NPR News

Pages

NPR Story
4:06 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Rob Portman Becomes Only Republican In The Senate To Support Gay Marriage

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 4:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, announced today that he's reversing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Portman's op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch makes him the first GOP senator to publicly support gay marriage. He said he made the switch because of a personal family experience. Portman's college-age son told his family in 2011 that he is gay.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Analyst: Portman's Gay Marriage Shift May Be 'Tip Of The Spear' In GOP

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29, 2012.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:42 pm

It is a theme that has become increasingly familiar during the rapid evolution of American political attitudes toward same-sex marriage: People who learn that a friend or loved one is gay are far more likely to support same-sex marriage, even if they were once adamantly opposed.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to openly endorse same-sex marriage, is simply the latest.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Matchmaker, Er, Match Week, Make Me A Doctor

Match day at Georgetown University School of Medicine on March 15.
Eric Stern for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Match week is the nail-biting time of year that haunts and tantalizes fourth-year medical students with dreams of residency programs. It culminates with the students learning at Friday at 1 p.m. if — and where — a hospital wants to train them to become full-fledged doctors.

Kristin Huntoon, 34, at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, tells Shots the past few months have been nerve-wracking. The fourth-year medical student would notice herself thinking about residency programs while she was in class, or during clinical rotations.

Read more
Asia
2:36 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

From Police Chief To Political Office, Jobs Are For Sale In China

The 12th National People's Congress holds the election for its new president at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:15 pm

China's new president, Xi Jinping, who was formally elected Thursday, is already engaged in his own anti-corruption campaign, threatening to go after the key players — the tigers as well as the flies.

Confronting the issue is a matter of political self-interest and survival for China's new leaders. The problem is how to root out corrupt officials when so many are quite literally invested in the system.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Record $614 Million In Penalties Levied As Insider Trading Cases Are Settled

Connecticut-based hedge fund CR Intrinsic Investors "has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug," the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Runway Scare: Driverless Van Crosses Path Of Passenger Jet At Toronto Airport

A van that had been left running and in gear crossed an active runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, seen here in a 2012 photo. The incident, which occurred late Monday, is under investigation.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Canadian officials are investigating an incident in which a driverless van traveled across the runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, at the same time an Air Canada flight was landing late Monday night. After the plane's pilots reportedly ignored commands to pull up, the jet "narrowly missed" the van, investigators say.

From the CBC:

Read more
The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

With General Assembly Approval, Maryland Poised To Repeal Death Penalty

With a vote today in the House of Delegates, Maryland's General Assembly has approved a bill that abolishes the death penalty in the state.

If signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley, which is expected, Maryland will become the 18th state to end capital punishment.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

"The 82-56 vote came after an impassioned debate. The legislation cleared the state Senate last week 27-20.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

In Response To North Korea And Iran, U.S. Will Beef Up Missile Defenses

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 4:19 pm

Update at 3:09 p.m. ET. 14 Additional Interceptors:

The United States will deploy 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors (GBIs) to combat the nuclear attack threats from North Korea and Iran, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said today during a press briefing.

"The United States stands firm against aggression," Hagel said.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

VIDEO: See Comet Pan-STARRS Dragging Its Tail Through Space

Comet PanSTARRS, as viewed by NASA's orbiting STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory).
NASA

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:03 pm

Comet Pan-STARRS is putting on a bit of a show for those in the Northern Hemisphere through the end of this month. We're seeing some beautiful photos, such as those taken this week by AFP/Getty's Stan Honda. He pointed his camera skyward near Magdalena, N.M.

The best viewing came earlier this week, but Forbes writes that if you're in the Northern Hemisphere you're not too late to see Pan-STARRS. It offers some tips:

Read more
World Cafe
1:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Local Natives On World Cafe

Local Natives.
Bryan Sheffield Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 4:31 pm

Local Natives, a Los Angeles-based indie-rock outfit, made a splash in 2009 with its self-funded debut album Gorilla Manor. The band went on tour with Arcade Fire and The National in support of the record, which hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 New Artist Chart.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

To Mark 10th Anniversary Of Iraq Invasion, Researchers Assess The Cost

Members of the US Army's Old Guard carry team lift the remains of U.S. Army Specialist Israel Candelaria Mejias from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, as his body is returned on a C-17 to the U.S. from Iraq on April 7, 2009.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Nearly ten years since the United States invaded Iraq, researchers at Brown University are assessing the cost of the war.

The report, from Brown's Watson Institute for International Studies, is comprehensive, taking a look at the direct and indirect costs of war, but from the university's press release, here is bottom line:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

A Peek Into Exoplanet's Atmosphere Offers Clues To How It Was Formed

The 10-meter Keck II (right), a twin of the world's largest optical telescope, was used to study the atmosphere of HR 8799c.
Richard Wainscoat AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:06 pm

Scientists peering into the atmosphere of a giant planet 130 light years away believe their findings bolster one theory of how solar systems form.

The planet, orbiting the star HR 8799, is part of a solar system containing at least three other "super-Jupiters" weighing in at between five and 10 times the mass of our own Jupiter. The nearby system features a brash, young 30-million-year-old star (by contrast, our Sun is in midlife at about 4.5 billion years old).

Read more
It's All Politics
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

The Bush Family Checklist

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to the media after being named chairman of the National Constitution Center's Board of Trustees Dec. 6 in Philadelphia.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 4:58 am

And the Bushes just keep on coming.

In recent memory, there was George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States. Then there was George W. Bush, 43rd president. And now there's John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, who may want to become the 45th president.

Jeb is sending mixed signals: Tonight he is a keynote speaker at a Conservative Political Action Conference dinner, but he has asked that his name be removed from CPAC's 2016 presidential straw poll.

Does Jeb have what it takes to be the next president of the United States?

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:57 am
Fri March 15, 2013

More Patients Keep HIV At Bay Without Antiviral Drugs

An electron micrograph of HIV particles infecting a human T cell. French researchers say they've found 14 patients with so little HIV virus in their blood that the patients have gone into "long-term remission."
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 8:00 am

Just last week AIDS researchers were excited about a Mississippi toddler whose blood has remained free of HIV many months after she stopped getting antiviral drugs – what doctors call a "functional cure."

Read more
It's All Politics
11:52 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Four Faces Of Conservatism: Possible Directions For The GOP

iStockphoto

Is it the message or its delivery?

That's one of the questions being debated as Republicans — like all parties that have lost a national election — plot their comeback.

Some think they need to take a new tack on issues such as immigration in order to appeal to changing times and demographic changes. Others believe that the GOP's core conservative principles are still political winners, if delivered in a more convincing manner than was the case during last year's presidential race.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:43 am
Fri March 15, 2013

NHL Realignment: New Divisions Drawn To Ease Time Zone Conflicts

A chart depicts the NHL's new divisions, which will take effect when the new season begins later this year. The lineup puts 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, and 14 in the Western.
NHL

The NHL will shuffle its teams before next season, moving from three divisions in each conference to a total of four divisions in the Eastern and Western Conferences. The league's owners approved the plan Thursday; the players' association gave its OK last week.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Court Says CIA Can't Have It Both Ways On Drones

Don't deny you have documents about drones, court tells the CIA.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 1:56 pm

A federal appeals court has rejected an effort by the CIA to deny it has any documents about a U.S. drone program that has killed terrorists overseas, ruling that the agency is stretching the law too far and asking judges "to give their imprimatur to a fiction of deniability that no reasonable person would regard as plausible."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Man Who Set Fire To Navy Submarine Sentenced To 17 Years

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) enters a dry dock to begin an engineered overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.
Jim Cleveland U.S. Navy

Casey Fury, the civilian employee who set fire to the USS Miami nuclear-powered attack submarine in Maine was sentenced to 17 years in prison, today.

Fury pleaded guilty to two counts of arson, one for the Miami fire, the other for a fire he set weeks later.

Sea Coast Online reports:

"'From the bottom of my heart, I'm truly sorry,' Fury said during his sentencing hearing. 'I can't put into words the remorse I feel. I had no intention of hurting anyone.'"

Read more
Movie Reviews
10:52 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Three New Films Examine What It Means When Girls Act Out

Ginger & Rosa (starring Alice Englert and Elle Fanning) was directed by Sally Potter, who is perhaps best known for her 1992 film Orlando.
Sally Potter

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 4:37 pm

In the '60s, some fervent rock groupies formed a band called the GTOs — short for "Girls Together Outrageously" — and while it didn't last, the name captures the impulse behind stories in which women chafe against the male-centric society that pulls their strings. This week you can see a girls-together-outrageously triple bill: Spring Breakers, Ginger & Rosa and Beyond the Hills.

Read more
Politics
10:52 am
Fri March 15, 2013

CPAC Goes To Washington: Can They Rally And Rebuild?

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 8:56 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, you might've been following the long debate over whether this country locks up too many people for too little reason and for too long. It turns out something else interesting is happening that you might not heard about - the racial breakdown of the prison population is changing. More white people, especially more white women, are getting locked up. And we'll find out more about that in a few minutes.

Read more
NPR Story
10:41 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Curiosity Hits Paydirt: New Clues To Life On Mars

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:03 pm

Microbes may once have happily existed on the surface of Mars, according to chemical analysis of a sedimentary rock in the Red Planet's Gale crater. NASA geologist and exobiologist David Blake discusses evidence for an ancient freshwater lake in the crater, and describes the mineral-chomping microbes that may have thrived there.

NPR Story
10:41 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Improving Healthcare, One Search At A Time

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. We've all been there, sitting at the computer late at night, clicking on those websites that offer medical opinions, trying to convince ourselves that our headache must be caused by a brain tumor, right? Yeah, that dry skin you've had for the last couple of months, of course it's due to a thyroid disorder because that's what you're finding out on the Web. Recognize yourself?

Read more
NPR Story
10:41 am
Fri March 15, 2013

'Bones' Inspires A New Generation Of Crime Fighters

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:03 pm

Kathy Reichs, the writer and scientist behind the TV show Bones, is back with a new novel for young adults. Code: A Virals Novel stars Tory Brennan, great-niece of Reich's famed crime-solving heroine Tempe Brennan. Reichs discusses the book, co-written with Brendan Reichs.

The Two-Way
10:33 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Construction Crews May Have Found 'Black Plague' Victims In Britain

Archaeologists examine skeletons thought to be from the 14th century that were discovered in an excavation belonging to British rail company, Crossrail.
Crossrail

What can you find underneath a British railroad or parking lot? These days it could be skeletons, and probably a lot of them. Last month, researchers announced the bones of a man discovered underneath a British parking lot were actually King Richard III. Today, a British rail project says some of its staff stumbled upon skeletons of people who may have died of the Black Death nearly 700 years ago, during an outbreak of bubonic plague.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:19 am
Fri March 15, 2013

CDC Confirms 'Extremely Rare' Death From Rabies Transmitted By Transplant

A Maryland man who died two weeks ago contracted rabies "through [an] organ transplantation done more than a year ago," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday morning.

The CDC adds that:

Read more
Movie Interviews
9:35 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Man Behind 'The Master'

Navy veteran Freddie (Phoenix) falls under the influence of cult leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in Anderson's film, which critic Ella Taylor describes as "one of the most twisted father-son tales ever told."
Phil Bray The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 10:52 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 2, 2012.

For Paul Thomas Anderson, moviemaking is not just an art; it's also about time management.

"At its best, a film set is when everybody knows what's going on and everybody's working together," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "At its worst, [it's] when something's been lost in communication and an actor's not sure how many shots are left or what's going on, and the makeup department's confused."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:34 am
Fri March 15, 2013

New Pope Praises Benedict, Asks Cardinals To Evangelize

Pope Francis as he visits the papal residence at the Vatican on Thursday.
Vatican AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 11:43 am

Pope Francis, in his first audience with the cardinals since becoming head of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, praised his predecessor, Benedict XVI, and urged the evangelization of the church's message.

Francis said of Benedict, who served as pontiff for eight years before his historic resignation last month, that he "lit a flame in the depths of our hearts that will continue to burn because it is fueled by his prayers."

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:14 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Power Shift Under Way As Middle Class Expands In Developing World

Brookings Institution

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 8:00 am

"The meek shall inherit the earth" — that seems to be the latest message from the United Nations Development Program.

Their 2013 Human Development Report chronicles the recent, rapid expansion of the middle class in the developing world. It also predicts that over the next two decades growth in the so-called "Global South" will dramatically shift economic and political power away from Europe and North America.

Read more
Planet Money
8:58 am
Fri March 15, 2013

A Surprisingly Uncontroversial Program That Gives Money To Poor People

William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Last year, a federal program called the Earned Income Tax Credit took about $60 billion from wealthier Americans and gave it to the working poor. And here's the surprising thing: This redistribution of wealth has been embraced by every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

"This program worked," says Richard Burkhauser, an economist at Cornell University and the American Enterprise Institute. "And there's not a hell of a lot of these programs where you can see the tremendous change in the behavior of people in exactly the way that all of us hoped it would happen."

Read more
World Cafe
8:17 am
Fri March 15, 2013

The Lone Bellow On World Cafe

The Lone Bellow.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 1:02 pm

Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist are The Lone Bellow. Although Williams, the principal songwriter and lead singer, is a native Georgian, the group found its soulful folk-rock sound in Brooklyn. The group recorded its self-titled debut album on the Lower East Side, yet the lyrical, foot-stomping songs could have easily come from the heart of Nashville.

Read more

Pages