NPR News

Pages

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
NPR Story

Top Gadgets And 'Best Innovations' Of The Year

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Popular Science magazine is out with its 100 best innovations issue. If you've got hard-to-please family members on your holiday shopping lists, maybe you want to consider something like an inflatable wetsuit for big-wave surfing. That's just one of the year's top gadgets. Tell us a little more about some of the noteworthy innovations, we have Mark Jannot in our New York studios. He's the editor-in-chief of Popular Science. Thanks for being with us.

MARK JANNOT: It's always fun, Scott.

Read more

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
NPR Story

Barry Bonds Under House Arrest Plus Probation

Former Major League Baseball star Barry Bonds was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and two years probation on Friday for his federal conviction of obstruction of justice. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
NPR Story

Phones In Hand, Busy Mourners Miss The Story

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Gadgets, like cell phone cameras and digital tablets, can turn almost anybody into some kind of amateur journalist. But writer Gwen Thompkins wonders when the amateurs will realize that what the professionals already know - recording an event often stops people from experiencing what's right in front of them.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE TALKING)

Read more

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
Politics

Congress Reaches Short-Term Compromise At 11th Hour

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
Politics

A Freshman's Year In A Dysfunctional Congress

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We're going to go to a Republican member of the House, Congressman Bill Huizenga of Michigan. He represents the 2nd district in western Michigan. We check in with him from time to time throughout his first year in Congress. Congressman, welcome back.

REPRESENTATIVE BILL HUIZENGA: Hey. Good to be with you, Scott.

SIMON: Now, let me ask about - are these stop-gap measures just the new way of doing business in Congress, and does that just kick the can down the road a couple of months?

Read more

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
Around the Nation

Penn State Officials Face Trial In Sex Abuse Case

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
Performing Arts

Grandma The Clown Is Leaving The Tent

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(SOUNDBITE OF CIRCUS MUSIC)

SIMON: When the bright lights beam under the Big Top of the Big Apple Circus, Grandma shuffles in. She's got a silver hair, a slow walk, a sly smile, and a purse so huge you think she might have New Jersey somewhere in there. I mean Grandma the Clown.

Read more

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Laura Nyro; The Christmas Krampus

Lots of comments came in this week about host Scott Simon's remembrance of Laura Nyro. We also heard from several Krampus revelers, who celebrate the Christmas Krampus, a horned, mythical kind of dark sidekick to Santa Claus. Host Scott Simon reads listener reaction to last week's program.

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
Iraq

Five Big Moments In The Iraq War

With the Iraq war officially over and the pullout of U.S. forces nearly complete, host Scott Simon talks with Tom Ricks, author of The Best Defense blog, and Jon Lee Anderson from The New Yorker about the most influential turning points of the war.

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
Media

The Truth Squad Reports On The GOP Debates

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week the Republican presidential hopefuls squared off in the last debate before the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. There have been 16 debates this election cycle and the assertions have been flying.

We're joined now by Bill Adair, who is editor of the non-partisan fact-checking website PolitiFact.com, to look at some of the noteworthy half-truths, maybe outright falsehoods that may have been uttered.

Bill, thanks for being back with us.

BILL ADAIR: Thanks for having me.

Read more

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
National Security

Soldier's Hearing Weighs Harm From Wikileaks

Military prosecutors say Army Pvt. Bradley Manning downloaded troves of secret documents from a computer station in Baghdad and passed them to Wikileaks. If investigators recommend that Manning face court martial, it could land him in prison for the rest of his life. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

8:00am

Sat December 17, 2011
Sports

Sports: Patriots Vs. Tebow's Faith; Bonds Sentenced

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more

7:54am

Sat December 17, 2011
Food

Coquito: A Tropical Twist On The Holiday Classic

Coquito is eggnog, Puerto Rican style, enriched by a delicious addition: a dollop of coconut.
iStockphoto.com

Coquito, an eggnog made with rum and coconut, is as integral to a Puerto Rican Christmas as presents under the tree.

In New York on Saturday, 12 coquito makers are battling to be this year's Coquito Masters champion. It's the 10th year of the contest. Trolleys will take fans to different locations in Spanish Harlem to sample coquito and vote for their favorite drinks in blind taste tests.

Read more

7:36am

Sat December 17, 2011
Simon Says

Christopher Hitchens And The Delight Of Defying Labels

It may be telling that Christopher Hitchens should die in this season. I don't mean the holiday season but a contentious season in Congress and on the campaign trail, with politicians jabbing fingers and accusing each other of inconsistency.

Read more

6:35am

Sat December 17, 2011
Leaving Iraq

Internally Displaced Iraqis Struggle For Permanency

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 1:39 pm

Makeshift houses in Baghdad are the only homes some internally displaced Iraqis know. Many are too afraid to go back to their original homes; for them, the threat of being targeted is still very real.
Mohammed Ameen Reuters /Landov

Nadia Karim Hassan says she stayed in her Baghdad neighborhood as long as she could, but by the height of the sectarian war in 2007, too many fellow Shiites were getting killed, and she had to leave the area and move into an abandoned building.

As American troops pull out of Iraq, one of the most striking consequences of the war remains unresolved today: the issue of people who were forced out of their homes and still can't go back. Relief organizations estimate there are some 2 million displaced people inside Iraq.

Read more

6:26am

Sat December 17, 2011
Economy

SEC: Mortgage Execs Took Pains To Hide Risky Loans

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 1:10 pm

Robert Khuzami (right), director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division, announces that the SEC is charging six former top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Ever since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the government in 2008, questions have swirled over who was responsible for their collapse. Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in, filing fraud charges against former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd, former Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron and four other former executives.

Read more

6:19am

Sat December 17, 2011
Presidential Race

Endorsement Kicks Off Romney's Battle For S.C.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in South Carolina Friday to celebrate an important announcement. The Palmetto State's Gov. Nikki Haley has officially endorsed him, just weeks before the South Carolina Republican primary.

The Romney campaign staged this event at a capacious fire station that was so crowded the chief had to bar the door when the crowd reached 500 people.

Read more

5:57am

Sat December 17, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Louis C.K., Sports Journalism

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 3:45 pm

Louis C.K., born Louis Szekely, is a writer, actor, producer, director and star of the FX series Louie.
FX

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Read more

6:38pm

Fri December 16, 2011
The Two-Way

House Blocks Funding For New Light Bulb Standards

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 7:00 pm

A pair of incandescent light bulbs.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Tucked inside the omnibus spending bill that the House of Representatives passed earlier, today, is a provision that prevents the Department of Energy from enforcing new, more energy efficient standards for light bulbs.

The new standards were signed into law in 2007 by then President Bush, but the standards have become a favorite cause for Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, who say the bill would ban incandescent light bulbs and give Americans less choice. They say it is a perfect example of government overreach.

Read more

6:15pm

Fri December 16, 2011
It's All Politics

In Iowa And Beyond, Republicans In Final Push Before Contests Begin

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters Friday in Sioux City before starting a 99-county bus tour of Iowa.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

The Republican presidential contest remains fluid less than three weeks before the caucuses and primaries begin. Nationwide, nearly one in five GOP voters is still undecided. And in Iowa, candidates are making their final push before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Friday told workers at a metal fabricating plant in Sioux City, Iowa: "I am running in this race because I understand how to get middle-class Americans prosperous again, working again, buying things, and putting more Americans back to work."

Read more

5:44pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

States Would Get More Flexibility On 'Essential Benefits' Under Proposal

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 5:46 pm

It may or may not be a punt, but the Obama administration wants to let states play a bigger role in deciding what constitutes an "essential health benefits" package when it comes to health insurance.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued what it called a "bulletin" outlining a policy it hopes to impose. In other words, it's not even yet a formal regulation.

Read more

5:32pm

Fri December 16, 2011
The Two-Way

In Pictures: Egypt Erupts In Bloody Protest

An Egyptian protester rests after being wounded during clashes with soldiers and their supporters in Cairo on Friday.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Sometimes there are few words we can add to tell a story. Today, Egyptian protesters once again clashed with the country's ruling military and throughout the day the conflict grew larger and bloodier.

We've collected a few pictures that tell the story of Cairo today:

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:20pm

Fri December 16, 2011
The Salt

With Alternative Giving, A Nudge Out Of Poverty For The Poor

A man with a cow in Dong Thap Province in southern Vietnam. The man received his cow from Heifer - as well as training and resources to care for it.
Courtesy of Juleen Lapporte

Jim Eckhardt says there was a time he'd fill his holiday shopping cart with toys for his 6 grandchildren. But 7 years ago, he had an epiphany: The kids had too much stuff.

"You look at all the things we throw away and that money could be put to better use," Eckhardt says.

Read more

5:20pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Politics

Romney Receives Endorsement From Nikki Haley

The day after the final debate before the primaries, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa. He also picked up the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

5:07pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Middle East

Arab League Wavers On Sanctions Against Syria

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 11:54 am

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al Arabi (far left) meets with foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo on Nov. 27. The group imposed tough sanctions against Syria at that meeting, but is now wavering when it comes to implementing them.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/Landov

The Arab League has a reputation for being long on rhetoric and short on action. That's why it was so surprising when Arab ministers approved an unprecedented package of sanctions against Syria at the end of November.

But the unity that produced that vote is falling apart, and a meeting in Cairo to set the terms of the sanctions was suspended indefinitely.

Read more

5:06pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Your Money

Amid A Blizzard Of Discounts, 'The Thrill Of The Hunt'

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 5:47 pm

Customers crowd into a Best Buy store in Burbank, Calif., on Nov. 25.
Jae C. Hong AP

Anybody with an e-mail box this time of year is in the middle of a storm — a 20 percent-off coupon lands, only to be topped by another for 30 percent off, then 40 percent, half-price. That's not to mention the free shipping offers piling up like snowdrifts as we head into the last full weekend of Christmas shopping.

Read more

4:50pm

Fri December 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Zynga Has Disappointing Initial Public Offering

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 5:01 pm

The corporate logo for Zynga, center, is shown on an electronic billboard at the Nasdaq MarketSite on Friday.
Mark Lennihan AP

The tech and business press called it the most hyped initial public offering since Google, but very quickly today Zynga's public debut went sour with its stock price falling below its initial price of $10.

Read more

4:15pm

Fri December 16, 2011
The Two-Way

U.S. Transfers Enemy Combatant To Iraqi Government

U.S. authorities decided to transfer Ali Mussa Daqduq — shown here on a poster at a 2007 U.S. military news conference in Baghdad — to Iraqi authorities.
Chris Hondros AFP/Getty Images

As part of its withdrawal from Iraq, the United States has turned over its final prisoner to Iraqi authorities.

The man is Ali Musa Daqduq, whom the United States held in Iraq as an Enemy combatant for his ties to Hezbollah, a militant group from Lebanon.

Read more

3:54pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Food

Marshmallows From Scratch: A Simple, Sticky How-To

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 7:42 am

All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block shows off marshmallows she made from scratch using a recipe from Jennifer Reese's book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.
Jacob Margolis NPR

A few years ago, Jennifer Reese lost her job, so she decided it was the perfect time to save money by undertaking "all those exciting Little House on the Prairie cooking jobs" she'd been curious to try. Reese was an ambitious cook, and her enthusiasm knew no bounds: She wasn't just baking bread or grinding peanut butter. She fried potato chips, made Pop-Tarts, stretched curds into mozzarella, infused vermouth, fermented kimchee — and, while she was at it, raised her own chickens, turkeys and goats at her home in the San Francisco Bay area.

Read more

3:47pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Music News

Chet Atkins: The Lasting Influence Of 'Mr. Guitar'

Chet Atkins at RCA's Studio B in the 1960s.
Courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame

Pages