NPR News

Europe
5:35 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Traffic In London Not So Jammed

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 6:24 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Time now for traffic on the 30. London's moving well despite fears the games would clog the city. The M1 highway is busy, but somewhere between normal and nice. And the AP reports inside London no problems at all. The commute to the Houses of Parliament five minutes shorter than normal and bike riders are loving roads cleared of cars for the Olympic races. Wish we were there. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Strange News
5:29 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Japan Plucks Sweden's Ukelele World Record

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Japan has edged out Sweden for a world record. No, not the Olympics but the Guinness Record for largest ukulele ensemble. More than 2,000 people in Yokohama went to the street to strum their tiny Hawaiian instruments. Trying to top the record is becoming a sport in its own right. Earlier this month in Cairns, Australia, people took on the Swedish record, but they missed the mark by a 150 strummers.

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

The Two-Way
5:22 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Long Legal Process Begins For Colorado Shooting Suspect

James Holmes, in an Arapahoe County, Colo., court on July 23.
AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 6:46 am

  • Kirk Siegler on 'Morning Edition'

Months of pre-trial legal arguments begin in earnest this morning when James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in a July 20 shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., appears in an Arapahoe County, Colo., court.

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Sports
4:53 am
Mon July 30, 2012

In Olympic Swimming, Records Smashed, Hopes Dashed

American Dana Vollmer celebrates after her gold medal win Sunday in the women's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:16 pm

The opening weekend of the Summer Olympics was marked by highs and lows, of course, and the swimming pool had its share of both. World records, a stunning loss and a medal for the home team — and that was all in just one afternoon.

Before American Dana Vollmer answers how a 55.98-second 100-meter butterfly — the fastest time ever, and worth a gold medal — feels, consider this: Vollmer was diagnosed as a teenager with two life-threatening heart conditions that prompted her mom to carry a defibrillator to Dana's races.

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Middle East
4:01 am
Mon July 30, 2012

In Syria, Building Up For An Extended Battle

Syrian rebels patrol the streets near Aleppo, Syria.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:11 pm

Government troops are battling rebels for control of Syria's largest city, Aleppo. The government launched a major offensive over the weekend to retake neighborhoods held by the Free Syrian Army. Both sides appear to be preparing for an extended battle that could prove crucial to the outcome of the 17-month-old uprising.

After days of massing troops and weapons, the government assaulted rebel-held neighborhoods with tanks, helicopters and artillery, as heard in an amateur video uploaded to YouTube.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:57 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Magnets May Pull Kids With Sunken Chests Out Of Operating Room

A cross-sectional X-ray shows what's called a "sunken chest." The bright circle near the bottom is the spine; the gray blob on the right is the heart.
Living LLC Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 6:24 am

You may not have heard of pectus excavatum — or "sunken chest," as it's commonly known — but there's a good chance you know someone who was born with it.

It's the most common deformity of the chest wall, affecting roughly one in 500 people — boys much more often than girls. And while sunken chest can be corrected with surgery, the procedure is invasive and very painful. Many families won't do it.

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Health
2:56 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Cheer Up, It's Just Your Child Behind The Wheel

When it comes to learning how to drive, your teen is probably as harried as you are. Research shows that scare tactics meant to instill caution, though, are less effective than kind words.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 1:41 pm

One rite of passage most teenagers look forward to and parents dread is learning how to drive. Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens by far, on the order of five times more than poisoning or cancer. Does that mean you should scare the daylights out of teens to encourage safe driving? Traditional driver education classes tend to do exactly that, with gruesome videos and photos of fatalities and smashed-up cars.

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The Aurora Theater Shootings
2:50 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Murder Charges Expected In Aurora Hearing

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:17 pm

Authorities will file formal charges in the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings Monday. It's widely assumed that prosecutors will file dozens, if not more than a hundred, first-degree and attempted murder charges against 24-year-old James Holmes, the lone suspect in the July 20 attack.

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Politics
5:36 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Eye On The Jewish Vote, Romney Commits To Israel

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney places a prayer note as he visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:58 am

Speaking from Israel on Sunday, presumptive GOP nominee for president Mitt Romney said that he would respect the nation's "right to defend itself" against Iran. He said the United States also has "a solemn duty and a moral imperative" to prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons.

Romney's trip and his speech are typical of presidential candidates, who every four years work to outdo one another when it comes to credentials on Israel and U.S. relations with the Jewish state.

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World
4:12 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Cars For Clunkers: Myanmar Swaps Old Rides For New

An old taxi is pushed toward a vehicle license office to be exchanged for an import permit in Yangon, Myanmar. As many Burmese citizens take cars as an investment, many imports are sold and resold with a higher markup.
Soe Zeya Tun Reuters/Landov

Nowhere are the many recent reforms in Myanmar, also known as Burma, so evident as on city streets. Until this year, they were often choked with ancient jalopies because for most of the past half century ordinary Burmese citizens weren't allowed to purchase imported cars.

But the country's car import policies are now undergoing a lurching sort of liberalization, whose speed, quirks and unintended consequences offer a window on Myanmar's reforms.

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Music
1:42 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Olympic Mashups Make The Mood In London

Spectators at the 2012 Olympic Games in London are likely to hear one of DJ Earworm's pop pairings that span genres and generations.
Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 4:12 pm

You might not be able to hear it on television, but in the Olympic stadiums and arenas of London over the next weeks, games-watchers will be treated to some exclusive new tracks from world-renown mashup artist Jordan Roseman, better known as DJ Earworm.

"Out of the blue, there was an email," Roseman tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "They wanted these mixes."

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The Torch
1:10 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Olympic Flame Missed From London Skyline

London's flame stands inside Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on Friday.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 1:51 pm

Enduring symbols of the Olympics are everywhere in London, and I'm not just talking about ATMs for Visa, a ubiquitous Olympic sponsor.

The five Olympic rings grace every wall, walk, sign, banner and building in and around the Olympic Park and other venues.

But the Olympic flame, the other most recognizable symbol of the Olympics, is invisible to all but a relative few.

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It's All Politics
11:32 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Cheney: Picking Palin Was A 'Mistake'

"I like Gov. Palin," Cheney told ABC News in an excerpted interview on Sunday. But she wasn't ready to be vice president, he said.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:46 am

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is calling Sen. John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 a "mistake."

In an excerpted interview with ABC News' This Week on Sunday, Cheney said it's important that Romney not repeat the fumble. The list of potential VP picks is a big one, he says, but there's a shorter list, too:

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Heavy Weapons Pound Syrian Rebels As Nations Accuse Each Other

A Free Syrian Army fighter looks out from the window of a burnt-out police station in Aleppo after it was overrun by rebel fighters last week.
Pierre Torres AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:39 am

Fighting continues in Aleppo, Syria's largest city on Sunday while accusations of meddling – and pleas to meddle more – are flying on the international stage.

According to Guardian correspondent Luke Harding, reporting from Aleppo province, the rebels are holding their own but are ultimately outmatched against government forces using heavy weaponry. He quotes a rebel commander who "was relatively pessimistic about the Free Syrian Army's chances of fending off repeated attacks":

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The Torch
10:27 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Empty Seats Have Olympic Committee Playing Defense

Empty seats and spectators are pictured during the dressage event of the eventing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Greenwich Park, London on Sunday.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Today, London Olympic organizers find themselves beating back insults like serves in a gold medal table tennis match.

On Day 1, there were empty seats at wildly popular events like beach volleyball and gymnastics. And even at the Aquatics Center, where Ryan Lochte smoked everybody in the men's 400 individual medley.

Fans who would've gladly paid the exorbitant ticket prices were fuming. British politicians worried that the empty seats made the country look uninterested.

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The Torch
9:53 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Surprises: American Gymnast Weiber Fails To Qualify; Marathoner Radcliffe Injured

U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber performs on the beam during the women's qualification of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on Sunday.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:17 am

Two big disappointments this morning: American gymnast and defending world champion Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around finals.

The AP reports that it was nonetheless a great day for other Americans, who are favorites for gold:

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The Torch
9:12 am
Sun July 29, 2012

The Olympics' Salahi Moment: Mystery Woman Gatecrashes Opening Ceremony

(FILES) A file picture taken on Friday shows a woman (2nd L), reportedly a student from Bangalore and an Olympic volunteer, walking next to India's flagbearer Sushil Kumar.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

The Olympics have officially had a "Salahi moment." Remember, the White House gatecrashers? Well, on Friday during the opening ceremony, a young woman wearing a red jacket and turquoise pants was seen walking with the Indian delegation into Olympic stadium. Not only that, but she was walking alongside the flag bearer.

The only problem? No one knew who she was.

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The Torch
8:27 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Will U.S. Keep Its Grip On Olympic Basketball?

Kobe Bryant #10 of United States shoots the ball against Mickael Gelabale #15 of France during their Men's Basketball Game on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena on Sunday.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:37 am

Update at 11:28 a.m. An Easy Win:

With the help of a generous LeBron James, assisting more than he scored, the United States breezed through France 98 to 71.

It wasn't a flashy win, but it showed U.S. dominance.

During an interview after the game, Kevin Durant was asked how the team chooses which of the All Stars gets to a take a shot.

"We don't care who scores," he said.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Torch
7:10 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Let's Catch Up: In Skeet, Kimberly Rhode Breaks Olympic Record During Qualifier

Kimberly Rhode of the United States competes in the qualification round of the Women's Skeet Shooting on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on Sunday.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 7:41 am

Good morning! While you were sleeping, American Kimberly Rhode broke the Olympic record when she missed only one of 75 targets during the qualifying round of women's skeet shooting.

(UPDATE at 9:20 a.m. ET. Rhode has won the gold.)

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Sports
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Olympic Medal Feats Outside Of The Pool

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It is time now for sports - or maybe this week we should say sport.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) Gold, gold always believe in your soul...

GREENE: This means it is time to talk to NPR's Mike Pesca, who is across the pond at the Olympics. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.

GREENE: You like this new music? Usually, we say...

PESCA: Spandau from the '80s?

GREENE: Yeah, you got it. So, you're starting to call it sport - that's how people in Britain refer to sports, right?

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Politics
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Romney In Israel After Rocky Start To Foreign Tour

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene. The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, is holding meetings today in Israel with top Israeli officials, and also with the Palestinian prime minister. This morning, Gov. Romney made a visit to the Wailing Wall.

This is the second stop on a much-anticipated overseas trip that got off to a rocky start, in London. Sheera Frenkel is joining us on the line from Jerusalem, to update us on the trip. And Sheera, good morning.

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Sports
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Is Swimming Superstar Passing The Torch?

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Day One of the London Olympics may have signaled a passing of the torch from one generation of swimming superstars to another. Expectations were sky-high for Michael Phelps, who already had the biggest gold medal haul in Olympic history. But a much-anticipated showdown with swimming teammate Ryan Lochte, turned out to be not much of a showdown at all.

Here's NPR's Howard Berkes.

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Sports
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Major Baseball Dreams In The Minor Leagues

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

While Major League baseball is big and epic, there's something magical about sitting in a small stadium. Guest host David Greene reports on the progress of Minor League Baseball player Tyler Saladino at one of his team's away games. Saladino is an infielder for Alabama's Birmingham Barons.

Economy
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Business In A Slump: Scraping By Three Years Later

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Middle East
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

What To Expect In Egyptian President's First 100 Days

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Afghanistan
4:09 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Disarming Afghan IEDs: Big Job, Too Few Trained

A student takes part in an exercise to disarm IEDs in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, remain one of the biggest killers in Afghanistan. As NATO forces prepare to withdraw from the country, Afghans are learning the special skills needed to find and disarm these deadly weapons.

The training area near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif is a large expanse of dirt and gravel, dotted with a few beat-up old taxis and scattered bunkers.

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Election 2012
3:59 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Does Sen. Thune Have The Right Stuff For Romney?

Mitt Romney gets a kick out of South Dakota Sen. John Thune's comments during a January rally in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:47 am

Mike Lee is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. The freshman Utah Republican was elected with strong Tea Party backing and, like Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, he's a man of the West.

Mention the possibility that Thune, 51, might team up with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Lee's eyes light up: "I love John," he says. "He's articulate, passionate, collegial. I mean ... I think he'd be great."

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Europe
3:58 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Spain's Crisis Pushes Educated Into 'Economic Exile'

Government employees demonstrate against the Spanish government's austerity measures in Madrid, on Friday. The economic situation has forced some Spaniards to leave the country for work.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 7:48 pm

In Spain, the growing crisis — debt, austerity and joblessness — has prompted more people to vote with their feet. In the first six months of 2012, emigration from Spain is up more than 44 percent from the same period last year.

The Spanish government denies it, but the "brain drain" has become something of a flood with more and more educated, skilled Spaniards moving abroad.

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Politics
3:57 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Forget The Debt Ceiling? The 'Avalanche' Is Coming

If Congress doesn't make a deal before January, massive spending cuts will go into effect automatically in 2013.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:21 pm

In August, lawmakers will be heading home to their districts for the month's recess. Last summer, things weren't quite so calm.

A year ago at this time, Congress was in a nasty and protracted battle over whether to raise the debt ceiling. If they didn't make a decision, the government was going to go into default. It's a fight that cost Congress its already waning public support, and cost American taxpayers $1.3 billion.

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The Torch
3:24 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

Sunday, Day 3 Of The London 2012 Games: What's On Tap

Satoshi Shimizu (left) of Japan celebrates his 10-9 points decision over Isaac Dogboe of Ghana, in their Round of 32 bantamweight bout at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The first full day of competition brought many close finishes in London.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

The first full day of Olympic competition brought moments of tense excitement, in the pool and on the archery course, among other places. At the time of this post, China leads the overall medal count, with 6, followed by Italy and the United States, with 5. Four of China's medals are gold.

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