NPR News

Pages

NPR Story
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Mortgage Update

Bank of America is offering to reduce an average $150,000 in principal for borrowers who qualify, a bank official says.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:03 am

Bank of America is offering about 200,000 homeowners a chance to wipe out a big chunk of their mortgage debt. The offers are part of the settlement Bank of America and other major banks reached with state and federal regulators earlier this year, and it's one of the biggest principal forgiveness opportunities so far.

Read more
NPR Story
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

Beatles tunes are very hard to license — the surviving band members and heirs have been choosy about who can play their songs. AMC's Mad Men made the cut. For a reported $250,000, the show was allowed to pay "Tomorrow Never Knows."

Asia
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Pakistan's Prime Minister Refuses To Step Down

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pakistan's Supreme Court has issued a judgment against the country's prime minister - again. The court had already ruled against Prime Minister Yusuf Reza Gilani for blocking a corruption investigation. Now, the judges have released details of their ruling, giving 77 pages worth of reasons why they found the prime minister in contempt of court. Let's remember this conflict is taking place in a vital, if troubled, U.S. ally.

NPR's Julie McCarthy joins us on the line from Islamabad, as she has so many times over the years. Hi, Julie.

Read more
Europe
1:17 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Why The Markets Shrugged Off French Vote

A supporter of French President-elect Francois Hollande wears a mask of outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

The arguments for growth policies as opposed to austerity are taking center stage in Europe after the French and Greek elections.

His rhetoric aside, France's President-elect Francois Hollande is not rejecting austerity. In fact, he pledged to balance France's budget by the end of his five-year term, just one year later than his opponent, outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Read more
Theater
1:16 am
Tue May 8, 2012

A Test Of Hearts, Minds And 'Hands On A Hardbody'

Hands on a Hardbody
La Jolla Playhouse

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 2:04 pm

About 20 years ago, a Texas car dealership started a competition: Contestants had to keep one hand on a brand-new, fully loaded truck; the last person standing got to keep it.

It may not seem like a gripping drama, but it was the subject of a 1997 documentary. And now, it's the basis of a musical.

It's called Hands on a Hardbody, and that hardbody is, yes, the truck. At a rehearsal at the La Jolla Playhouse in California, it's on casters so the actors can spin it around the stage.

Read more
Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
1:14 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Long-Term-Care Insurance: Who Needs It?

AnnaBelle Bowers' long-time physician, Walter Watkin, gives her a kiss on the forehead at the end of her visit. When asked how long she had been coming to see him, he said, "Long enough for her file to be 2 inches thick."
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:50 am

Americans routinely buy all sorts of insurance — for cars, homes, health and even pets and boats.

But when it comes to long-term-care insurance, relatively few sign up. Out of more than 313 million Americans, only about 8 million have any such protection, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The low participation rate largely reflects the high cost of long-term-care insurance.

Read more
Business
12:29 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Shhhh! (Facebook's About To Go Public)

The world's biggest social network is expected to go public on May 18. And like all companies facing an initial public offering, Facebook is staying quiet about its financials and stock potential.
Timur Emek AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:07 am

Facebook started what's called a "road show" this week, pitching itself to potential big investors across the country. It's one of the last steps before a company goes public — which Facebook reportedly plans to do next Friday.

But that pitch has to be very carefully calibrated — as you can tell from all the warning language that precedes it on Facebook's road show website.

Read more
Africa
12:28 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Desperate Sudanese Flee Bombing In Nuba Mountains

A displaced woman and her child from the Nuba Mountains in Sudan wait outside the Yida refugee camp registration center in Yida, South Sudan April 26. Thousands of people from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan have fled to Yida to escape recent fighting and airstrikes by Sudan's Armed Forces.
Adriane Ohanesian AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

The two Sudans appear to be complying with a U.N. ceasefire ultimatum, which came into force on Friday — ending weeks of bitter border fighting over oil.

But there remains a separate conflict in the Nuba Mountains region of Sudan that has forced thousands to flee bombardment and hunger for newly independent neighbor South Sudan.

Those refugees are streaming into the Yida camp in South Sudan, across the border from the Nuba Mountains in the South Kordofan area, Sudan's last remaining oil-producing state.

Read more
National Security
12:27 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Bill Would Have Businesses Foot Cost Of Cyber War

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:20 am

Business executives and national security leaders are of one mind over the need to improve the security of the computers that control the U.S. power grid, the financial system, water treatment facilities and other elements of critical U.S. infrastructure. But they divide over the question of who bears responsibility for that effort.

The disagreement stands as an obstacle to passage of major cybersecurity legislation backed by Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Susan Collins of Maine, among others.

Read more
London 2012: The Summer Olympics
5:11 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Soccer Star With Soap Opera Roots Aims At Olympics

North Korea's Yu Jong Hui (left) and Colombia's Orianica Velasquez battle for the ball during the FIFA Women's World Cup on July 6, 2011, in Bochum, Germany.
Joern Pollex Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:34 pm

Indiana University soccer star Orianica Velasquez is on a mission — to get to the London Olympics with Colombia's women's soccer team. And she wants to send a message about the country where she was born.

"My dream is to get a medal for Colombia," she says, adding that she wants to show the world "it's just not violence, it's just not drugs — we can play soccer and we can do great things because we have great people there."

Read more
It's All Politics
5:07 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Romney Town Hall Shows Risks Of Handing Voters The Mic

Mitt Romney poses with a group of supporters at a Euclid, OH town hall-style meeting where some voters didn't exactly help him keep to his themes.
Jae C. Hong AP

In an age when presidential campaigns are typically heavily scripted, town-hall style meetings are anything but.

The upside is that you get the informality of the candidate interacting with regular voters as he or she fields their questions and seems accessible. The downside is you never know what a voter handed the microphone will say.

Mitt Romney, who appears well on his way to becoming the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, got a taste of that risk at a Monday event at a Euclid, OH manufacturing company.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Univision, ABC News Team Up To Launch New Cable News Channel

Ben Sherwood, ABC News president; Cesar Conde, Univision Networks president, and Isaac Lee, Univision News president, announced a new joint venture.
Lorenzo Bevilaqua ABC

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 4:41 pm

ABC News and Univision are teaming up to create an English-language news network for Hispanics in the United States.

The network doesn't have a name yet but it is expected to launch in 2013, with its digital offerings coming later this summer.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:09 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Moms Often Overlook Toddlers' Weight Problems

Overweight, too thin or just right?
iStockphoto.com

A roly-poly toddler strikes many mothers as the picture of health.

But the road to obesity can start early in life, so it's important to know whether the baby fat that lingers on a toddling child is a healthy cushion or a sign of too much food too soon.

How good are mothers at recognizing whether their toddlers are overweight, underweight or just right? Not very.

More than two-thirds of the mothers participating in a recent study were inaccurate in their assessments. And the biggest problem was moms who thought their overweight toddlers were just fine.

Read more
NPR Story
3:59 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

U.S. Foils Terrorist Plot To Target Airplane

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

U.S. authorities say they have foiled a terrorist plot to target an airliner. A suicide bomber was planning to bring down a plane headed to the United States. The Associated Press first reported the story. Al-Qaida's affiliate group in Yemen is believed to be behind the plot, which national security officials say had not advanced far enough, that the suspect bought plane tickets or tried to board a plane.

NPR's Carrie Johnson has been reporting on this story. She joins me now. And, Carrie, what else have you found out?

Read more
Election 2012
3:26 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Uphill Climb For Veteran Lugar In Tuesday Primary

Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (right) and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock participate in an April 11 debate in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

In Indiana, Republican primary voters Tuesday will decide whether to give GOP Sen. Richard Lugar the opportunity to seek a seventh term in November's general election. A recent independent poll shows him in trouble in his own party, with his Tea Party-backed opponent, Richard Mourdock, in the lead.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

CIA Thwarts New, More Sophisticated Underwear Bomber

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 9:05 am

The CIA has thwarted a new plot that sought to blow up an American airliner using a new, more sophisticated underwear bomb. The plot was hatched by an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen.

The Associated Press was the first to report the story and Reuters, CNN and NPR are now confirming. Both CNN and Reuters are running the story quoting unnamed government officials.

Here's the AP with the meat of it:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Scientists Estimate Dinosaurs Passed Enough Gas To Warm Up The Planet

An artist's impression of a group of Yutyrannus. The 30-foot-long dinosaurs were covered with downy feathers — likely to keep the animals warm.
Dr. Brian Choo Nature

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 3:16 pm

The early reporting of the story had a undeniably alluring narrative: Scientists say dinosaurs passed so much gas, they affected climate enough to cause their demise. That's how Fox News and the Daily Mail, one of the first to move the story, framed this latest research.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Soccer Stars Are Paid The Best, And Indian Cricketers Out-Earn NFL Players

Lionel Messi of Barcelona during a match Saturday against RCD Espanyol.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Think the players on your favorite team are the most overpaid in the world?

Well, American sports fans, you may not be able to brag (or complain?) about that.

As the number crunchers at Sporting Intelligence reported earlier this month, European soccer teams hold the top four spots when it comes to average pay per player.

Read more
Middle East
2:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Israel Plans September Vote That Favors Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, May 6. Netanyahu said Monday that the next general elections would be held on Sept. 4, instead of the original schedule of October 2013.
Yin Dongxun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 6:26 am

Israel will hold parliamentary elections on Sept. 4, a timetable that looks favorable for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, who have been in power for the past three years.

Netanyahu called for the new poll, saying he wanted to renew his mandate and broaden his coalition even though a new election is not required until October 2013.

The current coalition has been the most stable one for years in Israel. But both international and domestic considerations prompted Netanyahu to call for a new vote now.

Read more
Europe
2:10 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Four Possible Post-Election Moves For Greece, France

Greek newspapers on display at a newsstand in Athens on Monday after a stunning weekend election shake-up by parties opposed to further vital austerity cuts.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 2:14 pm

Europe's unsettled political climate after the weekend elections in France and Greece raise one obvious question: What's next?

The elections, in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated and Greece's major political parties struggled to form a governing coalition, have raised fears about the political and economic stability of the European Union. Some potential scenarios coming out of the elections:

Staying The Course

Read more
Politics
2:04 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

5 (Plus 1) Options For The Aging Politician

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., 80, faces a GOP primary battle Tuesday that could end his political career. Here, Lugar talks with Capitol Hill colleagues on March 6.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 am

At the ripening age of 80 years old — more than 35 of them spent in Congress — Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is scrapping for political survival. On Tuesday he faces state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in his party's primary.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:03 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

These Apps Are Going To The Birds, And People Who Watch Them

Cornell University's Andrew Farnsworth compiles data to forecast where birds are going and when they'll be there.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

I'm standing in the Manhattan office of Andrew Farnsworth, a research associate at Cornell University's ornithology lab. Farnsworth is using meteorological data, radar data, crowd-sourced eBird data and acoustic data from the flight calls of migrating birds to predict where birds are going and when they'll be there.

Read more
Europe
2:02 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Germany Faces Backlash Against Austerity Moves

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the leading voice for austerity in Europe. But election results over the weekend showed a voter backlash. Merkel said Monday that she still supported the austerity moves.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made all the right gestures Monday: the obligatory phone call congratulating French President-elect Francois Hollande. She vowed that the two will "work together well and intensively." And she invited Hollande to Berlin after his inauguration and said she would welcome him "with open arms."

But clearly the French election results mark a setback for Merkel and her goal of solving Europe's economic crisis with financial austerity.

Read more
Barack Obama
2:00 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Bid For Congress Was Obama's Political Boot Camp

Barack Obama, then a Democratic candidate for a U.S. House seat, delivers his concession speech to supporters, while his wife, Michelle, tends to their daughter, Malia, on March 21, 2000, in Chicago.
Frank Polich AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Read more
Europe
1:39 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

For A Third Time, Putin Returns As Russia's President

Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office during his inauguration as Russia's president at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Monday. Putin will be serving his third term as president, after four years as prime minister and two previous presidential terms.
Dmitry Astakhov, AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Vladimir Putin is once again the president of Russia.

Putin, who held the job from 2000 to 2008, spent the past four years as prime minister because the Russian Constitution prohibits a third consecutive term.

So his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, held the office for the past four years. Now they are switching places, with Putin returning as president and Medvedev tapped to be the prime minister.

Read more
The Salt
1:16 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

What HBO And iCarly Can Do To Get Kids Psyched About Veggies

Getting kids to eat right is an age-old challenge
istockphoto.com

We've all seen the scary headlines about the obesity epidemic. And there are no shortage of initiatives aimed at getting Americans — particularly kids — to eat right.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

VIDEO: In Copenhagen, A Very Classy Flash Mob On The Metro

A woman listens to a violinist on the Copenhagen Metro.
YouTube

The Copenhagen Philharmonic has tried its hand at a flashmob before. Back in May, it performed Ravel's Bolero to an unsuspecting public at Copenhagen Central Station.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

In Photos: Vladimir Putin Assumes The Presidency In Russia

Police officers carry an anti-Putin protester, who was detained in central Moscow, on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov AFP/Getty Images

As we've reported, Vladimir Putin's return to Russia's presidency was fraught with drama. But a disputed parliamentary election and many unprecedented protests later, Putin took the oath of office for a third time today.

Putin took the oath amid protests. The New York Times reports 300 were detained, following the round up of 400 detained after a surprisingly large anti-Putin demonstration popped up on Sunday.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:17 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Some U.S. Conservatives See Obama In France's Hollande

President-elect Francois Hollande waves from a Socialist Party headquarters balcony in Paris Monday May 7, 2012.
Michel Spingler AP

The election of socialist Francois Hollande as France's new president has leached into the U.S. election as some conservatives view it as giving them an opening to attack President Obama who, along with his agenda, has been labeled socialistic by many on the right.

U.S. Senate candidate from Florida, George Lemieux, for instance, took the opportunity of Hollande's win to tweet a warning:

Read more
The Picture Show
11:16 am
Mon May 7, 2012

The Visual South, Part I: Unseen Scenes Of Gitmo

Christopher Sims

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 am

The current issue of Oxford American magazine (known as "the Southern magazine of good writing") is titled the "Visual South Issue." In its 100 under 100 list, the magazine identifies "the most talented and thrilling up-and-coming artists in the South." This week, we'll take a look at five of the photographers on that list.

Read more

Pages