NPR News

The Two-Way
10:18 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Obama Orders Development Of Supercomputer To Rival China's 'Milky Way'

The Japanese supercomputer K, pictured in June 2012 at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, western Japan. The K computer is currently ranked No. 3 on a list of the Top 500 fastest supercomputers.
Kyodo /Landov

President Obama has ordered the development of a supercomputer that is some 20 times faster than the world's current record-holder and is expected to go online by 2025.

A machine at China's National University of Defense Technology in Guangzhou, called Tianhe-2 ('Milky Way-2) is thought to currently be the fastest supercomputer in existence – variously reported as doing either 34 or 55 petaflops. (1 petaflop is equivalent to 1 quadrillion floating-point operations per second).

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Justice Dept. Hires Compliance Expert In Fight Against Corporate Crime

Justice Department lawyers who prosecute errant corporations and executives are bringing in a new member to the team — a full-time expert in compliance programs.

Andrew Weissmann, who leads the Fraud Section in the criminal division at the Justice Department, said the new hire is all part of a plan to reduce corporate crime.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu July 30, 2015

3 U.Va. Graduates Sue 'Rolling Stone,' Reporter Over Rape Article

Former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia say they are the victims of defamation and negligence.
Jay Paul Getty Images

Saying that an article on campus rape that was later retracted hurt their reputations and subjected them to needless humiliation, three former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have sued Rolling Stone, its publisher, and the reporter who wrote the story.

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Shots - Health News
10:03 am
Thu July 30, 2015

How A Beauty Queen With Diabetes Found Her 'Sugar Linings'

Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014, during the "Show Us Your Shoes" parade at the Miss America pageant.
Courtesy of The Miss America Organization

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 11:29 am

Last July, a photo changed Sierra Sandison's life. She went onstage in the Miss Idaho pageant with an insulin pump clipped to her bikini bottom. The photo and the #ShowMeYourPump hashtag she created went viral on social media, and became NPR's most popular online story of the year.

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Goats and Soda
9:09 am
Thu July 30, 2015

What Botswana's Teen Girls Learn In 'Sugar Daddy' Class

The bar chart tells all: That's how eighth graders at Bakgatle Community Junior Secondary School in Botswana can compare the HIV infection rate of older men and of teenage boys.
Don Boroughs for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 10:15 am

Chilo Ketlhoafetse struts around an eighth-grade classroom like the coolest guy in Botswana, warming the students up to talk about an awkward subject. He calls out "Nomhlaba!" and they respond "Auwe!" nonsense words from a local childhood game. Soon he has the students clicking their fingers, dancing and following his every word.

Within an hour, the students at the Bakgatle Community Junior Secondary School in Mochudi are chanting the only message he wants to get across to them: "Older partners are riskier."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Taliban Acknowledge Death Of Leader, Select Successor

Undated photo reportedly showing Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
AP

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 11:19 am

The Taliban have confirmed reports that the group's spiritual leader, Mullah Omar, is dead, and the Afghan-based extremist organization has reportedly chosen a successor.

As Eyder reported on Wednesday, the Afghan government said it had "credible information" that Omar had died in April 2013 in Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Thu July 30, 2015

University Of Cincinnati Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Charge

This booking photograph released Wednesday by the Hamilton County Sheriff"s Office shows Ray Tensing, a University of Cincinnati police officer.
AP

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 10:04 am

A University of Cincinnati officer who was charged in the murder of an unarmed black man during a routine traffic stop has pleaded not guilty.

Officer Ray Tensing was escorted into a Hamilton County courthouse on Thursday handcuffed and in a prison uniform.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan said because Tensing is facing a potential life-in-prison sentence, she was setting his bail at $1 million.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Thu July 30, 2015

'Top Gear' Team Signs Deal With Amazon; New Car Show Set For 2016

James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond have signed a deal for a new show with Amazon.
Amazon Prime Video

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 10:39 am

Months after they left the BBC, car enthusiasts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are headed to Amazon, hoping to recreate the success of the long-running TV show Top Gear. The trio left the BBC under a cloud after Clarkson's contract was not renewed because of a physical attack on a show producer.

"The show will be produced by the trio's long time executive producer Andy Wilman," Amazon announced Thursday, adding that production on the new show, whose name wasn't revealed, will begin soon.

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Around the Nation
6:20 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Lawsuit Challenges Maker's Mark Handmade Bourbon Claim

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

Around the Nation
5:53 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Movie Article Leads Police To Missing Convicted Bank Robber

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:20 am

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

The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Testing By AP Finds Water At 2016 Olympic Sites 'Rife With Human Sewage'

The Rodrigo de Freitas lake, which was largely cleaned up in recent years, was thought to be safe for Olympic rowers and canoeists. But an investigation by The Associated Press found it to be among the most polluted sites.
Leo Correa AP

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 7:35 am

It's no secret that the water at some of the 2016 Olympic venues in Rio de Janeiro has some problems.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro got a whiff of one venue in April. But The Associated Press has just put some science into it by commissioning tests over a five-month period.

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The Salt
5:03 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?

Sea bass, pollock, striped bass and other fish species are seen for sale at the Harbor Fish Market in Portland, Maine.
Ryan Kellman for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 9:13 am

Order a rockfish at a restaurant in Maryland, and you'll likely get a striped bass. Place the same order in California, and you could end up with a Vermilion rockfish, a Pacific Ocean perch or one of dozens of other fish species on your plate.

This jumble of names is perfectly legal. But it's confusing to diners — and it can also hamper efforts to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud, says the ocean conservation group Oceana.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Egypt Postpones Verdict In Trial Of Al Jazeera Journalists

Al Jazeera English producer Baher Mohamed (from left), Canadian-Egyptian acting Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and correspondent Peter Greste appear in court along with several other defendants during their trial on terrorism charges in Cairo.
Heba Elkholy AP

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 7:18 am

A court in Egypt has delayed reading the verdict in the retrial of three Al Jazeera journalists accused of aiding a terrorist organization.

The BBC reports:

"Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian Baher Mohamed and Australian Peter Greste were sentenced to up to 10 years in prison in June 2014.

"Their convictions for spreading false news were overturned on appeal and they were released on bail in February. ...

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Huckabee Remarks Further Complicate Evangelicals Relationship With Jews

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 5:10 am

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

Around the Nation
3:07 am
Thu July 30, 2015

#TheEmptyChair Amplifies Conversation About Sexual Assault

This week's New York magazine cover has received a lot of attention.
New York Magazine Via Twitter

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:38 am

The cover story of this week's New York magazine is getting a lot of attention.

It features 35 women seated in chairs and one empty chair. The women are all dressed in black, looking straight ahead with both hands resting on their knees. It is a stark image, and all the more compelling because each of them is openly and by name accusing Bill Cosby of horrendous acts. Some say they were drugged and raped; others recount stories of narrowly escaping sexual assault.

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Animals
3:07 am
Thu July 30, 2015

How 3-D Prining Helps Scientists Understand Bird Behavior

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:20 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Died 2 Years Ago, Afghan Government Says

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:20 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Campus Police Officer Charged In Unarmed Black Man's Death

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 4:33 am

Copyright 2015 CINCINNATI PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. To see more, visit http://www.wvxu.org.

Parallels
3:02 am
Thu July 30, 2015

In The West Bank, A Rough Start Doesn't Deter New Arab TV Channel

Afaf Shini, a host on the Palestine 48 TV channel, holds a reading card with the satellite channel's logo during a morning broadcast in Ramallah in July. Israel shut down operations just days after the launch.
Nasser Nasser AP

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 7:36 am

One out of every five people in Israel is Arab. But Israeli TV sets aside only a few hours a week for Arabic-language programming. And Arabs in Israel don't have many opportunities to see their own cities and lives reflected on the screen. That's the idea behind a new TV channel. It's called Palestine 48, a reference to the year Israel was founded.

The channel's new morning show is called Our Morning Is Different. It's like an Arabic version of the Today show, with a breezy opening jingle and stock footage of sunlight peeking through a field.

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Music Interviews
2:55 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Through Doubt And Dark Times, Joss Stone Lets Her Voice Light The Way

Joss Stone's new album, Water For Your Soul, is out July 31.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:20 am

Joss Stone's voice first stunned listeners more than a decade ago. The British singer was only 14 years old then, but her booming, soulful voice got noticed, as did her knack for taking success in stride. At age 28, she hasn't stopped: Stone's newest album, Water for Your Soul, comes out this Friday.

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Shots - Health News
2:47 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Close Listening: How Sound Reveals The Invisible

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 10:22 am

Over the years, scientists have mostly interpreted the world through what they can see. But in the past few decades, a culture of listening has blossomed, especially among biologists who seek to understand how animals communicate. This week Morning Edition embarks on a weekly summer series called Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound. We begin with an innovation that transformed medicine by searching sounds for clues to illness and health.

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Youth Radio
2:44 am
Thu July 30, 2015

At One Juvenile Hall, Too Few Staff Has A Big Impact

A young man peers out a window in a holding cell after arriving at the intake unit at Alameda County Juvenile Hall.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 11:06 am

Across the country, there are efforts to close outdated and dangerous juvenile detention centers. But even in places with so-called model juvenile halls, counties often struggle to meet the minimum standards.

A juvenile hall in San Leandro, Calif., is one such detention center that's generally well-regarded but faces some major challenges. Built in 2007, it's part of a $176 million juvenile justice complex with a detention facility, courtrooms and law offices.

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NPR Ed
2:36 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Pell Grants For Prisoners: An Old Argument Revisited

President Obama is the first sitting president to visit a federal prison.
Kevin Lamarque Landov

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 7:06 am

It's an old and controversial question: Should federal Pell grants be used to help prisoners pay for college?

Tomorrow, at a prison in Jessup, Md., Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are expected to unveil a program to do just that. The new plan would create a limited pilot program allowing some students in prison to use Pell grants to pay for college classes.

The key word there is "limited" — because there's only so much the administration can do. To understand why, we have to go back to November 1993.

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All Tech Considered
7:28 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Some Google Street View Cars Now Track Pollution Levels

A Google Street View car equipped with Aclima mobile sensors that can track air pollution in real time.
Carlo Acenas Aclima

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 7:58 am

For years, Google has had eyes in neighborhoods across the world: Google Street View cars armed with cameras, lasers, and GPS devices to filter "360-degree panoramic views" and "locations on all seven continents" to Google Maps.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Debris In The Indian Ocean May Have Come From Vanished Airliner

A piece of a wing, apparently from a Boeing 777, has been found on Reunion, an island in the Indian Ocean. It's not clear yet whether the debris is from the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared from radar during a flight last year.
Yannick Pitou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 10:46 am

Authorities on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean have found debris that may be from a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

A source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Geoff Brumfiel that the debris appears to have come from a large passenger aircraft, but it remains unclear whether it's from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished from radar on March 8, 2014.

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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Michel Platini Is Running For President Of Scandal-Plagued FIFA

Michel Platini of Fance announced his campaign for FIFA president and is considered a strong candidate.
Shaun Botterill Getty

A new candidate has tossed his name in the hat for FIFA President.

France's Michel Platini is currently the president of the European soccer's governing body, UEFA, and a FIFA vice president. He wrote that he wanted "to give FIFA back the dignity and the position it deserves," in a UEFA press release.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Birkin Bag Is Fine, But Namesake Actress Wants 'Birkin Croco' Rebranded

The Birkin Croco is made of dyed crocodile skin.
Sam Yeh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 3:56 pm

A lot of people who want a Birkin bag — a handbag popular among celebrities that can cost more than $100,000 — will get on multiple-year waiting lists to get one. But its namesake wants nothing to do with one version of it.

Specifically, Jane Birkin no longer wants to be affiliated with the popular crocodile-skin version. Her request comes after PETA published a graphic video on how crocodiles are allegedly treated before being killed.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

SpaceShipTwo 'Pilot Was Thrown From The Vehicle' High In Atmosphere

A photo released by Virgin Galactic shows a badly injured SpaceShipTwo pilot Peter Siebold drifting under his parachute after last October's accident that destroyed the spacecraft during a test flight.
Mark Greenberg Virgin Galactic

The dramatic failure of a test flight by Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket last October cost the co-pilot his life and left the pilot severely injured. New data from investigators suggest that the pilot survived in part because the craft essentially came apart around him.

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Your Money
3:31 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

From The Silents To Millennials, Debt Burdens Span The Generations

Alyson Hurt and Paige Pfleger NPR

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 5:56 pm

For most of us, debt is a big part of life. According to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts, 80 percent of Americans have some form of debt — from student loans to credit card balances.

There are many among the so-called silent generation, those born before World War II, who are still paying off mortgages and credit cards.

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The Salt
3:15 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

The Golden Age Of Cocktails: When Americans Learned To Love Mixed Drinks

An illustration from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, published in 1897. Between the 1860s and 1920, when Prohibition went into effect, American bartending came into its own.
Internet Archive Book Images Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 7:54 am

Summertime is the perfect time to indulge in a refreshing cocktail on a balmy night. But before you reach for that minty mojito or sweet sangria, consider stepping out of your modern-day comfort zone and going back to the drinks of 100 years ago.

"Some of the best cocktails that we think about today — the martini, the daiquiri, the Manhattan — those all came out between the 1860s and Prohibition," says Derek Brown, an award-winning mixologist who has studied the history of alcohol in America.

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