NPR News

Middle East
1:38 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Efforts To Free Japanese ISIS Captive 'Deadlocked'

A top Japanese diplomat says efforts to free a captive journalist from the militant Islamic State group have reached a "state of deadlock."

The fate of veteran war reporter Kenji Goto has been linked to that of another hostage, Jordanian fighter pilot Lt. Muath Kaseasbeh, whom the extremist also have threatened to kill.

Jordan and Japan are reportedly conducting indirect negotiations with the militants who control a third of both Iraq and Syria.

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The Two-Way
7:16 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

In Qatar, Released Taliban Member Raises U.S. Concerns

One of the Taliban officials who were released last year in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has raised U.S. officials' suspicions that he might attempt to reconnect with the group.

The exchange of five men who had been detained at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been captured in 2009, occurred on May 31, 2014. It set off a range of reactions, from happiness at the soldier's safe return to anger that the Obama administration had released five senior members of the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

An Archer Goes Old-School, And Wows The Internet

Danish archer Lars Andersen calls himself "the fastest archer alive" — and he seeks to prove it, in a new video.
Lars Andersen

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 6:15 pm

It would be perfectly normal to think of archery as a sport defined by accuracy. But a Danish man who says he researched archery's historic methods is arguing for speed and agility, as well: Lars Andersen has released a video in which he fires three arrows in 0.6 seconds.

In fact, Andersen makes a claim to the title of "the fastest archer alive."

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Goats and Soda
4:25 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Measles Is A Killer: It Took 100,000 Lives Worldwide Last Year

A Vietnamese boy is treated for measles in a state-run hospital in April 2014.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:35 pm

The number of measles cases from the outbreak linked to Disneyland has now risen to at least 98. But measles remains extremely rare in the United States.

The rest of the world hasn't been so fortunate. Last year roughly 250,000 people came down with measles; more than half of them died.

Currently the Philippines is experiencing a major measles outbreak that sickened 57,000 people in 2014. China had twice that many cases, although they were more geographically spread out. Major outbreaks were also recorded in Angola, Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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The Salt
4:21 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

The founder and chairman of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 6:40 pm

Shake Shack, the Manhattan-based burger chain, has a cult following, and investors gobbled up shares Friday when it became a publicly traded company.

In its initial public offering, shares were priced at $21, but they jumped to nearly $50 as trading began, and closed the day just under $46.

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Parallels
4:19 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Argentine Official Says He Sought Cooperation With Iran, Not Cover-Up

Argentina's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman on Jan. 15 shows a letter he said was sent in 2013 to Interpol informing it of an agreement reached with Iran's government to investigate the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association that killed 85 people. Timerman says he met with Iran in an attempt to solve the case and denies accusations he was part of a cover-up.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:49 pm

Shortly before Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a bullet in his head, he accused Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez, and others in her government of covering up what he said was Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

Nisman claimed that those involved in the cover-up included Foreign Minister Hector Timerman — a particularly sensitive accusation not only because of his position but because of his background.

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Code Switch
3:24 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Is There A #PubRadioVoice That Sounds Like America?

#PubRadioVoice brought together our listeners with African-American and Latino radio journalists in a discussion on whether the voices on air truly represent the "public" in public radio.
Emily Jan NPR

Chenjerai Kumanyika, a professor at Clemson University and aspiring public radio journalist, sparked a challenging conversation with his commentary about the "whiteness" of public radio voices. We hosted a Twitter chat about his essay and invited listeners and public radio professionals to share their thoughts using #PubRadioVoice.

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The Salt
3:22 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

The Real Super Sunday Battle Is In The Snack Bowl

The defending champion and favorite remains the chicken wing. But underdog snacks like the carrot are trying to elbow their way into the competition.
Leif Parsons for NPR; Source: whologwhy/Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:11 pm

Here at The Salt, we have been overwhelmed with emails brimming with factoids and completely unsubstantiated assertions about the food that Americans will consume on Sunday as they watch gigantic athletes burn through calories at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

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NPR Ed
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

The True Costs Of Community College

Tyfanni Edwards and Dominique Bell, both 19, have part time jobs and also attend Berkeley City College part time.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:55 pm

On the first day of spring semester at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, Calif., hundreds of students rush to print out their schedules and find their next class. But some have to stand in line at the financial aid office. That's where I run into Dominique Bell and Tyfanni Edwards, both 19.

They're here to check on the status of their financial aid. Edwards says she's "trying to see what's going on with that [financial aid] because I haven't gotten it yet."

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Europe
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Civilians In Eastern Ukraine Flee As Fighting Intensifies

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:29 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder Turns To Voters To Approve Tax Increase

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:29 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Europe
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Latvia Keeps Careful Eye Trained On Russia

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:29 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Edgars Rinkevics is the foreign minister of Latvia. His country now holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Minister Rinkevics, thank you very much for joining us today.

EDGARS RINKEVICS: My pleasure.

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Law
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

'Suge' Knight Charged With Murder After Fatal Hit-And-Run

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:29 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

By Impersonating Her Mom, A Comedian Grows Closer To Her

Think of human relationships as entanglements. How do they bind you; how do they reveal who you really are?
Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:21 pm

In this episode of Invisibilia, NPR's new show about human behavior, we wanted to explore entanglements: the invisible ways we're entangled with each other. So we called a comedian.

I'm a fan of Maria Bamford, who has done impressions of her mother throughout her career:

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Close Friend Of Putin Awarded Contract For Crimea Bridge

In a photo taken in Aug. 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, is shown with businessman and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, right, mourn during a farewell ceremony for Putin's first judo coach, Anatoly Rakhlin in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Mikhail Klimentyev AP

Moscow has awarded a $3 billion contract to build a bridge linking Russia with the newly annexed Crimean peninsula to a close friend of President Vladimir Putin.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

WATCH: Forget Crop Circles, This Farmer Is Making Art With His Cows

A farmer makes art by herding his cows.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:28 pm

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NPR Story
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Rod McKuen, Mega-Selling Poet And Performer, Dies At 81

Rod McKuen performs on November 12, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. (David Livingston/Getty Images)

Rod McKuen, the husky-voiced “King of Kitsch” whose avalanche of music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and ’70s overwhelmed critical mockery and made him an Oscar-nominated songwriter and one of the best-selling poets in history, has died. He was 81.

McKuen died Thursday morning at a rehabilitation center in Beverly Hills, California, where he had been treated for pneumonia and had been ill for several weeks and was unable to digest food, his half-brother Edward McKuen Habib said.

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NPR Story
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Cowboy Poets Gather At Annual Celebration

The 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is underway in Elko, Nevada. Last year, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with an attendee named Gaul Steiger, a cattle rancher who comes from a long line of cowboy poets. We revisit that conversation.

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NPR Story
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

U.S. Economic Growth Falls Short In Fourth Quarter

The economy has slowly been bouncing back since the recession ended in 2009, but predictions for 2014 fell short of expectations in the final quarter.

The economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the October to December period. The growth for the year was a moderate 2.4 percent.

Early 2015 predictions by economists say things are looking up. Mike Regan, editor for Bloomberg News speaks with Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about last year’s GDP and the year ahead.

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Remembrances
12:29 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers Long-Time New York TV And Radio Personality Joe Franklin

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JOE FRANKLIN SHOW")

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Author Interviews
12:29 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet? New Book Explores The Paradox Of Parenting

Kids can be magical and maddening. The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of raising a child.

Originally broadcast Feb. 4, 2014.

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

Transcript

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Kerry Fined $50 For Not Shoveling Sidewalk Outside Boston Home

Secretary of State John Kerry greets new Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday. the city of Boston fined Kerry $50 on Thursday for failing to clear his sidewalk after this week's massive snowstorm.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 3:37 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia this week with President Obama meeting that country's new king. So, when the massive snowstorm hit the Northeast this week, the sidewalk outside his Boston home wasn't cleared. The city, as The Boston Globe puts it, took notice.

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Shots - Health News
11:23 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Obama Wants Funding For Research On More Precise Health Care

Harvard University student Elana Simon introduces President Obama before he spoke at the White House Friday about an initiative to encourage research into more precise medicine.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

You may soon be able to donate your personal data to science. There are plans afoot to find 1 million Americans to volunteer for a new Precision Medicine Initiative that would anonymously link medical records, genetic readouts, details about an individual's gut bacteria, lifestyle information and maybe even data from your Fitbit.

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Code Switch
11:18 am
Fri January 30, 2015

What Research Says About The Consequences Of PC Culture

One of the most popular arguments against political correctness is that it stifles speech, but a Cornell study found that it boosted creativity in mixed-gender groups.
Tamir Kalifa AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:32 pm

By now, you've surely seen Jonathan Chait's sprawling takedown of what he describes as a dangerous resurgence of political correctness in the 21st century. In his telling, a "PC culture" that flourished on college campuses in the '90s is back, stronger than ever thanks to Twitter and social media, and it's been crippling political discourse — and maybe even democracy itself.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Jeremy The Koala, Rescued From Australian Brush Fire, Goes Home

Jeremy the Koala.
BBC Weather

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 2:31 pm

Jeremy the koala — who became a social-media sensation after a photo went viral showing him recuperating from injuries sustained in an Australian wildfire — is being released back into the wild.

The three-year-old male koala, nicknamed after his rescuer, was removed from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia after a massive brush fire swept through the area. His paws had been burned and he was badly in need of treatment.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Bomb Attack On Shiite Mosque In Pakistan Leaves At Least 55 Dead

Pakistani protesters in Karachi condemn a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Shikarpur on Friday.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:33 pm

At least 55 people are dead and dozens injured after a blast ripped through a mosque in southern Pakistan where worshipers had gathered for Friday prayers.

Jundullah, a Sunni militant group with links to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack on the mosque in Shikarpur, Sindh province.

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Experiments With Coordinating Medical Care Deliver Mixed Results

Medical homes are a simple, compelling idea: Give primary-care doctors resources to reduce preventable medical crises for diabetics, asthmatics and others with chronic illness, and it will reduce hospital visits, improve lives and save money.

But it's not so easy in practice.

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Shots - Health News
9:22 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Diabetes Technology Inches Closer To An Artificial Pancreas

The Dexcom Share device is designed to help monitor glucose levels remotely.
Dexcom, Inc.

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 3:33 pm

Every person who uses insulin to manage diabetes wants what they don't have — a replacement for their malfunctioning pancreas. And though the technology isn't yet to the point of creating an artificial pancreas, it's getting a lot closer.

Just last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a mobile app-based system that can monitor a person's sugar levels remotely. Parents can monitor a child's sugar while she or he is in school, for example, providing greater peace of mind.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Balloonists Crossing Pacific Set Distance Record

In this photo provided by the Two Eagles balloon team, Troy Bradley of New Mexico and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan.
Troy Bradley AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 9:36 am

Two balloonists have unofficially left a distance record in their wake as they head east over the Pacific Ocean. They lifted off from Japan, and now they're getting ready for a landing on Saturday somewhere on Mexico's Baja peninsula.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Jailed Saudi Blogger Granted Another Reprieve From Flogging; Reason Unclear

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:55 pm

Saudi authorities have once again canceled the scheduled flogging of blogger Raif Badawi, who is being punished for insulting Islam, according to Amnesty International, the human rights group that has been closely following the case.

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