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Politics
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Republicans Retreat To Regroup On Immigration, Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Leaving Washington, D.C. for the frozen banks of the Chesapeake Bay might not be everybody's idea of a great late January getaway, but that's where House Republicans packed off for a three-day retreat this week. They gathered at a resort in Cambridge, Maryland, to try to reach agreement on a few big issues, among them immigration and the need once again to raise the debt ceiling.

A lot of reporters who cover Congress went along too, including NPR's congressional correspondent David Welna. David, thanks very much for being with us.

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Business
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Obama Pushes Employers To Consider The Long-Term Jobless

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Labor Department says there are nearly four million people in America who've been unemployed for six months or more. That number has remained stubbornly high, even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen. Yesterday, President Obama met with U.S. business leaders and urged them not to overlook qualified job applicants just because they've been out of work for a while.

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Digital Life
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Finding The Sum Of True Love On The 88th Try

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Education
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

The High Cost Of Testing For College

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A college education is famously expensive. But what about the tests just to apply? Benjamin Tonelli wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal this week; and he questioned the costs of the SAT and AP tests that students have to take just to be considered for admittance to college, and asked if this doesn't discriminate against poorer families especially. Mr. Tonelli is a senior at Garfield High School in Seattle, and he joins us. Thanks very much for being with us.

BENJAMIN TONELLI: Of course, of course.

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Europe
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

British Royal Household Needs To Beef Up Reserves

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You know, being the Queen of England, it's not all about cute Corgis, glamorous balls and lacy hats. Even the royal family has financial troubles. This week a report by members of the British parliament found that the royal coffers are down to their lowest level ever. Just about a million pounds are left in the fund. That is slightly less than $2 million. NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us from London. Ari, thanks so much for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: How could this happen to our Queen, Ari?

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Middle East
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Will A Military Leader Become Egypt's New Strongman?

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Sports
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

U.S. Figure Skaters Are Underdogs In These Games

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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National Security
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Foreigners Still Vulnerable To NSA Snooping

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We now know that the government's spy agency is Hoovering up billions of bits of data from our phone calls and emails. But we don't really know how it's being used. Much of it apparently just sits in a giant top-secret storage facility in Utah. And that makes some people nervous, especially many foreigners on whom we're spying. Here's Guy Raz of NPR's TED Radio Hour.

GUY RAZ, BYLINE: Picture the largest Ikea you've ever been in. And now picture five of them.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

A Holocaust Tale Unfolds On Two Levels

Mieczyslaw Weinberg's opera The Passenger tells the story of an Auschwitz prisoner and a Nazi guard, whose lives continue to interweave after the the war.
Lynn Lane Houston Grand Opera

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Composer Dmitri Shostakovich called it a perfect masterpiece without ever having seen it performed. The Passenger, an opera about the Holocaust, was written nearly half a century ago, but was only given its first full performance just three years ago.

Now it's getting its U.S. premiere at the Houston Grand Opera. The opera is based on a story by a Holocaust survivor, with music by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, a composer who lost his entire family in the Nazi death camps.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Gunfire, Explosions Rock Thai Capital Ahead Of Polls

Anti-government protesters run as an explosion takes place near their vehicle during a gunfight between supporters and opponents of Thailand's government near Laksi district office in Bangkok on Saturday.
Nir Elias Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:33 am

An hour-long gun battle erupted in the Thai capital of Bangkok on Saturday, a day ahead of parliamentary elections opposed by anti-government activists were to take place.

The opposition is seeking the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whose Pheu Thai Party won overwhelmingly in 2011 elections. They have boycotted the polls and threatened to disrupted them in a bid to replace Yingluck's government with an unelected council.

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Scout Leaders Who Toppled Ancient Rock Formation Are Charged

A frame grab from a video taken by Dave Hall shows two men cheering after the Boy Scout leaders knocked over an ancient Utah desert rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park.
AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 8:49 am

A former Boy Scout leader who toppled an ancient rock formation in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park, and another Scout leader who videotaped the incident, are being charged with criminal mischief.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Kerry: 'Disturbing' Trend Of Authoritarianism In Eastern Europe

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses delegates at the 50th Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday.
Tobias Hase EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:33 am

Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized what he calls a "disturbing trend" among governments in eastern and central Europe to "trample the ambitions" of their people.

Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, Kerry said:

"The aspirations of citizens are once again being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests — interests that use money to stifle political opposition and dissent, to buy politicians and media outlets, and to weaken judicial independence and the rights of non-governmental organizations."

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Book Reviews
5:02 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Through The 'Dust,' Glimmers Of Brilliance

courtesy of Knopf

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:44 am

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's Kenya is a country knit together by secrets. Each character in Dust, her debut novel, owns a share of his land's violent past, a history that longs to be forgotten. They live and love in an atmosphere of mutually agreed-upon silence, a mindset best summed up by Nyipir Oganda, a former soldier: "For the good of the country," he tells his daughter, "we know, nyara, that to name the unnameable is a curse."

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All Tech Considered
5:02 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Tech Week: 'Leaky' Angry Birds And Digital Invades Cinemas

Classified documents provided by Edward Snowden showed that the NSA was garnering private user information by piggybacking on "leaky" apps such as Angry Birds that collect data.
Gary He AP

After a week of earnings reports and inflammatory comments from a Silicon Valley mogul, we have finally made it through January.

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Code Switch
5:02 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Does It Taste As Sweet To Say 'I Love You' In Another Language?

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
Kaan Tanman Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 2:51 pm

Editor's Note: Code Switch is engaged in a month-long discussion and exploration of interracial and cross-cultural dating. Follow the conversation via the Twitter hashtag #xculturelove.

My first kiss was with an Albanian man I met in Venice, Italy; within hours, Jeta and I were telling each other, "Ti amo." I didn't mean it any more than I knew his last name (and I won't kid myself into thinking there was much sincerity on his end).

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Shots - Health News
2:57 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close: Fans Risk Hearing Loss

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:48 am

For diehard football fans, nothing beats screaming your lungs out in the stadium alongside tens of thousands of other fans.

There is, however, a downside: hearing loss.

With the battle among fans to be the loudest crowd getting almost as competitive as the NFL itself, hearing experts say it's time for a serious conversation about the damage caused by crowd noise.

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Author Interviews
2:55 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Born Together, Then Torn Apart, In Civil War-Era Minnesota

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Clement and Angel, fraternal twins separated at birth, have very different lives. After being abandoned, both are raised in Stillwater, Minn., around the time of the Civil War. But Clement dwells among orphans and prostitutes; Angel is adopted by a wealthy couple, and she lives in the town's mansion.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
2:55 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Booming Oil Fields May Be Giving Sex Trafficking A Boost

A cold night in the city center of Williston, N.D. Law enforcement agencies are concerned that rapid changes in the region have created conditions conducive to organized crimes like sex trafficking.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

A Friday night at J Dub's Bar & Grill in Williston, N.D., begins and ends with multicolored flashing lights, thumping dance music and crowds of young men with money to spend.

"A lot of testosterone being thrown around in this town," says Nathan Kleyer, 24, a Williston native who's at J Dub's with some friends for a few drinks.

And he's seen it all over town, he says: "These scantily clad women walking in, and they will hop tables until they find a john to take them home."

He's seen it in bars, and he's even heard about it at a nearby chain restaurant, he says.

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Parallels
2:55 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Germany's New Defense Minister: More Peacekeeping Missions Welcome

Germany's new defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, right, chats with German soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, at a training center in Letzlingen on Jan. 28. Von der Leyen has said she would like to see German forces participate more with other European troops in foreign peacekeeping missions.
Thomas Trutschel Photothek via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Many Germans were surprised in December when Ursula von der Leyen was named the country's first female defense minister.

Some people questioned whether a medical doctor with seven children, who championed Germany's generous parental leave policy, was the right choice to shepherd the country's military through the challenges of being a newly minted volunteer force.

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Economy
4:26 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

After Overcoming Early Obstacles, Yellen Assumes Fed's Top Job

Janet Yellen smiles as President Obama announces her nomination for Federal Reserve chairwoman on Oct. 9.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Ben Bernanke hands over the reins at the Federal Reserve to Janet Yellen on Friday. The Fed's vice chairwoman will be the first female ever to lead the nation's central bank. It's a position many view as the second most powerful in the country.

The world of central banking is largely a man's world. But Yellen has been undeterred by such barriers since she was in high school in Brooklyn. Charlie Saydah, a former classmate, says she was probably the smartest kid in the class. Yellen was "clearly smart, and she was smart among a lot of smart kids," he says.

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Health
4:26 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Sidelined By Brain Injury, Ex-NFL Player Copes With 'Desperation'

Sean Morey, then with the Arizona Cardinals, celebrates after blocking a punt against the Seattle Seahawks in 2007. Morey, who suffers from post-concussion syndrome, retired from the NFL in 2010 on the advice of doctors.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

The home of Sean Morey bears the impressive signposts of his 10-year career in the NFL: a Vince Lombardi trophy for his Super Bowl championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. A hefty Super Bowl ring. A framed photograph showing Morey in midair, launching himself like a missile to block a punt. With that play in 2008, his Arizona Cardinals became the only team in NFL history to win a game in overtime with a blocked punt.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:13 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Not My Job: A Dinosaur Expert Gets Quizzed On Barney

Dan Dry Courtesy Paul Sereno

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 12:51 pm

Paleontologist Paul Sereno is a globe-trotting, headline-making explorer. He's a University of Chicago professor who has discovered several new dinosaur species — and he's also been named to People magazine's list of the 50 most beautiful people.

Since he's an expert on the dinosaurs of the past, we're going to ask him about a big, friendly dinosaur of the present. We'll present him with three questions about Barney, the purple dinosaur.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:13 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Prediction

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 12:51 pm

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now panel, what will be the big story out of the Sochi opening ceremonies? Mo Rocca.

MO ROCCA: The Iranian ice hockey team will enter the arena singing, It's Raining (unintelligible).

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: Putin and Assad will appear in matching rainbow leotards and reveal through an interpretive ribbon dance that they carry a torch for each other.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And Tom Bodett.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:13 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 12:51 pm

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?

CARL KASELL: We have a tie for first place, Peter. Tom Bodett and Faith Salie both have three points. Mo Rocca has two.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:13 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Limericks

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 12:51 pm

Transcript

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Southern Fishermen Cash In On Asia's Taste For Jellyfish

Cannonball jellyfish soak up the sun on a South Carolina beach. Fishermen are now pursuing the pest that used to clog their shrimping nets.
Courtesy of Steven Giese

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:39 pm

On the Southeast coast of the U.S., jellyfish have earned a lengthy rap sheet for stinging beachgoers and getting tangled in shrimpers' nets. But lately, the tides have turned for shrimping, and some fishermen in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida are reaping profits from their local pests, the cannonball jellyfish, or "jellyballs."

"The shrimp season [of 2013] was the worst ever in history here," says Howell Boone, a shrimp trawler in Darien, Ga."The jellyfish industry has been about the best thing that's happened to us."

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Code Switch
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

'Still Turning Heads' At Lunar New Year, An All-Female Lion Dance Troupe

Gund Kwok troupe member Heang Ly takes a break next to her lion costume during a rehearsal in Boston's Chinatown.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:14 pm

Lion and dragon dancers are set to parade down Chinatown streets around the country again with the Friday start of another Lunar New Year.

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This Week's Must Read
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Celebration Is In The Air. Or Is That Just Snow?

Performers get ready before the start of a Chinese New Year parade in Hong Kong on Jan. 31.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Jan. 31 brings the beginning of the Year of the Horse, and while concerns about air pollution have led to fewer celebratory fireworks than usual in China, Patty Chang Anker says that for her, there is no shortage of traditional food. Anker recommends a cookbook that eases the anxieties of anyone trying to cook Chinese-American meals.

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It's All Politics
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

After 3-Day Retreat, GOP Battle Plan Still Only An Outline

Speaker of the House John Boehner (right) speaks during the leadership press conference at the House Republican Issues Conference in Cambridge, Md., on Thursday. Friday's press conference, on the last day of the retreat, was canceled.
JIm Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:19 pm

House Republicans headed back to Washington on Friday from a resort along the frozen waters of the Chesapeake Bay. They were there for a three-day retreat aimed at mapping out a legislative strategy for this midterm election year.

One of the most pressing issues they face is the need next month for Congress to raise the nation's debt limit. GOP lawmakers seem leery of another debt ceiling showdown, and their leaders are pushing to act on immigration this year.

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Shots - Health News
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

More Republicans Push For Fixing, Not Repealing, Obamacare

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

A rift is growing between Tea Party activists and other Republicans over health care.

Some influential conservatives are now saying the Affordable Care Act is too entrenched to repeal.

Take the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an influential business lobbying group. When the ACA passed in 2010, the chamber got behind the lawsuit to fight it at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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