NPR News

Goats and Soda
1:45 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Take A New Test Aimed At The World's English Language Learners

English-language students in China practice their blackboard skills.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:52 pm

It's tuff to master English. It's even tough for people born in America, who (or whom?) are often confused by too/to/two many konfusing things.

So you can only imagine how tough it is for non-English speakers trying to learn the tongue.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Amid Scandal, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testifies to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the White House perimeter breach during a hearing on Tuesday. Pierson stepped down from her position on Wednesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 2:14 pm

After a series of embarrassing incidents that called into question the efficacy of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, the agency's director, has resigned.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Pierson offered her resignation today and he accepted it.

"I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation," Johnson said in a statement.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Hospital Official: Ebola Patient's Travel Not Relayed To Doctors

An official from the Texas hospital where the first U.S. Ebola patient is being treated says a nurse using a checklist for the disease learned that he had traveled from West Africa, but that the information was "not communicated" to doctors making the diagnosis.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Experimental Drug Jams Ebola Gene To Fight The Virus

A man stands above a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. Health workers in Liberia, the hardest-hit nation, have turned people away from treatment units because of shortages of beds and staff.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images

Plans are afoot to test drugs to treat Ebola in West Africa — and those studies could have far-reaching benefits far beyond this rapidly expanding epidemic.

That's because some of the drugs are based on nascent technologies that can be used to treat other infectious diseases — and even inherited ailments, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Alleged White House Intruder Pleads Not Guilty

This 2009 photo provided by Jerry Murphy shows Omar Gonzalez, who was married to Murphy's mother, Samantha, until they divorced in 2012. Authorities have identified Gonzalez as the man who got into the White House after scaling a fence on Sept. 19.
AP

Omar Gonzalez, who was indicted on three charges stemming from allegations that he scaled a fence and then ran into the White House carrying a knife, pleaded not guilty in a federal court house on Wednesday.

NPR's Brian Naylor reports:

"Omar Gonzalez will remain in custody. The next hearing is scheduled for October 21.

Read more
Goats and Soda
12:26 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Africa's 'Switzerland' Bans Ebola — But At What Cost?

Most African nations have responded to their Ebola-affected neighbors by canceling flights and closing borders. The logic driving this isolationism has little to do with advice from the World Health Organization. WHO pleads that travel bans slow the delivery of medical supplies to fight the virus while doing nothing to stop its spread, and that properly screening airline passengers when they disembark is enough of a precaution.

Read more
Goats and Soda
12:06 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Europe's 'Moral Obligation' Is To Repair West Africa's Health Care System

Tonio Borg of Malta, the European Union's Health Commissioner, is spearheading the EU response to the Ebola outbreak.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

It's not just about Ebola.

That's the message from EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg. He was in Washington last week to talk about Europe's response to the crisis at a meeting of the Global Health Security Agenda. The European Union is a key player in the global effort to stop the epidemic.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
10:42 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Is That A Lark I Hear? A Nightingale? Surprise! It's A Bat

Quoctrung Bui NPR

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:19 pm

Bats produce "pings" or "clicks," right? They make these high-pitched sounds, too high for us to hear, but when their cries ricochet off distant objects, the echoes tell them there's a house over there, a tree in front of them, a moth flying over on the left. And so they "see" by echolocation. That's their thing. They are famously good at it.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:32 am
Wed October 1, 2014

One System, Two Media: How China, Hong Kong Are Covering The Protests

People read newspapers placed along a street blocked by protesters outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong on Wednesday. While Hong Kong media are covering the protests closely, media in mainland China have been mostly quiet.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:40 am

Hong Kong media are providing wall-to-wall coverage of the protests calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, but in mainland China there has been little to no mention of the unrest.

The contrast is an illustration of the "one country, two systems" policy that has been in place since the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

Read more
Goats and Soda
10:06 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Raya The Muppet Talks About Poop And Is Proud Of It

Raya might tickle Elmo with toilet paper if he doesn't use it properly.
John Barrett Courtesy of Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 12:19 pm

Why did the superhero go to the toilet?

"Because it was her duty!" Raya exclaims as she throws her head back laughing.

Six-year-old Raya is not shy at all — especially when it comes to talking about poop.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:43 am
Wed October 1, 2014

The Message On Ebola: Don't Panic

Dr. Edward Goodman, epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where the unnamed Ebola patient was first admitted, at a news conference on Tuesday.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:17 am

Following word of the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as major news organizations have weighed in. While the development is a concern, the basic message seems to be this: Don't panic.

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:03 am
Wed October 1, 2014

5 Things We Learned From New Database Of Payments To Doctors

ProPublica

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 12:05 pm

The federal government unveiled data Tuesday detailing 4.4 million payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Death Toll From Japanese Volcano Rises

Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) soldiers and firefighters conduct rescue operations near the peak of Mount Ontake on Wednesday.
KYODO Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:50 am

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The number of dead from a volcanic eruption in Japan has climbed to nearly 50 after more victims were recovered from Mt. Ontake, which unexpectedly spewed toxic gas last week as people hiked near the 10,000-foot summit.

The Japan Times says:

"Precarious conditions at the summit have made the search an on-off effort, and other bodies may still be undiscovered.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

ISIS Militants Reportedly Behead Kurds In Northern Syria

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:34 am

A human rights group reports that Islamic State militants in a Kurdish area of northern Syria have beheaded seven men and three women as part of an apparent campaign to quell resistance to the group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the 10 people, including four Syrian rebels, were detained and then beheaded on Tuesday, about 8 miles west of the city of Kobani, a Kurdish town near the Turkish border that has been under siege from the Islamist group for weeks.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:37 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Hong Kong Protesters Vow To Step Up Pro-Democracy Campaign

Protesters shout slogans outside a flag-raising ceremony that Hong Kong's embattled leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, attended in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:50 am

A deadline set by Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators for the territory's leader to step down has passed without his resignation, triggering a new phase to the protests that have brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill.

Protesters, who took to the streets by the tens of thousands last week to demand the open election of Hong Kong's next leader, heckled the territory's Beijing-appointed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, during a flag-raising ceremony to mark China's National Day.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:30 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Kansas City PD Requests Lull In Calls, Royals In Wild-Card Game

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:01 am

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

Around the Nation
5:30 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Inmate Escapes From Jail Without Anyone Noticing

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:01 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Politics
3:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Secret Talks And Back Channels Pervaded U.S. Relationship With Cuba

Cuban Premier Fidel Castro addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September 1960 in New York. A new book details secret negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba dating back to President Kennedy's administration.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:34 am

For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.

Read more
NPR Story
2:58 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Hong Kong Protests: The Bigger Picture

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:01 am

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

Politics
2:58 am
Wed October 1, 2014

In New York's North Country, The Republican Party's New Poster Candidate

Republican congressional candidate Elise Stefanik, 30, says her generation "can't just complain about the problems — we have to help solve them as well, because we're ultimately inheriting them."
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:11 am

If the Republican Party were to hang up a wanted sign for the new face of the party, the kind of person they need to help them connect with voters they've had a hard time reaching, Elise Stefanik may just be the person they'd find. She describes herself as a "big tent Republican," and House Speaker John Boehner recently held a fundraiser for her.

Read more
The Salt
1:45 am
Wed October 1, 2014

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

The roots of your hankering for hoppy beers and cruciferous vegetables may be genetic.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 12:18 pm

The word bitter can make some of us wince. In conversation, we talk of "a bitter pill to swallow" or "bittersweet" memories.

But if you're puzzled by the bad emotional rap on bitter — perhaps you even like the taste of bitter greens or bitter beer — it may say something about your genes.

Scientists have been studying a particular taste receptor gene to understand why some of us may be more predisposed to liking bitter foods and hoppy beers. And a new study sheds new light on the bitter gene connection.

Read more
U.S.
4:46 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Details Emerge Of Security Breach During Obama's CDC Visit

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 8:48 pm

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

Code Switch
4:39 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Mexico Pays To Help Its Citizens Avoid Deportation From The U.S.

Mexican consulates, like this one in Houston, are helping some unauthorized immigrants from Mexico pay application fees for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
WhisperToMe Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:08 pm

Mexico is helping some of its citizens apply for a controversial immigration program in the U.S. called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Since the Obama administration created the program in 2012, more than 580,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors have received temporary relief from deportation and been given work permits that last for at least two years.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

FCC Votes To Eliminate Sports Blackout Rules

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady jogs off the field following a 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in an NFL football game on Monday.
Ed Zurga AP

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Tuesday to ditch rules that prohibited cable and satellite providers from broadcasting games that had been blacked out on local stations.

Read more
Parallels
4:01 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

How One Chauffeur Took Down A Corrupt Brazilian Politician

Antonio Cavalcante had a candidate for governor successfully barred after proving he had embezzled millions of dollars while he was a state legislator.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro NPR

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 9:05 am

It's election season in Brazil, and a group of young women hold up placards outside the Cuiaba airport in support of their candidate. The capital of the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso is best known for its cattle ranching and agriculture. It is the Texas of Brazil — big, flat and hot with people who moved here from all over the country as kind of frontiersmen.

For the past two decades, one man has politically loomed above them all. His name is Jose Riva. He's been a politician in the state for 20 years, presiding over the state legislature in one form or another.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:49 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

First U.S. Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Dallas

A patient at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has a confirmed case of Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. He is being treated and kept in strict isolation.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:27 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.

A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.

Read more
U.S.
3:48 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Where Activists See Gray, Albuquerque Police See Black And White

Protesters gather outside the Albuquerque Police Department following the shooting deaths of James Boyd and others on March 25. The Justice Department accused the police of engaging in a pattern of excessive force.
Rita Daniels NPR

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 9:54 am

To understand the tension between the cops and some people in Albuquerque, you have to go back to a Tuesday in April.

It was after the Justice Department had accused the Albuquerque police of engaging in a pattern of excessive force. In March, a homeless camper named James Boyd was shot and killed. Then a 19-year-old woman was killed.

Music teacher Caro Acuna Olvera was eating dinner when a friend called her with the news.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:40 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

EBay Spins Off PayPal Into Fast-Changing World Of Mobile Payments

EBay announced it will split from the payments service PayPal, forming two independently traded companies beginning in 2015.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 4:46 pm

A big breakup is happening in the business world. Online retailing giant eBay is splitting up with its payments operation, PayPal, sometime in 2015. The move comes at a prime opportunity for PayPal, as the future of online payments is still being charted.

When PayPal first came on the scene in the late 1990s, it simplified making online purchases in a way that users adopted, fast.

Read more
Middle East
3:40 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Israel Justice Minister: U.S. Shouldn't Give Up On Palestinian Peace Process

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 4:46 pm

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

The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

New York Boosts Pay For Thousands With Hourly Wage Hike

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs an executive order raising the city's living wage law Tuesday. The move will require some employers to pay their employees between $11.50 and $13.13 an hour, depending on whether the employee receives benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday that effectively raises the hourly wage for thousands of workers in New York City. The city says its expansion of the Living Wage provisions will boost yearly earnings for the lowest-paid workers from $16,640 to $27,310.

From New York, NPR's Joel Rose reports:

Read more

Pages