NPR News

Simon Says
5:20 am
Sat August 1, 2015

Boston's Ride, Or Thanks But No Thanks, Olympic Committee

The Olympic flag flutters near the Cauldron at the Olympic Park during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

What do you give a city that has everything? Maybe not the Olympic Games.

This week the city of Boston declined to sign what's called a host city contract that would make it liable to pay for any losses incurred by the Olympics, which effectively ended its bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat August 1, 2015

'Three Moments' Is A Symphony Of Short Story Strangeness

"A dense forest of might'ves." That's how the Willesden Kid, the main character in China Miéville's short story "The Dowager of Bees," describes the weird world he's found himself in: A world much like ours, only ominously askew. The Willesden Kid is a newcomer to an underground circuit of gambling. His sense of reality is already a little off the grid.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:03 am
Sat August 1, 2015

No Shame, No Euphemism: Suicide Isn't A Natural Cause Of Death

Keith Negley for NPR

Beware the mention of natural causes, as in my mother's obituary:

"Norita Wyse Berman, a writer, stockbroker and artist ... died at home Friday of natural causes. She was 60."

Sixty-year-olds don't die of natural causes anymore. The truth was too hard to admit.

Fifteen years on, I'm ashamed of my family's shame. Those attending her funeral and paying shiva calls knew the truth anyway. People talk.

Read more
Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Sat August 1, 2015

How Sierra Leone's Most Famous Journalist Helped NPR Get The Ebola Story

Umaru Fofana
Ben de la Cruz NPR

It's an open secret among journalists: When reporting a major news story in an unfamiliar country, it's great to have a "fixer."

That's the catch-all term we use for our local guides to language and logistics — the people who can translate documents, interpret during interviews and generally help you figure out the most efficient and the safest way to get from one location to the next.

Read more
NPR Ed
3:35 am
Sat August 1, 2015

Coding Camp to Baltimore Schools: Bring Us Your Bored!

Middle-school boys participate in the Minority Male Makers summer program at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

On the second floor of Morgan State University's engineering building, Jacob Walker, 12, is putting the finishing touches on a ruler he's just created.

Not yet an actual ruler. One he's designing on the computer. He just needs to add his initials — then it's time to produce it on a 3-D printer.

Jacob starts seventh grade in the fall and has big dreams. Building this ruler is all part of the plan.

"When I was a child," he says, "I loved to play with Legos, and it inspired me to be an engineer when I get older."

Read more
The Two-Way
2:03 am
Sat August 1, 2015

Israeli Officials Promise To Find Arsonists Who Killed Palestinian Child

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah inspects a home that was badly damaged from a suspected attack by Jewish extremists in the West Bank village of Douma. An 18-month-old child was killed and other family members seriously seriously injured.
PRIME MINISTER OFFICE \ APAIMAGES APA /Landov

Israeli leaders vowed to find the suspected Israeli extremists behind an arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler early Friday.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:54 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Pacific Trade Pact In Limbo As Talks End Without A Deal

In a setback for the Obama administration, talks aimed at setting up a major free-trade zone among 12 Pacific Rim countries — the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership — have ended without success.

Although U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said "significant progress" had been made at this week's talks in Maui, Hawaii, and officials promised to reconvene at some future date, big differences remain among the participating countries.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:49 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Watch: 164 Skydivers Fall Into Formation, Breaking World Record

164 people formed this flower as they jumped from a height of nearly 20,000 feet.
Jason Peters AP

A new skydiving record was set Friday in Ottawa, Ill., at speeds up to 240 mph.

164 people jumped from airplanes, falling into a flower formation and holding hands for a few minutes before continuing to drop to earth. The previous skydiving record was set by 138 people in 2012, according to The Associated Press. It took the new record-holding team 13 attempts to beat that mark.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:37 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Chimps In Habeas Corpus Case Will No Longer Be Used For Research

Leo and Hercules are the two research chimpanzees who were front and center in a recent habeas corpus case. While the organization that argued for their release lost their case, the chimps will be retired.

Stony Brook University, where they were used for physiological research, announced on Friday that the project had concluded, writes Reuters.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:58 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Professional Wrestling World Mourns Longtime Star 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, clad in his trademark kilt, speaks in 2009 at the WrestleMania 25th anniversary press conference at Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. Piper fought in the main bout at the first WrestleMania in 1985, losing a tag-team match to Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:51 pm

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, a premier wrestler in the now-WWE during the 1980s and 1990s who fought Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the main event at the first WrestleMania in 1985, has died, the company reports. He was 61.

Read more
Law
4:37 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Juvenile Justice System Failing Native Americans, Studies Show

Sgt. Barbara Johnson and Corrections Lt. Robbin Preston run the Tuba City Juvenile Detention Center on the Navajo Nation.
Laurel Morales NPR

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

State courts are twice as likely to incarcerate Native teens for minor crimes such as truancy and alcohol use than any other racial and ethnic group, according to the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. And juvenile detention facilities around the country have a disproportionately high number of Native American youth, according to an Indian Law and Order Commission report.

Read more
Goats and Soda
4:37 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Ebola Vaccine Hailed As 'Game Changer' In Fight Against The Virus

A woman receives the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine at a clinical trial in Conakry, Guinea. The vaccine appears effective after only one shot.
Cellou Binani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

Doctors Without Borders is calling it a "champagne moment." The World Health Organization says it's a "game changer."

In a small trial, an experimental vaccine protected 100 percent of participants who were at high risk for the virus. Although the results are preliminary, they offer new hope of finally stamping out the virus in West Africa — and preventing the next epidemic.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Zimbabwe Official Calls For Extradition Of American Lion Hunter Walter Palmer

Zimbabwe is seeking the extradition of Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed a famous lion named Cecil, which was being tracked in a university study.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Decades Of Limbo Ends For Some Indians, Bangladeshis Along Border

At the stroke of midnight, tens of thousands of Indians and Bangladeshis living near the border between the two countries got their own country for the first time in 70 years.

As part of an agreement between the two nations, the fate of just under 15,000 people living in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves inside India and more than 37,000 in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh has finally been determined. Most will stay where they are, but change their nationality. Some are moving, and some of them are leaving behind family members.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Hillary Clinton Releases 8 Years Of Tax Returns

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Iowa earlier this week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:16 pm

This post was updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton released eight years worth of tax returns Friday, showing that she and her husband Bill Clinton earned $139 million since 2007. They paid nearly $44 million in federal taxes during that period. The couple's effective federal tax rate ranged from 25 percent in 2007 to 36 percent last year.

Read more
Music Interviews
3:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

What Does It Mean To Be A Child Prodigy In Jazz?

Joey Alexander, 12, recently released his debut album.
Rebecca Meek Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

What do Mozart, Herbie Hancock and Michael Jackson have in common? For one, their musical talent was discovered early — they were all considered child prodigies.

Read more
NPR Ed
2:42 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

The Plan To Give Pell Grants To Prisoners

Education Secretary Arne Duncan (second from left) speaks with inmate Terrell Johnson, a participant in the Goucher College Prison Education Partnership.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a rare joint appearance on Friday — in prison.

They visited a state-run facility in Jessup, Md., to announce a new plan meant to help some of the 700,000 inmates who are released each year.

It's a pilot program to give prisoners access to federal Pell Grants that would pay for college classes behind bars.

"The cost-benefit of this does not take a math genius to figure out," Duncan said. "We lock folks up here, $35-40,000 every single year. A Pell Grant is less than $6,000 each year."

Read more
Europe
2:36 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

As Migrants Attempt Trip To The U.K., Many Who Make It Are Minors

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Law
2:28 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Justice Report Accuses St. Louis County Family Court Of Racial Bias

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

U.K. Officials Instructed To Grant Ai Weiwei's Original U.K. Visa Request

Ai Weiwei's original application for a six-month business visa was denied.
Miguel Villagran Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 3:20 pm

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was originally granted only a 20-day visa to visit Britain, will now receive the six-month visa he applied for. A spokesperson for the U.K. Home Office explains that the head of the department, Theresa May, was not consulted over the staff's decision to allow only a shorter stay.

"She has reviewed the case and has now instructed Home Office officials to issue a full six-month visa," the spokesperson says. "We have written to Mr. Ai apologizing for the inconvenience caused."

Read more
The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Judge Says Virginia Can Refuse To Issue Confederate License Plates

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:55 pm

Close on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that granted Texas the right to refuse to issue Confederate-themed license plates, a federal judge has effectively vacated a state injunction in Virginia that kept officials there from similarly blocking such plates.

Judge Jackson L. Kiser will issue a separate written order on whether the 1,700 Confederate license plates that have already been issued can be recalled by the state.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:19 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Doctor Says She's Healthy Enough To Be President

In a health care statement released Friday, a New York doctor wrote that Hillary Clinton "is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States."
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:21 pm

The State Department's latest dump of Hillary Clinton's emails may dominate the news cycle in the coming days, but her campaign also released another crucial document on Friday — a clean bill of health for the Democratic front-runner.

The confirmation comes from Lisa Bardack, a New York-based doctor who has been Clinton's physician since 2001. In a letter, she declares Clinton "a healthy-appearing female," saying that Clinton exercises regularly, eats plenty of vegetables and fruits, doesn't smoke, and "drinks alcohol only occasionally."

Read more
NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

GOP 2016 Hopefuls Race To Qualify, Prep For First Debate

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump greets supporters at a South Carolina campaign rally in Bluffton, S.C., on July 21, 2015. (Stephen B. Morton/AP)

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 1:16 pm

This week in presidential politics, Donald Trump stayed out in front of a crowded Republican field. That field also got more crowded.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore announced his candidacy, the 17th Republican do so. The first Republican debate is coming up next week in Cleveland. Who will be allowed on the main stage?

Meanwhile, Democrat Hillary Clinton outlined an ambitious plan to fight climate change, which critics say is flawed. She also called for the end of the Cuba embargo.

Read more
NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Puerto Rico Nears Default As Deadline Looms

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:45 am

Puerto Rico is heading toward a default on Saturday, just weeks after Gov. Alejandro García Padilla in June told investors that the island’s $72 billion in debt was unpayable.

The expected default over the weekend paves the way for a big fight with investors over what will be done with the country’s debt.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times about what’s in store for Puerto Rico’s financial future.

Read more
NPR Story
12:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Social Media Buzz: Killing Of Cecil The Lion Provokes Outrage Online

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:14 pm

Since it was revealed that Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil the lion, social media has been excoriating Palmer. The web site for his dental practice has been taken down and the hashtag #WalterPalmer is rife with threats and insults.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young takes a look at how the Internet response has been playing out with Julia Turner of Slate – from the targeting of Palmer, to the backlash against targeting Palmer and the debates it has engendered online.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Dylann Roof Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Hate Crime Charges

Dylann Roof, 21, charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., in June, listens during court proceedings earlier this month.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:01 pm

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A judge entered pleas of not guilty to 33 federal hate crime counts against Dylann Roof, the white suspect accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston, S.C., last month.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Marine Version Of F-35 Deemed 'Combat Ready'

A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter does a short takeoff (STOVL) from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., in 2011. Eighteen years after development began, a version of the plane designed for the Marine Corps is expected to be deemed "combat ready."
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:15 pm

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Eighteen years and nearly $400 billion since engineers begin outlining the initial concept, a small squadron of F-35B Lightning IIs has finally been declared ready to fight.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:16 am
Fri July 31, 2015

#NPRReads: Considering The Language Of Wine And What's In A Toddler's Mouth

A piece by conceptual artist Lenka Clayton called "63 Objects Taken from My Son's Mouth."
cupofjo.com

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:59 am

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four items.

From NPR producer Sarah Handel:

Read more
Goats and Soda
10:54 am
Fri July 31, 2015

She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

Using a digital device that displays Braille characters, Haben Girma talks with President Obama at a White House ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
White House photo/Courtesy of Haben Girma

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 1:34 pm

To Haben Girma's grandmother, back in East Africa, it "seemed like magic." Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:49 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Toxic Lead Contaminates Some Traditional Ayurvedic Medicines

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:49 pm

Nisha Saini has been practicing an Indian traditional health form called Ayurveda for more than 16 years. She runs a small alternative health center in Manhattan called New York Ayurveda, where customers can get massages and dietary advice. Over the counter, Saini sells an extensive array of traditional remedies concocted from herbs and spices. But there's one kind of Ayurvedic medicine she doesn't sell.

Read more

Pages