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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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Author Interviews
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

'Be Mine': Love And Identity Tangled In Tehran

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:33 pm

How far would you go for love? In Sara Farizan's debut novel, a studious 17-year-old girl named Sahar finds herself deeply, head-over-heels in love with her childhood best friend and neighbor — another teenage girl named Nasrin.

Their story takes place in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal, making their love that much more forbidden. When Nasrin is engaged to be married to a man, Sahar is crushed. In order to openly be with Nasrin, Sahar considers gender-reassignment surgery, which is more accepted in Iran than homosexuality.

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All Tech Considered
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Baltimore Officials Want To Unplug Phones-For-Cash Kiosks

EcoATM kiosks dispense cash in exchange for used cellphones, MP3 players and tablets.
ecoATM

EcoATMs take old cellphones, MP3 players and tablets in exchange for cash. But the automated kiosks, operating 650 machines in 40 states, are getting bad reviews from police, who are concerned the machines are a magnet for thieves.

The transaction is fairly simple. The machine walks you through the process, scanning your ID to certify you're over 18 and verify your identity. An ecoATM employee inspects the transaction remotely in real time. Once the seller's identity is verified, the kiosk takes the device and assesses its value. You get the cash, and the device is recycled.

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World
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

In China, Avoiding The 'Great Firewall' Internet Censors

In China, the Internet isn't the free-for-all that it is in the United States. China's communist government censors what's published and some of what's shared online. But some citizens are working around government censors by using agreed-upon "public" code.

Sports
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Tokyo Chosen To Host 2020 Summer Olympics

The International Olympic Committee chose Tokyo over Istanbul and Madrid to host the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Summer Games in 2020. This will be a repeat for Tokyo, which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964.

World
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Would Failure To Strike Syria Invite More Chemical Weapons Use?

Ivo Daalder, who was U.S. ambassador to NATO during the 2011 military intervention in Libya, says the United States should conduct military strikes against Syria, even if it can't get the backing of the United Nations. He argues that Syrian President Bashar Assad would interpret inaction as an invitation to use chemical weapons in the future. He also says that despite asking for congressional approval for military action, this is ultimately President Obama's call. "This is a lonely place for presidents to be. It will be up to him to make that decision."

World
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Former U.S. Ambassador Cautions Against Attack on Syria

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

As we said earlier, 11 G-20 member nations signed a resolution yesterday supporting a strong international response to the use of chemical weapons. Nine, including Russia, China and Germany, did not sign. They're calling instead for a diplomatic response.

Today, European Union foreign ministers endorsed a clear and strong response in Syria, but they urged the U.S. to hold off until the U.N. inspectors report the findings of evidence they collected near Damascus.

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Music Interviews
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

'Electric Lady' Janelle Monae On Creating The Unheard

Janelle Monáe's new album, The Electric Lady, features collaborations with Prince, Erykah Badu, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:15 pm

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Tokyo Will Host The 2020 Summer Olympics, Beating Out Istanbul

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Games, IOC officials said Saturday. In Tokyo, five-time Paralympian Wakako Tsuchida, left, and former Olympic athletes Hiromi Miyake, center, and Yoshiyuki Miyake cheer the news.
Atsushi Tomura Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:51 pm

It will be Tokyo, not Istanbul or Madrid, who hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee and its president, Jacques Rogge, announced in Buenos Aires Saturday. Rival city Madrid was eliminated in the first round of voting. We have updated this post with the latest news.

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET: Voting Tally Detailed

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The U.S. Response To Syria
1:40 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Syria Puts Obama's Multilateralist Philosophy To The Test

President Obama holds a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday on the sideline of the G-20 summit.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:11 pm

President Obama has come home from the Group of 20 summit with essentially no more international support for a strike on Syria than when he left the U.S.

He spent the last three days in Sweden and Russia, lobbying U.S. allies on the sidelines and on the public stage, with little movement.

The conflict has presented perhaps the biggest challenge yet to Obama's multilateralist inclinations.

'A Hard Sell'

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Pope Francis Leads Vigil Calling For Peace In Syrian Crisis

People in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican hold Syrian flags and signs against a possible military strike, after gathering for a vigil in the name of peace convened by Pope Francis Saturday.
Riccardo De Luca AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:44 pm

Pope Francis is leading a mass prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square Saturday night, building on his calls to avoid violence in the escalating conflict over Syria. Tens of thousands of people have come to the Vatican on what the pontiff has declared a day of fasting and prayer in the name of peace.

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Around the Nation
12:04 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Minneapolis Courts Chicago's Same-Sex Couples

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak took to a Chicago rooftop on Thursday to attract the city's gay and lesbian community to spend their wedding dollars in Minnesota.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:34 pm

With the skyline of Chicago behind him, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak stands on a rooftop plaza in Boystown, the heart of a predominantly gay community.

He's here on a recruiting mission. Minnesota legalized gay marriage just over a month ago, but Illinois' same-sex measure is stalled in its legislature. So now the mayor of Minneapolis is drumming up business for his city — setting his sight on millions of wedding dollars that could come from Illinois.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Chobani Issues All-Clear After Yogurt Recall

The Chobani Greek yogurt company says the mold that caused some of its products to bloat or swell is not normally harmful to people. On Thursday, Chobani said, "To be extra cautious, we have moved from a voluntary withdrawal to a voluntary recall."
PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:18 pm

After concerns over its product led the Chobani Greek yogurt company to issue a voluntary recall of some packages earlier this week, the New York-based foodmaker now says the mold that was identified as the culprit is not dangerous.

"Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides," the company says. "Mucor circinelloides is not considered a foodborne pathogen."

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Rim Fire Is Third-Largest Wildfire In California's History

A charred tree rests on the forest floor after being sawn down to a stump Friday. Firefighters are still working to contain the Rim Fire, which is now the third-largest wildfire in California's history.
Mike McMillan U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:00 am

The Rim wildfire that began three weeks ago today is now 80 percent contained, officials say, but it has burned more than a quarter of a million acres, and it may continue to grow, thanks to low humidity and other conditions.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Sat September 7, 2013

NASA Lunar Orbiter Solves Snag After Successful Launch

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks before Friday night's launch of the LADEE moon orbiter. The craft has run into a small technical issue, NASA says, which it will fix before it arrives at the moon next month.
Carla Cioffi NASA

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:59 am

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Sat September 7, 2013

EU Nations Join To Blame Syria, But Not To Support An Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry urged European Union officials, including foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, left, to support military action in Syria to punish the country for a chemical attack on its citizens.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:19 am

America's most powerful European allies agree that Syria should be held responsible for what the U.S. calls a chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens on Aug. 21. Despite Secretary of State John Kerry's request to support military strikes, members of the European Union believe diplomacy should be the priority.

NPR's Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit:

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: John Zorn, Superchunk And 'Cat Sense'

John Zorn's latest album is Dreamachines, which is inspired by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs' cut-up techniques.
Scott Irvine Courtesy of the artist

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

At 60, 'Challenges Are Opportunities' For John Zorn: At 60, New York City composer John Zorn is wiser, sure, but no less prolific, thoughtful and antagonistic than before. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that, at his age, "there are no more doubts."

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Sat September 7, 2013

In Australian Vote, Prime Minister Concedes To Abbott

Women hold a banner celebrating Australia's next prime minister, conservative Tony Abbott, in Sydney. Abbott swept away Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as voters punished Labor for years of internal party warfare.
Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:22 am

In Australia's just-concluded national vote, conservative Tony Abbott has won enough support to become the country's next prime minister and end six years of Labor rule. That's the analysis from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which reports that voters' main issues were the economy and repeal of carbon and mining taxes.

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