NPR News

Pages

Monkey See
7:37 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Entirely Real Photos: Our Creepy Wax Museum Series Continues With One Direction

Fans pose for pictures with waxwork models of English-Irish boy band 'One Direction' at Madame Tussauds in London this week.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

I can't really explain why I think wax museum pictures are so funny, but clearly, I do. And I do again.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Ricin Suspect Described As Conspiracist, Elvis Impersonator

A screen image from a video on the YouTube channel where Paul Kevin Curtis has posted clips of his performances — in this case, as "Elvis."
YouTube.com

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:44 pm

Paul Kevin Curtis, the 45-year-old Mississippi man arrested Wednesday in connection with the possibly ricin-tainted envelopes sent to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is "better known to some as a celebrity impersonator," The Clarion-Ledger writes.

The Jackson, Miss., newspaper adds:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan last month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 352,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The "4-week moving average" that gauges the trend rose by 2,750, to 361,250.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Thursday's Developments

The FBI released this photograph of a man they are calling a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
FBI

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:11 am

Note: We're following Friday's breaking news — that one suspect is dead and that police are searching for the other — in a new post.

Thursday's post:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:19 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Book News: Vast 'Digital Public Library Of America' Opens Today

Encyclopedia Britannica editions are seen at the New York Public Library on March 14, 2012 in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

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

Read more
Asia
5:13 am
Thu April 18, 2013

South Korean Public Broadcaster Bans Psy Video

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. There may be only one place in the world you will not hear Psy. His video "Gangnam Style" was seen 1.5 billion times, including several thousand in my household. His new video, "Gentleman," has 142 million views so far but is not on South Korean Public Broadcasting.

In that video, Psy dances up the street and kicks an orange cone that says no parking. South Korea's KBS says abusing public property does not meet its standards. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
5:08 am
Thu April 18, 2013

App Helps Icelanders Avoid Dating Family

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Dating can be tough in a small country like Iceland. There are only 320,000 people and many of them are distant relatives. So the government came up with an idea. They created a genealogy Web site. There's even a Smartphone app. Just tap phones with your date. And if you happen to share a grandparent, you'll get an alert. If a date is out of the question, the app does also track relatives' birthdays and so you can send them a card.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu April 18, 2013

With Mullet Or With Monkey, Everyone Knows Superman

Whether or not you give a damn for Superman, you know who he is. Even if you've never read a comic book in your life, no one can hear the name "Superman" without a flash of recognition: red-and-yellow S on blue background, red cape, the dark-haired man in flight, jaw set, blue eyes fixed on a distant destination. He's on his way to save the world.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:57 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast Killed Several, Injured Dozens

A chemical trailer sits among the remains of a fertilizer plant.
Mike Stone Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 6:04 pm

After a fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others, rescue workers on Thursday are still sifting through the smoldering rubble hoping to find survivors.

Here's what we know at this hour:

Read more
Around the Nation
3:59 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Blast Rips Through West, Texas, Fertilizer Plant

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

A fertilizer plant exploded near Waco, Texas, Wednesday night. The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened around 7 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north.

Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Despite Flaws, Harvard Economists Stand By Research

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Two prominent Harvard economists have admitted there are errors in an influential paper they wrote on government debt. This paper was widely cited in recent budget debates. But the economists insist their mistakes do not significantly change their research.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In their 2010 paper, Ken Rogoff and Carmen Rinehart argued that economic growth falls significantly when a country's debt level rises above 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

Read more
Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Glitch Causes Foreclosure Settlement Checks To Bounce

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. In recent days, the government has begun sending out checks to about 4 million people whose homes fell into foreclosure during the housing crisis. This is part of a multibillion dollar agreement with banks accused of making serious errors in processing those foreclosures.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Most of these checks are not so big. They average several hundred dollars. But still a check, an effort to make amends, so this is a bit of a problem. When some of the home owners try to cash their checks, the checks bounced.

Read more
Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Newtown, Ct., Businesses Suffer After Nearby School Shooting

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we're also reporting on the aftermath of another tragedy. Four months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, residents in Newtown, Connecticut are still trying to move forward. And the same goes for business owners, especially in Sandy Hook Village, just a mile from the school.

Neena Satija of member station WNPR has more.

Read more
Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Airline Mergers Push Fares Higher

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with some sky-high prices.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: If you travel, you might have noticed airfares are going up sharply in many markets - and the reason is mergers. This could be just the beginning. Prices may keep rising if government regulators approve another merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways.

To talk more about this, we reached Scott McCartney. He writes an airline's column for "The Wall Street Journal."

Scott, thanks for coming on the program.

Read more
Politics
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Obama's Pressure Fails To Get Gun Measure Passed

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, President Obama had promised to put the full weight of his office behind getting Congress to pass new gun control legislation. That weight was apparently not enough. When the legislation failed yesterday, Obama went into the White House Rose Garden and made a blistering speech, calling it a shameful day for Washington.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

Read more
Politics
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Gun-Rights Groups Claim Victory On Rapid Series Of Votes

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We are following two major stories this morning. One is the fire and explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. We'll have more on that in a moment.

INSKEEP: We begin with a victory for gun rights groups and a stinging defeat for gun control. Senate Republicans joined a small group of Democrats to reject every major gun control proposal President Obama has been pushing since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Read more
The Record
3:28 am
Thu April 18, 2013

The Diverse Influence Of The 2013 Rock Hall Inductees

Public Enemy on stage in 1988. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame Thursday.
Suzie Gibbons Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Read more
The Record
3:27 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Coachella's Hometown Aims To Cash In On Fest's Rising Tide

The crowd at Coachella on Sunday.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for Coachella

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 2:30 pm

Like many California cities hit hard by the real estate crash, Indio (near Palm Springs) has been forced to make steep cutbacks to avoid bankruptcy. But unlike other cities, Indio hosts the highest-grossing music festival in the world — Coachella — which wraps up this weekend. It has made city leaders eager to capitalize on Coachella's riches.

Sam Torres, plumber by day, Indio city councilman by night, says he was prepared to become the most hated man in the city, and he very well may have achieved that goal. His offense? Proposing a 6 percent tax on Coachella tickets.

Read more
Pop Culture
1:26 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Cleveland Celebrates Superman, Its Hometown Hero

Panels from Action Comics No. 1, the first Superman comic, adorn the site of illustrator Joe Shuster's former apartment building, long since demolished.
Brian Bull/WCPN

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:39 am

April 18, 2013, is a big day for Superman. The Man of Steel, more powerful than a locomotive, turns 75. Most of us know Superman's story — faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Less well-known is that the superhero is not native to the lost world of Krypton, nor the rural Kansas burg of Smallville. Superman is Cleveland's native son — at least as far as the city's residents are concerned.

Read more
The Picture Show
1:17 am
Thu April 18, 2013

In 'Which Way,' A War Photographer In His Element

Spc. Tad Donoho screams with pain in 2008 after being administered a "pink belly" for his birthday in Korengal Valley, Kunar province, Afghanistan. Each member of the platoon strikes his stomach until it begins to bruise, hence the name pink belly. From the book Infidel.
Tim Hetherington Magnum Photos

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

At the 2011 Academy Awards, the film Restrepo was among the documentaries nominated for an Oscar. It follows an American platoon on a remote mountaintop in what was, at the time, the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.

To make the film, writer Sebastian Junger teamed up with British photojournalist Tim Hetherington — who, walking the red carpet that night at the Oscars, might as well have been a young actor straight out of central casting: tall, handsome, charismatic.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Supreme Court Backs Warrants For Blood Tests In DUI Cases

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:10 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before subjecting a drunken-driving suspect to a blood test. The vote was 8-to-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas the lone dissenter.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

WATCH: Obama Says It's A 'Pretty Shameful Day In Washington'

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:44 pm

President Obama ditched his usual diplomacy and accused Republican senators of putting politics ahead of the wants of the American people, when they voted to reject a bipartisan measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearm purchases.

"All in all, this is a pretty shameful day in Washington," Obama said.

Read more
Politics
4:38 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Criticizes Congress After Background Check Bill Fails

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From Boston now to the White House, where President Obama reacted angrily tonight to the failure of an effort in the Senate to expand background checks for gun purchases. The amendment, proposed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, got only 54 votes - six short of the necessary 60. President Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden. He called this a pretty shameful day for Washington.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:31 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Uses And Loses Political Capital On Gun Control

Mark Barden, the father of a young Newtown, Conn., shooting victim, speaks at a White House news conference on Wednesday, with President Obama and former Rep. Gabby Giffords. Obama denounced the Senate's defeat of a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers. "This was a pretty shameful day in Washington," he said.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:53 pm

The Senate's rejection of more robust gun purchase background checks was a stinging blow to President Obama that raised questions about his second-term agenda.

Expanding background checks had become a key part of Obama's post-Newtown push for tougher federal gun control laws. And in recent weeks, the president had campaigned for overall gun control legislation — especially the bipartisan background-check compromise — with a sense of urgency.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

More Prisoners Join Hunger Strike At Guantanamo

In this image reviewed by the U.S. military, Navy Capt. Robert Durand stands next to some of the makeshift weapons confiscated from detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison following a clash Saturday between prisoners and guards.
Ben Fox AP

The U.S. military says the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has risen to 52 — up from 45 a day earlier. The news comes just days after guards raided a section of the facility to move prisoners to single cells from their communal holding area because the detainees had covered security cameras and engaged in other actions.

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg had this tweet:

Read more
It's All Politics
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Immigration Proves A 'Rubik's Cube' For Many Republicans

Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 10.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

While an immigration overhaul has drawn support from church groups, business, labor and even former opponents, there's still deep opposition — mostly centered in the Republican Party.

The last time a president tried to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul was in 2007, and George W. Bush's fellow Republicans in Congress killed his bill. Republican strategist Kevin Madden says a lot has changed since then — including the way the Republican Party is dealing with its own internal divisions.

Read more
Europe
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Large Police Presence Surrounds Margaret Thatcher's Funeral

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:22 pm

Margaret Thatcher was laid to rest in a funeral attended by dignitaries from around the globe as well as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on Wednesday. It's the first funeral of a British politician attended by the Queen since Sir Winston Churchill's in 1965.

Asia
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

China's Growing Debt Raises Alarms

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The front page headline on today's Financial Times is ominous - "Warning On Out-Of-Control China Debt." It's about an influential figure in Chinese financial circles, the head of a big accounting firm there and his warning follows similar expressions of concern by the International Monetary Fund and by bond rating firms. Simon Rabinovitch of the Financial Times wrote today's story and he joins us now from Beijing. Welcome to the program.

SIMON RABINOVITCH: Thank you.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

A Real-Life Fight For Freedom In 'Nine Days'

Delacorte Press

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 8:10 am

Two high-school sophomores — Ethan Wynkoop and Ti-Anna Chen — sneak away from their homes in suburban Washington, D.C., and fly to Hong Kong. They're searching for Ti-Anna's father, a Chinese emigre and dissident who believes that China is just a spark away from democratic revolution.

Read more

Pages