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Poetry
11:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Honoring The Games, And The Past, With Poetry

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 8:34 pm

In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Picking Up The Pieces: Family Remembers Shooting Victim Micayla Medek

Grandma Marlene Kenobbe (L) comforts consoles Kailyn Vigil during Micayla Medek's funeral at the New Hope Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 7:12 pm

The families of the Aurora, Colo. shooting victims continued to pick up the pieces today.

The Denver ABC affiliate reports that the family of Micayla Medek, 23, who was killed in the theater, held a funeral service today.

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The Veepstakes
4:24 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

For VP Option, Christie's Star May Burn Too Bright

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:52 pm

What people in New Jersey like about Gov. Chris Christie is his candor — the sense that he's speaking from his heart, instead of a script.

Last summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the Jersey shore, the Republican governor offered a particularly memorable moment during a press conference: "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach."

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World
4:24 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Latest Target For Palestinians' Protest? Their Leader

Abbas attends a meeting of his Fatah movement at its headquarters in Ramallah on Jan. 29.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 7:20 am

The Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank is best known as a flashpoint between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Images of masked youths throwing rocks by the painted concrete wall here are ubiquitous.

Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ohio Valley, Northeast Brace For Severe Weather

Radar image of the United States at 5:44 p.m. ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 9:46 pm

Severe thunderstorms are moving east, this hour. As the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center says, parts of the Ohio Valley and interior southern New England can expect some wild weather this evening, including "widespread damaging winds."

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney In London: Not A Smashing Success So Far

Mitt Romney leaves London's 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:27 pm

The first stop — Britain — in Mitt Romney's foreign tour certainly is starting out rockier than nearly anyone expected.

First there was the kerfuffle over remarks, attributed by a British newspaper to an anonymous campaign adviser, that Romney understood the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the U.S. and Britain in a way President Obama didn't. Those comments were viewed as racist by some and were disowned by the Romney campaign.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Could Ice Cream Trucks Finally Roam Scottsdale?

A Mister Softee ice cream truck makes its way through the streets of Brooklyn, New York in 2007.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:47 pm

Ice cream trucks are to summer what apple pie is to America. But residents of Scottsdale, Ariz. haven't heard the tell-tale sign of summer since the 1970s, when the city council banned the trucks.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Where Did All The Watermelon Seeds Go?

Watermelon with seeds is getting harder to find at the supermarket.
iStockphoto.com

Many people think of the seedless watermelons popping up at grocery stores and markets everywhere in the last few years as a marvel of modern scientific technology. In fact, more than 60 percent of watermelon shoppers seek this smoother pink flesh, and the numbers are increasing every year, according to a recent survey done for the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

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Election 2012
2:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney Aims Tough Talk At China, And Obama

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. In the speech, Romney attacked the Obama administration's approach to China.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:24 pm

President Obama's national security adviser visited China this week, just as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was attacking the administration's approach to that country.

"The cheating must finally be brought to a stop," Romney said Tuesday in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. "The president hasn't done it and won't do it, and I will."

China is the world's largest economy after the United States. It is one of the most important — and complicated — foreign relationships the U.S. has.

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U.S.
2:46 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Bypassing College Dreams, A Different Road To Work

Kelly Thompson, a mentor at Siemens, gives apprentices an orientation of the factory. The program provides on-the-job training in manufacturing.
Courtesy of Siemens Energy Inc.

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 3:10 pm

Rebeca Espinal admits with a shy smile that she's a straight-A math student. She's a high school graduate who dreamed of going to college.

Instead, Espinal, 17, is working in a Charlotte, N.C., factory that makes gas turbines and generators. She is an apprentice with the German company Siemens.

"I was planning on getting a degree in international relations, but with financial aid and how difficult it is to pay for college and everything," she says. "So when Siemens came along and gave me the offer, it was too good of an opportunity to just let it go.

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The Torch
2:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Maroney Says She'll 'Make The Best' Of Competing On Broken Toe

"It was really fun to get out there and do my vault," McKayla Maroney said, after trying out the apparatus at the North Greenwich Arena in London Thursday. Maroney is coping with the lingering effects of a broken right toe.
John Cheng USA Gymnastics

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:42 pm

U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.

On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney's toe "was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here."

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Shots - Health Blog
2:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Amid An AIDS Epidemic, South Africa Battles Another Foe: Tuberculosis

A mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV is parked near Madwaleni High School in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on March 8, 2011. Parts of the South African province have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:24 pm

The province of KwaZulu-Natal has emerged as the epicenter of South Africa's HIV epidemic. South Africa already has more people infected with HIV than any other country in the world, but parts of KwaZulu-Natal have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.

Now in addition to HIV and AIDS, the province is also dealing with a major tuberculosis epidemic.

In the northeastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, dusty dirt tracks wind through pastures and fields of sugar cane. The hillsides are dotted with small huts made of cinder blocks and field stones.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Feds And Health Insurers Partner To Fight Fraud

Insurers and the federal government are teaming up to fight health fraud.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers.

Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact.

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Music Reviews
2:00 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ocean's 'Orange' Revolution

Frank Ocean performs onstage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in April.
Karl Walter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:35 pm

Born in New Orleans and still in his mid-20s, Frank Ocean has already written songs for major pop stars. He sang on the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaboration Watch the Throne, and he's been part of the tumultuous Los Angeles musical collective known as Odd Future. None of which quite prepares a listener for the beautifully moody music that dominates his new album, Channel Orange.

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Monkey See
1:48 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

It Was All A Dream (Or: Turns Out Spoilers Are Good For You)

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:24 pm

Chances are, if you're a regular reader of this blog you've read (or perhaps even posted) an incredibly vitriolic comment or two accusing the writer of the despicable crime of spoilers.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
1:16 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

From Scorn For Zevon, A Father-Daughter Moment Is Born

Warren Zevon on the cover of Excitable Boy, the 1978 album which includes "Werewolves in London."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:51 pm

All this summer, All Things Considered is digging into listeners' parents' record collections to hear about one song introduced by a parent that has stayed with you — for better or for worse.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

After Uproar, USDA Walks Back 'Meatless Monday' Support

Steak.
Larry Crowe AP

It was likely something that the United States Department of Agricultural didn't put much thought into. In an internal newsletter detailing agency's "greening" efforts, there's information about new lightbulbs and locally bought fruits and vegetables.

But on page three of five, there's also a passage that encourages forgoing meat on Mondays.

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The Torch
1:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

In Kayla Harrison, U.S. Has Chance For Judo Gold, And A 'Comeback Kid' Story

Kayla Harrison, who is on the U.S. judo team, is going to the Olympics for the first time.
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:10 pm

Kayla Harrison, 22, is the best chance the United States has to win its first Olympic gold medal in the sport of judo. Like many of the world's best athletes, Harrison's road to London wasn't easy.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

NPR Taps Lobbying Firm To Help Make Case On Public Funding

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:47 pm

Our colleague David Folkenflik reports for the Newscast Desk that:

"NPR has hired an outside lobbying firm to help make its case with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as some House Republicans seek to make deep funding cuts to public broadcasting.

"Recent disclosure forms show NPR has paid $10,000 to Navigators Global, a firm founded by Republican political figures including strategist and pundit Mike Murphy.

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It's All Politics
11:53 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney Backer Explains Why Obama's Wrong, Despite Her Firm's Gov't Contracts

Rebecca Smith, owner of A.D. Morgan, speaks Thursday at a Tampa, Fla., event to denounce President Obama's statements about small businesses. The event was organized by the Romney campaign. At left is Lou Ramos of Value Enterprise Solutions.
Daniel Wallace Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:48 pm

Rebecca Smith owns a Tampa, Fla., construction-management firm that does a lot of work overseeing the building of schools and jails, and other projects for state and local governments.

But even though much of her firm's $80 million in annual revenue comes from contracts with government agencies, she says she was "disgusted" by President Obama's thesis that government had a significant role in her business achievements.

Obama's actual words, from a July 13 speech in Virginia, were:

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Mom's Sure Her Daughter Stood Up To Gunman

Rebecca Wingo.
Facebook

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 8:56 am

As they're told, we'll point to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded last Friday when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu July 26, 2012

How's Facebook Really Doing? Investors Will Soon Find Out

Mobile devices are key to Facebook's growth potential. Can it deliver?
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:41 pm

Update at 4:33 p.m. ET. Right At Expectations:

Facebook reported slightly stronger than expected profits. For the second quarter, it reported a net loss of $157 million or 11 cents a share. But when it adjusted its earnings to remove stock compensation charges related to its IPO, Reuters reports, Facebook actually made 12 cents a share.

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The Torch
11:29 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Video Clip Of London 2012 Opening Ceremonies Is Released

A scene from the London 2012 Opening Ceremony is seen in this screenshot, taken from a clip released Thursday.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:13 pm

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Ford Recalls 485,000 Escapes And Mavericks With Throttle Problems

Ford Escapes sit at a Ford dealership in east Denver.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:16 am

Ford says that 485,000 Ford Escapes and Mavericks — which are sold in Europe — may have problems with its throttles.

The AP reports Ford issued a worldwide recall for model year 2001 through 2004 small sports utility vehicles "that are powered by 3-liter V-6 engines with cruise control."

The AP adds:

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The Fresh Air Interview
11:11 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Christopher Beha, On Faith And Its Discontents

Christopher Beha is an associate editor at Harper's magazine and the author of The Whole Five Feet.
Josephine Sittenfeld Tin House Books

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:15 pm

In the novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder, writer Charlie Blakeman runs into his former college love after 10 years and finds out that she has converted to Catholicism. Charlie can't make sense of her conversion, but as he finds out more about Sophie's past, he sees her life is more complicated than he previously thought. When Sophie once again disappears, Charlie sets out to discover what has happened to her.

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Movie Reviews
11:10 am
Thu July 26, 2012

In China, A Persistent Thorn In The State's Side

Although Ai Weiwei's art is internationally recognized, much of his worldwide fame comes from his political activism in China. The latter is the focus of Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Ted Alcorn IFC Films

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:05 am

A couple of months ago, I visited Beijing, and like so many before me, I was stunned by how hypercapitalist Communist China has become — the hundreds of glossy highrises, the countless shops selling Prada and Apple, the traffic jams filled with brand new Audis. You felt you could be in L.A. or Tokyo — until you wanted some information. Then you discovered that Facebook was permanently blocked, certain words in Google searches always crashed your browser, and, as my wife joked, it was easier to buy a Rolls-Royce than a real newspaper. Here was a country at once booming — and repressive.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:02 am
Thu July 26, 2012

How A 'Google Bomb' Improved Russia's HIV Drug Supply

Activist Alexandra Volgina (right) accepts the Red Ribbon Award at the 19th International AIDS Conference for her grassroots group Patients in Control, which has worked to improve HIV treatment programs in Russia.
Ryan Rayburn IAS

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:25 pm

In countries where censorship is part of daily life, speaking out against the government often requires innovative tactics. No one knows this better than Russian activist Alexandra Volgina.

A few years ago, Volgina, an HIV-positive mother from St. Petersburg, wanted the Russian Ministry of Health to fix their floundering HIV treatment program. So she launched a "Google bomb."

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Raúl Castro Says Cuba Is An Island Seeking Friendship, Even With U.S.

Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during celebrations marking Cuba's Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba on Thursday.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Today, while Cuba celebrated Revolution Day, the 59th anniversary of an initial attack on the Moncada military baracks, President Raúl Castro made a rather surprising admission during his remarks.

According to Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist party, Castro said he was ready to mend relations with the United States.

Here's how Granma reports it:

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The Torch
10:26 am
Thu July 26, 2012

The Olympics Meet A Mall, And Make A Nightmare

The interior of London's Westfield Stratford City Mall measures some 1.9 million square feet. Many of them were recently walked by NPR's Tom Goldman.
Tom Goldman NPR

Y'know your local mall? The one you drive to whenever, or just as easily drive past? What would happen if you didn't have a choice — if you couldn't avoid going there? Would you walk right through without stopping and shopping? Or, a darker question: What if you could never get out?

Welcome to my Olympic nightmare.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Justice Department Employees Cited For Nepotism In Hiring

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:37 pm

The Justice Department inspector general has uncovered what he calls illegal hiring practices at the federal agency. In a new report he cites eight employees for trying to find jobs for their children and other relatives.

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