NPR News

Around the Nation
6:36 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Two Is A Coincidence, Three Is A Trend

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. That's why an Oklahoma City house has been dubbed The Twin House, after a third consecutive couple living there had twins - a boy and a girl each. Current tenants, Brady and Chelsea Smith, said they didn't believe in the twin mojo when they moved in. Then an ultrasound showed she was expecting twins. New father Brady Smith told the Oklahoman, now his friends won't even drive down the block.

It's All Politics
6:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Immigration Opponents Remain Adamant, Despite Political Risk

A woman takes the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the district office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Newark, N.J.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:32 am

After years of inaction, immigration policy changes suddenly have notable momentum in Washington.

President Obama will address the issue in a speech Tuesday in Las Vegas — a day after a bipartisan group of senators outlined their ideas for a bill that could move through the chamber as early as this spring.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama Says He Enjoys Skeet Shooting; Doubtful Lawmaker Challenges Him

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who thinks she's a better shot than the president.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:09 am

One short exchange in a long New Republic interview of President Obama has gotten much attention:

New Republic: "Have you ever fired a gun?

Obama: "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."

The president went on to say he has "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations."

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama: Immigration Debate Not Just Policy, 'It's About People'

A U.S. Border Patrol Agent in September 2011, along the Mexico-Arizona border.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:35 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson reports
  • On 'Morning Edition': Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

Update at 3:06 p.m. ET. 'Now Is The Time':

Talking to an audience in Las Vegas, an upbeat President Obama said that "now is the time" for "common sense comprehensive immigration reform."

While Obama echoed the pillars of immigration reform presented by a bipartisan group of senators on Monday, he also made an emotional plea for reform.

"What makes somebody American," he said, "is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles."

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Africa
3:21 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Timbuktu Freed From Islamist Fighters

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The city of Timbuktu is free...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mali, Mali, Mali, Mali...

INSKEEP: ...and residents cheered as French and Malian forces entered the city. Those forces swept aside Islamist rebels who'd controlled the place for months. The Islamists rule included amputations and the destroyed ancient tombs. It ended with the burning of a library housing priceless manuscripts.

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Politics
3:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Sen. Flake Comments On Immigration Overhaul

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

An immigration plan announced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and overhaul legal immigration. It also calls for improved border security and better tracking of individuals in the U.S. on visas. Steve Inskeep talks with one of the senators behind the plan, Republican Jeff Flake from Arizona.

Law
2:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Armed 'Good Guys' And The Realities Of Facing A Gunman

The NRA and some concealed-carry activists say the best defense against gun violence is armed "good guys." Here, a man fires his pistol at an indoor range in Aurora, Colo., last summer.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:18 pm

As the nation ponders how to stop the next mass shooting, the gun rights movement offers a straight-forward formula, laid out famously by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said last month, as his group responded to the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

One Man's Story

In Washington state, one such "good guy" — a private citizen who drew his gun in defense of others — paid a heavy price.

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Research News
1:38 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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Africa
1:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
Amine Landoulsi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Asia
1:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Senate Approves $50.5 Billion Superstorm Sandy Aid Bill

After a delay in the House that lead to bipartisan outrage, a bill that lays out $50.5 billion in aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy is headed to President Obama's desk for his signature.

With a vote of 62-36, the Senate passed the bill Monday evening.

The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
4:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

On Climate Change, Americans May Trust Politics Above Preachers

Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:27 pm

When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.

After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

In New Immigration Plan, A Fraught Phrase Is Mostly Sidelined

Crowd members seek help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles last August.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:27 pm

Here's one thing that was hard to find in the "Gang of Eight's" Senate proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system: the term "illegal immigrant."

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Watchdog Says Treasury OK'd Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Firms

A man walks by an American International Group (AIG) building in 2009.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The special watchdog overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the United States Treasury failed to rein in executive pay at companies that received a government bailout.

The AP reports, for example, that the Treasury approved all 18 requests for raises it received from executives at AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial.

The AP adds:

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Unbridled Kentuckians Decide It's Time For A Kick-Ass New Slogan

Whit Hiler (left) and Griffin VanMeter are spearheading the campaign to change Kentucky's slogan from Unbridled Spirit to Kentucky Kicks Ass.
KentuckyForKentucky

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Kentucky is known for horse racing, bourbon and college basketball. And if a couple of creative advertising professionals have any say in the matter, the Bluegrass State will be world renowned for something else.

They want the state to replace its current slogan, Unbridled Spirit, with a new one — Kentucky Kicks Ass.

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Environment
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

The Silver Lining In Drought: 5 Upsides To Rain-Free Weather

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Drought is mostly seen as a bad thing — and for good reason. It dries up crops, destroys landscaping and stops ships from moving. But even the lack of rain clouds has a bright side.

Good For Grapes

Last summer it seemed like all Midwestern farmers were upset over the lack of rain. But not all of them were; those growing grapes were embracing the drought.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Gold Rush Has Little Luster For Some In The Golden State

Miner Steve Ator cleans a drill bit inside the Lincoln Project Mine, in Sutter Creek, Calif.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Gold mines are reopening in California, some dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. Soaring gold prices are drawing mining companies back into the Sierra Nevada foothills. But some communities fear the effect on local environments.

Dan Boitano, a fifth-generation miner, has been working as a tour guide in the Golden State's historic gold country. His family has been around since the Gold Rush.

Up until a few years ago, he was still guiding tours for visitors.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Group Kick-Starts Immigration Battle

Five of the eight senators who proposed a bipartisan plan for an immigration overhaul attend a Capitol Hill news conference Monday. From left are John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Schumer of New York, Marco Rubio of Florida, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:41 pm

A bipartisan Senate plan unveiled Monday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system frames a pitched debate expected in Congress around the areas of border enforcement, a path to citizenship for those already in the country and the future flow of new arrivals.

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World Cafe
2:26 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Next: Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles.
Martin Watson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:33 am

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles integrates symphonic cello, drumbourine, accordion and viola into a standard lineup of guitar, bass and drums for a warm, distinctive sound.

Nick Ward and Matt Bishop formed Hey Marseilles while students at the University of Washington, and independently released their first album, To Travels & Trunks, at the end of 2008. The band has since given the album a nationwide reissue and performed at festivals like SXSW and Bumbershoot.

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Shots - Health News
2:13 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Hanging A Price Tag On Radiology Tests Didn't Change Doctors' Habits

Doctors' use of CT head scans for hospitalized patients didn't change when the prices were revealed at the time an order was being made.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:15 pm

If doctors would just pay attention to how much things cost, they might be more careful when ordering tests for patients, right?

Well, that's the theory behind some research and projects to cut wasteful health spending. But a study at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that changing doctors' behavior may be not be as easy as simply making them aware of prices.

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Afghanistan
2:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Women In Combat: What Do Troops In Afghanistan Think?

U.S. troops in Afghanistan appear to have mixed feelings about the decision lifting the ban on women in combat positions. Some women already operate in combat zones. Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley is shown here with her Marine Corps team in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:17 pm

The new U.S. military policy on women serving in combat roles was crafted in Washington, but it will play out in places like Afghanistan.

And sitting outside at the military base at the Kabul airport, male and female troops offered their thoughts on what the new policy might mean.

"I wasn't completely surprised with it. It's not anything we haven't discussed before," said Capt. Monica Paden, a military intelligence officer from San Diego. "We have been slowly being integrated into combat arms and into units in support roles."

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The Salt
1:35 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Reuben Egg Roll

In their natural habitat
NPR

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:52 pm

The Reuben has long suffered from two problems. Firstly, it often lacks the structural integrity to hold together as a sandwich. The second problem is that I am not constantly surrounded by a dozen of them.

The Reuben Egg Roll from Hackney's in Chicago solves the first problem, at least, stuffing corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese in a crispy egg roll shell, Thousand Island on the side.

Ian: I feel like you meet this food, and you're like, "Wait, your name is Reuben?"

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Boy Scouts Considering Lifting Ban On Gay Scouts, Leaders

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony.
Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:35 pm

The Boy Scouts of America are considering lifting a national ban on gay scouts and leaders, the organizations spokesman announced.

USA Today reports:

"If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting at their scheduled meeting next week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts' decade's old national policy banning homosexuals.

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The Salt
11:55 am
Mon January 28, 2013

How Mountain Grass Makes The Cheese Stand Alone

Cows graze in front of the Rosengarten mountain massif in northern Italy. Pasture grazing is practiced throughout the Alps.
Matthias Schrader Associated Press

Herding cattle up the side of a mountain might seem like a lot of extra work, but for thousands of years, people have hauled their cows into the Alps to graze during the summer months. Why? It's all about great-tasting cheese.

In places like Italy, some traditional cheeses, like bra d'alpeggio or Formai de Mut dell'Alta Valle Brembana, can only be made with milk from mountainside-munching cows.

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Author Interviews
11:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Anything That Moves': Civilians And The Vietnam War

Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:06 pm

On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.

The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Queen Beatrix, Of The Netherlands, Abdicates In Favor Of Son

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands inspects the honor guard with Singapore President Tony Tan at the Istana in January.
Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:34 pm

Beginning April 30, the Netherlands will have a king.

Queen Beatrix announced in a nationally televised address today that after more than 30 years on the throne, she will abdicate in favor of Prince Willem-Alexander.

The BBC reports:

"Queen Beatrix is the sixth monarch from the House of Orange-Nassau, which has ruled the Netherlands since the early 19th Century.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Feeling All Cooped Up In The Syrian Capital

Many Syrians in the capital Damascus are feeling cooped up by the ongoing war. Here, a woman and her child who fled the fighting in their home area take refuge at a school in Damascus last September.
Muzaffar Salman AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 11:43 am

The author, a Syrian citizen, is not being identified due to safety concerns.

Rami is buff and athletic. For the past few years, he has supported himself and his wife working as a full-time personal trainer in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Now, he complains that his daily routine has been reduced to spending hours at home watching television.

"I end up watching the sultan's harem with my in-laws," he said, referring to a popular Turkish soap opera set in Ottoman times and dubbed into Arabic. "It's driving me crazy."

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Iceland Wins Big Case Over Failed Bank

A file picture shows a woman entering a branch of Iceland's second largest bank, Landsbanki (Landsbankinn) on October 8, 2008 in Rejkjavik.
Olivier Morin AFP/Getty Images

Iceland was handed a huge win today by the court of the European Free Trade Association.

The court said that Iceland did not break the law when it decided not to cover the losses of foreigners who had deposited money in Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank that failed in 2008.

The AP explains:

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

VIDEO: Look Out! Car Suddenly Emerges From Foam On Highway

On Australia's "sunshine coast" over the weekend, storms whipped up sea foam. It was so thick it covered this car. Thankfully, as it emerged the people who had been watching were able to get out of the way.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:46 am

Weekend storms on Australia's "sunshine coast" whipped up sea foam that covered the beach and roads. And when we say covered, we're talking about deep stuff.

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Shots - Health News
10:34 am
Mon January 28, 2013

What's Wrong With Calling Obesity A Medical Problem?

Fat, fit or both?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 9:26 am

Americans have gotten heavier since 1980 — this we know.

And most doctors would say that the extra weight has made us more prone to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension and even cancer.

Read more

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