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The Salt
3:22 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Panera Sandwich Chain Explores 'Pay What You Want' Concept

This Panera Cares store in Chicago switched from for-profit to nonprofit this summer, and it started asking customers to pay whatever they want.
Niala Boodhoo for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:11 pm

The concept of "pay what you want" for goods and services is a nostalgic throwback to the days when people trusted one another just a little bit more, and it's something you expect to see at the occasional farm stand or at a hip, independent coffee shop.

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Education
3:21 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Recess In Chicago? Strike Threat Draws National Eyes

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union hold an informational picket outside Willa Cather Elementary School on Aug. 20 in Chicago. Teachers could go on strike Monday.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:15 am

The Chicago Public Schools system is teetering on the edge of a strike, just a week into the school year. Teachers say they'll walk out Monday morning if tense weekend negotiations don't bring a contract. It would be the first Chicago teachers strike in 25 years.

At Parker Elementary School on Chicago's South Side, students are jumping double Dutch and hula-hooping. This is the first time many of the kids on this playground have ever had recess. The playtime is part of an extended school day pushed for by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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It's All Politics
12:38 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama: 'Times Have Changed ... So Have I'

President Obama speaks Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:44 am

Framing the coming election as a choice between fundamentally different visions, President Obama offered himself to the country Thursday as a fire-tested leader ready to finish the job he started.

"Our problems can be solved," Obama said. "Our challenges can be met."

It was an older, battle-scarred nominee who faced his party in Charlotte, N.C. This message of hope was tempered and longer-view — a good distance if not a full turn from the vision he offered four years ago when he accepted the nomination in a thundering Denver stadium.

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It's All Politics
12:19 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Five Takeaways From The Last Night Of The Democratic Convention

President Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for president at Time Warner Cable Arena on Thursday.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:25 am

If you missed the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., we live blogged it here.

But if you want a quick review, we've compiled five things that struck us about the night:

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The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Pistorius Falls To Britain's Peacock In 100 Meters; American Browne Is Second

Bronze medalist Arnu Fourie of South Africa (from left), gold medalist Jonnie Peacock of Great Britain, silver medalist Richard Browne of the United States and Oscar Pistorius of South Africa cross the line in the Men's 100m - T44 Final at London's Olympic Stadium.
Jamie McDonald Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 6:25 am

In one of the most closely watched events at the London Paralympics, South African Oscar Pistorius failed in his attempt to win the 100-meter sprint and regain his title as the world's fastest amputee today.

Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock took the lead early and kept it, winning in 10.90 seconds, a Paralympic record. American Richard Browne, 21, of Jackson, Miss., won the silver medal.

Pistorius, the double amputee who ran in the Olympics this year, came in fourth. He finished in 11.17 seconds.

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Education
7:07 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Students Say They've Been Denied The Right To Read

Michelle Johnson and her family talk about conditions within Detroit's Highland Park schools, in July.
Mike Glinski Mlive Detroit

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 8:08 pm

Eight Detroit-area public school students returning to classes this week are plaintiffs against a school system they say has failed them.

Their families and the American Civil Liberties Union say that the Highland Park school system has denied the students the right to learn to read, and that the state has a responsibility to fix that.

Michelle Johnson has five children in Highland Park schools. Her daughter is heading into the 12th grade, but can read at only about the fourth-grade level.

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

S&P 500 Spikes To New Four-Year High On News About Europe, U.S. Jobs

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose to levels it hasn't hit in more than four years today, bolstered by the European Central Bank's plan to buy bonds of struggling countries to help support the euro. Strong U.S. jobs data also contributed to the gains.

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Business
6:32 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Stocks Get Bounce From Europe; Focus Turns To Jobs

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 9. Economic developments on both sides of the Atlantic could have a big impact on the U.S. presidential election.
Richard Drew AP

As the political conventions wrap up, talking points concerning the economy may seem locked into place: Growth is continuing, but at a slow pace.

Don't be fooled.

There's still plenty of time for big surprises, and Thursday provided a stunning example. Stock prices shot to highs not seen in years.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Achtung Beer Drinkers: Munich's Brewers Need Bottles, Kegs For Oktoberfest

Ahead of Oktoberfest, Munich's brewers say they're running short of bottles and kegs for the festival's beer. Here, glass beer steins are seen at last year's Oktoberfest.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:29 am

German beer drinkers are eagerly awaiting Sept. 22, when the first Oktoberfest beer barrel will be tapped in Munich and two weeks of revelry begin. But when that happens, they might want to drink up — because the city's brewers are worried they won't be able to supply enough beer for the massive party and its huge beer tents.

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Middle East
5:33 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Syrian Refugees Move Into Lebanon's Crowded Camps

The Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are overcrowded and run down. But Syrian refugees are moving in as they flee the fighting in their homeland.
Mohammed Asad APA/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 8:34 am

The conflict in Syria is sending a staggering number of refugees into neighboring countries. Turkey, Jordan and even Iraq are building tent cities.

But Lebanon has yet to build such camps. The country is already home to more than a dozen teeming, squalid camps for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who fled the war after Israel's creation in 1948, as well as their descendants.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Drew Peterson Convicted Of Killing His Third Wife

Former Bolingbrook, Ill., police Sgt. Drew Peterson, seen here May 8, 2009, was found guilty Thursday of killing his third wife.
M. Spencer Green AP

Drew Peterson, the former Illinois police officer, who became the focus of scrutiny in 2007 after the disappearance of his fourth wife, was found guilty Thursday of murdering his third wife.

The Associated Press reports that Peterson, 58, did not react as the verdict was read. Relatives of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, gasped before hugging each other as they cried quietly in the courtroom, the AP reported.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Obama More Partisan, Practical Than Four Years Ago

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 7:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

Four years ago, then-Senator Barack Obama took the stage in Denver to accept his party's presidential nomination. He spoke of overcoming partisanship and economic turmoil. Well, tonight, President Obama will do it again with four years of experience under his belt. Since taking office, he has struggled to overcome a crushing recession, a weak recovery and a deeply divided electorate.

NPR's Scott Horsley has this story on the path the president has traveled.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:40 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

'Test And Treat' Strategy For Curbing HIV Draws Questions

Nurse Irena Majola tests Justice Mlambo's blood for HIV at a roadside AIDS testing table in a suburb near Cape Town. Under the "test and treat" strategy, about 45 million South Africans would need to be screened for HIV each year.
Rodger Bosch AFP/Getty Images

San Francisco is trying a new tactic to fight AIDS. Health workers are aggressively testing people for HIV and then immediately putting those who test positive on potent antiretroviral drugs.

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Europe
4:40 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

European Central Bank Unveils Bond-Buying Plan

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 7:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with a bold move in Europe. The head of the European Central Bank today unveiled a plan that he said will help contain the continent's grinding debt crisis. Mario Draghi announced the ECB will step up its purchases of government bonds. The point is to bring down interest rates in Spain, Italy and other heavily indebted countries.

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Why We Rarely Feed Animals Food Scraps, Even In A Drought

Farm worker Jesus Francisco Cayetano feeds pigs a slop made from food scraps from casinos near North Las Vegas, Nev. in 2006.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:12 pm

Last month we heard that a farmer in Kentucky was feeding his cattle discarded chocolate because corn was too expensive. Things are getting weird, we thought.

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Author Interviews
4:37 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Getting Around To Writing 'Art Of Procrastination'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:12 am

At the end of July, when NPR's Robert Siegel set off on the longest vacation since his honeymoon 39 years ago, he packed a few books, including the new book The Art of Procrastination by John Perry, emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford.

After two weeks in Delaware, two weeks in Iberia and a week of work in Tampa, Fla., Siegel finally finished it Wednesday night. He says his timing is fitting: The book is 92 small, double-spaced pages.

It expands on a short confessional essay Perry wrote in 1996 called "Structured Procrastination."

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It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Occupy The Conventions: Where Are The Protesters At The DNC, RNC?

A group of roughly 100 Occupy protestors took to the streets in Charlotte on Wednesday. Occupiers marched relatively peacefully down Tryon St. a few blocks away from the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:14 pm

These days, Tryon Street here in Charlotte has felt a bit like a carnival. It has some to do with the many temporary structures that have popped up every few blocks and certainly some to do with the street vendors hawking T-shirts and hats and pins and mugs.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

A Bombing In Syria Wipes Out A Family, But A Baby Survives

One-year-old Hassan was discovered in the rubble of an apartment building in Aleppo, Syria, giving his rescuers a moment of hope on a sad day. His parents were killed by the helicopter strike.
Global Post

The northern Syrian city of Aleppo has been the site of the bloodiest recent fighting in that country's brutal war, and we're still getting only glimpses of the violence.

But GlobalPost has a striking video of a devastating bombing that killed an entire family — except for a 1-year-old boy who survived without any serious injuries.

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Music Reviews
3:39 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Cat Power Rips It Up, Starts Again

Chan Marshall, better known by the name Cat Power, takes a new approach on her latest record, Sun.
Stefano Giovannini Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 7:09 pm

I recently listened to the first single from the new Cat Power album with some fellow fans, and the room was deeply divided. Some thought the song was fabulous, but others were startled and upset — which I could understand, sort of. Chan Marshall's songs generally speak to pain and trauma with a hushed and intimate musical vocabulary. But this song, "Ruin," was different — not just a rock 'n' roll song, but one you might even want to dance to.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

From Mars: Curiosity's Tracks, Up Close And From Above

Curiosity's tracks on Mars, in an image taken from the rover.
NASA.gov

NASA continues to share some fascinating photos of the Mars rover Curiosity. Among the latest:

-- An image taken from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that shows Curiosity's tracks from high above. According to NASA, "the image's color has been enhanced to show the surface details better."

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Shots - Health Blog
2:17 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

How Americans Think About Screening

Dr. Karen Lindsfor, a radiologist at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, reads a mammogram in Sacramento, Calif.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:28 am

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Ben Franklin wrote. But that was before he had to consider the risks and benefits of screening tests for cancers of the breast and prostate.

There are conflicting guidelines on when women should get mammograms and mounting questions on when the PSA blood test for prostate cancer is worthwhile.

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It's All Politics
1:59 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Obama Neutralizes A Typical Source Of GOP Strength

President Obama and other members of his national security team monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:59 pm

Foreign policy and defense matters are normally a source of vulnerability for Democrats, but they're getting a fair amount of attention from speakers down in Charlotte.

"There are more mentions of Osama bin Laden than unemployment in the Democratic national platform," says Micah Zenko, a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. "You play to what your strengths are."

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It's All Politics
1:57 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

On Conference Call, Obama Says He Still Needs The Help Of Shut-Out Supporters

President Obama sounded a bit subdued when he called into a conference call for supporters shut-out of his acceptance speech today.

"My main message is we can't let a little thunder and lightening stop us," he said. "We're gonna have to roll with it."

Yesterday, the campaign announced that because of the threat of thunderstorms, they were moving Obama's acceptance speech from the Bank of America Stadium, which holds more than 65,000 people to the Time Warner Cable Arena, a much smaller venue.

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It's All Politics
1:36 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

'My Two Moms' Author Hopes To Highlight Gay Rights At Convention

Zach Wahls is shown on March 24 at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York.
Fernando Leon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:09 pm

In another sign of Democrats' growing embrace of gay-rights issues, an Iowa man who gained national attention for his story of growing up with lesbian mothers was to address the party's national convention Thursday.

Zach Wahls became a bit of an Internet star last year after testifying against a proposed same-sex marriage ban before members of the Iowa House of Representatives. A video of his statement went viral online, garnering millions of views.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Obama Was 'Spewing Coals' When Budget Deal Collapsed, Boehner Says

August 2011: President Obama (right) and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House as they and other lawmakers worked to head off a government shutdown that loomed.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Some details are emerging from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward's new book about the 2011 battle between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the budget, taxes and deficit reduction.

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