National/World

Pages

Law
4:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Many Question Lack Of Plea Deal In Boston Bombing Case

The dramatic admission of guilt by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense team in its opening statement Wednesday has generated questions about the trial now underway. Many are wondering why the government wouldn't accept a plea deal in exchange for life in prison, or why Tsarnaev wouldn't want to plead guilty to avoid graphic and disturbing testimony that he's not even contesting.

Shots - Health News
4:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Colorado Debates Whether IUDs Are Contraception Or Abortion

An interauterine device provides long-term birth control.
iStockphoto

A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.

More than 30,000 women in Colorado have gotten a device because of the state program, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. An IUD normally costs between $500 and several thousand dollars. Through the program women could receive one for free.

Read more
Youth Radio
3:10 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Transgender Students Learn To Navigate School Halls

Eight-year-old Tomás Rocha, a third grader at Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif., is among a handful of gender non-conforming students at the school.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:27 pm

The first time I learned that gender could be fluid was in sex ed in the ninth grade. I remember the teacher mumbling under her breath that some people don't identify their gender with the biological sex they were born with.

At the time it didn't faze me because I'd never known anyone who'd talked about it or felt that way. But now, three years later, I have a 16-year-old classmate who's transgender. His name is Jace McDonald.

"That is the name I have chosen," Jace says. "It's what my parents would have named me if I was born biologically male."

Read more
Animals
3:06 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Animal-Rights Advocates Cheer End Of Elephants In Circus

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:22 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
2:57 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Eat Your Veggies! Even The Ones From Fukushima

Farmer Magoichi Shigihara checks on his cucumber farm in Nihonmatsu in Fukushima prefecture, about 31 miles west of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, in May 2011. Testing shows radiation in foods grown and raised in Fukushima is back to pre-accident levels.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Nearly four years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, people in Japan are still hesitant to eat foods grown around the site of the accident. They worry that anything grown in the region will contain dangerous levels of radioactive elements, increasing their risk of cancer.

Sometimes, food from Fukushima will bear a photo of the farmer who grew it or a number to dial to learn more about each bag of rice or vegetables, just to ease customers' concerns.

Read more
Goats and Soda
2:56 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Arsenic Antidote Hidden In Our Genes

At more than 12,000 feet above sea level, the town of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina, sits on volcanic bedrock, which leaches arsenic into the drinking water.
Guigue/Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:44 pm

For centuries, arsenic was the go-to poison for murder.

If you wanted to knock off an heir to the throne or speed up the arrival of your inheritance, all you had to do was add a dollop of rat poison to your rivals' food. They wouldn't see or taste it. And the police wouldn't detect it — at least not until a chemist developed a test for the element in the early 19th century.

Read more
Law
2:47 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

DOJ Report Condemns Ferguson Police Department's Practices

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:22 pm

NPR's Robert Siegel interviews Phillip Atiba Goff, president of the Center for Policing Equity and a visiting scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, about his reaction to the Justice Department's investigation into the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department. Goff says in all his time working on issues of race and policing, he's never seen a report that so thoroughly criticizes a department's patterns and practices.

NPR Ed
2:46 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Some Parents Are Sitting Kids Out Of Tests

GIRLRAY Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:27 pm

Meet Jenni Hofschulte, the 35-year-old mom who's one of the parents leading the charge against testing in Milwaukee.

"I have two children in Milwaukee Public Schools," Hofschulte says over coffee at a cafe near her home. "The oldest one is in eighth grade." She's interrupted by her fidgety 5-year-old son, Brock.

Hofschulte quiets him down, furrows her brow and begins again.

Hofschulte says that when she found out her son would have to take a diagnostic test required of all Wisconsin kindergartners, all kinds of red flags went up.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Edmund Pettus: The Man And Namesake Of The Iconic Selma Bridge

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Philadelphia Police Commissioner On Policing And Ferguson

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey (right) listens while U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press, after meeting with members of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing, March 2, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

After months of anticipation, the United States Justice Department has released a scathing report on the Ferguson Police Department, following the death last year of a young unarmed black man by a white police officer.

The report comes just a few days after the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing presented guidelines for law enforcement across the country.

Read more
NPR Story
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

4 Recipes For Beet Lovers

(chrisandjenni/Flickr)

Growing up, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst hated beets. But now she’s become a beet convert, using them in salads and even beet hummus. Kathy shares recipes for her favorite beet dishes with hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson.

Read more
NPR Story
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Kentucky Driver Stranded 19 Hours With No End In Sight

Seth Slifer tweeted this photo with the note, "It's been 15 hours now and we haven't moved. It's a wonderful start to my vacation, and I should've brought a buddy." (Seth Slifer/Twitter)

In Kentucky, hundreds of people have been stranded in their cars and trucks since last night because of a storm that dumped over 20 inches in parts of the state. The stranded drivers are primarily on I-65 and I-24.

Seth Slifer from Franklyn, Tenn., is among those stranded on I-65. He spoke with Here & Now’s Robin Young by cellphone about the scene and how he’s holding up.

Read more
Parallels
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Boko Haram Takes A Page From ISIS Propaganda Playbook

The most recent propaganda videos from Boko Haram have higher production values than in the past and other similarities to ISIS-produced videos.
Boko Haram Sendvid

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:27 pm

In its latest video, Islamist extremists from the Nigerian group Boko Haram display the bodies of two men accused of spying. They have been beheaded.

Gone are Boko Haram's occasional grainy videos, replaced by slick productions apparently inspired by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

It's a development that may indicate a shift in allegiance by Boko Haram away from al-Qaida.

Read more
Movie Interviews
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Speed Dating For Seniors Who Aren't Interested In Slowing Down

Janice Ledtke and Pacho Lane chat during a speed dating event in The Age of Love.
Courtesy of Free Play Pictures

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:27 pm

The idea of speed dating for people over 70 can evoke laughs from anyone who's younger, along with reactions from "how cute" to "how silly" to "how gross." And while the documentary The Age of Love does have plenty of ha-ha moments, most of the time its subjects are reflecting on a need for intimacy that never seems to die.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Cardinal Egan, Ex-Archbishop Of New York, Dies

Cardinal Edward Egan, the former Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, has died. He was 82. The cause was cardiac arrest, the Archdiocese of New York said in a statement.

Egan, who was archbishop during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, died this afternoon at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Thousands Reportedly Flee Battle In Tikrit

A Shiite fighter sits on a military vehicle in the town of Hamrin in Salahuddin province on Thursday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 2:49 pm

Thousands of refugees have fled fighting in Tikrit, according to the U.N., as Iraqi forces backed by Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga battle to expel extremists from the self-declared Islamic State from the city.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that ISIS militants have set fire to oil wells in Iraq's north in an effort to slow government forces.

Read more
Code Switch
1:56 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

A 'Black Tax' At Charlotte's Ritz-Carlton?

A photo of a table tent at the lobby bar of the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte during CIAA week.
Courtesy Patrice Wright

A Charlotte news station reported on Monday that the Ritz-Carlton, one of prosperous uptown Charlotte's swankiest hotels, added what looks suspiciously like a black tax to the lobby bar tabs of patrons in town last week for the CIAA, the popular mega-tournament for basketball teams at historically black colleges and universities from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

'Respect The Robot': Giant Robots Oversee Traffic In Kinshasa

A man walks by with a basket of bread during the official presentation ceremony of three new robots that were installed Tuesday in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, to help tackle the city's traffic.
Federico Scoppa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

Perhaps, we will welcome our robot overlords after all.

Read more
Goats and Soda
1:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Is The VP Of Sierra Leone Running The Country By Laptop?

Sierra's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana (right) is in charge while President Ernest Bai Koroma (center) is in Europe.
Michael Duff AP

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 2:59 pm

Ebola hasn't been in the news much lately.

That's because the number of new cases has plummeted since the height of the epidemic late last year. In fact, the turnaround has been so dramatic that Liberia, once the hardest-hit country, is now on the brink of declaring itself Ebola-free.

But two headlines from Sierra Leone this week caught our attention.

According to reports, a boat with sick fishermen sparked a new outbreak in the capital. Meanwhile, the vice-president of Sierra Leone was under quarantine after his bodyguard died of Ebola.

Read more
Code Switch
12:39 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

The biggest gaps overall were in the South.
Kat Chow/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 2:36 pm

"So-and-so is really, really hard to understand." Or: "His accent is so distracting." I remember hearing off-the-cuff remarks like this a few times in college, complaints by classmates about TAs and instructors, almost all of them of Asian descent and non-native English speakers.

Read more
All Tech Considered
12:38 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Mass-Market Stocks In Handcrafted Goods: Etsy Preps To Go Public

Etsy's IPO paperwork is full of numbers and facts — plus a few pages like this.
Etsy/SEC

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 2:00 pm

For sale: lovingly handcrafted shares of Etsy stock, proudly produced in the USA by a team of entrepreneurs, designers and coders. Please note, there may be some variation in size, color and profits.

A decade ago, Etsy launched as a way for crafters and DIY-ers to sell their handmade goods online. Now the New York-based e-commerce site has filed for an initial public offering.

Read more
Music
12:09 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

On 'Collective Portrait,' Eddie Henderson Is Still Taking Risks At 74

Jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player Eddie Henderson was in his 30s when he debuted on record with Herbie Hancock. Before that he'd become a medical doctor, who went on to specialize in psychiatry, because it left his nights free to play the horn. With Henderson's new album, Collective Portrait, Fresh Air jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead says that decision is still paying off for him.

Read more
Book Reviews
12:09 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

In 'The Buried Giant,' Exhausted Medieval Travelers 'Can't Go On,' But So 'Go On'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Theater
12:04 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Larry David's First Time On Broadway: 'It's Not So Easy!'

David also co-created the NBC series Seinfeld. That show's character George Costanza is loosely based on David.
Thos Robinson Getty Images for The New Yorker

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 1:59 pm

Larry David wrote and stars in a new play that has broken the all-time record on Broadway for advance ticket sales — more than $14 million. Fish in the Dark is a comedy about a family's rivalries and dysfunction as its patriarch passes away. David tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the idea came to him when a friend's father died.

Read more
The Salt
12:03 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Snow Is Delicious. But Is It Dangerous To Eat?

When foraging for delicious bites of snow, steer clear of plowed piles and manure, researchers say.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 1:45 pm

Many people will see the snow that's currently blanketing much of the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. as a nuisance coating sidewalks and roads. Others are celebrating it as an excuse to spend the day swooshing down a hill.

As for me, I like to think of snow as food.

Read more
Law
11:51 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Ferguson Police Begin Reform Following DOJ Report, Mayor Says

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 12:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu March 5, 2015

It's World Book Day: Time For Reading Lists And Dress-Up

Fans are celebrating World Book Day on Thursday. Here, a man browses through books at the Albertine, a French bookstore and library at the French Embassy in New York.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:17 pm

Put down that screen: Today's the day to celebrate holding a bound book in your hands. World Book Day celebrations include storytelling and dressing up as favorite characters. We bring you a roundup of stories and reading lists.

Many young (and less-young) readers are using the occasion to dress up as beloved characters — from pirates and the doughnut-dispensing Mr. Panda to Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:42 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Florida Man's Facebook Post Against Employer In Emirates Leads To Jail

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 12:11 pm

Ryan Pate's anger stemmed from Abu Dhabi-based Global Aerospace Logistics refusal to extend his leave so he could recover from a back injury. He took to Facebook in January to express his displeasure, calling his employers "backstabbers" and Arabs "filthy." When he returned to the Emirates, he received a call from the police asking him to come in.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:41 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Ringling Bros. Says No More Circus Elephants By 2018

Elephant acts at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be phased out by 2018, the circus' parent company said today. The elephants will retire to a conservation center in Polk City, Fla.
Tamika Moore AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 12:45 pm

What's the "Greatest Show On Earth" without elephants? Starting in 2018, anyone attending the iconic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus act will find out.

Citing public concern about the elephants and how they are treated, the circus' parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced today that it would phase out use of the animals in its shows within three years.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu March 5, 2015

U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Gag Order In Mine Disaster Case

Former Massey Energy Company Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship, seen in July 2010, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges associated with the 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 men.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

A federal appeals court has vacated a sweeping gag order in the criminal case involving former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster.

Read more

Pages