NPR News

Pages

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel Discuss 'Lunatics'

Robert Siegel talks to authors Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel about their comic novel Lunatics. It tells the story through the voices of the two main characters: Philip Horkman is a happy man — the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays, he's a referee for kids' soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman is the sole sane person in a world filled with jerks and morons, and he's having a really bad day.

Read more

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

A Digital Death? Why Kodak Stopped Clicking

Originally published on Sat January 7, 2012 1:11 am

Kodak's Steven J. Sasson holds the world's first digital camera, which he built in 1975, at Kodak headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., in 2005. The company is now trying to sell about a thousand patents for digital photography to prevent bankruptcy.
David Duprey AP

The end could soon be near for Kodak, and the iconic film manufacturer may have itself to blame.

Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., could be headed into bankruptcy over the next few weeks. The company has seen its profits plunge in recent years, largely because of the popularity of digital cameras.

Kodak is trying to move into new product lines like inkjet printers, but in the meantime it's attempting to raise cash by selling off some of the patents it's developed over the years.

Read more

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

An Update On Football — And The Other Football

The NFL kicks off an exciting weekend of games Saturday when it starts its playoffs. Meanwhile, there's big news in the sport that most of the rest of the world calls football. Fox television is making a major play to air more soccer games in this country, including an English Premier League game before the Super Bowl. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis talks with Robert Siegel about the news in both kinds of football.

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Presidential Race

Santorum Tries To Connect With N.H. Voters

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum nearly won the Iowa caucuses on the strength of his retail campaigning across all of the state's counties — and his connection with Christian conservative voters. Now he's in New Hampshire, with just days to go before the first-in-the-nation primary. Santorum is trying to connect with independent-minded voters in a very secular state.

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
World

Diver Finds Lost Class Ring From The '30s

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel talk about a diver who found a class ring lost in the 1930s — and reunited it with the owner's grandson nearly 40 years later.

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
National Security

U.S. Navy Ship Saves Iranians From Pirates

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, a story with this you-can't-make-it-up headline: Americans Rescue Iranian's From Pirates. According to the U.S. Navy, yesterday in the North Arabian Sea, a Navy battle group came across a fishing vessel in distress. The crew was Iranian and they'd been held hostage for weeks by pirates. And here's the irony: The American battle group included the same aircraft carrier that Iran's government threatened earlier this week.

Read more

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Presidential Race

Why Santorum's 'Google Problem' Remains

Rick Santorum has been working hard this week to capitalize on his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, trying to convince Republicans in New Hampshire that he is presidential material. One thing he's not encouraging possible supporters to do: Google him.

Read more

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Election 2012

SuperPACs, Candidates: Dancing Solo Or Together?

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 6:54 pm

This is the season of the presidential superPACs: They flooded Iowa with attack ads, and now they are looking ahead to primaries in South Carolina and Florida.

SuperPACs (political action committees) can solicit big, corporate contributions — something candidates can't do. And, according to the law, superPACs are barred from coordinating their ads with the candidates they support. But it's not nearly that simple.

A SuperPAC Attacks

Read more

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Middle East

In Syria, Suicide Bomber Kills More Than Two Dozen

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Syrian officials are vowing to respond with an iron fist to a suicide bombing in Damascus today, 25 people were killed. It was the second deadly bomb attack in the Syrian capital in recent weeks. The government and opposition activists traded accusations as to who was responsible. And the bombing raised fears of escalating violence, as the Arab League presses Syria to implement a peace plan.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is monitoring developments in Syria from Istanbul.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)

Read more

3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Commentary

Week In Politics: Jobs; Recess Appointments; GOP Campaigns

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times. They discuss the jobs numbers, Obama's recess appointments and presidential campaign developments.

2:51pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Africa

Rapper's Imprisonment Tests Moroccan Reforms

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:18 pm

Moroccan rapper Mouad Belrhouate, shown here on an album cover, is commonly known as El-Haqed, or "the defiant one." He's been jailed for four months and is awaiting trial in Casablanca. His supporters say his case shows the limits of recent political changes introduced by King Mohammed VI.
Deborah Amos NPR

Morocco has been called one of the winners of the Arab Spring. The country's young king, Mohammed VI, offered a new constitution and early elections, taking the steam out of a protest movement that rose up last February.

But the arrest and trial of an artist who writes provocative rap songs show that there seem to be limits to the reforms.

The rap songs of 24-year-old Mouad Belrhouate are popular in Morocco, even more so after the four months he has spent in jail.

Read more

2:11pm

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

American Teen Mistakenly Deported To Colombia Is On Her Way Home

Jakadrien Turner.
Screenshot ABC

Jakadrien Turner, a Texas teen deported to Colombia after authorities said she lied to them about who she was, is headed back home today.

Read more

2:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Mountain Dew Mouse Story Goes Viral

No, he wasn't going extreme, Pepsi says.
Eric Isselee iStockphoto.com

We thought the World Wide Web was supposed to make information fly.

But now we have to question that notion.

It's taken a year and a half for us to hear that Pepsi is defending itself against a lawsuit claiming that a mouse was found in a can of Mountain Dew by saying that the furry little creature couldn't have been there because:

Read more

1:50pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Opinion

Internet Exiles Stores On Main Street

John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy in Louisville, Ky., closed his record shop after 26 years of business because of the bad economy.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Open any children's book with a scene set downtown and you'll see a picture of basically the same row of shops. There's a bookstore, a pharmacy, a florist, a post office and a bank, and maybe a bakery where the kids can hope for a free cookie.

Nearly all those businesses are under threat from the Internet.

Read more

1:42pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Environment

Winter Wonderland? Wonder No Longer

The winter solstice has come and gone, making it officially winter in the U.S., with cooler temperatures, less sunlight, and, in some places, snow, ice, and frost. A panel of experts discusses the different phenomena that combine to make up the season we call winter, and give tips for how best to appreciate the natural world in wintertime.

1:21pm

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Administration Will Ease Path To Legality For Some Immigrants

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 2:26 pm

The Obama administration said it is proposing a change for the way some apply to become legal, permanent residents of the United States. The change would affect American citizens whose children or spouses are in the country illegally.

The current rule mandates that in order to apply for legal status, a person must return to their country and wait there while the long process continues. The rule tweak would allow those family members to stay in the country while the application works its way through the bureaucracy.

Read more

1:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

One Scholar's Take On The Power of The Placebo

A placebo can take the form of a sugar pill or even a fake surgery. It's often used to test the effectiveness of a trial drug. Ted Kaptchuk, director of Harvard University's Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter, discusses potential applications for the healing power of placebos.

1:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

Debate Persists Over Publishing Bird Flu Studies

A federal advisory board has urged scientific journals not to publish the research from two labs that have developed an airborne flu virus. Microbiologist Vincent Racaniello discusses why the move sets a bad precedent. Biosecurity expert D.A. Henderson talks about the risks of publishing the research.

1:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

Levitating Fruit Flies To Learn About Space Travel

Physicist Richard Hill and colleagues at the University of Nottingham have a powerful magnet that they have used to levitate fruits, beer and most recently, fruit flies. It's a low-cost way to study the effects of zero gravity on biological systems, Hill says.

1:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Research News

Parasitic Fly Threatens Honey Bee Populations

Honey bee colonies around the United States are in decline, threatened by several different diseases and parasites. John Hafernik, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, describes how a parasitic fly that was thought to prey upon bumblebees may pose a new threat to honey bee populations in the U.S.

12:53pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Economy

U.S. Economy: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

AndrewJohnson iStockphoto.com

When it comes to unemployment reports in an election year, it's not just the data — it's also the spin.

Friday's jobs report could be seen as good news — at 8.5 percent, it's the lowest in three years. Good news for President Obama? Not according to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who lost no time in pointing out that the number is still above 8 percent — the figure that the president said would be the worst case under his 2009 stimulus package.

Read more

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Navy Reports Rescuing 13 Iranians From Somali Pirates

Thursday: The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd responds to a distress call from the master of the Iranian-flagged fishing dhow Al Molai.
U.S. Navy photo

A team from the aircraft carrier strike force group that Iran threatened earlier this week has rescued 13 Iranian sailors who were being held by Somali pirates for several weeks, the U.S. Navy reports.

In a statement issued this morning, the Navy says:

Read more

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
BackTalk

Listeners Weigh In On NFL, Fancy Gifts For Kids

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now, it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Here with me once again is Ammad Omar, editor here at TELL ME MORE.

Ammad, what do you have for us today?

Read more

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Barbershop

Shop Talk: Gingrich On NAACP ... Justified?

The Barbershop guys talk about the Iowa caucuses, political campaigning, and the NFL playoffs. Host Michel Martin speaks with author Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, and former Obama administration staffer Corey Ealons.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

U.S. Is 'Land Of Opportunity' No More?

Unemployment dropped in December 2011, but can Americans still count on moving up? Recent reports say America now lags behind Canada, Britain and some Western European nations in terms of economic mobility. Host Michel Martin talks with public policy analyst John Bridgeland and Brookings Institution economic expert Isabel Sawhill.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Arts & Life

For Some, Three Kings Day Is Bigger Than Christmas

Three Kings Day is when the three wise men are believed to have visited the baby Jesus. Many cultures, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, are celebrating on Friday. Festivities are also going strong in East Harlem, Miami, Los Angeles, even Disneyland. Host Michel Martin speaks with Gonzalo Casals, who organizes a parade in East Harlem.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Faith Matters

'Flunking Sainthood,' Lessons From Failure

Despite the best intentions and plans for success, many New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside. Jana Reiss, author of the new memoir Flunking Sainthood, spent a year trying to reconnect with her faith. But she admits she failed at every step. Reiss speaks with host Michel Martin about what she learned from failure.

11:52am

Fri January 6, 2012
Television

This Weekend, Some New Shows (And Old Favorites)

Don Cheadle plays business consultant Marty Kaan in the new Showtime comedy House of Lies.
Jordin Althaus Showtime

The New Year brings with it new TV programming, and this Sunday is an especially busy one for television. Two new series premiere, while one miniseries and several other series return.

But because it's a new year, let's start with the new shows.

Read more

11:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Extremely Loud' And Incredibly Manipulative

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:24 pm

A year after his father's death in the World Trade Center, 11-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) sets out on a citywide scavenger hunt to find a missing lock that he hopes will reveal a message from his dad.
Francois Duhamel Warner Bros. Pictures

Some critics are indignant over Stephen Daldry's film of Jonathan Safran Foer's book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. They say the appropriation of Sept. 11 for such a sentimental work is exploitation.

Read more

11:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Middle-Aged Brains Are Already Past Their Prime

iStockphoto.com

You may want to read this twice if you're older than 45. In fact, you may have to.

That's because your mental abilities are already in decline, according to a study of 7,390 British civil servants just published in BMJ, the British Medical Journal.

Read more

Pages