NPR News

Goats and Soda
7:19 am
Fri March 20, 2015

On Happiness Day, 6 Nepalis Tell How To Not Worry And Be Happy

Devaki Raut, 16, says reading makes her happy.
Donatella Lorch for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 9:07 am

Nepal, a country of 25 million, is struggling out of poverty after a decadelong civil war. Squabbling politicians have paralyzed government, and high unemployment means 1,500 youth leave every day for jobs in Malaysia and the Middle East.

So, as the United Nations International Day of Happiness dawns, Nepalis may seem on the surface to have reason to be unhappy.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Scores Killed In Mosque Attacks In Yemen

A wounded girl reacts as she is carried by a man out of a mosque that was attacked by a suicide bomber in Sanaa, Yemen, on Friday.
Khaled Abdullah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 3:53 pm

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Suicide bombers in Yemen attacked two mosques during Friday prayers in the capital, Sanaa, killing at least 137 people and wounding hundreds more.

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Shots - Health News
7:09 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Despite A Wave Of Data Breaches, Fed Says Patient Privacy Isn't Dead

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:08 am

It's hard to keep track of even the biggest health data breaches, given how frequently they seem to be happening.

Just Tuesday, health insurer Premera Blue Cross disclosed that hackers broke into its system and may have accessed the financial and medical records of some 11 million people. Premera's announcement comes weeks after another health insurer, Anthem Inc., announced that it too had been hacked—and that the records of nearly 80 million people were exposed.

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Middle East
3:44 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Transcript: NPR's Interview With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 8:28 am

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep on the heels of a win for Netanyahu's Likud Party in parliamentary elections this week. The following is a transcript of the interview:

RENEE MONTAGNE: We are going to listen carefully now as Benjamin Netanyahu explains his views of Middle East peace. Israel's prime minister provoked anger from President Obama and others. He did with remarks during this week's election.

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Strange News
3:26 am
Fri March 20, 2015

It's A Party, Dude!

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:55 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Fine Art
3:15 am
Fri March 20, 2015

This Museum Lets You Play The Artist

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:55 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Salt
3:05 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Both Parties Agree The Food Stamp Program Needs To Change. But How?

A new budget plan that calls for turning food stamps into a block grant program for states could affect stores that accept food stamps through an Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, system like this one in Memphis.
Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 10:21 am

When it comes to the food stamps — or SNAP benefits as they're now called — there are few areas where Republicans and Democrats agree. But getting some of the 46 million people now receiving SNAP into the work force is one of them.

Last year Congress approved $200 million for states to test the best way to move people into jobs. And today, the Obama administration is announcing grants to 10 states to do just that.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the demonstration projects should help able-bodied recipients take advantage of an improving economy.

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Animals
3:05 am
Fri March 20, 2015

No Pain, No Scientific Gain: One Man's Quest To Quantify Bug Stings

University of Arizona entomologist Justin Schmidt was stung well over 1,000 times while creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.
Sam Droege/USGS Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:03 pm

Spring is officially here and that means flowers, gardens and bugs. At least one man couldn't be happier about the return of insects — especially the ones that hurt.

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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Report: Army Examines Claims Of Racial Slurs At Alaska Base

The Army is investigating allegations that members of a platoon at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, used racial slurs against one another during what they called "Racial Thursdays," the Army Times is reporting.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama To Iranians: 'Best Opportunity In Decades' For A Different Future

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:37 am

President Obama is using a Nowruz message to tell Iranians that "we have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries."

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U.S.
6:19 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Exxon Settlement Falls Short Of Damage, N.J. Democrats Say

Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J., is one of two refineries that are involved in the settlement. It's no longer owned by Exxon, but they are on the hook for the cleanup.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:54 am

Lawmakers in New Jersey heard testimony today about one of the biggest environmental cases in that state's history.

ExxonMobil recently agreed to pay $225 million in damages for contamination at two oil refineries. Gov. Chris Christie called it a "good deal." But environmentalists complain the state is getting pennies on the dollar compared to the billions it was seeking in court.

The proposed settlement still requires approval by a state judge, and the public will have a chance to comment once the details are released — probably in the next few weeks.

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It's All Politics
6:11 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Justice Ginsburg Turns Her Pen To Exodus' 'Women Of Action'

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at an annual Women's History Month reception on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, famous for her legal pen, has now written a short essay for a different occasion: Passover.

The essay highlights the key roles played by five women in the Exodus story: Moses' mother and sister; the midwives who defied Pharaoh's decree to kill the Israelite baby boys; and Pharaoh's own daughter, who defied her father to pluck the baby Moses out of the Nile.

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Parallels
5:28 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

In Tikrit Offensive, Local Sunnis, Shiite Militias Are Unlikely Allies

Shiite fighters and Sunni fighters, who have joined Shiite militia groups known collectively as Hashid Shaabi ("Popular Mobilization") to fight the Islamic State, gesture Tuesday next to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's palaces in the Iraqi town of Ouja, near Tikrit.
Thaier Al-Sudani Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 10:53 am

The graying city mayor agrees to meet a few hours before he heads to the battlefront. He is haggard after living in exile since June, when the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, swept into his city — al-Sharqat, Iraq, a hour's drive north of Tikrit.

Ali Dodah al-Jabouri has a reason to fight: Islamic State militants killed his brother and 18 other relatives. But as part of a prominent Sunni Arab tribe, he is joining an unusual alliance with Iraqi Shiite militias backed and armed by Iran.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Remains Of Sept. 11 Victim Identified

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:03 pm

New York City medical examiners have identified the remains of another of the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He is Matthew David Yarnell of New Jersey, a 26-year-old vice president of technology of the Fiduciary Trust Co.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang tells our Newscast unit that Yarnell worked on the 97th floor of the World Trade Center's south tower. His remains were identified through DNA testing.

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The Salt
4:24 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Watch Your Back, Kale. Kelp Is Gunning For The Veggie Du Jour Title

Alaria, a type of seaweed also known as "Wild Atlantic Wakame," grows in the North Atlantic Ocean and is similar to Japanese wakame, a common ingredient in miso soup.
Courtesy of Sarah Redmond

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 12:47 pm

The story of how kale went from frumpy to trendy is a great inspiration to Gabriela Bradt, a fisheries specialist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

"Nobody cared about kale. Then it became the green du jour," says Bradt.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Australia Taking Over Local Government On Tiny, Bankrupt Island

The old government buildings and remains of the penal colony in Kingston, the capital of Norfolk Island, located about 1,000 miles northeast of Sydney, in a photo taken in 2006.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:47 am

Australia has announced that it is revoking self-government on tiny Norfolk Island, where ancestors of the original HMS Bounty mutineers settled in the mid-19th century.

The move was announced after it became clear that the island, a former penal colony with just 1,800 inhabitants, was facing bankruptcy.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Prices For Chanel Handbags To Rise In Europe, Lower In Asia

A sales assistant arranges handbags inside a Chanel boutique at a shopping mall in central Guangzhou, China, in February 2014.
Alex Lee Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:49 am

A Chanel handbag is classic, designed to withstand upheavals in fashion and taste. But not price. The Paris-based fashion house has announced that the prices will go up in Europe, and down in Asia.

The move will affect the 11.12, the 2.55, and the Boy Bag models.

At the moment, there's a significant difference in cost between the two regions. Hana Ben-Shabat, a retail and consumer goods specialist at A.T. Kearney, tells NPR that a bag that costs $3,500 in Europe can run up to $6,000 in China.

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It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama To Prince Charles: We'll Never Be Royals

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles with President Obama at the White House Thursday.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

President Obama may be having some postcode envy.

As members of the press corps poured into the Oval Office in the White House to get pictures of Obama and Prince Charles, Obama whispered to Charles, "I think it's fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the royal family."

He went on: "They like them much better than they like their own politicians."

Prince Charles, laughing, gave the only polite answer he could in return: "I don't believe that."

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Parallels
3:09 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Why Russia's Economic Slump Has Been Good For London

The view west from London's newest skyscraper looks over the River Thames and St. Paul's Cathedral. Russians have flocked to the English property and banking sectors as the economy crumbles back home.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 1:29 am

One year ago, the U.S. and Europe started imposing sanctions against Russia to punish it for seizing part of Ukraine. At the time, many British analysts feared the sanctions would hurt London, because of England's close economic ties to Russia.

A year later, with Russia's economy in recession, London is thriving. And this may not be despite the crisis in Russia; London may be doing well partly because of Moscow's economic turmoil.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Analysis Reveals Record Number Of FOIA Requests Filed Last Year

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:19 pm

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

Transcript

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Goats and Soda
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Egyptian Singer, Meet Burundi Bassist. Play Among Yourselves!

A Nile Project concert in Al Azhar Park, Cairo, Egypt, 31 January, 2013.
Courtesy of Matjaz Kacicnik/Nile Project

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 6:23 pm

Late one night, Dina el-Wadi, a singer and musician from Cairo, arrived in Kampala, Uganda. She'd come for a gathering of musicians who live in countries along the Nile River.

She went to bed and woke up to pure enchantment: "I found a very beautiful woman singing in the morning in a very, very, very magical way. So I said, 'Oh, who is this girl that's going to sing with us?'"

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Parallels
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Despite Cease-Fire, Skirmishes Carry On Along Ukraine's Front Line

A Ukrainian serviceman walks in the village of Pisky in the region of Donetsk controlled by Ukrainian forces on Feb. 26.
Oleksandr Ratushniak AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:50 am

Fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists has died down after a cease-fire agreement last month, but there are stretches of the front line where shooting has never really stopped.

Near the village of Pisky, for instance, you can hear the dull thud of incoming mortar rounds, coming in sporadic waves.

Pisky is on the Ukrainian government side of the front line, but it's not far from the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk.

The shelling is more than a mile from a militia camp set up in what used to be a small hotel and cafe.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

N.Y. Judge Rejects Release Of Grand Jury Testimony In Eric Garner Case

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:05 pm

A New York state judge has refused to release grand jury testimony about the death last year of Eric Garner on Staten Island.

Garner, 43, died in July after being placed in a chokehold as he was being arrested for selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk. A grand jury decided in December not to indict the police officer involved in the death.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

DJ Sessions: Sam Cooke Fans - Listen Up

KCRW's Aaron Byrd says Sam Cooke fans might really enjoy Leon Bridges. (Leon Bridges/Facebook)

Aaron Byrd of KCRW in Santa Monica has a lot of new music to share with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson, including an artist that Sam Cooke fans will want to hear — he’s talking about Leon Bridges.

Byrd also shares music from the Los Angeles artist Kelela and disco-funk group Tuxedo — which has a less explicit take on a Snoop Dogg classic.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

2,000 Snow Geese Die In Idaho

2,000 snow geese in Idaho died this month as a result of avian cholera. (hjhipster/Flickr)

Wildlife experts say avian cholera is responsible for a mass die-off of snow geese in Idaho this month, which left 2,000 of the migratory birds dead. Wildlife officials say they are taking precautions so that it doesn’t spread.

Jeff Knetter, a waterfowl biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish & Game tells Here & Now’s Robin Young about how spectacular it is when tens of thousands of snow geese at once take off in flight.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Protests Breakout At University of Virginia After Violent Arrest

UVA students protest the bloody arrest of a junior by Virginia police officers. (Hawes Spencer/WVTF)

Photos of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson laying on the ground with a bleeding head and police holding his hands behind his back have led to protest on the university’s campus.

Johnson, a third year honor student, was taken in to custody yesterday in front of a bar near the university. Video of him yelling “how did this happen” and calling the arresting Alcohol and Beverage Control officers racists, has prompted the university president to request an administrative review of the incident.

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Shots - Health News
1:29 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

'Looks Like Laury' Shines The Power Of Friendship On A Failing Mind

Laury Sacks and her husband, Eric. The actress and writer developed frontotemporal dementia in her late 40s and died in 2008 at age 52.
Courtesy of Eric Sacks

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:09 am

More than 5 million Americans have dementia, and that number is only climbing. Each case leaves some people wondering what's left in a friendship when the bond between confidants becomes literally unthinkable, when language and thinking fail. But a good friend can sometimes help in ways that a spouse, a child or a paid professional can't.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Netanyahu Says A Palestinian State Is 'Unachievable' Today

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington earlier this month. In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, Netanyahu said a separate Palestinian state is unachievable "under the present circumstances."
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:55 am

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fresh from victory in parliamentary elections this week, says he wants to clarify remarks he made on the campaign trail that appeared to write off any possibility of a Palestinian state on his watch.

"What I said was that under the present circumstances, today, it is unachievable," Netanyahu says in an interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to be aired Friday. "I said that the conditions have to change."

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama Orders Reduction In Government's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

President Obama on Thursday signs an executive order directing the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 2:44 pm

President Obama signed an executive order at the White House on Thursday directing the federal government to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 40 percent from 2008 levels within the next decade and to increase its use of renewable energy sources to 30 percent of total consumption.

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Music Interviews
12:16 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Bluegrass Musician Norman Blake Releases An Album Of Original Songs

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 8:57 am

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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