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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

NSA Reportedly Collected Millions Of Phone Texts Every Day

The NSA used a program codenamed Dishfire to collect text messages worldwide that were then used to extract location and financial data, according to The Guardian. Here, women use their cellphones in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

As recently as 2011, the National Security Agency was collecting almost 200 million text messages each day, according to a new story by The Guardian that cites documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The texts were used to develop financial and location data, the newspaper says.

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Sports
3:03 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Will Team USA's High-Tech Speedskating Suit Pay Off In Gold?

"Mach 39" is the result of a partnership between Under Armour and Lockheed Martin to create the most aerodynamic speedskating suit for the U.S. Olympic team.
Under Armour

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:19 am

A years-in-the-making, top-secret engineering and design project for a superaerodynamic suit to be worn by U.S. speedskaters at next month's Winter Olympics was finally unveiled Thursday.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and sporting goods company Under Armour released photos of the suit they're calling "Mach 39." It has been kept so tightly under wraps that the sport's governing body wouldn't even allow it to be worn at the Olympic trials in Salt Lake City.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Jack Ryan Gets A Makeover, And A Quick Trip To Moscow

Chris Pine and Keira Knightley anchor Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, opposite Kevin Costner as a CIA veteran and Kenneth Branagh as the story's big bad.
Larry Horricks Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:05 pm

A franchise is what we used to call a Burger King or a Shell station, but nowadays the word appears more often in relation to movies: the Star Wars franchise, the Hunger Games franchise, the Jack Ryan franchise — or in the case of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the Jack Ryan franchise reboot. I don't know what's more depressing: that what fires up studio execs is the hunt for a new franchise or that critics have adopted this business lingo uncritically.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

'Big Bad Wolves,' On The Prowl In Tel Aviv

Religious-studies teacher Dror (Rotem Keinan) is the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders in Big Bad Wolves, a bracing new thriller from the Israeli writer-director team of Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.
Magnet Releasing

There's black comedy, and then, in the darkest corner of an airtight box buried deep underground, there's the humor of Big Bad Wolves, a new Israeli thriller from writer-directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Two Families, Decidedly Unalike In Dignity

Ryota Ninomiya (Masaharu Fukuyama) and his son Keita (Keita Ninomiya) wrestle with identity and belonging in Like Father, Like Son.
Sundance Selects

Tokyo filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda is known for deft work with kids, sometimes in scenarios with little or no adult presence. But the English-language title of his latest movie, Like Father, Like Son, is a little misleading. There's no reference to a child in the Japanese title, which means "And So He Becomes a Father."

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Churl Of A Squirrel, On The Make In The Big City

Squirrels Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Surly (Will Arnett) start out on opposite ends of the moral spectrum in The Nut Job.
Toonbox Entertainment, Ltd.

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:44 pm

Given the feel-good themes of the average kids' movie — be yourself, follow the golden rule, love each other, blah blah blah — it's refreshing to see an animated comedy chuck that guck and focus on a real jerk. Not a misunderstood Princess Elsa, or a Wreck-It Ralph with a heart of gold, but an out-and-out, two-bit, sell-you-down-the-river-if-it-would-save-his-own-fur shyster.

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It's All Politics
2:36 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

For Obama And Senate Democrats, The Goal Is Mutual Protection

Senate Democrats at the White House last fall during the government shutdown fight.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

For President Obama and Senate Democrats, who gathered in a White House meeting Wednesday, it's all about mutual aid at this point.

If Obama is to maintain any leverage in Congress, he needs Democrats to keep control of the Senate since the House appears likely to remain in Republican hands. And if his second term agenda has any hope of being achieved — such as tackling income inequality, overhauling immigration or reaching a durable nuclear deal with Iran — he'll need a Democratic Senate majority working side-by-side with him.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

3 Arrested In Southern California Fire

A wildfire burns in the hills just north of the San Gabriel Valley community of Glendora, Calif., on Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:10 am

This post was last updated at 9 p.m. ET.

Authorities have arrested three men on charges of recklessly starting a fire that has swept through more than 1,700 acres in Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains, about 25 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It is currently 30 percent contained. Authorities say they have ordered people evacuated from 1,000 homes.

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It's All Politics
1:52 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Lawmakers Roll Out Voting Rights Act Fix

People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Feb. 2013 to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case.
Evan Vucci AP

A bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step Thursday to patch a gaping hole in the 1965 Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the law that allowed for federal oversight of states with a history of ballot box discrimination.

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The Salt
1:49 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Good News: Americans Are Eating 78 Fewer Calories Every Day

Americans are dining out less and eating at home more, new government research shows. This may mean more family dinners, like this one at the Brown-Spencer home in Mechanicsville, Va.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 4:55 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has crunched some numbers, and its conclusion is that Americans are munching less. And on more healthful stuff.

On average, working-age adults were eating about 78 fewer calories per day in 2010, compared with five years earlier, according to a report released Thursday.

So what are we eating less of? Saturated fat. Researchers documented a 6 percent decline in calories from saturated fat between 2005 and 2010.

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Parallels
1:48 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

ln A Global Economy, Why's It So Expensive To Transfer My Money?

NPR's Ari Shapiro, who recently moved to London and set up a bank account, reports that it can still be an expensive and time consuming process to transfer money internationally. Here, people pass by a branch of Lloyds Bank in London, on Sept. 17.
Sang Tan AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:39 am

When relocating to a new country, it's important to establish routines and traditions. My ritual here in London is spending an hour on the phone with the bank every day.

It's a strange thing about 2014 — we've got one collective foot planted squarely in the 21st century, while the other is stuck in back in the 19-something-or-others.

My email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts don't care whether I'm in Dublin or Dubai. I can jog along the Seine in Paris to the same music on Spotify that I listen to when I'm running along the Willamette River in Portland.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

In Search For Habitable Planets, Why Stop At 'Earth-Like'?

Kepler-22b, seen in this artist's rendering, is a planet a bit larger than Earth that orbits in the habitable zone of its star. Some researchers think there might be "superhabitable" worlds that may not resemble Earth.
NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:19 am

In their hunt for potentially habitable planets around distant stars, scientists have been so focused on finding Earth-like planets that they're ignoring the possibility that other kinds of planets might be even friendlier to life, a new report says.

So-called superhabitable worlds wouldn't necessarily look like Earth but would nonetheless have conditions that are more suitable for life to emerge and evolve, according to the study published this month in the journal Astrobiology.

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Shots - Health News
1:30 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

State Health Coverage Sign-Ups Paint A Complex Obamacare Picture

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, unveils a marketing campaign for the exchange in Los Angeles late last year.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:42 pm

Obamacare enrollment surged in December, and the administration's report on the numbers made headlines early this week.

But the national figures tend to obscure the differences from state to state.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

First Union Vote At An Amazon Warehouse In The U.S. Fails

An Amazon.com employee stocks products along one of the many miles of aisles at an Amazon.com Fulfillment Center in Phoenix last month.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:07 am

Employees at an Amazon.com facility have decided against forming a labor union. The vote last night was the first of its kind in Amazon's history.

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Movies
1:07 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nods Go To 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity,' '12 Years A Slave'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Oscar nominations are in. They were announced this morning in Beverly Hills. And "American Hustle" and "Gravity" are the early front-runners. Each of them got 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. "12 Years a Slave" was close behind with nine nominations. For more, we're joined now by Linda Holmes, who writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop culture blog Monkey See. Good morning.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Good morning to you.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

In London, The Case Of The Purloined Water Lily

One of the world's rarest flowers has been stolen, Britain's Kew Gardens announced this week. The water lily Nymphaea thermarum is seen here in 2010.
Andrew McRobb AP

An exceptionally rare flower that is virtually extinct has been stolen from London's Kew Gardens, in a crime that experts say could be the work of an obsessed collector. British newspapers say that stealing the precious Nymphaea thermarum water lily "is like an old master theft."

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

New Drug Combination Takes 24 Minutes To Execute Ohio Killer

Dennis McGuire was executed Thursday.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction AP

The state of Ohio on Thursday conducted its first execution since running out of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital.

Reporter Alan Johnson from The Columbus Dispatch was among those who watched as convicted killer and rapist Dennis McGuire was put to death. Here is some of Johnson's description of what happened:

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All Tech Considered
12:21 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers

Protesters in San Francisco block a Google bus, which shuttles employees from the city to its location in Silicon Valley.
cjmartin Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:59 pm

"There goes the neighborhood." Every so often that cry goes up in San Francisco, announcing a new chapter in American cultural history, as the rest of the country looks on. There were the beats in North Beach, then the hippies in the Haight, then the gays in the Castro. Now it's the turn of the techies who are pouring into my own Mission neighborhood, among other places. Only this time around, the green stuff that's perfuming the air is money, not weed.

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All Songs Considered
12:13 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Good Listener: How Do You Know If You'll Love A Song Forever?

Oh, Carly Rae Jepsen. We knew it couldn't last.
Courtesy of the artist

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Found Recipes
11:57 am
Thu January 16, 2014

A Taste Of South Texas In A 9x13 Dish

Don't be fooled by the name: Neither Sandy nor Crystal is quite sure where the King Ranch Casserole has its origins.
Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:19 am

When Sandy Pollock and Crystal Cook go to work on a traditional recipe, they usually like to bring it up to date with a modern twist or two. After all, they call themselves the Casserole Queens, specialists in making a classic quick-fix dish fit for today's dinner mat.

But when it came to changing the King Ranch Casserole, Sandy wouldn't hear of it. "There are just some things that you don't mess with," she says. "It's the way Mama made it!"

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Author Interviews
11:56 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Book Chronicles The Building Of Roger Ailes' Fox News Empire

Roger Ailes is the subject of a new book by New York Magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman. He describes Ailes' rule inside Fox News as "absolute."
Jim Cooper AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:00 pm

Fox News CEO and President Roger Ailes has succeeded in turning a television news network into an unprecedented force. Fox News is the most dominant media organization in America, generating more than a billion dollars in profit and earning the highest ratings of any cable news network.

Gabriel Sherman writes about Ailes' success with Fox News in his new book, The Loudest Voice In The Room: How The Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — And Divided A Country.

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It's All Politics
11:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Doctors Say Reid's Request For Bowel Research Money Is No Joke

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada talks about unemployment benefits during a news conference Thursday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 9:47 am

In his new memoir, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates heaped scorn on many members of Congress for pushing their parochial interests with him.

But he saved a special dig for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"With two ongoing wars and all our budget and other issues, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," Gates writes, describing how the Nevada Democrat urged him to have the Defense Department invest in research into irritable bowel syndrome.

It's an anecdote that drew snickers — and media attention, including here at NPR.

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All Songs Considered
11:14 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Discoveries From globalFEST 2014

Ebru Yildiz For NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:28 pm

This past Sunday was a frenzied and unforgettable night in New York City: A dozen bands from as far away as Australia and the Congo (and as close as Mississippi), left it all on the stage for globalFEST, one of the most important world music events in North America, held each January at Webster Hall.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Obama's NSA Speech: Just What Eisenhower Warned About?

President Eisenhower during his farewell address to the nation on Jan. 17, 1961.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 12:19 pm

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Eisenhower used his farewell address to warn Americans that:

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Trial Starts For Suspects In Ex-Lebanese Leader's Slaying

Back row from left, Judge Walid Akoum, Judge Janet Nosworthy, Presiding Judge David Re, Judge Micheline Braidy and Judge Nicola Lettier await the start of a trial at the courtroom of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Leidschendam, Netherlands, on Thursday.
Toussaint Kluiters AP

The trial of four men accused of killing Rafik Hariri and 22 others began Thursday in Leidschendam, Netherlands, on Thursday nearly nine years after the former Lebanese prime minister was assassinated by a massive car bomb in Beirut.

Speaking outside the court, Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, who has also served as a prime minister, said his presence and those of family members is "proof that our stance, since the first moment, and every moment, was and will continue to be: seeking justice, not revenge, punishment and not vengeance."

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Movies
10:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nods Show 'Black & White' Year In Hollywood

The Oscar nominations are in! "American Hustle," "Gravity," and "12 Years a Slave" scored big. But did anything really surprise critics? Host Michel Martin speaks with actor and producer Rick Najera about the nods.

Digital Life
10:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Teju Cole Writes A Story A Tweet At A Time

Courtesy of Teju Cole

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:09 pm

Teju Cole's novel Open City may have won him critical acclaim and many fans, but that doesn't mean he can stop thinking about how to connect with his readers. "I actually do have to work hard for whatever attention my work gets," Cole tells NPR's Michel Martin.

And he is using unconventional methods to get that attention.

After a recent, "much needed break from the hectic environment that Twitter sometimes can be," his 120,000-plus followers noticed some activity on his feed.

It was a retweet that started:

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Politics
10:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

In 'Year Of Action,' What Can President Obama Do?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we are going to head to South Eastern Kentucky. The area is one of those designated as a promise zone by the Obama administration. So we want to hear about what that will actually mean. That's in just a few minutes. But now we look at some of the other items on the president's agenda. He's gearing up for a big speech tomorrow about controversial surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency.

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Economy
10:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

New Hope In Southeastern Kentucky 'Promise Zone'

President Obama recently named the first five "Promise Zones." They're high-poverty areas targeted for economic revitalization. Host Michel Martin learns about the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone from Jerry Rickett, head of the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.

Law
10:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Paul Lo, From Hmong Refugee To California Judge

Paul Lo spent part of his childhood in a refugee camp in Thailand. Now he has been appointed as a judge on the Merced County Superior Court in California. That reportedly makes him the first Hmong-American judge in U.S. history. Host Michel Martin speaks with Lo about his unusual path to the bench.

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