NPR News

Strange News
5:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Freed Inmate Re-Incarcerated For Refusing To Leave

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with the opposite of a jailbreak. Rodney Dwayne Valentine was released from jail. He asked police officers for a ride to a motel and the officers said no. They told him to call a cab. Instead, Valentine decided to stay put. He refused to leave the jail. The Greensboro News and Record reports that Valentine was then arrested for trespassing. He's back in the slammer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sports
5:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Olympic Gymnasts Take The (Hot Pink) Floor

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

As the U.S. men's gymnastics team struggles to adjust to the London arena, where they will compete, they're thinking more about pink than gold. That's because the competition floor is covered in hot pink. In a room Barbie would love, the men's team says it's not about gender norms but rather an array of colors making it hard to spot the high bars. As one gymnast put it, real men do compete on pink floors.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

The Two-Way
4:58 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In London, The Games Are Afoot

The Olympic Flame as it passed through London on Thursday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 5:47 am

You've almost surely heard by now:

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today. The opening ceremony, with — we hear — a song from Sir Paul McCartney, some farm animals and "helmeted cyclists wearing giant silvery-blue flapping wings, pedaling around in two huge circles" — is to start just after 4 p.m. ET.

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Inside Rebel-Held Syria
11:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

In Syrian Conflict, Both Sides Vie To Control Message

Most civilians have fled the Syrian town of Derat Azza after protracted shelling by Syrian troops. Shops are closed, and rebels are trying to tightly control any information flowing out of the town.
Bunny Coleman for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:17 pm

Last of five parts

The most striking thing you see when you drive into the Syrian town of Derat Azza is that it's devoid of ordinary people. Shops are closed, shuttered.

The only people you see seem to be rebels.

It seems like the only difference between this town and others in the area is that the regime made up its mind to target it. And once the regime did, there was nothing the people could do.

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StoryCorps
11:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

'I Didn't See The Gun, And I Didn't Hear The Bullet'

Edith Green and her granddaughter visited a StoryCorps booth in 2005, where Edith shared her story of surviving a shooting.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:59 am

In 1980, Edith Green, a divorced school teacher, lived alone in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., just north of New York City.

One night, she struck up a friendship with a young man she had met at a friend's house — a relationship that would change her life forever.

"It was a very platonic relationship," she told her granddaughter. "I just didn't see this coming at all."

Edith, 54 at the time, told the man that she would be attending a play with a friend one evening.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
11:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Greece's Latest Crisis: Rising HIV Cases

Nurse Maria Vatista draws blood from a Greek drug addict for an HIV test in a mobile testing van in Athens last year. HIV infection rates are rising, as Greece's financial crisis has led the government to cut health and social services, including a successful needle exchange program.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:58 am

One of the alarming consequences of the financial crisis in Greece appears to be a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infection.

The country, which is struggling through a historic debt crisis and a deep recession, still has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe. But budget cuts to health and social services seem to be driving a recent and dramatic increase, especially among injecting drug users.

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The Torch
11:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

'Tremendous Honor': Dancing For The World At Olympics Opener

Sasha Feachem (right) will be performing in an urban street dance during the London Olympics' opening ceremony Friday.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:44 am

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:44 am

For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.

The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Picking Up The Pieces: Family Remembers Shooting Victim Micayla Medek

Grandma Marlene Kenobbe (L) comforts consoles Kailyn Vigil during Micayla Medek's funeral at the New Hope Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 7:12 pm

The families of the Aurora, Colo. shooting victims continued to pick up the pieces today.

The Denver ABC affiliate reports that the family of Micayla Medek, 23, who was killed in the theater, held a funeral service today.

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The Veepstakes
4:42 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

As A VP Option, Christie's Star May Burn Too Hot

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:52 pm

What people in New Jersey like about Gov. Chris Christie is his candor — the sense that he's speaking from his heart, instead of a script.

Last summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the Jersey shore, the Republican governor offered a particularly memorable moment during a press conference: "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach."

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World
3:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Latest Target For Palestinians' Protest? Their Leader

Abbas attends a meeting of his Fatah movement at its headquarters in Ramallah on Jan. 29.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 7:20 am

The Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank is best known as a flashpoint between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Images of masked youths throwing rocks by the painted concrete wall here are ubiquitous.

Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ohio Valley, Northeast Brace For Severe Weather

Radar image of the United States at 5:44 p.m. ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 9:46 pm

Severe thunderstorms are moving east, this hour. As the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center says, parts of the Ohio Valley and interior southern New England can expect some wild weather this evening, including "widespread damaging winds."

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney In London: Not A Smashing Success So Far

Mitt Romney leaves London's 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:27 pm

The first stop — Britain — in Mitt Romney's foreign tour certainly is starting out rockier than nearly anyone expected.

First there was the kerfuffle over remarks, attributed by a British newspaper to an anonymous campaign adviser, that Romney understood the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the U.S. and Britain in a way President Obama didn't. Those comments were viewed as racist by some and were disowned by the Romney campaign.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Could Ice Cream Trucks Finally Roam Scottsdale?

A Mister Softee ice cream truck makes its way through the streets of Brooklyn, New York in 2007.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:47 pm

Ice cream trucks are to summer what apple pie is to America. But residents of Scottsdale, Ariz. haven't heard the tell-tale sign of summer since the 1970s, when the city council banned the trucks.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Where Did All The Watermelon Seeds Go?

Watermelon with seeds is getting harder to find at the supermarket.
iStockphoto.com

Many people think of the seedless watermelons popping up at grocery stores and markets everywhere in the last few years as a marvel of modern scientific technology. In fact, more than 60 percent of watermelon shoppers seek this smoother pink flesh, and the numbers are increasing every year, according to a recent survey done for the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

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Election 2012
2:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney Aims Tough Talk At China, And Obama

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. In the speech, Romney attacked the Obama administration's approach to China.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:24 pm

President Obama's national security adviser visited China this week, just as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was attacking the administration's approach to that country.

"The cheating must finally be brought to a stop," Romney said Tuesday in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. "The president hasn't done it and won't do it, and I will."

China is the world's largest economy after the United States. It is one of the most important — and complicated — foreign relationships the U.S. has.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Amid An AIDS Epidemic, South Africa Battles Another Foe: Tuberculosis

A mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV is parked near Madwaleni High School in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on March 8, 2011. Parts of the South African province have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:24 pm

The province of KwaZulu-Natal has emerged as the epicenter of South Africa's HIV epidemic. South Africa already has more people infected with HIV than any other country in the world, but parts of KwaZulu-Natal have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.

Now in addition to HIV and AIDS, the province is also dealing with a major tuberculosis epidemic.

In the northeastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, dusty dirt tracks wind through pastures and fields of sugar cane. The hillsides are dotted with small huts made of cinder blocks and field stones.

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The Torch
2:24 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Maroney Says She'll 'Make The Best' Of Competing On Broken Toe

"It was really fun to get out there and do my vault," McKayla Maroney said, after trying out the apparatus at the North Greenwich Arena in London Thursday. Maroney is coping with the lingering effects of a broken right toe.
John Cheng USA Gymnastics

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:42 pm

U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.

On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney's toe "was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here."

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Shots - Health Blog
2:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Feds And Health Insurers Partner To Fight Fraud

Insurers and the federal government are teaming up to fight health fraud.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers.

Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact.

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Music Reviews
2:00 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ocean's 'Orange' Revolution

Frank Ocean performs onstage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in April.
Karl Walter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:35 pm

Born in New Orleans and still in his mid-20s, Frank Ocean has already written songs for major pop stars. He sang on the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaboration Watch the Throne, and he's been part of the tumultuous Los Angeles musical collective known as Odd Future. None of which quite prepares a listener for the beautifully moody music that dominates his new album, Channel Orange.

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World Cafe
1:46 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Latin Roots: Cuban Rumba

Pedro Martinez performs at Juilliard.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 2:42 pm

Chicago-based journalist Catalina Maria Johnson hosts the 15th installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots music series. Johnson writes in Spanish and English for publications such as HOY, Revista Contratiempo, Gozamos and Nat Geo Music, and is a radio personality and host/producer for the radio program Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago, Mexico City and Berlin.

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World Cafe
1:30 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Bright Moments On World Cafe

Bright Moments.
Kristianna Smith

Multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt has recorded and toured with bands like Coldplay, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and Beirut since 2006, but he's stepped into his own spotlight since forming the sunny pop band

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
1:16 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

From Scorn For Zevon, A Father-Daughter Moment Is Born

Warren Zevon on the cover of Excitable Boy, the 1978 album which includes "Werewolves in London."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:51 pm

All this summer, All Things Considered is digging into listeners' parents' record collections to hear about one song introduced by a parent that has stayed with you — for better or for worse.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

After Uproar, USDA Walks Back 'Meatless Monday' Support

Steak.
Larry Crowe AP

It was likely something that the United States Department of Agricultural didn't put much thought into. In an internal newsletter detailing agency's "greening" efforts, there's information about new lightbulbs and locally bought fruits and vegetables.

But on page three of five, there's also a passage that encourages forgoing meat on Mondays.

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The Torch
1:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

In Kayla Harrison, U.S. Has Chance For Judo Gold, And A 'Comeback Kid' Story

Kayla Harrison, who is on the U.S. judo team, is going to the Olympics for the first time.
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:10 pm

Kayla Harrison, 22, is the best chance the United States has to win its first Olympic gold medal in the sport of judo. Like many of the world's best athletes, Harrison's road to London wasn't easy.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

NPR Taps Lobbying Firm To Help Make Case On Public Funding

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:47 pm

Our colleague David Folkenflik reports for the Newscast Desk that:

"NPR has hired an outside lobbying firm to help make its case with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as some House Republicans seek to make deep funding cuts to public broadcasting.

"Recent disclosure forms show NPR has paid $10,000 to Navigators Global, a firm founded by Republican political figures including strategist and pundit Mike Murphy.

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It's All Politics
11:53 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney Backer Explains Why Obama's Wrong, Despite Her Firm's Gov't Contracts

Rebecca Smith, owner of A.D. Morgan, speaks Thursday at a Tampa, Fla., event to denounce President Obama's statements about small businesses. The event was organized by the Romney campaign. At left is Lou Ramos of Value Enterprise Solutions.
Daniel Wallace Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:48 pm

Rebecca Smith owns a Tampa, Fla., construction-management firm that does a lot of work overseeing the building of schools and jails, and other projects for state and local governments.

But even though much of her firm's $80 million in annual revenue comes from contracts with government agencies, she says she was "disgusted" by President Obama's thesis that government had a significant role in her business achievements.

Obama's actual words, from a July 13 speech in Virginia, were:

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The Torch
11:29 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Video Clip Of London 2012 Opening Ceremonies Is Released

A scene from the London 2012 Opening Ceremony is seen in this screenshot, taken from a clip released Thursday.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:13 pm

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Ford Recalls 485,000 Escapes And Mavericks With Throttle Problems

Ford Escapes sit at a Ford dealership in east Denver.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:16 am

Ford says that 485,000 Ford Escapes and Mavericks — which are sold in Europe — may have problems with its throttles.

The AP reports Ford issued a worldwide recall for model year 2001 through 2004 small sports utility vehicles "that are powered by 3-liter V-6 engines with cruise control."

The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Mom's Sure Her Daughter Stood Up To Gunman

Rebecca Wingo.
Facebook

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 8:56 am

As they're told, we'll point to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded last Friday when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

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