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Europe
7:41 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Museum-Goers Strip Down To View Nude Exhibit

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. An exhibit in a Vienna Museum titled "Nude Men From 1800 to the Present Day" drew a group of 60 present-day men who stripped down to view it. It was a special after-hours tour; they viewed the exhibition in nothing but socks and shoes. The tour guide was dressed. One of the men who viewed the art in his birthday suit first saw it while clothed. He said it's perfect to see naked men as a naked man. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
7:41 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Italy Edges Out Election Pollsters

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Italy is trying to keep pollsters from influencing the outcome of an approaching election. Pollsters still do surveys for private clients, but are banned from publishing results. Some websites have found coded ways to report surveys. A gambling site reports polls disguised as fake horse racing results, with horses named after political parties. Another site offers fake cardinals supposedly contending to be pope.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:53 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Single-Family Housing Starts Edged Up In January

Going up: A construction worker at a housing development in San Mateo, Calif., in June 2012.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Work was begun on 0.8 percent more single-family homes in January than had been started the month before, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

And the number of single-family starts was up 20 percent from January 2012.

A 26.1 percent drop in starts, from December to January, on construction of apartment buildings and other multi-family homes dampened the news somewhat.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Wed February 20, 2013

'It Felt Like An Earthquake': One Still Missing After Kansas City Explosion

Fire fighters and utility workers at the scene of a massive gas explosion and fire Tuesday night in Kansas City, Mo.
Orlin Wagner AP

"It sounded like thunder, but it felt like an earthquake," Tracey Truitt, a lawyer who was working in a nearby building, tells the Kansas City Star about an explosion Tuesday evening that leveled a restaurant in the city's Country Club Plaza.

At least 16 people were injured and as of early this morning one person remained missing, the Star says.

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Favorite Sessions
6:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

KCRW Presents: Jose James

Jose James performs before a live audience for KCRW.
KCRW

Watching Jose James perform live was one of the most remarkable experiences we've had at our intimate in-studio sessions.

The soulful jazz singer blends his powerful vocals with hip-hop beats, smooth R&B choruses and an equally talented backing band. You'll never hear James' songs the same way again after hearing them live.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Pistorius's Story Challenged: Witness Heard Screams And Shots, Police Say

South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius in a Pretoria court Wednesday.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:41 am

A neighbor has told investigators that he heard "gunshots ... a female screaming two-three times, then more gunshots" coming from the South African home of Oscar Pistorius in the early morning hours of Feb. 14, a police officer testified Wednesday at a bail hearing for the Olympic and Paralympic athlete.

The witness has also told investigators about "non-stop talking" and sounds "like fighting" coming from Pistorius's home between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Undercurrents Of Unease In Kasischke's 'Stranger'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:18 am

As writers churn out novels about zombies and the apocalypse — books that portray our shared anxieties about the early 21st century — Laura Kasischke's first collection of stories, If a Stranger Approaches You, describes a world haunted, not by the undead, but by the phantoms of unemployment, increased airport security and missed credit card payments. The signature confluence between realism and the uncanny found in much of Kasischke's writing, both as poet and novelist, makes this book an important addition to her own body of work and to the contemporary literature of end times.

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Books
5:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Beyond Visible: LGBT Characters In Graphic Novels

The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio, was one of the first Japanese comics to deal with same-sex relationships.
Fantagraphics

OK, yes: To gay comics fans like me, DC Comics' decision to hire an anti-gay activist like Orson Scott Card to write Superman — an iconic character who exists to represent humanity's noblest ideals of justice and compassion — is deeply dispiriting.

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The Two-Way
4:58 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Book News: Hilary Mantel Gets A Sales Boost After Kate Middleton Controversy

Hilary Mantel accepts the Costa Book Of The Year award in January.
Stuart Wilson Getty Images

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

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Politics
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Where Does Overhauling Immigration Stand?

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bipartisan groups and lawmakers are working together on another issue: Immigration. Yesterday, the president spoke with several senators involved in negotiations on that issue. But, at the same time, some senators criticized the White House for drafting its own plan for changing immigration laws.

We're going to talk through this subject with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. She's on the line.

Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

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Politics
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Automatic Spending Cut Would Cause 'Hardship' For People

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Business
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Law Change Makes It Harder To Unlock Cellphones

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Maybe you don't like your mobile phone carrier, but you like your phone and you want to keep it but change providers. An obscure change in federal law makes it illegal to switch without permission from your carrier.

If you have, for example, AT&T, in order to switch to T-Mobile you have to unlock the phone, and AT&T can now stop you from doing that.

The change in the copyright law has some people upset, and they're petitioning the White House for a fix.

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Business
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In its quest to stem its losses, the U.S. Postal Service is venturing into new territory. We are you know, of course, it plans to end certain Saturday mail service to trim costs. But the USPS is also looking into a new revenue stream, which is today's last word in business: fashionable delivery.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Middle East
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

'Prisoner X' Raises Questions About Israel's Secrecy

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 6:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Israel the case of Prisoner X is raising new questions about secrecy and censorship. A Mossad agent by the name of Ben Zygier faced secret charges three years ago, was jailed under a false name and committed suicide in prison. From Jerusalem, NPR's Larry Abramson has a story that until recently was kept secret by military censors.

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Sports
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Oscar Pristorius Faces Another Court Hearing

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne, with Steve Inskeep.

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Business
4:30 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a jumbo raise.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: A new regulatory filing by Bank of America shows its CEO received quite a raise last year. Brian Moynihan got nearly a 75 percent increase in 2012 - a pay package valued at more than $12 million. The previous year he was paid a measly $7 million.

B of A's stock has been performing well, but analysts say the bank still faces issues from the financial crisis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:30 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Boeing's Tech Workers Vote To Authorize Strke

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Boeing has won a partial victory in a contract dispute with its engineering union, and that reduces the odds of a strike, as Ashley Gross of member station KPLU in Seattle reports.

ASHLEY GROSS, BYLINE: The engineering union covers two sets of workers - salaried engineers and hourly technical workers. The engineers voted to accept Boeing's final offer. The technical workers rejected it and authorized a strike.

They'll negotiate again before a walkout, but that split vote puts union leaders like Tom McCarty in a tough position.

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Health
4:30 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Being Obese Can Weigh On Employees' Insurance

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As Yuki just reported, employers are looking very closely at using carrots and sticks to get workers to change their unhealthy ways. Let's learn more now about that provision in the health care law which allows employers to put in place wellness programs aimed at improving health and managing health care costs. Morgan Downey is an advocate for people with obesity. He's also the editor of the Downey Obesity Report.

Thanks for joining us.

MORGAN DOWNEY: Not at all. It's my pleasure.

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Middle East
4:30 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Iran's Presidential Election Could Interfere With Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama's re-election briefly raised hopes that in a second term the U.S. might be able to engage with Iran, possibly even direct talks between the two countries. Then, harsher rhetoric set in, and now a less ambitious round of talks involving several countries is set to get underway. Iran has long been under pressure over its nuclear program which Western nations suspect is aimed at creating nuclear weapons.

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Monkey See
3:34 am
Wed February 20, 2013

From Louisiana To Versailles, Funding 'Vital Stories, Artfully Told'

Cinereach aims to support films that tell stories from underrepresented perspectives. The Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild was one of those films.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:01 pm

The movie Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fairy tale of a film. It might not seem to have much in common with documentaries about evangelical Christians in Uganda or the billionaire Koch brothers. But these films were all funded by a not-for-profit group called Cinereach. It was started by a couple of film school graduates who are still in their 20s. And now, with Beasts, it has a nomination for Best Picture at this year's Oscars.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:08 am
Wed February 20, 2013

When A Bad Economy Means Working 'Forever'

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The recession put a dent in Sims-Wood's savings, and she expects she'll have to stay in the workforce "forever."
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 6:34 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Money Replaces Willpower In Programs Promoting Weight Loss

Peggy Renzi (middle) talks with her teammates Erika Hersey (left) and Erica Webster. The three are part of a team of nurses in the Bowie Health Center emergency room in Bowie, Md., who are working together to lose weight.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:23 pm

Sticking to a diet is a challenge for many people, but starting next year, Americans may have an even bigger, financial incentive to keep their weight in check. The new health care law includes a provision that would allow employers with more than 50 employees to require overweight workers who do not exercise to pay more to cover their insurance costs.

Some employers, inspired in part by the success of shows like The Biggest Loser, are already designing weight-loss programs that use money to succeed where willpower has failed.

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All Tech Considered
1:04 am
Wed February 20, 2013

In New York, Taxi Apps Raise Objections From Competitors

New York City rules will soon permit yellow cab drivers to accept rides through smartphone apps.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:56 am

Even people who've never been to New York can tell you how to hail one of the iconic yellow cabs there. You just raise an arm and flag one down.

But the city wants to change that. Following the lead of cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C., New York wants to permit passengers to use smartphone apps to find a cab.

Since Mayor La Guardia established New York's modern taxi system in 1937, there have been two big innovations in cab hailing: the whistle and the red light bulb on top of apartment building awnings.

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Asia
1:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Controversial Cleric Stirs Protests Upon Return To Pakistan

Pakistani Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri (center), speaks to a crowd from a bulletproof box in Islamabad in January. The cleric recently returned to Pakistan after years in Canada, and his calls for an end to corruption have brought supporters to the streets in large numbers.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 6:34 pm

In Pakistan, a controversial Muslim cleric has been shaking up the political scene.

Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri returned to his home country late last year, after spending eight years in Canada. Since coming back, he has ignited a disgruntled electorate and has left many people wondering what exactly his plans are.

On a recent day, a lively drum band wandered among a crowd of about 15,000 Pakistanis gathered in the eastern city of Faisalabad for a rally organized by Qadri.

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Kitchen Window
11:56 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Be Prepared: Girl Scout Cookie Cooking May Surprise You

Doreen McCallister/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:44 pm

I'm not the first to develop recipes using Girl Scout cookies. About 20 years ago, I saw an article in a newspaper using Girl Scout cookies to make cakes. I made one of the recipes, and it came out almost as pretty as the paper's picture, and it tasted really good.

I was hooked. But before I could get started in the kitchen baking and cooking with Girl Scout cookies, I had a hurdle to get over. I had to decide whether I wanted to eat the cookies I ordered shortly after I received them — or delay gratification and experiment with them. It was a tough choice.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Reminders Flood In: Athletes Are People, Not Heroes

Oscar Pistorius, seen here winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, faces charges that he murdered his girlfriend. Pistorius also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:08 pm

These have certainly been dispiriting times for those who admire athletes, who proclaim that sports build character. The horrendous shooting by Oscar Pistorius is of course, in a category mercifully unapproached since the O.J. Simpson case, but the Whole Earth Catalog of recent examples of athletic character-building is certainly noteworthy.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

How The Sequester Could Affect Health Care

On Tuesday, President Obama urged congressional action to prevent automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:56 pm

It's looking increasingly likely that $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts known as a sequester will come to pass if Congress doesn't act by March 1.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Booker-Winning Author's Remarks About Kate Middleton Play Out In U.K. Media

The Duchess of Cambridge receives a bouquet of flowers, as she leaves after a visit to Hope House in London on Tuesday. The former Kate Middleton appeared unaffected by the controversy surrounding remarks made by author Hilary Mantel.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:05 pm

Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel is facing criticism over remarks about the former Kate Middleton in a recent speech.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

After Snafu, Mississippi Ratifies Amendment Abolishing Slavery

The actor Daniel Day-Lewis in the film Lincoln.
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:24 pm

The movie Lincoln inspired a Mississippi citizen to push the state to correct a clerical error that kept the state from officially ratifying the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

NPR's Debbie Elliott sent this report to our Newscast unit:

"In 1865, Mississippi was among the states that rejected the 13th amendment. But in 1995 lawmakers voted to change that. Problem was the state never sent official word to the U.S. archivist, so the ratification was never recorded.

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