Right in the middle of holiday shopping season, some 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a major breach of Target customer data. The thefts occurred in stores, not online. Target says it's working with a forensics company to investigate and prevent similar data thefts from occurring in the future. Security experts say one way to limit them is to switch from magnetic stripes on cards to embedded chips.
617,000. That's how many copies of her self-titled album Beyonce sold in three days last week, after she dropped it without warning. As fans and critics have dug in, debates about the messages and images within it are roiling. Is Beyonce, the sexy pop goddess who has performed at two inaugurations, also this generation's highest-profile feminist? I spoke to six people who identify as feminists — all of whom feel differently about Beyonce — to find out how a pop album no one was ready for is capping off a year of think pieces and Twitter skirmishes.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:17 pm
(This post was updated at 6:00 p.m. ET)
London's emergency services personnel say 88 people have been injured, several of them seriously, in the collapse of part of the ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in central London during an evening performance. Officials say there have been no fatalities.
Emergency services officials tell news agencies that seven of those are seriously hurt. The BBC quotes a spokesman for the theater as saying 720 theatergoers were in attendance at the time of the collapse.
Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 2:28 pm
President Obama has commuted the sentences of eight people convicted of drug crimes, saying their terms were unusually harsh due to a system that treated crack cocaine as a more serious offense than powder cocaine.
The president also pardoned 13 others convicted of various other offenses.
The commutations come after the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which is aimed at reducing disparities in the way the law treats cocaine possession.
If you're confused about the latest recommendations for treating high blood pressure, take heart. Doctors are confused, too.
On Wednesday, a panel of specialists called the Eighth Joint National Committee published guidelines saying that many people over 60 don't need to start taking medications to lower blood pressure until it's above 150/90 millimeters of mercury.
"Voicemails left for Kate Middleton by [then-boyfriend] Prince William were hacked by the News of the World, the phone-hacking trial has heard," the BBC writes. "In one message William used the pet name 'babykins.' "
Way back in the 2004 film Anchorman, Ron Burgundy was a local TV-news host in '70s San Diego. Fast-forward to this year's sequel, and that epic haircut is national news: Set in 1980, Anchorman 2 follows Will Ferrell's vain, shallow character as he graduates to a CNN-style cable news network.
Accompanied by his wife Brigitte, right, Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, Pa., departs Thursday after meeting with officials at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church in Norristown, Pa.
Last Christmas, the spoof charity Radi-Aid released a music video to challenge perceptions of "saving Africa." This year, they're calling out charity ads they see as harmful, and celebrating helpful ads. Host Michel Martin learns more from blogger Teddy Ruge, a member of the Rusty Radiator awards committee.
Cities across the country are receiving the latest numbers on how well their 4th and 8th graders are doing in reading and math. Results are positive, but there's only been incremental changes when it comes to race, gender, and income gaps. Host Michel Martin finds out more.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, it is the season of giving - along with really corny ads reminding you about that. In a few minutes, we'll talk about the best and worst of charity video campaigns according to one advocacy group. That's coming up.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:19 pm
Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.
Greg Abbott, the party's front-runner for governor, posed for a recent cover of Texas Monthly with a rifle over his shoulder. Nearly every other GOP statewide candidate has put out pictures or videos proudly displaying firearms.
NPR's business news begins with Target customers who are being targeted.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: OK. If you did any holiday shopping at Target recently, you might want to take a careful look at your credit and debit card statements. The company has confirmed that up to 40 million customers could be affected by a major credit card data breach. NPR's Elise Hu has been following the story, and joins us in the studio. And, Elise, who's affected by this?
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Miami man tried to join the barter economy. He captured a small alligator, took it to a store, offered to trade it for a 12-pack. His attempt made news on Chicago TV, where the anchor tried to tell the story.
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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: He tried to trade it for beer.
In Elk City, Oklahoma, you have the right to remain silent or make a proposal of marriage. A man being arrested for allegedly writing bad checks asked the officer if he could have a moment because he had been just about to propose to his girlfriend. The cop said he couldn't remove the man's handcuffs, but he did help him out by getting the ring from his coat pocket. Police Chiefs Eddie Holland called the incident, quote, policing with a heart. And in case you were wondering, the woman said yes.
A case that put race relations in the spotlight once again — the shooting death of a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit on the porch of a white man's home in suburban Dearborn Heights — will be going to court.
I feel a little defensive about choosing "selfie" as my Word of the Year for 2013. I've usually been partial to words that encapsulate one of the year's major stories, such as "occupy" or "big data." Or "privacy," which is the word Dictionary.com chose this year. But others go with what I think of as mayfly words — the ones that bubble briefly to the surface in the wake of some fad or fashion.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:24 am
Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.
But rarely do they get their wish.
In recent years, business owners have found themselves wondering whether their government would default on its debts, shut down national parks, change tax rules, cancel supplier contracts, confirm key leaders at federal agencies or hike interest rates.
Finally on Wednesday, they saw policymakers take two big steps toward a more certain future.
The <a href="http://j.mp/1bQjdpZ">amount of money exchanged through remittances in 2012</a> was larger than <a href="http://j.mp/1gGU6Ol">Apple's market capitalization</a> (as of publication), <a href="http://bit.ly/19dk3CY">South Africa's 2012 GDP</a> and <a href="http://j.mp/1c1SH1x">all official development assistance disbursed in 2011</a>.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 2:36 pm
Saying that his mission "is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson isn't backing away from the comments he's made about gays that have led A&E to suspend him from the popular show indefinitely.