The blueberries on your morning cereal are less expensive this year. That's because farmers are harvesting a bumper crop this summer. It's good news for berry lovers, but the bounty might wreck some blueberry growers.
In Richland, Wash., Genoa Blankenship pops open the lid on a box of blueberries. Her three young children struggle to stop wiggling. Blankenship loves the idea of healthy snacks that are easy to take along to soccer practice.
A man walks among shrouded bodies at a Cairo mosque on Thursday. At the El-Iman mosque, more than 200 bodies were being prepared for burial, the victims killed in a crackdown on protesters by Egypt's military-backed government.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:36 am
Remember back when President Bill Clinton argued that his truthfulness about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky depended on the meaning of the word "is"?
Though the topic may be decidedly less salacious, the Republican Party is embroiled in its own semantics gymnastics this week as its national committee members gather in Boston for their summer meeting.
The trailblazing strategist behind the 1963 March on Washington will this year be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That's a long way from the days when civil rights activists counted on Bayard Rustin's hard work, but tried to push him aside because he was gay.
For 60 years, Rustin fought for peace and equal rights — demonstrating, organizing and protesting in the United States and around the world.
There's no shame in admitting it: Mid-August may be the point in the summer when you throw up your hands when it comes to zucchini. The vegetable is both the joy and bane of gardeners and cooks. Joy because there are so many possibilities — bread, fritters, stuffed blossoms and ratatouille. And bane because the plants never seem to stop growing, producing squash nearly nonstop until you're up to your eyeballs in the green things.
Kate Workman, author of The Mom 100 cookbook and blog, knows that pain.
Los Angeles Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez (center left, holding helmet) is congratulated by teammates along with Yasiel Puig (No. 66) after Gonzalez hit a game-winning RBI double and Puig scored during the 12th inning of their game against the New York Mets on Wednesday.
Credit Mark J. Terrill / AP
Comedian George Lopez leaves the mound after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers' baseball game against the New York Mets on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball. They've won 40 of their last 48 games, and Wednesday night, they came from behind in dramatic fashion to beat the New York Mets in 12 innings.
It's a remarkable turnaround for a team that was near the cellar before the All-Star break. Now, they're calling Dodgers Stadium the Magic Castle. Attendance is up, TV ratings are up, star power is up. And the on-field play is "magical," according to legendary announcer Vin Scully.
Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:02 pm
Watch C-SPAN long enough and you'll see members of Congress using big visual aids, known by Capitol insiders as floor charts. We explore where the charts come from and how they've become an essential part of congressional messaging. (This piece originally aired on Morning Edition on July 23.)
The Republican National Committee meets this week in Boston with lots to argue about — if they choose to do so. There's immigration and Obamacare resistance and the 2016 presidential nominating system.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. The stock market usually likes good news about the economy, but that's not always the case. This morning, stocks opened down sharply just after the government announced a surprisingly large drop in initial claims for unemployment benefits. In fact, claims fell to the lowest level since before the recession and the Dow Jones Industrials ended the day down 225 points, a decline of 1.5 percent.
Americans are buying less gasoline than they did just a few years back. While many people believe this is a good thing, it does present a problem: Most road construction is paid for with fuel taxes. Less gas tax revenue means less money for roads.
One reason gas purchases are down is that more people are driving more efficient cars, such as hybrid and electric vehicles. Now states are looking for solutions, including charging hybrids extra fees or imposing fees based on miles driven.
For auto companies, that Environmental Protection Agency-approved MPG sticker on a new car is a high stakes and expensive process. These days it can be damaging to a company's image if customers can't achieve that great fuel economy in their own commutes.
Robert Siegel checks in with Egyptian novelist Alaa al-Aswany, who protested against the Mubarak regime and criticized ousted president Mohammed Morsi during his time in office, about the military's crackdown on pro-Morsi supporters.
The Egyptian government has authorized security forces to use live ammunition against anyone attacking state institutions. The order came shortly after a mob assault on a government building in Cairo. The capital was relatively quiet early in the day amid funerals for those killed in yesterday's widespread clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The government says more than 500 were killed and nearly four thousand wounded in the bloodiest day since the revolution of 2011.
While police moved with deadly force against pro-Morsi sit-ins yesterday, a series of other violent attacks in Christian communities erupted across the country. Government officials in Egypt say that more than half a dozen churches were damaged, but attacks on monasteries, schools and homes in Christian communities were also reported to be widespread. Human rights groups in Egypt have long expressed concern for the Christian minority in the country, which has faced increased persecution and attacks.
Two years ago, Dorothy Holmes, then 75, was in the cozy pink bathroom of her home getting ready to shower when she fell. It's the type of accident that's common among older Americans — and it's often the very thing that triggers the end of independence.
"I got a big spot on my head; it almost conked me out," Holmes says in her soft voice.
She heard her husband come down the hall, "and when he turned the corner all I heard was, 'Oh God, honey, what did you do now?' After that I don't know anything 'cause I passed out," Holmes recalls.
Under pressure from Congress, the Pentagon has announced additional measures to combat sexual assault. The Pentagon continues to resist proposals that would take prosecution of sexual assault out of the chain of command, but some lawmakers say that's the step that would make a difference.
Members of the famed marching band at Florida A&M University learned today that they will once again be allowed to perform. It's been nearly two years since the band was last heard. The group was suspended following the hazing death of one of its drum majors. As Lynn Hatter of Florida Public Radio reports, the university says it will take work to prove times have changed.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the Florida A&M University marching band.
Mark "Coon Rippy" Brown, of Gallatin, Tenn., became an Internet sensation for posting videos online of himself bantering, dancing, even showering with his pet raccoons. He's now using his Internet fame to garner support, in an effort to get his pet raccoon Rebekah back from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which recently seized the critter. It is illegal in Tennessee to possess native animals captured in the wild.
For students in Moore, Oklahoma it's not just new backpacks and pencils this year. For many, it's entirely new schools and homes. A tornado ripped through the community nearly three months ago. It destroyed two schools, killed seven students and 18 other people in the city. And tomorrow, students return to class.
Rachel Hubbard, of member station KOSU, checks in with Moore to see how the community is doing.
David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints begins with what might have been its end.
Ruth (Rooney Mara) and Bob (Casey Affleck) sit in their ramshackle home after a botched robbery. The small-town Texas cops shooting at them have already hit and killed Freddy, the twosome's partner, and Ruth has downed a policeman. They're outnumbered and trapped, and Ruth suggests they run; Bob knows that's suicide.
Keri Russell's Jane Hayes daydreams of the Regency life, complete with suitors as handsome and rough-hewn as Bret McKenzie's Martin, in <em>Austenland, </em>a big-screen adaptation of the Shannon Hale novel.
Credit Giles Keyte / Sony Pictures Classics
Jane Seymour plays Mrs. Wattlesbook, proprietress of the "immersive Austen experience" to which Russell's Jane Hobley repairs in search of romance.
Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:45 pm
Austenland, a clunky broadside aimed at the cult of Jane Austen, is worth seeing primarily for its end credits, a mix of pop oil and water so joyfully dippy it might have produced a stifled giggle even in Herself.
Forest Whitaker turns in a reserved performance as Cecil Gaines, butler to eight U.S. presidents, including Robin Williams' Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a Lee Daniels drama based on the true story of a White House veteran.
Credit Anne Marie Fox / The Weinstein Co.
Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad stand in for Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Joshua Michael Stern's biographical drama <em>Jobs,</em> which covers the tech visionary's early career but stops short of his latter-day triumphs.
Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:59 pm
In their approaches to history, Joshua Michael Stern's Jobs and Lee Daniels' The Butler could hardly be less similar. The former is an example of Victorian-style great-man biography, updated for the iThings era. The latter observes monumental events, mostly involving the civil rights movement, from an Everyman's perspective.
Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:13 pm
Ohio-born trumpeter Sean Jones played lead for approximately five years with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis was a member of Sean's section. When was asked what he learned from Marsalis, Jones answered in two words: "work ethic."
Now 35-year-old Sean Jones is touring with the Marcus Miller group, an Associate Professor at Duquesne University and Oberlin Conservatory, Interim Artistic Director for the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and leading his group in Detroit with music fromhis album No Need for Words.
The olinguito is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.
Credit Courtesy of Mark Gurney
Kristofer Helgen made the discovery while he was studying another member of the raccoon family called olingo. Here Helgen, who is the curator of mammals at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., looks through boxes of bones.
Credit Maggie Stabrard / NPR
Helgen pulls out the skull of an olinguito, which is smaller and has larger teeth than its cousin, the olingo.
Credit Maggie Stabrard / NPR
What makes this discovery so unique is that these nocturnal mammals are still alive. They live high up in the cloud forests of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador.
Credit Maggie Stabrard / NPR
A collection of specimens from the raccoon family displayed in a storage room of the Smithsonian. Helgen says it is unlikely that another discovery of a mammal like this will ever happen again.
Credit Maggie Stabrard / NPR
The olinguito (right) was discovered while a researcher was sifting through specimens at The Field Museum in Chicago. On the left is a North American raccoon.
Credit Maggie Stabrard / NPR
Kristofer Helgen, the curator of mammals at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, discovered a new mammal called the olinguito.
Scientists have just solved a case of mistaken identity. It involves a creature that looks like a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear, and it lives high up in the cloud forests of the Andes.
For over 100 years, scientists thought this animal was a well-known member of the raccoon family. Specifically, they thought it was a critter called the "olingo." But one scientist recently took another look and realized he had an entirely new species on his hands.
Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 1:07 pm
Visitors to a zoo in China got a rude surprise when the lion started barking.
Turns out it was no lion, but just a Tibetan mastiff, a large, hairy breed of dog — which, for what it's worth, more closely resembles the king of the jungle than does perhaps any other domestic canine.
Apparently, officials in Louhe city zoo in central Henan province hoped no one would notice when they decided to make the switch and send the enclosure's regular resident, an African lion, away to a breeding center.
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of his national security team as they monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.