NPR News

The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Toys R Us Under Fire For 'Breaking Bad' Action Figures

Bryan Cranston (left) starred as chemistry teacher turned meth dealer Walter White, and Aaron Paul played former student and drug-dealing co-conspirator Jesse Pinkman in AMC's Breaking Bad, which wrapped up its fifth and final season on Sunday.
Ben Leuner AMC

Walter White and Jesse Pinkman have moved from the small screen to your neighborhood toy store. And some people aren't happy about that at all.

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Television
1:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Nostalgia, Now Out On DVD, With 'Wonder Years' And 'Pee-wee' Releases

On The Wonder Years, Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) had a crush on his neighbor Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar).
Courtesy of Scoop Marketing

At the moment, we're at yet another pivotal point in the history of home entertainment, which keeps changing with sudden, and major, tectonic shifts — just ask Blockbuster Video. Videocassettes for home libraries gave way to DVDs, which now seem to be giving way to streaming video and the cloud.

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Movie Interviews
1:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Ed Norton On 'Birdman,' Wes Anderson And Why $40 Makes Him Proud

In Birdman, Ed Norton (right) plays a talented but pretentious actor in a Broadway play being directed by an actor he disrespects (Michael Keaton, left) for having starred in a series of Birdman superhero films.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

In the new black comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Edward Norton co-stars as a pretentious and self-absorbed but very talented and edgy theater actor who has been cast in a play directed by a washed-up movie star played by Michael Keaton.

Norton, who has starred in such films as Fight Club and American History X, says that making Birdman was a highlight of his career.

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Parallels
1:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Ambushes, Mines And Booby Traps: ISIS Militants Change Tack

Peshmerga look out from a front-line outpost — a few sandbags, soldiers, and grenades perched on the brow of a hill — to the eastern Iraqi town of Jalula. The Kurdish fighters are grappling with how to combat changing ISIS tactics.
Alice Fordham NPR

At a front-line outpost — a few sandbags, soldiers and grenades perched on the brow of a hill — the Iraqi Kurdish soldiers known as Peshmerga are looking out toward the town of Jalula, maybe three miles away.

A few months ago, the so-called Islamic State seized Jalula in eastern Iraq. The Peshmerga took it back, but now the militants have retaken it. The soldiers catch sight of three vehicles belonging to the Islamic State rolling toward the outpost.

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All Tech Considered
12:39 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Who's Catching Your Cellphone Conversations?

The police could be monitoring your cellphone.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:23 pm

With the right equipment, people can hijack your cellphone, listen to your calls and read your texts, alarming privacy rights advocates and tech experts alike.

We know the eavesdropping is happening, but we don't know much about who's doing the listening. The police and other law enforcement agencies do it, but they have been restricted by the FBI from telling us about it. Beyond the police, the listeners could be the U.S. government, corporate spies or even foreign intelligence agencies.

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Goats and Soda
12:23 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Will A Sting, A Court Award And A Protest Help Stop Global Sex Trafficking?

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:16 pm

This month, reports have come out that Laurie Holden, an actress from The Walking Dead TV show, had volunteered to be part of a sting in Colombia to entrap a local trafficker who sold girls as young as 12 into sex slavery. (Holden's job was to keep the girls distracted while the sting honchos were paying – and secretly filming — the trafficker.)

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Tue October 21, 2014

American Freed After Months Of Detention In North Korea

Jeffrey Fowle, an American who had been detained in North Korea, spoke to The Associated Press last month in Pyongyang. Fowle was released by North Korean authorities and flown back to the U.S. on Tuesday.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 12:19 pm

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans held by North Korea, has been released, the White House says.

Fowle, 56, who was detained in June, allegedly for leaving a Bible in his hotel room in North Korea, was home today after negotiators secured his release.

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The Protojournalist
11:37 am
Tue October 21, 2014

The Yarmulke Comes To 3-D Printing

A yarmulke produced from a 3-D printer.
Craig Kaplan

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 12:14 pm

What do you get when you combine a computer science background with Judaica? A 3-D printed kippah.

Craig Kaplan, an associate professor in the Computer Graphics Lab at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, rarely leaves the house without his Panama hat in warmer weather.

He wanted to design a 3-D printed version of the traditional hat, but he decided to start with an easier shape to reproduce: a yarmulke, or kippah — a plate-shaped head covering worn by observant Jews.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Tue October 21, 2014

'Mr. President, Don't Touch My Girlfriend,' Chicago Voter Teases Obama

President Barack Obama casts a ballot in early voting for the 2014 midterm elections at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center in Chicago on Monday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Things got heated at the Chicago polling place where President Obama cast an early ballot on Monday.

Obama was in his little booth, next to a young woman, when her boyfriend, whom CNN identified as Mike Jones, quips: "Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend."

Obama held his own, replying, "I wasn't really planning on it."

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Shots - Health News
11:04 am
Tue October 21, 2014

When The Economy Goes Down, Vasectomies Go Up

Did worries about financial stability get more men to say no to fatherhood?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:52 am

The number of men getting vasectomies spiked during the Great Recession, rising one-third from 2006 to 2010, a study finds.

In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery. That means an additional 150,000 to 180,000 men per year had vasectomies in each year of the recession.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue October 21, 2014

DHS: Travelers From West Africa Limited To 5 U.S. Airports

Thomas Nellon (left), 17, and his brother Johnson Nellon, 14, of Liberia smile at their mother in the arrivals area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York earlier this month. The brothers received a health screening upon arrival. The U.S. says it will step up screening measures for arrivals from Ebola-affected West African countries.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 12:48 pm

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that all passengers arriving from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa must go by way of a handful of U.S. airports as part of measures to control the spread of Ebola.

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Parallels
10:12 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Israeli Homes, Decorated With A Shopping Spree In China

Adi Asulin stands in the kitchen of her family's remodeled apartment north of Tel Aviv. She saved thousands of dollars by flying to China to buy furnishings and flooring directly from manufacturers.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 12:12 pm

Adi Asulin lives in a fabulous apartment on the top floor of a seven-story building in the Israeli town of Ra'anana, north of Tel Aviv. The entry hall is long and light. Windows open onto an enormous balcony, which wraps around three sides of her home. The decor is fresh and white.

"It's all made in China," Asulin says.

Not just made in China. Nearly everything — the floors, the lighting, the furniture — she bought in China on a 10-day shopping spree.

The day after Asulin and her husband got keys to the place, she got on a plane to Guangzhou, in southern China.

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Parallels
9:47 am
Tue October 21, 2014

A Hong Kong Protest Camp Spawns Its Own Art

Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 10:56 am

Now in its improbable fourth week, the main pro-democracy protest camp in Hong Kong's Admiralty district is a sort of Woodstock on the South China Sea.

A sea of tents, the camp teems with street art and propaganda posters. They range from sculptures and cartoons to protest banners and the "Lennon Wall" — a reference to John Lennon and a similar wall in Prague — where people have written thousands of messages on colored Post-it notes.

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Shots - Health News
8:14 am
Tue October 21, 2014

More Insurers Put Spending Limits On Medical Treatments

The California Public Employees' Retirement System has capped how much it will pay for some common medical procedures and tests.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:29 pm

To clamp down on health care costs, a growing number of employers and insurers are putting limits on how much they'll pay for certain medical services such as knee replacements, lab tests and complex imaging.

A recent study found that savings from such moves may be modest, however, and some analysts question whether "reference pricing," as it's called, is good for consumers.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Opera About 1985 Achille Lauro Hijacking Draws Protests At Met

Protesters rail outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center on opening night of the opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" on Monday in New York.
Bryan Thomas Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 9:29 am

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was among those who showed up at the Metropolitan Opera last night to denounce the production of The Death of Klinghoffer, which protesters say glorifies terrorism.

Chanting "Shame on the Met!" protesters, numbering about 400, said the performance of the 23-year-old opera was an affront to the memory of Leon Klinghoffer, a passenger on the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro that was hijacked by members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1985. Klinghoffer, 69, was shot in his wheelchair and dumped overboard.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Hong Kong Leader Hints At Concessions As Talks With Students Begin

Hong Kong Federation of Students council members attend a meeting with senior Hong Kong government officials in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Tyrone Siu Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 9:21 am

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, at the start of talks today with student-led pro-democracy protesters, says although his Beijing-backed government cannot allow the public to nominate candidates to replace him in 2017, the process could be made "more democratic."

"There's room for discussion there," Leung told a small group of journalists on Tuesday. "There's room to make the nominating committee more democratic."

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Politics
4:45 am
Tue October 21, 2014

In Tight Races, Both Parties Bank On Early Votes

President Obama casts an early ballot for the midterm elections at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center in Chicago on Monday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 9:17 am

On the first day for in-person early voting in Illinois, President Obama went to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to cast his ballot.

"I'm so glad I can early vote here," he told the elections worker checking him in.

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New Boom
4:40 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Some Millennials — And Their Parents — Are Slow To Cut The Cord

Stuart Kinlough Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:03 am

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

So your child moved back in with you after graduation, and it seems like she will never leave. Or worse, you're sending rent checks each month while she searches for jobs in the big city.

You often find yourself wondering if she will ever grow up. You're concerned that your child is suffering from delayed adolescence.

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Around the Nation
3:15 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Is That A Spoonful Of Spooky Cereal In Your Beer?

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:16 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Asia
3:15 am
Tue October 21, 2014

How To Pick An English Name (Tip: Stay Away From Food)

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:16 am

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

NPR Ed
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

The Short Shelf Life Of Urban School Superintendents

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:16 am

If you're a 12th-grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.

As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.

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Parallels
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Kurds Leave Life In Europe To Fight ISIS In Their Iraqi Homeland

Aza Betwata (left) and his brother Mirwan (center) left Holland to join the Kurdish peshmerga fighting against ISIS militants in northern Iraq. Though the brothers come from a family of fighters, Aza had just two days of training — his brother must show him how to strip and clean his rifle.
Alice Fordham NPR

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:33 am

The men of the Betwata tribe gather to drink tea every morning in Irbil, Iraq, in an outdoor courtyard with curving pillars and climbing plants.

In northern Iraq, almost everyone is ethnically Kurdish, and most of them wear a traditional Kurdish baggy blue suit with a colored sash, and a black-and-white headdress. And they all talk about the war.

One of the men — Sarhad Betwata — is a general. The grizzled officer says he commands about 1,000 men and later this morning will head off from Irbil to the front lines against the Islamic State, close to the Syrian border.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Six Words: 'Must We Forget Our Confederate Ancestors?'

Waverly Adcock, a sergeant and founder of the West Augusta Guard, prepares his company for inspection and battle at a Civil War re-enactment in Virginia. Sara Smith, whose great-great-grandfather was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, holds the Confederate battle flag.
Courtesy of Jesse Dukes

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:55 am

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

Jesse Dukes does not have Confederate ancestors. But in the time he has spent writing about Civil War re-enactors, he has met many who say they do.

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Middle East
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Understanding The Kurds' Different Roles In Different Conflicts

Syrian Kurdish fighter Delkhwaz Sheikh Ahmad, 22, sits with his wife Siham, 23, and their two sons, Dilyar and Ibrahim, at his brother's house on the Turkey-Syria border on Friday. He was preparing to leave for Kobani, Syria, to rejoin the fighting against the Islamic State.
Lefteris Pitarakis ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 12:42 pm

The Kurds are involved in several Middle East dramas at the moment. Yet they live in multiple countries across the region and are playing different roles in different places.

In Iraq, Kurdish fighters are working closely with the U.S. to battle the Islamic State.

In Syria, the Kurds are also fighting the Islamic State, but until U.S. air drops this week, the U.S. had been reluctant to work directly with the Syrian Kurds.

Then there are the Turkish Kurds, who have been seeking to join the battle, but have been blocked from doing so by Turkey.

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Law
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

California Proposition Re-evaluates Approach To Crime

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:16 am

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

The Two-Way
9:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Fashion Icon Oscar De La Renta Dies At 82

Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow with models Karlie Kloss (left) and Daria Strokous after his Spring 2015 collection was modeled Sept. 9 during Fashion Week in New York. De la Renta died on Oct. 20.
Diane Bondareff AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:18 am

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET.

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who designed gowns for first ladies and for Hollywood stars died Monday at his home in Connecticut. He was 82.

A statement from de la Renta's stepdaughter and her husband, Eliza Reed Bolen and Alex Bolen, did not give a cause of death, though the designer had been treated for cancer.

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Business
5:48 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Unrest In Ferguson May Speed Up Decline Of Real Estate

Children watch from their home in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 20 as people march about a mile to the police station to protest the shooting of Michael Brown. Brown's shooting in the middle of a street by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9 sparked protests, riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb. Some people are ready to leave the troubled city. Others say they will remain no matter what.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:09 am

A grand jury has yet to decide whether it will indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., this summer.

Protests over Brown's death are ongoing in Ferguson, though they are calmer than the sometimes violent clashes that happened immediately after the shooting.

Still, many residents there are worried about public reaction once the grand jury announces its decision, and some say they've had enough. They're planning to move. That could accelerate an already existing trend in the region.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

CDC Announces New Guidelines For Health Care Workers Treating Ebola Patients

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:55 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Monday for health care workers caring for patients with Ebola.

The new guidelines "provide an increased margin of safety," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a conference call with reporters.

Frieden added that they represented a "consensus" by the health care workers who have treated people with Ebola in the United States, including those workers at hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska that have treated Ebola without further transmission.

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Shots - Health News
4:23 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

When Reassuring Isn't: The Rush To Test Cruise Passenger For Ebola

The cruise ship Carnival Magic floats behind a catamaran off Cozumel, Mexico on Oct. 17. The ship skipped a planned stop there Friday, the cruise line says, after Mexican authorities delayed granting permission to dock.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:41 am

Here's a question about the fine line between a prudent response and worrisome overkill: Is the sight of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hovering over a cruise ship to pick up a blood sample (which is to be tested for Ebola) a sight that should inspire feelings of reassurance, or a nagging sense that something is not quite right?

The question is still in the air after the weekend's effort to airlift a few milliliters of blood from a passenger who was on board what is now being called the Ebola Cruise.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

This Past September Ranks As Hottest On Record, NOAA Says

Four months in 2014 have already been the warmest on record.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:34 pm

This past September was, on average, the hottest on record, meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.30 F hotter than the century average.

The AP reports:

"It was the fourth monthly record set this year, along with May, June and August.

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