NPR News

Shots - Health News
12:32 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Genome Sequencing For Babies Brings Knowledge And Conflicts

By sequencing a newborn's genome, doctors could screen for more genetic conditions. But parents could be confronted with confusing or ambiguous data about their baby's health.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 9:21 am

When Christine Rowan gave birth prematurely in August, her new baby was having problems breathing. So Rowan brought her daughter, Zoe, to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for genetic testing.

"It's funny because when we first had the testing done, we didn't even really think about the fact the testing was going to lay out all of her DNA," says Rowan, 32, who lives in Northern Virginia.

But while Rowan and her husband were waiting for the results, questions started popping into their heads.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Mon December 3, 2012

U.S. Has Growing Concerns About Syria's Chemical Weapon Stockpile

A man is seen in the al-Amirya neighborhood of the city of Aleppo on Sunday. Syrian artillery and aircraft also battered rebel positions in and around Damascus in an operation to secure the capital.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 12:07 pm

The United States is increasingly concerned that Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons might be used by the regime of Bashar Assad or that it could fall in the hands of terrorists, as the country's civil war continues.

NPR's Tom Bowman tells our Newscast unit that Syria has one of the largest stockpiles of deadly nerve agents in the Middle East. Tom filed this report:

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Books
11:06 am
Mon December 3, 2012

A New 'Testament' Told From Mary's Point Of View

Colm Toibin's new novel, The Testament of Mary, imagines the life of the mother of Christ in her later years.
Steve Heap iStockphoto

In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish writer Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion. She is struggling to understand why some people believe Jesus is the son of God, and weighed down by the guilt she feels wondering what she might have done differently to alter — or ease — her son's fate.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Group Of Internet Trolls Claims Thousands Of Tumblr Blogs Infected By Worm

A screenshot of the Tumblr homepage.
Tumblr

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:32 am

A notorious group of Internet trolls says it has unleashed a worm that has littered Tumblr blogs with inflammatory and racist posts.

According to the technology site The Verge, GNNA, whose full name we can't print in a family blog, says the worm has infected more than 8,000 accounts. The worm spread when users were logged into Tumblr and clicked on a viral — in more ways than one — post that asked for all Tumblr users to "drink bleach and die."

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Race
9:59 am
Mon December 3, 2012

WHY YOU NEED A WORK 'SPONSOR'

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:13 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to spend the next few minutes talking about the world of work. Later, we take a look at this week's Washington Post Magazine and we'll speak with a writer who says that the so-called millennial generation, especially the women, really are changing what work looks like.

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Law
9:59 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Is The Voting Rights Act Outdated?

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:13 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will speak with the author of a new study that offers some intriguing insights about why some people move up in the workplace more quickly than others. That conversation is coming up in a few minutes.

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NPR Story
9:59 am
Mon December 3, 2012

MILLENNIAL WOMEN CONFIDENT AT WORK

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:13 am

Telecommuting and flexible schedules are the latest tools for establishing work-life balance. 'Generation Y' women are taking greater advantage of them. Host Michel Martin talks to Laura Sessions Stepp, who has written about the career choices of millennial women in this week's Washington Post Magazine.

The Two-Way
9:21 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge, Is Pregnant

April 29, 2011: Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after their wedding.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 11:23 am

Here's the news you've been waiting for, royal watchers:

"The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby, St James's Palace has announced." (BBC News)

That would be Catherine, wife of Prince William (the Duke of Cambridge). They, of course, are the potential future king and queen.

The BBC adds that:

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The Salt
9:05 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Caught: Lobster Cannibals Captured On Film Along Maine Coast

Maine scientists catch an adult lobster eating baby lobster for dinner.
Courtesy of Noah Oppenheim.

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 7:08 am

Step back, lobsters coming through!

This summer lobsters exploded in number along the Maine coast. There were so many crustaceans crawling along the ocean floor – and into fishermen's traps – that lobster prices plummeted. Many fishermen tied up their boats, and a price war even broke out between Canadian and Maine seafood distributors.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Mon December 3, 2012

A Syrian Tank Shells Turkey, Yet The Response Is Silence. Why?

Turkish soldiers stand guard in the town of Akcakale, just across the border from Syria, on Oct. 4. The Turks have often issued stern warnings and retaliated when shooting from the Syrian war has come across their border. But Turkey did not respond to an incident over the weekend.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:28 am

Whenever the Syrian military fires across the border into Turkey, it threatens to ignite a major confrontation.

But sometimes the Turks choose to play down cross-border attacks on their territory, and an episode Saturday shows how complicated these shootings can be in a war that continues to evolve.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Continue; Clinton Warns Syria

Hundreds of supporters of Egypt's president Mohammed Morsi protested outside a top Egyptian court Sunday in Cairo.
Mahmoud Khaled AFP/Getty Images
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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Mon December 3, 2012

His Holiness Comes To Twitter: Pope Benedict Is '@Pontifex'

Pope Benedict XVI. He'll be spreading the word on Twitter.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:29 am

Starting Dec. 12, the Vatican says, Pope Benedict XVI will be on Twitter to answer questions about faith.

His Holiness will be posting as @Pontifex.

"The handle is a good one. It means 'pope' and it also means 'bridge builder'," Greg Burke, senior media adviser to the Vatican, tells Reuters.

Can he say a lot in 140 characters or less?

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Animals
5:29 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Russian School Kids Entertain Lion Cub

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. An elementary school pet is typically an animal that can be kept in a terrarium or a small cage, like say a hamster. For a few hours, some Russian village kids cared for a far wilder creature - a lion cub they found in a field after it escaped from the trunk of a car. Waiting for police to come and take it to a local zoo, the kids played with it in the gym. The cub reportedly swiped the air but did not bite. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:18 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Virginia Man Bowls Perfect Game

With a modified wheelchair and a $20 bowling ball from a yard sale, a Virginia man rolled a perfect game last week. George Holscher had 12 strikes in a row, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Holscher is the second wheelchair bowler on record to rack up 300 points.

The Two-Way
5:18 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Homeless Man Given Boots By NYC Police Officer Chooses To Go Barefoot Again

The photo that touched many hearts: New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a shoeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night last month. That man was later identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman.
Jennifer Foster NYPD via Facebook

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:34 am

"Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money."

With those few words, 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman says a lot.

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Middle East
2:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Israeli Settlement Plan

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:19 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For years the United States has urged the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a peace accord based on a two-state solution. Well, there are growing concerns within the international community that the chances of that ever happening are dimming.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Palestinians angered Israel last week by securing a symbolically important vote at the United Nations General Assembly, upgrading their status from a non-member entity to a non-member state. Israel responded with reprisals.

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Middle East
2:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Egypt's Draft Constitution Divides Nation

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:12 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, who took power last June, is facing a rebellion against his rule. It all started with a set of controversial decrees by the president that put him above the law until a constitution is in place. That move has polarized the country. Judges are on strike and critics say the president is pushing through an illegitimate constitution.

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Shots - Health News
1:21 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Text Messages Help Smokers Kick The Habit

In the U.K.-based program called Txt2stop, researchers sent smokers encouraging text messages, like the one above, to help them quit.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 9:21 am

Some good news about texting: A review of studies published by the Cochrane Collaboration finds that smokers trying to quit the habit are helped in a big way by supportive messages sent via text.

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Shots - Health News
1:19 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Social Media Help Diabetes Patients (And Drugmakers) Connect

Cameron Harris, who has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 8 years old, explains the ins and outs of using glucagon for blood sugar lows. Harris hosts a video podcast series called "In Range" on YouTube.
Harwood Podcast Network YouTube

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 7:20 am

When Kerri Sparling was 7 years old, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her family didn't know anyone with the disease, so they sent her to diabetes camp — "where every single camper had Type 1 diabetes," she says.

"That was my first sense of not only other people who had diabetes, but a true community," says Sparling.

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Space
1:30 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

Signs Of Life On Mars? Not Exactly

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 3:06 pm

The director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said last week that preliminary data showed the possibility that the agency's Mars Science Laboratory – the six-wheeled rover that landed on Mars in August — had found signs of carbon-containing molecules.

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U.S.
1:22 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

Mission Diversify: CIA Begins LGBT Recruiting

The CIA is looking to employ a community it historically rejected.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 3:06 pm

As part of the CIA's efforts to diversify its workforce, the spy agency is reaching out to a group that once was unable to get security clearance — lesbians and gay men.

Earlier this week, CIA officials held a networking event for the Miami gay community sponsored by the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the CIA.

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Music Interviews
11:55 am
Sun December 2, 2012

The Evens: The Power Of Turning Down The Volume

Ian MacKaye, co-founder of Dischord Records and the bands Fugazi and Minor Threat, and Amy Farina, formerly of The Warmers, form The Evens. Their third album together is called The Odds.
Charles Previtire Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 3:06 pm

Over three decades, Ian MacKaye has tested a few possibilities of what punk can mean. His first band to make a national impact, Minor Threat, was a clear outgrowth of the hardcore scene in his native Washington, D.C. His second act, Fugazi, was subtler: four musicians, all songwriters, infusing punk's energy with rhythms pulled from funk, reggae and even classic rock.

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It's All Politics
11:51 am
Sun December 2, 2012

No Deal On 'Fiscal Cliff' Without Tax Increase On Rich, Geithner Says

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, seen here on NBC's Meet the Press on July 10, 2011, took to the Sunday talk shows to make the administration's case on the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff."
William B. Plowman AP

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 12:50 pm

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took to the Sunday talk shows to push the Obama administration's plan to avert the "fiscal cliff," saying that while he was optimistic about a deal with Republicans, there would be no agreement without an increase in tax rates for the top 2 percent of income earners.

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Education
4:14 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Pencils Down? French Plan Would End Homework

President Francois Hollande argues that homework puts poor children at a disadvantage, but others argue the extra work is needed to help those students succeed.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 5:39 pm

In the name of equality, the French government has proposed doing away with homework in elementary and junior high school. French President Francois Hollande argues that homework penalizes children with difficult home situations, but even the people whom the proposal is supposed to help disagree.

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Asia
3:59 am
Sun December 2, 2012

In Pakistan, Secrets Of A 3,000-Year-Old Cemetery

The graves were apparently opened and reopened multiple times, serving more than one generation.
Courtesy of ACT Project

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 1:46 pm

High on a hill overlooking Pakistan's scenic Swat Valley sits a recently excavated cemetery. Italian archaeologist Luca Maria Olivieri walks across the site and lays a sun-beaten hand on a clay slab jutting out from a high, dun-colored wall. It's an ancient grave.

Olivieri says the remains still have to be carbon-tested, but archaeologists believe the graves contain members of a Dardic community, which dominated this part of Pakistan 3,000 years ago.

It's believed Alexander the Great fought one of his battles here, in the village of Udegram.

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All Tech Considered
3:58 am
Sun December 2, 2012

The Sight Of Road Kill Makes A Pretty, Data-Rich Picture

When wildlife ecologist Danielle Garneau finds roadkill, she uploads data about it onto her smartphone.
Sarah Harris NCPR

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 2:26 pm

Wildlife ecologist Danielle Garneau is making a habit of tracking down roadkill. She actually seeks it out, hunting for clues about larger ecological trends. Garneau records it all on a free smartphone app, EpiCollect.

Standing by the side of the road in upstate New York, phone in hand, Garneau peers down at a dead, bloody and smelly skunk.

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Afghanistan
3:58 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Afghans Begin New Exodus, Often At Great Cost

Afghan families walk along a dusty road in Kabul, the Afghan capital, last month. In the latest in a series of dramatic inflows and outflows, more Afghans are leaving the country than returning, fueled by unease about next year's withdrawal of NATO forces.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 6:00 am

Convulsed by war and civil strife for decades, Afghanistan has experienced some of the largest ebbs and flows of migration anywhere in the world.

It began with the Soviet invasion in 1979, which sent millions of Afghans fleeing to Iran and Pakistan. When the Taliban were driven from power in 2001, many Afghans began returning home.

Now, the country has hit another milestone: For the first time since 2002 and the beginning of the current war in Afghanistan, the country has a negative migration rate — more Afghans are leaving than returning.

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It's All Politics
1:20 am
Sun December 2, 2012

The 3 Unofficial GOP Rules That Are Making A Deficit Deal Even Harder

House Speaker John Boehner takes questions during a news conference Friday on Capitol Hill.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 5:40 pm

Making an already head-splittingly difficult deal on the fiscal cliff even harder to resolve is a set of three rules by which the Republicans who run the House play.

These are not official regulations; they're more shibboleths that House GOP leaders have adopted in recent years. And those rules are leaving House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, little room to maneuver as lawmakers try to avoid a set of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year.

1. "The majority of the majority"

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Europe
1:09 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Ach! No End In Sight For Berlin Airport Woes

The opening date of Germany's new Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg International Airport has been delayed three times due to construction delays and safety concerns.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 5:54 am

Germans are famous for their efficiency and being on time. But a much-delayed, expensive new airport in the German capital, Berlin, is rapidly destroying that reputation.

Located in the former East Berlin neighborhood of Schoenefeld, the new airport is to replace three others that serviced passengers in the once-divided city. One of those, Tempelhof — made famous by the Allied airlifts of food and supplies during the Soviet blockade of the late 1940s — is already closed.

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Business
1:41 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Beauty Pageant Economics: The Sash Isn't Cheap

Jessica Bermudez, 24, models a dress at Deja Vu in Alexandria, Va. Bermudez is competing for the title of Miss District of Columbia USA, and says she regularly enters beauty pageants.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:03 am

Miss America's walk might look effortless, but her road to success probably cost more than you think.

Ten-thousand women will compete in a Miss USA-sponsored pageant this year. That organization is just one of more than 15 small circuits, each with its own local, state and national competitions. It's a big industry. From the organizers, designers and coaches, lots of people make money — except the contestants.

Twenty-four women are in the running to become the latest Miss District of Columbia USA.

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