NPR News

Music Reviews
1:52 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Out Of Industrial Wasteland, The English Beat Was Born

The English Beat.
Adrian Boot Urbanimage.tv

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:40 pm

In 1978, it seemed that every kid in Britain wanted to be in a punk band. But in Birmingham, that blighted industrial scar in the middle of the island, there wasn't much punk to be seen. The oasis was a club called Barbarella's, and that's where Dave Wakeling and Andy Cox hung out.

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The Salt
1:51 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Nearing Its 50th Birthday, Arby's Gets A 'Fresh' Makeover, New Logo

The new Arby's logo is a sleeker and more modern version of the old one, but not everyone's a fan.
courtesy Arby's

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:20 pm

Quick — when you think of Arby's, do you think of seasoned curly fries or turkey sandwiches?

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The Fresh Air Interview
12:13 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

In Memoir, Neil Young Wages 'Heavy Peace'

Neil Young.
Pegi Young

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:00 pm

At age 66, Neil Young has taken the advice of his doctor and stopped smoking marijuana — though he's not "making any promises," he says.

The Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist has a new memoir titled Waging Heavy Peace, in which he talks about his music, family and medical conditions, including polio, epilepsy and a brain aneurysm. In the book, he describes a particularly painful procedure he went through, which has since been banished.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Japan Introduces Stiff Fines, Jail Time For Illegal Downloads

South Korean pop group 2NE1 performs during the MTV Video Music Awards Japan show in Makuhari, near Tokyo, in June.
Koji Sasahara AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 12:32 pm

Beginning, today, illegally downloading a copy of your favorite new song could land you in jail in Japan.

The country has instituted a new law that punishes those downloaders with up to two years in prison or fines of up to $25,700. CNN reports that the move is an effort to curb music piracy in the country.

CNN adds:

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It's All Politics
12:04 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Voters Angry At Washington Gridlock May Want To Look In The Mirror

Voters these days often reward politicians who sit at either end of the ideological spectrum while punishing those seen as compromisers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 1:00 pm

Like plenty of other voters, Tony Hocamp is disgusted by Washington. Too often, he says, politicians put their partisan interests ahead of doing what's right for the country.

"The politicians we have in office right now are concerned about nothing but themselves and getting re-elected," says Hocamp, who runs a motel in Marengo, Iowa.

It's easy to get upset during a political era in which the leaders of the two major parties seem incapable of putting aside their differences and working together to solve the nation's problems.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Remembering To Never Forget: Dominican Republic's 'Parsley Massacre'

1937: Haitians who were hoping to escape the killing in the Dominican Republic.
CulturalDiplomacy.org

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 10:45 am

  • Julia Alvarez
  • Edwidge Danticat and Julia Alvarez pronounce 'perejil'

Seventy five years ago, thousands of Haitians were murdered in the Dominican Republic by a brutal dictator. It was one of the 20th Century's least-remembered acts of genocide.

As many as 20,000 people are thought to have been killed on orders given by Rafael Trujillo. But the "parsley massacre" went mostly unnoticed outside Hispaniola. Even there, many Dominicans never knew about what happened in early October 1937. They were kept in the dark by Trujillo's henchmen.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:11 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Medicare Rolls Out Carrots And Sticks For Hospital Quality

Medicare to hospitals: Take your pick of carrot or stick.
iStockphoto.com

Starting today, America's hospitals will find that their checks from Medicare are a little bit lighter.

As part of the government's biggest effort yet at paying for performance, Medicare is withholding 1 percent of its regular hospital payments and putting that money into a fund to reward hospitals that score well on 20 different quality measures.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Mon October 1, 2012

White House Confirms Cyber Attack On One Of Its Computer Networks

The White House today admitted that one of its computer networks had been targeted by a cyber attack, but it downplayed a report that sensitive nuclear networks were targeted.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:56 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Do You Know Where Your Children Are? Is That Always A Good Thing?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 11:32 am

There was a time — and it wasn't that long ago — when kids would leave home on a summer morning and roam free. "I knew kids who were pushed out the door at eight in the morning," writes Bill Bryson of his childhood in the 1950s, "and not allowed back until five unless they were on fire or actively bleeding." That's what kids did. They went out. Parents let them, and everybody did it. "If you stood on any corner with a bike — any corner anywhere — more than a hundred children, many of whom you had never seen before, would appear and ask you where you were going," Bryson writes.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Iran's President Goes Home, His Cameraman Stays Behind

The Iranian cameraman who was part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's delegation to the U.N. last week is now seeking asylum, a lawyer says.
John Moore Getty Images

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to speak in New York at the U.N. last week, he brought some 140 Iranians in his entourage.

It seems he went home with just 139.

Ahmadinenjad's cameraman, Hassan Gol Khaban, apparently stayed behind and is seeking asylum in the U.S., the Associated Press reports, citing New York lawyer Paul O'Dwyer.

There was no immediate word on the cameraman's whereabouts, the AP adds.

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History
10:05 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Dominicans, Haitians Remember Parsley Massacre

October marks 75 years since a dark period in the Dominican Republic's history. In 1937, President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ordered the execution of thousands of ethnic Haitians. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the "Parsley Massacre" with two noted authors, one Dominican and one Haitian: Julia Alvarez and Edwidge Danticat.

Law
9:57 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Affirmative Action Back On Supreme Court Docket

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Hispaniola may be a popular vacation destination, but the nations that share that island have a complicated and sometimes violent history. We'll look back 75 years to a massacre that caused a rift between Dominicans and Haitians. That's in a moment.

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Books
9:29 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Being 'Joseph Anton,' Rediscovering Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of The Satanic Verses, which inspired a fatwah calling for his death. His novel Midnight's Children has been adapted into a film that opens in the U.S. on Nov. 2.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:39 am

In the fall of 1989, I was walking down a London street when someone handed me a flier that asked, "Should Rushdie Die?" The following afternoon, I headed over to the Royal Albert Hall to hear that question answered by a renowned Islamic scholar.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon October 1, 2012

'Carmageddon II' Wasn't So Scary Either

All clear: A section of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles was empty while crews worked over the weekend to demolish the Mulholland Bridge.
Gina Ferazzi/pool EPA /LANDOV

Last year it was "carmageddon, schmarmaggedon."

This year, our friends at Southern California Public Radio are asking "carma-what?"

Once again, it seems, car-crazy Los Angelenos coped well with a weekend shutdown of a major freeway so that crews would demolish a no-longer-needed bridge.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Mon October 1, 2012

With First Debate This Week, We Really Are In Campaign's Final Stretch

The contenders.
Alex Wong (photo of Mitt Romney); John Gurzinski (photo of President Obama) Getty Images

We're nearly to the last of the many milestones that come along during presidential campaigns.

The primaries? Long over.

The conventions? All wrapped up.

Labor Day, when voters supposedly start paying attention? That was four weeks ago.

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Around the Nation
5:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Jack White Disappointed In Fans' Energy Level

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:34 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Bombing Kills At Least 14 In Afghanistan, Including Three NATO Troops

Blood stained the ground at the scene today in Khost, where a suicide bomber struck.
Anwarullah Reuters /Landov

Some of the latest news from Afghanistan, including a grim milestone:

-- "A suicide bombing [today] in the eastern Afghan city of Khost has killed at least 14 people, three of them Nato soldiers, officials say." (BBC News)

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Media
5:30 am
Mon October 1, 2012

'The Onion' Apologizes For Presidential Poll

The satirical news site reported a bogus poll: 77 percent of rural white voters would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Obama. The Iranian news agency Fars did not understand it was a joke, and reported the survey as fact.

Middle East
3:20 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Syria Experiences More Bloody Weekend Fighting

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

Day after day in Syria, people are being killed, but sometimes it takes a weekend like this past one to remind us just how horrifying the conflict is. Government troops were battling rebels were for control of Aleppo, Syria's largest such city. And as they fought, flames spred through a centuries-old market, burning huge sections to the ground.

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Africa
3:13 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Nigeria Reports Increase In Polio Cases

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A disease that once ravaged the world, killed countless children, even famously affected President Franklin Roosevelt, has now been eradicated in all but three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The disease is polio. And at the United Nations last week, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon met leaders of those three countries, who pledged to step up efforts to wipe out polio entirely.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:32 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Nail Biting: Mental Disorder Or Just A Bad Habit?

Pathological nail biting may be a form of grooming on steroids, but it also makes the biter feel good, unlike fear-driven OCD.
Andrea Kissack for KQED

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:54 am

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Race
1:30 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Integrating Ole Miss: A Transformative, Deadly Riot

Meredith, center with briefcase, is escorted to the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. marshals on Oct. 1, 1962.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 10:07 am

Fifty years ago — Oct. 1, 1962 — the first black student was admitted to the University of Mississippi, a bastion of the Old South.

The town of Oxford erupted. It took some 30,000 U.S. troops, federal marshals and national guardsmen to get James Meredith to class after a violent campus uprising. Two people were killed and more than 300 injured. Some historians say the integration of Ole Miss was the last battle of the Civil War.

It was a high-stakes showdown between President Kennedy and Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett.

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Law
1:29 am
Mon October 1, 2012

High Court Preps For Another Headline-Making Term

The U.S. Supreme Court is embarking on a new term beginning Monday that could be as consequential as the last one, with the prospect of major rulings on affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 7:30 am

It would be hard to beat last June's cataclysmic, cacophonous end of the Supreme Court term and the decision upholding the Obama health care law. But while all the media focus is on the upcoming elections, the U.S. Supreme Court is about to begin yet another headline-making term, with decisions expected on affirmative action in higher education, same-sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act and a lot of privacy issues.

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Middle East
1:27 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Syrian-American Doctors Head To The Battle Zone

Local Syrian doctors prepare to treat a patient in a field hospital in Aldana, Syria, near the Turkish border. Each day, local and expatriate doctors take big risks to treat the wounded in rebel-held areas.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:21 pm

As Syrian war planes bomb towns and villages held by anti-government rebels, a group of Syrian-American doctors is quietly providing medical aid inside Syria.

The Syrian American Medical Society, or SAMS, has a long track record of supporting health care in Syria.

But as Syria's 18-month revolt has grown more lethal, these Syrian-American doctors have sided with the revolution and undertaken risky work delivering medicines and volunteering in field hospitals.

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The Record
10:39 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

The CD, At 30, Is Feeling Its Age

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:01 am

Today marks the 30th anniversary of a musical format many of us grew up with: the compact disc. It's been three decades since the first CD went on sale in Japan. The shiny discs came to dominate music industry sales, but their popularity has faded in the digital age they helped unleash. The CD is just the latest musical format to rise and fall in roughly the same 30-year cycle.

Compact discs had been pressed before 1982, but the first CD to officially go on sale was Billy Joel's 52nd Street.

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Books
5:11 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'The Interview'

iStockphoto.com

The judging process for Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is now under way. NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt from one standout story, The Interview, written by Georgia Mierswa. You can read the story in its entirety below, and read more stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Science
3:49 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Tiny Ocean World With A Mighty Important Future

Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life and provide half of the oxygen on the planet. Scientists are working to figure out how climate change may be affecting these important microorganisms.
M. Ormestad Tara Oceans

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:11 pm

As you take in your next breath of air, you can thank a form of microscopic marine life known as plankton.

They are so small as to be invisible, but taken together, actually dwarf massive creatures like whales. Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life.

"This invisible forest generates half of the oxygen generated on the planet," Chris Bowler, a marine biologist, tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

And, as climate change alters the temperature and acidity of our waters, this mysterious ocean world may be in jeopardy.

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Education
3:42 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Online Education Grows Up, And For Now, It's Free

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller are computer science professors at Stanford University.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:26 pm

Online education isn't particularly new. It has been around in some form since the 1990s, but what is new is the speed and scale in which online learning is growing.

In barely a year, many of the most prestigious research universities in the world – including Stanford, Caltech, Oxford and Princeton — have started to jump onto the online bandwagon.

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Music
2:42 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Son Jarocho, The Sound Of Veracruz

Las Cafeteras, from Los Angeles, have made their own version of the classic son jarocho song "La Bamba."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 8:56 pm

Betto Arcos is the host of Global Village, a world music show on KPFK in Los Angeles, and a native of Xalapa, capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. He recently spoke with Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about son jarocho — a style of music played mostly in the south of his home state. He says the music is so vibrant because it comes from the Caribbean side of Mexico and has all the influences of that region: African, indigenous and Spanish.

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