NPR News

Digital Life
3:30 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

What We Have Here: A Failure To Communicate

Commuters immersed in their smartphones ride the subway in Beijing.
Nelson Ching Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:45 am

It is the weirdest thing. There are more ways than ever to communicate with people, yet it sometimes seems like it is more difficult to connect — and stay connected — with anyone.

Should you shoot off an email? Tap out a text? Post a private message on Facebook? Write on their Facebook wall? Skype, poke, ping or conjure them up on a digital tin can phone?

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Statewide Races
3:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

N.C. Gay Marriage Amendment Has Unlikely Foes

Jennifer Cockrham, a nurse from Walkertown, N.C., holds her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance during a rally supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage Friday in Raleigh.
Allen Breed AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

North Carolina is the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But that could change next month.

On May 8, voters will decide whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Leading Republican lawmakers think it's one of the most important issues facing voters.

But some conservatives worry that the measure goes too far.

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Environment
3:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Countries Losing Steam On Climate Change Initiatives

Germany plans to take all of its nuclear power plants offline by 2022, which means coal-fired power plants like the Kraftwerk Westfalen, in Hamm, Germany, will be a key component of the country's energy infrastructure.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Energy ministers from around the world met in London this week and got a scolding. The International Energy Agency warned the ministers that they are falling way behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decades.

It turns out that right now, just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
3:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

American Whiz Rises Up In The World Of Ping-Pong

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:21 pm

The United States has never won an Olympic medal in table tennis. China has long dominated the sport, winning almost every medal since 1992. That's not likely to change at this year's Summer Olympics in London, but a group of young American women may be on their way to competing at the sport's highest levels.

Ariel Hsing, 16, already has the attributes of a fine table tennis player — quick hands, perfect balance and strong lungs. While she plays, she'll often shout "Sa!" — a meaningless word — to help relieve stress, something she's been dealing with a lot lately.

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Europe
2:35 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Norwegians Sing To Heckle Mass Murderer

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:33 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There is not a lot to sing about in Norway these days. The right-wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik has been unrepentant during his trial for killing 77 people. But today, the people of Norway were singing a children's song. And as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, they sang it for Breivik.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHILDREN OF THE RAINBOW")

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The Salt
2:15 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Stone Age Mediterranean Farmer ISO Hungry Nordic Hunter-Gatherer?

A family near Karsta, Sweden, in the 1930s. Did their ancient forebears hail from the Mediterranean?
Swedish Heritage Board

Farming transformed Europe when it arrived from the Near East about 6,000 years ago. But was it the agricultural know-how that traveled, or the farmers themselves?

By comparing DNA from Stone Age farmers and hunter-gatherers, Swedish researchers say it's clear that the farmers traveled north through Europe, bringing their agrarian skills with them.

How else would a farmer with Mediterranean DNA end up in Sweden?

I'm imagining suave dark-eyed farmers seeking out Nordic maidens tired of all that berry picking and hide scraping.

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Africa
2:06 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

At Last, Egypt Settles On Presidential Candidates

Amr Moussa, the front-runner in the Egyptian presidential race, speaks during a press conference in Cairo on Apr. 22. The country's election commission said Thursday that Moussa and 12 other candidates are eligible to compete in next month's election.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

After months of anticipation, and just a few weeks before the voting, Egypt now has a list of 13 officially approved presidential candidates.

Amr Moussa, the former secretary-general of the Arab League, is one of the 13, and he is ahead in most opinion surveys in advance of the May 23-24 election.

And in a reversal, Egyptian election officials agreed Thursday to let one of Hosni Mubarak's former prime ministers run for president.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:00 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Colorado Extends Medicaid To Some Adults Without Kids

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless runs the Stout Street Clinic in Denver, helped Dale Miller get a CT scan.
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Dale Miller spends his days on the streets of downtown Denver selling a newspaper called The Homeless Voice. He's been having some health problems, but he can't afford to see a doctor on the $10 to $15 a day he makes selling papers.

A local charity clinic called the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless recently helped him get a CT scan at no cost to him. Miller fully understands, though, that someone has to pay for his care.

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The Salt
1:56 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Nutella Maker May Settle Deceptive Ad Lawsuit For $3 Million

The fact that Nutella's parent company, Ferrero, is known for its chocolates might be a tip-off that the sweet hazelnut spread isn't exactly "health" food.
STEFANO RELLANDINI Reuters /Landov

Remember that California mom who sued Nutella maker Ferrero over misleading advertising that made the addictive and gooey chocolate-hazelnut spread seem healthy?

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

PHOTO: Like Hawaii, Mars Has Coils Likely Formed By Volcanic Flow

This image provided by NASA shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars.
AP

Take a look at this picture:

Those same coils — the ones that look like the side of a snail — are also found on the Big Island of Hawaii, which were formed by lava flows.

As Wired reports, the difference is that some of the Martian coils are 100 feet across — giant compared the Earth-bound ones.

Still scientists found that they are "morphologically consistent with terrestrial lava coils."

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Shots - Health Blog
1:34 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Health Insurers Set To Pay $1.3 Billion In Rebates

Come summer, mailboxes of 1 in 3 buyers of individual health insurance buyers could get rebate checks.
JS Callahan/tropicalpix iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 1:51 pm

If you buy your own health insurance, there's nearly a 1 in 3 chance that come this summer you'll get a nice little surprise in the mail: money back from your health insurance company.

At least that's the prediction from an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Court Says Florida Governor's Order To Drug Test Employees Is Unconstitutional

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 1:54 pm

A district judge ruled that Florida Gov. Rick Scott cannot mandate random drug testing for state employees.

CNN reports:

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The Record
12:27 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Marooned In L.A. For A Week, Coachella Bands Make Do

Ian St. Pe of the band Black Lips performs at this year's Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. Like many of the artists on the bill, the band agreed not to book other shows in Southern California within months of the event.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am

The massive Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close in California on Sunday after two weekends worth of sold-out shows by over 150 artists.

One of those acts was the Austin, Texas, band Explosions in the Sky, which first played Coachella back in 2007 and has seen its profile grow since then.

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It's All Politics
11:55 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Some Campaign Donors Putting Their Money Where Their Mouth Isn't

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 12:09 pm

Much of the attention on money in politics this election cycle has been focused on the new superPACs, and with good reason.

Recent court rulings allow superPACs — which officially are independent of specific candidates — to raise and spend unlimited money to support their favorite politician or cause.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Thu April 26, 2012

With A Tweet, A's Player Unleashes Debate: Is 'Kiss Cam' Homophobic?

The video board at Busch Stadium is seen during a popular between-inning feature known as "Kiss Cam."
Jeff Roberson AP

Yesterday, in the San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Gwen Knapp hailed a tweet from an Oakland Athletics' player as the dawn of the "age of enlightenment."

In short, pitcher Brandon McCarthy sent out a tweet that suggested the "Kiss Cam" — a feature shown on scoreboards across the country in which a camera focuses on couples in hopes of a kiss — was anti-gay.

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World Cafe
10:25 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka On World Cafe

Michael Kiwanuka's first full-length album is titled Home Again.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 8:36 am

Michael Kiwanuka combines roots and soul with such old-school, retro-sounding verve, it's hard to believe he's still a rising star — let alone a 24-year-old. Kiwanuka is of Ugandan descent and grew up in Muswell Hill, London.

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Education
9:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Boehner: House Will Vote On Student Loans

The House is set to vote Friday on a GOP proposal to keep some student loan interest rates at current levels. Many students have been concerned at news that the current 3.4 percent rate could double if Congress fails to extend the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Host Michel Martin talks with Jason Delisle of the New America Foundation.

Law
9:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Sybrina Fulton: 'I Can Wait A Year' For Justice

Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin, walk with attorney Benjamin Crump and others as they leave the Seminole County courthouse after the bond hearing for George Zimmerman.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Days after George Zimmerman was freed on bail to await a second-degree murder trial for shooting Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, says she's "willing to wait for justice to be served" in her son's case.

Speaking with Tell Me More host Michel Martin, Fulton also says that she feels like "I have a little hole in my heart. And that little hole is caused by the tragedy of Trayvon's death."

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Music Reviews
9:40 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Howlin' Wolf: A Blues Legend With An Earthy Sound

Howlin' Wolf's masters from the Chess label have just been released on a four-disc set titled Smokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters 1931-1960.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Thu April 26, 2012

VIDEO: Norwegians Stand Up To Killer's Hate By Joining In Song

People gathered in Oslo today to sing Children of the Rainbow, in a demonstration against the views of killer Anders Behring Breivik.
Kyrre Lien AFP/Getty Images

Anders Behring Breivik, who last summer killed 77 people in Norway, thinks a folk song called Children of the Rainbow is brainwashing young Norwegians.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Thu April 26, 2012

New Allegations Surface Of Secret Service Misbehavior In El Salvador

U.S. Secret Service

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 11:24 am

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano pledged on Wednesday the investigation into Secret Service agents who allegedly hired prostitutes this month in Cartagena, Colombia, "will be complete and thorough and we will leave no stone unturned."

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Shots - Health Blog
8:10 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Evidence Mounts That Diet, Exercise Help Survivors Cut Cancer Risk

Staying fit and eating well can help cancer survivors, too, a review of the latest evidence shows.
Lucy Pemoni AP

Eat right and exercise is about as basic as medical advice gets.

Follow it, and you'll benefit from better overall fitness, improved quality of life, and a reduced risk for chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The American Cancer Society now says the evidence has piled up that diet and exercise can help cancer survivors manage, beat, and stay free of their disease, too.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu April 26, 2012

'Bring Andy Home:' Search For Missing Corgi Goes High Tech

Where's Andy?
The Bring Andy Home Facebook page

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

We love dogs. So we can't resist passing along word that later today All Things Considered plans to catch up on the story of Andy, a tan and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi who has been missing since New Year's Eve.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Almost No Change In Jobless Claims Last Week

There were 388,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down just 1,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

And in another sign that the labor market's recovery remains sluggish, the agency said "the 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average of 375,500." That measure is said by economists to be a better gauge of the underlying trend in claims.

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Europe
5:34 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Swedish Woman Gets Invitation Meant For Official

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:25 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Research Examines Newly-Drafted NFL Quarterbacks

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Two-Way
4:31 am
Thu April 26, 2012

After Conviction, Pakistani Prime Minister 'Imprisoned' For Just A Few Minutes

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as he arrived at court today in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:15 pm

Convicted today of contempt for refusing to push for the reopening of a corruption case involving Pakistan's president, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was given a prison sentence that lasted just a few minutes.

"The ruling ... appeared to be a compromise," The Associated Press writes, "but could still mean problems for him because he has been convicted in a court. That means he could face dismissal from office in the weeks, or more likely, months to come."

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The Two-Way
4:08 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Conflicting Claims On Cause And Death Toll After Explosion In Syria

While activists inside Syria say government forces are responsible for an explosion today in the city of Hama, and that about 70 people were killed, President Bashar Assad's regime has a much different story. It says about 16 people were killed by an explosion at a bomb factory used by "armed terrorist groups," the BBC reports.

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The Two-Way
3:09 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Liberia's Charles Taylor Facing Judgment In War Crimes Case

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, in court on Feb. 8, 2011.
Jerry Lampen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 12:04 pm

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is guilty of "aiding and abetting" forces in Sierra Leone that committed war crimes and other atrocities during a war that lasted more than a decade and left more than 50,000 people dead, the Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled today.

Taylor, the first head of state since just after World War II to be judged by an international tribunal, "knew that his support" would assist and encourage fighters who were committing war crimes, the tribunal ruled. In return, he received so-called blood diamonds from Sierra Leone.

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Asia
3:05 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Pakistan's Prime Minister Found Guilty Of Contempt

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pakistan faces even more political uncertainty. The country's supreme court today found the prime minister guilty of contempt of court. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had resisted demands by the court that he press authorities in Switzerland to pursue money laundering charges there against his boss, the president of Pakistan. NPR's Julie McCarthy has been following this story. She was at the court in Islamabad.

Hi, Julie.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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