NPR News

Movie Interviews
1:35 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

We Ask A Scholar: How Does Ridley Scott's 'Exodus' Compare With The Bible's?

In Exodus, Christian Bale's Moses is more of an action hero than a religious figure.
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

For nearly a century, Hollywood has been turning out cinematic adaptations of the biblical book of Exodus. There have been Technicolor versions, animated versions and even a silent version. Now, filmmaker Ridley Scott has a 3-D contribution: Exodus: Gods and Kings.

NPR's Robert Siegel asks Robert Alter, a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, for his thoughts on the film. Alter has translated most of the Hebrew Bible, including the five books of Moses, and he's a leading secular scholar of Scripture.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

'Rolling Stone' Asks Columbia J-School To Investigate Flawed Rape Story

Jann Wenner, the editor and publisher of Rolling Stone, says the magazine has asked Columbia Journalism School to investigate the editorial process that resulted in its flawed story about a University of Virginia student who said she was gang-raped during a fraternity party in 2012.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:03 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy

Farming helped fuel the rise of civilizations, but it may also have given us less robust bones.
Leemage/UIG via Getty Images

Compared to other primates and our early human ancestors, we modern humans have skeletons that are relatively lightweight — and scientists say that basically may be because we got lazy.

Read more
Parallels
1:02 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

The 85-Year-Old Widow Who's The Symbol Of Spain's Economic Woes

Carmen Martinez Ayuso, 85, prays during her eviction from her home in Madrid, Spain, on Nov. 21. A professional Spanish soccer team, Rayo Vallecano, has come to her aid, promising to pay her housing costs for the rest of her life.
Andres Kudacki AP

Carmen Martínez Ayuso lived a quiet life in her modest apartment in the southern suburbs of Madrid for 50 years. But at 85, she recently became a household name in Spain.

Now her anguished face is splashed across Spanish newspapers' front pages. She's a reminder that despite statistics showing the Spanish economy is on the mend, many people are still suffering.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Army General To Determine Fate of Bowe Bergdahl

This photo provided by Eugene R. Fidell shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl preparing to be interviewed by Army investigators in August.
Eugene R. Fidell AP

The Pentagon has forwarded its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance from an Afghan outpost to a general courts-martial convening authority, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Bergdahl is the U.S. soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S. gained his freedom in May by trading him for five jailed Taliban.

The Pentagon spokesman said today that action against Bergdahl could range from no further action to convening a court martial.

Read more
NPR Story
12:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Media Analyst John Carroll's Top Five Ads of 2014

Actor, singer Justin Timberlake is just one of dozens of celebrities who completed the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS this year. (YouTube)

In the United States, roughly $180 billion was spend on advertising this past year.

Here & Now media analyst John Carroll, a professor of mass communications at Boston University, shares a few of his favorite ad campaigns, which encompass both television and web advertising.

John Carroll’s Favorite Ads

[Youtube]

[Youtube]

Read more
NPR Story
12:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Dreamers Get To Drive In Arizona

Arizona’s Motor Vehicles Department is now open to DREAMers.

Starting today, immigrants who qualify for the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals can get driver’s licenses in Arizona.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a ruling requiring the state to issue licenses to residents brought to the U.S. unlawfully as young children by their parents. The policy change follows a recent rollback of a string of strict immigration enforcement policies in Arizona.

Read more
NPR Story
12:41 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Reporter Raises Red Flag About Pet Medications

Sesame, a golden doodle owned by the family of Nimu Sirtani of Noblesville, plays in the back yard. Sesame died in 2013 after taking Trifexis, a heartworm medicine made by Eli Lilly’s Elanco division. The Sirtani family suspects that Trifexis was to blame. (Photo provided by the Surtani Family/Courtesy of The Indianapolis Star)

The The Indianapolis Star is shining a light on the booming industry of pet medications and raising some red flags about it.

In a three-part series, the newspaper finds a booming industry with higher risk of unforeseen side effects than the human drug market, veterinarians on the payroll of drug makers, and little legal protection for owners who say their pets have been killed by medications their pets were on.

Read more
The Salt
12:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

In Slovakia, Christmas Dinner Starts In The Bathtub

Ivan Babej AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:15 pm

For centuries, families throughout much of central Europe have relied on one simple main course for Christmas Eve dinner: the common carp.

But getting from river (or carp farm) to table is not so simple. As the tradition goes, the Christmas carp must first swim in the family bathtub for at least a day or two before being killed, cleaned and prepared.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At Age 70

Singer Joe Cocker, famous for his powerful and raspy voice, has died at age 70.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:05 pm

Read more
Music Interviews
11:01 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Nick Lowe Brings His 'Quality Holiday Revue' To America

Nick Lowe's Christmas album is called Quality Street. He's currently touring the U.S.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:31 am

Read more
The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon December 22, 2014

1 Dead In Protest At Chinese-Backed Copper Mine In Myanmar

Farmers confront riot police at the site of the Letpadaung copper mine in northwestern Myanmar on Monday. A woman was fatally shot during a crackdown on protesters at the Chinese-backed copper mine.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:01 am

A crackdown on protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine in Myanmar has left at least one person dead, the company that runs the project said today in a statement.

The statement from the company, Myanmar Wanbao, said it had "just been informed of the death of a female resident from Moe Kyo Pyin village," adding: "The events leading up to her death are still unclear." [Some news sources call the village Mogyopyin.]

Read more
The Two-Way
9:41 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Milwaukee Prosecutor Won't Seek Charges In Police Shooting

A Milwaukee prosecutor says no charges will be filed against a police officer who shot and killed Donte Hamilton in April. Here, Maria Hamilton holds posters used in rallies that vent frustrations about the death of her son.
M.L. Johnson AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:09 am

Eight months after a police officer shot and killed a black man whom the officer had been trying to search as the man slept, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm says the officer acted in self-defense.

The incident occurred in a Milwaukee park around 4 in the afternoon. Officer Christopher Manney, who is white, was trying to frisk a sleeping Dontre Hamilton. Manney fired his gun 14 times after Hamilton woke up and grabbed the officer's baton, striking him with it.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican's Bureaucrats

Pope Francis delivers his message during a meeting with cardinals and bishops of the Curia at the Vatican on Monday. The pope said the Curia suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's" and careerism.
Andreas Solaro AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:14 am

Pope Francis blasted the Vatican's top bureaucrats at an annual Christmas gathering, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the Curia of "spiritual Alzheimer's" and of lusting for power at all costs.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:28 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Tunisian Election Puts Former Regime Figure In Presidency

A supporter of newly elected Tunisian presidential candidate Beji Caid Essibsi flashes the V-sign from a car as they celebrate the first results of the Tunisian elections in Sousse, Tunisia.
STR EPA /LANDOV

A tense runoff election in Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring in 2011, has ended with a win for Beji Caid Essebsi, a veteran of the country's autocratic regimes. Essebsi defeated interim leader Moncef Marzouki.

Affiliated with the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia Calls) party, Essebsi won Tunisia's first democratic presidential election by taking more than 55 percent of the vote. Election officials announced the results Monday.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:40 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Spain's Princess Cristina To Stand Trial On Tax Fraud Charges

Princess Cristina, seen here on April 5 in Barcelona, Spain, will face trial on tax fraud charges.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:46 am

Spain's Princess Cristina, sister of King Felipe VI, will stand trial on charges of tax fraud, becoming the country's first royal in modern times to face prosecution.

The allegations stem from Cristina de Borbon's alleged links to her husband's business affairs between 2007 and 2008.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:37 am
Mon December 22, 2014

After 20 Years, Lost Luggage Is Returned To Tuscon Woman

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I once lost my luggage while traveling over the holidays and it turned up two weeks later. That's nothing compared to what a Tucson woman went through - for her it was 20 years.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:37 am
Mon December 22, 2014

JFK Assured 8-Year-Old Girl That Santa Was Safe

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

NPR Ed
5:23 am
Mon December 22, 2014

An Update On LA's iPad Program

NPR Ed is updating some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

The 650,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District expected to be tapping and scrolling on their very own iPads by now, halfway through the school year.

Read more
Latin America
3:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Cuba's Jews, Catholics Have Very Different Takes On The U.S. Thaw

A member of the activist group Women in White is arrested during a demonstration to commemorate Human Rights Day in downtown Havana, on Dec. 10. Members of the opposition movement say they feel betrayed by the U.S. decision to restore ties with Cuba's communist regime.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:33 am

In Havana, two religious communities are celebrating the holiday season but have taken very different approaches to the news that relations between the U.S. and Cuba are warming.

For Jews who belong to Temple Beth Shalom in Havana, their numbers may be small, but size doesn't matter.

On Sunday night, a couple hundred people filled the temple's sanctuary to light six Hanukkah candles, watch teens put on a play, and clap to a group of toddlers dancing to the holiday classic "Eight Little Candles," sung in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:43 am
Mon December 22, 2014

A Family's Long Search For Fragile X Drug Finds Frustration, Hope

Katie Clapp shares a laugh with her son Andy Tranfaglia, 25, at their home in West Newbury, Mass. Andy has a rare genetic condition called fragile X syndrome.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 6:17 am

For a few weeks last year, Michael Tranfaglia and Katie Clapp saw a remarkable change in their son, Andy, who'd been left autistic and intellectually disabled by fragile X syndrome. Andy, who is 25, became more social, more talkative and happier. "He was just doing incredibly well," his father says.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Finishes Second In Brazilian Tournament

United States' Abby Wambach fights for the ball with Brazil's Bruna Benites during a final match of the International Women's Football Tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday. The game ended in a draw, giving Brazil the tournament victory.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:57 am

The U.S. Women's National Soccer team finished its 2014 season with a second-place finish Sunday in the rainy final of the International Tournament of Brasilia. Brazil and the U.S. played to a 0-0 draw.

Read more
Code Switch
3:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

Whiteness Project participants were filmed talking about race. The project doesn't use their names, to encourage frankness.
Feral Films, Inc.

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:07 pm

The voices in the Whiteness Project vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.

"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared. "My father worked at a factory." These are the kinds of unfiltered comments that filmmaker Whitney Dow was hoping to hear when he started recording a group of white people, and hoped to turn their responses into provocative, interactive videos.

Read more
Parallels
3:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Wolf celebrated Hanukkah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 8:41 am

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

Read more
Music Interviews
3:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Anthony Hamilton Brings Home Holiday Funk

Anthony Hamilton's first Christmas album is called Home for the Holidays.
LaVan Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Once a pop artist has been working long enough, the Christmas album feels like an inevitability. Soul singer Anthony Hamilton wanted to try it out, but he was wary of falling into cliché and repeating the formulas that have shaped holiday records for years.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Questions Linger In Fatal Shooting Of New York City Police Officers

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

Latin America
3:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Still Few Answers In Disappearance Of 43 Students In Mexico

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

The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Man Who Killed Officers Told Passersby: 'Watch What I Am Going To Do'

New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday that a gunman told bystanders to follow him on Instagram, then shot and killed two police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Stephanie Keith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 6:56 am

The gunman who killed two officers in a Brooklyn neighborhood of New York on Saturday told passersby moments before the shooting to "watch what I am about to do," a senior police official says.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Kurdish Forces Push Offensive To Retake Sinjar From ISIS

Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani speaks with the media at Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, on Sunday. Barzani was visiting an area that was recently retaken from ISIS militants.
STRINGER/IRAQ Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 2:46 pm

Kurdish fighters, supported by coalition warplanes, pushed into the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, days after breaking a siege of a mountain where ethnic Yazidis had been trapped for months by Islamist extremists.

Massoud Barzani, an Iraqi Kurdish leader claimed his peshmerga forces had already taken a "large area" of the town of Sinjar, which has been held since August by fighters of the so-called Islamic State.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:18 am
Sun December 21, 2014

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, expresses his disappointment in President Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:47 pm

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

Read more

Pages