NPR News

NPR Story
10:15 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend

Music Interviews
10:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Elliott Sharp: 'Blues Is A Feeling'

"Blues is a feeling, and it exists cross-culturally. It always has existed, and it always will. It's part of being human," says musician Elliott Sharp.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 1:36 pm

In the 1980s, Elliott Sharp was the height of New York City cool, a central part of that town's experimental music scene. His creations were inspired by advanced mathematical concepts. He tuned his guitars according to the Fibonacci Sequence and wrote challenging pieces inspired by fractal geometry.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Synchronized Flushing In Zimbabwe Is Not A New Olympic Sport

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 12:10 pm

Residents of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, are engaging in a community-wide flushing of toilets today.

Is it a symbolic washing away of waste? A sign of protest? A commode "flash mob?"

None of the above.

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Simon Says
8:35 am
Sat September 22, 2012

The Emoticon Turns 30, Seems Happy About It :-)

The emoticon turns 30 this week.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:33 am

The emoticon, punctuation to depict a facial expression, began 30 years ago this week. Using three keystrokes, the colon, dash and parenthesis, to suggest a smile may not be a great scientific advance, like the coronary stent or computer chip. But the emoticon has been simple, useful and enduring.

There had been previous hints of emoticons. A newspaper transcript of Abraham Lincoln drawing a laugh in 1862 follows it with a semi-colon and parentheses, but that may have simply been a printer's typo.

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It's All Politics
7:55 am
Sat September 22, 2012

There's Still Time For Romney To Make An Effective Case

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at the Cox Pavilion Friday in Las Vegas.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Despite a series of political fumbles, Mitt Romney is "still very much in the game," according to political strategist Steve Schmidt. But, he says, it will take some work.

Schmidt served as John McCain's senior strategist in the 2008 election and helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004. He spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about the Romney campaign's stresses.

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Education
6:23 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Duncan On Chicago: 'When Adults Fight, Kids Lose'

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Chicago teachers voted to end their strike this week, the first in 25 years, and came back to class. It brought an end to a heated confrontation between leaders of the Chicago teachers union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who repeated this phrase time and again during the strike.

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL: This was a strike of choice and it's a wrong choice for the children. Really, it was a choice.

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Europe
6:23 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Can The Franco-German Bond Live Long In Debt?

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There have been many milestones along the road that Europe is on right now, searching for unity and a relief to its debt crisis. Today, we look at one milestone that's especially important to the 150 million people of France and Germany. To do that we're going to step back in time with NPR's Philip Reeves.

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Science
6:23 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Study On Dead Fish's Thoughts Snags Ig Nobel Prize

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In a couple weeks, the prestigious Nobel Prizes will be announced. But this week, the Ig Nobels honored the silliest discoveries of 2012. A study on the physics of the ponytail; a paper on why coffee spills when you walk; and a prize for a group of psychologists who scanned the brain of an unpromising patient: a deceased Atlantic salmon. Even more unlikely were their findings: the dead fish had thoughts. Who knows - maybe dreams. Craig Bennett did the experiment and accepted the award with good humor, and a couple of fish jokes.

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Presidential Race
6:23 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Why Didn't Romney Pay Less Than 14 Percent In 2011?

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return this week in an effort to quell fiscal controversy about his personal finances. The Romney Campaign accompanied the release with a letter from his accountant that says the candidate paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes in each of the past 20 years.

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Presidential Race
5:21 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Nev. Voters Scrutinize Candidates' Economic Messages

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns yesterday after months of pressure, and this week President Obama and his opponent sparred over remarks secretly recorded at a recent Romney fundraiser. Mr. Romney was in Nevada again yesterday. Both candidates have spent a lot of time in that battleground state. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea talked to voters in Reno.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: The battle for Nevada will likely be settled in Washoe County, which is home to Reno.

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Sports
5:21 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Baseball Breakdown: What's Left In MLB

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Only 12 days left of Major League Baseball. Host Scott Simon looks at the numbers with baseball historian Bill James.

Africa
5:21 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Labor Unrest In S. African Mines Spreads

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

In South Africa, thousands of mineworkers have embarked on industrial action that began with a deadly pay strike by platinum workers. They've agreed a wage deal with their management, this week, but the labor unrest is spreading to other platinum and gold mines in an industry that's the engine of South Africa's economy. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton discusses the repercussions with host Scott Simon.

NPR Story
5:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Obama, Ryan Pitch Medicare Plans To Older Voters

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Both campaigns tried to appeal to older voters yesterday. President Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed thousands of members of the AARP in New Orleans. Changes to Medicare and Social Security topped the agenda for both, but NPR's Ina Jaffee reports, there was more to these voters reactions to the candidates.

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NPR Story
5:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Warring Political Ads: One Community's Experience

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you live in a swing state, the political ads on TV right now are inescapable, and they're only going to get more intense in the seven weeks before Election Day. NPR's Ari Shapiro wanted to see the impact that all this advertising's having on one community. He's been in Colorado Springs for the last week reporting a pair of stories that will air on Morning Edition and All Things Considered on Monday. Ari joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: How deep and profound is this impact?

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The Salt
4:16 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Red Food, Blue Food: Edible Polls Give Obama The Edge, For Now

The Donkey cocktail is leading in the polls so far at Lincoln, a restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Lincoln

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 3:51 am

Wanna cast your vote early? In Washington, D.C., and around the nation, food and drink have become a popular proxy for voter polls. Though they're unlikely to be accurate predictors, the results of a few seem to be drifting in the same direction as the presidential election polls conducted by professional pollsters at the moment.

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The Two-Way
4:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

How Are American Muslims Responding To The Anti-Islam Film?

American Muslims have not been protesting the recent anti-Islam video, The Innocence of Muslims. However, they have held demonstrations in recent years, including this one directed at the New York police department in November 2011.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 10:00 am

Muslims have been demonstrating from North Africa to Southeast Asia, often violently, over the film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad. But, in America, Muslims have been virtually silent over the video Innocence Of Muslims.

Why the subdued response in the U.S.?

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Europe
3:34 am
Sat September 22, 2012

'Time Banks' Help Spaniards Weather Financial Crisis

Unemployment is rampant in Spain and full-time jobs are scarce. Here a woman works at a street stall in Madrid. Some Spaniards are signing up for "time banks," where individuals perform services based on their skills, and receive another service in return. No money changes hands. A woman is shown here working at a street stall in Madrid.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

After saving money for years, Lola Sanchez was finally able to buy a car refitted with a ramp and space for a wheelchair in the back for her teenage son, who has cerebral palsy.

A nurse used to come each day to help with her son's care. That service was cut amid government austerity measures, though Sanchez still gets a small check every month.

"What I need is physical help, even more than financial assistance," Sanchez says, "because I can't physically lift him on my own."

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History
3:34 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Harlem Hosts First Strokes Of Emancipation

Emancipation, a wood engraving by Thomas Nast in 1865. The official Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:01 am

Saturday marks the 150th anniversary of a crucial moment in U.S. history. On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, announcing his intention to free the slaves in the states rebelling against the Union.

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The Picture Show
3:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

A Photographer's Ode To Unsung Artists

Family in room, Carrefour, Haiti, 1986
Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 11:39 am

This blog has a habit of featuring photographers whose names you've never heard — whose names we hadn't even heard, to be honest, except by chance encounters.

But the world is mostly populated with unsung people. And in that sense, photographer Gary Monroe's life mirrors the lives of the people he photographs.

Some quick context:

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Kid Koala: All Roads Lead To The Blues

Kid Koala's new album is titled 12 Bit Blues.
Corinne Merrell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Eric San, who goes by the name Kid Koala, plays the blues. But just as Kid Koala isn't a traditional blues name like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss, he isn't a standard blues man.

Kid Koala is a DJ. Big turntables, fast hands, scratching old-fashioned vinyl records — the whole deal. Now, he's taken that DJ equipment and produced a "turntable blues" album titled 12 Bit Blues.

So how did a Canadian DJ discover the blues, exactly? San says it all happened in high school.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Rickie Lee Jones: 'One Devil With One Guitar'

Rickie Lee Jones' new album, The Devil You Know, is a collection of covers. "I think [I recorded the album] partially to remind people that a singer is the one who interprets the song," she says. "And once you do that, it's yours."
Myriam Santos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

It takes chutzpah to redo the kind of songs that get labeled as iconic, like The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," or "The Weight' by The Band, or Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." But Rickie Lee Jones has made a career out of surprising p

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney's 2011 Tax Return Gives More Fodder To Critics Who Already Had Surplus

Mitt Romney waves to supporters as he arrives at a rally Friday in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:34 pm

Mitt Romney's Friday release of his 2011 tax return puts that issue back in the headlines just when it had slipped largely off many people's radar screens.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Kickstarter Says It 'Is Not A Store' As It Revises Policy On Projects' Risks

A screengrab shows three highly funded Design projects currently on Kickstarter's site. The company's founder say they will require more information about the challenges potential entrepreneurs could face.
NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:06 pm

Even as it has received praise for bringing innovative ideas to life, Kickstarter has been criticized for allowing creators to be a little fuzzy about their plans — and for providing little recourse to investors who become unsatisfied with the project they've supported. The site has now announced changes that it hopes will ease those troubles.

The biggest change is a new section called "Risks and Challenges," which requires potential entrepreneurs to list the obstacles they face, and how they plan to deal with them.

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The Record
4:17 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Universal's Purchase Of EMI Gets Thumbs Up In U.S. And Europe

The catalog of The Beatles, which was owned by EMI, will be among the assets that the Universal Music Group gets to keep.
Jim Gray Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:20 pm

And then there were three — record labels, that is. Regulators in the United States and Europe have approved the acquisition of EMI Music by Univeral Music Group. The combined label will own close to 40 percent of the world music market with a trove of acts that includes The Beatles.

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Science
4:05 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Chimney Rock Becomes Newest National Monument

A large sandstone feature in southwestern Colorado, Chimney Rock became America's newest national monument on Friday.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

President Obama named a new national monument on Friday: Chimney Rock in southwestern Colorado. With two sandstone spires soaring from a mesa, not only is Chimney Rock a spectacular place; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the ancient people who lived in that region more than 1,000 years ago.

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Election 2012
3:41 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

In Wisconsin, Political Circus Leaves Voters Wounded

Heidi Accola works a stand at the farmers market in Baraboo, Wis. She runs a 1-acre organic farm with her husband, but she says they don't talk politics at home because it gets too heated.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Wisconsin is a prime battleground state in this year's presidential election.

Republicans hope the pick of native son Paul Ryan as their vice presidential nominee will bolster their chances to turn the state red in November. Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1984. Barack Obama won the state by a blowout 14 points in 2008. And a run of Wisconsin polls this week shows him widening his lead over Mitt Romney.

So what do Wisconsin voters have to say about their choices — and their mood?

Economic Strain

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Commentary
3:30 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Week In Politics: The '47 Percent,' Senate Races

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Robert Siegel talks to regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss Mitt Romney's "47 percent," new polls on the presidential race, and close Senate races.

The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Touchdown: Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands In Los Angeles

The Space Shuttle Endeavour passes the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory as seen from Dodger Stadium Friday.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 4:44 am

The Space Shuttle Endeavour has landed safely in Los Angeles, after giving admirers around the city a chance to take historic photos of its last flight.

"Amazing, amazing, amazing," Derek Johns, 41, told The Los Angeles Times. Johns took photos from a pier.

"I got chills," El Segundo councilman Dave Atkinson told the paper. "This is America at its finest."

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It's All Politics
3:11 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Obama, Ryan AARP Appearances Show Politics' Third Rail Is Still Charged

President Obama spoke to AARP members via live video feed.
AARP livestream

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:59 pm

Separate appearances Friday by President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan before an AARP meeting in New Orleans proved that the third rail of American politics, Medicare and Social Security collectively, is still very much electrified.

Speaking to a supremely friendly audience via live video feed from Virginia, where he was campaigning, Obama drew repeated applause and cheers with promises to defend Medicare and Social Security from Republican proposals that he said threaten the entitlement programs' ability to deliver the kind of benefits seniors have become accustomed to.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:00 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Government Officials Retire Chimpanzees From Research

Federally funded chimps at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana will retire to either a lab in Texas or a chimp sanctuary in Louisiana.
Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:47 pm

One hundred ten chimpanzees will retire from biomedical research, the National Institutes of Health announced today. The move comes as some groups are pushing for a ban on all medical chimp research.

The NIH has been reviewing its chimp research since December. That's when a report from the Institute of Medicine said that there was almost no scientific need for doing biomedical research on chimps.

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