The Hindu gathering known as Kumbh Mela is on a scale difficult to fathom: The world's largest religious festival is millions of feet shuffling, millions of mantras chanted, countless sales of firewood to ward off the night cold. Millions of incense sticks will be burned and bells rung in devotional rituals called aartis.
Jet-setting swamis, naked holy men and foreigners fascinated by Eastern mysticism joined tens of millions of pilgrims for a dip in river waters believed to be holy.
Kirk Siegler talks to Melissa Block for an update on the search for former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner. A man that authorities identified as Dorner was holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of officers surrounded the home. Dorner is wanted for questioning in three murders and one attempted murder.
One of the long-standing knocks against electric cars is that it can be hard for the machines to hold a charge in cold weather. That's exactly what New York Times reporter John Broder says he found when he took a Tesla Model S on a road trip from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut.
Fifty years ago, the White House was the site of an unusual party.
It was a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation's centennial, held on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and many of the guests were descendants of the people Lincoln's historic document freed.
But noticeably absent was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights leader had declined the invitation after earlier conversations with President Kennedy about segregation had yielded few results.
Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.
NBCUniversal owns several familiar news and entertainment brands, including NBC, CNBC, Universal Pictures, Telemundo, USA Network and Universal Parks and Resorts.
President Obama is expected to put specifics behind the vision he outlined in his inaugural address a few weeks ago. Get live updates from the speech and join NPR journalists in analyzing what it could mean for the future.
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Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 6:55 am
(This post was last updated at 11:13 p.m. ET.)
The Los Angeles Police Department has rejected news reports that a body was discovered at a mountain cabin in California's Big Bear area where the fugitive accused of killing four people had engaged law enforcement in a hours-long standoff.
"Any reports of a body being found are not true," Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference Tuesday night.
Sometimes the best way to advance an argument is by looking back.
President Obama's second inaugural address was filled with historical allusions. His State of the Union address on Tuesday, which will lay out a long list of agenda items for the year and his second term, is likely to employ fewer references to the past.
A common vitamin supplement appears to dramatically reduce a woman's risk of having a child with autism.
A study of more than 85,000 women in Norway found that those who started taking folic acid before getting pregnant were about 40 percent less likely to have a child who developed the disorder, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test is much more powerful than the previous two, according to estimates made by instruments that measure seismic waves from the blast. It's about the size of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in World War II.
But it's not so easy to verify the claim that the nuclear explosive has also been miniaturized. That's a critical claim because a small warhead would be essential if the rogue regime chose to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.
Big bombs are easier to make, but they aren't all that useful as a threat.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:20 pm
Plenty of people are ready to offer advice on noshing options when it comes to the Super Bowl. But what do you serve when the occasion for gathering in front of our screens is President Obama's State of the Union address?
When NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro posed that question to his 125,000 Facebook followers earlier Tuesday, plenty of people jumped at the chance to toss off a bon mot.* Among our favorites:
The late civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who broke racial barriers in 1955 when she would not move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., will be posthumously part of another barrier-breaking moment on Feb. 27.
The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Tuesday that a statue of Parks will be dedicated that day in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. If no budget deal is reached by March 1st, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester kick in. And that includes the defense budget, which accounts for roughly 20 percent of federal spending.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. If you walk into any clubhouse in organized baseball, from Yankee Stadium to a rookie-league park, you'll see a large poster that specifies the prohibitions against gambling, and they'll specify the penalty. There is only one: a lifetime ban.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 2:31 pm
This week, our colleagues Daniel Zwerdling and Margot Williams with NPR's investigations unit have a terrific three-part series on the Marine Stewardship Council. As they report, the MSC's labels tell consumers which seafood is supposed to be good or bad for the environment.
Gun violence. Immigration. Education. The economy. Veterans. Afghanistan. Women in combat. Innovation. Science. Equality. Heroism.
It's safe to say those will themes in Tuesday night's State of the Union address, based on the list the White House has released of the guests who will be sitting with first lady Michelle Obama in the House gallery. Such guests, and the reasons they're there, usually make their way into a president's address.
It's Fat Tuesday, the final day of indulgence before the fasting and penance of Lent begins. While the revelry in New Orleans tends to grab the spotlight, you can find some fascinating Mardi Gras traditions elsewhere.
From chasing chickens in Cajun Country to catching MoonPies in Mobile, communities all along the Gulf Coast have their own way of marking Carnival season.