NPR News

Sports
8:09 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Top Teams Sitting Out Of NBA Playoffs

Some of the NBA's hottest teams missed the cut for this year's playoffs. And to what lengths will Cuban athletes go for a chance to play in the MLB? ESPN.com's Howard Bryant tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn.

The Two-Way
7:41 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Ukraine Calls An Easter Truce In Clash With Militants

Masked pro-Russian activists guard a barricade at an occupied regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, Saturday. Ukraine says it is suspending an "anti-terrorist" operation for Easter.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Citing progress in diplomacy and this weekend's Easter holiday, Ukrainian officials say they've suspended an "anti-terrorist operation" that is aimed at pro-Russian forces who have occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Captain Apologizes As Death Toll Rises In S. Korea Ferry Accident

A South Korean navy frogman dives into a water to search passengers believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday.
Lee Jin-man AP

Divers searching a sunken South Korean ferry have found three more bodies, bringing the number of victims to 32. Since the ship sank Wednesday, difficult conditions have complicated recovery efforts; heavy cranes have arrived that can shift the ferry, but officials say they'll wait to use them until they're sure none of the hundreds still missing managed to survive.

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Africa
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Polio Threatens To Spread Through Central Africa

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 8:08 am

A polio outbreak in Cameroon has spread to Equatorial Guinea and threatens to move throughout Central Africa. Before the outbreak, Equatorial Guinea had been free of polio for nearly 15 years.

Asia
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Avalanche Sweeps 12 Sherpas Off Mt. Everest

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:58 am

Twelve sherpas died in a recent avalanche on Mount Everest. Climber Conrad Anker explains that the guides were helping prepare a route for hundreds of climbers expected for the coming summer season.

Middle East
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Syrian Rebel Stronghold On The Verge Of Government Takeover

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:58 am

The Syrian city of Homs has been a rebel stronghold since the anti-government uprising began. But one rebel tells NPR that they're low on ammunition and medical gear.

Europe
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Putin Tries To Sell Ukraine's Muslims On Russian Rule

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:58 am

Russian President Putin is reaching out to Muslims in Crimea. Professor Robert Crews tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn that Putin is trying to build alliances in the Muslim world to weigh against the West.

Technology
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 8:09 am

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Around the Nation
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Training Could Avert Another Fertilizer Plant Disaster

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 8:09 am

A year ago, a fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas, killed 15 people and wounded 160. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reflects on how to avoid a future catastrophe.

Asia
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 8:09 am

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Josh Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Asia
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Captain, 2 Crew Members Arrested In S. Korea Ferry Sinking

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 8:09 am

The search continues for hundreds of people, mostly students, who were on board a South Korean ferry when it sank this week. Correspondent Anthony Kuhn shares the latest with NPR's Wade Goodwyn.

Code Switch
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

In Silicon Valley, Immigrants Toast Their Way To The Top

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:58 am

Immigrant workers in the Silicon Valley attend Toastmasters meetings to improve their public speaking. Organizers say those skills often lead to increased confidence at work and even job promotions.

NPR Story
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Bringing Poetry And High Culture To Sao Paulo's Periphery

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:58 am

Poetry in an unlikely place: In a grim urban shanty town in the middle of Sao Paulo, budding poets from the poorest sections of Brazilian society get together weekly to compose and recite poetry.

Sports
6:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

NCAA Beats 'Strategic Retreat' On Food Rules For Student-Athletes

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:58 am

The NCAA is facing scrutiny for how it treats student-athletes. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to columnist New York Times Joe Nocera about changes the organization made this week.

Shots - Health News
5:03 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Mental And Physical Toll Of Bullying Persists For Decades

The longitudinal British study checked in with 8,000 families across 40 years to trace the trajectory of a bullied child.
iStockphoto

What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, right? Well, not when it comes to bullying.

Some may still consider bullying a harmless part of growing up, but mounting evidence suggests that the adverse effects of being bullied aren't something kids can just shake off. The psychological and physical tolls, like anxiety and depression, can follow a person into early adulthood.

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Parallels
5:13 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India

Abhina Aher was born a boy biologically and is now a hijra, a member of an ancient transgender community in India. Of her painful physical and psychological transformation, Aher remembers now: "I just wanted to become a beautiful butterfly."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:29 pm

The signs came early that Abhina Aher was different.

Born a boy biologically and given the male name Abhijit, Aher grew up in a middle-class neighborhood of Mumbai, India. The son of a single mother who nurtured a love of dance, Aher would watch enthralled as she performed.

"I used to wear the clothes that my mother used to wear — her jewelry, her makeup," Aher, now 37, recalls. "That is something which used to extremely fascinate me."

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It's All Politics
4:31 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Are Democrats Trying To Energize The Base With The Race Card?

Attorney General Eric Holder (right) recently expressed outrage at the treatment President Obama and he have received from conservatives. He stopped just short of saying it was race-related, leaving that for the African-American audience at the recent National Action Network convention to decide.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:46 pm

Few mixtures in American life are more emotionally combustible than the one formed by the combination of politics and race.

That helps explain why Democrats, in general, and President Obama, in particular, have tended to steer clear of overtly raising race as an issue to explain some of the opposition to Obama's presidency and agenda.

There seems to be a shift in recent days, however.

Top Democratic party officials have either directly or indirectly blamed race for some of the hostility to Obama, his policies, or both.

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The Salt
3:53 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

In The Land Of Razor Clams, Dinner Hides Deep Within The Sand

Clams this fresh taste like tender calamari.
Martin Kaste/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

As soon as you drive into town, it's pretty clear that Long Beach, Wash., is all about the razor clam. The first clue is the giant frying pan. It's 14 feet tall and a relic of the clam festivals of the 1940s. And then there's the clam statue that spits when you insert a quarter.

But if you really want to see how much people here love their clams, you'd have to be like Karen Harrell and get up before dawn and drive out onto the blustery beach to go clam digging.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

In Virginia, Politicians Fish For Support At Old-Fashioned Event

Former Sen. George Allen (center) greets attendees at the 64th annual Wakefield Shad Planking in Wakefield, Va., in April 2012. This year's Shad Planking featured Democratic Sen. Mark Warner as the speaker.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

At a time when new technologies and social media are transforming politics, we turn to a decidedly old-fashioned campaign event. It's an annual festival known as the Shad Planking, a spring rite of Virginia politics for nearly 70 years.

It's a must-attend event for state politicians, who practice the oldest form of retail politicking among tall pine trees at a dusty campsite.

In Wakefield, about an hour southeast of Virginia's capital of Richmond, shad fish have been roasting by on an open fire since 5 a.m. They're nailed to oak planks.

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Africa
3:42 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Somalis In Kenya Are Used To Raids, But They Say This Was Different

Kenyan security officers rounded up people Friday as part of a crackdown that has swept up thousands of undocumented refugees, immigrants and Kenyan citizens of Somali descent in recent weeks.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:12 pm

Mohammed Ali Isaac's hands shook as he showed his Kenyan ID to the police officers. They let him pass, but his cousins weren't so lucky. The two women had forgotten their IDs at home, and the police were threatening to load them into one of three large trucks they'd brought for the purpose.

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World
3:42 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Leaflets Given To Donetsk Jews Made Waves Worldwide, But Not In Donetsk

An anti-fascist sign hangs on the barricade outside an occupied government building in Donetsk.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

A development in Eastern Ukraine has set social media on fire and triggered outrage around the world.

In the city of Donetsk, someone distributed fliers ordering Jews to register with the separatists who have taken over government buildings.

Even though nobody in Ukraine believed the leaflet was real, the fliers hit a nerve.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Rescue Workers Erect Memorial To Washington Mudslide Victims

A memorial erected by rescue workers near the site of the March 22 mudslide that killed at least 39 people.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:35 pm

Rescue workers still searching for bodies from the March 22 landslide that killed at least 39 people near the town of Oso, Washington, erected a simple, but moving memorial to the victims of the tragedy. Four people are still listed as missing.

NPR's Martin Kaste, who took the photo, says the rescue effort is in a "transition phase" as crews from other states are leaving and being replaced by fresh searchers.

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All Tech Considered
3:01 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Airbnb To Start Charging Hotel Taxes In A Handful Of Cities

Airbnb, the online home-rental service, says it will start collecting hotel taxes in a few American cities.
Chris Weeks Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

When Regitze Visby, a tourist visiting San Francisco from Denmark, searched for accommodations for her trip and saw she could stay at one of the famed "painted ladies" on Alamo Square through Airbnb, she took it.

At $135 a night, "it was a good deal," she says.

But does she know if she's paying a transient occupancy tax or a hotel tax? "I have no idea," she says.

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Sports
2:44 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Welcome, Spring — And More Importantly, Playoff Hockey

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

After the marathon, Boston sports fans will still have playoff hockey. If you pay attention to the National Hockey League, then you probably heard or maybe even said that there's nothing like the playoffs. And judging from the start of this year's playoffs, it's not an exaggeration. Here to talk more about it is sportswriter Stefan Fatsis. And, Stefan, the NHL playoffs began on Wednesday, but just how exciting have these first games been?

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Shots - Health News
2:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures

The dream of epilepsy research, says neurobiologist Ivan Soltesz, is to stop seizures by manipulating only some brain cells, not all.
Steve Zylius UC Irvine Communications

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named Ivan Soltesz heard a story that would shape his career.

His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.

"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. "And that thing struck me as just wrong."

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News
2:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Disaster On Everest Marks Deadliest Day In Mountain's History

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Just ahead of peak climbing season on Mount Everest, tragedy has struck once again. At least 12 local climbers are dead and several more or missing after a massive avalanche this morning. The climbers, Nepalese Sherpas, were setting up ropes along a dangerous stretch of slope used by adventure tourism companies. This is looking to be the deadliest day in Mount Everest's history and the worst accident since 1996 when eight climbers died in a blizzard.

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Environment
2:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

The Keystone XL pipeline remains a major point of contention within the Democratic Party, as green voters pull President Obama one direction and pro-energy senators and labor unions pull the other. It looks as though the "comment period" for the project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections.

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The Salt
2:03 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Like Ham? There's A Festival For That In French Basque Country

Visitors look at Bayonne hams displayed on the first day of the yearly ham fair.
Gaizka Iroz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 3:52 pm

In Bayonne, they take their ham very, very seriously.

This medieval fortress of a town is minutes from the French seaside ports of Barritz and St. Jean de Luz, and not far from Spain's St. Sebastian. It has reigned as a cultural and commercial center for a millennium, according to historian Mark Kurlansky in The Basque History of the World.

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World
1:56 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Captains Uncourageous: Abandoning Ship Long Seen As A Crime

The Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian coast in 2012, killing 32 people. Its captain was accused of manslaughter and abandoning the 4,200 passengers and crew on the night of the wreck.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 2:30 pm

Cowardice comes in many forms, but there's a special sense of shame reserved for captains who abandon ship.

South Korean authorities have arrested Capt. Lee Jun-Seok, who was one of the first to flee from the ferry as it sank on Wednesday.

"I can't lift my face before the passengers and family members of those missing," Lee told reporters.

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Alt.Latino
1:24 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Salsa Legend Cheo Feliciano Dies

Cheo Feliciano at the opening of The Fania All Stars 2013 world tour in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
David F. Gasser LatinContent/Getty Images

Three days of mourning have been declared in Puerto Rico following the death of salsa great Cheo Feliciano in a car accident there early Thursday. The singer was 78. "His music embodied the rhythm of Puerto Ricans living in New York City," U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said in a statement, "and his lyrics helped tell our collective story."

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