The drive to wipe polio from the face of the earth is in jeopardy.
Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan are the only three countries left where poliovirus remains endemic. But work to put the paralyzing virus on the ropes there is in danger of failing. Cases in all three countries jumped last year.
Weak public health systems, armed conflicts and corruption have hurt vaccination efforts. Now leading public health officials have proposed an emergency plan of action to get things back on track..
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, an openly transgender athlete is hoping for a spot on the U.S. track and field team for this summer's Olympics. We'll talk about the dilemma that is posing for the athlete and for the sport. We'll speak with Sports Illustrated writer and barbershop regular Pablo Torre about this, about the rules of sports and what they mean for a transgender person.
A central question of gender and sports is facing officials as they prepare for London's Summer Olympics: In a system that segregates athletic competition by sex for reasons of fairness, where do transgender athletes fit?
If you had hoped to bid on the medical-lab vial that purportedly contains the dried remains of a blood sample from President Ronald Reagan taken on the day he was nearly assassinated in March 1981, you're out of luck.
The Mitt Romney campaign on Thursday released a sequel to its "Day One" ad, in which it explains what else the presumptive Republican nominee would do on Jan. 21, 2013, if elected president. (This assumes Romney would reserve Jan. 20, 2013 — when he'd have half a day in office — to enjoy his swearing-in and the accompanying pomp and circumstance.)
The highly respected journalists at New Orleans' Times-Picayune last night found out the hard way — from another news outlet — that they're about to face deep staff cuts and that the newspaper will soon only print three days a week.
Day two of the voting in Egypt's first-ever free presidential election is underway. From Cairo, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that while turnout early in the day was slightly lower than on Wednesday, officials expect the lines will build as the day continues.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston tells us State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland made it clear that the United States is not "hacking" the websites that appeal to al-Qaida. Instead, they are "countering propaganda with a counter-narrative that we believe is closer to the truth of the situation."
Update at 7:13 p.m. ET: Police Announce Arrest Of Suspect:
At a press conference in New York, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police had arrested Pedro Hernandez in the killing of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who disappeared as he was walking to school in 1979.
Officials say Hernandez, a former convenience store worker, confessed to police that he suffocated the boy, placing his body in a cardboard box. Etan's body has never been found.
Kelly said Hernandez also took police to the site where he contends the killing occurred.
Ryan Young saw a pregnant woman being kicked by her boyfriend. He leaped out from behind the meat counter and intervened. Safeway suspended him, citing a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence. But after the union took up his cause and people boycotted the store, Safeway reinstated Young, calling his action "commendable."
Chuck Shriner was about to receive his diploma from Fort Myers Catholic School in Florida when he dropped to one knee, and struck the praying pose made famous by quarterback Tim Tebow. Shriner won a $5 bet but lost the chance to get his diploma onstage.
American customers have not been able to buy a new Chevrolet Caprice since 1996. Now the car is back, as a police car. The 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV and Detective goes beyond the old black-and-white. Its computer system is voice activated, "Knight Rider"-style. It has eight cameras positioned to scan thousands of license plates per shift, which police computers can then check against a database to find if drivers have outstanding warrants or tickets.
Mitt Romney laid out his education agenda on Wednesday. In a speech in Washington, he compared the American public education system to that of a third world country. But Romney's plan to deal with what he called a national education emergency does not appear to be a major departure from the policies that have been in place since 2001, under both Presidents Bush and Obama. NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
The first free presidential election in Egypt is in its second day. Thirteen candidates are vying to replace Hosni Mubarak in what many there say is a wide-open race. The last election in 2005 saw Mubarak winning 87 percent of the vote against another candidate, a candidate he later threw in jail. Voter turnout yesterday was so strong, election officials kept polling stations open across Egypt for an additional hour.
The world's leading PC manufacturer has announced it will lay off 27,000 workers over the next two years — a third of those job cuts will be in the U.S. The CEO of Hewlett-Packard says the layoffs are part of a restructuring that will include greater spending on research and development.
Now let's talk about another icon, one with a light saber. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of "Star Wars." Thirty-five years ago, moviegoers first paid to see a tale from a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
It changed the life of John Booth, author of "Collect All 21: Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek."
JOHN BOOTH: There were no space movies to me before "Star Wars."
Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers resumed this morning in Baghdad. The United States and its allies are pressing Iran to freeze its production of highly enriched uranium, but are refusing to offer the kind of easing of economic sanctions that Iran is seeking as a concession. These talks are described as long and hard, and NPR's Peter Kenyon is covering them in Baghdad, Iraq. Hi, Peter.
Historically, the veteran and military vote has gone Republican. In 2008, for example, while losing the presidency, John McCain — a war hero — won 55 percent of this vote.
This year, the Obama campaign thinks it can close the gap.
For one thing, neither candidate is a veteran. And the campaign is hoping to capitalize on a generational change in the military. Four years ago, although he lost the veteran vote overall, President Obama won among vets under age 60.
None of the Ramones were actually related, but they all changed their last names to Ramone. They wore matching skinny jeans and leather jackets, and their songs were short and to the point, with hooks that are still impossibly catchy. The band's first album stunned listeners and critics. Joey Ramone described its influence in a 1991 interview in Finland that's posted on YouTube.
Mobile phones and tablets have put a world of information at our fingertips, even when we're on the go. It would seem natural, then, for smartphones to help make traveling easier and more fun.
But not all apps are created equal — so Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep sought advice from Lauren Goode, a senior editor at All Things D, where she recently reviewed travel apps. Here are some of the tips Goode discussed with Steve:
Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states, and that number is expected to grow. But these state laws put colleges in a bind. That's because under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. So colleges that let students make use of their pot prescription on campus risk losing their federal funding.
The Northern Mariana Islands are about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii. They look like the kind of tropical islands you see in the movies with bright blue water and white sand beaches.
The people who live on the islands are American. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. territory. And just like a lot of U.S. states, the commonwealth has a pension plan for its government employees.
The final round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee takes place Thursday, with students between the fourth and eighth grades testing their knowledge of countries, canals and lava lakes. Of the 54 contestants who came to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for the bee, only 10 remain.