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Shots - Health Blog
2:04 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Autism Rates Jump Again, As Diagnosis Improves

Some children with autism have trouble speaking, and use images to help communicate.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 9:28 pm

The number of children diagnosed with autism jumped 23 percent between 2006 and 2008, according to the latest federal estimate.

Now, 1 in 88 children has been diagnosed with autism, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rapid rise prompted calls to declare the developmental disorder an epidemic. "This is a national emergency in need of a national plan," Mark Roithmayr, president of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, said at a CDC media briefing Thursday.

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

After Controversy, Toulouse Gunman Buried In France

A sign on the ground marks the place for municipal workers to dig in Cornebarrieu cemetery, a Toulouse suburb in southwestern France.
Eric Cabanis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 9:33 am

At first, his family wanted the body of Mohamed Merah sent back to Algeria. Then after the country refused Merah's body, French authorities settled on burying him in Toulouse, where he was suspected of killing seven before he was shot and killed after a two-day siege of his apartment.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Three Key Moments As Trayvon Martin's Story Went Viral

Part of the awareness raising effort: the Justice for Trayvon Martin page on Facebook.
Facebook.com

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 2:10 pm

What moved Trayvon Martin's Feb. 26 death from a local story to a national tale that has sparked a discussion about racial profiling and race relations?

Social media played a critical role. And there were key moments along the way.

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All Tech Considered
1:02 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Using An App To Report Injured Wildlife

A rescued bobcat waits to be fed at a wild animal sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colo.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 1:04 pm

If you find an injured bird in your back yard, do you know who to call? The Boulder, Colo., group Animal Watch has developed a free iPhone and iPad application and a website called AnimalHelpNow designed to assist with such an emergency. The app and site only work for locations in Colorado, but its developers hope to expand the program nationally.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:55 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Like The U.S., Europe Wrestles With Health Care

A patient is treated at the Nord Hospital in Marseille, France, in February. European countries have also been engaged in intense debates on the future of their health care systems, where universal coverage is the norm.
Anne-Chrisine Poujoulat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 3:57 pm

The U.S. has been absorbed by the Supreme Court case this week on the future of health care. But Americans are not alone.

Several European nations, where universal health care has been the norm for decades, have been waging their own intense debates as they also deal with aging populations and rising costs.

Britain passed a new health care measure earlier this month, after more than a year of rancorous debate. Can the European experience cast some light on the American debate over health care?

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Gingrich Is 'At The End Of His Line' Says His Biggest Financial Supporter

Sheldon Adelson.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Peter Overby, during the noon ET Newscast

Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire who along with his wife has used a superPAC to pour about $15 million worth of support behind Newt Gingrich's bid for the Republican presidential nomination, told reporters earlier this week that the former House speaker's campaign appears to be "at the end of his line."

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Study: Conservatives' Trust In Science At Record Low

Elizabeth Burrows of LaGrange, Kentucky, walks with her children, as they tour the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The privately funded museum exhibits the Earth's history according to the Bible.
Mark Lyons Getty Images

While trust in science has remained flat for most Americans, a new study finds that for those who identify as conservatives trust in science has plummeted to its lowest level since 1974.

Gordon Gauchat, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studied data from the General Social Survey and found that changes in confidence in science are not uniform across all groups.

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It's All Politics
12:07 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Santorum Seeks Some Reagan Jelly Belly Magic

A portrait of President Ronald Reagan made from jelly beans at the Jelly Belly Co. visitor center, in Fairfield, Calif., in June 2004. The photo was taken shortly after his death.
STEVE YEATER AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 11:32 am

For some people, few things say "Ronald Reagan" like Jelly Belly candy, apparently. Which explains why Rick Santorum will be holding a rally at the California headquarters of the candy maker Thursday.

Santorum is scheduled to attend a "Rally for Rick" event at the Jelly Belly Candy Co. facility in Fairfield, Calif.

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Law
12:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Who Writes Our Laws?

Trayvon Martin's death has put a spotlight on Florida's "stand your ground" law. The American Legislative Exchange Council uses that law as a model and encourages other states to adopt it. Host Michel Martin speaks with Lisa Graves of the progressive watchdog Center for Media and Democracy. She says ALEC is fueled by corporate interests.

Law
12:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Family Boosts Public Profile

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 12:35 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are continuing our conversation about this very emotional case that has sparked so much discussion around the country. We're talking about the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:52 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Just Say No To The 'Cinnamon Challenge'

A spoonful of cinnamon is a great idea for apple pie. Eaten straight? Not so much.
Maxim Khytra iStockphoto.com

Do not take the "cinnamon challenge." Don't let anyone you know take it, either.

And don't take our word for it. Instead, heed the warning from the folks who run the country's poison control centers.

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Europe
11:41 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Vatican Leaks Raise Questions Over Finances

Italian financial police officers talk in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Recently leaked Vatican documents have raised questions about the Vatican's financial transactions.
Angelo Carconi AP

The Vatican has launched a rare criminal investigation to uncover who is behind leaks of highly sensitive documents that allege corruption and financial mismanagement in Vatican City.

The documents also shed light on purported infighting over the Vatican Bank's compliance with international money-laundering regulations.

A television show in late January on an independent network first revealed letters addressed last year to Pope Benedict XVI from the then-deputy governor of Vatican City, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

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The Salt
11:32 am
Thu March 29, 2012

What Foodies Heard During This Week's Supreme Court Arguments

The broccoli was flying this week in the Supreme Court.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 11:57 am

There were plenty of weighty questions bandied about during this week's historic oral arguments on the future of the health care law — which our colleagues over at Shots did an excellent job covering. But we here at The Salt couldn't help noticing that when the Supreme Court justices talk, they let the food metaphors fly.

By now, you've probably heard the most famous of these: the broccoli question. If the government can mandate you to have health insurance, can it also force you to buy broccoli?

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Afghanistan
11:13 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Dreams Of A Mining Future On Hold In Afghanistan

Afghan miners in a makeshift emerald mine in the Panjshir Valley in 2010. Reports suggest that Afghanistan is sitting on significant deposits of oil, gas, copper, iron, gold and coal, as well as a range of precious gems like emeralds and rubies. Currently these minerals are largely untapped and are still being mapped.
Majid Saeedi Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:27 pm

Afghanistan faces the daunting prospect of a drastic reduction in foreign aid, which currently makes up about 90 percent of the country's revenue. Some have seen an economic life raft in geological surveys that indicate huge deposits of copper, iron, uranium and lithium in various parts of the country. But multinational mining firms have been slow to invest in Afghanistan — not least because of questions about stability after American troops draw down.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Thu March 29, 2012

West Virginia Mine Superintendent Pleads Guilty To Fraud

"The former superintendent of a southern West Virginia mine where an explosion killed 29 workers in April 2010 pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal fraud charge," The Associated Press reports. "Gary May of Bloomingrose, the highest-ranking Massey Energy official charged in connection with the blast, faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Aug. 9."

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Judging The Health Care Law
9:11 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Justices Ask: Can Health Law Stand If Mandate Falls?

Linda Dorr (left) and Keli Carender chant along with other demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
John Rose NPR

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Today On The Campaign Trail: George H.W. Bush To Endorse Romney

Mitt Romney (left) and former President George H.W. Bush in 2007.
Ben Sklar Getty Images
  • Wade Goodwyn reporting

In case you're keeping track of high-profile endorsements in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination:

Wednesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picked up the support of Florida Sen. Mark Rubio. This afternoon in Houston, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn tells our Newscast Desk, former President George H.W. Bush will endorse Romney. Bush's wife Barbara and son Jeb (a former Florida governor) have already said Romney's their candidate.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Again Last Week

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:43 am

There were 359,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before and a pace that continues to be the lowest since April 2008, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Maryland's Batman Looks Like A Real Hero

The Caped Crusader, about to get into his Batmobile.
Facebook.com

After the news broke that police in Montgomery County, Md., last week stopped Batman for not having the correct plates on his Batmobile, many naturally wanted to know more about the man behind that mask.

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Animals
7:37 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Owner Optimistic Stolen Parrot Will Be Returned

The owner of an African grey parrot says he believes the thieves will soon return the bird that was taken recently in England. It seems Chico loves to squawk a song by Queen. The parrot's owner says the thieves will soon tire of hearing "We are the Champions."

Around the Nation
7:30 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Original Picasso Discovered At Ohio Thrift Store

An Ohio man was strolling through a thrift store when he saw a framed poster with Picasso scribbled on it. He bought it for $14.14. The Columbus Dispatch reports an auction house confirmed it was an original design carved by Picasso making the poster worth $6,000.

The Two-Way
7:25 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Death: Police Video Shows No Signs Of Zimmerman's Injuries

George Zimmerman, in the red jacket, as he was led through a police station in Sanford, Fla., after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
ABC News

A police video of George Zimmerman in the hours after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 does not show any obvious evidence of the injuries Zimmerman reportedly received during what he says was an altercation that ended with him firing his handgun in self defense.

ABC News obtained the footage and aired it Wednesday evening. As it reports:

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It's All Politics
7:14 am
Thu March 29, 2012

How Collapse Of Health-Care Law Could Help Democrats

Amy Brighton from Medina, Ohio, who opposes the new health care law, rallies in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 10:12 am

We probably won't know until June what the Supreme Court justices will decide regarding the health overhaul law known as Obamacare. The questions this week from the conservative majority seemed skeptical of the "individual mandate" at the center of the law, yet dubious of the law's survival without it.

(A line of questioning may not be a perfect guide to a justice's thinking, but right now it appears to be the way to bet.)

So let's say it's June and the high court has laid low the whole law. That's terrible news for President Obama and the Democrats, right?

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Politics
6:34 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Latina Gov. A Rising Star, Just Not To Some Hispanics

Susana Martinez was sworn in as the country's first Latina governor in Santa Fe, N.M., on Jan. 1, 2011.
William Faulkner AP

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 10:25 am

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is the ultimate immigrant success story: Two generations after her Mexican grandparents arrived in the U.S., she became the nation's first Latina governor.

And with an overall approval rating of 66 percent of New Mexicans after more than a year in office, she is arguably the most popular Republican governor in the country.

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Post Mortem: Death Investigation In America
5:00 am
Thu March 29, 2012

New Evidence In High-Profile Shaken Baby Case

Shirley Ree Smith sits in the living room of her daughter's upstairs duplex in Alexandria, Minn. Smith is waiting to hear if California Gov. Jerry Brown will grant her clemency. "They say things happen for a reason. I'm not sure if I'll ever figure out a reason for all of this," she says.
Courtney Perry for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:31 pm

A senior pathologist in the Los Angeles County coroner's office has sharply questioned the forensic evidence used to convict a 51-year-old woman of shaking her 7-week-old grandson to death, identifying a host of flaws in the case.

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