NPR News

The Two-Way
7:37 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Pope 'Considering' Cuba Visit, Vatican Says

Pope Francis greets the faithful arriving at St. Peter's Square earlier this week. The Vatican says Francis is considering a trip to Cuba.
Alessandro Di Meo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 9:18 am

Pope Francis, who plans to visit the United States in September, might tack onto his itinerary a side trip to Cuba, the Vatican says, but it cautions the talks with Havana are at an early stage.

The Catholic Herald quotes Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi as saying Francis is "considering the idea of a Cuba leg."

The Herald notes:

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Espresso In Orbit: SpaceX Craft Brings Coffee Machine To Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule nears the International Space Station on Friday, as astronauts prepare to snag it with a robotic arm.
NASA TV

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 12:07 pm

The coffee on the International Space Station is about to get much better. The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule linked up with the station on Friday, bringing groceries, supplies — and a long-awaited espresso machine called the ISSpresso.

In a rendezvous that was streamed live online, astronauts inside the ISS extended a robotic arm and captured the SpaceX Dragon early Friday. NASA says the pair made contact 257 miles over the Pacific Ocean.

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Around the Nation
5:35 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Minn. Town Outraged After Double Dots Over Its Letter 'O' Are Dropped

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
4:51 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Senator's 'Let It Go' Ringtone Disrupts Committee Hearing

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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StoryCorps
3:15 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Anniversary Of Oklahoma City Bombing Reopens Wounds For Survivors

Phuong Nguyen, 55, and her son, Chris, who survived the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:05 pm

On the morning of April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The blast — equal to 4,000 pounds of TNT — killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

The federal office building also housed a day care center. The explosives-laden truck was parked directly beneath it. Of the 21 children there that morning, only six survived.

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NPR Story
3:15 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Awkward At Times But 'Child 44' Can Hold Audiences' Attention

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
3:15 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Demand Increases For Vinyl Records

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene, wishing you a happy Record Store Day.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OLD TIME ROCK AND ROLL")

BOB SEGER: (Singing) Just take those old records off the shelf.

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Parallels
1:42 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Turkish Educator Pledges $10M To Set Up Universities For Syrian Refugees

Syrian children listen to a teacher during a lesson in a temporary classroom in Suruc refugee camp on March 25 in Suruc, Turkey. The camp is the largest of its kind in Turkey with a population of about 35,000 Syrians who have fled the ongoing civil war in their country.
Carl Court Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 12:23 pm

Once a sleepy border town, Reyhanli, Turkey, is now bursting with Syrian refugees, many of them school-age. More than half a million Syrian refugee children are out of school, and the education crisis is fueling an epidemic of early marriage, child labor and bleak futures.

"I just finished the 12th grade and I don't know what to do," says Abdullah Mustapha, a refugee from the Syrian town of Hama.

In fluent English, he talks about his dreams of a college education, but he doesn't speak Turkish well enough to pass the language test required for state universities.

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The Two-Way
6:42 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Feds Cancel Commercial Sardine Fishing After Stocks Crash

A tray of sardines in Costa Mesa, California, in this November 17, 2014 photo. Plummeting sardine populations force a complete ban on sardine fishing off the U.S. West Coast for more than a year.
LUCY NICHOLSON Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:58 am

Life has suddenly gotten easier for the sardine. Federal regulators are not only closing the commercial sardine fishing season early in Oregon, Washington and California, but it will stay closed for more than a year.

The decision to shut down the sardine harvest is an effort to build up depleted stocks of the small, oily fish. The conservation group, Oceana, says that sardine populations have crashed more than 90 percent since 2007.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

WikiLeaks Makes It Easy To Access Hacked Sony Pictures Information

Large amounts of data hacked from Sony Pictures last year have been made public online by WikiLeaks
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:02 am

WikiLeaks has posted a searchable archive of more than 170,000 emails and 30,000 private documents belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The movie conglomerate reacted angrily to the news on Thursday, saying that it condemned the indexing of stolen employee and other privileged information.

The data was hacked in November of last year, revealing multiple embarrassing e-mail exchanges between Sony executives and personal information from thousands of employees, including social security numbers.

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History
5:40 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Family Of Unaccounted For USS Oklahoma Sailor Wouldn't 'Let Him Go'

Edwin Hopkins with his mother, Alice, and father, Frank Jr. Hopkins was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, but his remains never were identified.
Courtesy Tom Gray

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 9:14 am

The Defense Department announced Tuesday that it will exhume the remains of 388 sailors and Marines who were buried as "unknowns." The men were killed when Japanese torpedoes sank the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, during the attacks on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

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All Tech Considered
5:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Hidden FM Radio Inside Your Pocket, And Why You Can't Use It

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:01 am

You may not know it but most of today's smartphones have FM radios inside of them. But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off.

The National Association of Broadcasters has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there.

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Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

Nicotine exposure at a young age "may cause lasting harm to brain development," warns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 6:13 pm

A national survey confirms earlier indications that e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The findings prompted strong warnings from Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the effects of any form of nicotine on young people.

"We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age," Frieden said.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Florida Mailman Who Flew Gyrocopter Onto Capitol Lawn Charged

The 61-year-old Florida mailman who flew a gyrocopter onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday has been charged with violating registration requirements involving aircraft and with violation of national defense airspace, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

The registration charge is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison; the airspace charge up to a year. Douglas Mark Hughes of Ruskin, Fla., also faces financial penalties, the statement said.

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Parallels
3:51 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Iraq's Leader Finds Friends In Washington, But Faces Battles At Home

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking Thursday in Washington, said recent battlefield victories showed the Islamic State could be defeated. The extremist group still holds large parts of the west and the north of Iraq.
Kevin Wolf Kevin Wolf

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:40 pm

When Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi weighs the pros and cons of running such a fractured country, here's the upside: He can count on five separate military groups supporting his battle against the self-declared Islamic State.

The downside is that he has limited control of these groups, and of much of his country.

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Goats and Soda
3:43 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

'Mad Cow' Disease In Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin

Colored brain scan of a 17-year-old boy with mad cow disease. The bright yellow spots are a sign that the thalamus is damaged by diseased proteins.
Simon Fraser Science Source

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 9:49 am

It began with anxiety and depression. A few months later, hallucinations appeared.

Then the Texas man, in his 40s, couldn't feel the left side of his face.

He thought the symptoms were because of a recent car accident. But the psychiatric problems got worse. And some doctors thought the man might have bipolar disorder.

Eventually, he couldn't walk or speak. He was hospitalized. And about 18 months after symptoms began, the man died.

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Africa
3:41 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Thousands Flee After Anti-Immigrant Violence Strikes South Africa

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:40 pm

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with South African journalist S'thembile Cele about how violence against immigrants has flared in South Africa. At least five people have been killed, and more than two thousand have fled to makeshift camps and police stations.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Health
3:41 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Congress Repeals Medicare 'Doc Fix' Law, Ending Annual Scramble

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Most Corrupt State In The Country Is ...

High-profile politicians have been brought up on charges in recent years, but which places do people think are most corrupt?
Collection Agency flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 11:14 am

Politics, power and more money than ever can create an environment ripe for corruption.

But which states are the most corrupt, and how is that even defined?

A poll out from Monmouth University asked Americans what they think are the most corrupt states. Overall, there was not much of a consensus, but New York rose to the top (with just 12 percent), followed by California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

We Might Welcome Robot Lawn Mowers, But Astronomers Aren't So Happy

You won't be able to use a robot lawn mower within 55 miles of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in Green Bank, W.Va., if the National Radio Astronomy Observatory has its way.
Patrick Semansky AP

What could a robot lawn mower possibly have to do with astronomy? A lot, apparently.

iRobot, which makes Roomba, the wireless vacuum cleaner, appears to be developing a robot lawn mower – one that would work using a wireless beacon system. That's according to a waiver filing in February with the Federal Communications Commission.

Wired, where we spotted this story, has the details:

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NPR Ed
2:44 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

LA Schools To Apple: You Owe Us

Jorge Quinteros Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 6:29 pm

The Los Angeles Unified School District is demanding that Apple Inc. refund millions of dollars for Pearson software that had been loaded onto iPads for the district's 650,000 students.

If an agreement on the dispute cannot be reached, the nation's second-largest school district could take Apple to court.

Two years after the district launched the most expansive school technology initiative in the country, its attorney said it is "extremely dissatisfied" with the work of Pearson, the publisher of the Common Core learning software.

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It's All Politics
2:26 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

In Or Out In Congress? Gyrocopters, Tweets To Iran, Downton Abbey

An explosive ordnance disposal technician checks the gyrocopter that landed on the Capitol's South Lawn Wednesday.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:44 pm

In Congress, just like at any storied American institution — McDonald's, New York Fashion Week, the Bush and Clinton families — trends come and go.

The 114th Congress is now 100 days old. And it can be difficult to keep up with the goings and comings of the body and its 535 members — the negotiations, visits from world leaders, the scandals and, oh yeah, the legislation.

So here's our look at what's in and what's out on Capitol Hill:

Have something to add to the list? Tweet @nprpolitics.

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Parallels
2:21 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

They Speak Hebrew And Keep Kosher: The Left-Behind Ethiopian Jews

Jewish worshippers gather at a makeshift synagogue established by the Jewish Agency for Israel for Ethiopian Jews in Gondar, Ethiopia, in 2012.
Jenny Vaughan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:40 pm

In the half darkness of an adobe hut in Gondar, Ethiopia, 20-year-old Gezahegn ("Gezi") Derebe pulls out an acoustic guitar. As on many evenings when the power goes out, he entertains his family by singing. Though his mother, Ayelesh, sways to the tune, she doesn't understand the lyrics, because Gezi sings not in his native Amharic, but in Hebrew.

Behind him, on a wall kept cool with a traditional mixture of cow dung and ash, hangs a laminated map of Israel. Above it are the framed photographs of his relatives who have already managed to emigrate there.

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Health
2:21 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Some Patients Lack Contraceptive Coverage Under Health Law, Study Finds

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Environment
2:21 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

California Cities Struggle To Enforce Mandatory Water Restrictions

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:40 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the state to cut back its water use by 25 percent overall and mandated specific targets for each city. But some are still figuring out how to enforce cutbacks, including in San Diego, where the target is 20 percent.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Study: Many Mothers Don't Wait Long Enough Between Pregnancies

Pregnant mom. (travelingtribe/Flickr)

The typical time between pregnancies for American mothers is 2.5 years, according to new research. Doctors say that is a healthy amount of time to wait. But a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that nearly a third of women space their births too close – fewer than 18 months between pregnancies.

The study found that “while there is no consensus on optimal IPI [interpregnancy interval], research has shown that short intervals (less than 18 months) and long intervals (60 months or more) were associated with higher risks of adverse health outcomes.”

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Oklahoma City Bombing Juror Looks Back

The McVeigh jury members address the media during a news conference in Denver, Colo., Saturday, June 14, 1997. From right to left are: Roger Brown, Fred Clarke, Doug Carr, Diane Faircloth, James Osgood, Tonya Stedman, Mike Leeper, Ruth Meier, Jonathon Candelaria, Martha Hite and Vera Chubb. (Michael S. Green/AP)

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 7:03 am

Just past the two-year anniversary of the bombing of the Boston Marathon, another horrific anniversary approaches. Oklahoma City residents will never forget April 19, 1995, when a bomb blast tore through the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, killing 168 people and injuring several hundred others.

Police tracked down Timothy McVeigh, a 26-year-old Persian Gulf War veteran and right-wing militia sympathizer. He was put on trial and ultimately put to death.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Social Media Buzz: Clinton's Logo, Ricky Gervais' Giraffe Tweet, Cheryl's Birthday

Hillary Clinton's new logo is a blue H with a red right-pointing arrow.

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:22 pm

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has a new logo that’s causing buzz. British comedian Ricky Gervais set the Internet aflutter by tweeting a photo of hunter Rebecca Francis posing beside a dead giraffe. And Singapore T.V. host Kenneth Kong posted a logic problem on Facebook about finding Cheryl’s birthday, that has gone viral.

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Music Interviews
1:08 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk'

Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who's recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:43 pm

When singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson first landed on the instrumental track and a few lines of what would become the hit song "Uptown Funk," Ronson says the room was filled with electricity.

"There's nothing more exciting than that period of the song, because the potential is unlimited," Ronson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Shots - Health News
12:56 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Scientists Probe Puppy Love

A direct, friendly gaze seems to help cement the bond of affection between people and their pooches.
Dan Perez/Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 3:28 pm

It's a question that bedevils dog owners the world over: "Is she staring at me because she loves me? Or because she wants another biscuit?"

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