NPR News

NPR Ed
1:31 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Biology Professor's Calling: Teach Deaf Students They Can Do Anything

Caroline Solomon is a professor of biology at Gallaudet University, the renowned school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 4:04 pm

To get a really good sense of why Caroline Solomon is a great teacher, you have to go into the field with her. On this particular morning, that means a boat on the Anacostia River.

We're about 4 miles from the campus of Gallaudet University, where Solomon is a professor of biology. She and a student — Anna McCall — are heading in a small boat to take water samples.

The Anacostia is no more than 8 miles long, but it meanders through and around Washington, D.C., past a naval yard, a golf course and I-95, the busiest interstate highway on the Eastern Seaboard.

Read more
The Salt
1:30 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Pollinator Politics: Environmentalists Criticize Obama Plan To Save Bees

The White House announced an action plan Tuesday aimed at reversing dramatic declines in pollinators like honeybees, which play a vital role in agriculture, pollinating everything from apples and almonds to squash.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:09 am

The buzz around bees has been bad lately. As we've reported, beekeepers say they lost 42 percent of honeybee colonies last summer.

Read more
Parallels
1:25 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Live On Pakistani TV: A Call-In Show About Sex

Dr. Nadim Uddin Siddiqui hosts a weekly call-in show about sexual issues on a Pakistani cable television channel. The program, Clinic Online, is a rarity for a conservative Muslim nation, but has proved popular, particularly among women.
Abdul Sattar NPR

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:09 am

It's long been assumed that, in conservative Islamic societies, sex is a subject to be spoken about, if it's discussed at all, in guilty whispers.

Yet, for many months now, women in Pakistan have been dialing in to a TV show to ask about profoundly personal issues — live on air.

"I have to talk about my husband," said a woman who gave her name as Sonia on one of the show's recent editions. "His sperm count is very low ..."

Read more
U.S.
1:21 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Many Native American Communities Struggle With Effects Of Heroin Use

Shannon Rivers, a member of the Akimel O'odham tribe, lights a fire for the purification ceremony at the Coconino County jail. Inmates will help him put blankets over the sweat lodge structure, place heated rocks inside and pour water over them.
Laurel Morales KJZZ

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 12:53 pm

A decade ago, Ken Lewis almost lost his arm to an intravenous (IV) drug addiction. Twice he developed cysts in his veins that exploded in the hospital. When he came out of surgery the doctor prescribed painkillers. So he traded his meth and heroin for the prescribed opiates.

"I was at my wit's end. I mean I was mentally gone, dead," he says. "Spiritually, I didn't believe in a god. Emotionally, didn't realize I was hurting people or hurting myself. Physically, I probably should've been dead."

Read more
Science
6:03 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Earth's First Snake Likely Evolved On Land, Not In Water

The most recent common ancestor of all today's snakes likely lived 120 million years ago. Scientists believe it used needle-like hooked teeth to grab rodent-like creatures that it then swallowed whole.
Julius Csotonyi/BMC Evolutionary Biology

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:09 am

Some scientists have speculated that snakes first evolved in water and that their long, slithery bodies were streamlined for swimming. But a new analysis suggests that the most recent common ancestor of all snakes actually lived on land.

This ancestral protosnake probably was a nocturnal hunter that slithered across the forest floor about 120 million years ago. And it likely had tiny hind limbs, left over from an even earlier ancestor, says Allison Hsiang, a researcher at Yale University.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's Son, Hospitalized

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:50 pm

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's son, is being treated at a military hospital outside Washington, the vice president's office said.

Read more
All Tech Considered
5:06 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Reddit's New Harassment Policy Aimed At Creating A 'Safe Platform'

A Reddit mascot is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Reddit has published a new policy aimed at harassment on the site.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 6:20 pm

Reddit, billed by its founders as "the front page of the Internet," has long been known as a place of unbridled free speech on the Web where users, known as Redditors, post text, pictures and videos.

But that unbridled free speech sometimes spills over into harassment, sexism and racism. Over the past couple of years, Reddit has been at the center of several controversies concerning harassment, including the release of hundreds of private celebrity photos. It's also become infamous for its unbridled vitriol.

Read more
The Salt
4:39 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: Cold Weather, Gogol And The Rise Of The Russian Samovar

A late 19th-century samovar made in Tula, Russia, a metalworking town south of Moscow. The very first samovar factory opened in Tula in 1778. As demand for samovars grew, the town became almost synonymous with the production of the giant hot-water urns.
Sheldon Luskin Collection The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 4:17 pm

There are two drinks most people associate with Russia — vodka and tea, prepared in a giant hot-water urn known as a samovar.

Yet while vodka may have actually originated in Russia (Poland is another contender), tea is a thoroughly foreign product.

Most historians believe the Chinese first brought tea to Russia sometime in the 1600s. As for the samovar? "The origins are shrouded in mystery," says Maria Zavilova, curator at the Museum of Russian Art in Minnesota.

Read more
Goats and Soda
4:14 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Home-Brewed Morphine Is Around The Corner

Families harvest poppy bulbs in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. To collect the opium, they score the bulbs and let the milky substance ooze out. The dried residue contains about 10 percent morphine.
David Guttenfelder AP/National Geographic

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 7:09 pm

Making morphine — or heroin*, for that matter — isn't easy. You have to know a bunch of fancy chemistry to synthesize the drug from scratch. Or you have to get your hands on some opium poppies and extract morphine from the flowers' milky juice.

The latter is tougher than it sounds. Sure, the beautiful flowers grow across millions of acres around the world. But farming and trading poppies are tightly regulated both by laws and by drug kingpins.

Read more
Parallels
4:14 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

After A Big Victory For ISIS, Iraqi Forces Look To Regroup

A car is engulfed by flames during clashes in Ramadi on Saturday. Islamic State militants drove Iraqi security forces out of the city, which is just 70 miles west of Baghdad.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:06 pm

The black flag of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is flying over the Iraqi city of Ramadi after government forces collapsed and the extremists seized control over the weekend.

Thousands of civilians have fled Ramadi and those left behind face a chaotic situation.

"No food, no fuel, no electricity. It's very difficult there," says Sheikh Hekmat Suleiman, an adviser to the governor of Anbar Province. Ramadi is the provincial capital, and the local government has now fled the city, just 70 miles west of Baghdad.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:14 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

After A Month, The 7 Questions Hillary Clinton Answered From The Media

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks at a small-business forum at Bike Tech bicycle shop Tuesday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Until Tuesday, it had been almost a month since Hillary Clinton had answered a question from the press.

After taking questions from Iowans in Cedar Rapids, where she spoke about small business, the former secretary of state then answered six questions from reporters. She also took an awkwardly timed one about whether she'll answer questions from media in the middle of the event. The questions after the event ranged from the release of her emails when she was secretary of state and criticism over foreign donations to the Clinton foundation to the state of Iraq and more.

Read more
Business
3:54 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Pressure To Act Unethically Looms Over Wall Street, Survey Finds

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:06 pm

A new survey of financial professionals tends to confirm the widely held belief that the financial industry has an ethics problem.

Among the more than 1,200 financial professionals in the U.S. and Britain who were surveyed, about half the respondents believe their competitors in the industry have behaved unethically or illegally to gain an advantage in the market.

Read more
Religion
3:54 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Rabbis Diversify To Connect To Students; Just Don't Bring Up Israel

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 8:46 pm

Rabbi Evan Goodman runs Hillel, the campus Jewish center, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In recent years, he's had to rethink his job.

"Years past, when I was in college," he says, the Jewish organization "was a rabbi at a campus that put up a schedule of classes ... and drew the same 10 students to everything all year."

These days, chances are good that half the Jewish students he works with have a parent who's not Jewish. One in three of them says Judaism isn't his or her religion.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

FTC And States Sue Sham Cancer Charities

Four cancer "charities" and their operators have been charged with bilking more than $187 million from consumers. The Federal Trade Commission, along with each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, says the charities claimed to be providing assistance to cancer patients, but the donations were in reality benefiting only "the perpetrators, their families and friends, and fundraisers."

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli's report on the suit:

Read more
The Salt
3:11 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

What Does 'Raw' Mean? When It Comes To Almonds, You Might Be Surprised

Lesley McClurg Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 4:15 pm

When you're talking about almonds, "raw" may not mean what you think.

All California almonds — which would be virtually all the almonds in the country — are either heat-pasteurized or treated with a fumigant. The processes, which have been required by law since 2007, are intended to prevent foodborne illness. But almond aficionados say the treatments taint the flavor and mislead consumers.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Wanna Go To Fit City? List Ranks America's 50 Fittest Metro Areas

People exercise along the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; the metro area was ranked as America's fittest city for the second year in a row.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:44 am

The new American Fitness Index is out, with some good news and bad news. Five metro areas fell five or more slots; nine others rose by five or more places. The rankings tally several criteria, from rates of smoking, diabetes and obesity to access to parks.

Read more
NPR Ed
2:39 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful ... This Great Teacher Abides By The Scout Law

Romy Vasquez leads the boys in drills ahead of an upcoming Eagle Scout ceremony.
Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 9:32 am

Only a small number of Boy Scouts make Eagle Scout.

The feat is even harder when you come from inner-city poverty.

Yet for 27 years, Romy Vasquez has successfully encouraged boys from South Central Los Angeles to become Scouts, and he has seen more than a dozen members of Troop 780 go on to reach scouting's highest rank.

His pitch: You want to be in a gang? Scouting is the biggest gang in the world.

"It's global," he tells the Scouts. "We got some in Japan, China, Israel, all over. So guess what? You belong to BSA!"

Read more
Politics
2:30 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

State Department To Release Hillary Clinton Emails By January 2016

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:06 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
2:30 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Clinical Psychologist To Head Chicago's Cook County Jail

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:06 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

60 Percent: Record Number Of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage In Poll

The Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage next month; here, Reverend Scott Hopkins, right, of United Methodist Church in Vienna, Va., voices his support of gay marriage as Tracy Grisham, of Amarillo, Texas, voices her disapproval.
John Boal EPA /LANDOV

Hitting a new all-time high, 60 percent of Americans say they believe marriage between same-sex couples should be recognized by law, with the same rights and privileges as traditional marriages, according to the latest Gallup poll.

Read more
Goats and Soda
2:08 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

A 10-Year-Old Makes A Video So We 'Don't Forget Nepal'

Lucas met this woman who lost her home and all her children except for one daughter.
Donatella Lorch for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 2:53 pm

Like mother, like son.

Lucas Zutt is the 10-year-old son of journalist Donatella Lorch, who frequently contributes to Goats and Soda. They've lived in Kathmandu since June 2013.

Lucas shared his impressions of the earthquake with NPR after it struck. And now he's made a video.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:42 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Dense Breasts Are Just One Part Of The Cancer Risk Calculus

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 11:00 am

Almost half the states now require doctors to tell women if they have dense breasts because they're at higher risk of breast cancer, and those cancers are harder to find. But not all women with dense breasts have the same risks, a study says.

Those differences need to be taken into account when figuring out each woman's risk of breast cancer, the study says, and also weighed against other factors, including family history, age and ethnicity.

Read more
NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Supreme Court Adds Protections For 401(k) Investors

The Supreme Court ruling on Monday is expected to better protect people from high fees in their 401(k) retirement plan investments.

By a unanimous vote, the court said that companies managing 401(k) retirement plans have to monitor investments and “remove imprudent investments.”

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal about the ruling’s implications.

Read more
NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Can Boston Lose Its 2024 Olympic Bid?

The Boston Skyline is seen from Cambridge, Mass. in April 2013. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 12:25 pm

Many U.S. cities tried out for the 2024 Summer Olympic bid, but in January the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Boston.

There has been tough opposition from citizens in the city who don’t agree with the local committee’s plans, but Monday at a Boston City Council meeting Angela Ruggiero, a USOC and IOC member said, “There’s no guarantee that Boston will be the city in September.”

Read more
NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

DJ Sessions: From Gypsy Funk To A 12-Year-Old Jazz Pianist

Joey Alexander performs in the 10th Year Edition of Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2014 day 3 at JIExpo Kemayoran on March 2, 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

KCRW’s Tom Schnabel joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to share some of the music he’s listening to from around the world, including Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, the New York artist collective “Brooklyn Gypsies” and a 12-year-old pianist named Joey Alexander.

Read more
U.S.
12:04 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Reporting On Rape Kit Backlog Leads To New Law And Arrests In Ohio

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Movie Interviews
12:04 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Elizabeth Banks On Success: 'You Don't Get What You Don't Ask For'

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
11:08 am
Tue May 19, 2015

An English 'Family Business,' Dedicated To A 2,000-Year-Old Roman Fort

Teams of volunteer archaeologists travel to Vindolanda during each excavation season. They painstakingly scrape and brush away at the soil to see what they can find.
Rich Preston NPR

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:06 pm

The world is full of family-run businesses that get passed down through generations. A family business in northern England, near the border with Scotland, will carry you back in time 2,000 years.

For the last couple of millennia, Vindolanda was hidden underground. This ancient Roman fort was buried beneath trees, then fields where oblivious farmers planted crops and grazed their sheep for centuries. Under the farmer's plow, the ruined city sat undisturbed — mostly.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Plan Bee: White House Unveils Strategy To Protect Pollinators

The federal government hopes to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations.
Andy Duback AP

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 1:50 pm

There is a buzz in the air in Washington, and it's about honeybees. Concerned about an alarming decline in honeybee colonies, the Obama administration has released a National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Biker Shootout Update: 7 Remain In Hospital; Uninvited Gang Had Come To Meeting

Motorcyles sit in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant, the scene of a deadly biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas.
Erich Schlegel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 12:03 pm

We're learning more about the circumstances around Sunday's gunfight between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead and sent 18 to the hospital. At least 170 people were arrested after the fracas broke out at a Twin Peaks restaurant.

Read more

Pages