen Johnson, from Linden, Ariz., supports the candidacy of Ron Paul. She says Mitt Romney shares her faith, but not her politics.
Peter O'Dowd For NPR

The wind howls on a blustery Sunday morning in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, as well-dressed families pull into the parking lot of a Mormon church.

Mormon pioneer roots run more than a century deep in this part of the state, an isolated spot between two Indian reservations.

Karen Johnson is among the Mormon faithful, passionate about God and country.

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4:13pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Election 2012

In One Maine County, Every Caucus Vote May Count

Washington County, Maine, is not a place for unhardy souls.

It's the easternmost county in all of New England, and one of the poorest. And at this time of year, people in Down East Maine do anything they can to eke out a living.

"I get about six months out of it," county resident Hartley Goston said, referring to his lobster boat, The Darian Sue. "I get a few odd jobs here and there to help tie up some loose ends."

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4:08pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Movie Reviews

A Veteran's 'Return' To The Front Lines Of Home

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 1:36 pm

Linda Cardellini plays a vet who returns from overseas with no way to make sense of where she was and what it meant in director Liza Johnson's new drama Return.
Dada Films

The coming-home genre is so rife with stock ingredients that first I'd like to tell you what Liza Johnson's very fine drama Return doesn't do. The camera doesn't move in on returning-veteran Kelli, played by Linda Cardellini, as the sound of battle rises and she's back in her head on the front lines. The film doesn't give you what I call the "psychodrama striptease," in which a past trauma is revealed piece by piece until you're finally, at the end, shown the essential bit.

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3:56pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Doctors Cheer As Feds Delay New Disease Codes, Again

Dolphin bite? There's a medical code for that.
Simone Di Tonno - Annachiara Fig iStockphoto.com

Poking fun at a complex new system for classification of diseases is surprisingly easy and enjoyable.

Yes, there are codes your doctor will be able to use someday to submit bills for treatment of a dolphin bite (W5601XA), being struck by a dolphin (W5602XA) or "other contact" with a dolphin (W5603XA). And that's just the start.

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3:41pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Around the Nation

Hold On To Your Tuba: Brass Bandits Hit L.A. Schools

Teacher Ruben Gonzalez conducts the South Gate High School band. According to Gonzalez, thieves passed up a computer as well as a stash of valuable flutes, saxophones and clarinets to get to the school's tubas.
Krissy Clark for NPR

The words "black market" usually summon images of drugs, guns or pirated DVDs — not tubas. Yet authorities in Los Angeles say the instrument is in such high demand that the black market may be what's driving a wave of local tuba thefts.

Ruben Gonzalez is teaching an after-lunch band class at the scene of one recent tuba crime — the music room at South Gate High School outside L.A. He starts with a request only a band teacher would make.

"Make sure we rinse out folks — we don't need any hamburgers or hot chilies coming through those instruments," he says.

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3:08pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Salt

Yes, There's Arsenic In Your Rice. But Is That Bad?

Rice plants absorb arsenic from soil, and some if it makes it to the bowl.
iStockPhoto.com

Is there arsenic in your rice? Probably. That's the news behind a study that found surprisingly high levels of arsenic in rice-based organic toddler formula and energy bars.

One toddler formula with organic brown rice syrup as the primary ingredient had arsenic concentrations six times the federal limit of 10 parts per billion for arsenic in drinking water.

Cereal bars that contained rice products like brown rice syrup or rice flour had arsenic levels ranging from 23 to 128 parts per billion, according to researchers at Dartmouth College, who tested the products.

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3:06pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Christmas Day Bomber Sentenced To Life In Prison

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 5:10 pm

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty in October to a plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25, 2009.
U.S. Marshals Service, File AP

The man who tried to blow up a U.S. passenger plane three Christmases ago was sentenced to life in prison in a Detroit courtroom today. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, boarded Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Dec. 25, 2009, with a massive bomb hidden in his underwear. As the plane approached Detroit, he tried to detonate the explosives. They failed to go off.

Four months ago, on the second day of his criminal trial, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty.

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2:27pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Amanda Knox Signs Book Deal Worth Millions

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:03 pm

Amanda Knox, the U.S. college exchange student who won an appeal to overturn her murder conviction in Italy last October, has signed a deal to write a memoir — for which she'll earn nearly $4 million, according to reports.

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2:12pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

#Feb17: Excised From The Record

A falcon statue, painted in the colors of the revolutionary flag and covered with the inscription "God is great", and is displayed outside the museum set up on Tripoli boulevard in Misrata on Feb. 12.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

The plane landed at Benghazi airport, about an hour late, which seemed just about right to most people on board. Elderly women sported tattoos from their bottom lip to the tip of their chin; several men carefully removed plants that somehow survived being crushed in the overhead luggage bins.

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1:58pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Salt

Can A Diet Clean Out Toxins In The Body?

Experts say specialized diets won't help rid the body of toxins any more than what the liver and kidneys already do every day.
iStockphoto.com

Between lingering New Year's resolutions and impending Lenten restraint, it's the season when many people are inspired to get healthy by refusing foods they normally delight in.

Increasingly, we're seeing elimination diets that promise weight loss and a tantalizing bonus: detoxification.

"Cleansing diets" trade on this most alluring idea: By limiting our intake of food to a few super-pure items, we can free up the body to get rid of all the gunk accumulated in our cells.

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1:45pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Man Has Heart Attack While Eating At The Heart Attack Grill

Signs for "Bypass Burgers" and "Flatliner Fries" are seen in the window of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. A man who suffered a heart attack in the restaurant was wheeled out on a stretcher Saturday.
Julie Jacobson AP

Slogans for a Las Vegas restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill include "Taste worth dying for," and "Over 350 lbs? Eat for free!" But the burger joint's shtick of calling waitresses "nurses" — complete with skimpy uniforms — and serving "quadruple bypass" burgers collided with reality Saturday, when a patron suffered a heart attack while eating at the restaurant.

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1:25pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Study Finds Goats Adjust Their 'Accents' Based On Social Surroundings

A goat kid.
Queen Mary University of London

Surely you've noticed that when people move from place to place and stay for a while, they tend to pick up the local accent. We could use Madonna as an example, but we're pretty sure her British accent started before she jumped the pond.

Anyway, in a new study published in the journal Animal Behaviour, two scientists found young pygmy goats, which are known as kids, do something similar.

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1:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Sports

Op-Ed: 'Linsanity' Is Thrilling, Yet Frustrating

New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin sprang into the spotlight after he scored 27 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors. Lin, who previous mostly rode the bench, has become a sensation in the U.S., particularly among many Asian Americans. Journalist Chuck Leung feels a bit conflicted about celebrating Lin's success.

1:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Movies

Moore Explains Changes In Oscar Documentary Rules

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has changed the way they nominate documentaries for the Oscars. One of the most controversial changes — proposed by filmmaker Michael Moore — is that films must be reviewed by The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times.

1:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Economy

Is An Economic Recovery Underway?

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 2:44 pm

The number of jobless claims for January 2012 was at the lowest point since March 2008. Businesses are reporting profits, buyers are reporting confidence. Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial, discusses whether it's safe to say an economic recovery has begun.

1:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Middle East

The Anatomy, Complexity Of The Syrian Opposition

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 2:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Almost every day for about a year now, we've heard about the activities of the Syrian opposition: marches and demonstration that in the face of brutal attacks evolve toward armed resistence.

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12:37pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Methane, Soot Are Targets Of New U.S. Climate Initiative

A new program led by the U.S. seeks to limit amounts of soot, hydrofluorocarbons and methane released into the atmosphere. In this file photo from 2009, a researcher ignites trapped methane from under a pond's ice cap in Alaska.
Todd Paris AP

The United States and five other nations are embarking on a new program to limit pollutants connected to global warming. But they're not targeting carbon dioxide with this effort — instead, they're looking at methane gas, and soot.

NPR's Richard Harris filed this report for our Newscast desk:

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is teaming up with Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Ghana and Bangladesh to get countries thinking about some potent contributors to climate change."

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12:08pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Presidential Race

GOP Debates As Must-See TV? Why You Should Watch

The Republican presidential candidates took the stage for a Jan. 23 debate at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

We've had nearly a month-long lull in the Republican presidential debates, but brace yourself, they'll be back soon enough.

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12:05pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

#Feb17: The Long Road To Libya

With Twitter and other social media, NPR's Andy Carvin monitored immediate, on-the-ground developments during the upheavals of the Arab Spring from Washington, D.C., through thousands of tweets and an army of followers that numbers in the tens of thousands. Now, he is in Libya, meeting face-to-face with some of those activists. He'll be sending us periodic updates on his journey.

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12:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
World

Iranians Would Unite Against War, Says Writer

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 12:47 pm

International pressure is building on Iran. On Wednesday, Iranian leaders claimed they made strides in their nuclear program and threatened to stop supplying oil to six European countries. Host Michel Martin hears what people inside the country think about the tensions. She speaks with writer Hooman Majd and human rights activist Sussan Tahmasebi.

12:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Race

CNN Executive On Troubled Family Past

Mark Whitaker's family memoir, My Long Trip Home chronicles his upbringing in an interracial family, and his parents' struggles with personal demons and the weight of history. As part of Tell Me More's Black History Month series on memoirs, host Michel Martin speaks with Whitaker.

12:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Music

Music That Feeds The Soul

Former model B. Smith now has a growing brand that celebrates her love of Southern cuisine, including restaurants, cookbooks, home goods and wine. As part of Tell Me More's series, 'In Your Ear,' B. Smith offers up the playlist she listens to in her kitchen.

12:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Music

Grammy Winners Offer Secrets To Their Sound

For the last decade, the 26-member choir has captivated audiences including Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela. Their blend of high energy, languages and musical traditions has won them numerous awards and a loyal fan base. They're now on a 43-city North American tour, and they stopped by for a performance chat with host Michel Martin.

12:00pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Planet Money

Is China An Economic Miracle, Or A Bubble Waiting To Pop?

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 12:18 pm

This can't go on forever.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

China's economy sailed through the financial crisis unscathed — at least in the short run.

When the global crisis hit, the country's government-owned banks started lending out lots more money. The money came largely from the savings accounts of ordinary Chinese people. It went largely to finance big construction projects, which helped keep China's economy growing.

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11:49am

Thu February 16, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

The 'WHO's Who' Of Virologists Meet To Talk Bird Flu In Geneva

Virologists and other scientists are meeting at the World Health Organization's Geneva headquarters to talk about the bird flu.
Pierre Virot WHO

A closed-door summit on controversial bird flu research starts today, and the newly released guest list reveals that the event will be dominated by virologists.

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11:48am

Thu February 16, 2012
Theater

Stephen Sondheim: Examining His Lyrics And Life

Sondheim, shown here in 1974, won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Sunday in the Park with George. He has also received eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy awards and a Kennedy Center Honor.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Stephen Sondheim's 1981 musical Merrily We Roll Along is in the middle of a two-week run at the New York City Center as part of an Encores! Production. Portions of the interview running today were originally broadcast on April 21, 2010 and Oct. 28, 2010.

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