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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Underground Cold War Relics As Doomsday Castles?

Larry Hall shows off the old vents and 9-foot-thick walls of a missile silo he's developing into condominiums.
Frank Morris

One clear threat once menaced civilization: nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The Cold War is over, but decades later, some of the fortifications built to fight that war still dot the American landscape.

Four years ago, Larry Hall bought a nuclear missile silo out on the open rolling land north of Salina, Kan. Hall paid $300,000 and spent much more to clean out all the scrap metal and stagnant water.

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

What The IRS Could Learn From Mormons

The money Mormons tithe goes to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and then is distributed to congregations around the world.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Many religious traditions stress the importance of charity. But Mormons are remarkable for the amount and the precision with which they give to their church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each Mormon in good standing should tithe 10 percent of his or her income. The money goes right to church headquarters in Salt Lake City and then is distributed back to congregations around the world.

"That's written in stone, and preached from the pulpit," says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, who is Mormon.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Judge Who Emailed Racist Obama Joke Calls For Investigation On Himself

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:32 pm

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull says he will apologize to President Obama and ask for a panel of judges to investigate his conduct after a Montana newspaper reported he had sent a racially inflammatory message using his courthouse email account last month.

The Great Falls Tribune reported the judge had forwarded the following message to six of his friends February 20:

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News
4:07 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Nation's Toughest Immigration Law Stays Put For Now

A line of people wait outside the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments over tough new laws targeting illegal immigration in Alabama and Georgia on Thursday.
John Amis AP

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 2:38 pm

Portions of Alabama's strict immigration law will remain in force until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on its predecessor, the Arizona statue that ignited a national firestorm in the debate over illegal immigration.

A panel of three judges from an Atlanta federal appeals court decided Thursday to put off action on lawsuits against measures in Alabama and Georgia. Oral arguments are set for April 25 before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Arizona's enforcement policy.

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Europe
4:03 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Will The New AK-47 Be As Popular As The Original?

A Colombian police officer stands guard next to seized Chinese-made AK-47 replicas on Nov. 18, 2009. The guns have become so ubiquitous around the world that Russia's planned redesign may not do much to booster sales.
Luis Robayo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

The Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK-47, is one of the most dangerous and widely used weapons in the world. For more than 60 years, nations, rebels, gangsters and child soldiers have wielded the gun.

And now, Russian officials say it's outdated. As part of a $700 billion army modernization program, the country has announced a redesign of the rifle.

New York Times foreign correspondent C.J. Chivers — author of The Gun, a book about the Kalashnikov — tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the updates are mostly cosmetic.

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The Salt
3:35 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Seattle's First Urban Food Forest Will Be Open To Foragers

Designers of a food forest in Seattle want to make blueberry picking a neighborly activity.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 5:41 pm

If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Suspect In Ohio School Shooting Charged With Three Counts Of Murder

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 photo, seventeen-year-old T.J. Lane is led from Juvenile Court by Sheriff's deputies in Chardon, Ohio.
Mark Duncan AP

Prosecutors have officially charged 17-year-old T.J. Lane in the shooting rampage at an Ohio high school.

The charges — three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder and one count of felonious assault — were filed in juvenile court, but the AP adds that this could be the first step toward charging him as an adult.

A hearing is set next week in Geauga County to determine whether he'll be charged as an adult.

The AP reports:

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Middle East
3:02 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Syrian Army Drives Rebels From Embattled City

Syrian mourners in Qusayr, a few miles outside Homs, carry the body of a man killed by shrapnel, during his funeral on Tuesday. After a month-long assault by the Syrian army, rebels were forced to retreat from Homs on Thursday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:17 pm

A key rebel stronghold in the central Syrian city of Homs has fallen to the Syrian army.

Residents fled as government forces bombarded the city's Baba Amr neighborhood for nearly a month. On Thursday, the rebels withdrew.

When the Syrian uprising began nearly a year ago, Baba Amr saw regular, daily protests. Then after months of being shot, detained and tortured, protesters began taking up arms. Those armed civilians were later joined by defectors from the Syrian military, and together, they called themselves the Free Syrian Army.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:50 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Air Pollution In An Unlikely Spot: An Indoor Hockey Arena

Ah, hockey.

Ice chips spray as a player skates to a stop and digs for a puck in the corner. A cool breeze wafts over the rink in the wake of opposing players rushing down the ice to stop him.

And then there's the yellowish blanket of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas that's an ingredient in smog, hovering over the ice.

Say what?

Early last year, 31 people got sick after spending time at an unnamed indoor ice arena owned by a private school in New Hampshire.

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Around the Nation
2:38 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Teen Charged As Juvenile In Ohio School Shooting

A teenager was charged Thursday with killing three students in a U.S. school shooting, the first step in proceedings that could see him charged as an adult and face the possibility of life without parole if convicted.

The charges accuse T.J. Lane, 17, of killing three students and wounding two others in the shooting Monday morning at Chardon High School, about 30 miles east of Cleveland.

He is charged in Geauga County juvenile court with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault

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World Cafe
2:30 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Kevn Kinney And Golden Palominos On World Cafe

Kevn Kinney (left) and Anton Fier have been friends and occasional collaborators since the 1980s.
Brittny Smith

Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin and Anton Fier of The Golden Palominos combine the twangy side of their respective rock bands for an album aptly titled A Good Country Mile. Through the '80s rock scene, Kinney and Fier became friends and collaborators, and the trend continues more than 20 years later.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

NASA Struggles With IT Security, Loses Space Station Code

The International Space Station, seen from the shuttle Discovery
NASA

The "algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station" were lost when an unencrypted NASA laptop computer was stolen in March 2011. That tidbit came in testimony Wednesday delivered by NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin as he reported on the space agency's IT security track record.

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Education
2:11 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Case Renews Focus On Race In College Admissions

Students hoping for a repeal of California's ban on affirmative action in college admissions protest outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Feb. 13. The Supreme Court will decide an affirmative action case next fall that could affect college admissions policies across the country.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:39 pm

College and university presidents are wringing their hands over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to revisit the issue of affirmative action next fall. Critics of racial preferences are thrilled because the court could significantly restrict the use of race in admissions, but proponents of affirmative action say this would be a huge setback for institutions struggling to diversify their student body.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:06 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Mahler For The People: The L.A. Philharmonic In Caracas

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel leads the L.A. Philharmonic in a rehearsal of Mahler's Symphony No. 4, on tour last month in Caracas, Venezuela.
Brian Lauritzen KUSC

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:32 pm

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and its conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, have just returned from a tour in Caracas, Venezuela, where they performed Gustav Mahler's 8th Symphony.

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Europe
1:52 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Students, Police Clash As Spain Reaches Boiling Point

Police restrain a student protesting against education cuts during a rally in Valencia, in eastern Spain, on Feb. 20. Spaniards are beginning to feel the effects of $20 billion in austerity measures, and discontent is growing.
Juan Carlos Cardenas EPA/Landov

Spain's austerity measures have begun to spark clashes, and a high school in Valencia — Spain's most indebted province — has become a flash point for nationwide rallies.

Last month, police arrested 25 demonstrators there, where cellphones captured video of heavy-handed beatings and parents were shocked to see their children on TV, pinned down by police.

The skirmish was a possible sign of what's to come as the conservative government pushes through more spending cuts and people settle into a period of sacrifice in hopes of economic recovery.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Student Protesters Shut Down UC Santa Cruz Campus

Students at the University of California Santa Cruz have shut down most of the school by blocking off entrances to the campus.

The protests are part of a nationwide campaign called "Occupy Education," which is endorsed by the Occupy Wall Street movement. The demonstrators are protesting against budget cuts to higher education.

The AP reports:

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Late Conservative Blogger Breitbart Had Impact On Right, Left

In life, Andrew Breitbart was the conservative blogger and provocateur whose sometimes controversial efforts against his ideological adversaries, both real and imagined, made him one of the most polarizing figures on the contemporary political scene.

In death, however, it was clear Breitbart had earned the respect not just of conservatives but of some progressives, too, who may have disagreed with his political views and tactics, but admired his energy and the entrepreneurial spirit with which he waged his campaign.

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Middle East
12:55 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

In Iran's Election, Not All Candidates Are Welcome

Women sit at a bus stop under election posters in Qom, about 75 miles south of Iran's capital, Tehran, on Tuesday. Iran's parliamentary elections on Friday are expected to be a contest between various conservative factions. Many candidates seeking change have been barred from running.
Raheb Homavandi Reiters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:10 pm

Iran holds parliamentary elections on Friday, the first since the disputed, and many believe fraudulent, presidential election in 2009.

But unlike that presidential poll, candidates seeking to take on the country's conservative rulers will not be taking part Friday; they are mostly under house arrest or have been in prison for years now.

The focus will be on which conservatives end up on top and how many votes are cast.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Ariz. Sheriff Arpaio Will Release Findings On Obama's Birth Certificate

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

You might have thought that with the feds knocking on his door over what they say are numerous violations of civil rights, Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be busy planning his defense.

Instead, the controversial sheriff is taking the fight to them. Arpaio announced that he was ready to release the findings of his investigation into the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Russia, China Join Call For Syria To Let U.N. Human Rights Official Visit

In what Israel's Haaretz.com is referring to as a "rare move" by longtime supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, Russia and China today joined other members of the U.N. Security Council in calling on Syria to let U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos see what's happening inside that nation.

Syria so far has not allowed Amos to visit.

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Europe
11:30 am
Thu March 1, 2012

As Election Nears, Russians Express Frustrations

Thousands of Russians form a 10-mile human chain around a Moscow ring road on Monday during an opposition protest against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He is expected to win the March 4 presidential elections but is facing growing opposition.
UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:10 pm

Cars decorated with white ribbons and carnations drove around Moscow's Garden Ring Road in a wet snow this past Sunday, honking cheerfully to the thousands of demonstrators on the sidewalk who formed a human chain around the city.

Elena Korobova was a link in that chain.

"I want to get rid of Putin, because I don't like his policy, I don't like what he's doing for Russia," she says of Vladimir Putin, Russia's current prime minister.

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The Salt
11:17 am
Thu March 1, 2012

States Crack Down On Animal Welfare Activists And Their Undercover Videos

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 1:00 pm

Some states are stiffening the punishment for activists who want to use undercover videos to expose conditions inside farms.

Just this week, the Iowa legislature passed a bill that would make it a crime to use false pretenses to gain access to a livestock operation to engage in activities not authorized by the owner.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:04 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Majorities In Senate And Public Support Birth Control Coverage

Suitable for health insurance coverage?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:10 pm

The Senate has turned back an attempt to kill President Obama's new rules requiring most health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without additional cost.

The 51-48 vote against an amendment to an unrelated highway bill (Yes, that's just how the Senate works) was mostly along party lines.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Says He's 'Fine' After Surgery

A huge photograph of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is displayed on the facade of state-owned oil company PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela) in Caracas on Wednesday. The text reads, "Move forward, commander."
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

After undergoing surgery for a lesion on his pelvis, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez made his first public comments on Thursday.

"I am fine, my recovery is accelerating," he said via phone to Venezuelan state TV, according the AP. "A greeting, a hug to you all!"

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Senate Says No To Challenge Of Obama's Birth Control Policy

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:21 am

By a 51-48 vote, the Senate just set aside an effort to reverse the Obama administration's policy requiring most employers to provide health insurance plans that cover the cost of women's contraception methods.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Syrian Activist: 'It's Snowing And We're Shaking Here'

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:22 am

According to activists inside and outside Syria, the government's 27-day siege against the opposition stronghold of Baba Amr has now succeeded. Initial reports suggest that forces are entering this neighborhood in the city of Homs, but details are sketchy at best because most of the reporters and citizen journalists covering the story have either fled or died.

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Television
9:57 am
Thu March 1, 2012

It's High Concept, But Will It Keep You 'Awake'?

In the new NBC drama Awake, Jason Issacs plays Michael Britten, a man who survives a car accident along with one of his loved ones — but which one?
Michael Desmond NBC

The premise of NBC's new detective series, Awake, is about as high concept as it gets. Jason Isaacs, one of the leads of Showtime's Brotherhood, stars as Michael Britten, who survives a horrible car crash intact. Well, his body is intact — but his mind, or at least his subconscious, is split.

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It's All Politics
9:56 am
Thu March 1, 2012

In Delegate Race, Romney's Victories Amount To Less Than Meets The Eye

Mitt Romney had a big night Tuesday — with victories in two states over insurgent Rick Santorum, thereby increasing his margin over Santorum by ... six delegates?

As improbable as it might seem, the combination of Michigan's delegate allocation rule and Arizona's rule-violating winner-take-all contest could mean that Romney's twin victories provide him little ultimate benefit — and highlight again the dual-track GOP primary campaign season.

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Africa
9:34 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Americans Detained In Egypt Now Allowed To Leave

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. American democracy activists held in Egypt are headed home today. The nongovernmental organizations whose employees were being held confirmed that the travel ban had been lifted. The workers were being held in Egypt on charges of fomenting unrest. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Cairo, and she joins us now on the line.

Soraya, how many people are leaving Egypt altogether - I mean Americans?

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World
9:30 am
Thu March 1, 2012

An Inuit Builder Crafts His Last Canoe

Goudie's last canoe hangs next to the form used to mold the wood. The unfinished canoe is weighted down with sandbags to keep the canvas taut.
Emma Jacobs

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 3:25 pm

In a remote corner of northern Canada, Joe Goudie is at work on his very last boat for sale.

The Inuit community in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador once used wood and canvas canoes to navigate the rivers of Labrador.

Goudie, 72, is Inuit, but grew up as that tradition was drawing to a close.

Today, he's the last person building wooden canoes in this corner of Canada.

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