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2:51 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Same Streets, Different Lives In 'NW' London

British novelist Zadie Smith is also the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty. In her latest book, NW, she lays out a problem for readers: Do people get what they deserve?
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 11:57 am

Writer Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene with her first novel White Teeth more than a decade ago. Set in the Northwest London neighborhood where she grew up, White Teeth captured the diverse, vibrant rhythms of a city in transition. Smith returns to the neighborhood in her new novel, NW, but this is a sobering homecoming.

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It's All Politics
12:39 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Wonky Clinton Wows Convention In Muscular Obama Sales Pitch

Former President Bill Clinton speaks Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 12:52 am

President Obama still has a case to make for a second term, and specific people to whom he needs to make it.

But while it's two months too early to call former President Bill Clinton Obama's closer, he came about as close as it gets Wednesday night at the Democratic convention with a bravura defense of the current White House occupant.

"We are here to nominate a president," Clinton said after strolling onto the stage to tumultuous applause, "and I've got one in mind."

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It's All Politics
11:39 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Five Takeaways From Wednesday At The Democratic Convention

Former President Bill Clinton hugs President Obama onstage after Clinton's rousing speech during the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 12:19 am

If you missed the second night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., we live blogged it here.

But if you want a quick review, we've compiled five things that struck us about the night:

It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It: In other hands, the very wonky speech that former President Clinton delivered on Wednesday could have been a snoozer.

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Secret Service Investigates Claim That Romney's Tax Returns Were Stolen

The Secret Service is looking into a claim that hackers stole several years' worth of tax returns filed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Investigators are working to determine the legitimacy of a claim that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax records have been stolen from an accounting firm's records.

Naming a million-dollar price, an anonymous ransom note was sent to accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The letter, which was also posted online, gets right to the point: "Using your Office... we were able to gain access to your network file servers and copy over the tax documents for one Willard M Romney and Ann D Romney."

The note's author signs off with a perky "Cheers!"

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Judge OKs Part Of Arizona's Immigration Law

A judge in Arizona has ruled that police in that state can enforce part of the immigration law that has been dubbed the "show me your papers" provision.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

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It's All Politics
5:36 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Live Blog: Wednesday At The Democratic National Convention

The second night of the Democratic National Convention focused heavily on the economy. Supporters and delegates cheered loudly for United Auto Workers President Bob King.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 10:24 am

  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 1
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 2
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hours 3 & 4

Hello from Charlotte, N.C. Today is all about Bill Clinton.

Walking around Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, the former president was the talk of the town. Today marks the second day of the Democratic National Convention.

We're in the arena and we'll keep tabs on the proceedings. Make sure you refresh this page to see the latest.

Update at 11:25 p.m. ET. A Wonky Speech, With A Clinton Delivery:

The night ended with President Obama taking the stage, once President Clinton finished his speech.

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It's All Politics
5:00 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Florida, Colorado Voter Purges Net Few Noncitizens, So Far

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:53 pm

States using a federal immigration database to purge noncitizens from voter lists are starting to get results, which so far include few illegal voters.

In Florida, which was first to gain access to the database after fighting the federal government in court, an initial run of roughly 2,600 names has turned up "several" violators, according to a spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:56 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Democratic Convention Draws Troubled Homeowners

David Sole rode a bus from Detroit to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., to protest how the Obama administration and the nation's banks have handled the foreclosure crisis.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:03 pm

Charlotte, N.C., host of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is the nation's biggest financial center outside of New York. But Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County have the highest foreclosure rates in the state, and many thousands of homeowners owe more on their homes than the properties are worth.

As thousands of Democrats converge in Charlotte for the convention, some troubled homeowners have also gathered, lamenting that the foreclosure crisis has not been sufficiently front and center in the presidential campaign.

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It's All Politics
4:33 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Democrats Vote To Restore 2008 Platform Language On Jerusalem

Musician Branford Marsalis performs the national anthem as the West Charlotte High School ROTC present the colors during Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 7:33 am

What's usually a formality turned a bit dramatic today at the opening of the second day of the Democratic National Convention.

A motion for a voice vote to amend the party platform to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel — and to reinsert the word "God" into the document — was met with many delegates shouting "no" and with loud boos when the motion was deemed to have passed.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Oscar Pistorius Seeks Redemption In Race To Be The World's Fastest Amputee

In a surprise finish, Brazil's Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira (left) races past South Africa's Oscar Pistorius to win a gold medal in the 200-meter race at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 5:43 am

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Recession Still Hurting U.S. Families Trying To Put Food On The Table

Jacque Holland, 43, of Milwaukee picks up food at the food pantry at United Methodist Children's Services of Wisconsin.
Carrie Antlfinger AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:12 pm

The number of U.S. families struggling to put enough food on the table remains at record-high levels, according to new figures out today from the government. Last year, 1 in almost 7 households were what the government calls "food insecure." That's about the same level as in 2010, but still far higher than before the recession.

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Space
3:45 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

After 35 Years, Voyager Nears Edge Of Solar System

In addition to surveying the planets, the Voyager mission also spent time studying the planets' satellites, or moons. This mosaic image, taken in 1989, shows Neptune's largest satellite, Triton. Triton has the coldest surface temperature known anywhere in the solar system.
NASA/JPL

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:33 pm

The Voyager 1 spacecraft's 35th anniversary is proving to be unexpectedly exciting, as scientists gathered this week to examine new hints that the spacecraft is on the verge of leaving our solar system.

Voyager 1 is now more than 11 billion miles away from Earth. It blasted off in September 1977, on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. But it also carried a Golden Record filled with music and the sounds of our planet, in case it encountered intelligent life as it moved out toward the stars.

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Music News
3:45 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Music Is Everywhere: John Cage At 100

John Cage during his 1966 concert at the opening of the National Arts Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Rowland Scherman Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:05 pm

OK, let's get the elephant out of the room right away. John Cage's most famous, or infamous, work is "4'33"," in which a musician walks onstage and sits at the piano for 4 minutes and 33 seconds.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:27 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Vaginal Ring Protects Monkeys From HIV-Like Infection

A small, plastic vaginal ring loaded up with an HIV drug protects monkeys from infection with simian immunodeficiency virus.
Julie Sitney Courtesy of the Population Council

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:10 am

When it comes to contraception, women have many options. There are pills, patches, diaphragms and even a vaginal ring that slowly releases birth control hormones.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

SEAL Foundation Says It Won't Accept Money From Bin Laden Raid Book

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 5:44 am

Many reports have stated that Matt Bissonnette, the former Navy SEAL who wrote the book No Easy Day, plans to give a large share of his profits to the Navy SEAL Foundation, a group that aids Naval Special Warfare personnel and their families. But the foundation says it won't accept any money from the book, which has sparked questions over whether it contains classified details that could put U.S. military personnel at risk.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour's Trip To L.A. May Cause 400 Trees To Be Cut Down

A stump remains in the median of Manchester Boulevard as workers remove trees to clear a path for the space shuttle Endeavour in Inglewood, Calif., Tuesday. Residents are upset that 400 trees might be cut down to allow the shuttle to travel from the airport to its new home at a science center.
Reed Saxon AP

The space shuttle Endeavour will make its final trip next month, to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. But while most South L.A. residents are excited to have a piece of history nearby, many are also upset that the shuttle's 12-mile transit is forcing the city to cut down about 400 trees.

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Economy
2:39 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Journalist Evaluates Obama, Romney Economic Plans

David Leonhardt, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his columns about the economy.
Earl Wilson The New York Times

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:39 pm

On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."

New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.

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Book Reviews
2:37 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Was Zadie Smith's Novel 'NW' Worth The Wait?

British author Zadie Smith in 2005.
Sergio Dionisio AP

Zadie Smith wrote her last novel On Beauty seven years ago — a long time in the anxious world of publishing. Her new novel NW was released in the U.S. on Monday. Critic Maureen Corrigan asks: Was it worth the wait?

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
2:36 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Conventions' Version Of Reality TV

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:41 pm

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It's All Politics
2:12 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Democrats' Most Interesting Man: Bill Clinton In A Word Or Five

New Mexico delegates Priscilla Chavez (left) and Carla Arellanes.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:13 pm

Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?

The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.

Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.

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Fitness & Nutrition
1:35 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

What We Know, And Don't Know, About Organic Food

Many people buy and eat organic food because they believe it's more nutritious. A new study suggests that may not be the case. But with a vast number of influences and variables, from the ripeness of produce to the length of the studies, researchers note that more research is needed.

The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Asia's Richest Woman Slammed After Musing About Workers Paid $2 A Day

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
Tony Ashby AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:12 pm

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Presidential Race
12:57 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Political Junkie Recaps The DNC So Far

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:35 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The forecast drives the Dems back indoors, a wildcard on the presidential ballot in Virginia, and Paul Ryan runs into trouble. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PAUL RYAN: Two hours and fifty-something...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Presidential Race
12:57 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Dean On How Democrats Will Win The White House

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:35 pm

Thursday, President Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. NPR's Ken Rudin, former Clinton White House speechwriter Paul Glastris and former Reagan White House speechwriter Peter Robinson talk about what the president should say to make his case for reelection.

Law
12:57 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Use Of Confidential Informants Mostly Unregulated

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:35 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In May 2008, Rachel Hoffman(ph) put on a wire and went alone to buy two and a half ounces of cocaine, 1,500 ecstasy pills, and a semiautomatic handgun. Police lost track of her. Two days later her body was found, shot five times with the gun she was sent to buy.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:26 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Scientists Unveil 'Google Maps' For Human Genome

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:56 pm

Scientists unveiled the results of a massive international project Wednesday that they say debunks the notion that most of our genetic code is made up of so-called junk DNA.

The ENCODE project, which involved hundreds of researchers in dozens of labs, also produced what some scientists are saying is like Google Maps for the human genome.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Toothbrush: It's In The Space Station's Toolbox. How About Yours?

The toothbrush/space tool.
NASA.gov

When we heard that astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a spare toothbrush along on a spacewalk today and used it to help clean debris from around some bolts they needed to secure in order to install a power unit, it got us thinking.

Just how versatile are old toothbrushs? We know we've used them to:

-- Clean bike gears.

-- Get grime out of our hubcaps.

-- Get at the crust around a car battery's terminals.

-- Polish jewelry.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Racer Alex Zanardi Wins Gold Medal At London Paralympics

Alex Zanardi celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's individual H4 time trial cycling final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Brands Hatch circuit, in Kent, southern England. Zanardi's legs were amputated after a racecar crash in 2001.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:33 pm

Alex Zanardi, who was a star racecar driver when he lost his legs in a 2001 crash, has won a gold medal in the London Paralympics. The Italian, 45, beat Germany's Nobert Mosandl by more than 27 seconds to win the men's handcycle time trial. The race took place at Brands Hatch, a track that Zanardi has previously tackled behind the wheel of high-powered racecars.

"Last time I was here I was going about five times faster but I still love this circuit," he said this week.

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Asia
11:41 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Vanishing Vultures A Grave Matter For India's Parsis

This image shows a Parsi Tower of Silence, circa 1955, near Mumbai, India. The bodies of the dead are left here to be disposed of by vultures.
Alice Schalek Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:42 pm

For any religion, keeping up traditions in the modern world can be a challenge. The Parsi community in India, however, faces a unique obstacle.

Parsis, who came to India from Persia (Iran) a thousand years ago with their Zoroastrian faith, have gone to great lengths to maintain their unique funeral rituals. But they've had to make a few adjustments to keep up with the times and to not upset the neighbors.

Parsi funerals begin in a way familiar to many faiths: prayers are chanted and mourners pay last respects.

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Joe's Big Idea
11:00 am
Wed September 5, 2012

3 Clues To How Geography Fuels Innovation

Group Genius: Rubbing shoulders with other smart people, like these employees at Google, fuels innovation.
Paul Sakuma AP

The image of the lone genius toiling in isolation, finally emerging with a brilliant new concept is compelling, even romantic. Too bad it's not true.

Instead, innovation thrives in ecosystems, much as microbes flourish in a warm, cozy petri dish.

"There's an important geography to where innovation happens," says AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies how regional differences affect innovation.

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