NPR News

The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Lawrence Herkimer, The Father Of Modern Cheerleading, Dies At 89

Three cheers for Lawrence Herkimer, who did more than anyone to transform cheerleading into an art, a science and a multi-million dollar business.

He died of heart failure on Wednesday in Dallas at age 89, according to his family.

Read more
NPR History Dept.
8:25 am
Sat July 4, 2015

When America's Librarians Went To War

American Library Association volunteers in Paris Feb. 27, 1919
Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives

Looking back at the nationwide support for American troops in World Wars I and II, we see Americans of all stripes making patriotic contributions and sacrifices – farmers, factory workers and librarians.

Read more
NPR Ed
7:25 am
Sat July 4, 2015

At Age 3 — Transitioning From Jack To Jackie

Sisters Jackie Carter Christian (left) and Chloe Marie Christian at the beach.
Courtesy of the Christian family

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

It's controlled after-school anarchy at the Christian-Carter household. Seven-year-old Chloe has rolled herself up in an exercise mat in the living room of the family's lovely Oakland, Calif., home.

"Look I'm a burrito," Chloe shouts.

Her 4-year-old sister, Jackie, swoops in for a bite — and a hard push.

"Ow!" Chloe shouts. "Mom! Jackie pushed me!"

Read more
Parallels
7:07 am
Sat July 4, 2015

A Re-Opened Embassy In Havana Could Be A Boon For U.S. Businesses

A fisherman cycles past the U.S. Interests Section building, behind right, in Havana in May.
Desmond Boylan AP

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

When Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Havana to raise a flag over the soon to be re-opened embassy this summer, it won't be just an important symbolic moment.

The administration says the U.S. will be able to station more American personnel in Cuba, and that should be a big help in practical terms as more Americans travel to and trade with the Cold War-era foe.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:44 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Greek Official: 'Grexit' Would Cost Europe A Trillion Euros

Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks to the assembled media as he leaves his office in Athens, last week.
Daniel Ochoa de Olza AP

Greece's finance minister has accused his nation's creditors of "terrorism" for trying to "instill fear in people" ahead of a referendum on whether to accept the harsh terms of an international bailout designed to keep Athens in the Eurozone.

Yanis Varoufakis, in an interview with the Spanish daily El Mundo, said that there was too much at stake to kick his country out of Europe's common currency, "As much for Greece as for Europe, I'm sure."

Read more
Around the Nation
6:25 am
Sat July 4, 2015

'Chasing Memories' In Their Refugee Camp 40 Years After Fleeing Vietnam

Former refugee Kuo Nam Lo, the reporter's mother, stands outside an old army barracks that's been converted into the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum at Fort Indiantown Gap.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

My mother's family fled communism twice.

The first time was from China. Then, after Saigon fell in 1975, they left Vietnam.

My mother, Kuo Nam Lo, was 24 when she spent her first few months in the U.S. at a refugee camp at a military base along a stretch of the Appalachian Mountains in central Pennsylvania.

"I've always wanted to come back here," my mother told me in Cantonese on a recent drive through Fort Indiantown Gap. "Son, you've made my dream come true."

Read more
Law
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Paper Finds One-Quarter Of Those Killed By Police Are Mentally Ill

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

National Security
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

The White House Invites Tourists To Use Their Cameras

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Fuel Is Crucial In The Battle Over Syria

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Greeks Divided Ahead Of Eurozone Vote

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

LA Police Unit Intervenes To Get Mentally Ill Treatment, Instead Of Jail

Officer Ted Simola, a member of the LAPD mental evaluation unit, responds to a call in February.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

The Los Angeles Police Department's mental evaluation unit is the largest mental health policing program of its kind in the nation, with 61 sworn officers and 28 mental health workers from the county.

The unit has become a vital resource for the 10,000-person police force in Los Angeles.

Officer Ted Simola and his colleagues in the unit work with county mental health workers to provide crisis intervention when people with mental illness come into contact with police.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Just A Few Important Words About The 'Declaration Of Independence'

Artist John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence." It can be seen in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:51 am

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

It's Independence Day. Let's take a break from parades, patriotic songs and pyrotechnics to think about the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Read more
Remembrances
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Remembering 'Britain's Schindler'

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Science
5:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Strontium Nitrate And Barium Nitrate, The Fuel In Fireworks

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 8:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
3:46 am
Sat July 4, 2015

A Bird Of Courage And A Bash In Denmark: The July 4 You Didn't Know

Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey was a much more respectable bird than the eagle.
Kairon Gnothi (Opportunity Knocks) Flickr

Independence Day is typically filled with revelry — many people drink American beer, shoot explosives into the sky and rock red, white and blue apparel that may not be appropriate for everyday wear. It's also a day full of interesting, quirky history that people usually don't talk about between filling their mouths with hot dogs and singing The Star Spangled Banner off-key.

But if you're destined to spend your holiday at, say, a company cookout, here are five things you may not have known about Independence Day that you can use as conversation starters:

Read more
Goats and Soda
3:39 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Need A Hand? Don't Worry, The Ghanaians Got Your Back

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 3:52 am

I finally reached the outskirts of my community after a 5-mile, uphill bike ride from the town where I go to buy groceries.

Hot, exhausted and loaded down with rice, bananas and mangoes, I didn't have the energy to go the final few hundred yards to reach the compound where I live.

Luckily, I didn't have to.

From the distance I heard cries of "n be Wumpini lo lo ni." That means "Welcome home my sister Wumpini." (That's my local name; it means God's gift.)

Read more
Environment
3:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

On The Rebound, Panthers Prowl Expanding Swath Of Land In Florida

Panthers roam in rural Collier County, in southwest Florida. As the Florida state animal's population has grown, wildlife officials may seek to take the panther off the endangered species list.
Courtesy of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 4:31 pm

In Florida, the official state animal triggers mixed feelings. The Florida panther has been on the endangered species list for nearly 50 years. From a low point in the 1970s when there were only about 20 panthers in the wild, the species has rebounded.

Now, nearly 200 range throughout southwest Florida. And some officials, ranchers and hunters in the state say that may be about enough.

Florida panthers are a subspecies of the cougar or mountain lion. They're slightly smaller than their cousins, but like them, the panthers need lots of room to roam.

Read more
Architecture
3:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Chicago To Replace Famed Ferris Wheel With Taller One

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 4:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
3:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

In Philadelphia's Fishtown, A Fierce Debate Over The Fate Of A Polish Church

St. Laurentius, a polish Catholic church in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, was closed in March amid fears that it would collapse. Since then, the community has pushed back to save the historic building.
Kim Paynter WHYY

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 4:31 pm

For more than a century, the copper spires of St. Laurentius have stood tall over Philadelphia's Fishtown. But the city's oldest Polish church — founded in 1882 — could soon face the wrecking ball.

Read more
Parallels
3:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Debt Crisis Puts The Squeeze On Greece's Banks

Pensioners queue outside a national bank branch in Athens on Thursday. Greek banks are running out of cash and the situation poses further danger to the economy, analysts say.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 4:31 pm

As they rapidly run out of cash, Greece's banks could hardly be in a more precarious position.

For months, as this crisis has intensified people have been slowly withdrawing their money. The banks have been able to do business only because of emergency loans from the European Central Bank.

But when Greece missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund this week, the ECB decided not to lend any more money.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

#NPRreads: The 'Grexit,' Video Games And Fleeing The Rwandan Genocide

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 3:58 pm

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you five reads.

From Ina Jaffe, NPR's Los Angeles-based correspondent:

Read more
It's All Politics
2:03 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

A Conservative Firebrand From The Start, Ted Cruz Always Had A Plan

Cruz in his high school yearbook; he was president of the drama club.
Second Baptist High School

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 4:31 pm

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

Read more
NPR Story
12:43 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Kids Books Feature Famous Figures As Children

Cover of

Read more
NPR Story
12:43 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

John Adams Wanted Independence Day On July 2, Not July 4

Founding Father John Adams thought that America's independence day celebration should be on July 2, not July 4. July 2, 1776 was day the Continental Congress voted for independence. (Karsun Designs Photography/Flickr)

As the Founding Fathers established the United States of America, they had their eyes on the future and they knew they were making history. But not everyone had the same opinion of the timeline of that history.

Most thought the big day was July 4, when then Continental Congress approved the text of the Declaration of Independence and sent it to the printer. But John Adams believed July 2, 1776, was the really the big day.

Read more
NPR Story
12:43 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Conservationist Madison Stewart Stands Up For Sharks

Recent attacks in North Carolina have heightened the negative public perception of sharks. But for 21-year-old Australian Madison Stewart, sharks are almost family.

Since she was in her early teens, Stewart has made it her mission to preserve and educate the world about the creatures she feels so passionate about.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Pilot In Solar-Powered Plane Sets Aviation Record

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 1:58 pm

A sun-powered airplane has landed in Hawaii after a five-day journey from Japan that smashed the previous record of 76 hours for the longest duration nonstop solo flight.

Pilot André Borschberg set the Solar Impulse 2 down on the tarmac at Kalaeloa Airport outside Honolulu after flying for 120 hours from Nagoya, his team reports.

Read more
Movie Interviews
11:20 am
Fri July 3, 2015

It's All In Your Head: Director Pete Docter Gets Emotional In 'Inside Out'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Read more
Music Interviews
11:20 am
Fri July 3, 2015

Pokey LaFarge Mines His Midwestern Roots, Finds 'Something In The Water'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
10:22 am
Fri July 3, 2015

Parts Of Social-Sharing Site Reddit Go Dark In Apparent User Revolt

The popular Reddit question-and-answer section /r/IAmA, along with hundreds of others, have shut down in an apparent protest over the dismissal of a key figure at the social sharing site.
Screengrab from Reddit.com

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 5:52 pm

An Internet insurrection is taking place on Reddit, where moderators have shut down many of the social sharing site's most popular sections in an apparent protest over the dismissal of Victoria Taylor.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:22 am
Fri July 3, 2015

Iceland's Pirate Party Wins Repeal Of Blasphemy Law

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 10:46 am

Iceland's minority Pirate Party has its first major legislative victory — repealing a 75-year-old blasphemy law that made it a crime to "ridicule or insult" the teachings of a legally recognized religious community.

Read more

Pages