NPR News

National Security
4:28 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

U.S. Foils Terrorist Plot To Target Airplane

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

U.S. authorities say they have foiled a terrorist plot to target an airliner. A suicide bomber was planning to bring down a plane headed to the United States. The Associated Press first reported the story. Al-Qaida's affiliate group in Yemen is believed to be behind the plot, which national security officials say had not advanced far enough, that the suspect bought plane tickets or tried to board a plane.

NPR's Carrie Johnson has been reporting on this story. She joins me now. And, Carrie, what else have you found out?

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Shots - Health Blog
4:09 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Moms Often Overlook Toddlers' Weight Problems

Overweight, too thin or just right?
iStockphoto.com

A roly-poly toddler strikes many mothers as the picture of health.

But the road to obesity can start early in life, so it's important to know whether the baby fat that lingers on a toddling child is a healthy cushion or a sign of too much food too soon.

How good are mothers at recognizing whether their toddlers are overweight, underweight or just right? Not very.

More than two-thirds of the mothers participating in a recent study were inaccurate in their assessments. And the biggest problem was moms who thought their overweight toddlers were just fine.

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Election 2012
3:26 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Uphill Climb For Veteran Lugar In Tuesday Primary

Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (right) and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock participate in an April 11 debate in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

In Indiana, Republican primary voters Tuesday will decide whether to give GOP Sen. Richard Lugar the opportunity to seek a seventh term in November's general election. A recent independent poll shows him in trouble in his own party, with his Tea Party-backed opponent, Richard Mourdock, in the lead.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

CIA Thwarts New, More Sophisticated Underwear Bomber

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 9:05 am

The CIA has thwarted a new plot that sought to blow up an American airliner using a new, more sophisticated underwear bomb. The plot was hatched by an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen.

The Associated Press was the first to report the story and Reuters, CNN and NPR are now confirming. Both CNN and Reuters are running the story quoting unnamed government officials.

Here's the AP with the meat of it:

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World Cafe
2:56 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Next: Allo Darlin'

Allo Darlin's sophomore album is called Europe.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 6:48 pm

  • Hear two new tracks by Allo Darlin'

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Scientists Estimate Dinosaurs Passed Enough Gas To Warm Up The Planet

An artist's impression of a group of Yutyrannus. The 30-foot-long dinosaurs were covered with downy feathers — likely to keep the animals warm.
Dr. Brian Choo Nature

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 3:16 pm

The early reporting of the story had a undeniably alluring narrative: Scientists say dinosaurs passed so much gas, they affected climate enough to cause their demise. That's how Fox News and the Daily Mail, one of the first to move the story, framed this latest research.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Soccer Stars Are Paid The Best, And Indian Cricketers Out-Earn NFL Players

Lionel Messi of Barcelona during a match Saturday against RCD Espanyol.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Think the players on your favorite team are the most overpaid in the world?

Well, American sports fans, you may not be able to brag (or complain?) about that.

As the number crunchers at Sporting Intelligence reported earlier this month, European soccer teams hold the top four spots when it comes to average pay per player.

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All Tech Considered
2:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

These Apps Are Going To The Birds, And People Who Watch Them

Cornell University's Andrew Farnsworth compiles data to forecast where birds are going and when they'll be there.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

I'm standing in the Manhattan office of Andrew Farnsworth, a research associate at Cornell University's ornithology lab. Farnsworth is using meteorological data, radar data, crowd-sourced eBird data and acoustic data from the flight calls of migrating birds to predict where birds are going and when they'll be there.

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Middle East
2:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Israel Plans September Vote That Favors Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, May 6. Netanyahu said Monday that the next general elections would be held on Sept. 4, instead of the original schedule of October 2013.
Yin Dongxun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 6:26 am

Israel will hold parliamentary elections on Sept. 4, a timetable that looks favorable for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, who have been in power for the past three years.

Netanyahu called for the new poll, saying he wanted to renew his mandate and broaden his coalition even though a new election is not required until October 2013.

The current coalition has been the most stable one for years in Israel. But both international and domestic considerations prompted Netanyahu to call for a new vote now.

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Barack Obama
2:00 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Bid For Congress Was Obama's Political Boot Camp

Barack Obama, then a Democratic candidate for a U.S. House seat, delivers his concession speech to supporters, while his wife, Michelle, tends to their daughter, Malia, on March 21, 2000, in Chicago.
Frank Polich AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

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Politics
2:00 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

5 (Plus 1) Options For The Aging Politician

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., 80, faces a GOP primary battle Tuesday that could end his political career. Here, Lugar talks with Capitol Hill colleagues on March 6.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 am

At the ripening age of 80 years old — more than 35 of them spent in Congress — Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is scrapping for political survival. On Tuesday he faces state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in his party's primary.

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Europe
1:48 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Germany Faces Backlash Against Austerity Moves

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the leading voice for austerity in Europe. But election results over the weekend showed a voter backlash. Merkel said Monday that she still supported the austerity moves.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made all the right gestures Monday: the obligatory phone call congratulating French President-elect Francois Hollande. She vowed that the two will "work together well and intensively." And she invited Hollande to Berlin after his inauguration and said she would welcome him "with open arms."

But clearly the French election results mark a setback for Merkel and her goal of solving Europe's economic crisis with financial austerity.

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Music Interviews
1:47 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Santigold: Playing Around With A Top 40 Sound

Santigold's latest album is titled Master Of My Make Believe.
Sean Thomas

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 12:14 pm

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Europe
1:40 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Four Possible Post-Election Moves For Greece, France

Greek newspapers on display at a newsstand in Athens on Monday after a stunning weekend election shake-up by parties opposed to further vital austerity cuts.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 2:14 pm

Europe's unsettled political climate after the weekend elections in France and Greece raise one obvious question: What's next?

The elections, in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated and Greece's major political parties struggled to form a governing coalition, have raised fears about the political and economic stability of the European Union. Some potential scenarios coming out of the elections:

Staying The Course

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Europe
1:39 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

For A Third Time, Putin Returns As Russia's President

Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office during his inauguration as Russia's president at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Monday. Putin will be serving his third term as president, after four years as prime minister and two previous presidential terms.
Dmitry Astakhov, AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Vladimir Putin is once again the president of Russia.

Putin, who held the job from 2000 to 2008, spent the past four years as prime minister because the Russian Constitution prohibits a third consecutive term.

So his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, held the office for the past four years. Now they are switching places, with Putin returning as president and Medvedev tapped to be the prime minister.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

What HBO And iCarly Can Do To Get Kids Psyched About Veggies

Getting kids to eat right is an age-old challenge
istockphoto.com

We've all seen the scary headlines about the obesity epidemic. And there are no shortage of initiatives aimed at getting Americans — particularly kids — to eat right.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

VIDEO: In Copenhagen, A Very Classy Flash Mob On The Metro

A woman listens to a violinist on the Copenhagen Metro.
YouTube

The Copenhagen Philharmonic has tried its hand at a flashmob before. Back in May, it performed Ravel's Bolero to an unsuspecting public at Copenhagen Central Station.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

In Photos: Vladimir Putin Assumes The Presidency In Russia

Police officers carry an anti-Putin protester, who was detained in central Moscow, on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov AFP/Getty Images

As we've reported, Vladimir Putin's return to Russia's presidency was fraught with drama. But a disputed parliamentary election and many unprecedented protests later, Putin took the oath of office for a third time today.

Putin took the oath amid protests. The New York Times reports 300 were detained, following the round up of 400 detained after a surprisingly large anti-Putin demonstration popped up on Sunday.

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It's All Politics
11:17 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Some U.S. Conservatives See Obama In France's Hollande

President-elect Francois Hollande waves from a Socialist Party headquarters balcony in Paris Monday May 7, 2012.
Michel Spingler AP

The election of socialist Francois Hollande as France's new president has leached into the U.S. election as some conservatives view it as giving them an opening to attack President Obama who, along with his agenda, has been labeled socialistic by many on the right.

U.S. Senate candidate from Florida, George Lemieux, for instance, took the opportunity of Hollande's win to tweet a warning:

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The Picture Show
11:16 am
Mon May 7, 2012

The Visual South, Part I: Unseen Scenes Of Gitmo

Christopher Sims

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 am

The current issue of Oxford American magazine (known as "the Southern magazine of good writing") is titled the "Visual South Issue." In its 100 under 100 list, the magazine identifies "the most talented and thrilling up-and-coming artists in the South." This week, we'll take a look at five of the photographers on that list.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Early Report: U.S. Highway Deaths Fall To Lowest Number Since 1949

Skid marks left by a van are visible on a highway after a van plunged over both the concrete and iron railing, killing three generations of a Bronx family, in New York.
Louis Lanzano AP

If a preliminary report holds true, the number of road deaths fell again in 2011. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 32,310 people died on highways last year, down almost 2 percent from the 32,885 people who died in 2010.

The Detroit News reports:

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Political Junkie
10:49 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar May Not Survive Tuesday's GOP Primary

Both Democrats come off unsuccessful gov. campaigns; Barrett lost to Walker in 2010, and Falk lost the primary in 2006.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 9:03 pm

When Richard Lugar, the mayor of Indianapolis, first ran for the Senate, against Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh in 1974, a big part of his problem was that he was a partisan Republican.

In fairness, there was nothing wrong with being a partisan Republican in good GOP years ... in, say, 1972, when President Richard Nixon was on his way to a landslide re-election and Lugar was the keynote speaker at the GOP national convention.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Making $200 Million, 'The Avengers' Breaks Weekend Box Office Record

Marvel's The Avengers total worldwide haul is estimated to be $641.8 million in barely a week. The U.S. opening has set a new record at $200.3 million.
Walt Disney Pictures

Pick your verb: Hulk smashed, pulverized, shattered.

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Around the Nation
9:50 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Chinese-Americans React To Dissident Dispute

Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng is in a Beijing hospital, hoping to eventually come to the U.S. to study. But what do Chinese-Americans think of him, and the diplomatic tension he sparked between the U.S. and China? Host Michel Martin discusses reactions with Sherry Zhang, host of a Mandarin-language call-in show in California.

Shots - Health Blog
9:49 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Even A Small Slowdown In Obesity's Rise Would Save Big Money

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:04 am

Slowing the rising rates of obesity in this country by just 1 percent a year over the next two decades would slice the costs of health care by $85 billion.

Keep obesity rates where they are now — well below a 33 percent increase that's been expected by some — and the savings would hit nearly $550 billion over the same 20 years.

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Remembrances
9:44 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch.
Bryan Bedder Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 1:31 pm

Adam "MCA" Yauch, one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys, died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 47.

With his raspy voice, Yauch started making music with Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) when they were all teenagers in New York City in the early 1980s. The Beastie Boys started out as a punk band, but in 1987, the group released Licensed to Ill, the first hop-hop album to reach No. 1 on the pop charts.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon May 7, 2012

VIDEO: Biden On Being Comfortable With Same-Sex Marriage

Vice President Biden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

By saying Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press that he is "absolutely comfortable" with equal rights for partners in same-sex marriages and that love is at the root of all marriages "whether they're marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals," Vice President Biden has set off speculation about whether the Obama administration may soon fully endorse same-sex marriage.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Mon May 7, 2012

What Killed Soldier In Afghanistan Who Died While Skyping With His Wife?

Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark.
U.S. Army AP

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 9:41 am

The mystery surrounding the death of Army Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark, who collapsed on April 30 while on a Skype call from Afghanistan to his wife back in the U.S., has deepened.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Mon May 7, 2012

'Strategic Release' Program Has Set Free Some Afghan Insurgents

Former Taliban fighters displayed their weapons as they joined Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province last Wednesday ( May 2, 2012).
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 5:52 am

"The United States has for several years been secretly releasing high-level detainees from a military prison in Afghanistan as part of negotiations with insurgent groups," reports The Washington Post, which calls the program "a bold effort to quell violence, but one that U.S. officials acknowledge poses substantial risks."

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