NPR News

Pages

The Two-Way
11:38 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Libya's Foreign Minister: 'It's Over' For Gadhafi

In an interview with Britain's Channel 4, Libya's foreign minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi said the rule of Col. Moammar Gadhafi was over.

Al-Obeidi said if he was in charge of the loyalists still fighting in Tripoli, he would tell them to "lay down their arms."

Al-Obeidi was talking to Channel 4 from him home in Tripoli and confirmed that the regime had collapsed.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:01 am
Wed August 24, 2011

WikiLeaks Makes Cache Of Diplomatic Cables Public

WikiLeaks logo.
WikiLeaks

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 12:31 pm

Earlier today, WikiLeaks made public 5,523 diplomatic cables. While WikiLeaks claimed on its Twitter account that the cables were "new," they've actually been in the hands of news organizations like The New York Times and The Guardian since November.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:27 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Most U.S. House Members Not Doing Town Hall Meetings

A Royal Caribbean recruiter (c) hands out an application at a Congressional Black Caucus jobs fair in Miami, Aug. 23, 2011.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:57 am

If your member of Congress is holding town-hall meetings during their summer recess to discuss the great issues of the day with you and their other constituents, he or she is in the minority.

The non-partisan group No Labels, created as a refuge for voters favoring pragmatic, less ideological solutions to the nation's problems, surveyed U.S. House members and found that 60 percent weren't holding town hall meetings this summer.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

'Hearing Something We Can't Hear:' How Animals Foretold The Earthquake

The National Zoo's 23-year-old male red-ruffed lemur, Joven.
Mehgan Murphy Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 12:16 pm

We know how humans first sensed Tuesday's earthquake. We felt the shake, then the rattle, and then the urge to flee.

But what about the region's animals?

Did they sense the rare 5.8-magnitude temblor before the shaking started?

We checked in with the folks at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, one of the most popular attractions in the nation's capital, to see what they could tell us.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
9:58 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Google Forking Over $500 Million In Online Pharmacy Ad Settlement

Bluestocking iStockphoto.com

It's official. Google has agreed to settle a federal probe into ads it ran for online Canadian pharmacies by forfeiting $500 million.

The settlement had been widely anticipated since May, when the online powerhouse disclosed it had set aside that amount "in connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Earth May Be Home To 8.7M Species, Give Or Take A Million Or So

Figuring that one of the basic things we should know about the Earth is how many species of life we're surrounded by, a team of researchers has come up with a new estimate:

-- 8.7 million, "with a standard error of +/- 1.3 million."

Or, that is, somewhere between 7.4 million and 10 million. And so far, experts say, we've only discovered about 15 percent of them.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:17 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Report: Journalists Are Freed From Libyan Hotel

Foreign journalists in protective gear climb the stairs at the Rixos hotel where they were confined, as rebel forces overran Gadhafi's Bab al-Azizya headquarters in Tripoli.
Imed Lamloum AFP/Getty Images

CNN's Matthew Chance reports on Twitter that journalists have been allowed to leave the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, where many foreign journalists have stayed throughout the 6-month civil war.

For the past few days, journalists have been held in the hotel at gunpoint. As we've reported, the hotel is where Saif al-Islam Gadhafi made his surprise appearance Monday night and is a place very close to Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:17 am
Wed August 24, 2011

King's Son And Friend Moved By Memorial Dedication

Countless members of the public visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on Tuesday August 23, 2011.
Amy Ta NPR

The national monument honoring Civil Rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the only monument to an African-American on the National Mall, and the only one on that side of the Mall honoring a non-presidential figure. It shows King emerging from a stone extracted from a mountain, which is inspired by a line from his famous "I Have a Dream" speech:

"With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:15 am
Wed August 24, 2011

One Of World's 'Most Feared Pests' Keeps Showing Up At Customs

The Khapra beetle. If you see one, tell the authorities.
acgov.org

This headline from the Chicago Tribune got our attention:

'Most feared' pest found in shipment at O'Hare.

According to the story, "a cast skin and larva" later identified as Khapra beetles were discovered in two 10-pound bags of rice last week.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:51 am
Wed August 24, 2011

CBO: Economy Remains In 'Severe Slump'

CBO

The Congressional Budget Office has just released the summer update of its Budget and Economic Outlook. The non-partisan government agency took in to account the recently enacted Budget Control Act, but not the recent market volatility.

If you were looking for good economic news, this report is not it. Here's the bottom line as Director Douglas W. Elmendorf puts it in his blog:

Read more
The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Joey Vento, Famed For Cheesesteaks And 'Speak English,' Has Died

He was "the impresario of cheesesteaks whose 'speak English' sign at his South Philly sandwich shop made him famous to some, infamous to others," The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Rise In Order For Durable Goods Lifts Spirits On Wall Street

This just in from Bloomberg News:

"U.S. stock futures pared losses, erasing most of a 1.4 percent decline, as a bigger-than-expected increase in orders for durable goods offset concern yesterday's rally went too far, too fast."

Translation: Wall Street may have an OK day. The futures are signalling that the market's likely to head higher.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Terror Fears Made East Coast Earthquake Especially Unsettling

There was supposedly some "snickering" from jaded folks on the West Coast of the U.S. on Tuesday as they watched many on the East Coast express alarm and surprise over the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook things from the Carolina's to New England.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:15 am
Wed August 24, 2011

In Libya: Last Battle Of 'Bitter, Brutal Civil War'

The dramatic scenes Tuesday of joy and looting at what was Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's main compound in Tripoli have again raised the prospect that "the war is almost over," NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reported on Morning Edition earlier today.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:35 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Irene Likely To Be 'Major Hurricane Later Today;' Mid-Atlantic Bracing

Here she comes. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite photo of Hurricane Irene, taken Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011). Cuba and Florida are to the left.
AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Irene "continues to strengthen as it pounds the southeastern Bahamas," the National Hurricane Center reports, and "will likely become a major hurricane later today."

Irene is a "category two" hurricane at this moment. The Hurricane Center expects it will be upgraded to "category three," with winds of more than 111 mph, today.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Gadhafi Vows To Fight; Irene Strengthens; East Coast Picks Up After Quake

Opposition fighters flashed the V-sign for victory during celebrations in Tripoli's newly named Martyrs Square, formerly known as Green Square, on Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011).
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 5:06 am

We'll have more on each of these topics shortly, but first we want to quickly pass on the main headlines related to the day's three major stories:

-- Libya: "From Hiding, Gadhafi Tells Libyans To Free Tripoli."

Read more
Law
3:30 am
Wed August 24, 2011

NYPD Intelligence Unit Seen Pushing Rights Limits

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Police Department has become one of America's most aggressive gatherers of domestic intelligence. Its intelligence unit, directed by a retired CIA veteran, dispatches undercover officers to keep tabs on ethnic neighborhoods — sometimes in areas far outside their jurisdiction.

Read more
Africa
2:36 am
Wed August 24, 2011

From Hiding, Gadhafi Tells Libyans To Free Tripoli

A Libyan rebel stands with his weapon at the Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli a day after it was captured by rebel forces.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:31 am

Libyan loyalists launched counteroffensives throughout the capital on Wednesday, seemingly taking their cues from leader Moammar Gadhafi, who called on them from hiding to drive the "devils and traitors" from Tripoli.

Clashes erupted in a neighborhood next to Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound a day after the sprawling command-and-control center was overrun by thousands of rebel fighters. Pro-regime fighters attacked with shells and assault rifles in the Abu Salim area, which is home to a notorious prison and thought to be one of the last remaining regime strongholds in Tripoli.

Read more
Sweetness And Light
10:01 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

The Goal(post)-Oriented Pilgrimage

On his 56-year quest, Dick Wessels visited all the stadiums of all the Division One college football teams.
David Lee iStockphoto.com

All right, so the University of Miami's been caught in a humongous football scandal following Ohio State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oregon, and, as the King of Siam used to say: "Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera."

What's more to add? The sport is totally out of control, and neither the college presidents nor the NCAA can do anything but make dopey, empty promises. So why bother? Let me, instead, tell you a nice college football story.

It is about a quest.

Read more
Planet Money
10:01 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

What Is Bitcoin?

The U.S. has the dollar. Japan has the yen. Now some people are trying to invent a new currency that's not tied to any country or government. It's called bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a lot like cash — for the online universe. It doesn't actually exist in the physical world. You can't hold bitcoins in your hand because they just live on computers and the Internet.

Read more
Asia
10:01 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

After Quake, Japanese Fishing Port Remains At Risk

Most of Kesennuma's large fishing boats either survived the tsunami or have been repaired. But many do not move from the dock, because most of the city's fish-processing factories still lie in ruins.
Frank Langfitt NPR

At first glance, the Japanese fishing port of Kesennuma looks like it's making a comeback from last March's devastating tsunami. A half-dozen fishing boats arrive one morning in this city of 70,000 and unload tons of bonito onto a partially rebuilt port.

The fish roll down a conveyor, beneath a fresh-water shower, and splash into plastic bins filled with ice water. Mitsuo Iwabuchi, a wholesaler bidding on the catch, says the port is improving, but the infrastructure that drives it, including scores of fish-processing and ice-making factories, still lies in ruins.

Read more
Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Ala. Businesses Riled By State's New Immigration Law

The dispute over immigration policy is being fought in an Alabama federal court Wednesday.

The state's Republican leaders say they passed the toughest immigration bill in the country to preserve jobs for Alabamians. But critics say the law goes too far, criminalizing all kinds of contact with undocumented residents and putting an extra burden on small business.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Legendary Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt Diagnosed With Alzheimer's

Pat Summitt, college basketball's winningest coach, said in an interview that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

The legendary coach, who has 1,071 career victories and eight national championships as the University of Tennessee's women's basketball coach, also said she would continue coaching.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:08 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Medicare Trying Bundled Payments To Save Money, Improve Care

iStockphoto.com

For all those who say there's nothing in the Affordable Care Act that could reduce health care spending, this one's for you.

Medicare officials have unveiled the latest initiative to spring from last year's overhaul, and it's one some health economists have been lusting after for years: Bundling payments so that hospitals, doctors, and even post-hospital caregivers all have the same financial incentive to both work together and provide cost-effective care.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Why A Quake In Virginia Isn't As Rare As It Sounds

Nelson Hsu NPR

The earthquake that rattled the East Coast Tuesday afternoon, from its Virginia epicenter to Washington and the islands off Massachusetts, was, indeed, rare, geologists say.

But only because of its size; at a magnitude of 5.8, it was the largest temblor to hit Virginia since 1897, when the largest quake on record, a 5.9 quake, struck.

"Earthquakes in central Virginia are not very unusual," says David Spears, Virginia's state geologist. "We have them every few years, but they're usually in the two-to-four magnitude range."

Read more
The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

After Quake, Rush To Phone Loved Ones Overwhelmed Networks

People reach for their cellphones outside the courthouse in Manhattan after an earthquake rattled the East Coast on Tuesday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

After an earthquake shook the East Coast on Tuesday, many people reached for their cellphones and tried to call loved ones. And many couldn't get through — but it wasn't the earthquake's fault.

No damaged cell towers or wires were reported by the major mobile carriers following the quake, which struck just before 2 p.m. EST and registered a magnitude of 5.8 at its epicenter in Virginia.

So what caused the problems?

Read more
Africa
2:57 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

A New Obstacle To Normal Relations For Sudan, U.S.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir speaks of the capital Khartoum on July 12. Sudan says it should be taken off the U.S. terrorism list, but Washington says it is concerned about new fighting in the south of the country.
Ashraf Shazly AFP/Getty Images

When Sudan allowed South Sudan to become an independent nation last month, it hoped this would put an end to years of friction with the United States.

More specifically, Sudan desperately wanted to be removed from Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism and get out from under the many sanctions that come along with that designation.

But now the U.S. and the United Nations are raising concerns about fighting, and possible atrocities, near the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
2:53 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Eating More Nuts And Soy May Help Beat High Cholesterol

Got high cholesterol? Soybeans might help.
iStockphoto.com

If you've got high cholesterol, you know the diet advice: Go easy on foods high in saturated fat like red meat and cheese, and eat lots of fiber and whole grains.

The message still holds up, but researchers say it's time to tweak the message.

Read more
Law
2:53 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Clergy Sue To Stop Alabama's Immigration Law

Alabama's new immigration law gets its first test in federal court Wednesday.

The Justice Department and civil rights groups are suing to stop what's considered to be the toughest illegal immigration crackdown coming out of the states.

But the law is also being challenged from a Bible Belt institution.

'It Goes Against Tenets Of Our Christian Faith'

At First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham, clergy from around the city take turns leading a prayer service called in response to the new immigration law.

Read more
Africa
2:40 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

A New Libyan Leadership Could Recover Billions

A young Libyan in Benghazi celebrates Tuesday over news that Moammar Gadhafi's rule appears to be at an end. The U.S. says it is prepared to unfreeze Libyan assets quickly and make them available to a new government.
Alexandre Meneghini AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:31 am

The United States wants to give Libya its money back.

The U.S. froze some $30 billion worth of the country's assets after leader Moammar Gadhafi launched a harsh crackdown on his opponents earlier this year. With Gadhafi's rule now near or at its end, U.S. officials and their European counterparts are prepared to quickly unfreeze those funds for a new Libyan leadership.

Read more

Pages