NPR News

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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."

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
History
9:17 am
Fri March 30, 2012

1940 Census Release Is 'Super Bowl For Genealogists'

In 1940, the federal government sent 120,000 census takers across America to ask questions like, "Do you live on a farm?" and "Where were you living on April 1, 1935?"
Hansel Mieth/Time Life Pictures Getty Images

A sort of national treasure is scheduled to be revealed Monday: In April 1940, 120,000 census takers spread out across America to take an inventory of its residents. Now that the legally mandated 72 years have passed, we finally get to see the names, addresses, jobs and salaries of all the people who were counted.

Read more
The Salt
8:59 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Feds To Decide On Banning BPA From Food And Other Products

Environmental groups say a ban would protect consumers from the health effects of BPA that leaches from products including some soup cans.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:26 pm

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied a call to ban the plastic additive BPA from food packaging. The action comes after government scientists found little reason to think people are being harmed by the chemical.

The FDA was responding to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called for the ban on BPA, also known as bisphenol A, from any use where it comes in contact with food.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Bin Laden Fathered 4 Children, Hid In 5 Safe Houses While On Run, Wife Says

During the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a video showing the al-Qaida leader watching television was discovered.
AFP/Getty Images

During nine years on the run in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden used at least five safe houses and fathered four children, the youngest of his three wives has told Pakistani investigators, according to The New York Times.

Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, now 30, married bin Laden in 2000.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
8:29 am
Fri March 30, 2012

New York Bans 'Synthetic Marijuana'

A package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals sometimes called synthetic marijuana. New York moved to ban a wide range of products like these this week.
Kelley McCall AP

There will be no more "Mr. Nice Guy" in New York. No more "K2," "Skunk" or "Zohai" either.

The New York State Health Department banned the sale of synthetic marijuana products like those on Thursday. So all kinds of wacky stuff that's made to get people high — but is often disguised as potpourri, incense or some mixture of herbs — is now verboten.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:33 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Friday Political Grab Bag: Rep. Paul Ryan Endorses Mitt Romney Etc

Rep. Paul Ryan gave Mitt Romney the thumbs up Friday. Photo is of Ryan on Thursday, March 29, 2012 on Capitol Hill.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 8:21 am

Rep. Paul Ryan's endorsed Mitt Romney Friday just ahead of Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ryan said: "I think he deserves to be the nominee. I think he earned it. He has emerged as the best candidate." Ryan, a rising star in the party who many wanted to run for president and who is seen as a vice presidential possibility, said a further protracted primary would weaken the party's chances of beating President Obama in November.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Brother: George Zimmerman Would Be Dead If He Hadn't Defended Himself

Robert Zimmerman Jr., brother of George Zimmerman, during his interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.Â
CNN.com

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 7:31 am

"There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed," the brother of George Zimmerman told CNN's Piers Morgan last night in one of the most extensive interviews yet with someone from the family of the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

Read more
It's All Politics
6:56 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Wisconsin Voters Face Onslaught Of 'Negative, Negative, Negative' Ads

Supporters listen to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum at The Ravine in Bellevue, Wis., on March 24. Some voters in the state are complaining about a barrage of negative ads in advance of Tuesday's primary.
Darren Hauck Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 2:03 pm

With a GOP presidential primary coming up on April 3, Wisconsin voters have found themselves besieged by political ads, reports NPR's David Schaper on Friday's Morning Edition.

Talking to voters in La Crosse, Schaper found that residents have grown weary of the onslaught. It has been massive: The Red, White And Blue Fund — the superPAC supporting Rick Santorum — has so far spent almost a half-million dollars on ads attacking front-runner Mitt Romney.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:42 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Consumer Spending Jumped Up In February, Incomes Rose Just A Little

There was a 0.8 percent rise in personal spending in February from January, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. It was the strongest gain in seven months, according to The Associated Press.

But personal income rose just 0.2 percent, the bureau adds. And "disposable personal income," what's left after personal taxes, also rose only 0.2 percent.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Rep. Ryan Endorses Romney

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at NPR headquarters in May 2011.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 1:10 pm

One day after fellow Republicans in the House ensured passage of his version of a 2013 federal budget, there are reports that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is about to endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

The Associated Press says it has been told by two Republican officials that "Ryan's endorsement could come as soon as Friday, when Romney is scheduled to give an economic speech in Appleton, Wis."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Mania: What If You Win? Then What Do You Do?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 10:27 am

Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)

Read more
Education
1:53 am
Fri March 30, 2012

In Bullying Programs, A Call For Bystanders To Act

Alyssa Rodemeyer, 16, talks about her younger brother Jamey at an anti-bullying rally in San Francisco. Jamey committed suicide in September 2011 after being bullied. More schools are looking for ways to combat bullying among students.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

The documentary Bully opens in theaters Thursday, and the heated controversy over the appropriate rating for the film has frustrated many schools hoping to use it as a teaching tool.

Administrators have struggled to find effective ways to help curb bullying in their schools in recent years, and a growing number of bullying prevention programs have emerged to meet the demand.

Read more
Science
1:50 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Policy On High-Risk Biological Research Tightened

The Obama administration has announced a new policy to handle the risks posed by legitimate biological research that could, in the wrong hands, threaten the public.

The move comes in response to a huge debate over recent experiments on bird flu virus that got funding from the National Institutes of Health. Critics say the work created mutant viruses that could potentially be dangerous for people, or give terrorists a road map for making a bioweapon.

Read more
Europe
1:35 am
Fri March 30, 2012

French Killings Spark National Soul-Searching

Hundreds of people gather on March 23 on the main public square in Toulouse, France, to pay homage to the seven victims of self-proclaimed al-Qaida militant Mohamed Merah.
Eric Cabanis AFP/Getty Images

The killings in France of three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers of North African descent came during a presidential campaign in which immigration has dominated campaign rhetoric. The Toulouse gunman, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, was shot dead by police, but the tragedy has prompted national soul-searching.

Read more
Asia
1:27 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Myanmar's Election Seen As A Test Of Reforms

Myanmar opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to supporters on Saturday. Voting in parliamentary elections this Sunday is considered a test of the political reforms that Myanmar's rulers have introduced over the past year.
Khin Maung Win AP

Myanmar has an election this Sunday where only a small fraction of the parliamentary seats are at stakes — and yet the ballot is commanding international attention.

The closely watched election is seen as a test of whether the country's rulers are sincere about reforms they have been introducing over the past year.

If the vote is seen as free and fair, it could prompt Western governments to begin lifting sanctions imposed during the half-century of military rule in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Read more
StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

As A Life's End Draws Near, A Father And Son Talk

"For me, dying — it's very enlightening and certainly rewarding," David Plant (left) tells Frank Lilley. "Look at the opportunity to talk, for example. It's just incredible."
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:49 am

In 2010, David Plant was diagnosed with skin cancer. The cancer has since metastasized to other parts of his body, and David is now contemplating the end of his life. So, just before his 81st birthday, he sat down with his stepson to talk about their life together.

As Frank Lilley explains, "David is my stepfather, but I certainly consider him my father."

The two spoke in in New London, N.H. And Frank began with a question.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:33 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Thinking The Unthinkable: What If The Whole Affordable Care Act Goes Down?

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 6:09 pm

After this week's oral arguments at the Supreme Court, lawmakers and health policy experts are starting to ponder what had — until recently — been unthinkable to many: What if the court strikes down the entire Affordable Care Act?

Read more
The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

In Saturday's Final Four, Expect A Kentucky Showdown And Lots Of Emotion

Senior guard Darius Miller of Kentucky shoots during the Wildcats' win over Baylor in the South Regional final. Kentucky, the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 seed, faces rival Louisville in the Final Four Saturday.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:53 am

College basketball's Final Four men's teams will play in New Orleans Saturday, to decide which two squads will play in Monday night's NCAA championship game. The first match-up pits the University of Louisville against tournament favorite — and archrival — the University of Kentucky. In the second game, Ohio State University will face the University of Kansas.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Death: A Father Who Lost A Chance To Make Good

Tracy Martin, father of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 3:12 pm

We don't have all of the facts from the night of Feb. 26 when Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer. But in remembering his son, Tracy Martin has touched on how the Florida teen saved his father from a house fire when the boy was 9 years old. On Wednesday, I asked Martin to tell me what happened that day.

Read more
The Salt
3:12 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Studies Show Why Insecticides Are Bad News For Bees

One class of insecticides makes an entire corn plant poisonous to many insects that feed on it, including bees.
iStockphoto.com

The search for the killer of America's bees is a little bit like an Agatha Christie novel.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Massey Mine Boss Pleads Guilty As Feds Target Execs

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:34 pm

Thursday's guilty plea and plea agreement from the former superintendent of the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia is a key step in the effort to seek criminal charges further up the corporate ladder at Massey Energy, according to court documents and the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of West Virginia.

Read more

Pages