NPR News

The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Drought Deepens In Hardest Hit Parts Of U.S.

Drought-stricken corn struggles to survive on a farm near Poseyville, Ind.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:36 am

The areas of the lower 48 states where this summer's drought is judged to be "severe, extreme or exceptional" (in ascending order of seriousness) increased slightly again this week, according to the experts at the federal government's National Drought Mitigation Center.

It reports that:

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Shots - Health Blog
7:28 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Yes, There's Probably A Medical App For That

With thousands of medical apps available for download, patients and physicians can instantly keep visual records of wounds and look up symptoms.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 7:46 am

How many calories have I consumed this week? How well did I sleep last night?

What about this thing on my leg — is it infected? What does an ECG for ventricular tachycardia look like again?

Yes, you guessed it. There is an app for that.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Fighting Has Forced More Than 1.5 Million Syrians To Move, U.N. Says

In northwestern Syria earlier this year, this man and boys fled fighting.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

The scope of the ongoing crisis in Syria is made clear yet again by two new reports from the United Nations:

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

In Wisconsin, Thousands To Pay Homage To Sikh Temple Shooting Victims

A makeshift memorial outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in honor of the six people who were killed there.
Mira Oberman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 10:03 am

Several thousand people from across the U.S. and the world are expected in Oak Creek, Wis., today as Sikhs gather to mourn for the six people killed during Sunday's shooting rampage at a temple.

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Participation Nation
5:33 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Doing The Write Thing In Portland, Maine

Practicing the craft of storytelling in the Telling Room.
Courtesy of the Telling Room

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:59 am

The Telling Room is a non-profit center in Portland that inspires young people to explore the pleasures of the written word.

In an increasingly diverse state, the Telling Room engages with communities that are under-served by the public school system: young people from Maine's growing immigrant and refugee populations, those with emotional challenges and at-risk middle and high school students.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Three U.S. Troops Killed In Latest 'Green On Blue' Attack

As boys washed their feet in the background, a U.S. Marine stood nearby earlier this summer in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

"Three U.S. Forces-Afghanistan service members died following an attack by an individual wearing an Afghan uniform in southwest Afghanistan today," according to a statement from the International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan.

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Animals
4:55 am
Fri August 10, 2012

London's Zoo Gets Animals Into Olympic Spirit

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In the spirit of the Olympics, the London Zoo is presenting its own games: Animal Athletes in Action. Bob the Owl's 100-centimeter sprint has been a big hit. Adoring crowds cheer on the penguins in diving, otters in swimming and zebras in long-distance running, all competing, not for medals, but tasty morsels. Personal favorite: the insects weightlifting 850 times their body weight. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:49 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Semi-Automatic Rifle Arrives In TV Box

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Seth Horvitz says all he wanted was a TV. The Washington, D.C. resident was expecting it to be shipped through Amazon. Instead, he received a military-grade, semi-automatic rifle. Mr. Horvitz complained to Amazon, UPS and the seller. Nobody took responsibility. But police were happy to take the gun, which is illegal in the nation's capital. The Second Amendment assures the right to bear arms, not to ship them to the wrong address. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

World
4:39 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Anti-Blasphemy Law Introduced In Tunisia

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A small incident in Tunisia hints at some of the larger strains in the revolutions we call the Arab Spring. Police arrested an activist and journalist named Sofiene Chourabi. He was a prominent figure in Tunisia's uprising against a longtime ruler. But he differed with the new government that came to power, which is dominated by an Islamist party. Chourabi found himself under arrest after he criticized a proposed blasphemy law that he saw as a restriction of free speech. We talked about this with Tunisian journalist Asma Ghribi.

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Middle East
4:37 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Egypt Accused Of Inflating Facts On Sinai Attacks

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 7:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Space
2:43 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Followers Embrace Curiosity's Mars Tweets

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:05 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, at the same time that Adam Steltzner's team was waiting for news from Curiosity, tens of thousands of people around the world were waiting for some news from the rover's own Twitter feed. One week after landing, nearly 900,000 followers are getting to know the unique personality of Mars Curiosity. That's the rover's name on Twitter.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here are a couple of Curiosity's tweets so far: You asked for pics from my trip, here you go: my first look of many to come of my new home, Mars.

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U.S.
1:24 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Sikh Shooting Puts Focus On Hate Groups At Home

Rescue workers stand in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after an explosion on April 19, 1995. The bombing killed 168 people.
David Longstreath AP

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The slaying of six people at a Sikh temple by a gunman with ties to white supremacists has raised questions about the scope of domestic terrorism — and what law enforcement is doing to stop it.

Federal law enforcement agencies cracked down hard on homegrown extremists after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people, including 19 children at a day care center. Many leaders went to prison, died or went bankrupt.

But in recent years, the spread of the Internet, the worsening economy and changing demographic patterns have been giving new voice to hate groups.

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First And Main
1:20 am
Fri August 10, 2012

An Undecided Florida Voter Faces Emotional Decision

Wanda Kos is undecided this election year, but voted for Barack Obama in 2008. She is concerned for the future of her daughter Sofia, 6, and her two older children, including one son who just joined the military
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:25 am

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

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National Security
1:19 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Air Force Chief Leaves Legacy In The Sky: Drones

Gen. Norton Schwartz (shown here in October 2010) is stepping down as the top U.S. Air Force officer.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The top officer in the U.S. Air Force, Gen. Norton Schwartz, is stepping down Friday after four years on the job.

Schwartz got the job after his predecessor was fired for — among other things — clashing with his Pentagon bosses over how many fighter jets the military needs.

Schwartz is most likely to be remembered for pushing another kind of aircraft: drones.

At this moment, dozens of these unmanned aircraft are flying high above Afghanistan.

Just don't call them drones when speaking with Schwartz.

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Joe's Big Idea
1:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

So You Landed On Mars. Now What?

Adam Steltzner, the leader of the rover's entry, descent and landing engineering team, cheers after Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on Sunday.
Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The Mars rover Curiosity is beginning its fifth day on the red planet, and it's been performing flawlessly from the moment it landed.

That's been especially gratifying for NASA landing engineer Adam Steltzner. Last Friday, while Steltzner was still on pins and needles waiting for the landing to take place, I told the story of Steltzner's decision as a young man to give up his life as a rocker and go for a career in space engineering.

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StoryCorps
11:57 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Two Sikh Men, Two Lifetimes Of Looking Different

Surinder Singh and his son Rupinder visited StoryCorps in San Francisco in April.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The tragic shooting at a Sikh house of worship in Wisconsin this month has turned the spotlight on the Sikh faith and the nation's Sikh community.

Earlier this year, Surinder Singh and his son Rupinder visited a StoryCorps booth in San Francisco, where they reflected on their own experiences standing out among their peers and neighbors.

Both practicing Sikhs, Surinder and Rupinder wear turbans, and maintaining that tenet of their faith has made for some difficult experiences.

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The Two-Way
5:06 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Sikh Temple In Wisconsin Reopens For First Time Since Shooting

Members of the Sikh temple of Wisconsin wash items as they return for the first time in Oak Creek, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

This afternoon for the first time since a gunman opened fire and killed six people on Sunday, volunteers and members of the Sikh community ventured back into the temple.

As soon as the FBI allowed it, they started the grim task of cleaning the Gurdwara. The Sikh Coalition has been tweeting on the progress. They noted that they received help from the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Summer Film, Starring Real-Life Porn Star, Is Testing India's Limits

A man pastes the posters of Bollywood film "Jism 2" outside a cinema hall in Bangalore, India.
Aijaz Rahi AP

The prolific and pervasive film industry of India, often called Bollywood, is pushing the country's decency envelope with its latest summer release, which features a real-life porn star. The film, awkwardly titled Jism 2, is a sequel to a 2002 blockbuster and stars Indian-Canadian adult film star Sunny Leone in the leading role. (The title means 'body' in Hindi.)

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

From Our Readers: Morpheus' 'Failure Is A Good Thing'

When we reported the 'total loss' of NASA's moon lander Morpheus during testing, some readers expressed disappointment.

Sandra Chapin called it a 'bummer':

"To me the sad thing is not the loss of money, but the loss of time. How long will it take to redesign and build a new one? Puts us that much further behind in gathering data."

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Publisher Pulls Controversial Thomas Jefferson Book, Citing Loss Of Confidence

Cover art for The Jefferson Lies
Thomas Nelson Publishers

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:44 pm

Citing a loss of confidence in the book's details, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson is ending the publication and distribution of the bestseller, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson.

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It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Obama Targets Romney On Tax Credit For Wind Energy Producers

President Obama at a Newton, Iowa, wind-turbine blade maker in May.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:12 pm

How many votes can President Obama gain or Mitt Romney lose because of the Republican's opposition to renewing federal tax credits to wind energy producers? The answer, with apologies to Bob Dylan, is blowin' in the wind.

Obama hopes to influence the answer by relentlessly pounding the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee's opposition to the renewal.

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It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

On The Trail, Even Republicans Spin Clinton Years Into Gold

What a difference 14 years makes. Here, Bill Clinton departs the White House on July 31, 1998, after telling reporters he wouldn't take questions about the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

This week, the presidential campaign has been dominated by debate over the welfare law from the 1990s. It's just the latest example of how both sides are trying to use the Clinton years to their advantage — portraying them as a halcyon golden age.

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Environment
3:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

How A Texas Town Became Water Smart

An area in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park where treated wastewater is pumped into the San Antonio River, one of many measures the city has taken to combat drought.
Mose Buchele StateImpact Texas

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Faced with a booming population and a disappearing water supply, the city of San Antonio responded by dramatically cutting consumption, pioneering new storage techniques and investing in water recycling and desalination projects. It now boasts that it is "Water's Most Resourceful City."

There are so many programs and projects that Chuck Ahrens of Water Resources and Conservation with the San Antonio Water System can hardly keep track.

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Wish You Were Here: My Favorite Destination
3:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Listening To Loons In Maine

Hearing the call of the loons is like "a blessing."
Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Writer Roxana Robinson's most recent novel, Cost, is set in Maine.

Mount Desert Island, off the coast of northern Maine, is known for dramatic scenery. Most of the island is Acadia National Park: steep forests, plunging down to a cobalt sea. Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak, is the first place where light touches the American continent, each morning at dawn. Trails follow the windswept ridges; they wind along the smooth pink granite bluffs, rising from the deep, icy water, along the wild swirl of the great tides.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

James Holmes, Colorado Shooting Suspect, Is Mentally Ill, His Attorneys Say

The attorneys for the James Holmes, the alleged Colorado shooter, say their client is mentally ill.

The AP reports the disclosure came during a hearing today at the Arapahoe (Colo.) County Courthouse in which news organizations, including NPR, were asking for documents in the case to be unsealed.

The AP adds:

"Holmes had the same dazed demeanor that he has had in previous court appearances.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Ashton Eaton, Of United States, Wins Gold In Decathlon

Ashton Eaton of the United States smiles after competing in the Men's Decathlon Pole Vault in London.
Feng Li Getty Images

(This post appeared in our Olympics blog, The Torch.)

The American Ashton Eaton can call himself the greatest athlete in the world, today.

With 8,869 points, Eaton took the gold medal in the decathlon. His American teammate Trey Hardee took the silver with 8,671 points.

If you're not familiar, the decathlon is the closest the sports world comes to a standardized test in athletic ability. It spans two days and 10 events, including the 100 meter dash, the long jump, the high jump and the shot put.

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The Torch
3:01 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Ashton Eaton, Of United States, Wins Gold In Decathlon

Ashton Eaton of the United States smiles after competing in the Men's Decathlon Pole Vault in London.
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:58 pm

The American Ashton Eaton can call himself the greatest athlete in the world, today.

With 8,869 points, Eaton took the gold medal in the decathlon. His American teammate Trey Hardee took the silver with 8,671 points.

If you're not familiar, the decathlon is the closest the sports world comes to a standardized test in athletic ability. It spans two days and 10 events, including the 100 meter dash, the long jump, the high jump and the shot put.

The final event is the 1,500 meter run. It's a grueling final metric mile. Eaton finished it easily with a time of 4:35.

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

List Of Drug-Resistant Infections Continues To Grow

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Included on that growing list that Rob just mentioned: some strains of tuberculosis, strep, typhoid fever, malaria and MRSA - which is a staph infection. Mutations of these have outpaced new drug development. For more on drug-resistant infections, we're joined by Dr. Arjun Srinivasan. He works on this issue with the CDC. Dr. Srinivasan, welcome to the program.

DR. ARJUN SRINIVASAN: Thank you so much for having me.

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Missing Athletes Join Long List Of Olympic Defectors

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to the case of the missing Olympians. Seven competitors from Cameroon have gone missing in London - five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer goalie - six men and one woman. It's presumed they may seek asylum in England. And if so, they'll join a long list of athletes who've defected during the Olympic Games. For more on who has defected and why, I'm joined by Olympic historian, David Wallechinsky. He's at the games in London. David, welcome to the program.

Thank you.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Torch
2:11 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Usain Bolt Cements His Place In History, Winning 200 Meter Gold

Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Yohan Blake of Jamaica to win gold during the Men's 200m Final.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Usain Bolt cemented his place as one of the greatest sprinters in history, when he won the 200 meter final today.

Bolt was challenged by his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, who closed in with less than 100 meters to go. Bolt kicked on his burners and ended up taking back the lead and beating Blake 19.32 to 19.44 seconds.

The big deal here is that this makes Bolt the first Olympian to win both the 100 meter and 200 meter races two Olympics in a row.

Warren Weir, another Jamaican, took third.

The AP adds:

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