NPR News

Pages

Asia
4:36 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Seeking A Glimpse Of Immortality In The Waters Of India's Holy Rivers

A Hindu devotee prays after a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati --” during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Sunday.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

The Hindu gathering known as Kumbh Mela is on a scale difficult to fathom: The world's largest religious festival is millions of feet shuffling, millions of mantras chanted, countless sales of firewood to ward off the night cold. Millions of incense sticks will be burned and bells rung in devotional rituals called aartis.

Jet-setting swamis, naked holy men and foreigners fascinated by Eastern mysticism joined tens of millions of pilgrims for a dip in river waters believed to be holy.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:13 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

World's Most Popular Painkiller Raises Heart Attack Risk

The painkiller diclofenac is sold under several brand names in the U.S. and abroad, including Voltaren.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:35 am

The painkiller diclofenac isn't very popular in the U.S., but it's by far the most widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, in the world.

A slew of studies, though, show diclofenac — sold under the brand names Voltaren, Cambia, Cataflam and Zipsor — is just as likely to cause a heart attack as the discredited painkiller Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was pulled from the U.S. market in 2004.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Comcast To Finish Buying NBCUniversal For $16.7 Billion

An NBC store is seen through a window reflecting Rockefeller Center in New York City. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since 2011.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.

NBCUniversal owns several familiar news and entertainment brands, including NBC, CNBC, Universal Pictures, Telemundo, USA Network and Universal Parks and Resorts.

Read more
Politics
3:36 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Live Chat: State Of The Union

A U.S. flag flies Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol, where President Obama will give his annual State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress.
Alex Wong Getty Images

President Obama is expected to put specifics behind the vision he outlined in his inaugural address a few weeks ago. Get live updates from the speech and join NPR journalists in analyzing what it could mean for the future.

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

The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Coast Guard Begins Probe Into Tall Ship's Fatal Sinking

The HMS Bounty replica sails past the Chicago skyline in July 2003.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

A U.S. Coast Guard hearing opens Tuesday to investigate the October sinking of the replica ship HMS Bounty off Cape Hatteras and the deaths of her captain and a crew member as the vessel fought unsuccessfully to outmaneuver Hurricane Sandy.

At issue in the hearings are the actions of the ship's captain, Robin Walbridge, who chose to head out to sea despite the approach of Sandy, one of the largest storms in decades to hit the U.S. East Coast.

Read more
Politics
3:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Obama To Focus On Job Creation, Economic Growth In State Of The Union

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And we turn now to the big political news of the day. In a matter of hours President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress, the first of his second term. Tens of millions of Americans will be watching as the president lays out his agenda and picks up where he left off in his inaugural address last month. He's expected to focus on job creation and talk about how leveling the playing field to give everyone a fair shot will help the economy grow.

Read more
Politics
3:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Congressman Returning After 33 Years Says Congress Works And Cooperates Less Now

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan of Minnesota returned to Congress after more than 30 years away. He talks to Robert Siegel about what's changed.

Politics
3:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Obama's Record On Political Money One Of Ambivalence

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Something that President Obama is not likely to dwell on tonight is the feeble state of campaign finance laws. It was three years ago that he used the State of the Union to challenge the Supreme Court on its Citizens United decision, which encouraged more corporate money in politics. This year, though, he has his own tax-exempt social welfare group backed with corporate contributions to help advance his agenda. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

Read more
Afghanistan
3:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34,000 U.S. Troops From Afghanistan

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The U.S. will bring home 34,000 troops from Afghanistan by this time next year. President Obama is expected to announce the news tonight in his State of the Union address. That will cut the force in half and set the stage for the pullout of most of the remaining U.S. troops by the end of 2014. The drawdown from Afghanistan is just one of several developments today on Capitol Hill that will have a big impact on the Pentagon.

Read more
Sports
3:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Summer Olympics To Drop Wrestling After 2016 Games

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Finally this hour, an unexpected announcement from the world of Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has decided to drop wrestling from the games beginning in 2020. It is a major blow to the sport, which is among the world's oldest. Today, wrestling is represented on every continent. NPR's Mike Pesca reports on fallout from the decision.

Read more
Asia
3:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

China, North Korea's Closest Ally, Joins In Condemnation Of Nuclear Test

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The U.N. Security Council is strongly condemning North Korea's third nuclear test and starting discussions on further measures. China joined in that condemnation, but China is North Korea's indispensible ally and it's an open question whether it will support tougher action. NPR's Frank Langfitt sent this story from Shanghai on China's North Korea problem.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

New York City Ends 30 Year Experiment With 'Don't Honk' Signs

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's evident to anyone who's visited New York City that it is a loud place to live. Also, that much of the noise is caused by frustrated drivers.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HORNS)

SIEGEL: Well, when it comes to honking, New York is making a U-turn. City officials are removing hundreds of don't honk signs from the streets. They say there is no evidence the signs are working. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, others say New York is admitting defeat in the war on noise.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Alleged Calif. Gunman's Fate Unclear After Fire At Cabin

Police patrol a road block on Highway 38 into the Big Bear area where a shoot-out with suspected fugitive Christopher Dorner resulted in the death of one deputy in Angelus Oaks, Calif., on Tuesday.
Michael Nelson EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:55 am

(This post was last updated at 11:13 p.m. ET.)

The Los Angeles Police Department has rejected news reports that a body was discovered at a mountain cabin in California's Big Bear area where the fugitive accused of killing four people had engaged law enforcement in a hours-long standoff.

"Any reports of a body being found are not true," Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference Tuesday night.

He said the cabin was still too hot to enter.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The History Lessons Obama Hopes We'll Learn

President Obama began last year's State of the Union address by recognizing recently returned Iraq War veterans, adding: "At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known." Expect more historical references in Obama's Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress.
Evan Vucci AP

Sometimes the best way to advance an argument is by looking back.

President Obama's second inaugural address was filled with historical allusions. His State of the Union address on Tuesday, which will lay out a long list of agenda items for the year and his second term, is likely to employ fewer references to the past.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:31 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Folic Acid For Pregnant Mothers Cuts Kids' Autism Risk

Despite public health campaigns urging women in the U.S. to take folic acid, many are still not taking the supplements when they become pregnant.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

A common vitamin supplement appears to dramatically reduce a woman's risk of having a child with autism.

A study of more than 85,000 women in Norway found that those who started taking folic acid before getting pregnant were about 40 percent less likely to have a child who developed the disorder, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read more
Asia
2:09 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Did North Korea Test A 'Miniature' Nuclear Bomb?

An official with the Korea Meteorological Administration shows a seismic image of a tremor caused by North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul on Tuesday.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test is much more powerful than the previous two, according to estimates made by instruments that measure seismic waves from the blast. It's about the size of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in World War II.

But it's not so easy to verify the claim that the nuclear explosive has also been miniaturized. That's a critical claim because a small warhead would be essential if the rogue regime chose to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Big bombs are easier to make, but they aren't all that useful as a threat.

Read more
The Salt
2:02 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

What To Serve At A State Of The Union Party: 'Sour Grapes And Whine'

For your State of the Union address nibbling pleasure, how about some American cheese?
Courtesy of Esteban Pulido

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Plenty of people are ready to offer advice on noshing options when it comes to the Super Bowl. But what do you serve when the occasion for gathering in front of our screens is President Obama's State of the Union address?

When NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro posed that question to his 125,000 Facebook followers earlier Tuesday, plenty of people jumped at the chance to toss off a bon mot.* Among our favorites:

Read more
The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'The Street Parade Of Life:' Mardi Gras Rolls On Despite Rain Threat

A reveler shows off his mask during the Krewe of Okeanos parade in New Orleans on Feb. 10, 2013.
Gerald Herbert AP

There was a threat of rain in New Orleans, today. But revelry doesn't stop for dark clouds.

In fact, as The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, "this weather actually is perfect" was a refrain repeated over and over:

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:54 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Song Premiere: Take A 'Tofutti' Break With A Wonderful Oddball

The Heligoats.
Courtesy of the artist

In concerts, The Heligoats' Chris Otepka spends a good deal of time explaining his songs, often introducing them with strange, funny, byzantine stories that somehow serve as functional explanations for the words he's about to sing.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Rosa Parks Statue, Capitol's First Of African-American Woman, To Be Dedicated

Rosa Parks in June 1999, when she was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal.
William Philpott Reuters /Landov

The late civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who broke racial barriers in 1955 when she would not move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., will be posthumously part of another barrier-breaking moment on Feb. 27.

The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Tuesday that a statue of Parks will be dedicated that day in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Esquire Story On Bin Laden 'Shooter' Sparks Debate About Veterans' Benefits

Young Pakistani boys play near demolition works while Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan is demolished.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

With an excerpt of a 15,000 word story on the SEAL who allegedly killed Osama bin Laden, Esquire magazine has sparked a whole lot of debate on the kinds of benefits afforded to military veterans.

Read more
Planet Money
1:12 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The Jobs With The Biggest (And Smallest) Pay Gaps Between Men And Women

Kathryn Gilles, a new registered nurse at Sutter Memorial Hospital, in Sacramento, Calif., puts information into a patient's chart under the supervision of her mentor, Eileen Anderson, R.N., BSN.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:31 pm

Women are paid significantly less, on average, than men — even when they're doing the same jobs. But the gap varies dramatically for workers in different jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics sent us some data on how much women made in comparison to their male counterparts in hundreds of different jobs; here are the jobs where the wage gap is smallest, and those where the gap is biggest. The gap is based on comparisons of full-time workers.

Read more
All Tech Considered
1:09 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

This App Uses The Power Of You To Report The Weather

map shows data reported by users of the mPING app during Friday's blizzard in the Northeast." href="/post/app-uses-power-you-report-weather" class="noexit lightbox">
This map shows data reported by users of the mPING app during Friday's blizzard in the Northeast.
The PING Project

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

If you love to talk about the weather — or want to help collect information about it — a new smartphone app may be for you.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Heart Attack Grill' Greeter Dies After Heart Attack

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:22 pm

Two customers' collapses last year didn't seem to faze fans of Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill.

Read more
National Security
12:55 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The Sticky Questions Surrounding Drones And Kill Lists

A French military drone takes off in December 2010 from a U.S. airbase in Bagram, Afghanistan.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:17 pm

New York Times reporter Scott Shane and colleague Jo Becker reported last year that the Obama administration has a list of terrorists targeted for drone attacks, and that the president personally approves such strikes.

The administration has been trying to keep details of its drone program under wraps, arguing that to make it public could threaten national security. Shane has reported numerous such stories.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Syrian Rebels Take Air Base, Dam In Northern Syria

Syrian rebels say they captured an important military air base in northern Syria on Tuesday. Here, rebels sit behind an anti-aircraft weapon in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday.
Abdullah al-Yassin AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:41 pm

After weeks of relatively little movement in the Syrian war, rebel forces have claimed two significant advances in northern Syria in the past two days.

They said they seized the military's Jarrah air base on Tuesday in the northern province of Aleppo after days of clashes with government troops.

Read more
Sports
12:01 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Sports Fixing: When Gambling And The Game Collide

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. If you walk into any clubhouse in organized baseball, from Yankee Stadium to a rookie-league park, you'll see a large poster that specifies the prohibitions against gambling, and they'll specify the penalty. There is only one: a lifetime ban.

Read more
U.S.
12:01 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Looming Cuts Could Mean Big Changes For U.S. Military

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. If no budget deal is reached by March 1st, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester kick in. And that includes the defense budget, which accounts for roughly 20 percent of federal spending.

Read more
World
12:01 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

World's Eyes On China After North Korean Nuclear Test

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue February 12, 2013

'Zombie Alert' Also Aired In Michigan; Hacking Traced To Overseas Source

OK, we're pretty sure this isn't real. (A 1012 Halloween-related festival in Georgia.)
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 12:07 pm

Read more

Pages