NPR News

Goats and Soda
2:57 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

An Answer For Americans Who Ask: What's My Risk Of Catching Ebola?

Data sources: David Ropeik/Harvard University, National Weather Service, World Health Organization, Northeastern University Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems, National Geographic, United States Census
Adam Cole and Ryan Kellman NPR

Health officials are saying it. Scientists are saying it. Heck, even many journalists are saying it: "The risk of Ebola infection remains vanishingly small in this country," The New York Times wrote Wednesday.

But what does that mean? Are you more likely to be struck by lightning or catch Ebola?

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Politics
2:49 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Democrats Remain Optimistic About Senate, Gubernatorial Races

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 3:28 pm

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

Global Health
2:39 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Why Do Ebola Mortality Rates Vary So Widely?

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

Animals
2:27 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

For U.S. Queen Of Alligator-Skin Goods, Business Is Booming

Christy Redd is the co-owner of America's largest alligator leather tannery.
Zach Wolfe Ozy.com

Christy Redd remembers seeing a video by PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and frankly being pretty grossed out. It showed an alligator being skinned alive, presumably for a tannery, and Redd watched the beast twist and writhe in agony. "I was so upset," she says.

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All Tech Considered
2:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Please Do Not Leave A Message: Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail

The phone company Vonage reported a drop in voice mail retrievals over the past year. Many of those ignoring voice mails are millennials.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 3:28 pm

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

We've all heard that automated voice mail lady, telling us what to do after the beep. But fewer people than ever are leaving messages. And the millennials, they won't even listen to them — they'd much rather receive a text or Facebook message.

"I did have at one point in time like 103 unheard messages," says 31-year-old Antonia Kidd.

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Shots - Health News
2:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

FDA Cracks Down On Fake Ebola Cures Sold Online

The problem isn't just that fake cures are worthless, doctors say. Fraudulent claims also give some people the false sense that the product can protect them from getting sick.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 3:23 pm

Snake venom, vitamin C, Nano Silver and herbs have all been pitched online as a treatment or cure for Ebola. None has the backing of the FDA.

"Unfortunately during public health threats such as Ebola, fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, cure disease often appear on the market almost overnight," says Gary Coody, the FDA's national health fraud coordinator. In particular, the FDA wants consumers to beware Ebola "cures" peddled online.

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Music News
2:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Who Sang It First? Mockingbirds And Musicians Cover Each Other In New Orleans

A short phrase New Orleans musicians use to communicate is identical to a common mockingbird call.
Sven Halling Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 3:28 pm

In certain New Orleans music scenes, there is a special sound — a signal — which lets players know it's time to pick up their instruments and strike up the band.

"It's a bugle call, or a band call, to assemble," trumpeter Leroy Jones says.

"It's like: C'mon, rally," musician Matt Bell adds. "Come to the bandstand and be ready to do it. Let's go."

The four-note phrase, however, doesn't belong to musicians alone. Another common New Orleans species, the mockingbird, also produces the call.

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Around the Nation
2:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

In Missouri, A Tale Of Two Fergusons

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:31 pm

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

The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Report Says UNC Grade-Boosting Scandal Involved Fake Classes

University of North Carolina system President Tom Ross and UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt talk during a special joint meeting of the UNC Board of Governors and the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees on Wednesday.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:51 pm

Fake classes, inflated grades and one academic department that facilitated it all. Those are all detailed in a newly released report on grade-fixing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The scandal came to light in 2011, but the report out Wednesday offers the most wide-sweeping look yet at how some school staff members boosted the grades of more than 3,000 students — nearly half of them athletes — over nearly 20 years.

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NPR Story
1:34 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

How Important Is Speaking Chinese For American Business?

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, left, speaks during a dialogue with students as a newly-appointed member to the advisory board for Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China. (Tsinghua University via AP)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg tried to appeal to a Chinese audience recently by speaking in Mandarin. Some audience members appreciated the gesture, others did not. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic spoke with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about how many business leaders are learning Chinese, and whether it can help a business.

Guest

  • Derek Thompson, business editor for The Atlantic. He tweets @DKThomp.
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Michel Martin, Going There
1:24 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

In North Carolina, Latino Voters Could Decide Tight Senate Race

Lacey Williams (from left), Mary Espinosa, Jaime Villegas, Armando Cruz Martinez and Elisa Benitez talk inside the offices of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte, N.C. According to a 2011 Pew Hispanic report, the median age of Latinos in North Carolina is 24.
Andy McMillan for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:31 pm

Ahead of the midterm elections, Michel Martin is visiting Charlotte, N.C., to learn more about Latino voters' growing influence in the state. Join Michel for a Facebook chat from 4:30-5 p.m. ET today as she answers questions and shares more on her reporting.

Twenty-year-old Mary Espinosa is eager to get to the polls this Election Day. "I have a lot of friends who are undocumented [and] can't vote," she says. "My parents can't vote, and so for me, using my ability to vote as a way of kind of letting my dad's voice count."

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

U.S.-Led Strikes In Syria Have Killed 553, Activists Say

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:58 pm

U.S.-led strikes in Syria have killed 553 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday.

The Observatory, which relies on reports from activists on the ground, has been providing death-toll estimates since the protests in the country spiraled into civil war beginning in the spring of 2011.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Aretha Franklin's New Album Further Proves She’s Queen Of Cover Songs

Aretha Franklin performing at the Ottawa Jazzfestl (Mike Bouchard/Flickr Creative Commons)

This week saw the release of “Aretha Franklin Sings the Diva Classics,” with Franklin singing songs made famous by Adele, Barbra Streisand and Etta James. Here & Now pop culture critic Renee Graham joins host Robin Young to take a listen to the album.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Parliament The Day After: A Canadian Lawmaker Describes The Ordeal

Canadian MP David McGuinty, who represents the Ottawa area, was among those who were in Parliament on lockdown until late yesterday evening. (Twitter)

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:39 pm

Canada’s Parliament is back to business today, less than 24 hours after a lone shooter killed a soldier at the country’s War Memorial, and was later killed by Parliament’s Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, inside a crowded hallway.

Members of Parliament broke into spontaneous applause that lasted minutes as Vickers entered the floor of the House of Commons. He held back tears as hundreds of MPs honored what many are calling heroic actions that saved many lives.

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Shots - Health News
11:58 am
Thu October 23, 2014

How To Sell Bogus Health Cures In 5 Easy Steps

Wouldn't it be great if this stuff really did cause quick painless weight loss?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 12:30 pm

I'm bummed that the green coffee weight-loss cure touted by Dr. Oz doesn't work. It could have been the perfect painless antidote to my habit of lying on the sofa eating Russian chocolate.

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Ottawa Attack Seen As Canada's Security Wake-Up Call

Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday.
Blair Gable Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 12:28 pm

Until Wednesday, the front door of Canada's main Parliament building, Centre Block, was often left unlocked. Taken as a metaphor for the nation as a whole, many think the attack in Ottawa will change that approach to security.

In the assault, a soldier was killed as he guarded the National War Memorial and a shootout left the gunman dead inside Canada's parliamentary complex.

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Goats and Soda
10:41 am
Thu October 23, 2014

I'll (Gag) Drink To That: Oral Rehydration Key For Ebola Patients

At the onset of symptoms, Dr. Adaora Ingonoh (center) and her colleagues began drinking oral rehydration solution. It doesn't taste great but they say it helped them survive Ebola. They each downed over a gallon a day for nearly a week.
Andrew Esiebo Courtesy of WHO

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 1:15 pm

Have you ever swallowed unflavored rehydration solution, or ORS? That's what they call the mixture of salt, sugar and water given to Ebola patients.

I've taken more than a mouthful, and urgh! It tastes dreadful.

But doctors who were among Nigeria's Ebola survivors all agree that they may not have recovered from the virus without having forced down the foul-tasting, but apparently life-saving fluid.

Gallons of it.

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Goats and Soda
10:41 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Blizzard In Nepal Deals A Blow To Porters As Well As Trekkers

Bilbahadur Tamang, right, and Umesh Lama load up for a trek on the popular Annapurna Circuit.
Donatella Lorch for NPR

In early October, blizzard conditions in Nepal killed more than 16 foreign trekkers and 17 locals, most of them lightly-dressed porters who were carrying the trekkers' gear. The tragedy calls attention to the dangers of trekking — and the risky life of local porters.

At 42, Rane Tamang knows the trekking business well. From a poor village in central Nepal and with little formal education, he started work as a porter 25 years ago, lugging 90 pounds of gear up mountains. He moved up to serve as an assistant cook and now alternates between cook and guide.

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The Salt
9:49 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Why California's Drought-Stressed Fruit May Be Better For You

These pomegranates are about an inch smaller than the typical size, but they're packed with antioxidants.
Courtesy of Tiziana Centofanti

California's severe drought is putting stress on everyone these days: the neighborhoods whose wells are running dry; the farmers forced to experiment with growing their produce with much less water; and of course, the thirsty fruits and vegetables themselves.

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The Protojournalist
9:15 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Girl Scouts Look For A Way Out Of The Woods

Girl Scouts model contemporary uniforms.
From Girl Scouts of the USA website

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 12:06 pm

The Girl Scouts organization wants s'more — members and leaders, that is.

Membership in Girl Scouts of the USA is on the decline. In the past year, according to the group's official blog, there has been a significant drop nationwide — down 400,000 girls and adults — from 3.2 million to 2.8 million.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Canada's Parliament Gives Sergeant-At-Arms Standing Ovation

Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is applauded in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Thursday. Vickers was credited with shooting the suspect during an attack on the Parliament complex on Wednesday.
Chris Wattie Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 12:31 pm

Barely 24 hours after a gunman attacked Parliament Hill in Ottawa, killing a soldier, lawmakers gave a standing ovation to Kevin Vickers, the legislature's sergeant-at-arms, for reportedly firing the shots that took down the assailant.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Family Says Nurse Amber Vinson Is Free Of Ebola

Amber Vinson in a photograph taken earlier this week at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Officials at Emory and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention couldn't detect Ebola in Amber Vinson as of Tuesday evening, her family said in a statement.
AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET.

A Texas nurse who contracted Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan in a Dallas hospital is now free of the potentially deadly virus, her family says.

Amber Vinson, 29, remains in treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, but her family said in a statement that since Tuesday evening, doctors had been unable to detect traces of the disease in her blood.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Ottawa Gunman's Actions Were 'Linked To His Radicalization,' Authorities Say

A makeshift memorial sits on a downtown street a block away from Canada's National War Memorial in Ottawa to remember Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo, who was shot and killed by an assailant Wednesday.
Warren Toda EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:57 pm

Updated at 4:54 p.m. ET

The mother of the man identified as having gunned down a soldier before storming into Canada's Parliament complex offered condolences to the family of the victim, saying she had not seen her son for five years before meeting him for lunch last week.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Tweets In Hong Kong Put Kenny G In Jam With Communist Party

After deleting tweets from a Hong Kong protest site, Kenny G said he was "not trying to defy government orders."
Tomasz Gzell EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 11:58 am

Politics between Hong Kong and mainland China are a minefield these days, and if Kenny G, the 1980s saxophone superstar, didn't know it, he does now.

Kenny G, who is hugely popular in mainland China, was in Hong Kong on Wednesday and decided to pop by the main pro-democracy protest camp, which is now in its fourth week.

He posed for photos with fans, flashed a peace sign and said he hoped the demonstrations would end peacefully.

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Europe
3:30 am
Thu October 23, 2014

How Much Would You Pay For A Putin-Themed Music Box?

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:14 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Education
3:30 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Wave Away Math Homework With An App

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:14 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Suppose you need the answer to 70 times five?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's 350.

INSKEEP: Or 12 times four.

GREENE: 48.

INSKEEP: That's impressive, David.

GREENE: Well, thank you.

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World
3:30 am
Thu October 23, 2014

With Bears On The Streets, Canadian Town Cancels Halloween

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:14 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now this. Winter comes early in the Canadian Arctic, which means polar bear season.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Parallels
2:47 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Israel's Defense Minister: Mideast Borders 'Absolutely' Will Change

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon delivers a statement at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Jerusalem in June.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 1:40 pm

Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is known for his blunt manner, and in an interview with NPR, he says a future map of the Middle East will look very different from the one that exists today.

The borders of many Arab states were drawn up by Westerners a century ago, and wars in recent years show that a number of them are doomed to break apart, according to Ya'alon, a career soldier who became Israel's defense minister last year.

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Latin America
2:47 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Mexican Prosecutor Says Mayor, Wife Ordered Attack On Students

In Mexico City on Wednesday, people march to demand justice for 43 missing students. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of Iguala and his wife in connection with the attack.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 6:59 am

Mexico's top prosecutor says a mayor and his wife ordered the attack on 43 students who have been missing for nearly a month. The couple — of the town of Iguala in the southern state of Guerrero — are now fugitives.

Thousands of protesters marched down Mexico City's grand Reforma Boulevard on Wednesday night, banging drums, carrying pictures of the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26, and demanding the resignation of the governor of the state of Guerrero and even of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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The Two-Way
9:55 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

5 Giants Pitchers Give Up 5 Runs In 6th As Royals Even World Series

San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland watches Wednesday as Kansas City Royals Omar Infante runs around the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of Game 2 of baseball's World Series Wednesday
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 11:58 am

After the Royals' postseason winning streak was snapped Tuesday and the Giants led off Wednesday's game with a home run, one could excuse Royals fans for thinking the glow around this season was finally dimming.

But Kansas City quickly recovered, and had the game even, 2-2, before tearing through Giants pitcher after Giants pitcher in the sixth inning and handing the ball to their dominant bullpen. The 7-2 win evened the World Series at one win per team.

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