Celina Aarons' deaf brother communicates via text message. She usually pays about $175 a month for his cellphone. But when he went to Canada without an international plan, the bill was more than $200,000. A Miami TV station intervened, and now T-Mobile says Aarons only owes $2,500. She has six months to pay.
The Little Blue Penguins off the coast of New Zealand are in trouble, and they need sweaters to save them. The birds are being rescued from a big oil spill. The sweaters keep the penguins from preening. That way they don't ingest the oil.
Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 11:26 am
After more than 30 days, the Occupy Wall Street movement has evolved from a protest in New York City into a growing international movement. And it all started in July, as a single blog post inspired by the Arab Spring.
Here's a look at significant developments in the Occupy Wall Street timeline, as the movement gathered momentum and spread to other U.S. cities.
The St. Louis Cardinals won the first game of the World Series Wednesday night. On a chilly, wet evening in St. Louis, the Cards scratched out a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers. It was a dramatic, hard-fought beginning to what promises to be a close series.
More demonstrations are being staged today in Greece as its parliament votes on another round of stinging austerity measures. Yesterday's protests ended in vicious street battles between police and protesters. Meanwhile, European leaders seem deadlocked on plans to stop the Greek debt crisis from spilling into the rest of the eurozone. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Athens.
And, Sylvia, how are people reacting to yesterday's turmoil and clashes over these austerity measures?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Afghanistan yesterday on an unannounced visit to encourage the country's leadership to keep up reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. Today she's meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
And I'm Ari Shapiro, updating you now on a story we've been following all morning: Libya's longtime former dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead. The country's prime minister has confirmed. Stay with MORNING EDITION for more on that story. Now, we turn to domestic news.
Amy Poehler joined Saturday Night Live in 2001 — a time, she says, when no one was really sure comedy was going to ever be okay again. She left in 2008 after playing Hillary Clinton during the show's coverage of an election cycle when, she tells Ari Shapiro on Thursday's Morning Edition, "the country was really paying attention to politics."
The U.S. hasn't had unemployment this high for this long since the Great Depression. That's weighing heavily on a lot of Americans and seems to be a key part of the frustration and anger that's being directed at Wall Street and the big banks. For many people, it's not so much about high finance as it is about a weekly paycheck.
"I'm unemployed, and I'm down here because I'm unemployed," says Bob Norkus, a protester in downtown Boston.
Walking around, it doesn't take long to figure out that many people here have the same problem.
Villagers from a violent part of southern Afghanistan say that Afghan troops, along with several American mentors, forced civilians to march ahead of soldiers on roads where the Taliban were believed to have planted bombs and landmines.
No one was hurt. But if the allegations are true, the act would appear to violate the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of civilians. The episode also raises questions about how civilians are caught between the two sides in the war.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (left) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry got into a heated exchange about immigration during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas.
Credit Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images
In 2008, the primary battle between then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dragged on for months. Above, supporters of Obama and Clinton hold signs outside a polling place in January 2008 in Nashua, N.H.
Tuesday night's brawl of a debate in Las Vegas erased any doubt that the fight for the Republican presidential nomination would get bitter. Texas Gov. Rick Perry aggressively parried former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who looked rattled for the first time.
If that hand-to-hand combat continues, the Republican primary could just become a long, drawn-out fight. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for the eventual nominee is unclear.
The protests go by a variety of names: "Occupy Wall Street," "American Autumn," "The 99 Percent." And the lack of a unified message is matched by a lack of centralized control. But the protests share a common spark: a disillusioned Canadian adman.
The "Occupy" protests seemed to come out of nowhere. But the early participants, like John Garcia, in downtown Seattle, point to a very specific catalyst.
"I get Adbusters, so that's how I heard about it," he says.
Tennessee overhauled its teacher evaluation system last yearto win a grant from the federal Race to the Top program. Now many teachers say they are struggling to shine, and that's torpedoing morale.
For Janna Beth Hunt, who teaches first grade at Norman Binkley Elementary in Nashville, it's been a disappointing process. Tennessee's new observations grade teachers on a scale of 1 to 5. Many are scoring what feels like a C, which under the system isn't enough to get the job security of tenure.
Shirley Mason was the psychiatric patient whose life was portrayed in the 1973 book Sybil. The book and subsequent film caused an enormous spike in reported cases of multiple personality disorder. Mason later admitted she had faked her multiple personalities.
In 1973, Flora Rheta Schreiber published Sybil: The True Story of a Woman Possessed by 16 Separate Personalities. The book sold 6 million copies and, in 1976, was made into a TV movie.
When Sybil first came out in 1973, not only did it shoot to the top of the best-seller lists — it manufactured a psychiatric phenomenon. The book was billed as the true story of woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder. Within a few years of its publication, reported cases of multiple personality disorder — now known as dissociative identity disorder — leapt from fewer than 100 to thousands. But in a new book, Sybil Exposed, writer Debbie Nathan argues that most of the story is based on a lie.
States enacted a record number of abortion restrictions in the first half of 2011, many of them requiring 24-hour waiting periods, ultrasounds or parental permission to deter women from obtaining abortions. But these types of "demand-side policies" have not had much of an impact in the past on national abortion rates, according to an article in the most recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Opera fanatics often trot out the tired old complaint about how "they don't make 'em like they used to" while pining for the great singers of the past. But as an unabashed opera nerd, I can tell you that the sound of the "golden age" is alive in the voice of tenor Joseph Calleja. He's a young singer with an old-school sensibility, and he's just released his third album for Decca Records.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has thrown into doubt the ownership of some foreclosed homes, when it decided that buyers of a house that was improperly foreclosed are not the legal owners of the property.
It's happening again: This time instead of a NASA satellite, it's a German satellite that will burn through the Earth's atmosphere and crash somewhere unknown. If you remember, in September a decommissioned weather satellite fell into the South Pacific.
Sam Mullet, father of two of the three men arrested for allegedly going into the home of other Amish and cutting their hair and beards, is seen outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio. Some who have left Mullet's community have accused him of abuse.
On the night of October 4, Myron and Arlene Miller were asleep in their home in Mechanicstown, Ohio, when they heard a knock on the door. According to their friend Bob Comer, when Myron came downstairs, he found five men standing on his doorstep.
"They pulled him out in the front yard, and they have scissors and a battery-powered shaver and everything," Comer says. "They're trying to hold him down and cut his beard off and cut his hair off."
Miller yelled at his wife to call 911. Then the men let him go and ran back to the trailer and had the driver take off, Comer says.
Which illness puts more elderly people in the hospital than any other? Heart failure, a serious impairment of blood-pumping power.
But, as some Yale researchers have found, the rate of hospitalization for heart failure has gone down a lot, according to Medicare data for the decade ending in 2008.
The analysis is pretty complicated, and makes adjustments for a bunch of risk factors, but the upshot is clear: The rate of heart failure admissions in 2008 was 29.5 percent lower than in 1998. It's the first study to show a national decline.
Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 5:59 pm
Just as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tries to overcome unease about his Mormon faith in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a new ad campaign promoting the religion is drawing attention.
"I'm a Mormon" billboards and television commercials aimed at improving the religious group's public image have surfaced over the past week in states almost certain to be battlegrounds for next year's presidential contest.
Syria's President Bashar Assad has survived an uprising that's now in its eighth month, and he shows no signs of buckling. The president has relied on a massive security presence to limit protests at home, and has dismissed criticism and sanctions from abroad.
But is this strategy sustainable, or is Assad simply buying time?