NPR News

Shots - Health News
2:49 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Online Grades For Doctors Get An Incomplete

The wisdom of the crowd is hard to find if too few patients rate their doctors.
Illustration by NPR staff

Crowdsourced review sites like Yelp can be just the trick for finding a great restaurant or avoiding a bad one.

But when it comes to finding a good doctor, there still aren't enough reviews on sites that rank doctors to make them reliable, a study of urologists' ratings suggests.

Urologists averaged just 2.4 reviews on the big online doctor rating sites like Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com and RateMDs.com. The paltry number of participants means that one cranky patient's complaint — or a rave from one doctor's relative --can skew a rating.

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Animals
2:48 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Disappearing Mule Deer A New Reality Throughout Western U.S.

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Scientists throughout the west are investigating a mysterious disappearance. Mule deer are vanishing. In Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, populations are half what they were in the 1970s. From Aspen Public Radio, Luke Runyon reports on some possible reasons.

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Religion
2:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Amid Instability In Egypt, Coptic Christians Flee To U.S.

Egyptian Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas Nativity Liturgy, the start of Christmas, at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George in Brooklyn last January.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 3:38 pm

Coptic Christians will celebrate Christmas on Monday, and many will do so outside their native Egypt. Since the revolution there, their future in the country has looked uncertain, and many are resettling in the United States.

Their population in the U.S. may have grown by nearly 30 percent, according to rough estimates. One church that has felt its membership swell with new arrivals from Egypt is in the Queens borough of New York. St. Mary and St. Antonios Coptic Orthodox Church boasts more than 1,000 families, says the Rev. Michael Sorial.

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World Cafe
1:29 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Cody ChesnuTT On World Cafe

Cody ChesnuTT.
John Ferguson Courtesy of the artist

Cody ChesnuTT's debut album, 2002's The Headphone Masterpiece, was the result of two years spent recording alone in his bedroom. The double-length record is at once both sprawling and intimate; it encompasses a wide array of genres, but ChesnuTT sings and plays nearly every part.

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The Salt
12:52 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Dumpster Diver TV: Austrians Cook Up Food Waste Reality Show

The Austrians behind Waste Cooking want to show the culinary possibilities of food that ends up in the trash.
Courtesy Wastecooking.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:43 am

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Obama (Officially) Wins! Electoral College Votes Tallied Before Congress

Vice President Joe Biden shows the certificate of the Electoral College vote for Ohio to House Speaker John Boehner during a joint session of Congress on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:23 pm

President Obama has officially won the election, with 332 electoral votes tallied in his column.

Of course this is old news. But the formal count mandated by the Constitution took place Friday in a joint session of Congress, heavy on ceremony and light on attendance.

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Economy
12:40 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

As 2013 Begins, A 'Pretty Positive' Job Outlook

The health care sector added 45,000 jobs in December and is expected to see continued growth this year, economists say.
iStockphoto.com

If you're searching for work in this new year, the Labor Department's final jobs report for 2012 suggests: The trend is your friend in 2013.

The jobs outlook is actually "pretty positive," said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment consulting firm.

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Planet Money
12:09 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

3-D Printing Is (Kind Of) A Big Deal

The printed cup.
via Shapeways

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:15 pm

The first key to thinking about 3-D printers is this: Do not think printer. Think magic box that creates any object you can imagine.

In the box, razor-thin layers of powdered material (acrylic, nylon, silver, whatever) pile one on top of the other, and then, voila — you've got a shoe, or a cup, or a ring, or an iPhone case.

It's miraculous to see. Press a button, make anything you want. But just how important is 3-D printing? Unlike earlier big-deal technologies (like, say, the tractor) 3-D printing won't really replace what came before.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Now You Don't See Them, Now You Do: Pelosi Defends Doctored Photo

The four lawmakers who were, but weren't, there at the time. (We put the oval around them to make them easier to see.)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Facebook page

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:12 pm

Calling it a "historic record of who the Democratic women of Congress are," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today defended the move by her office to alter a photo taken Thursday on the steps of the Capitol so that four female lawmakers who were late could be "seen" with their colleagues.

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Asia
11:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

South Korea Prepares The Young For A Rapidly Aging Population

South Korean men play games at a downtown park in Seoul on Nov. 1. Recent data suggest that South Korea is now the fastest-aging country on Earth.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:43 am

At a clean and sunny community center in Seoul, the South Korean capital, senior citizens make clay models of their own faces in an arts class. Some of the faces are vivid and lifelike. Others are expressionless and indistinct. The project is intended to help the seniors remember what they look like.

This is the Gangseo District Center for Dementia. Since 2006, Seoul has opened a dementia center in each of the city's 25 urban districts.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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Shots - Health News
11:11 am
Fri January 4, 2013

As Norovirus Rages, A Robot Named 'Vomiting Larry' Gets A Closeup

Vomiting Larry doing what he does best.
U.K. Health and Safety Laboratory

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:06 am

The lab robot affectionately called "Vomiting Larry" has gone viral. His image and videoed vomiting for science are all over the Web.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Olympic Cyclist Dies After Being Hit By Taxi In South Africa

South African cyclist Burry Stander, seen here riding in the cross-country mountain bike race at the London Olympics, was killed during a training ride Thursday in South Africa.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Burry Stander, one of the world's elite mountain bikers, was killed Thursday as he rode his bike in his native South Africa. Stander, 25, a two-time Olympian who placed fifth in his event at the London 2012 Olympics, was reportedly struck by a taxi van as he trained near his home in Shelley Beach, on South Africa's southeastern coast.

The close proximity of the accident to his childhood home apparently allowed Stander's family members, reportedly including his wife, mother and father, to arrive at the scene quickly.

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Book Reviews
10:04 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'A Grain Of Truth' About Memory And Modern Poland

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:26 am

My mother is Polish, which meant that during the holidays when I was a kid, we broke out the polka records and kielbasa for special occasion meals from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Certainly, nostalgia for those belch-y festivities of yore led me to A Grain of Truth by Zygmunt Miloszewski, a Polish mystery novel that unexpectedly turns out to be as hard-boiled as the skin around a circlet of that ubiquitous holiday kielbasa.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist

One of the "ghost gums," which fell to the ground after being set afire.
Northern Territory Govt., Dept. of Attorney General & Justice

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:47 am

Two "ghost gum" trees that were revered by many in Australia after being made famous by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira have been found toppled over and burned — victims of a suspected arsonist.

The trees, in the outback near Alice Springs, were due to soon be put on Australia's national heritage register, The Guardian says. It adds that:

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Remembrances
9:38 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Remembering 'Rescue Me' Singer Fontella Bass

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Soul and gospel singer Fontella Bass, whose 1965 hit "Rescue Me" endures as one of the most recognizable soul records of the '60s, died last week on the day after Christmas. She was 72 years old. Despite the success of "Rescue Me," it was the number one R&B single for four weeks, it took years of litigation before Bass could claim her share of songwriting credit and royalties. In 1993, she sued American Express for using the song in a commercial and received what she said was a significant settlement.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Update: Senate Joins House In Passing Sandy Aid Bill

Superstorm Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in late October. In late November, this sign symbolized the hope of homeowners that help would be coming soon.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. Passage In The Senate:

The Senate just passed, by unanimous agreement, a bill that injects more than $9 billion into the insurance program that will assist those hit hard by Superstorm Sandy last October.

President Obama had urged passage and is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Our original post:

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The Salt
9:02 am
Fri January 4, 2013

FDA Releases Rules To Strengthen Safety Of Food Supply

Farmworkers like these in California picking produce may soon be required by the FDA to take more precautions against spreading foodborne illness.
Heather Craig iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 1:10 pm

UPDATED: 4:50 p.m. Looking for a little weekend reading? The Food and Drug Administration has just the thing. On Friday, the agency released two proposed rules designed to boost the safety of the nation's food supply, encompassing hundreds of pages.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Secretary Clinton Now Expected Back In Her Office Next Week

Wednesday: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (in sunglasses) as she left New York Presbyterian Hospital with her husband, former president Bill Clinton (top right), and their daughter, Chelsea.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:00 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "looking forward to coming back to work next week," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says.

Clinton, 65, was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In War-Torn Northern Syria, Children 'Only Paint In Red'

Children often show signs of trauma from their experiences inside Syria. A U.N. team interviewing Syrian children in a refugee camp found that most lost a loved one in the fighting, and almost half have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:18 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Deborah Amos on the children of Northern Syria

Shocking statistics, such as the U.N.'s estimate that more than 60,000 people have died in Syria since anti-regime protests and fighting began in March 2011, tell only part of the story.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Malala Released From Hospital; Taliban's Attack On Teen Sparked Outrage

Malala Yousafzai waved earlier today as she was released from a hospital in Birmingham, England.
University Hospitals Birmingham EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:08 am

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Around the Nation
5:17 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Goodbye Casual Fridays Hello Formal Fridays

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

First, people wore suits and ties, dresses or skirts to work. Then came casual Fridays. Then the tech industry destroyed dress codes. Congress is one of the last places people dress up, and we know how that's turned out.

Latin America
4:47 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Mexican Bakers Go Big To Celebrate 3 Kings Day

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. At this point in the program we sometimes tell you about record-breaking feats. Well, this one takes the cake. Sunday is Three Kings Day and in Mexico some bakers are celebrating in a big way. Rosca de Reyes is a sweet bread with a Baby Jesus figurine baked inside.

Around the Nation
4:34 am
Fri January 4, 2013

A Lot Of Drivers Are Asleep At The Wheel

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

If you're driving, please take a moment to be sure you're awake. A survey finds one of every 24 adults admits to falling asleep at the wheel. Health officials say they suspect the true number is higher. Some people don't realize when they drop off for a second or...

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Steve. Hey, hey, hey, Steve.

INSKEEP: Anyway, drivers most likely to nod off are men, according to this survey, or people between 25 and 34.

Movies
2:41 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Technical Oscar

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's consider the technology behind movie-making. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has not made its Oscar nominations yet, but it has already announced some awards in the technical category.

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: And one of the Oscars goes to Cooke Optics Limited. The Academy says the British company gets an award of merit because it helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century. Its innovations over the years have included zoom lenses for movie cameras and lenses that don't require bright light.

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Television
2:41 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'Downton Abbey': Not Much 'Hurly Burly' Upstairs

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yesterday, we brought you into the aristocratic world of "Downton Abbey." OK, cue the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF "DOWNTON ABBEY" THEME MUSIC)

GREENE: The show returns to "Masterpiece Classic" on PBS for its third season this Sunday. The British period drama follows the family of Lord and Lady Grantham, along with their faithful servants.

JIM CARTER: Our lives are dictated by gongs and bells, and the rhythm of the day. It is dictated to us by the people upstairs. We live to serve them, and to make their world perfect.

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Europe
1:32 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Old Greek Blasphemy Laws Stir Up Modern Drama

A Greek Orthodox priest is blocked by riot police as he takes part in a protest outside an Athens theater in October. The play, Corpus Christi, portrays Jesus and his apostles as gay men living in modern-day Texas. The director and the cast have been charged under Greece's blasphemy laws.
Alexandros Vlachos EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:16 pm

Before he died in 1994, a Greek monk named Elder Paisios told his compatriots to turn to faith in hard times.

The monk is said to have predicted the economic crisis — as well as a triumphant return of a Greek empire.

With unemployment now at Great Depression levels, many Greeks see him as a prophet.

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Shots - Health News
1:30 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Bargain Over Fiscal Cliff Brings Changes To Health Care

A compromise bill that passed the Congress at the last minute included provisions that will reverberate through the nation's health care system.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

The bill that prevented the nation from plunging over the fiscal cliff did more than just stop income tax increases and delay across-the-board spending cuts. It also included several provisions that tweaked Medicare and brought bigger changes to other health care programs.

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It's All Politics
1:29 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Outspoken Alan Grayson Gets Another Chance In Congress

After losing his bid for re-election in 2010, Democrat Alan Grayson of Florida is back in Congress after winning a safer district.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:24 am

Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.

After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."

His national stature didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.

'The People United'

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Science
1:28 am
Fri January 4, 2013

From Canada To Latin America, The Christmas Bird Count Is On

From left, bird-watchers John Williamson, Donna Quinn, Bruce Hill and Frances Raskin try to spot as many different species as possible during this season's bird count in Loudoun County, Va.
Veronique LaCapra NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Every year at around this time, tens of thousands of people take part in a kind of bird-watching marathon. From Canada to Latin America and throughout the United States, participants will get up in the middle of the night. Some brave frigid winter temperatures, and many do whatever else it takes to count as many birds as they can in 24 hours.

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