NPR News

Pages

Inauguration 2013
4:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Turning The 'Day Of Service' Into A Longer Commitment

Chelsea Clinton makes cards with 8-year-old Addison Rose on the National Mall on Saturday as part of the National Day of Service events. Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is the honorary chair of the National Day of Service.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 12:39 pm

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people — including President Obama and his family — are participating in volunteer activities around the country. Saturday's National Day of Service kicks off the president's second inauguration and honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

As budgets tighten and personal schedules fill, nonprofits are looking for new ways to attract extra helpers, and organizers for the national event hope it will lead to a permanent boost in volunteerism.

Willingness To Give Back

Read more
Around the Nation
4:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Newtown Debates The Future Of Sandy Hook School

A memorial stands in a yard near the Sandy Hook Elementary School a month after the mass shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children, in Newtown, Conn.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 11:58 am

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, the town arranged for students to go to school at a building in the neighboring town of Monroe. Now, Newtown is deliberating what to do with the building where the shootings took place and whether to build a new school.

Newtown officials held a second public meeting Friday night to hear what community members think should happen to the school.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

A Gun Owner From The Left, Sen. Leahy Leads The Debate

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., voted to allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains, but rejects suggestions that he'll slow-walk gun control efforts through Congress.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

President Obama says he's willing to use "whatever power his office holds" to stop gun violence, but the fate of many of his White House proposals will rest in no small part with one man: the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Read more
StoryCorps
4:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

A Soldier's Battle Lost After Returning Home

Lance Pilgrim with his parents, Randy and Judy, at the pre-deployment ceremony at Fort Sill, Okla., in January 2003.
Courtesy of Judy Pilgrim

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Spc. Lance Pilgrim was among the first Army troops to enter Iraq in March 2003. Eventually, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and died from an accidental overdose in 2007 at the age of 26.

His father, Randy Pilgrim, says he first realized something was wrong when his son broke down at the sight of an animal that had been run over. The image had triggered the memory of a traumatic time overseas.

Read more
Politics
4:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Is A Fresh Start In Washington Possible?

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.

Books
4:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

For Justice Sotomayor, Books Unlocked Imagination

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new autobiography out about her life and her career in law. Earlier this week, we broadcast portions of her interview with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Today, Nina talks to the justice about the role that books have played in her life.

Read more
Politics
4:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

House GOP Backs Off Debt Ceiling Demands

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
Music News
1:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

After a failed career at home in the U.S., the Chinese-American rapper Jin found an unexpected second chance at stardom on the other side of the world.
Louis Trinh Courtesy of artist

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:25 pm

Read more
Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz

On the new album Migrations, Cristina Pato plays the gaita, a bagpipe from her native region of Galicia in northwest Spain.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 1:18 pm

Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

When To Act? The Dilemma In Every Hostage Crisis

The remains of a burned-out U.S. helicopter and an abandoned chopper in the eastern desert of Iran on April 27, 1980, after the aborted American commando raid to free U.S. Embassy hostages.
AP

At least some of the hostages seized by Islamic militants in Algeria reportedly died during a military rescue operation, once again illustrating the tough choices and dangers inherent in such efforts.

While many details are far from clear, NPR's Tom Bowman says U.S. officials believe three Americans were among those seized when the natural gas site was attacked by a group calling itself "the Signatories of Blood" on Wednesday.

Read more
Science
4:24 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Powerful But Fragile: The Challenge Of Lithium Batteries

A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago in November. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad have grounded the planes because of problems with batteries on board.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 6:58 pm

Boeing announced late Friday that it is postponing deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner because of problems with its big batteries. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad grounded the new jetliners after those batteries failed in two planes operated by Japanese airlines, including one battery that burned while the plane was on the ground.

These lithium-ion batteries are new to jetliners. They're powerful and lightweight, and, unfortunately, they're also fragile.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:14 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Stink Bug's Resurfacing May Squash Farmers' Hopes For A Strong 2013

The stink bug population is six times larger this year than last.
Matt Rourke AP

If you live along the East Coast, there's a pretty good chance that stink bugs may be lurking in your attic or even behind your curtains. The invasive insects from Asia, which exude a rubber-like stench when you crush them, are a nuisance for you, but a serious pest for farmers.

Crop producers received a reprieve from the bugs in 2012, but the insects may be coming back and with a greater spread of attack.

Bob Black says he was not in a good place in 2010.

Read more
U.S.
4:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

N.Y. Governor Flexes Political Muscle To Pass Tough Gun Law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new gun control law in Albany on Tuesday. It's the nation's first gun law enacted since the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Mike Groll AP

On Tuesday, New York became the first state in the nation to pass a tough new gun control law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo convinced his state's Legislature to act, even before President Obama took executive action to limit access to guns.

The governor's legislative victory followed his impassioned State of the State address earlier this month, delivered the first day of the 2013 legislative session.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

For Cartoonists Who Cover Obama: Four More Ears

For editorial cartoonists, Obama's ears are his signature. In some depictions, they've grown throughout the years, but Matt Wuerker says cartoonists have gotten lazy. "We did the same thing to George W. Bush. By the end of his administration he was just Dumbo."
Courtesy of Matt Wuerker/Politico

Four years ago, when the nation's first African-American president was inaugurated, even conservative editorial cartoonists marked the moment with reverence.

As Scott Stantis, now of the Chicago Tribune, tells All Things Considered host Audie Cornish: "There are times in our history where we can just take half a step back from our partisanship and revel in the history and wonder of something."

Read more
Middle East
4:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

U.S., Iran Running Low On Options Over Nuclear Program

With time running out on efforts to monitor Iran's nuclear program, 2013 could well be the year when the United States must decide whether to take military action to block Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:51 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:57 am

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

More Tears For Notre Dame's 'Fake Tragedy' Than A Real Girl's Death?

Lizzy Seeberg, in a family photo broadcast by ABC News.
ABCNews.go.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:03 pm

The bizarre story of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o and the girlfriend he now says never existed has exploded on to news sites and TV channels this week.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ray Nagin On Corruption Charges

Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 corruption charges by a federal grand jury. They include "conspiracy to deprive citizens of honest services."
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 counts of bribery and other corruption charges by a federal grand jury. When he became the city's mayor in 2002, Nagin, a former cable TV executive, promised to revive New Orleans' economy, and its trust in the city's government.

Read more
History
2:00 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are heading into inauguration weekend and in a moment we will hear about some of the great and not-so-great moments of inaugurations past.

Along with the public ceremonies that are a part of the presidential inauguration, many people, including the president, will also be honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend, and on Monday, when his birthday is observed as a national holiday.

Read more
Faith Matters
2:00 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

What Te'o And A Former Mormon Leader Have In Common

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality, and as you just heard, the Barber Shop guys were talking about the very strange story involving Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o. He's in the news because the story of his girlfriend's tragic death and the girlfriend herself turned out to be a hoax.

Read more
The Salt
1:59 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Mexican Mole Has Many Flavors, Many Mothers

Three of the six moles served at Casa Oaxaca of Washington, D.C. Some of these mole recipes were passed down to chef Alfio Blangiardo by his grandmother.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:33 am

As with so many iconic dishes in a country's culinary heritage, Mexican mole has a creation tale.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:55 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Speechwriters: After Bland First Inaugural, Obama Faces Tougher Second

President Obama gives his first inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:09 pm

A presidential inauguration is an event defined by huge, sweeping optics: the National Mall full of cheering Americans; a grandiose platform in front of the Capitol building; the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. And the centerpiece: a speech.

On Monday, President Obama will give his second inaugural address — and he faces a challenge in crafting a speech for this moment.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Listen Carefully Or You'll Miss It: We've Got Justice Thomas On Tape

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:34 pm

  • Justice Thomas' voice comes in around the 13-second mark

As it does each Friday, the Supreme Court has released audio recordings of the week's oral arguments.

Which means we can now hear what it was like when Justice Clarence Thomas broke his seven-year silence.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Republicans Offer Three-Month Increase In Debt Ceiling

As workers prepare the Capitol for Monday's inaugural ceremony, there's word that Congress might not get into another battle over the debt ceiling.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:34 pm

In a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling, GOP leaders in the House plan to approve a three-month increase in the nation's borrowing authority next week, NPR's S.V. Date reports.

But, he tells our Newscast Desk, Republicans want to tie a longer-term increase to the passage of a budget that cuts spending.

His report continues:

"The plan comes from Majority Leader Eric Cantor as House Republicans wrap up a retreat in Southern Virginia.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Inauguration Mashup: The Speech In 11 Easy Steps

An 11-step guide to the perfect inauguration speech
NPR

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:29 am

May the eagles of democracy soar above the covenant that binds our great nation in an era of new beginning ... or something.

Have you ever watched an inaugural address and wondered: How DO those guys (because they're always guys) do it? Well, we've prepared this handy guide so you, too, can give a speech like the chief executive.

Our instructions are based on a century of recorded footage. William McKinley's address was the first to be recorded by a "motion picture camera" (in 1897). Calvin Coolidge was the first to be broadcast over the radio (in 1925).

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:49 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

CDC: Flu Season Is Especially Tough On The Elderly

Sonia Despiar, right, a nurse with Gouverneur Healthcare Services, injects Imelda Silva with flu vaccine on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in New York. At least 10 elderly people and two children in New York have died from the flu and hospitalizations are climbing as the illness hits every county in the state.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Federal health officials say this year's flu season shaping up to be especially severe for the elderly.

According to the latest update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people age 65 and older who are getting the flu jumped sharply in the last week or so. They are being hospitalized at a rate of about 82 per 100,000 cases. That's the rate that is seen during severe seasons, officials said.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Teacher Evaluation Impasse Costs New York City Hundreds Of Millions

In New York City, the failure to agree on a plan for evaluating its teachers is being widely criticized, especially because it means the city will now miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in state financing.

At stake was $250 million in state aid, and another $200 million in grants, according to WNYC's Schoolbook education blog.

Read more
Brain Candy
12:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Edward Tufte Wants You to See Better

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. Up next: the man who wrote the book - well, the books, rather - on data visualization. He was doing infographics before everybody was doing infographics. Back in the '80s, data scientist Edward Tufte remortgaged his house so he could start a company and self-publish his first book, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information." Sound like a snoozer? Well, that book, along with his others on the same topic, have sold more than a million-and-a-half copies.

Read more
Technology
12:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Inventors Design Lamp Powered Entirely By Gravity

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Solar wind, geothermal - now there's a new renewable energy source to add to that list. It's free, completely reliable and totally unlimited: the force of gravity. Two British designers have invented a lamp that runs on gravity alone. Their GravityLight - yes, that's its name, aptly named - uses, you guessed it, the pull of gravity on a weight to generate up to 30 minutes of light.

Read more
Theater
12:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Dementia Takes The Stage In 'The Other Place'

In the Broadway play The Other Place actress Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie" on the TV show "Roseanne") plays a scientist suffering from the dementia she studies. Playwright Sharr White discusses the play and the challenge of presenting complicated science on a theater stage.

Pages