NPR News

The Torch
12:55 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

U.S. Gymnast Douglas Wins Gold In Individual All-Around

U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas won the gold medal in the women's individual all-around final in London Thursday.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:55 pm

American gymnast Gabby Douglas has won her second Olympic gold medal of the London Summer Games, winning the individual all-around event to match her performance anchoring the U.S. team's first-place performance earlier this week.

Douglas scored 15.500 or higher in her first three rotations, with an emphatic 15.966 on her vault. Her final score was 62.232.

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Music Reviews
12:52 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Digging Up The 'Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans'

Ryan Truesdell has turned unheard Gil Evans scores into richly textured works on Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans.
Dina Regine

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:47 pm

Gil Evans, born a century ago this year, was a leading jazz arranger and composer starting in the 1940s, when he wrote for big bands. He helped organize Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, then arranged Davis' celebrated orchestra albums like Sketches of Spain. Evans, who had his own big bands that went electric in the 1970s and '80s, died in 1991, but some of his rare music has been newly recorded.

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The Torch
12:20 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Women's Sabre Teams: No Medal For You

Russia's Sofya Velikaya (left) fences against South Korea's Kim Ji Yeon in their sabre gold medal bout Wednesday. Because of a limit on medals, there is no women's team sabre title at the London 2012 Games.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

It's hard to find a discipline that Team USA has dominated more than the women's sabre. The team is anchored by two-time medalist Mariel Zagunis. And before Zagunis was upset in the bronze medal match Wednesday, five of the six medals that had been awarded since 2004 went to Americans.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

48 Years After Divorce, Couple Is Giving Marriage Another Shot

The happy couple. Lena Henderson and Roland Davis, who will marry again on Saturday.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:39 pm

As Lena Henderson says, she hadn't been expecting to remarry Roland Davis some 48 years after their divorce, but "you never know what tomorrow is going to bring."

All Things Considered today tells the touching story of how the two 85-year-olds are set to tie the knot again on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Thu August 2, 2012

With Peace Plan In Tatters, Kofi Annan Resigns As Syria Envoy

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan looks on before a meeting at his office at the United Nations Offices in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

As the international envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan was supposed to bridge divides and bring peace and perhaps even a political transition in the country. But his role was an exercise in frustration with both the regime of Bashar Assad and the rebels ignoring ceasefire agreements.

On the diplomatic front, he was also stymied by the gulf that existed between Russia and China and the rest of the U.N., which supported tougher sanctions against Assad.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Ann Romney 'Thrilled To Death' By Her Horse's Olympic Performance

Jan Ebeling of the U.S. on Rafalca competes in the Dressage preliminaries of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Ann Romney was in London today to watch the Olympic debut of a horse she co-owns.

During the first day of the individual dressage competition, Rafalca scored 70.243, which landed her in 13th place so far. The event, if you're not familiar, is usually described as a kind of ballet for horses.

Romney seemed satisfied with the performance, which continues tomorrow.

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World Cafe
11:24 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Langhorne Slim On World Cafe

Langhorne Slim.
Courtesy of Todd Roeth

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 1:46 pm

Singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim (real name: Sean Scolnick) took his stage name from his hometown of Langhorne in Bucks County, Pa. After studying at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, Slim moved to Brooklyn and built a national following by touring with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Eventually, he made his way to Portland, Ore., where he's lived since the 2009 release of Be Set Free.

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The Torch
10:39 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Wiggin' Out: Bradley Wiggins Drinks To His Gold Medal, And The Mods Applaud

The Mods' New King? Cyclist Bradley Wiggins sits on a chair that looks an awful lot like a throne, after winning an Olympic gold medal Wednesday. Hailed in Britain for his mod tastes and funny tweets, Wiggins celebrated his win by getting "blind drunk," he said.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:54 pm

Fresh off becoming Britain's most-decorated Olympian, cyclist Bradley Wiggins is back in the news, as he updated his Twitter followers Wednesday night with details of how his celebration was going.

"Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages," Wiggins tweeted to his more than 400,000 followers. "Thank You everyone it's been emotional X."

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Participation Nation
10:35 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Every Day Is Earth Day In Seattle, Wash.

EarthCorps volunteers help restore the Seattle countryside.
Courtesy of EarthCorps

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

Near their headquarters in a converted WWII naval building, EarthCorps members — brought in from all over the world — do morning yoga before departing to restore parks and creeks in and around Seattle.

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The Torch
9:50 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Kayla Harrison Completes Her Comeback With Historic Gold Medal In Judo

U.S. judoka Kayla Harrison reacts after winning the women's 78kg gold medal at London's ExCel arena.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:39 pm

Kayla Harrison has defeated Britain's Gemma Gibbons in the women's 78kg judo final. It is the first gold medal for Harrison, 22, a native of Middletown, Ohio — and the first Olympic gold medal for an American in the event.

Harrison sprang out to an early lead in the match and then sealed it with another late score. She holds multiple world champion titles, despite her young age.

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Politics
9:31 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Are Polls Good News For Either Candidate?

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 12:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear why some analysts are calling Mali, of all places, the Afghanistan of Africa. We'll ask NPR's West Africa's correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about why this formerly stable democracy has so many in the region on edge. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Colorado Shooting Stories: Teen Shielded Woman And Her Kids; He Got Shot

Jarell Brooks.
KUSA-TV

As they're being told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

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The Torch
8:13 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Boris Gets Left Hanging, But The Joke's Rarely On London's Savvy Mayor

A still image taken from an eyewitness video shows London's Mayor Boris Johnson hanging from a zipline, after losing his momentum.
YouTube

Some Londoners may not be much interested in sports - but one image from these Olympic Games will surely remain with them, long after the cheers and crowds have faded away. It is the spectacle of their mayor, Boris Johnson, brandishing a Union flag in either hand, dangling helplessly from a zip wire 20 feet above the ground.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:42 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Mixed Feelings About Side Effects From Cholesterol Pills

Lipitor and other cholesterol-fighting drugs carry risks of side effects.
Paul Sakuma AP

Drugs to lower cholesterol run neck and neck with antidepressants for popularity in the U.S.

There's ample evidence cholesterol-lowering pills called statins can reduce the risk of a repeat heart attack. The pills are frequently prescribed for people who've never had a heart attack or stroke, but are at high risk for trouble.

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The Torch
7:02 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Women Rowers Prevail, And NBC's Water Polo Coverage

The U.S. team races to their second straight gold medal in the women's eight rowing event at the London 2012 Olympic Games, at Eton Dorney Rowing Centre in Eton, west of London.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. Here's a rundown of the news that's catching our eye this morning, from the London Olympics:

-- The women's eight rowing competition was won by the U.S. team, in an encore of their gold-medal performance in Beijing 2008. The team, which led from the start and stayed ahead of silver medalists Canada at the end, consists of Mary Whipple (coxswain), Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu August 2, 2012

In Syria, Both Sides Now Have Heavy Weapons In Aleppo

Anti-Assad fighters stood atop a captured army tank on Wednesday in the village of Anadan, about 4 miles northwest of Aleppo.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:59 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn, in Beirut, talks with Steve Inskeep

Anti-Bashar Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo now have at least a few tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and improved explosives.

And that has U.N. observers warning about the deadly consequences of heavy weapons being used by both sides within such a "confined urban area," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said earlier on Morning Edition. The fear, of course, is that even more non-combatants will be caught in the crossfire.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Near Collision Near D.C.: Planes Were 12 Seconds From Possible Impact

A passenger jet preparing for takeoff from Reagan National Airport in 2002.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:42 pm

  • Radio traffic between pilot and controller

Update at 2:40 p.m. ET. FAA Disputes Report:

The Associated Press writes that "none of the three commuter jets that flew too close together near Washington was ever on course to collide head-on with the others, U.S. officials said Thursday. "During a news conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood strongly disputed media reports characterizing the incident as a near-miss."

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Psychiatrist Was Alarmed By Aurora Shooting Suspect's Behavior, Media Report

James Holmes, who's accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58.
RJ Sangosti Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 10:50 am

A University of Colorado Denver psychiatrist was so worried about James Holmes' behavior that in early June she began the process of getting the school's "threat assessment" team involved in his case, sources with knowledge of the investigation into the movie theater shooting suspect are telling two Denver news outlets.

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Participation Nation
5:56 am
Thu August 2, 2012

They Take The Cake In Boise, Idaho

Sweetness: Kathy Plaisance and about 50 other bakers use their skills to bring sweet treats to people who might otherwise be overlooked.
Emilie Ritter Saunders for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:02 pm

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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House & Senate Races
4:27 am
Thu August 2, 2012

GOP Has Big Hopes For Missouri Senate Race

Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has earned the endorsement of Sarah Palin in her bid for a Republican Senate nomination.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:07 am

Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.

Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.

Meet The Candidates

In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.

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Strange News
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Will You Marry Me? Wait, Where Are You?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR Story
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Back To The Debt Debacle: A Look At What's Changed

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:53 am

It was just a year ago that the House rejected a deal with President Obama and threatened to allow the U.S. to default on debt obligations coming due. The Tea Party refusal to raise the debt ceiling led to a downgrade in U.S. credit and a selloff in the markets. NPR's David Welna reports on what's changed since then and what hasn't.

NPR Story
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Breaking Tax Code: Obama Jumps On Romney's Policy

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A damaging analysis has worked out the implications of Mitt Romney's plan to change the tax code. Romney says if elected, he would cut taxes, and do it in a way that does not expand the federal deficit.

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Education
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

A Survey Of Families: Grappling With College Costs

Renee Montagne interviews Sarah Ducich, senior vice president for public policy at Sallie Mae. The big student lender just issued a major report on how families are paying for college these days and among the findings, it shows that students are taking on more of the burden of paying for college compared to before.

Sports
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Medals And Scandals: An Olympic Update

Thursday is day seven of the Summer Olympics. Another big moment is on tap for American swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. The host country looks to add to its suddenly growing tally of medals. And badminton marches on, its image battered by scandal. Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about all things Olympics.

Education
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Who's The Best? How Universities Stack Up

Forbes Magazine just released its rankings of the best universities in the U.S. They're based on graduation rates, student satisfaction, post-graduate debt and success.

Sports
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

The Power Of Trash Talk For Bhutanese Archers

In women's archery at the Olympics, a sole American competitor remains. Khatuna Lorig beat many competitors, including the one holding up Bhutan's archery tradition, Sherab Zam. NPR's Mike Pesca reports a Bhutanese tradition may be the reason for its ranking.

Middle East
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Syrian Rebels Gain Ground, And Criticsm

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 8:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

Fighters for the Free Syrian Army are getting their hands on heavier weapons than normal. They used a captured tank to open fire on a government airbase. That happened outside the country's largest city, Aleppo, where despite a clear advantage in numbers and weapons, the government has not been able to take the city back after five days of intense fighting.

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Music Reviews
5:09 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

The Very Best: A Band's Summer Escape With A Message

Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and Swedish producer Johan Hugo met in a London thrift shop and soon became musical collaborators as The Very Best.
David Harrison

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 8:45 am

The high-tech pop intro to The Very Best's song "Kondaine" suggests a carefree summer party. There's Afropop uplift to the sound and Top 40 melodiousness to the vocal.

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Books
4:56 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Famous For His Hates: The Cool, Witty Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal arrives at the premiere of Alexander at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Calif., on Nov. 16, 2004.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.

Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.

He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.

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