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7:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
It's All Politics

2012 GOP Presidential Primary Season Designed To Slow Emergence Of Winner

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns Sunday in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

If GOP front-runner Mitt Romney cannot quickly persuade his rivals and voters that he is the inevitable nominee and that further resistance is futile, he may be in for an expensive and time-consuming slog.

Unlike GOP presidential primary seasons of the past, the one that begins in Iowa Tuesday was actually designed to slow down the emergence of a winner by stretching out the calendar and altering the delegate allocation rules.

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7:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
You Must Read This

Imprisoned In A Mysterious Mistaken Identity

istockphoto.com

Alex Gilvarry is the author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

I was a college student in New York City when security checks became the norm. Being half-Filipino with a Scottish last name, I wasn't easy to profile. And since I was always carrying a big backpack of textbooks in and out of the subways on my way to class, I came to expect that I would be stopped once or twice each week.

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6:58am

Mon January 2, 2012
Strange News

Lost Wedding Ring Turns Up With Lots Of Carrots

Sixteen years ago, a Swedish woman lost her wedding ring but she recently found it. A Swedish newspaper reports that while picking carrots in her garden, the woman found one with the gold band around it. She thinks it fell into some vegetable peelings meant for garden compost.

6:49am

Mon January 2, 2012
Around the Nation

LA Bar Boasts Serving Only California Spirits

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And this next story is for those who may be searching for a drink. You've heard of the local food movement where people try to buy food from close to home. You've heard of the micro brewing movement where people turn away from Bud Light, say, in favor of beer brands made in small batches. The local booze movement may marry the two. At least one restaurant in Los Angeles boasts a bar stocked with liquor produced entirely in California.

Rachel Myrow of member station KQED dropped by the bar - purely for reporting purposes.

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6:43am

Mon January 2, 2012
Around the Nation

Google Searches Are A Window Into Our Culture

Millions of people are searching for things every day on Google. The people at the giant search engine realized that if they tracked those searches, the patterns can tell us about what's happening with people's lives.

6:33am

Mon January 2, 2012
Television

TV Networks Turn To Celebrities To Boost Ratings

ABC TV rolls out a new version of an old show Tuesday — this time its Celebrity Wife Swap. The old Wife Swap wasn't getting great ratings, so they needed to up their game. Eric Deggans, the TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, explains what celebrities do for reality shows.

4:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
Election 2012

Gingrich Pushes Back Against Negative Ads

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 7:24 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Newt Gingrich says, when it comes to his campaigning, he has been conducting an experiment. The former House speaker says he's been running a positive campaign as he competes for the Republican nomination. And if voters who say they hate negative campaigning practice what they preach, Gingrich says he'll do better than expected in Iowa.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

But Gingrich also says he needs to set the record straight, and that means firing back at Mitt Romney.

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4:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
Election 2012

Rick Santorum May Be Peaking At The Right Time

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 10:09 am

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum points to a television showing his campaign stop on live at the Daily Grind coffee shop in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

After concentrating on Iowa more than any other Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum is gaining on front-runners Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, a new Des Moines Register poll shows. Santorum is hoping to consolidate Iowa's Christian conservative vote — the strategy that won the state for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee four years ago.

Jeanne Zyzda did not expect more than 100 people in her Sioux City coffee shop, the Daily Grind. Not all at once, and not on a holiday.

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4:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
Business

Airlines To Post Fees, Exxon Awarded $900 Million

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 7:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the cost of airline tickets.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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4:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Looks To Finish Strong In Iowa

Concluding that he can win the Iowa caucuses, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spent the weekend campaigning in western Iowa, a mostly conservative region. After months of making only periodic visits to the state, Romney is making an aggressive final push through Iowa.

4:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
Business

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

3:41am

Mon January 2, 2012
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011

Louis C.K. On Life, Loss, Love, And 'Louie'

Louis C.K. has written for The Late Show with David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
FX

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on December 13, 2011.

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3:34am

Mon January 2, 2012
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011

Seth MacFarlane: A 'Family Guy' Sings Out

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 12:46 pm

Family Guy has received three Primetime Emmy Awards. The series, set in Quahog RI, stars the Griffin family and their pet dog Brian.

FOX

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on October 17, 2011.

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3:21am

Mon January 2, 2012
Asia

Japanese Smoking Culture Proves Hard To Snuff Out

Mina Abe (center) and Kota Osabe (right) are trying to promote blowing bubbles as an alternative to cigarette smoking in Japan.
Courtesy of Tokyo Shabon-dama Club

For generations of Japanese, smoking has been all but synonymous with manhood and hard work. During Japan's high-growth period in the 1960s, the smoking rate for males topped 80 percent, twice as high as the rate during America's smoking heyday.

In a country that's so tobacco friendly, it's no wonder anti-smoking initiatives have trouble gaining traction. That's despite the estimated $90 billion being spent on cigarette-related health costs and damages every year, three times what cigarette sales bring in annually, according to the Japan Health Economics Association.

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3:17am

Mon January 2, 2012
Asia

Desire For Stability Keeps China, N. Korea Allies

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 5:50 pm

Trucks loaded with Chinese goods head across the Yalu Bridge and into North Korea one day after the memorial service for the late leader Kim Jong Il, at the Chinese North Korean border town of Dandong on December 30, 2011.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Chinese leaders made a rare condolence visit to North Korea's embassy in Beijing last month.

Broadcast on China Central Television, the leaders – dressed in black suits — bowed in unison towards the portrait of Kim Jong Il. Why show so much respect to a man who caused so much misery?

One reason: fear of something worse.

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12:01am

Mon January 2, 2012
Theater

Up Close and Personal: Introducing Intimate Theater

The Theater for One capsule, big enough for one performer and one audience member, was inspired by such intimate spaces as confessionals, peep show booths and psychiatrist offices.
Danny Bright Theater For One

Theatergoers are used to being anonymous, hidden in the darkness, part of a crowd. They're free to fidget, yawn, even tune out; the actors won't know. But in an innovative kind of theater popping up at fringe festivals and independent venues the spotlight shines on the audience.

Intimate theater relies on tight spaces and unconventional stages to collapse the distance between performer and viewer.

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12:01am

Mon January 2, 2012
Science

Biotech Firms Caught In Regulatory No Man's Land

Companies making genetically modified animals face a regulatory morass in this country. It's not always clear which federal agency has responsibility for regulating a particular animal, and even when one agency does take the lead, the approval process can drag on for years.

The companies say this uncertainty means their technologies may die without ever being given a chance.

Take the case of the British company Oxitec. It has developed a genetically modified mosquito that the company says can be used to combat a disease called dengue.

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12:01am

Mon January 2, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 3:49 pm

U.S. soldiers at Long Binh base, northeast of Saigon, line up to give urine samples at a heroin detection center in June 1971, before departing for the U.S.
AP

It's a tradition as old as New Year's: making resolutions. We will not smoke, or sojourn with the bucket of mint chocolate chip. In fact, we will resist sweets generally, including the bowl of M &Ms that our co-worker has helpfully positioned on the aisle corner of his desk. There will be exercise, and the learning of a new language.

It is resolved.

So what does science know about translating our resolve into actual changes in behavior? The answer to this question brings us — strangely enough — to a story about heroin use in Vietnam.

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12:01am

Mon January 2, 2012
Middle East

Egypt, Tunisia Try To Turn Elections Into Democracy

Egypt is holding parliamentary elections, but the military remains the most powerful force in the country. Here, election officials take away ballot boxes from a polling station in Cairo on Nov. 29, 2011.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

One year ago, the people of Tunisia and Egypt rose up against their autocratic rulers and forced them from power. Those revolutions spread across the Arab World, leading to the region's biggest upheaval in decades. It's still not clear how these seismic changes will play out, and so far, the results have been mixed. Today, NPR begins a six-part series looking at where the region stands today. In our first story, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports on the elections in Egypt and Tunisia as these countries struggle to build democracies.

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4:47pm

Sun January 1, 2012
Education

An Amazing Trickeration?: Banished Words For 2012

During the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 28, 2011, singer Beyonce Knowles rubbed her stomach in the middle of the performance to reveal her baby bump. "Baby bump" is one of the words on Lake Superior State University's list of banished words this year.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

On New Year's day in 1977, Lake Superior State University in Michigan released its first "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness". Every year since then, it has taken nominations for words and phrases we should quit using in the coming year. Last year's list included such anti-favorites as "viral," "epic" and "refudiate."

In Washington, D.C., pedestrians nominated "ping me", "literally" used incorrectly, "bro," "hater," "hating," "totes" and "amazing."

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4:24pm

Sun January 1, 2012
U.S.

A Quick Look At The Year Ahead

As the new year gets under way, we take a quick temperature check on some key areas to see what the prognosis might be. The topics: politics — domestic and global — and economics.

3:45pm

Sun January 1, 2012
Education

Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 6:32 pm

The lecture is one of the oldest forms of education there is.

"Before printing someone would read the books to everybody who would copy them down," says Joe Redish, a physics professor at the University of Maryland.

But lecturing has never been an effective teaching technique and now that information is everywhere, some say it's a waste of time. Indeed, physicists have the data to prove it.

When Eric Mazur began teaching physics at Harvard, he started out teaching the same way he had been taught.

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3:44pm

Sun January 1, 2012
Election 2012

Will Republicans Sweep The 2012 Elections?

Originally published on Sun January 1, 2012 4:15 pm

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., speaks to young Hispanic voters at a Nevada Democratic Party event on Nov. 11 in Las Vegas. Campaign staff and volunteers for President Obama are pushing the Hispanic vote in swing states like Nevada, which can help congressional candidates like Berkley in her run for re-election.
Julie Jacobson AP

It's still too early to call the 2012 elections, but some political analysts are predicting that the odds are against congressional Democrats in 2012, though the presidential race may still be a toss-up.

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3:44pm

Sun January 1, 2012
Economy

Global Economy Might Improve In 2012

Originally published on Sun January 1, 2012 4:26 pm

What's the economic prognosis for 2012?

"It's kind of a meh, it's a B-minus," says Annie Lowrey, an economic policy reporter for The New York Times. "It's not going to be very good, but it's also not going to be very bad."

Lowrey says that most of the trends seen at the end of 2011 will continue into 2012. The unemployment rate is high, but improving. Economists are excited about the housing market because the low cost of housing has started a house-building mini-boom.

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3:44pm

Sun January 1, 2012
World

Expect The Unexpected: Global Politics In 2012

The world will see big political changes with leadership shifts in China, Mexico, Russia, Europe, Egypt and particularly in the Middle East during 2012, according to David Rothkopf, a contributor to Foreign Policy Magazine.

"We're halfway through the initial wave of these [Middle Eastern] revolutions," says Rothkopf, adding that much more change is to come.

But it is possible that one of the biggest political changes won't happen in a physical location, but on the Internet. Rothkopf thinks that we could see a big escalation of cyber wars between nations.

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3:44pm

Sun January 1, 2012
Movies

2012: The Year Of The Smart Superhero Movie

Though last year was the year of the "staggeringly disappointing superhero movie", according to NPR arts and entertainment reporter Neda Ulaby, 2012 may mark the year of the smart superhero movie with releases of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.

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12:49pm

Sun January 1, 2012
Author Interviews

Left-Handedness: No Longer Suspect; Still A Mystery

iStockphoto.com

There's a handful of people — roughly 10 percent of the global population — that has something in common.

Many mysteries and misconceptions surround this group. Its members have been called artistically gifted and self-reliant, but also untrustworthy and insincere. Most recently, several of them have been called the president of the United States.

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12:41pm

Sun January 1, 2012
Theater

New 'Clear Day' A Test For Harry Connick Jr.

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 11:40 am

Harry Connick Jr. (far right) on the set of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, alongside co-stars David Turner and Jessie Mueller.
Nicole Rivelli

The new Broadway production of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever has been billed as a "reincarnation" rather than a revival. The premise is the same as before: A psychiatrist, Mark Bruckner, falls in love with the "past life" of one of his hypnotized patients. But this version replaces Daisy, the charming young patient first played in the 1960s by Barbara Harris, with Davey — a gay man harboring a female alter ego deep in his subconscious.

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9:31am

Sun January 1, 2012
The Two-Way

New Year? How About A New Calendar?

About 430 years ago, Pope Gregory XIII gave the West a calendar which divided 365 days into what was to be called a "year." With 12 months and 7 days bundled into so-called "weeks," the Gregorian calendar was hailed as a marvel of medieval accuracy. We use it today, despite its occasional messiness — drifting days, leap years and 28-day months.

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8:00am

Sun January 1, 2012
Asia

A New Era In North Korea, Yet Little Has Changed

It's been only three days since the funeral for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. In that time, his son, Kim Jung Un, has been elevated to the rank of supreme commander of the North Korean army. Meanwhile, North Korea has issued a series of scathing attacks on the government of South Korea. NPR's Mike Shuster reports it all looks like business as usual.

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