NPR News

The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Despite El Niño, NOAA Increases Hurricane Season Prediction

Hurricane Ernesto before making landfall in Mexico.
NOAA

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 11:47 am

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today that the chance for a more active than normal hurricane season has increased since it issued its first prediction in May.

NOAA is now predicting 12 to 17 named storms and five to eight hurricanes. Two or three of those could become major hurricanes. In May, NOAA had predicted 9 to 15 storms.

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Planet Money
10:41 am
Thu August 9, 2012

The Marijuana Trade In The Euro's Birthplace

Marijuana in Maastricht
Ermindo Armino AP

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:26 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This is the second story in a four-part series.

Maastricht, a town in the Netherlands, is known largely for two things.

  1. The treaty that created the euro was signed there.
  2. Marijuana is legal there, and it's sold at "coffee shops" around town.

This is the story of the troubled relationship between those two claims to fame.

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Participation Nation
10:33 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Healing The Bay In Santa Monica, Calif.

A volunteer picks up trash at a Nothin' But Sand beach cleanup.
Courtesy of Heal The Bay

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:59 am

Clean is a relative term, says Eveline Bravo, programs manager for Heal the Bay, a nonprofit pro-environment organization hellbent on restoring Santa Monica Bay.

"There's so much Styrofoam and plastic and it's hard to feel like you're not just making small dents."

Yet every third Saturday, Bravo — along with hundreds of other volunteers — shows up at designated beaches with buckets in hand.

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Strange News
9:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

It's Not Gold, But Fastest US Texter Wins Big

It may not be an Olympic sport, but Wisconsin teen Austin Wierschke was just named the fastest texter in America. The texting champion was awarded $50,000. Wierschke speaks with host Michel Martin about how he keeps his thumbs in shape.

Asia
9:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Sikh Temple Shooting Felt Across The World

The Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin shook up the American Sikh community, but it also shocked people in India. The Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Nirupama Rao just returned from Wisconsin, and she's been discussing the tragedy with U.S. officials. Rao talks with host Michel Martin about what role she can play in the aftermath of the shooting.

Middle East
9:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

How Safe Are Donations To Syrian Rebels?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will hear about an everyday hero, a barber in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s, an ordinary man during an extraordinary time. He's the focus of a new documentary that we want to tell you about and that's just ahead.

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Race
9:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Who Gets To Decide Who Is Native American?

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:26 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, you know those kids who always have their fingers on a keyboard texting? You might think they are wasting time and money, but in a few minutes, we'll talk with a texting champion who has turned his habit into a $50,000 prize. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

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Movies
9:47 am
Thu August 9, 2012

60 Years Later, Still 'Singin' In The Rain'

Gene Kelly stars as Don Lockwood in Singin' in the Rain. In celebration of the 1952 musical's 60th birthday, a newly restored print was released in theaters for a one-night public screening, and a new edition has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Warner Home Video

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 12:37 pm

Hollywood is often at its best when it's making fun of itself, and few movies are funnier or more fun than Singin' in the Rain, the broadly satirical musical comedy about the transition from silent movies to sound.

Gene Kelly, who co-directed the film with Stanley Donen, stars as the stuntman turned matinee idol who falls in love with adorable Debbie Reynolds. He even gets to parody his own swashbuckling in MGM's Technicolor Three Musketeers.

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The Torch
9:44 am
Thu August 9, 2012

We See The Body Olympic: How Athletes Evolve Within Their Sports

The bodies and strategies of Olympic athletes have changed over time, as these photos of high jumpers from the 1908 and 2012 Games show.
Alexander Hassenstein Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 9:46 am

Why do the best weightlifters have short arms? What's the biggest physical challenge that marathon runners face? What kind of advantages do athletes from West Africa — and from Asia — enjoy? Those questions are answered in a great post over at our sister blog, Shots.

Our colleague Adam Cole analyzed information from a range of sources to come up with conclusions about the bodies of Olympic sprinters and rowers, as well as weightlifters and marathon runners.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Thu August 9, 2012

U.S. Navy Says It Rescued 10 Iranians From Burning Ship In Gulf Of Oman

The burning dhow from which the U.S. Navy says it rescued 10 Iranians on Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman.
U.S. Navy

Ten men who said they are Iranians were rescued Wednesday from a burning vessel in the Gulf of Oman by the crew of the USS James E. Williams, a guided-missile destroyer, the U.S. Navy says.

According to the Navy, "the vessel was flying an Iranian flag. The mariners ... are being well cared for, receiving medical treatment and awaiting transport to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is coordinating the repatriation efforts."

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The Torch
8:43 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Canada Wins Bronze; Lopez Plays Waiting Game

Canada's Diana Matheson controls the ball, an instant before she struck the game-winning goal against France in the women's soccer bronze medal match Thursday.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Good morning. It's Day 13 of the London Games, and the overall medal tally stands at 82 for the United States, 77 for China, and 48 for Great Britain. Here's a roundup of the news that caught our eye this morning:

Canada has won the bronze medal match over France in women's soccer, as midfielder Diana Matheson scored a golden... er, bronze goal in the 92nd minute to break a 0-0 tie. Obviously, the match featured lots of good defense.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Thu August 9, 2012

George Zimmerman Seeks 'Stand Your Ground' Hearing In Bid To Dismiss Case

George Zimmerman during a July interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
FoxNews.com

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 10:52 am

George Zimmerman, the man charged with second-degree murder in the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, is going to ask for a "stand your ground" court hearing in an attempt to have the case against him dismissed without ever going to trial.

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Space
8:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Man On The Moon: Saving America's 'One Small Step'

Apollo 17 commander Eugene A. Cernan takes a Lunar Roving Vehicle for a spin at the Taurus-Littrow landing site during the 1972 mission.
Harrison H. Schmitt NASA

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:57 am

It wasn't that long ago the United States owned the moon, or at least it seemed that way.

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It's All Politics
7:53 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Why Plant City, Fla., Is A Can't-Miss On The Campaign Trail

Plant City, Fla., claims to be the winter strawberry capital of the world. Here, a mural celebrating its past decorates the downtown.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

National political candidates love visiting Plant City, Fla. It's in a swing state, in a swing county.

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The Torch
7:42 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Pistorius And South Africa's Relay Team Win Reprieve, Will Race In Final

Anticipation: Oscar Pistorius of South Africa waits for the baton in the team 4x400m relay at London's Olympic Stadium. His teammate fell in the race, but officials deemed he had been interfered with. South Africa will run in the final.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius, who made history last weekend when he became the first amputee to run in an Olympic race, saw his London 2012 experience come to an abrupt end Thursday — before a successful appeal put his South African 4x400m relay team back in business.

Pistorius never got a chance to run in the relay's qualifying heat, as he awaited the baton handoff from teammate Ofentse Mogawane. But Mogawane, who was running the second leg of the race, slammed into the back of a Kenyan runner who had drifted into his lane.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Neil Armstrong 'Doing Great' After Heart Surgery

Neil Armstrong last November at the U.S. Capitol, when he and the other astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission were awarded Congressional Gold Medals.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 9:06 am

There's word from the wife of first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong that he's "doing great" after cardiac bypass surgery on Tuesday, NBC News reports.

And that's good, tweets second-man-on-the-moon Buzz Aldrin, because he and Armstrong have "agreed to make it [to] the 50th Apollo Anniv in 2019."

Armstrong turned 82 on Sunday.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Even As Rains Ease, Disaster Grows In Philippines; 2.1 Million Affected

From a rooftop in a Manila suburb today, residents watched water flow through flooded streets.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

The numbers keep rising in the Philippines, where monsoons have overwhelmed Manila and other areas.

According to the country's disaster response agency

-- The number of people affected by the devastating rains, flooding and landslides has grown to 2.1 million, up from 1.2 million on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Assad Names New Prime Minister; Fighting Continues In Aleppo

As Syrian President Bashar Assad today chose a replacement for the prime minister who defected earlier this week, there were conflicting reports about just what's happening in the key northern city of Aleppo.

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Sports
6:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Olympic Preview: Decathlon Medals To Be Awarded

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

At the London Summer Olympics, it's one star-studded 200-meter race down and one to go - today. American Allyson Felix won the women's 200 last night and was part of a U.S. track and field medal-winning binge. The Americans took seven medals at Olympic Stadium, helping push the Americans past arch-medal rival China in the overall race.

Not that anyone's counting, right, Tom Goldman?

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Done In A Day: China Wraps Up Murder Trial Of Once-Prominent Politician's Wife

Gu Kailai during today's trial at the Hefei Intermediate People's Court. (Screen image from Chinese TV.)
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 7:10 am

As we said two weeks ago, China's state-controlled media had already concluded that Gu Kailai was guilty of murder even before any sort of a trial.

Today in central China the wife of once-prominent politician Bo Xilai got her day in court.

Literally.

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Religion
5:08 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Blurry Glasses Are A Solution To An Age-Old Conflict

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:48 am

Conservative men from many religions demand that women dress modestly so the men can avoid feeling tempted. Some ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in Israel are selling special glasses that blur men's vision so they can't see women clearly.

Participation Nation
5:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

A Pet Project In Atlanta, Ga.

Samantha Shelton of Furkids, an Atlanta-based animal shelter.
John Slemp Courtesy of Furkids

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:59 am

Samantha Shelton has made it her mission to rescue homeless pets. Furkids, the organization she founded 10 years ago, operates one of the largest no-kill animal shelters in Georgia, caring for more than 600 homeless cats and dogs every day.

Furkids has placed more than 7,000 animals into permanent homes.

"Animal overpopulation in Georgia is an epidemic," Samantha says. To combat that problem, Furkids spays or neuters every animal; many day-to-day operations are carried out by more than 400 volunteers — adults and children.

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Sports
5:01 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Internet Surfers Have Fun With Gymnast's Scowl

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:49 am

U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney was disappointed when she took silver in the Olympic vault competition. A photographer snapped her wearing the medal around her neck and a big scowl on her face. That photo has now been Photoshopped on to all sorts of other pictures on the Internet.

Middle East
4:55 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Israel Monitors Egypts Call To Modify Treaty

Israeli soldiers look at their Egyptian counterparts from their side of the border Wednesday at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, where an attack by Islamist militants on Sunday killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.
Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 7:44 am

Israel is welcoming Egypt's military efforts to stamp out Islamist militants in the Sinai following the recent border attack there that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. The Jewish state has long been concerned over the situation in the Sinai, where there's been an upsurge in violence.

But calls in Egypt to modify the peace treaty with Israel — allowing Egypt to strengthen its security in the Sinai — has also led to concern in Israel.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:36 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Olympic Bodies: They Just Don't Make Them Like They Used To

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:55 am

The Olympic Games seem to celebrate the extremes of athletic physique — from tiny gymnasts to impossibly huge shot-putters. But why are they shaped that way?

We've put together an infographic that explores how athletes' bodies have changed over the last century, and the role physics plays in each event. Here on Shots, we're taking a look at some of the athletes featured in the graphic.

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First And Main
1:24 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Complications, Contradictions In A Fla. Swing County

Sofia Martinez, 40, is a registered nurse in Plant City, Fla., who supports both the DREAM Act and Republican Mitt Romney, who says he would veto it.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:17 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

Sofia Martinez was a kid when she began what you could call her life on the road.

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Dead Stop
1:20 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Uncovering Secrets Buried At A Neglected Cemetery

Volunteers have been collecting grave markers like these and trying to figure out where they go.
Maggie Martin NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 9:07 am

At most cemeteries, hearing weed cutters and lawn mowers trimming grass around graves would seem normal enough. But at Lincoln Cemetery in Montgomery, Ala., these are the sounds of progress.

Lincoln Cemetery was established in 1907 for African-Americans. But with no one in charge of the cemetery or keeping up with burial records, abuse, vandalism and neglect became rampant and the cemetery is in disrepair. Grass and weeds grew three feet high. People picked apart old, crumbling graves and took bones of the deceased.

And no one is quite where people are actually buried.

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Environment
1:19 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Building For Birds: Architects Aim For Safer Skies

Architect Guy Maxwell holds a printout of his proposed design for the new Bridge Building at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 11:07 am

Second of a two-part series. Read Part 1.

Modern architecture's love affair with tall glass buildings takes a toll. Every year, millions of birds crash into glass windows in North America.

These collisions may seem like an intractable problem. But in New York City, an architect is trying to find a solution.

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The Torch
5:21 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Sarah Attar Becomes Saudi Arabia's First Female Track Olympian

Sarah Attar of Saudi Arabia walks off the track after competing in the Women's 800m Round 1 Heats.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:27 am

It's a moment worth noting: Like judoko Wojdan Shaherkani before her, 19-year-old Sarah Attar became Saudi Arabia's first female track Olympian, today.

As Reuters reports, Attar ran the 800 meter heat in a "white head cover, a long-sleeved green top, black leggings" and " luminous green running spikes."

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Shots - Health Blog
5:13 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Internet's Cat Obsession Justifies Itself In Cancer Ward

Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem, 16, received a bone-marrow transplant at Seattle Children's Hospital in 2011 for leukemia and returned in July 2012 for follow-up treatment. On July 25, an artist at the hospital set up a cat photo installation in her room.
Courtesy of Seattle Children's Hospital

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 9:06 am

We're not sure it's ever been studied, but we're willing to bet that the glut of cute animal photos on the Internet is a testament to their soothing effect on the human mind.

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