Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:46 pm
The captain of the Costa Concordia says the helmsman of the ill-fated cruise liner failed to properly execute a last-minute corrective maneuver that could have kept the massive vessel off a rocky shoal near the coast of Tuscany.
Capt. Francesco Schettino, who is charged with manslaughter in the deaths of 32 people aboard the ship, which ran aground on Jan. 13, 2012, is also accused of abandoning the liner's 4,200 passengers and crew on the night of the wreck.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:50 pm
The practice of writing fake online reviews has landed 19 companies in hot water in New York, where the attorney general announced penalties Monday over what he says are attempts to manipulate consumers.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman says the companies will pay more than $350,000 in fines after an investigation found that firms "had flooded the Internet with fake consumer reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google Local, and CitySearch," according to a press release from his office.
Sea urchins are considered a culinary delicacy in many parts of the world, including Japan and the United States. The market for this "foie gras of the sea" is growing rapidly — so fast that supply can't keep up with demand.
But a scientist in Birmingham, Ala., says he's found a solution: He's built a sea urchin farm in his lab and has even developed a food for them to make them taste better. Now, he wants to take his tasty urchins out of his farm and into restaurants across the country.
When Staci Freeman and her sister Jami Valentine first took in a child ravaged by war in Afghanistan last year, Arefa was a 6-year-old in Hello Kitty shoes, who quickly turned the daily routine of changing her head bandages into a counting game.
When Arefa arrived in Los Angeles from central Afghanistan, three years after being injured, Freeman says, third-degree burns mapped her body, and her head was an open bleeding wound.
"When she came, she came crying and in pain and her head hurt," Freeman says.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
When you fall in love with science, ordinary, everyday stuff can suddenly seem extraordinary. That's how NPR blog or an astrophysicist Adam Frank sees it. So look around your house: the mail, the kids' toys, the mess on your desk, the constant daily chaos. Adam Frank says it's all just the universe having its way with your life.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:36 pm
So many great sandwiches have been named after great directors: the reuben, named for the great Ingmar Reuben, and the cheese sandwich, named for James Cameron. The Carnegie Deli in New York created the "Woody Allen," and our own Eleven City Diner here in Chicago copied it "oh so close." It's a double-decker corned beef and pastrami on rye.
Ian: Boy, the pastrami at this place is really good. And in such large portions!
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:36 pm
Al-Shabab, the Somali group that has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi mall, began as a group fighting inside its homeland. But it has evolved into an al-Qaida affiliate that draws members from other countries and views Somalia as a front in the war against the West.
Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 9:26 am
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet his Iranian counterpart this week for the highest-level face-to-face between Washington and Tehran in six years.
The meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and representatives of five other world powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — would come as newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the United Nations in New York. The talks would center on Iran's nuclear program.
Alfre Woodard has been a familiar face on television over the course of her three-decade career. She was up for an Emmy Award on Sunday for her role in the Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias. She didn't win that one, but she still has on her mantle previous Emmys for programs like The Practice and L.A. Law. Woodard is also a powerful presence on the big screen, as evidenced by her Oscar nomination for the 1983 film Cross Creek and roles in acclaimed features like Primal Fear and Love & Basketball.
While there's a serious dog problem in Detroit, the initial results of an effort to count the number of homeless canines in the city indicate there are far fewer than the 50,000 strays that some news accounts have talked about.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:29 pm
Sales of its new iPhone 5s and 5c models have surpassed other iPhone releases and exceeded initial supply, Apple says. The company says it has sold 9 million of the phones since their launch on Friday and that "many online orders" will ship in coming weeks.
"This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than nine million new iPhones sold — a new record for first weekend sales," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a Monday press release. He added that "while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later, we'll hear one side of the debate over tech in the classroom. We'll hear from the former chancellor of New York City schools about why he's become a big believer and investor in bringing tablet computers to the classroom. That's ahead.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today by trying to learn more about the attack this weekend on a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 60 people were killed when attackers fought their way into Westgate shopping mall, eventually holding hostages there. In a moment, we'll try to learn more about al-Shabab. That's the group claiming responsibility.
Switching gears now. By now, most students are settled into the new school year, so we wanted to talk about bringing technology into the nation's schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District - the nation's second-largest school system - has started ruling out a $1 billion effort that will put iPads in the hands of all of its students. Education leaders around the country are paying close attention to this experiment to see whether these devices engage students or just distract them.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:38 pm
Less than a week ago, it looked like the America's Cup — yachting's oldest and most prestigious trophy — would sail back to New Zealand after a near blowout of the U.S. defenders, who are sponsored by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:31 am
Typhoon Usagi, which stormed ashore north of Hong Kong on Sunday evening, has been blamed for at least 25 deaths in south China's Guangdong province. Some 8,490 houses reportedly collapsed in the typhoon's winds, officials say.
"A total of 5.48 million people were affected and 310,000 residents were displaced due to the storm," reports the Xinhua state news agency, adding that the storm has caused an estimated $1.16 billion in direct economic losses.
Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 6:58 am
The majority of new mothers try to breast-feed. But it's not easy.
Only 13 percent manage to breast-feed exclusively for the six months that are recommended for a baby's health. And, as you might expect, the moms who have trouble with breast-feeding in the first week with a new baby are the ones most likely to give up, a study finds.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:11 pm
We're kicking off a new morning routine in which we'll get the day started on NPR's It's All Politics" blog by sharing a handful of political stories that caught our interest or that we'll be watching.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:45 pm
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who became a nationally known figure as he led his department's response to last April's bombings at the Boston Marathon, announced Monday that he's stepping down after seven years in the job.
"It's time for me to try other things," the 57-year-old Davis told reporters. Among the first opportunities he said he may take advantage of is a fellowship at Harvard.
NPR's business news starts with protests in Bangladesh.
Thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh continue protesting today. Dozens have been injured in clashes with police. They're demanding higher wages, seeking about $100 - per month. The demonstrators have forced over 100 factories to closes; factories that supply retailer like Wal-Mart and Gap.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:11 pm
The U.S. Defense Department has awarded a rich military contract to Lockheed Martin, agreeing to pay more than $3.9 billion for a missile-defense system. The deal calls for a maximum of 110 high-altitude interceptor missiles for the United States, and 192 versions of the missiles for export to the United Arab Emirates.
Update at 2:30 p.m. ET: Number Of Missiles Adjusted
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:21 pm
What happens when a perfectly innocuous phrase takes on a more sinister meaning over time?
Case in point, the expression "to call a spade a spade." For almost half a millennium, the phrase has served as a demand to "tell it like it is." It is only in the past century that the phrase began to acquire a negative, racial overtone.