NPR News

Pages

NPR Story
12:35 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

New Tyler Perry Shows Offer Lessons On Finance

Promotional image for the show "The Have and Have Nots." (Oprah Winfrey Network)

Tyler Perry has two new shows on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN): “The Have and The Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor.”

At first, the shows received a record number of viewers for the network, but ratings have since dropped off.

“The Have and Have Nots” is a soap opera-like show about the tensions between rich and poor, black and white.

Read more
NPR Story
12:35 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

South Africa Marks Nelson Mandela's Birthday

Children sing to Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Jason Beaubien/Twitter)

Millions of children across South Africa sang “Happy Birthday” to Nelson Mandela today as he turns 95.

People around the world are joining South Africans in celebrating his life.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson is among those volunteering 67 minutes in their communities, to honor the 67 years Mandela gave to the struggle against apartheid and creating a new South Africa.

In New York’s Times Square, South African artist Paul Blomkamp is showing his giant portrait of Mandela, which he says was inspired by the leaders great energy.

Read more
NPR Story
12:35 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Law School Enrollment Plunges

Enrollment is declining at law schools nationwide. At Harvard (pictured) enrollment is steady, though it's becoming easier to get in. (Harvard)

Law school enrollment is taking a nose dive, and law schools are trimming their faculty rolls.

The legal market has yet to recover from the recession, and that means fewer students are applying to law school.

Middle-tier schools are among the hardest hit, and legal experts say it could be years before their enrollment returns to pre-recession levels.

Read more
Politics
12:23 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

The United States Of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families

Liz Cheney walks off the stage with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010.
Cliff Owen AP

Another day, another political dynasty.

This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.

Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Man Who Hoped To Testify Against Whitey Bulger Is Found Dead

Stephen Rakes as he arrived at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston on June 12 for the first day of the "Whitey" Bulger's trial.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:31 pm

Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who claimed that notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger forced him — at gunpoint — to sell a liquor store in 1984, was found dead Wednesday in Lincoln, Mass.

According to the Middlesex (Mass.) District Attorney's office, "there were no obvious signs of trauma. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:01 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Scientists: Pitch In July Is Slower Than Molasses In January

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:28 pm

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have some long awaited test results: After 69 years, they have captured on video a drop of pitch, also known as bitumen or asphalt.

With a camera trained on a glass funnel containing a generous dollop of the substance, so thick that it appears as a solid at room temperature, it finally happened.

You can see the dramatic moment in this video above, which proves conclusively that pitch is indeed a liquid, according to Nature.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:56 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Justice's Rules Mean Reporter Need Not Testify, Lawyer Says

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency. The case that prosecutors want journalist James Risen to testify in involves an alleged leak of information by a former CIA agent.
Greg E. Mathieson Sr. MAI/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:48 pm

A lawyer for New York Times reporter James Risen is citing new Justice Department guidelines about when to subpoena journalists to support his argument that Risen is covered by a common-law reporter's privilege and need not testify about a former CIA agent who allegedly served as his source.

Read more
Book Reviews
10:40 am
Thu July 18, 2013

The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author

J.K. Rowling recently revealed herself to be the author of the mystery novel The Cuckoo's Calling.
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:41 pm

Call it "The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales" — and I don't think we'll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown British writer named Robert Galbraith, who was identified on the book jacket as a former military cop now working in private security.

Read more
Pop Culture
10:40 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Maria Bamford: A Seriously Funny Comedian

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:05 pm

It's almost uncomfortable to laugh at Maria Bamford's comedy, because so much of it is about really serious problems she has: OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts. She's been hospitalized several times. But you have to laugh, because she's that funny.

In addition to the difficulties from which she suffers, Bamford — who has a new comedy CD out called Ask Me About My New God! — incorporates her family into much of her material. She's close to both her parents, in part, she says, because they've been through so much together.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Indian Police Still Searching For Principal In Poisoning Case

Indian school children hold candles as they pay tribute to school children who died from food poisoning in Saran district of Bihar state.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:18 am

By Thursday afternoon, the number of children poisoned by their school lunch at a rural school in Bihar, India had risen to 23.

As we reported, doctors suspect the food the children were given was laced with a toxic insecticide.

Today, we get word that the principal at the school, who was tasked with overseeing the school meals program, has absconded and police were searching for her.

Read more
NPR Story
9:55 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Netflix Makes Emmy History

Actor Kevin Spacey is pictured in a promotional image from "House of Cards." (Netflix)

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 9:31 am

Netflix’s “House of Cards” made Emmy history Thursday with a top drama series nomination, the first time that television’s leading awards have recognized a program delivered online as equal in quality to the best that TV has to offer.

The nomination, one of nine nods earned by the political thriller, is a marker in the unfolding revolution in how we get and watch video entertainment.

Read more
NPR Story
9:50 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Do Young Adults Read For Pleasure?

(mrsdkrebs/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 9:31 am

As he prepares his summer reading list, book lover and journalist Danny Heitman says he’s worried college students aren’t reading for fun anymore.

In a recent writing course he taught, he asked his students the last book they read for pleasure. Many of them hadn’t read a book for fun since “Harry Potter.”

Heitman is hesitant to offer a reading list to college-age young men and women, since lists tend to have an air of assigned reading. But he offers these 10 titles.

Read more
NPR Story
9:45 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Cleveland Hosts National Senior Games

Carlo Wolff and Fumio Yoshikawa during a break in the table tennis action. (WCPN)

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 9:31 am

As many as 10,000 athletes from across the country — ranging in age from 50 to 90 plus — are gathering in Cleveland, Ohio, to compete in the 14th National Senior Games.

The games, which get underway tomorrow and run for two weeks, include competitions in 19 sports, including cycling, swimming and track and field. There’s also badminton, bowling and Bocce ball.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, David C. Barnett of WCPN reports on a how a few of the participants are preparing for their events.

Read more
All Tech Considered
9:43 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tech Companies Issue Loud Call For Surveillance Transparency

A Ukrainian activist protests the NSA Internet surveillance program.
Sergei Supinsky Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:44 am

Apple, Google, Microsoft and a broad coalition of major tech companies are making a loud call for greater government disclosure of digital communications monitoring.

In a letter out today, an alliance of 63 companies and groups are calling for dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts. This comes as the companies — and individual Americans — continue to grapple with recent revelations of a sweeping surveillance program led by the National Security Agency.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:28 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Study: U.S. Viewed As 'Favorable', China As Rising Superpower

A Chinese boy passes a photo of China's first aircraft carrier during an exhibition entitled "Scientific Development and Splendid Achievements" in Beijing in 2012.
Feng Li Getty Images

More people around the globe view the United States positively than do China, but most of them also believe that Beijing is set to eclipse Washington as the world's dominant Superpower, according to a new Pew Research survey.

Read more
The Salt
8:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

How To Better Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides: Spanish

Farmworkers harvest and package cantaloupes near Firebaugh, Calif.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:02 am

Advocates for farmworkers, especially those who grow America's leafy greens and fresh vegetables, are pushing the government to do more to protect those workers from exposure to pesticides.

Read more
Parallels
8:47 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Global Survey: China Will Surpass U.S. As Leading Superpower

In a global survey, many respondents believe that China has overtaken or eventually will overtake the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. Chinese are shown here walking in Shanghai's financial district in March.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:56 am

China has supplanted or soon will supplant the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. That's the headline from a survey by the Pew Research Center, which put this proposition to people around the world.

In 23 of the 39 countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities said China has overtaken or will overtake America.

In China, the verdict was clear: Two-thirds believe their country already has supplanted or eventually will supplant America.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:33 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Level In Months

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 24,000 last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 334,000, the number is at a 10-week low.

The Associated Press reports that the drop may be due to seasonal factors. The wire service adds:

"Still, the broader trend has been favorable. The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, fell 5,250 to 346,000.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:21 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Panama Charges North Korean Ship's Crew

View of what seems to be weapon parts aboard a North Korean-flagged ship on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 8:57 am

The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.

The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.

According to the BBC:

"[Panamanian] Prosecutor Javier Caraballo accused the 35 crew members of endangering public security by illegally transporting war material.

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:05 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tuberculosis Takes Lasting Toll In The Former Soviet Union

A Doctors Without Borders support counselor waits for MDR-TB patients at a clinic in Nukus, Uzbekistan.
Courtesy of Misha Friedman

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 7:22 am

Misha Friedman began training his lens on tuberculosis patients in the former Soviet Union in 2007, when he worked in logistics for the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders.

At first he took photos in his spare time, whiling away his off days by documenting the patients and hospital workers he met on the job. But this hobby quickly turned into more than that when he won a photo competition judged by renowned photojournalist Gary Knight, founder of the VII photo agency.

Read more

Pages