NPR News

Pages

Planet Money
1:12 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Why (Almost) No One In Myanmar Wanted My Money

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:50 pm

When you arrive in Myanmar, you can see how eager the people are to do business. At the airport in Yangon, new signs in English welcome tourists. A guy in a booth offers to rent me a local cellphone — and he's glad to take U.S. dollars. But when I pull out my money, he shakes his head.

"I'm sorry," he says.

He points to the crease mark in the middle of the $20 bill. No creases allowed.

Read more
StoryCorps
8:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Preserving The Motherhood Advice And Memories Of A Mom

Carol Kirsch and her daughter, Rebecca Posamentier, visited StoryCorps in 2008. Posamentier visited again recently.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:10 am

In 2008, Rebecca Posamentier visited StoryCorps with her mother, Carol Kirsch.

"My mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and I was hoping to get her voice and her thoughts on tape before she couldn't express them anymore," Posamentier said recently during a second visit to StoryCorps.

Kirsch died in March 2011, but during that first visit, Posamentier chatted with her mother about well, motherhood.

Read more
Media
4:24 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

In Newsrooms, Some Immigration Terms Are Going Out Of Style

Protesters demonstrate in downtown Orlando, Fla., on May 1, 2006. Most news outlets have long abandoned the use of the term "illegals."
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Journalists make choices all the time that influence our understanding of the news — the choice of what stories to cover, which people to interview, which words to use. And major news organizations have been reconsidering how best to describe a group of people whose very presence in this country breaks immigration law.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Sailor Reportedly Killed In Capsize Of America's Cup Racer

Andrew 'Bart' Simpson stands to the left of fellow sailor Iain Percy at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:48 pm

Update at 7:15 p.m. ET: Sailor Was 'Trapped Underneath Boat'

On its website, Artemis Racing says Simpson, 36, "was trapped underneath the boat and despite attempts to revive him, by doctors afloat and subsequently ashore, his life was lost." Artemis says Simpson was part of an 11-member team aboard the boat and that all others have been accounted for.

Update at 6:40 p.m. ET: Dead Sailor Identified:

Read more
Heavy Rotation
3:51 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Savages.
Richard Dumas Matador Records

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:16 pm

In this installment of Heavy Rotation — where we bring to you public radio's new favorite songs — we collaborated with KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., to bring you an exclusive track from British singer Laura Mvula's session on Morning Becomes Eclectic, plus enjoy a download from rising post-punk band Savages, courtesy of WXPN in Philadelphia.

This week's panel includes:

  • Anne Litt, a DJ at KCRW in Los Angeles.
Read more
Business
3:50 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Bangladesh's Powerful Garment Sector Fends Off Regulation

Garment workers sew T-shirts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2009. Bangladesh, the world's second-largest clothing exporter, has lured clothing makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Eight people died Wednesday in a fire at a Bangladeshi sweater factory. This follows the much deadlier collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where more than 900 people died.

The deaths are taking place in a garment sector that has seen explosive growth over the past three decades. The country has managed to lure clothing-makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.

As a manufacturing center, Bangladesh has little to recommend it. The roads are poor. There's no port to speak of. The electricity is notoriously unreliable. It's politically unstable.

Read more
The Checkout: Live
3:47 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Sexmob: Live From 92Y Tribeca

Steven Bernstein performs at 92Y Tribeca with Sexmob.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 2:19 pm

The band Sexmob specializes in a distinct strain of deconstructionist improvised music: jazz that aims at fun by bouncing off the walls. The quartet has tackled James Bond music, rock covers, Duke Ellington, the Macarena and exotica, plus originals from leader Steven Bernstein.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Top U.S. Official Meets With Rebels Inside Syria

Robert Ford, the State Department's point man on Syria policy, appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 11.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 3:34 pm

Ambassador Robert Ford, the State Department's point man on Syrian policy, crossed into northern Syria on Wednesday. The secret visit was confirmed by Syrian activists at the media office at the Bab al-Salama crossing on the Turkish frontier.

Read more
Science
3:16 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Could You Talk To A Caveman? Scientists Say It's Possible

Would Mel Brooks' famous 2,000-Year-Old Man have understood modern language? Researchers say there's a possibility.
ABC/Photofest

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

In 1961, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came up with some basic theories of caveman linguistics in their 2,000-Year-Old Man skit. Most of them had to do with rocks, as in, "What are you doing with that rock there?"

Now, a professor in England has questioned the validity of the famous caveman's rock-centric theories. And Mark Pagel of the University of Reading is reaching even further back, to the time of the 15,000-year-old man.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Feds Reach Agreement With Montana School On Sexual Assaults

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom, right, discusses the school's effort to reform the way it handles sexual assault cases, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin, left, and U.S. Attorney for Montana Michael Cotter listen.
Matt Gouras AP

The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the University of Montana to resolve an investigation into the school's response to accusations of sexual harassment since 2009. The federal inquiry will continue to examine how Missoula city officials have handled such cases.

"The Justice Department started its investigation a year ago, following a string of reports of sexual assaults," reports NPR's Martin Kaste, for our Newscast Desk. "Female students said their complaints weren't taken seriously or followed up on properly."

Read more
Asia
3:12 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Pakistani Women Still Struggle For A Voice In Politics

One of the few women competing in Pakistan's parliamentary election on Saturday is Naz Baloch, 33, a first-time candidate. She's the daughter of a politician, but is running for a different party than her father.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Flags of the competing political parties whip in the wind of seaside Karachi. But little else is stirring in this city of 18 million this day.

The MQM, a leading political party in the megacity, has shut Karachi down with a general strike in response to a deadly bombing at its election office. But as soon as the strike ends, the streets spring to life as if nothing were amiss.

Read more
The Salt
3:11 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Big Ag Agrees to Conserve Cropland, But At What Cost?

Peanut plants grow on a Halifax, N.C., farm that received federal subsidies in 2011.
Robert Willett MCT /Landov

Taxpayers help subsidize crop insurance premiums for farmers to the tune of about $9 billion dollars, a figure that's growing each year. These policies protect farmers from major losses, and help support their income even if there's no loss of crops.

And in return? Well, environmentalists argue that farmers who receive this financial support should be required to be good stewards of the land.

Read more
Movies
3:09 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

At The Movies, A Swirl Of Style And Substance

Light It Up: Director Baz Luhrmann (right, with stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan on the set of The Great Gatsby) brought a lush visual sensibility to a tale whose tone not everyone thinks of as epic.
Matt Hart Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Here's a movie pitch: A celebrated millionaire, known for public extravagance, lives right on the water in a fabulous mansion. He's smooth but reckless, drives like a maniac, has a powerful enemy and — despite a rep as a playboy — has only one girlfriend, who barely registers on-screen.

You're the producer, so whaddya think? Does his story require lavish digital effects, swooping cameras, a rap soundtrack and the full-on 3-D treatment?

If I tell you his name is Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man, probably yes, right?

What if his name is Jay Gatsby?

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

In 'Sightseers,' A Killing Spree Gone South

Tina (Alice Lowe) and Chris (Steve Oram) in the sour social comedy Sightseers.
Ben Wheatley IFC Films

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:17 am

Scrub away the gore and the nastier bits of provocation, and Ben Wheatley's Sightseers belongs squarely in the tradition of British classics like Kind Hearts and Coronets and The Ruling Class — satires that transformed simmering class resentment into brittle, nasty dark comedy.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'Gatsby's' Jazz-Age Excess, All Over The Screen

A 'Great Gatsby'? Leonardo DiCaprio suits up to play the mysterious, magnetic title character in Baz Luhrmann's exuberantly turbulent film adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:38 am

If anyone could pull off a multiplex-friendly adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby — a film treatment that might be capable of stepping out of the long shadow cast by the book — it's Baz Luhrmann, right? The Australian director who dragged Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers into the music-video-shaken, bullet-ridden '90s with Romeo + Juliet and compressed a century's worth of pop music and melodrama into the glorious Moulin Rouge?

Read more
National Security
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

House Questions Terrorism Detection Tools After Boston Attack

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:48 pm

The House Homeland Security Committee held its first hearing on the Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath on Thursday. Witnesses included the Boston police commissioner and former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Panel Chairman Mike McCaul has been highlighting intelligence failures.

Law
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Immigration Reform Amendments Target Border Security

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:48 pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee is plowing through dozens of amendments to its immigration overhaul reform plan. Many of Thursday's proposed changes are Republican attempts to have tighter controls on the border with Mexico. David Welna talks to Audie Cornish.

Law
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Bond For Accused Cleveland Kidnapper Set At $8 Million

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 12:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Cleveland today, Ariel Castro appeared in court; his hands bound, head lowered. He is accused of kidnapping three women and a child, and of raping the three women who escaped Monday from the house where they'd been held for roughly a decade. A judge set bond at $8 million, and an Ohio prosecutor says he will pursue additional charges and may seek the death penalty. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from Cleveland.

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'Venus and Serena': Champs Atop Their Game

Serena Williams (left) and her sister Venus Williams in action during their first-round doubles match on Day 2 at Wimbledon in 2010.
Hamish Blair Getty Images via Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:02 pm

What's left to know about Venus and Serena Williams? Probably not much that the tennis titans would be willing to share, given how heavily exposed they've been already, and how eager the press has been to wedge the sisters into ready-made narratives about race, celebrity and the daughters of a Svengali.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Shape Of Debate: Tinfoil Hats And Toy Helicopters

Things got a little out of hand at the Missouri state Capitol late Wednesday.
Bill Greenblatt UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:54 pm

Things got a little out of hand at the Missouri state Capitol late Wednesday. An unusual evening session of the House featured a representative wearing a tinfoil hat, a toy black helicopter flying around the chamber and some heated words between legislators.

"It was definitely tense," says Jonathan Shorman, a reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. "It was a moment of high drama for the session."

Read more
The Salt
2:22 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Samoans Await The Return Of The Tasty Turkey Tail

A chef in the kitchen of NPR headquarters prepares turkey tails.
Art Silverman/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:04 am

This is the tale of turkey tail — it's convoluted arrival, disappearance and highly anticipated return to the Pacific island the Republic of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa).

It's hard to pinpoint precisely when turkey tails started being imported into Samoa from the U.S. and when they became a favorite, affordable dish. Meat byproducts (Spam and fatty lamb cuts from New Zealand) started showing up sometime after World War II, and turkey tails came shortly thereafter.

Read more
Politics
2:15 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats Skeptical Of Republican 'Debt Prioritization' Bill

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:48 pm

House Republicans have passed a bill that would tell President Obama which bills to pay first, should the U.S. Treasury run out of cash and risk default, like it almost did two summers ago. The proposal is not likely to move in the Democratic Senate, and the issue itself is fading in urgency as the deficit picture improves.

Middle East
2:15 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Build-Up To Pakistani Election Marked By Violence, Drama

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:48 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. This Saturday, Pakistanis head to the polls. The vote will mark the first transition between two democratically elected governments in the country's history. In the past, Pakistan's leaders have been overthrown, imprisoned or assassinated. The build-up to this election has been marked by a tremendous amount of violence and drama.

Just today, one candidate, the son of a former prime minister, was kidnapped.

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:52 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Prescription To Bang: Listen To Kyle Hall's 'Dr. Crunch'

Kyle "KMFH" Hall.
Jeremy Deputat Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 8:40 pm

Sometimes all you need for a banging dance track is an unstoppable rhythm and a nuanced hook. Tweak the hook every couple bars, don't mess with the beat too much, and you've got a potential stomper on your hands.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Son Of Ex-Pakistani Premier Kidnapped At Election Rally

Musa Gilani (right) is comforted on Thursday after his brother, Ali Haider Gilani, was kidnapped at an election rally.
Zeeshan Hussain AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:28 pm

Gunmen in Pakistan stormed an election rally and abducted the son of a former prime minister — the latest violence in a bloody campaign ahead of nationwide polling.

Armed men drove up to an election rally in the city of Multan, opened fire, grabbed Ali Haider Gilani and sped off, witnesses said. Gilani, who is running for a seat in the Punjab provincial assembly, is the son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Read more
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
1:43 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet On JazzSet

Eddie Palmieri performs at the Kennedy Center.
Juan L. Cruz Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:41 pm

Eddie Palmieri has been a force for Latin jazz since the 1950s, when he hosted the legendary mambo shows at New York's Palladium Ballroom. His groups, including the renowned La Perfecta, revolutionized Latin music in the 1960s and '70s. His records number more than 30 as a leader, and he's won nine Grammy Awards. At 76, Palmieri is still a foremost ambassador for the music he loves.

Read more
A Blog Supreme
12:57 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'A Strict Taskmaster': 5 Ways To Play The Jazz Clarinet

Jimmy Hamilton (left) and Harry Carney were among the reedmen who played clarinet for the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

Earlier this year, the clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg released two remarkable albums with two almost entirely different bands. Goldberg has left a mark in many modern improvising contexts, including the New Klezmer Trio he co-founded and the Tin Hat chamber ensemble.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Feds Charge Alleged New York Cell In International Cyber Heist

Cybercriminals allegedly hacked into databases for prepaid debit cards and used the compromised data to steal from ATMs around the world.
Damien Meyer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 3:39 pm

Eight people in New York have been charged as part of what prosecutors say was a global ring of cybercriminals who stole $45 million by hacking into prepaid credit card accounts and then using the data to get cash from thousands of ATMs around the world.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch described the alleged scheme as "a massive 21st century bank heist that reached across the Internet and stretched around the globe. In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and the Internet."

Read more
Author Interviews
12:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'The Woman Upstairs': A Saga Of Anger And Thwarted Ambition

Picture of an old attic
Minas Panagiotakis iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 12:59 pm

"How angry am I? You don't want to know. Nobody wants to know." Those are the opening lines of Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs. The novel is about a single woman, Nora, who hasn't fulfilled her dreams of being an artist and having children. Nora's plight is complicated when she befriends a woman who has done both.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

After 100,000+ Downloads, Group With 3-D Gun Plans Goes Dark

The Liberator — a plastic handgun made with a 3-D printer.
Defense Distributed

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 12:45 pm

Minutes ago, just as we were reading a Forbes story headlined "3D-Printed Gun's Blueprints Downloaded 100,000 Times In Two Days," this message appeared on the Twitter page of the group that has made those plans available to the world:

Read more

Pages