NPR News

Pages

Author Interviews
3:34 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

With Fading Memory, Terry Pratchett Revisits 'Carpet People'

Best known for the Discworld fantasy series, Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's disease in 2007. But that hasn't kept him from continuing to write.
Rob Wilkins Courtesy of Clarion

Sir Terry Pratchett is one of Britain's best-selling authors. His science-fiction series Discworld has sold millions of copies worldwide. Pratchett is incredibly prolific — since his first novel was published in 1971, he has written on average two books every year.

But in 2007, 59-year-old Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As a result, Pratchett can no longer read.

Read more
Politics
3:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Unusual Results Anticipated For Governors' Races

Voters in Virginia and New Jersey go to the polls Tuesday to pick their next governor. NPR's Scott Horsley joins host Arun Rath from Northern Virginia, where President Obama just held a rally for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor.

Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Far From Diwali's Lights, The Warm Glow Of Home

Little oil lamps mark Diwali celebrations in Allahabad, India, far away from American homes.
Sanjay Kanojia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 am

Small flickering oil lamps known as diyas are lighting up Indian homes in South Asian communities around the globe on Sunday as hundreds of millions of people observe Diwali.

Otherwise known as the Festival of Lights, it's a religious celebration of self-awareness and reflection. Diwali is a public holiday in a number of other nations, but it's not nearly so well-known in the U.S., where families must rely on themselves to keep the tradition alive.

Read more
World
3:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

As Mirrors Beam Light To Town, Norwegians Share Patch Of Sun

People gather in the central square of Rjukan, Norway, on Wednesday to bask in the sun reflected by mirrors on a nearby mountainside.
NTB Scanpix/Reuters/Landov

The small town of Rjukan has long had to make do without sunlight during the cold Norwegian winters.

But that changed Wednesday, when the town debuted a system of high-tech mirrors to reflect sunlight from neighboring peaks into the valley below.

Rjukan, originally founded 100 years ago as an industrial outpost for the energy company Norsk Hydro, is nestled between several mountains and does not receive direct sunlight from late September to mid-March — nearly six months out of the year.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Newark Considers What Life Will Be Like After Cory Booker

Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, formerly mayor of Newark, N.J., arrives in the Old Senate Chamber on Thursday for an oath-of-office ceremony.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:22 am

For years, Newark, N.J., had the reputation of being a crime-ridden, low-income city. Former Mayor Cory Booker helped change that perception.

Thursday, the Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, and it's unclear what that means for the city's future.

While Booker brought attention — and funding — to Newark, he couldn't completely tackle the violence that has persisted for years. As mayoral candidates begin making their cases, crime is a common theme.

'Now A City Of Hope'

Read more
U.S.
3:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

How Employees Act While Under Surveillance

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:20 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

You may have noticed that the cash register in your favorite bar or restaurant is really a computer. So anytime a bartender comps you a drink or a waiter voids a check on that touch-screen, all that information is captured.

Now, employers are starting to mine all that data and finding they can identify some common scams. And it's not just curbing theft. It's helping the bottom line in surprising ways.

Read more
NPR Story
3:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

How An Aqueduct Turned Los Angeles Into A 'Garden Of Eden'

Los Angeles saw a dramatic boom in growth after the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913. The system delivers water from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to the city.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 10:36 am

Today the beauty of Los Angeles is dramatically symbolic of the ancient prophecy the desert shall "blossom like a rose."

This blossoming was made possible by the birth of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, opened 100 years ago this month. The opening of the aqueduct might as well have been the birth of the modern West and the image of the city as a Garden of Eden.

The vast quantities of water the aqueduct moved made Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and other cities across the region possible.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

PHOTO: A Partial Solar Eclipse As Seen In New York

A partial Solar eclipse is seen just after sunrise over the Queens borough of New York across the East River on Sunday in New York.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

If you were on the East Coast and got up very early this morning, you may have gotten a celestial treat.

As the Capital Weather Gang explained, this eclipse was a hybrid event, appearing as a total eclipse or annular eclipse in some places on Earth. The Weather Gang explains:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Says He Will Not Resign

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he faced reporters questions Thursday.
Mark Blinch Reuters/Landov

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he is "going to ride this storm out."

Of course, he is referring to the scandal that has overtaken his term as mayor of Canada's largest city. As Mark reported, for months now, there have been reports that there is a video out there that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Read more
Space
1:09 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Space Agencies Of The World, Unite: The U.N.'s Asteroid Defense Plan

This mosaic image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, captured between 2011 to 2012, shows the giant asteroid Vesta. The mountain at the south pole, seen at the bottom of the image, is more than twice the height of Mount Everest.
NASA

The United Nations General Assembly may approve a plan soon for the world's space agencies to defend the Earth against asteroids.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

No Clemency For Snowden, U.S. Officials Say

An image of Edward Snowden on the back of a banner is seen infront of the U.S. Capitol during a protest against government surveillance on October 26, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 2:40 pm

Congressional leaders and the White House had one message for Edward Snowden on Sunday: There will be no clemency for illegally leaking documents that have revealed some of the U.S. government's most secret programs.

Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California, and her House counterpart, Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, expressed that view on CBS' Face the Nation and White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said pretty much the same on ABC's This Week.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:42 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Two Bangladeshi Expatriates Sentenced To Death Over War Crimes

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 2:11 pm

Two prominent Bangladeshi expats — one a Muslim leader in the U.K. and the other a U.S. citizen — have been sentenced to death for war crimes committed during the country's fight for independence in 1971.

The BBC reports:

"UK-Bangladeshi Muslim community leader Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khanwas were being tried in absentia by a special tribunal in Bangladesh.

"They were found guilty on 11 charges relating to the abduction and killing of 18 independence supporters."

Read more
All Tech Considered
10:42 am
Sun November 3, 2013

If The Internet Is Your Canvas, You Paint In Zeros And Ones

Ifnoyes.com sold at an art auction in New York for $3,500. The artist, Rafael Rozendaal, compares owning a website to owning a public sculpture in a park.
Rafael Rozendaal

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:56 am

That Benjamin Palmer dropped $3,500 at Phillips auction house in New York is not surprising. The 217-year-old company, headquartered on Park Avenue, regularly sells artwork for tens — and often hundreds — of thousands of dollars.

What is surprising, however, is that he took nothing home. He has nothing to put up on his wall or put on a pedestal in his living room. Physically, his acquisition lies among a hub of wires, and the likelihood is he will never touch it. But it lives virtually inside every computer, smartphone or tablet in the world.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:01 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Va. Governor's Race: Nationally Significant Or Just Nasty?

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe (left) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:30 am

Virginians go to the polls Tuesday to pick the man they dislike the least to be their new governor: long-time Clinton moneyman Terry McAuliffe or hardline Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:39 am
Sun November 3, 2013

WATCH: Nebraska's Unbelievable Hail Mary To Beat Northwestern

Nebraska wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp catches the game winning touchdown.
Nati Harnik AP

My father — ever the optimist — always told me that a game is never over until the final second expires. You never know, he said, when an act of utter desperation will beat the odds.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:22 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Kenyans Mutai, Jeptoo Win New York City Marathon

Runners cross the Verrazano Bridge as they race in the New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 12:52 pm

This Post Was Last Updated At 12:06 p.m. ET.

Two Kenyans running similarly tactical races came from behind to win the New York City Marathon on Sunday, marking the third time Kenyans have won both the men's and women's 26.2-mile road race.

Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya, stayed pretty quiet for the first 20 miles. He nestled in the pack, shielding himself from the wind, then, as the toughest part of the race began, he accelerated past the pack and never looked back, winning the race in 2:08:24.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:18 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Kerry In Egypt For First Time Since Morsi's Ouster

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Fahmy ahead of their press conference on Sunday in Cairo.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 12:39 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Egypt this morning, marking the highest level visit by a U.S. diplomat since the military ousted President Hosni Mubarak in July.

The visit also comes at a time when relations between the two countries are frayed. Reporting from Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report to our Newscast unit:

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
6:05 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Regardless Of The Answer, Stay Staid

NPR

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:18 am

On-air challenge: Each answer is a two-word phrase consisting of two homophones starting with the letter S. For example, given the clue "remained dignified," the answer would be, "stayed staid."

Last week's challenge: Name a brand of beer. Rearrange the letters to name an activity often associated with beer.

Answer: Tsingtao, toasting

Winner: Jacob Taber of New York, N.Y.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:11 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Scientist's Scuba Trip Sparks Search For 'Vanished' WWII Plane

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:18 am

More than 400,000 Americans died in World War II, but thousands of them were never found. Some died in a prison camp, and others were lost behind enemy lines — and some were on planes that were lost in the vast Pacific ocean.

On Sept. 1, 1944, a massive B-24 bomber carrying a crew of 11 people went down in the South Pacific. Its wreckage remained undiscovered, and the fate of its airmen unknown for decades. Then an American scientist, Dr. Pat Scannon, became obsessed with the mystery of these missing GIs.

Read more
Politics
5:11 am
Sun November 3, 2013

McAuliffe Holds Lead In Va. Governor Contest

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:18 am

Tuesday's election is seen as a key off-year contest, and a test of strength for both parties leading up to the 2014 elections. But it's beginning to look like a rout. Democrat Terry McAuliffe is leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli by as much as 12 points. The race appears to have turned into a referendum on Cuccinelli's conservative views.

Africa
5:11 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Morsi Trial May Reignite Anger, Violence In Egypt

An Egyptian woman holds a portrait of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi during a protest in Nasr City in Cairo on Friday.
Manu Brabo AP

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:40 am

Egypt's first-ever democratically elected president goes on trial in Cairo on Monday, charged with inciting violence and complicity in the deaths of protesters.

Mohammed Morsi has been detained at an unknown facility since the military ousted him from power last July. His trial is likely to fan the flames of Egypt's ongoing political crisis

The last time Morsi's supporters saw him was on July 2. The former president was delivering a defiant speech as hundreds of thousands of his opponents rallied in Cairo and other cities, demanding his removal.

Read more
Law
5:11 am
Sun November 3, 2013

N.Y. Stop-And-Frisk Reforms On Hold For New Year, New Mayor

New York police officers walk through a Brooklyn housing development in August.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 1:45 pm

In New York City, the country's largest police force has been involved in a high-profile legal battle over its stop-and-frisk policy.

Few policies of outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been as controversial as stop-and-frisk, the tactic New York police use to stop people on the streets without a search warrant.

The police department says it's been vital in catching criminals and reducing the city's crime rate.

Read more
PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Amid 'Satanic' Panic, One '80s Teen Discovered Rushdie's Charms

Public Domain

In 1980s Arkansas, one concern trumped all others: Satan. He whispered backwards on our rock albums. He possessed otherwise good people's bodies and brought them to sin. His worshippers — it was honestly believed and confidently proclaimed — lived among us.

So when my stepmother opened our town's first bookstore I was amazed by one book in particular: an infernal red and black volume called The Satanic Verses.

Read more
Movie Interviews
2:31 am
Sun November 3, 2013

'Open Secret': When Everyone Knows Who Your 'Real' Mom Is, Except You

For the first 18 years of his life, Steve Lickteig thought Joanie Lickteig was his sister. Both are pictured here in 1969.
Courtesy Steve Lickteig

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:57 am

Steve Lickteig's life as he knew it was a lie. Lickteig thought he was the adopted son of a former World War II vet and his wife. Life was simple: They ran a farm in Kansas, went to mass at the local Catholic church and raised Steve and their eight biological children.

Lickteig wondered who his real parents were and thought he'd set out to find them someday. Then, when he turned 18, two of his best friends told him the truth: His adopted parents were actually his biological grandparents. The woman who he knew as his older sister was actually his mother.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:30 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Run For Coroner, No Medical Training Necessary

In St. Lawrence County, N.Y., the position of coroner is still elected.
Sarah Harris NCPR

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:18 am

It's a windy Thursday afternoon in Ogdensburg, part of a sprawling rural county in northern New York.

The choir at the Episcopal Church is practicing, and Eric Warner is behind the piano. He's a former funeral director, an organist and a stay-at-home dad who raises Clydesdale horses.

He's hoping to become one of St. Lawrence County's four elected coroners — there are two open seats this year — and he's running as a Democrat.

Read more
The Salt
2:25 am
Sun November 3, 2013

To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer

Todd Fadel, at piano, leads singers at a recent gathering of Beer & Hymns at First Christian Church Portland.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:40 pm

With mainline religious congregations dwindling across America, a scattering of churches is trying to attract new members by creating a different sort of Christian community. They are gathering around craft beer.

Some church groups are brewing it themselves, while others are bring the Holy Mysteries to a taproom. The result is not sloshed congregants; rather, it's an exploratory approach to do church differently.

Leah Stanfield stands at a microphone across the room from the beer taps and reads this evening's gospel message.

Read more
The Salt
2:23 am
Sun November 3, 2013

5 Things You Might Not Have Known About God And Beer

Beer and Hymns is an event at the annual Greenbelt Festival in London. Since 1974, Greenbelt has brought people together to explore faith, arts and justice issues.
Drew McLellan Courtesy of Greenbelt

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:35 am

On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's John Burnett describes how some churches are trying to attract new members by creating a different sort of Christian community around craft beer.

This is actually nothing new. For centuries, beer has brought people together to worship God. And God has inspired people to make beer. We've selected a few of the best examples:

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:22 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Minnesota Reaches Out To Uninsured Latinos, Wherever They Are

Health workers know places like Karina Cardoso's beauty salon in St. Paul, Minn., are prime places share information about the state's new health insurance options.
Elizabeth Stawicki for NPR

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:18 am

Minnesota's new online health insurance marketplace, MNsure, has been open for about a month, but getting the word out to hard-to-reach populations is just ramping up.

Outreach efforts have been slow to start due to delays in training navigators and finalizing MNsure's contracts with organizations who provide one-on-one help.

Read more
The New And The Next
3:49 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

A Male Belly Dancer, Social Activism On Instagram, 'Thriller'

Courtesy of Ozy.com

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 4:08 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

Read more
Politics
3:49 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

How Is White House Handling HealthCare.gov Debacle?

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This week, the secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, testified before Congress about the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. It was the latest attempt at damage control by the Obama administration since the site went live a month ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: The website has never crashed. It is functional but at a very slow speed and very low reliability - and has continued to function.

Read more

Pages