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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.

The Record
3:42 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Toshi Seeger, Wife Of Folk Singer Pete Seeger, Dies At 91

Toshi Seeger with her husband, folk singer Pete Seeger, in 2009.
Bennett Raglin Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:30 pm

Anyone who worked closely with Pete Seeger knew the legendary folk singer's wife. For seven decades, Toshi Seeger organized his festivals and handled his travel and correspondence. The social activist died Tuesday. She was 91.

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The Salt
3:38 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Why Doctors Oppose Force-Feeding Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

To raise awareness about force-feeding, Yasiin Bey, the musician and actor formerly known as Mos Def, in a video voluntarily underwent the same procedure administered to prisoners who refuse solid food in political protest while they are held in Guantanamo Bay.
Reprieve/Asif Kapadia

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:26 pm

For centuries, the act of refusing food has turned human bodies into effective political bargaining chips. And so it's no surprise that the prisoners desperate to leave Guantanamo after, in some cases, nearly a dozen years there, have turned to hunger strikes on and off since 2005 to try to win their release.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

House Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamps

House Speaker John Boehner discusses the farm bill vote at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.

The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.

The decision to cleave food stamps — formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.

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Shots - Health News
3:26 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Failure To Communicate Between Doctors And Men About PSA Test

At least they're talking.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 7:11 am

The PSA test has been dissed a lot lately. The nation's preventive medicine task force, for one, says the test is so unreliable in figuring out who's at risk for deadly prostate cancer that most men shouldn't bother getting one.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'A $34 Million Waste Of The Taxpayers' Money' In Afghanistan

Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
SIGAR

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:22 pm

"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."

That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.

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All Tech Considered
3:06 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Anonymous Person Posts $500,000 Bond To Free Texas Teen

An undated photo of Justin Carter, who's facing a felony "terroristic threat" charge in Texas.
Courtesy of Jack Carter

Justin Carter, the 19-year-old who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting, is out of jail. An anonymous donor posted the $500,000 bond to allow Carter to go home. Carter plans to stay near New Braunfels, Texas, to await his trial on a felony terroristic threat charge.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Shakespeare Remixed, With A Puckish Argentine Accent

Chance encounters bring Viola (María Villar), Cecilia (Agustina Muñoz) and Ruth (Romina Paula) together in Viola, a lighthearted riff on Shakespeare from Argentine director Matias Piñeiro.
Cinema Guild

Is it the summer of Shakespearean comedy? You might not guess it from the box-office grosses, but with the release of Joss Whedon's delightful Much Ado About Nothing and now Matias Piñeiro's wondrous Viola, the spirit, if not the strict content, of Shakespeare's less bloody-minded plays is sneaking into theaters, offering an invaluable lesson to other films in how to be lighthearted without being empty-headed.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Adam Sandler, Insisting Again That He's A Really Great Guy

Improbably or not, Salma Hayek (left) and Adam Sandler (far right) are a couple again in Grown Ups 2. Billed as a comedy, the film also features Kevin James, Alexys Nicole Sanchez, Chris Rock, Maria Bello and David Spade, who in this scene are all pretending to laugh at something that in all likelihood involves poo.
Tracy Bennett Sony Pictures

Two decades ago, when stupid Hollywood comedies were relatively smart, they lampooned their own sequelitis with titles like Hot Shots! Part Deux. The genre has become less knowing since then, so the follow-up to 2010's Grown Ups is named simply Grown Ups 2.

Grown Ups Minus 2 would be more apt.

Like its predecessor, this is a vehicle for Adam Sandler, his pals and whatever they think they can get away with. That means some creepy sexual insinuations, if not so many as the first time.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

A New Day, A Last Day, For One Man At 'Fruitvale Station'

Michael B. Jordan plays Oscar Grant, an Oakland man with a checkered past and a new determination to get his life right — until one terrible night at Fruitvale Station.
The Weinstein Co.

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

Fruitvale Station, on the Oakland side of the San Francisco Bay: Grainy cellphone video from a day, four years ago, that commanded the nation's attention. Several young black men sit on a transit station platform, white transit police officers standing over them. There's shouting, scuffling, but nothing that looks worrisome.

Then what sounds like a shot.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

A Kindergarten, A Story And A Life In Shambles

Mads Mikkelsen's Lukas is a recently divorced kindergarten teacher whose life is turned upside down when officials leap to conclusions after a 5-year-old says something that suggests improper conduct.
Magnolia

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 4:39 pm

Lukas works in a Danish kindergarten, and it's clear he's in the right place: When the kids look at him, they see a great big toy.

That's especially true for 5-year-old Klara, the lonely daughter of Lukas' best friend, Theo. Klara's folks fight a lot, and her teenage brother is too busy looking at dirty pictures with his buddies to pay her much attention.

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World
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Residents Search For Answers After Deadly Train Explosion

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

In Lac Megantic, Quebec, locals are waiting impatiently for answers following Saturday's train explosion that left 50 people dead. The provincial government in Quebec is blasting the railroad at the center of this disaster for responding too slowly — and requesting more aid from Canada's federal government to help the rural town rebuild.

Europe
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Russia Convicts Dead Man Of Tax Evasion In Symbolic Case

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

A Moscow judge has found Sergei Magnitsky and his boss, investor William Browder, guilty of evading about $17 million in taxes. Trouble is, Magnitsky died in jail in 2009 and Browder is safe in Britain. The unusual exercise of trying a dead man seems to be an effort to rebut Browder's claims that Magnitsky was jailed in revenge for uncovering a $230 million tax fraud perpetrated by Russian officials. Magnitsky's supporters say he was beaten and mistreated during his year in pre-trial detention, and that he died from medical neglect.

Middle East
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

After Promising Military Aid, U.S. Sends Little To Syrian Rebels

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One place military aid does not appear to be flowing yet is Syria. Rebel commanders in Syria say they are waiting for promised arms from the United States and growing impatient. Nearly a month has passed since the Obama administration said it would begin sending military help. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, opposition in Congress appears to be a stumbling block.

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Africa
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

U.S. Wants Egypt To Have An Inclusive Political Transition

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 5:21 pm

As the Obama administration slow-walks a decision on whether to call the ousting of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi a coup, which would lead to an aid cut off, U.S. officials are also in the awkward position of trying to encourage the Muslim Brotherhood to accept Morsi's ouster and return to the political process. President Obama has spoken by phone to the leader of Qatar, which had bankrolled the Morsi government. He's also been talking to Gulf leaders who were quick to step in to help Egypt after the Islamist government was toppled.

Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Resurrected Farm Bill Passes Without Food Stamps Component

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The farm bill is back. Three weeks ago, the House surprised Hill watchers when Democrats and Republicans alike voted against the bill. Well, today, they passed it - narrowly. In today's bill, though, a huge component was missing. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, House leaders stripped out the section of the bill that deals with food stamps.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Virginia Governor Mired In Controversy Over Gifts, Loans

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's already been a long summer for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. A steady stream of news reports have revealed gifts and loans he and his family accepted from a campaign donor, totaling some $145,000. McDonnell has been mentioned as a possible future presidential candidate, though with these revelations some now express doubt about his chances.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reports the trouble for McDonnell could also affect the Republican who hopes to succeed him in the governor's office.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Nuclear Option' Would End Filibusters For Appointments

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

Senate Democrats appear so fed up enough by Republicans blocking President Obama's appointments that they are preparing to change Senate rules. The so-called "nuclear option" would end the use of the filibuster when it comes to appointments, dramatically diminishing the power of the minority party in the chamber.

Media
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Cable News Coverage Of Zimmerman Trial Widely Criticized

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

The George Zimmerman trial has received a lot of attention and time on cable news. In many ways it resembles the sprawling coverage of earlier sensational trials. But the Zimmerman trial also has important social and cultural questions swirling around it.

Law
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

George Zimmerman Trial Winds Down As Closing Arguments Begin

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

The closing arguments in the murder trial of George Zimmerman have begun. Zimmerman is accused of shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Economy
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Innovation Districts' May Be Cornerstones Of New Urban Economy

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:02 pm

Robert Siegel talks with Brookings Institution vice president Bruce Katz, founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, about his new book, The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy. Katz and his co-author Jennifer Bradley argue that "innovation districts," combining office space, residential buildings, and mixed-use retail, will be epicenters of the new urban economy.

Remembrances
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Twister Inventor Created Thousands Of Awkward Party Moments

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Chuck Foley was responsible for millions of awkward party moments since the 1960s. Normally, that's nothing to be proud of but if you're the inventor of the game "Twister," it's not such a bad thing after all.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Foley and his business partner, Neil Rabens, invented the game for Milton Bradley in 1966. They originally called it "Pretzel."

If you're certain age there's no need to explain "Twister." But in case you need a refresher, the game is simple.

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Environment
2:43 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Wastewater Wells, Geothermal Power Triggering Earthquakes

A geothermal energy plant near the Salton Sea in California taps deep underground heat from the southern San Andreas Fault rift zone. A new study ties the amount of water pulled from the ground by the geothermal plant here to the frequency of earthquakes.
David McNew Getty Images

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

The continental U.S. experiences small earthquakes every day. But over the past few years, their numbers have been increasing. Geoscientists say the new epidemic of quakes is related to industrial wastewater being pumped into underground storage wells.

Now there's new research that reveals two trigger mechanisms that may be setting off these wastewater quakes — other, larger earthquakes (some as far away as Indonesia), and the activity at geothermal power plants.

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Music Reviews
2:11 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Jay-Z Swings Triumphant Then Trivial On 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'

Jay-Z's previous albums include Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint. He collaborated with Kanye West for Watch the Throne.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 2:19 pm

Now 43 years old, Jay-Z has become the Jay Gatsby of hip-hop: a man with a checkered background playing host to endless parties, celebrating excellence, the good life and himself. It's no wonder that he was asked to oversee the music for director Baz Luhrmann's amusement park ride version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic fantasy.

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The Salt
2:04 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Taste Of Grandma's Kitchen: We Hack An Old Ketchup Recipe

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Editor's Note: This post is part of All Things Considered's Found Recipes project.

Although Heinz may dominate the ketchup scene, 100 years ago it wasn't uncommon to make your own at home. So why bother doing so now, when you can just buy the bottles off the shelf? At least one man, Jim Ledvinka, was motivated by nostalgia.

"Oh, yes — we remember my grandmother making ketchup. And it was quite a sight to behold," Ledvinka says.

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Health Care
1:59 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Former Insurance Exec Offers An Insider's Look At Obamacare

Pill bottles
iStockphoto.com

On March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It's aimed at making health insurance more affordable and reducing the overall costs of health care.

Some parts of the law have already gone into effect: Insurers can't impose lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays; children can stay on their parents' plan until they're 26; children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage; and all new insurance plans must cover preventive care and medical screenings.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Report: Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Get Around Encryption

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announces Microsoft's purchase of Skype in 2011, in San Francisco.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:53 am

The latest in The Guardian's series of reports on secret U.S. electronic surveillance efforts claims to detail the extent of Microsoft's cooperation with the National Security Agency, with the tech giant reportedly allowing agents to circumvent its own encryption system to spy on email and chats, as well as its cloud-based storage service.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
1:34 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

It's All Politics, July 11, 2013

Andrew Burton Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Yes, Egypt is being torn apart and the immigration bill is in trouble. But that pales when you consider the fact that Eliot Spitzer IS RUNNING FOR NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER!! Fear not, NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving are all over it.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Death And Tax Evasion: The Strange Case Of Sergei Magnitsky

Sergei Magnitsky's mother, Nataliya Magnitskaya, holds a photo of her late son in 2009.
Alexander Zemlianichenko Associated Press

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 1:32 pm

A Russian court found whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky guilty of tax evasion on Thursday, ending a convoluted case that caused a diplomatic row between Moscow and Washington. It gets even more bizarre given the fact that the man on trial died in 2009.

The posthumous conviction is unprecedented in modern times – even in a country with a history of show trials. But it's not entirely unheard of throughout the ages.

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All Songs Considered
12:43 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

The Good Listener: When You Make Someone A Mix, What Do They Owe You?

Chloe Coleman NPR

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 8:22 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the shampoo samples we accidentally tossed into the fireplace is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, the etiquette surrounding the giving and receiving of mix CDs.

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