NPR News

Pages

Shots - Health News
12:51 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:57 am

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

Read more
Planet Money
12:41 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong's Confession Could Cost Him Millions

George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:09 pm

In an interview that aired last night on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Lance Armstrong confessed that he doped. That confession, added to mountains of other evidence, could cost him millions of dollars. There are three groups of people he may owe money to:

1. SCA Promotions

SCA is a company that underwrote millions of dollars of bonuses that Lance received for winning the Tour de France. Now that he's been stripped of those titles — they want their money back.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:40 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Speechwriters: After Bland First Inaugural, Second Is Tougher For Obama

President Obama gives his first inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:09 pm

A presidential inauguration is an event defined by huge, sweeping optics: the National Mall full of cheering Americans; a grandiose platform in front of the Capitol building; the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. And the centerpiece: a speech.

On Monday, President Obama will give his second inaugural address — and he faces a challenge in crafting a speech for this moment.

Read more
Science
12:35 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Powerful But Fragile: The Challenge Of Lithium Batteries

A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago in November. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad have grounded the planes because of problems with batteries on board.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:58 pm

Boeing announced late Friday that it is postponing deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner because of problems with its big batteries. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad grounded the new jetliners after those batteries failed in two planes operated by Japanese airlines, including one battery that burned while the plane was on the ground.

These lithium-ion batteries are new to jetliners. They're powerful and lightweight, and, unfortunately, they're also fragile.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Listen Carefully Or You'll Miss It: We've Got Justice Thomas On Tape

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov
  • Justice Thomas' voice comes in around the 13-second mark

As it does each Friday, the Supreme Court has released audio recordings of the week's oral arguments.

Which means we can now hear what it was like when Justice Clarence Thomas broke his seven-year silence.

Read more
The Salt
12:33 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Mexican Mole Has Many Flavors, Many Mothers

Three of the six moles served at Casa Oaxaca of Washington, D.C. Some of these mole recipes were passed down to chef Alfio Blangiardo by his grandmother.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 6:33 am

As with so many iconic dishes in a country's culinary heritage, Mexican mole has a creation tale.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Republicans Offer Three-Month Increase In Debt Ceiling

As workers prepare the Capitol for Monday's inaugural ceremony, there's word that Congress might not get into another battle over the debt ceiling.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 12:34 pm

In a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling, GOP leaders in the House plan to approve a three-month increase in the nation's borrowing authority next week, NPR's S.V. Date reports.

But, he tells our Newscast Desk, Republicans want to tie a longer-term increase to the passage of a budget that cuts spending.

His report continues:

"The plan comes from Majority Leader Eric Cantor as House Republicans wrap up a retreat in Southern Virginia.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ray Nagin On Corruption Charges

Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 corruption charges by a federal grand jury. They include "conspiracy to deprive citizens of honest services."
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 12:06 pm

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 counts of bribery and other corruption charges by a federal grand jury. When he became the city's mayor in 2002, Nagin, a former cable TV executive, promised to revive New Orleans' economy, and its trust in the city's government.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

More Tears For Notre Dame's 'Fake Tragedy' Than A Real Girl's Death?

Lizzy Seeberg, in a family photo broadcast by ABC News.
ABCNews.go.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 3:03 pm

The bizarre story of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o and the girlfriend he now says never existed has exploded on to news sites and TV channels this week.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:49 am
Fri January 18, 2013

CDC: Flu Season Is Especially Tough On The Elderly

Sonia Despiar, right, a nurse with Gouverneur Healthcare Services, injects Imelda Silva with flu vaccine on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in New York. At least 10 elderly people and two children in New York have died from the flu and hospitalizations are climbing as the illness hits every county in the state.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Federal health officials say this year's flu season shaping up to be especially severe for the elderly.

According to the latest update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people age 65 and older who are getting the flu jumped sharply in the last week or so. They are being hospitalized at a rate of about 82 per 100,000 cases. That's the rate that is seen during severe seasons, officials said.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:31 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Teacher Evaluation Impasse Costs New York City Hundreds Of Millions

In New York City, the failure to agree on a plan for evaluating its teachers is being widely criticized, especially because it means the city will now miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in state financing.

At stake was $250 million in state aid, and another $200 million in grants, according to WNYC's Schoolbook education blog.

Read more
Brain Candy
10:03 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Edward Tufte Wants You to See Better

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. Up next: the man who wrote the book - well, the books, rather - on data visualization. He was doing infographics before everybody was doing infographics. Back in the '80s, data scientist Edward Tufte remortgaged his house so he could start a company and self-publish his first book, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information." Sound like a snoozer? Well, that book, along with his others on the same topic, have sold more than a million-and-a-half copies.

Read more
Technology
10:03 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Inventors Design Lamp Powered Entirely By Gravity

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Solar wind, geothermal - now there's a new renewable energy source to add to that list. It's free, completely reliable and totally unlimited: the force of gravity. Two British designers have invented a lamp that runs on gravity alone. Their GravityLight - yes, that's its name, aptly named - uses, you guessed it, the pull of gravity on a weight to generate up to 30 minutes of light.

Read more
Theater
10:03 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Dementia Takes The Stage In 'The Other Place'

In the Broadway play The Other Place actress Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie" on the TV show "Roseanne") plays a scientist suffering from the dementia she studies. Playwright Sharr White discusses the play and the challenge of presenting complicated science on a theater stage.

Movies
9:32 am
Fri January 18, 2013

'Mama': A Good Old-Fashioned Horror Movie

Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and her sister, Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse), are near-feral orphans in the horror thriller Mama.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:29 am

I was weaned on horror movies and love them inordinately, but the genre has gone to the dogs — and to the muscle-bound werewolves, hormonal vampires, flesh-eating zombies, machete-wielding psychos, etc. It's also depressing how most modern horror pictures have unhappy nihilist endings in which everyone dies and the demons pop back up, unvanquished — partly because studios think happy endings are too soft, but mostly because they need their monsters for so-called franchises.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:36 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Body Exhumed Of Lottery Winner Who Suffered Cyanide-Related Death

Urooj Khan, with his winning lottery ticket. Not long after this photo was taken, he was dead.
AP

The remains of Urooj Khan, the Chicago man who last July died one day after his $425,000 check from the Illinois lottery was cut, were exhumed today, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Read more
Author Interviews
7:49 am
Fri January 18, 2013

The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

An illustration shows heretics being tortured and nailed to wooden posts during the first Inquisition.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:41 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 23, 2012.

The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims' cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Acid Thrown In Face Of Bolshoi Ballet's Artistic Director; He May Lose Sight

Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet, in 2011.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

A masked assailant threw acid into the face of the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director on Thursday in Moscow in what may have been a "reprisal for his selection of dancers in starring roles at the famed Russian company," The Associated Press reports.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:25 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Key Player In '94 Assault Weapons Ban: 'It's Going To Be Much More Difficult' Now

President Clinton speaks to a member of the House on Aug. 11, 1994, lobbying for votes for the crime bill.
Marcy Nighswander AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:36 am

President Obama's proposed renewal of a ban on assault-style weapons is expected to be based on the legislation approved by Congress in 1994 that expired 10 years later.

But when the first assault weapons ban was approved — outlawing 19 specific weapons — it was a very different time, and Congress was a very different place.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:41 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Te'o Spoke Of 'Girlfriend' As If She Existed After He Supposedly Learned Of Hoax

Manti Te'o, pointing skyward during Notre Dame's game against Michigan on Sept. 22. That was the day, he said then, of his girlfriend's funeral service. Now, he says he never met her and they had only an online and telephone relationship.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:53 am

Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o "perpetuated the heartbreaking story" of a girlfriend's death after he supposedly had learned he was the victim of a hoax and that she never existed, The Associated Press writes.

Read more

Pages