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Africa
3:24 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

U.S. May Build Base For Drones In Northwest Africa

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to head west now, from Egypt across Libya to Niger. The Pentagon has signed a deal with the government there. The agreement could allow the U.S. to establish a forward base in Niger so that it could operate drone aircraft across northern and western Africa. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been reporting on the U.S. military's growing presence on the continent. He joins me now here in the studio.

And Tom, how close is the U.S. to actually setting up a drone base in Niger?

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Education
3:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Union Backs 'Bar Exam' For Teachers

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, says a bar exam for K-12 teachers would test a person's knowledge based on the subject he or she was hired to teach.
Rebecca Cook Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

The system for preparing and licensing teachers in the U.S. is in such disarray that the American Federation of Teachers is proposing a "bar exam" similar to the one lawyers have to pass before they can practice.

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U.S.
3:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Debate Over Rebuilding Beaches Post-Sandy Creates Waves

Ongoing beach nourishment, like this project in Viriginia Beach, has been the topic of debate. Some people say it's needed to protect beach communities; others decry the costs.
Pam Spaugy U.S. Army

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 11:49 am

For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?

On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.

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Research News
3:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Swiss Scientists Discover Dung Beetles Use The Milky Way For GPS

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. And we have a story now about celestial navigation - that is, looking to the sky for guidance.

BLOCK: But before we get too lofty, this story also happens to be about dung beetles. And so we start with this lowly central unpleasant fact about dung beetles.

ERIC WARRANT: Dung beetles and their grubs eat dung and everything about dung beetles has to do with dung in some form.

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Animals
3:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Killer Kitties? Cats Kill Billions Of Creatures Every Year

Out For Lunch? Researchers estimate that billions of birds and small mammals are killed by cats in the U.S. annually.
Vishnevskiy Vasiliy iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

The battle between cat lovers and bird lovers has been going on for a long time. Cats and birds just don't mix. But trying to get a handle on how many birds and other animals are being killed by cats isn't easy. Just figuring out how many cats there are is tough enough.

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It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Rubio's Role In Immigration Plan Leaves Even Limbaugh Somewhat Speechless

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks Monday in Washington at a news conference announcing a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:42 pm

Rush Limbaugh has been spending a lot of time calling the new plans for an overhaul of immigration laws little more than "amnesty" for some 11 million undocumented immigrants already in this country. A lot of time, that is, except for the 15 minutes of an extremely deferential interview Tuesday with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

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Author Interviews
2:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

'The Insurgents': Petraeus And A New Kind Of War

Gen. David Petraeus is the subject of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, a new book by Fred Kaplan.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

In a new book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, journalist and author Fred Kaplan tackles the career of David H. Petraeus and follows the four-star general from Bosnia to his commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Central to the story are ideas of counterinsurgency. Kaplan says that while counterinsurgency is not a new kind of warfare, it's a kind of war that Americans do not like to fight.

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World Cafe
2:01 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Aaron Embry On World Cafe

Aaron Embry.
Nikki Embry Courtesy of the artist

If Aaron Embry's name doesn't sound familiar, his previous collaborators will. Embry was recently the touring pianist with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and has worked with the likes of Elliott Smith, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Report: Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera Among Baseball Stars Linked To Doping

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees during a game in 2012.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:49 pm

The Miami New Times has a bombshell of a report, today: According to records leaked to the paper, a Miami clinic provided Major-League All Stars with performance enhancing drugs.

The list includes the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz and the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez.

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Europe
1:43 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

How A Spanish City Went Boom, Then Bust

Valencia spent more than $1.5 billion to build the City of Arts and Sciences, the museum complex shown here in a photo from summer 2011.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

The Spanish region of Valencia has been called the "California of Spain" for its gorgeous Mediterranean coastline and modern architecture.

But now Valencia epitomizes the worst of Spain's problems. It had the country's most inflated property market and the biggest crash. Its landscape is littered with empty and half-finished buildings. Valencia has also had an unusually high number of politicians indicted for corruption.

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Economy
1:19 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Paul Krugman's Unconventional Outlook On The Economy

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Over the past several years, Democrats and Republicans have disagreed on how address the problems of deficit and debt, but there's broad consensus that we need to reduce both by significant numbers, and soon. In his columns in New York Times and in a book called "End this Depression Now!" Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman defies the conventional wisdom. He argues for more spending, not less, says the deficit's not too bad, and that a little inflation might be a good thing.

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Around the Nation
1:18 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

In Night Clubs, The Steps Taken To Prevent Tragic Fires

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Boston, November 1942: 492 people died in a fire at the Cocoanut Grove. June 1974: 24 dead at Gulliver's in Port Chester, New York. In February 2003, 100 killed at The Station in West Warwick in Rhode Island. Tragedies that seared back into memory following the death of at least 230 on Sunday at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, preventable tragedies that could have been mitigated or stopped altogether by adherence to fire safety laws.

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NPR Story
12:54 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

The Challenges To Democracy In Egypt

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Today, Egypt's defense minister warned that rising conflicts and chaos in the country could result in the collapse of the state and that it poses a threat to the future of coming generations, this after days of violent anti-government protests and demonstrations in cities across Egypt, including Cairo, the capital, and Port Said, just north of the Suez Canal.

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NPR Story
12:54 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

War And Foreign Policy Through The Eyes Of Vietnam Veterans

During the Vietnam War, more than 58,000 Americans died, as well as more than 2 million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 2:25 pm

Sen. John Kerry was confirmed Tuesday by the Senate to become the next secretary of state. Former Sen. Chuck Hagel awaits his turn before the Senate Armed Services Committee to become secretary of defense.

Both men are decorated Vietnam War veterans, and their critics and supporters point to their experiences in Vietnam as essential to their qualifications.

Hagel volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was wounded twice. Kerry commanded a swift boat in the Mekong Delta, and on his return home, he angrily threw away his decorations to protest the war.

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NPR Story
12:54 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Letters: Inauguration, Memory Loss, National Geographic

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 1:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Thursday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, during the inauguration here in Washington, D.C., we asked listeners for a snapshot of their lives right now.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Those 'Hygienic' Toilet Seats At O'Hare May Not Be So Clean

A concourse at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

If you have to go while at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, then you need to know this:

"Motorized 'hygienic seats' that a controversial new janitorial contractor installed recently at O'Hare Airport are not very hygienic after all," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Judge Approves BP's Manslaughter Plea In 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:03 pm

A federal judge has approved a guilty plea by BP to manslaughter charges in connection with the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The approved deal includes a record $4 billion in criminal penalties.

Eleven workers on the Deep Water Horizon rig died in the April 2010 explosion. BP pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for those deaths and to lying to Congress about the amount of the oil spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Myanmar Lifts Ban On Public Gatherings

Food vendors wait for customers at a ferry pier in Yangon on January 28.
AFP/Getty Images

In another sign that Myanmar continues its march toward democracy, the state-run newspaper reported that the government has lifted a ban on public gatherings of more than five people.

The BBC reports that the law dates back to 1988, "when a military government took power after crushing pro-democracy protests."

The newspaper, the BBC reports, said the law was removed because it violated the constitution, which now guarantees freedom of expression.

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World Cafe
12:33 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Next: Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles.
Martin Watson Courtesy of the artist

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles integrates symphonic cello, drumbourine, accordion and viola into a standard lineup of guitar, bass and drums for a warm, distinctive sound.

Nick Ward and Matt Bishop formed Hey Marseilles while students at the University of Washington, and independently released their first album, To Travels & Trunks, at the end of 2008. The band has since given the album a nationwide reissue and performed at festivals like SXSW and Bumbershoot.

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Latin America
12:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

For Your Next Caribbean Vacation, Haiti ... Maybe?

Mont Joli Hotel looks out over Cap-Haitian in northern Haiti. The owner says he's usually fully booked and plans to double the hotel's capacity. Haiti is trying to expand its tourism infrastructure and tap in to the multibillion-dollar Caribbean travel market.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

Haiti used to be a tourist hot spot in the Caribbean. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton regularly recounts how he and Hillary honeymooned in Haiti in 1975. There used to be a hopping Club Med just outside Port-au-Prince, but it closed in the '90s.

Now, the Haitian government is trying to revive some of its former allure, launching an aggressive campaign to market the poorest country in the hemisphere as a vacation hub.

President Michel Martelly says tourism could be a major driver of economic growth and could help lift Haitians out of poverty.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

If You're Along The Eastern Seaboard, Look Up! NASA Has A Light Show For You

A Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket.
NASA

If you're along the Eastern Seaboard tonight, it might be worth your while to look at the sky this evening.

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is scheduled to launch a sounding rocket that will release "two red-colored lithium vapor trails in space."

As Space.com reports, those trails might be seen across the Mid-Atlantic and perhaps as far north as Canada and as far south as northern Florida.

Space.com explains how these trails will produce a "night sky show:"

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World
11:48 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Here To Timbuktu: Myth And Reality At The World's Edge

Timbuktu was once considered so remote that the Paris-based Societe de Geographie offered 10,000 francs to the first non-Muslim to reach the city and report back.
Chris Kocek iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:16 pm

Timbuktu conjures up images of long camel caravans out on the edge of the sand-strewn Sahara — a remoteness so legendary that the ancient city is still a byword for the end of the earth.

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Money Coach
11:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Retirement Accounts: Don't Rob Peter To Pay Paul!

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we have the latest installment in our series Social Me. We'll talk about how educators could use their students' social media habits to figure out how they learn.

But first, to matters of personal finance: We want to talk about retirement. While earlier generations might have had a pension, now millions of Americans, if they have any savings, probably have some kind of retirement account like a 401K.

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Parenting
11:13 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Social Media: OMG! Do Parents Get It?

From tablets and iPhones to Twitter and Instagram, technology is changing the way children interact with the world. Host Michel Martin talks with a roundtable of parents about encouraging digital exploration, while keeping kids safe.

Education
11:08 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Topping College Graduate Rates, Is It Worth It?

President Obama wants the nation to produce 8 million more college graduates by the year 2020. But can it be done, and how much would it cost? Host Michel Martin puts those questions to Anthony Carnevale, Director and Research Professor of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The Salt
11:02 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Why Chicken Wings Dominate Super Bowl Snack Time

Blame sports bars for the chicken wing boom, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.
jeffreyw Flickr.com

Take a look at this remarkable graph — is it the stock market? Home sales?

Nope. Click on the blue box in the lower right-hand corner and you'll see that the blue line tracks the number of chicken wings that Americans bought at grocery stores over the last year. See that mighty surge of wing-buying in early February? Apparently, you just cannot have a Super Bowl party without chicken wings — millions and millions of chicken wings.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue January 29, 2013

VIDEO: Newtown Parent, Gun Owners Disagree On Weapons Ban

Neil Heslin brought a framed photo of himself and his son Jesse (when the boy was an infant) to Monday's hearing in Hartford, Conn. The 6-year-old was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December's shooting.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

Some websites are saying that Neil Heslin was "heckled by pro-gun activists" Monday during a public hearing in Hartford, Conn., when he made the case that assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines need to be banned.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Kerry Gets Committee's Backing For State; LaHood Leaving Transportation

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at his confirmation hearing last week.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

No big surprises in these bits of news about President Obama's cabinet:

-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as expected, this morning approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be the next secretary of state. Kerry, the committee's chairman, is set to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton after he gets the approval of the full Senate, which also is expected.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Raw Beef Kibbeh Blamed In Salmonella Outbreak. Is Steak Tartare Next?

A traditional steak tartare with egg, onion and capers.
iStockphoto.com

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is amplifying recommendations it's made for years: Don't eat raw or undercooked ground beef. And the call may take on new significance in the wake of reports released last week about a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella in which nearly half the victims reported eating a raw ground beef dish at the same restaurant.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Drops; All Of 2012's Gains Gone

Though there have been other signs to indicate that the economy is on the upswing, many Americans aren't feeling all that good about how things are going.

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