NPR News

The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu January 29, 2015

French Police Question 8-Year-Old Over Alleged Support For Paris Gunmen

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:11 am

French police questioned Wednesday an 8-year-old boy in the southern city of Nice who allegedly made comments praising the gunmen who staged the deadly attack on the weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Third-grader Ahmed, whose last name has not been released, refused to observe the minute of silence with his class following the attack on the magazine. He also allegedly expressed solidarity with the brothers who carried out the Jan. 7 attack.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Sri Lanka Plans Probe Into Alleged Atrocities During Civil War

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena waves to supporters shortly after his election earlier this month. Sirisena looks to be trying to turn a new page in the island nation, which defeated a protracted insurgency in 2009.
Eranga Jayawardena AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:40 am

In a further sign that Sri Lanka's newly elected president wants to deal with the country's troubled past, a government spokesman said today that a new probe is planned to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the island's 26-year civil war.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Jordan Demands Proof Of Life From ISIS Militants

Relatives of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by ISIS militants in Syria, protest Tuesday in front of the royal palace in Amman, Jordan. Jordan has suggested it might be willing to hold a prisoner exchange for his release.
Jamal Nasrallah EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:18 am

Jordan is asking the so-called Islamic State to prove that a pilot the group is holding is still alive.

Mohammed al-Momani, a spokesman for the Jordanian government, said the government is seeking proof of life before it releases Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman who was convicted in relation to a deadly attack on a hotel in Amman.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Thu January 29, 2015

U.S. Scientist Jailed For Trying To Help Venezuela Build Bombs

Former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni was sentenced Wednesday to five years in jail.
Heather Clark AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:52 am

A scientist who worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and who pleaded guilty two years ago to promising to build nuclear weapons for Venezuela, has been sentenced to five years in jail.

Argentina-born Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, a 79-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, told undercover FBI agents posing as Venezuelan officials that he could design and supervise the building of 40 nuclear weapons for Caracas, including one targeted on New York City, in exchange for an unspecified amount of money.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Raúl Castro Demands Return Of Guantánamo Before Normalizing Ties With U.S.

Cuba's President Raul Castro listens during the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in San Antonio de Belen, Costa Rica, on Wednesday.
Roberto Carlos Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:00 am

Cuban President Raúl Castro seemed to throw some pretty big hurdles in front of efforts to establish normal diplomatic relations with the United States.

In a speech at a summit of Latin American countries, President Raúl Castro said a rapprochement with its northern neighbor would not make sense without three conditions: 1. The lifting of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. 2. The return of the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay. 3. Compensation for "human and economic damage" the Cuban people have suffered.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Malaysia Says Disappearance Of MH370 Was An Accident

A relative of a passenger of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 holds a picture of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak with the writing "Please bring back my husband."
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:08 am

The government of Malaysia has now officially declared the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident.

The aircraft is thought to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014, but search crews haven't found a trace of it.

The BBC reports:

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Around the Nation
5:31 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Avoids Angering Mother Bear

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:50 am

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

Around the Nation
5:31 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Bar Patrons Duct-Taped Rowdy Customer

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:50 am

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

The Two-Way
4:03 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Obama's Budget Would Undo Broad, Automatic Cuts Made In 2013

President Obama speaks to the media after the automatic budget cuts associated with the sequester took effect in March 2013.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 7:07 am

When President Obama meets with House Democrats tonight during their retreat in Philadelphia, officials say he'll lay out the details of his budget proposal, which will include reversal of large cuts to federal spending instituted in 2013.

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Latin America
3:42 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Argentine Prosecutor Was A Divisive Figure In Life And In Death

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:52 am

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

Latin America
3:42 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Examining The Sinister Background Of Argentina's Spy Agency

A woman holds up a portrait of late prosecutor Alberto Nisman near the funeral home where a private wake was held for him Wednesday in Buenos Aires.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:09 am

The mysterious death of an Argentine prosecutor has brought attention to the dark history of the country's intelligence agency. The Intelligence Secretariat began in the aftermath of World War II, when its first mission was to help Nazis fleeing Germany find shelter in Argentina. This strange and troubling start foreshadowed the murky dealings to come.

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NPR Story
3:03 am
Thu January 29, 2015

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Debate At Koch Brothers Forum

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:02 am

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

Business
2:14 am
Thu January 29, 2015

And So We Meet, Again: Why The Workday Is So Filled With Meetings

PW Illustration Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 6:46 am

The ouster of Bryan Stockton from his perch as CEO at Mattel this week came as the toymaker's best-known brands like Barbie stagnate and it loses business to Web-based games.

Stockton himself said last year that Mattel lacked an innovative culture and blamed it in part on something specific: bad meetings. That's a common and persistent corporate ailment.

Scott Ryan-Hart is a cartographer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, where a typical meeting can last more than two hours.

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Economy
2:14 am
Thu January 29, 2015

For Long-Haul Drivers, Cheap Gas Means A Sweeter Commute

Jed Brown drives 100 miles each day to work between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cheaper gas is making his commute more manageable, but he doesn't expect the low prices to last.
Uri Berliner NPR

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 6:21 am

With wages still stuck for many Americans, the big drop in gasoline prices is the equivalent of an unexpected cash bonus for the nation's drivers.

The average American household is expected to save $750 this year from lower gas prices, according to the Energy Department.

But Thomas Kinnaman, an economist at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., says it's instructive to look beyond the word "average."

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

ISIS Hostage Said To Announce New Deadline For Prisoner's Release

Relatives of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by ISIS militants in Syria, protest in front of royal palace in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday. Jordan has suggested it might be willing to hold a prisoner exchange for his release.
JAMAL NASRALLAH EPA /LANDOV

In an update to a complicated situation, a Japanese hostage held by the violent extremist group ISIS has reportedly been forced to record a message setting a Thursday deadline for Jordan to release an Iraqi prisoner. If not, the message says, the group will kill a Jordanian pilot it's holding.

The new demand and deadline was reported Wednesday, the day ISIS's original 24-hour deadline for the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, Iraqi prisoner held in Jordan, was to expire.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

The Next Air Force One Will Be A Boeing 747-8

Air Force One, carrying President Obama, passes a Boeing building in Seattle. The Air Force has announced that the next Air Force One will also be a Boeing aircraft.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:22 pm

The Air Force has picked a new Air Force One, the Boeing 747-8, and it wasn't even a close race. In a statement announcing the pick, the Air Force said the decision was made "through a Determinations and Findings document, which "authorizes the commercial aircraft purchase by other than full and open competition."

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Rare Fox Takes A Walk In The Park, And Yosemite Staff Cheer

A Sierra Nevada red fox was photographed twice in recent weeks, thanks to a remote motion-sensitive camera.
National Park Service

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 7:00 am

It's been nearly 100 years since a sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox was documented in Yosemite National Park, according to park staff. But a remote motion-sensitive camera recently took photos of one of the rare animals as it padded across the snow.

"The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America," reports Ed Joyce of Capital Public Radio, "likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals."

Now researchers believe they've seen one of the foxes twice since the start of December.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

AG Nominee Lynch Says She Differs From Obama On Marijuana

Loretta Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, leaves for a lunch break during a daylong Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination to be U.S. attorney general.
Pete Marovich UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 7:55 am

During her first day of confirmation hearings for attorney general, nominee Loretta Lynch gave answers that seemed in line with President Obama. But then she was asked about marijuana, and whether she supports legalizing it.

"Senator, I do not," Lynch told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., when he asked whether she supports making pot legal.

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The Salt
4:28 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:44 am

You want a cup of decaf. Your significant other is craving the fully caffeinated stuff. With the simple push of a button, Keurig's single-serving K-Cup coffee pods can make both of you happy.

But those convenient little plastic pods can pile up quickly, and they're not recyclable. And that's created a monster of an environmental mess, says Mike Hachey. Literally.

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U.S.
4:20 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Beefed-Up Border Security Proposal Unsettles Texas Business Leaders

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Parallels
4:20 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Amid Fighting In Donetsk, On Edge And Seeking Safety Underground

A woman sits inside a bomb shelter in Donetsk on Wednesday. Some local residents have lived in bomb shelters and basements for more than a month, looking for cover from artillery strikes.
Alexander Ermochenko Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:01 pm

As war rages in eastern Ukraine, European Union foreign ministers are preparing to meet Thursday to consider drastic new sanctions against Russia.

The EU and the United States say Moscow's troops and weapons are directly involved in an offensive by anti-government militias in Ukraine's eastern provinces.

The offensive is the latest phase in a war that has racked the region since last April — and it's grinding hard on the civilians who are caught in the middle.

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All Tech Considered
4:20 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

'Maker Space' Allows Kids To Innovate, Learn In The Hospital

Emily Neblett, a patient at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., demonstrates circuit pieces from the mobile maker space that are connected by magnets.
Noah Nelson Youth Radio

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:49 pm

All around the country, computer hackers, artists and other do-it-yourselfers are meeting up in "maker spaces," to share tools and build cool stuff together, such as robots or musical instruments. Maker spaces are popping up in all sorts of places: school auditoriums, libraries, under tents at community festivals, and now, even at the hospital.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson Steps Down

McDonald's President and CEO Don Thompson is retiring and will be replaced by Steve Easterbrook, the fast-food giant said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Back From The Dead: A Cat Returns Home 5 Days After His Burial

Lori Piper, right, and Aleks Gramza treat Bart on Tuesday at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Bart was hit by a car, buried and apparently crawled back to his owner five days later.
Danyelle Ho AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:14 am

We wrote about dogs today and so, in the interest of bipartisanship, this story is about cats – one cat in particular: Bart.

Bart's owner, Ellis Hutson, 52, of Tampa, Fla., said he found the 1 1/2-year-old feline last week in the middle of the street. The cat was lifeless and lying in a pool of blood after apparently being struck by a car.

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World
3:36 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Israeli Soldiers Killed In Renewed Fighting With Hezbollah

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

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

Middle East
3:36 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Jordan Tests Coalition Against ISIS With Offer To Negotiate

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:25 pm

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

The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Supreme Court Tells Oklahoma To Put Off Executions, Citing Drug Dispute

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

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Middle East
2:34 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Jordan Considers Handing Over Prisoner For Hostage Pilot

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:39 pm

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

Education
2:29 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

At 100, Dartmouth Grad Still Writing His Class Notes

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

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

Law
2:28 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Judge Throws Out Convictions Of Civil Rights Pioneers, 'Friendship 9'

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

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

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