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Economy
3:17 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

States' Fiscal Future Starts To Look A Bit Brighter

In 2010, Arizona sold 22 buildings in its state capitol complex to help deal with budget deficits. Gov. Jan Brewer recently asked representatives to buy back three of the buildings, including the State House of Representatives (right), as the state's financial situation has improved. The Old Arizona Capitol Building (left) was not part of the deal.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 5:19 pm

As the U.S. economy struggled to get back on its feet over the past few years, a lot of states found themselves contending with big budget deficits. They responded by firing workers, raising taxes and cutting spending. Now the fiscal picture for a lot of states is brightening a bit — but many still face enormous challenges.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang Resigns

Jerry Yang, Yahoo!'s co-founder, has resigned from the company's board of directors and every other position he held. Yang is leaving at a time when the Internet behemoth has struggled to remain relevant in an age of social media.

"The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo!," Yang said in a statement. In the same press release, Yang was praised by the chairman of the board and the CEO, who called him a visionary and an innovator.

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It's All Politics
2:52 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Wisconsin Democrats Exceed Million-Signature Mark For Walker Recall

Jeremy Levinson, (l) a lawyer to the recall committees, talks about the petitions as Mike Tate (c) Wisconsin Democratic Party chair listens, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.
Andy Manis AP

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 3:48 pm

How badly do Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's opponents want him out of office? So badly they collected significantly more signatures than they needed to ensure a recall election for the governor. A lot more.

We're talking more than a million signatures, according to Wisconsin Democrats who, in order to meet the Tuesday deadline, were hauling boxes of documents to the state office responsible for reviewing them.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

World's Time Keepers Will Decide The Fate Of The Leap Second

The International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly, otherwise known as the international authority that keeps close tabs on time, will debate a philosophical question this week: They will decide whether to eliminate the leap second and in doing so break its tie to astronomical time.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:00 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Retail Labs Give Patients Information, But Needle Doctors

If there's a test for it, chances are a storefront lab is eager to help you have it done.
iStockphoto.com

You could call Michael Brooks a supplement junkie. He pops exactly six pills a day, three times a day, not to mention powders and shakes and chews. "A multivitamin, vitamin C, omega-3s, alpha lipoic acid," he says. "I'm taking a digestive enzyme."

Brooks is a personal trainer in Birmingham, Ala. He's healthy and fit, but he almost obsessively wants to know more, which is why we find him here, a few doors down from a sandwich shop and a nail salon, at a storefront lab called Any Lab Test Now.

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Middle East
1:24 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

'F' Is For Funding ... Which Palestinian Muppets Lack

Daoud Kuttab, executive producer of Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street, holds a Muppet at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah earlier this month. The producers say they have been forced to put production for the 2012 season on hold because of a funding freeze by the U.S. Congress.
Nasser Shiyoukhi AP

This used to be a busy time of year for Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street.

Producers and educators would be choosing the "words of the day" for the upcoming season. Writers would be brainstorming ideas around a large conference table. Project director Laila Sayegh says everyone would be working long days.

"From the morning, like 8 until 6 o'clock in the evening. And now as you can see, it's empty. We have nothing," she says.

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Electronic/Dance
1:23 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

From Mega Man To Final Fantasy, Live Video Game Music

Nobuo Uematsu plays keyboard with Earthbound Papas, a rock band made up of video-game soundtrack composers.
Lindsay Totty NPR

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Every year, thousands of video-game fans flock to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for a unique music festival called MAGFest. It's short for "Music and Gaming Festival," and it's designed to celebrate the music of video games.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:10 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Listen Up, Walkers: Watch Out For Traffic When Wearing Headphones

Beware of tuning out while crossing the street.
iStockphoto.com

By now we all know that distracted driving can kill you. But a new study suggests that distracted walking can be pretty deadly, too.

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Afghanistan
1:04 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Gains In Afghan Health: Too Good To Be True?

A nurse weighs an Afghan child at a U.S.-funded clinic in Farza, Afghanistan, in September. A new U.S.-sponsored survey shows dramatic gains in life expectancy and other aspects of health care in Afghanistan. But some experts are questioning the accuracy of the results.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 5:19 pm

A U.S.-sponsored mortality survey released last year announced huge improvements in health across Afghanistan. But the gains are so great that experts are still arguing about whether it's correct.

During three decades of war, Afghanistan remained a black hole of health information. The few mortality studies looked at a small slice of the population and then extrapolated.

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Law
1:02 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

High Court Lets Stand Trio Of First Amendment Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a trio of cases involving free speech and religion.

In the first set of cases, the court declined to address the burgeoning legal debate over what powers school officials have to censor students who are at home, working on their personal computers, when they create parodies or personal attacks involving school officials or fellow students.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Morgan Stanley Will Limit Cash Bonuses To $125,000

Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The employees of Morgan Stanley, owner of the world's biggest brokerage, will receive a maximum cash bonus of $125,000, this year. As The New York Times puts it, the cap reflects "the difficulties that new financial regulations and the debt turmoil in Europe have posed to Morgan Stanley and its rival firms."

And with tongue firmly in cheek, it also notes that the bankers "may want to put their kitchen renovations off until next year."

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Country/Americana
12:29 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

The Little Willies: For The Wrenching 'Good Times'

The Little Willies' For the Good Times brings together five accomplished musicians of varying musical backgrounds.
Courtesy of the artist

It's been six years since The Little Willies released an eponymous debut album.

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The Salt
12:24 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Does The Queen of Unhealthy Eating Have To Eat Her Words?

Paula Deen tells Today show co-host Al Roker that she has Type 2 diabetes.
Peter Kramer ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 1:25 pm

There were hints that all was not well in Paula Deen's Southern-fried world. Last November, when NPR correspondent Allison Aubrey asked Deen if she'd ever do healthier versions of her greasy, sugar-laden fare, Deen said: "As I age, and get older and I get 'different things' that I have to battle physically — it may, you know, resonate closer to home for me."

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Media
12:14 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

In Britain, Calls To Regulate A Freewheeling Press

British tabloids such as The Sun are known for being brash, cheeky and salacious.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 5:19 pm

The voice mail and computer hacking and police bribery scandal that has roiled the British newspaper industry has also led to calls for government regulation of the press in one of the world's greatest democracies.

Some newspaper executives, such as Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail and editor-in-chief of the Mail on Sunday, are attempting to draw the line.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

One Of World's Oldest Cypress Trees, 'The Senator,' Burns In Florida

On Monday (Jan. 16, 2012) Seminole County firefighter Al Caballero applied water to the smoldering base of The Senator.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 12:03 pm

Investigators are now saying arson was not the likely cause of a fire that on Monday destroyed a cypress tree in Central Florida that was an estimated 3,500 years old — making it perhaps the oldest such tree in the nation and one of the oldest in the world.

Known as "The Senator," the tree that once stood 165 feet tall (before a hurricane lopped off about 45 feet in 1925) was more likely brought down by a fire that had been smoldering inside it — without being detected — since a lightning strike about a week ago, investigators say.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Los Angeles Set To Approve Condom Requirement In Porn Shoots

A condom.
iStockphoto.com

The Los Angeles City Council is poised to approve a measure today that would require adult film stars to wear condoms when making films. The AP reports that last week, the council voted 11-1 for preliminary approval.

The new requirement is controversial in the porn industry. NPR's Alex Cohen explored the issue back in 2010. Essentially, the industry claims condoms hurt sales and their method of testing actors every 30 days is effective.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:26 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Should The U.N. Admit Palestine As A Full Member State?

Mustafa Barghouthi (from left), Daniel Levy, debate moderator John Donvan, Dore Gold and Aaron David Miller speak before an audience in New York on the motion "The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State."
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 8:20 am

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Last September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas requested full membership to the United Nations for a state of Palestine.

With negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders at a stalemate, is there another approach that could offer a diplomatic solution for peace?

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Shots - Health Blog
11:08 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Obesity Epidemic May Have Peaked In U.S.

The nation's obesity epidemic appears to have hit a plateau, according to the latest federal data released Tuesday.

Obesity soared in the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s, doubling among adults and tripling among children. That raised widespread alarm and debate about the causes and possible solutions. Obesity can increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other serious health problems.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Canada's Harper Says His Country Is 'Held Hostage' By U.S. In Pipeline Debate

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Adrian Wyld AP

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 10:44 am

In an interview with the CBC, yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had some harsh words for the United States and its side of the Keystone XL pipeline debate.

"I don't object to foreigners expressing their opinion," Harper told the CBC. "But I don't want them to be able to hijack the process so that we don't make a decision that's timely or in the interests of Canadians."

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It's All Politics
10:35 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Romney Says He's Taxed At 15 Percent Rate

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Florence, S.C., earlier today (Jan. 17, 2012).
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 3:51 pm

He has probably paid an effective federal income tax rate of about 15 percent in recent years, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters in South Carolina a short time ago.

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Movie Reviews
9:48 am
Tue January 17, 2012

'A Separation' Of Hearts, Minds And Ideas In Iran

Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) are at odds first about whether to leave Iran for life abroad — and then about more pressing issues.
Sony Picture Classics.

Over the past 30-odd years, we've grown used to thinking of Iran and the United States as enemies — from the Ayatollah Khomeini dubbing America "The Great Satan" to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which has led President Obama to spearhead international sanctions and some of his Republican rivals to talk of bombing Iran.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:35 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Seeing Doctors' Notes Could Help Patients Change Ways

iStockphoto.com

If patients and doctors both have easy access to the notes the doctor takes during their office visits, will it change their behavior?

That's a question that an experiment called OpenNotes aims to answer by letting patients of more than 100 primary care doctors in three states see the notes online.

In December, researchers reported the results of surveys taken before the project started in 2010 in which patients and physicians were asked about their attitudes toward making such information available.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue January 17, 2012

$45 Million Hospital Bill: It's Enough To Really Make You Sick

With a bill that big, you'll need quite a stack of these.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Morning Edition's staff noticed a story from over the long holiday weekend that's just too much of a "no-way!" not to pass along.

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Author Interviews
8:38 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Writing About The Midwestern Muslim Experience

Ayad Akhtar is a first generation Pakistani-American screenwriter and playwright from Milwaukee. American Dervish is his first novel.
Nina Subin Little, Brown

Playwright Ayad Akhtar's debut novel, American Dervish, tells the story of Hayat Shah, a Pakistani-American boy in Milwaukee coming to terms with his religion and identity.

Ahktar says that he drew from the sensibilities of Jewish writers and filmmakers like Saul Bellow, Philip Roth and Woody Allen when thinking about how to give form to his experiences growing up as a young Muslim in the Midwest.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Tue January 17, 2012

'Get On Board!' Coast Guard Officer Rages At Italian Cruise Ship Captain

The cruise ship Costa Concordia, earlier today (Jan. 17, 2012).
Laura Lezza Getty Images
  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli, reporting on the dramatic phone call

Dramatic audio has emerged of an irate Italian Coast Guard officer ordering the captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia to "get back on board!" as the stricken vessel lay crippled off the coast of Tuscany on Friday night.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, in the telephone call Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco shouts as he accuses Costa Concordia Capt. Francesco Schettino of abandoning his ship. Schettino was apparently sitting in a row boat at the time.

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It's All Politics
6:45 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Is Obama Really The 'Food Stamp President'? Fact-checking The S.C. Debate

PolitiFact's "Barely True" rating.
PolitiFact

Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact.com and Washington bureau chief for The St. Petersburg Times, and PolitiFact.com's Angie Drobnic Holan wrote about how candidates at the Myrtle Beach, S.C. debate rated on PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter for PolitiFact.com and It's All Politics:

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Fuel Is Flowing To Nome Through Half-Mile Hose Laid Over Ice

There's good news to report about the struggle to get much-needed gasoline and diesel fuel to the 3,500 people of Nome, Alaska:

"Crews on Monday afternoon began transferring 1.3 million gallons of fuel from a Russian fuel tanker" to the "iced-in" city, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Egypt's Wael Ghonim: 'Revolutions Are Processes ... It Will Take Time'

Wael Ghonim talking with reporters on Feb. 8, 2011, in Cairo's Tahrir Square as protests there continued.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 5:50 am

  • NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Wael Ghonim

It's been nearly a year since Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Arab Spring as his online organizing efforts and his arrest helped draw people and attention to the demands by many Egyptians for reform — a movement that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Hopes Are Fading For Missing In Italian Cruise Ship Disaster

  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports

Divers and other rescue personnel are still trying to reach areas of the cruise ship Costa Concordia that haven't yet been explored in a bid to see if any of the 29 people who remain unaccounted for after Friday's crash off the Italian coast of Tuscany might be alive.

But as the BBC reports, hopes are fading. As of this hour, six people are known to have died. More than 4,200 passengers and crew were on board when it struck rocks, took on water and listed on to its starboard side.

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