NPR News

The Two-Way
5:25 am
Thu June 7, 2012

New Massacre Reported In Syria; Clinton Condemns 'Unconscionable' Acts

With reports coming out of Syria about another massacre, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today used some of her sternest language yet about what she said is the Assad regime's "unconscionable" crackdown on the Syrian people. Reuters reports she said President Bashar Assad must cede all power and leave Syria.

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Latin America
5:20 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Bicyclist Rides Super Tall Bike Around Cuba

Perched on his homemade bike, Felix Guirola rides around Havana. The bike is so tall; he can peer over buses and second-story windows. Hanging traffic lights do pose a problem.

Africa
3:18 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Moderates Worry Tunisia Is Becoming More Conservative

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:16 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep on the Revolutionary Road, traveling through nations of the Arab Spring, from Carthage to Cairo.

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NPR Story
3:13 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Panetta Makes An Unannounced Trip To Afghanistan

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Kabul, Afghanistan. He arrived this morning for a quick, unannounced visit with troops and also to check in on the progress of the war. Panetta's trip comes a day after a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan left over 20 dead and at least 50 people wounded. Also yesterday, NATO forces were being blamed for allegedly killing civilians in an early morning strike.

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NPR Story
3:13 am
Thu June 7, 2012

N.J. Devils Force Game 5 Against L.A. Kings

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:04 am

The New Jersey Devils avoided elimination in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Game 5 is Saturday night in New Jersey. The Kings have never won the Stanley Cup.

NPR Story
3:13 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Bradbury Revered In Space Exploration Community

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When Ray Bradbury died this week, he was hailed as one of science fiction's great writers. Best known for works like "The Martian Chronicles," Bradbury himself didn't think science fiction was a good label for his work. He said science fiction was about what could happen, and believed most of his work was actually fantasy. And yet, in the real world of space exploration, Bradbury was revered. Science writer Andrew Chaikin, for one, considers Bradbury the poet laureate of space exploration.

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Middle East
12:56 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Planned E.U. Oil Embargo Looks Set To Squeeze Iran

Iranians line up at a gas station to fuel their motorcycles in central Tehran in February. Oil is the lifeblood of Iran's economy, but the planned EU boycott is expected to deal a major blow to Iranian oil exports.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 12:07 pm

On July 1, the European Union says it will stop buying oil from Iran. Europe is one of the most important markets for Iran's oil, and in anticipation of the boycott, Iranian oil exports worldwide are already down by more than 25 percent.

Iran's leaders say they can weather this pressure, and so far they have refused to budge on their controversial nuclear activities, ones that prompted a series of economic sanctions.

As a result, it appears as if Iran will only face even greater difficulties when it comes to exporting oil, the lifeblood of its economy.

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Music Interviews
12:55 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Michelle Obama's Workout Jams: 'I Really Mix It Up'

More than 10,000 children from Iowa schools joined Michelle Obama during the "Let's Move" interactive celebration in Des Moines last February.
Conrad Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 1:49 pm

The year began with New Year's resolutions to get fit and ever since, Morning Edition has been talking to athletes, musicians, a mail carrier and the head of the IRS about the music that gets them moving. The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix series concludes with a contribution from Michelle Obama.

The first lady is the mover and shaker behind "Let's Move," a campaign designed to get young people, in particular, to eat better and exercise more.

During a recent tour of the White House vegetable garden, Obama shared the key to her workout routine.

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Education
12:54 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Computers Grade Essays Fast ... But Not Always Well

As schools look to cut costs, more are considering using computers to grade students' writing assignments and to provide writing help. The programs can assess large numbers of papers in seconds.
David L Ryan The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:04 am

Imagine a school where every child gets instant, personalized writing help for a fraction of the cost of hiring a human teacher — and where a computer, not a person, grades a student's essays.

It's not so far-fetched. Some schools around the country are already using computer programs to help teach students to write.

There are two big arguments for automated essay scoring: lower expenses and better test grading. Using computers instead of humans would certainly be cheaper, but not everyone agrees on argument No. 2.

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Science
12:52 am
Thu June 7, 2012

A Scientist's 20-Year Quest To Defeat Dengue Fever

Scott O'Neill wants to rid the world of dengue fever by infecting mosquitoes with bacteria so they can't carry the virus that causes the disease.
Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:26 pm

First of a two-part series

This summer, my big idea is to explore the big ideas of science. Instead of just reporting science as results — the stuff that's published in scientific journals and covered as news — I want to take you inside the world of science. I hope I'll make it easier to understand how science works, and just how cool the process of discovery and innovation really is.

A lot of science involves failure, but there are also the brilliant successes, successes that can lead to new inventions, new tools, new drugs — things that can change the world

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Revolutionary Road Trip
12:50 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Tunisia's Leader: Activist, Exile And Now President

Moncef Marzouki, the president of Tunisia, photographed in the presidential palace.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 12:26 pm

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In Tunisia, he sat down with the country's new president, Moncef Marzouki.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:57 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

CT Scans Boost Cancer Risks For Kids

Isabel Doran, 4, gets a CT scan at Children's National Medical Center with her mom, Veronica Doran. The X-ray radiation in CT scans raises the risks for cancer, including leukemia, a new study shows.
Dayna Smith The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:04 am

Children who get CT scans are at slightly increased risk for brain cancer and leukemia, according to a large international study released Tuesday.

CT scans create detailed images of the inside of the body. So they're great for diagnosing all sorts of medical problems — so great that their use has soared in recent years. More than 80 million are being done every year in the United States.

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World Cafe
4:47 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Rufus Wainwright On World Cafe

Rufus Wainwright.
Barry J. Holmes

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:09 am

In this episode of World Café, Rufus Wainwright catches up with host Michaela Majoun, who first chatted with the singer-songwriter on World Cafe 14 years ago. Wainwright shares details about his seventh album, Out of the Game, as well as the emotional events that inspired the album's themes of mourning and celebration.

This episode originally aired on June 6, 2012.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

On The Ground In Wisconsin: Lessons From The Winning Side

Don Taylor, GOP chairman in Wisconsin's Republican-dominated Waukesha County.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:45 am

Don Taylor, one of Wisconsin's most influential Republicans, had predicted that GOP Gov. Scott Walker would stave off recall challenger Tom Barrett, a Democrat, by a couple of percentage points.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

On The Ground in Wisconsin: Lessons From The Losing Side

A sign along a county highway in Saukville, Wis. Exit polls showed 38 percent of voters with a labor union member in the family voted for Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:45 am

The morning after Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin handily rebuffed Democratic efforts to oust him, politicos in the state and beyond pored over exit poll data and turnout numbers to tease out:

A: How he did it.

B: Where Democrats failed.

My colleague Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, took a good shot at answering Question A Wednesday morning.

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Health
4:41 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Children Getting CT Scans At Higher Risk For Cancer

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 5:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

New research out today indicates that a popular medical test may increase the risk for some forms of cancer. A large international study found that CAT scans, which are also known as CT scans, can increase the risk for leukemia and brain cancer in children.

NPR's Rob Stein joins us now to talk about the new findings. And, Rob, I understand the concerns about these scans have been building for a long time. So what's the specific source of worry here?

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Fire That Caused $400M In Damage To Navy Sub Was Caused By Vacuum Cleaner

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) enters a dry dock to begin an engineered overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.
Jim Cleveland U.S. Navy

$400 million in damage to the Navy's fast attack submarine USS Miami was caused by a fire started by a vacuum cleaner.

That's what a preliminary report about the May 23 fire has found. The vacuum cleaner, the Navy said in a statement, was "used to clean worksites at end of shifts, and stored in an unoccupied space."

There's still no indication how the vacuum cleaner caught fire to begin with.

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Election 2012
3:41 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Walker Moves Forward As The Right's Newest 'Hero'

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (center) is greeted by his Cabinet and staff Wednesday at the state Capitol in Madison, a day after defeating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election.
Andy Manis AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 5:29 pm

Republican Gov. Scott Walker triumphantly returned to the Wisconsin Capitol Wednesday, fresh off of his decisive victory in Tuesday's bitter recall election.

The governor appears to be emerging from the tough recall fight stronger, and with his national profile rising.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Was Miss USA Pageant Rigged? Trump Says No, Plans To Sue

The former Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monnin.
Darren Decker AP

Barely a day after she competed in the Miss USA beauty contest, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin tore off her sash and fired a scorching resignation:

"In good conscience I can no longer be affiliated in any way with an organization I consider to be fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent, and in many ways trashy."

Trashy? There's a surprising perjorative from a woman who says on Facebook she's spent a decade associated with the pageant.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

From Our Readers: Bradbury's Wine

Dandelion Wine -- first a short story in 1953 and then a novel in 1957 — may not wield as much name recognition as Fahrenheit 451, but it is the late Ray Bradbury's most personal work. This sensory tribute to his boyhood summers in Illinois begins:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:04 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis A 'Serious Epidemic' In China

Gao Weiwei, a doctor of the Beijing Chest Hospital which specializes in the treatment of tuberculosis, talks to a patient suspected to have tuberculosis at the hospital in Tongzhou, near Beijing, March 27, 2009.
Ng Han Guan AP

China's first national survey of tuberculosis has produced some of the worst TB news in years.

Out of the million Chinese who develop TB every year, researchers say at least 110,000 get a form that's resistant to the mainstay drugs isoniazid and rifampin. Patients with such multidrug-resistant or MDR tuberculosis have to be treated for up to two years with expensive second-line drugs that are toxic and less effective.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

At The Equivalent Of 118 MPG, Honda Fit EV Becomes Most Fuel Efficient Car

The new all-electric 2013 Honda Fit EV is seen during its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in Los Angeles.
Reed Saxon AP

The 2013 Honda Fit EV received the best fuel efficiency rating the Environmental Protection Agency has ever issued. The AP reports that the EPA said the electric vehicle gets the equivalent of 118 MPG.

The AP reports:

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Europe
2:50 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Spain Needs Cash, But Please Don't Call It A Bailout

A Spanish protester bangs on a pot outside the offices of Bankia in Madrid. Spain's banks are hurting and in need of an infusion of capital.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 5:29 pm

Spain's banks are struggling and the country's leaders are sending mixed signals about whether they can afford to rescue them, or whether they'll need to ask for outside help.

But one thing is clear: Spanish leaders are trying to avoid calling any potential rescue plan a bailout.

Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos dismisses talk of a bailout for Spanish banks.

"We'll make whatever decisions we need in the future," De Guindos told reporters in Brussels. And that won't be for weeks, after audits of Spanish banks, he said.

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The Salt
2:48 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Many Food Workers Keep Working While Sick, Survey Finds

Workers harvest cantaloupe near Firebaugh, Calif.
Gosia Wosniacka AP

We've all probably been there, at work, feeling crummy, when we should be home in bed. Maybe we do it because we need the money, or we feel like we can't miss that super important meeting. But what if you work with food and coming in sick means potentially infecting hundreds of other people?

A coalition of food labor groups says it happens a lot, and they blame the lack of paid sick days for people who pick, process, sell, cook and serve food.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:41 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

To Count As A Young Scientist, Anything Less Than 52 Will Do

You're not getting older, you're getting better.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 5:53 am

I always suspected that the pursuit of science could keep a person young — or at least young at heart.

Now I have evidence. Sort of.

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, a charity that helps raise money to support the NIH, today announced the Lurie Prize. A $100,000 check awaits a "promising young scientist in biomedical research" with the right stuff.

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All Tech Considered
2:40 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

IPv6: A New Internet Expands The Web By Trillions Of Addresses

A new version of the Internet protocol system called IPv6 launched Wednesday, adding trillions upon trillions of new Internet addresses.
Courtesy of the Internet Society

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 5:31 pm

You may not have noticed when you woke up today, but the Internet universe expanded overnight by the trillions.

Today at midnight, Greenwich Mean Time, the new Internet protocol system IPv6 was born, bringing "more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion" extra Internet protocol addresses into the world, according to the Internet Society, the nonprofit, Internet policy organization that is behind the system's launch and also controls the .org domain.

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It's All Politics
2:14 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Bad Day For Unions Made Worse By Calif. Public Pension Initiatives

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders at a rally for supporters of Proposition B Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 3:02 pm

Tuesday was, unquestionably, a very bad day for public-employee unions and not just for the reason that got most of the attention, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's success in fending off an attempt to oust him through a recall election.

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The Record
2:09 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

George Clinton Fights For His Right To Funk

A contemporary Clinton sans dreadlocks.
William Thoren

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:43 pm

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

In New York, Hispanic Small Business Owners Must Prove Their Ethnicity

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 2:58 pm

Who is Latino? Who counts as Native American?

The debate over who is considered a minority was brought to the spotlight by the Senate race in Massachusetts. Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren claimed she had Native American heritage, but there's no records to indicate that. Still, Warren insists that she learned of her background through family stories and that she is proud of her heritage.

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Election 2012
1:27 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

N.D. Senate Race Could Be Next National Battleground

Democratic Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp greets a supporter before a town hall meeting in Minot, N.D., on May 3.
Dale Wetzel AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 5:29 pm

Republicans need a net pickup of four seats to win control of the U.S. Senate this November. One opportunity they see is in North Dakota, where longtime Democratic incumbent Kent Conrad has decided not to run for a sixth term.

Republican Rep. Rick Berg is expected to win the GOP nomination in next Tuesday's primary. If he does, he'll face Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.

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