Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:52 pm
Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister whose time leading Great Britain in the 1980s brought joy to conservatives and despair to liberals, was remembered Wednesday for "a life lived in the heat of political controversy."
With her death last week at the age of 87, "there is great calm" for the Iron Lady, added the bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, during a funeral service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with good luck to Sean Parker and his bride-to-be. She's a singer; he's a Facebook billionaire and founder of Napster. Mr. Parker committed $10 million to their wedding. He paid for waterfalls, bridges and ancient ruins created for the occasion. Guests will wear outfits created by the costume designer from "Lord of the Rings."
Chris Holmes worked at a London airport, but his true love was always making cakes. So Holmes decided to quit his job to run his own bake shop, which brings us to his resignation letter. He wrote it on a cake with icing. He said he wanted more time with his family. He wished his colleagues well. It took two hours, more time than he had ever spent on a birthday message or anniversary wish. A photo of his work went viral, publicity that he really felt was icing on the cake.
Now, the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon struck at a very special type of sporting event. Marathons have been called the most democratic of sports, with the fewest physical barriers between athlete and spectator.
NPR's Mike Pesca examines whether the attack could permanently damage that accessibility.
Oakland, Calif., was once a hub of African-American culture on the West Coast.
In the 1940s and '50s, Oakland was home to an entertainment corridor nicknamed The Harlem of the West. In the '60s, the city gave birth to the Black Panther Party. By the '80s, black folks made up nearly half of Oakland's population.
Yet another movie about Jackie Robinson arrived as baseball held its annual commemorative celebration of No. 42, but officials of the game are fretting over the fact that only 8 1/2 percent of current major leaguers are black.
Given that African-Americans only constitute about 13 percent of the U.S. population, and that rarely do we have any industry or school system or community population that correlates exactly to the whole country's racial or ethnic makeup, baseball's somewhat smaller black cohort hardly seems like an issue to agonize over.
Christopher Knight, whose 27 years of living in near-total isolation in Maine's wilderness made him an object of fascination after he was arrested for stealing food and supplies, appeared by video for a court hearing Tuesday, when a Kennebec County judge set his bail at $25,000 cash.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:45 am
Quoting "congressional and law enforcement sources," CNN is reporting that an envelope sent to a senator's office has tested positive for the poison ricin.
"After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said," CNN reports. "The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing."
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:30 pm
On Monday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and some others made a point of highlighting President Obama's failure to use the words "terror" or "terrorism" in his first remarks following the Boston Marathon bombings.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:22 pm
Babies and toddlers in the poorest parts of the world are getting better fed.
What's the proof? Stunting in kids – a sign of poor nutrition early in life — has dropped by a third in the past two decades, UNICEF reported Monday. But there's a long way to go. Globally, a quarter of kids under the age of 5 were stunted in 2011. That's roughly 165 million children worldwide, with nearly 75 percent of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the report says.
The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.
That's what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.
Two years ago, we reported on an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.
At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much.
It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient.
But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand.
One of the superstar artists connected with the Turnaround Arts Initiative is painter Chuck Close. He says that when he was growing up, he had some teachers who had enough flexibility to allow him to paint a mural about Lewis and Clark, even though he would not do well on a test about it.
A computer glitch in the reservations system at American Airlines caused all of the carrier's flights to be grounded for at least two hours on Tuesday.
"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told Reuters in an email. "We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."
NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the outage was announced about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Listening to her ethereal sound, you might not guess that Rachel Zeffira was classically trained as an opera singer. But on her solo debut, The Deserters, she's not just singing: She also plays piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, cathedral organ, violin, viola, oboe and English horn.
Zeffira makes her home in London now, but she grew up in a small town in rural British Columbia and began playing music at a young age.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:35 pm
Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.
And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.
"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."
The general consensus is that food labels that advertise lower sodium are a good way to help people make more healthful choices. But after that, what we think those labels mean gets a bit fuzzy, according to a new study.
Nutrition researchers were wondering just how we interpret the various sodium-related claims slapped on food packages: claims like "low in sodium" but also how a food product will reducing the risk of disease like hypertension, or "help lower blood pressure."
Pope Francis' doctrinal chief has reaffirmed the Vatican's intention to overhaul the largest organization of U.S. nuns, dashing the hopes of some that the newly installed pontiff would take a more conciliatory approach than his predecessor.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:03 am
As investigators combed through evidence in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, seeking both motive and perpetrator, we turned Tuesday to a security expert for guidance on how the investigation may be unfolding.
Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA officer, assistant U.S. attorney and deputy legal adviser for the National Security Council, served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He is now a senior adviser at the consulting firm the Chertoff Group, co-founded by former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff.