NPR News

The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Metropolitan Opera To Drop Use Of Blackface-Style Makeup In 'Otello'

Tenor Placido Domingo performs the title role in a 1994 performance of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Johan Elbers The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:39 pm

The Metropolitan Opera is poised to make a big change.

When the fall production of Verdi's Otello opens next month, its lead character will not be wearing the traditional blackface-style makeup.

The Met tells NPR by email that its upcoming production of Otello will be the first without dark makeup since the company first produced the opera in 1891.

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Around the Nation
2:47 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Why 'Pep' The Prison Dog Got Such A Bum Rap

Pep is featured in the Dec. 26, 1925 issue of the Boston Daily Globe. But Gov. Pinchot's wife, Cornelia, later set the tall tale straight in an interview with The New York Times.
The Boston Evening Globe / Courtesy of Boston Public Library

A 1925 article in The Boston Daily Globe featured a photo of a dog at a radio microphone for a special remote broadcast from a Pennsylvania prison.

He looks like a friendly, dark-haired Labrador. Two prison officers on either side have a hand on his back.

The caption says: This is Pep, "the pet dog Gov. Pinchot of Pennsylvania sentenced to Eastern State Penitentiary for life."

"He had killed the Governor's wife's cat," or so the story went, says Annie Anderson, the historic site researcher at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia — now a museum.

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Health
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Grandparents Step In When Parents Get Hooked On Opiates

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

Copyright 2015 WFCR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.nepr.net/.

Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Urban Shootings Are On The Rise, But Officials Fail To Pinpoint A Cause

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Sports
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Swimmer Katie Ledecky Breaks Her Own Record, Again

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Doctor Who Crusaded For Coal Miners' Health Dies At 87

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:34 pm

Dr. Donald L. Rasmussen worked on behalf of coal miners in Appalachia and helped create a national movement against black lung disease.

He was featured in a 2012 series by NPR News Investigations about black lung returning to coal country.

Book News & Features
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

These Books Amp Up The Adrenaline In Summer Reading

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Author Interviews
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

The Bonds Of Friendship Stay Strong In 'Stranger'

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:33 pm

Author Rebecca Stead collects ideas before she sits down to write, even from the smallest encounters — like this one:

"The idea came from a girl — she was wearing cat ears, and I said 'nice ears,'" she tells NPR's Melissa Block. "And she said, 'Thanks! I've been wearing them for a year! I don't know why!' And then she ran away."

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Book News & Features
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

At Some Stores, Readers Can Go Get A Refund For 'Watchman'

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:30 pm

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

Energy
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

When Relying On The Sun, Energy Storage Remains Out Of Reach

Jim and Lyn Schneider installed solar panels and batteries because bringing grid power to their house in central Wyoming was going to cost around $80,000.
Leigh Paterson Wyoming Public Radio

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

The ability to store energy could revolutionize the way we make and use electricity. But for many utility companies and regular folks, energy storage is still way out of reach. It's expensive — sometimes more expensive than building out old-fashioned infrastructure like power lines and power plants.

For people like Jim and Lyn Schneider, their decision to invest in battery storage came four years ago when they moved to central Wyoming.

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Drought Drives California Fires To Unprecedented Speeds

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

'All You Can Do Is Pray': Wildfire Rages In Northern California

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

In LA, Vets Become Homeless Faster Than The VA Can House Them

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Energy
2:27 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

For Some States, New Emissions Rules Will Force A Power Shift

President Obama's environmental plan won't be so hard for states that have moved to cut emissions. But for others it will be more difficult.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:38 pm

Almost as soon as it was unveiled, opponents were lining up to oppose President Obama's new plan to limit carbon emissions. The new rules would require states to lower their carbon emissions by nearly a third over the next decade and a half.

The rules will deal a big blow to some energy sectors — especially coal. But there are also industries that will benefit from the plan.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Would Natural Gas Act As A 'Bridge Fuel?'

The Patterson 298 natural gas fueled drilling rig drills on land in the Permian Basin in Mentone, Texas. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, announced yesterday, requires the country to cut power-plant carbon dioxide emissions by about a third by 2030. The plan also requires the country to get more than a quarter of its electricity from renewable resources like solar and wind by 2030, up from 13 percent last year.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder On Sitting Governors Running For President

Douglas Wilder, former Virginia governor, pictured in 2008. (Steve Helber/AP)

Four sitting governors are among the candidates currently running for president.

While they’re out on the campaign trail stumping and fundraising, they also have their own states to run.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder about the challenges of doing both things well. Gov. Wilder briefly sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1991, while he was governor.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Airlines Take Stand Against Carrying Big-Game Trophies

American is joining other airlines in banning big-game transport. (Curimedia/Flickr)

American Airlines is the latest to ban the transportation of big-game trophies on its flights. The industry is responding to outrage over the killing of Cecil, the popular African lion killed by an American hunter, in Zimbabwe. Delta Airlines announced its ban Monday, while Air France, KLM and Quantas issued bans last week.

Jason Bellini, from The Wall Street Journal, joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Family Of Sandra Bland Files Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

Sandra Bland's family announced Tuesday that they have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Houston.
Pat Sullivan AP

The family of Sandra Bland, who was arrested in Prairie View, Texas, and was later found dead in her jail cell, announced Tuesday that they're suing authorities in Texas.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reported for our Newscast unit that the wrongful-death lawsuit names the Texas state trooper who arrested Bland, the sheriff of Waller County, the Texas Department of Public Safety and two guards at the jail. "Among other things, the lawsuit accuses the state trooper of depriving Bland of her constitutional rights," Wade says.

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Music Reviews
1:06 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Daniel Romano's Eccentric 'Countrypolitan' Sound Blends Sincerity And Irony

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

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Environment
1:06 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Exploring The 'Wild And Haunting World Of Dolphins'

"Anytime you're in the wild with a beautiful animal you're going to feel good," says Susan Casey, author of Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins.
Penguin Random House

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 2:28 pm

Dolphins tend to strike a deep emotional chord in many people who encounter them. Famous for their intelligence and physical ability, there have been reports that the marine mammals have come to the rescue of humans at sea.

Writer Susan Casey tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies about an instance in which a scientist who was watching dolphins hunt noticed that they suddenly bolted for deeper water. He followed them and found that the dolphins had formed a circle.

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Just How Arbitrary Is Fox's 10-Person GOP Debate Cutoff?

All five of these people are running for president, but it looks like only one will make it into the first Republican debate.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Welcome to the most exciting fight for tenth place you've ever seen.

It also just might be a meaningless fight.

With the major contenders for the GOP nomination now numbering 17, Fox News will only allow the top 10 candidates into the first GOP debate on Thursday. To determine the participants, Fox will be averaging together five national polls.

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Shots - Health News
12:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Straighten Your Hair Without Frying It? Engineers Are On The Case

It's the heat that straightens the hair. But too much, and hair can be permanently limp, or burned.
iStockphoto

Heated tools like flat irons can make hair waterfall straight. But there's always that worry of burning the hair, or yourself.

That can make hair straightening a miserable process, as Marita Golden wrote in her essay "My Black Hair:"

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Shots - Health News
10:21 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Women, There's A Reason Why You're Shivering In The Office

It may be August, but in the office it feels like January. And there's a mysterious man to blame.
Neil Webb Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 2:44 pm

He was probably about 40 years old, 155 pounds, white and wearing a suit. And he's the reason why women are shivering at their desks in air-conditioned buildings.

At some point in the 1930s, someone defined "metabolic equivalents" — how much energy a body requires while sitting, walking and running. Almost a century later, the back-of-the-envelope calculations are considered a standard for many things, including air conditioning.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Families Of Newtown Massacre Victims Reach $1.5 Million Settlement

A small memorial lined a road near Sandy Hook Elementary School about a month after the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings in Newtown, Conn.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 12:13 pm

The relatives of 16 victims of the 2012 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., reached a proposed $1.5 million settlement Monday against the estate of the shooter's mother.

According to the Hartford Courant, each family will receive $93,750 apiece from a homeowners insurance policy that Nancy Lanza had on a Newtown home she shared with her son Adam.

The lawsuits were filed by the families of 14 victims who died in the school shooting and two who survived.

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NPR History Dept.
9:26 am
Tue August 4, 2015

The Strangest Presidential Campaign Ever

Perot speaks at the U.S. Capitol in the spring after the 1992 election.
Maureen Keating via Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 11:07 am

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Circus Tent Collapse Kills 2 During Storm In New Hampshire

Officials are investigating the cause of a tent collapse that killed two people and injured more than a dozen others.
Chris Jensen NHPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 9:03 am

A man and a girl were killed while watching a traveling circus show Monday evening, after a strong storm dislodged the circus tent's poles and caused a collapse. Officials are now working to find out more about what went wrong at the fairgrounds in Lancaster, N.H.

"We lost two lives — a father and a daughter — at an event that was supposed to be fun," Gov. Maggie Hassan told local TV station WMUR.

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NPR Ed
6:28 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Play Hard, Live Free: Where Wild Play Still Rules

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can "play wild" in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel.
David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:32 am

Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

"Is there any treasure in here?" he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. "I've been looking everywhere for them. I can't find any." The proto-pirate toddler conducts a quick search, then wanders away to continue his quest elsewhere.

Not far away, Ethan Lipsie, age 9, clutches a framing hammer and a nine-penny nail. He's ready to hang his freshly painted sign on a wooden "fort" he's been hammering away on. It says, "Ethan, Hudson and William were here."

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Strange News
5:40 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Italian Crime Bosses' Coded Notes Get Them Busted

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:19 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Strange News
5:40 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Patriots Fan Interrupts Goodell's Vacation With Message In The Sky

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:19 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Monsoon Flooding Kills Dozens In Myanmar, Prompting Calls For Help

A boy paddles a makeshift raft in flooded Kalay township, in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. Heavy monsoon rains have affected more than 210,000 people in 12 out of Myanmar's 14 states and regions since June.
Ko Thaung Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 7:35 am

At least 46 deaths have been blamed on flooding and landslides in Myanmar, where monsoon rains have forced disaster declarations in four regions. More than 1 million acres of farmland have been flooded, the government says.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is appealing for international aid to help it cope with the flooding. Officials also say that because water has blocked travel between some areas, they don't yet know the full extent of the crisis.

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