NPR News

Election 2012
1:30 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Romney Keeps Hand Hidden On Running Mate Pick

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, joined by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., talks to reporters during a news conference in Aston, Pa., on Monday. Rubio is frequently mentioned as a potential running mate for Romney.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Ahead of Pennsylvania's primary Tuesday, the likely Republican presidential nominee has been campaigning in the state with a man at the center of running-mate speculation — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. But Mitt Romney hasn't said much about whom he might name as his vice presidential choice.

Romney has said he appointed a longtime aide to handle the process and that he hasn't yet discussed making a list of potential candidates. But just about everyone else in politics is discussing it. And the men at the top of that list are asked about it a lot.

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Mona Eltahawy Explains Why Women Are Hated In The Middle East

Mona Eltahawy (center), a prominent Egyptian-born, U.S.-based columnist, and Egyptian activist Samira Ibrahim (left) march in downtown Cairo to mark International Women's Day in March.
Maya Alleruzzo AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:58 am

We don't usually point out opinion pieces on this blog. But Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-born and U.S.-based journalist, is making a statement worth noting. She wrote a cover essay titled "Why Do They Hate Us?" for this month's Foreign Policy.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Prosecutor Accuses Clemens Of 'Deceit,' 'Dishonesty'

Former all-star baseball pitcher Roger Clemens leaves the U.S. District Court on Monday after the first day of his perjury and obstruction trial in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:49 am

The retrial of baseball great Roger Clemens began in earnest Monday after a week of jury selection. Clemens is charged with lying in 2008 to a congressional committee when he denied ever using steroids or human growth hormone.

He will be judged by a jury of 10 women and 6 men — 12 jurors and 4 alternates — who will decide whether Clemens lied under oath about using the drugs when he testified before a congressional committee investigating the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Jennifer Hudson Testifies During Ex-Brother-In-Law's Murder Trial

In this courtroom sketch, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson testifies on Monday in Chicago at the murder trial of William Balfour.
Tom Gianni AP

The Oscar-and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson took the stand today during the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.

Reporting from Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Hudson began crying when a prosecutor asked her about the last time she saw her family. She answered it was the Sunday before their slaying in October of 2008. The man accused of killing them, William Balfour, was Hudson's brother-in-law at the time.

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It's All Politics
3:34 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Social Security, Medicare Reaction Reflects Partisan, Election-Year Divide

Senior citizens protest threatened cuts to Social Security and Medicare in Chicago in November 2011.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Like a mirror that reflects one's ideology back at the viewer, and no more so than during a general-election year, the political players saw what they wanted, and what they thought was most politically useful to their side, in the reports Monday by the Social Security and Medicare trustees on the long-term prospects for those two entitlement programs.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Egyptians Warily Await Final Slate Of Candidates

During a demonstration at Cairo's Tahrir Square last week, veiled Egyptian women hold posters supporting Muslim cleric Hazem Abu Ismail, an ultra-conservative preacher who was disqualified from running for the presidential elections on technical grounds.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Egypt's election commission is expected to announce the final list of candidates this week for next month's presidential elections. But which candidate will win is far from clear.

A recent Egyptian poll shows nearly 40 percent of voters have no idea who to support. Another 30 percent who had decided will be forced to select someone else because their preferred candidates were among the 10 barred by election officials recently.

As a result, Egyptian voters who were once excited about the prospect of their first free presidential election are growing frustrated.

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Politics
3:11 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

When Politicians Slip, Video Trackers Are There

In politics, video tracking has become normal. And it's a growth industry. There are trackers working for campaigns, political parties and, increasingly, political action committees.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 6:25 pm

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Romney Takes Rubio On Road, Testing A Potential Running Mate

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during a town hall-style meeting in Aston, Pa., on Monday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:06 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Monday, a day before Pennsylvania and four other states hold their primary contests.

Romney isn't concerned about the primary, but Pennsylvania will likely be an important swing state in the general election. And Monday also offered a chance to audition a potential running mate: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

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Around the Nation
3:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Teen's Suicide Prompts Anti-Bullying Editorial

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Yesterday, the Sioux City Journal in Iowa did something it had never done before. It devoted the entire front page of its Sunday paper to an editorial. The headline, "We Must Stop Bullying, It Starts Here and It Starts Now." That editorial came soon after a 14-year-old Iowa boy named Kenneth Weishuhn committed suicide. He had been subjected to bullying and death threats after he told friends he was gay.

Mitch Pugh is editor of the Sioux City Journal and he joins me now.

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Middle East
3:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Israels Weighs Action On A Controversial Settlement

Israelis who support Jewish settlements in the West Bank rally against a demolition order for the outpost of Ulpana on Sunday. Israeli courts have ordered the outpost torn down, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is looking to keep it intact.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:05 am

Israel's highest court has already ruled that the Jewish settler outpost of Ulpana in the West Bank was built on privately owned Palestinian land.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had pledged to meet a May 1 deadline to dismantle the outpost, which has about 30 homes.

But over the weekend, Netanyahu established a special committee to see how permits could be provided to keep the outpost from being torn down.

This has touched off yet another controversy over settlements, one of the most contentious issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

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All Tech Considered
3:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Arab Tech Startups Try To Seize The Moment

The political changes brought about by the Arab Spring have raised hopes among high-tech entrepreneurs that this will translate into an improved business climate. Here, budding entrepreneurs work at Oasis 500, a seed investment firm in Amman, Jordan, on Nov. 2, 2011.
Muhammad Hamed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Social networking sites have been at the vanguard of the Arab uprisings over the past year. Egyptians used online pages to organize protests, and Syrian activists have posted frequent YouTube videos showing government forces shelling civilian areas.

The same growing Arab online awareness that made the Internet part of the pro-democracy movements has also created a mini-revolution for Arab technological business.

Due to regulation, limited infrastructure and governments wary of the Internet, the Middle East has not been the easiest place to launch a tech startup.

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The Salt
3:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

The California Taco Trail: 'How Mexican Food Conquered America'

Cielito Lindo's famous taquitos are made fresh to order at the well-known taco stand in downtown Los Angeles.
Carolina Miranda NPR

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:23 am

For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It's in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants. It even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies?

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Around the Nation
3:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

President Obama Takes Steps To End Mass Atrocities

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington today joined by Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. Mr. Obama said the U.S. must never again allow such atrocities to take place.

As NPR's Don Gonyea reports, the president also announced new tools to punish countries that use technology to track and target their citizens.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Report: Immigration From Mexico To U.S. Comes To Standstill

Pew

The historic wave of migration from Mexico to the United States, which over four decades brought 12 million immigrants to the country, has come to a standstill. That's what a new Pew Hispanic Center study released today found.

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The Record
2:41 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Remembering Bert Weedon, Guitar Teacher To Rock Stars (And Many More)

British guitarist Bert Weedon died Friday at age 91.
Keystone Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Even if you've never heard the name Bert Weedon before, his death on Friday, at the age of 91, deserves a salute: a chiming, perfectly fingered D major chord salute.

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Florida Senator Promotes New Dream Act

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here's one thing Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio did not address at that meeting today. It's an idea Rubio has floated recently: an alternative to the DREAM Act. That's the measure backed by the White House which would create a path to citizenship for young people brought to the country illegally so long as they go to college or serve in the military. The bill never made it out of Congress. NPR's Tamara Keith explains Rubio's version.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:18 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Cancer Doc Brawley Says The U.S. Health Care System Is Sick

Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
Chris Hamilton American Cancer Society

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:48 am

Journalists make for a pretty tough crowd.

But Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, fired up hundreds of them at the annual meeting of Association of Health Care Journalists over the weekend with a no-holds-barred critique of the U.S. health system.

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The Salt
2:15 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Are Local Salad Greens Safer Than Packaged Salad Greens?

Miller Farms in Maryland is a family-run operation that sells its home-grown vegetables at farmers' markets and local grocery stores. Phil Miller, whose family owns the farm, says he's trying to earn a food safety certification now required by many food buyers.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:23 am

There were lots of comments on this blog regarding my recent stories about making salads safer. Many of those comments argued that the solution is to grow your own. Or at least buy from local farmers.

Which raises an interesting question: Are salad greens from your local farmer's market actually safer than packaged lettuce from thousands of miles away? And should the same safety rules apply to both?

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History
2:13 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Discovery Sparks Interest In Forgotten Black Scholar

Three years ago, Rufus McDonald found historic documents in an abandoned house and took them to a rare-books dealer. The papers and books belonged to Richard T. Greener, a 19th century intellectual who was the first African-American to graduate from Harvard University.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Three years ago, just moments before sledgehammers ripped through an abandoned home in Chicago, the head of a demolition crew decided to save the contents of an old steamer trunk stored in the attic.

"They were about to demolish it because they couldn't get it down the stairs," says Rufus McDonald, who gathered what was inside the steamer trunk — documents and old books — and took them to a rare-book dealer in Chicago.

"He said, 'Do you know who this is?' I said, 'Nah, who is it?' He said, 'It's Richard Theodore Greener," McDonald recalls. "I said, 'Who is he?' "

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The Picture Show
1:17 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Are Your Facebook Friends Really Your Friends?

Photographer Tanja Hollander is on a mission to make protraits of all of her Facebook friends.
Tanja Hollander

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am

The new issue of The Atlantic asks: Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? The jury's out, though signs point to maybe.

Facebook didn't necessarily make Tanja Hollander lonely, per se, but it did make her curious. It was a little over two years ago when she looked at that number representing "friends," 626 in her case, and started to analyze it.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Six Men Ask Judge To Overturn Convictions In Notorious D.C. Murder Case

In 1985, Chris Turner was convicted of the murder of Catherine Fuller. After spending decades in prison, Turner is now out on parole; he maintains his innocence. He is shown here in his childhood neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C., about 100 yards away from what was Fuller's home.
Amanda Steen NPR

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 1:39 pm

Six men wearing bright orange prison jumpsuits appeared in a D.C. courtroom today, seeking to overturn their decades-old convictions in a brutal murder by arguing the Justice Department failed to turn over critical evidence that could have helped them assert their innocence.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Trustees Warn Social Security Is Headed Toward Insolvency

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 2:37 pm

The trustees in charge of nation's Social Security program said a sagging economy has hit the program hard. The program's trust fund, which goes mostly to retirees, said the trustees, will run dry by 2033.

The AP reports "Medicare's finances have stabilized but the program's hospital insurance fund is still projected to run out of money in 2024."

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Mon April 23, 2012

AP Analysis: Half Of Recent College Grads Are Jobless Or Underemployed

Students from John Moores' University celebrate graduation.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

It's hard out there for a college grad.

The AP analyzed government data and came up with this stunning figure: "Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge."

The whole story is worth a read, so we encourage you to click over, but here is the meat of the AP's analysis:

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Obama Announces New Sanctions Targeting Syria, Iran

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
Pool Getty Images

President Obama announced a set of new sanctions that target "Syria and Iran and the 'digital guns for hire' who help them oppress their people with surveillance software and monitoring technology," the AFP reports.

The president made the announcement during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. His visit was the first as president.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Mon April 23, 2012

DARPA Explains Crash Of Hypersonic Glider

This US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) artists rendering shows the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2).
AFP/Getty Images

The forces on the unmanned hypersonic glider tested last summer by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were so great that large parts of its skin peeled off causing its emergency system to plunge it into the ocean.

As we reported last August, the Falcon HTV-2 "was shot up on a rocket and right at the edge of space, it separated and glided through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph."

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World Cafe
10:16 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Young Man On 'World Cafe: Next'

Young Man, a.k.a. Colin Caulfield.
Kristianna Smith

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 3:06 pm

Young Man is Colin Caulfield, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer of light yet deft indie-pop. While studying French and English at Loyola, Caulfield began putting cover songs on YouTube, and his lithe, lo-fi music soon drew comparisons to Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Mon April 23, 2012

VIDEO: Space Out With NASA's 'Walking On Air'

From NASA's 'Walking on Air' video, a view of an aurora from space.
NASA.gov

If you're into images of Earth taken from space, NASA has a new video for you. Called Walking on Air, it "features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station" and is set to the song Walking in the Air by Howard Blake.

Politics
9:47 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Green Jobs Guru Back To Energize Progressive Base?

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:04 am

Activist Van Jones served as special adviser to President Obama on green jobs. He resigned in 2009 after media reports questioned his beliefs about the 9/11 attacks. Now, Jones is back with a new book, Rebuild the Dream, outlining his vision for the progressive movement. He speaks with host Michel Martin.

World Cafe
9:28 am
Mon April 23, 2012

World Cafe Looks Back: Uncle Tupelo's Family Tree

Uncle Tupelo at the Sapphire Supper Club in Orlando, Fla. Jeff Tweedy (second from left) went on to form Wilco, while Jay Farrar (second from right) created Son Volt.

Jim Leatherman

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe and revisited some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Mon April 23, 2012

U.S., Afghan Security Pact Is Sweeping But Not Specific

U.S. Marines in southern Afghanistan last June.
David Gilkey NPR

While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out:

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