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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Venezuela's Chavez Takes Turn For the Worse

A "proof of life" photo shows Chavez with his daughters, released Feb. 15 by Miraflores Presidential Press Office.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:10 am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been battling cancer for months, is in a "very delicate" condition, with breathing difficulties and a severe respiratory infection, a government statement says.

The statement, read out Monday by Minister of Communications Ernesto Villegas, spells out the 58-year-old socialist leader's decline since his December surgery in Cuba for an unspecified cancer in the pelvic area:

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Tue March 5, 2013

At The Vatican, 'No Rush' To Set Conclave; And A Fake Bishop Tries To Get In

That's not a real bishop on the left: A man later identified as Ralph Napierski of Germany (at left) posed with Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana and others on Monday at the Vatican. Napierski was an imposter. He was later escorted from the area by Swiss Guards.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 8:17 am

Roman Catholic cardinals are in "no rush" to set the date for the start of their conclave that will choose the next pope, a Vatican spokesman told reporters Tuesday.

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Around the Nation
4:14 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Wash. Lawmaker Apologizes For Cyclist Comment

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:15 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. When Washington state lawmakers proposed a new tax on bikes, the owner of several bike shops protested and ended up in an email argument with a Republican lawmaker, who shot back a novel claim.

State Sen. Ed Orcutt argued that cyclists pollute just by breathing. It is true that a heavy breathing cyclist will emit more carbon dioxide than a person who's just sitting. Orcutt did reconsider, and apologized.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

World
4:05 am
Tue March 5, 2013

U.S.: Diplomats Shouldn't Drink Before Budget Meeting

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a call for a reform at the United Nations.

Joseph M. Torsella represents the United States on the U.N. budget committee. He says it's a tough budget process, complicated by diplomats who show up drunk. Ambassador Torsella made, quote, "the modest proposal that the negotiating room should be inebriation-free." He says he wants this, even though sloshed negotiators have provided the U.S. with, quote, "strategic opportunities." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
4:00 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Book News: Male Authors Still Get Far More Coverage, Survey Shows

Author Jennifer Weiner, who has been outspoken about gender bias in book coverage in the media, pictured in 2005.
Evan Agostini Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NPR Story
2:10 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Best Buy To End Flexible Work Program

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is, no more working in your pajamas. Best Buy says it's ending its flexible work program, calling its corporate employees back to the office.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is getting to be a trend. The move comes after Yahoo stirred debate for ending its work-from-home program. A Best Buy spokesperson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the hope is that quote, "all-hands-on-deck approach will lead to collaboration."

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NPR Story
2:10 am
Tue March 5, 2013

National People's Congress Opens, Prepares For Leadership Change

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 3:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. As he prepares to step down, China's prime minister today delivered his version of a state of the union address. He got a big boost in military funding, one that outpaces expected economic growth.

NPR's Louisa Lim has been gauging the mood of China's new leaders, both inside and outside of the Great Hall of the People.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
2:10 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a ketchup jackpot.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Last month, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and a private equity firm announced they were buying Heinz for $29 billion. Now we're learning what the deal means for Heinz's CEO, William Johnson.

It's All Politics
12:42 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Four Things To Know About The Next Big Budget Battle

Congress has until March 27 to pass a Continuing Resolution. If it doesn't, the government will run out of money and will likely shut down.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:50 am

Now that the sequester has taken effect, there's a new phrase that keeps popping up in Washington: the "continuing resolution." If Congress doesn't pass a continuing resolution by March 27, the government will run out of money and will likely shut down. Here's a list of four things you might want to know about how a continuing resolution works and how it might soften the blow of the sequester.

1. Exactly what is a "continuing resolution"?

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Author Interviews
12:40 am
Tue March 5, 2013

'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami

This Dec. 26, 2004, photograph shows a trail of destruction in the southern Sri Lankan town of Lunawa after tidal waves lashed more than half of Sri Lanka's coastline.
Sena Vidanagama AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:56 am

On Dec. 26, 2004, Sonali Deraniyagala was vacationing with her husband, her two sons and her parents in Yala, Sri Lanka. The day was just beginning when she and a friend noticed that something strange was happening in the ocean. Within a matter of minutes, the sea had wiped out life as she had known it. In a new memoir, called simply Wave, she recalls her experience with the tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people, including her own family.

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Joe's Big Idea
12:39 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Wanna Play? Computer Gamers Help Push Frontier Of Brain Research

This image represents a chunk, or "cube," of brain. Each different color represents a different neuron, and the goal of the EyeWire game is to figure out how these tangled neurons connect to each other. Players look at a slice from this cube and try to identify the boundaries of each cell. It isn't easy, and it takes practice. You can try it for yourself at eyewire.org.
EyeWire

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 12:39 pm

People can get pretty addicted to computer games. By some estimates, residents of planet Earth spend 3 billion hours per week playing them. Now some scientists are hoping to make use of all that human capital and harness it for a good cause.

Right now I'm at the novice level of a game called EyeWire, trying to color in a nerve cell in a cartoon drawing of a slice of tissue. EyeWire is designed to solve a real science problem — it aims to chart the billions of nerve connections in the brain.

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Author Interviews
12:38 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Skipping Out On College And 'Hacking Your Education'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 2:18 am

The cost of college can range from $60,000 for a state university to four times as much at some private colleges. The total student debt in the U.S. now tops credit card debt. So a lot of people are asking: Is college really worth it?

There are several famous and staggeringly successful college dropouts, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Larry Ellison. You may not end up with fat wallets like them, but Dale Stephens says you can find a different education path.

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Your Money
12:35 am
Tue March 5, 2013

For Baby Boomers, Lessons In Financial Basics

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 10:54 am

The oldest of the baby boomers came of age in the 1960s and are beginning to retire. Their younger cohorts are still putting kids through college and building careers. Baby boomers are a giant portion of the population — 78 million people, by one estimate.

They grew up in an era of rising living standards, but the Great Recession destroyed any sense of financial security — and many nest eggs. Financial planner Tim Maurer outlines a variety of issues boomers face.

Who is a baby boomer, and what defines their financial situations?

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Author Interviews
12:34 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Jeb Bush: Legal Residency, Not Citizenship, For Illegal Immigrants

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa, Fla.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:44 am

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents, says the United States should overhaul its laws to make immigration easier and to give illegal immigrants a way to legal residence, not citizenship.

Bush lays out his plan with co-author Clint Bolick in the new book Immigration Wars. Bush tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that they propose legalizing undocumented immigrants "after there is a recognition that if people come here illegally, they have to pay a fine or do community service [and] make sure they don't commit any serious crimes."

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The Two-Way
7:49 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Artist Prepares To Light Up San Francisco's Bay Bridge Like Never Before

An image taken from a video of The Bay Lights. The lights will be turned on Tuesday, at 9 p.m. PT.
The Bay Lights

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 4:13 pm

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge "is the Rodney Dangerfield of bridges," as our friends at KQED say. While the Golden Gate gets respect and tourists, the Bay Bridge simply does its job. But the humble span will shine Tuesday, thanks to 25,000 light-emitting diodes.

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Music Interviews
7:48 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Woody Guthrie's Indelible Mark On American Culture

Woody Guthrie singing aboard a New York City subway train.
Eric Schaal Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 6:51 am

The summer of 2012 marks the centennial of the birth of American folk icon Woody Guthrie, on July 14, 1912. A poet of the people, Guthrie wrote some of America's most important songs, including "This Land Is Your Land." He penned ballads that captured the heart of hard economic times and war.

While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Fannie And Freddie Announce Plans To Merge Some Operations

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 4:00 pm

The government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced today that they would try to merge some of the operations the two companies currently perform separately.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Indian On Hunger Strike For 12 Years Charged With Attempted Suicide

Activist Irom Sharmila is flanked by a policeman, left, and a supporter, on Monday in New Delhi. Sharmila has been on a hunger strike for 12 years to protest an Indian law that suspends many human rights protections in areas of conflict.
Tsering Topgyal AP

Hunger strikes are often used in India as a method of protest — but try being on one for 12 years.

That's how long it's been since Irom Sharmila last ate on her own. She is protesting an Indian law that suspends human rights guarantees in conflict-ridden parts of the country. The government is force-feeding her through a tube. And on Monday, Sharmila was charged with attempted suicide.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

'Batman' Turns Over Wanted Man To Police In England

Batman brings in a wanted man to a police department in England.
West Yorkshire Police

Batman has apparently given up Gotham for a stint in the northern English town of Bradford.

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Commentary
2:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Cologne: Cultural Choice Or Necessity?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Can we keep evolving as we get older? That's a question comedian and commentator Kevin Heffernan decided to explore. And his approach to changing himself was an aromatic one.

KEVIN HEFFERNAN, BYLINE: Cologne, it's a life choice. Some say it's hereditary. If your dad did it, you will. Like what sports team you root for or circumcision. Some say it's cultural. Some say it's a necessity.

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