NPR News

Secret Lives Of Teachers
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Skating Out Classroom Stress As A 'Derby Dame'

Nina Park, also known as Elle L. Cool Jam, is a member of the Cosmonaughties roller derby team in the Boston Derby Dames league.
Kayana Szymczak for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Pilot? Artist? Bartender? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Every fall, on the first day of school, Nina Park greets her new honors English class with a game called "two truths and a lie." Her students, 10th-graders at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, Mass. have to guess which is which.

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Middle East
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Pakistan Near Watershed Moment, But It Will Take Work

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Peshawar School Was 'Almost Obvious' Target For Pakistani Taliban

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We begin this hour with today's shocking terrorist attack in Pakistan. Gunmen entered a military-run school in Peshawar and began executing children. The military says 132 students and nine staff members were killed.

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Goats and Soda
2:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:46 pm

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

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It's All Politics
2:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

With Facebook Post, Jeb Bush Takes A Big Step Toward 2016

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Facebook announcement comes following a series of statements that he would soon decide on a presidential run.
Facebook

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:21 pm

After months of hints and Hamlet-esque worries about the woes of a modern presidential campaign, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced on a Facebook post that he is "actively" exploring a presidential run.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Google News Is Taken Offline In Spain, After A Call For Payments

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 3:01 pm

Reacting to a law that requires news sites in Spain to charge for their content, Google shut down its Google News service in the country Tuesday. The tech company and other news aggregators would face steep fines if they publish headlines and abstracts without paying.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

When You Burn Off That Fat, Where Does It Go?

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 8:25 am

Lose weight and those pounds shuffle off, unmourned. Good riddance. Please don't come back soon.

But where does weight go when we lose it?

We talk about burning off fat, and it does burn in a way, going through a complex biochemical process. But mass can't be created or destroyed, so the atoms that made the triglycerides that plumped up the love handles have got to be somewhere.

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Law
2:30 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

After 17 Years Behind Bars, Coming Home To A Different Life

Stephanie George (right) with her daughter, Kendra, and son Courtney. They were 5 and 8 when she went to prison on a drug charge. Last December, President Obama commuted her sentence.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:34 pm

When she went to prison on drug charges, Stephanie George was 26 years old, a mother to three young kids.

Over 17 years behind bars, her grandparents died. Her father died. But the worst came just months before her release.

"I lost my baby son," George says, referring to Will, shot dead on a Pensacola, Fla., street.

"I feel bad because I'm not coming home to all of them, you know," sobs George, now 44. "He was 4 when I left, but I miss him."

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Suspect In Shooting Spree Near Philadelphia Has Been Found Dead

Police cordon off a wooded area during the search for suspect Bradley William Stone in Pennsburg, Pa., Tuesday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 3:12 pm

Bradley Stone, who police say went on a shooting rampage that killed six people in Montgomery County, Pa., has been found dead. Police had been looking for Stone, 35, for more than 24 hours; they found his body today.

Member station WHYY passes along this update from the Bucks County District Attorney's office:

"Authorities have confirmed that suspected mass killer Bradley Stone is dead, his body found in the woods near his Pennsburg home."

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The Hunt For Afghan War Criminals

Documents collected by Dutch prosecutors pursuing Afghan war criminals. (BBC)

As the NATO combat mission winds down in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani says his country has to overcome the past and face the future with confidence. But as Afghanistan tries to move forward, there are growing calls for the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes.

Dutch prosecutors are preparing cases against several who are believed to be living in Europe. Some of the crimes date back 30 years to the time before Russia invaded Afghanistan. The BBC’s David Loyn reports.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Brothers On C-SPAN Divided By Politics, United In Mortification By Mom's Call

Dallas Woodhouse (left) and his brother Brad Woodhouse on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, listening to a caller who turned out to be their mother.
C-SPAN

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Brad and Dallas Woodhouse are brothers. Brad is president of the liberal group Americans United for Change. Dallas Woodhouse, a conservative, is president of Carolina Rising. They were both on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to talk about their documentary, Woodhouse Divided.

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NPR Story
12:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

'Sacred Journeys' Documents Religious Pilgrimages

Bruce Feiler is pictured in Lourdes, France for the PBS series "Sacred Journeys," which begins airing tonight. (pbs.org)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:53 pm

Bruce Feiler is well known for his book “Walking the Bible.” In his new PBS series “Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler,” the best-selling author accompanies Americans on pilgrimages to six of the world’s holiest sites.

The first episode airs tonight and focuses American troops wounded in war as they travel to the French city of Lourdes, where the waters are said to have healing power.

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NPR Story
12:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

4 U.S. Cities Make Their Case To Host Summer Olympics

A man arrives on December 8, 2014 for the 127th International Olympic Committee (IOC) extraordinary session in Monaco. The U.S. Olympic committee meets today to decide a U.S. city for an Olympic bid.(Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Four U.S. cities are making their case to the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the 2024 Summer Olympics: San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston and Los Angeles.

Three of the cities have never hosted the Summer Olympics, while Los Angeles has hosted the games twice, in 1932 and 1984.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Curt Nickisch of WBUR in Boston, who is covering the story in Redwood City, Calif.

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NPR Story
12:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Questions And Mourning After Sydney Cafe Siege

A woman kneels down as she lays flowers in a makeshift memorial near the site where a gunman held hostages for 16 hours at a popular Sydney cafe, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.(Steve Christo/AP)

Australians are mourning the two hostages killed in a 16-hour siege at a cafe, and asking how the attack happened.

Australia recently passed tough laws against terrorism. The attack was carried out by a man with a long history of run-ins with police. The government had information that the Islamic State sought to recruit individuals to carry out attacks in the country.

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The Best Music Of 2014
12:24 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Ken Tucker's Top 9 Albums Of 2014, Plus A Book

Elizabeth Grant is better known by her stage name, Lana Del Rey.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

'Torture Report': A Closer Look At When And What President Bush Knew

President George W. Bush speaks to Vice President Dick Cheney by phone aboard Air Force One after departing Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska on Sept. 11, 2001.
Eric Draper AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 3:13 pm

One of the big, controversial questions to emerge from the Senate investigation into the CIA interrogation of terrorism suspects is this: Did President George W. Bush know the specific techniques used by the CIA to interrogate terrorism suspects?

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Parallels
11:47 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Amid Strains, Syrian Refugees Are Facing Curfews In Lebanon

A Syrian refugee child carries water in the Fayda Camp, some 25 miles east of Beirut, Lebanon, on March 10.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

In Lebanon — a fragile little country of just 4 million people — there are about 1 million refugees from Syria. Many have been here three years, and their welcome is starting to wear thin.

Some towns and villages have imposed a curfew on refugees – enforced by local groups of volunteers. But in a country that experienced a brutal civil war, some are concerned about the return of armed civilian groups.

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Scientists Debate If It's OK To Make Viruses More Dangerous In The Lab

The coronavirus responsible for Middle East respiratory syndrome (green particles) seen on camel cells in a scanning electron micrograph.
NIAID/Colorado State University

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:26 pm

Imagine that scientists wanted to take Ebola virus and see if it could ever become airborne by deliberately causing mutations in the lab and then searching through those new viruses to see if any spread easily through the air.

Would that be OK?

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Jeb Bush Announces He Will 'Actively Explore' Presidential Run

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush talks to supporters after speaking at the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC's annual luncheon in Coral Gables, Fla., on Dec. 2.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:06 am

Jeb Bush, the former Republican governor of Florida and the brother and son of two former U.S. presidents, has essentially kicked off the 2016 presidential campaign with a pre-announcement announcement on Facebook.

Saying he had conversations with his family about the future of the country, Bush said he had decided to "actively explore" a presidential run.

He went on:

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Book News: James Patterson Makes Good On $1M Promise To Indies

James Patterson, together with a cadre of co-writers, consistently produces more than 10 books a year. Forbes estimates that Patterson made $90 million this year alone.
Janette Pellegrini Getty Images for Disney Publishing

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Less than 10 months from the day James Patterson swore a million-dollar promise, he has kept his word. The best-selling novelist announced he has donated about $437,000 to 81 independent bookstores — a gift that completes his plan to donate $1 million of his own money to support independent booksellers.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Thousands Lay Flowers At The Site Of Hostage Siege In Sydney

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife, Margie, pay their respects at the Martin Place memorial site on Tuesday in Sydney, Australia.
Jennifer Polixenni Brankin Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:32 am

A day after a hostage siege left two people plus a gunman dead, Australians left thousands of bouquets of flowers at a makeshift shrine.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Russia's Rate Increase Fails To Stop Currency's Steep Decline

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:42 am

Russia's ruble plunged to a record low against the dollar on Tuesday despite some bold measures taken by the country's central bank to halt its slide.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Animals
5:31 am
Tue December 16, 2014

New York Bans The Tattooing And Piercing Of Pets

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

Around the Nation
5:31 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Robot Flies Economy From LA To Frankfurt

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

Asia
5:03 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Dozens Killed As Taliban Gunmen Storm Pakistani School

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:31 am

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

The Two-Way
4:41 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Taliban Gunmen Storm School, Kill Dozens In Pakistan

A Pakistani girl, who was injured in a Taliban attack on a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:21 pm

(This post was last updated at 2:07 p.m. ET.)

Taliban militants stormed a school in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, leaving scores of students dead.

Quoting Pakistani officials, multiple media outlets say the death toll is at least 140, including at least 80 students in grades 1 through 10.

A little before 8 p.m. local time, police announced that the operation had ended after the gunmen were killed. Security personnel, police official Abdullah Khan told the AFP, were now in the process of sweeping the rest of the building.

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Middle East
3:26 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Contestant From War-Torn Syria Wins 'Arab Idol'

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:09 pm

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

NPR Story
3:11 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Hostage Drama Unfolds Violently In Sydney

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:45 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Law
2:39 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Judge Regrets Harsh Human Toll Of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

The shocking death of basketball player Len Bias from a cocaine overdose in 1986 led Congress to pass tough mandatory sentences for drug crimes.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:08 pm

It seems long ago now, but in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, murders and robberies exploded as cocaine and other illegal drugs ravaged American cities.

Then came June 19, 1986, when the overdose of a college athlete sent the nation into shock just days after the NBA draft. Basketball star Len Bias could have been anybody's brother or son.

Congress swiftly responded by passing tough mandatory sentences for drug crimes. Those sentences, still in place, pack federal prisons to this day. More than half of the 219,000 federal prisoners are serving time for drug offenses.

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Law
2:38 am
Tue December 16, 2014

From Judges To Inmates, Finding The Human Casualties Of Mandatory Sentencing

NPR's series looks at the human toll of mandatory minimum prison sentences. The White House and the Justice Department have taken the unprecedented step of asking for candidates who might win early release from prison through presidential pardons or commutations in the final years of the Obama presidency.
Dan Henson iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:34 pm

The United States spends nearly $7 billion a year to operate a network of federal prisons that house more than 200,000 inmates. About half of them are incarcerated for drug crimes, a legacy of 1980s laws that prosecutors use to target not only kingpins but also low-level couriers and girlfriends. Multiple convictions for small-time offenses under those laws mean thousands of people are locked up for decades, or even the rest of their lives.

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