NPR News

Pages

The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Bashar Assad: A Political Solution In Syria Is 'Unreal'

Syrian President Bashar Assad made it clear in an interview with the Argentine newspaper El Clarin that he was not resigning.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad essentially dismissed attempts by the United States and Russia to bring the civil war in the country to a political solution.

"Believing that a political conference will stop terrorism on the ground is unreal," Assad said in an exclusive interview with the Argentine newspaper El Clarin. Assad also took the usual stance on a wide range of issues.

Read more
Fresh Air Weekend
11:09 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Gerwig, Baumbach, Dawes And Polley

For her latest film, Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley turns her camera on her own family.
Roadside Attractions

Fresh Air Weekendhighlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interview with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Read more
The Two-Way
10:58 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Afghan Parliament Halts Debate On Women's Rights Bill

A boy holds the burqa of his mother as they walk down a street in the old city of Kabul on November 1, 2009.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 8:58 pm

After protests from some MPs and after only about 15 minutes, the Afghan parliament halted debate Saturday on a bill aimed at curbing violence against women.

As the BBC reports, the bill would have solidified a law passed by presidential decree in 2009, which banned "violence against women, child marriages and forced marriages."

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:09 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Limericks

Transcript

PETER SAGAL HOST: Coming up it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924, or click the contact-us link on our website WaitWait.NPR.org. There, you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium on Chicago and our upcoming show at Powell Hall in St. Louis on June 27th.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:09 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Transcript

PETER SAGAL HOST: On to our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. She correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

BILL KURTIS: Bobcat has one, Kyrie, two, Tom is in the lead with three.

HOST: Bobcat, you are in third place, so you got first.

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: Yeah, I'm the dark horse.

(LAUGHTER)

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:09 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Panel Round One

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

We want to remind everybody they can join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago. For tickets and more information, go to wbez.org, and you can find a link at our website, waitwait.npr.org.

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Bobcat, the U.N. is trying to figure out the problem of feeding an exploding global population. But they have come up with a solution, they say people should eat what?

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: Children.

(LAUGHTER)

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:09 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Bluff The Listener

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Bobcat Goldthwait, Kyrie O'Connor, and Tom Bodett. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

Read more
Music News
10:03 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Draco Rosa: A Pop Survivor Returns From The Brink, With Friends

Former bandmates Draco Rosa and Ricky Martin, seen here on stage at Univision's 2013 Premio Lo Nuestro awards celebration, reunite on Rosa's new album, Vida.
John Parra Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:47 pm

Read more
Code Switch
9:44 am
Sat May 18, 2013

'Scandal': Preposterous, Unmissable, Important

Kerry Washington from ABC's Scandal is shown on a TV monitor as an iPad displays the show page.
Frazier Moore AP

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:15 pm

OK, let's get this out of the way: Scandal is a ridiculous show.

The hit ABC drama about a Washington "fixer" named Olivia Pope just wrapped up its second season with one of its trademark cliffhangers.

(Assume spoilers, y'all.)

Read more
The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sat May 18, 2013

WATCH: NASA Spots Brightest Lunar Explosion Ever Recorded

hundreds of meteoroid impacts. The brightest, detected on March 17, 2013, in Mare Imbrium, is marked by the red square." href="/post/watch-nasa-spots-brightest-lunar-explosion-ever-recorded" class="noexit lightbox">
NASA's lunar monitoring program has detected hundreds of meteoroid impacts. The brightest, detected on March 17, 2013, in Mare Imbrium, is marked by the red square.
NASA

NASA scientists say they witnessed an extremely bright lunar explosion this past March. In fact, it is the biggest explosion they've seen since they started keeping track of such events in 2005.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:31 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Russian Official Names CIA Station Chief In Moscow

In Moscow's Red Square, people still line up to visit Lenin's tomb. Though the Cold War is over, Russia and the U.S. keep watchful eyes on each other. Tuesday, Russian officials claimed to have uncovered a CIA spy.
Sergei Ilnitsky EPA /Landov

Breaching protocol, a Russian official let a name slip during an interview with Interfax, the state news agency.

The interview was with a representative of the FSB, the Russian security agency, and the name he made public was of the person Russia believes is the CIA station chief in Moscow.

The Guardian explains:

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:38 am
Sat May 18, 2013

The Unsafe Sex: Should The World Invest More In Men's Health?

A man smokes a cigarette as he takes a break at a fruit market in Hyderabad, India. Smoking tobacco is eight times more prevalent among Indian men than women.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 3:20 pm

On average, men aren't as healthy as women.

Men don't live as long, and they're more likely to engage in risky behaviors, like smoking and drinking.

But in the past decade, global health funding has focused heavily on women.

Programs and policies for men have been "notably absent," says Sarah Hawkes from the University of London's Institute of Global Health.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:33 am
Sat May 18, 2013

North Korea Fires Three Short-Range Missiles, Says The South

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:04 pm

After a relatively calm few weeks, North Korea fired three short-range missiles Saturday, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said.

NPR's Louisa Lim reports that North Korea fired the missiles in defiance of international sanctions. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"North Korea launched two guided missiles this morning and a third in the afternoon, according to South Korea's defense ministry — all landed in waters off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula."

Read more
Politics
5:23 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Highly Charged IRS Case Pulls In Political Agendas

NPR's Peter Overby reports on the Congressional testimony of IRS officials in response to the scandal over special scrutiny of tea party groups. Underneath all the politics, there's a policy question that hasn't been addressed.

Africa
5:23 am
Sat May 18, 2013

In Zimbabwe, Will Next Election Be More Peaceful?

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about Zimbabwe's upcoming presidential election and efforts to alleviate its international isolation.

Music
5:23 am
Sat May 18, 2013

After Health Issues, Influential Conductor Back At Met Opera

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This weekend at Carnegie Hall, a giant returns to the podium. James Levine will lead the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the first time in two years after a string of health challenges from shoulder injuries to spinal problems. He's considered by at least one critic to be the most influential American conductor since Leonard Bernstein. That critic is Anthony Tommasini, lead classical musical critic for the New York Times.

Read more
Books
5:12 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Author Elliott Holt says: 'Go West, Young Woman'

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:52 pm

In Elliott Holt's beautifully subtle debut novel You Are One of Them, the protagonist, an American in her 20s, moves to Moscow shortly after the Cold War. After a few months, she returns to the U.S. a changed woman.

Holt, who is 39, also lived in Moscow where she worked as a copywriter at an advertising agency, as well as in London and New York. Currently, she resides in Washington, D.C., and writes full time.

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
4:24 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Plum Baby

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:56 pm

There isn't enough time in this world to grow your own tree. That tree is a plum baby still, never mind it's tall as the house those men are taking from us. It grew up with me. I say this to Mama Lee as she rests her hand on my shoulder like another shoulder. She nods and nods some more. She's been nodding all day like she's got two weights, one in her chin and the other in back of her skull that can't lie at rest.

We're standing in the yard facing the house in the dewy grass. The house is as old as Mama Lee's mama who died before I was born.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:18 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Dan Brown: 'Inferno' Is 'The Book That I Would Want To Read'

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Robert Langdon is back. The Harvard art professor in custom tweeds — and an ever-present Mickey Mouse watch — wakes up in a hospital after getting grazed in the head by a bullet, wondering how he ended up in Florence. He's got a sinister artifact sewn into his coat and just a few hours to keep the world from a grim biological catastrophe.

Read more
Environment
3:18 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Not Your Grandpa's RV: This Roving Lab Tracks Air Pollution

Ira Leifer, next to an RV he has outfitted with methane sensors and other equipment to sniff the air.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 11:45 am

If you're driving down the road someday and you come across a camper with a 50-foot periscope sticking up into the sky, you just might have crossed paths with Ira Leifer. His quirky vehicle is on a serious mission. It's sniffing the air for methane, a gas that contributes to global warming.

Leifer is an atmospheric scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. But you'll more often find him off campus, in a garage, next to a string of auto body shops near the airport.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Immigration Bill Chugs Along, But Some See Deal-Breakers

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets to work on immigration legislation on May 9.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

It's been a long slog already for the bipartisan immigration overhaul proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight.

The legislation has been the target of more than 300 amendments during days of debate and votes by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But while the bill has largely held its own so far, its prospects for getting through Congress remain uncertain.

In Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy's view, the immigration overhaul is "moving very well."

"It's moving a lot faster than people said it would," says Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

Read more
Parallels
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Afghan Mineral Treasures Stay Buried, Hostages To Uncertainty

An Afghan worker helps excavate part of the mountaintop copper works above the ancient city at Mes Aynak in February. Afghanistan is believed to be sitting on massive mineral and metal deposits. But many obstacles have prevented large-scale mining from getting underway.
Matthew C. Rains MCT/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

For years, reports have suggested that Afghanistan is sitting on massive deposits of copper, gold, iron and rare earth minerals valued up to $3 trillion. This provides hope for a future economy that would not have to rely so heavily on foreign donations.

But with an uncertain political, regulatory and security environment, international investors are hesitant. And it could be many years before Afghanistan begins extracting its mineral wealth.

Read more
Law
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Turning Up The Heat On Civil Rights-Era Cold Cases

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:26 pm

Six years ago, the FBI took on a challenge: To review what it called cold-case killings from the civil rights era. The investigation into 112 cases from the 1950s and 1960s is winding down, and civil rights activists are weighing the FBI's efforts.

The review comes with word this week of the death of a man who'd been named, by a newspaper investigation, as a possible suspect in one notorious case.

The Case

Read more
NPR Story
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

When Alcohol Takes The Wheel: What's Your Limit?

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You can legally drink and drive in the United States, but there's a limit. In every state, drivers can't get behind the wheel if their blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, but the National Transportation Safety Board wants the states to lower the legal limit to .05 or even lower. Now, that would bring the United States into agreement with much of the rest of the world.

Read more
NPR Story
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Sports: Playoffs, Hard Hits, Soccer Kicks

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Host Scott Simon talks to ESPN's Howard Bryant about the NBA playoffs, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper's collision with a wall, and David Beckham's retirement from soccer.

NPR Story
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

What A Week: White House Rattled By Controversy

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There are three simultaneous controversies rattling the Obama administration this week: the IRS, the phone records of the AP reporters, and Benghazi. NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro joins us. Ari, thanks for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

Read more
Media
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Local Story Shows 'Plain Dealer' Prowess, But Future's Murky

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Cleveland story. The escape of three women who were kidnapped and held captive for 10 years has attracted notice around the world. Of course, it's also an all-consuming local story. And the Cleveland Plain Dealer provided continuous coverage along with in-depth profiles of the three women, the neighborhood where they were held captive, and the man who allegedly kidnapped them.

Read more
U.S.
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Prime Challenge Sends Mathematicians On Infinite Search

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A University of New Hampshire professor announced this week he's come close to solving a centuries-old problem proving something called the twin prime conjecture. We asked our math guy - Keith Devlin, of Stanford University - to join us, as he does now from their studios. Keith, thanks very much for being with us.

KEITH DEVLIN: Thanks, Scott. Nice to be with you again.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

'That's That': A Memoir Of Loving And Leaving Northern Ireland

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 9:28 pm

Colin Broderick's first book, Orangutan, told the story of the 20 years — at least, as he could remember it — of being drunk, drug addicted and often desperate struggling to make his way as an Irish immigrant to New York.

Read more
Monkey See
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Working Women On Television: A Mixed Bag At Best

Geena Davis played the president in the 2005 ABC series Commander in Chief. Now, she works on issues involving women in media.
Kent Eanes AP

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 11:33 am

When actress Geena Davis was watching children's shows with her daughter a few years ago, she became so troubled by the lack of female representation, she started a think tank on gender in the media. The Geena Davis Institute recently partnered with University of Southern California professors to conduct a study analyzing gender roles and jobs on screen.

The good news? Prime-time television's pretty decent at depicting women with careers.

Read more

Pages