NPR News

The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

NASA Says Kepler's Planet-Searching Days May Be Numbered

Kepler-22b, the discovery of which was announced in December 2011, is one of many planets that bear the space telescope's name.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:09 am

The planet-hunting career of NASA's Kepler spacecraft might be near its end.

Astronomers said Wednesday that a reaction wheel that keeps the orbiting telescope pointed at tiny, distant patches of sky to look for Earth-like planets has failed. If they can't fix it, Kepler will be relegated to a less prestigious mission, directing its gaze much closer to home in a search for so-called "near-Earth objects," i.e., meteors and asteroids.

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Music Interviews
3:58 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

A Songwriter And An Army Dad Share One Touching Story

On Monday, the team behind Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" gathered in Nashville to celebrate the song's reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. From left: co-songwriters Jimmy Yeary, Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, military father Paul Monti and singer Lee Brice.
John Russell BMI

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 7:26 am

Two years ago on Memorial Day, Nashville songwriter Connie Harrington was driving in her car, listening to a story on the public radio program Here & Now. And she heard a father remembering his son — a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

White House Addresses Benghazi Emails, IRS Audits

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Obama administration is doing some intensive damage control this evening. Tonight, the president announced that the acting commissioner of the IRS, Steven Miller, is being pushed out over heightened scrutiny given to Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.

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U.S.
3:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

L.A. Schools Throw Out Suspensions For 'Willful Defiance'

When Garfield High School in Los Angeles stopped suspending students for "willful defiance" several years ago, it saw suspensions drop from more than 600 to just one. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to follow suit in all LA schools.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:50 pm

School suspensions are a big issue in California. Last year, schools handed out 700,000 of them. But the Los Angeles Unified School District took a step to change that this week when it voted to ban suspension of students deemed "willfully defiant."

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Politics
3:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

One Reason To Apply For Tax-Exempt Status: Anonymity

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:07 pm

Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny have put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups: section 501(c)(4).

But what's the benefit for organizations to get approved for 501(c)(4) status?

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Leaks, Bombs And Double-Agents: More On That AP Story

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:45 pm

The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.

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It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

10 Things We Learned From the IRS Inspector General Report

The John Weld Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati, where many of the missteps by IRS workers who targeted conservative groups occurred.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:29 pm

Scintillating isn't how you'd describe the report issued by the Treasury inspector general's report on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

It was written, after all, by government bureaucrats for government bureaucrats. Enough said.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Richard Swanson Didn't Reach Brazil, But He Found An Audience

Richard Swanson, who died in Oregon Tuesday, has inspired an outpouring of condolences as his story of walking to Brazil for charity has inspired those who learn about it.
YouTube

Hundreds of condolences are appearing online for Richard Swanson, the Seattle man whose plan to dribble a soccer ball all the way to Brazil to raise money for charity ended Tuesday after he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Oregon. Many see his story as an inspiration, and say they'll continue his charity work.

"It is with a heavy heart to notify you that Richard Swanson passed on this morning," reads an update announcing Swanson's death on the Facebook page for his project, Breakaway Brazil, yesterday.

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Politics
2:37 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Maryland Suburb Says 16 Is Old Enough To Vote

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:30 am

If you're old enough to drive, are you old enough to vote?

You soon will be if you live in Takoma Park, Md. The famously progressive suburb of Washington, D.C., has just extended voting rights in municipal elections to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Takoma Park was the first city in the country to take such a step, but its action is part of a larger trend toward letting people vote earlier.

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Parallels
2:20 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Heavy Metal In Kabul? It's The Music, Not The Munitions

Solomon "Sully" Omar performs with the Afghan metal band District Unknown at the third annual Sound Central Festival in Kabul earlier this month.
Courtesy of Ellie Kealey

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:35 am

When 23-year-old Solomon "Sully" Omar felt the music scene in his native Denver wasn't giving him what he was looking for, he made a radical move. He headed for Kabul, capital of the war-torn country his parents had fled decades ago.

"I came here to continue my education and at the same time see what's in the music scene here and bring some of the skills and abilities that I have to the music scene," says Omar.

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Around the Nation
2:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Fund To Help Boston Bombing Victims Raises $30 Million

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:39 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been one month since a pair of bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 260. NPR's Joel Rose returned to the scene today and found Bostonians observing the somber occasion with little fanfare.

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World Cafe
2:02 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

RNDM On World Cafe

RNDM.
Courtesy of the artist

RNDM is a new band featuring Joseph Arthur, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Richard Stuverud. Ament and Arthur met when the latter opened for Pearl Jam on tour.

Ament tells World Cafe host David Dye that he was mesmerized by Arthur's ability to create band sounds by looping his guitar and vocals. He also describes how RNDM formed and explains the process behind creating its debut album, Acts.

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News
1:59 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

When The Missing Return, Recovery Is Long, Too

A missing poster is left on a tree outside Amanda Berry's home in Cleveland last week.
Chris Langer Barcroft Media/Landov

They call themselves "Rooters," and they convene in a private online place they call the "RooterHood."

There, they can talk freely and frankly about what it was like to be kidnapped, to be stripped of identity, often sexually abused by their captors, separated from family, friends.

And also about the struggle to recover their uprooted lives, to trust and hope again.

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Music Interviews
1:41 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Laura Mvula's Velvet 'Moon' Is A Revelation

Laura Mvula's debut is ambitiously confident, as if she and her band had perfected their sound years ago.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 7:33 am

The very first notes on Laura Mvula's new album feel like a powerful invocation. You're not sure for what, but the moment is awesome — with an emphasis on awe.

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Code Switch
1:40 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Immigrants To Be Largest Driver Of U.S. Population Growth

Immigrants take the U.S. oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:56 am

New immigrants will be the main driver of population growth in the U.S. by as early as 2027, according to new Census Bureau projections.

This would be the first time in almost two centuries that new births will not be the largest source of U.S. population growth.

The Census Bureau says its projections show a combination of declining fertility rates, aging baby boomers and ongoing immigration to the United States.

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Shots - Health News
1:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

How Researchers Cloned Human Embryos

Human embryos grow in a petri dish two days after scientists in Oregon cloned them from a donor's skin cell.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohsunews/8726915230/in/photostream/ Courtesy of OHSU Photos

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 2:49 pm

Scientists in Oregon have achieved something that many thought might be impossible.

They said Wednesday that they have cloned human embryos and then harvested the embryo's stem cells.

The discovery, if it holds up, means scientists would be able to make personalized stem cells, with their genetic code almost perfectly matched to that of a patient.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Publisher Threatens Librarian With $1 Billion Lawsuit

A scholarly publisher has issued a warning to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian who writes about what he calls "predatory" practices in the scholarly publishing industry, threatening him with a $1 billion lawsuit for his blog posts criticizing the company.

Beall is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado; he writes about the journal industry on his personal blog, Scholarly Open Access.

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Parallels
12:11 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

After Two Years In Hiding, A Bahraini Blogger Escapes

Online activist Ali Abdulemam (right) is greeted in Manama, Bahrain, on Feb. 23, 2011, shortly after anti-government protests began. Wanted by the government, he went into hiding the following month. He escaped from Bahrain after two years underground and made his first public appearance Wednesday in Oslo, Norway.
Mazen Mahdi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 12:44 pm

The Arab world was aflame in March 2011. Longtime rulers in Tunisia and Egypt had been toppled. NATO was poised to attack Libyan government forces. The Syrian uprising was just beginning. And on the small island nation of Bahrain, the government was cracking down on pro-democracy protesters.

Across Bahrain, protest leaders were rounded up and some were quickly tried, convicted and sentenced to prison. The writing was on the wall for the leaders of the movement, including Ali Abdulemam.

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Shots - Health News
11:56 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Breast Cancer, Risk And Women's Imperfect Choices

Actress Angelina Jolie has prompted a national discussion about breast cancer prevention.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:53 am

Just about anything that Angelina Jolie does is pretty much guaranteed to make news. But her announcement that she had decided on a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her unusually high risk of cancer sparked an outpouring of passionate comment on breast cancer prevention and treatment.

Parallels
11:36 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Teaching The Rules Of War In Syria's Vicious Conflict

This image provided by the Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad and released May 2 shows soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad standing amid dead bodies at Bayda village, in the mountains outside the coastal city of Banias, Syria.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 1:02 pm

A new video from Syria is shocking even by the standards of a war that keeps setting new standards for brutality.

In the video, a rebel fighter identified as Khalid al-Hamad is shown cutting out and eating the organs of a dead government soldier.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

White House Releases Complete Benghazi Emails

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 10:49 am

Update at 6:42 p.m. ET: Reaction From Boehner's Office

In a statement, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said the emails "contradict statements made by the White House that it and the State Department only changed one word in the talking points."

Here's the statement in full:

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The Salt
11:06 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Go Fish (Somewhere Else): Warming Oceans Are Altering Catches

Crew members unload a catch of sockeye salmon at Craig, Alaska, in 2005. Researchers say fish are being found in new areas because of changing ocean temperatures.
Melissa Farlow National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:39 pm

Climate change is gradually altering the fish that end up on ice in seafood counters around the world, according to a new study.

"The composition of the [global] fish catch includes more and more fish from the warmer areas, and cold-water fish are getting more rare, because the temperatures are increasing," says Daniel Pauly at the University of British Columbia, a co-author of the study.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Play Ball: Little Leaguers Get Assist From 'Pitch In' Charity

Little League baseball players in New York, where donations have helped teams and leagues get the 2013 season started.
Pitch In For Baseball

This year's Little League baseball and softball season is under way — and in the Northeast, some teams and players have taken the field again, despite losing vital equipment to Hurricane Sandy. Many donations were handled by Pitch In For Baseball, which gathered used and new gloves and helmets for the players.

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Politics
10:26 am
Wed May 15, 2013

DOJ Seized Records Because 'Lives Were At Stake.' Really?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we'll talk about a story that another U.S. service member is being investigated for sexually abusing subordinates. This after a survey showed that service members reported tens of thousands of sexual assaults last year alone. We'll speak with three women in the Beauty Shop who know a lot about this subject to talk about why this problem persists and what can be done about it.

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Shots - Health News
10:23 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Scientists Clone Human Embryos To Make Stem Cells

A scientist removes the nucleus from a human egg using a pipette. This is the first step to making personalized embryonic stem cells.
Courtesy of OHSU Photos

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:57 am

Scientists say they have, for the first time, cloned human embryos capable of producing embryonic stem cells.

The accomplishment is a long-sought step toward harnessing the potential power of embryonic stem cells to treat many human diseases. But the work also raises a host of ethical concerns.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Pffff: Hong Kong's Six-Story Rubber Ducky's Been Deflated

During deflation, on Tuesday (May 14).
Tyrone Siu Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 11:52 am

That giant rubber duck floating in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, which we posted about on May 6, is down for maintenance.

And when we say down, we mean it. It's been deflated.

But fans shouldn't despair. Ducky's hosts say it just "needs to freshen up" and will return. It's set to be in Hong Kong until sometime next month.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Boehner: Who's Going To Jail For What IRS Did?

House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday in the Capitol.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:34 pm

He doesn't want to know who's going to resign, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday morning.

He wants to know: "Who's going to jail" for what IRS personnel did to some conservative groups?

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Dirty Diapers Pile Up In Portland Recycling Bins: 'It's Not Pretty'

Portland recycling handlers say they've seen more diapers in recycling bins after the city switched to biweekly trash pickups. A file photo shows bags of diapers in a container at a California recycling facility.
David McNew Getty Images

Waste and recycling handlers in Portland, Ore., say they're seeing an unfortunate side effect of the city's reduction in garbage pickups: 120 pounds of dirty diapers a day, tucked into recycling bins.

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Shots - Health News
8:29 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Angelina Jolie's Mastectomy Decision And Weighing Cancer Risks

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has sparked a discussion about breast cancer risk and how to manage it.
Burhan Ozbilici AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:31 pm

On Wednesday's Morning Edition, David Greene talks with writer and breast cancer survivor Peggy Orenstein about actress Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Get In Line! Enormous Powerball Jackpot Up For Grabs

A customer fills out a Powerball form at the Jayhawk Food Mart in Lawrence, Kan., last Nov. 23, 2012.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:50 am

If it seems as though lottery jackpots keep growing in size, you're right — the multistate Powerball lottery has ballooned to its third-largest size in history, and one or several lucky people could win Wednesday night's drawing.

At this writing, the Powerball is worth an estimated $360 million, with a $229.2 million cash value. The Associated Press says not only is this one of the biggest Powerball jackpots ever, it's the seventh-largest prize ever awarded in any lottery.

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