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Europe
1:00 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Greece Announces Interim Government

After keeping a nervous world waiting for days, the squabbling politicians of debt-ridden Greece finally announced a new interim government Thursday. It will be headed by a former European Central banker, Lucas Papademos, whose main task will be to ensure that Greece meets the conditions set by its European partners to receive new loan money and avoid default. That means showing that Greece will enforce austerity measures.

Latin America
12:53 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

In Cuba, Door Opens To Residential Property Market

For the first time in 50 years, Cubans can now buy and sell homes. Here, a Cuban woman stands on the balcony of a dilapidated building earlier this month in Havana.
STR AFP/Getty Images

First-time visitors to Havana immediately notice two things about the city: the graceful architecture of its buildings, and the fact that so many of them are in ruins.

But walking through the crumbling Centro Habana neighborhood this week, there was another sight: homeowners beating back the decay on nearly every block.

That's because a new law takes effect Thursday allowing Cubans to buy and sell residential property for the first time in 50 years.

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Environment
12:50 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Final Keystone Pipeline Decision Delayed

The U.S. State Department is ordering the developer of a pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to Texas to reroute it around environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska.

That means possibly delaying a final U.S. decision until after the 2012 election.

The decision to order Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. to figure out a way around an area that supplies water to eight states will require an environmental review of the new section. That review probably would take at least a year.

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Planet Money
12:44 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Leaving The Euro Is Hard To Do

A one-crown note from the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 5:32 pm

"I don't want the euro to fall apart," says Simon Wolfson.

Lots of people don't want the euro to fall apart. But Wolfson feels compelled to say so because he's offering a $400,000 prize for figuring out how to dismantle the euro.

Wolfson — aka Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise — is the CEO of a big retailer called NEXT. He has argued against the UK joining the euro, but his company has stores all around the euro zone.

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Environment
12:44 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Air Pollution: Bad For Health, But Good For Planet?

Power plants that burn fossil fuels release carbon dioxide as well as a complex soup of chemicals, including nitrogen and sulfur. These chemicals in the air actually help keep global warming in check by reflecting sunlight back into space. Above, the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant in Shippingport, Pa.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 10:44 am

Cleaning up the air, while good for our lungs, could make global warming worse. That conclusion is underscored by a new study, which looks at the pollutants that go up smokestacks along with carbon dioxide.

These pollutants are called aerosols and they include soot as well as compounds of nitrogen and sulfur and other stuff into the air. Natalie Mahowald, a climate researcher at Cornell University, says so far, scientists have mostly tried to understand what those aerosols do while they're actually in the air.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

PHOTO: Silvio Berlusconi's Notes

Italian Premier Silvio Belrlusconi holds a pen on a note he wrote during Democratic party leader Pierluigi Bersani's speech on Tuesday.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 12:42 pm

On Tuesday, Italy's Parliament cast a vote on a measure to approve the 2010 state finances. But it was no ordinary vote: It laid bare the fact that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had lost a majority. That vote would eventually lead to Berlusconi offering his resignation on Wednesday.

In all the news, we missed this interesting picture:

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Kidnapping Of MLB's Wilson Ramos Part Of Trend In Venezuela

Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals during a game in Phoenix on June 2, 2011.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals appears to be the first Major League Baseball player to have fallen victim to what's become an alarming trend in Venezuela: the kidnapping and holding for ransom of the rich. He was grabbed Wednesday by gunmen and hasn't been seen since.

But he's not the first major leaguer to have been touched by the epidemic of kidnappings-for-ransom in Venezuela.

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Food
11:45 am
Thu November 10, 2011

From Chompsgiving to Chew Year's: Holiday Dishes

iStockphoto.com

'Tis almost the season, and what would the holidays be without our favorite foods?

There are the traditional standbys — like turkey and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, or latkes for Hanukkah. But many people also have a special dish they eat only during the holidays. For example, one NPR reader raves about lefse, which she says is a potato-based staple for any traditional Norwegian-American holiday dinner. It's "best served hot with butter. Or cold with butter and sugar. Butter is key," she writes.

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The Salt
11:05 am
Thu November 10, 2011

How African-Americans Can Get Healthy With Big Helpings Of Soul Food

An illustration of a healthful meal drawing from the African Heritage Diet Pyramid and African culinary traditions.
Illustration by George Middleton

Soul food has become the comfort food for a lot of Americans – not just the African-Americans whose ancestors invented it.

Now, food educators are looking closely at soul food's culinary roots for inspiration on how to eat healthfully today.

A group of culinary historians, nutritionists and health experts have put together the Oldways African Heritage Diet Pyramid, a new model for healthful eating designed specifically for African-Americans and descendants of Africans everywhere.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Now Public: Richard Nixon's Grand Jury Testimony

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 2:12 pm

The Nixon Library and National Archives have released a trove of documents (.pdf and a big file) relating to former President Richard Nixon's grand jury testimony. The testimony, taken after Nixon resigned, was the first by a president. Nixon was interviewed at his California home on June 23 and 24, 1975, after he had been pardoned by President Gerald Ford. The release of documents was ordered by a federal judge back in July.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Penn State Scandal: Families Of Alleged Victims Upset By Protests, Jokes

Police (center) had to move in to disperse the crowd in the streets of State College, Pa., Wednesday night after students and others gathered to protest the firing of football coach Joe Paterno.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 9:48 pm

With so much attention being given to the firing of football coach Joe Paterno and school President Graham Spanier, as well the long-term impact on the school from the sexual abuse scandal that came to light at Penn State this week, there's a danger of the alleged victims being forgotten.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:34 am
Thu November 10, 2011

An Unorthodox Approach To Tricky Surgery

Striking a pose like Hamlet, Kofi Boahene, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, peers through the natural opening under the cheekbone and above the jaw that he uses for surgery.
Keith Weller Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Add minimally invasive surgery through an opening between the cheek and jaw to the list of procedures I'm happy exist and that I hope I'll never have to endure.

A Johns Hopkins surgeon who is pretty handy with an endoscope has figured out how to operate in some hard-to-reach spots at the base of the skull through a natural opening that's above the jawbone, behind the back teeth and just below the cheekbone.

It requires a small incision inside the cheek, sure, but that's no biggie, really.

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Thu November 10, 2011

After Uproar, Government Scraps 15-Cent Christmas Tree Fee

Forest worker Peter Otto carries two fir trees during the official opening of Christmas tree season in Stolpe, northern Germany.
Carsten Rehder AFP/Getty Images

It didn't take before the Obama administration backed down on a plan to tax Christmas trees this holiday season. Shortly after the USDA announced it had approved a 15-cent per tree fee, there was an uproar.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Thu November 10, 2011

French Court Convicts Cyclist Floyd Landis In Hacking Of Doping Lab

Floyd Landis, left, and then-teammate Lance Armstrong during the 2004 Tour de France.
Bernard Papon AP

Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title, today was convicted in absentia by a French court "for his role in hacking into the computers of a French doping lab," The Associated Press reports. Landis was given a suspended sentence of 12 months.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
10:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

N.Y. Plant's Neighbors Expose Regulatory Gaps

John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 7:58 am

Part 4 of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Jeani Thomson has been pleading with New York state officials for more than 30 years to protect her neighborhood from the foul-smelling "blue fog" that settles in her yard. She has long suspected the source is an industrial facility about a mile from her house called Tonawanda Coke.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu November 10, 2011

In Parliament, James Murdoch Says He Didn't Know Extent Of Hacking

James Murduch, the son of Rupert Murdoch and his deputy CEO at News Corp., was defiant in his second appearance before British Parliament. Murdoch, whose company has been under fire after it was accused of hacking into the phones of royalty and victims of crime, said he did not know the extent of the illegal activity undertaken at his publications.

The New York Times reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
8:20 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Wal-Mart's Clarification On Health Care Leaves Room For Big Moves

After NPR and Kaiser Health News reported yesterday on Wal-Mart's plans to become a big provider of primary care in the U.S., the retailer said its document that served as an invitation to partners for the effort was "overwritten and incorrect."

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Alabama County Bankruptcy Filing Is Biggest In U.S. History

Alabama's Jefferson County has filed for what is the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county commission voted 4-1 in favor of seeking bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after a debt-restructuring deal fell apart.

As The Birmingham News reports the history of the more than $4 billion in debt spans a decade and mostly involves a failed sewer construction deal fraught with corruption. Jefferson County is home to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city.

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It's All Politics
7:56 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Perry Says He 'Stepped In It' At Debate, And Many Agree

Texas Gov. Rick Perry stumbled during Wednesday night's Republican presidential candidate in Auburn Hills, Mich., at one point seeking help from Rep. Ron Paul, (R-TX).
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was doing his best Thursday to limit the damage after he drew a blank at Wednesday's GOP candidate debate on his own plan to reduce the size of government.

Discussing the proposal, Perry said he would eliminate three federal agencies, but then could not name them all, despite being pressed by the moderator.

"Commerce, Education and the — what's the third one there? Let's see," the Texas governor said. Rival candidate Ron Paul suggested it might be the Environmental Protection Agency. "EPA, there you go," Perry responded — incorrectly.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Documents Reveal More Potential Evidence-Sharing Failures By Justice Dept.

Justice Department lawyers prosecuting a former CIA agent for leaking classified information allegedly lagged in turning over evidence that would help the intelligence operative with his defense, causing the judge to bar a pair of government witnesses from testifying.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Unemployment Claims Drop; Trade Deficit Narrows

We have two pieces of good news on the economic front:

-- Bloomberg reports: "The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September to the lowest level this year as exports surged to a record high."

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Europe
6:51 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Greece's New Interim Prime Minister Faces Huge Task

Lucas Papademos was named prime minister of the new Greek interim government Thursday. His main task will be to implement the multibillion-dollar bailout that Eurozone leaders agreed to last month. But can he convince Greeks to swallow the austerity measures they hate? Steve Inskeep talks to reporter Joanna Kakissis, who is in Athens.

The Two-Way
6:35 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Greece Names Lucas Papademos Its New Prime Minister

Greece's new prime minister-in-waiting Lucas Papademos (R) makes a statement to the national television (EPT) outside the Presidential Palace in Athens.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 2:30 pm

Lucas Papademos, a former vice president at the European Central Bank, was named Greece's new prime minister. George Papandreou, the former prime minister, was pressured to resign earlier this week amid an all-out European Union crisis.

In a statement, the country's president said Papademos' chief role will be to ensure swift passage of the terms of the European Union bailout.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Penn State's Trustees: Paterno's Firing Is In School's 'Best Interest'

For Penn State's Joe Paterno, the winningest football coach in Division I history, his career ends with this statement Wednesday night from the school's board of trustees:

"The board determined that it is in the best interest of the University for Joe Paterno to no longer serve as head football coach, effective immediately."

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
3:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

EPA Regulations Give Kilns Permission To Pollute

The Ash Grove Cement Kiln, as seen from an aerial photograph, sits on the northern edge of Chanute, Kan.
David Gilkey NPR

Part three of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities.

The smokestack stands more than nine stories above the southeastern Kansas prairie and the small city of Chanute, and it's bright, white flashing lights are like a beacon in the night sky.

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Politics
2:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Perry Stumbles As GOP Hopefuls Debate Economy

Presidential hopefuls and voters alike sometimes get upset about so-called gotcha questions from reporters that seem designed to embarrass contenders. But Wednesday night's Republican debate outside Detroit demonstrated how some candidates have done a perfectly good job of "getting" themselves.

The debate had some dramatic moments — including one excruciating moment that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would probably like to forget. The comments focused on the economy and jobs, but there were also questions about the sexual harassment allegations against front-runner Herman Cain.

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Science
10:01 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Credit Controversy: Who Made Key Cosmos Discovery?

American astronomer Edwin Hubble looks through the eyepiece of the 100-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles, 1937. In 1929, Hubble proposed that the more distant a galaxy is, the faster it appears to be receding from us, a concept that has become known as Hubble's law.
Margaret Bourke-White Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

A controversy erupted earlier this year over who deserved credit for what many say is the most important astronomical discovery of the 20th century: the realization that the universe was expanding.

In 1929, American astronomer Edwin Hubble proposed that the more distant a galaxy is, the faster it appears to be receding from us, a concept that is known as Hubble's law.

Astronomer Mario Livio has worked with the Hubble Space Telescope for more than 20 years. "So clearly, anything Hubble is of interest to me," he says.

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World
10:01 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

To Obama, 'Go West Young Man' Means Engaging Asia

President Obama prepares to board Air Force One before departing Andrews Air Force Base for Philadelphia on Tuesday. He heads to Hawaii this week, where the U.S. is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 5:37 am

President Obama flies to Honolulu on Friday to begin the third Asia trip of his presidency. He'll visit Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia in a nine-day trip that's meant to reaffirm a fundamental shift in America's foreign policy.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described this reorientation as "America's Pacific Century."

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Saudi Women Drive Change Despite Mixed Signals

Saudi women are getting conflicting messages from their government about whether it intends to expand their rights.

They received a boost from King Abdullah who pledged to give them more political power in the coming years. But new Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdel-Aziz Al Saud is known for his opposition to women's rights.

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Technology
10:01 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Before Leaving The Bar, A Chance To Breathalyze

A new SipSmart kiosk awaits customers at Caputi's, a sports bar in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. Customers swipe a credit card and then blow into a plastic mouthpiece attached to the side of the machine. Seconds later, their blood-alcohol level flashes on the screen.
Daniel Robison for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 11:11 am

Imagine driving without a speedometer and still trying to go the speed limit. Chris Montag, chief operating officer of Ladybug Teknologies, says that's analogous to going out drinking without a Breathalyzer.

"It's something we've done for hundreds of years, and nobody's ever had a tool and we guess ... that we're OK," Montag says. "But, really, how do you know when you've never been able to measure it?"

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