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Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

The Slow Carving Of The Crazy Horse Monument

When completed, the Crazy Horse mountain carving will be 641 feet long by 563 feet high.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

South Dakota is famously home to Mount Rushmore, but it's also been making room for a second colossal mountain carving that, when finished, will dwarf the four presidents.

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It's All Politics
2:16 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Tea Party Texan Cruz Gives GOP Hope In Hunt For Hispanic Votes

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas answers a question from a television reporter on Nov. 6 in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas is a bright young Hispanic star who will be sworn in this week in Washington. The Republican Party nationally hopes Cruz will be part of the solution to its growing problem luring Hispanic voters.

Almost nobody had heard of Cruz when he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate. But when he stepped in front of a microphone, he could light up a room in a way that made the other Republican candidates seem lifeless.

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Europe
2:16 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

'One Pound Fish': A Pakistani Man's Passport To Fame

Pakistanis welcome Muhammad Shahid Nazir, center, the singer of "One Pound Fish," at Lahore's airport Thursday.
Hamza Ali AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

There's a new Internet video that might give the Web sensation "Gangnam Style" a run for its money. It's for a song called "One Pound Fish," and its unlikely star is a 31-year-old Pakistani man who until recently was a fishmonger in London's Upton Park.

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It's All Politics
2:16 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Sinema, First Openly Bisexual Member Of Congress, Represents 'Changing Arizona'

Rep.-elect Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., appears at a news conference with newly elected Democratic House members in Washington on Nov. 13.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Arizona's new 9th Congressional District is sending a different type of representative to Washington this week: She's young — 36. She grew up homeless for a time. And she'll be the first openly bisexual member of Congress.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema marvels at the number of women, minorities and members of the LGBT community who will join her in the freshman class, which will be sworn in Thursday.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

What The Health Law Will Bring In 2013

The majority of what happens on Jan. 1, 2013, is tax increases and cuts in tax deductions to pay for the changes coming in 2014.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Most of the really big changes made by the 2010 health law don't start for another year. That includes things like a ban on restricting pre-existing conditions, and required insurance coverage for most Americans. But Jan. 1, 2013, will nevertheless mark some major changes.

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Music Interviews
2:16 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

'Looper': A World Of Musical Clicks And Pops

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the science-fiction thriller Looper.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

When you think about the great music of science fiction, a few staples spring to mind — say, the theme from the classic Star Trek series, or John Williams' compositions for the Star Wars movies.

Nathan Johnson, the composer for the new time-travel thriller Looper, wanted to break with tradition. Instead of going for that slick, orchestral sound, he immersed himself in the world of the film to find his source material.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

'Cliff' Deal Would End Payroll Tax Holiday

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In covering this debate, much has been made of income tax rates and where exactly they should be raised. But one fact has gotten far less notice. Starting today, payroll taxes are going up two percentage points for nearly all American workers. NPR's John Ydstie joins us to talk about it. And John, this means lower take-home pay for a lot of workers starting very soon.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Attack On Aid Workers In Pakistan Leaves 7 Dead

A father of an aid worker, who was killed by gunmen, mourns the death of his daughter at a hospital in Swabi, Pakistan on Tuesday.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 11:03 am

Following an already violent year in Pakistan, on the first day of the New Year gunmen shot and killed five teachers and two aid workers as they were driving home from work.

According to The Associated Press, the groups director said they may have been targeted for their anti-polio work, which would follow a pattern of attacks against charity and aid workers in Pakistan in recent weeks.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Oil Drilling Rig Runs Aground In Gulf Of Alaska

Waves crash over the Kulluk oil rig, which washed aground on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska. Officials say aircraft have not spotted any signs of a fuel leak from the rig, which reportedly does not contain crude oil.
PA3 Jon Klingenberg Coast Guard

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:44 am

An oil drilling rig holding more than 150,000 gallons of diesel, lubricating oil, and hydraulic fluid has run aground near Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska, after it was being towed during a storm. The crew was evacuated before the rig was incapacitated.

"The rig ran aground in a storm, with waves up to 35 feet and wind to 70 miles per hour," reports Jeff Brady, on NPR's Newscast. The Shell Oil rig is "about 250 miles south of Anchorage," Jeff says.

Update at 6:13 p.m. ET. No Sign of a Leak.

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Monkey See
8:08 am
Tue January 1, 2013

2012 In Review: 50 Wonderful Things From The Year In Pop Culture

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) in the pivotal Mad Men episode, "The Other Woman."
AMC

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Politics
7:45 am
Tue January 1, 2013

'Fiscal Cliff' Measure Heads To The House

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 10:39 am

A compromise deal to stop broad spending cuts and tax increases is headed to the House of Representatives, after receiving strong support in the Senate. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., talks with Steve Inskeep about a possible House vote on the "fiscal cliff" deal.

Cole, the House deputy majority whip who also serves on the Appropriations Committee, says he expects the House to approve the Senate bill, calling it "a pretty big win."

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Ball In Boehner's Court After Senate Approves Fiscal Cliff Deal

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House late Tuesday evening.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:23 am

The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday to pass a Senate-approved compromise deal that stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans, and delays massive spending cuts for two months.

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

NPR's S.V. Date is reporting on the deal for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

"The eventual deal was hammered out by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. It passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

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Health Care
4:50 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Hobby Lobby Plans To Defy Health Care Mandate

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This New Year could mean a new cost for the craft store chain Hobby Lobby. The federal health care law requires employee insurance plans to cover emergency contraceptives. Hobby Lobby's owners did not want to do that. They say drugs commonly known by names like the morning-after pill are tantamount to abortion.

Now, the Supreme Court has turned aside Hobby Lobby's request to block the mandate. So, starting today, the company could be fined as much as $1.3 million per day for defying the law.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Around the Nation
4:50 am
Tue January 1, 2013

School Wants 'Bucket List' To Kick The Bucket

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Michigan's Lake Superior State University issued its annual list of annoying expressions to banish. The list includes: trending, bucket list, kick the can down the road and spoiler alert. The top one to ban: fiscal cliff.

Around the Nation
4:33 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Mayor Settles Council Election Tie With Coin Toss

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Democracy sure works in mysterious ways. In Seguin, Texas, a December city council election ended in a dead tie. Both candidates received 141 votes. So it was up to the mayor to settle things. The law gave him some options: drawing straws or tossing dice. He chose an old coin toss. The silver dollar landed, it was tails, and immediately Jeannette Crabb was sworn into a four-year term. She's coming to office with quite a mandate.

Shots - Health News
2:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Breast Cancer: What We Learned In 2012

Betty Daniel gets a routine yearly mammogram from mammography tech Stella Palmer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago in 2012.
Heather Charles MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:08 am

The past year has seen more debate about the best way to find breast cancers.

A recent analysis concluded that regular mammograms haven't reduced the rate of advanced breast cancers — but they have led more than a million women to be diagnosed with tumors that didn't need to be treated.

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Business
2:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

What Does Senate Budget Deal Mean For You?

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Happy New Year.

Let's start with the upside. Congress has yet to rattle the financial markets so far in 2013.

GREENE: Of course, the markets are closed on this New Year's Day, as the House considers a deal on taxes and spending. The Senate has already approved that plan by a huge majority.

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Latin America
2:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Mexico's President Alters Tactics Against Drug Crimes

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It has been a busy year in Mexico's war on drugs. The administration of former President Felipe Calderon struck major blows to the country's largest cartels, slowing the violence that has claimed more than 50,000 lives.

But the new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, says he'll change tactics. He wants to go after the crime associated with drug trafficking instead of taking down crime bosses. His new attorney general says this is the right strategy, since the number of crime gangs working in the country has grown significantly.

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Southword
1:04 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Coming Home — And Out — In The South

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, based in Washington, D.C.
Dave Anderson Oxford American magazine

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 3:17 pm

Many years ago, a young Chad Griffin left his hometown of Arkadelphia, Ark., to pursue a career in politics. Today, he's the newest head of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — a powerful gay rights group based in Washington, D.C.

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Law
1:00 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Justice Wants Banks To Be Quasi Cops

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer announces a nearly $2 billion money laundering settlement with British bank HSBC on Dec. 11 in New York City.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Every year, banks handle tens of millions of transactions. Some of them involve drug money, or deals with companies doing secret business with countries like Iran and Syria, in defiance of trade sanctions.

But if the Justice Department has its way, banks will be forced to change — to spot illegal transactions and blow the whistle before any money changes hands.

Federal prosecutors have already collected more than $4.5 billion from some of the world's biggest financial institutions — banks charged with looking the other way when dirty money passed through their accounts.

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Science
1:00 am
Tue January 1, 2013

The Year Of The Higgs, And Other Tiny Advances In Science

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the Higgs boson on July 4, the long-sought building block of the universe. This image shows a computer-simulation of data from the collider.
Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

It's a year-end tradition to cobble together a list of the most important advances in science. But, truth be told, many ideas that change the world don't tend to spring from these flashy moments of discovery. Our view of nature — and our technology — often evolve from a sequence of more subtle advances.

Even so, chances are good that this year's list-makers will choose the discovery of the Higgs boson as the most important discovery of 2012.

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World
12:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Multiple Feuds Bring A Record Year Of Violence To Karachi

Gul Mohammed Khan has lost three sons in sectarian violence during the last two years, in Karachi, Pakistan. He stands here with some of his grandchildren who have lost their fathers. When he looks at his grandchildren, he says, he sees his sons.
Dina Temple-Raston/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 8:35 am

The sad truth about Karachi in 2012 was that whatever your religion, business affiliation, or political party, someone was willing to kill you for it.

The murder rate in Pakistan's largest city and commercial hub hit an all time high last year. Over 2,500 people died in violent crimes in Karachi in 2012, a 50 percent increase over the year before.

Most of the deaths were attributable to sectarian killings and score settling. Shia Muslims took on the brunt of the violence. But Sunni Muslims were killed in reprisal attacks that added to the tally.

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Business
12:57 am
Tue January 1, 2013

New Year Brings Minimum-Wage Hikes In 10 States

Rhode Island's minimum wage will increase from $7.40 to $7.75.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:23 pm

On Tuesday, the minimum wage in 10 states will increase by anywhere from a dime to 35 cents.

For all of the states but one, the pay hikes are part of automatic adjustments designed to keep up with the cost of living.

In Rhode Island, it took a state law to raise the minimum wage for the first time in five years.

Rising Wages Vs. Rising Prices

Cafe Zog in Providence is a cozy, quirky place where you can grab a coffee and bagel to go, or nab a booth then head to the counter to order a hot breakfast.

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Business
12:56 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Rift With China Clouds Solar Industry's Future

Solar panels come off the line at SunPower's solar manufacturing plant near San Jose, Calif.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems — thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels.

Things look busy at the SunPower solar manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley. Workers are screwing frames onto shiny, 6-foot solar panels as they come off the line.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:49 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Was 2012 The Year That American Orchestras Hit The Wall?

In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support.
Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

2012 will go down as a year of orchestral turmoil in the U.S.: Strikes, lockouts and bankruptcies erupted time and again as once seemingly untouchable institutions struggled financially.

There's been particularly little seasonal cheer in Minnesota's orchestral community. Protests erupted after management at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra each locked out their musicians, after the musicians had rejected contracts that cut their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars and reduced the size of the orchestras.

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Business
12:40 am
Tue January 1, 2013

'Fiscal Cliff' Statement From President Obama

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

The White House released this statement from President Obama at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday:

Leaders from both parties in the Senate came together to reach an agreement that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support today that protects 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners from a middle class tax hike. While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, this agreement is the right thing to do for our country and the House should pass it without delay.

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NPR Story
5:26 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

With Deadline In Sight, No Final Deal On Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. There's good news and bad news on the so-called "fiscal cliff," just hours before the nation is set to slide over it. The good news is that top negotiators for the Senate and the White House are by all accounts this close to a deal. The deal would prevent a major income tax hike for most Americans. That starts tomorrow.

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts On Fiscal Woes: Don't Look At Us

Chief Justice John Roberts speaks in Farmington, Pa., in June.
Ann Wilkins AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:22 pm

Chief Justice John Roberts wants everyone to know the federal judiciary is doing its part to keep down government costs. Roberts used his year-end report on the state of the courts to point out that the judicial branch consumes "a miniscule portion of the federal budget" — about $7 billion in fiscal year 2012, or two-tenths of 1 percent of the total government budget.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012: The World Celebrates 2013

Revelers count down to 2013 near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, where thousands gathered for the city's first public countdown to the New Year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

It is New Year's Eve. And that means people will: go to parties and drink Champagne; ignore the hubbub and go to bed by 10; start cooking for New Year's Day; watch college football — or possibly some combination of the above.

You can see celebrations around the world by checking out a special photo feed on Instagram. The site shifts timezones to mark the latest to ring in the new year.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:21 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Could Post-Superstorm Sandy Rebuilding Energize The Economy?

Contractors Benny Corrazo, left, and Michael Bonade install a new set of sliding glass doors in a home that survived Superstorm Sandy in the Breezy Point section of New York on Dec. 20, 2012. Some economists say that reconstruction efforts may stimulate the economy.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Superstorm Sandy did tens of billions of dollars in damage to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey.

But there may be a silver lining to all that destruction: Some economists argue that reconstruction from Sandy could help stimulate the national economy in 2013. Still, others are more skeptical.

Charlie Messina uses a jackhammer to break up flood-damaged concrete in a basement in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Manhattan Beach. Messina owns a small business that does renovations.

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