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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Thu August 15, 2013

2013 Wildfire Season Proving To Be More Mild Than Wild

Firefighters battle a wildfire earlier this month in Cabazon, Calif.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:31 pm

With 15,000 firefighters deployed and three dozen major wildfires currently burning in five Western states, this would seem to be a wildfire season for the record books. And in one tragic aspect, it is. But by most measures, 2013 is the second-mildest fire season in the past decade ... so far.

Here's the season to date, by the numbers (provided by the National Interagency Fire Center) and with some historic statistics for comparison.

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Parallels
11:05 am
Thu August 15, 2013

A Syrian Village Surrounded By Civil War

Rebels hold the central Syrian region of Al Houleh, but the area is surrounded by government troops. Supplies have to be smuggled in, like these fruits and vegetables that are being transported across Houleh Lake.
Rasha Elass

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:35 am

Before Syria's civil war, Al Houleh was a small, quiet farming region to the north of Homs. But a massacre last year, blamed on government loyalists, left several dozen villagers dead.

Since then, the Al Houleh region has become rebel-held territory, and government troops are choking it. Trapped in the siege are several hundred civilians, all of them related to the rebels.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Viking's Choice: Violins Swarm In SubRosa's Heavy 'Dead Empire'

SubRosa.
Brandon Garcia Courtesy of the artist

Doom is as doom does. No matter how many sub-sub genre tags you put on it — blackened, atmospheric, sludge, bedazzled (okay, I made that up, but what if) — all descend from Black Sabbath. But you knew that. Doom thrives on repetition, in both its riffs and its tributes. The Salt Lake City doom-metal band SubRosa isn't out to reinvent the stone wheel, but it does offer a unique perspective by looking back to America's melancholic folk roots for something darker and more soulful.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

What's Up With That, Doc? Researchers Make Bunnies Glow

Those are bright bunnies. (The photo shows the two that have the "glowing gene," along with their siblings.)
University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 11:44 am

Like cats and other animals before them, a couple of rabbits are now among the animals that have been genetically manipulated so that they glow green under a black light.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Thu August 15, 2013

'Mature' Galaxies Around Not Long After Big Bang, Study Says

Chart showing galaxy formation 11 billion years ago.
ESA/Hubble

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:42 pm

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to peer some 11 billion light-years into space and as many years back in time have seen something they didn't expect: fully formed galaxies when the universe was still quite young.

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The Salt
10:18 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Even Carnivores Are Putting More Fake Meat On Their Plates

Burger King's veggie burger is among the many meat substitute options on the market.
NPR

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 11:34 am

From Bill Gates to Google's Sergei Brin, influential investors are putting their money where their mouth is. The pet cause of the tech world, it seems, is the need to find good-tasting substitutes to conventional animal products, like chicken-less eggs or in vitro beef, to avert environmental crisis from rising consumption.

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Beauty Shop
10:13 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Snooty Swiss Saleswoman Equals Racism?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we head to Barbados for a twisted family tale that spans centuries. "Sugar in the Blood" is the latest in our summer island read series. More on that in just a few minutes. But first, a visit to the beauty shop. That's where our panel of female commentators and journalists get a fresh cut on the week's news.

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Books
10:08 am
Thu August 15, 2013

A Family Tree That Includes Slaves — And Slave Owners

Andrea Stuart is also the author of The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon's Josephine.
Clara Molden Camera Press Redux

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:15 pm

Part of our summer reading series Island Reads, highlighting authors from the Caribbean

Andrea Stuart was curious about her family's history in Barbados. And through years of careful research, she found that her bloodline includes both slave owners and slaves. She has written about her own family, as well as a detailed history of slavery in the Caribbean, in her book Sugar in the Blood. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Stuart about her family history, the moral complexity of slavery and finding roots in the past.

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World
10:08 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Is Democracy Finished In Egypt?

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:33 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. We start today in Egypt. Hundreds of people are dead. Thousands more are injured there. That's after the military staged an assault on the camps of protesters, targeting specifically the supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The military now has the country on lockdown and has declared a state of emergency, but members of the Muslim Brotherhood vow to continue protesting until Morsi is reinstated.

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The Picture Show
10:03 am
Thu August 15, 2013

How To Draw Out Your Worst Fears

Pat, 66, fears losing her memory.
Courtesy of Julie Elman

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 12:25 pm

A few years ago, Julie Elman, an associate professor at Ohio University, was stuck in a creative rut. As a design educator and illustrator, most of her work was done on the computer. She wanted to begin a tangible project — remember those? — but didn't really know where to start.

Then she realized there was one emotion she was strangely preoccupied with: fear. "I thought fears would go away as we get older," she remembers thinking. "I'm in my 50s. Why do I still have fears?"

And that is how The Fear Project was born.

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Middle East
9:40 am
Thu August 15, 2013

U.S. Cancels Military Exercise With Egypt Amid Crackdown

President Obama announced the cancellation of a joint military exercise with Egypt in the wake of that country's military government crackdown on protesters. At least 500 were killed in those skirmishes, including 40 police. For more, David Greene speaks with NPR's Scott Horsley.

The Salt
8:57 am
Thu August 15, 2013

If You Liked That Wine, You Should've Put A Ring On It

Not just for single ladies:
Courtesy of Remy Martin

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 1:53 pm

Oh, Beyonce would be so proud.

Blurring the lines between jewelry and glassware, a Turkish art student has designed a set of rings made specifically for sniffing and sipping Remy Martin cognac and other adult beverages.

One ring perches a petite wineglass upon your finger. Another is a miniature snifter, attached to your hand — so you'll always be ready if you stumble upon some Robin Thicke limited edition V.S.O.P.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Pine Ridge Reservation Lifts Century-Old Alcohol Ban

A sign on a building in Whiteclay, Neb., urging Pine Ridge Indian Reservation residents to approve the legalization of alcohol sales.
Carson Walker AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 10:25 am

Native Americans at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota have voted to overturn a more than century-old ban on alcohol in a decision that critics say will spur an increase in already high rates of domestic abuse, suicide and infant mortality.

Tribe members finalized the vote count Wednesday: 1,871 for legalization and 1,679 against.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Obama 'Strongly Condemns' Crackdown In Egypt

President Obama, speaking Thursday from the island of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., said the U.S. has canceled joint military exercises with Egypt.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:05 pm

"The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government" that have led to civilians "being killed in the streets," President Obama said Thursday from Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where he is vacationing with his family.

He called on Egypt's interim government to lift the state of emergency it has declared and said the U.S. has canceled joint military exercises with Egypt that had been scheduled for September.

"Our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets," Obama said.

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Business
8:36 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Can Paula Deen Recover (And Who Really Pays If She Doesn't)?

In better times — just last year — Paula Deen promoted a new line of furniture. While Universal Furniture International said in July it will continue to market the Paula Deen Home Collection, several other endorsers have dropped Paula Deen products.
Joshua Gunter The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 10:10 am

Paula Deen might have a hard time recovering.

The other day, a judge threw out charges of racial discrimination filed against the celebrity chef. That made sense, since the person suing Deen is white.

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Shots - Health News
8:01 am
Thu August 15, 2013

A Safety Checklist To Save Teen Athletes' Lives

Ray Copeland, a football coach at Bishop McGuinness High School, puts his players through a workout in Oklahoma City in 2007. As is often the case in much of the U.S., the first day of high school football practice that year began in a heat wave.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:03 am

For all the benefits of exercise and teamwork to the heart and head, high school athletes still lead the nation in athletics-related deaths. And it doesn't have to be that way, sports medicine specialists say.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu August 15, 2013

James Bond Parachutist At London Olympics Dies In Accident

Stuntman Mark Sutton, doubling for actor Daniel Craig (or, as James Bond) during the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics last summer.
Ian Langsdon EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:41 pm

"The stuntman who parachuted into the London 2012 opening ceremony as James Bond has been killed in an accident," the BBC reports. "Mark Sutton, 42, from Surrey, died Wednesday while wingsuit flying near Martigny, Switzerland. Swiss police investigating the Briton's death said it appeared he had died after crashing into a ridge of rock."

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Wal-Mart Blames Economy And Payroll Taxes For Slowed Earnings

Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Wal-Mart is blaming depressed demand amid a still-shaky economy and a rise in payroll taxes for disappointing earnings in the quarter ending July 31.

The world's largest retailer said Thursday that its net income rose to $4.07 billion, barely above the $4.02 billion it earned in the same quarter last year.

According to Reuters, sales at U.S. stores that have been open for at least one year fell 0.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Jobless Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Level

The scene at a career fair held by the National Urban League last month in Philadelphia.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 8:37 am

There were 320,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Not only is that 15,000 fewer than had been filed the week before, it's also the lowest number for any single week since before the U.S. economy officially slipped into its most recent recession, in December 2007.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Thu August 15, 2013

VIDEO: 'Sideways Rocket Hop' By SpaceX Prototype

The "Grasshopper" during its hop into the air.
SpaceX

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 11:50 am

The engineers at SpaceX this week successfully launched a 10-story rocket to an altitude of about 800 feet, moved it about 330 feet sideways and then brought the "Grasshopper" back down to its landing pad.

Check out the video.

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Book News: Slam Poet's 'OCD' Love Poem Makes Waves

Neil Hilborn performs "OCD" at the 2013 Rustbelt Poetry Slam.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:48 am

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

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Gingrich: Most GOP Lawmakers Have 'Zero' Ideas On Health Care

Republicans need to pitch their own ideas on healthcare, not just object to the president's, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:47 am

Look your Republican member of Congress in the eye and ask, "What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?"

In most cases, says former House speaker and past Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich, "they will have zero answer."

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu August 15, 2013

'Snow Hunters': A Beautiful Debut Novel Grounded In History

On the second page of his debut novel Snow Hunters, Paul Yoon vividly depicts the last moments before his protagonist Yohan is liberated from a prisoner of war camp on the Korean peninsula, "where there was always a wind that carried the smell of soil and sickness" from the animals at a nearby farm. Yohan is about to catch a boat to Brazil and start a new life as a Japanese tailor's apprentice – and as he rides away in a UN truck, he "shut his eyes and dreamed of castles."

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Around the Nation
4:58 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Word Usage Heats Up Internet, 'Literally'

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. The Internet is literally on fire this morning over the usage of a word. Traditionally literally means something that is strictly true. Google's dictionary, bloggers just noticed, says you can also use that word for emphasis. Like I would literally give my right arm to own a pickup truck. That's true. Grammar sticklers claim Google has sided with language traitors and broken the English language. In other words, the sky is literally falling. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:50 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Ohio University Houses Students At Waterpark Resort

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Capital University, just outside Columbus, Ohio, was gearing up for the new school year when the administration found itself in a slippery situation. There weren't enough dorm rooms on campus. But a local business quickly dove in with a solution: Fort Rapids Resort, an indoor water park. Thirty students will, you might say, tread water there until space frees-up on campus. It's all included in their tuition - yes, including access to the water park itself.

The Two-Way
4:38 am
Thu August 15, 2013

After Deaths Of Hundreds, More Bloodshed Feared In Egypt

Posters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lay amid the rubble of a protest camp in Cairo after Wednesday's crackdown by government forces.
Ahmed Assadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 2:30 pm

"It's difficult to see a path out of this crisis, at least not without more people dying."

That's how NPR's Cairo bureau chief, Leila Fadel, ended her Morning Edition report Thursday. After Wednesday's deadly crackdown by Egyptian troops on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi — a crackdown that according to latest estimates left more than 500 people dead and 3,500 or so wounded — the fear is that there will be much more bloodshed.

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Politics
3:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Rep. McCarthy Pressured To Back Senate Immigration Bill

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:20 am

The fierce debate over immigration played out in earnest in Bakersfield, Calif., on Wednesday. Immigration overhaul supporters are pressuring Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy to join them. While the House majority whip agrees the immigration system needs to change, he is unwilling to support the bill that passed the Senate.

Business
3:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Auto Industry's Pent-Up Demand Expected To Ease Slowly

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If economists looking at the housing sector are generally optimistic, those who follow the auto industry are practically brimming with glee. Right now, the average age of cars on the road is the oldest ever recorded, at 11-and-a-half years, which means at some time, people will have to buy newer ones. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, that time may be now.

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Business
3:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Team Walks Florida's Beaches With Google Eye

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:44 am

Google Street View cars have been photographing roads and highways for years, but how about this: Google Beach View. Florida is paying a pair of intrepid trekkers to walk all 825 miles of the state's beachfront carrying the Google Eye camera in a 40 pound backpack — blue orb sticking out the top.

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