NPR News

Race
3:31 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Probe: Gains Of Integration Eroded, Especially In The South

In 1954, the Supreme Court outlawed segregation. David Greene talks to ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones about her story in The Atlantic. She examines the failure of school desegregation.

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Spring Breakers Who Want Snow And Thrills Ski Tuckerman's Ravine

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 3:24 am

On a clear weekend day, as many as 3,000 people will make the three-mile trek up the side of New Hampshire's Mount Washington to the snowfields, defying steep terrain and the threat of avalanches.

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Does Business Innovation Depend On A CEO's Age?

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:20 am

Analysis of innovation at private companies in the U.S. and across the world finds an inverse relationship correlation between disruptive innovation and the age of managers at those companies.

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Pay It Forward Proposal Could Help Students Afford College

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:19 am

A new idea is making the rounds in education circles. Under the plan, states would allow students to go to college for free then they would pay back a percentage of their salaries after they graduate.

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Under Pressure To Cut Costs, Wall Street Banks Downsize

Many banks are reporting their first quarter earnings this week, and the results have been mixed. Bank of America turned in a loss after taking a big charge for legal expenses. Citigroup says it will lay off as many as 300 stock and bond traders in an effort to cut costs.

The Salt
1:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of fourteen different crops, including broccoli, carrots and kale on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 3:07 am

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners, and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.

It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use, but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.

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Shots - Health News
1:29 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa

A child receives a polio vaccine Sunday in Kano, Nigeria. The country serves as the primary reservoir of the virus in Africa. But the current outbreak in Equatorial Guinea came by way of Chad, rather than Nigeria.
Sunday Alamba AP

Health officials are worried.

After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has reported two cases of the disease.

The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.

The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Even Somalia, teetering on brink of anarchy, vaccinates 47 percent of its children.

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Parallels
1:28 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Meet The Sisters Saving Spanish Horses From Slaughter

Virginia Solera Garcia helps runs the CYD Santa Maria shelter with her sister, Concordia Márquez, adopting horses that might otherwise end up in the food supply.
Jorge Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 3:07 am

It's been four years since Spain's construction-fueled economy collapsed, leaving 57 percent of young Spaniards out of work. Noisy protesters occupy Madrid's streets every weekend, demanding jobs and an end to punishing austerity.

But there is another, voiceless victim of the country's economic crash: Spanish horses.

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Business
1:27 am
Thu April 17, 2014

When Divorce Leads To A Happily Ever After For A Small Business

Rhonda Sanderson and her ex-husband, John Amato III, shown here in 2010, helped make a business thrive after they divorced.
Courtesy of Rhonda Sanderson

Married couples in America co-own 3.7 million small businesses, according to the Census Bureau, and the arrangement can be fruitful when both marriage and business are going well. But what happens when it doesn't? Most of the time, when the love dies, the business relationship ends, too.

But that's not always the case.

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The Salt
1:25 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

Szechuan peppercorns are a popular in Chinese dishes like ma po tofu to dan dan noodles.
iStockphoto

The Sichuan peppercorn is known to give some Chinese dishes a pleasant tingling feeling.

What's not so pleasant is that pins-and-needles feeling we get when our foot falls asleep — or when patients who suffer from paresthesia experience constant tingling in their limbs.

Diana Bautista, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wondered: Could these sensations be connected?

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Around the Nation
11:56 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

John Edwards Resumes Career As Trial Attorney

John Edwards leaves a federal courthouse during his trial on charges of campaign corruption in 2012.
Chuck Burton AP

Former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has returned to a North Carolina courtroom to help represent a 4-year-old Virginia boy in a medical malpractice case.

Edwards is one of three attorneys representing the parents and guardians of a boy with brain damage and physical injuries they say occurred in December 2009.

At that time, the boy was an infant in the care of Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C., and an emergency room doctor.

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Shots - Health News
5:01 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Free Drug Samples Prompt Skin Doctors To Prescribe Costlier Meds

What you're prescribed may depend on what samples your doctor gets from drug companies.
Steve Cole iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 7:17 pm

Every "free" sample comes with a price.

Dermatologists who accept free tubes and bottles of brand-name drugs are likelier to prescribe expensive medications for acne than doctors who are prohibited from taking samples, a study reports Wednesday.

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Africa
4:16 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Rescuers Deliver Most, But Not All, Nigerian Schoolgirls To Safety

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

According to the Nigerian military, all but eight of the girls kidnapped from a Nigerian boarding school have been rescued. As many as 100 girls had been abducted by militants earlier in the week.

World
4:16 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Israel's Ultra-Orthodox Put Faith In Unorthodox Dating Service

Unlike many young women in her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Yael Mizrachi drives and has two university degrees. She's also having a difficult time finding a spouse.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Yael Mizrachi, a 33-year-old Israeli woman, has been to many matchmakers.

"Too many," she says, rolling her wide dark eyes and tossing her shoulder-length hair.

Matchmakers are the traditional way to find a mate in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to which Mizrachi belongs. But she is not entirely traditional.

"I identify myself as a modern ultra-Orthodox," Mizrachi says.

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It's All Politics
3:49 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Bloomberg Seeks To Alter Gun Debate With $50 Million, And Moms

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he plans to spend $50 million this year on field operations to support candidates in favor of gun safety laws.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's plan to invest $50 million in what he describes as a mom-driven grass-roots effort to support pro-gun-safety candidates grabbed headlines Wednesday, and energized gun control activists.

The commitment, the former New York City mayor says, aims to beat back the profound political influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states — to "make them afraid of us," he told NBC's Today show.

"This is what the American public wants," Bloomberg said, referring to his group's intended focus on gun-purchase background checks.

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Law
3:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights

Diego Sanchez, the first openly transgender person to work as a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, helped to develop a new Justice Department program that trains law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender people.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

A groundbreaking survey reports that nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. This year, the Justice Department wants to change that by training law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of trans people in their communities.

Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says its new training program is motivated by a simple yet powerful idea.

Read more
The Salt
3:19 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Cherry Belle radishes grow superfast.
John Trainor Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 5:08 pm

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter. (True story: The polar vortex killed my fall kale crop!)

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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Europe
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Entering Talks In Geneva, U.S. Hopes For A Ukraine Breakthrough

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Tomorrow, Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet in Geneva with his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. It's hoped the multilateral talks will produce a diplomatic breakthrough on the crisis in Ukraine. Analysts say that without that, the U.S. and its Western allies have few other options for dealing with Russia's aggression there.

NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

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Education
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

The New SAT: Less Vocabulary, More Linear Equations

SAT preparation books on a bookstore shelf in New York City. The College Board has announced changes in the college entrance exam.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

The standardized test that's been giving America's college-bound teenagers nightmares since the 1920s is getting a makeover.

On Wednesday, the College Board offered new details on changes to its SAT. Among the biggest shifts: Gone are the days of memorizing obscure vocabulary words. Though if you're in high school and set to take the SAT next year, don't burn those vocabulary flashcards just yet. The changes don't kick in until spring 2016.

Why the changes?

Read more
News
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ukrainian Tanks Roll In — But Above Them Russian Flags Fly

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the latest from eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is continuing an operation to oust pro-Russian militants from occupied government buildings, but today, it experienced a setback. Ukraine's defense department confirms that some of its armored personnel carriers began flying the Russian flag. NPR's Ari Shapiro went to investigate.

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Technology
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Man Reaches For The Sun For A Solution To Pakistan's Gas Crisis

Pakistani motorists wait in line at a refueling station in the outskirts of Islamabad on Jan. 20, 2013. Waits of up to four hours have become a way of life since Pakistan decided to switch to compressed natural gas about a decade ago.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.

Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Fossil Takes A Bite Out Of Theory That Sharks Barely Evolved

This mako shark looks like its ancient ancestors, but it's probably evolved to be even more terrifying.
Sam Cahir Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Sharks have looked more or less the same for hundreds of millions of years. But a newly discovered fossil suggests that under the hood, a modern shark is very different from its ancient ancestors.

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Middle East
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Iranian U.N. Ambassador's Past Makes Fodder For Diplomatic Dust-up

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

The U.S. has denied a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran's choice as ambassador to the United Nations, which is based in New York. Aboutalebi is an experienced diplomat, but his past involvement as a translator during the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is problematic. Iran has complained to the world body, and a special committee is set to review the issue next week. Bloomberg reporter Sangwon Yoon explains the diplomatic controversy and how it may play out.

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Business
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Legal Moves Might Mean Fiscal Relief, And More PR Troubles, For GM

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

General Motors is signaling its plans to ask a bankruptcy judge for protection from lawsuits related to a defective switch recall. As Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, the action could further complicate its current public relations crisis.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Asia
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

South Korea Ferry Disaster Sets Rescuers, And Fears, In Motion

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Tragedy in South Korea today. Hundreds are missing after a ferry sank off the country's southern coast. At least six people are confirmed dead so far, but there is fear that the death toll will rise dramatically. Passengers who were rescued said they believe many more were trapped below deck.

We're joined now by Jason Strother. He's a journalist based in Seoul.

And, Jason, first can you tell us about what happened here? Where was this ferry headed and who was on board?

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ex-City Manager Caught In Calif. Salary Scandal Gets 12 Years

Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo arrives at the Edward R. Roybal federal building and United States courthouse on Monday. Rizzo received 12 years in prison and was ordered to pay nearly $9 million in restitution for a scheme to pad his salary.
Nick Ut AP

Robert Rizzo, the former city manager of Bell, Calif., who pleaded no contest to conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds and falsification of public records, has been ordered to serve 12 years in state prison and repay nearly $9 million.

Rizzo, who was city manager of Bell until 2010, apologized during sentencing, telling Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy that he "[breached] the public trust" and that "I am so sorry for that. I will never do anything like this again."

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National Security
1:44 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Edward Snowden: From 'Geeky' Dropout To NSA Leaker

What motivated Edward Snowden to leak NSA secrets? Bryan Burrough, Suzanna Andrews and Sarah Ellison explore Snowden's background in an article for Vanity Fair.
The Guardian/Getty Images

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has revealed some of the group's most carefully guarded secrets.

The reporting on the documents he leaked won a Pulitzer Prize for the Washington Post and The Guardian, announced on Monday.

But there's still a lot we don't know about Snowden himself — and his motivation.

Read more
Code Switch
1:35 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Light And Dark: The Racial Biases That Remain In Photography

Syreeta McFadden has learned to capture various hues of brown skin.
Syreeta McFadden Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:42 pm

When Syreeta McFadden was a child, she dreaded taking pictures after a family photo made her skin appear dulled and darkened.

"In some pictures, I am a mud brown, in others I'm a blue black. Some of the pictures were taken within moments of one another," she wrote in a story for Buzzfeed, digging into an "inherited bias" in photography against dark skin.

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

DJ Sessions: Blurring The Lines Between Rock, Jazz And Classical

Drummer David King, pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Reid Anderson are the band The Bad Plus. (Jay Frahm)

In the latest installment of DJ Sessions, pianist Christopher O’Riley joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk about his favorite group that’s making waves in the classical community.

O’Riley says The Bad Plus is comprised of great composers. The jazz group is known for its famous covers of pop songs, like Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” But its latest album reinterprets Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

ER Doctor Looks Back A Year After Marathon Bombing

A flag that says "Boston Medical Center Strong" waves outside of Boston Medical Center, a year after the Boston Marathon bombing. (Ron Medzon)

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:31 pm

On this day a year ago, Bostonians got one of their first glimpses into the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, when emergency room physician Ron Medzon came on our program.

“It was just one after another after another,” he said of the victims being brought into the hospital. “Every single person had a limb-threatening injury, a life-threatening injury. And I think 20 people came in over 40 minutes, which is just incredible.”

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