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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Arriving In Israel, Obama Reaffirms An 'Unbreakable Bond'

President Barack Obama is greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:20 am

President Obama landed in Israel this morning, marking the first time he visits the country as president.

"I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors," Obama said during a welcoming ceremony at the Tel Aviv airport.

NPR's Larry Abramson, who's at the airport, just spoke to our Newscast unit. He said Obama was welcomed by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Book News: Jane Goodall Apologizes For Lifted Passages In Her New Book

Primatologist Jane Goodall observes chimpanzees in 1997 at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary near Nanyuki, north of Nairobi, Kenya.
Jean-Marc Bouju AP

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:56 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NPR Story
5:54 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Obama Begins Middle East Trip

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama is making his first visit to Israel since he's been in the White House. His past relations with Israel's government have not always gone well. Though the two nations insist they're reached new levels of security cooperation, they have publicly debated issues ranging from Iran to the Mideast peace process.

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NPR Story
5:54 am
Wed March 20, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs will go to a pair of private equity firms. Wonder Bread will be sold to snack food maker Flowers Food. The Beefsteak brand of bread will go to a Mexican company.

NPR Story
5:54 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Dramatic Testimony Marks Start Of Guatemalan Genocide Trial

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear now about a dramatic trial in Guatemala. That country's former dictator is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from the killings that happened in the early 1980s. Seventeen hundred indigenous Guatemalans - the Ixils people - died during one of the bloodiest periods of the country's three-decade-long war, a war that ultimately claimed more than 200,000 lives. At the time the U.S.-backed strongman, Ephraim Rios Montt, ruled the country.

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Sports
2:18 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Good Luck With That 'Perfect' March Madness Bracket. You'll Need It

Kansas center Jeff Withey (left) and Kentucky guard Darius Miller battle under the boards during the second half of the NCAA championship on April 2, 2012.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

Basketball fans have one more day to fill out their March Madness brackets. They'll need to predict not just the champions and their route to victory, but also the paths of all the losers. It's not easy. In fact, no person or computer has yet been able to do it.

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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
2:16 am
Wed March 20, 2013

How To Be The Good Guy With A Gun At School

Stockton Unified School District Police Officer Myra Franco and Chief Jim West patrol 50 schools in California's Central Valley region. One of the campuses was the site of a 1989 shooting massacre.
Richard Gonzales NPR

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

Ever since the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, there's been a raging debate over how to keep America's schoolchildren safe. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre proposed stationing an armed guard in every school in the country. Critics said that idea was impractical and would be too expensive to carry out.

But many schools and school districts already have armed police officers. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, about one-third of the schools in the U.S. have added some kind of armed security, according to federal data.

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Shots - Health News
2:09 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Law Says Insurers Should Pay For Breast Pumps, But Which Ones?

Some insurers prefer to pay for manual breast pumps, but some working moms prefer more expensive, electric models.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

Pediatricians and health officials are eager to encourage breast-feeding as one of the best and most economical ways to protect a baby's health.

To that end, the federal Affordable Care Act requires that health insurance plans provide new mothers with equipment and services to help make those feedings easier.

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National Security
2:08 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Off The Battlefield, Military Women Face Risks From Male Troops

Jamie Livingston was sexually abused while serving in the Navy. She now lives in El Paso, Texas.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

Dora Hernandez gave a decade of her life to the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard, but some of the dangers surprised her.

"The worst thing for me is that you don't have to worry about the enemy, you have to worry about your own soldiers," she says.

Sitting in a circle, a group of women nod in agreement. All are veterans, most have spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they're also survivors of another war. According to the Pentagon's own research, more than 1 in 4 women who join the military will be sexually assaulted during their careers.

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Economy
2:07 am
Wed March 20, 2013

For Some Ready To Buy, A Good Home Is Hard To Find

Bove gets text alerts of new homes coming on the market.
Lauren Rock for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

The first day of spring typically signals the high season for open houses and home sales.

The season seems to have arrived early in some places where homebuying is already frenzied, and in many markets, the pendulum has swung from an excess of homes on the market a few years ago to a shortage.

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Financial Basics For Baby Boomers
2:06 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Annuities Explained: The Choices And Red Flags

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:32 am

Companies are licking their chops at the prospect of a wave of baby boomers leaving their jobs with trillions of dollars in 401(k)s and other savings accounts, so older Americans may find themselves bombarded with ads for annuities. And younger boomers, too, may be targeted, since many are helping their parents with investment decisions.

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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

What's The Score On Spirited Sports Banter At Bars?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:30 am

The more I travel, the more I see sports bars. They've been around for years, usually in obvious places, like in college towns or near arenas.

But now they're everywhere, even in airports and hotels, places where you'd expect generic bars. Sports bars are becoming ubiquitous and ordinary — merely, as my wife calls them, public man caves.

All bars, of course, have forever been places where men talk about sports. Other prime saloon subjects include women, the traffic and the weather.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

NFL Owners Pass Two New, Safety Related Rules

Trainers work on Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets in 2012.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:27 pm

NFL owners passed two rules aimed at improving player safety, today.

The Associated Press reports:

"The owners outlawed peel-back blocks anywhere on the field; previously, they were illegal only inside the tackle box. A player makes a peel-back block when he is moving toward his goal line, approaches an opponent from behind or the side and makes contact below the waist.

"The penalty will be 15 yards.

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Business
5:21 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Odd Political Bedfellows Agree: Banks Still Too Big To Fail

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questions Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke during a Senate hearing last month. Senators from both ends of the political spectrum argue that financial reforms are insufficient to protect taxpayers from potential risks posed by large banks.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 6:51 pm

Amid Washington's dysfunction, one issue has united some liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans: a common concern that "too big to fail" is alive and well.

Despite the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, these lawmakers believe the nation's largest banks still pose a threat to the economy and that the government will step in to bail them out if they get in trouble.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Will Congolese Warlord's Weirdly Civil Surrender Get Fellow Rebels A Free Pass?

Gen. Bosco Ntaganda addresses a news conference in Kabati, a village located in Congo's North Kivu province, on Jan. 8, 2009. He showed up at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali on Monday and asked to be transferred to The Hague where is wanted on war crimes charges.
Abdul Ndemere Reuters /Landov

Bosco Ntaganda, the Congolese warlord and rebel leader wanted by the International Criminal Court, showed up at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali on Monday in a taxicab. He was apparently unexpected.

"We did not have any prior notice or consultations with him to indicate that he would do that," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. "He was a walk-in, in the truest sense of the word."

She said the U.S. is now "working to facilitate his request" to be transported to the Netherlands to stand trial.

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Scholar Outlines The Long, Rocky Road Of GOP Outreach Efforts

Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., speaks on Oct. 22, 1977, in Atlanta. A political scientist says the GOP has suffered some missteps in its outreach efforts to certain voters since at least the time of Dole.
AP

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:04 pm

One of the most interesting observations we've seen regarding the Republican National Committee's latest effort to win the hearts and minds of minorities, women and young voters was to be found on a blog that promotes a

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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
4:20 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

A Turning Point For Talking About Suicide And Guns In Wyoming

Connie Jacobson, coroner in Natrona County, Wyo., says suicide is one of the biggest public health problems facing the state. Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the U.S., and two-thirds of suicides in the state are by firearm.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 4:53 pm

Guns are a big part of everyday life in Wyoming, and many residents have been directly impacted by a suicide in which a gun was used. The state has the highest suicide rate in the nation, and three-quarters of Wyoming's suicides are by firearm.

The rural state's relationship with guns has long made suicide prevention efforts challenging. But that may be starting to change.

Lax Gun Laws

Last year, there were more suicides in Natrona County than anywhere else in Wyoming.

The soft-spoken county coroner saw them all.

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Around the Nation
3:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

With Headline Bus Tour, 'New York Post' Takes Manhattan

The New York Post is notorious for topping its stories of scandal and gossip with brazen and pun-laden headlines.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:06 am

One of the joys of living in New York City is laughing at the giant screaming headlines in the New York Post. When the former secretary of state knocked back a beer on one of her trips abroad: "Swillary." When the Lance Armstrong doping scandal broke: "Drug Pedaller." And when CIA director David Petraeus admitted having an affair? "Cloak And Shag Her."

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Middle East
3:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Israel's E1 Project Could Disrupt Travel For Palestinians In West Bank

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:19 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As we just heard, Palestinians have condemned the E1 settlement project, saying it would effectively cut the West Bank in two. Israeli officials dismiss that criticism, and they say that there are alternative routes for Palestinians who want to travel between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.

Well, Sheera Frenkel explored those alternatives.

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The Salt
3:49 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Cash Back On Broccoli: Health Insurers Nudge Shoppers To Be Well

A shopper at a branch of South African retailer Pick n Pay in Johannesburg. Health insurer Discovery offers rebates on health food at the chain to its members who enroll in a health promotion program.
SIPHIWE SIBEKO Reuters /Landov

At $2.50 a pound, broccoli may seem too expensive. But cut the price by 25 percent, and our thinking about whether we should buy it may change.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that rebates on healthy food purchases lead to significant changes in what people put in their grocery carts.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Statue Of Liberty Will Reopen July 4th, Says Parks Service

A sea shell rests on a wall surrounding the Statue of Liberty, in New York in November. Tourists in New York will miss out for a while on one of the hallmarks of a visit to New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty up close. Though the statue itself survived Superstorm Sandy intact, the storm damaged buildings and Liberty Island's power and heating systems.
Richard Drew AP

The National Park Service is almost finished with extensive repairs at the Statue of Liberty site and they expect to reopen it to the public by July 4th.

The damage was caused by Hurricane Sandy. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement that the hurricane damaged docks, the energy infrastructure on Ellis Island and crippled the security screening system.

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

How The Federal Budget Is Just Like Your Family Budget (Or Not)

Is your family budget really like the federal budget?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 6:51 pm

The House has begun debate on its budget resolution, with a vote expected later this week. And as supporters talk about this budget, there's one comparison you hear a lot.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio: "Every family in America has to balance their budget. Washington should, too."

Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J.: "You know, every family in America understands the necessity of a balanced budget."

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.: "This is how every family tries to live in good times and in bad. Your government should do the same."

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Europe
3:32 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

What's Worked, And What Hasn't, In Gun-Loving Switzerland

Gun enthusiasts take part in a shooting competition at a club outside Zurich. The gun culture is deeply entrenched in Switzerland, where citizens as young as 10 learn to shoot.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 7:34 pm

Switzerland has an entrenched gun culture that is embraced by most of its 8 million citizens, some of them as young as 10 years old.

Every Swiss community has a shooting range, and depending on who is counting, the alpine country ranks third or fourth in the number of guns per capita.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

WATCH: After 'Fascist' Accusations, Ukrainian Parliament Brawls

Ukrainian opposition and majority lawmakers fight around the rostrum during the session of parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:49 pm

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It's All Politics
2:59 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Assault Weapons Ban Is Gun Debate's First Casualty

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been told that her assault weapons ban will not be included in the Democratic gun bill to be introduced on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:48 pm

The prospects of an assault weapons ban emerging as part of any post-Newtown gun control law looks highly unlikely after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opted not to include it in a Democratic proposal to be offered on the Senate floor in coming weeks.

"My understanding is it will not be [part of the base bill]" to be introduced on the Senate floor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said after meeting with Reid on Monday, according to Politico. "The leader has decided not to do it."

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Middle East
2:44 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

'We Survived Iraq': An Iraqi Makes A New Home In North Carolina

Ali Hamdani was a doctor in Iraq before becoming a translator for NPR. He now lives in North Carolina.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 6:51 pm

Ten years after the Iraq War began, NPR is catching up with people we encountered during the conflict. Back in 2008, NPR's armored car was targeted with a so-called sticky bomb in Baghdad. Ali Hamdani, an Iraqi who worked for NPR as a translator and producer, narrowly escaped. Shortly afterward, he left Iraq for the Unites States as a refugee.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Supreme Court OKs Discounted Resale Of 'Gray Market' Goods

People stand in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 6:51 pm

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that U.S. companies that make and sell products abroad cannot prevent those items from being resold in the U.S.

The 6-3 decision — likely worth billions, even trillions of dollars — could have repercussions that extend from U.S. trade policy to local yard sales.

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Middle East
1:53 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Israelis, Palestinians Spar Over Controversial Settlement

A Jewish settler looks at the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim from the E-1 area on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem on Dec. 5. The Israelis are planning a controversial housing project in E-1.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:19 am

In practical terms, a project known as E-1 would provide 3,000 or so new housing units for Israelis in an area between east Jerusalem — which the Palestinians hope will someday be their capital — and the large Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim.

But numbers can be deceiving: Palestinians are renewing their objections to the growing number of Israeli settlements, and many fear E-1 could tip the balance in a way that makes an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement impossible.

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Author Interviews
1:38 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Veterans Face Red Tape Accessing Disability, Other Benefits

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:05 pm

Ten years ago, the United States invaded Iraq and began what the Bush administration said would be a short war.

But it wasn't until December 2011 that the United States officially ended its military mission there.

In addition to the tens of thousands of Iraqis who died, the war cost the lives of nearly 4,500 American service members, and wounded more than 32,200 men and women in America's military. Many of the wounded vets have faced — or are still facing — long waits for their disability and other benefits to begin.

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NPR Story
1:09 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

The Art Of Negotiating Intractable Conflicts

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:18 am

The tensions between Israelis and Palestinians are one of many long-standing conflicts often described as intractable. Conflict negotiation experts employ various strategies to tackle big problems, ranging from divorce and property management to ethnic, religious and international conflict.

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