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Monkey See
12:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Shonda Rhimes Knows Where This 'Scandal' Will End

Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes' political drama Scandal, one of TV's most talked-about broadcast shows.
Danny Feld ABC

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 10:37 am

Shonda Rhimes says the Washington she's created for the political drama Scandal is a dark, amoral one — and "a little Shakespearean," in the way it's a place where big themes play out among powerful people who aren't afraid to make bold moves.

"In the world of the show, [our] America sees Washington as this fairy-tale-beautiful place, and everybody who works there is really helping keep that illusion alive," the series creator tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

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Shots - Health News
12:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

How The Affordable Care Act Pays For Insurance Subsidies

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:44 pm

The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.

Johanna Humbert of Galien, Mich., was pleasantly surprised to discover that she qualifies for an insurance subsidy, since her current plan is being canceled. Humbert makes about $30,000 a year, so she'll get a subsidy of about $300 a month. The new plan is similar to her current one, but it will cost $250 — about half of what she pays now.

But where will the money come from to pay for subsidies like these?

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Ecstatic Voices
12:56 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Across America, Voices Rise To Reinvent India

Kanniks with the choir at St. Johns Unitarian Church in Cincinnati in 2004.
Courtesy of Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 2:20 pm

When I visit Kanniks Kannikeswaran on a weekday evening, he is warming up his choir in the meeting room of a civic center in suburban Cincinnati.

"Breathe in the cosmic energy," he says to the choir. The response is a collective "Ommmmmm ..."

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
12:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

To Get Around Town, Some Cities Take A Step Back In Time

Construction of the Atlanta streetcar line has hurt many businesses along the route, but there is hope that economic gains will increase once the line opens next spring.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 10:17 am

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

Cities across the country are investing in old-fashioned streetcars to solve what's known as the "last mile" problem. The hope is that trolleys will make it easier for people to get to their final destination.

Atlanta is one of the latest, laying steel rails for a 2.6 mile line. The tracks will run downtown from Peachtree Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district on the east side of the city. Some see this as a big step forward.

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Animals
4:21 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

What's In A (Panda Cub's) Name?

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Election Day has come and gone, but your vote can still make a difference. That is in choosing a name for a new giant panda cub. The National Zoo here in Washington has put forth five possible names for the female cub born this summer. You can vote on the Smithsonian National Zoo's website.

And we want to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision, so we've called up our Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn for some help understanding the choices. Anthony, ni hao.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Judge: MF Global Customers To Recover All Their Losses

Jon Corzine, former New Jersey governor and ex-CEO of MF Global, leaves a congressional hearing in 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:35 pm

One thread runs through nearly every story of financial fraud, from Enron to Madoff: Investors bilked out of their money rarely get it back.

So, this lead from The New York Times Dealbook blog caught our attention:

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It's All Politics
3:47 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Virginia Result Driven by Obamacare? Shutdown? Not So Much

Democrat Terry McAuliffe speaks to supporters Tuesday in Tysons Corner, Va. McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Virginia Tea Party Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost a closer-than-expected contest for governor Tuesday to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a weak but well-financed and well-connected candidate.

By Wednesday morning, the political world was busy debating the meaning of the outcome in Virginia, where exit polls showed that voters expressed increasing antipathy to the Tea Party, and that it was women — particularly unmarried women — who propelled McAuliffe over the finish line.

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Shots - Health News
3:17 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

IVF Doesn't Raise Overall Risk For Childhood Cancers

Tina Nevill of Essex, England, holds Poppy, who was conceived by in vitro fertilization. The U.K.'s health system records all IVF cycles performed in the country.
Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 7:51 pm

Children who were conceived with in vitro fertilization have the same overall chance of developing childhood cancers as those conceived naturally, scientists reported Wednesday.

"It's a reassuring finding," says pediatrician Alastair Sutcliffe of University College London, who led the study. "It's a bellwether to the future health of these kids as they grow up."

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It's All Politics
3:07 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

How Long Must Rand Paul Stay In 'Detention' For Plagiarism?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is sorry for the plagiarized material in his speeches and op-eds. And he thinks some journalists are just plain sorry.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:16 pm

If you were a high-profile politician caught plagiarizing, would you:

  • A) Say something like "my bad," apologize profusely, promise to sin no more and quietly move on, hoping reporters would do likewise? Or ...
  • B) Acknowledge that mistakes were made, then lash out at the news media?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been going with the second option lately.

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

New Jersey Votes To Increase Minimum Wage

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is celebrating an impressive reelection victory but he also suffered a defeat. Voters handily approved a measure to raise the state's minimum wage. That's a measure Christie had opposed.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, New Jersey is the fifth state this year to raise the minimum wage.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

How An Ala. Primary Became A Referendum On The Republican Party

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish in California this week.

Political junkies are poring over the results of yesterday's governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia. But they may also want to take a look further south at a special congressional primary in Alabama. There, a moderate Republican candidate beat out his Tea Party-supported rival.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Calif. Gov. Brown: A Great Power Has To Find Some Unity

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: A History Of State Secession

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

On Tuesday, some Colorado counties voted to secede from the state. Their secession effort was largely symbolic — and it has been done elsewhere in the U.S. with great regularity.

Politics
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Senate Committee Grills Sebelius Over Health Law

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Despite Barriers, Farm Worker Breaks Silence About Rape Case

Guadalupe Chavez moved to a trailer home in Oregon after her sexual assault case went to trial in California.
Grace Rubenstein Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

This is the second story in a two-part report about sexual assault of agricultural workers in the U.S. Read part one.

It started with a missing paycheck.

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Kerry Tries To Get Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Back On Track

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 10:21 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials appear to have hit their roughest patch since the process restarted last summer. Secretary of State John Kerry spent today in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

As NPR's Emily Harris reports, Kerry met with leaders from both sides in an attempt to keep the talks on track.

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Latin America
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Brazilian Soccer Convention Canceled Amid Funding Foibles

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Rarely does canceling a conference cause so much anger, but the nixing of a major soccer convention in Brazil has the government and organizers pointing fingers at one another. Known as Soccerex, the conference was intended to bring clubs, sponsors and business leaders together before next year's World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports the cancellation has pushed them farther apart.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Welcome, 2014 to the country Brazil.

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Law
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

There May Be A Green Light For Pot, But Not For Driving High

In Washington state, dogs don't need to sniff out pot anymore, but troopers are keeping an eye out for high drivers.
Matthew Staver Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 6:44 pm

Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.

It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.

A Smell Once Forbidden

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Education
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Michigan Works To Match Dropouts With Degrees Already Earned

At Lansing Community College in Michigan, students who've moved on to four-year schools can come back and claim their credits, and maybe even a degree.
David Shane/Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 9:15 am

There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.

In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

San Franciscans Nix Waterfront Development Plans

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The subject of affordability in American cities came up in a referendum yesterday in San Francisco. Voters rejected measures that would have given a green light to a major luxury condo development. The city is enjoying a construction boom. And some San Franciscans saw this vote as a fight over the kind of city they want.

Here's NPR's Richard Gonzales.

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Law
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Supreme Court Examines Anew Prayer At Government Functions

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a case exploring prayer at government functions.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 2:06 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court delved into a subject Wednesday that has bedeviled it for decades: how to reconcile a tradition of public prayers with the Constitution's ban on establishment of religion. At issue were almost exclusively Christian prayers that took place at town board meetings in Greece, N.Y.

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

The Nut Job: Central California Sees Rise In Walnut Heists

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, a crime story from California's Central Valley, well north of us here in Culver City. If Hollywood were to make a screen version it would be called "The Nut Job." Last week, more than 140,000 pounds of walnuts went missing overnight. That's three big trailer loads of hulled and dried walnuts. Joining us from the news room of the Oakdale Leader is reporter Rich Paloma. Rich, thank you for taking the time out to talk with us.

RICH PALOMA: Thanks for having me.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

This Is Nuts! Heist Nabs $400,000 Worth Of Walnuts

A walnut orchard in California's Central Valley.
PRNewsFoto California Walnut Commission

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:27 pm

This case is proving a tough nut to crack: Thieves have been making off with shipments of walnuts and almonds in California's Central Valley. The latest heist is valued at $400,000.

Rich Paloma, a reporter with The Oakdale Leader, tells NPR's All Things Considered that in the most recent nut job — he's counted six thefts of walnuts and almond shipments in recent months — the thieves cut through a fence.

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All Tech Considered
2:50 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

4-D Printing Means Building Things That Build Themselves

H. Jerry Qi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado University, holds simple models printed using polymers that have "shape memory." The flat piece on the left can reshape itself into a box with the application of heat.
Glenn J. Asakawa University of Colorado

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:12 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Got an innovation you think we should feature? Fill out our form.

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It's All Politics
2:08 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Election Results From Around The Public Radio Dial

Patrick Cannon, Charlotte, N.C.'s newly elected Democratic mayor, speaks to students at Queens University on Oct. 29.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:23 pm

Governors, legislators and mayors were elected Tuesday across the nation. Voters also made key decisions about taxes, marijuana, genetically modified foods — and even secession.

Below is a roundup of some of Tuesday's most noteworthy election results, reported by NPR member stations:

Colorado

Colo. School Funding Measure Fails By Large Margin (CPR News)

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Another Election?! Relax, This One's To Name A Baby Panda

You can help select a name for the National Zoo's new panda cub.
Abby Wood Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:45 pm

Fresh off Tuesday's election, another is just around the corner: The National Zoo wants you to help name its new panda cub by casting a vote at Smithsonian.com.

You can vote online (no photo identification required and the balloting continues until Nov. 22).

At NPR, we always strive to ensure that our audience is informed of the candidates — even when they're names for pandas.

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The Fresh Air Interview
2:06 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Vince Giordano: The Fresh Air Interview

Boardwalk Empire features music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Abbot Genser HBO

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:42 pm

If you love jazz and pop from the 1920s and '30s, you might already love the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City during Prohibition. The music played throughout the show is performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and a second album of music from the series was recently released.

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The Salt
1:05 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Forget Barley And Hops: Craft Brewers Want A Taste Of Place

The brewers at Scratch Brewing Company add wild plants like spicebush, goldenseal, wild ginger, chanterelles and wild rose root to their beer to give it the flavor of the Illinois woods.
Aaron Kleidon Scratch Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:37 am

Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.

In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Wife Beats Husband In Local Maine Election

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:33 pm

The election Tuesday for Ward 1 warden in Waterville, Maine, might have had as much to say about marital politics as partisan politics.

Democrat Jennifer Johnson beat out her husband, Republican David Johnson, by a margin of 127-76 votes.

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Shots - Health News
11:46 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Babies' Immune Systems May Stand Down To Let Good Microbes Grow

He's not just getting a cold. He's building his microbiome.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.

A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. That explanation is at odds with the widely held belief that those new immune systems are just too weak to do the job.

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