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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Book News: 'The Great Gypsy'? School Reading List Is Error-Riddled

A student of the Barack Obama elementary school in Hempstead, N.Y. walks past a board displaying student essays on the president during the official name changing ceremony in 2009.
Mary Altaffer AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

READ: Instructions For The Jury In Trial Of George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman in court on Thursday.
Gary W. Green/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:44 am

Nearly 17 months after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin — a death that would spark protests across the nation — a jury is about to begin considering whether defendant George Zimmerman acted in self defense or should be convicted of murder or manslaughter.

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Europe
5:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

After WikiLeaks Drama, Kremlin Goes Old School

The Kremlin's security agency has bought $15,000 worth of electric typewriters. A source told a Russian newspaper that after WikiLeaks and the Edward Snowden scandal, the Kremlin decided to "expand the practice of creating paper documents."

Around the Nation
4:56 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Calif. City Moves To Freeze Ice Cream Trucks' Music Output

For many kids, the music of ice cream trucks is the sound of summer. For some adults, however, it ruins peace and quiet. The Long Beach City Council has drafted legislation to limit when ice cream trucks can play music.

The Two-Way
4:33 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Snowden Hopes For Temporary Asylum In Russia

Edward Snowden, center, at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Friday. At left is WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison. The woman at right is unidentified at this time.
Courtesy of Human Rights Watch

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:02 am

(We most recently added information to the top of this post at 11:15 a.m. ET. Click here for more updates. )

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Business
3:35 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Microsoft CEO Reveals New Corporate Structure

CEO Steve Ballmer has shuffled the organizational deck at Microsoft, breaking down long-standing barriers within the company. Microsoft has been criticized for internal turf battles and slow-footed responses to changes in technology.

Politics
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Fed Up With Filibusters On Nominations

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:29 am

Senate Democrats are once again threatening a rules change to allow President Obama to win approval for his executive branch appointments on a simple majority vote. Republicans complain that this strike against the filibuster is both unfair and a bad precedent.

Business
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Apple To Appeal Ruling It Fixed E-Book Prices

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:40 am

A federal judge this week ruled that Apple conspired to raise prices of e-books, handing a victory to the Justice Department. Another winner in the fallout from this case was Amazon, the dominant seller of e-books.

Environment
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Environmentalists Warn Olympic Games Will Harm Sochi

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 am

Russia is preparing for the 2014 Winter Games — turning a sleepy valley in the Northern Caucasus Mountains into an Olympic village, with brand-new facilities for every Alpine sport. Officials say it will be a world-class destination for winter-sports enthusiasts long after the Games are over. Environmentalists say it's an ecological disaster in the making.

Business
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Despite Europe's Financial Crisis, Latvia To Adopt Euro

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:32 am

The words eurozone and crisis have been firmly linked together for the past half decade. Many eurozone economies have collapsed to Depression-era levels. And yet this week, the Baltic nation of Latvia, chose to join the euro. To understand that move, David Greene talks to Pauls Raudseps, economics editor of the Latvian weekly news magazine IR.

Europe
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Britons Wait For News On Royal Baby

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:04 am

The imminent arrival of the future heir to the British throne is spawning gambling, baby products and guessing over names. There's been no official announcement about when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby is due. It's believed to be Saturday, and the kingdom is prepared.

Code Switch
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Oakland Braces For Seeing Subway Shooting On The Big Screen

Cephus "Bobby" Johnson in 2011, when the former transit officer who shot Johnson's nephew, Oscar Grant, was released from jail. Johnson and other family members have seen Fruitvale Station, a new feature film depicting the shooting, multiple times.
Jason Redmond AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:00 pm

It's not often that Oakland, Calif., hosts a movie opening. But there is plenty of anticipation for Fruitvale Station.

The film is about the life and death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was fatally shot in the back by a white transit police officer in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009.

Grant was killed by Officer Johannes Mehserle, who claimed to have been reaching for his Taser, not his handgun. Mehserle was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months of a two-year term.

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Movie Reviews
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

'Pacific Rim' Is Filled To The Brim With Special Effects

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:06 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Another movie opening is "Pacific Rim." Critic Kenneth Turan says it has plenty of explosions and special effects, but he says there's actually more to it than most of the other blockbusters this summer.

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The Two-Way
1:22 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Chuck Foley, Co-Creator Of Twister, Dies At 82

Festivalgoers play a giant game of Twister during the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in southwest England last month.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:40 am

One of the men responsible for getting people tied up in knots while they played Twister has died.

Charles "Chuck" Foley died earlier this month in St. Paul, Minn. He was 82.

Foley and his business partner Neil Rabens invented the game for Milton Bradley in 1966. The pair originally called it Pretzel, and it was Milton Bradley who came up with the name Twister.

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Parallels
1:19 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Israel's Internal Battle Over Ultra-Orthodox Soldiers

Soldiers close the gate to the tiny West Bank outpost, right next door to a Jewish settlement, where the HaHod platoon of the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yahuda battalion is stationed.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 6:14 am

Moshe Haim always wanted to be a soldier. The 20-year-old is now a sergeant, more than halfway through three years of service in the Israeli military.

But when he goes home on leave, he doesn't talk about his military experiences to any of his eight siblings, especially his brothers.

"I know that for my parents and my brothers, the first, best choice is to be in the yeshiva and study there," he says at a small West Bank outpost where he's stationed. "It wasn't good for me, but my brothers are still pure."

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Middle East
1:17 am
Fri July 12, 2013

In Southern Syria, Rebels Say U.S. Support Is Critical

Free Syrian Army fighters after a battle against government troops in Zaizoon, near Dera'a, on Feb. 16.
Shaam News Network Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:38 pm

The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.

But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.

Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.

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Shots - Health News
1:16 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Messy Rollout Of Health Law Echoes Medicare Drug Expansion

Back in 2006, President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt talked with reporters during a trip to Florida, where Bush spoke to volunteers helping seniors sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Mike Stocker AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:13 am

It hasn't been a good week for the Affordable Care Act. After announcements by the administration of several delays of key portions of the law, Republicans returned to Capitol Hill and began piling on.

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Planet Money
12:53 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Will A Health Insurer Sponsor The Next 'Jackass' Movie?

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:13 am

Soon, most Americans will have to buy health insurance or pay a fine. This sounds like a marketer's dream: Captive shoppers directed by the government to buy your product. But when the product you're selling is health insurance, there are some pitfalls. Your customers may not love you. In fact, they may despise you.

"I think it may be too little too late for health insurance companies to now come out, like, 'Hey,we were just kidding the last 50 years!,'" says James Percelay, co-founder of the viral marketing firm ThinkModo in New York.

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Code Switch
12:48 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Mary Hamilton, The Woman Who Put The 'Miss' In Court

Mary Hamilton was found in contempt of court in Alabama, when she refused to answer questions after the prosecution addressed her only by her first name. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in her favor.
AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:58 am

When the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling, its decisions can carry weight for generations. Think about decisions in the civil rights era regarding school segregation and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama.

As part of our look back on the summer of 1963, we examine another Alabama case that had a subtle effect on the way courts treat defendants.

At a mock trial at Samford University in Birmingham, a student playing the role of a defense attorney questions his client on the stand: "To your knowledge, can a driver turning left turn on a yellow light?"

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Environment
12:46 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Sweeping Parts Of Southern Seas Could Become A Nature Preserve

The "Giant Tabular Iceberg" floats in Antarctica's Ross Sea in December 2011. Under a proposed new international agreement, large sections of the oceans around Antarctica would become protected as a marine preserve.
Camille Seaman Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:37 pm

The area of ocean set aside as a nature preserve could double or triple in the coming days, depending on the outcome of a meeting in Germany. Representatives from 24 countries and the European Union are considering setting aside large portions of ocean around Antarctica as a protected area. And the deal may hinge on preserving some fishing rights.

There are two proposals on the table: One would set aside huge parts of the Southern Ocean around East Antarctica; the other would focus on the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand.

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Movie Reviews
10:56 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Pacific' Overture: The Apocalypse, Off To A Bang-Up Start

Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi are the human co-pilots who mind-meld to control the giant Jaegers — massive robots engineered to fight rampaging sea monsters — in Pacific Rim, a kaiju-film homage from director Guillermo del Toro.
Kerry Hayes Warner Brothers

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:44 pm

The simple pleasures of watching Godzilla or Ultraman doing battle on Saturday afternoon television have proved difficult to re-create since their heyday in the '70s and '80s. Big-budget Hollywood attempts to replicate the experience tend to not just be failures, but disastrous, highly polished failures on an epic scale: Roland Emmerich's 1998 take on Godzilla, for instance, or Michael Bay's Transformers series.

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StoryCorps
8:03 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

A Father And Daughter 'Keep The Faith' During Cancer Fight

Faith in 2008, on her fifth birthday.
Courtesy of Jerris Marr

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:13 am

For the past three years, StoryCorps' Legacy program has given people facing serious illness the chance to record interviews with loved ones and caregivers. Recently, StoryCorps expanded the program to include children.

In 2007, Faith Marr was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer on her spine. She was 4 years old. That year she had her first of eight surgeries, replacing her vertebrae with titanium rods. Doctors were uncertain about her chances of survival.

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Movie Reviews
5:25 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Terms And Conditions' And Us — Oh, My ...

Take It Or Leave It: The legalese you accept when you use Facebook or iTunes (or NPR's digital platforms) may have you agreeing to some surprising things. Cullen Hoback's documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply illustrates just how many — and just how much control we've obligingly signed away.
Variance Films

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:06 am

I'm 45, single, substantially in debt and way too susceptible to jokes about redheads. And I'm telling you these things upfront because ... why not? It wouldn't be all that hard for you — or your Big Brother — to find out.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Prison Sterilization Report Prompts Call For Inquiry In California

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 1:18 pm

California lawmakers are calling for an investigation into allegations that 148 female prisoners underwent tubal ligation surgeries without the state's required approval. Some inmates said they had been pressured into undergoing the sterilization procedure, according to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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The Salt
4:55 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Are Antibiotics On The Farm Risky Business?

These pigs, newly weaned from their mothers, are at their most vulnerable stage of life. They're getting antibiotics in their water to ward off bacterial infection.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:25 pm

You've probably seen the labels on meat in the store: "Raised without antibiotics." They're a selling point for people who don't like how many drugs are used on chickens, turkey, hogs and beef cattle.

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Planet Money
4:21 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Where The Jobs Are (And Where They Aren't), In 1 Graph

Jobs and wages
NPR

It's been five and a half years since the recession started, and four years since the recovery began. It's been a brutal time for the U.S. job market (obviously), and the picture is still pretty bleak.

But when you look at individual industries, you see a more nuanced picture. Many industries have lost jobs, but others are employing more people than ever.

To see how the jobs picture has changed since the start of the recession, we created the graph below. Here's how it works:

  • The size of the circle represents the number of jobs in each industry today.
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Author Interviews
3:46 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Lessons In Bigotry And Bravery: A Girl Grows Up In 'Glory Be'

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

In July, NPR's Backseat Book Club traveled to Hanging Moss, Miss., where Gloriana June Hemphill, better known as Glory, is just an ordinary little girl. But this is no ordinary summer — it's 1964 and the town has shut down the so-called "community" swimming pool to avoid integration.

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All Songs Considered
3:45 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Hear Pearl Jam's New Single, 'Mind Your Manners'

Pearl Jam (from left: Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard and Matt Cameron) will release its 10th studio album, Lightning Bolt, on October 15.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:46 pm

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Politics
3:42 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Some House Republicans Optimistic About Passing Immigration Reform

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

The prospects for a sweeping immigration overhaul dimmed as House Republican leaders said they would not take up a comprehensive bill passed by the Senate last month. Instead, they argued for a slower, step-by-step approach. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R, Fla.) tells Audie Cornish that he remains optimistic that the House can still pass a bill to fix the immigration system.

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