NPR News

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:20 am
Thu May 3, 2012

No Note, No Firm Clues So Far In Junior Seau's Death

Junior Seau in 2002, when he was with the San Diego Chargers.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

While the signs so far point to suicide, there aren't yet any really revealing clues to why former NFL star Junior Seau apparently killed himself Wednesday.

About all there is so far is a hint that, in retrospect, Seau may have said some goodbyes. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that:

Read more
Around the Nation
5:49 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Computer Glitch Summons Too Many Jurors

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:42 am
Thu May 3, 2012

San Francisco Transit Worker Fired For 'Good' Deed

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Chinese Activist Wants To Leave With Clinton; U.S. Diplomats Back In Touch

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (in wheelchair) held the hand of Gary Locke (at right) the U.S. ambassador to China in Beijing as he arrived at a hospital in Beijing on Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 6:07 pm

  • Chen speaks with NPR
  • Michele Kelemen talks with Steve Inskeep

The fate of Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng remains uncertain one day after he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

Read more
Europe
5:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Local London Elections Could Cast A Big Shadow

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 9:12 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Read more
Politics
4:51 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Plenty Of Gingrich Campaign Memorabilia Left Over

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:31 am

Newt Gingrich officially pulled out of the Republican presidential race Wednesday. So what happens to the leftover T-shirts and campaign buttons?

Afghanistan
4:51 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Afghans Fear Their Country Will Fall Back Into War

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Our own Renee Montagne is in Afghanistan at a moment when its relationship with the United States is turning a corner. And for the next couple of weeks, Renee is going to be bringing us a range of voices and also opinions about what lies ahead. Renee joins us now from Kabul.

Renee, good morning.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Morning, David.

Read more
Remembrances
4:42 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Seau's Death Being Investigated As A Suicide

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The sports world is mourning the death of a great football player, and by many accounts a great man. Junior Seau was only 43 years old when he died yesterday of a gunshot wound to the chest. Police in Oceanside, California, where Seau lived, and died, say they're investigating the death as a suicide.

Junior Seau played in the NFL for 20 years - 13 of them for the San Diego Chargers. He established himself as one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history. Joining me now is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:12 am
Thu May 3, 2012

States Looking To Make Some Taxes Less Inevitable

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin proposed slashing state income tax rates this year and eventually phasing out the tax.
Sue Ogrocki AP

North Dakota may be about to go where no state has gone before. On June 12, voters will decide the fate of a ballot measure that would eliminate all property taxes in the state.

"We think it's a horse race," says Bob Harms, spokesman for a coalition of business, local government and farm groups that are opposed to the measure. "It has a real possibility of passing."

Read more
Asia
4:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Activists Changes His Mind About Staying In China

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Read more
Asia
4:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

U.S. Tries To Clarify What Chinese Activist Wants

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk about this more with NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen. She's traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She's in Beijing. And Michele, how did this seem to go so wrong so quickly?

Read more
News
1:41 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Trayvon Martin Case 2.0: Digital Trial Before Jury

People hold signs during a small April rally in Sanford, Fla., that was billed as an opportunity to show support for the constitutional rights of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:33 am

If the parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin can use social media and the Internet to demand justice, so, too, can the boy's killer.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:06 am
Thu May 3, 2012

That New Friend You Made On Facebook? He Might Be Named Mitt Or Barack

An image from the Republican National Committee's Facebook page advertises its new "Social Victory Center" app.
RNC via Facebook.com

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:31 am

As the presidential campaigns refocus on November, they're zeroing in on digital domains. In fact, the Obama campaign has spent six times as much money advertising online as it has on TV so far, though that's certain to change.

And Republicans are fighting back with a new Facebook app called the "Social Victory Center." (You have to be a Facebook user to access the site.)

Read more
Presidential Race
1:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Gingrich Out Of The Race, But Still In Debt

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pauses while announcing that he is suspending his presidential campaign Wednesday in Arlington, Va.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 9:42 am

Newt Gingrich is officially out of the presidential race. The former House speaker said Wednesday that he's suspending his campaign, and he's ready to help the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, battle President Obama. But Gingrich might have a more pressing problem: His campaign has about $4 million in debt.

In Gingrich's exit speech, he opened by thanking people — first his family, then his financial backers.

"I also want to single out, first of all, the over 179,000 donors who helped us at Newt.org and who helped make the campaign possible," he said.

Read more
Humans
1:04 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Put Away The Bell Curve: Most Of Us Aren't 'Average'

Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's record for career home runs as he hits No. 715 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1974, on his way to a career 755 home runs. Research suggests that in a wide variety of professions, including collegiate and professional sports, a small but significant number of individuals perform exceedingly well and the rest of individuals' performance trails off.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 9:06 pm

For decades, teachers, managers and parents have assumed that the performance of students and employees fits what's known as the bell curve — in most activities, we expect a few people to be very good, a few people to be very bad and most people to be average.

The bell curve powerfully shapes how we think of human performance: If lots of students or employees happen to show up as extreme outliers — they're either very good or very bad — we assume they must represent a skewed sample, because only a few people in a truly random sample are supposed to be outliers.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:57 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Could Electoral College Calculus Give Obama An Edge?

AP

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:27 pm

Now that President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney are pivoting to the general election, campaign watchers are handicapping the race that counts this fall — the Electoral College.

And right now, the Electoral College map is looking better for the president than the (generally very close) national polls, says NPR's senior Washington editor, Ron Elving.

Read more
World Cafe
5:44 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Birdy On World Cafe

Birdy is a 15-year-old singer from the U.K.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:17 am

British artist Jasmine van den Bogaerde — better known as Birdy — is probably best known for her 2011 cover of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love." The 15-year-old started playing piano at 5, began composing a few years later and won the Open Mic UK competition in 2008 at the age of 12. The win guaranteed the young artist a recording contract, but before releasing her debut, she'd already scored a spot on the U.K. pop chart with her cover of "Skinny Love," making Birdy a household name in the U.K.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

'Zombie' Ants And The Fungus That Saves Them

A zombie ant with the brain-manipulating fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis s.l.) having been castrated by an hyperparasite fungus (white with yellow material).
David Hughes Penn State University

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 5:59 pm

As you can probably tell, at least one person on this blog's masthead likes ants.

So we've always been bummed that we haven't had the opportunity to tell you about zombie ants, but today we are glad to report there is a new development in the field. Luckily, it's a good-news report about a fungus that limits the fungus that turns ants into zombies.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:34 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Romney's Praise Of Gingrich Leads Fox Anchor To Call Politics 'Weird, Creepy'

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith provided the sure-to-go-viral moment of the day with some commentary he made after he read aloud a statement issued by the Mitt Romney campaign after Newt Gingrich officially ended his campaign Wednesday for the GOP nomination.

Smith said:

Read more
Law
4:26 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Key Clemens Witness Leaves Prosecutors Scrambling

Andy Pettitte leaves the courthouse after testifying Wednesday in the perjury and obstruction trial of former teammate Roger Clemens in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:44 am

The prosecution at the perjury trial of baseball great Roger Clemens suffered another major setback Wednesday. One of its key witnesses, pitcher Andy Pettitte, conceded that he may have misunderstood his former teammate as saying he used human growth hormone (HGH).

Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he testified before a House committee that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Read more

Pages