NPR News

NPR Story
12:35 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Revisiting Boris Fishman's 'A Replacement Life'

Boris Fishman‘s “A Replacement Life” comes out in paperback this week. The debut novel was named one of the “100 Notable Books of 2014″ by The New York Times.

“A Replacement Life” centers around Slava, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. Though Slava wants to forget his roots, his grandfather pulls him into a scheme of writing fraudulent petitions for Holocaust reparations.

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NPR Story
12:35 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Fox News Apologizes After Guest Calls U.K. City 'Totally Muslim'

In an interview with Fox host Jeanine Pirro, Steven Emerson called Birmingham, England, a "totally Muslim" city. (Screenshot from Fox News)

Fox News has apologized for an interview in which the guest called Birmingham, England a “totally Muslim” city, where non-Muslims don’t go.

Fox terrorism expert Steven Emerson used that description about the United Kingdom’s second largest city in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. Emerson said there were areas in many parts of Europe where non-Muslims simply don’t go.

The comments were widely ridiculed, and that led Fox host Jeanine Pirro to interrupt a recent broadcast with an apology.

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NPR Story
12:35 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

A Story Of Kindness In Venice, Italy

View from a Venice footbridge. (Courtesy Sonia Michaels)

As Parkinson’s disease worsened for Bernard Michaels, his family took him on a final trip to Europe. Early in the trip, a slip in Venice, Italy landed him in the hospital.

His daughter, Sonia, set out with a collapsible wheelchair to meet him, but 17 staired footbridges, slick with rain, stood between them. Fortunately, others took notice.

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The Salt
12:21 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

From Detox To Elimination Diets, Skipping Sugar May Be The Best Bet

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 pm

When it comes to detox diets, we totally get the appeal.

Who's not drawn to the idea of flushing all the toxins out of our bodies — a sort of spring cleaning of our insides?

And yes, several years back, I even remember trying — if only for a day — the trendy cayenne-pepper liquid cleanse (as seen in this Mindy Kaling clip from The Office) as part of a cleansing/detox diet.

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NPR Ed
11:41 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Classroom Reflections On America's Race Relations

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., marches with other civil rights protesters during the 1963 March on Washington.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

In Peter Maginot's sixth-grade class, the teacher is white, but all of his students are black. They're young and they're honestly concerned that what happened to Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner could happen to them.

"Who can tell me the facts that we know about Mike Brown?" Maginot asks the class at Shabazz Public School Academy, an afro-centric school in Lansing, Mich.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Prosecutor Who Accused Argentine President Of Cover-Up Is Found Dead

A woman leaves a rose in front of the AMIA Jewish community center facilities in Buenos Aires Monday, after Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead. Nisman had been investigating a 1994 bombing at the center.
Martin Di Maggio EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 3:25 pm

One day before he was to testify about an alleged cover-up after a deadly terrorist bombing at a Jewish center in Argentina, a federal prosecutor was found dead of a gunshot wound in his Buenos Aires apartment.

Alberto Nisman's body was found Sunday. Officials say they also found a gun, but no note that might indicate his death was a suicide, according to local daily Clarin. An autopsy is being performed today, the newspaper adds.

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Asia
5:37 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Bacon Blamed For China's Smog Problem

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Middle East
5:37 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Miss Lebanon Criticized For Photo With Miss Israel

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Middle East
3:16 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Nuclear Talks With Iran Recess After 'Limited' Progress

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 8:38 am

As diplomats trickled out into a frigid Geneva Sunday evening, descriptions of the talks trickled out with them. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi refused to characterize the progress made so far.

"It's too soon to say if we are able to make any progress or not," Aragchi said. "We are still trying to bridge the gaps between the two sides. We try our best, and as I have always said, as diplomats we are always hopeful."

China's delegation had a one-on-one with the Iranians and negotiator Wang Qun was more positive about the talks.

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Education
1:35 am
Mon January 19, 2015

What Does Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy Look Like To A 5-Year-Old?

Elspeth Ventresca, center, and the rest of Carolyn Barnhardt's prekindergarten class at John Eaton Elementary School wear the crowns they made to celebrate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 10:07 am

It's morning meeting time. "When Dr. King was little, he learned a golden rule," sings a class of 4- and 5-year-olds with their teacher, Carolyn Barnhardt.

John Eaton Elementary School, a public school in Washington, D.C., is unusual. It sits in one of the District's wealthiest neighborhoods, but the majority of students hail from different parts of the city, making it one of the most racially and economically diverse elementary schools in the nation's capital.

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Joe's Big Idea
1:34 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Why Ants Handle Traffic Better Than You Do

Unless there's a serious pileup, ants in traffic tend to bypass a collision and just keep going. A physicist has found a way to model this behavior with a mathematical equation.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 10:21 am

Could studying ants reveal clues to reducing highway traffic jams? Physicist Apoorva Nagar at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology thinks the answer is yes.

Nagar says he got interested in the topic when he came across a study by German and Indian researchers showing that ants running along a path were able to maintain a steady speed even when there were a large number of ants on the path.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 am
Mon January 19, 2015

When Bariatric Surgery's Benefits Wane, This Procedure Can Help

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:37 am

For most of her life Fran Friedman struggled with compulsive eating. At 59 years old she was 5 foot 2 and weighed 360 pounds. That's when she opted for bariatric surgery.

The surgery worked. Friedman, who is now 70 and lives in Los Angeles, lost 175 pounds. "It was a miracle," Friedman says, not to feel hungry. "It was the first time in my life that I've ever lost a lot of weight and was able to maintain it."

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The Two-Way
11:43 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Shots Fired Near Vice President's Delaware Home; Biden Wasn't There

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:05 am

An unidentified person or persons fired multiple gunshots from a vehicle near Vice President Joe Biden's home in Wilmington, Del., according to the U.S. Secret Service.

Residents in the area heard the shots and saw the vehicle speed away, according to Reuters.

The home is several hundred yards from the main road and authorities have been searching the area to see if anything was hit.

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Goats and Soda
9:59 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Smoke Got In His Eyes And Inspired A New Kind Of Lamp

Evans Wadongo has given away more than 50,000 "MwangaBora" lamps – that's Swahili for "good light."
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 1:33 pm

When Evans Wadongo was a schoolboy in a rural village in Kenya, he'd study for exams by the light of kerosene and firewood. The smoke and poor lighting made it difficult to finish his homework and irritated his eyes.

But you know that old cliché: "Necessity is the mother of invention." That's the story of Evans Wadongo. In 2004, at age 19, he designed a portable, solar-charged LED lamp. He calls the lamps "MwangaBora" – Swahili for "good light."

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History
7:16 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

From Wax Cylinders To Records, Saving The Sounds Of History

Actor, playwright and composer Noel Coward rehearses for a show in 1951. A rare recording of Coward introducing his play Peace in Our Time is just one of the millions of sounds and recordings the British Library is looking to preserve.
Jimmy Sime Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:27 pm

History is literally fading away in London right now.

Many of the items in The British Library's vast collection of recorded sound are in danger of disappearing. Some just physically won't last much longer. Others are stored in long-dead formats.

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Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

U.Va. Ushers In New Year With Updated Rules For Frat Parties

Students walk past the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house on the University of Virginia campus on December 6, 2014 in Charlottesville, Va. The fraternity was at the center of an explosive Rolling Stone article that the magazine later admitted had "discrepancies."
Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 1:10 pm

Popular media often treats fraternity culture as comedy, but what's been going on at the University of Virginia is serious. Last semester, Rolling Stone put U.Va. at the epicenter of national concerns about sexual assault on campus.

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Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Welcome To Whittier, Alaska, A Community Under One Roof

Begich Towers is located at the edge of town. Photographer Reed Young wanted to capture the dry-docked boat in the foreground. "You see a ton of boats that are just scattered all over," he says.
Reed Young The California Sunday Magazine

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 10:22 am

Whittier, Alaska, is a sleepy town on the west side of Prince William Sound, tucked between picturesque mountains. But if you're picturing a small huddle of houses, think again.

Instead, on the edge of town, there stands a 14-story building called Begich Towers — a former Army barracks, resembling an aging hotel, where most of the town's 200 residents live.

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Code Switch
2:59 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Broken Promises On Display At Native American Treaties Exhibit

Suzan Shown Harjo points to a signature on Treaty K at the National Archives. The document will be on display in 2016 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian for an exhibit on treaties curated by Harjo.
James Clark NPR

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 3:33 pm

For centuries, treaties have defined the relationship between many Native American nations and the U.S. More than 370 ratified treaties have helped the U.S. expand its territory and led to many broken promises made to American Indians.

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Shots - Health News
2:59 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Calif. Strike Highlights Larger Issues With Mental Health System

A Kaiser mental health worker with the National Union of Healthcare Workers looks through a pile of signs Monday during day one of a week-long demonstration outside of a Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 3:22 pm

This past week, more than 2,000 mental health workers for the HMO health care giant Kaiser Permanente in California went on strike.

The strike was organized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The union says Kaiser Permanente patients have been the victims of "chronic failure to provide its members with timely, quality mental health care."

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Interviews
2:59 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Investigation Reveals Rampant Use Of Flashbang Grenades By Police

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 6:37 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDRED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Back up.

(SOUNDBITE OF FLASH-BANG GRENADE)

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Politics
2:59 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Expect Taxes, Economy To Top Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 3:22 pm

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

The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Delegation Of Congressional Democrats Visits Cuba

U.S. delegation leader Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) talks with reporters as he leaves the Hotel Saratoga, in Havana, Cuba, on Saturday.
Desmond Boylan AP

A U.S. Congressional delegation led by Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy is in Cuba to discuss greater cooperation after President Obama embarked on a historic thawing of relations between the two countries after a decades-long chill.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Seattle Super Bowl Bound After NFC Title Win Over Green Bay

Luke Willson (#82) of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after scoring on a two-point conversion during the fourth quarter of the 2015 NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Seattle won 28-22.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 10:12 pm

Updated at 6:33p.m. ET:

The Seattle Seahawks have defeated the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC title and earn their ticket to Super Bowl XLIX.

Seattle won 28-22 in a game that saw the Packers pull out to a commanding early lead — going into the half 16-0. Seattle gained traction, however, scoring touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to close the gap.

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Religion
10:57 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Longtime Church Organist Keeps Traditional Hymns Alive

Copyright 2015 Maine Public Broadcasting Network. To see more, visit http://news.mpbn.net.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Code Switch
10:43 am
Sun January 18, 2015

King's Family Builds Its Own Legacy Of Legal Battles

Bernice King is in a protracted legal battle with her brothers over control of their father's bible and Nobel Peace Prize.
John Bazemore AP

At the end of Selma, the new movie about a pivotal campaign in the Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (played by David Oyelowo) rises to address a crowd in front of a courthouse.

It's a recreation of the moment in which King gave one of his most well-known speeches: "How Long? Not Long." You know the one: "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

But as the scene goes on, none of the actual language from that speech shows up.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Republican Leaders Dismiss Obama's Tax Proposal As 'Not Serious'

House Speaker John Boehner listens as President Obama speaks to media during a bipartisan, bicameral leadership meeting at the White House this week. Boehner and others have reacted dismissively to Obama's tax overhaul plan.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Republicans are firing back at a White House proposal to push tax cuts for middle income families by raising the capital gains tax rate on couples making more than a half-million dollars a year.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Prominent Irish Government Minister Comes Out As Gay

Ireland's Health Minister Leo Varadkar, 36, who has publicly come out as gay.
Brian Lawless PA Photos/Landov

One of Ireland's most prominent politicians, Health Minister Leo Varadkar, has become the first government minister ever to come out as gay — a move that comes just four months before the traditionally conservative Catholic country holds a nationwide referendum on same-sex marriage.

Varadkar, 36, told Ireland's RTE Radio 1 today: "I'm a gay man. It's not a secret, but it's not something that everyone would necessarily know."

He said the referendum was one of the reasons he'd decided now was the time make his sexual orientation known to the public.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Ukraine Launches Major Offensive To Retake Donetsk Airport

Smoke rises over the new terminal of Donetsk airport in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, where government troops have launched an offensive to capture the area from Russian-backed separatists.
Mstyslav Chernov AP

Ukraine's president says his forces will retake the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk from the control of Russian-backed separatists amid reports of a major push to do just that.

Petro Poroshenko, speaking to a crowd of several thousand gathered Sunday in central Kiev for a state-sponsored peace march, said that he would not "give up an inch" of Ukrainian territory to separatists, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Ukrainian forces launched a "mass operation" overnight that had succeeded in retaking most of the airport.

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Code Switch
7:23 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Tech Program Helps Put Latinos On A Path To Silicon Valley

CSIT-In-3 students Daniel Diaz (left) and Brian De Anda map out options for reducing the size of a mobile app their team is building.
Krista Almanzan KAZU

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:03 am

About an hour south of Silicon Valley in a classroom at Hartnell Community College, Daniel Diaz and Brian De Anda stand at a whiteboard mapping out ideas on how to reduce the size of a mobile app their team is building.

This isn't a class, and the app they're building — an informational guide for a drug rehab center — isn't even a school project. But this is what it takes to have a chance at an elite summer internship, says Daniel Diaz.

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Politics
7:15 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Obama's Trouble Articulating The State Of The Economy

President Obama used the word "crisis" 11 times when he addressed a joint session of Congress in 2009. Since then, he's had a hard time hitting the right note when talking about the economy.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:05 am

When you're president of the United States, what you say about the economy matters, because it isn't just about numbers and widgets; It's about people's lives and hopes. The health of the economy is intertwined with the national psyche.

On Tuesday, when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, he will talk about the economy, something that in the past he's struggled to describe in a way that resonated with the American people.

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