NPR News

NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

U.S. Ramps Up Aid To Syrian Rebels

The U.S. is ramping up both arms and training assistance to the Syrian rebels, creating what one official calls the largest covert effort in memory. Advocates of the program say they hope to change the situation on the ground, others doubt it will help much.

NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Obama: U.S. To Defend Japan In Territorial Disputes With China

President Obama is in Japan for the start of his four-nation Asia visit. The trip aims to assure U.S. allies that they're not forgotten, even as China gets more bullish with its neighbors.

NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep and David Greene have the Last Word in business.

Politics
1:39 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Bob Dole Returns To Kansas For Gratitude Tour

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, center, takes questions while seated between Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and Rep. Kevin Yoder, right, during a visit to the Johnson County Republican headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., on Monday.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:22 am

In Kansas this week, a political icon returned home. Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole has been traveling the state, meeting with friends and supporters who embraced his long political career.

Dole is not running for office, but the 90-year-old has a tour schedule that could tire a politician half his age. He's made 10 public appearances over three days, including a stop at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:38 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Why Bill Gates Fights Diseases Abroad, Not At Home

By ensuring vaccines are invented and distributed, Bill Gates says, his foundation is dramatically reducing the number of childhood deaths in poor countries.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:27 am

This week in Seattle, Bill and Melinda Gates are attending a meeting of the minds.

Five-hundred of the world's top innovators in global health have gathered for the Global Health Product Development Forum, an annual event in which scientists, engineers, policymakers and activists work to develop new tools for fighting diseases.

Read more
Paying For College
1:37 am
Thu April 24, 2014

When Money Trumps Need In College Admissions

For many low-income students, economic trends are making the prospect of getting into the college of their choice, and reaching graduation, even more difficult.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:22 am

At some schools, the admissions process itself can work against low-income students, according to Georgia Nugent, former president of Kenyon College and a senior fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges.

Nugent says during her tenure at Kenyon, there were low-income students at the bottom of the admissions list who sometimes weren't accepted so the school could make room for more affluent students.

Read more
Asia
1:37 am
Thu April 24, 2014

After Bangladesh Factory Disaster, Efforts Show Mixed Progress

Garment workers and relatives of Rana Plaza victims stage a demonstration on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 24.
Shariful Islam Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:22 am

One year ago Thursday, an eight-story factory building in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The disaster at Rana Plaza brought new attention to safety conditions in the country's booming garment industry.

In the year since then, some of the world's biggest retailers have begun inspecting Bangladesh's factories more aggressively. But in other ways efforts to reform the industry have fallen short.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:03 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

The FDA Moves To Regulate Increasingly Popular E-Cigarettes

A woman tries electronic cigarettes at a store in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:28 am

The Food and Drug Administration says it will formally propose regulating e-cigarettes.

Early Thursday, the agency unveiled a long-awaited rule that would give it power to oversee the increasingly popular devices, much in the way that it regulates traditional cigarettes.

Read more
Technology
8:51 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

FCC To Propose Change To Net Neutrality Rules, Media Report

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

The FCC is expected to put out new Internet traffic rules that would let content providers negotiate for better service. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Gautham Nagesh.

The Two-Way
6:54 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

WATCH: Young Baseball Fan Learns About The Pain Of Defeat

A young fan reacts to the Cubs blowing a lead in the ninth inning.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:20 am

In life, there are inevitable lessons. For generations of Cubs fans, one of them is the pain that comes from losing.

On Wednesday, the Cubs blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks and taught a young fan that lesson. As Deadspin puts it, he learned "exactly what it means to be a Cubs fan."

Here's the video of the boy reacting to the Diamondbacks scoring the tying run:

Courtesy of SBNation, here's a gif of the moment:

Read more
The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Reports: FCC Poised For Changes To Net Neutrality Policy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:09 pm

This post was updated at 12:10 a.m. ET on Thursday. See update below for details.

The Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to propose new rules when it comes to net neutrality, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are reporting based on unnamed sources.

Read more
The Salt
4:20 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

President Obama shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo on Wednesday. At Sukiyabashi Jiro, people pay a minimum of $300 for 20 pieces of sushi chosen by the patron, Jiro Ono.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

President Obama kicked off the first leg of his tour of Asia on Wednesday with some sushi diplomacy.

He dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a revered and tiny temple of sushi in Tokyo called Sukiyabashi Jiro. The subterranean restaurant, with just 10 seats at the counter, was made famous by the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:31 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales Record

Sovaldi, a daily oral treatment for hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill.
Courtesy of Gilead Sciences

The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. $2.27 billion!

The boffo number beat Wall Street's estimate for the quarter by more than $1 billion.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Scientists Pinpoint Source Of Antarctic 'Quack'

A minke whale photographed in Antarctica last year. The minke, smallest of the baleen whales, turned out to be the mysterious "bio-duck."
Tony Beck/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

For decades, researchers and submarine crews in icy waters off the coast of Antarctica have been picking up a mysterious quacking sound.

The "bio-duck," as its called, has been heard on and off since Cold War patrols picked it up on sonar during the 1960s.

"It goes 'quack, quack, quack, quack,' " says Denise Risch, a marine biologist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. "It has this almost mechanical feel to it."

Read more
Education: Watch This Space
3:24 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

In Age Of Custom-Tailored Ed Tech, Teachers Shop Off The Rack

Free software is fun!
reynermedia Flickr

The big names in the growing education-technology industry gathered in Arizona this week.

The "Education Innovation Summit" styles itself the "Davos of ed-tech." Educators, philanthropists and political leaders like Jeb Bush rubbed elbows with the investors, venture capitalists, big companies like Microsoft and small companies hoping to get big. It's hosted by Arizona State University and GSV, a private equity firm.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Brazil Becomes One Of The First To Adopt Internet 'Bill Of Rights'

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the "NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance", on Wednesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff signed into law a kind of Internet bill of rights on Wednesday.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Why Are We Spiteful, Even Though It Bites Us Back?

Angelina Jolie plays the spiteful protagonist in an upcoming movie called "Maleficent," based on "Sleeping Beauty."
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures USA

Maybe you turn up your music when your neighbor complains about the noise.

Or maybe you curse a baby princess because you didn't get invited to her christening, as in "Sleeping Beauty" and its latest incarnation, the upcoming movie "Maleficent."

To see spite in its purest form, try brunch in New York. At the hippest restaurants, patrons will linger at their tables long after they've paid the bill, just to show those losers on the wait list who's boss – even though they're wasting their own time in the process.

Read more
Parallels
3:08 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

CIA Is Quietly Ramping Up Aid To Syrian Rebels, Sources Say

Syrian President Bashar Assad (right) visits the Christian village of Maaloula, near Damascus on Sunday. Assad's forces have been gaining the upper hand in the fighting, and the CIA is now increasing training and aid to Syrian rebels.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:13 pm

The U.S. is providing more arms and training to the moderate rebels in Syria, under a growing secret program run by the CIA in Jordan. Sources tell NPR that secret program could be supplemented by a more public effort in the coming months involving American military trainers.

The change in strategy comes as the White House sees Syrian leader Bashar Assad growing in strength, and continuing to strike rebel strongholds.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Unbeliebable: Justin Offends Asian Fans With Shrine Visit

Justin Bieber poses next to an unidentified man at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.
Retweeted by @sanverde via Instagram

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:26 pm

Pop star Justin Bieber has been lurching from crisis to crisis in recent months, but his latest faux pas could be his biggest, risking the affections of possibly a billion Beliebers.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:36 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury

Proust and algebra may not sound like brain protection, but higher levels of education correlate with cognitive reserve.
iStockphoto

A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

Read more
Economy
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Big-Time Home Sales Stoke Hope For Northeast Housing Market

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:24 pm

Realtors are seeing reasons for optimism in the housing market. As Kaomi Goetz of WSHU reports, one historic home sale suggests the high end of the market is booming again — in Connecticut, at least.

Latin America
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Chile Wildfire Litters Questions In The Ash Of Burned-Out Homes

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

In Chile, a fire that started in the hills above Valparaiso continues to burn. The blaze has killed 15 people and destroyed 2,500 homes in the area that surrounds Valparaiso. Reporter Alexandra Hall looks at some of those affected.

Europe
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Moscow Answers Ukrainian Offensive With Warning Of Its Own

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said his country would respond if its citizens or interests came under attack in Ukraine. At the same time, the interim Ukrainian government has called for a new offensive on pro-Russia militants holed up in government buildings across eastern Ukraine. Western diplomats are scrambling to find a way to de-escalate the crisis.

Africa
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Slaughter In South Sudan Raises Fears Of Future Violence

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Prompted by calls for violence on the radio, South Sudanese rebels have slaughtered hundreds of civilians. As Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International explains, details are just starting to emerge.

News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Palestinian Talks Could Heal Leadership Divide And Anger Israelis

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Palestinian leaders say they're close to a deal that would end the seven-year division between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Questions remain about whether the deal would hold up, as well as what it might mean for ongoing efforts to forge a deal between Palestinians and Israelis.

News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Administration Opens Review Of Its Deportation Policy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:51 pm

The Obama administration is reviewing its deportation policies in an effort to conduct enforcement more humanely, according to the White House. As part of the effort, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is listening to recommendations from a range of groups.

News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Raises Curtain On 4-Country East Asia Trip

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama has arrived in Japan on a weeklong trip that will also include stops in South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. Along with trade talk, President Obama will be trying to reassure leaders that the U.S. will not abandon them. That's important because China is becoming more assertive in disputes with its neighbors.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on the Obama administration's efforts.

Read more
Law
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Justice Dept. Opens Door To Freedom For Some Nonviolent Offenders

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Justice Department wants to grant an early release to thousands of nonviolent drug offenders in crowded federal prisons and they've unveiled a plan to do it. Inmates will receive notice starting next week that they may be eligible to apply. That has government lawyers gearing up for a huge amount of work. Here's NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says there's no time to waste.

Read more
Technology
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

New Browser Plug-in Would Literally Annihilate This Headline

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Mike Lazer-Walker created a free browser plug-in called Literally, which replaces the word "literally" with "figuratively" in all online text. As the website explains, that's literally all it does.

NPR Story
1:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

DJ Sessions: From Europe, With Love

Lars Christian Olsen is the front man of Norweigian band Tôg. (Tonje Thilesen)

In this installment of DJ Sessions, KCRW’s Travis Holcombe brings us sounds from Norway and France, including Norwegian DJ and producer Todd Terje, Norwegian rock band Tôg, French singer Katerine and French electro rock band Jamaica.

Read more

Pages