NPR News

It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama To Prince Charles: We'll Never Be Royals

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles with President Obama at the White House Thursday.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

President Obama may be having some postcode envy.

As members of the press corps poured into the Oval Office in the White House to get pictures of Obama and Prince Charles, Obama whispered to Charles, "I think it's fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the royal family."

He went on: "They like them much better than they like their own politicians."

Prince Charles, laughing, gave the only polite answer he could in return: "I don't believe that."

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Parallels
3:09 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Why Russia's Economic Slump Has Been Good For London

The view west from London's newest skyscraper looks over the River Thames and St. Paul's Cathedral. Russians have flocked to the English property and banking sectors as the economy crumbles back home.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 1:29 am

One year ago, the U.S. and Europe started imposing sanctions against Russia to punish it for seizing part of Ukraine. At the time, many British analysts feared the sanctions would hurt London, because of England's close economic ties to Russia.

A year later, with Russia's economy in recession, London is thriving. And this may not be despite the crisis in Russia; London may be doing well partly because of Moscow's economic turmoil.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Analysis Reveals Record Number Of FOIA Requests Filed Last Year

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Goats and Soda
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Egyptian Singer, Meet Burundi Bassist. Play Among Yourselves!

A Nile Project concert in Al Azhar Park, Cairo, Egypt, 31 January, 2013.
Courtesy of Matjaz Kacicnik/Nile Project

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 6:23 pm

Late one night, Dina el-Wadi, a singer and musician from Cairo, arrived in Kampala, Uganda. She'd come for a gathering of musicians who live in countries along the Nile River.

She went to bed and woke up to pure enchantment: "I found a very beautiful woman singing in the morning in a very, very, very magical way. So I said, 'Oh, who is this girl that's going to sing with us?'"

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Parallels
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Despite Cease-Fire, Skirmishes Carry On Along Ukraine's Front Line

A Ukrainian serviceman walks in the village of Pisky in the region of Donetsk controlled by Ukrainian forces on Feb. 26.
Oleksandr Ratushniak AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:50 am

Fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists has died down after a cease-fire agreement last month, but there are stretches of the front line where shooting has never really stopped.

Near the village of Pisky, for instance, you can hear the dull thud of incoming mortar rounds, coming in sporadic waves.

Pisky is on the Ukrainian government side of the front line, but it's not far from the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk.

The shelling is more than a mile from a militia camp set up in what used to be a small hotel and cafe.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

N.Y. Judge Rejects Release Of Grand Jury Testimony In Eric Garner Case

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:05 pm

A New York state judge has refused to release grand jury testimony about the death last year of Eric Garner on Staten Island.

Garner, 43, died in July after being placed in a chokehold as he was being arrested for selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk. A grand jury decided in December not to indict the police officer involved in the death.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Protests Breakout At University of Virginia After Violent Arrest

UVA students protest the bloody arrest of a junior by Virginia police officers. (Hawes Spencer/WVTF)

Photos of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson laying on the ground with a bleeding head and police holding his hands behind his back have led to protest on the university’s campus.

Johnson, a third year honor student, was taken in to custody yesterday in front of a bar near the university. Video of him yelling “how did this happen” and calling the arresting Alcohol and Beverage Control officers racists, has prompted the university president to request an administrative review of the incident.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

DJ Sessions: Sam Cooke Fans - Listen Up

KCRW's Aaron Byrd says Sam Cooke fans might really enjoy Leon Bridges. (Leon Bridges/Facebook)

Aaron Byrd of KCRW in Santa Monica has a lot of new music to share with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson, including an artist that Sam Cooke fans will want to hear — he’s talking about Leon Bridges.

Byrd also shares music from the Los Angeles artist Kelela and disco-funk group Tuxedo — which has a less explicit take on a Snoop Dogg classic.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

2,000 Snow Geese Die In Idaho

2,000 snow geese in Idaho died this month as a result of avian cholera. (hjhipster/Flickr)

Wildlife experts say avian cholera is responsible for a mass die-off of snow geese in Idaho this month, which left 2,000 of the migratory birds dead. Wildlife officials say they are taking precautions so that it doesn’t spread.

Jeff Knetter, a waterfowl biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish & Game tells Here & Now’s Robin Young about how spectacular it is when tens of thousands of snow geese at once take off in flight.

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Shots - Health News
1:29 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

'Looks Like Laury' Shines The Power Of Friendship On A Failing Mind

Laury Sacks and her husband, Eric. The actress and writer developed frontotemporal dementia in her late 40s and died in 2008 at age 52.
Courtesy of Eric Sacks

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:09 am

More than 5 million Americans have dementia, and that number is only climbing. Each case leaves some people wondering what's left in a friendship when the bond between confidants becomes literally unthinkable, when language and thinking fail. But a good friend can sometimes help in ways that a spouse, a child or a paid professional can't.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Netanyahu Says A Palestinian State Is 'Unachievable' Today

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington earlier this month. In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, Netanyahu said a separate Palestinian state is unachievable "under the present circumstances."
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:55 am

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fresh from victory in parliamentary elections this week, says he wants to clarify remarks he made on the campaign trail that appeared to write off any possibility of a Palestinian state on his watch.

"What I said was that under the present circumstances, today, it is unachievable," Netanyahu says in an interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to be aired Friday. "I said that the conditions have to change."

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama Orders Reduction In Government's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

President Obama on Thursday signs an executive order directing the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 2:44 pm

President Obama signed an executive order at the White House on Thursday directing the federal government to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 40 percent from 2008 levels within the next decade and to increase its use of renewable energy sources to 30 percent of total consumption.

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Music Interviews
12:16 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Bluegrass Musician Norman Blake Releases An Album Of Original Songs

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 8:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's All Politics
11:53 am
Thu March 19, 2015

What If Everyone In America Had To Vote?

"It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything," President Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland.
Jeff Roberson AP

Australia has near 100 percent turnout in its elections. How do the Aussies do it? They, like 25 other countries, require people to vote.

President Obama wondered aloud Wednesday whether it was time for the United States to consider a similar move.

"In Australia and some other countries, there's mandatory voting," Obama said at an economic event in Cleveland. "It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything."

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Virginia's Governor Orders Inquiry Into Black Student's Bloody Arrest

Martese Johnson is held down by an officer Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va., in this photo provided by Bryan Beaubrun.
Bryan Beaubrun AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 2:39 pm

Responding to an incident that has sparked street protests in Charlottesville, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has ordered a state investigation into the arrest of a black University of Virginia student. Martese Johnson, 20, was left with blood streaming down his face after being arrested by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents.

The case created an uproar after photos emerged showing Johnson, a member of U.Va.'s Honor Committee, lying on the sidewalk with uniformed ABC agents crouching over him. Portions of the concrete, as well as Johnson's head and shirt, are bloody.

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Shots - Health News
10:40 am
Thu March 19, 2015

For A Good Snooze, Take One Melatonin, Add Eye Mask And Earplugs

It's hard to sleep when the light's on and the monitor's beeping.
Roderick Chen Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 1:16 pm

Hospitals are one of the worst places to try to get a good night's sleep, just when you need it the most. And though many have tried to muffle the noise of beeping monitors and clattering carts, the noise remains a big problem for many patients.

But what if we looked at a night in the hospital as a long overseas flight? As you settle in, they hand out eye masks and earplugs. And you cleverly brought along melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone sold at drugstores everywhere.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Japan, China Hold Security Talks, Hoping To Defuse Tensions

Liu Jianchao (second right), China's assistant foreign minister, shakes hands with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama (second left) during a meeting in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday.
Liu Tan Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 10:06 am

China and Japan have agreed to set up a "maritime communications hotline" as a means of defusing tense naval standoffs as vessels from both sides patrol in waters near a disputed island chain in the East China Sea.

The issue is part of a broader security meeting – the first between Beijing and Tokyo since 2011. It comes as relations between the two countries — still marred by Japanese aggression in World War II – slowly improve, according to officials.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Thai Court Charges Ex-Premier Yingluck With Negligence

The Office of the Attorney-General of Thailand holds a news conference on Thursday about the Supreme Court's decision to accept a criminal charge against Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Li Mangmang Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 10:05 am

Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will stand trial for her role overseeing a populist rice-subsidy program that was mishandled, costing the government billions of dollars.

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Parallels
7:50 am
Thu March 19, 2015

A Chinese Tourism Boom Has South Koreans Cramming

Language instructor Soh Bor-am teaches eight Mandarin classes a day, as Chinese tourism to South Korea swells.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 7:58 pm

Perhaps nowhere is the growth of the Chinese middle-class more visible than at top tourist destinations, which these days are teeming with Chinese travelers. The Chinese are traveling abroad in numbers never seen before, and it's felt strongly in South Korea, which finds itself scrambling to keep up with an estimated 4 million Chinese tourists a year.

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NPR History Dept.
7:23 am
Thu March 19, 2015

When The KKK Was Mainstream

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:44 am

Recently I tumbled on this story from Kansas Humanities — and an earlier post from Only A Game — about a 1925 baseball game between Wichita's African-American team, the Monrovians, and the Ku Klux Klan.

Wait a minute. The Ku Klux Klan once had a baseball team?

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Tunisian Museum Attack: 'I Thought It Was A Game,' Witness Says

Survivors are escorted from the National Bardo Museum in Tunis on Wednesday. At least 20 foreign tourists were killed in the attack.
Mohamed Krit Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:52 am

One day after a shocking attack in Tunis killed at least 20 foreign tourists and rattled Tunisians, authorities are looking for anyone involved in the gunmen's brazen assault of the National Bardo Museum. Tunisia's president says his country is "in a merciless war against terrorism."

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Australian Leader Raises Furor In Parliament With 'Goebbels' Comment

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (left) sparked the ire of the opposition Liberal Party by comparing its leader to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:34 pm

Roars of disapproval rang out in Australia's Parliament on Thursday, after Prime Minister Tony Abbott called Labor leader Bill Shorten "the Dr. Goebbels of economic policy." In the ruckus that ensued, three lawmakers were ejected and another walked out.

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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

A First For Joe: Biden Could Break Tie To Confirm Attorney General

Vice President Biden and House Speaker John Boehner wait for President Obama's State of the Union address in front of a joint session of Congress in 2012. As vice president, Biden is also leader of the U.S. Senate, but only gets a vote when senators are evenly divided.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 8:55 am

Vice President Joe Biden has been more visible than almost any of his 46 predecessors in the nation's No. 2 office. He's had more access to the Oval Office and more input on policy than all but a handful.

But there is one VP duty Biden has never fulfilled, because he's never had a chance: He has never broken a tie in the Senate, which is a salient VP responsibility embedded in the Constitution. In these past six years and two months, there hasn't been a Senate tie to break.

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Questions To Ask About Ed-Tech At Your Kids' School

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:33 am

When a 4-year-old comes home from pre-K proudly announcing that she spent her "choice time" playing on the computer, what's a parent to do?

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Strange News
5:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Ending The Over-Under Debate On Toilet Paper

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:50 am
Thu March 19, 2015

He's Fixing A Hole

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Middle East
3:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu And Washington

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 5:14 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
3:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Filmmakers Find A Different Way To Show The Syrian Conflict

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A film said to be made in Syria shows a man on a chair. You can't really see where he is - maybe some cafe. But it's quiet. The camera never moves. The man looks at his hands. He stays silent for 40 seconds. At last, he speaks.

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It's All Politics
1:47 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama Says Critics Making 'The Same Argument' Despite Better Economy

President Obama takes questions from the audience Wednesday after speaking about the economy and the middle class to the City Club of Cleveland.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:05 pm

Barack Obama let down his graying presidential hair a little bit on Wednesday. He also joked about coloring it.

Speaking to the City Club of Cleveland, Obama seemed to be in a reflective mood. During the question-and-answer period, he was asked by a seventh-grader what advice he would give to himself now, if he could go back to his first day in office.

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Science
1:35 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Scientists Catch Up On The Sex Life Of Coral To Help Reefs Survive

Staghorn coral planted by scientists in the Florida Keys. Researchers hope to give the same sort of boost to the world's shrinking population of pillar coral, now that they can raise the creatures in a laboratory.
Joe Berg/Way Down Video/Mote

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 5:54 am

For the first time, biologists have caught a rare type of coral in the act of reproducing, and they were able to collect its sperm and eggs and breed the coral in the laboratory.

The success is part of an effort to stem the decline in many types of coral around the world.

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