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Parallels
4:42 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Investigation Underway Into Killing Of Cecil, Zimbabwe's Best Known Lion

Cecil the lion is shown walking in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park in a YouTube video from July 9, 2015. Credit: Bryan Orford
Bryan Orford YouTube

Conservationists are lamenting the hunting and killing of a well-known lion from western Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

The black-maned lion, named Cecil, was 13 years old and had become popular among tourists from around the world.

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The Salt
3:40 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Oceans Called A 'Wild West' Where Lawlessness And Impunity Rule

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 10:19 pm

There are about 140 million square miles of open ocean, and according to New York Times reporter Ian Urbina, much of it is essentially lawless. As Mark Young, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander and former chief of enforcement for the Pacific Ocean, told Urbina, the maritime realm is "like the Wild West. Weak rules, few sheriffs, lots of outlaws."

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All Tech Considered
5:24 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Narcissistic, Maybe. But Is There More To The Art Of The Selfie?

To selfie, or not to selfie?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 9:09 am

The smartphone has given us a whole new genre of cultural expression: the selfie.

If you're into selfies, it's safe to say you've probably taken one, and maybe wished you didn't have those dark circles under your eyes.

Now there are plenty of apps out there to fix that.

But whether you think your selfies can be elevated to art may depend on how much effort you are willing to put into them.

A Personal Brand Boost

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Latin America
4:11 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

A Day Of Triumph In A Time Of Change: Cuba's High Holiday Explained

Cubans gather in Santiago de Cuba to celebrate this year's Revolution Day, the 62nd anniversary of Fidel Castro's first open assault on the forces of President Fulgencio Batista, who would eventually be overthrown by the rebels.
Yamil Lage AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 9:23 pm

On this day 62 years ago, Fidel Castro launched the attack that marked the start of the Cuban revolution. In the years since, the day has taken on emotional significance for the Cuban people β€” and for the communist government that celebrates it annually.

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Global Health
3:13 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

Transgender Women Face Inadequate Health Care, 'Shocking' HIV Rates

Transgender performers walk backstage during an event to mark World AIDS Day in 2013. A new WHO report demonstrates extremely rates of HIV infection among transgender women in 15 countries.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 9:27 pm

Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent World Health Organization report. And the story is told most starkly in the high rates of HIV among transgender women worldwide.

JoAnne Keatley, one of the authors of that study, puts it plainly.

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Author Interviews
3:50 am
Sun July 26, 2015

In This Twist On Tricky Dick's History, A President's Secrets Can Save Us

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 8:38 am

"I promise you I will show the same contempt for the historical record that it has shown for me."

So intone the opening pages of Austin Grossman's Crooked, in what are supposed to be the thoughts of our 37th president, Richard Nixon β€” or, at least, those thoughts as Grossman imagines them.

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Newport Folk Festival
3:28 pm
Sat July 25, 2015

50 Years Ago, Bob Dylan Electrified A Decade With One Concert

Diana Davies Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution

In the early 1960s, burgeoning folk music scenes were burbling up all over the country, and the Newport Folk Festival was their confluence.

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Movie Interviews
3:28 pm
Sat July 25, 2015

Back To Walley World: The Griswolds Go On 'Vacation' Again

Skyler Gisondo (from left), Steele Stebbins, Christina Applegate and Ed Helms are the new Griswold family β€” en route to Walley World β€” in the 2015 follow-up to the 1983 movie Vacation.
Hopper Stone Warner Brothers Pictures

National Lampoon's Vacation has been resurrected: more than 30 years later, the Griswolds are back on another reckless, wild road trip.

In the new movie Vacation, Rusty Griswold, the son from the original series, is all grown up and taking his family on a cross-country trip to the theme park Walley World. It goes about as smoothly as you'd expect.

Co-writers and co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein say the R-rated movie is not a reboot or a remake, but very much a sequel.

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Race
5:48 am
Sat July 25, 2015

A Navajo Speaker Says The Language Connects Her With Her Culture

Supporters of Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene were unhappy last October when a court determined that he did not meet the language requirement.
Felicia Fonseca AP

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 8:55 am

Should the president of the Navajo Nation be required to speak fluent Navajo?

The Navajo Nation held a referendum on that question this week, and the majority voted no.

The vote was victory for supporters of a Navajo presidential candidate who was disqualified last fall because he didn't speak the language fluently. The next Navajo Nation election is in 2018.

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Music Interviews
5:48 am
Sat July 25, 2015

Fossils Of Technology: 'The Imitation Archive' Turns Near-Extinct Machines Into Music

The Harwell Dekatron Computer in Bletchley Park is one of the massive machines used by Matt Parker in his Imitation Archive music.
Courtesy of the National Museum of Computing

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 8:55 am

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Author Interviews
3:35 am
Sat July 25, 2015

In 'Wondering Who You Are,' A Man Wakes Up And Doesn't Know His Wife

Lea and Bandy met in 1976 at a high school dance. "He was the boy from out of town," Lea writes. "I was the girl who wanted out."
John Carswell Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 8:55 am

Sonya Lea and her husband Richard Bandy had a 23-year marriage filled with ups, downs and memories. In 2000 Bandy developed a rare form of appendix cancer and had an operation which was successful β€” sort of.

Bandy lived, but he was almost a different man. He had suffered a post-surgical complication called "anoxic insult" that cut oxygen to his brain and cleared much of his memory. He called his wife "Sweetness," but could not remember how they met, when they got married and the births of their two children. Twenty-three years more or less vanished from his mind.

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Animals
3:27 am
Sat July 25, 2015

When Detecting Land Mines, The Nose Knows β€” Or, In This Case, The Trunk

An elephant in South African offers an up-close glimpse of its prodigious instrument. According to Sean Hensman of Adventures with Elephants, trunks like this one could help the U.S. Army develop a better landmine sensor.
Greatstock/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 9:41 am

In Angola, a civil war that raged for decades has left lingering, and dangerous, reminders of the violence across the countryside. Long since the worst of the fighting ended in 2002, land mines continue to claim lives β€” and not just those of humans.

Even as the elephant population there saw a replenishment in numbers following the war, many of the mammoth animals were being killed by leftover land mines, as well.

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Author Interviews
3:11 am
Tue July 21, 2015

A Lifelong Surfer Explains Why There's No Such Thing As A 'Perfect' Wave

William Finnegan surfs Cloudbreak, off the island of Tavarua in Fiji, in 2005.
Scott Winer

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 12:24 pm

William Finnegan is a New Yorker journalist, but his new memoir doesn't focus on the wars or controversies he's covered. It's about surfing.

Finnegan traces his love of surfing back to his childhood, when he used to watch surfers in Ventura, Calif. He remembers being 10 years old, sitting with his family in a diner, watching waves break on the coast.

It seemed "like they were arriving from some celestial workshop ... carved by ocean angels," he writes. "I wanted to be out there, learning to dance on water."

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All Tech Considered
4:37 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

With Ad Blocking Use On The Rise, What Happens To Online Publishers?

The rise of ad blockers threatens the business model that drives much of the Internet economy.
Danae Munoz Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 11:56 am

Advertising is the basic business model of the Internet. It's one reason we can view online content free of charge.

Millions of Web surfers already download software to block ads online, and that number is growing. Soon, Apple could be making mobile ad blocking easier.

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Animals
4:23 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

PETA Says Undercover SeaWorld Employee Posed As Animal Rights Activist

During the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, SeaWorld's float was accompanied by police in Pasadena, Calif. PETA supporters were arrested for protesting the float that day, and PETA claims that a SeaWorld employee posing as a PETA volunteer tipped police off to the protest.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 9:31 am

In recent years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has waged a protest campaign against SeaWorld, saying that the U.S. theme parks' treatment of trained orcas is cruel. Now, PETA says it has identified a SeaWorld "agent" in its midst.

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Author Interviews
3:12 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

Written In Spanish About Belgium By A Colombian, 'It Feels American'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 3:22 pm

Juan Gabriel VΓ‘squez is best known for his 2013 blockbuster novel The Sound of Things Falling. But more than a decade before that book vaulted him onto the international literary stage, he published a well-reviewed collection of short stories in Spanish.

Now, that collection, Lovers on All Saints' Day, is getting an English translation.

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Music Lists
3:12 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

Written Then, Heard Now: Reimagining Old Texts Through Global Songs

On her album DallΓ«ndyshe, Albanian singer Elina Duni takes up folk songs once used as propaganda by the Communist regime in her home country and reimagines them as modern-day jazz.
Nicolas Masson Courtesy of the artist

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Environment
3:48 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

Stephen Buchmann Scribner

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 4:33 pm

Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid.

"I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees."

These days, he's living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he's now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers β€” he dives into the ways they've laid down roots in human history and culture, too.

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Education
3:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

They're No. 1: U.S. Wins Math Olympiad For First Time In 21 Years

Head coach Po-Shen Loh (far left) and assistant coaches John Berman and Alex Zhai (far right) flank the members of the winning squad: Shyam Narayanan, David Stoner, Michael Kural, Ryan Alweiss, Yang Liu and Allen Liu.
Courtesy of Po-Shen Loh

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 11:26 am

In one of this year's most intense international competitions, the United States has come out as best in the world β€” and this time, we're not talking about soccer.

This week, the top-ranked math students from high schools around the country went head-to-head with competitors from more than 100 countries at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And, for the first time in more than two decades, they won.

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World
3:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

In Northern Ireland, 'Terror Gets Old,' But Divisions Linger

Courtesy of Corinne Purtill and Mark Oltmanns

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 7:00 pm

In Northern Ireland, "the Troubles" β€” the long and bloody conflict between Catholic Irish nationalists and pro-British Protestants β€” formally came to an end with a peace agreement in 1998.

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Music Interviews
3:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Leaving Los Angeles: Rickie Lee Jones Turns A Decade Into An Album

The new album The Other Side of Desire marks Jones' first original material in years, spurred on by a life-changing move to New Orleans.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 12:51 pm

If you turned on a radio in 1979, there was very good chance you'd hear the music of Rickie Lee Jones. At only 24, she leapt onto the world stage with her big single "Chuck E.'s in Love." Rolling Stone called her "the dutchess of coolsville."

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Middle East
6:43 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Former Hostage: Under Deal, Iran Has Less Incentive To Hold Americans

Shourd and fellow hikers Shane Bauer (center) and Josh Fattal held a press conference shortly after Bauer and Fattal were released in 2011. Shourd was released in 2010.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 8:33 am

President Obama responded sharply this week when a reporter asked if he was "content" to celebrate the nuclear deal with Iran when at least three and possibly four Americans are being held in Iranian jails.

"Nobody's content," he said, "and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out."

At least one former American hostage thinks the deal is worth signing, despite the remaining hostages.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:48 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

The Rifleman Who Fiddled For Truman, Churchill And Stalin

Photo from The Rifleman's Violin, directed by Sam Ball, Copyright Citizen Film 2015.
Citizen Film

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 5:39 pm

Seventy years ago, shortly after defeating Nazi Germany, three victorious leaders met in Potsdam, just outside Berlin. President Harry Truman was there with British and Soviet leaders Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Stuart Canin was also there β€” he was a 19-year-old GI from New York City who played the violin.

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Environment
3:09 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Reduce, Reuse, Remove The Cellophane: Recycling Demystified

Workers pull out plastic and trash from a conveyor belt of paper at a recycling plant in Elkridge, Md. The plant processes 1,000 tons of recyclable materials every day.
Dianna Douglas NPR

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 8:29 am

It's easy to think we're being virtuous when we fill up the blue recycling bin and put it on the curb. But it's clear we have embraced some magical thinking when it comes to what can be recycled.

Morning Edition asked its social media followers to share what puzzles them the most about the recycling process. Then, NPR's Dianna Douglas visited a waste management plant in Elkridge, Md., to get the answers from Michael Taylor, director of recycling operations for the plant.

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Parallels
6:41 am
Thu July 16, 2015

The View From Inside Syria

Saeed al-Batal, a Syrian photographer, posted this image from Douma, Syria, on his Facebook page on March 31.
Courtesy of Saeed al-Batal

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 1:46 pm

Syria's civil war has created the worst refugee crisis in the world, with more than 4 million people fleeing the country. Millions more have been displaced inside Syria, though we rarely hear from them.

Over the past year, NPR's Morning Edition has spoken three times with Saeed al-Batal, a photographer and filmmaker who doesn't use his real name for security reasons.

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It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Logo Or No Go? When Campaign Logos Look A Little Too Familiar

@CNNPolitics tweeted a combination of Scott Walker's campaign logo with America's Best Eyeglasses logo to show the design similarities.
Via @CNNPolitics/Twitter

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 6:01 pm

The "E" in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's newly unveiled presidential logo is a stylized American flag β€” as it turns out, one that looks remarkably similar to the logo for America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses.

The company's CEO, Reade Fahs, said he doesn't mind but also that it's unlikely the governor hasn't seen the 18-year-old logo. "It's on hundreds of stores across the country. So assuming he's got good vision, he probably would have spotted it in his campaign travels. And we have lots of stores in Wisconsin too."

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All Tech Considered
1:49 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO

Dr. Lisa Dyson is the CEO of Kiverdi, a next-generation sustainable oil company that converts CO2 and waste carbon gases into oils using biotechnology.
Maurice Dean Courtesy of Lisa Dyson

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 8:03 am

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All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Mon July 13, 2015

Follow #RaceOnTech, Explore Diversity In Tech And Science

Follow the #RaceOnTech hashtag on Twitter to participate in a conversation about diversity in STEM fields.
Mary McLain NPR

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 7:44 am

Silicon Valley admits it has a diversity problem. Companies from Google to Facebook to Twitter have reported that a majority of their employees are white males.

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Music
3:24 pm
Sun July 12, 2015

'Happy Birthday' Hits Sour Notes When It Comes To Song's Free Use

Everyone knows how to sing "Happy Birthday to You." But performing the song in movies or on TV requires payment of sometimes hefty licensing fees. Now the song is at the heart of a lawsuit.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 9:21 pm

The Guinness Book of World Records calls "Happy Birthday to You" the most recognized song in the English language. But you'll rarely ever hear it on TV or in a movie.

Instead, you usually hear something that sounds sort of like the song, but not quite. In Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, for example, the characters sing: "Happy, happy birthday from all of us to you, we wish it was our birthday so we could party, too."

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Author Interviews
3:24 pm
Sun July 12, 2015

After Fight For Life And Media Firestorm, 'Distressed Baby' Is Happy Toddler

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 12:11 pm

In an age of CEO gaffes and snafus, one in particular drew significant backlash last year.

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