NPR News

Sports
3:24 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong: When A Hero Lets Us Down

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 10:54 am

Lance Armstrong. He has a superhero's name, right out of the comic books. He moved from conquering stages of one kind — bike racing — to stages of another kind — cancer. He's chiseled and driven and known all over the world.

But now we learn that the superhero has given up in one of his biggest battles. He says he will no longer continue to fight charges by the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance enhancing drugs to win bicycle races.

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Election 2012
3:06 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

In Akin's Wake, Ryan Defends Anti-Abortion Record

Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan speaks at a campaign event in Fayetteville, N.C., on Thursday.
Sara D. Davis AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 6:27 pm

Since Republican Rep. Todd Akin first said the words "legitimate rape" Sunday, just about everyone in the Republican Party has condemned those comments.

The Missouri Senate candidate later apologized, but his remarks continue to drive the political debate. They've also raised questions about the anti-abortion record of the Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Jerry Nelson, Puppeteer For Sesame Street's Count Von Count, Is Dead

Jerry Nelson and the character he brought to life, Count von Count.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Jerry Nelson, who voiced many characters on Sesame Street for more than 40 years, has died.

Nelson is perhaps best known because he brought Count von Count, the purple, friendly vampire, to life.

Madalit del Barco filed this obituary for our Newscast unit:

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Farmers Waiting Out The Drought Tune Into Twitter

The information farmers are getting from Twitter can help them decide how and when to market their grain.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:43 am

A few years ago, if Bill Graff wanted to find out whether other farmers' fields looked anything like his, he'd make some calls and check an online bulletin board. It might take him a few days, even a week, to get a sense of how his crops stacked up against others in his region.

Now Graff, 53, who grows 1,400 acres of corn, soybean, wheat and hay in central Illinois, checks his Twitter feed. "I can get a half-way decent idea of what's going on out there instantaneously," Graff says.

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Music Reviews
2:20 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Blackberry Smoke: Life In A Small Town

Like Lynyrd Skynyrd before it, Blackberry Smoke turns Southern music forms into radio-ready singalongs.
Matthew Mendenhall

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:47 pm

The Georgia-based rock band Blackberry Smoke has been together for more than a decade, slowly building an audience the old-fashioned way by relentless touring — around 250 shows a year.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
1:37 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Is It Too Late To Defuse The Danger Of Megafires?

Timmons and Springer work in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, which were burned during last year's Wallow Fire. The largest fire in Arizona history, Wallow barreled through a half-million acres of forest.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:47 pm

Fourth in a five-part series

Forests in the Southwest have become a fuel stockpile. A century of U.S. Forest Service policy of quashing all fires has allowed forests to become overgrown, and now a warming climate is making the problem worse.

Scientists are trying to defuse these green time bombs. Is it too late?

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Participation Nation
1:33 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Barrio Basketball In El Paso, Texas

A rainbow of teams at basketball camp.
Mike James Courtesy of AUFP

A summertime basketball camp can cost a kid several hundred dollars. But the Basketball in the Barrio camp — held just two blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso — costs just one buck.

Actually, only a portion of the camp is about basketball, says co-founder Rus Bradburd. The experience is sponsored by Athletes United for Peace, a group that tries to promote peace and harmony through sports.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Anti-Doping Chief: Armstrong Knows Truth, Sticking To 'Baseless Soundbites'

United States Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Officer Travis Tygart, right, during a subcommittee hearing on drug use in sports in 2008.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:47 pm

The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency says Lance Armstrong knows the truth and he has decided that instead of airing every piece of evidence publicly and in front of an impartial court, the dethroned seven-time Tour de France winner has decided to "hold on to baseless soundbites."

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri August 24, 2012

U.S. Drone Strike Kills 18 In Pakistan, Security Officials Say

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 12:24 pm

Pakistani security officials say that a United States drone strike has killed 18 suspected militants today in the northwest part of the country. The attack is the fifth of its kind in a week.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Romney Dredges Up False "Birther Movement"

But seriously, folks: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joked about birth certificates today in Commerce, Mich.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

In Commerce, Mich., today, The Associated Press reports, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney told supporters that he and his wife, Ann, had been born in nearby hospitals. Then, Romney added, "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate; they know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised."

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Shots - Health Blog
11:15 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Dire Health Conditions In South Sudan Prompt Airdrops

Families wait for hours to register at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan along the northern border in early July. Within a few weeks, the population of the camp more than doubled, leading to shortages of food, water and medicine.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 2:32 pm

It's been only a year since South Sudan became an independent nation. But as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reported last month, the young county is already facing major challenges.

One of these is a growing population of refugees at the northern border, where conditions have become so dire in the past few weeks that aid workers are now calling it a "health catastrophe."

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World Cafe
11:04 am
Fri August 24, 2012

The Tallest Man On Earth On World Cafe

The Tallest Man on Earth.
Melody Chiang

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 6:03 am

Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson is a modern-day troubadour whose crooning voice and acoustic folk songs often get him compared to Bob Dylan. Matsson recently released his third full-length solo album, There's No Leaving Now, under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri August 24, 2012

ACT Says A Quarter Of High Schoolers Are College Ready

The people at ACT, best known for the assesment test taken by many college-bound high schoolers, have finished crunching 2012 numbers and they report that just 25 percent of high schoolers who took the test are college ready.

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Participation Nation
10:33 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Taking Care In Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Community service in Alabama.
Courtesy of UA

One of the first activities of the new school year at the University of Alabama is Hands On Tuscaloosa, a morning of community service. On Sat., Aug. 25, students can choose to refurbish a neighborhood baseball diamond, clean-up a local high school, create a carnival or do something else worthwhile.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Fri August 24, 2012

At Penn State, New Students Weigh Stigma Of Scandal

Signs on display around town are designed to show support for Penn State's football team as a new season begins.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:47 pm

A freshman class is arriving at Penn State this week. But a child sexual abuse scandal that rocked the school last fall is casting a shadow over the school's "Welcome Week."

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U.S.
9:56 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Details Emerge In Shooting By Empire State Building

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 9:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Today's shooting in New York City draws special attention because of the location: at the base of the Empire State Building, perhaps the most famous building in New York, one of the most famous buildings in the world. The gunman opened fire there. Several people were shot and wounded. We're getting conflicting accounts of how many, although news photographs from the scene do show a number of people down on the ground.

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Election 2012
9:15 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Who Best Represents American Catholics?

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:03 am

Catholics are considered one of the most important swing groups in the country. Now, for the first time in history, both major political parties have Catholic vice presidential candidates. Guest host Viviana Hurtado discusses the Catholic voting bloc with pollster Robert Jones and conservative Catholic blogger Gayle Trotter.

Economy
9:15 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Will Dreamers Help Or Hurt The Economy?

There's a debate going on about whether President Obama's deferred action program for undocumented workers will help boost the economy, or hurt it. Guest host Viviana Hurtado hears two opposing views from Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute, and Vanderbilt University law professor Carol Swain.

The Two-Way
8:45 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Two Dead After Shooting Near Empire State Building

One of the blocked off streets near the scene of today's shooting outside the Empire State Building.
Jim O'Grady WNYC

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:53 am

A shooting near the iconic Empire State Building this morning has left two people dead — one of them the gunman who first opened fire — and has shut down streets around that Manhattan landmark.

Police do not believe there's any link to terrorism. Instead, they suspect the gunman had some sort of work-related grievance.

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NPR News Investigations
8:03 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Before Reaching War Zones, Troops Risk Concussions

Staff Sgt. Ronald Sherwood practices a maneuver on Sgt. 1st Class Darwin Scriber at the U.S. Army Combatives School at Fort Benning, Ga. The school trains instructors who will teach recruits hand-to-hand combat. Most of the student instructors have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pouya Dianat for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:47 pm

A new military study suggests that some soldiers suffer mild traumatic brain injuries even before they go to war. These concussions, as they're also called, can come from taking "combatives" classes that teach hand-to-hand fighting during the soldiers' training.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Update: Isaac Might Be 'Near Hurricane Strength' When It Hits Haiti Today

Isaac's projected track as of 2 p.m. ET on Friday (Aug. 24).
National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 1:21 pm

Update at 3 p.m. ET. In its latest update, the National Hurricane Center says that tropical storm Isaac "could be near hurricane strength" when it reaches Haiti later today. That's a slightly more serious forecast from where we began the day.

Our original post — "Isaac Barrels Toward Haiti, But Isn't Likely To Become Hurricane Today":

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Shots - Health Blog
7:33 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Hospitals Bank 'Liquid Gold': Human Breast Milk

Ashley Beecher, 29, and her daughters Annie (on lap) and Charlie. After feeding Annie, Beecher donates her extra supply to the human milk bank at Texas Children's Hospital.
KUHF

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 6:59 am

When Ashley Beecher had her first daughter, nursing was a struggle, and she sometimes had to supplement her baby's diet with formula. But when she had her second daughter in January, it was a very different story.

"Very early on I noticed [that] I've got so much more milk than what this child is drinking," said Beecher, a 29-year-old Houston mom, who started expressing her milk and storing it in plastic bags in her freezer. "There's probably, I would say, estimated around 50 bags containing six ounces of milk in each one and that's just what I have right now."

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Fri August 24, 2012

21-Year Sentence For Norwegian Killer Of 77; But He May Serve For Life

Anders Behring Breivik in court today.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

At first the news may be a shock because of what would seem to Americans to be such a relatively light punishment considering the crime:

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong's Seven Tour De France Titles Are Effectively Gone

Lance Armstrong, wearing the yellow jersey that identifies the leader in the Tour de France, during the race in 2003. He won that year and six other times.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:14 am

  • Mike Pesca, reporting for the NPR Newcast

Cycling superstar and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles are about to be wiped from the record books.

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Around the Nation
6:26 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Simpsons Not A Big Seller For U.S. Postal Service

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with condolences to the U.S. Postal Service. The Post Office is stuck with hundreds of millions of stamps bearing the likeness of Homer Simpson. The service predicted the stamps would be twice as popular as Elvis Presley. One billion stamps were printed. Bloomberg reports only 318 million have been sold. An inspector general's report says that kind of overprinting adds to the post office money losses.

DAN CASTELLANETA: (as Homer Simpson) Doh.

Around the Nation
6:14 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Doctor Borrows Child's Bike To Make It To Surgery

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Dr. Catherine Baucom was late for surgery, but didn't give up. She was stuck in a massive traffic jam caused by an accident in Baton Rouge. And then she recalled a friend's house nearby and went to borrow a bike. TV station WAFB says the friend loaned his seven-year-old daughter's bike. So Dr. Baucom, almost six feet tall and wearing a green surgical outfit, pedaled for miles to surgery on a small, pink bike with a pink princess helmet. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Books News & Features
5:16 am
Fri August 24, 2012

'No Easy Day' To Tell About Bin Laden's Death

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This week the publisher Penguin confirmed it is releasing a book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The book is called "No Easy Day." And as of this morning, it is number one on Amazon's bestseller list, even though it is not due out until September 11.

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Participation Nation
5:03 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Loving Children In Washington, D.C.

Using soccer to teach math.
Caroline Lacey for NPR

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 5:43 am

Uno cards, soccer balls and Pac-Man: the scene at For Love of Children looks more like summer camp than a community tutoring program.

FLOC's Neighborhood Tutoring Program places children from low-income D.C. families with volunteer tutors in one-on-one relationships. Tutors are trained in the student's curriculum and help the children master the material in fun, captivating ways.

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Sports
4:47 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Armstrong To Be Stripped Of Cycling Records

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And some other news on this eventful morning. Lance Armstrong says he is no longer fighting the doping case against him. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says as a result the cyclist will be stripped of his seven titles on the Tour de France. NPR's Mike Pesca joined us to talk about it. Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: How did this happen? Did Armstrong effectively admit guilt here by saying he's not fighting the charges?

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Sports
4:24 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Comeback Kid: Brian Baker Rocks Tennis World

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:56 am

Brian Baker, 27, is a tennis player from Nashville, Tenn., who's had a Disney-like comeback season after being out of the sport for seven years with injuries. Baker started the season as 458th in the world. He's now 79th after making it to Wimbledon's fourth round. Now, Baker will be playing in his first U.S. Open since 2005.

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