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Arts & Life
2:48 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

When Deborah Met Jimmy: Scoring An Interview With The President

Deborah Norville, Emmy Award-winning journalist and host of Inside Edition, got her big break with an interview with then-President Jimmy Carter.
Courtesy of Deborah Norville

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 4:33 pm

As part of a new series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click and people leap forward into their careers.

Before she became an Emmy Award-winning journalist, Deborah Norville was a senior at the University of Georgia with a low-paying job as a weekend reporter at WAGA-TV in Atlanta. She was barely scraping by on her weekly pay of $75.

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Politics
2:48 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

A New Jersey Democrat On His Lack Of Wins In Congress

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

On Capitol Hill this week, another congressman is calling it quits. Representative Rob Andrews, a Democrat from New Jersey, will be resigning a week from Tuesday. In his 23 years in Congress, Andrews proposed 646 bills, and none of them was ever enacted. The Washington Post called it the, quote, "worst record of the last 20 years."

I spoke with Andrews earlier this week and asked him to respond to that headline.

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Business
2:17 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Funeral Home Kiosks Offer Shoppers The Ultimate Deal

Forest Lawn funeral services has a kiosk at the Glendale Galleria mall in Glendale, Calif., to reach potential customers who may not want to visit a funeral home.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Forest Lawn is a big name in the funeral business, and it has funeral homes all across Southern California. Most are stately, sprawling estates. But the Glendale location is a little different.

First off, it's tiny — the size of a typical funeral home bathroom. Second, there aren't any coffins or headstones for sale. There is an attendant, but he can't sell you anything: The urns are only on display. The place feels pretty inconspicuous. It could as easily be marketing homemade pottery as end-of-life planning.

It's also right in the middle of a shopping mall.

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Around the Nation
1:54 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Prospectors See A Golden Lining In California's Drought

A man looks for gold in Woods Creek in Jamestown, Calif., in 2011.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 4:33 pm

Wayne Warren shakes wet dirt out of a plastic bucket and into a metal chute, tossing aside bigger rocks. For him, California's drought is golden.

Yes, golden. Warren is knee-deep in the San Gabriel River, an hour outside of Los Angeles. That chute next to him is a sluice box. The water washes away the dirt in a muddy cloud, and he leans over the box. Out of the creek, he taps his findings into a green, plastic gold pan and gives it a few swirls. What's left ...

"Sure is pretty in the sun, huh?" he says.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo Euthanizes Giraffe Despite Online Protest

Copenhagen Zoo's giraffe Marius was put down Sunday by zoo authorities who said it was their duty to avoid inbreeding.
Keld Navntoft EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:47 am

Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe living at the Copenhagen Zoo, has been euthanized; his body was cut up and fed to lions.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Four-Legged Athletes Compete With Olympic-Sized Heart

Sky, an Australian shepherd, runs the weave poles with the intensity of an Olympian.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:19 pm

In Sochi this week, athletes are competing in a display of human grace and skill. Many will win. Many more will lose, and many tears will be shed.

In New York on Saturday night, athletes of a different breed competed in a display of canine finesse and dexterity. Many won. If any lost, none knew it. Not one shed a tear.

At the Westminster Dog Show's Masters Agility Championship, 225 exuberant dogs dove through tunnels, flew through hoops, leaped over hurdles and wove in and out of poles with the focus of the highest-level Olympic champion.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Syrian Official Says 600 Evacuated From Rebel-Held Homs

Syrians on two buses followed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's vehicles evacuate Syria's battleground city of Homs, on Friday.
Uncredited AP

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Swiss Narrowly Approve Rollback Of Immigration Allowances

Members of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) cheer after the results after winning a narrow vote on an anti-immigration referendum on Sunday.
Marcel Bieri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:12 am

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

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Monkey See
9:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Beatles, As America First Loved Them

It's been 50 years since The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, to an audience of screaming, hair-pulling, ecstatic (in the classic sense) teenage girls. Cutes in suits, you might call them, like (and, of course, nothing like) countless other bands of the time that wore skinny ties and shared microphones and said "oh" and "yeah" and "baby."

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The Salt
8:55 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Beatlemania! When The Fab Four Rocked The Lunchroom

I want to hold your lunch! This 1965 lunchbox — considered "one of the Holy Grails" of lunchbox collecting — sold for $936.10 in 2013. It came with a thermos. Another mint condition sample sold for $1,625 last fall.
Courtesy of Hake's Americana & Collectibles

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 1:18 pm

The Beatles are not only considered the top of the heap when it comes to musical acts of the 20th century, they're also apparently the kings of the lunchbox.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Is It Enough Rain For Drought-Stricken California?

The cracked-dry bed of the Almaden Reservoir is seen on Friday, in San Jose, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:04 am

California, which has been experiencing its worst drought on record, is welcoming some heavy rainfall this weekend, but it's still too early to say if it signals a wholesale quenching of dried up streams and farm fields.

NBC News says:

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Books
8:49 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Why Confounding Coincidences Happen Every Day

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Coincidences confound us. Miracles amaze us. And the chance that the same person could be hit by lightning three different times, well, that just defies explanation. Or does it? David Hand is an emeritus professor of mathematics at Imperial College in London. And he has written a book called "The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day." He joins us from the BBC studios in London. Thanks so much for being with us.

DAVID HAND: Thank you very much for inviting me.

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Sports
8:49 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Was That Jump A 6? Subjectivity In Olympic Judging

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And it's time to talk sports, specifically the Olympics; the skill, the precision, the pure athleticism. And yes, the style. And we're talking specifically about ice skating, because our own Mike Pesca has some thoughts on that sport.

Good morning, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. How are you?

MARTIN: Hello. I am well. So, I understand Olympic ice skating has undergone some reforms in recent years. Do tell? What changed?

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Energy
8:49 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Oil, Gas Drilling Seems To Make The Earth Slip And Go Boom

Infrastructure used for oil and gas may be making more earthquakes. In Texas, there 10 times the number of earthquakes now than a few years ago.
Mark Rogers AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:21 pm

There's been a surge in earthquakes in the U.S. over the last few years. In Texas, there are 10 times the number of earthquakes now than just a few years ago.

Scientists say it's likely linked to the boom in oil and gas activity, meaning that people who never felt the ground shake are starting to.

Here's how Pat Jones of Snyder, Texas, describes the earthquake that struck her town in 2010: "It just sounded like some car hit the back of our house. We got up and checked around and we didn't see anything or hear anything else."

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The Edge
8:19 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Team Figure Skating Already Has Its Share Of Controversy

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the team ice dance short dance figure skating competition at Sochi on Saturday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:37 am

Controversy is nothing new to figure skating, so perhaps it's not surprising that team figure skating, new to this Olympics, has already come in for some unwanted attention. The Russian and U.S. figure skating teams are strongly denying reports that they are in collusion.

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Shots - Health News
7:46 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Birth Control And Blood Clots: Women Still Weighing The Risks

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:28 pm

The drug company Merck, maker of the NuvaRing contraceptive, says it will pay out $100 million to settle thousands of liability lawsuits from women who say they were harmed by using the product.

These women say that the birth control method put them at greater risk of life-threatening blood clots, and that they were not adequately warned of that risk.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Bangladesh Factory Owners Surrender In 2012 Fire That Killed 112

A Bangladeshi police officer walks between rows of burned sewing machines in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Nov. 2012.
Khurshed Rinku AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:59 am

The owners of a Bangladesh garment factory that caught fire in 2012, killing 112 workers, have surrendered to police to face homicide charges.

Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, were charged in December but remained free until their surrender on Sunday. The couple were denied bail. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Tazreen Fashions factory, which produced clothing for retail giants such as Wal-Mart, lacked emergency exits and other safety measures.

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The Edge
6:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Speedskaters Get A Little Help From Their Friends

From left: U.S. Speedskaters Kelly Gunther, Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson and Sugar Todd are aiming for Olympic glory in Sochi, Russia.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:15 pm

Speedskating is the U.S.'s most successful winter Olympic Sport. In Sochi this year, great things are expected again.

The secret to their success includes talent, skill and hard work, but there's also a network of support that buoys the team.

Two-time gold medalist Shani Davis is looking to win a history-making third: He would be the first speedskater to win the same event in three different Olympics.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Break Loose, Break Loose, Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Break Loose." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word has a long-A vowel sound (as in "break"), and the second word has a long-U vowel sound (as in "loose").

Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Sam Williamson of Charlevoix, MI, and it's a two-part question: where in most homes will you see the words SHE and HIS ... and what word will you see right after HIS?

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Author Interviews
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Seed Librarians, Stone Carvers And Sheepherders Along The Hudson

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Travel can take on many modes: Air, bus, boat, car — and how about going a few hundred miles by bicycle?

One day in the spring of 2012, English designer and photographer Nick Hand set off on his bicycle from Brooklyn, New York, and traveled north up the Hudson River, collecting the stories of local artisans he happened to meet along the way.

Hand put all those stories together in a new book called Conversations on the Hudson, and he tells NPR's Rachel Martin that he found inspiration in a similar journey he'd already taken around the British coastline.

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Animals
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

France Takes A Stand, Crushing Ivory Beneath The Eiffel Tower

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR NEW. I'm Rachel Martin.

This past week, France became the first European country to destroy illegal ivory in a high profile public demonstration. It did so underneath the Eiffel Tower as part of a global effort to call attention to the illicit ivory trade. Officials say the trade not only wipes out the world's population of elephants, it also funds terrorism.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has the story.

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Afghanistan
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Plan Aims To Assure Afghanistan Aid Goes Where It's Supposed To

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

This coming week, the U.S. Agency for International Development plans to announce a new monitoring program that is designed to keep track of the aid dollars being spent in Afghanistan. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Larry Sampler, head of USAID programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Middle East
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Al-Qaida Steps In To Step Out Of Syria

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Aid Workers Continue Efforts To Reach Besieged Syrian City

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Humanitarian workers continue to try to evacuate civilians from the besieged Syrian city of Homs as negotiators in Geneva prepare for the next round of peace talks. NPR's Rachel Martin gets the latest from reporter Alice Fordham in Geneva.

History
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Collecting The Letters Of Wartime

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Letters written in a time of war reflect almost universal longing and loss, no matter the century or the enemy. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Andrew Carroll, the director of the Center for American War Letters, about his personal collection of wartime correspondence from every American conflict, going back to 1776.

Law
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Criminal Sentencing Efforts Aim To Reduce Prison Crowding

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The Obama administration is now urging some criminals in U.S. prisons to plead for clemency. Many of these prisoners were sentenced under tough drug laws from the days of the crack epidemic. And now, the Justice Department says that low level, non-violent drug offenders should ask for early release. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, is pushing a bill that advocates are calling the biggest sentencing reform in decades.

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The Edge
5:53 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Sweeps Slopestyle Snowboarding With Women's Gold

Jamie Anderson of the United States, center, celebrates with silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland, left, and bronze medalist Jenny Jones of Britain, after Anderson won the women's snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Sunday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:06 am

Jamie Anderson's win in the slopestyle snowboarding competition has given the U.S. a sweep of the event following Saturday's win by Sage Kotsenburg.

Anderson's near-flawless run clinched the women's gold.

The Associated Press reports:

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You Must Read This
5:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

From Muse To Outcast, A Woman Comes Of Age In 'Widow Basquiat'

Rebecca Walker's previous work includes the memoirs Black, White & Jewish and Baby Love. Adé: A Love Story is her first novel.
Amanda Marsalis Courtesy of Little A / New Harvest

Much has been written about Jean-Michel Basquiat, the childlike savant and startlingly brilliant neo-expressionist who went down in a ball of heroin, cocaine and rage before his prime — before he could see his paintings sell at Christie's for $49 million, before he was compared to Picasso and de Kooning. Since his death in 1988, he has been immortalized in countless museum catalogues and even more Ph.D theses, and rendered larger than life on the silver screen by none other than the king of the eighties art world himself, Julian Schnabel.

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A Blog Supreme
4:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

'When The Bus For The Record Label Comes By': Behind Hot Tone Music

Camille Thurman (left), Mimi Jones (center) and Shirazette Tinnin all released new albums this week on Hot Tone Music, Jones' record imprint.
Courtesy of the artist

This past week, the bassist and vocalist Mimi Jones released three albums at once. They weren't all her music, but they were her work: As the founder and producer of the record label Hot Tone Music, she brought all three albums to fruition.

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Parallels
3:47 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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