NPR News

Black Lung Returns To Coal Country
2:45 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Black-Lung Rule Loopholes Leave Miners Vulnerable

Coal miners rally for black lung law reform on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1975. (See more from Earl Dotter's "Quiet Sickness" series here.)
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 8:41 pm

Part two of a two-part series.

Thousands of coal miners continued to suffer and die from black lung during the 40 years that tough new limits on exposure to coal dust were supposed to provide protection.

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It's All Politics
2:43 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Romney Outraises Obama By $35 Million In June

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:02 pm

The latest fundraising numbers are in for the two presidential campaigns, and the amounts are eye-popping. President Obama and the Democratic Party raised $71 million, which is an enormous haul. But it was dwarfed by Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, which together raised $106 million in the month of June.

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Dead Stop
1:52 am
Tue July 10, 2012

A City's History Writ Small, In One Cemetery

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:07 pm

On Florida's northeast coast, trams filled with families and school groups run constantly in St. Augustine, hitting nearly all of the old city's historic sites.

But down a side street lies an important piece of St. Augustine's history most visitors don't see, because it's only open one day a month.

"This is Tolomato Cemetery. It was formerly the parish cemetery for what is now the cathedral parish," says Elizabeth Gessner, who heads the cemetery's preservation association.

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Middle East
1:51 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Walls Of Palestinian Homes Come Tumbling Down

Palestinians collect their belongings after Israeli bulldozers raze their house in an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem on Feb. 9.
Ahmad Gharbali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 6:46 am

Israel has dramatically increased its demolitions of unauthorized Palestinian homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a recent United Nations report.

Last year, 1,100 Palestinians — more than half of them children — were displaced, an 80 percent increase from the previous year. And demolitions this year continue at a high rate.

For Sami Idriss, the Israeli bulldozers came while the 26-year-old Palestinian was at work.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:28 am
Tue July 10, 2012

'Globals' Generation Focuses On Experience

Jennifer Larr (center) is seen here in Rwanda at the Gashora Girls Academy, where she was a teacher in 2011. Larr is part of a new generation of young adults focusing on travel, studying abroad and global experiences.
Courtesy of Jennifer Larr

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 12:58 pm

Jennifer Larr has the itch to go abroad. She's 26 years old and has already spent a year studying in France and two years in Rwanda with the Peace Corps, and she is headed to Uganda this summer for an internship. She's also a graduate student, studying international relations at UCLA.

Larr is part of a growing number of 20- and early 30-somethings whose American dream has moved beyond suburban homes and traditional nuclear families, and it's one that now goes even beyond U.S. borders.

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The Record
1:28 am
Tue July 10, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like Rubén Blades

Blades, shown in 1970.
Echoes Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:54 am

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Africa
1:25 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Mubarak's Dream Remains Just That In Egypt's Desert

A sign on undeveloped land welcomes visitors to "New Toshka City." Toshka was to be a new settlement along the Upper Nile Valley, complete with enough jobs and infrastructure to support the relocation of 20 million Egyptians from polluted and over-crowded cities.
Holly Pickett Redux

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:57 am

In the middle of southern Egypt's windy desert, wheat fields stretch as far as the eye can see on a 24,000-acre farm. It's part of a grandiose project called Toshka that was dreamed up 15 years ago by the government of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's authoritarian leader who ruled the country for three decades before being ousted last year.

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Asia
1:17 am
Tue July 10, 2012

China's Post-Olympic Woe: How To Fill An Empty Nest

Fireworks light the night sky above the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The stadium is largely empty these days.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 9:31 pm

As the opening date for the London Olympics nears, Beijing's acclaimed Olympic venues are saddled with high maintenance costs and are struggling to get by. And the most famous, the Bird's Nest stadium, has been repudiated by its own creator, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Even the state-run government mouthpiece, the China Daily, worries that Beijing's iconic structures risk becoming "white elephants."

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It's All Politics
1:14 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Democrats Say Anonymous Donors Unfairly Influencing Senate Races

Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

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

In Senate races, Democrats are fighting to preserve their thin majority. Their party campaign committee wants the Federal Election Commission to crack down on some of the Republicans' wealthiest allies — outside money groups that are using anonymous contributions to finance a multimillion-dollar onslaught of attack ads.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

From Our Readers: A Car Worthy of 'The Saint'

Comments under today's piece on a very well-travelled Volvo, reveal an abundance of affection for the make. "I'll be here all week" recalls with fondness all the "quirky features" of his white 1968 P1800S, including "rear view mirror ... mounted on the center of the dashboard, vertical temp gauges between the speedo and tach, the funky aircraft style levers for the vents and fan."

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All Tech Considered
3:38 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

The Next Silicon Valley? Berlin Startups Catching Up With The Hype

Simon Fabich (center) is CEO and co-founder of the Berlin-based online shopping startup Monoqi. Artsy and relatively inexpensive, Berlin is an up-and-coming city for European tech startups.
Courtesy of Monoqi

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:29 pm

California's Silicon Valley remains by far the dominant arena for high-tech startups and venture capitalists looking to back innovative projects.

But Europe is starting to make its mark on the startup scene. London, Paris and Berlin are starting to hold their own as more and more European startups look to compete on the global stage and attract investors.

A 'Crazy Green Field' For Creative Types

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It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Justice Department, Texas Face Off In Court Over Voter ID Law

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:54 pm

The Justice Department and the state of Texas faced off at trial Monday over the state's new voter identification law, which the Obama administration claims violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

In opening arguments before a three-judge panel in federal district court in Washington, D.C., a lawyer for Texas argued that the photo ID requirement was intended to limit voter fraud, not to curb turnout of legally registered voters.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Think Our Cable Chat Shows Are Raucous? In Turkey They Pull Guns

A Jordanian MP pulls a gun on an opponent.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:42 pm

That headline may seem familiar. It's borrowed from a post we wrote last month about an altercation on a Greek TV show. We're reprising the title, because a Jordanian television talk show has seen that altercation and raised it by a gun.

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The Record
3:09 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Essence In New Orleans: A Festival That Knows Its Audience

Mary J. Blige performs during the 2012 Essence Music Festival at Louisiana Superdome on July 7.
Erika Goldring Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:23 pm

For the last 18 years, the Essence Music Festival has been the go-to event for African-Americans, especially African-American women. For three days in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands show up for R&B and gospel concerts and panels on politics, financial planning and parenting.

If it's a party, as creator George Wein describes it, it's a party with a purpose.

"New Orleans is a party city and they party," Wein says. "People party here. If you go to the hotels — 40-floor hotels — [there's] like 40 floors of parties."

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Afghanistan
2:54 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

A Taliban Execution Brings Back Painful Memories

A screen grab from the video of a public execution reportedly carried out last month in Afghanistan. The victim is sitting with her back to the executioner, who is at left.
Agence France Presse

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 11:33 am

Earlier today, we published and distributed a story by Ahmad Shafi recounting his experience witnessing a public execution in Kabul in 1998. Since the story was published, it has come to our attention that portions of the piece were copied from a story by Jason Burke, published by the London Review of Books in March 2001. We have removed Shafi's story from our website.

It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Swing State TV Stations Spiking Ad Rates As Campaign Cash Pours In

President Obama at a stop on his bus tour of Ohio in Port Clinton on July 5.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:19 pm

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

In Egypt, Court Says Its Decision On Dissolving Parliament Is Final

Workers clean inside the Egyptian parliament in Cairo on Monday.
Mohammed Asad AP

Today there were two big developments in Egypt:

First, Egypt's high court reaffirmed that its decision to dissolve parliament was final and binding. Over the weekend, the newly-elected President Mohammed Morsi had called parliament back into session defying the court's earlier decision.

Reporting from Cairo, Kimberly Adams told our Newscast unit that this sets up a "political showdown."

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The Salt
2:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Brits Battle For Cheesy Glory By Writing National Anthem For Cheddar

The British Cheese Board is looking for a national anthem for cheddar cheese.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:54 am

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Sports
2:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

For R.A. Dickey, Knuckleballs Are Personal

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers his signature pitch, with its unusual grip, against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 6. He's the only knuckleballer in the major leagues, and the pitch has earned him a 12-1 record so far this season.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 9:32 pm

R.A. Dickey's career as a major league pitcher has been as unpredictable as his signature pitch, the knuckleball.

And on Tuesday night, the New York Mets' 37-year-old phenomenon will hit a new pinnacle: the pitching mound at baseball's All-Star Game.

He won't be starting for the National League — manager Tony La Russa chose Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants for that honor. But the manager says says Dickey will pitch.

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All Tech Considered
2:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Father Of The Cellphone 'Unleashed' World's Callers From Copper Wires

Martin Cooper holds a Motorola DynaTAC, a 1973 prototype of the first hand-held cellular telephone, in San Francisco in 2003. Cooper made the world's first public call from a cellphone in 1973.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:37 pm

They called it "the brick." And Martin Cooper says it really did look like one: 8 inches high, an inch and a half wide, 4 inches deep, and weighing 2 1/2 pounds.

In other words, the world's first hand-held cellphone, the Motorola DynaTAC, weighed the equivalent of about eight iPhones. (Try jamming that into a pocket.)

"The battery life was only 20 minutes," says Cooper, a former vice president at Motorola who has been called the "father of the cellphone." "But that was not a problem because you couldn't hold that heavy thing up for more than 20 minutes."

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Health Care
2:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Texas Rejects Medicaid Expansion In Health Law

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Texas is saying no to key parts of the federal health care law. Today, Governor Rick Perry said Texas will not create a state exchange for people to buy health insurance and will not expand Medicaid. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Perry called both provisions a power grab, brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.

Here's Governor Perry today on Fox News.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:06 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Why Silk May Someday Be Added To Vaccines

Soft to the touch, silk may also help preserve vaccines and drugs someday.
Fiorenzo Omenetto Tufts University

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 2:36 pm

Silk is in neckties, scarves and some fancy underwear and pajamas. Before too long, it might just help keep people from getting sick with measles or polio.

Vaccines play an important role in health, but can be tricky to transport to the far corners of the world. Many vaccines and some other drugs require constant refrigeration — from the factories where they're made to the places where they're ultimately injected into people.

That's where silk comes in.

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It's All Politics
2:03 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Who 'Owns' The Bush Tax Cuts?

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 2:53 pm

They're called the Bush tax cuts for a reason. And when they were passed in the early 2000s, most Democrats opposed them.

Cut to a decade later: President Obama is calling for a second extension in as many years of the "temporary" cuts, but it won't come without a fight from congressional Republicans.

Given the apparent role reversal, who owns the George W. Bush-era tax cuts now: Democrats or Republicans?

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Judging The Health Care Law
1:15 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Congress' Big Stick Just Got a Little Shorter

Susan Clark (left) argues with another protester about the Affordable Care Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts likened the law's Medicaid expansion provision to "a gun to the head" of states.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 11:58 am

Nothing breeds lawsuits like uncertainty. That being the case, the Supreme Court's landmark health care ruling is almost certain to open the door to lawsuits challenging the federal government's authority.

The court ruled the federal government can't force states to participate in a major expansion of Medicaid or else risk losing existing Medicaid funds from Washington. That threat amounted to unconstitutional coercion.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Four More Charged In Border Patrol Killing Linked To 'Fast And Furious'

With wanted posters off to the side, James L. Turgal, Jr., right, FBI Special Agent in Charge, listens as Laura E. Duffy, United States Attorney Southern District of California, announces the indictments on five suspects involved in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Monday.
Ross D. Franklin AP

The Justice Department has unsealed criminal charges against four more people it says are connected to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, as the FBI offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of the fugitives.

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World Cafe
1:01 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Next: Family Band

Family Band.
Andrea Gentl
  • Hear two new songs by Family Band

Guitarist Jonny Ollsin (formerly of S.T.R.E.E.T.S.) and singer Kim Krans met in the Catskill Mountains in New York, where they continue to write and record in a hand-built log cabin. Together, they lead the Brooklyn ambient rock group Family Band, which sounds like anything but mountain music.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
12:37 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Teen Years Pose New Risks For Kids Born With HIV

A boy waits to get his anti-AIDS drugs from pharmacist Rajesh Chandra at the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Center of Excellence in Gaborone.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 9:33 pm

The southern African nation of Botswana is grappling with a relatively new problem in the evolving AIDS pandemic: It now has a large group of HIV-positive adolescents.

The teenagers were infected at birth before Botswana managed to almost wipe out mother-to-child transmission of the virus. These children have survived because of a public health system that provides nearly universal access to powerful anti-AIDS drugs.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

PHOTO: A New Panoramic View Of Mars

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took this panoramic view of the planet between Dec. 2011 and May.
NASA

NASA has released a new, stunning panoramic image of Mars. The scene is stitched from 817 images taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity from Dec. 2011 to May.

To do the image justice, you have to download the hi-resolution version, but be warned it's close to 14 MB.

Here's how NASA describes the scene:

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Shots - Health Blog
12:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Texas Gov. Perry Says No To Medicaid Expansion

Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:31 pm

Any doubt, and there probably wasn't much, that Texas would reject an expansion of Medicaid under the big federal health law was dispelled today.

The Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows states to opt out of the expansion without losing all federal Medicaid funding. Only the federal money that would have gone toward the expansion is affected.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

2.97 Million And Counting; '66 Volvo Is Nearing Its 3 Millionth Mile

Irv Gordon in his trusty Volvo P1800S earlier this month.
Seth Wenig AP

"It's just a car I enjoy driving."

That's for sure.

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