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Business
10:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Unpaid Bills Land Some Debtors Behind Bars

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan thinks more can be done to keep debtors out of jail. She says the state is investigating creditors that it thinks are abusing laws by incarcerating debtors.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Although debtors' prisons are illegal across the country, it's becoming increasingly common for people to serve jail time as a result of their debt.

Collection agencies are resorting to some unusually harsh tactics to force people to pay their unpaid debt, some of whom aren't aware that lawsuits have been filed against them by creditors.

Take, for example, what happened to Robin Sanders in Illinois.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

French Lessons: Why Letting Kids Drink At Home Isn't Tres Bien

Many European parents, and some American ones, too, have long figured if they let their kids drink alcohol at home, they'd be less likely to go hog wild with their friends. But recent studies of teen drinking behavior don't bear that out.

That's unwelcome news in places like France, where these scientific developments are running head long into a culture that loves its wine.

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Asia
10:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Absent President Ignites Rumors In Pakistan

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari speaks in Sri Lanka on Nov. 29. The president has been treated at a hospital in Dubai since Dec. 6. Aides say he is recovering.
Ishara S. Kodikara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 6:59 am

Pakistan is a country where rumors are always flowing. So when President Asif Ali Zardari was rushed to a hospital in the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 6, it set off all sorts of speculation.

His aides are doing their best to quell talk that he might step down. They say Zardari has been undergoing treatment and tests for a pre-existing heart ailment, and is recovering well in Dubai.

But that hasn't stopped politicians from considering what Pakistan's political landscape might look like without him.

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Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
10:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

The State Of The Long-Term Unemployed

People wait to see a career adviser at a training center operated by the New York Department of Labor in New York City. NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey on the emotional, physical and financial effects of being without work for a year or more. Nearly 70 percent of respondents would like the government to offer more job training opportunities.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 10:02 am

Millions of Americans wake up each morning without a job, even though they desperately want to work. It's one of the depressing legacies of the financial crisis and Great Recession.

NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll of people who had been unemployed or with an insufficient level of work for more than a year. The results document the financial, emotional and physical effects of long-term unemployment and underemployment.

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Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
10:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

The Impacts Of Long-Term Unemployment

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 12:55 pm

  • Hear Marilyn Geewax On 'Tell Me More'

The country has been trying to recover from the Great Recession for three years. But the U.S. job market remains weak, leaving roughly 5 million workers unemployed for a year or more.

The Kaiser Family Foundation teamed with NPR to conduct a survey, seeking to describe the experiences of those long-term unemployed workers. Here are some highlights of the survey findings.

The long-term unemployed tended to be low-wage workers.

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Politics
3:42 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Reforming Congress: Taking It Back To Formula

Fareed Zakaria is the host of CNN's international affairs program GPS, and editor at large for Time magazine and a columnist for The Washington Post.
W. W. Norton

One late January night in 1966, President Johnson went to the Capitol to deliver the annual State of the Union address.

Johnson was at the peak of his power that night, and during the hourlong speech, he talked about his agenda for the year: Vietnam, social programs and expanding the war on poverty. But right in the middle, he offered up an idea that seemed to come out of nowhere when he proposed to change the term for a congressman from two years to four, concurrent with presidential terms.

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Sports
3:36 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Baylor's Griffin Wins Heisman

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 8:57 am

Transcript

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And now, the moment we've been waiting for. It is my pleasure to announce that the 2011 winner of the Heisman Trophy is Robert Griffin III, RG3.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

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Environment
1:00 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

In Pa., Drilling Comes Into Focus

The vast, untapped natural gas reserves in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale are the subject of much debate. Scientists who are trying to shed light on the safety of drilling are facing a host of obstacles, including lack of funding and data. Susan Phillips Scientists who are trying to shed light on the safety of drilling are facing a host of obstacles.

Presidential Race
10:20 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Former Spokesman: 'Newt, If I Let You Down, I'm Sorry'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul look on during the ABC News GOP presidential debate on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Judging by the attacks on Newt Gingrich at Saturday's GOP debate in Des Moines, Iowa, the former House speaker is the man to beat in the Republican presidential field.

The past few weeks have seen a remarkable turnaround for Gingrich's campaign. It wasn't long ago when his bid was all but left for dead. This summer, nearly his entire campaign staff resigned on a single day. One of those staffers was Gingrich's longtime communications aide Rick Tyler.

Tyler explains that he left because he lost perspective, but is now open to rejoining Gingrich's campaign.

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World
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

At Last, Nations Agree To Landmark Climate Deal

Tired delegates work into the early hours of Sunday morning on the final day of the climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
Rajesh Jantilal AFP/Getty Images

After a third sleepless night, climate negotiators in Durban South Africa finally found a way to reach a compromise early Sunday morning. The deal doesn't set hoped-for new targets to limit global warming, but delegates ultimately decided to embrace it rather than risk a major collapse of this international process.

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Europe
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

German Influence Looms Over Eurozone Deal

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 7:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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World
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Canada Escapes Recession's Grip

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 7:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As Europe works to solve its financial problems, closer to home - and with a little less fanfare - America's biggest trading partner is thriving. Canada has built an impressive track record throughout the recession. It's got low unemployment, little government debt, and some of the healthiest economic growth in the industrialized world. Brian Mann traveled to Toronto for WBEZ's Chicago's Front and Center project, and has this story.

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

In N.Y.C., Front-Row Seats To Spanish Soccer

Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the best soccer teams in the world. They're also bitter rivals, and when they met Saturday in the showcase El Clasico match-up, fans around the world turned out to watch the game. Reporter Jesse Hardman joined soccer enthusiasts at New York's Spanish Benevolent Society.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Waves Of Russians Fill The Streets To Protest Putin

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 7:58 am

Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets of Moscow Saturday, shouting "We exist!" against Vladimir Putin's inevitable return to the presidency. Host Audie Cornish speaks with Julia Ioffe, Foreign Policy's Moscow correspondent, about post-election protests in Russia.

World
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Youngest South-Pole Skier In Family Of Firsts

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 7:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Sports
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

What's Major League Soccer Without Beckham?

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 7:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

David Beckham - when you hear that name, you probably think of one of today's greatest soccer players.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Can he bend it? Beckham. It's in the net. Beckham is going to slide over the half-point line and he is going to (unintelligible) the net. What a goal for David Beckham.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Big Cash Prize For Untangling Shredded Paper

California software developer Octavio Good and his team won $50,000 for reassembling shredded documents. Host Audie Cornish talks to Good about the Pentagon-sponsored contest.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Iraq PM, Obama Get Together To Break Apart

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 7:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

Nearly nine years after the Iraq War began, the U.S. is winding down its involvement there. U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by December 31st. The Obama administration says what comes next will be a new phase in the relationship with Iraq. What that involves will most likely be part of the discussion when Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, heads to Washington to meet with President Obama tomorrow.

NPR's Kelly McEvers reports from Baghdad.

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Politics
6:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Congress May Be Tied To The Hill For Holidays

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 7:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Whoever winds up winning the Republican nomination will get a chance to be president, and one of the most trying parts of that job is dealing with Congress. Joining us now is NPR congressional correspondent David Welna to walk us through the issues still on the table as Congress approaches its Christmas recess. Hi there, David.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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Media
5:55 am
Sun December 11, 2011

In Time Of Need, Romney Turns To Media

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a newfound eagerness to talk to reporters — some of them, at least.

To hear Romney tell it, you'd think he had always welcomed the press corps.

"You're going to see me all over the country, particularly in early primary states," Romney said last week to Fox News host Neil Cavuto. "I'll be on TV — I'll be on Fox a lot because you guys matter when it comes to Republican primary voters. I want them to hear my message and have an opportunity to make their choice."

Off Mic, On Script

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Living Large: Obesity In America
4:04 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Spandex Stretches To Meet U.S. Waistlines

Ed Gribbin, head of Alvanon, says spandex is a "democratic" fiber because it morphs to the body as opposed to limiting it.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:44 pm

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America

When you think of spandex, 1970s disco mania may come to mind. Spandex came off the dance floor and into everyone's closet — stretchy leggings, jumpsuits and leg warmers were the rage. But spandex had a life before disco. It was invented by two DuPont chemists. It made its debut in 1959, first used in bras and jockstraps, as well as in workout gear.

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Living Large: Obesity In America
4:04 am
Sun December 11, 2011

From Body Scan To Body Form: Sizing A Clothing Line

Alvanon is the largest maker of mannequin body forms in the world. The Manhattan-based company uses a device called AlvaScan to create these forms — which are then used to create clothing sizes. "We are so diverse that in any given size, there are probably four or six different body types that are represented," says the company's president, Ed Gribbin.
Courtesy of Alvanon

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:44 pm

Are you size 4? A 6? An 8? Often women shoppers don't know. And they can actually be all those sizes without gaining or losing an ounce.

Ed Gribbin, president of Alvanon, a clothing size and fit consulting firm in New York City, says everyone has a number in their head. When you go shopping, you instinctively look for your size, but more often than not, the item doesn't fit.

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Iraq
3:44 am
Sun December 11, 2011

In The Iraqi Desert, A Way Station On The Road Home

A convoy of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne line up at Contingency Operating Station Kalsu, a U.S. base about 60 miles south of Baghdad. For many U.S. troops, it is the last stop in Iraq on the way out of the country.
Sean Carberry NPR

Highway 1 in Iraq is the road home for thousands of American troops as the Dec. 31 deadline for the U.S. withdrawal approaches.

And for many soldiers driving out on this highway, Contingency Operating Station Kalsu, a U.S. base about 60 miles south of Baghdad, is the last stop they will make in Iraq before rolling into Kuwait.

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Presidential Race
3:36 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Haiku D'Etat: The Endorsements Could Be Verse

In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?

"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Politics
1:48 am
Sun December 11, 2011

'Newt-Romney' Dominates Iowa Debate

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich squared off in the ABC debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 8:42 am

Six GOP presidential hopefuls met in a two-hour-long debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night, and this time the gloves came off.

This was the first such event since former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich moved into the front-runner spot. It had been anticipated that Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the top two in most polls — would square off as each hopes to win the Iowa caucuses, now just over three weeks away. They did, and the jabs got personal at times.

'Let's Be Candid'

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It's All Politics
10:38 pm
Sat December 10, 2011

Gingrich Gets Through Debate Unscathed While Romney Doesn't

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a debate give and take, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 8:43 am

The $10,000 bet offer.

If Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, is remembered for anything, it may be for that moment where Mitt Romney made what seemed to many a substantial blunder by offering to wager Texas Gov. Rick Perry $10,000 on whether the governor had his facts right about Romney's record.

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Around the Nation
4:28 pm
Sat December 10, 2011

Volunteers Lay 90K Wreaths At Arlington Cemetery

Volunteer Pati Redmond of Frederick, Md., helps to lay holiday wreaths over the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington Saturday.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 10:00 am

Thousands of wreaths were laid around the country Saturday and at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the 20th anniversary of an effort honoring the nation's veterans for their service.

The pristine white tombstones at Arlington were dotted with bright green holiday wreaths and big red bows. Wreaths Across America executive director Karen Worcester says volunteers laid nearly 90,000 wreaths in a little over an hour.

"We had a tremendous crowd," Worcester said. "They're telling me we had close to 20,000 [people]."

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Simon Says
8:09 am
Sat December 10, 2011

Laura Nyro's Lasting, Eclectic Musical Legacy

Laura Nyro performs at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Most of the names announced for induction to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this week are familiar: Guns N' Roses, Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The name Laura Nyro may need some explaining.

She was the daughter of a New York jazz trumpeter, who took her along to his gigs. She sold her first song, And When I Die, to Peter, Paul and Mary for $5,000 when she was just a teenager; left New York's School of Music and Art; and became a star at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival at the age of 20.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
6:02 am
Sat December 10, 2011

Latinos Get Little Credit For Rebuilding New Orleans

Methodist Pastor Oscar Ramos conducts English classes for Latino immigrants in New Orleans. The majority of the immigrants say they arrived after Katrina to work in reconstruction and intend to stay.
Richard Gonzales NPR

Part of a monthlong series

Since Katrina, the Hispanic population in the New Orleans metro area has skyrocketed by more than 33,000 people. That's a 57-percent increase in the past decade, much higher than the national average.

They came for the construction jobs — and they've chosen to stay. Often, you can find about a dozen Latino men hanging out near a home improvement store looking for work near a mostly black neighborhood.

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Sports
6:00 am
Sat December 10, 2011

Sports: Money Talks, Big Stars Walk

A canceled-then-reinstated trade shakes basketball before it can even start up again. Also, do Tim Tebow's victories speak as loud as his prayers? Host Scott Simon talks sports with NPR's Tom Goldman.

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