NPR News

Pages

Asia
10:53 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Price Of A Swift Pigeon: Try $328,000

Xing Wei, who raises pigeons for lucrative races in China, is shown in Beijing with his favorite bird, Ike. He sells Ike's offspring to wealthy buyers for $15,000.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:46 pm

To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.

"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."

The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Aletta Becomes Western Hemisphere's First Tropical Storm Of 2012

Aletta spins off the Mexican coast.
NOAA

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 10:55 am

Aletta — a modest tropical storm spinning of the western coast of Mexico with 40 mph winds — is already special because of two reasons: It the first tropical storm in the Western Hemisphere and it has now broken a 41-day streak in which Earth did not see a cyclone.

Jeff Masters at Weather Underground provides a little more detail:

Read more
It's All Politics
10:36 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Americans Elect Could Field Third-Party Candidate – But For The Candidate

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:15 am

Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.

What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.

So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.

But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:34 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Reports: Justice Dept. Probing JPMorgan's Big Loss

Standing behind a banner with a picture of J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO James Dimon, protesters gathered outside the bank's annual meeting today in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 10:45 am

  • Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting

The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.

The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."

Read more
Education
9:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps

The number of people with graduate degrees — master's degrees and doctorates — who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment or other assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:16 pm

With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.

What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.

Read more
Economy
9:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Can The Government Help Young People Find Jobs?

The school year is winding down, and lots of young people are in the market for a summer job. But finding one in this economy can be hard, especially for teenagers. Host Michel Martin speaks with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about what the Obama Administration is trying to do to help.

The Two-Way
9:02 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Ron Paul Isn't Dropping Out, Spokesman Says

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Feb. 3.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 9:20 am

Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.

"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."

"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.

Read more
Theater
8:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

Audra McDonald.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:23 am

Audra McDonald has starred in stage classics and on TV, where she played a leading role on the ABC drama Private Practice for four seasons. But the actress might be better known for her stunning voice and for her performances in the Broadway productions of Carousel, Master Class and Ragtime, which helped her rack up three Tony Awards before the age of 30. She won a fourth Tony for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun, putting her in the company of Broadway greats Gwen Verdon and Mary Martin.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Questions About Another Texas Execution: Was Wrong Man Condemned?

Already in the spotlight over whether it executed one innocent man — Cameron Todd Willingham — in 2004, the state of Texas now faces questions about whether another man may have been wrongly condemned to death.

Read more
Europe
7:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

'News Of The World' Editor Charged With Conspiracy

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks faces allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in the latest development in Britain's phone hacking scandal.

Shots - Health Blog
7:43 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Cost Of Cancer Pills Can Be Hard For Medicare Patients To Swallow

Taking a pill for cancer can cost patients more than getting chemotherapy by IV.
iStockphoto.com

If you've got cancer, chances are you'd rather take a pill to fight the cancer cells than sit for hours hooked up to an IV line as the chemotherapy drips slowly into you.

The difficulty is, many of the new cancer pills, which often target cancer cells for destruction but leave healthy cells intact, are pricey, costing tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment. And how some insurers pay for treatments means that pills can wind up costing a patient more than chemotherapy given by IV.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:26 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Consumer Prices, Consumer Spending Both Flat In April

Two bits of economic news this morning:

-- Consumer prices overall were unchanged in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, thanks in large part to a 2.6 percent drop in the price of gasoline.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:58 am
Tue May 15, 2012

'Biggest Public Toilet In The World' Now Good To Go In Japan

The biggest public toilet in the world, officials claim. The flowers and plants will be put in the ground after the soil has settled properly, according to The Japan Times.
Ichihara City

It's only for women — and only for one woman at a time, it seems.

But officials in Ichihara City, Japan, claim they've created the "biggest public toilet in the world."

As The Japan Times reports, outside the city's train station there's now a fenced-in, "200-sq.-meter plot of land" with flowers, plants, pathways and — "smack in the middle" — a toilet enclosed in a glass box.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Facebook Ups Its Forecast: Says Shares Will Sell For $34 To $38

Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Strong demand for its first public sale of stock has led Facebook to raise its forecast for how much each share will sell for when the company goes public on Friday.

"We anticipate that the initial public offering price will be between $34.00 and $38.00 per share," the company says in a statement filed earlier today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Earlier, the social medial giant had expected shares would sell for $28 to $35 each.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:37 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Amusement Park Rider Conquers Battle Of The Bulge

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. People who are overweight often say there was that final moment - that's it; I'm sick of it. I'm making a change.

For Nat Ambrose, it was last year at King's Dominion, the Virginia theme park. He tried to get on his favorite ride, Volcano the Blast Coaster, but the harness wouldn't fit his 300-pound frame. He lost 30 pounds in a month. Tried again, still couldn't squeeze in. Finally, nine months later, 105 pounds lighter, Nat Ambrose has conquered the Volcano.

Around the Nation
5:30 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Super Glue Helps Man Go For Fist-Pumping Record

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with congratulations to James Peterson who sought the world record for fist pumping. Yes. Mr. Peterson made this gesture of triumph for 16 hours. The Akron Beacon Journal says to maintain proper form he super glued his hand into a clenched fist. Yes. A video crew recorded this feat and sent it to the Guinness World Record people. If they do not accept the record we hesitate to think what gesture Mr. Peterson will try next. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
5:22 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Stevenage: A Place Where You Can't Be From

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The town of Stevenage, England, 30 miles north of London, was once a small patch of farmland with a few thousand people. After World War II, the British government created a massive planned community there and hoped it would become a model for public housing for the world.

Gary Younge is a writer for the Guardian newspaper. He grew up in Stevenage and found it to be a mixed blessing. Younge wrote an essay about it for the spring issue of the literary magazine, Granta. We began our conversation by asking him to read us a passage.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:15 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Former Murdoch Editor Facing Criminal Charges In Hacking Scandal

Rebekah Brooks, last Friday in London.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:36 am

  • Philip Reeves reporting for the NPR Newscast

The first top editor from Rupert Murdoch's U.K. tabloids to face criminal charges related to the hacking scandal that has rocked his media empire is Rebekah Brooks, who prosecutors allege tried to "pervert the course of justice" last year by seeking to cover up what had been going on at Murdoch's News of the World.

Read more
World
4:40 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Quebec Students Clash With Police Over Tuition Costs

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn our attention now north of the border to Canada. New austerity programs are creating the kind of unrest we most often associate with Europe these days. In the Province of Quebec, a plan to hike university tuitions by 75 percent over the next five years has led to weeks of violent street rallies, often involving tens of thousands of students and protestors.

North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports.

Read more
Economy
3:31 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Fact Checking Data On The Boomerang Generation

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The fact-checking organization PolitiFact looked into a shocking claim in a political ad. The ad said 85 percent of recent college graduates are moving back in with their parents. There was a reason for the ad to make that claim. PolitiFact found that 85 percent figure has been repeated by CNN, the New York Post, U.S. News, and more news organizations. The number fits the notion of a boomerang generation, thrown back home by the economy.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:27 am
Tue May 15, 2012

California Budget Deficit Grows

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

California Governor Jerry Brown wants to convince voters to accept two things they don't like: higher taxes and deep spending cuts. The Democrat proposed a budget yesterday which would only be the start of the pain. The other part would come in November with a ballot measure to raise taxes and spare education. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.

Read more
Business
3:27 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Last Word In business

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business: the passenger door is now closed. Please make sure all your electronic devices have been switched off.

If you're sick of those rules on planes, well, they may be changing a bit. Virgin Atlantic has announced passengers on their new Airbus will soon be able to chat on their mobile phones.

Read more
Business
2:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Latest On JPMorgan Chase

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

JP Morgan Chase has long had the reputation of being one of the better managed big banks in the country. So how did it make a $2 billion blunder and what does it tell us about banking today, nearly five years after the onset of the financial crisis? When such questions are looming, we often turn to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

And, David, welcome back to the program.

Read more
Business
2:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Facebook Raises Anticipated Stock Price

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a price hike for Facebook shares.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: OK, they're not even on sale yet, but investor excitement over Facebook's upcoming initial public offering has prompted the company to raise the price range for its shares. Sources say the new range will be from $34 to $38 per share. That's up from a previous range of $28 to $35.

Election 2012
2:09 am
Tue May 15, 2012

JPMorgan's Loss A Gain For Campaign Positioning

The U.S. and JPMorgan Chase flags wave outside its headquarters in New York on Friday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

The fallout from banking giant JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion — and counting — loss has made its way into the presidential campaign. The president and presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney have very different views about the regulation of Wall Street, in particular the Dodd-Frank financial systems overhaul law.

Read more
Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
1:07 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Paying For College: More Tough Decisions

Kelley Hawkins (center) smiles at her daughter Carley (left) as her other daughter, Chelsea (right), looks on, in their family home in Harrisburg, Pa.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:48 am

Middle age is prime time for saving money. From your late 40s through early 60s, you're supposed to squirrel away cash to cope with health care costs in your old age.

But for millions of Americans, middle age also is the time when children are seeking help with higher-education bills, and elderly parents may be needing assistance with daily care.

Read more
The Salt
1:06 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Jetlagged By Your Social Calendar? Better Check Your Waistline

It doesn't take a transcontinental flight to end up out of sync with your body clock. It might just be that you stay up too late.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

It doesn't take a transcontinental flight to end up out of sync with your body clock. It might just be that you stay up too late.

Read more
Your Money
1:06 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Canada's Housing Market Booms; Experts See Trouble

Canada's real estate market is one of the hottest in the developed world.
Mike Cassese Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Housing prices are going through the roof in Canada. The real estate market there is one of the hottest in the developed world. In Toronto, prices increased 10 percent in March alone. The average detached house in the city costs more than $600,000.

That has economists and the government worried that Canada is experiencing a housing bubble that's about to burst.

Read more
Europe
1:04 am
Tue May 15, 2012

From Iowa To Russia, Tractors Build Economic Bridge

Employees fit a tire to a John Deere W540 combine inside the company's Domodedovo manufacturing center near Moscow, Russia. The tractors are built in Waterloo, Iowa, and then taken apart and shipped to the Russian plant for reassembly.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 pm

The green is unmistakable at a plant in Russia as workers put together a John Deere tractor. The roughly 90 employees, however, don't actually make the tractors.

The engine, the drive train and the tractor itself are all built in Waterloo, Iowa. The completed tractor is tested, and then it is disassembled and prepared for shipment.

Read more
The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
1:03 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Sick From Fracking? Doctors, Patients Seek Answers

Michelle Salvini (left) and Terri DiCarlo take a break from work outside the Cornerstone Care clinic in Burgettstown, Pa. Mysterious fumes have repeatedly sickened clinic staffers, forcing them to evacuate the building several times.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:48 am

Kay Allen had just started work, and everything seemed quiet at the Cornerstone Care community health clinic in Burgettstown, Pa. But things didn't stay quiet for long.

"All the girls, they were yelling at me in the back, 'You gotta come out here quick. You gotta come out here quick,' " said Allen, 59, a nurse from Weirton, W.Va.

Allen rushed out front and knew right away what all the yelling was about. The whole place reeked — like someone had spilled a giant bottle of nail polish remover.

Read more

Pages