NPR News

National Security
1:00 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Potential Torture Testimony Could Rattle Sept. 11 Case

A picture posted on the website www.muslm.net in 2009 allegedly shows al-Qaida's Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 10:02 am

The man who claims to have orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to appear in a military courtroom this Saturday. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men are supposed to answer formal charges related to their roles in the plot.

Their arraignment will be at Guantanamo Bay, and it is the first step that leads — possibly years from now — to a military trial.

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Political Scientist Asks: Are Obama's Approval Ratings Better Than They Seem?

President Obama's voter-approval ratings certainly have been far from spectacular for much of his presidency, remaining mostly below 50 percent since November of 2009.

But on that dimension he may actually be doing better than it appears, at least based on some statistical modeling of presidential approval ratings conducted by George Washington University political scientist John Sides.

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Africa
3:55 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Diplomats Up Efforts To Avert War Between Sudans

Sudanese soldiers walk in the oil town of Heglig on April 24. South Sudanese forces occupied Heglig last month. The international community called on the South to pull out, which it says it did.
Ebrahim Hamid AFp/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

Sudan and South Sudan are facing the threat of United Nations sanctions if they fail to stop fighting along their disputed frontier in the Horn of Africa.

A unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution, which condemns the surge of border violence, orders the two Sudans to cease hostilities within two days and resume negotiations within two weeks.

The U.N. resolution endorses an African Union road map it hopes will avert a return to war.

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Planet Money
3:37 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

What American Women Do For Work

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:09 pm

Forty years ago, only 1 in 3 American workers was a woman. Today, it's 1 in 2.

You know this already. But it raises interesting, subtler questions: What jobs did all those women get? And how did the gender breakdown change by industry over the past 40 years?

This graph answers those questions.

It shows how the gender breakdown changed in major sectors of the economy between 1972 and 2012.

The size of the circles shows how some sectors grew to include a larger share of the workforce, while others shrank in relative terms.

Two main themes jump out here.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Do Campaign Ads Seem More Negative This Year? It's Not Just You

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

If you thought the presidential primaries were extraordinarily negative, now there's statistical evidence that you were right.

A new analysis of TV ads finds that 70 percent of the messages were negative — a trend spearheaded by the heavily financed superPACs supporting the candidates. At this point in the 2008 election, 91 percent of TV ads were positive.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Greenland's Ice Melting More Slowly Than Expected

Researchers studying Greenland's ice say it is melting more slowly than previously thought. Here, ice travels down a relatively small outlet glacier into the sea.
Ian Joughin UW, Sarah Das/WHOI and Richard Harris/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:50 am

A new study has some reassuring news about how fast Greenland's glaciers are melting away.

Greenland's glaciers hold enough water to raise sea level by 20 feet, and they are melting as the planet warms, so there's a lot at stake.

A few years ago, the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland really caught people's attention. In short order, this slow-moving stream of ice suddenly doubled its speed. It started dumping a whole lot more ice into the Atlantic. Other glaciers also sped up.

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Business
3:10 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Corn Farmers Hope, Cautiously, For A Bumper Crop

This year, U.S. corn farmers have planted more acres of the crop than at any time since the Great Depression.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

It's still too early to predict whether the 2012 corn harvest will set a record, but many corn farmers say the prognosis for a bumper crop is looking pretty good right now.

U.S. farmers are planting more acres of corn this year than they have in any year since the Great Depression. And with a mild spring across much of the nation's Corn Belt, many are hoping this autumn's yield will be one for the record books.

A Crop That 'Will Knock Your Socks Off'

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Europe
3:06 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Will French Election Mark A Reversal Of Austerity?

Tens of thousands of people in Paris used the annual May Day workers' events this year to denounce the world of finance amid the Europe-wide debt crisis. If elected, France's Socialist presidential challenger, Francois Hollande, says he will pursue a growth-oriented strategy.
Guillaume Baptiste AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

The possibility that French President Nicolas Sarkozy may lose the presidential election Sunday is making waves across Europe. Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the architects of Europe's new fiscal austerity pact.

But the man likely to replace Sarkozy has other ideas.

Socialist candidate Francois Hollande — who is favored in opinion polls by several percentage points — says Europe cannot emerge from the crisis based on austerity alone.

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Election 2012
3:06 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

In Utah, GOP House Candidate Out To Make History

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love speaks at the Republican state convention April 21 in Sandy, Utah.
Leah Hogsten The Salt Lake Tribune via AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

A small-town mayor in Utah is trying to make congressional history.

Mia Love wants to become the first black Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. If elected, she vows to bring conservative principles to the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:02 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Why Do Bike-Share Riders Skip Helmets?

Bartender Matt Carucci says he rarely feels safe biking in the city but often rides without a helmet anyway. "There are a lot of other ways to hurt yourself," he says.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:50 am

If you've ever shaken your head over urban bicyclists' apparent unanimous decision to forgo helmets, you're not far off the mark.

Among users of bike-sharing programs, like Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., the problem is obvious.

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Middle East
2:42 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Syrian Government Forces Raid University Campus

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now to the Syria, where in the city of Aleppo today, government troops stormed dormitories at the main university. This after students turned out for mass protests yesterday. At least three students were killed during the raid. Dozens, if not hundreds, more were arrested. U.N. observers are currently in Syria to monitor whether the government and its opponents are complying with a peace plan. And that peace plan is supposed to allow for nonviolent protests. NPR's Kelly McEvers tells us more about what happened in Aleppo.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Student Forgotten In Holding Cell: 'Changes Have To Be Made'

Daniel Chong appears at a news conference on Tuesday in San Diego.
K. C. Alfred UT San Diego

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

Daniel Chong, a California college senior, was forgotten in a federal holding cell without food or water for five days.

Today, he told All Things Considered's Audie Cornish that the five days tested his sanity and his resolve to live.

"I didn't stay sane," Chong said. "Eventually, by the second or third night ... I went completely insane and was just trying to get a grip on reality, on what's happening to me."

Chong said at one point he thought about using his glasses to cut into his arm and kill himself.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Reports: Facebook Will Set IPO Pricing After Markets Close

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 2:45 pm

Update at 4:39 p.m. ET. $28 To $35:

The AP reports that Facebook has set a price range for its initial public offering between $28 and $35.

The AP adds:

"At the high end, this could raise as much as $11.8 billion. That's much higher than any other Internet IPO in the past, even Google Inc. in 2004."

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Finish This Sentence: 'Before I Die, I Want To ...'

From the Before I Die wall in New Orleans.
Candy Chang

Artist Candy Chang turned the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into "a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them."

And since putting up that public art project in February 2011, "Before I Die" walls have spread to at least 19 cities around the world. Friday, a wall goes up in Denver.

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It's All Politics
12:43 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Democrats Keep Getting Dinged For Hitting GOP On Women's Health, Loans

MoveOn.org

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 1:00 pm

Democrats keep getting dinged by media fact checkers for attacking Republicans for allegedly wanting to strip money from preventive health programs to pay for to keep the interest rates on some student loans from doubling this summer.

But that hasn't stopped progressives from continuing to make the claim. The latest comes in a new full-page MoveOn.org ad in Politico. The ad reads in part:

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

VIDEO: Lioness Tries To 'Eat' Baby Dressed In Zebra Hoodie

A lioness tries to "eat" a baby.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 12:21 pm

Maybe she thought the baby — dressed in a black-and-white, stripped hoodie — was a small zebra and an easy snack. In any case, this video showing a lioness going after a baby through a glass has been making the rounds today, so we thought we'd share it:

Here's how the person who uploaded on YouTube described it:

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Religion
12:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Nuns And The Vatican: A Clash Decades In Making

American nuns attend Mass at Sant'Apollinare in Rome. The umbrella group that represents the majority of the approximately 56,000 U.S. nuns plans to meet later this month to discuss its response to a Vatican reprimand.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 2:42 pm

When Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox arranged to meet with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican in 1988, a group of nuns thought he was wasting his time.

"I was chatting and having dinner with a number of Dominican sisters who were staying there for a 30-day retreat," Cox says. "They were incredulous that I wanted to bother seeing Ratzinger. 'Why do you want to do that?' they asked. 'Who pays any attention to him?' "

Flash forward a few decades, and nuns are more than paying attention.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:44 am
Thu May 3, 2012

CDC Says Helmets Are No Match For Tornadoes, But They Might Not Hurt

Noah Stewart shelters in the closet just 15 minutes before an April 2011 tornado demolished his house. Wearing the helmet may have saved his life, one doctor says.
Courtesy of the Stewart family

Can a helmet protect you in a tornado?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there's no research on how effective helmets are in preventing head injuries during tornadoes.

But, in what looks like a first, the agency says, in effect, that it's not out of the question that they might help.

Last year, tornadoes claimed the lives of more than 500 people in the U.S. Some safety advocates say protecting your head with a sturdy helmet could help reduce injuries and deaths.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Syrian Security Forces Attack Aleppo University

A handout picture released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network shows anti-regime graffiti sprayed on the walls of Aleppo University.
AFP/Getty Images

Syrian security forces stormed Aleppo University today, killing at least four. The incident underlines the continued violence in the country and signals that the unrest is spreading to cities that had remained peaceful.

Reuters reports that security personelle were joined by students wielding knives to attack a protest calling for the ouster of President Bashar Assad. Reuters reports:

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National Security
11:36 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Bin Laden Papers Show Him Frustrated, Marginalized

Pakistanis walk past the rubble of bin Laden's demolished compound this week.
Sajjad Qayyum AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 12:50 pm

Documents found at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan reveal an al-Qaida leader who had come to feel marginalized and frustrated with actions taken by affiliated terror groups he had helped inspire.

The man responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks is seen struggling to limit attacks that killed mostly Muslims, and to keep the international jihad movement focused on what he viewed as the main target: the United States.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Thu May 3, 2012

With Chen's Fate Uncertain, Online 'Dark Glasses' Campaign Continues

The Dark Glasses blog.
ichenguangcheng.blogspot.com

Before his escape from house arrest, his stay at the U.S. embassy in Beijing and now his plea that he be allowed to go to the U.S., Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng was the focus of a "Dark Glasses" campaign aimed at drawing attention to his plight.

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World Cafe
11:14 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Latin Roots: The Political Beginnings Of Latin Rock

El Chicano.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 3:18 pm

On today's episode of Latin Roots, NPR's Felix Contreras returns to discuss the Latin Alternative music of the 1970s. Contreras is a connoisseur of Latin music who hosts NPR's Alt.Latino, reports on jazz, world music and Latin culture for NPR's Arts Desk, and plays in several Latin and jazz bands. Here, Contreras describes how politics in the 1970s influenced Latin music of the era.

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The Record
10:29 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Dudes Act Like A Lady: 'Call Me Maybe' Takes Over YouTube

Released in December, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" has been rising on the charts — it reaches no. 5 this week — and winning the hearts of fans on YouTube.
Vanessa Heins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:51 pm

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World Cafe
9:41 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Band Of Skulls On World Cafe

Band of Skulls' new album is titled Sweet Sour.
Steve Gullick

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:14 am

The English group Band of Skulls makes music that recalls The Black Keys and The Kills' heavy, distorted, guitar-driven rock. On its 2009 debut, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, Band of Skulls proved it could own several styles of classic rock. But the follow-up, Sweet Sour, is comparatively airtight — and has already hit the U.K. charts.

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World
8:31 am
Thu May 3, 2012

A Look At Bin Laden's Letters To Confidants

Some of the documents found during the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideaway in Pakistan were released Thursday. West Point's Combating Terrorism Center has been reviewing those documents.

Shots - Health Blog
8:09 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Energy Drinks Can Take Teeth On An Irreversible Acid Trip

Drinks like Red Bull contain citric acid, which can strip away the enamel that protects teeth from decay.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:28 am

Drinks with a lot of sugar will rot your teeth, right? That's the conventional wisdom.

But what about the acid? It's not something we think much about, but dentists say it's high time we start, especially when it comes to the river of energy drinks we — and young people in particular — are consuming.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Militia Leader Reportedly Involved In Shooting Deaths Of Four In Arizona

J.T. Ready is a reputed neo-Nazi who has been conducting heavily armed patrols to catch illegal aliens in the Arizona desert.
J.T. Ready AP

A man fatally shot four people Wednesday outside of Phoenix before being found dead, authorities say. Among the victims was a girl between 1 and 2 years old. There are concerns about possible hazardous materials in 55-gallon drums in the backyard, The Associated Press reports, slowing the investigation.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Coming Up: Bin Laden Documents To Go Online

Osama bin Laden.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:59 am

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was frustrated with "regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions" in the last few years before he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

That's "the most compelling story to be told," according to an analysis of some documents seized from bin Laden's Pakistani compound in the May 2011 raid that ended with his death, West Point's Combating Terrorism Center reported today.

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Interviews
6:49 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Chen: I Didn't 'Understand What Was Happening'

In this photo released by the U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (center) is seen with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke (right) and U.S. State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh before leaving the U.S. Embassy Wednesday for a hospital in Beijing.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:01 am

The Chinese activist who left the U.S. Embassy but then had a change of heart tells NPR from his hospital bed that he wasn't prepared for what would happen after leaving diplomatic protection.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Jobless Claims Dropped By 27,000 Last Week

There were 365,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, down 27,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

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