NPR News

Pages

6:51pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Music News

Artists React To Mexico's Drug War With Music And Poetry

Astrid Hadad performs in Mexico.
Betto Arcos

Javier Sicilia is a novelist and a poet. In 2009, he was awarded Mexico's prestigious Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize. This September, he read a poem dedicated to his son, Juan Francisco, at a rally:

Read more

5:46pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Latin America

Amid Scandal, Colombia Dismantles Spy Agency

A member of Colombia's secret police, or Administrative Department of Security, listens to intercepted telephone calls in 2009. Reports of illegal wiretapping by secret police contributed to President Juan Manuel Santos' 2011 decision to close the agency.
William Fernando Martinez AP

President Juan Manuel Santos announced late last year that he was liquidating Colombia's troubled intelligence agency, and the country, he said, knew exactly why.

The Administrative Department of Security, or DAS, had been mired in scandal by reports of agents illegally wiretapping government critics and selling classified information to drug lords.

Read more

5:23pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Administration Stands Firm On Birth Control Coverage

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:08 pm

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the contraceptive rule "unconscionable."
Patrick Semansky AP

Despite a furious lobbying effort by the Catholic Church, the Obama administration today said it won't weaken new rules that will require most health insurance plans to offer women prescription contraceptives at no additional out-of-pocket cost.

Read more

5:03pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Election 2012

How Does South Carolina Work Its GOP Crystal Ball?

Republican presidential candidates, left to right: former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at a debate Thursday in Charleston, S.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Saturday's South Carolina Republican primary may be the last good chance for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's challengers to stop his march to the nomination. Every election year since 1980, the winner of South Carolina's Republican primary has gone on to win the nomination.

Read more

4:50pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Salt

Feeding The World Gets Short Shrift In Climate Change Debate

Families displaced by drought line up for food this week in Mogadishu, Somalia.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Food is getting elbowed out of the discussion on climate change, which could spell disaster for the 1 billion people who will be added to the world's population in the next 15 years. That's the word today from scientists wondering why food and sustainability get such short shrift when it comes to thinking about how humans will adapt to climate change.

Read more

4:23pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Late Tuskegee Airman Gets Arlington Honors As 'Red Tails' Film Opens

Family, friends and admirers salute the casket of Luke Weathers, Jr., one of the original Tuskegee airmen, at his burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen was buried in Arlington National Cemetery this morning, the same day that Red Tails, a film dramatizing the pilots' heroic feats, was released in U.S. theaters.

During World War II, Luke Weathers Jr. "shot down two German fighter planes while escorting a damaged bomber to its base," the AP reports.

Read more

4:18pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Books

Talk Nerdy To Me: Three Reads For Your Inner Geek

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:08 pm

iStockphoto.com

If you're seriously into reading, chances are, if you're not a nerd, then you've at least got some nerdy DNA somewhere in your intellectual genome. I know I do. But as a reader I sometimes feel like I'm being asked to identify with a hero who isn't nearly geeky enough — a hero with uncorrected vision and excellent orthodontics and really good hair. Sure, he's nice, but I doubt I would have wanted to sit at his table in the cafeteria in high school.

Read more

4:05pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Election 2012

In Backing Romney, Haley Seen As Political Enigma

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his wife Ann wish a happy birthday to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (left) at Romney's campaign headquarters in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, one of the Tea Party's early superstars, has seen her approval ratings fall, and some of her core supporters are baffled by Haley's endorsement of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Haley won election in 2010 as a true fiscal conservative, capturing the endorsement of Sarah Palin, who said Haley was willing to challenge the good old boys of the state's politics.

Read more

4:04pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Presidential Race

GOP Candidates Appeal To An Adversary And Lose

Joseph Nixon, attorney for the Rick Perry campaign, speaks to the media outside federal court in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 13. A federal judge refused Perry and other candidates' request to be added to the Virginia ballot.
Steve Helber ASSOCIATED PRESS

Federal judges have been getting hammered pretty hard in this Republican presidential campaign.

Rick Santorum has joked about banishing liberal, federal judges to Guam. Erstwhile candidate Rick Perry has been a longtime advocate for states' rights, calling himself a "tenth amendment believing governor." And Newt Gingrich has repeatedly criticized the country's judicial system, targeting what he calls quote "activist judges."

Read more

3:22pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Presidential Race

Does Regionalism Matter Anymore, Y'all?

The presidential election brings out the media's obsession with regional differences. Reporters and politicians do stand-ups from cornfields in the Midwest, beaches in California, honky-tonks in Texas — and in front of this sand sculpture of the GOP candidates in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fixing to get, as we Southerners tongue-in-cheekly say, about as slippery as a greased pig in a hog wallow. Nasty as a old possum in a croaker sack. Murky as South Carolina swamp mud.

The Republican primary focus is shifting to the South, where folks talk and act different from the rest of the country. And where they look for different characteristics in candidates than other regions of the ...

Read more

3:22pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Election 2012

For South Carolina Voters, Jobs May Matter Most

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:08 pm

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Seven Oaks Park this week in Irmol, S.C. Jobs are likely to be an important issue for South Carolina voters in Saturday's primary, with the state's unemployment rate at 9.9 percent.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

In a presidential election that most expect will be all about the economy, South Carolina is a state where economic issues are front and center. The state's unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, well above the national rate. But even that number is deceptive. There are pockets around the state where the conditions are much more severe. In Lancaster County, for example, the rate is above 12 percent.

Read more

3:21pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Law

5 Questions, Answers About The Megaupload Case

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, in an Auckland, New Zealand, court Friday.
TV3 AFP/Getty Images

The arrests of four executives of Megaupload, a major Internet file-sharing site, have triggered an online backlash, and raised fresh questions about electronic piracy and copyright violations. What's behind the controversy? NPR asked two experts to help clarify the facts behind the arrests.

Read more

2:35pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Wisconsin 'RecallCam': Boring, Beautiful Or Both?

Watch if you dare. You may get hooked.
State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

As our friend Micki Maynard at Changing Gears says, "forget live streams watching the giant panda in Edinburgh, or the weather in Chicago. The newest Internet plaything is the Wisconsin Web Cam."

Read more

2:30pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Palestinian Women Behind The Wheel, And Ahead Of The Pack

Noor Daoud holds a trophy after she won third place in the first day of Formula Israel's women's race, in Eilat, Israel. Daoud went on to take the women's title at the event.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Palestine might not seem like a breeding ground for race car drivers. After all, the area is dotted with checkpoints and roadblocks, hundreds of obstacles that can cramp a driver's ability to explore a car's limits.

But that hasn't stopped a group of Palestinian women from driving very fast, winning races and making a name for themselves along the way.

Read more

2:08pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Researchers Agree To Temporary Halt For Bird Flu Experiments

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 3:41 pm

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Scientists have said that they are voluntarily putting some controversial bird flu research on hold.

The move to suspend the work for 60 days comes in response to critics who say their work is dangerous.

People rarely get sick with bird flu, caused by the H5N1 virus, and when they do, they're generally not contagious.

Read more

1:27pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Tears Go 'Pac-Man' To Beat Bacteria

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 3:39 pm

Tears contain an enzyme that eats bacteria the way Pac-Man eats Power Pellets.
iStockphoto.com

The mystical healing properties of tears are invoked in fairy tales and fantasies from Rapunzel to Harry Potter. So it may surprise you to hear that tears really are pretty powerful, on the microbial level at least.

Read more

1:25pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Not A Record, But Audubon Set Still Sells For A Tidy $7.9 Million

We wouldn't want to say that $7,922,500 isn't an awful lot to pay for one set of four books.

But we do have to point out that it's not a record.

Thursday, we previewed the Christie's New York auction of a rare set of John James Audubon's Birds of America. As we reported, there was talk that it might fetch more than the record $11.5 million paid for another full set of the books in 2010.

Read more

1:10pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Megaupload Is Trying To Go Back Online Even As Execs Sit In Jail

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, in an Auckland, New Zealand, court today.
TV3/ AFP/Getty Images

A judge in New Zealand today ordered that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) and three others remain in custody at least until a bail hearing on Monday as the legal process of possibly extraditing them to the U.S. to face copyright infringement and conspiracy charges got underway.

Read more

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
NPR Story

Defending Climate Science's Place In The Classroom

The National Center for Science Education has long defended educators' right to teach evolution in public schools. Now climate science too is under attack. NCSE executive director Eugenie Scott talks about how teachers and parents can fight the push to get climate change denial into the classroom.

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
NPR Story

Be Here Now: Meditation For The Body And Brain

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, mindfulness. Ever find yourself going through day stuck in autopilot mode, waking up at 7:15, wolfing down your usual hot cereal, really, without really tasting it, while you read the paper, your emails, your Facebook feed.

Read more

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
NPR Story

Newly Fallen Meteorites Offer Fresh Look At Mars

Scientists have confirmed that rocks collected recently in the Moroccan desert came from the Red Planet. University of Alberta meteorite expert Chris Herd, who has acquired one of the chunks, talks about how scientists analyze space rocks, and whether organic compounds might be found inside.

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
NPR Story

Innovative Projects Tap Renewable Energy Sources

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You're listening to Science Friday. I'm Ira Flatow.

We here at Science Friday are constantly on the lookout for cool, innovative, renewable energy ideas. And when we came across these next two, we knew - I just knew I had to share them with you.

Read more

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
NPR Story

How Large Ships Use Navigation Systems

The International Maritime Organization has decreed that by 2015, all large deep sea ships will be required to carry the latest in electronic navigation equipment. But does state-of-the-art navigation technology prevent shipwrecks like last week's off the Italian coast? University of Southern Mississippi hydrographer Max van Norden talks about the technology.

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
NPR Story

Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word 'Moon'

Science historian Howard Markel discusses the origins of the word moon and some of the lore surrounding it, including a 1638 book by the English bishop Francis Godwin entitled The Man in the Moone, which recounts a science fiction-style voyage to the moon.

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
NPR Story

Seeing Super-Fast Animals

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

With us here now is Flora Lichtman and our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: What you got for us this week?

LICHTMAN: This week, we are taking a look at the secret speed demons of the animal kingdom. Forget, you know, forget the cheetahs.

FLATOW: That was immediately the one comes to mind, right?

LICHTMAN: Me, too.

FLATOW: Cheetahs.

LICHTMAN: I think speedy ones, I think cheetah, I think gazelle...

FLATOW: Sure.

LICHTMAN: ...something. No.

Read more

1:00pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Medical Treatments

Synthetic Windpipe Transplant Boost For Tissue Engineering

Surgeons in Sweden replaced an American patient's cancerous windpipe with a scaffold built from nanofibers and seeded with the patient's stem cells. Lead surgeon Dr. Paolo Macchiarini discusses the procedure and the benefits of tissue-engineered synthetic organs.

12:50pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Search Of Stricken Italian Cruise Ship Resumes After Third Delay

A coast guard boat passes the Costa Concordia, as the cruise liner lies aground in front of the harbor of Giglio Island.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Search and rescue operations at the wreck of the Costa Concordia have resumed, after being halted for a third time, due to choppy waters and the partially submerged vessel's tendency to shift on the rocks near Italy's coast.

BBC correspondent Luisa Baldini says the search has resumed, after being called off early Friday.

Here's a roundup of recent developments in the story:

From Italy, Sylvia Poggioli report for NPR's Newscast unit:

Read more

12:49pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Middle East

Israeli And Arab Hackers Square Off In Cyberbattle

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 1:16 pm

The websites of Israel's El Al airline and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange were knocked offline Monday, just hours after a Saudi Arabian hacker threatened to act against them. Israeli hackers responded by crashing the Saudi stock exchange. Here, a man walks past an El Al office in Tel Aviv on Monday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

An online battle is raging between Israelis and Arabs, with each side unveiling credit card and other personal information of thousands of private citizens, as well as temporarily disabling high-profile websites, like the Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabian stock exchanges.

So far, the recent Web assaults seem to be the work of bored young people venting frustration. But others worry that these actions could easily escalate into a much larger online fight.

Read more

12:14pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Music Interviews

Remembering Bandleader And Producer Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis (center), shown playing with his band The Johnny Otis Revue.
Charlie Gillett Collection Redferns Via Getty Images

Bandleader and producer Johnny Otis, who launched and then nurtured the careers of many of R&B's greatest singers, died Tuesday at his home near Los Angeles. He was 90.

Read more

12:11pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Movie Interviews

Brad Pitt: On Life, Movies And 'Moneyball'

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:16 pm

Brad Pitt, left, plays Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, in the movie Moneyball. His assistant Peter Brand is played by Jonah Hill.
Melinda Sue Gordon Sony Pictures

This interview was originally broadcast on September 22, 2011.

Read more

Pages