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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Arafat's Grave Opened, Samples Taken To Be Tested For Poison

Palestinians walking in front of a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City earlier today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:36 am

Claims that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned with a radioactive substance before his death in 2004 are now literally being put to the test.

Arafat's grave was briefly opened today so that samples could be taken from his remains.

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Strange News
7:00 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Who Has Seniority: The Stones Or The Supremes?

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Iraq
6:25 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Iraqi Businesses Feel Pinch Of Iran's Economic Woes

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We've heard about how U.S. and European sanctions on Iran have caused that country's currency to plummet and how Iran is now buying up gold and trying to dump its own currency outside its borders. Well, Iran is part of a regional economy and the falling currency is starting to hurt at least one of Iran's neighbors. NPR's Kelly McEvers sent this report from southern Iraq.

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Middle East
6:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Syrian Rebels Plan Free Election

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Some Syrians - now in the midst of a civil war - are about to take a step toward governing themselves.

INSKEEP: In recent days, Syrian rebels captured an air base near the capital. Government jets continue flying from other bases.

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The Salt
5:32 am
Tue November 27, 2012

For Restaurants, Food Waste Is Seen As Low Priority

The National Restaurant Association says getting restaurants to focus on the food waste problem is a big challenge.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:24 pm

A row of restaurants in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., looks tantalizing — there's Vietnamese, Italian, New American.

But if you walk around to the alley at the back of this row you might gag.
Dumpsters packed with trash are lined up, and they get emptied only twice a week. Which means a lot of food sits here, filling the block with a deep, rank odor.

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It's All Politics
5:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Compromise: Devil Is In The Definition Of Revenue

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:29 pm

A grand bargain, a compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, could all come down to one word: revenue. It's now widely agreed that steering away from the cliff — the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year — will require some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts. The central sticking point could well be whether President Obama and Congress can agree on the definition of revenue.

At the moment, the casual observer could easily get the sense that the president and Republicans in Congress are talking past each other.

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Asia
5:15 am
Tue November 27, 2012

How Ordinary Chinese Are Talking And Fighting Back

Authorities in Hunan province sentenced Tang Hui to 18 months in a re-education-through-labor camp after she repeatedly complained about the way police investigated the case of her daughter's kidnapping and forced prostitution. An uproar on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, pushed authorities to free Tang days later.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:53 pm

Never have so many Chinese people spoken so freely than on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter. Just 4 years old, the series of microblog services now has more than 400 million users.

And, increasingly, Chinese are using it to expose corruption, criticize officials and try to make their country a better place — even as China's Communist Party tries to control the Weibo revolution.

Were it not for Weibo, you would never know Tang Hui's extraordinary story. She wouldn't be free to tell it; she'd be sitting in a Chinese re-education-through-labor camp eating porridge.

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Monkey See
5:04 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Running A Comedy Machine: How Chuck Lorre Makes Hits

Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory, one of Chuck Lorre's three popular comedies currently on CBS.
Sonja Flemming CBS

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:51 pm

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Neda Ulaby has a story about Chuck Lorre, the producer whose name is attached to three of the five highest-rated comedies on American television last season: The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, and Mike & Molly.

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Opinion
5:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

From A Calcutta Prison To The Classical Stage

Nigel Akkara plays Ratnakar the Bandit in the dance drama Valmiki Pratibha.
Courtesy of Nigel Akkara

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

A new Indian feature film was inspired by a group of prisoners who formed a well-known classical dance company. Commentator Sandip Roy has the true story of a famous Indian dancer and the convicts she befriended.

Alokananda Roy walked into Calcutta's Presidency Jail on International Women's Day, 2007. The Indian classical dancer had been invited to watch female inmates perform, but it was the men who caught her eye.

"They shook me," she says. "Their body language — it was as though they had no future, nothing to look forward to."

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Shots - Health News
5:02 am
Tue November 27, 2012

To Fight Tick-Borne Disease, Someone Has To Catch Ticks

Last year, Tom Mather caught 15,000 deer ticks in the woods of southern Rhode Island. "People really need to become tick literate," the University of Rhode Island researcher says.
Brian Mullen for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:35 pm

Most people try to avoid ticks. But not Tom Mather.

The University of Rhode Island researcher goes out of his way to find them.

He looks for deer ticks — poppy seed-sized skin burrowers — in the woods of southern Rhode Island. These are the teeny-tiny carriers of Lyme disease, an illness that can lead to symptoms ranging from nasty rashes to memory loss.

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Asia
5:01 am
Tue November 27, 2012

In Pakistan Shooting, Malala's Friends Also Bear Scars

A bullet went through 13-year-old Shazia Ramazan's hand when a Taliban gunman opened fire on Malala Yousafzai and other schoolgirls in a van in Pakistan last month.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

On Oct. 9, in Mingora, Pakistan, in the country's picturesque Swat Valley, Kainat Riaz left her high school and climbed into the back of a small van. The bright-eyed 16-year-old sat near another schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai.

At just 15, Malala, an outspoken critic of the Taliban, had already earned a name in her country — and internationally — for her courage. Kainat says there was a lot of chatter in the six-seat van as it shuttled the girls home.

Then, in the middle of a busy road, the van suddenly stopped, and a masked gunman got into the vehicle.

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Your Money
4:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Companies That Were 'Naughty And Nice' In 2012

The no-questions-asked return policy of the Kohl's department store chain helped it win a spot on the "Naughty and Nice" list compiled by Consumer Reports.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

For holiday shoppers, retailers' approach to fees, returns and other practices can bring praise or anger. And when customers rant or rave, Consumer Reports takes note — and compiles them into its annual "Naughty and Nice" list of companies.

"They're policies and practices that people either felt were consumer-friendly or not," Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. He adds that the list isn't related to the ratings his magazine is known for.

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Infrared Views Of Two Of Saturn's Moons Reveal 'Pac-Man' Features

Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spotted two features shaped like the 1980s video game icon "Pac-Man" on moons of Saturn.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/SWRI

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:20 am

For the second time in two years, Cassini has spotted a Pac-Man-like feature on one of Saturn's moons.

As NASA puts it, it is a veritable "gamers' paradise." Just take a look:

What you're seeing there is the infrared image taken of the moon Mimas in 2010 and the other is of the moon Tethys taken this year. The red and yellow areas show the warmest places on the moon.

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Africa
6:18 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Egyptian Judges Prepare For A Strike

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:21 pm

After a series of controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, the country's judges are conflicted over what to do.

The president and Egypt's highest judicial authority met Monday to try to resolve the crisis, but the decrees, which essentially nullify judicial oversight, remained in place. And the judges are going ahead with plans for a strike.

Yussef Auf has been a judge for 10 years and says he has never witnessed such an affront to his profession.

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The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

All Bets Are Off: Intrade Shuts Door To U.S. Customers

Intrade, the prediction website that accepted bids on, among other things, the result of the presidential election, is shutting its operations to U.S. customers. The move came Monday just hours after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission accused the Ireland-based company of violating the agency's ban on off-exchange options trading.

Here's more from Intrade's news release announcing the move:

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U.S.
6:11 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Will Florida Pythons Slither To Rest Of The U.S.?

A Burmese python coils around the arm of a hunter during a news conference in 2010 in the Florida Everglades. New research suggests that the pythons won't spread through the American Southeast, as previously believed.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:42 pm

There are several exotic snake species that have become a problem in the Everglades. But for wildlife managers, the biggest headache is the Burmese python.

Earlier this year, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured the largest Burmese python yet in Everglades National Park. Three USGS staffers had to wrestle the snake out of a plastic crate to measure it. The snake was a 17-foot-7-inch female carrying 87 eggs.

Wildlife managers are working to get a handle on the problem of exotic snakes in South Florida; but the snakes have already made a big impact.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:44 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Post-Sandy Aid Inaccessible For Some Immigrants

Rosa Maria Ramirez lost most of her belongings in the storm and is moving out of her damaged house on Staten Island. Because she's undocumented, she doesn't qualify for federal financial disaster assistance.
Reema Khrais NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:41 pm

The living room was muddy and foul when 16-year-old Prisma revisited her family's apartment days after Superstorm Sandy washed through it last month. The furniture was tarnished, and most of the family's belongings were scattered and in ruins. The home was uninhabitable.

"Everything was completely in a different place," Prisma says. "It was really nasty."

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Meeting Between Egypt's Morsi, Judiciary Appears To Fail To Bring Compromise

An Egyptian man walks over a graffiti reading "Morsi Go" at Egypt's landmark Tahrir square in Cairo.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:42 pm

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast unit that despite a meeting with leaders of the judiciary, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has not given any signal that he is backing down from most of his power grab.

A decree that essentially prohibited the judiciary from reviewing any of his decisions has brought violent demonstrations across the country from protesters who say they traded in one dictator for another.

Soraya sent this report from Cairo:

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

GOP Pushback On No-Tax Norquist: Less Than Meets The Eye

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, speaks on Nov. 5, 2011, in Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 10:00 am

A handful of congressional Republicans after finishing their Thanksgiving dinners decided to give anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist the brushoff, saying they wouldn't abide by his "no new taxes" pledge as they work on a budget deal.

Breathless coverage ensued.

"Move over, Grover?" read one headline.

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Law
5:00 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Who's A Supervisor When It Comes To Harassment?

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:31 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that asks the justices to define who is a "supervisor" when the issue is harassment in the workplace. The definition is important because employers are automatically liable for damages in most cases in which a supervisor harasses a subordinate.

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It's All Politics
4:56 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

New 'War On Christmas' Takes A Fiscal-Cliff Twist

The Christmas shopping season could be harmed if the fiscal cliff fight depresses consumer confidence, according to a new report from Obama administration economists.
Andrew Kelly Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:19 pm

In past years, conservatives have used the phrase "war on Christmas" to liberally accuse liberals of trying to ruin the holiday through political correctness and anti-religiousness.

This year, it's the Obama White House warning that Republicans are a threat to Christmas or, more precisely, the part of the economy that relies on the holiday shopping season — retail sales.

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All Tech Considered
4:51 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Spain Expands Renewables With Wave-Powered Electricity Plant

Residents of Mutriku, a fishing village on Spain's northern coast, lounge at their local beach, protected from fierce Atlantic waves by a cement breakwater that also houses Europe's first wave energy plant.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Waves constantly thrash the fishing village of Mutriku on Spain's northern coast. Records from the 13th century describe the dangerous surf and shipwrecks here. Until recently, water occasionally hurled debris through windows of homes, before the local government built a cement breakwater to shelter the harbor.

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Shots - Health News
4:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

In Juvenile Detention, Girls Find Health System Geared To Boys

Girls line up at the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention and Youth Services Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
Jenny Gold NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:21 pm

For the growing number of teenage girls who are incarcerated each year, detention may be the only time they get health care.

But the care provided to girls in juvenile detention is often a poor match for their needs.

One reason: It's a system that was designed for boys.

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Law
4:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Manning Plea Offer Another Odd Piece Of An Odd Case

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a pretrial hearing in June. Manning is charged with aiding the enemy by giving hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and war logs to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

The young Army private accused of passing diplomatic cables and war reports to the website WikiLeaks has made an unusual offer: Bradley Manning says he'll plead guilty to minor charges in the case. But he rejects the idea that he ever acted as a spy or helped America's enemies.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

U.N. Committee Calls For An End to Centuries-Old Practice Of 'Baby Boxes'

A baby hatch that is fixed in a window at Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin. Mothers can bring unwanted babies and leave them anonymously. Baby boxes are a revival of the medieval "foundling wheels," where unwanted infants were left in revolving church doors.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 5:30 pm

For centuries, European mothers who felt they were incapable of caring for a newborn could leave the baby in a "foundling wheel," a rotating crib set up at the entrance to a convent or a place of worship.

Today, there's a debate over the modern version of the practice: the baby box.

At least 11 European countries, as well as Russia and India, now have baby boxes, sometimes known as baby windows or hatches.

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