NPR News

NPR Story
1:29 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

IBM Bets $3 Billion On 'Internet Of Things'

Manju Malkani, IBM analytics consultant, left, and Paul Walsh, Vice President of Weather Analytics at The Weather Company, access real-time weather data through IBM Watson Analytics, in NYC on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. (Jon Simon/IBM)

IBM announced Tuesday that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new “Internet of Things” division that will be charged with finding ways to use its data in the growing market of Internet-connected devices.

The announcement comes the same day IBM also revealed a new partnership with The Weather Company, known for its media properties like the Weather Channel and weather.com.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Buhari's Campaign: Nigeria's President Concedes Defeat

Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign says President Goodluck Jonathan called to concede defeat, paving the way for a peaceful transfer of power in Africa’s richest and most populous nation.

An aide in Jonathan’s offices says the president is preparing to make a speech.

Buhari’s campaign office sent text messages to journalists saying Jonathan had called Buhari to say he will concede.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

15 Years Later, Putin Is Still In Power And Popular At Home

This week marked 15 years since Vladimir Putin first came to power. He won over 50 percent of the vote and took the reins from Russia’s first President, Boris Yeltsin.

Today, Russia’s main polling agency recently recorded his support at around 85 percent. That popularity at home is a far cry from the image of Mr. Putin in the West, where he’s seen as a power-hungry leader and a threat to European security.

The BBC’s Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford explores what makes Putin so appealing to Russian voters.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Dozens Of Countries Join China-Backed Bank Opposed By Washington

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (left) speaks during the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank last year in Beijing.
Getty Images

Dozens of countries have slid under today's deadline to join a China-backed infrastructure development bank that is opposed by Washington.

U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia were among the more than 40 nations that signed up at the last moment as founding members of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

What The 2016 Hopefuls Are Saying About Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Law

Opponents of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act gathered in front of the Indiana State House Saturday.
Doug McSchooler AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:34 pm

A controversial law in Indiana has made its way into the 2016 presidential race. Supporters praise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's for protecting religious convictions, but the law has drawn wide criticism from those who say it allows businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian patrons.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Obama Releases Frozen Military Aid To Egypt

The White House says the U.S. is supplying Egypt with 12 F-16s, 20 Harpoon missiles and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits – delivery of which was suspended in 2013 after a military-backed coup ousted President Mohammed Morsi and cracked down on his supporters.

A White House statement also said President Obama directed the continued request of an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance, in the form of foreign military financing.

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Shots - Health News
1:11 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Hackers Teach Computers To Tell Healthy And Sick Brain Cells Apart

The Allen Institute for Brain Science hosted its first BigNeuron Hackathon in Beijing earlier this month. Similar events are planned for the U.S. and U.K.
Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Brain researchers are joining forces with computer hackers to tackle a big challenge in neuroscience: teaching computers how to tell a healthy neuron from a sick one.

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The Salt
12:52 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

The Resurrection Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Revived

"This lamb ham is sweet, buttery and smoky, with just a hint of lamb flavor," says Sam Edwards, one of the Virginians who is bringing back the colonial style of curing lamb.
Courtesy of Sammy Edwards

Roast rack of lamb or a platter of smoked, glazed ham — which dish should be the centerpiece of the Easter table?

Lamb is rich in religious symbolism: A sacrificial lamb was first served by Jewish people on Passover, and Christians often refer to Jesus as the lamb of God. But ham feeds more guests and makes tastier leftovers.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Nigerian President Said To Concede Election To Opposition Candidate

Supporters of opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) party celebrate in Kano, northern Nigeria on Monday.
Ben Curtis AP

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly called his rival to congratulate him on his victory.

The AP reports that opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari's campaign said Jonathan made the call on Tuesday, after partial election results showed Buhari leading by close to 3 million votes.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart's Replacement, Goes From Hero To Villain In 24 Hours

Trevor Noah, 31, will become the new host of The Daily Show later this year.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:02 pm

Trevor Noah, if you haven't heard by now, will replace Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central's Daily Show.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Staff At Britain's Windsor Castle May Strike Over Low Wages

Windsor Castle, home to the British monarchy for hundreds of years, was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s, according to the monarchy's official website.
W. Buss De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:22 pm

Staff at Windsor Castle, one of Britain's most popular tourists sites, begin voting today whether to go on strike over low wages. It is the first time Queen Elizabeth is facing such an action by members of the royal household.

The union representing 120 employees at Windsor Castle — everything from wardens to ticket office personnel — will ballot members to decide whether to take action.

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Politics
11:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Alabama Judge Says Raising Money To Be Elected Is 'Tawdry'

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:27 pm

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

Music
11:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

No Hits, No Problem: Captain Beefheart's Major Label Run

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:27 pm

In 1970, Warner Bros. Records had an unusual philosophy: they'd sign artists and, instead of wanting a hit single immediately, they'd develop them over several albums. This way, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Little Feat, and Randy Newman got big career boosts. They also took a chance on Captain Beefheart, and although neither a hit single nor a hit album resulted, some very interesting music did. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story.

Goats and Soda
9:44 am
Tue March 31, 2015

If Drones Make You Nervous, Think Of Them As Flying Donkeys

It's a drone delivery! This 'copter is ferrying medicine from a pharmacy to the headquarters of Deutsche Post in Bonn, part of a test of drone capabilities.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:13 pm

One week last year, Jonathan Ledgard was talking with White House officials about how drones could deliver cargo to remote Africa. The next week, he was in a remote African village, telling elders how drones could change their lives.

He heard the same fears from both audiences: Will the drones crash into houses? Will they spy on people? Will they attack people?

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Major Power Outage Darkens Dozens Of Cities In Turkey

Parts of the subway system were shut down in the city of Bursa when a major power outage hit cities and provinces across Turkey on Tuesday.
Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:10 pm

A massive power outage hit dozens of Turkish cities and provinces Tuesday, bringing public transportation services to a halt and disrupting businesses that have no backup power.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said officials are investigating all possible causes, including a terrorist attack, for the electricity shutoff across Turkey, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

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Shots - Health News
9:19 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Meet The Bacteria That Make A Stink In Your Pits

While you're resting, your armpit bacteria are hard at work pumping out stinky thioalcohols.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:22 am

The human armpit has a lot to offer bacteria. It's moist, it's warm, and it's usually dark.

But when the bacteria show up, they can make a stink. That's because when some kinds of bacteria encounter sweat they produce smelly compounds, transforming the armpit from a neutral oasis to the mothership of body odor. And one group of bacteria is to blame for the stink, researchers say.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Tue March 31, 2015

U.S. Promises To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up To 28 Percent By 2025

President Barack Obama, seen here inspecting solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy, has submitted a U.S. pledge to reduce greenhouse gases.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:06 am

The Obama administration is pledging that the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels over the next 10 years. The new target was submitted today to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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Code Switch
8:33 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Fear Of Black Men In America: Join Our Twitter Chat #FearAndRace

Chat with us on twitter today at 12:30 p.m. ET using the hashtag #FearAndRace.
Andreas Eldh Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:18 am

NPR's Michel Martin led two challenging conversations about race this week, focusing on fearful perceptions of African-American men and how these fears play out in people's everyday lives. Guests including author and Georgetown University Law Professor Paul Butler examined the research and the complicated emotions behind this fear.

"When you're in an elevator or walking behind somebody and you feel like you have to perform to make them feel safe, it's like apologizing for your existence," says Butler.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Deadline Day Arrives For Iran Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:45 am

The six nations that have been debating a plan to curb Iran's nuclear program and ease economic sanctions will hit the deadline for a framework agreement at 6 p.m. ET. Ahead of that deadline, there are signs that a deal is in the works — and that it might not be a sweeping arrangement that lays out future terms.

Early Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he believed an agreement would be reached by the end of the day.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Indiana Governor Stands By 'Religious Freedom' Law But Promises Fix

Demonstrators gather outside the City County Building in Indianapolis on Monday, calling for the state House to roll back the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:21 am

A new Indiana law that has set off a firestorm of criticism and threats of boycotts should be repealed or revised, says Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, whose city is hosting the NCAA men's basketball tournament's Final Four this weekend.

Around midday Tuesday, Gov. Mike Pence said the controversial legislation will be clarified instead of being annulled. He added, "We'll fix this and we'll move forward."

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Live From Small Town America: Teachers Who Blog To Stay In Touch

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:53 am

Katie Morrow became a teacher, among other things, because of wanderlust.

"I'm going to be a teacher because I can go anywhere in the world," she thought.

She's originally from a small town in Nebraska called O'Neill, population 3,700. "In the middle of nowhere, literally," she says.

So where did she end up teaching? Right back in O'Neill. She fell in love with a hometown boy and ended up at O'Neill's only public school. It's K-12, with 750 students.

Morrow teaches middle-school English; she's also a technology integration specialist.

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Around the Nation
5:40 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Colorado Allows Sales Of Powdered Alcohol

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:40 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Selfie Sticks Get The Boot At Coachella And Lallapalooza

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Afghanistan
3:00 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Ascent Of Afghan Women

Sandra Calligaro for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:18 am

Zahra Karimi Nooristani, 18, cautiously works her way down a rock face high above Kabul as her coach, Farhad Jamshid, guides her.

It is hazardous for his top female student to be rappelling here, not only because of the steep drop, but because she is using a frayed, nine-year-old rope handed down from the men's mountaineering team.

Another danger she faces is the prospect of her neighbors finding out she's climbing at all.

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Shots - Health News
2:58 am
Tue March 31, 2015

No Easy, Reliable Way To Screen For Suicide

About twice a year, statistics suggest, a pilot somewhere in the world — usually flying alone — deliberately crashes a plane. The Germanwing flight downed last week may be one such case. But most people who fit the psychological profile of the pilots in these very rare events never have problems while flying.
Patrik Stollarz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:37 pm

Even a careful psychiatric examination of the co-pilot involved in last week's Germanwings jetliner crash probably would not have revealed whether he intended to kill himself, researchers say.

"As a field, we're not very good at accurately predicting who is at risk for suicidal behavior," says Matthew Nock, a psychology professor at Harvard. He says studies show that mental health professionals "perform no better than chance" when it comes to predicting which patients will attempt suicide.

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NPR Story
2:58 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Indianapolis Mayor Calls On Legislature To Repeal Or Ammend Bill

Demonstrators gather outside the City County Building in Indianapolis Monday, calling for the state house to roll back the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That Republican mayor of Indianapolis is Greg Ballard, and he's on the line now. Mayor Ballard, welcome to the program.

MAYOR GREG BALLARD: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

INSKEEP: So what's wrong with this law?

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NPR Story
2:58 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Indiana GOP To Revisit Controversial Religious Freedom Act

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

Copyright 2015 Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations. To see more, visit http://ipbs.org/.

NPR Story
2:58 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Negotiations Over Iran's Nuclear Program Come Down To The Wire

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:49 am

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

Television
2:58 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Trevor Noah To Replace Jon Stewart As Host Of 'The Daily Show'

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mark this next story as a sign of a changing nation. Comedy Central has announced the successor to Jon Stewart. Trevor Noah takes over "The Daily Show," the fake news program that's often as influential as real news shows.

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The Two-Way
8:06 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Venezuela Cuts Oil Subsidies To Caribbean Nations

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

Low oil prices are forcing Venezuela to cut a generous subsidy program to Cuba and a dozen other Caribbean nations.

Venezuela is Latin America's largest oil producer, and its economy depends heavily on oil exports. It's been been hit hard by the tumbling oil prices.

"Venezuela is in desperate straits. The oil sector has been deteriorating, and now with the slumping oil prices, they needed cash desperately," says Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies the region.

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