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Kitchen Window
11:54 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

In Praise Of The Humble Lentil

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:01 am

The year I discovered lentils, I was broke and lonely and didn't know how to cook. Lentils, it turned out, would have gone a long way toward providing the solution to some of these problems. However, when I first had them, they were a mystery.

They also were the cheapest thing on the menu at the Middle Eastern deli around the corner. The dish was mudardara, I was told. "What's that again?" I said, unable to untangle the knot of plosive consonants. It was repeated.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Dear College Presidents: Break The NCAA's Vise Grip On Athletes

Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

The great social quest in American sport is to have one prominent, active, gay male athlete step forward and identify himself.

But I have a similar quest. I seek one prominent college president to say to her trustees or to the other presidents in his conference: "The NCAA is a sham and disgrace. Let's get out of it."

We know those presidents who disdain the NCAA are out there, but, alas, none dare speak the words that will break the evil spell.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Apple Agrees To Hand Out $100 Million In iTunes Credits To Settle Lawsuit

People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 7:45 am

Apple has agreed to give out more than $100 million in iTunes store credits to settle a lawsuit that alleged it was allowing children to make in-app purchases without the consent of their parents.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
4:14 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Advocates Warn Sequester Could Mean Big Cuts For The Low-Income

A nutrition specialist prepares a Meals on Wheels delivery in upstate New York. The national organization says the sequester could mean significant cuts in the number of meals they serve to homebound seniors.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Many programs affecting low-income Americans — like food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — are exempt from across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect March 1.

But many other programs are not, and that has service providers scrambling to figure out how the budget stalemate in Washington might affect those who rely on government aid.

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Shots - Health News
4:13 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Should You Fear The 'July Effect' Of First-Time Doctors At Hospitals?

It's unlikely that July patients are paying for residents' inexperience with their lives.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:59 pm

It's an old joke, repeated every year around nurses' stations, examination rooms, and operating theaters: Whatever you do, don't get sick in July.

That's when hundreds of just-graduated medical students begin their residencies. The logic goes that, come summer, you're all but guaranteed to be treated by a novice physician, especially in teaching hospitals. Better to wait a few months, until the new docs have settled in a bit, to be seen about that suspicious lump.

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The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Because Of Budget Cuts, U.S. Releases Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrants

Karnes County Detention Center in Karnes City, Texas.
ICE

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:37 pm

The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) says it released several hundred detainees in an effort to prepare for the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1. More people may be released in the coming days.

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It's All Politics
3:35 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

A supporter of the Voting Rights Act attends a rally Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:47 pm

The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history rival those of whites.

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Middle East
3:27 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Demonstrators In West Bank Protest Imprisonment Of Palestinians

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It was another day of protest in the West Bank. Palestinians are demanding the release of prisoners held in Israeli jails after one prisoner died on Saturday. NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF YELLING)

LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Outside Ofer Prison in the occupied West Bank, young men play cat and mouse with Israeli troops. They get as close as they dare, shoot a few rocks with slingshots, then retreat when the Israelis shoot tear gas canisters.

(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLOSION)

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Immigration Officials Release Detainees Ahead Of Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Ted Robbins about reaction to the Obama administration's decision to release immigrant detainees. The move was attributed to budget cuts.

Law
3:25 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Supreme Court Makes It Harder To Challenge Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

U.S. Supreme Court Police officers stand on the steps in front of the court building in November.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:48 pm

A sharply divided Supreme Court has made it practically impossible for American citizens to challenge the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Most Republicans Who Signed Support For Same-Sex Marriage Aren't In Office

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Next month, the Supreme Court will take up a highly anticipated challenge to California's Prop 8, the ban on gay marriage. Today, a group of prominent Republicans weighed in with a legal brief opposing the ban. That puts them at odds with their party's position. But as NPR's Don Gonyea reports, it puts them in line with public opinion.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Can U.S. Embassies Be Safe Without Being Unsightly?

The U.S. Embassy in central London in 2009.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.

Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."

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Economy
3:21 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Despite Its Flaws, There's Money In Measuring Consumer Confidence

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Despite warnings from Washington about looming budget cuts, Americans seem to be feeling better about the economy. Earlier today, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence spiked upwards this month. We hear this number and others like it reported all the time and that got us wondering: What does it mean to put a number to the concept of consumer confidence, a number like this month's, 69.6.

We're going to put that question to Adam Davidson from our Planet Money team.

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Middle East
3:20 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

International Negotiations Continue Over Iran's Nuclear Program

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Another round of negotiations on Iran's suspect nuclear program got underway Tuesday in the Kazakhstani city of Almaty. Iran's envoys are pushing for relief from a vast array of economic sanctions while the U.S. and its partners in the so-called P-5 plus Germany are looking for signs that Tehran is prepared to roll back its nuclear program.

Politics
3:19 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

House Makes Little Movement Toward Avoiding Automatic Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

With automatic spending cuts totaling $85 billion scheduled to start Friday, Congressional leaders and President Obama continued maneuvering to avoid the political fallout. Melissa Block talks to Tamara Keith about the state of play and has details from a poll that suggests that Americans want to cut the deficit, but only in the abstract.

Politics
3:18 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Obama Tries To Build Public Pressure On Congress Over Looming Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Tick-tock goes the sequester clock. Three more days until automatic across-the-board spending cuts kick in. And today, President Obama was once again on the road trying to build public pressure on Congress to delay or replace the cuts. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson begins our coverage.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

GM Denies Asking For $2.1 Million Pay Raise For CEO Dan Akerson

General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

General Motors Co. said today that its Chief Executive Dan Akerson will not take a pay raise this year.

Documents filed with the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform showed that GM was asking the U.S. government to OK a $2.1 million raise for Akerson. The government still owns part of GM and when the automaker took a $49.5 billion bailout, it agreed to have executive pay approved by government.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:45 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

The Operatic Potential Of DSK, A Modern Don Giovanni

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court in Paris Tuesday after attending a hearing regarding his seizure request for a new book by Argentinian-born Marcela Iacub detailing their liason.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

If I wrote operas, my next work would be called DSKNY. That's a snazzy abbreviation for Dominique Strauss-Kahn New York. The idea came last night when colleagues invited me for cocktails at the Sofitel Hotel, the site of DSK's alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011, and the beginning of his fall from grace.

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The Salt
2:27 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Family Dinner: Treasured Tradition Or Bygone Ideal?

From left: 8-year-old Celedonia, 3-year-old Gavin, Amy Spencer and Doug Brown gather around the kitchen as Doug prepares a fruit salad for dinner.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:06 pm

When we asked you (via our Facebook page) to tell us about the weekday challenges your families face, given the competing demands of work, commutes, schoolwork and activities, you didn't hold back. Especially on the subject of squeezing in a family dinner.

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The Record
2:25 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

A Tiny Bit Of Good News For The Record Industry

Stacking coins, not paper.
istockphoto.com

There's reason to be optimistic about the market for recorded music around the world, according to a new report released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. For the first time since 1999, the report says, the global trade value for the recorded music industry (a slightly vague/confusing term for record sales) went up last year by about 0.3 percent.

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Middle East
2:08 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Sanctions Bite, But Iran Shows No Signs Of Budging

An Iranian woman shops at a supermarket in the capital, Tehran, on Feb. 22. International sanctions have hurt Iran's economy, but prospects for a breakthrough on Iran's nuclear program are dim as negotiators meet in Kazakhstan.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:31 am

A new round of international talks on Iran's nuclear program is under way in Kazakhstan, where the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are asking Iran to give up any thought of building a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from sanctions.

Western leaders do not predict a breakthrough, but they say small steps could be taken that would increase confidence on both sides.

Still, it's hard to imagine how such negotiations could proceed with lower expectations for progress.

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All Tech Considered
2:00 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Is There Room For Smartphones Beyond Android And iOS?

Smartphones based on Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system, are expected in 2014.
Canonical

Between them, Google Android and Apple's iOS account for more than 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, with Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a few smaller players rounding out the mobile market. But the tech world never stands still and other players are making a run for a piece of the growing mobile pie.

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Shots - Health News
1:50 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Anesthesia Care And Web-Surfing May Not Mix, Nurses Say

Distraction is a well-known safety issue in the OR, but there's been very little research on whether smartphones are contributing to the problem.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:48 pm

The next time you're being wheeled into the operating room, you might want to ask the medical professionals there to lay off the eBay and Twitter apps on their phones.

That's the word from the nation's nurse anesthetists, who just came out with a new policy urging OR staff to use their smartphones for the practice of medicine, not Facebooking.

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Music News
1:41 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Women Of Grunge Reclaim Rock History In 'These Streets'

Ron Nine, Mitch Ebert, Eden Schwartz, Fiia McGann and Gretta Harley perform in These Streets, a new play based on a series of interviews with Seattle musicians.
Courtesy of These Streets

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Gretta Harley arrived in Seattle in 1990, when grunge was redefining the city. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were turning Seattle into the epicenter of the music world. Harley was a punk rock guitarist searching for her tribe, and in Seattle's thriving music scene, she found it.

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Politics
1:41 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

It's A Trap! 4 Possible Presidential Pitfalls

U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower relaxes at the 18th hole during a golf game in Newport, R.I., Sept. 10, 1957.
Henry Burroughs AP

You are Barack Obama and you find yourself hacking away in the weeds of sequestration — and some frustration. What's going on?

After all, you won a second term as President of the United States. You withstood the hooks and slices of a nasty campaign. Your approval rating is on the rise. Over President's Day weekend you played golf with Tiger Woods. For an American politician, it probably doesn't get any better than this.

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All Songs Considered
1:39 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

First Watch: The Zolas, 'Escape Artist'

Courtesy of the artist

In "Escape Artist," the new video from Canadian pop duo The Zolas, the band plays around with audience expectations about race, culture and sexuality. As frontman Zach Gray sings about his mysterious alter ego, a group of kids kick around their neighborhood, playing basketball, chatting up girls and passing the hours. One of them clearly feels like an outsider.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Liberal SuperPAC Under Fire For Tweets About McConnell's 'Chinese' Wife

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife Elaine Chao at last summer's Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Mike Thelier UPI /Landov

From NPR member station WFPL:

"A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's wife.

"For months, the liberal superPAC Progress Kentucky has attacked McConnell and held demonstrations at his offices and home.

"Recently, the group turned its attention to McConnell's wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Pastagate: Quebec Agency Criticized For Targeting Foreign Words On Menus

In Quebec, a restaurant's use of the word "pasta" on its menu sparked a government agency into action. Officials who enforce rules that guard French as the official language now say "exotic" words can be allowed in some cases.
Timothy Hiatt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:15 pm

A government agency in Quebec, Canada, has come under intense criticism after attempting to get pasta stricken from a restaurant's menu. The move had nothing to do with the food: Officials said Italian words such as pasta, calamari, and antipasto should be replaced with French words to conform with the law.

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Commentary
1:05 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Historical Vocab: When We Get It Wrong, Does It Matter?

Linguist Geoff Nunberg finds that in the film Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner oscillates between old and modern meanings of "equality."
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:12 pm

Has there ever been an age that was so grudging about suspending its disbelief? The groundlings at the Globe Theatre didn't giggle when Shakespeare had a clock chime in Julius Caesar. The Victorians didn't take Dickens to task for having the characters in A Tale of Two Cities ride the Dover mail coach 10 years before it was established. But Shakespeare and Dickens weren't writing in the age of the Internet, when every historical detail is scrutinized for chronological correctness, and when no "Gotcha!" remains unposted for long.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

John Kerry To German Students: Americans Have 'Right To Be Stupid'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:58 pm

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