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Politics
2:58 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Back From Recess, Congress Preps For Gun Legislation Fight

Congress comes back from a two-week spring break on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 10:45 am

The U.S. Senate was scheduled to begin voting on gun control measures this week when Congress returns from recess, but Senate staffers say a bipartisan agreement has yet to be reached on universal background checks. That snarl may end up delaying a vote on gun legislation for another week, as lobbyists on both sides of the debate use the extra time to keep the pressure on.

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Commentary
2:57 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Wrinkle Your Nose At Fermentation

Kimchi is a traditional pungent fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

It's delicious, it's nutritious and it's basically rotten. Fermentation is a hot culinary trend, and, as Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf explains, the preservation process gives food a flavor unique to time and place.

People you know may intentionally be growing bacteria in their homes — on food, outside the refrigerator. And they are doing it to make food safe, and nutritious.

They are doing what cooks have always done: fermenting food.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:37 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

Vespers, Habaneras And Early Morning Walks: New Classical Albums

The Attacca String Quartet's latest album celebrates John Adams.
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 4:52 pm

Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken" begins with the line: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood." Frost's traveler must choose between them. But slide that metaphor over to the world of classical music and you will discover hundreds of paths to explore.

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Author Interviews
3:13 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

How Twitter Star Kelly Oxford Makes Everything 'Perfect'

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Kelly Oxford is a little bit wicked and a whole lot wild and funny.

In no time, she went from being a housewife and mother of three in Calgary to Internet fame through her blog — and later, through Twitter, where her popularity exploded.

There, she shared zips like:

And:

Oxford's been retweeted by Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, and even the late Roger Ebert — one of her earliest supporters. Her secret? "The simpler they are, the better they hit," she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden.

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Asia
2:55 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

The Extraordinary Lives Of Ordinary North Koreans

Amid a cascade of headline news from North Korea, often forgotten are the 24 million average citizens living under the most authoritarian regime in the world. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with Barbara Demick of the Los Angeles Times on the lives of ordinary North Koreans.

Animals
2:55 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

Spring Blooms, And So Do The Creepy Crawlies

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Spring is here. And just as temperatures begin to creep up, so do the bugs - all matter of creepy crawlies. Among the noisiest and, for my money, most repulsive...

(SOUNDBITE OF CICADAS)

LYDEN: ...cicadas.

MICHAEL RAUPP: My name is Michael J. Raupp. I'm professor of entomology and the bug guy here at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Education
2:32 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

Loan Education Becomes Prerequisite As Student Debt Balloons

College loan debt isn't easing up, and students are struggling to navigate a plethora of obligations.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 2:55 pm

For students now sprinting toward the end of their college days, the finish line may not be much of a relief. More than ever, their gait is slowed by the weight of impending debt.

Thirty-seven million Americans share about $1 trillion in student loans, according to Federal Reserve data. It's the biggest consumer debt besides mortgages, eclipsing both auto loans and credit cards. And on it grows, an appetite undiminished by the recession.

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A Blog Supreme
11:20 am
Sat April 6, 2013

How Norway Funds A Thriving Jazz Scene

Jan Bang performs a live remix at the Punkt Festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 4:31 pm

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Kansas Set To Enact Law Saying Life Starts At Fertilization

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Republican, watches the chamber's electronic tally board as it approves a sweeping anti-abortion bill Friday at the Statehouse in Topeka. At left is Majority Leader Jene Vickrey.
John Hanna AP

Lawmakers in Kansas passed an extensive anti-abortion measure Friday night, which Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign into law. The bill declares that life begins "at fertilization," prohibits abortions related to the baby's sex and blocks tax breaks for health care providers that perform abortions.

The House passed the bill 90-30, hours after the Senate approved it 28-10.

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History
10:56 am
Sat April 6, 2013

The First Gun In America

A Spanish soldier aiming an arquebus in the New World, late 1500s. Hand-colored 19th-century woodcut reproduction of an earlier illustration.
North Wind Picture Archives AP

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 11:52 am

Guns and America were born around the same time and grew up together. Like feuding cousins, their histories have been linked ever since.

Often helpful in American history — and often harmful — the portable gun has been inarguably influential in the national direction. The American Revolution would not have been won without guns. Precious lives at numerous school shootings would not have been lost without guns. And somewhere in between those two truisms lies the truth about what Americans really feel about firearms.

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Shots - Health News
10:17 am
Sat April 6, 2013

With Plan B Ruling, Judge Signs Off On Years Of Advocacy

A federal judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make all levonorgestrel-based emergency contraceptives available to younger teens without a prescription.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

A federal judge ordered Friday what women's groups have failed to accomplish politically for a dozen years. He ruled that Plan B, the most commonly used morning-after birth control pill, be sold without a prescription or other restrictions to women of all ages.

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Sports
9:46 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Always In The Zone, Syracuse Is Hard To Beat

Syracuse celebrates after the team's 55-39 win over Marquette, in Washington last Saturday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Any recreational league basketball team, any police athletic league squad and every group of 8-year-olds who wear the same uniform are, on the first or second day of practice, introduced to the 2-3 zone defense.

The coach will say, "On defense, you two short guys stay near the foul line, and you three bigger kids, you go down near the basket. Put your hands up, and you're now playing the 2-3."

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Mary Roach, 'Mad Men,' Ty Burr And Marriage

Mad Men returns with a two-hour season premiere. TV critic David Bianculli won't reveal any spoilers, but he praises actor Jon Hamm, who "so sparingly and perfectly" plays Don Draper in the series.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 8:39 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Books
4:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

'It's Pat' Creator Muses On Motherhood And Family Life

Julia Sweeney is a comedienne, writer and performer. She lives outside of Chicago.
Lauren Topel Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.

So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.

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Business
4:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

What Does Amazon's Purchase Of Goodreads Mean For Book Industry?

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Late last week, Amazon, which features reader reviews on its sales website, announced that it's buying Goodreads, a hugely popular reader review site. Now, the announcement jarred a lot of Goodreads fans and upset lots of reader-reviewers and authors too. Greg Bensinger has been covering the story for the Wall Street Journal. He joins us from KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.

GREG BENSINGER: My pleasure, hello.

SIMON: Why did Amazon want to inhale Goodreads so much?

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Economy
4:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Sequester Pinches Long-Term Unemployed Even More

A crowd of jobseekers attends a health care job fair on Thursday in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Almost 5 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been searching for work for at least six months.

This week, their plight is getting a bit tougher as the government cuts their unemployment benefits — part of the automatic reductions in federal spending that took effect recently.

On a recent day, about 40 people turned out at a Manhattan jobs center run by the New York Labor Department to get advice on looking for work. These are all people who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.

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Asia
4:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

North Korea Advises Evacuation Of Embassies

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Dissecting New York's Mayoral Race Scandal

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Undercover agents, wiretaps, shady meetings in parked cars - the unfolding political scandal in the New York City mayor's race has all the right elements for drama. Six politicians - Democrats and Republicans, - have been arrested in an alleged plot to rig a primary in this year's election.

For more, we turn now to Errol Louis. He's the host of NY1's "Inside City Hall" political program and he joins us from New York. Errol, thanks so much for being back with us.

ERROL LOUIS: Absolutely. Glad to be with you.

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Sports
4:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Week In Sports: Assessing The Rutgers Coach Firing

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

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Music
3:59 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Charlotte Church Returns, A 'Beautiful Wreck' In A Digital Age

Charlotte Church's new album is titled One & Two.
Jack Alexander Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:30 pm

Charlotte Church was just 12 years old when she made her 1998 debut album, Voice of an Angel — and that's what she seemed to posses. The tween rocketed into success with classical and religious music, singing for the pope, the Clintons, Nelson Mandela and the queen of England.

"If I look at it cynically, I was just a little bit of a freak, really: This small little girl with this big adult voice," Church says. "And I was a commodity for a while, you know. But I think that's also just the bare truth of it, really. People are always curious about child stars."

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Poetry
3:34 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Does Poetry Still Matter? Yes Indeed, Says NPR NewsPoet

Tracy K. Smith was NPR's first NewsPoet.
Tina Chang

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

April is the cruelest month, according to one of the most famous poems in the English language. Perhaps to take the edge off of April, the Academy of American Poets chose it as the month to draw attention to the art and legacy of poetry — and the achievement of American poets.

We're celebrating this month by hearing from young poets about how they chose — or were chosen by — poetry, and why poetry — one of the oldest human art forms — still matters.

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Asia
3:13 am
Sat April 6, 2013

U.S. Parries N. Korean Threats With A Fresh Plan

South Korea conducts military exercises near the border with North Korea on Wednesday.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:32 pm

You might think alarm bells would be sounding in Washington, given the warnings coming out of North Korea. But when they talk about North Korea, U.S. officials are sounding like exasperated parents responding to a child's tantrum.

At the White House on Friday, spokesman Jay Carney said the United States "would not be surprised" if North Korea actually carries out a missile test.

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Simon Says
3:11 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Roger Ebert: Elegance and Empathy

The iconic Chicago photographer Art Shay took portraits of presidents, prizefighters, prose poets — and in the person of Roger Ebert, at least one Pulitzer-winning critic.
Art Shay

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Roger Ebert was a critic, not a blowtorch. He could be sharp if he thought a movie insulted the audience, but had a champ's disdain for a cheap shot.

Many critics ridiculed the film Deep Throat when it came out in 1973. Who couldn't mock its absurdities? Roger just wrote, "If you have to work this hard at sexual freedom, maybe it isn't worth the effort."

Roger Ebert was a Chicago newspaperman who typed with two fingers — it sounded like a machine gun, columnist Bob Greene remembered on Friday — who was from the age when reporters were fueled by ink and booze.

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Theater
2:33 am
Sat April 6, 2013

On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks

Willemjin Verkaik is the latest leading lady to play Elphaba, the misunderstood green girl who grows up to become the Wicked Witch of the West in Broadway's long-running Wicked. She has also played the role in Dutch and German in Europe.
Bankhoff-Mogenburg

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called Broadway's Greatest Musicals. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.

How quaint.

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Movie Interviews
1:03 am
Sat April 6, 2013

In '42,' A Young Star Suits Up For A Hero's Role

Chadwick Boseman plays baseball's trailblazing Jackie Robinson in the upcoming biopic 42.
D. Stevens Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

The number 42 has been retired from every team in Major League Baseball, and in recent years, teams have been eager for fans to remember why: It was the number Jackie Robinson wore for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke the sport's color barrier — and began to break a new path in American history.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Former Employee, Who Leaked Rutgers Abuse Video, Files Whistleblower Lawsuit

Eric Murdock as a Los Angeles Clipper in 1999.
Tom Hauck Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:48 pm

Eric Murdock, the Rutgers University employee who leaked video of coach Mike Rice physically and verbally abusing his players, filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the university on Friday.

In the complaint, filed a New Jersey state court, Murdock alleges he told the school's athletic director Tim Pernetti about Rice's abusive behavior "on several occasions."

Instead of taking action against Rice, the complaint says, Murdock was fired.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:37 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Rick Nielsen Of Cheap Trick Plays Not My Job

Courtesy of Michael Graham

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 9:56 am

Every Midwestern city has garages full of four local teenagers playing rock 'n' roll and dreaming of the big time ... but Rockford, Ill., boasts the few that made it. Rick Nielsen formed Cheap Trick with three of his friends back in 1973 in Rockford and since then they've traveled the world and put out more than 16 albums.

Since Nielsen was in a band called Cheap Trick, we've invited him play a game called "BAAAAAAAA." Three questions about sheep tricks.

The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

CPI Corp., Which Ran Photo Studios At Sears, Wal-Mart, Shutters All Locations

The company that runs more than 2,000 photo studios at stores like Sears and Wal-Mart has gone out business.

CPI Corp. announced it decision in a two paragraph statement posted on its website.

"We are attempting to fulfill as many customer orders as possible," CPI said. "If you've had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your Sears, PictureMe or Kiddie Kandids portrait studio."

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Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Human Cases Of Bird Flu In China Draw Scrutiny

A cockerel walks on a bridge in a residential area of Beijing. The Chinese are beginning to destroy thousands of birds in an effort to stamp out the presumed source of H7N9 infection.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:09 pm

Sixteen cases of a new flu around Shanghai have touched off a major effort to determine what kind of threat this new bug might be.

The victims range in age from 4 to 87 years old. Six have died. It is a tragedy for them and their families, but is it a global crisis?

To understand why so few cases are generating so much concern, the first thing to know is that no flu virus like this one — called H7N9 — has ever been known to infect humans before.

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It's All Politics
3:36 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Obama Riles His Own Party With Social Security Offer

President Obama prepares to depart San Francisco on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:11 pm

Few things indicate a president no longer needs to worry about re-election more than his willingness to ignite an intraparty firestorm.

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