NPR News

The Two-Way
10:29 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Obama Asks Biden To Draft 'Concrete Proposals' On Guns By January

Vice President Biden watched as President Obama spoke earlier today in the White House briefing room.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 11:28 am

Saying the nation has a "deep obligation" to take steps to reduce gun violence, President Obama confirmed Wednesday that he's asked Vice President Biden to head a task force charged with drafting "concrete proposals, no later than January."

And, Obama said, he will push them "without delay."

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Can I Just Tell You?
9:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

What Do Polio And Gun Violence Have In Common?

Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 2:22 pm

In thinking about the last week's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I keep coming upon the word epidemic. While the death of one child is too many, the death of nearly two dozen in one place, of hundreds in the span of a year — especially by violence, is intolerable. Or at least it should be.

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Beauty Shop
9:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Newtown: How Much Media Coverage Is Too Much?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, when rap pioneer Run from the group Run-DMC decided to get active in church, he had no idea how far it would go. We'll talk with him about his transition from rapping to preaching. That's later in the program.

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Wisdom Watch
9:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Reverend Run: From Rapper To Preacher

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 11:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program I will share a few thoughts in my Can I Just Tell You essay but now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's the part of the program where we speak with those whose work has made a difference. Today we are speaking with a hip-hop pioneer.

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The Salt
9:02 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Peak Farmland? Some Researchers Say It's Here

A soybean field near Campo Verde in western Brazil in January 2011. Researchers argue that enough arable land is already under cultivation to feed the planet for the next several decades.
Yasuyoshi Chiba AFP/GettyImages

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 2:34 pm

If you're looking for a dash of optimism about the future — and who isn't, these days? — you can find it in a rosy new prediction about the planet's ability to produce food for the next half-century.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Wed December 19, 2012

White House Says Obama Would Veto GOP's 'Plan B' For Avoiding 'Fiscal Cliff'

The president would use his pen to just say no, White House promises.
Kristoffer Tripplaar/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 9:22 am

Making the case that the "Plan B" proposed by House Republicans to keep the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year "does not meet the test of balance," the White House announced this morning that President Obama would veto such legislation if it came to his desk.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Robert Bork, Who Was Turned Down For Supreme Court, Dies

Judge Robert Bork in September 1987, at the Senate hearing on his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Charles Tasnadi AP

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 11:26 am

Robert Bork, who was at the center of Senate hearings that "marked the modern battle lines over judicial nominations," as NPR's Nina Totenberg has said, is dead, according to The New York Times, Fox News and The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Wed December 19, 2012

UPDATE: 'Eagle Snatches Kid' Video Makers Admit Hoax

Real or not?
YouTube

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:14 pm

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Newtown Shootings: Funerals Continue; Biden To Lead Task Force

Candles with the names of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, at a makeshift memorial near the entrance to the grounds of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Some of today's headlines and news about the shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., last Friday. Twenty children and six adults were killed by the gunman who attacked Sandy Hook Elementary:

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Wed December 19, 2012

President Obama Is 'Time' Magazine's 'Person Of The Year'

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Writing that "after four of the most challenging years in the nation's history, his chance to leave office as a great president who was able to face crises and build a new majority coalition remains within reach," Time magazine has named President Obama its "person of the year."

The others on Time's "short list" were:

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Oregon Man Advertises For Wife

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
4:37 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Lottery Winners Donate To School's Football Stadium

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR Story
2:53 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Gunmen In Pakistan Target Polio Vaccinators

Rukhsana Bibi (center) mourns for her daughter, polio worker Madiha Bibi, killed by unknown gunmen, at a local hospital in Karachi on Tuesday. Gunmen staged additional attacks Wednesday.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Pakistani gunmen staged new attacks Wednesday on health workers carrying out a nationwide polio vaccination program. Six workers were killed Tuesday as they went house to house to administer the immunizations to area children in Karachi and the northwest city of Peshawar.

Although there were additional attacks, the Pakistani government vowed to continue the vaccination campaign — and eradicate the disease — even if there is bloodshed.

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It's All Politics
1:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Single-Issue Solidarity Behind NRA's Clout

A visitor handles a revolver at a Smith & Wesson display during the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits on April 14 at America's Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

The National Rifle Association says it will hold a major news conference Friday — a week after the school massacre in Connecticut — and that it is "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

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Music
1:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Country Singer Sammy Kershaw's Cajun Christmas

Sammy Kershaw's new album of Cajun holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

If the sheer variety of holiday music that pops up each winter is any indication, there's no genre that can't handle a little Christmas spirit. This year, Louisiana country singer Sammy Kershaw decided to test that theory with the sounds of the bayou. His new album of Cajun-infused holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.

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Shots - Health News
1:48 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Fake Malaria Drugs Fuel Rise Of Drug-Resistant Disease

In rural areas of Myanmar, villagers can buy inexpensive packets of drugs, called Ya Chut, when they have malaria. But these local remedies often don't contain adequate amounts of malaria medicines.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Counterfeit drugs are a growing scourge around the world. They're generating millions of dollars in revenue for organized crime and fueling the rise of drug-resistant parasites.

Anti-malarials are among the most popular drugs to fake. But these faux pharmaceuticals are particularly dangerous because malaria can kill a person in a matter of days.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Time For Gun Owners To Be Good Sports About Gun Restrictions

Frank Deford says those who have the potential to reduce the gun violence are people who own guns and who are good sports.
LeightonPhotography iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

I've never had any interest in hunting. Among other things, I'm a terrible shot, but I have friends who hunt, and it appears to me to be a perfectly reasonable sports hobby — certainly every bit as honorable as fantasy football. Moreover, shooting a deer or a duck with a bullet seems to me no more inhuman than catching a trout or a marlin with a hook.

Oh, sometimes I get a little piqued that those who hunt and fish are ennobled as "sportsmen," while people who play golf are just golfers and people who bowl are just bowlers. But then, that's just me being picayune.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Michigan's Snyder Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Guns In Schools

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:50 am

Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed pistols to be carried in schools and other places where they had been banned. The Michigan legislature had approved the legislation when its lame-duck session ended Thursday — one day before the Newtown elementary school shootings.

As NPR's Rick Pluta reported for today's Morning Edition, Snyder has said that Friday's tragedy played a role in his consideration of the bill:

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Our Pancakes Are Saved! Charges Filed In Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

Fresh maple syrup in two maple leaf-shaped bottles, with other bottles behind. Police officials have arrested three men who allegedly siphoned the sweet treat from 16,000 storage barrels stored in a Quebec warehouse.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:51 am

After months on their sticky trail, Canadian police have finally fingered the people allegedly involved in the great Canadian maple syrup caper Bill Chappell told us about in August.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Parents of Slain Children Share Memories At Newtown Funerals

This photo provided by the family shows Jessica Rekos. Rekos, 6, who was killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.,
AP

Two more funerals were held in Newtown, Conn., Tuesday, for first-graders James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos. The two children were killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.

The Connecticut Post reports that James, 6, was born four weeks early — and that "his family would quip that it was because he was hungry."

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All Tech Considered
3:59 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

The Day Instagram Almost Lost Its Innocence

Instagram was the target of a storm of outrage on Twitter and other sites after the company announced a change in its user agreement that hinted that it might use shared photos in ads.
Karly Domb Sadof AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

The wildly popular photo-sharing site Instagram nearly caused a user revolt when it revamped its terms of service and privacy policy to suggest it could allow uploaded photos to be used in ads without users' permission.

The change — which was posted in dense legalese on its website Monday — sparked users to vow to stop posting their color-filtered, tilt-shifted photos to Instagram.

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It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Obama Finding Gun Control Voice, Which Had Gone Quiet In White House

President Obama attends a vigil for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims on Sunday in Newtown, Conn.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:23 pm

If President Obama takes the lead in a movement for more effective gun control now that he's been stirred to action by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, it would mark a significant break from his pattern so far as chief executive.

For while Obama has dutifully served as the nation's consoler in chief in localities where the all-too-frequent mass shootings have occurred, that has seemed the extent of the official response observable to White House outsiders.

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Shots - Health News
3:43 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Research Chimps Get Permanent Retirement Home

Chimpanzees check out a termite mound at the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana.
Chimp Haven

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:27 am

More than 100 chimps retired from medical research are about to get a new home.

Most of the primates who have been living at the New Iberia Research Center will soon make their permanent residence at the Chimp Haven sanctuary, the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

NRA Issues Statement Amid Calls For New Gun Control Laws

The National Rifle Association of America has broken its silence to comment on Friday's gun violence that ravaged a tight-knit Connecticut community, releasing a statement in which the gun-owners' rights group said it "is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:19 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Investors, Retailers Shy Away From Guns; Will It Last?

Rifles are displayed for sale at a gun shop in Aurora, Colo., in July. Gun makers are feeling isolated by changing public attitudes.
Alex Brandon AP

It's a nervous time for companies that make and sell guns.

On Tuesday, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, announced it was selling its stake in Freedom Group, maker of the American Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which was used in the Newtown killings last Friday, along with other brands such as Remington.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Amid Calls For Gun Control, Some Push For Weapons At School

David Thweatt, the school superintendent in Harrold, Texas, is seen in 2008. Troubled by school shootings around the country, Thweatt decided to arm school staff.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

A growing number of lawmakers are indicating they are open to considering new gun control measures in the wake of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn. But while much of the national debate has focused on limiting access to guns, others are suggesting that schools should arm themselves to defend against attacks.

David Thweatt, school superintendent for the small Texas town of Harrold, northwest of Fort Worth, decided in 2006 that it was time to arm his staff. There's only one school in Harrold, a K-12 with 103 students.

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Law
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Mich. Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Weapons In Schools

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Easing Of Marijuana Laws Complicates Parents' Advice To Kids

People at a Denver party early this month celebrate the recognition of an amendment to the Colorado constitution legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
Brennan Linsley AP

Parents drill certain warnings into their children: don't drink, don't smoke and don't do drugs. But those conversations have gotten tougher now that two states, Colorado and Washington, have decriminalized some recreational marijuana use.

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Asia
2:16 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Rape Case In India Provokes Widespread Outrage

Indian women and children in New Delhi stage a protest Tuesday to condemn the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a city bus.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

The gang rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi has touched off outrage and soul-searching in the increasingly unsafe Indian capital.

Spontaneous protests have erupted, while anguished members of Parliament decried the attack.

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The Salt
1:54 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

The other Mars Curiosity rover, made of gingerbread and on display on the Caltech campus.
Brian Bell courtesy California Institute of Technology

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:47 am

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

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