American astronaut Malcolm Scott Carpenter, the fourth American astronaut in space and the second to orbit Earth, died Thursday at the age of 88.
The original seven Mercury astronauts during a training mission at NASA Langley Research Center, in March 1961. From left: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Donald "Deke" Slayton.
Carpenter leaves a hangar at Cape Canaveral on May 24, 1962, en route to the launching pad.
Carpenter, with his wife and three of their children, greets President John F. Kennedy at the White House in June 1962.
Credit Henry Griffin / AP
Mercury 7 astronauts Gordon Cooper (from left), Wally Schirra and Carpenter at a press conference at Kennedy Space Center in 1998. The three were in Florida to watch the launch of the Shuttle Discovery, which carried 77-year-old Glenn into orbit
Credit Tony Ranze / AFP/Getty Images
In 2011, Carpenter spoke at the dedication ceremony for the Mercury Project and Messenger Mission postage stamp, at the Kennedy Space Center.
Credit Red Huber / Orlando Sentinel/MCT/Landov
Carpenter, at the 109th Explorers Club Annual Dinner in March 2013, in New York City.
The mission of Carpenter's 1962 flight was to determine how well humans could function in weightlessness.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:14 pm
Scott Carpenter, the fourth American astronaut to fly in space and the second to orbit Earth, died on Thursday, a NASA official tells NPR.
Carpenter, an original Mercury 7 astronaut, was 88.
NPR's Russell Lewis filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Scott Carpenter's 1962 flight was just five hours, and his mission was to determine how well humans could function in weightlessness. His capsule circled the Earth three times before returning for a parachute landing.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:55 pm
In an emotional statement on Thursday, Baby Veronica's biological father said he and the Cherokee Nation were dropping the legal fight to regain custody of the 4-year-old girl.
"I know we did everything in our power to keep Veronica home with her family," Dusten Brown said in Oklahoma. "Veronica is only 4 years old, but her entire life has been lived in front of the media and the entire world. I cannot bear for [it to continue] any longer.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:12 pm
Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the packages our kids discard in disgust for not including the new Pokemon 3DS games is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips on inter-generational bonding over music.
Jake Ibey writes via Facebook: "How do you introduce new music to a parent (mid-50s) who is stuck in late-'70s rock mode?"
Prospective clients walk past yachts during the Millionaire Boat Show at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow on Sept. 3, 2011. A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands.
Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.
"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."
In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.
The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.
"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.
"Her days were days of flesh." That's just one of a multitude of striking observations that Jill Lepore makes about Jane Franklin, the baby sister of Ben. What Lepore means by that line of near-poetry is that Jane Franklin's life, beginning at age 17 when she gave birth to the first of her 12 children, was one of nursing, lugging pails of night soil, butchering chickens, cooking and scrubbing.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:56 am
The two paintings are unmistakably by Vincent Van Gogh. Both show a street scene in the south of France, dominated by sturdy trees with limbs thrust upwards. Both show the same trees and the same houses and pedestrians — almost.
The Road Menders and The Large Plane Trees (Road Menders at Saint-Remy) were painted by Van Gogh in May 1889. They're so alike that they are sometimes called "copies." In fact, they're different: strikingly different in color, subtly different in detail.
A hiker gazes 3,000 feet down to the Colorado River at Toroweap Overlook in Grand Canyon National Park. A parks advocacy group says the Grand Canyon region has lost 120,000 visitors and $11 million in visitor spending since the government shutdown began.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:28 pm
An estimated 7 million people have been shut out at 12 of the busiest and biggest U.S. national parks, costing parks and nearby communities about $76 million in lost visitor spending for each day the partial government shutdown drags on.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:17 am
Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:
At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.
"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.
Canadian author <a href="http://www.npr.org/books/authors/137943757/alice-munro">Alice Munro</a> has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:31 pm
Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The academy often explains its decision — what it calls the "prize motivation" — with lush precision; recent winners have been praised for their "hallucinatory realism," "condensed, translucent images" and "sensual ecstasy." But for Munro, the committee came straight to the point: They called her simply "master of the contemporary short story."
The state health insurance marketplaces that opened Oct. 1 give consumers who are looking for coverage on the individual market a whole new way to shop for health plans. At the same time, health insurance brokers and insurers will also continue to sell plans directly to customers. Sorting out who's selling what can be a challenge.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:48 pm
This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.
After an hour-long meeting with President Obama, Republicans said they have agreed to keep talking, in hopes of bridging a gulf that has already led to a government shutdown and is threatening the first default in U.S. history.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:26 pm
Most business interests would do anything to avoid a public fight with the most powerful man in the Senate.
Not Koch Industries.
The privately owned conglomerate of conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch is busy trading volleys with Majority Leader Harry Reid in the battle over the Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown.
What's unusual here is the word trading. It wasn't so many years ago that the Koch brothers and their company would have said nothing, just absorbed political slams without comment.
So we've been talking about science and getting people excited about science. You've probably already heard that Latinos are more likely to use social media sites and to access the Internet from mobile devices than other groups are. But the number of Latinos involved in developing the technology is not where many people would like it to be. Hispanics only make up about 4 percent of the people working in the computer industry, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We've talked before on this program about why Latinos in the U.S. are more likely to tweet and use other social media than other Americans. Today, we're going to hear from a Latino tech leader who wants to boost the Latino presence in the science and business of technology. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.
The nation is in the 10th day of a government shutdown, and the deadline over raising the debt limit is quickly approaching. But all that might seem like a day at the park for Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). He explains why in his new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
He speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his political journey and the fight for immigration reform.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
Seven days from now - according to the U.S. Treasury Department - the U.S. approaches the point where it can no longer pay its bills. The federal budget deficit has been dropping dramatically. But in the wake of the Great Recession, it is still very high.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:40 am
We had a complicated problem on our kitchen table in Jerusalem. A stack of homemade birthday thank-you notes, tucked in brightly colored envelopes, ready to be whisked off to friends in the U.S. And a commemorative packet of Israeli stamps in all sorts of different denominations, none of which added up to the 6.20 NIS (6 New Israeli Shekels, 20 agorot, or $1.74) it took to mail a letter or postcard from here to the States.
Malala Yousafzai, 16, speaks in New York last month. Yousafzai was shot a year ago by the Taliban for her outspoken advocacy in favor of girls' education in Pakistan. She is considered one of the favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced Friday.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:03 am
It hasn't been a great year for peace. War is raging in Syria, grinding conflicts drag on in Afghanistan and Iraq, and assorted insurgencies plague nations from Asia to Africa.
Yet the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Friday, and one of the favorites would be a striking choice: Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban last year for her outspoken advocacy of girls' education in her native Pakistan.