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7:02 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Postal Service Plans To End Saturday Mail Delivery

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with an ending.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

World
7:02 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Tunisian Opposition Leader's Slaying Prompts Protests

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A Tunisian politician received death threats in recent days. Chokri Belaid was in a high-profile position. He was among the leaders of a group of politicians urging Tunisia to remain a secular state. That brought him into conflict with religious parties. Despite the death threats, his family says Belaid refused to limit his activities, and as he left home this morning someone shot and killed him.

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Around the Nation
7:02 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Manti Te'o Deletes Twitter Account

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Manti Te'o won't be tricked again - at least not on Twitter. Te'o's the Notre Dame football player who says he met his girlfriend online. The woman wasn't real, and Te'o says he was the victim of a hoax. He's now deleted his Twitter account. The page had included a quote from author Alexander Dumas: "Life is a storm. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."

The Two-Way
6:53 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Reports: Postal Service Will Move To Halt Saturday Mail

Letter carrier Raymond Hou delivering mail on his route in San Francisco (March 2010 file photo).
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:57 pm

(We updated the top of this post at 10:37 a.m. ET.)

Calling it "absolutely necessary" if the U.S. Postal Service is going to stop losing billions of dollars a year and reach anything close to financial stability, Postmaster Gen. Patrick Donahoe confirmed Wednesday morning that USPS is moving to eliminate Saturday delivery of first-class mail.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Book News: Chick-Lit Icon Bridget Jones Returns

Renee Zellweger in a scene from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Universal Studios

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:53 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Shots - Health News
6:34 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Nigeria Moves To Clean Up Lead Pollution From Gold Mines

A boy works at an illegal gold mine in northern Nigeria. Lead from these mines has sickened thousands of children in region.
David Gilkey NPR

Finally, the Nigerian government is fulfilling its promise to help thousands of kids, who have been exposed to toxic levels of lead.

After months of delay and red tape, the government has released $4 million to clean up lead in soil near illegal gold mines in northern Nigeria.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Boy Scouts Delay Decision About Gays; Pentagon May Extend Some Benefits

A statue outside the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:48 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Kathy Lohr on the Boy Scouts' debate

(We updated the top of this post at 10:45 a.m. ET.)

The Boy Scouts of America now intends to vote in May about whether its troops should be allowed to accept gay members and leaders, a spokesman says.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Brutality, Balkan Style In A Satiric 'Stone City'

Grove Atlantic

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

From Swift to Orwell, political satire has played a major role in the history of European fiction. Much of it takes on an allegorical cast, but not all. The Fall of the Stone City, an incisive, biting work by Ismail Kadare — one of Europe's reigning fiction masters — refines our understanding of satire's nature. Kadare's instructive and delightful book takes us from the 1943 Nazi occupation of a provincial Albanian town, the ancient stone city of Gjirokaster, to the consolidation of communist rule there a decade later.

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Economy
3:37 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Obama Suggests Short-Term Fix To Sequester

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

If Congress and the president do not act in the next three weeks, deep across-the-board spending cuts will hit everything from the Defense Department to education programs.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a Texas/California throwdown or thodown, depending on where you're from.

Texas' Governor Rick Perry is taking aim at California's business climate.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: Building a business is tough. But I hear business in California is next to impossible. This is Texas Governor Rick Perry. Come check out Texas.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big cable buyout.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Liberty Global is the cable company owned by American media mogul John Malone. Malone is about to have a much broader reach. His company already operates in 14 countries. And now Liberty Global has reached a deal to buy the British cable company Virgin Media for about $16 billion.

Asia
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

East China Sea Tension

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. It's still hard to believe that Japan and China could ever go to war over a few specks of land in the East China Sea, but here's a reminder of how easily war could come. Japan has disclosed that one of its navy ships was recently targeted by the radar off a Chinese navy ship. That form of radar is used for targeting weapons.

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Europe
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Irish Government Confined Young Women In Workhouses

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:35 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Investigators in Ireland have been pursuing an excruciating question: It is how women came to be stuck in a modern day workhouse. That's a kind of forced labor camp we associate with some earlier age, yet these Irish facilities persisted almost until the end of the 20th century.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports on what an investigative panel calls secrecy, silence and shame.

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Politics
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

'Thorny Parts' Delay Quick Action on Immigration Changes

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Passing major legislation in the United States is a little like solving a Rubik's cube. If you don't solve everything, you've solved nothing, and all the pieces have to come together in the exactly the right way.

GREENE: And the puzzle gets even harder in a time of brutal partisanship. The big question in Washington is whether that Rubik's cube moment has arrived for immigration law.

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NPR Story
3:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

In Dallas, Boy Scouts Debate Opening Membership To Gays

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Leadership of the Boy Scouts of America may take an important vote today. The organization's executive board is wrapping up a meeting in Dallas, and they're talking about whether to drop their policy banning gay leaders and gay scouts. Activists delivered petitions with more than 1.4 million signatures to the national headquarters this week calling for the Boy Scouts to open up the organization.

NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that the issue has ignited a passionate debate about what the 100-year-old group should do.

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NPR Story
3:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Cities Must Strategize To Boost Service Workers' Pay

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's look at the economy in another way. The urban scholar Richard Florida has found a problem with the way our cities are evolving.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

He's famous for studying the creative class, his term for millions of entrepreneurs, writers, thinkers, engineers, the innovators who make an economy grow.

INSKEEP: Florida says cities become more prosperous when those innovators are concentrated there.

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NPR Story
3:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Feds Bust Huge Credit Fraud Ring

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're also tracking a story that federal authorities call one of the biggest credit card fraud rings in U.S. history. Eighteen people are alleged to have created an elaborate web of fake identities and sham companies to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff has more.

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All Tech Considered
1:05 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Using 3-D Printers To Make Gun Parts Raises Alarms

This AR-15 rifle's lower receiver (in soft green color) was produced with a 3-D printer. The 3-D printing industry has criticized the use of the technology for gun part making.
Courtesy of Defense Distributed Dev Blog

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:48 pm

You may have heard about 3-D printing, a technological phenomenon that uses a robotic arm to build objects one layer at a time. As people get imaginative and create items in a one-stop-shop fashion, one more creation has been added to the printing line: gun parts.

On the West Side of Manhattan, behind large glass windows, a dozen 3-D printers build plastic toys and jewelry. Hilary Brosnihan, a manager at 3DEA, an events company that sponsored a print pop-up store, says things are moving rapidly.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Is Online Gambling Legal If Bitcoins, Not Dollars, Are At Stake?

An image depicts the SatoshiDice website, which exclusively uses Bitcoin, not dollars, for gambling.
NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

With no government ties, Bitcoin is used to buy everything from blogging services to Brooklyn-made cupcakes. Theoretically, millions of dollars are being kept in the digital currency, and it's increasingly being used by specialized online gambling websites. But is Bitcoin gambling legal?

Purely in the interests of journalism, I decided to get my hands on some of the currency. When I did so, Bitcoin, which has been around for a few years now, was fetching around $17 on most exchange sites. It has since risen to more than $20.

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Puerto Rico: A Disenchanted Island
12:58 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Puerto Rico's Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean?

Edward Bonet, 23, lives in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and works on the dive team at the Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa in the town of Guanica. He lives with his grandmother, while his mother and sister live in Central Florida.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many citizens are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

Edward Bonet's mom no longer tries to convince him to join her in Florida. Unlike his family, the 23-year-old from Puerto Rico refuses to leave the island and its shattered economy.

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The Salt
12:56 am
Wed February 6, 2013

New Hampshire Cuts Red Tape To Put Nanobreweries On Tap

Throwback Brewery co-owner Nicole Carrier and assistant brewer Chris Naro pour beer for customers at their North Hampton, N.H., taproom.
Emily Corwin NHPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

As beer drinkers demand increasingly obscure beers with ingredients like jalapenos or rhubarb, smaller and smaller breweries are stepping up to the plate. New Hampshire is one state helping these brewery startups get off the ground, with new laws that make it easier for small-scale breweries to obtain licenses and distribute their craft beers.

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Research News
12:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Why You Love That Ikea Table, Even If It's Crooked

Building your own stuff boosts your feelings of pride and competence, and also signals to others that you are competent.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Have you ever spent a couple of hours working on a craft project — or a presentation for work — and then fallen in love with what you've accomplished? Do the colors you've picked for your PowerPoint background pop so beautifully that you just have to sit back and admire your own genius?

If so, get in line: You're the latest person to fall victim to the Ikea Effect.

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Books
12:53 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Hollywood Hot Shots, Scientology And A Story Worth The Risk In 'Going Clear'

AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:26 am

In the 1970s, a young man named Paul Haggis was walking down a street in Ontario, Canada. He encountered a man peddling a book.

"And he handed the book to Paul, and he said, 'You've got a mind — this is the owner's manual,' " journalist Lawrence Wright tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "And inside, there was a stamp saying 'Church of Scientology,' and Paul was intrigued, and he said, 'Take me there.' " Haggis soon became a member of the Church of Scientology — and he's a central character in Wright's new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.

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Sweetness And Light
12:01 am
Wed February 6, 2013

It's The Dog Days For America's Sports Dynasties

Maltipoo Shaggy is dressed as a Yankees fan at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City last year. Commentator Frank Deford says the Yankees are turning into a home for the assisted living.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Since that devilish little morality saga with Linda Evans and Joan Collins left television in 1989, there have been no dynasties in our world outside of sports.

Today, nobody says that William and Kate are continuing a dynasty or the Kennedys are a dynasty, or the Rockefellers, or even that dreadful ugly chubby family in North Korea.

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Business
4:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:17 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Viral Story About Free Wi-Fi Spotlights Mostly Hidden Policy War

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last year warned of a "war on Wi-Fi."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:48 am

(Revised on 2/6/1013 at 12:28 pm ET to include FCC comment.)

In Washington, there's always one kind of alleged war or another against some group or idea — the war on women, the war on religion and the war on the Second Amendment come quickly to mind.

This week, many of us became aware of another supposed conflict we had never heard of: essentially, a war on Wi-Fi.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Survey: Republicans In Congress Own More Guns Than Democrats

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, told USA Today she owned a dozen guns.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

In Washington, everything seems to break down along partisan lines. Gun ownership is no exception.

USA Today surveyed every congressional office to ask whether its lawmaker owned a gun.

The results?

-- "One hundred nineteen Republicans and 46 Democrats declared themselves as gun owners..."

And:

-- "Only 10% of Republicans who responded said they do not own a gun, while 66% of Democrats said they are not gun owners."

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Europe
4:15 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Bulgaria Links Hezbollah To Deadly Attack On Israelis

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 6:51 am

Bulgarian authorities say they have evidence the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah financed and carried out a bomb attack at a Black Sea resort town last year, killing five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian citizen.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov said it was an extremely intensive investigation.

"The results of that investigation leads to a number of persons who are connected to the military wing of Hezbollah," he said.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Did Ninjas Use Throwing Stars? A Conversation About Ninja Realities

An authentic master of ninjutsu martial art, Kazuki Ukita poses in Ninja costume at the Ninja museum's Ninja residence in the small ancient city of Ueno.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:31 pm

Our friends at On Point had a fascinating discussion today with the author of a new book about ninjas.

Here's what Sam Gale Rosen, On Point's producer, told us:

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