NPR News

Monkey See
2:41 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Appreciating James Garner: TV's Best Unhero

James Garner plays Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files in a 1988 photo.
DPA /Landov

I didn't know, watching Isaac Hayes push James Garner around on The Rockford Files, that I was seeing a special character continue an important television legacy.

All I knew, as a devoted fan of Garner's put-upon private eye, was that Jim Rockford seemed like a kind of hero you never saw anywhere else on television.

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Code Switch
1:33 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:47 am

In the past year, my first in a prestigious Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature, I have often felt conspicuous as a writer of color. I have felt a responsibility to speak up when race is discussed, but I have also resented this responsibility. Lately, I have found myself burying my head. It bothers me to no end that the pressure is beating me, and yet it is.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

45 Years Ago, Armstrong Took His 'One Small Step'

NASA image taken in 2012 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows astronauts' footprints and equipment left on the moon by Apollo 11.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) NASA

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 1:32 pm

Forty-five years ago today, in arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th Century, two Americans stepped off the ladder of their small landing craft and walked on the surface of the moon.

The first of them, Neil Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, pronounced his accomplishment "one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind." The second, 39-year-old New Jersey native Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., described what he saw as "magnificent desolation."

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Politics
10:08 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Kicking The Can Down The Road: A Habit That's Hard To Kick

President Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge near Wilmington, Del., on Thursday. Obama said he supports the temporary highway bill passed by the House last week — but he doesn't like it.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:55 am

The Senate is expected to vote on a temporary transportation spending bill later this week — with an emphasis on the word temporary.

The bill would keep highway funding flowing through May of next year, and avert a looming infrastructure crisis. Without congressional action, the highway trust fund would run out of cash in August.

The short-term fix follows a familiar pattern. It goes something like this:

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Television
8:48 am
Sun July 20, 2014

James Garner Of 'Rockford Files' And 'Maverick' Dies At 86

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:09 am

Garner was known for wise-cracking, tough-guy characters who were not afraid to bend the rules. NPR's Arun Rath talks with biographer Jon Winokur about the actor's prolific career.

Pop Culture
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

'Transformers' Inspires Chinese Farmer-Artists

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

And while we are celebrating zombies who shuffle from movies into comic book, what about the toy robots that became a cartoon that then became a movie series and now have inspired Chinese farmers to become master replica robot builders?

(SOUNDBITE OF "TRANSFORMERS" THEME SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Transformers, more than meets the eye.

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Global Health
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

As Polar Icebox Shrinks, Infectious Pathogens Move North

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Infectious diseases may be spreading more quickly, thanks to global warming. Viruses that were kept in check by the polar ice box are being released. And as some animals move north to keep cool, they're bringing all sorts of parasites with them, from microbes to ticks. Christopher Solomon has written about this in the August issue of "Scientific American." And he joins me now from Montana Public Radio in Missoula. Welcome.

CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON: Good to be here, Arun.

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Africa
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Facility Sets Up Extreme Precautions To Treat Ebola Patients

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. The worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues to spread in West Africa. And medical workers in Sierra Leone have responded by expanding an extraordinary field hospital. It opened less than a month ago, but it now has the largest Ebola isolation unit ever built, with 64 beds. NPR's Jason Beaubien visited and describes for us the infection control measures that go into treating this highly contagious disease.

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Middle East
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Gaza Evacuees Crowd Into Schools Remade As Shelters

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel today, more rockets, after the Israeli government announced it was expanding ground operations in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians continue to flee their homes. Early this morning, some, still wearing their pajamas, left in haste to take shelter in local schools. Those schools are already packed beyond capacity. NPR's Emily Harris reports on the increasingly dire situation.

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World
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Should NATO Respond To Downing Of Malaysia Flight 17?

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

And for some insight into how the world community might respond, we turn now to retired Admiral James Stavridis. He was NATO Supreme Allied Commander and now serves as Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Welcome to the program.

JAMES STAVRIDIS: Thanks, Arun. Great to be with you.

RATH: So Ukraine is not a NATO member but the Netherlands, which lost nearly 200 citizens in this crash, is a member of NATO. If President Putin doesn't change course, what are NATO's options?

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Europe
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Putin May Be Key To Malaysian Plane Crash Inspection

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath, sitting in for Rachel Martin. Pressure is mounting on Russia as international inspectors wait to gain full access to the site of last week's Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine. World leaders are demanding that President Vladimir Putin use his influence with pro-Russia rebels so they'll allow inspectors in and allow the bodies to be recovered. Wall Street Journal reporter James Marson is following the story in Moscow and joins me on the line. Thanks for speaking with us.

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Around the Nation
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

LA Mayor Offers To Shelter Immigrant Kids, Angering Protesters

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Demonstrators across the nation are staging hundreds of protests against illegal immigration this weekend. They reflect a backlash against government resources going to the more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the southern U.S. border in recent months. This week, Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced he'll house some of those miners in L.A. as they await court hearings with funding from the federal government. City resources will not be used. I asked Mayor Garcetti why his city should take this on.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Sun July 20, 2014

R.J. Reynolds Vows Appeal Of $23 Billion Cancer-Death Verdict

Camel cigarettes, an R.J. Reynolds brand, are seen on display at JJ&F Market in in Palo Alto, Calif. The company has vowed to appeal a $23 billion judgement.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:01 am

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the nation's second-largest cigarette maker, is vowing to fight a verdict of $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer.

Calling the massive award "grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law," the tobacco company's CEO, J. Jefferey Raborn, said the verdict was "beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented."

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Least 13 Israeli Soldiers, 87 Palestinians Killed In Gaza Strip Sunday

A Palestinian man runs with a white flag in the Shejaia neighborhood, which was heavily shelled by Israel during fighting in Gaza City on Sunday.
Finbarr O'Reilly Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 8:36 pm

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET.

A spokesman for Hamas claimed Sunday that the group has captured an Israeli soldier. Reuters quotes Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, as saying that no Israeli soldier has been kidnapped.

It's the latest development in a bloody day of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel's military said today that a series of attacks on its forces inside the Gaza Strip has killed 13 soldiers, by far the heaviest single-day toll for its troops since the beginning of the offensive nearly two weeks ago.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Sun July 20, 2014

James Garner, Of The '70s TV Show 'The Rockford Files,' Dies

Actor James Garner died Sunday at age 86.
AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:53 am

Actor James Garner, whose wise-cracking but affable character made hits out of the TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files, has died. He was 86.

Los Angeles Police confirm that Garner was found dead of natural causes at his home in Brentwood on Saturday.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Kerry: Evidence Points Clearly To Rebels Shooting Down MH17

Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry work at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk, on Sunday.
Maxim Zmeyev Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:29 pm

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET.

In the most emphatic U.S. statement to date on culpability for the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people, Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence overwhelmingly points to Russian-backed separatists.

In an interview with CNN, he says that U.S. intelligence, as well as social media put out by the rebels, "obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.

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Shots - Health News
3:05 am
Sun July 20, 2014

A YouTube Video Is Doctor's Secret Weapon Against Back Pain

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:45 pm

A woman in her late 20s came to see me recently because her back hurt. She works at a child care center in town where she picks up babies and small children all day long.

She felt a twinge in her lower back when hoisting a fussy kid. The pain was bad enough that she went home from work early and was laid out on the couch until she came to see me the next day.

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Around the Nation
4:18 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

As Superheroes Go Mainstream, Comic Cons Get Corporate

Anna Swope, dressed as a stormtrooper from Star Wars, and her husband Stephen Goss, dressed as the films' Boba Fett, wait to use an ATM while attending the Fan Expo convention in Vancouver, B.C.
Darryl Dyck AP

Darren Tompkins attended his first comic convention (or comic con) in Roanoke, Va., back in the mid-1980s. At the time, these gatherings were only for die-hard comic fans — people who might invest in a Batman or Joker costume to wear once a year.

"Really, it was just a small ballroom filled with cardboard boxes," Tompkins says. "I mean, there weren't any actors or famous people or panels or anything. It was just a place for comic book dealers to get together and sell their wares."

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All Tech Considered
3:40 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Remixed And Retweeted

A Hamas supporter holds her mobile phone during a public rally in Gaza City in March.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:13 am

The deadly war in the Gaza Strip and Israel is being fought with rockets and guns. It's also being fought with tweets and viral videos.

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Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Learning To Love The Ocean After A Lifetime Of Fearing It

Every Wednesday for a decade, Tim Bomba has been helping people in Santa Monica, Calif., get over their fears of the ocean.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:14 am

Tim Bomba is a tall, rangy guy with a quick smile. He's a marathoner, a triathlete (he's done two Ironman races), and every Wednesday morning for the last decade, Bomba has taught a ocean swimming course in Santa Monica, Calif.

The course, called Ocean 101, isn't for accomplished swimmers like Bomba. It's for people who are new to the ocean, and many participants are afraid of the water when they arrive. Bomba knows what they're going through. He himself was terrified of swimming until he was in his 50s.

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Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Community Groups Help Immigrants Settle Amid Political, Legal Turmoil

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 4:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEver's.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The following message will be repeated in Spanish and English.

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World
3:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

At Crash Site In Ukraine, Rebels Restrict International Monitors

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 4:18 pm

Separatist rebels at the site of the shot down Malaysia Airlines jet in Eastern Ukraine have been giving restricted access to international monitors Saturday. Corey Flintoff speaks with NPR's Kelly McEvers from Donetsk on the effort and the outcry over the slow pace of the body recovery and evidence gathering.

The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Kremlin Blacklists 13 Americans In Tit-For-Tat Over U.S. Sanctions

Retiring Virginia Reps. Jim Moran (center) and Frank Wolf talk as congressmen leave the House of Representatives in April. Moran's name appears on on a Russian visa blacklist issued on Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 4:36 pm

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET.

Moscow has issued a quid pro quo for sanctions imposed on it by Washington, banning a U.S. congressman and 12 other Americans from entering Russia.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports that the Foreign Ministry in Moscow says the new blacklist is in response to U.S. visa restrictions on Russian citizens in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Dutch Premier Decries 'Utterly Disrespectful Behavior' At MH17 Crash Site

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a news conference at the Ministry of Safety and Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, on Friday. Rutte says he's shocked by the behavior of pro-Russian rebels at the MH17 crash site.
Bart Maat EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:02 am

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expressing shock and anger over the chaotic scene at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, where nearly 200 Dutch citizens were killed, saying Russia has "one last chance" to use its influence with Ukrainian rebels to provide access to the scene.

Reuters quotes Rutte as saying he had a "very intense" conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Sat July 19, 2014

States That Raised Minimum Wage See Faster Job Growth, Report Says

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (right) and Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess cut a cake to celebrate city's raised minimum wage.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 4:42 pm

New data released by the Department of Labor suggests that raising the minimum wage in some states might have spurred job growth, contrary to what critics said would happen.

In a report on Friday, the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not. The data run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, would cost 500,000 jobs.

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The Salt
10:20 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Deploying Drones To Get An Overview Of Factory Farms

The drone in Potter's promotional video on Kickstarter. "Now I'm looking at other models (and a second drone) because some people have threatened to shoot it down," Potter says.
via Kickstarter

An independent journalist says he's found a way around the so-called "ag-gag" laws by flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based author and blogger, recently raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy the drones and other equipment to investigate animal agriculture in the U.S.

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Iraq
10:12 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Extremists Leave A Violent Message In A Small Iraqi Town

Thousands of Iraqis fleeing Sunni extremists fled to the Kurdish city of Erbil, where they lined up here on June 12 at a checkpoint before entering.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:34 pm

A small Sunni Arab town north of Baghdad put up a fight when Sunni Muslim extremists from the so-called Islamic State tried to impose their rule on the town.

The residents lost, and now the town, Zowiya, just outside of Tikrit, is destroyed. More than 200 of its homes have been blown up, and the residents have fled.

The Islamic State leveled the town as a warning to anybody else that dares to fight them.

"My town is gone," says Abu Saad, a businessman in his sixties. "They bombed all our houses. Everything we have is gone."

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:12 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Angela Ricketts; Chaz Ebert And Steve James

Roger Ebert was surrounded by movie memorabilia in his office. The new documentary Life Itself captures how Ebert lived life and faced death.
Kevin Horan Courtesy of Kartemquin

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 10:38 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

An Army Wife Charts Her Struggles In 'No Man's War': In her new book, Angela Ricketts writes about raising three kids while her husband deployed eight times over 22 years. Each separation "kind of blackens your soul," she says.

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World
9:33 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Inspectors Struggle To Collect Evidence At MH17 Crash Site

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 10:11 am

At the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed in eastern Ukraine, inspector Michael Bociurkiw says rebels have allowed some access, but the inspectors are hampered by a lack of equipment.

Shots - Health News
8:30 am
Sat July 19, 2014

As New York Embraces HIV-Preventing Pill, Some Voice Doubts

Truvada has been around for a decade as a treatment for people who are already HIV-positive. In the last few years, it has also been shown to prevent new infections, and New York officials are embracing the pill as a way to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:22 pm

AIDS researchers and policymakers from around the globe are gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for a major international conference that starts this Monday. They'll be mourning dozens of colleagues who died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

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