Steve Inskeep talks with Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute and Vali Nasr, a former adviser to the Obama administration and dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, about Monday night's presidential debate focused on foreign policy.
Two of the world's biggest oil companies have announced a deal that will slurp up millions of barrels of crude and billions of dollars in earnings, if it works. The move would make Russia's state-owned company Rosneft the biggest publicly traded oil producer in the world - and it would give the British energy giant BP more opportunities in Russia.
The BBC is dealing with its worst crisis in decades. At the heart of the affair: allegations that the late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile serially sexually abused underage women. The BBC now is having to defend how it handled an investigative report into the charges.
The word tenacious can also describe Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, and also a regular guest on this program. She had made headlines at many magazines over the years and also made headlines on those magazines. Last week, Brown announced that Newsweek will end its print edition in January. But instead of going out of business, she says she wants to go on. She wants to turn Newsweek into an electronic magazine for tablet readers, like the iPad, supported by advertising and reader subscriptions.
The most popular kids in high school go on to earn higher wages than the least popular — as much as 10 percent 40 years after graduation, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Researchers say students with better social skills do better when they enter the workplace.
A new regulation in Greece is requiring supermarkets to label and reduce prices of nonperishable food sold after the recommended day of consumption. The government says such goods have been sold since 1989, but at the same price as nonexpired perishable goods. Now, supermarkets must set the goods aside on a separate shelf and mark the price down. Are Greeks welcoming the change or suspicious about lax regulation?
We've heard some discussion of immigration in this year's presidential campaign. We have not seen much immigration legislation move on Capitol Hill. But one state is holding a referendum on a local version of an immigration bill that's been debated in Washington. The so-called Maryland Dream Act would offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented college students residing in Maryland. But as Jacob Fenston reports, even in that solidly blue state the legislation is causing a stir.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a tale of the singing whale. Scientists this week published a study of a captive beluga whale in San Diego. The whale began to sing, apparently after spending time close to people. It died several years ago, but left behind a recording that sounds like a person in the shower.
(SOUNDBITE OF WHALE SINGING)
INSKEEP: We do not know if during his lifetime the singing whale ever made it to a karaoke bar.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:53 am
Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer got a lot of attention recently for her decision to cut short her maternity leave and return to work. But she returned to some good news: The troubled online company earned more than $3 billion, beating industry predictions.
Pakistani security personnel stand guard in front of a burnt-out school following an attack by the Pakistani Taliban in the northwestern district of Upper Dir in June 2011. The Taliban have destroyed many schools in northwestern Pakistan.
Stop someone in the street. Ask them about the case of Malala Yousafzai. They will likely know — after the worldwide publicity given to her story — that Malala is the Pakistani teenager who was shot for demanding the right of girls to go to school.
They will surely know, too, that the people who shot Malala in the head from close range were the Pakistani Taliban. They will probably view Malala as the heroine she clearly is. And the Taliban will be seen as the violent fanatics that they surely are.
Meet a man with a powerful addiction — to running. Caleb Daniloff says he believes the sport saved him from addictions that were far worse, and he's written a new book, called Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time, about his experiences.
Daniloff has run some familiar marathons — New York and Boston — but he's also been to a place not famous for outdoor running: Moscow.
In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading — or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters — a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29. Kathryn Zickuhr, the study's main author, joins NPR's David Greene to discuss the results.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco in July. This week, Microsoft launches Windows 8, a radical redesign of its operating system, as well as a new set of tablet computers.
Microsoft, the company that defined the PC, is still enormously profitable — but not as profitable as it once was.
This week, Microsoft will try to regroup. It is rolling out the largest upgrade of its Windows software in more than a decade. All of this is meant to help the company break into the exploding market for mobile.
While the company still commands a formidable computing empire, it is now under attack.
Microsoft's CEO is Steve Ballmer, a big, bombastic, balding guy. These days he's riled up about Windows 8.
A print in The Illustrated London News of Dec. 3, 1864, depicts Election Day in a wealthy (top) and poor (bottom) neighborhood in New York. The top caption reads: "A polling-place in the 'upper ten.' " The bottom caption reads: "A polling-place among the 'lower twenty.' " Click Here To See A Full-Size Image
It's Tuesday — exactly two weeks out from Nov. 6, Election Day. Why is voting day for American federal elections always a Tuesday? The answer is a bit obscure and has to do with buggies.
Let me explain.
The story starts all the way back with the Founding Fathers. "The Constitutional Convention just met for a very brief time during the summer of 1787," Senate Historian Don Ritchie says. "By the time they got finished they were exhausted and they hadn't made up their minds on a lot of things."
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:55 pm
For most American viewers, including this one, much of Monday night's presidential debate on foreign policy was conducted as though it were in a foreign language.
References to Mali, to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, missile shields in Poland, "status of forces" agreements — could only have befuddled the voting public.
It's not that the candidates invoked unimportant issues. And it's not that the two held so elevated a conversation mere mortals could not understand. It's that they were debating almost entirely in tone rather than content.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:10 pm
In at least one sense, the final presidential debate of the year looked a lot like the previous ones between Mitt Romney and President Obama.
Regardless of what they were asked, each offered talking points he had prepared and was determined to make. The candidates, not moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News, set both the tone and the pace of the debate.
That included switching gears far from the nominal subject of Monday's debate in Boca Raton, Fla., which was foreign policy. The domestic economy received at least as much attention and verbiage as Iran, Libya or China.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 8:55 am
Fact checkers got a shout out Monday night from President Obama when he declared that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had repeated "the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."
"Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true," the president pointed out — correctly — during Monday's debate after Romney charged that Obama went on an "apology tour" during his first year in office.
Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:42 pm
Arlington National Cemetery, which has come under intense criticism in recent years because of unmarked graves, misplaced records and mishandling of some veterans' cremated remains, today launched an online database (and apps) that it hopes will allow "family members and the public to find gravesites and explore Arlington's rich history."
Former felon Vikki Hankins has been fighting for civil rights for convicts for years. After applying to have her own civil rights restored in 2008, 2009 and 2011, Hankins was recently informed that she will not be eligible to apply again until 2017.
Vikki Hankins wants nothing more in the world than to have her civil rights restored. Hankins, 43, lost the right to vote — and many others — when she went to a federal prison for selling cocaine in December 1990. She spent almost two decades behind bars for her crime.
Today, Hankins is an author and an undergrad who dreams of going to law school. She got out of prison four years ago and quickly applied to have her rights — like voting, serving on a jury and becoming a lawyer — restored.
Young debaters at the Bay Area Urban Debate League in Oakland, Calif., say that there are a lot of differences between the way that they debate the issues and what they see the presidential candidates doing on debate nights.
The high school debaters at the Bay Area Urban Debate League get together every week in downtown Oakland, Calif., to hone their arguments and debating styles. But the young debaters have had a chance during the recent presidential debates to see how it's done on the national stage.
They watch with pen and worksheet, taking notes and analyzing the candidates' debating styles, hoping to glean some lessons from the pros.
There is a lot for these young debaters to observe and compare, but they have also noticed some key differences.
Two Republican lawmakers investigating the botched gun trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious say they aren't finished yet.
In a letter obtained by NPR, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., are demanding an update on personnel actions taken by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives after a lengthy investigation by Congress and the Justice Department inspector general.
Certain episodes of Treme seem to wear their ideological hearts on their sleeves, and this was one. You open with Desiree's mother's house getting torn down in a city mix-up; you have Davis throwing around phrases like "preservation through neglect"; you see housing projects torn down amid protest with the implication of a corrupt deal; you get protagonists like the Bernette family being harassed by police; you witness clueless developers trying to build a national jazz center while waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Parisian dance professor Charlotte King says she needs Google for her job and life, but she doesn't trust the world's top Web search engine.
"When I'm doing some research, the day after I have some proposition of products, of stores, of places, and it's really espionage. I was spied on. I don't want that. It's unacceptable," King says.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 3:53 pm
Another reporter has quit the mainstream news business because he thinks there's too much emphasis on entertainment rather than old-fashioned reporting:
"In Superman issue 13, the Man of Steel's alter ego, mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, quits the Metropolis newspaper that has been his employer since the DC Comics superhero's earliest days in 1940," USA Today says.