National/World

The new movie, Rams, has absolutely nothing to do with Peyton Manning. It's a story from Iceland that involves sheep, snow, a herd-afflicting virus called scrapie, and sufficient sibling rivalry to power a Greek tragedy.

The Jordanian movie Theeb has been nominated for a best foreign language film Oscar. It's a beautiful, sweeping story set in 1916 in an area of western Saudi Arabia then known as the Hejaz. The film's director, Naji Abu Nowar, says Theeb covers a pivotal moment in the region's history.

"The First World War is kicking off ... and the war is coming towards this area of Hejaz," he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "The British are ... inciting the Arab tribes to revolt against the Ottoman imperialists. And so you're on the brink of a massive change."

On Friday's All Things Considered, I have a story about how a recent federal court ruling is restricting how police are allowed to use Tasers in the five Southeastern states covered by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. In a nutshell, police there may no longer shock a nonviolent, noncooperative suspect with a Taser stun gun— even if he is trying to escape custody.

As you know if you are interacting with American commerce or popular entertainment at the moment, the Super Bowl is this weekend. Stephen Thompson, as he has explained for NPR in the past, has an annual Super Bowl party and chicken-eating contest called Chicken Bowl. This year will be Chicken Bowl XX — that is, Chicken Bowl 20, for those of you who are not Romans.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S. Economy Adds 151,000 Jobs In January

2 hours ago

The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in January, according to today’s Labor Department report.

That is far lower than the job growth seen towards the end of last year but it was enough to bring unemployment down to 4.9 percent, the lowest level since 2008. Wages also increased by 2.5 percent, after recent stagnation.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young discusses the report and its implications with Michael Regan, editor for Bloomberg News.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., had strong words for Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Thursday regarding the VA's failure to compensate thousands of World War II veterans who were exposed to mustard gas.

A hole-in-one is a cause for celebration, even (especially?) when a robot does it.

LDRIC, a cleverly named golf robot, aced the par-3 16th hole at Arizona's TPC Scottsdale course earlier this week on just its fifth try.

Which beer goes with guacamole? And which brew adds a nice clean, crisp finish to spicy wings?

Those are burning questions for anyone who wants to take his snack game to the next level this Super Bowl weekend. And two craft beer experts who wrote the book on beer pairings have the answers.

More than four months after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a 10-point plan to remedy the drinking water crisis in Flint, the source of the problem remains present. Like many older cities, Flint is full of lead pipes.

As lead poisoning captures the attention of presidential candidates, Gerald Markowitz reminds Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd that the problem is anything but new.

Despite regulatory efforts that span decades, lead persists in paint, pipes and many other places.

OK, Google, Where Did I Put My Thinking Cap?

3 hours ago

Take a look at this question: How do modern novels represent the characteristics of humanity?

If you were tasked with answering it, what would your first step be? Would you scribble down your thoughts — or would you Google it?

Terry Heick, a former English teacher in Kentucky, had a surprising revelation when his eighth- and ninth-grade students quickly turned to Google.

"What they would do is they would start Googling the question, 'How does a novel represent humanity?' " Heick says. "That was a real eye-opener to me."

After decades crafting funk, soul and disco hits with the seminal R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White died in his sleep on Thursday, according to his brother. He was 74.

White revealed he’d been living with Parkinson’s disease in 2000, the same year Earth, Wind & Fire joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ten years later, White was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with several of his bandmates.

Earth, Wind & Fire Songs In This Segment

“That’s the Way of the World”

Last week, Mattel announced that Barbie is getting a makeover. A whole bunch of them, in fact. As last week, 33 new Barbie dolls are available for purchase through the website, in three new body types — petite, tall, and curvy — and seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 14 "face sculpts." We rounded up some sharp thoughts on this news, ranging from what this means for Mattel's bottom line to whether an widely hyped debut of Barbie's new looks is really a step forward.

When the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, Panthers coach Ron Rivera will become the second Latino head coach in Super Bowl history. And he's one reason why many in Charlotte's Latino community have become so enthusiastic about American football.

There aren't a lot of people who have dined on meat from the Pleistocene, prehistoric humans notwithstanding. That's why accounts of the 1951 Annual Dinner of the Explorers Club, a society of scientific adventurers, all agree that the organizer of the night, Wendell Phillips Dodge, threw the dinner party of the century. Legend has it that Dodge served the meat of a woolly mammoth.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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New editions of textbooks in France will look a little different.

References to onions? You'll see the word ognon rather than oignon.

A tale about a centipede? The many-legged insect will be known as a millepattes, no longer a mille-pattes.

And most controversially, France is removing the hat-shaped accent known as a circumflex in some cases. For example: the word for "to train" will be spelled s'entraine, and not the circumflexed s'entraîner.

There are plenty of political punches being thrown around the GOP field these days. Christie knocks Bush. Bush knocks Trump. Trump knocks Cruz ... you get the point.

U.S. health experts cautioned Friday that the apparent discovery of the Zika virus in saliva and urine from people in Brazil does not necessarily mean the virus can be spread by more casual contact with infected people, such as through kissing.

"I think we need to be careful that don't we jump to any conclusions about transmissibility," Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview on NPR's Morning Edition.

The leaking gas storage well near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch might be capped earlier than originally anticipated, a state official told residents on Thursday.

Wade Crowfoot, an adviser to California Gov. Jerry Brown, said the utility that owns the well is expected to begin the final phase of the fix on Monday, The Associated Press reports. The Southern California Gas Co. is currently drilling a relief well to intercept the leaking well — and once it reaches its destination, workers should be able to seal up the leak in about five days.

The cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi can help people with specific genetic mutations breathe better, but treatment with the pill comes with a hefty sticker price — $259,000 a year.

Orkambi, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last July, is expected to take almost $36 million from California's general fund this fiscal year and next. That cost estimate doesn't include any discounts the state may receive from drug manufacturers.

The Zika virus has gone from an obscure disease to an international public health emergency.

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