NPR News

Code Switch
1:35 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Light And Dark: The Racial Biases That Remain In Photography

Syreeta McFadden has learned to capture various hues of brown skin.
Syreeta McFadden Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:42 pm

When Syreeta McFadden was a child, she dreaded taking pictures after a family photo made her skin appear dulled and darkened.

"In some pictures, I am a mud brown, in others I'm a blue black. Some of the pictures were taken within moments of one another," she wrote in a story for Buzzfeed, digging into an "inherited bias" in photography against dark skin.

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

DJ Sessions: Blurring The Lines Between Rock, Jazz And Classical

Drummer David King, pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Reid Anderson are the band The Bad Plus. (Jay Frahm)

In the latest installment of DJ Sessions, pianist Christopher O’Riley joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk about his favorite group that’s making waves in the classical community.

O’Riley says The Bad Plus is comprised of great composers. The jazz group is known for its famous covers of pop songs, like Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” But its latest album reinterprets Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

ER Doctor Looks Back A Year After Marathon Bombing

A flag that says "Boston Medical Center Strong" waves outside of Boston Medical Center, a year after the Boston Marathon bombing. (Ron Medzon)

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:15 am

On this day a year ago, Bostonians got one of their first glimpses into the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, when emergency room physician Ron Medzon came on our program.

“It was just one after another after another,” he said of the victims being brought into the hospital. “Every single person had a limb-threatening injury, a life-threatening injury. And I think 20 people came in over 40 minutes, which is just incredible.”

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Slow Start To Spring Housing Market

Usually as the weather heats up, so does the U.S. housing market. However, according to recent housing data, the market’s spring selling season is getting off to a slow start.

Despite expectations this past winter that warmer weather would rekindle growth, the market is seeing higher prices and mortgage rates, and a lack of houses for sale in some markets.

NPR Correspondent Chris Arnold discusses this slowdown with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Holy Bible Could Become Louisiana's Official Book

Hurricane Katrina holdout Hazzert Gillett reads his Bible in his New Orleans home in September 2005. The state's Legislature is considering a bill to make the Holy Bible the official state book.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:58 am

The "Good Book" could become the official book of Louisiana if a bill sent to the state's Legislature passes in a vote that could come as early as this week.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:52 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Debate: Millennials Don't Stand A Chance

Jessica Grose, who writes for Slate, Bloomberg Businessweek and Fast Company, says that millennials have been mischaracterized in the media.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:15 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

The "millennial generation" has been getting a bad rap in popular culture in recent years. Millennials, roughly defined as people born in the 1980s and '90s, frequently see themselves depicted as entitled, coddled and narcissistic.

But many — including millennials themselves — dispute those characterizations. Young adults today are tolerant, civic-minded and entrepreneurial, they note, and are thriving despite entering into a tight job market, often with significant amounts of student loan debt.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Judge Overturns North Dakota's Strict Abortion Law

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:23 pm

A federal judge has struck down a North Dakota law banning abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, calling the law "invalid and unconstitutional."

The law, passed by lawmakers in the state just over a year ago, bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy and is considered the most restrictive in the country.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims' Autopsy Photos, Judge Says

Blue and yellow are the colors for tributes to victims of the Boston Marathon. Street lights on the route of this year's race are among the places they're showing up.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:24 pm

A federal judge said Wednesday that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may see autopsy photos of the three people who died after the explosions near the finish line of last year's race.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Washington State Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 39

Tayler Drayton, 16, earlier this month painted words of support on a bus stop for those affected by the deadly mudslide at the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:08 am

The death toll in last month's fatal mudslide in Washington state has risen to 39, officials say, after two more bodies were recovered from the debris.

Search efforts following the mudslide, near the community of Oso in the Cascades foothills, have been hampered by rain and the difficulty in recovering victims from the mudslide on the north fork of the Stillaguamish River on March 22.

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Shots - Health News
10:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Medicare Kept Paying Indicted, Sanctioned Doctors

A check of Medicare's new database of payments to physicians confirms that at least $6 million in 2012 went to doctors who had been indicted or otherwise sanctioned.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:26 am

In August 2011, federal agents swept across the Detroit area, arresting doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals accused of running a massive scheme to defraud Medicare.

The following month, several of those arrested, including psychiatrist Mark Greenbain and podiatrist Anmy Tran, were suspended from billing the state's Medicaid program for the poor.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:34 am
Wed April 16, 2014

The Ultimate Animal Experience? Losing A Memory Quiz To A Chimp

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:34 am

Time to be embarrassed. You're about to be bested by a young chimpanzee in a memory test.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Iraq's Infamous Abu Ghraib Prison Temporarily Closed

An Iraqi security officer patrols the grounds at Baghdad Central Prison in Abu Ghraib in 2009.
Wathiq Khuzaie Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:06 am

Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison that became the center of a 2004 prison-abuse scandal during the U.S. occupation, is being closed temporarily because of security concerns, according to the country's Justice Ministry.

The infamous prison, located on the outskirts of Baghdad near Sunni-dominated Anbar province, is being shut because of fears it could be overrun by Sunni insurgents, according to The New York Times.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Most Of The Dozens Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Reportedly Free

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:48 am

9:45 a.m. ET, April 17: The latest developments have changed this story. We've put up a news post with this headline: Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain.

Our post from April 16:

Most of the 100 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped have been freed, Nigeria's military reports. Only eight are still unaccounted for.

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Code Switch
7:32 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race

Washington Post writer Eli Saslow won a Pulitzer Prize for his series on the prevalence of food stamps in post-recession America.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 10:56 am

This week, Columbia University handed out the Pulitzer Prizes, which are widely considered among the highest honors in journalism. The occasion gives us a good excuse to shout-out some of the finalists and winning entries that touch on issues of race and culture. (Fair warning: These stories are very good journalism done in the service of illuminating some deeply dispiriting realities.)

Speak No Evil

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

43-Year-Old Cold Case Closed: South Dakota Girls Died In Accident

Cheryl Miller's driver's license was among the evidence collected from the car she and Pamela Jackson were last seen in. The two South Dakota girls disappeared in 1971. Now, authorities say it appears they accidentally drove into a creek. It wasn't until last year that low waters revealed the vehicle.
South Dakota Attorney General's office AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:02 pm

Families and friends who have wondered since 1971 about what happened to two South Dakota girls now have some closure.

Authorities said Tuesday that they believe Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller died when their 1960 Studebaker Lark accidentally went off a gravel road and into a local creek. "All the evidence would appear to indicate an accident," South Dakota Attorney Gen. Marty Jackley said.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Wed April 16, 2014

In Ukraine: Reports Of Soldiers Switching To Pro-Russia Side

Men sit on an armored personnel carrier in Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Wednesday. A Russian flag flies from it. When some Ukrainian forces approached the city, locals say, they were persuaded to hand over their vehicles to pro-Russia protesters.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:49 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Kramatorsk, Ukraine

Confusion continues to reign in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia gunmen remain in control of many government offices even as the Ukrainian military sends in troops, tanks and armed aircraft in an attempt to dislodge them.

According to NPR's Ari Shapiro, who is in eastern Ukraine, locals who are pushing to separate from the central government and join the Russian Federation claim that at least some Ukrainian troops are refusing to move against them.

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Rescue Crews Dive For Hundreds Still Missing After Ferry Accident

Rescuers head toward the ferry Sewol off the southern coast of South Korea on Wednesday. It sank while on a trip to a resort island. Several hundred people, most of them high school students and teachers, are missing.
Yonhap News EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:05 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the ferry accident
This post is being updated as news comes in.

Unsuccessful in their attempts to find the missing in a sunken ferry off the southern coast of South Korea overnight, rescue divers resumed their search at day break Thursday, Jason Strother reports from Seoul.

A day after the boat began to sink, the cause of the accident is unclear and less than half of the passengers who were on board have been rescued, Strother tells NPR's Newscast Desk.

Most of those unaccounted for are high school students who were on a trip to a resort island.

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Animals
4:55 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Police Trace Heavy-Breathing Emergency Caller

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Police near London received a troubling emergency call. All the dispatcher could hear was heavy breathing. Cops rushed out to investigate, and found the caller running through a yard. It was a dog with a wireless phone in its mouth.

The Belgian Malinois named Layton must have tooth-dialed 999 - Britain's version of 911 - after snatching the phone from its owner. The owner told the Daily Mirror: He's downright naughty, but I would never swap him.

Asia
4:36 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Sad Panda In China Gets Her Own Play Area

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Kelly McEvers, with news of a sad panda in China. Si Jia got depressed after her only companion moved to another zoo. She's now a happy panda. The zoo where she lives built her a mini-amusement park. And now the staff at the Yunnan Safari Park in Southwest China has given her a plasma TV, where she can watch other pandas at play. Si Jia was one of three giant pandas rescued after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Tank Movement Increases Tensions In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tensions remain very high this morning in Eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia demonstrators stormed the city hall in the city of Donetsk. And there are now reports this morning of several Ukrainian armored personnel carriers on the move in some cities flying Russian flags. To try and sort out what's going on, we have NPR's Ari Shapiro on the line. He is in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. Ari, good morning.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, David.

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NPR Story
3:08 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Minority Tartars Consider Pragmatic Approach To Crimea Annexation

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 5:53 am

Tatars were vocal in their opposition to the Russian takeover of Crimea. That's because they remember their history of maltreatment under the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

Science
1:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame

Pat Leiggi (right) of the Museum of the Rockies prepares to move a leg bone of the T. rex at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

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Shots - Health News
1:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Is Obamacare A Success? We Might Not Know For A While

Hundreds in California rushed to get health insurance just before the deadline.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

After months of focusing on how many people have or haven't signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we now have a rough total (7.5 million), and everyone's keen to get to the bigger questions: How well is the law working? How many of those who signed up have paid their premiums and are actually getting coverage? How many were uninsured before they signed up? And just how big has the drop been in the number of uninsured people?

Unfortunately, the answers to some of these questions simply aren't knowable — or, at least, not knowable yet.

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Around the Nation
1:37 am
Wed April 16, 2014

After Losing A Leg, Woman Walks On Her Own — In 4-Inch Heels

Heather Abbott of Newport, R.I., shows off her "high-definition" prosthetic leg, which allows her to wear high heels and skirts.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Returning to watch the Boston Marathon was never a question for Heather Abbott. After losing her leg in the bombing last year, watching the race is just one item on a long list of things she did before and intends to do again. Also on that list: wearing 4-inch heels.

"Sometimes, I think: Why am I doing this to myself? Because I could just wear regular flat shoes," Abbott says. "I don't want to give things up that I love to do, so I'm going to get used to it and figure it out."

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims

Men pray on the street before the start of the American Muslim Day Parade in 2010 in New York.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.

The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003. It brought the NYPD under fire from community groups and activists who accused the force of abusing civil rights and profiling.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration has promised "a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

In India, Landmark Ruling Recognizes Transgender Citizens

An Indian eunuch in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar dances Tuesday to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling recognizing a third gender category.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:08 am

India now has a third gender.

The Supreme Court has recognized the country's transgender community as being in a third neutral category — neither male nor female.

In handing down the ruling, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said, "Transgenders are citizens of this country ... and recognition as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue."

Article 15 of India's Constitution guarantees that no state can discriminate against citizens on the basis of religion, caste, race or sex.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

In Portugal, A Sales Receipt May Be Your Ticket To Win Big

A customer pays a vendor for her purchases at Feira da Ladra flea market in Lisbon, Portugal, in October 2013. The government has introduced a "Lucky Receipts" lottery to encourage people to ask for receipts — which will automatically be entered into a national lottery for fancy new cars. It's an effort to curb tax evasion and raise revenue.
Mario Proenca Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:51 pm

On Lisbon's cobblestone lanes, the Portuguese economy is hobbling along as it always has — in cash.

In a tiny, 100-year-old bar, Nuno Goncalves pours out glasses of ginja — a Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur — for his customers, mostly old men in flat caps. A small shot-glass full costs 50 cents — cash only. There is a cash register, but it doesn't print receipts.

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Economy
3:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes

Round-tripping occurs when American citizens open bank accounts in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, funnel money into the accounts and then use it to buy stocks and bonds back in the U.S.
David McFadden AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:03 pm

Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping — sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.

Recently, MIT professor Michelle Hanlon and two colleagues set out to find out all they could about round-tripping.

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Shots - Health News
3:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Risks Of Popular Anxiety Drugs Often Overshadowed

Xanax and Valium, prescribed to treat anxiety, mood disorders and insomnia, can be deadly when mixed with other sedatives.
Dean812 Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:40 pm

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose in February, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was the result of "acute mixed drug intoxication." Heroin, cocaine and a widely prescribed class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, were found in his system.

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Book News & Features
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

In Pakistan, Literary Spring Is Both Renaissance And Resistance

Despite enduring violence and instability in Pakistan, artists and authors are thriving on the international stage. For many of them, culture has become a kind of resistance. Above, the 17th century Imperial Mosque in the Old City of Lahore serves as a reminder of the historical legacy and texture of Pakistan's art capital.
Bilal Qureshi/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:29 pm

On one of the first weekends of the Pakistani spring, more than 45,000 people gathered in the city of Lahore for three days of lectures, performances and old-fashioned people watching. The second annual Lahore Literary Festival brought artists from all over the world to Pakistan's cultural capital to share their work — and to celebrate the power of expression.

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