NPR News

This is the tale of a single tweet and its far-reaching consequences in China.

In April 2011, retired forestry official Fang Hong posted a scatological tweet, mocking a powerful Chinese politician, Bo Xilai, the Chongqing party secretary.

Spanish Lender Requests $24 Billion Bailout

May 25, 2012

A troubled Spanish lender has asked the government for 19 billion euros ($24 billion) of public money to keep the bank from collapsing.

As The New York Times reports, this is far beyond what the government was expecting when it took over Bankia and "its portfolio of delinquent real estate loans."

In A Clouded World, The CD Can 'Stay'

May 25, 2012

Twelve years ago on All Things Considered, we presented the story of a Boston band that was trying something new to get its tunes to fans: Jim's Big Ego took its recorded music to potential listeners by way of the Internet.

When you've seen a lot of movies where Toronto plays the part of New York, you come to appreciate location shooting. And on today's All Things Considered, you'll hear from the star of one of television's more ambitious series when it comes to location shooting: Route 66, which followed two guys around the country in a cool Corvette as they looked for a place to settle.

In its periodic report on Iran's nuclear program, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said it found traces of uranium enriched to a level higher than it had previously reported.

NPR's Mike Shuster filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"When International Atomic Energy Agency monitors carry out routine inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, they take environmental samples to help them determine the nature of uranium enrichment underway.

You know all those lawsuits now pending around the country charging that the Obama administration's rule requiring most health insurance plans to offer no-cost contraception is a violation of religious freedom?

Well, a whole bunch of supporters of the rule are chiming in now to say that argument has no legal merit.

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, in for Ira Flatow. You've probably already encountered them this year, buried deep in your pet's fur, maybe on your own skin - yes, ticks. These bloodsuckers are often no bigger than a poppy seed, but they can wreak havoc with your health and your pet's.

MIT Builds A Needle-Free Drug Injector

May 25, 2012

The needle and syringe are icons of modern medicine.

But a device developed at MIT to squirt medicines quickly and pretty much painlessly through the skin suggests that the future of medicine could be needle-free.

Breaking Out Of A Web Of Fear

May 25, 2012

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

So if tiny ticks carrying Lyme disease weren't scary enough for you, how about something even creepier and crawlier? What happens when you see a spider in the sink? Do you panic? Do you shriek? Do you call in someone else to squash it?

The first sneak peak a few weeks back inside journalist David Maraniss' highly anticipated biography of President Obama served up glimpses of the president as a young man in romantic relationships, with information gleaned from early girlfriends.

For South Sudan, 2011 was monumental. After decades of war, South Sudan became its own nation.

But as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has told us, that process of emerging from a conflict with its northern neighbor that left it poor and isolated, has been fraught with more fighting.

Humans, The World's 'Superomnivores'

May 25, 2012

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Are you a fan of crunchy, crispy foods? Well, I am. In fact...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEWING)

DANKOSKY: Do you hear that? Yeah, that's a potato chip. It sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Now, no matter where you are in the world, you'll probably find that that crunch is popular with the locals. Think about it: tortilla chips, crispy chicken, fried calamari, biscotti, tempura, falafel, pekora - mmm, pekora.

Five years in prison. Then five years of probation and wearing an electronic monitoring device. The shame of being a registered sex offender. Not being able to get a job. His dream of playing in the NFL destroyed, possibly forever.

Brian Banks, now 26, has gone through all that.

It's All Politics, May 24, 2012

May 25, 2012

This week, Ken Rudin and Ron Elving discuss Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker criticizing the president's tactics on Bain Capital, the Tea Party's goals in next week's Texas Senate primary, and general dysfunction in D.C. In other words, it's the Booker "Tea" Washington edition of the podcast.

The divisive battle to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker moves into its final phase in coming days with debates, a continuing flood of out-of-state ad money, and polls that suggest the incumbent is poised to fend off Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.

Here's a look at where things stand between the Republican Walker and Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, heading into Friday night's televised debate, the first of two before the June 5 rematch. (Walker defeated Barrett in the 2010 governor's race, 52.2 percent to 46.5 percent.)

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, sitting in for Ira Flatow. This time of year, wildlife conservationists warn you to look out for migrating turtles crossing the road. OK, what if the turtle is nearly eight feet long, the size of a compact car?

What's The Secret To Great Tomato Flavor?

May 25, 2012

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. What if I told you I was going to cook up a pasta sauce using bananas, honey, roses, apples, melon rinds, vanilla, berries, sweaty cheese, peaches, chocolate, lawn clippings, lemongrass and a little dash of wasabi for good measure? Sounds pretty disgusting, right? Well, believe it or not, all those flavors I've just mentioned are components of a taste you probably already love: tomatoes. The taste of a tomato is really that complicated.

Ban Ki-moon: There's No Plan B For Syria

May 25, 2012

By any definition, the situation in Syria is atrocious with an estimated 10,000 people killed since the uprising started more than a year ago. The latest international effort to reach a ceasefire is on the ropes.

And, last night, during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seem to give little hope for a resolution.

What were you doing when you were 16?

When he was 16, James Burton was inventing the American guitar. He'd been born in Dubberly, La., in 1939, and was apparently self-taught on his instrument. At 15, he cut a single backing local singer Carol Williams, and then one day he came up with a guitar riff that he liked. He took it to a singer from Shreveport he was touring with, and they worked out a song to use in his act. One thing led to another, and it wound up on a record called "Suzie Q," credited to Dale Hawkins, the singer.

Late spring in a New England vegetable garden is usually a time for the last asparagus, the crisp lettuce and arugula, the first pea shoots, and the first sprouting of warm-weather crops like peppers and zucchini. What you don't expect to see planted in your beds are snapping turtles. But that's just what turned up in mine twice this week.

Here's news that could affect both the economy and the presidential race:

Consumer confidence has improved "in each of the past nine monthly surveys" and is now at "its highest level since October 2007," according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. The most recent recession officially began in December 2007, and lasted into early summer 2009.

NPR's new series explores how the "American Dream" is evolving during a period of economic uncertainty. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about the series, and whether home ownership is still at the heart of the "American Dream," even after the historic collapse of the housing market.

The Navy SEALs are known for conducting some of the U.S. military's most dangerous missions. But they're not necessarily known for their diversity. Host Michel Martin speaks with two men trying to bring people of different backgrounds to the elite military force.

Add A Little Texas To Your Holiday Cookout

May 25, 2012

Memorial Day marks the start of barbecue season for many backyard grillers. Host Michel Martin gets some tips for how to grill it up. She checks in with rockabilly singer Ruby Dee, author of Ruby's Juke Joint Americana Cookbook.

Bootsy Collins On His Special Blend Of Funk

May 25, 2012

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. And we're about to get funky with a special rebroadcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GIVE UP THE FUNK")

BOOTSY COLLINS: (Singing) We're going to turn this mother out. We're going to turn this mother out. We're going to turn this mother out...

MARTIN: He played bass for James Brown and George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic all before striking out on his own. You know who I'm talking about. Bootsy Collins.

Many people are rapturous over the work of Wes Anderson, and for them, I expect, Moonrise Kingdom will be nirvana. The frames are quasi-symmetrical: a strong center, often human, with misaligned objects on each side suggesting a universe that's slightly out of balance, like a series of discombobulated dollhouses.

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from reporter Andrea Seabrook (@RadioBabe).

I have a thing about political fakes on Twitter. I HATE them. And when I say fakes, I mean a handle that appears to be a senator or representative, but is very obviously written by some 22-year-old staffer.

Jeff Neely, the regional official at the General Services Administration who hosted a 2010 taxpayer-funded conference in Las Vegas that became a scandal as details about excessive spending, gifts and lavish parties were revealed, has left his job at the agency.

This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

Linguist David Crystal describes English as a "vacuum cleaner of a language." Speakers merrily swipe some words from other languages, adopt others because they're cool or sound classy, and simply make up other terms.

This interview was originally broadcast on August 25, 2011. The Leftovers is now available in paperback.

Last year, California-based preacher Harold Camping announced that the beginning of the end of the world would take place on May 21, 2011. The date passed by with no apparent rapture, and Camping became the butt of many late-night talk show jokes.

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