NPR News

Around the Nation
5:01 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Colleges Move To Ban Selfie Taking At Graduation Ceremonies

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 am

The University of South Florida told students to think about "the dignity of the ceremony" before attempting a selfie with the university president as she hands them their diplomas.

Europe
4:57 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Amsterdam Mayor May Ban Pot In Red Light District, Court Says

A court in the Netherlands has upheld the mayor's efforts to ban marijuana cafes in an area that permits prostitution.

The Two-Way
4:49 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Three Americans Dead After Shooting At Kabul Hospital

An Afghan police officer kept watch Thursday at the gate of the Cure hospital in Kabul. Earlier, authorities say, a security guard at the hospital opened fire — killing three American citizens.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Three American citizens were killed Thursday at a Christian organization's hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, when an Afghan security guard opened fire. Another American citizen was reportedly wounded.

Government spokesman Sediq Sediqqi says the gunman was shot and wounded and is now under arrest, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul. His gunshot wound may have been self-inflicted.

As Sean tells our Newscast Desk:

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Business
4:38 am
Thu April 24, 2014

FCC Set To Change Net Neutrality Rules

On Thursday, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission will propose new rules for how broadband providers should treat the Internet traffic flowing through their networks.

Business
4:24 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Competition Watches As Wal-Mart Debuts Money Transfer Service

Customers will be able to send and receive up to $900 at a time at more than 4,000 U.S. stores. Analysts don't think the other money transfer clients will be hurt because of their loyal customer base.

NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

U.S. Ramps Up Aid To Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:43 am

The U.S. is increasing both arms and training assistance to the Syrian rebels. Advocates of the program say they hope to change the situation on the ground, others doubt it will help much.

NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Obama: U.S. To Defend Japan In Territorial Disputes With China

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:40 am

President Obama is in Japan for the start of his four-nation Asia visit. The trip aims to assure U.S. allies that they're not forgotten, even as China gets more bullish with its neighbors.

NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep and David Greene have the Last Word in business.

Politics
1:39 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Bob Dole Returns To Kansas For Gratitude Tour

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, center, takes questions while seated between Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and Rep. Kevin Yoder, right, during a visit to the Johnson County Republican headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., on Monday.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:22 am

In Kansas this week, a political icon returned home. Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole has been traveling the state, meeting with friends and supporters who embraced his long political career.

Dole is not running for office, but the 90-year-old has a tour schedule that could tire a politician half his age. He's made 10 public appearances over three days, including a stop at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

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Shots - Health News
1:38 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Why Bill Gates Fights Diseases Abroad, Not At Home

By ensuring vaccines are invented and distributed, Bill Gates says, his foundation is dramatically reducing the number of childhood deaths in poor countries.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:27 am

This week in Seattle, Bill and Melinda Gates are attending a meeting of the minds.

Five-hundred of the world's top innovators in global health have gathered for the Global Health Product Development Forum, an annual event in which scientists, engineers, policymakers and activists work to develop new tools for fighting diseases.

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Paying For College
1:37 am
Thu April 24, 2014

When Money Trumps Need In College Admissions

For many low-income students, economic trends are making the prospect of getting into the college of their choice, and reaching graduation, even more difficult.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:22 am

At some schools, the admissions process itself can work against low-income students, according to Georgia Nugent, former president of Kenyon College and a senior fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges.

Nugent says during her tenure at Kenyon, there were low-income students at the bottom of the admissions list who sometimes weren't accepted so the school could make room for more affluent students.

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Asia
1:37 am
Thu April 24, 2014

After Bangladesh Factory Disaster, Efforts Show Mixed Progress

Garment workers and relatives of Rana Plaza victims stage a demonstration on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 24.
Shariful Islam Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:22 am

One year ago Thursday, an eight-story factory building in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The disaster at Rana Plaza brought new attention to safety conditions in the country's booming garment industry.

In the year since then, some of the world's biggest retailers have begun inspecting Bangladesh's factories more aggressively. But in other ways efforts to reform the industry have fallen short.

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Shots - Health News
10:03 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

FDA Moves To Regulate Increasingly Popular E-Cigarettes

A woman tries electronic cigarettes at a store in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:00 am

The Food and Drug Administration says it will formally propose regulating e-cigarettes.

Early Thursday, the agency unveiled a long-awaited rule that would give it power to oversee the increasingly popular devices, much in the way that it regulates traditional cigarettes.

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Technology
8:51 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

FCC To Propose Change To Net Neutrality Rules, Media Report

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

The FCC is expected to put out new Internet traffic rules that would let content providers negotiate for better service. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Gautham Nagesh.

The Two-Way
6:54 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

WATCH: Young Baseball Fan Learns About The Pain Of Defeat

A young fan reacts to the Cubs blowing a lead in the ninth inning.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:20 am

In life, there are inevitable lessons. For generations of Cubs fans, one of them is the pain that comes from losing.

On Wednesday, the Cubs blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks and taught a young fan that lesson. As Deadspin puts it, he learned "exactly what it means to be a Cubs fan."

Here's the video of the boy reacting to the Diamondbacks scoring the tying run:

Courtesy of SBNation, here's a gif of the moment:

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Reports: FCC Poised For Changes To Net Neutrality Policy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:09 pm

This post was updated at 12:10 a.m. ET on Thursday. See update below for details.

The Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to propose new rules when it comes to net neutrality, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are reporting based on unnamed sources.

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The Salt
4:20 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

President Obama shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo on Wednesday. At Sukiyabashi Jiro, people pay a minimum of $300 for 20 pieces of sushi chosen by the patron, Jiro Ono.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

President Obama kicked off the first leg of his tour of Asia on Wednesday with some sushi diplomacy.

He dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a revered and tiny temple of sushi in Tokyo called Sukiyabashi Jiro. The subterranean restaurant, with just 10 seats at the counter, was made famous by the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales Record

Sovaldi, a daily oral treatment for hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill.
Courtesy of Gilead Sciences

The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. $2.27 billion!

The boffo number beat Wall Street's estimate for the quarter by more than $1 billion.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Scientists Pinpoint Source Of Antarctic 'Quack'

A minke whale photographed in Antarctica last year. The minke, smallest of the baleen whales, turned out to be the mysterious "bio-duck."
Tony Beck/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

For decades, researchers and submarine crews in icy waters off the coast of Antarctica have been picking up a mysterious quacking sound.

The "bio-duck," as its called, has been heard on and off since Cold War patrols picked it up on sonar during the 1960s.

"It goes 'quack, quack, quack, quack,' " says Denise Risch, a marine biologist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. "It has this almost mechanical feel to it."

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Education: Watch This Space
3:24 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

In Age Of Custom-Tailored Ed Tech, Teachers Shop Off The Rack

Free software is fun!
reynermedia Flickr

The big names in the growing education-technology industry gathered in Arizona this week.

The "Education Innovation Summit" styles itself the "Davos of ed-tech." Educators, philanthropists and political leaders like Jeb Bush rubbed elbows with the investors, venture capitalists, big companies like Microsoft and small companies hoping to get big. It's hosted by Arizona State University and GSV, a private equity firm.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Brazil Becomes One Of The First To Adopt Internet 'Bill Of Rights'

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the "NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance", on Wednesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff signed into law a kind of Internet bill of rights on Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
3:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Why Are We Spiteful, Even Though It Bites Us Back?

Angelina Jolie plays the spiteful protagonist in an upcoming movie called "Maleficent," based on "Sleeping Beauty."
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures USA

Maybe you turn up your music when your neighbor complains about the noise.

Or maybe you curse a baby princess because you didn't get invited to her christening, as in "Sleeping Beauty" and its latest incarnation, the upcoming movie "Maleficent."

To see spite in its purest form, try brunch in New York. At the hippest restaurants, patrons will linger at their tables long after they've paid the bill, just to show those losers on the wait list who's boss – even though they're wasting their own time in the process.

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Parallels
3:08 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

CIA Is Quietly Ramping Up Aid To Syrian Rebels, Sources Say

Syrian President Bashar Assad (right) visits the Christian village of Maaloula, near Damascus on Sunday. Assad's forces have been gaining the upper hand in the fighting, and the CIA is now increasing training and aid to Syrian rebels.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:13 pm

The U.S. is providing more arms and training to the moderate rebels in Syria, under a growing secret program run by the CIA in Jordan. Sources tell NPR that secret program could be supplemented by a more public effort in the coming months involving American military trainers.

The change in strategy comes as the White House sees Syrian leader Bashar Assad growing in strength, and continuing to strike rebel strongholds.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Unbeliebable: Justin Offends Asian Fans With Shrine Visit

Justin Bieber poses next to an unidentified man at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.
Retweeted by @sanverde via Instagram

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:26 pm

Pop star Justin Bieber has been lurching from crisis to crisis in recent months, but his latest faux pas could be his biggest, risking the affections of possibly a billion Beliebers.

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Shots - Health News
2:36 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury

Proust and algebra may not sound like brain protection, but higher levels of education correlate with cognitive reserve.
iStockphoto

A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

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Economy
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Big-Time Home Sales Stoke Hope For Northeast Housing Market

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:24 pm

Realtors are seeing reasons for optimism in the housing market. As Kaomi Goetz of WSHU reports, one historic home sale suggests the high end of the market is booming again — in Connecticut, at least.

Latin America
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Chile Wildfire Litters Questions In The Ash Of Burned-Out Homes

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

In Chile, a fire that started in the hills above Valparaiso continues to burn. The blaze has killed 15 people and destroyed 2,500 homes in the area that surrounds Valparaiso. Reporter Alexandra Hall looks at some of those affected.

Europe
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Moscow Answers Ukrainian Offensive With Warning Of Its Own

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said his country would respond if its citizens or interests came under attack in Ukraine. At the same time, the interim Ukrainian government has called for a new offensive on pro-Russia militants holed up in government buildings across eastern Ukraine. Western diplomats are scrambling to find a way to de-escalate the crisis.

Africa
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Slaughter In South Sudan Raises Fears Of Future Violence

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Prompted by calls for violence on the radio, South Sudanese rebels have slaughtered hundreds of civilians. As Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International explains, details are just starting to emerge.

News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Palestinian Talks Could Heal Leadership Divide And Anger Israelis

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Palestinian leaders say they're close to a deal that would end the seven-year division between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Questions remain about whether the deal would hold up, as well as what it might mean for ongoing efforts to forge a deal between Palestinians and Israelis.

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