NPR News

Pages

12:01am

Fri October 21, 2011
Middle East

Prominent Syrian Activist Flees, Reveals Identity

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 10:30 pm

At his home in Syria, activist Rami Jarrah, 28, spoke out under the alias Alexander Page. Fearing arrest, he recently fled to Egypt.

Courtesy of Rami Jarrah

The Syrian government has barred most international journalists from the country, restricting coverage since an uprising began last spring. In response, Syrian activists have played a crucial role in providing information to the wider world.

One of the most prominent is Alexander Page — an alias that a young Syrian used for his safety. He was often cited by international media outlets, including NPR.

But he recently fled Syria after his identity was compromised and he was in danger of arrest.

Read more

12:01am

Fri October 21, 2011
Economy

School Debt A Long-Term Burden For Many Graduates

Students attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average amount of $24,000.

Butch Dill AP

With the nation's student-loan debt climbing toward $1 trillion, it's taking many young people longer than ever to pay off their loans. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average of $24,000. But some borrow far more and find this debt influencing major life decisions long after graduation.

"I was very naive, and I realize that now," says Stephanie Iachini, of Altoona, Pa. She was the first in her family to go to college and financed it herself. "Basically I was just signing papers because the education part meant a lot to me."

Read more

12:01am

Fri October 21, 2011
National Security

Does Libya Offer Clues To An Obama Doctrine?

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:08 am

President Obama speaks in the White House Rose Garden to discuss the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama said Moammar Gadhafi's death marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the Libyan people. The seven-month military campaign that toppled the Libyan leader also marks a high point for the kind of international cooperation that Obama has championed.

The White House was careful Thursday not to claim vindication for the president's policies, but the Libyan exercise does offer an example of what an "Obama Doctrine" might look like.

Read more

12:01am

Fri October 21, 2011
Planet Money

France And Germany: A Love Story

Philippe Wojazer AP

France and Germany are trying to come up with a bailout plan for Europe. This isn't the first time they've fought over money.

Like any bickering couple, they've spent centuries fighting over finances. In fact, the history of their relationship is so dramatic — so theatrical — it's best to tell it in song.

(Read the lyrics, and see the credits, here.)

Our story begins in 1870.

Read more

12:01am

Fri October 21, 2011
Deceptive Cadence

Franz Liszt At 200: An Important, But Not Great, Composer

Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt wrote incredibly difficult music, music that only he was capable of playing.

Hulton Archive

Tomorrow is the 200th birthday of composer and pianist Franz Liszt. Morning Edition's music commentator Miles Hoffman thinks there are plenty of reasons to celebrate.

"This is a man who lived an extraordinarily long and an extraordinarily productive life — a very complicated life," Hoffman says "By many accounts he was the greatest pianist of the 19th century, somebody who revolutionized people's ideas of what was possible on the piano."

Read more

6:25pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Salt

Panel Proposes Nutrition Labels That Reach For The Stars

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:24 am

The Institute of Medicine wants the FDA to adopt new food labels that make it easier for consumers to compare the healthfulness of food products.

iStockphoto

The Institute of Medicine sympathizes with us consumers and the confusion we suffer weighing health claims on food packaging at the grocery store. Our convoluted food labels might have something to do with why so many Americans aren't eating as healthfully as they could, and are shouldering too much weight and diet-related health problems, the IOM says.

Read more

5:51pm

Thu October 20, 2011
It's All Politics

Ohio's Upcoming 'Issue 2' Vote Carries Larger Political Implications

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 10:46 pm

Protesters against Senate Bill 5 during a rally in February 2011 in Columbus.

J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Early voting is underway in Ohio, where a fierce fight with political and economic implications is forcing voters to pick sides between Republican budget-cutters and public workers' unions. At issue is whether to keep or repeal SB 5, a controversial bill supported by Gov. John Kasich and passed by the GOP-dominated legislature this spring. Among other things, SB 5 dramatically restricts Ohio's public sector workers collective bargaining rights. Under SB 5, public employees cannot strike or negotiate for wages or working conditions.

Read more

5:35pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Protest Role Does Not Cost Public Radio Host Her Job On Opera Program

The host of a public radio opera show that is distributed nationally by NPR will keep her job after drawing criticism for her involvement with an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Lisa Simeone, the freelance host of the show World of Opera, also has been acting as a spokeswoman for Washington, D.C., protesters affiliated with the "October 2011" group.

Read more

5:25pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Crash Rates Don't Tell the Whole Story Of Risky Teen Driving

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 6:18 pm

Gene Blythe AP

Teenage drivers have fewer crashes after they've been driving for a while, but new research suggests that a few months behind the wheel doesn't improve their driving skills all that much.

Researchers persuaded 42 newly licensed teen drivers to have data-recording systems installed in their cars — a camera, a GPS, and an accelerometer to measures rapid stops, sharp turns and swerves. They also checked up on how their parents did when driving the same cars.

The idea was to compare the driving habits of novices with those of more experienced drivers under similar conditions.

Read more

5:18pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Opinion

Goodbye, Gadhafi: A Dream Made Into Reality

A woman is overcome with emotion during celebrations outside the Libyan Embassy in London on Thursday, after the news that former Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi was killed after an assault on his hometown of Sirte.

Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Sarah Burshan is a student at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Thursday, Oct. 20 is a day I will never forget.

My brother woke me up at 5 a.m. He kept repeating, "They got him, they caught Gadhafi!" I was so dazed, I didn't believe it. A world without Moammar Gadhafi? It seemed too good to be true.

Read more

4:59pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Gadhafi's Last Days Still A Mystery

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:19 am

Libyan Transitional National Council fighters said Moammar Gadhafi was captured Thursday in this graffitti-filled culvert in Sirte.

Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Moammar Gadhafi proved true to his word that he would remain in Libya and "die as a martyr," though his final hours were an ignominious end for a man who long ruled from a fortress-like compound in the heart of Tripoli.

His last moments were reportedly spent holed up in a culvert under a road in his hometown of Sirte as loyalist forces waged a losing battle to keep control of the city.

Read more

4:47pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Two-Way

In Upcoming Memoir, Condoleeza Rice Recounts Encounter With Gadhafi

Moammar Gadhafi (R) poses with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prior to a meeting in Tripoli on Sept. 5, 2008.

Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice held a special place for Col. Moammar Gadhafi. We know that because he once referred to her her as "my darling black African woman," and said, "I love her very much."

We also know that because after he was toppled, his compound was ransacked and among the things found was a scrapbook packed with photos of Rice.

Read more

4:33pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Afghanistan

Despite Recent Killings, Kandahar Appears Stable

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 4:42 pm

The assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai (center, shown in 2009), the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, prompted fears of a security breakdown in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Ahmed Wali Karzai was rumored to have a hand in everything that went on in the region: tribal affairs, politics and business.

Banaras Khan AFP/Getty Images

This past summer, two assassinations paralyzed the southern Afghan city of Kandahar with fears of a power vacuum.

In the first incident, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, considered the unofficial kingpin of the south, was gunned down in July by a close associate. Two weeks later, a Taliban assassin killed the city's mayor, Ghulam Hamidi, with a bomb concealed in his turban.

Read more

4:22pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Remembrances

Gadhafi: An Iron-Fisted, Often-Brutal Leader

Gadhafi ruled Libya for more than four decades with an iron fist. Gadhafi was a complex, often brutal leader with a grand vision of himself — one he displayed up until the final moments of his leadership.

3:59pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Crash Leaves 5,000 Chickens On Northern Calif. Highway

About 5,000 chickens spilled onto Northern California's I-80.

screenshot KTXL-TV

Commuters on Northern California's I-80, which connects the Bay Area to Sacramento, saw something unexpected early this morning. Two rigs collided and about 5,000 chickens spilled onto the highway near Vacaville.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Read more

3:51pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Animals

What Slew An Ancient Mastodon? DNA Tells Tale

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 9:14 pm

A museum employee stands beneath a mastodon skeleton on display at the U.S. National Museum, now the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, circa 1917. A new study revisits an old debate about the evidence for an early mastodon hunt in North America.

Smithsonian Institution Archives

More than 13,000 years ago, hairy elephant-like creatures with giant tusks roamed North America. These mastodons were hunted by some of the earliest people to live here, and scientists recently learned a bit more about those mysterious cultures by taking a new look at an old mastodon bone.

Read more

3:47pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Africa

Albright: Gadhafi's Death A 'Watershed Moment'

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright reflects on the death of ousted Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi. She calls it a watershed moment for the people of Libya, the international community and "what is known as the Arab Awakening."

3:30pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Mitt Romney

In Iowa, Mitt Romney Makes His Presence Known

Mitt Romney, shown here at the Iowa State Fair in August, was back in the state on Thursday — his first visit since summer. At one point during his town hall on Thursday, he was asked why he's spent so little time in the state.

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Mitt Romney's current run for the White House has not included a big presence in the first state that will actually vote: Iowa, which holds its caucuses on Jan. 3.

He failed to meet expectations at the Iowa caucuses in 2008. So for 2012, his campaign has focused instead on New Hampshire as the key to a series of primary victories that, they believe, will result in the former Massachusetts governor winning the GOP nomination.

Read more

3:26pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Gadhafi Was Killed In Crossfire, Interim Prime Minister Says

Moammar Gadhafi was killed in the crossfire of a battle between his supporters and fighters loyal to the opposition that topped the dictator's regime, Libya's interim prime minister told NPR this afternoon.

"Nobody can tell if the [fatal] shot was from the rebel fighters or from his own security guard," Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

Read more

2:55pm

Thu October 20, 2011
It's All Politics

Is Herman Cain In Trouble With Social Conservatives?

Part of Herman Cain's appeal to GOP presidential primary voters was that he seemed to have more street cred with social conservatives than the putative front runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Doubts about Romney have helped fuel Cain's recent rise in the polls, putting him in a virtual dead-heat with Romney.

Read more

2:32pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Religion

Controversy Erupts Over Sex-Segregated Brooklyn Bus

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 9:14 pm

It's been a few decades since Americans were engaged in a back-of-the-bus controversy. Now a popular bus route between two New York City neighborhoods is reviving the issue.

Last Wednesday, Melissa Franchy boarded the B110 from Williamsburg to Boro Park, two Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. She was accompanying her friend, Sasha Chavkin, a reporter for The New York World, a Columbia Journalism School publication. Their mission: Find out what would happen if Franchy sat at the front of the bus.

Read more

2:20pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Two-Way

France's First Family Welcomes Baby Girl

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 4:07 pm

A file photo of France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Michel Euler AP

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, the chanteuse Carla Bruni-Sarkozy welcomed a baby girl yesterday.

France's first family has been very secretive about the pregnancy, so the AFP reports Elysee Palace released few details.

The AFP says government sources did say that Sarkozy was able to see his baby girl in between "talks on the eurozone sovereign debt crisis."

And Sarkozy said both mom and baby are "doing very well."

Read more

2:16pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama: Libya's 'Dark Shadow Of Tyranny Has Been Lifted'

A year ago, President Obama just said, "the notion of a free Libya" seemed far-fetched.

But today, with the death of ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the "dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted" in that North African nation, the president added.

Read more

1:56pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Salt

A Coconut Cake From Emily Dickinson: Reclusive Poet, Passionate Baker

A daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson, taken in 1846.

William C. North University of Illinois at at Urbana-Champaign

Nelly Lambert is a PhD student in English at Catholic University. She's writing her dissertation on Emily Dickinson's poetry.

Poet Emily Dickinson withdrew from society for most of her adult life. And yet, she was known to lower a basket full of cakes from the window of the home she rarely left to crowds of expectant children on the street below. Dickinson probably never met these children, yet she connected with them through her baking.

Read more

1:49pm

Thu October 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Gadhafi's Death: The View From The Arab World

Libyan children waving National Transitional Council (NTC) flags celebrate in the streets of Tripoli following news of Moammar Gadhafi's death.

Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images

The killing of Col. Moammar Gadhafi will most certainly go down as one of the important chapters of what's come to be known as the Arab Spring, or the popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East that have deposed three dictators.

In the region, one big question that will be answered in the coming weeks is how Gadhafi's killing will affect the opposition movements firmly in place in Syria and Yemen.

NPR's Ahmed Al-Omran, a production assistant on NPR's social media desk, has been sifting through social networks to gauge reaction from the region.

Read more

1:09pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Advice For The Golden Years: 'Don't Ever Retire Mentally'

iStockphoto.com

Retirement can be an endless golf game or constant trips to the doctor, depending on a whole host of factors, including luck. But either way, it's a stage of life that's usually more difficult and expensive than people expect.

Tell Me More's series on end-of-life issues continues today, with a roundtable discussion at a retirement home in Washington, D.C.

Read more

1:00pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Africa

How Libya Will Move Forward Without Gadhafi

After more than 40 years in power, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi died Thursday, as his last stronghold crumbled. Forces aligned with the Transitional National Council finally gained control of the city of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown. Guests talk about his death and the way ahead in Libya.

1:00pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Africa

Kenyan Troops Pursue Shabab Militants In Somalia

Kenyan officials blame the Shabab militant group, which allied itself with al-Qaida, for a recent spate of kidnappings in Kenya. The government in Nairobi suggested troops might pursue targets up to 100 miles inside Somalia. Shabab promised on Monday to attack Kenya's capital city in retaliation.

1:00pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Around the Nation

Cash-Strapped Cities File For Bankruptcy

Pennsylvania's capital, Harrisburg, has filed for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy. The filing is being contested in court. It's the sixth city to file for protection in 2011, and raises questions about whether Harrisburg can afford to continue to provide the expected level of services to residents.

1:00pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Religion

Evangelical Christians Form Parallel Structure

Some Evangelical Christians see a public assault on their beliefs with the rise of gay marriage, the increasing legitimacy of abortion, and the debate on climate change. They are forming a "parallel culture" in response, a practice fellow Evangelical Karl Giberson calls "dangerous."

Pages