NPR News

Inside Rebel-Held Syria
2:51 am
Wed July 25, 2012

In Syria's North, A Shadow State Emerges

A Free Syrian Army solider mans a checkpoint in the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria, last month. In rural areas held by rebels, new institutions are cropping up to fill the void left by the receding Syrian state.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:10 pm

Third of five parts

Tucked in the olive groves and rocky hills of northern Syria, the small village of Qurqanya doesn't seem like much.

Scratch the surface, though, and you realize that this is a hub for the revolution in northern Syria, where a kind of shadow state is forming.

As the Syrian state recedes, the people in this village and villages around it are filling in the blanks with their own institutions and, for better or for worse, their own ideas about how a country should be run.

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Law
2:44 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Justice Scalia Disputes Accuracy Of 'Leak'

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke with NPR on Tuesday at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:02 pm

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, influential conservative and pugilistic dissenter, is challenging everything from a recent leak about Supreme Court deliberations, to conventional wisdom about the court and its history.

In a new book co-authored with Bryan Garner, Scalia spells out his judicial philosophy, and on Tuesday, the always voluble, charming and combative justice sat for a wide-ranging interview — about the book, his relationships on the court, and the recent leak alleging anger among the justices over the recent health care decision.

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It's All Politics
2:09 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Pa. Won't Use Voter Fraud Argument At Hearing Over ID Law

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 12:30 pm

When Pennsylvania officials begin their defense of the state's new voter identification law in court Wednesday, they will do so after agreeing to abandon a central argument for why such laws are needed.

In a Pennsylvania court filing, the state says it has never investigated claims of in-person voter fraud and so won't argue that such fraud has occurred in the past. As a result, the state says, it has no evidence that the crime has ever been committed.

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The Two-Way
9:05 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Sherman Helmsley, Actor Best Known As George Jefferson, Dies

Sherman Hemsley, known for his role as Mr. Jefferson in "The Jeffersons," died July 24, 2012 at his home in El Paso, Texas. He was 74.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:18 am

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

From Obscurity To The Olympics Back To Obscurity

Know who this gymnast is? You will soon. Seventeen-year-old Jordyn Wieber will compete for the U.S. women's gymnastics team in the 2012 London Olympics.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:12 am

Why do we like the Olympics?

If somebody hadn't thought to start them up again 116 years ago, would ESPN have invented them to fill in summer programming?

I'm not being cranky. It's just that most of the most popular Olympic sports are the groundhog games. Swimming, gymnastics and track and field come out every four years, see their shadow and go right back underground where nobody pays any attention to them for another four years. Can you even name a gymnast?

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Planet Money
5:22 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Apple Just Made $9 Billion (And Investors Are Mad)

Daniel Hennemand (photogestion) Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:30 am

Apple reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, and depending how you look at it, they're either amazing or disappointing.

The company says it made $8.8 billion in profits over the course of three months. That's more than enough to buy every share of Alcoa, the global aluminum giant, which was worth just under $8.6 billion when the stock market closed this afternoon.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Obama Ad Accuses Romney Of Twisting 'You Didn't Build That' Line

Mitt Romney and other Republicans have pounded President Obama for weeks for an awkwardly phrased remark that, taken out of context, made it sound as though the president believed the federal government should get all the credit for every business ever created.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:14 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Black Teens Are Getting The Message On HIV, But Risks Are Still There

Condom use has dropped among black youth, even as teens engage in less risky sexual behavior overall.
Mike Segar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 5:01 pm

The HIV epidemic among African-Americans is getting deserved new attention at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. And the news isn't all bad.

New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that black high school students are engaging in risky sexual behavior far less often than they were 20 years ago.

Since black teens are the future of the epidemic for the hardest-hit ethnic group, this is encouraging.

Here are the main results:

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It's All Politics
4:08 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Are Candidates Missing The Big Picture?

President Obama speaks at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif., on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 4:31 pm

If the stakes could not be bigger, why are the presidential candidates running such insubstantial campaigns?

On any given day, it seems like the debate is about whether President Obama thinks entrepreneurs built their own businesses or what year Mitt Romney gave up control of Bain Capital — instead of big solutions to fundamental problems like economic growth, energy or immigration.

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Sen. Feinstein Backtracks On White House National Security Leaks

Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 4:32 pm

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, appeared to have second thoughts Tuesday about joining the chorus of Republicans accusing the Obama White House of leaking classified national security information.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Judge Orders Release Of Man Accused Of Negotiating On Behalf Of Somali Pirates

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. government to free a man accused of negotiating on behalf of Somali pirates, pending a Justice Department appeal.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Wrong Number: Apple Disappoints Market Amid Sluggish iPhone Sales

Apple reported lower-than-expected third-quarter revenues, numbers partly blamed on slower iPhone sales.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:41 am

A spike in iPad demand wasn't enough to offset slower iPhone sales in the third quarter as Apple Inc. reported lower-than-expected revenues, sending its after-hours stock price on a 5 percent dive.

The company announced third-quarter revenue of $35 billion, or $9.32 per share; earlier, Bloomberg had projected $37.22 billion, or 10.37 per share.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Today's Distraction: A Moment Of Cute With Cheetah Cubs

The cheetah cubs at two days old.
National Zoo

Sometimes we all need a break from the serious news. There's no better way to accomplish that today than to tell you that two cheetah cubs are making their public debut at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

As the National Zoo reports, their journey is an improbable one. They were born April 23 by c-section and were abandoned by their mother. But they were hand-raised by zoo staff and today, they were out for world to see them.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:17 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

After Supreme Court Ruling, Health Law Will Cover Fewer And Cost Less

When the U.S. Supreme Court made a Medicaid expansion optional under the Affordable Care Act, the decision lowered the estimated cost of the law.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Tax Committee this afternoon issued their long-awaited analysis of the cost of the Affordable Care Act post-Supreme Court changes.

Their verdict? Making the expansion of Medicaid optional for states will result in fewer people (about 3 million fewer) getting coverage. But that will also reduce the overall price tag of the law over the next decade by about $84 billion.

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The Torch
2:53 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Olympic Sports We Don't See Any More, And Why

Who needs two hands? At the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, the events included All Around Dumbell, which comprised 10 one- and two-handed lifts.
Chicago History Museum/Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:14 pm

The Olympic Games are one of the most tradition-bound sporting events in the world. But that doesn't mean its sporting events are written in stone.

Since 1894, dozens of events have had their flash in the pan, and been dumped. Some have lasted only one Olympic cycle. The website Top End Sports has a nice collection of discontinued Olympic events.

Here are some of my favorite one-and-dones:

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Shots - Health Blog
2:46 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Tie My Shoes, Please: How Persuasion Works

Can You Help Me Tie My Shoe? Researchers found that when study participants were asked an unusual request, they were more likely later on to perform a favor.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:23 pm

Marketers, managers and panhandlers all have something in common: They regularly want to make you do things they want. Marketers want you to buy stuff, managers want you to finish projects on time, and panhandlers want you to spare a buck, or three.

Over the years, psychologists have studied the techniques of manipulation and found several that seem to work. (Read on only if you agree to use these techniques for good and not for evil!)

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
2:39 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

We Got The Beat: The 'Heart' Of Your City

Wes Breitenbach of Knoxville, Tenn., says the Tennessee River offers everything from moments of solitude to live music, "right in the heart of downtown."
Courtesy of Wes Breitenbach

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:46 pm

When you think about where you live, what sights and sounds come to mind? The coffee shop on the corner? The park down the street? We asked you to show us what makes your city thump and pulse, and here is some of what you shared. But we want to fill our heart with city love, so send us more! (Note: Captions have been edited for length, style and clarity.)

AIDS: A Turning Point
2:25 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

D.C.'s Black Churches Take Steps In AIDS Fight

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:11 am

As thousands gather in Washington, D.C., for the International AIDS Conference, the city is battling disturbing levels of HIV/AIDS, particularly in the black community.

According to the D.C. Department of Health, 4.3 percent of the black population in the city is living with the disease, and some advocates argue that black churches should be doing more to fight it.

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World
2:08 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Whistleblower Law Unlikely To Help Italy's Migrants

African migrants fired from Italian factories in the north have joined the swelling ranks of people searching for agriculture work in the south. Originally from Burkina Faso, Karim Suruku (right) is a migrant worker in Calabria in southern Italy. At left is Amidou Denamidou.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Italy recently approved a decree that would grant work and residence permits to migrants who blow the whistle on bosses who exploit them in the economy illegally.

But in places like the southern region of Calabria, the law has little chance of being applied at a time when the economic crisis increasingly fosters an illegal, underground economy.

The main activity in Calabria is agriculture. Thanks to vast citrus fields, it's one of the major stops for migratory workers, mostly Africans without legal documents.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
2:06 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

A City Faces Its 'Berlin Wall': An Interstate Highway

A sign for Interstate 81 sits under an overpass in Syracuse, N.Y. City officials and residents are debating what to do about an aging stretch of the highway that cuts through the city.
Zack Seward for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:25 am

Interstate 81 runs through the heart of Syracuse, N.Y., where a 1.4-mile-long elevated stretch of the highway is known locally as "the viaduct." Like many road projects built in the middle of the last century, I-81 is bumping up against the end of its life span. While officials say it's still safe to drive on, the highway is crumbling in parts.

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World Cafe
1:59 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Archie Powell And The Exports On World Cafe

Archie Powell & The Exports.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:06 am

Archie Powell has been surrounded by music since he was little: His father was a violinist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Powell himself picked up the guitar at 11, so songwriting became a natural next step for the music prodigy. He joined up with his band The Exports — brothers Ryan, Adam and RJ Export play keyboards, bass and drums, respectively — soon after college. By 2010, the Chicago-based power-pop band was ready with its first full-length studio album, Skip Work.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

CBO: Supreme Court Ruling On Health Care Saves U.S. $84 Billion Over 11 Years

Susan Clark argues with another protester about the Affordable Care Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 10:23 pm

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office finds that the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama's health care law will save the government $84 billion over the next 11 years.

While the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Healthcare Act, it also said it was up to states to choose whether to participate in an expansion of Medicaid.

That $84 billion in savings, the non-partisan CBO explained, comes from predictions that fewer states will enroll in the program.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Waitress, There's A Spy In My Soup (Or At Least There's One Serving It)

You might want to watch what you say. A screen grab from one of many videos taken by diners at a North Korean restaurant. This one is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 1:02 pm

It's no secret that the government of North Korea has been pushing to open restaurants in cities around the world.

NPR's Peter Kenyon told that story back in December, 2010.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Woman, Who Was In Theater During Shooting, Gives Birth

A bit of sunshine from Colorado: Katie Medley, who was with her husband in the Aurora theater when a gunman opened fire, gave birth a to baby boy this morning.

Hugo Jackson Medley was born at 7:11 a.m., The Denver Post reports. Mom and baby are doing well.

The AP reports that Medley came out of the mass shooting OK, but her husband Caleb Medley was shot in the head and he remains in critical condition.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:26 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

How To Make Condoms For Women Fashionable

At the International AIDS conference, a female condom fashion show raised awareness about the rising need for more female condoms. Olwin Manyanye of Zimbabwe shows off one of the dresses decorated with a second-generation female condom, called "FC2."
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:24 pm

Two of the more colorful events at the 19th International AIDS Conference so far are focused on a single message: The world needs more female condoms.

The first event was an intimate fashion show Monday night, featuring dresses made with female condoms. Highlights of the show included a beautiful baby-doll dress layered with white condoms and a yellow miniskirt covered with condoms twisted into roses.

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Commentary
12:04 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Swearing: A Long And #%@&$ History

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 2:29 pm

Sometimes it's small government you need to keep your eye on. Take Middleborough, Mass., whose town meeting recently imposed a $20 fine for swearing in public. According to the police chief, the ordinance was aimed at the crowds of unruly teenagers who gathered downtown at night yelling profanities at people, not just someone who slams a finger in a car door. But whatever the exact idea was, nobody thought it was a good one.

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The Torch
12:00 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

For Opening Ceremonies, An Olympic Secret Is Hard To Keep

March of the Nurses: A group of performers waits to rehearse their role in the Olympics Opening Ceremony Friday.
Vickie Walton-James NPR

With the London 2012 Opening Ceremony just days away, armies of costumed performers are rehearsing in Olympic Park.

In the bowels of the stadium, dancers, acrobats and actors wait patiently for their turn on the field. Gentlemen in top hats use cellphones to take pictures of each other. Chimney sweeps step outside to have a smoke. In the stands are thousands of people lucky enough to have scored tickets to watch dress rehearsals.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Ghana's President, John Evans Atta Mills, Is Dead

President John Atta Mills at a campaign event in 2004.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

The president of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, has died at age 68, the Ghana News Agency reports.

As the AP reports, Mills ran three times for president and finally emerged the victor in 2009, promising to reform the West African country.

The AP adds:

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The Salt
11:43 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Hold The Ice: Rhetoric Gets Hot Over New York's Big Soda Ban

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:11 pm

Ever since New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he plans to ban big sodas from the streets of New York City to address the city's obesity problem, drink companies, soda fans, and libertarians have been wanting to treat him like a Glee kid and give him a big Slushee in the face.

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

Feel-Good Photo: Gabrielle Giffords Atop A Mountain In France

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center) and her husband Mark Kelly (right), at the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps on Monday. Behind them is mountain guide Vincent Lameyre.
Denis Balibouse Reuters /Landov

After four days of sadly serious news about what happened in Aurora, Colo., here's a photo that may lift your heart.

Reuters explains that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., rode a two-stage cable car on Monday to the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps. That's 12,605-feet above sea level.

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