Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:20 am
Countries attending U.N. climate talks were not able to come up with any major agreements on reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming. This comes after the World Bank issued a report predicting global temperatures could rise by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century — possibly sooner if current promises to curb emission are not kept. Renee Montagne talks about this with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
Protests in Egypt rage on, despite President Mohammed Morsi's offer in a televised speech last night to meet with his opponents. Demonstrators filled Cairo's streets again today. The opposition in Egypt is confident and they're displaying a newfound unity, something Egypt hasn't seen since the early days of the revolution that ousted Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, many question whether this unity will last beyond the ongoing political crisis.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:54 am
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held an emergency meeting with her Russian counterpart in Dublin Thursday to try to reach new consensus on how to end the Syrian conflict. A prominent human rights group has put the death toll in Syria at 42,000 people killed in the nearly two years of fighting there — which began with a series of political protests, and turned into an armed rebellion.
The battle over how to avoid the looming cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff is a frustrating one for the Tea Party. The movement is still a force within the GOP, even as its popularity has fallen over the past two years.
But in the current debate, there have been no big rallies in Washington, and Tea Party members in Congress seem resigned to the fact that any eventual deal will be one they won't like — and one they'll have little influence over.
Friday marks a not-so-happy anniversary for some of President Obama's biggest supporters: It's exactly one year since Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decided not to lift the age restrictions on availability of the so-called morning-after pill, Plan B.
People wanted by the police in Pottstown, Pa., are displayed on the Pinterest page of a local newspaper. The police department's social media strategy, which aims to get the images of criminals seen by more people, has also been adapted in Philadelphia.
Apollo 17 was the sixth and final Apollo mission to the moon. Here, lunar module pilot Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, Cmdr. Eugene Cernan and command module pilot Ron Evans pose in the lunar vehicle.
Apollo 17 blasted off just after midnight on Dec. 7, 1972.
Cernan is seen in the command module during the outbound trip to the moon.
Cernan tests the lunar vehicle. He and Schmitt landed in the moon's Taurus-Littrow region. Evans stayed behind, orbiting the moon.
During their stay on the moon, the astronauts set up scientific experiments, took photographs and collected lunar samples.
Cernan photographed Schmitt while he set up a transmitter used in a geological experiment.
Schmitt is photographed standing next to a huge, split lunar boulder at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. The lunar roving vehicle is visible in the background. This photo is made from two frames from one of Apollo 17's cameras.
Schmitt stands by the American flag during a moonwalk. Look above the flag — that's Earth, a quarter-million miles away.
Apollo 17's lunar module rendezvous with the command module.
A camera aboard the Apollo 17 spacecraft captured this glimpse of Earth peeking out above the lunar horizon during the final lunar mission.
Cmdr. Eugene Cernan tests the lunar vehicle on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 17 mission.
On Dec. 7, 1972, NASA launched its final human mission to the moon. Forty years later, Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan says he'd love to give up his claim to fame as "the last man on the moon."
"I'd like to be able to shake the hand of that young man or young woman who replaces me in that category," Cernan told NPR. "But unfortunately, the way things have gone and the way things are looking for the future, at least the near-term future, that won't happen in my lifetime. And that truly is disappointing."
Michigan's state house has voted to approve a "right-to-work" bill that would weaken the power of labor unions. Democrats walked out in protest. Audie Cornish talks to Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:46 pm
The Mormon Church has a new website to clarify its position on "same-sex attraction" and to reach out to all of its members, including gays and lesbians, "with love and understanding."
The launching of mormonsandgays.org follows persistent criticism of Mormon involvement in California's ballot measure banning gay marriage, NPR's Howard Berkes reports. Berkes tells our Newscast Desk that scrutiny continued through Mitt Romney's campaign for president.
Frederick Rickmeyer, our hats are off to you and your note-taking ways.
Shortly after the turn of the last century, Frederick started documenting his wife's recipes on the blank memoranda pages of a cookbook. He included titles like My Wife's Own Original Spanish Bun and comments like "as good as ever," along with the ingredients and dates.
Residents carry a relative's coffin along a muddy road in the town of New Bataan, compostela province on Thursday. Nearly 200,000 people are homeless and more than 300 dead after the Philippines suffered its worst typhoon this year.
He delivered an emotional plea for action on the issue of climate change that was made even more dramatic because his country is just now starting to pick up the pieces from a typhoon that has killed hundreds.
Camden City Police Chief Scott Thomson says he has shooting investigations "backlogging like burglary cases." Half of his force was laid off last year, and the city says expensive benefits in the police union contract are preventing them from hiring more cops.
Credit Alisa Chang / NPR
Because of the city's high crime rate, protective iron bars encase the front porches of many houses in Camden. Residents call them "bird cages."
Credit Alisa Chang / NPR
Memorials to shooting victims can be seen throughout Camden on front porches, at the side of houses and on empty lots.
As the New Jersey city of Camden blasts through its all-time-high homicide record — exceeding 60 murders so far this year — city officials have an unusual solution to rising crime: laying off the entire police department.
Year after year, Camden ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in America based on several categories: murders, rapes, assaults and robberies. But the city says it's too poor to hire more police officers. So it's dissolving its municipal police force and letting the county set up a bigger, cheaper force to replace it.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:47 pm
The White House is warning African-Americans and Hispanics that they face disproportionate harm from tax hikes, spending cuts and an end to extended unemployment benefits if a deal isn't struck to avoid the fiscal cliff.
At a closed White House meeting Thursday, the administration briefed more than 100 black leaders on potential stakes for their communities, some of which still are experiencing the worst effects of the recession.
Most subway stations in New York City affected by Superstorm Sandy have opened by now, but the South Ferry station at the southern tip of Manhattan is still closed. And when you get inside, it's easy to see why.
The platform is still coated with dirt more than a month after the storm. The tile walls are covered in grime from the tracks all the way up to the ceiling 25 feet overhead. There's debris dangling from the exit signs; the escalators look like they may never work again.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., speaks to the media after a Republican caucus luncheon last year. He's joined by (from left): Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 6:51 am
When Thursday dawned in Washington, some things seemed certain: The fiscal cliff fight would continue; the National Christmas Tree would be aglow by evening, and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina would continue to be the Senate's most important Tea Party voice.
So much for Washington certainties.
With his surprise announcement that he was exiting the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation think tank, a job that paid his predecessor $1 million annually, DeMint brought to an end his role as the Tea Party's godfather in the Senate.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi is on the defensive. He went on state television late today and appealed for an end to the violence between supporters and opponents of his government. Last night, the two sides clashed outside the presidential palace. Six people were killed and hundreds more wounded.
This week, we're taking a broader view of the Syrian conflict, asking if the Assad regime has reached a tipping point, and if so, what might follow. Yesterday, I talked with Syria expert Andrew Tabler, and today we'll hear from Joshua Landis, who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Landis, welcome back to the program.
DR. JOSHUA LANDIS: It's a pleasure being with you.
We turn now to the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. For the past 22 months, protestors have taken to the streets there demanding reform. For the most part, the demonstrations have been peaceful, but amid greater repression by the security forces, some of the younger protestors have turned to violence, and that has prompted a rift in the ranks of the opposition. Independent producer Reese Erlich paid a visit to Bahrain's capital, Manama.
In Hyde Park on Hudson — a sly, modestly subversive dramedy about a crucial weekend meeting between England's King George VI and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the eve of World War II — the diffident young monarch (Samuel West) confides his frustration over his lifelong stutter while the two men enjoy a postprandial drink expressly forbidden by their womenfolk.
Based on Beth Raymer's memoir, Lay the Favorite has a cheeky, double-meaning title that sets up the story and the irreverent tone with impressive efficiency; the reference is both to the gambling practice of betting for the favorite and to the heroine's generous sexual proclivities.
There's nothing particularly special about Edward Burns' wry family drama The Fitzgerald Family Christmas –-- but that makes it something of a relief amid the avalanche of overlong, big-ticket prestige films that comes tumbling into theaters this time of year.
You've probably seen some version of this story before: A crotchety and unreliable old man, long estranged from most of his family, attempts desperately to reconnect with them on Christmas Day. It's urgent, because he's harboring a Secret with a capital S.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 8:24 am
Something like deja vu takes hold during the opening shots of Donald Rice's debut feature, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding. With the insistent, urgent push of orchestral strings in the background, he offers up establishing shots of a bucolic English country manor, early 20th-century automobiles, and a bell ringing down in the servants' hall. That feeling of anticipation rising in many viewers' chests may be their hearts readying themselves for the tense post-Victorian drama of the popular TV series Downton Abbey, which is what that opening rather too directly recalls.