NPR News

Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Advantage In Hand, Romney Campaigns In Wis.

After months of upsets and indecisive results, there were signs this week that the battle for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination may be entering its final stages. Mitt Romney has a huge lead in delegates, and some big endorsements are rolling in. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Don Gonyea in Wisconsin, which has a primary Tuesday.

Asia
6:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

What Does N. Korea, 'The Impossible State,' Want?

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 9:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

North Korea is the most secretive country in the world. Its pursuit of nuclear weapons is a cause of great concern all over the world, and just this week, the country tested two short-range missiles soon after President Obama left the region after attending a nuclear summit. United States has suspended food aid to that regime in response to North Korea's planned long-range missile test later this year.

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Europe
6:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Far-Right European Movements Unite

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 9:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

They call the Danish port city of Aarhus the City of Smiles, but not many smiling today. Police are patrolling the streets to stop violence from erupting, as far-right anti-Muslim groups from around Europe gather for a demonstration. Observers say it's the first time these hard-line groups have gotten together like this. NPR's Philip Reeves is on the streets of Aarhus, Denmark. Phil, thanks for being with us.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: You're welcome.

SIMON: What are you seeing right now?

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Europe
6:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Socialist Campaigns Against Sarkozy, 'Big Finance'

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

French voters go to the polls three weeks from today to cast ballots in the first round of their presidential election. Current president Nicolas Sarkozy is fighting for his life in a close race against a man who has never held national office, and is virtually unknown outside of France. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this profile of socialist candidate Francois Hollande.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

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Sports
6:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Win Or Lose, Ky. Gets Spot In NCAA Championship

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 5:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has got a real dilemma. Does he root for the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville Cardinals in tonight's Final Four basketball game?

Governor Beshear joins us now from his office in Frankfort, Kentucky. Governor, thanks for being with us.

GOVERNOR STEVE BESHEAR: You're welcome, Scott.

SIMON: And let me please give you the chance to alienate half the voters in your state by telling us where you stand on this game.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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Politics
2:30 am
Sat March 31, 2012

'Obamacare' Sounds Different When Supporters Say It

Supporters of the health care law have recently embraced the term "Obamacare," a word they once recoiled from.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 1:21 pm

Until recently, "Obamacare" was a word mostly used by opponents of President Obama's health care law. Now, supporters of the law are attempting to claim it as their own.

During the three days of health care hearings, protesters outside of the Supreme Court in favor of the law returned to one chant more than any other: "We love Obamacare."

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Middle East
6:20 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

To Keep Protesters Away, Egypt's Police Put Up Walls

After clashes between protesters and security forces, Cairo's police erected walls to keep demonstrators away from the Interior Ministry. Street artists then painted this wall across Sheik Rihan Street.
Mohammed Hossam AFP/Getty Images

Egypt's revolution has brought with it unrest, including clashes in Cairo in the areas around the Interior Ministry, a hated symbol of the former regime.

After five days of skirmishes in early February, Cairo's police chiefs ordered the construction of a series of 10-foot walls, seven of them in all, to block off access to the ministry.

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Middle East
5:07 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Israel, West Bank Settlers Brace For Showdown

Israel's Supreme Court has ruled the West Bank Jewish settlement outpost of Migron must be destroyed by August 2012.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:33 pm

Just two months ago, Aviela Deitch was proud to show off what residents had built on the hilltop outpost of Migron, just a few miles away from the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank.

At that time, the Israeli Supreme Court had already ruled that Migron was sitting on private Palestinian property and had ordered Migron settlers to evacuate.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:49 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Scientific Journals Plan To Publish Contentious Bird Flu Research

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:12 pm

A government advisory committee has reconsidered its advice to keep certain details of bird flu experiments secret.

Revised versions of manuscripts that describe two recent studies can be openly published, the committee now says. The decision could help end a contentious debate that has raged within the scientific community for months.

In response, the editors of two journals immediately said they planned to publish the research soon.

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The Salt
3:26 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Is That A Crushed Bug In Your Frothy Starbucks Drink?

The tiny white insects that feed on cactus turn into red cochineal when crushed. Starbucks uses the dye in some of its products.
Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Call it the tempest in the Frappuccino. Some Starbucks patrons have been distressed to learn that the chain's Strawberry and Creme Frappuccino owes its pink coloring to crushed insects.

The coloring in question, cochineal, is made from a tiny white insect, Dactylopius coccus. When crushed, its body exudes a brilliant red color. Cochineal has been used as a coloring for foods and makeup for centuries.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann hosted a commentary show on Current TV.
Current TV

Less than a year after he was hired, Current TV said it was ending its contract with lead anchor Keith Olbermann. Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who had an ill-fated run on CNN, will replace him.

Current announced the move in an open letter to its viewers from Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, Current's founders.

The letter reads in part:

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Asia
2:50 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Myanmar Hurriedly Prepares For An Election

A man holds a portrait of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a rally for a candidate of her National League for Democracy party on Friday. The country is holding elections for some parliamentary seats on Sunday.
Christophe Archambault AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:33 pm

In Myanmar's capital, Yangon, there's an unremarkable old building that's drawing people from around the world.

It's the headquarters of the National League for Democracy, the political opposition party headed by pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. This weekend, she is running for elective office for the first time, and the humble house has become the focus of even greater attention.

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Latin America
2:28 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Venezuelans Tune In For Scoops On Chavez's Health

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears at an event in Caracas, Venezuela, on Thursday, after returning from radiation therapy in Cuba.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:08 pm

For nearly a year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been treated for cancer, but little is known about his health beyond the information he himself provides.

That has led to speculation about his health swirling in the president's oil-rich country, particularly over whether he can withstand a grueling campaign as he seeks a third presidential term.

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Middle East
2:19 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Diplomats Gather, But Syrian Truce Remains Elusive

Syrian opposition groups gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, as the factions attempt to form a more unified front. This Sunday, the opposition factions, including the main Syrian National Council, will be joined by diplomats in a meeting of the "Friends of Syria."
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:40 pm

U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian government should be the first to enact a cease-fire, but there was no sign of that on Friday. More violence erupted in several Syrian cities as diplomats prepared for Sunday's meeting of the "Friends of Syria" in Istanbul, Turkey.

The gathering comes at a time of growing disaffection with diplomatic efforts and an increase in attacks by Syrian opposition fighters.

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Defending Kentucky's Coach Calipari: Not A Tough Assignment

Kentucky coach John Calipari has been criticized as being more of a recruiter than a coach. But that doesn't mean his approach to the game is easy.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 1:04 pm

The critique of University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari is that he does what it takes to get his players, and they do what they want from there. Sure, this thinking goes, he's yelling at them from the sidelines whenever one — specifically Terrence Jones — puts up a 3-point shot from a step behind the arc. But he's not much of a coach.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Ivy Leagues Post Record Low Admission Rates

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 2:06 pm

Some Ivy League schools are posting some of the lowest admission rates on record, this year. Harvard for example only accepted 2,032 of the 34,302 students who applied. That's a 5.9 percent acceptance rate, which is a record low for the school.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

One Of Britain's Most Tenacious Pugilists Returns To Parliament

British politician George Galloway celebrated today after winning the Bradford West by-election in northern England.
Andrew Yates AFP/Getty Images

Those in Britain who complain that their politicians tend to be mealy-mouthed mediocrities who spend their lives battling over the middle ground are being compelled to think again.

One of the country's most fiesty political brawlers, George Galloway, has once again sprung back into the political ring by unexpectedly securing a return to parliament, long after most pundits had written him off.

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Opinion
12:46 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Lone Star State Of Mind: Could Texas Go It Alone?

Lone Star Nation: Today, the Texas capitol flies both the American and Texas flags, but after independence the Lone Star flag would fly on its own.
Steve Dunwell Getty Images

It's a popular idea in Texas that the Lone Star State — once an independent republic — could break away and go it alone. A few years ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hinted that if Washington didn't stop meddling in his state, independence might be an option. In his brief run for the White House, he insisted that nearly anything the feds do, the states — and Texas in particular — could do better.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Tombstone Of Adolf Hitler's Parents Removed From Austrian Cemetery

The tombstone that marked the grave of Adolf Hitler's parents has been removed from an Austrian cemetery.

The BBC reports the decision was made to keep right-wing extremists from using the graves as a pilgrimage site. The AFP reports:

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It's All Politics
11:38 am
Fri March 30, 2012

RNC's 'Doctored' And Panned SCOTUS Ad Gets Noticed Which Was Goal

RNC wed ad screenshot

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:39 pm

The Republican National Committee's anti-"Obamacare" ad which edited audio of this week's Supreme Court oral arguments to accentuate the pause taken by the Obama administration's lawyer as he began his defense of the law, continued to get significant attention Friday, much of it negative, two days after it first went up on YouTube.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:30 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Take Your Dog To The Office And Stress Less

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 3:17 pm

Any dog owner will tell you that they're a lot less stressed out when they're with their dog. Even at work. And now science agrees.

People who took their dogs to work in an office in Greensboro, N.C., had lower stress levels through the work day, as reported on self-reported test.

The employees who hadn't brought their dogs to work said their stress levels increased through the work day. So did the non-pet owners. But the dog owners said they stayed mellow as the day went on.

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The Salt
11:24 am
Fri March 30, 2012

How Your Grill Brush Could Make You Sick

A radiologist says more research is needed before everyone throws out their grill brush.
Stephan Zabel iStockphoto.com

There's nothing like the scent of charred meat wafting over your neighbor's fence to get you in the mood for summer.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri March 30, 2012

MasterCard, Visa Warn Of Credit Card Data Theft

A customer swipes a MasterCard debit card through a machine while checking-out at a shop in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP

MasterCard and Visa have warned banks that a third party processor has experienced a data breach. In statement, both card associations acknowledged the breach and MasterCard said that law enforcement is involved and "is currently the subject of an ongoing forensic review by an independent data security organization."

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:14 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Neuroscientists Battle Furiously Over Jennifer Aniston

Stephen Lovekin, Carlos Alvarez, Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 1:54 pm

Think of Jennifer, or as we like to call her, "Jen." Jen of the dazzling smile, Jen of the gorgeous chin, Jen with her hair down, Jen tousled, Jen as Rachel, Jen with Brad; Jen without Brad, Jen with Vince, Jen at the Oscars, and, of course, Jen as a neuron in the medial part of the temporal lobe.

Maybe you missed that last Jen.

A few years ago, a UCLA neurosurgeon named Itzhak Fried, while operating on patients who suffer from debilitating epileptic seizures, discovered what he now calls the "Jennifer Aniston Neuron."

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Fri March 30, 2012

How Far Would You Go For A Mega Millions Ticket?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

With $540 million (wait — it just went up to $640 million!) on the line, it's not surprising that Alabama resident Lance Larka is willing to drive across the state line for a chance to win the record Mega Millions jackpot.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Court Orders Egyptian Government To Censor Internet Porn

Supporters of an Egyptian Islamist candidate hold his posters as they drive through Cairo on Friday. If Abu Ismail is elected he plans to apply a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Amro Maraghi AFP/Getty Images

In the sign of the bigger cultural struggle in a post-Mubarak Egypt, a court has ordered the government to ban pornographic Internet sites.

One of the big questions facing Egypt now that Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule has ended is what kind of role religion will play in the new government. Some of the Islamists who control parliament have expressed that they would like the country ruled by sharia.

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Politics
10:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Parties Ready To Take Budget To Campaign Trail?

Guest host Jacki Lyden continues the conversation about the passage of Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan in the House of Representatives. Lyden speaks with NPR Washington Editor S.V. Date about what the vote means and whether the plan's passage may signal long budget battles ahead.

Politics
10:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Co-Author Defends GOP Budget Plan

Republican Congressman Todd Young helped draft Rep. Paul Ryan's 2013 budget that passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. Congressman Young speaks with guest host Jacki Lyden about the budget plan and Democrats' opposition to it, including calls that the plan would hurt programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri March 30, 2012

FBI's Outgoing Cyber Cop Says Americans Don't See Size Of Threat

Outgoing FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:17 am

The FBI's top cyber cop retires today after nearly a quarter century in federal law enforcement.

Shawn Henry started looking into computer issues in the run up to Y2K (the arrival of the year 2000). He says that experience left him hungry to learn more about the way electronics were changing the way we live — and the way criminals operate.The movement of so much sensitive information online poses an "existential threat," according to Henry.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Wisconsin Recall Elections Set For June

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 9:42 am

In Wisconsin, "state elections officials ordered a set of historic recall elections Friday, making [Republican] Scott Walker the third governor in the nation to face a recall and Rebecca Kleefisch [R] the first lieutenant governor to face one," Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reports.

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