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Television
3:29 am
Tue June 5, 2012

'GMA' Makes Morning Show Ratings Competitive

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 4:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

You might say there's a tectonic shift going on in morning television. TV critic Eric Deggans says that ABC's "Good Morning America" is doing something that seemed unthinkable for more than a decade: it is rocking NBC'S "Today Show" off its ratings pedestal.

ERIC DEGGANS: Even "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer admits it.

MATT LAUER: The show is not where I want it to be right now. The ratings are not where I want them to be right now.

DONNY DEUTSCH: Where do you want to be right now?

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Movies
3:29 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Blockbuster Needed To Save Hollywood's Summer

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 4:27 am

Hollywood studios are dealing with big budget flops and the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation has been postponed until March. Kim Masters, host of The Business, and editor at large for The Hollywood Reporter, talks to Renee Montagne about the summer woes at movie studios.

Television
3:29 am
Tue June 5, 2012

'South Park' Creator Promotes Videogame

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 4:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And here's a reminder of how TV is adjusting to the modern world. Trey Parker, a creator of the animated comedy series "South Park," spoke in Los Angeles at the big E-3 video game industry conference yesterday. And Parker poked fun at the ever wired world of digital entertainment.

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Business
3:29 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 4:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Disney delving into nutrition.

Today, Disney comes out with nutritional standards for food advertised across its platforms. The company has taken flack for contributing to the obesity epidemic by airing ads for junk food that targets kids.

This move marks a dramatic change, but the company's chairman told The New York Times, quote, "this is not altruistic; this is about smart business." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
3:29 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Heralded Facebook Shares Fail To Impress

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Facebook's stock has fallen more than 25 percent since the company went public less than a month ago. What was hyped as the biggest technology IPO in history has quickly become a black eye for both Wall Street banks and Facebook itself.

But that does not necessarily mean that the company will move quickly to appease investors, as NPR's Steve Henn explains.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Nelly Sia-Palm(ph) bought $1,000 dollars in Facebook stock on its very first day of trading.

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Middle East
3:18 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Sectarian Syrian Group Blamed In Houla Massacre

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 4:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The massacre in the place known as Houla has kept worldwide attention on the relentless violence in Syria. Western countries and the United Nations blame Syrian government troops and pro-government thugs for killing more than a hundred people, nearly half of them children. NPR's Kelly McEvers made a closer examination of those events and found that's only part of the picture.

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Politics
3:18 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Wis. Voters To Decide Whether To Oust Gov. Walker

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 3:39 am

Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election Tuesday that has attracted a lot of outside money. The attempt to remove Walker came after he successfully pushed to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector unions.

Politics
3:18 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Obama To Fundraise In Economically Strapped Calif.

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Animals
1:02 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Splish Splat? Why Raindrops Don't Kill Mosquitoes

When a raindrop hits a mosquito, the mosquito and drop join together, and the mosquito rides the drop for about a thousandth of a second before its wings, which act like kites, pull it out of the water.
CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 6:53 am

Imagine how tough life would be if raindrops weighed 3 tons apiece as they fell out of the sky at 20 mph. That's how raindrops look to a mosquito, yet a raindrop weighing 50 times more than one can hit the insect and the mosquito will survive.

How?

Put yourself in a mosquito's shoes — or rain boots — for a moment and step outside into a downpour of seemingly gigantic raindrops.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
1:01 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Caring For Aging Relative: 'To Give Her A Good Life'

Geneva Hunter (left), who runs the secretarial operations for a Washington, D.C., law firm, decided to take a hands-on approach to her mother's care and moved Ida Christian, 89, into her Maryland home.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 6:32 pm

Part of the Family Matters series

Over the last two months, NPR's Morning Edition has been following three families who make up the growing number of multigenerational households in this country. All became multigenerational unexpectedly, when elderly relatives could no longer live independently and the families took them in.

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Africa
1:00 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Tunisian Women Turn Revolution Into Opportunity

Workers at a carpet-making business in the town of Kairouan are paid about $2.50 a day. Many carpet buyers are tourists, but the number of foreign visitors has dropped since the revolution.

John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 11:42 pm

Over the next couple weeks, NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team will be traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In this story, he looks at the changing role of women in the new Tunisia.

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Election 2012
12:58 am
Tue June 5, 2012

After 47 Years In Congress, Conyers Faces New Day

Rep. John Conyers, D- Mich., faces a tough re-election campaign after serving Detroit for 24 consecutive terms.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 3:29 am

Congressional incumbents typically have a big advantage come election time.
But the second-most senior member of the U.S. House — Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. — faces a newly redrawn congressional district and the toughest re-election campaign of his political career.

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Asia
12:57 am
Tue June 5, 2012

What China's Thinkers Need Most Is Also Most Elusive

Yang Weidong interviews a subject for his documentary project "Signal," which finds that the vast majority of China's intellectuals yearn most for freedom. He plans to interview 500 of China's top thinkers for the project.
Courtesy Yang Weidong

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 8:35 am

A deceptively simple question has become an obsession for Chinese artist Yang Weidong: "What do you need?"

For the past four years, Yang has posed the question to more than 300 Chinese intellectuals, and the results illustrate a startling level of discontent among China's thinkers.

As for the answer, one word pops up time and time again.

"I need freedom," says writer Chang Ping.

"I need freedom of speech," says economist Mao Yushi.

"I need freedom of expression," says poet Ye Kuangzheng.

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Space
12:57 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Rare Transit Of Venus 'A Beautiful Event'

Venus passes between Earth and the sun during its last transit on June 8, 2004, as seen from Manila, Philippines. The next transit of Venus will be in 2117.
Bullit Marquez AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:11 am

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

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Religion
12:56 am
Tue June 5, 2012

N. Dakota 'Religious Liberty' Measure Sparks Debate

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 3:29 am

Next week, North Dakota voters will decide whether to add an amendment to the state's constitution that supporters say will guarantee religious freedom. But the ballot measure has prompted debate over precisely what it safeguards; opponents argue that it's a solution in search of a problem and worry about its consequences.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

High Court Rules 'Equal Protection' Doesn't Extend To Municipal Taxpayers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Constitution's guarantee to equal protection of the law does not extend to taxpayers who paid more for a sewer hookup than their neighbors.

The case centered on what essentially amounted to an amnesty program for some taxpayers when Indianapolis switched from one payment system to another.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

It's Not Your Imagination: Americans Are More Polarized, Says Pew

Linda Door of Laguna Beach, Calif. protests against the health care reform law as supporters file past the Supreme Court in Washington, last March.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

It's not just our politicians who are divided. According to a new report (pdf) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Americans' values and "basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years."

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The Record
3:53 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

There's No Such Thing As A Sold Out Concert (Even For Justin Bieber)

Over the weekend, Justin Bieber's 45-city fall tour sold out in an hour.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:44 pm

This weekend, as Billboard has reported, tickets for Justin Bieber's tour of the United States and Canada sold out in an hour. Not just one venue. The whole tour. All of the tickets. Completely.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Romney Rekindles Conservative Doubts With Pick To Lead White House Transition

Mitt and Ann Romney sit behind Michael Leavitt and his wife Jacqueline at the February 2008 funeral of Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney reportedly has chosen Leavitt to lead his transition team.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

With many conservatives already suspecting that he is a conservative of convenience, Mitt Romney apparently hasn't done himself any favors in their eyes with the man he chose to lead his presidential transition.

Politico broke the story Sunday that Romney has chosen Michael Leavitt to oversee the creation of an executive branch in waiting.

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All Tech Considered
3:20 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Game Review: 'Beat Sneak Bandit' Has A Rhythm From The Past

The look of Beat Sneak Bandit was inspired by the work of Saul Bass, whose style was synonymous with the beatnik era.
Simogo

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

For much of the past decade, music video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have let millions of aspiring rockers live out their dreams of stardom, waving fake instruments and mimicking their favorite music icons. Jamin Warren, founder of killscreendaily.com, says iPhones and iPads have inspired game designers to re-imagine the music game.

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Author Interviews
3:16 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

The 'Truth' About Why We Lie, Cheat And Steal

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 6:49 pm

Chances are, you're a liar. Maybe not a big liar — but a liar nonetheless. That's the finding of Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He's run experiments with some 30,000 people and found that very few people lie a lot, but almost everyone lies a little.

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Middle East
3:08 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Israel Presents Itself As Haven For Gay Community

Israel is now marketing itself internationally as welcoming to the gay community. Participants in the annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem are shown here on July 29, 2010.
Ronen Zvulun Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 6:56 am

The sun is setting, gay pride flags wave next to the water, same-sex couples kiss and cuddle on the beach. This is Tel Aviv — which the government of Israel is now pushing as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world — and gay tourism is booming.

"It's a place you have to go, good parties, nice people, beautiful people and just different from all the other tourist destinations you can go to," says Jorg Grosskopf, a German tourist who, together with his partner, Peter, is on his seventh vacation in Israel.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:53 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Mental Illness Is Up Close In One Actor's Family

Calen Pick, a nephew of actor Glenn Close, lives with schizo-affective disorder.
Courtesy of Jessie Close

Oscar-nominated actor Glenn Close is known for her roles in movies like Fatal Attraction and Air Force One and now the hit TV show Damages. But she's also playing a more prominent role raising awareness about mental illness.

She was inspired by her sister Jessie Close, who lives with bipolar disorder, as well as her nephew Calen Pick, who has schizo-affective disorder.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Syrian Rebels Say They No Longer Respect U.N.-Backed Truce

Syrian rebels said they are no longer holding their fire. Reuters reports that the rebels are walking away from the United-Nations-backed truce with the regime of Bashar Assad.

"We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire)," Free Syrian Army spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters. "We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities."

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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:54 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

After The Housing Bust, Revisiting Homeownership

Nationwide, home sales are up, mortgage rates are down and in many places, owning a home is as attractive as renting for the first time in years.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

For generations, owning a home has been a key part of the lifestyle most Americans aspire to. But when the mortgage crisis exploded in 2007, it brought down the U.S. housing market — and the entire economy along with it.

The ensuing recession was an assault on the American dream of homeownership itself. The tidal wave of foreclosures, the crash in home prices and tighter lending standards have left some Americans unable or simply too nervous to buy a house.

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Music Reviews
1:52 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

'Personal Space': Relics From Synth Soul's Early Days

Electronic soul artist Jeff Phelps with his synthesizers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

Early synthesizers were supposed to imitate or re-create other existing sounds, but as anyone can tell you, they mostly sounded like synthesizers. That distinctive whine and wheeze captivated all manner of pop artists, from prog-rockers to classical composers to soul musicians. However, back then, synthesizers were so expensive and bulky, you needed a major-label budget and an entire studio wall to install them.

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It's All Politics
1:51 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

California's Top-Two Primary System Faces First Statewide Test

Abel Maldonado, a former California state senator and current congressional candidate, pushed for the change to the top-two primary system. He says he thinks the system will lead to "more open-minded and more reasonable" officials.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 3:45 pm

When voters go to the polls in California's primary on Tuesday, instead of only being able to vote for candidates in their own party, they will be able to vote for anyone they please.

Tuesday will be the first statewide test of California's new open primary system, where the top two candidates move on to the general election, regardless of party. Backers hope this system will favor moderates.

In California, there aren't very many purple areas. The state has strongly Democratic regions and strongly Republican regions — and the Democrats dominate.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:48 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Potty Talk For The Greater Good

A makeshift latrine hangs over the water at the edge of Cite de Dieu, a slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
John W. Poole / NPR

How do you get people interested in the difference something as simple as a toilet can make for health?

If you're the head of the World Toilet Organization (yes, there is one), or the author of a page-turner about sanitation, or you're part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you talk toilets up. A lot.

And, it turns out, if you're in Seattle, which considers itself the home for new ideas on global health, talking about poop and toilets will pack an 842-seat theater on a Friday night.

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It's All Politics
1:33 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Supreme Court Backs Secret Service Agents In Dick Cheney Case

Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at a 2006 Republican rally in Idaho.
Jason Hunt AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 4:36 pm

In a case involving then-Vice President Dick Cheney's Secret Service detail, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that agents accused of a politically motivated arrest are immune from suit. But the court's unanimous ruling did little more than resolve this particular case.

The decision stems from an incident in 2006 in the Colorado resort town of Beaver Creek, where Cheney was shaking hands at a shopping mall. Steven Howards got in line and when his turn came, he told the vice president that the Bush administration's Iraq policies were "disgusting."

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All Tech Considered
1:22 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Do These Pants Make Me Look ... ? Body Scans For A Better Fit

OptiTex creates digital models of clothes for department stores like Target and Kohl's. These computer designs let stores create or tweak new styles without actually stitching prototype garments.
OptiTex

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

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