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Money & Politics
12:01 am
Fri February 17, 2012

White House And SuperPAC: How Close Is Too Close?

Bill Burton, shown during a news briefing at the White House in January, is now with pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA Action. He says the superPAC is "careful to make sure that we are in compliance with the rules."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 9:34 am

President Obama's decision to have White House officials and Cabinet secretaries help raise money for a pro-Obama superPAC is raising questions.

The superPAC, Priorities USA Action — which is supposed to be independent of the president's re-election campaign — is launching a new effort to bring in six- and seven-figure contributions.

By law, it cannot coordinate its messaging with Obama's re-election campaign committee. But coordinating other things? That's possible.

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Business
12:01 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Big Bucks Attract High School Grads To Mining

The Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho's Silver Valley, shown in 2007, was temporarily shut down in January while it complies with safety regulations, according to the mine's operator, Hecla Mining.
Nick Geranios AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 3:25 pm

This spring, some high school grads in Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Nevada may see some good job prospects.

The recent spike in metal prices, combined with a shortage of miners, means mining companies are hiring. So some teens are opting not to go to college, and instead are heading underground.

But these high-paying jobs also come at a high cost.

An Educator Questions His Own Path

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StoryCorps
10:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Professor Hits A Wall And Falls In Love

Gwendolyn Diaz and her husband, Henry Flores, at StoryCorps in San Antonio.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 9:34 am

Henry Flores was walking down the hallway at St. Mary's University in San Antonio when he noticed that the last office in the hallway's door was open.

"I just kind of looked inside to see who was in there, and I saw a flash of ankle, and I saw this blond hair, and I went smack-dab into the wall," says Flores, who is now a professor of political science and dean of the graduate school at St. Mary's.

It was the mid-1980s and Gwendolyn Diaz, who had just joined the university faculty, was sitting in the office.

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Gary Carter, Hall Of Famer And Mets Hero, Dies Of Brain Cancer At 57

Gary Carter of the New York Mets looks on during a game in the 1989 season. The star of the Mets' 1986 World Series win died Thursday, after a fight with brain cancer.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Gary Carter, the former Major League Baseball catcher who helped the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series, has died of brain cancer at 57. In a career marked by tenacity — and the ability to hit homeruns — Carter was chosen for 11 All Star teams.

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Law
5:33 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Pa. Priest Faces Trial On Child Abuse Cover-Up Charges

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 3:25 pm

Between 1992 and 2004, Monsignor William Lynn was the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's point person for allegations of clerical abuse. When he heard a claim, he was supposed to investigate and, if warranted, remove or turn the priest over to police.

But as two grand juries reported in 2005 and 2011, that often didn't happen.

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It's All Politics
4:59 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Glitter Bombing: A Sparkly Weapon Of Disapproval On The Campaign Trail

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum brushes off glitter after being "glitter-bombed" before a campaign rally on Feb. 7 in Blaine, Minn.
Ben Garvin Getty Images

Earlier this week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was glitter-bombed by Occupy protesters in Tacoma, Wash., during a rally.

It wasn't the first time for Santorum. In fact, all of the Republican presidential candidates still in the race have faced off with glitter bombers. Unlike a ticker-tape parade or a burst of celebratory confetti, glitter-bombing is a form of protest — it tells candidates that someone thinks they're wrong on an issue.

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Middle East
4:59 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

The Woman Behind Egypt's Crackdown On Aid Groups

Egyptian Planning and International Cooperation Minister Faiza Aboul Naga (shown here in Washington, D.C., last April) has repeatedly warned Egyptians about the alleged danger foreigners pose to their country. She is the driving force behind recent efforts to prosecute 43 people, including American and other foreign democracy activists, for operating illegally in Egypt.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 6:39 pm

In Egypt, a female Cabinet minister has emerged as the driving force behind a crackdown on U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups.

The attacks of Faiza Aboul Naga — a holdover from the regime of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak — have made her a hero to many Egyptians who believe she is defending their country's honor. But the threat she poses to billions of dollars in U.S. aid and international loans could make her power short-lived.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:59 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Birth Control: Latest Collision Between Individual Conscience And Society

A House panel heard testimony about conscience and religious freedom Thursday from (left) Rev. William E. Lori, Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn.; Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod; C. Ben Mitchell, Union University; Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Yeshiva University; and Craig Mitchell, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:00 pm

President Obama's controversial decision to require Catholic employers to provide free contraceptives to their employees is still reverberating.

A new New York Times/CBS News poll out this week shows 60 percent of the public supports the president, including 58 percent of all Catholics.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:31 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Doctors 'Disgruntled' And Frustrated By Looming Medicare Cuts

A looming 27.4 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements likely won't happen. But next year, any cuts could be greater.
iStockphoto.com

The good news for the nation's doctors — and the millions of Medicare patients they care for — is that assuming everything goes as planned, the 27.4 percent cut in reimbursements that would have taken effect March 1 won't.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Halt In 'Colbert Report' Production Reportedly Due To Family Emergency

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 6:46 pm

Provocateur comedian Stephen Colbert is known for many things. Silence has not been among them — until now. An abrupt suspension in his Colbert Report's production schedule sparked rumors online Thursday, after Comedy Central said it would air reruns for three days this week.

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Santorum Ally Friess Praises Old-School 'Contraceptive': Aspirin Between Knees

Foster Friess got somewhat off message during an MSNBC interview Thursday.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 10:01 am

Foster Friess, Rick Santorum's billionaire supporter, drew some attention from his candidate Thursday with a comment about contraception that was, to say the least, unusual and surefire fodder for late-night TV comedians .

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Election 2012
4:18 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

In Arizona, Romney Can't Take Mormons For Granted

Karen Johnson, from Linden, Ariz., supports the candidacy of Ron Paul. She says Mitt Romney shares her faith, but not her politics.
Peter O'Dowd For NPR

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 6:41 pm

The wind howls on a blustery Sunday morning in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, as well-dressed families pull into the parking lot of a Mormon church.

Mormon pioneer roots run more than a century deep in this part of the state, an isolated spot between two Indian reservations.

Karen Johnson is among the Mormon faithful, passionate about God and country.

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Election 2012
4:13 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

In One Maine County, Every Caucus Vote May Count

Washington County, Maine, is not a place for unhardy souls.

It's the easternmost county in all of New England, and one of the poorest. And at this time of year, people in Down East Maine do anything they can to eke out a living.

"I get about six months out of it," county resident Hartley Goston said, referring to his lobster boat, The Darian Sue. "I get a few odd jobs here and there to help tie up some loose ends."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:56 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Doctors Cheer As Feds Delay New Disease Codes, Again

Dolphin bite? There's a medical code for that.
Simone Di Tonno - Annachiara Fig iStockphoto.com

Poking fun at a complex new system for classification of diseases is surprisingly easy and enjoyable.

Yes, there are codes your doctor will be able to use someday to submit bills for treatment of a dolphin bite (W5601XA), being struck by a dolphin (W5602XA) or "other contact" with a dolphin (W5603XA). And that's just the start.

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Around the Nation
3:41 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Hold On To Your Tuba: Brass Bandits Hit L.A. Schools

Teacher Ruben Gonzalez conducts the South Gate High School band. According to Gonzalez, thieves passed up a computer as well as a stash of valuable flutes, saxophones and clarinets to get to the school's tubas.
Krissy Clark for NPR

The words "black market" usually summon images of drugs, guns or pirated DVDs — not tubas. Yet authorities in Los Angeles say the instrument is in such high demand that the black market may be what's driving a wave of local tuba thefts.

Ruben Gonzalez is teaching an after-lunch band class at the scene of one recent tuba crime — the music room at South Gate High School outside L.A. He starts with a request only a band teacher would make.

"Make sure we rinse out folks — we don't need any hamburgers or hot chilies coming through those instruments," he says.

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The Salt
3:08 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Yes, There's Arsenic In Your Rice. But Is That Bad?

Rice plants absorb arsenic from soil, and some if it makes it to the bowl.
iStockPhoto.com

Is there arsenic in your rice? Probably. That's the news behind a study that found surprisingly high levels of arsenic in rice-based organic toddler formula and energy bars.

One toddler formula with organic brown rice syrup as the primary ingredient had arsenic concentrations six times the federal limit of 10 parts per billion for arsenic in drinking water.

Cereal bars that contained rice products like brown rice syrup or rice flour had arsenic levels ranging from 23 to 128 parts per billion, according to researchers at Dartmouth College, who tested the products.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Christmas Day Bomber Sentenced To Life In Prison

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty in October to a plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25, 2009.
U.S. Marshals Service, File AP

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 5:10 pm

The man who tried to blow up a U.S. passenger plane three Christmases ago was sentenced to life in prison in a Detroit courtroom today. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, boarded Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Dec. 25, 2009, with a massive bomb hidden in his underwear. As the plane approached Detroit, he tried to detonate the explosives. They failed to go off.

Four months ago, on the second day of his criminal trial, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Amanda Knox Signs Book Deal Worth Millions

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:03 pm

Amanda Knox, the U.S. college exchange student who won an appeal to overturn her murder conviction in Italy last October, has signed a deal to write a memoir — for which she'll earn nearly $4 million, according to reports.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

#Feb17: Excised From The Record

A falcon statue, painted in the colors of the revolutionary flag and covered with the inscription "God is great", and is displayed outside the museum set up on Tripoli boulevard in Misrata on Feb. 12.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

The plane landed at Benghazi airport, about an hour late, which seemed just about right to most people on board. Elderly women sported tattoos from their bottom lip to the tip of their chin; several men carefully removed plants that somehow survived being crushed in the overhead luggage bins.

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The Salt
1:58 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Can A Diet Clean Out Toxins In The Body?

Experts say specialized diets won't help rid the body of toxins any more than what the liver and kidneys already do every day.
iStockphoto.com

Between lingering New Year's resolutions and impending Lenten restraint, it's the season when many people are inspired to get healthy by refusing foods they normally delight in.

Increasingly, we're seeing elimination diets that promise weight loss and a tantalizing bonus: detoxification.

"Cleansing diets" trade on this most alluring idea: By limiting our intake of food to a few super-pure items, we can free up the body to get rid of all the gunk accumulated in our cells.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Man Has Heart Attack While Eating At The Heart Attack Grill

Signs for "Bypass Burgers" and "Flatliner Fries" are seen in the window of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. A man who suffered a heart attack in the restaurant was wheeled out on a stretcher Saturday.
Julie Jacobson AP

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Study Finds Goats Adjust Their 'Accents' Based On Social Surroundings

A goat kid.
Queen Mary University of London

Surely you've noticed that when people move from place to place and stay for a while, they tend to pick up the local accent. We could use Madonna as an example, but we're pretty sure her British accent started before she jumped the pond.

Anyway, in a new study published in the journal Animal Behaviour, two scientists found young pygmy goats, which are known as kids, do something similar.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Methane, Soot Are Targets Of New U.S. Climate Initiative

A new program led by the U.S. seeks to limit amounts of soot, hydrofluorocarbons and methane released into the atmosphere. In this file photo from 2009, a researcher ignites trapped methane from under a pond's ice cap in Alaska.
Todd Paris AP

The United States and five other nations are embarking on a new program to limit pollutants connected to global warming. But they're not targeting carbon dioxide with this effort — instead, they're looking at methane gas, and soot.

NPR's Richard Harris filed this report for our Newscast desk:

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is teaming up with Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Ghana and Bangladesh to get countries thinking about some potent contributors to climate change."

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Presidential Race
12:08 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

GOP Debates As Must-See TV? Why You Should Watch

The Republican presidential candidates took the stage for a Jan. 23 debate at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

#Feb17: The Long Road To Libya

With Twitter and other social media, NPR's Andy Carvin monitored immediate, on-the-ground developments during the upheavals of the Arab Spring from Washington, D.C., through thousands of tweets and an army of followers that numbers in the tens of thousands. Now, he is in Libya, meeting face-to-face with some of those activists. He'll be sending us periodic updates on his journey.

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