Pennsylvania landowners say one of the nation's biggest natural gas companies has cheated them out of gas royalties. The company is Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy. It's faced similar accusations and lawsuits in about half-a-dozen other states.
As Marie Cusic, of member station WITF reports, Pennsylvania's governor wants to take a harder look at the allegations.
Chinese leaders and lawmakers are huddled in Beijing for the annual session of parliament, and one man towers above the rest. That's because he's seven feet, six inches tall. The former Houston Rocket center Yao Ming is one of China's best-known athletes. He's also in his second year as a member of China's nominal Upper House of Parliament.
NPR's Anthony Kuhn has this report from Beijing on the former basketball star's foray into law and politics.
The Obama administration's announcement of sanctions comes as Crimea's parliament voted to unite with Russia. It's also called for a referendum on the issue in 10 days. At the same time, lawmakers in Russia began taking steps that could streamline the process of making Crimea a part of Russia.
NPR's Corey Flintoff joins us on the line from Moscow. And, Corey, how has this sanctions announcement from the U.S. been received there?
Pharrell Williams, who frequently goes by just his first name, is the sort of pop star whom many people would like to view as a friend. Emerging from hip-hop, he makes charming recordings that suggest a deep appreciation of pop, soul and R&B music extending at least as far back as the 1960s. To hear Pharrell on his new album G I R L, you'd think his world consisted of grooving on catchy beats and flirting with women. It's a lightweight image that draws gravitas from his prolific work ethic and a shrewd deployment of those influences.
The two vagabonds behind distorted doom unit Jucifer have been peddling their decimating decibels across the globe since 1993. Famed for their towering wall of amplifiers and incendiary live performances, guitarist and vocalist Gazelle Amber Valentine and her partner in music and in life, drummer Edgar Livengood, are always on the move. The married couple live in an RV with a scattering of dogs and musical equipment and transverse the country 24/7.
Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:57 am
The big monthly jobs report that came out Friday has tons of numbers describing the American labor force. The numbers are helpful as far as they go, but they skip over a whole dimension of work: What it's really like.
So, over the past few weeks, we asked people over Twitter and Instagram to send us pictures of themselves at work, and to tell us: What's your job title? And what do you really do? What follows are some of the answers.
Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 10:08 am
Surely listening to Pharrell Williams' Oscar nominee "Happy" makes you bounce with joy. Nirvana still makes you want to wail. And old Beatles songs make you feel like everything's going to be all right. But maybe you don't feel anything at all.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:27 pm
The U.S. Senate's opening prayer on Thursday was delivered by the Dalai Lama — in his words, "a simple Buddhist monk."
The Tibetan spiritual leader has been in the U.S. for several weeks and his itinerary has included a White House meeting with President Obama, over the strong objections of China. As The Associated Press puts it:
This Carnival season, residents of Sao Paulo are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers, but unlike the massive demonstrations that swept the city last summer, it's to party and not to protest.
Rio de Janeiro is well known as the queen of Carnival for its lavish parades broadcast live from the Sambadrome. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in South America and the economic engine of Brazil, but it's not known for its bacchanalian abandon.
In fact, it was the epicenter violent demonstrations over Brazil's plans to host the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016.
Referring to Russia's actions in Crimea as an "intervention" and saying the U.S. will continue to "mobilize the international community to condemn this violation of international law," President Obama just delivered some of his most extensive remarks to date about the crisis in Ukraine.
Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 12:33 pm
One of the great joys of camping out in a national park is chowing down by the fire. But campers aren't the only ones drawn to burgers and s'mores roasting over an open flame, beneath a mass of twinkling stars.
Those rich aromas can also prove irresistible to the local critters. From bears to foxes to coyotes, biologists have documented wildlife getting irrevocably hooked on our food and food waste. And for good reason: Our food is way more calorie-rich — and thus, better for making babies — than the standard black bear fare of insects and leaves.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:47 pm
Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair pleaded guilty to adultery and two other charges in a court martial proceeding Thursday at Fort Bragg, N.C. He still faces the most serious charge of sexually assaulting a female captain.
Last summer, four alleged leaders of rival prison gangs worked together to coordinate a hunger strike at California's Pelican Bay State Prison. They were protesting long-term, indefinite incarceration in solitary confinement.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:06 pm
One of Moammar Gadhafi's sons has arrived in the Libyan capital for the first time since the 2011 revolution that toppled his father after Niger, where he'd long been under house arrest, finally agreed to extradite him.
Saadi Gadhafi, 40 — the former head of Libya's soccer federation who was notorious for a playboy lifestyle during his father's regime — fled to Niger after his father was deposed and summarily executed three years ago.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're starting off today with Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. Today, we are focusing on the spiritual dimension of the tension between Russia and Ukraine. You may have seen the pictures of priests amid the conflict standing between soldiers and protesters in Kiev ministering to the wounded and the dying.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:59 am
The Central Intelligence Agency and one of the congressional panels that oversees its work, the Senate Intelligence Committee, are in what looks to be an increasingly bitter battle over just who's been behaving improperly.
McClatchyDC and The New York Times have been rolling out stories this week about claims that the CIA may have been monitoring the work of the committee's staffers in recent years and that some of those congressional aides may have left CIA headquarters with classified documents that shouldn't leave that secure facility.
South by Southwest Interactive is the technology-driven part of the annual Austin-based festival for digital, film and music and it starts on Friday. An expected 30,000 people will take part in the interactive and film week that precedes music, and they love it for the spontaneity and the chaos. They also hate it because of the chaos — parties on every corner, marketing handouts at every turn and a sprawling program of panels, screenings and speakers that span at least a dozen city blocks in the heart of Texas.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:01 pm
While electronic cigarettes may be marketed as alternatives that will keep teenagers away from tobacco, a study suggests that may not be the case.
Trying e-cigarettes increased the odds that a teenager would also try tobacco cigarettes and become regular smokers, the study found. Those who said they had ever used an e-cigarette were six times more likely to try tobacco than ones who had never tried the e-cig.
An American host for the Kremlin-backed Russia Today television has quit on air, announcing from the channel's Washington, D.C., anchor desk that she doesn't want to be "part of a network ... that whitewashes the actions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin."
Liz Wahl announced her resignation on Wednesday, saying Moscow's intervention in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula is wrong and that she feels "very lucky to have grown up in the United States."
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:00 pm
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual gathering of conservatives which is part pep rally, part trade show, part revival meeting and part political cattle call, rolls into Washington this week.
As the 2014 version gets underway, one of the major questions hanging over the event is this: how much juice does the Tea Party still have?
When it's time to buckle down and focus, plenty of office workers will put on headphones to help them drown out distractions and be more productive. But can music also help dairy cows get down to business?