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Politics
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Obama Pushes Back Against Efforts To Undermine Health Law

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

President Obama gave a White House address Thursday, flanked by Americans now paying less for health insurance or receiving reimbursements from health insurers under Obamacare. It was a response to recent efforts by House Republicans to repeal or undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Africa
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

South Africa Honors Still-Ailing Mandela On His Birthday

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, South Africa marked the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela. The former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been hospitalized in Pretoria for six weeks because of a lung infection.

Around the country, South Africans marked Mandela Day with songs, tributes and volunteer work, as NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.

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World
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Russians Protest Sentencing For Anti-Corruption Activist

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

A Russian judge delivered an unexpectedly harsh sentence on an anti-corruption campaigner who led the biggest protests against President Vladimir Putin since he took power in 2000. Alexei Navalny was sentenced to five years in jail for theft. Protesters chanted "Shame! Disgrace!" outside the court in Kirov.

Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

A 'Psychological Thriller' About SeaWorld's Resident Killer

Tilikum, a 6-ton orca who has killed two of his SeaWorld trainers, is the main subject of Blackfish, a documentary that describes itself as "a psychological thriller with a killer whale at its center."
Magnolia

If Blackfish were an Inside Edition episode, the promo copy might read something like this: Twenty years after Keltie Byrne was brutally killed in 1991, Dawn Brancheau, a marine-mammal trainer like Byrne, became a victim of the same killer — who to this day goes unpunished.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Strange Doings Among Chess-Mad '80s Coders

Patrick Riester plays one of the alpha geeks competing in a game-writing tournament in Computer Chess, a willfully odd comedy from mumblecore pioneer Andrew Bujalski.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 3:33 pm

"I don't mind putting something pleasant out into the world," said filmmaker Andrew Bujalski in a recent New York Magazine interview.

You don't hear that too often outside the sphere of general-audience entertainment, let alone from a writer-director widely credited with pioneering mumblecore, the slackerish mini-movement that never really was.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Detroit Files For Bankruptcy

Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:32 am

(This story last updated at 6:45 p.m. ET)

The city of Detroit has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, seeking Chapter 9 protection from creditors and unions owed some $18.5 billion in debt and liabilities.

In a news conference on Thursday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he didn't want to go into bankruptcy, but the city will now "have to make the best of it."

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The Salt
2:46 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

These Pictures Might Tempt You To Eat Bugs

Gordon recommends dusting the deep-fried tarantula spider with smoked paprika.
Chugrad McAndrews Reprinted with permission from The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:18 am

Oh, Jiminy Cricket, you've never looked more scrumptious.

The grasshopper kabob is one of several enticing images of insect cuisine included in the new, revised edition of The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook, by avowed entomophagist (i.e., bug eater) David George Gordon.

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Code Switch
2:45 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

S.C. High Court Moves To End Saga Of 'Baby Veronica'

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that custody for Baby Veronica, shown here in a October 2011 provided by her adoptive mother, Melanie Capobianco, be transferred from her biological father to the Capobiancos.
Melanie Capobianco AP

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 3:47 pm

UPDATE July 24, 2013: The South Carolina Supreme Court denied a petition for rehearing and ordered Baby Veronica's adoption by the Capobiancos finalized, as reported by NPR's Nina Totenberg.


Less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court sent an unusually messy child custody case back to the lower courts, South Carolina's Supreme Court has ruled to end the long-running saga of Baby Veronica, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.

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Found Recipes
2:44 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Taste Of Summer Finalist: Diane's Dad's Sandwich

Courtesy of Marti Olesen

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:21 pm

Marti Olesen's favorite summer recipe is plucked straight from the garden — and the faster it gets to your plate, the better. She calls it Diane's Dad's Summer Sandwich.

"I've been eating this sandwich for 27 years, and I am the epitome of health — and beauty," Olesen laughs.

Olesen is an elementary school librarian in Ponca, Ark. She first encountered the sandwich when a co-worker, Diane Dickey, told her about it decades ago.

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Found Recipes
2:28 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Taste Of Summer Finalist: Strawberry Trifle

Courtesy of Susan Jones

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Susan Jones has no shame in admitting that she's not the world's best cook.

"Whenever someone says, 'Everybody bring a dish,' I'm not happy," she says.

Jones is from Indiana and is the editor and publisher of the New Carlisle News. She's also been a board member of Historic New Carlisle, her town's historical society, for 20 years. For the first five years, the group's bimonthly fundraiser teas were a point of anxiety for Jones.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Florida Community Asks Mermaid To Swim Elsewhere

Jenna Conti, also known as Eden Sirene, before being asked to stay out of the water.
Courtesy of Bob Abruzzese

Jenna Conti just wants to swim.

In her custom-made mermaid costume.

At the Fishhawk Ranch community pools in Tampa, Fla.

But rules are rules, the local development district board says. And the rules say no swim fins in the pools.

So Conti, or Eden Sirene as she's known when she swims, has been left high and dry.

She "just wanted to really show some magic here in Fishhawk," Conti says.

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Found Recipes
2:25 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Taste Of Summer Finalist: Ensenada Slaw

Ensenada Slaw
Patricia Mulvey for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:16 pm

Patricia Mulvey discovered her favorite taste of summer during a disastrous trip to Mexico in 1995. The bright moment of that trip was the Ensenada Slaw. She describes it as "a lightly dressed, crisp vegetable salad with a touch of heat from hot sauce and a touch of acidity from lime juice."

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Europe
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Investigators Take Action Following Heathrow Fire

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Nearly one week ago, a fire erupted inside a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at London's Heathrow Airport. Thursday, the British Air Investigation Branch issued a bulletin urging the deactivation of an emergency transmitter on all 787s. The British investigators stopped just short of blaming the Emergency Locator Transmitter for the fire. But they did recommend that the Federal Aviation Administration order the deactivation of beacons on 787s under FAA authority. Melissa Block talks with NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

Environment
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service

An aircraft lays down a line of fire retardant between a wildfire and homes in the dry, densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 13.
John Wark AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:13 pm

The deaths of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., this summer have focused a lot of attention on just how bad wildfire has become in the West. And research predicts the situation is going to get worse.

Over the past decade, the region has seen some of the worst fire seasons on record. In addition to lives lost, the fires have cost billions in terms of lost property and in taxpayer money spent fighting the blazes.

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Around the Nation
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Where Are All Of Wyomings Escalators?

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Turning now to escalator news, specifically Wyoming escalator news.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is a reported paucity of moving staircases in the Cowboy State, and that shortcoming has been posited as an argument for Wyoming to have fewer than its allotted pair of senators.

CORNISH: The argument goes like this: Why should a state with only two escalators get two senators?

BLOCK: Well, for some insight, we turn to the self-proclaimed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune.

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U.S.
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Furloughs Cut Into Classtime At U.S. Military Bases

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Civilian furloughs have begun at U.S. military installations worldwide. The mandatory days off without pay, prompted by the current round of budget cuts known as sequestration, are looming over Defense Department-run schools that serve the children of military families. For teachers at the nation's most populous Army base, Fort Bragg, cuts mean no new textbooks and a loss of school days.

Energy
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Carbon Tax Gaining Popularity, But Not With Lawmakers

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

The idea of taxing carbon emissions to curb climate change has been gaining surprisingly diverse and bipartisan support over the past year. Everywhere, that is, except Congress.

Politics
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Lawmakers Work To Finish Deal On Student Loan Rates

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 9:46 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

College students across the country, you can now exhale. Today, a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal to stabilize rates on federal student loans. Two weeks ago, the rates for undergraduates doubled to 6.8 percent. Lawmakers have been working to avert the hike, but they couldn't agree on the basics until now, as NPR's Cory Turner explains.

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Politics
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

IRS Hearing Turns Tables With Auditor In The Hot Seat

Congress held yet another hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday. But unlike previous hearings, where the IRS took the brunt of the tough questions for flagging conservative groups, Thursday's hearing saw the auditor whose report sparked the whole proceedings get equally tough questions from Democrats. They accuse him of neglecting to point out that liberal groups received similar scrutiny. Audie Cornish gets the latest from NPR's Tamara Keith.

The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Sequestration Could Curtail 'Hurricane Hunter' Missions

A WC-130J "Hurricane Hunter"
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:38 pm

Federal furloughs caused by sequestration could ground "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft, depriving forecasters of real-time measurements of storms during what's expected to be an especially active Atlantic hurricane season.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

EPA, Labor Nominees Confirmed

By 59-40 vote mostly along party lines, the Senate on Thursday afternoon confirmed Gina McCarthy as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

That followed a 54-46 vote early in the day to confirm Thomas Perez as Labor secretary.

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The Salt
2:00 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Sweet And Savory: Finding Balance On The Japanese Grill

Reprinted with permission from The Japanese Grill.
Todd Coleman © 2011

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

If you're looking for grilled Japanese food, chef and cookbook author Harris Salat recommends you head over to Fukuoka, a city where yatai, or mobile food carts, line up by the riverside.

The carts became popular after World War II, Salat says, when Japanese were looking to rebuild their lives and find new sources of income.

"You can kind of pull up a stool, and there's a cook, you know, grilling yakitori very carefully over charcoal," he tells Melissa Block, host of All Things Considered. "It's a lot of fun."

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All Songs Considered
1:47 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

The Good Listener: Does Ignoring A Friend's Mix Make You A Bad Person?

Not every mix gets the loving attention we feel it deserves.
Chloe Coleman NPR

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 5:25 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the aluminum-siding pamphlets disguised as jury summons is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a blistering rebuttal of last week's column.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Pandoraviruses were discovered lurking in the mud of Chile and Australia, half a world apart.
courtesy of Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:14 am

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Man Who Hoped To Testify Against Whitey Bulger Is Found Dead

Stephen Rakes as he arrived at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston on June 12 for the first day of the "Whitey" Bulger's trial.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who claimed that notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger forced him — at gunpoint — to sell a liquor store in 1984, was found dead Wednesday in Lincoln, Mass.

According to the Middlesex (Mass.) District Attorney's office, "there were no obvious signs of trauma. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death."

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Politics
12:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

The United States Of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families

Liz Cheney walks off the stage with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:23 pm

Another day, another political dynasty.

This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.

Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Scientists: Pitch In July Is Slower Than Molasses In January

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:28 pm

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have some long awaited test results: After 69 years, they have captured on video a drop of pitch, also known as bitumen or asphalt.

With a camera trained on a glass funnel containing a generous dollop of the substance, so thick that it appears as a solid at room temperature, it finally happened.

You can see the dramatic moment in this video above, which proves conclusively that pitch is indeed a liquid, according to Nature.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Justice's Rules Mean Reporter Need Not Testify, Lawyer Says

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency. The case that prosecutors want journalist James Risen to testify in involves an alleged leak of information by a former CIA agent.
Greg E. Mathieson Sr. MAI/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:48 pm

A lawyer for New York Times reporter James Risen is citing new Justice Department guidelines about when to subpoena journalists to support his argument that Risen is covered by a common-law reporter's privilege and need not testify about a former CIA agent who allegedly served as his source.

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Book Reviews
11:40 am
Thu July 18, 2013

The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author

J.K. Rowling recently revealed herself to be the author of the mystery novel The Cuckoo's Calling.
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:41 pm

Call it "The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales" — and I don't think we'll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown British writer named Robert Galbraith, who was identified on the book jacket as a former military cop now working in private security.

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Pop Culture
11:40 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Maria Bamford: A Seriously Funny Comedian

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:05 pm

It's almost uncomfortable to laugh at Maria Bamford's comedy, because so much of it is about really serious problems she has: OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts. She's been hospitalized several times. But you have to laugh, because she's that funny.

In addition to the difficulties from which she suffers, Bamford — who has a new comedy CD out called Ask Me About My New God! — incorporates her family into much of her material. She's close to both her parents, in part, she says, because they've been through so much together.

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