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Strange News
5:44 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Showy Cars Out For A Spin Get Crunched

Some fans of luxury sports cars in Japan took their pricey babies out Sunday — a fantastic fleet of eight Ferraris, two Mercedes and one Lamborghini. The road was wet, the cars were fast — one Ferrari pulled out to pass, skidded into a barrier and spun out. The result was a costly pileup.

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Putin 'Still Sure To Win' Next Year Despite Setback For His Party

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as he voted in Moscow on Sunday (Dec. 4, 2011).
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Though Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party lost dozens of seats in Russia's parliament in elections held Sunday, and may have had to resort to fraud to keep from losing even more, he's "still sure to win" election as president next March, Masha Lipman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said on Morning Edition today.

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Three Books...
5:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

3 Problem-Solving Reads For The Scientific Sleuth

iStockphoto.com

As a boy in a tiny village in Mexico, I loved climbing up to the roof of my family's small home so I could study the stars and dream of becoming an astronaut. Then I discovered Kaliman, a comic-book hero who could unravel any mystery with his powers of telepathy, philosophy and scientific ability. He was fond of saying, "He who masters the mind, masters everything."

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Europe
4:01 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Merkel, Sarkozy Meet Ahead Of Brussels Summit

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 12:04 pm

As European leaders prepare for yet another "last-ditch" effort to save the euro at a summit in Brussels, the leaders of the two eurozone powerhouses, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meet in Paris. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley talks about their meeting.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:16 am
Mon December 5, 2011

What's Behind A Temper Tantrum? Scientists Deconstruct The Screams

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 6:46 am

Children's temper tantrums are widely seen as many things: the cause of profound helplessness among parents; a source of dread for airline passengers stuck next to a young family; a nightmare for teachers. But until recently, they had not been considered a legitimate subject for science.

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Author Interviews
2:56 am
Mon December 5, 2011

'Man Seeks God,' Finds Wayne Of Staten Island

In Eric Weiner's newest book, Man Seeks God, the former NPR foreign correspondent heads around the world on a humorous and thoughtful quest for spirituality.

It seems like a logical next step from his last book, the best-selling Geography of Bliss, an account of his hunt for happiness.

Weiner tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that he was inspired to up the ante this time and search for God after severe abdominal pains landed him in a hospital emergency room.

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Animals
2:54 am
Mon December 5, 2011

The Deep-Sea Find That Changed Biology

Beneath 8,200 feet of water, the Alvin submarine scopes out the Pacific's seafloor in the 1970s. The geologists aboard weren't searching for life — they were on the hunt for hot spots and undersea thermal vents.
Courtesy of Kathy Crane

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:14 am

In 1977, a small crew of oceanographers traveled to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and stumbled across a brand new form of life. The discovery was so unusual, it turned biology on its head and brought into question much of what scientists thought they knew about where life can form and what it needs in order to survive.

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Food
2:51 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Party At Martha's: Stewart's Tips For 'Entertaining'

Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Nearly 30 years ago — long before she had her own TV show or magazine or brand — Martha Stewart wrote her very first book, Entertaining.

"The first book really was kind of an entertaining textbook for the homemaker," Stewart tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "I couldn't find a good book about entertaining in 1982 and neither could my friend, so I decided to write it."

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Around the Nation
2:50 am
Mon December 5, 2011

In Fla., Cautious Hope For Everglades Protection

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says his administration will focus on restoring the Everglades. There are skeptics, however, because Scott oversaw cuts to restoration programs in his first year in office.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:46 am

At the annual dinner of the Everglades Foundation recently, there was a surprise guest: Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The governor made a brief appearance before the group with some reassuring words.

"We are absolutely focused on making sure the right thing happens for the Everglades," he said.

It's a new focus for the Republican, a businessman who's a relative newcomer both to Florida and to politics. After taking office earlier this year, his statements and actions suggested he saw environmental protection not so much as a goal, but as a problem.

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Planet Money
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Why Burn Doctors Hate Instant Soup

tip angles
Journal of Burn Care & Research

Instant cups of soup — the kind that often come in a Styrofoam cup full of noodles — send children to the hospital every day.

"I don't have them in my house," says Dr. Warren Garner, director of the burn unit at University of Southern California's County Hospital in Los Angeles. "I would say that we see at least two to three patients a week who've been injured by these products."

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Latin America
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Once A Risky Bet, Latin America Tapped To Aid Eurozone

The International Monetary Fund used to bail out deadbeat nations in Latin America. Now, in a role reversal, the IMF's new director, Christine Lagarde, is seeking the region's help in containing Europe's worsening debt crisis. Officials in Brazil, now the world's seventh-biggest economy, say they're putting together an IMF loan. And Lagarde says the whole region can provide Europe with lessons on how to manage the economy.

Afghanistan
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Diplomats Meet In Germany On Afghanistan's Future

A big international conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to help draw up a roadmap for Afghanistan after combat operations there cease at the end of 2014. But Pakistan — a critical player in the Afghanistan conundrum — has said it's boycotting the conference after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers during an attack in late November.

World
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Russia's Election Results A Setback For Putin

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Russia's ruling party fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election yesterday. Incomplete results show the party barely winning a majority. And that is a sharp drop in support for the United Russia Party from the last election, which is seen as a setback for Vladimir Putin, the man who has dominated Russia for more than a decade. It's his party.

To talk about the vote we've called Masha Lippman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. She's on the line from there. Welcome back to the program.

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Business
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Post Office To Move Forward With Cuts

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In this country, the Postal Service is set to announce that it's moving ahead with a series of cuts and changes starting in the spring. NPR'S Allison Keyes reports.

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National Security
3:15 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Cutting Retiree Benefits A Sore Subject For Military

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey take part in a news conference at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has said certain cuts in defense spending would endanger national security, invite aggression and devastate Defense Department operations.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 12:58 pm

Bean counters at the Pentagon are working long hours to figure out how to cut close to a trillion dollars from the Department of Defense budget over the next 10 years.

Those were the Pentagon's marching orders after the congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a plan to slash the country's deficit. Pentagon officials are looking at cutting weapons programs, troop levels and possibly even some base closures.

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Your Money
3:13 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Why Buy Toys When You Can Rent?

If you've shopped at a toy store recently, you know that you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on just a few items. So why not just rent the toys instead? Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin tells us how toy rental websites work.

Music Interviews
12:32 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Mayer Hawthorne: A Motor City Kid Looks To The Future

Mayer Hawthorne's latest album is called How Do You Do.
Courtesy of the artist

At 32, neo-soul singer and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne isn't quite old enough to remember the classic days of Motown, but the Michigan native says he did absorb some of the music's aesthetic growing up, thanks to his father.

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Author Interviews
12:13 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Pauline Kael's Legacy Built By Straying From Herd

Pauline Kael was a film critic for The New Yorker from 1967 to 1991, as well as the author of several books, including I Lost It at the Movies and For Keeps: 30 Years at the Movies.
AP

Pauline Kael, long-time New Yorker film critic, was famous for her scathing, but honest movie reviews. She took digs at many popular films like The Sound of Music and Star Wars with no inhibitions. Yet her enthusiasm for films like Bonnie and Clyde gave some movies a new lease on life.

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Health
12:10 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Milwaukee's 'Misery Index': Infant Mortality

As Milwaukee lost industrial jobs, the infant mortality rate skyrocketed in some parts of the city.
Rick Wood Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Impoverished Third World countries often find themselves at the bottom of lists when it comes to infant mortality rates. There is a part of Milwaukee where the infant mortality rate is worse than in parts of rural China. One baby dies for every 59 that make it.

John Schmid reported on this shift in the city's health for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a part of its series "Empty Cradles."

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The Record
10:34 am
Sun December 4, 2011

From Knee-To-Knee To CD: The Evolution Of Oral Tradition In Mountain Ballads

Left to right: Melanie Rice, her son Ezra Penland and grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.
Laurin Penland

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 8:04 pm

My 5-year-old nephew, Ezra, sits between his mother and grandmother on a porch-swing covered in old quilts. An expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison County, N.C., spreads out before them.

The porch used to be a really important part of mountain music. Ezra's mother, Melanie, sings one of the old ballads, just like her ancestors used to do 200 years ago.

The hope is that if Ezra hears the ballads, he'll start to learn them, just as he's learned the names of the trees on his farm, says his grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.

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Religion
9:55 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Chaplains Wanted For Atheists In Foxholes

Retired Army captain and Iraqi war veteran Jason Torpy says the chaplains employed by the U.S. military can't relate to people like him. He's an atheist.

He's also the president of a group that's trying to get the armed forces to become more inclusive by hiring atheist chaplains. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers wants the military to provide for the estimated 40,000 atheists, agnostics and humanists who serve in U.S. forces.

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Middle East
9:35 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Iran Says U.S. Drone Shot Down

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 3:18 pm

Iran's armed forces have shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along the country's eastern border, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday. But a U.S. defense official said there was no indication it was brought down by hostile fire.

An unidentified military official quoted in the report warned of a strong and crushing response to any violations of the country's airspace by American drone aircraft.

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Animals
6:45 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Name That Tune: Identifying Whale Songs For Science

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 10:34 am

Marine biologists are turning to citizen scientists, sitting at home in front of their computers, to help unlock the secrets of whale songs.

In Pixar's aquatic adventure Finding Nemo, Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, attempts to communicate with a whale to find the missing title character. She speaks in a loud, slow drawl to the whale, but when that fails, she says, "Maybe a different dialect."

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Economy
6:26 am
Sun December 4, 2011

How Europe's Troubles Could Become Ours Too

Daniel Kryger, left, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. If the European Union can't agree on a plan, its debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 1:04 pm

This week, European leaders will huddle in intense meetings, trying to work out a comprehensive plan to solve crushing debt problems.

Higher stakes are hard to imagine.

If all goes well at a summit in Brussels, the political leaders will make an announcement Friday, spelling out their long-term commitment to a plan to loosen a choking tangle of debt troubles. If they can't agree on a plan, the EU debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Historic Drug Bust Highlights Underground Network

More than 32 tons of marijuana were found last week in an underground tunnel along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was one of the largest pot busts in U.S. history. Host Audie Cornish talks with Derek Benner, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent, about the tunnel they found and the seasonal aspects of the drug trade.

Politics
6:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Cain Out; Political Favor Shifts Toward Gingrich

Insurgent candidate Herman Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday. As Cain has fallen back, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has emerged as the leading alternative to one-time presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney. NPR's Mara Liasson talks with host Audie Cornish about the changing political climate.

Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

'Life Can Be A Challenge': Cain Suspends Run

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 8:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Herman Cain delivered his views to at Atlanta crowd of disappointed supporters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

HERMAN CAIN: With a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD REACTION)

CORNISH: It was the last stop on the always unconventional journey for the former pizza chain CEO.

NPR's Tamara Keith has this look back at the Cain Train.

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World
6:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Pakistan Awaits U.S. Apology Over Deaths

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 8:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

The U.S. relationship with Pakistan is in crisis after last weekend's deadly border incident in which NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. The Pakistanis have cut off a key NATO supply line to Afghanistan, and they refused to take part in an upcoming conference on Afghanistan, which begins tomorrow.

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Environment
6:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Tough Work Lies Ahead In Climate Talks

In Durban, South Africa, thousands of men and women poured into the streets in front of the International Conference Center, where United Nations talks about climate change are taking place. Host Audie Cornish speaks with NPR's Richard Harris, who is at the conference.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Wash. Mine Cleanup Puts Retreat Center At Risk

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 8:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to a tiny village here in the U.S. attempting to solve an environmental challenge. Nestled in the remote valley in Washington's Cascade Mountains, Holden Village is about to be flooded with hundreds of workers there to clean up the contaminated remains of an old copper mine.

Anna King, of the Northwest News Network, reports on what the cleanup will cost the town.

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