NPR News

Pages

8:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Cheetah, Said To Be One Of Tarzan's Chimpanzee Sidekicks, Has Died

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:21 pm

1932 scene from Tarzan the Ape Man: Johnny Weissmuller, right, as Tarzan, Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane, and one of the chimps who played Cheetah.
AP

One of the chimpanzees who played Cheetah, Johnny Weissmuller's sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and '40s, has died. He was said to be 80 years old and succumbed to kidney failure on Christmas Eve, according to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla., where he had been living since the early 1960s.

Read more

7:15am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Weeping, Wailing And Imagery In Pyongyang For Kim Jong Il's Funeral

Kim Jong Un, center, walks with his hand on the limousine bearing his father Kim Jong Il's body earlier today in Pyongyang.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency AFP/Getty Images

6:50am

Wed December 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Money Inside Safe Will Pay Deceased Woman's Bills

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Sally Daher settled her medical bills a decade after her death. The Massachusetts woman left behind unpaid nursing home costs and a shoe store she'd owned. In 2008, the store's new tenant got rid of a heavy old safe there. A tow truck driver dumped the safe in an empty lot. And then authorities found $178,000 inside. Now a judge has decided who gets the money. It will pay her old debts, and her son says he's ecstatic. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:41am

Wed December 28, 2011
Pop Culture

Rare Motorcycle Goes Up For Auction Next Month

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. A rare and early motorcycle is up for auction next month. It has both pedals and a motor but no brakes or clutch. The 1906 Indian Camelback hasn't been ridden in 40 years, and it's covered in rust. But guess what. It's also an original owned by the family which manufactured Indian cycles. This rusty wreck is likely to fetch up to $75,000. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

5:54am

Wed December 28, 2011
Middle East

Judaism Strands Could Be Tearing Israel Apart

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 2:34 pm

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man (left) and a secular man argue during a protest against the strict religious codes favored by the ultra-Orthodox in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh.
Stringer Reuters/Landov

According to Israel's President Shimon Peres, a fight is under way, for "the soul of the nation and the essence of the state." But the threat isn't coming from outside Israel. It's over differing interpretations of Judaism.

Recently, a bespectacled 8-year-old girl was filmed by a local TV station being harassed by ultra-Orthodox Jews for — in their view — not dressing modestly enough. The episode took place in Beit Shemesh, a city between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that has become a symbol of this growing battle in Israel.

Read more

5:16am

Wed December 28, 2011
Asia

North Korea Stages Dramatic Funeral For Kim Jong Il

For analysis of the political dynamics at play during the funeral of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Steve Inskeep talks to Stephen Bosworth, Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. From 2009 until October 2011 he was the U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea.

5:13am

Wed December 28, 2011
Asia

North Korea's Power Transfer Moving Smoothly

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:10 am

This photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un, center, with his hand on the limousine bearing his father Kim Jong Il's body during the funeral procession in Pyongyang.
Korean Central News Agency

Capping more than a week of public mourning, North Korea staged a dramatic state funeral for its late leader, Kim Jong Il. Leading the ceremonies was Kim's third son and apparent successor, Kim Jong Un.

North Korean media reports portray the younger Kim, who is reportedly in his late 20s, in full control of the impoverished, nuclear-armed country. But while consolidating his political power may be easy, establishing his legitimacy will be tougher.

Read more

4:09am

Wed December 28, 2011
Business

New England Fishermen Brace For Cod Restrictions

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

In New England, fishermen are bracing for what may be unprecedented restrictions, or even a shutdown, of cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine. Federal regulators say new data show cod as dangerously overfished. But fishermen say they don't believe that, and say drastic restrictions would be catastrophic. NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

Read more

4:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
NPR Story

Business News

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Iran shaking the oil markets.

Oil prices are higher this morning after a top Iranian official threatened to block a considerable part of the world's oil supply, if new economic sanctions are imposed on his country. The official spoke of blocking oil tankers from moving through the Straits of Hormuz; that's the opening from the Persian Gulf, a major transit route for a number of nations, and it goes right past the Iranian shore.

Read more

4:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
NPR Story

Wendy's Re-Enters Japan's Fast-Food Market

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Wendy's is reentering the world's second largest fast food market, Japan. The burger chain left Japan in 2009 in a dispute with its local business partner. Now it's coming back in style. Our last word in business today is fancy fast food.

Instead of a basic burger, Wendy's wants to appeal to Japan's more finicky fast food eaters with a new, luxurious menu, featuring a truffle and forchini-grilled chicken sandwich and a foie gras burger, goose liver pate on top of the beef patty.

Read more

4:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
Election 2012

For Some Iowa Voters, Immigration Is Decisive

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

GOP presidential candidates are touring Iowa ahead of next week's caucuses. The main issue for many voters there is the economy, but another hot topic is emerging: overhauling immigration policies. Iowa's Hispanic population is surging, and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

Read more

12:01am

Wed December 28, 2011
Economy

'Smart Decline': A Lifeline For Zombie Subdivisions?

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:22 pm

Unfinished subdivisions like this one in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Ariz., have led urban planners to suggest "smart decline" strategies that sometimes even dismantle existing infrastructure.
Laura Segall Bloomberg via Getty Images

On the western edge of Phoenix, it's easy to find vast tracts of empty land once prepped for two-by-fours and work crews. Utility stanchions emerge like errant whiskers from the desert floor.

This is the land of zombie subdivisions. Some experts believe up to 1 million dirt lots in central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the market crashed.

"It's tragic," says Realtor Greg Swann. "It's heartbreaking."

Urban planners are floating a radical solution for areas like this. It's known as "smart decline."

Read more

12:01am

Wed December 28, 2011
Animals

60 Years After Leaving, Porpoises Again Play In SF Bay

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

A harbor porpoise comes up for air near the Golden Gate Bridge. The porpoises are returning to the bay in growing numbers after a 60-year absence.
Isidore Szczepaniak Golden Gate Cetacean Research

Something that has been missing from San Francisco Bay since World War II appears to be making a comeback: Harbor porpoises are showing up in growing numbers, and researchers are trying to understand why they're returning.

The walkway across the Golden Gate Bridge is almost always packed with people taking photos. But Bill Keener isn't here for snapshots of the stunning views. He's aiming his massive telephoto lens at a dark shape in the water 200 feet below.

Read more

12:01am

Wed December 28, 2011
It Was A Good Year For...

IBM Sees A Big Boost As It Turns 100

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 11:56 am

Reason To Smile: Samuel Palmisano, president and CEO of IBM, walks by an IBM logo at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany. Palmisano is set to step down later this month, and Virginia Rometty will take over on Jan. 1.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Far from a relic, IBM has been one of the best stocks on the Dow this year, rising more than perennial tech hotshots Google and Apple. The company may be 100, but it has totally remade its business for the 21st century.

The company sold its PC business 6 years ago, and now, more than 83 percent of its business is services and software. Sign a contract with Big Blue and you get consulting, cloud computing, servers, analytics, even financing.

"There is no such thing as an IBM PC," says IBM managing partner Adam Klaber.

Read more

12:01am

Wed December 28, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Reversal On Health Mandate Came Late For Gingrich And Romney

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney chat after finishing a GOP debate in Sioux City, Iowa, earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Opposition to the administration's overhaul of health care has almost become an article of faith with every Republican running for president.

Candidates promise to repeal the law and its less-than-popular requirement for most Americans to either have health insurance or to pay a penalty starting in 2014.

Read more

12:01am

Wed December 28, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Antiviral Drugs Sparkle In The Race To End AIDS

Eric Goosby, United States Global AIDS coordinator, says field testing is necessary and urgent to determine if HIV testing-and-treating services are feasible.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

2011 has been a momentous year in the 30-year-old AIDS pandemic.

The big breakthrough was the discovery that antiviral drugs can prevent someone who's infected with HIV from passing the virus to others. It's nearly 100 percent effective. That led President Obama to declare earlier this month that the U.S. will expand HIV treatment in hard-hit countries by 50 percent.

Read more

12:01am

Wed December 28, 2011
Chompsgiving To Chew Year's: Holiday Dishes

A Checkerboard Cake With Czech Roots

A punch torte: pink-glazed sponge cake with layers soaked in rum and citrus syrup.
Courtesy of Sasa Woodruff

Part of an ongoing series on unique holiday dishes

To celebrate the new year, for as long as I can remember, my mom has baked a cake called punch torte, a tradition started in her family back in the former Czechoslovakia.

Read more

10:00pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Sweetness And Light

Dear NHL: Hit The Puck, Not The Players

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 4:02 pm

Michael Haley of the New York Islanders fights Stu Bickel of the New York Rangers in the first period of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Dec. 26.
Paul Bereswill Getty Images

Ah, we still do the town on New Year's Eve, but tearing the goal posts down is now verboten. Deemed too dangerous. In fact, as our new year approaches, it's a good time to look back on several other things in sport that have long since faded away.

Who remembers, for example, that at the end of each inning in the field, baseball players would just chuck their gloves onto the grass behind their position, leaving the field littered with mitts. All game long.

Read more

6:29pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Extent Of 'Anonymous' Hacker Attack On Security Is Detailed

The Guy Fawkes mask has come to symbolize the group Anonymous. This mask was seen during protest in Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

A company that provides identity protection services is sifting through the data released by hackers over the holiday weekend and and they're detailing what hackers were able to steal from Stratfor, a security think tank.

If you haven't heard, hackers who claim an affiliation with the group Anonymous broke into the servers of Stratfor, made public some data and used some of the stolen credit card numbers to, in some cases, make charitable donations.

Read more

6:21pm

Tue December 27, 2011
It's All Politics

Ahead in New Hampshire, Romney Attempts To Solidify Supporters

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:22 am

Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign stop in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday
Charles Krupa Associated Press

Mitt Romney's campaign stops Tuesday in New Hampshire, at small restaurants with largely invited crowds, featured lofty patriotic themes and seemed designed to help him lock down his current base of support in the Granite State.

"America the Beautiful," the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were referenced by the GOP presidential contender during his last bit of stumping in New Hampshire before heading off for a three-day bus tour of Iowa, which holds its caucuses in a week.

Read more

5:13pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Economy

Las Vegas Housing Market Attracts Asian Investors

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 6:31 pm

A vacant home in Las Vegas owned by Bank of America. Nevada continues to top the nation in unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies.
Isaac Brekken AP

Investors from Asia are taking advantage of housing prices that have plummeted in recent years, buying foreclosures and short sales at below what it would cost to build them.

Kevin Chu's Hong-Kong investment firm owns property in Las Vegas, but he's never seen any of it. So his first visit to the U.S. is to inspect the houses in Las Vegas.

In the past 18 months, the firm he works for, The Creations Group, bought up distressed homes all over the U.S. — including 13 Las Vegas houses at fire sale prices.

Read more

5:06pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Salt

For Russians, New Year's Eve Remains The Superholiday

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 5:28 pm

Brightly-wrapped chocolates are traditional for Russian New Year.
Nancy Shute NPR

While for many people the frenzy of holiday cooking and feasting is subsiding, for Russians, it's just revving up.

During the Soviet era, Christmas was erased from the calendar. But its traditions were too strong to suppress; they were transplanted to New Year's.

Read more

5:02pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

U.S. Treasury: China Is Not Manipulating Its Currency

The United States Treasury has decided not to accuse China of manipulating its currency. Instead, the Obama administration acknowledged that the yuan, which is also known as the renminbi, was appreciating but not at an "insufficient" rate.

The AFP report:

Read more

4:48pm

Tue December 27, 2011
It's All Politics

Playing The Expectations Game And Other Last-Minute Candidate Tricks

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:10 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry walks to his bus after a campaign stop at the Glenn Miller Museum in Clarinda, Iowa on Dec. 27.
Charlie Riedel AP

In this final week before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, each of the Republican presidential candidates is starting an all-out scramble to shore up support in a contest that's still up for grabs.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are competing for the votes of moderate, mainstream Republicans. Both of them have spent time at the top of the polls.

Read more

3:30pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Sean Collins, Who Told Surfers Where To Go For The Best Waves, Has Died

Surfline.com

Sean Collins created a way for surfers to learn about where the best waves are just about anywhere in the world and in the process became a legend in the surfing community. Monday, at the age of 59, he died.

According to The Orange County Register, "his youngest son, A.J., said Collins was playing tennis at his club in Newport [Calif.] at about 2 p.m. when he died suddenly from a heart attack."

Read more

3:27pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Members Of Congress Weather Recession, Become Richer

The flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Both The Washington Post and The New York Times have stories today that highlight the fact that members of the United States Congress are increasingly wealthier than their constituents and they're also getting richer at a faster rate than even their fellow private-industry rich folks.

Read more

3:23pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Leaving Iraq

Iraqi Interpreters Hope Visas Come Before Militants

The U.S. troops are gone from Iraq. But there are still a few thousand Iraqis, especially interpreters, who worked with the U.S. military and are desperately waiting for American visas — a process that takes years.

Many of these Iraqis were branded as traitors by hard-line Iraqi groups. They have often been targeted by militias in recent years, and they fear that will continue even though the American forces have left.

Read more

3:09pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Music Interviews

Gregory Douglass: Controlling His Own 'Lucid' Dreams

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Gregory Douglass.
Kelly Griffith Closed Circle Photography

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. Gregory Douglass is a pianist and guitarist from a small town in Vermont who blends electronic pop with folk and rock. At 31, he has already recorded eight albums, most of them released on a label he founded.

Douglass creates the sort of textured sound that you'd think comes from a big-budget studio, but he's on his own. His fans pre-order his albums before they're recorded, which helps pay his production costs. His latest is titled Lucid.

Read more

3:06pm

Tue December 27, 2011
It's All Politics

A Week Out In Iowa, Most Republican Presidential Candidates Are All In

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum leaves the Fort Dodge, Iowa, GOP headquarters after speaking Tuesday.
Charlie Neibergall Associated Press

Let the buses roll. A week before Iowa caucus-goers start the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were starting cross-state bus tours on Tuesday (although Gingrich's would be an abbreviated tour, The Des Moines Register reported.)

Read more

3:00pm

Tue December 27, 2011
NPR Story

Electronic Medical Records Catch On In Oregon

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 6:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

This year, the federal government gave billions of dollars of stimulus money to medical providers to help speed up their use of electronic health records. The idea is for doctors to coordinate care better so that patients can see their charts online, and to allow clinics to grade their doctors.

Oregon is ahead of the curve. Sixty-five percent of clinicians have electronic medical records, compared to about 45 percent nationwide.

Read more

Pages