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The Two-Way
11:57 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Sen. Reid: Looks Like We're Headed Over The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., addresses reporters about ongoing discussions about the so-called fiscal cliff on Dec. 18.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Even as Air Force One was about to land in suburban Maryland this morning — bringing President Obama back from his vacation in Hawaii to resume negotiations aimed at avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on the floor of the Senate warning that a dive off that cliff seems inevitable.

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Remembrances
5:38 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Schwarzkopf, Commander In Gulf War, Dies At 78

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

General Norman Schwarzkopf has died. The military leader who earned the nickname Stormin' Norman was 78 years old. He became a household name in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

Joining us now is NPR's Pentagon correspondent, Tom Bowman. And, Tom, to begin, tell us a little bit about his background. How did Schwarzkopf rise through the ranks?

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Books
3:56 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Libraries And E-Lending: The 'Wild West' Of Digital Licensing?

About three-quarters of public libraries offer digital lending, but finding a book you want can be frustrating — every publisher has its own set of rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.

About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Italians Outraged By Priest's Claim That Women Bring Violence On Themselves

In Italy, a Catholic priest has stirred widespread outrage after he blamed incidents of domestic violence on the way women dress. Father Piero Corsi's remarks were in a Christmas message he put on a church bulletin board; photos of the note soon went viral.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, "a record 118 women have been murdered this year alone in domestic violence" in Italy, reportedly the highest number in Europe.

Here's more from Sylvia, in Rome:

"The title of message was 'Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?'"

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

After Apparent Abduction, Miniature Pony Returns To Circus

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:45 am

Sighs of relief were breathed in Austria today, after a missing pony made it back to his circus after an apparent horse-napping. While it might seem difficult to steal, and then conceal, a horse, consider that the animal, named Fridolin, is only about two feet tall.

The miniature pony, a main attraction of the Vienna Christmas Circus, was found after a tip came in that the pint-sized horse "had been abandoned at a bus stop," reports the Vienna Times.

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Books
1:56 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Margaret Atwood's Brave New World Of Online Publishing

Margaret Atwood has written 13 novels, including The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.
George Whiteside

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

If you're a Margaret Atwood fan — and you've got some spare change under the couch cushions — just a few dollars will get you a stand-alone episode of the new novel she's writing in serial form.

It's called Positron, and Atwood is publishing it on Byliner, a website launched last year that's one of many new sites billing themselves as platforms for writers.

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Books
1:24 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Change Is The Only Constant In Today's Publishing Industry

Penguin and Random House, two of the biggest players in publishing, announced in October that they would merge.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.

Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House — with whispers of further mergers to come.

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It's All Politics
1:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Federal Government Prepares For Uncertain Landing After 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

With negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" uncertain at best, the Obama administration is trying to tamp down anxiety in the federal workforce.

The administration's message to various federal agencies is that there will be little immediate effect on public employees from the budget cuts scheduled to take effect next week if a deal is not reached. Treasury Department employees, for instance, were told not to expect "day to day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2."

For workers, of course, that's good news.

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Books
1:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Publishers are finding that flexible pricing on e-books can help bring in new readers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

What counts as a book these days, in a world of Kindles, Nooks and iPads — and eager talk about new platforms and distribution methods?

Traditional publishers are traveling a long and confusing road into the digital future. To begin with, here's the conventional wisdom about publishing: E-books are destroying the business model.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Ski Resort Makes Snow With Treated Wastewater, After A Long Dispute

The Arizona Snowbowl resort began making snow exclusively with reclaimed wastewater this week. In this file photo, employees go up a ski lift at the resort.
Khampha Bouaphanh AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:14 pm

An Arizona ski resort is making snow for the first time this year, ending more than seven years' worth of legal battles over its snowmaking system, which relies entirely upon treated wastewater to coat its slopes when the snowfall has been uneven.

The resort, Arizona Snowbowl, has long been a target of American Indian tribes, who say it defiles sacred land. Critics have also said the snowmaking system might threaten an endangered plant. The resort sits on more than 700 acres of land that it leases from the U.S. Forest Service.

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Shots - Health News
1:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Shootings Leave Sandy Hook Survivors Rethinking The Odds

People visit a memorial outside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 15.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:02 pm

About a month ago, Declan Procaccini's 10-year-old son woke him early in the morning in a fright.

"He came into my bedroom and said, 'Dad, I had a horrible, horrible dream!' " Procaccini says. "He was really shaken up. I said, 'Tell me about it,' and he told me he'd had a dream that a teenager came into his classroom at his school and shot all the kids in front of him."

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Research News
1:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Birds Hang Around Mistletoe For More Than A Kiss

Researchers in Australia found that when they removed mistletoe from large sections of forests, vast numbers of birds left.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

For the Druids, mistletoe was sacred. For us, it's a cute ornament and maybe an excuse to steal a kiss. And of course it's a Christmas tradition.

But for a forest, mistletoe might be much more important. It's a parasite, shows up on tree branches and looks like an out-of-place evergreen bush hanging in the air.

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NPR Story
12:59 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Italians In Steel Town Face Stark Choice: Health Or Jobs

ILVA Steel, Europe's biggest steel plant, is located in the Italian port city of Taranto. Judges have ordered a partial shutdown because the plant spews dangerous carcinogens. But the plant is also the anchor of the region's economy, employing some 20,000 people. Sylvia Poggioli

NPR Story
12:59 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Journalists Thrust Into Heart Of Gun Story

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Amid all of the news coverage of the Newtown school shooting, a wrinkle has emerged. The statements and actions of journalists miles away from Connecticut have stirred up controversy.

As we hear from NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, some journalists have thrust themselves into the middle of the story about guns.

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U.S.
12:31 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

An Abundance Of Extreme Weather Has Many On Edge

A parking lot full of yellow taxis is flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30 in Hoboken, N.J.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:40 pm

Opinion polls show 2012's extreme weather — producing wildfires, floods and drought — has more people making a connection with climate change. For Marti Andrews in southern New Jersey, a turning point was the summer's hurricane-like derecho.

"I don't want to say I freaked out about it, but holy crap, it scared me," she says. It packed winds up to 90 miles per hour and nonstop lightning, which Andrews says looked like some wild disco display in the sky.

"I've never seen anything like that," she says. "I sat there on the couch thinking, 'Oh my God, we're all gonna die!' "

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World
11:59 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Gerard Depardieu's Tax Flight Stirs Fierce Debate In France

French actor Gerard Depardieu speaks outside Paris in March. He recently said he was moving to neighboring Belgium to avoid France's new top tax rate of 75 percent. The news ignited a debate in France over taxes and patriotism.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:02 pm

Gerard Depardieu, one of France's most iconic and beloved film stars, is now at the center of a national uproar over French taxes and patriotism.

Depardieu, who has been in around 200 films, says he's moving to Belgium to avoid paying a new 75 percent tax on the superwealthy. The move has divided the country and has focused attention on the Socialist government's controversial new tax policy.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Woman Who Allegedly Posed As Newtown Victim's Aunt Is Arrested

After the attack: Balloons hung from the Sandy Hook Elementary School sign on Dec. 15. On Dec. 14, six adults and 20 children were killed there before the gunman took his own life.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

A woman who authorities say posed as an aunt of one of the 20 children killed in the attack on an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and used a Facebook account to solicit money for a "funeral fund" has been arrested and charged with lying to federal agents.

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Around the Nation
11:16 am
Thu December 27, 2012

As Families Change Shape, Societies May, Too

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington, Neal Conan is away. For centuries, the foundation of human society, the basic building block, was the family: parents, children, grandchildren, passing knowledge and wealth down through generations. But all signs seem to indicate that in many parts of the world, the family is on the decline, and singles are on the rise.

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Arts & Life
11:11 am
Thu December 27, 2012

At The End Of The Day, Cliches Can Be As Good As Gold

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:23 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

So I'm wondering, how often have you actually counted your chickens before they'd hatched, or maybe thrown up a single stone and then hit two birds, not to mention having one of those critters in your hand that was worth two of them in the bush. Cliches are very often denounced as the most over-used and contemptible phrases in the English language.

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Politics
11:11 am
Thu December 27, 2012

With Clock Ticking, 'Fiscal Cliff ' Looms Ever-Closer

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:23 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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