NPR News

Around the Nation
9:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Is Jennifer Hudson's Tragedy All Too Common?

Jurors in Chicago recently reached a verdict in the murder case against William Balfour, the man accused of killing Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew. Host Michel Martin speaks with WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore about the elements of race, class, and violence in Chicago's South Side that came into play in the trial.

The Two-Way
9:32 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Afghanistan: More Troubles, But U.S. Ambassador Sees Path Forward

Officials and mourners prepare to place the coffin of Afghanistan High Peace Council and former Taliban leader Arsala Rahmani in a grave earlier today, in Kabul.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

While U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says there is a path toward relative stability in Afghanistan and away from a return to the kind of civil war that devastated the country in the early 1990s, the difficulties still facing that nation have been underscored by more violence:

-- CNN.com reports that "a bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry."

Read more
The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Dozens More Murdered In Mexico; Count Of Headless Bodies May Near 70

Morgue employees take in some of the bodies that were found Sunday.
Moises Castillo AP

Few headlines are more horrific than this:

"49 Headless Bodies Dumped In Mexican Town."

Read more
The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
8:23 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Science And The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 12:27 pm

A technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has kicked off an energy boom in the United States. Fracking lets drillers unlock vast reservoirs of natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Over the past decade, about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled across the country.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:55 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Baby Names: The Latest Partisan Divide?

The percentage of newborns given the trendiest names is much smaller than it was a generation ago.
Andre Panneton iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 8:27 am

Evan, Elizabeth, Rachel, Abigail and John all have something in common. They were born this spring at Fletcher Allen hospital in Burlington, Vt.

Around the same time, a group of babies named Paislee, Liberty, Rykan and Scottlynn were all born in and around North Platte, Neb.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:47 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Sophia Is No. 1 Among Girls' Names; Mason Soars To Near Top Among Boys

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 10:53 am

Sophia has pushed Isabella off the No. 1 spot among most popular names for girls born in the U.S., the Social Security Administration says.

Meanwhile, Jacob remained atop the list of boys' names, where it's been since 1999.

But Mason "rocketed to number two" last year from the No. 12 spot in 2010.

Here are the top 10 for each gender, from the agency's website:

Boys

1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah

Read more
Around the Nation
5:52 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Pipe Shop Owner Fights For Free Expression

When Adam Spiegel rolls down the metal security doors at his Medford, Ore., store, a painting becomes visible. Officials told him to clean the graffiti or be fined. He tells the Mail-Tribune it's not graffiti: it's a mural. Some onlookers think the painting resembles a giant bong.

Around the Nation
5:29 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Columbia University Janitor Graduates With Honors

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 7:48 am

When Gac Filipaj fled war-torn Yugoslavia in 1992, he became a refugee in New York. He took a janitor's job at Columbia University because it included free tuition. But he first had to learn English. After a dozen years, he received a bachelor's degree in classics over the weekend.

Science
2:51 am
Mon May 14, 2012

NPR Series To Examine Fracking

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 4:49 am

All this week, NPR is taking a deeper look at the natural gas boom in the United States. The series is called "The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers."

Analysis
2:51 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Polticis In The News

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:10 am

The head of JPMorgan Chase says the trading strategy that cost it $2 billion in a matter of weeks won't really affect the bank's bottom line. But the trade happened during a presidential campaign where the economy and Wall Street are major themes.

Middle East
2:51 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Violence In Syria Has Not Abated

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 4:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Syria's violence has not let up. Over the weekend, Syrian troops continued their campaign against those who opposed the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Let's talk about this with NPR's Kelly McEvers, who's on the line from Beirut. And Kelly, what's the latest?

Read more
Sports
2:47 am
Mon May 14, 2012

NHL Action Moves On To Conference Finals

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 4:44 am

The conference finals are underway in the National Hockey League playoffs. In the East, the New York Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils Monday. In the West, the Los Angeles Kings have won Game 1 โ€” beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2.

NPR Story
2:43 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Presbyterians' Views On Gay Marriage Vary

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 4:44 am

Twenty years ago, few Americans approved of homosexuality or thought gay marriage should be legal. Now, nearly half of all Americans support same-sex marriage, though most Christians are still opposed to it.

NPR Story
2:43 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Ambassador Crocker Focuses On Afghanistan's Future

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, travels soon to Chicago. He'll attend a summit of NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance, on whose troops Karzai's government depends. At that summit, NATO countries will be asked to pledge billions of dollars to support Afghanistan's security forces after NATO combat troops withdraw in the year 2014. The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan will also attend that summit. And as he prepared to leave Kabul, he sat down with our own Renee Montagne.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Election 2012
1:53 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Republicans Zero In On Nebraska's U.S. Senate Seat

The four top Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska รขย€ย” state Sen. Deb Fischer (from left), state Attorney General Jon Bruning, state Treasurer Don Stenberg and investment adviser Pat Flynn รขย€ย” recite the Pledge of Allegiance before a debate in Omaha last month.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 7:24 am

Republicans hope to wrest control of the U.S. Senate in November from the majority Democrats, who have twice as many seats to defend this year. One state where the GOP has high hopes is Nebraska, where two-term incumbent Ben Nelson, a Democrat, is retiring. Voters from both parties will select their nominees Tuesday, and the Republican winner is likely to face a familiar face: former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey.

Read more
The Picture Show
1:29 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Dear Photograph: New-Age Nostalgia

Dear Photograph is a collection of photos that take us back to our early memories.
From the blog and book 'Dear Photograph'

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 am

You may have heard of Dear Photograph, a website that invites readers to submit photos of photos โ€” images from the past, set in the present. Over the past year, the website received thousands of submissions. In fact, enough for a book, also called Dear Photograph, which was released earlier this month.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
1:27 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Doctors' Due Diligence: Measuring Kids' Blood Pressure

Doctors often overlook taking a child's blood pressure during routine visits.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 6:37 am

There have been hints that the obesity epidemic's rise has slowed a bit among certain populations, but for the most part, it continues to dominate American health. One third of children and teenagers are now overweight or obese. And researchers forecast as many as half of our nation's population could be obese โ€” not overweight but obese โ€” by 2030.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
1:26 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Alzheimer's Patients Turn To Stories Instead Of Memories

TimeSlips is a program based on the idea that storytelling can be therapeutic for people with dementia.
Dick Blau TimeSlips

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 4:44 am

Ask family members of someone with Alzheimer's or another dementia: Trying to talk with a loved one who doesn't even remember exactly who they are can be very frustrating.

But here at a senior center in Seattle, things are different.

On one recent day, 15 elderly people were forming a circle. The room is typical โ€” linoleum floors, cellophane flowers on the windows, canes and wheelchairs, and walkers lined up against the wall.

Read more
Election 2012
1:18 am
Mon May 14, 2012

In Florida, Registering Voters A Whole New Game

Melli Romero (right), a canvasser with the National Council of La Raza, works outside La Mia Supermarket in Miami on May 9.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 6:05 am

Six months before the presidential election, the Florida ground game is already under way.

In political terms, the ground game is the process of mobilizing voters and getting them to the polls. And the first step is registering people to vote.

But in Florida this year, there are tough new restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives. The restrictions already appear to be having an impact on the number of people who are registering to vote.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:17 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Santa Cruz Surfers Make Coastline A Reserve

A surfer rides a wave at Steamer Lane, with the Santa Cruz Wharf in the background. A long swath of Santa Cruz's coast has been designated a World Surfing Reserve.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 4:44 am

You may think of surfers as slackers. But in Santa Cruz, Calif., they're city council members and business owners. And they're also conservationists โ€” who just got their piece of the central California coast named a World Surfing Reserve.

Long before surf music topped the charts and long before surfers had crazy nicknames, surfers have been riding the waves in Santa Cruz.

Read more
Economy
3:15 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

EU's Financial Crisis Doesn't End At Nations' Borders

Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest to mark the anniversary of the "Indignados" movement in Madrid, Spain on Sunday. Tens of thousands of Spaniards took to the streets to protest the handling of the country's worst crisis in decades.
Alberto Di Lolli AP

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 9:11 pm

In the streets and public squares across Spain on Saturday night, the cries of a mass movement calling itself the Indignados rang out, railing against austerity measures imposed by the European Union.

In Greece the next morning, Alexis Tsipras, the head of a far-left opposition party, held a news conference to say he wouldn't join a coalition government that continued the path of austerity.

Read more
NPR Story
3:09 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

Opposition Wins Major State Vote In Germany

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 4:52 pm

Voters in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine Westphalia, have delivered a major blow to the ruling party, the Christian Democrats, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Michael Kolz, the chief political reporter for German station Phoenix, about why the results in North Rhine Westphalia matter and what they mean for the left-wing Social Democrats.

NPR Story
3:09 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

Black Voters Weigh Obama, Support For Marriage Ban

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

In North Carolina this past week, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. A solid majority of the state's African-American voters backed it as well.

The very next day, President Obama publicly endorsed same-sex marriage. But will that affect black turnout in support of the president in November? Here's Tanner Latham from member station WFAE in Charlotte.

Read more
Africa
12:24 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

In Zimbabwe's Media, It's All About Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's government has exercised control over most of the media. Here, workers sort out copies of The Daily News, one of the few independent newspapers. It was allowed to reopen in March 2011 after being shut down for years because it was critical of the government.
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi AP

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 11:59 am

When you turn on the morning news in Zimbabwe โ€” or the afternoon news, or the evening news โ€” there's a virtual guarantee you'll hear about President Robert Mugabe, or even his actual voice.

Even when there's a song by the Zimbabwean group Born Free Crew, it features a voice-over of none other than Mugabe, who's been leader since independence in 1980.

Read more
Why Music Matters
12:23 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

Stop The Music: A Dancer Tries Silence

Amy O'Neal, a modern dance choreographer, recently took on the challenge of performing without music.
Gabriel Bienczycki Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 8:24 am

Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with stories of music fans, told in their own words. Today's story is about Amy O'Neal, a choreographer who took on the challenge of dancing in complete silence.

Read more
Opinion
5:44 am
Sun May 13, 2012

Hillary Clinton: 'Incredible Rush' Will Have Its End

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greet each other before a meeting in Kolkata, India, on May 7.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 10:09 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets questioned about her political future wherever she goes. She says she plans to get off the "high-wire" of politics after she wraps up her tenure as secretary of state, but her trips sometimes feel like she's campaigning โ€” for America's image and for her own legacy. NPR's Michele Kelemen has this behind-the-scenes reporter's notebook of Clinton's most recent swing through Asia.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:44 am
Sun May 13, 2012

Words Of Wisdom Commence For 2012 Grads

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's graduation season at colleges and universities around the country. And just as Mitt Romney addressed the students at Liberty University, other prominent politicians, entertainers and leaders are joining in that celebrated tradition. Here now, we present a composite commencement address for the class of 2012, drawn from some famous voices over the years.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMMENCEMENT SPEECHES)

PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: Board of trustees, distinguished guests...

BARBARA BUSH: ...faculty, parents...

Read more
Middle East
5:44 am
Sun May 13, 2012

Al-Qaida In Yemen: A New Top U.S. Priority

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Terrorists are still targeting the U.S. homeland. We were reminded of that with news this past week that al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen plotted to blow up a plane headed to the United States.

Read more
Middle East
5:44 am
Sun May 13, 2012

Al-Qaida Infiltration 'Important' But 'Not Unheard Of'

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For more on the Yemen bomb plot and what it tells us about U.S. intelligence operations, we're joined by Philip Mudd, former deputy at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. He's now a senior research fellow with the New America Foundation here in Washington. He joins us in studio.

Thanks for coming in.

PHILIP MUDD: Thank you for having me.

Read more

Pages