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Election 2012
3:27 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Black Business Owners Urge Obama To Aid Growth

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama poses with National Urban League President Marc Morial on Aug. 2, 2008.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

President Obama's speech to the National Urban League conference in New Orleans on Wednesday night coincides with a debate over the role of government in helping small businesses succeed.

Some black Americans say they have an especially hard time when it comes to owning and operating their own businesses.

On the northern edge of New Orleans' French Quarter, Shaka Zulu and his wife, Na'imah, are trying desperately to protect a slice of local culture that sometimes gets lost here.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Gov. Brown Unveils New Water Tunnel Plans For California

Gov. Jerry Brown waits for the start of a news conference to announce plans to build a giant twin tunnel system to move water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farmland and cities.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a new $23.7 billion proposal that would build a twin tunnel system to carry water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta over to the southern part of the state.

Water in Southern California has become an intractable problem. The frustration was evident at the press conference, when Brown dropped a four-letter expletive.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:15 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Flaws And All, Medicaid Can Improve Adults' Health

A budget crunch in Oregon led to an unintended experiment that helped researchers assess Medicaid's effect on adults' health.
iStockphoto.com

Among the reasons some governors say they're considering not expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act is that Medicaid is, well, not a very good program.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pro-Obama SuperPAC Takes Aim At Romney's 'Olympic Gold'

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 12:31 pm

(UPDATED July 26) The ad described in the post below was pulled off of YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee, citing copyright violation, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

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Music Interviews
2:58 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

The Practical Side Of The Great American Jam Band

The Grateful Dead circa 1970. The band's members were quintessential rock hippies — but, a new exhibit reveals, savvy businessmen as well.
Gems Redferns

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

The Grateful Dead's eponymous live album started it all for Nicholas Meriwether.

It was 1985. He was studying history at Princeton and got hooked by psychedelic jams like "Wharf Rat." After his first concert, he knew: "I will spend the rest of my life thinking and studying this."

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The Torch
2:26 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Fencer Mariel Zagunis Will Carry U.S. Flag In Opening Ceremony

Mariel Zagunis has been named the U.S. flagbearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Here, Zagunis celebrates a win in the individual sabre final at the Pan American Games last year.
Jorge Saenz AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:47 pm

Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist in sabre, has been named the U.S. flagbearer for Friday's Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Zagunis, who was chosen by her peers for the honor, will be the first fencer to carry the flag since 1968, when Janice Lee Romary led the U.S. team in Mexico City.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

'Truly Ironic': Sandy Weill Says Big Banks Should Be Split Up

Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup, in 2006.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:44 pm

Sandy I. Weill, the former Citigroup CEO who helped usher in the era of super banks, said during an interview with CNBC today that big banks should be split up.

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The Salt
2:01 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Meat Producers And, Ultimately, Consumers Hurt By Drought

These piglets on the Hardin farm in Danville, Ind., are going to cost more to feed than they will fetch at market.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:13 pm

Despite headlines about the crushing drought that's afflicting much of the country's prime agricultural land, the USDA isn't expecting any dramatic increases in the price of food this year or next.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:58 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

As Pain Pills Change, Abusers Move To New Drugs

Opana is the latest painkiller that's become popular with drug abusers.
Thomas Walker Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

To the uninitiated, Austin, Ind., doesn't look like a town under siege.

In the maze of back roads off the city's main drag, the houses are close together. Some look rundown; others are well-kept.

For Jeremy Stevens, these are his former drug haunts. Steven says many of the homes are inhabited by people who abuse and deal prescription painkillers.

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The Salt
1:52 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

New Pizza Museum Offers A Slice Of American Food And Culture

Brian Dwyer owns the world's largest collection of pizza-related items. He plans to display some of his memorabilia, including pizza-themed music records, in a new museum-restaurant in Philadelphia.
Kimberly Paynter for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:23 am

Many foods have their own dedicated museums — like burnt food and mustard — so why not pizza? That's what Brian Dwyer, the owner of the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia, has wondered for a long time.

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Movie Interviews
1:42 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

For Ai Weiwei, Politics And Arts Always Mix

The famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is also a prominent dissident in his home country. His political side is the focus of Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Ted Alcorn IFC Films

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Last week, a Chinese court rejected artist Ai Weiwei's lawsuit against the tax bureau that had imposed a massive fine on his company. Ai was fined more than $2 million after being detained for three months last year.

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Environment
1:40 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Massive Ice Melt In Greenland Worries Scientists

Images released Tuesday show the extent of surface melt on Greenland's ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. By July 12, 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed.
AFP/Getty Images/NASA

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:53 pm

A pair of NASA satellite images taken just four days apart tells a potentially worrying story of melting ice in the polar summer.

The first, snapped from orbit on July 8, shows about 40 percent of the Greenland ice sheet shaded in pink or red to illustrate probable or confirmed surface melting. The second photo, taken on July 12, shows nearly the entire land mass — 97 percent — blotched in a red hue.

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The Torch
1:29 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Starts London Olympics With A Comeback Win

Carli Lloyd scores the U.S. team's winning goal, in a comeback win over France. The Americans are bidding for their third straight Olympic gold medal.
Graham Stuart AFP/Getty Images

On the first day of competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. women's soccer team bounced back from an early deficit to beat France, 4-2. The game was a rematch for the two teams that met in last year's World Cup semifinals.

France jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the match was 15 minutes old, scoring on a breakaway run by Gaetane Thiney; moments later, a short-range shot found the back of the net after several U.S. players failed to clear the ball following a corner kick.

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Economy
12:42 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pray For Rain: Food Prices Heading Higher

A "historically low inventory" of cattle and hogs is driving up meat prices, a trend that's expected to continue next year, USDA economist Richard Volpe says.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:30 pm

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Reports Finds 'Widespread Human Rights Violations' In Policing Of Occupy Protests

An Occupy Wall Street protestor is arrested in Zuccotti Park July 11, 2012, in New York.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:21 pm

The New York Police Department has shown "a pattern of abusive and unaccountable protest policing" during the Occupy protests, a wide consortium of legal experts detail in a report (PDF) issued today.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: In Afghanistan, Facts Are Difficult To Pin Down

  • Sean Carberry, in his second report on the defections
  • Sean Carberry in his first report on the defections

(Sean Carberry is a producer on NPR's foreign desk. From Kabul, he sent us this glimpse into the challenge of reporting on events in places such as Afghanistan.)

A story broke Tuesday that an Afghan police commander had defected to the Taliban along with a number of officers under his command. Early statements from the governor's office in Farah province said that "Mirwais," the commander of a police checkpoint, had poisoned seven of his men who refused to go along with the defection, and then he and 13 others disappeared with weapons and police vehicles.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed July 25, 2012

AP: 911 Tape Shows NYPD Operating Far Outside Its Jurisdiction

This July 13, 2011, photo shows the apartment complex in New Brunswick, N.J., where an apartment was rented by an undercover NYPD officer.
Matt Apuzzo AP

The Associated Press has a blockbuster of story today. After a Freedom of Information court battle with the New Brunswick, N.J. police, a court ordered the department to release audio tapes the AP had reported on earlier.

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The Torch
11:15 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Olympic Athletes' Names: Endurance (Track), Moist (Swimming), And A Leeper

Nathan Leeper of the United States jumps during the IAAF World Championships in this photo from 2001. A high jumper, Leeper is one of several athletes whose name suited their sport.
Andy Lyons Allsport/Getty

"What's in a name?" a British writer named Shakespeare once asked in Romeo and Juliet, long before the Olympics ever came to London.

Well, it turns out that some Olympic names herald the greatness athletes seek, and the events they enter, while some bear monikers better suited for others.

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The Salt
10:57 am
Wed July 25, 2012

How Many Calories Do Olympic Athletes Need? It Depends

Endurance athletes like Michael Phelps, here at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, can easily burn off stacks of pancakes.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 11:06 am

Food, as we so often note on this blog, means a lot of different things to different people. To Olympic athletes, food is fuel for exceptional athletic performance. But there's a surprising amount of variety in just how much fuel elite athletes need.

Anyone who followed Michael Phelps' astonishing performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games surely will remember one of the secrets of his success: Consuming as many as 12,000 calories in a day.

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Religion
10:55 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Bishop Explains Vatican's Criticism Of U.S. Nuns

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Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio is the bishop who assessed the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. You can hear Blair discuss the nuns' organization here.
Courtesy Catholic Diocese of Toledo

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:32 pm

Four years ago, a Vatican group called "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" began an assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a member organization founded in 1956 that represents 80 percent of Catholic nuns in the United States. The assessment was designed to take a careful look at whether the nuns were acting in accordance with the teachings of the church.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed July 25, 2012

As Details Emerge On Difficulty Getting Help To Victims, Colorado Funerals Begin

An ambulance and police cars outside the Century 16 movie theater complex in Aurora, Colo, during the early hours of July 20, 2012. A gunman attacked an audience there — killing 12 people and wounding 58.
Bob Pearson EPA /Landov
  • Aurora, Colo., police dispatch recordings

There's an account in today's Denver Post of the huge problems first responders faced early Friday when they got to the scene of the shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater where 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded.

According to the Post:

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Economy
10:21 am
Wed July 25, 2012

When It Comes To Tax Cuts, Neither Side Is Blinking

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 12:43 pm

Taxes may be certain, but growth and job creation aren't.

As the U.S. edges closer to a year-end "fiscal cliff," Democrats and Republicans haven't budged in their fight over expiring tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — and how best to help the middle class and get the country back to work.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Wed July 25, 2012

After Another Night Of Near-Riots In Anaheim, Latinos Want Feds To Investigate

An injured pedestrian cries out to end the destruction of local properties after violence erupted between police officers and protesters during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz.
Jonathan Gibby Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:02 pm

Update at 5:36 p.m. ET. U.S. Attorney Will Investigate:

During a press conference today, Mayor Tom Tait asked for calm. He also said that the Office of the U.S. Attorney had agreed to investigate the shootings.

"The first step is to get to the truth," Tait said according to the Orange County Register. "That takes some time and patience, and that's what I'm asking for."

Our Original Post Continues:

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Shots - Health Blog
9:51 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Epidemics Prefer Changing Planes In JFK Over ATL

Travelers crowd around a ticketing counter at John F. Kennedy International Airport in April 2010 in New York.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:34 am

When the next epidemic comes, there's a good chance it will switch flights at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

Researchers at MIT have developed a pretty nifty computer model to figure out the most influential airports in the early stages of an epidemic's spread.

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Beauty Shop
9:49 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Should Sally Ride Have Come Out?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will remember Sherman Hemsley, the actor who played the brash, abrasive, yet hilarious George Jefferson. That's later in the program.

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World
9:49 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Ghana's New President Shaped By A Violent Past

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:58 am

  • Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama reads from his memoir.

The President of Ghana unexpectedly died Tuesday, and Ghana's former Vice-President John Dramani Mahama has been sworn in as the country's new leader. The peaceful transition is in contrast to past coups and political problems. Host Michel Martin recently spoke to Dramani Mahama about the Ghana's turmoil, which he details in his new autobiography My First Coup D'Etat.

The Torch
9:37 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Greek Triple Jumper Suspended From Olympic Team For Inappropriate Tweets

Triple jumper Voula Papachristou, seen competing in Finland last month, has been removed from Greece's London Olympics squad over comments made on Twitter.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:32 pm

Greek track star Voula Papachristou has been suspended from her country's Olympic team, after she made a comment about Africans who live in Greece. The comment was widely noticed on her Twitter feed, and resulted in her removal from the London 2012 roster.

On Twitter, Papachristou also reportedly expressed support for the right-wing Greek political party Golden Dawn, particularly its views on immigration.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee said that Papachristou "is suspended after her comments that go against the values and ideals of Olympism."

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Senate Plans Two Symbolic Votes On Taxes That Won't Change Anything

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:22 pm

"Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes later today on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January," The Associated Press writes.

So, Democrats will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts only for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone.

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The Torch
8:52 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The London Games, Seen Through A (Very) Critical Eye

Just as every Olympic athlete trains their heart out, every Olympic expert seems to wear themselves out describing what an unmitigated sham is being perpetrated on the host city. Many of those criticisms are valid, of course — especially concerns about overbuilding facilities.

For instance, NPR's Louisa Lim recently reported on China's Post-Olympic Woe: How To Fill An Empty Nest.

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The Torch
7:16 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Iran's Judo Champ Withdraws From Olympics, Ending Chance Of Facing Israeli

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 7:19 am

Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.

From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

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