NPR News

Music Reviews
1:21 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Turning Up The Volume On The Electric Blues

Joe Hill Louis, B.B. King and Rufus Thomas appear on a new multi-disc compilation of electric blues, Plug It In! Turn It Up!
Bear Family Records

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:12 am

Blues is so much a part of the fabric of American music and American culture — not only as a defined musical form, but also as a springboard for all kinds of creativity — that it seems crazy to try to encapsulate it in any way. Bear Family Records, though, has just released a 12-disc survey of electric blues called Plug It In! Turn It Up! that does a great job of illuminating one particular aspect of the blues.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Former NBC Chief Jeff Zucker Taking Over At CNN

Jeff Zucker, who's going to CNN.
Robert Pitts Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:56 pm

"Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January," CNN confirmed earlier today.

The Associated Press writes that:

"Zucker will be based in New York and report to Phil Kent, who runs all of the Turner networks for parent company Time Warner.

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World Cafe
12:33 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Yeasayer on World Cafe

Yeasayer
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:34 pm

"Dense" and "lush" have long been necessary adjectives for anyone attempting to describe Yeasayer's sound. The band's approach entails folding many disparate elements together, twisting and pulling them until they decide to play nice. Although its first two albums, 2007's All Hour Cymbals and 2010's Odd Blood, don't sound terribly similar, they at least have this wide-reaching approach in common.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Does Anybody Have More Fun Than Joe Biden? Check These Photos

"No, this really is Joe Biden!" (He borrowed a Costco employee's phone to say hello to someone.)
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:46 pm

Yes, he talked about the negotiations over taxes and spending cuts. Yes, it was a holiday photo op. But what really struck us about Vice President Joe Biden's this morning to Washington, D.C.'s first Costco store was how, once again, he just seems to have so much fun.

We think a picture gallery is in order.

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Space
12:05 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Space Probe Finds Ice In Mercury's Craters

Researchers say they have identified traces of ice in craters on Mercury, seen here in this Oct. 8, 2008, image from the Messenger spacecraft.
NASA

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:37 pm

Mercury is not the first planet to come to mind if you were searching for ice in the solar system. After all, the surface temperature across most of the planet is hot enough to melt lead.

But at the poles on Mercury it's a different story. Almost no sun reaches the poles, and as a result, temperatures can drop to less than -100 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, three papers in the journal Science suggest there really is ice at the bottom of craters near the poles on Mercury.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Ambassador Susan Rice Is Financially Tied To Keystone Pipeline Company

Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, attends a U.N. Security Council meeting in August.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:47 pm

The United States' ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has been the subject of much criticism from the GOP.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu November 29, 2012

In Syria: Battle Rages Outside Damascus Airport, Internet Goes Down

CIA World Factbook

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:39 pm

Syria's Internet services went down all across the country on Thursday and heavy fighting was reported near the airport in the capital Damascus, which led a number of airlines to suspend flights.

These developments come after a series of rebel victories in recent days and suggest that President Bashar Assad's government is facing increased pressure from the rebels in an uprising now 20 months old.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Thu November 29, 2012

An Act Of Kindness: Photo Of NYPD Officer Giving Barefoot Man Boots Goes Viral

NYPD officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a pair of boots to a barefoot man in Manhattan.
Jennifer Foster NYPD via Facebook

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:20 am

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Africa
9:54 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Message Behind African Heaters For Norway Spoof

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 10:03 am

An online video, urging Africans to save Norwegians from frostbite, has gone viral. The tongue-in-cheek spoof features South Africans singing about sending radiators to Norway. The filmmakers hope to take on stereotypes of Africa that are reinforced by charities and the media. Host Michel Martin speaks to Erik Evans, one of the video's creators.

The Two-Way
9:47 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Former President George H.W. Bush In Hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush in September at the Ryder Cup golf match in Medinah, Ill.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

"Former President George H.W. Bush remains in a Houston hospital, where he has been for seven days as doctors battle a lingering cough that has drawn concern," the Houston Chronicle writes.

But Bush's chief of staff, Jean Becker, tells the newspaper that the former president, now 88, has bronchitis and that it's expected he'll be released from Methodist Hospital this coming weekend.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Update: Zimmerman's Defense Fund Is Offering His Autograph

The signed card that donors will get from George Zimmerman.
GZDefenseFund.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:50 am

"Thank You Cards ... personally signed by George," are now going to be sent to those who donate money to the man facing second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Webcast: NPR & Wilson Center Host National Conversation On Foreign Policy

Flags from nations around the world fly outside the U.N. building in New York City. The challenges facing President Obama's foreign policy team will be among the topics of today's national conversation, hosted by Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:53 am

NPR's Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center, a public policy institute in Washington, D.C., are teaming up Thursday afternoon for a "national conversation" webcast and broadcast.

The topics for discussion, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET:

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Thu November 29, 2012

U.K. Inquiry: News Media 'Wreaked Havoc,' New Watchdog Needed

Britain's tabloids ruined many lives, a judge concludes. Now, he's recommending more oversight.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Saying that the British news media have "caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained," the judge appointed to sort out the mess after the U.K.'s tabloid scandal has recommended creation of an independent watchdog. It would be charged with "promoting high standards of journalism and protecting the rights of individuals."

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Business
6:19 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Companies Rush Dividends To Beat Possible Tax Hike

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Thu November 29, 2012

What Will A U.N. Upgrade Mean For Palestinians?

In the southern West Bank city of Hebron today, supporters of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas gathered in anticipation of today's vote at the U.N.
Hazem Bader AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:39 am

  • NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

At the United Nations this afternoon, the General Assembly is expected to overwhelmingly approve a resolution that would shift the status of Palestinians from that of a "non-member observer entity" to a "non-member observer state."

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Politics
5:43 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Indiana's GOP Leaders Cautious Amid Supermajorities

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In so many ways our country seems politically divided. Nevertheless, last month's election left 11 states controlled by supermajorities, meaning one party occupies the governor's mansion and owns the overwhelming majority in the legislature. Let's get a sense for the dynamic in one of these states - Indiana. Republicans seem in command. And yet despite their new leverage, Indiana's Republican lawmakers are preaching caution and a need for increased bipartisanship. Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brandon Smith reports.

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Middle East
5:43 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Palestinians' Abbas Goes To U.N. Seeking New Status

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The United States is strongly against it. So even more strongly is Israel, but this will not deter the Palestinians from going to the United Nations today to secure a vote formally upgrading Palestine's U.N. status. There's little doubt the vote will pass easily, securing what the Palestinian leadership considers a significant diplomatic victory.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Winning Powerball Tickets Sold In Arizona And Missouri; Who Bought Them?

Ticket sales soared as the jackpot grew.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:15 pm

After all the hype and hoopla, millions of Americans (including us) are waking up this morning to learn that they aren't sudden millionaires.

Yes, there were winning tickets sold for Wednesday night's $580 million Powerball jackpot.

But there were only two tickets that correctly matched the numbers drawn: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.

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Strange News
5:19 am
Thu November 29, 2012

A Night Of Spectacle In New York City

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Asia
3:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Facebook Arrests Ignite Free Speech Debate In India

Shaken by the reaction to his daughter's Facebook post, Farooq Dhada (shown here with Shaheen) says in India, freedom of speech "exists only on paper."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:54 pm

Shaheen Dhada is an unlikely looking protagonist in the battle under way in India to protect free speech from government restrictions in the new media age.

Slight and soft-spoken, Dhada perches on the edge of her bed in a purple-walled room that has been her own for the past 20 years. Outside, police officers are posted for her protection in the town of Palghar, 2 1/2 hours outside Mumbai.

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Shots - Health News
3:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

The Hidden Costs Of Raising The Medicare Age

Keith Gresham, 65, lines up four medications he takes at his home in Detroit in 2011. The self-employed painter was without health insurance for about a decade and was happy to finally turn 65 last year so he could qualify for Medicare.
Patricia Beck MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Whenever the discussion turns to saving money in Medicare, the idea of raising the eligibility age often comes up.

"I don't think you can look at entitlement reform without adjusting the age for retirement," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on ABC's This Week last Sunday. "Let it float up another year or so over the next 30 years, adjust Medicare from 65 to 67."

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World Cafe
4:13 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion On World Cafe

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Stefano Giovannini

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 4:48 pm

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion — Jon Spencer, drummer Russell Simins and bassist Judah Baer — has kicked out the jams for more than 20 years. Formed in 1991, the band draws on punk, blues and rockabilly, and has collaborated with artists ranging from Elliott Smith to Solomon Burke to Martina Topley-Bird to Steve Albini and even Ad-Rock of The Beastie Boys.

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Research News
3:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline

A worker inspects a huge target chamber at the National Ignition Facility in California, in 2001, where beams from 192 lasers are aimed at a pellet of fusion fuel in the hopes of creating nuclear fusion.
Joe McNally Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:07 am

The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif., has been called a modern-day moonshot, a project of "revolutionary science," and "the mother of all boondoggles."

NIF, as it's called, is a $5 billion, taxpayer-funded superlaser project whose goal is to create nuclear fusion — basically a tiny star inside a laboratory. But so far, that hasn't happened.

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It's All Politics
3:30 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

In Fiscal Cliff PR War, Obama Seeks Help From A Public Already Leaning His Way

President Obama speaks Wednesday while meeting with citizens at the White House. Obama called on Republicans to halt an automatic tax hike for middle-class Americans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:18 pm

In Washington's latest game of chicken, President Obama is counting on voters who see things his way to give him the edge in his quest to get congressional Republicans to accept tax increases on the nation's wealthiest as part of any fiscal cliff deal.

To energize those voters, the president is ramping up a series of campaign-style events meant to educate the public about the stakes, as he sees them, of letting the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans expire if no agreement is reached by year's end.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Despite Protection Efforts, Rhino Poaching Soars

Miles Lappeman (left) and his son Marc with the carcass of a rhino that was killed for its horn at their Finfoot Lake Reserve on Nov. 24 in South Africa. This was one of eight rhinos slaughtered by poachers.
Nicolene Olckers Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Just a few years ago, rhino poaching appeared to be more or less under control.

Shootings were relatively rare, and about 75 percent of the world's rhinos lived in South Africa, a country that has taken extensive efforts to protect them.

Just 13 rhinos were reported killed worldwide in 2007. But the figure has been surging in recent years and has already hit 588 so far this year, according to conservation groups.

An estimated 25,000 rhinos remain in Africa.

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Shots - Health News
2:59 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Flame Retardants From Furniture Found In Household Dust

Scientists say that the best way to reduce a person's contact with the flame retardant chemicals in sofas and other furniture is to vacuum more.
SINAN DONMEZ iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 7:54 am

Sofas and other cushy furniture often contain chemicals intended to reduce the risk of fire. But those chemicals may pose health risks of their own, and some researchers are trying to build the case for getting them out of the house altogether.

Eighty-five percent of couches tested in a new study contained at least one flame-retardant chemical in the foam cushioning.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Hispanic Caucus Rejects Republican Immigration Bills

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and 20 House members make up the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Here, Menendez speaks in September in Sayreville, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 9:54 am

Determined not to be excluded from the post-election bipartisan talk of passing immigration legislation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday rejected two Republican proposals while outlining its own priorities.

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Middle East
2:55 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

The Middle East: A Web Of 'Topsy-Turvy' Alliances

After a week of recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, an Israeli soldier stands on top of a mobile artillery unit in a position near the Israel Gaza border.
Ariel Schalit Getty Images

Writing for the New York Review of Books at the beginning of November, Robert Malley, the program director for the Middle East and North Africa with the International Crisis Group, and Hussein Agha described the current situation in the Middle East:

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Religion
2:53 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Mormonism: A Scrutinized, Yet Evolving Faith

temple
George Frey Reuters

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:58 pm

Mitt Romney refused to mix religion with politics in this year's presidential campaign, but that didn't repress people's curiosity about Mormonism. His candidacy brought the homegrown faith into the spotlight.

Patrick Mason, a professor and chairman of the Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University, says attention paid to his faith has been twofold. On one hand, it's been good for attracting new converts. On the other hand, it's turned Mormonism into something of a cultural punch line.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Texas Moves To Seize Polygamous Leader Warren Jeffs' Ranch

Boys walk through a potato field at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, in 2009.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:09 pm

The office of the Texas attorney general announced today that it was taking steps to try to seize the ranch of polygamous leader Warren Jeffs.

Reporting from Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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