NPR News

The Salt
5:03 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Alton Brown

Planning to grill this Memorial Day? Below, Food Network chef Alton Brown has some tips to keep your flavor from going up in smoke.
iStockphoto

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in May 2012.

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat May 23, 2015

The Fireworks Of 'Illusionarium' Never Quite Feel Real

Courtesy of Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Publishers

Reading Heather Dixon's Illusionarium feels like riding a particularly rough roller coaster, and the first few hills are doozies. Dixon barely establishes the book's fantasy world — a hastily sketched British-derived steampunk setting, with the requisite airships and an alternate version of London called Arthurise — before she upends it.

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Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Photos Capture The Joy On Playgrounds Around The World

At the Aida Boys School, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the walls are extra thick to protect students against bullets.
Courtesy of James Mollison

Whether they're in a posh London school or in the slums of Kenya, in the midst of war or in a battle against bullies, kids take playtime very seriously.

That's what photographer James Mollison learned after spending five years photographing school playgrounds around the world. The project began in 2009 and took him to more than 50 schools in 17 countries.

Each photo tells a different story.

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The Two-Way
4:37 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly To Approve Same-Sex Marriage

Votes are counted as the ballot boxes are opened Saturday at an election center in Dublin.
Charles McQuillan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 5:50 am

Updated at 7:45 a.m. ET

Both sides in Ireland's same-sex marriage debate have acknowledged that the "yes" vote has succeeded, making the country the first in the world to approve such a measure in a national referendum.

Leo Varadkar, Ireland's health minister who came out as gay in January just as the campaign was getting underway, says Dublin appears to have voted 70 percent yes.

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NPR Ed
3:34 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Take It Outside: Teaching Sex Ed On The Streets Of New York

Francisco Ramirez, a sexual-health educator, offers free advice to a passerby.
Christopher Gregory for NPR

On a gusty Friday evening in Manhattan's Union Square Park, Francisco Ramirez is setting up his chairs and a big sign that yells, "FREE ADVICE."

The park is packed with street musicians, chain-smoking chess players and preachers yelling predictions

Ramirez just wants to talk.

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The Two-Way
1:41 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Senate Blocks Bill To End Government Collection Of Phone Records

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 5:40 am

The Senate worked late into the night Friday and early Saturday, but still failed to agree on extending government surveillance programs under the USA Patriot Act before the Memorial Day holiday.

Lawmakers blocked votes on both a House-passed bill and a short-term extension of the Patriot Act provisions that allow government surveillance programs.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says lawmakers will try again on May 31, the day before the provisions expire.

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The Two-Way
7:11 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Fast-Track Trade Authority, A Step Toward Asia Deal, Passes Full Senate

The Senate voted 62-37 late Friday to grant President Obama additional trade powers, which the president plans to use in pushing through an extensive new agreement with a group of Asian countries.

The administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership has been opposed by labor groups and some Senate Democrats because of concerns that the deal could cost some U.S. workers their jobs.

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Parallels
6:32 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Expats Find Brazil's Reputation For Race-Blindness Is Undone By Reality

American Ky Adderley (center) with his wife, Shanna Farrar Adderley, and their daughter, Gisela Sky, live in Brazil. He says being an educated black man feels like a subversive act in Brazil. "All the blacks that I see are in service jobs, and the darker you are, the less you are seen," he says. "Your job is maybe back in the kitchen and not out waiting a table."
Courtesy of Ky Adderly

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 9:35 pm

There is a joke among Brazilians that a Brazilian passport is the most coveted on the black market because no matter what your background — Asian, African or European — you can fit in here. But the reality is very different.

I'm sitting in café with two women who don't want their names used because of the sensitivity of the topic. One is from the Caribbean; her husband is an expat executive.

"I was expecting to be the average-looking Brazilian; Brazil as you see on the media is not what I experienced when I arrived," she tells me.

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The Two-Way
5:33 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

TLC Pulls '19 Kids And Counting' Amid Reports Of Star's Sexual Misconduct As Minor

TLC said Friday it has pulled all episodes of the long-running 19 Kids and Counting after reports surfaced that Josh Duggar, seen here in August 2014, had molested underage girls as a teen.
Brian Frank Reuters/Landov

TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting, the reality show featuring Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's family, from its schedule amid reports of sexual misconduct against John Duggar, their oldest son, when he was 15.

Here's TLC's statement:

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The Salt
3:47 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

In New Jersey, A Beef Over Pork Roll Sparks Rival Festivals

What is pork roll? As one fan puts it, "It's like Spam meets bacon." This sandwich is one of many ways to eat the processed meat, a largely unsung specialty of New Jersey.
via Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:32 pm

Try to order "pork roll" in most of the country and you'll probably get a blank stare. But in New Jersey, pork roll is a staple at diners, restaurants and food trucks from Cape May to the Meadowlands. And this unsung meat product is now the star of not one, but two competing festivals on Saturday in Trenton.

To the untrained eye, pork roll looks like Canadian bacon. But New Jersey residents know better.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Decision On Gay Scout Leaders To Come By October, Group's Head Says

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:52 pm

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, tells NPR his organization will have a decision on its ban on gay adults no later than October. His comments come a day after he told the Boy Scouts that a ban on gay adults was "unsustainable."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Man Convicted Of Killing D.C. Intern Chandra Levy To Get New Trial

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 4:30 pm

Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET

The man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001 will get another day in court after prosecutors agreed not to oppose a new trial for Ingmar Guandique.

Vincent Cohen, the acting U.S. attorney, and Leslie Ann Gerardo, the assistant U.S. attorney, asked the Superior Court of the D.C. Criminal Division for a status hearing to be scheduled in two weeks, "by which time the government will have completed an assessment of the time needed to prepare for a retrial in this case."

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Around the Nation
3:42 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Pre-Race Day, Indy 500 Struggles With Flying Cars

In the five days of practice leading up to the Indy 500 qualifications, Ed Carpenter is the third driver to have his car flip upside down. Carpenter emerged from the crash unharmed.
Jamie Gallagher AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:32 pm

Last weekend, while drivers practiced just hours before the start of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, a crash occurred that seemed eerily familiar.

Driver Ed Carpenter spun around backwards, heading into the Turn 2 wall. Wind got underneath his car, and flipped it into the air and upside down.

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Parallels
2:43 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

What Archbishop Romero's Beatification Means For El Salvador Today

Maria del Pilar Perdomo holds up a framed portrait of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, during a procession on March 24 to mark the 35th anniversary of his assassination in San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero was killed in 1980 while offering Mass. Romero will be beatified on Saturday.
Salvador Melendez AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:32 pm

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of the capital of El Salvador on Saturday to celebrate as one of Latin America's most revered and controversial religious figures is beatified — the last official step before sainthood.

They will gather to pay tribute to former Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved priest and staunch defender of the poor, who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1980.

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U.S.
2:43 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Obama: Camden, N.J., Police A Model For Improving Community Relations

Camden County Police Officer Virginia Matias and Officer Jose Vale often walk together when on foot patrol in Camden. Matias patrols sections of the city on foot so she can strike up conversations with business owners and residents. She says this makes her more familiar with what's going on than she would be if she stayed in her patrol car all day.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 2:36 am

Camden, N.J., has long been known for its poverty and violence. But President Obama gave it a new label this week, calling the city, "a symbol of promise for the nation."

He praised the Camden County Police Department's effort to improve community relations. The city still has a high crime rate, but the president says progress so far makes it a model for others.

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Shots - Health News
1:41 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

A 3-D simulation of a human heart created by The Living Heart project.
Courtesy of Dassault Systèmes

How can you tell ­the difference between a good surgeon and an exceptional one?

You could start by looking for the one who has the rare ability to visualize a human organ in three dimensions from little more than a scan.

"The handful of the top surgeons in the world are like sculptors," said Dr. Deepak Srivastava, a director at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Thai Authorities Arrest Protesters On Anniversary Of 2014 Coup

Policemen face protesters during a protest in central Bangkok on Friday. Thai authorities detained dozens of activists protesting against military rule on the first anniversary of a coup against the elected government.
Damir Sagolj Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:14 pm

One year after an army-led coup toppled Thailand's elected government, authorities detained more than a dozen student activists in the capital and elsewhere for gathering to protest the putsch.

"We invited them to talk but they would not back down so we are sending them to the police," a soldier in the area who declined to be identified was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

ISIS Affiliate Claims Responsibility For Suicide Attack In Saudi Arabia

People examine the debris following a suicide bomb attack Friday at the Imam Ali mosque in the eastern village of al Qudaih in Saudi Arabia's Qatif province. A branch of the self-declared Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:57 pm

A branch of the self-declared Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia that has killed at least 19 people, a move that could represent a significant escalation of the extremist group's operations in the kingdom.

NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo that the online statement from ISIS "named and praised the Saudi suicide bomber who detonated himself amongst a congregation of Shiite Saudis praying in a mosque in the village of al Qudaih in Qatif province."

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Code Switch
12:28 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

2 Biker Rallies: One White, One Black — One 'Badass,' The Other, Just 'Bad'

A biker leaves a biker bar in Murrells Inlet, S.C., in May 2012 after competing in a slow ride competition inside the bar. It was one of the events held during the annual Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Spring Rally in and around Myrtle Beach.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

In his column this week, Charles Blow of The New York Times broke down the difference between "bikers" and "thugs" in the wake of the deadly biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas:

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Who Let The Dogs In? We Did, About 30,000 Years Ago

Josh Brones walks his hunting dogs, Dollar (from left), Sequoia and Tanner, near his home in Wilton, Calif., in 2012.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:36 pm

It looks like dogs might well have been man's (and woman's) best friend for a lot longer than once thought.

The long-held conventional wisdom is that canis lupus familiaris split from wolves 11,000 to 16,000 years ago and that the divergence was helped along by Stone Age humans who wanted a fellow hunter, a sentry and a companion.

Now, DNA evidence suggests that the split between dogs and their wild ancestors occurred closer to 30,000 years ago.

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Goats and Soda
10:03 am
Fri May 22, 2015

A Desk That Can Take A Ton Of Earthquake Rubble

Still standing: The earthquake-proof desk can withstand 2,200 pounds dropped on top of it.
Courtesy of Ido Bruno

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:02 pm

Call it the little school desk that can.

At 57 pounds, the desk in question is light enough for two students to carry and move around the classroom. At $35 per student, it's affordable enough for many school districts to buy in bulk. And oh yes, tests have shown it can survive a crushing weight of 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) or more.

In other words, this desk can withstand an earthquake — and potentially save students' lives in the process

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Shots - Health News
9:20 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Your Roommate In The Nursing Home Might Be A Bedbug

Hospitals seem to be doing a better job than nursing homes of keeping bedbugs at bay.
iStockphoto

If you're in the hospital or a nursing home, the last thing you want to be dealing with is bedbugs. But exterminators saying they're getting more and more calls for bedbug infestations in nursing homes, hospitals and doctor's offices.

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Shots - Health News
8:46 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Covered California Votes To Cap What Patients Pay For Pricey Drugs

Retired California school teacher Mikkel Lawrence sits with his cat, Max. Lawrence has hepatitis C and has struggled to afford the medicine he needs to treat it.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 10:01 am

In recent years, expensive specialty medicines used to treat cancer and chronic illnesses have forced some very ill Americans to choose between getting proper treatment and paying their rent.

To ease the financial burden, the California agency that governs the state's Obamacare plans issued landmark rules Thursday that will put a lid on the amount anyone enrolled in one of those plans can be charged each month for high-end medicine.

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Parallels
7:33 am
Fri May 22, 2015

A Wedding And A Challenge: Lebanese Couples Fight For Civil Marriage

Kholoud Sukkariyeh (right) and Nidal Darwish, who got married in defiance of Lebanon's ban on civil unions, walk past Beirut's landmark Pigeon Rock in 2013.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:32 pm

Like lots of young married couples, Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish love to show their wedding video. They go all misty-eyed remembering that day two years ago.

"Very beautiful," says Succariyeh. "Everything is nice."

Their wedding was special, not only as a personal milestone for the couple. It was a political milestone, as well.

Darwish says their union was a challenge to the state: It was Lebanon's first civil marriage.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Pipeline Operator: Possibly Months To Determine Cause Of Calif. Spill

A bird covered in oil flaps its wings at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., on Thursday. More than 9,000 gallons of oil have been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast, just a fraction of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline, officials said.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 4:35 pm

It could be months before investigators can determine what caused a pipeline leak that has fouled a stretch of coast in Southern California, the company that operates the oil conduit says.

Since the leak was discovered earlier this week, more than 9,000 gallons of oil have been raked, skimmed or vacuumed from a 9-mile stretch of California shoreline near Santa Barbara, officials say.

"We have not even uncovered the pipe yet," said Patrick Hodgins, senior director of safety for Texas-based Plains All American, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Islamic State Reportedly Seizes Last Syria-Iraq Border Crossing

In this photo released Thursday by a website run by Islamic State militants, damaged Syrian helicopters sit at Palmyra air base, which was captured by ISIS after a battle with the Syrian government forces earlier this week.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 12:02 pm

Fighters with the self-declared Islamic State have seized the last border crossing in Syria, where they control half of the country, according to a British-based monitoring group.

Syrian government forces withdrew from al-Tanf, known as al-Waleed in Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The border crossing lies at the extreme northwest of Iraq's border with Syria.

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri May 22, 2015

An Irreplaceable Replacement, This Sub Gets The Job Done

Substitute teacher Josephine Brewington receives the substitute teacher of the year award.
Courtesy of Kelly Services

One of the toughest jobs in education is the substitute teacher. The pay is low, schedules are unpredictable and respect can be hard to come by. But because the average teacher missed 11 days of school in 2012-2013, a sub like Josephine Brewington ends up playing a crucial role.

And this week — Brewington was rewarded for her efforts — winning the 2015 Substitute Teacher of the Year award.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Irish Voters Decide Whether To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Nuns vote on a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage, at a polling station in County Dublin, Ireland, on Friday.
Peter Morrison AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 12:08 pm

Voters in Ireland are deciding whether the country will amend its constitution to make same-sex marriage legal.

The vote on Friday follows months of debate in the heavily Catholic country. Opinion polls suggest the referendum will pass and Ireland will become the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in a national vote.

But, as NPR's Ari Shapiro points out, "Polls in this part of the world have been totally wrong in the past.

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Goats and Soda
5:36 am
Fri May 22, 2015

How Do You Motivate Kids To Stop Skipping School?

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

It seems like a no-brainer: Offer kids a reward for showing up at school, and their attendance will shoot up. But a recent study of third-graders in a slum in India suggests that incentive schemes can do more harm than good.

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Television
5:32 am
Fri May 22, 2015

CBS Trashes David Letterman's 'Late Show' Set

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

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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