NPR News

Pages

4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
Afghanistan

Diplomats Meet In Germany On Afghanistan's Future

A big international conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to help draw up a roadmap for Afghanistan after combat operations there cease at the end of 2014. But Pakistan — a critical player in the Afghanistan conundrum — has said it's boycotting the conference after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers during an attack in late November.

4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
World

Russia's Election Results A Setback For Putin

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 8:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Russia's ruling party fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election yesterday. Incomplete results show the party barely winning a majority. And that is a sharp drop in support for the United Russia Party from the last election, which is seen as a setback for Vladimir Putin, the man who has dominated Russia for more than a decade. It's his party.

To talk about the vote we've called Masha Lippman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. She's on the line from there. Welcome back to the program.

Read more

4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
Business

Post Office To Move Forward With Delivery, Facility Cuts

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 8:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In this country, the Postal Service is set to announce that it's moving ahead with a series of cuts and changes starting in the spring. NPR'S Allison Keyes reports.

Read more

4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
Latin America

Latin America: Once A Risky Bet, Now EU's Hero?

The International Monetary Fund used to bail out deadbeat nations in Latin America. Now, in a role reversal, the IMF's new director, Christine Lagarde, is seeking the region's help in containing Europe's worsening debt crisis. Officials in Brazil, now the world's seventh-biggest economy, say they're putting together an IMF loan. And Lagarde says the whole region can provide Europe with lessons on how to manage the economy.

5:15pm

Sun December 4, 2011
National Security

Cutting Retiree Benefits A Sore Subject For Military

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 2:58 pm

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey take part in a news conference at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has said certain cuts in defense spending would endanger national security, invite aggression and devastate Defense Department operations.
Evan Vucci AP

Bean counters at the Pentagon are working long hours to figure out how to cut close to a trillion dollars from the Department of Defense budget over the next 10 years.

Those were the Pentagon's marching orders after the congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a plan to slash the country's deficit. Pentagon officials are looking at cutting weapons programs, troop levels and possibly even some base closures.

Read more

5:13pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Your Money

Why Buy Toys When You Can Rent?

If you've shopped at a toy store recently, you know that you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on just a few items. So why not just rent the toys instead? Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin tells us how toy rental websites work.

2:32pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Music Interviews

Mayer Hawthorne: A Motor City Kid Looks To The Future

Mayer Hawthorne's latest album is called How Do You Do.
Courtesy of the artist

At 32, neo-soul singer and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne isn't quite old enough to remember the classic days of Motown, but the Michigan native says he did absorb some of the music's aesthetic growing up, thanks to his father.

Read more

2:13pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Author Interviews

Pauline Kael's Legacy Built By Straying From Herd

Pauline Kael was a film critic for The New Yorker from 1967 to 1991, as well as the author of several books, including I Lost It at the Movies and For Keeps: 30 Years at the Movies.
AP

Pauline Kael, long-time New Yorker film critic, was famous for her scathing, but honest movie reviews. She took digs at many popular films like The Sound of Music and Star Wars with no inhibitions. Yet her enthusiasm for films like Bonnie and Clyde gave some movies a new lease on life.

Read more

2:10pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Health

Milwaukee's 'Misery Index': Infant Mortality

As Milwaukee lost industrial jobs, the infant mortality rate skyrocketed in some parts of the city.
Rick Wood Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Impoverished Third World countries often find themselves at the bottom of lists when it comes to infant mortality rates. There is a part of Milwaukee where the infant mortality rate is worse than in parts of rural China. One baby dies for every 59 that make it.

John Schmid reported on this shift in the city's health for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a part of its series "Empty Cradles."

Read more

12:34pm

Sun December 4, 2011
The Record

From Knee-To-Knee To CD: The Evolution Of Oral Tradition In Mountain Ballads

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 10:04 pm

Left to right: Melanie Rice, her son Ezra Penland and grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.
Laurin Penland

My 5-year-old nephew, Ezra, sits between his mother and grandmother on a porch-swing covered in old quilts. An expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison County, N.C., spreads out before them.

The porch used to be a really important part of mountain music. Ezra's mother, Melanie, sings one of the old ballads, just like her ancestors used to do 200 years ago.

The hope is that if Ezra hears the ballads, he'll start to learn them, just as he's learned the names of the trees on his farm, says his grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.

Read more

11:55am

Sun December 4, 2011
Religion

Chaplains Wanted For Atheists In Foxholes

Retired Army captain and Iraqi war veteran Jason Torpy says the chaplains employed by the U.S. military can't relate to people like him. He's an atheist.

He's also the president of a group that's trying to get the armed forces to become more inclusive by hiring atheist chaplains. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers wants the military to provide for the estimated 40,000 atheists, agnostics and humanists who serve in U.S. forces.

Read more

11:35am

Sun December 4, 2011
Middle East

Iran Says U.S. Drone Shot Down

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 5:18 pm

Iran's armed forces have shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along the country's eastern border, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday. But a U.S. defense official said there was no indication it was brought down by hostile fire.

An unidentified military official quoted in the report warned of a strong and crushing response to any violations of the country's airspace by American drone aircraft.

Read more

8:45am

Sun December 4, 2011
Animals

Name That Tune: Identifying Whale Songs For Science

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 12:34 pm

Marine biologists are turning to citizen scientists, sitting at home in front of their computers, to help unlock the secrets of whale songs.

In Pixar's aquatic adventure Finding Nemo, Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, attempts to communicate with a whale to find the missing title character. She speaks in a loud, slow drawl to the whale, but when that fails, she says, "Maybe a different dialect."

Read more

8:26am

Sun December 4, 2011
Economy

How Europe's Troubles Could Become Ours Too

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 3:04 pm

Daniel Kryger, left, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. If the European Union can't agree on a plan, its debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.
Richard Drew AP

This week, European leaders will huddle in intense meetings, trying to work out a comprehensive plan to solve crushing debt problems.

Higher stakes are hard to imagine.

If all goes well at a summit in Brussels, the political leaders will make an announcement Friday, spelling out their long-term commitment to a plan to loosen a choking tangle of debt troubles. If they can't agree on a plan, the EU debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.

Read more

8:00am

Sun December 4, 2011
Around the Nation

Historic Drug Bust Highlights Underground Network

More than 32 tons of marijuana were found last week in an underground tunnel along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was one of the largest pot busts in U.S. history. Host Audie Cornish talks with Derek Benner, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent, about the tunnel they found and the seasonal aspects of the drug trade.

8:00am

Sun December 4, 2011
Politics

Cain Out; Political Favor Shifts Toward Gingrich

Insurgent candidate Herman Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday. As Cain has fallen back, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has emerged as the leading alternative to one-time presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney. NPR's Mara Liasson talks with host Audie Cornish about the changing political climate.

8:00am

Sun December 4, 2011
Presidential Race

'Life Can Be A Challenge': Cain Suspends Run

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 10:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Herman Cain delivered his views to at Atlanta crowd of disappointed supporters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

HERMAN CAIN: With a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD REACTION)

CORNISH: It was the last stop on the always unconventional journey for the former pizza chain CEO.

NPR's Tamara Keith has this look back at the Cain Train.

Read more

8:00am

Sun December 4, 2011
World

Pakistan Awaits U.S. Apology Over Deaths

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 10:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

The U.S. relationship with Pakistan is in crisis after last weekend's deadly border incident in which NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. The Pakistanis have cut off a key NATO supply line to Afghanistan, and they refused to take part in an upcoming conference on Afghanistan, which begins tomorrow.

Read more

8:00am

Sun December 4, 2011
Environment

Tough Work Lies Ahead In Climate Talks

In Durban, South Africa, thousands of men and women poured into the streets in front of the International Conference Center, where United Nations talks about climate change are taking place. Host Audie Cornish speaks with NPR's Richard Harris, who is at the conference.

8:00am

Sun December 4, 2011
Around the Nation

Wash. Mine Cleanup Puts Retreat Center At Risk

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 10:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to a tiny village here in the U.S. attempting to solve an environmental challenge. Nestled in the remote valley in Washington's Cascade Mountains, Holden Village is about to be flooded with hundreds of workers there to clean up the contaminated remains of an old copper mine.

Anna King, of the Northwest News Network, reports on what the cleanup will cost the town.

Read more

6:17am

Sun December 4, 2011
Europe

Curtain Could Fall On A Dazzling Arts Center In Spain

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 7:08 pm

The Niemeyer Center for the arts will shut its doors on Dec. 15 after being open for only nine months in Aviles, Spain. It's a victim of political squabbling during difficult economic times.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

In the boom years, Spain spent billions on big infrastructure projects — high-speed railways, roads and gleaming structures like the Niemeyer Center for the arts in Aviles, in the country's north.

Opened in March this year, the dazzling museum has hosted sold-out performances by Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen. But it's slated to close on Dec. 15, after barely nine months of operation, because of regional budget cuts.

Read more

6:16am

Sun December 4, 2011
Around the Nation

Migrants Say They're Unwilling Mules For Cartels

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 7:06 pm

A Border Patrol agent looks for footprints from illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.- Mexico border in 2010. Traffickers have begun using immigrants as drug smugglers, recruiting voluntarily and forcibly.
John Moore Getty Images

Mexican drug cartels have found a new source of labor to backpack marijuana into the United States: illegal immigrants.

Federal agents, prosecutors, defense attorneys and migrants themselves say that traffickers have begun recruiting undocumented immigrants at the border, both voluntarily and forcibly. Now, U.S. courts along the border have to decide what to do with terrified immigrants who come before them and say, "The cartel made me do it."

Read more

12:12am

Sun December 4, 2011
Environment

What's At Stake In South Africa Climate Talks?

South Africans light up a Baobab tree by riding bikes in Durban as part of a renewable energies display on the beach front during the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Representatives from 191 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, this week for United Nations climate change talks. One of the biggest questions is what will become of the Kyoto Protocol — a climate treaty signed in 1997. Key provisions of that expire next year and its future hangs in the balance. Another major question is whether nations can agree to a timeline that would lead to a new treaty that would include the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitters, including the United States and China. The U.S.

Read more

5:16pm

Sat December 3, 2011
The Two-Way

A Look Back: The Beginning Of The War In Iraq

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 6:30 am

A U.S. marine watches a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdaus Square, in downtown Baghdad, on April 9, 2003.
Jerome Delay AP

December marks the beginning of the end of the U.S. war in Iraq.

The withdrawal has already begun as hundreds of U.S. troops are leaving Iraq every day; military vehicles, personnel and weapons are being shipped out of the country, and by Dec. 31, all U.S. troops will be gone after a conflict that started nearly a decade ago.

Read more

5:00pm

Sat December 3, 2011
The Two-Way

Cain's Train Comes To A Stop

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 5:16 pm

In case you haven't heard yet:

Republican Herman Cain effectively ended his presidential campaign this afternoon, as the toll from allegations about sexual harassment and an affair (all of which he has denied) combined to effectively end his chances at getting the GOP nomination.

Here's how the story is playing:

-- "Campaign Over, Cain Vows To Go With 'Plan B'." (NPR.org)

Read more

4:58pm

Sat December 3, 2011
Movie Interviews

Freud, Jung And What Went Wrong

A woman of some importance: Sabine Spielrein, one of Karl Jung's celebrated patients, later became a psychiatrist herself — and, as screenwriter Christopher Hampton tells NPR's Rachel Martin, an influence on both Jung and Sigmund Freud. Keira Knightley plays Spielrein in the new film A Dangerous Method.
Sony Pictures Classics

Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud are known as the fathers of psychoanalysis, but they focused on different things. Freud on the sexual underpinnings of — well, almost everything — and Jung for his mystical bent and dream theories.

For years, the two were close friends and collaborators but they had a falling out that ultimately ended their relationship. And turns out, there was a woman involved. Her name was Sabina Spielren.

The stories of all three are woven together in a new film called <em>A Dangerous Method.</em>

Read more

4:44pm

Sat December 3, 2011
It's All Politics

5 'Lowlights' Of Herman Cain's Campaign

He added 9-9-9 to the national lexicon and slipped lyrics from a Pokemon movie into his stump speeches. Now that Herman Cain has suspended his presidential campaign, we look back at just a few of its most memorable — and excruciating — moments:

1. His brain freeze on Libya. His editorial meeting with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Nov. 14 made for painful YouTube watching.

Read more

4:40pm

Sat December 3, 2011
Author Interviews

The Doors Prove Strange Days Are Still With Us

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 6:27 pm

The Doors, photographed in 1966.
Joel Brodsky Elektra Records

To this day, Jim Morrison is one of the most significant frontmen to grace the rock stage. His band, The Doors, was unpredictable, mysterious, thrilling — even frightening.

In his new book,The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years, music writer Greil Marcus explores how the rock group came to define an era yet remain relevant today.

Read more

3:47pm

Sat December 3, 2011
Pop Culture

Chuck Berry's Cadillac A-Rollin' To The Smithsonian

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 6:27 pm

Chuck Berry's 1973 Eldorado now belongs to the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, now under construction, is set to open its doors in 2015.
Bill Griffiths Smithsonian

When rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry navigated his music career, he didn't rely on agents or record labels; he drove himself to his own business meetings and concerts in his fleet of Cadillacs.

Now Berry has donated one of those cars, a candy-apple red 1973 Eldorado, to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open its doors in 2015. NPR's Rachel Martin went with curator Kevin Strait to watch Smithsonian fleet manager Bill Griffiths restore the car in Suitland, Md.

Read more

3:44pm

Sat December 3, 2011
Herman Cain

Campaign Over, Cain Vows To Go With 'Plan B'

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:13 am

With his wife, Gloria, standing behind him, Herman Cain announces that he is suspending his run for the GOP presidential nomination, outside his campaign headquarters in Atlanta on Dec. 3.
Scott Olson Getty Images

It wasn't supposed to end this way for Herman Cain.

His improbable run for the GOP presidential nomination should have served to burnish his CEO credentials, sell his books and enhance the fee the Baptist lay minister charges for motivational speeches and appearances.

This fall, the simplicity of Cain's 9-9-9 tax-reform plan propelled him to the top of a volatile field. Soon other candidates were rushing to introduce their own versions of a flat tax.

Read more

Pages