Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:12 pm
Officials in some of India's major cities, who have been fighting a losing battle to control troops of marauding monkeys who snatch food, chew Internet cables and romp through government buildings, have decided to take drastic action: They are putting them on the pill.
Or at least oral contraceptives are part of a strategy that also will involve outright sterilization of thousands of rhesus monkeys.
For the past nine months, Princeton University in New Jersey has been trying to halt an outbreak of bacterial meningitis in its students without success. So it's going to offer students a vaccine that's not yet approved for broader use in the US.
Since bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the brain and spinal cord that can cause brain damage and death, having it on campus is no small matter.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:57 pm
Scientists have discovered a pocket of ancient seawater that's been trapped underground near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay since the time of the dinosaurs — strong evidence that the Atlantic Ocean was once much saltier than today.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:50 pm
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was thrust into the international spotlight after he admitted to smoking crack. Since then, a caricature of the politician has emerged: a bumbling, error-prone addict, whose everyman persona has helped him maintain his popularity in Canada's most populous city.
Anjelica Huston is best-known for her performances in Prizzi's Honor, The Grifters, The Addams Family, The Royal Tenenbaums and the TV series Smash. But her new memoir about her early life, A Story Lately Told, ends just as her successful acting career begins. That part of her life will be in a second volume, now in the works.
In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:38 pm
In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.
The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, hear Robin Hilton explain why he has a Yo Gabba Gabba! song stuck in his head every day, and how the best remedy this week has been the new Death Grips record, Government Plates.
An Afghan soldier stands guard in the western city of Herat in October. U.S. Maj. Gen. James McConville, who commands coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, says Afghan forces did hold their ground this year, but "they're not winning by enough that the enemy is willing to stop fighting yet."
Shiite Muslims gathered in Kabul last week to celebrate Ashura, one of the holiest days on their religious calendar. Hundreds of shirtless men chanted and flogged themselves with chains tipped with knife-like shards of metal.
In the past, these public Shiite commemorations have become targets of the Taliban and other Islamist extremists. In 2011, a suicide bomber killed 56 Shiites marking Ashura. But this year, security was particularly tight.
Shopkeeper Noor Aga said the celebration was magnificent, and he felt safe.
Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO Elon Musk (in driver's seat) and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen (in passenger seat) drive the new Tesla Model S all-electric sedan in Hawthorne, California on March 26, 2009.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:38 pm
It pays to be unique when you're going for the title of best restroom in the land. Design details are crucial, and so is the choice of materials. It also doesn't hurt if you serve drinks in a commodious chamber. Those are the strengths of the Varsity Theater, a concert hall in Minneapolis that has won America's Best Restroom Contest for 2013.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:20 pm
The U.S. tax code is messy, complicated and full of loopholes. And if you're searching for the most incomprehensible, technically dense part of that code, international tax law would be a good place to start.
In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake served up one of those mind-bending proverbs he's known for: "The road of excess leads," he wrote, "to the palace of wisdom." I thought about this line as I watched two terrific new movies that put Blake's words to the test.
Paolo Sorrentino's thrillingly good The Great Beauty tackles the idea head-on — it's an excessive film about excess. Sorrentino doesn't merely aim to update one of the most famous movies of all time (Fellini's portrait of decadent Rome, La Dolce Vita). He intends to better it.
A Cambodian gambler talks on 18 cellphones at once at a boxing match in Phnom Penh in 2010. There are nearly 132 cellphones for every 100 Cambodians, but the country has also seen a surge in the number of landlines.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:03 am
On All Things Considered, NPR's Martin Kaste reported Monday on U.S. landline infrastructure. One fact stood out: 96 percent of homes had landlines in 1998, and that number is down to 71 percent today.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 9:41 am
The "G" in Crossroads GPS stands for "grassroots," but the politically oriented nonprofit received more than 80 percent of its money last year in donations of $1 million or more — including a single gift of $22.5 million.
An NPR review of its latest filing with the IRS shows that 99.8 percent of its $179 million came from donations of $5,000 and above. And because the group operates as a 501(c)(4) "social welfare" organization, the identities of all its donors remain a secret from the public.
It's been several months since longtime Pixies bassist Kim Deal left the band, and the remaining members are still figuring out how to play together. But the group's new sound seems to coalesce on its latest single and video, "What Goes Boom."
"Since the reunion, there are sounds that I've been coming up with," guitarist Joey Santiago tells us via email. "And a lot of them just got condensed into this one song, with me going sh*thouse on guitar."
New figures show women have more jobs in the U.S. than ever before - but men are still struggling to pull out of the recession. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax, and Ariane Hegewisch from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
"Immigrant number 96153. That's how my great-grandmother was cataloged, that was the number on her immigration pass." says Gaiutra Bahadur, author of the new book Coolie Woman.
Bahadur set out to uncover her family's roots by following a paper trail of colonial archives and ship records that traced her great-grandmother's journey from a small village in India to the cane fields of Guyana.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll meet an author who managed to trace her own great-grandmother's journey from a small village in India to the cane fields of Guyana. We'll hear about this remarkable feat of reporting that sheds light on a system that's probably even less understood than slavery, which is indentured servitude.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:38 pm
The conservative-driven movement to expand voter restrictions in the name of reducing polling booth fraud has often been described as a solution in search of a problem.
Despite evidence suggesting voter fraud is rare, it's a crusade that has proved so durable in GOP-dominated states like Arizona and Kansas that its leading proponents are undeterred — even by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Get a high court decision that bars you from requiring residents to produce documentary proof of citizenship like a passport or birth certificate when registering to vote?
On 'Morning Edition': 'Midwest Tornadoes Send Residents Scrambling'
Along with the stories of incredible destruction and heart-breaking losses, Tuesday's reports about the aftereffects of Sunday's tornadoes in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and other parts of the Midwest make this ominous point:
Creigh Deeds, a Democratic state senator in Virginia who was his party's 2009 gubernatorial nominee, "is in critical condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center after he was stabbed in his home Tuesday morning," Richmond's WRIC-TV reports.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 11:19 am
Oxford Dictionaries has decided that 2013's word of the year is selfie — and if you don't know what the word means, you may not be a somewhat self-absorbed type who likes to share photos you take of yourself. (Just kidding, selfie fans!)
In this frame grab from a video released by Argentina's presidency, Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez holds a gift from a supporter given to her while recovering from surgery. She returned to work Monday, meeting with Cabinet ministers and recording a video that showed her in good spirits weeks after surgery to drain blood from inside her skull.