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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Serena Williams Wins Fifth U.S. Open Title

Serena Williams holds up the championship trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sunday in New York.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 7:44 pm

Top-seeded Serena Williams overcame the wind and more than a dozen unforced errors Sunday to defeat No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, in the U.S. Open women's singles championship match 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
4:32 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

How Could A Drought Spark A Civil War?

Farmers ride in their tractor in the drought-hit region of Hasaka in northeastern Syria on June 17, 2010.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

The background of the Syrian conflict can seem obscure to outsiders, but the spark that started it all is often traced back to the city of Dara'a, in February of 2011.

A group of young people writing Arab Spring protest slogans on a wall are arrested and beaten.

"When that news broke there was a massive demonstration on the street, and that was the first spark one can call of the Syrian uprising," Nayan Chanda tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But long before a single shot was fired in Syria, there was drought in Dara'a, laying the groundwork for social unrest.

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Animals
3:33 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Hired Hog Trapper Has Three Years To Clean Out Dallas

Feral hogs were once just a rural problem in Texas, but now they threaten to turn city parks into sties.
Courtesy City Trapping

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Texas has a pig problem.

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Animals
3:33 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Answering The Cranes' Call: 40 Years Of Preserving Grace

Mated pairs of red-crowned cranes perform a "unison call," a complex and extended series of calls between the male and female that reinforces the pair bond.
Sture Traneving

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Of all the world's birds, perhaps none are more mystical than cranes.

From Asia to North America, these tall birds with haunting cries have been woven into paintings, literature and folk tales. But today, 10 of the world's 15 crane species are threatened, and some are on the brink of extinction.

Their grass and wetland habitats are devastated all over the world. The International Crane Foundation, based in Wisconsin, has been studying and advocating for the birds for 40 years. George Archibald founded it with another young ornithologist on a family farm near Baraboo.

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Humans
3:29 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

From The Fall Of Failure, Success Can Take Flight

Members of S. A. Andrée's 1897 journey survey their downed vessel. This photo was recovered from a camera when their remains were found 33 years later.
Courtesy of Grenna Museum, Andréexpeditionen Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography/National Geographic

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.

She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:14 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Banjos, Bartók And La Belle Époque: New Classical Albums

Caleb Burhans debut album as a composer is called Evensong.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:34 am

People ask why I thrive on classical music, and I tell them it's all about discovery. The possibilities for finding incredible music, both old and new, are endless as the oceans.

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NPR Story
2:52 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

After Years Of War, Rebuilding Iraq's Libraries

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Coming up, the art of embracing failure.

But first, reading and learning have been enshrined in Baghdad's storied libraries for centuries. Some were destroyed by Mongol invaders hundreds of years ago, but more recently, the war in Iraq savaged the country's libraries. Looting and burning left many of them emptied of books and patrons.

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NPR Story
2:52 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Wrestling Keeps Hold On Olympics And Avoids Cut

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

The ancient Olympic sport of wrestling will be the future Olympic sport of wrestling. Wrestling was the winner of a vote by members of the International Olympic Committee earlier today. It beat out squash and a combined bid by baseball and softball for inclusion in the 2020 and 2024 games.

NPR's Mike Pesca has been covering the IOC meetings in Buenos Aires, and he joins us now. Hello there, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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Book Reviews
1:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

'Five Days' Of Ambiguous Morality At Katrina-Hit Hospital

An aerial view of Memorial Medical Center surrounded by floodwaters on Sept. 9, 2005.
Kathy Anderson The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:26 pm

If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.

But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Police Challenge Prince Andrew During Walk At Palace

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, seen here at Ascot Racecourse in June, was confronted by police in a garden at Buckingham Palace, who ordered him to identify himself.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

For Prince Andrew, a stroll in the garden of Buckingham Palace turned into a confrontation with police, after officers ordered the prince to show ID. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the son of Queen Elizabeth II; Buckingham is her most famous residence.

"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused," Scotland Yard says.

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Shots - Health News
11:36 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Treatment For Middle East Coronavirus Works In Monkey Tests

The source? Signs of the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus have been detected in camels on the Arabian Peninsula. But it's still a mystery how people catch the disease.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:18 am

A mysterious disease in the Middle East has triggered international alarms for two big reasons. The virus is often deadly: It has killed almost half of the 114 people known to have caught it. And there's no clear treatment for it.

Now scientists might have made some progress toward fixing that second problem.

A combination of two drugs commonly used for other viral infections reduced the symptoms of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, in monkeys, virologists report Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Michigan Beats Notre Dame, Plays 'Chicken Dance' Song

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday night, 41-30 — and then celebrated by playing some polka. Here, the Irish's Chris Brown is tackled by Michigan's Delonte Hollowell after making a catch.
Gregory Shamus Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:51 pm

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Wrestling Gets A New Hold On Olympics, Avoids Being Cut

The delegation of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles celebrates as its sport is voted to be included in the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:16 am

Wrestling, which was bounced from the Olympics' permanent roster of sports earlier this year, has been given a reprieve: It will be part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. In a vote held Sunday, the International Olympic Committee chose it over squash and a combined bid from baseball and softball.

Wrestling was cut from the list of 25 core Summer Olympic sports in February. As NPR's Mike Pesca reported, the cut came as a shock.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Syria Developments: Debate In Washington; Assad Speaks To Rose

The Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Takla in the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula is seen on Sept. 7. The town is now controlled by a rebel group with al-Qaida ties.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:05 pm

We're following several stories regarding Syria Sunday, including new comments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are also reports that an Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has seized a town with a large Christian population. Elsewhere, officials in the U.S. and its allies are debating how to respond to the conflict that began in 2011, as President Obama's administration tries to shore up support for military action.

We'll update this post with news as it emerges today.

Update at 5 p.m. ET: Sampling Of Political Debate

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All Songs Considered
8:18 am
Sun September 8, 2013

All Aboard A Magical Mystery Train

One of the nine restored train cars that are part of the Station to Station public art project. This car is called Lambert's Point Executive Lounge
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:24 am

What happens when you fill nine train cars with noisemaking musicians Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Japan's The Boredoms, LA's fuzzed-out Ariel Pink and more?

I'm about to find out.

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

France Leads Europe In Hunting, Newspaper Says

Hunters gather prior to a wild boar hunt in Pietrosella, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, in August.
Pascal Pochard Casabianca AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:46 am

French sports fans are known for their love of soccer. But according to Le Figaro, the country's "second sport" is hunting. The newspaper cites the National Federation of Hunters, which says that among all European countries, France has the most hunters.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Man, 107, Dies In Shootout With Police

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:43 am

A 107-year-old Arkansas man who held off police is dead after a SWAT team stormed a house during a reported exchange of gunfire on Saturday afternoon.

Police officers had arrived at the house in Pine Bluff, Ark., to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance. They spoke with two people, who said Monroe Isadore had pointed a gun at them. Isadore was in his bedroom, they said.

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Pop Culture
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Arsenio Hall Returns To Late Night

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

In the late 1980s and early '90s, success in the competitive world of late-night television sounded like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND DOG POUND NOISE)

MARTIN: That, of course, was the signature shout out from "The Arsenio Hall Show." Arsenio interviewed everyone from Muhammad Ali to Madonna and, of course, there was that seminal pop culture moment when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton played the sax on the Arsenio stage.

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Author Interviews
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

10 Years, One Book: Norman Rush Brews A Literary Distillation

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:46 pm

On the surface, Norman Rush's new novel is about a middle-aged man, Ned, who reunites with a group of college friends after one member of the group dies unexpectedly. But what transpires over the next few days ahead of the memorial service is less about Ned's relationship with these men and the heady, self-absorbed days of yore, and more about how Ned sees himself.

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Critics Say Egypt's Constitution Process Is Flawed

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Egypt, the interim government is trying to wipe out every trace of the Islamist legacy during their rule, even replacing the constitution they had adopted late last year. To that end, the military-backed interim president last week appointed a 50-member committee to help draft a new constitution. That committee, which includes only one of ousted President Mohamed Morsi's allies, meets for the first time today Sunday in Cairo. Critics in Egypt say the new constitution is likely to be just as controversial as the last one.

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Pope Leads Prayer Vigil For Peace In Syria

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Syria is also on the mind of pope Francis. Last night, the pope made a somber appeal to the United States to reject any military strikes against Syria. The Vatican estimates some 100,000 people gathered to pray and meditate during a four-hour long peace vigil in St. Peter's Square in Rome.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli was there.

(SOUNDBITE OF GREGORIAN CHANT)

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Congress Votes This Week On Military Action In Syria

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

This coming week will be vital to the White House's effort to win support for a military strike on Syria. On Tuesday night, President Obama will lay out his case in an effort to shift public opinion in favor of a strike. The Senate is set to vote on the president's resolution this week and the House is expected to follow thereafter.

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

'The Family House Was Hit': Syrian Attack Kills Palestinians

Ahmed al-Hurani, left, and his son, Bassam, live in the West Bank. Eleven members of their family living in Syria died in the chemical attack on Aug. 21.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 8:38 am

The U.S. says more than 1,400 people were killed by chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21. Other sources have cited lower figures.

Not all victims were Syrian. A Palestinian family in Jenin, in the northern West Bank, is mourning the loss of 11 members.

'Everyone Inside Had Died'

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The Sunday Conversation
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Nuremberg Prosecutor Makes The Case For Trying Assad

Benjamin Ferencz speaks at the inauguration of the "Memorial Nuremberg Trials" information and documentation center in Nuremberg, Germany, on Nov. 21, 2010. After World War II, Ferencz served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

When he was just 27 years old, Benjamin Ferencz helped prosecute Nazi leaders in the Nuremburg war crimes trial after World War II. In the years since, the Harvard-educated lawyer has continued to focus on issues of international criminal justice.

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Science
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap

On the surface, sleep may seem like an evolutionary disaster, but its benefits have come to outweigh its potential downsides.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, but much of that function remains a mystery. Weekend Edition Sunday is asking some pretty fundamental, yet complicated, questions about why we do it and why we can't seem to get more of it.

Dr. Matthew Walker says the question of why we sleep remains "that archetypal mystery."

Walker, the principal investigator at the sleep lab the University of California, Berkeley, works with patients who suffer from sleep abnormalities. He says the complexity of sleep makes the research that much more fascinating.

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Sunday Puzzle
3:40 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Close, But No Cigar

NPR

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 12:09 pm

On-air challenge: Each of the following answers is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the two words are homophones, and both words start with the letter C.

Last week's challenge from listener Henry Hook of Brooklyn: Think of a well-known celebrity who goes by a single name — the last two letters of which are alphabetically separated by only one letter (like A and C, or B and D). Replace this pair of letters with the one that separates them, and you'll have a common, everyday word. What is it?

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Environment
3:32 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors

A white snowshoe hare against a brown background makes the animal easy prey.
L.S. Mills Research Photo

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.

Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.

Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.

"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."

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Author Interviews
1:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

The 'Wild' Story Of Cheryl Strayed And Her Long-Lost Half-Sister

In addition to Wild, Cheryl Strayed is also the author of Torch and Tiny Beautiful Things.
Joni Kabana Courtesy Knopf

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Back in 1995, Cheryl Strayed hiked 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail along the West Coast of the United States. After the three-month journey, she came out on the other side stronger in every way: better able to cope with her divorce, her past drug abuse and her mother's death.

Strayed described the life-changing trek in her 2012 bestselling memoir Wild, and received countless emails from readers describing how connected they felt to her story. But there was one message that stood out in particular:

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Code Switch
11:15 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

The Internal Debates That We Don't See

Roiling debates and criticism within minority communities don't often bubble up into the mainstream media, which is most focused on the fascinations of the majority.
iStockPhoto

Note: This post discusses and includes a racial slur. Be warned.

At a church near Charlotte, N.C., a pastor recently sent out a note to her congregants asking for greeters — but only greeters of a certain kind.

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Shots - Health News
4:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

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