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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue May 29, 2012

On Second Thought, Maybe Consumer Confidence Isn't That High

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 10:45 am

Last week, the researchers who put out the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers said their index rose in May to "its highest level since October 2007" — before the last recession began.

But when it comes to economics, there always seem to be an "on the other hand" moment coming — especially when the economy appears to be at a turning point.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Home Prices Haven't 'Turned,' But Some Edged Up As Quarter Ended

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 9:41 am

Home prices slipped further in the first quarter, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. It reports that:

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The Salt
9:01 am
Tue May 29, 2012

How Do Your Dinnertime Rules Compare With The Obamas'?

The Obamas host a Passover Seder for family, staff and friends at the White House on April 6.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:27 pm

If you listen to the Morning Edition interview with first lady Michelle Obama, you'll know she's come out with a new book about the White House garden.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue May 29, 2012

How Do You Spell Precocious? 6-Year-Old Spelling Bee Contestant Would Know

The National Spelling Bee gets going Wednesday and the story that's got everyone buzzing is about the youngest competitor in the contest's history: 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison from Woodbridge, Va.

She is, as Washington's WJLA-TV says, a "precocious little girl" who "is anything but ordinary" and will be on stage with others twice her age.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Italy Rocked By Second Deadly Quake

Two police officers in Mirandola try to comfort a woman after today's earthquake in Northern Italy.
Pierre Teyssot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 9:25 am

The news has gotten worse from Italy. Just after 9:15 a.m. ET, The Associated Press reported that authorities say at least 15 people were killed today by an earthquake that struck the northern part of the country.

Our original post, from 8:05 a.m. ET:

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Good News: Beryl Weakened. Better News: It Drenched Parched Areas

A National Weather Service radar image of Beryl early this morning. It was stretching from North Florida into Georgia.
National Weather Service

As residents in Northeast Florida give thanks that Tropical Storm Beryl did relatively little damage over the weekend and did not develop into a hurricane, they're also grateful that it brought rain to an area plagued by drought.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Most Victims Of Friday's Massacre In Syria Were Executed, U.N. Says

Saturday: In this picture provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network, people watch the mass burial of victims from Friday's violence in Houla.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:42 pm

"The U.N. said Tuesday that entire families were shot in their homes during a massacre in Syria on Friday that killed more than 100 people, including children," The Associated Press reports. And as nations around the world have reacted this morning to news about the atrocities, they're expelling Syrian diplomats in protest.

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Asia
6:42 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Dog Follows Cyclists For 1,100 Miles

A team of long-distance cyclists was traveling across China, and they fed some chicken feed to a small stray dog. That little white canine followed them for 20 days, 1,100 miles and over 12 mountains. One cyclist started a blog about the dog and it's attracted 40,000 followers.

Around the Nation
6:32 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Soldier Suprises Family, Returns From Afghanistan

Air Force Master Sgt. David Sims made his family's weekend unforgettable. During an Atlanta Braves game, his wife and four children came onto the field to watch a video message from him in Afghanistan. He then ran onto the field — a surprise return after a six month deployment.

Middle East
6:18 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Syrian Conflict Crosses Border Into Lebanon

Recent sectarian violence has claimed the lives of more than a dozen people in Lebanon. The fighting was sparked by the conflict in neighboring Syria. Analysts fear that without uniform leadership in Lebanon, and a workable solution to stop the violence in Syria, a regional sectarian war is in the offing.

Books News & Features
4:34 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Libraries Grapple With The Downside Of E-Books

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:51 am

Digital books are the fastest growing area of publishing. Libraries are seeing a surge in demand for e-book titles as well, but there's a downside. Most major publishers won't allow libraries to lend their titles, while others impose restrictions or charge double or triple the print price.

Business
4:34 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 7:36 am

Researchers have discovered what they're calling the largest and most sophisticated cyber weapon ever unleashed. It's called Flame, and it's been infecting computers throughout the Middle East — especially in Iran. Analysts describe it as an "attack toolkit" that conceals itself in massive amounts of code and gathers all kinds of information.

Europe
4:34 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Spanish Police Accused Of Racially Profiling

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 6:02 am

Amnesty International has scolded Madrid police for allegedly instituting monthly quotas for detaining minorities. Some Africans and Latinos complain of being stopped for ID checks several times a day, solely based on the color of their skin. They say the practice is on the rise, as Spain's economy falters.

Author Interviews
3:05 am
Tue May 29, 2012

The First Lady Cultivates 'American Grown' Gardening

First lady Michelle Obama tends to the presidential garden during the third annual White House kitchen garden fall harvest in October 2011. The last vegetable garden planted at the White House was Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:34 am

One of the first things Michelle Obama did as first lady was to dig up part of the beautifully manicured South Lawn of the White House and plant a vegetable garden. The garden was just one of Obama's many efforts to encourage Americans to eat nutritious food and live healthier lives. Her latest project, a book called American Grown, is a diary of that garden through the seasons and a portrait of gardening in America, past and present.

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It's All Politics
3:04 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Dire Predictions Amid Another Looming Fiscal Battle

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 11:27 am

There are growing warnings on Capitol Hill that the nation could be rolling toward an end-of-the-year fiscal train wreck.

"The looming tax hike will be absolutely devastating," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

"You can call this a fiscal cliff. You can call it 'Taxmageddon' as others have done. Whatever you call it, it will be a disaster for the middle class," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, added.

And Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said: "It's a tsunami; there's no question about it, and it's coming."

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House & Senate Races
3:02 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Texas Senate Hopefuls Woo Republicans Of All Stripes

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:34 am

It's high noon in Texas at the Stephenville Community Center out on Highway 67, and the Cross Timbers Republican Women's Club Candidates Forum is about to begin.

Time has run out on this Republican Senate primary. This is a last chance for the candidates to make an impression before Tuesday's vote. They're vying to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is retiring after serving for nearly 20 years.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
3:02 am
Tue May 29, 2012

American Dream Faces Harsh New Reality

The American Dream has long evoked the idea that the next generation will have a better life than the previous one. Today, many Americans feel that dream is in jeopardy.
H. Armstron Roberts CORBIS

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:34 am

The American Dream is a crucial thread in this country's tapestry, woven through politics, music and culture.

Though the phrase has different meanings to different people, it suggests an underlying belief that hard work pays off and that the next generation will have a better life than the previous generation.

But three years after the worst recession in almost a century, the American Dream now feels in jeopardy to many.

The town of Lorain, Ohio, used to embody this dream. It was a place where you could get a good job, raise a family and comfortably retire.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
3:01 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Family Matters: Pitching In To Take Care Of Grandma

Chris Martin, 14, greets his great-grandmother AnnaBelle Bowers, 87, who lives part time with the Martin family in Harrisburg, Pa.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 9:18 am

On a recent evening, the Martin family of Harrisburg, Pa., had too many places it needed to be.

AnnaBelle Bowers, the 87-year-old matriarch of the family who is also known as "Snootzie," was at home — watching television and getting ready for bed.

Someone needed to care for her. That fell to Chris Martin, her 14-year-old great-grandson.

His willingness to stay at home meant his sister, Lauren, could play in a softball game.

It also meant her parents, David and LaDonna Martin, could watch.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
2:57 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Listening To Parents Key To Financial Responsibility

Parents can make a difference in whether their kids become spenders or savers, studies find.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:34 am

As an increasing number of Americans live into their 80s and 90s, many families are struggling to find ways to make retirement dollars — that were once supposed to support seniors for years — now stretch over decades.

More and more, families have to care for the very elderly, as well as look after children who might be college grads but haven't found a job in a difficult economy.

All this requires one very important thing: lots of money.

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

Russia Denies It's Hiding Details Of Holocaust Hero Raoul Wallenberg's Fate

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 8:29 am

Raoul Wallenberg is credited with saving thousands of Jews in Budapest during the Nazi occupation by giving them Swedish travel papers or moving them to safe houses. The Swedish diplomat was arrested by the Soviet Red Army more than six decades ago. His fate has been a mystery ever since.

On Monday, the chief archivist of Russia's counterintelligence service said the agency will continue searching for clues about his fate.

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Afghanistan
4:01 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

Afghan Female Boxers Strike A Blow For Girl Power

An Afghan girl takes part in a boxing training session around in a training room at the Kabul stadium, in Kabul in January 2011.
Shah Marai Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 8:52 pm

When Saber Sharifi goes out recruiting girls and young women for his female boxing team in Afghanistan, he encounters a lot of skeptical parents.

"I reassure them that their daughters will not have broken noses on their wedding day," he says with a smile.

Sharifi launched his recruiting campaign in girls' high schools back in 2007. After three months of relentless speeches and presentations, he could only get two girls to sign up.

But he didn't give up. After two more years, he had eight more members on the team.

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Asia
4:01 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

For Future Energy, Volcanic Indonesia Bets On Heat

A local resident entertains visitors to the Kawah Kamojang geothermal field in West Java. He puts a length of bamboo to the steam coming from the ground to make a whistle, then throws soda cans into the vent, which shoots them high into the air. The Dutch colonial government drilled Indonesia's first geothermal wells at Kamojang in 1926, when the country was still known as the Dutch East Indies.
Yosef Riadi for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 11:30 pm

Indonesia, the country with the world's largest number of active volcanoes, is betting that all the hot rocks will provide a clean and reliable energy source for the future.

The country is believed have 40 percent of the world's geothermal energy resources. But making geothermal energy economically feasible will require adjusting the country's heavily subsidized energy prices. And that issue is a political hot potato.

Unused Potential

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Technology
4:01 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

As Headphones Invade The Office, Are We Lonelier?

As headphones and earbuds become common in the workplace, sometimes even co-workers sitting next to each other are communicating online.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 4:33 pm

Headphones or earbuds are becoming common in the workplace. Not just for listening to music on a break, they allow people to tune out their co-workers all day long. But in many cases, those same co-workers are still communicating — online.

Melissa Gore, a project manager at Huge, a Brooklyn, N.Y., digital branding agency, works side-by-side at long tables with hundreds of others. But she doesn't hear the chatter and commotion.

"I just have some headphones on," she says. "I get in the zone with Spotify and sometimes people have to wave their hand in front of me."

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All Tech Considered
4:01 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

Long Before The Internet, The Linotype Sped Up The News

Thomas Edison called the linotype the "eighth wonder of the world."
Copyright Linotype: The Film

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 10:17 am

As part of a new tech segment, we're occasionally going to be looking at a concept, invention or tool that's altered the way the world works. To start things off, we asked Doug Wilson, director of Linotype: The Film, to tell us about — what else? — the linotype.

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