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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Tue March 20, 2012

On Persian New Year, Obama Tries To Pierce Iran's 'Electronic Curtain'

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:06 am

Saying that "because of the actions of the Iranian regime, an electronic curtain has fallen around Iran," President Obama today used his annual message marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year, to talk about Internet freedom.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Rep. Ryan Says New GOP Budget Plan 'Offers Real Solutions Again'

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at NPR headquarters in May 2011.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 9:22 am

  • Tamara Keith on 'Morning Edition'

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Tue March 20, 2012

'All My Dreams Are Buried Under A Pile Of Dust Now,' Says Grieving Afghan

Afghan villagers prayed last week at a ceremony for the 16 victims of what officials say was an attack by a U.S. Army soldier.
Allauddin Khan AP

Along with the latest news about the U.S. Army staff sergeant who allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians on March 11, we want to note this heart-breaking quote from a man who says he lost almost all his family in that massacre:

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Monkey See
6:24 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Cheaper Clothes And Shorter Stories: On Soaps, Strange 'Days' Indeed

Peter Reckell as Bo Brady and Kristian Alfonso as Hope Williams Brady: still at it after all these years.
Mitchell Haaseth NBC Universal

It's not easy being one of the last soaps standing, as Neda Ulaby reports on today's Morning Edition. For fans, the shuttering of iconic shows like All My Children and Guiding Light has upended routines that, for some, date back to childhood. When I was in high school, my soap of choice was Days Of Our Lives, which Neda says has changed a lot since that era — well, it's changed and it hasn't.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin Killing: Federal Officials Will Try To Calm Racial Tensions

  • Mark Simpson on 'Morning Edition'

Here are some of the latest developments in a story that has captured attention across the nation and raised again the issue of race relations in America — the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., last month:

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Dozens Killed By More Bombings In Iraq; 'Deadliest Day' In A Month

The scene in Ramadi, capital of Iraq's Anbar province, after a bomb exploded there today.
Azhar Shallal AFP/Getty Images

Another wave of bombings in Iraq killed dozens of people today and wounded about 200 in more than a dozen cities and towns.

According to The Associated Press, it's the kind of violence "officials had dreaded in the run-up to a Baghdad meeting of the Arab world's top leaders, which the government hoped would showcase the nation's stability." That summit is scheduled for next week. As the AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
2:27 am
Tue March 20, 2012

How Do Racial Attitudes Affect Opinions About The Health Care Overhaul?

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. Data suggest that racial attitudes of ordinary Americans shape both how they feel about the health care overhaul and how intense those feelings are.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 6:31 am

As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear a case involving the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul, social scientists are asking a disturbing — and controversial — question: Do the intense feelings about the health care overhaul among ordinary Americans stem from their philosophical views about the appropriate role of government, or from their racial attitudes about the signature policy of the country's first black president?

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Law
2:14 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Do Juvenile Killers Deserve Life Behind Bars?

Raphael Johnson shot and killed a classmate when he was 17. After his release from prison, he got bachelor's and master's degrees and started a community policing program in Detroit.
Courtesy of Equal Justice Initiative

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 1:18 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in two homicide cases testing whether it is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 14-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

There are currently 79 of these juvenile killers who will die in prison. What's more, in many states, the penalty is mandatory, meaning neither judge nor jury is allowed to consider the youngster's age or background in meting out the sentence.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Business News

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Italy's next step in a crisis is at the top of NPR's business news.

Italian prime minister Mario Monti is trying to restructure the economy so his country has a better shot at paying its debts. Today, he sits down to negotiate with the country's powerful trade union leaders. Monti hopes to weaken legal protections that make it almost impossible to fire employees. He blames these rules for slow economic growth and high unemployment in Italy.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Santorum Courts Rural Voters In Illinois

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Candidate Rick Santorum, for his part, was far outside Chicago yesterday, barnstorming through some of Illinois' smaller cities. Santorum is hoping that rural and more conservative voters will somehow push his campaign over the top, in a state where he trails in the polls and has again been vastly outspent by Mitt Romney.

NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

U.K. Considering Long-Term Bonds

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, one way governments raise money is by issuing bonds: you or your pension fund lend them the money, and they then pay a set amount of interest for a set amount of time, say 10 or 20 years. Well, Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, is reportedly ready to announce that the UK plans to issue a bond that only your great-grandchildren will be able to cash in. It matures in a hundred years.

Vicki Barker has this report from London.

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U.S.
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

House Republicans To Unveil Budget Plan

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This morning, House Republicans unveiled a new budget plan on Capitol Hill. And like President Obama's budget document last month, the GOP's version is as much a political statement as an actual road map. NPR's Tamara Keith has that story.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: In some ways, this budget is a sequel. This time last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a controversial budget document that passed the House with strong GOP support.

(SOUNDBITE OF WEB VIDEO)

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U.S.
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Florida Teen's Shooter Faces FBI Scrutiny

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We're following up now on the fatal shooting of a black teenager by an Hispanic neighborhood watch leader. That shooting took place three weeks ago in the central Florida town of Sanford. So far, no charges have been filed against George Zimmerman, who says he was acting in self-defense when he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The African-American community is frustrated. And yesterday student protestors were out in Sanford demanding the shooter be arrested. Mark Simpson of member station WMFE in Orlando has this report.

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Afghanistan
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Afghan Farmer Lost 11 Relatives In Shooting Rampage

Afghans gather outside a military base in the Panjwai district in Afghanistan on March 11, after 16 civilians were killed in a massacre allegedly carried out by a U.S. soldier.
Allauddin Khan AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 3:49 pm

Afghans say they're so inured to civilians killed in wars that they bury their dead and move on. That's not so easy for Muhammad Wazir. He lost his mother, his wife, a sister-in-law, a brother, a nephew, his four daughters and two of his sons in last week's mass shooting in two villages.

"My little boy, Habib Shah, is the only one left alive, and I love him very much," says Wazir.

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Energy
1:57 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Native Alaskans Divided On State's Oil Drilling Debate

A drilling rig sits on Oooguruk Island off the coast of Alaska's North Slope. The 6-acre island was built by Pioneer Natural Resources so it could drill for oil on the Arctic Ocean.
Steve Quinn AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 7:06 am

Shell Oil plans to explore for petroleum off Alaska's north coast this summer. The native people of Alaska have a big stake in both oil revenue and environmental protection. That conflict has played out in recent trips by Inupiats to Washington, D.C., to argue their case.

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Author Interviews
1:49 am
Tue March 20, 2012

That's All, Folks: Kevin Smith On Leaving Filmmaking

Courtesy Penguin

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:40 am

When 21-year-old Kevin Smith decided he wanted to be a filmmaker, his sister gave him some advice: "Don't say you want to be a filmmaker; just be one." So he did. He made his first film, Clerks, on a shoestring, shooting at the convenience store where he worked.

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Election 2012
1:41 am
Tue March 20, 2012

For A Personal Cause, Casino Owner Bets On Gingrich

Sheldon Adelson speaks at the 2008 "Facing Tomorrow" Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
David Silverman Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 7:05 am

One of the defining elements of the 2012 presidential campaign is money. Not that the candidates themselves have raised all that much; except for President Obama, they haven't. But two dozen wealthy Americans have put in at least $1 million each.

Mostly, they're a mix of Wall Street financiers and entrepreneurs. One of the biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is worth about $25 billion.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Lawyer Of Soldier Suspected In Massacre Begins Mounting Defense

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an August 2011 training exercise at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

Attorney John Henry Browne said the meeting he had with his client Robert Bales, the Army sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, was "just really emotional."

Browne also corrected some details of Bales' story that he had released earlier. According to the AP:

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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Romney's Offshore Dominance Negates Santorum's Southern Wins

Despite losses in Alabama and Mississippi, Mitt Romney lost little ground to Rick Santorum in the delegate chase last week — thanks primarily to wins in offshore territories, whose residents will not be allowed to vote for president come November.

Santorum had his best delegate week between his victory in the Kansas caucuses March 10 and his wins in the Deep South on March 13. The week ended Sunday with a primary in Puerto Rico.

In nine contests between March 10 and March 18, Santorum picked up 73 delegates, while Romney won 69.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

U.S. Makes $25 Billion In Mortgage-Backed Securities Sale

The U.S. Treasury said today that it had made $25 billion from the sale of mortgage-backed securities it bought back during the financial crisis. The Treasury said the sale was part of its effort to wind down the bailout programs.

The AP reports:

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U.S.
3:36 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Wyoming Tribe Wins Right To Hunt Two Bald Eagles

A bald eagle in flight. The Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming has won an unprecedented permit to hunt two bald eagles for use in religious ceremonies.
iStockphoto.com

Most Americans have little difficulty practicing their religion. But for Native Americans, performing traditional religious ceremonies isn't always so simple. Many rites often involve heavy regulation by federal authorities — especially when it comes to using sacred items like eagle feathers.

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It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

New Jersey As Good-Government Leader? Believe It

Who knew New Jersey's famous turnpike traverses the state with the nation's most accountable government?
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:31 am

New Jersey isn't normally the first state that springs to mind when you're searching for an example of good government. Not even close. In fact, just the opposite.

But the Garden State can now boast that, compared to most other states, it is a democratic (small "d") oasis.

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Election 2012
3:18 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

In Illinois, Candidates Make A Final Delegate Dash

Standing in front of a statue of Ronald Reagan on horseback, Rick Santorum speaks at a campaign rally Monday in Dixon, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 10:04 pm

It's another furious dash to the finish line as delegate-rich Illinois holds its Republican presidential primary Tuesday.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is looking to increase his delegate lead. And he's still searching for that decisive win over his main rival, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

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Author Interviews
3:17 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

'How Creativity Works': It's All In Your Imagination

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 9:22 am

What makes people creative? What gives some of us the ability to create work that captivates the eyes, minds and hearts of others? Jonah Lehrer, a writer specializing in neuroscience, addresses that question in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works.

Lehrer defines creativity broadly, considering everything from the invention of masking tape to breakthroughs in mathematics; from memorable ad campaigns to Shakespearean tragedies. He finds that the conditions that favor creativity — our brains, our times, our buildings, our cities — are equally broad.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Trayvon Martin Killing Puts 'Stand Your Ground' Law In Spotlight

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 4:35 pm

Police didn't arrest George Zimmerman. They didn't arrest him after he got off his car, shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed and on his way back from the store after buying some snacks. They didn't arrest him after 9-11 calls emerged in which police advise Zimmerman, who was on Neighborhood Watch patrol, not to follow Martin.

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Law
2:59 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Justices Weigh IVF Technology Against 1939 Law

Justices heard arguments Monday in a case that attempts to reconcile modern in vitro fertilization technology with a 1939 law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 5:19 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case testing whether children conceived through in vitro fertilization after the death of a parent are eligible for Social Security survivors benefits.

The case before the court began in 2001 when Robert Capato was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Before beginning treatments, he deposited sperm at a fertility clinic, and after he died, his wife, Karen, carried out the couple's plan to conceive using Robert's sperm.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:58 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Health Care In America: Follow The Money

Julia Ro / NPR

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 7:25 pm

The Supreme Court takes up the Affordable Care Act next week, and NPR will be exploring the questions surrounding health care in America beforehand. Many of the publicly debated issues in the act hinge on money. How much is spent on our health? Who spends it? How?

Some know how much we pay for our own medical care, but many aren't aware of how immense an industry health care is in the U.S. Our trips to the doctor employ a lot of people, and our schools play an important role in preparing those people to take care of us.

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All Tech Considered
2:06 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Flush With Cash, Apple's Gains Show Few Signs Of Slowing

Customers talk with Apple employees, in blue, inside a San Francisco Apple store on Friday, the first day of the launch of the new iPad.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:39 pm

At the end of 2011, Apple had a very enviable problem. It's not too many companies that have more cash than they know what to do with, and for the electronics giant, that amounted to nearly $100 billion burning a hole in its pocket.

So it certainly pleased current and potential investors when Apple announced that, for the first time since the mid-1990s, the company will start paying a dividend.

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All Tech Considered
1:41 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life

In an undated photo, members of the Siletz tribe gather for the Siletz Feather Dance in Newport, Ore. The tribe is using digital tools to help preserve its native language.
Courtesy of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 6:45 pm

There are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, and linguists project that as many as half may disappear by the end of the century. That works out to one language going extinct about every two weeks. Now, digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of those ancient tongues.

Members of the Native American Siletz tribe in Oregon say their native language, also called "Siletz," "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Siletz Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bud Lane is one of them.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:40 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

One Nation, Two Health Care Extremes

A patient waits for a room to open up in the emergency room of Houston's Ben Taub General Hospital on July 27, 2009. Nationwide, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 8:59 am

The U.S. spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010 — more than the entire economy of France or Britain. But the amount spent and how it's used varies from state to state.

And no two states are more different than Texas and Massachusetts. At 25 percent, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation. Massachusetts, where a 2006 law made coverage mandatory, has the lowest rate — fewer than 2 percent of people are uninsured.

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