NPR News

Around the Nation
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Calif. Study: Nail Products Contain Toxic Chemicals

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If you want a mani-pedi - that's a manicure and pedicure to the uninitiated - you don't have to walk very far here in California. There are about 48,000 nail salons throughout the state. A new study by the state government now says some products used in those salons contain toxic substances, even though the products are billed as nontoxic. That sounds scary for salon owners and workers and clients, but representatives of the nail care industry say the study is nonsense. NPR's Ted Robbins reports.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Zimmerman To Plead Not Guilty In Teen's Death

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The man who authorities said could not be charged with a crime will now face charges.

MONTAGNE: George Zimmerman is expected in court today in Sanford, Florida. Special prosecutor Angela Corey says she plans to charge him with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed high school student.

Read more
Law
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Justice Department Sues In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The publishing business is still trying to absorb the news that the Justice Department is suing Apple and publishers for price fixing in the e-book market. Three publishers - Simon and Shuster, Harper Collins and Hachette - decided to settle the suit. But Apple, along with the companies Macmillan and Penguin, plan to fight the allegations. Here's NPR's Lynn Neary.

Read more
Middle East
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Syrian Cease-Fire Appears To Be Holding

After months of relentless shelling and gunfire, activists in Syria reported a quieter daybreak Thursday, as a ceasefire arranged by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan appeared to be largely holding.

Opposition figures said rebel fighters inside Syria would abide by the truce as long as the Syrian military does, while the government says its forces will return fire if attacked. Annan is hoping to progress from the cease-fire to getting humanitarian assistance into the country, and eventually to political negotiations.

Read more
Theater
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Philip Seymour Hoffman Is The New Willy Loman

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is starring in a Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman. He talks to Steve Inskeep about the Arthur Miller play which premiered in 1949.

Movies
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

'Harold And Kumar' Creators Recommend DVDs

Filmmakers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg talk to Steve Inskeep for the latest in our occasional series "Watch This." The creators of the Harold and Kumar franchise have directed the reboot of the American Pie franchise and give their picks for home entertainment.

Law
1:20 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Does The Case Against John Edwards Go Too Far?

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards (left) speaks to the media with attorney Abbe Lowell last October. His trial on alleged campaign finance violations is set to begin Thursday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Prospective jurors head to court in North Carolina on Thursday to find out whether they'll be chosen to sit in judgment of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

Only four years ago, Edwards was running for the White House as a Democratic candidate. Now, he's a defendant, fighting campaign finance charges that could send him away for as long as 30 years.

Read more
Middle East
1:19 am
Thu April 12, 2012

'One-State' Idea Gains Support Of Some Palestinians

Palestinian children play next to Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Abu Dis in 2011. As peace talks between Israel and Palestine remain at a standstill, people are looking to other possible solutions.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 6:43 am

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are at a standstill and have been for almost two years. The stated aim of those negotiations is what is known as the "two-state solution," which means the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state existing in peace alongside Israel.

But as hopes for an agreement diminish, Palestinians — and even some Israelis — are now talking about other solutions to the conflict. Among them, the so-called "one-state solution."

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
1:15 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Water In The Time Of Cholera: Haiti's Most Urgent Health Problem

Marlene Lucien controls the hose that fills people's plastic buckets on one busy street corner in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 10:40 am

In the teeming city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, millions of people have no reliable water supply.

Many of the underground pipes that did exist were ruptured by the 2010 earthquake. Many public water kiosks are dry.

Read more
Energy
1:14 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Scientists Link Rise In Quakes To Wastewater Wells

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Scientists who watch for earthquakes have discovered a big increase in the number of small quakes in the middle of the country. It's an area that's usually pretty quiet geologically.

The scientists suspect the quakes are caused by wastewater wells. They plan to discuss their findings later this month at a seismology conference, but they've shared the basics with NPR.

Bill Ellsworth, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, says new technology over the past decade has given scientists a much better feel for when the Earth shakes.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:27 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Turning The Tables, Romney Hits Obama For A 'War On Women'

Mitt Romney holds a flier titled "Women & The Obama Economy" as he speaks in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday
Steven Senne AP

Mitt Romney was on the attack Wednesday, using a specific statistic to back up his claim that women, especially, have suffered economically under President Obama.

"Over 92 percent of the jobs lost under this president were lost by women," Romney said on Fox News. "His policies have been really a war on women."

The Romney campaign claims that 92.3 percent of those who have lost jobs during the Obama administration are women. It's a claim the campaign has made in speeches, on Twitter and on the Romney website.

Read more
Law
4:49 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Decoding Legalese: Up Next In Trayvon Martin Case

George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Audie Cornish speaks with former federal prosecutor Brett Meltzer about the legal aspects of the case going forward.

Shots - Health Blog
4:25 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

TEDMED Takes Its Big Health Tent To Washington

TEDMED: Live from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
NPR

The phenomenon that is TEDMED has rolled into the nation's capital. And I'm camped out at the Kennedy Center for the nerdfest.

What's the big deal? I'm still trying to figure that out as the meeting is well into its second day. It's an event, that's for sure, and it's supposed to be a way for people who care a lot about health care to get together and make some headway on thorny problems.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

House Republican Allen West: '78 to 81' Congressional Democrats Are Communists

Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.
AP

Never one to shrink from controversy, Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., says he believes scores of his Democratic House colleagues are members of the Communist Party.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Zimmerman Arrested On Murder Charge In Trayvon Martin Case

State Attorney Angela Corey announces that George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 7:13 pm

George Zimmerman, who says he killed unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in self-defense, has been arrested and will face a charge of second-degree murder, says State Attorney Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating Martin's death.

Corey said that Zimmerman turned himself in to the authorities Wednesday.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

2 Marines Killed, 2 Injured In Osprey Crash In Morocco

Two U.S. Marines have been killed and two others injured when the V-22 Osprey they were in crashed Wednesday during a training exercise in Morocco.

NPR's Larry Abramson is reporting that the reservists were part of a Marine unit participating in the annual African Lion exercise with the Moroccan military. The two severely injured Marines are being treated in country.

More information about those killed and wounded will be released after the notification of next of kin.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated, but NPR's Abramson notes:

Read more
Your Money
3:23 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Your (Virtual) Future Self Wants You To Save Up

Professor Hal Hershfield (left), 32, uses a computer program to get an idea of what he might look like at 70 (right).
Chinthaka Herath Courtesy of Hal Hershfield

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 7:22 pm

A retirement crisis is looming. As people live longer, one study finds that half of all households are at risk of coming up short on retirement money. And while many working households may feel they simply don't have enough to spare for retirement, experts say some of the biggest barriers to saving up are psychological.

Read more
Election 2012
3:20 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Romney And Ryan: A Budding Political Bromance

Mitt Romney jokes with Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan during a pancake brunch on April 1 in Milwaukee.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 6:51 pm

One of the sharpest dividing lines emerging between President Obama and GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is the budget introduced in Congress by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., with its sharp cuts in domestic spending and lower tax rates.

Both sides see it as a winning issue for the fall campaign. The Obama campaign likes to call it the "Romney-Ryan budget" — and Romney hasn't objected.

On the campaign trail in Wisconsin, Ryan was a constant presence with Romney before that state's April 3 Republican primary, which Romney won.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Report Faults UC Davis Administrators, Police In Pepper Spray Incident

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

As they sought to quell a November protest at the University of California-Davis, campus police officers' "decision to use pepper spray was not supported by objective evidence and not authorized by policy," according to a review of the incident released Wednesday.

Read more
Education
2:18 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Spate Of Bomb Threats Annoys Pittsburgh Students

Students wait to pass through a security checkpoint at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning on Tuesday. Security has tightened at the school after a string of false bomb threats on the campus.
Larkin Page-Jacobs WESA

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 6:51 pm

Since mid-February, the University of Pittsburgh has received more than 50 bomb threats, and while they've all been false alarms, they have succeeded in disrupting campus life. Tighter security measures are now in place, but the threats continue, and students are wondering how they'll be able to make up class work and prepare for final exams.

Read more
Asia
2:04 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

N. Korea May Stage Nuclear Test After Rocket Launch

A concert in Pyongyang in February 2012 commemorates the birthday of North Korea's late leader, Kim Jong Il. The backdrop shows a North Korean rocket that was launched in April 2009 — and was followed a month later by a nuclear test.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 6:51 pm

As North Korea reaches the final stage of preparations for a long-range rocket launch, concern is growing that it is in the early stages of preparing its underground test site for another nuclear explosion.

Pyongyang established the pattern three years ago when it tested a similar rocket and then followed it a month later with a nuclear test.

This time around, there may be a more urgent need to test a nuclear device. The bomb is very likely the result of a significant expansion of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Not Just For Laughs: Why Humor Can Be A Powerful Campaign Tool

President Obama has a chance to make fun of his opponents — and himself — when he addresses the annual White House Correspondents' Association gala later this month. Last year he joked about Donald Trump and the "birther" issue.
Martin H. Simon-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:52 am

At the end of the month, President Obama will deliver a string of punch lines at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's an annual tradition, a chance for the man at the top of the pyramid to poke fun at his political opponents and himself.

Humor is an essential tool in any politician's kit — all the more so in an age of instant, constant media. It can disarm an opponent, woo a skeptical voter or pierce an argument. This year, both Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney are using it to try to win the upper hand in the presidential race.

Read more
Sports
1:28 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Five-Time Olympic Archer Giving It One More Shot

Butch Johnson competes in the 2010 U.S. National Target Championships in Hamilton, Ohio. Johnson is trying for his sixth Olympic Games this summer. When not competing, he manages an archery range in Connecticut. He keeps his Olympic medals under the kitchen sink.
Teresa Iaconi Courtesy of USA Archery

One of America's most accomplished Olympians is a man you've probably never heard of — a 56-year-old athlete who is trying to give the Olympics one more go.

Butch Johnson is working on qualifying for his sixth Olympics trip, but the unassuming archer spends most of his time managing a shooting range in Connecticut.

Read more
World Cafe
1:23 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Joe Louis Walker On World Cafe

Joe Louis Walker has 23 albums to his name.
Michael Weintrob

Electric bluesman Joe Louis Walker is a living legend. He was strumming a guitar by age 8, and by 16 was on stage; he's released 23 albums over the course of his career. Given his formidable talent and prodigious supply of soul-stirring vocal inspirations, it's little wonder that Walker has become a blues-rock hero and award-winner. He's still going strong, as evidenced by his fierce new album, aptly named Hellfire.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

No Parole For Charles Manson; Bid May Be His Last

A photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows killer Charles Manson, 77, on April 4, 2012.
AP

Convicted murderer Charles Manson, sentenced to life in prison for his role in the grisly deaths of seven people in 1969, will not be released from prison, California's parole board decided Wednesday. The hearing, which Manson did not attend, may have been the 77-year-old's last chance at freedom. His next bid for a parole hearing isn't likely to be heard until 2027.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Zimmerman Is Reportedly Arrested; Prosecutor Has 'New Information'

George Zimmerman, in a 2005 mug shot provided by the Orange County (Fla.) jail, via The Miami Herald. He was arrested that year for an incident involving a dispute with a local alcohol control official.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 4:20 pm

Florida state attorney Angela Corey, who is acting as a special prosecutor in the high-profile shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, has scheduled a 6 p.m. ET news conference to "release new information" regarding the case, her office just announced.

Read more
The Salt
12:24 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

FDA Launches Voluntary Plan To Reduce Use Of Antibiotics In Animals

The FDA's latest effort to end the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animals is getting mixed reviews from activists.
Rob Carr AP

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 4:38 am

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said today it is calling on the nation's pork, beef, and poultry producers to reduce their use of antibiotics. But some watchdog groups say this voluntary guidance doesn't go nearly far enough.

The issue has been contentious for decades. Just last month, a federal judge ruled that the FDA had to go ahead with a plan it proposed in 1977 that would ban the use of some antibiotics as a growth promoter in animals.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

VIDEO: Texting Guy Barely Escapes Bumping Into Bear

As the bear turned right, Vaz Terdandenyan was about to come down the sidewalk toward it. He got a surprise.
KTLA-TV

If this doesn't make you want to put down that cellphone, we don't know what will.

Watch what happened as Los Angeles TV station KTLA was tracking a black bear as it wandered through a neighborhood in La Crescenta, Calif., Tuesday morning.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:14 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Obama Camp Doesn't Want General-Election Voters To Forget Primary Romney

When Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom indicated with his famous (or infamous) Etch-A-Sketch simile that the former Massachusetts governor would reset his campaign strategy and message after the Republican primaries in order to appeal to general-election voters, Democrats said they planned to make that shift difficult if not impossible for the presumptive GOP nominee.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Panetta Reassures Afghans On U.S. Training Role, Possibly Beyond 2014

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon.
Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo OASD/PA

The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.

Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:

"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."

Read more

Pages