NPR News

Pages

NPR Story
5:25 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Sen. Kaine's Bill Would Limit Obama's Options Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation's highest military officer, said he would recommend putting U.S. troops on the ground to fight ISIS if airstrikes are not enough to defeat the militant group.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
4:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Congressional Panels Chastise NHTSA Over GM Ignition Problems

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
4:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Gaza's Fate Rests On Whether Hamas And Fatah Can Co-Exist

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
4:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Congress Thrust Into Election-Year Debate Over ISIS Plan

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defend the president's strategy before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:46 am

With just days to go until Congress is expected to go home until November, the House and Senate are moving quickly to pass legislation that would authorize the Obama administration's strategy to fight the so-called Islamic State group. The election year debate over the president's request is showing divisions that go beyond party lines.

There are Republicans like Rep. Chris Gibson of New York, who says he can't support a plan with language drafted by members of his own party. Gibson says right now, there's no political partner in Syria to broker an agreement with.

Read more
Parallels
3:17 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Not Every Afghan Institution Is Efficient; This One Is

An Afghan firefighter emerges from the smoke from a fire in a Kabul clothing market in 2012. The fire department is remarkably professional in a city where few institutions function.
Mohammad Ismail Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 9:19 am

There are certain sounds you don't ever want to hear in life — in Afghanistan or elsewhere. One is the sound of sirens and a fire truck pulling up outside your house.

But, when flames are roaring out of your garage and are lapping at the side of the house, the sirens are a welcome sound of hope.

It must have started, we think, when our aging generator caught fire. The flames don't even flinch at the spray of our household fire extinguishers.

Read more
Energy
3:16 am
Wed September 17, 2014

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down.
Dan Boyce Inside Energy

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:26 am

The cost of solar panels is falling rapidly in the United States. And as the panels become more affordable, they're popping up on rooftops around the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to find better ways to back up its power system against blackouts. And while it may seem counterintuitive, more solar power does not mean fewer blackouts — at least not yet.

The tiny town of Del Norte, in southwestern Colorado, is a perfect example. Despite being covered in solar panels, Del Norte is still at risk of losing power if its main power line goes down.

Read more
Goats and Soda
3:15 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Will Obama's Plan Bring The Ebola Outbreak Under Control?

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:32 am

It is the biggest anti-Ebola effort yet.

After months of calls by aid workers for the global community to do something about the escalating crisis, President Obama has announced plans for a massive international intervention.

Read more
National Security
3:14 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Keeping Watch On America's Vertical Borders

Agents at the Air and Marine Operations Center at an Air Force Reserve base in Riverside, Calif., track 20,000 to 25,000 flights a day for suspicious activity.
Master Sgt. Julie Avey AMOC

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

Inside a cluster of nondescript buildings on a military base in Southern California, the big radar room at the Air and Marine Operations Center looks vaguely like NASA Mission Control.

Thirty-two federal agents sit at Dell PCs, each one watching a different region of the country, monitoring private planes that might be carrying drugs or terrorists.

They don't find many. But they watch everything larger than an eagle that moves in U.S. airspace.

Read more
Code Switch
3:12 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Breaking Bad' Fans Get Their Fix In Spanish

In Metástasis, Diego Trujillo (center) plays Walter Blanco, a chemistry teacher who sells crystal meth with his former student José Miguel Rosas, played by Roberto Urbina.
Manuel Rodriguez UniMás

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:39 am

How do you remake the award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad in Spanish?

Well, all you need — as the show's chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer, Walter White, might say — is "a little tweak of chemistry."

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:11 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Top Scientists Suggest A Few Fixes For Medical Funding Crisis

Dr. Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize winner, cancer biologist and director of the National Cancer Institute.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:53 am

Many U.S. scientists had hoped to ride out the steady decline in federal funding for biomedical research, but it's continuing on a downward trend with no end in sight. So leaders of the science establishment are now trying to figure out how to fix this broken system.

It's a familiar problem. Biomedical science has a long history of funding ups and downs, and, in the past, the system has always righted itself with the passage of time and plumper budgets.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:06 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Vikings Now Say Adrian Peterson Is Banned From Team Activities

Andy Clayton-King AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:55 am

Updated at 7:15 a.m. ET:

The Minnesota Vikings announced early Wednesday morning that they had placed running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt/commissioner's permission list.

The change to Peterson's status "will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved," according to a statement issued by the team.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Boeing And SpaceX Win $6.8 Billion In NASA Contracts

In an image provided by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik prepares to enter Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for an evaluation at the company's Houston Product Support Center. NASA awarded Boeing with a $4.2 billion contract Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:29 pm

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build the vehicles that will transport its astronauts to the International Space Station, putting the two American companies on a course to take over a job that NASA has recently relied upon Russia to perform: carrying out manned space flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says vehicles from the two companies are expected to be ready for service by 2017.

Announcing its decision Tuesday, the space agency included these details:

Read more
Goats and Soda
4:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Dr. Kent Brantly: Ebola Survivor Gives Testimony On The Hill

Dr. Kent Brantly was medical director at Monrovia's only Ebola treatment center when he fell ill with the disease in July. He survived after being evacuated and treated in the United States.
Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

Dr. Kent Brantly, a U.S. medical missionary who contracted Ebola in July while working as a doctor in Liberia and survived the deadly disease after treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, appeared at a joint Senate hearing today examining the Ebola outbreak.

Read more
Goats and Soda
4:13 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

More Birthdays For Kids Under 5 Around The World

Jung Ha-yoon, 2, and other children in Seoul, South Korea, enjoy playing around (and in) ceramic jars. The country's infant mortality rate dropped 91 percent between 1972 and 2012.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:12 pm

In 2013, 6.3 million children under the age of 5 died. That's a tragic statistic — yet it represents a 49 percent drop from 1990, according to data released Tuesday by the United Nations.

Dr. Mickey Chopra, the head of UNICEF's global health programs, spoke with us about the encouraging trend — and what still needs to be done in parts of the world where children's lives are threatened by unsanitary water, disease and malnutrition.

Read more
The Salt
3:59 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

A strawberry vanilla WikiPearl made with Stonyfield frozen yogurt.
Stonyfield and WikiPearl, Inc.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:48 am

A handful of companies are trying to take an idea straight out of Willy Wonka and turn it into reality: edible packaging. I mean, why dump tons of waste into landfills when the container your food comes in could be a part of the snack?

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Breast Cancer Patients Seek More Control Over Research Agenda

Coalitions of patient advocates now help steer research funding toward particular projects.
Lilli Carré for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:08 pm

The federal government has poured more than $3 billion into breast cancer research over the past couple of decades, but the results have been disappointing. The disease remains a stubborn killer of women.

So the National Breast Cancer Coalition is trying something bold: The advocacy group has decided that it's not simply going to lobby for more research dollars. Instead, its leaders are sitting down at the table with scientists studying the disease and telling them how they'd like that money to be spent.

Read more
The Salt
3:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Thanks To Nutella, The World Needs More Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, in all their glory.
Ingrid Taylar/Flickr

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:48 am

Nutella, that sinfully indulgent chocolate-hazelnut spread, turns 50 this year, and it's come a long way, baby.

There's even a "Nutella bar" in midtown Manhattan, right off Fifth Avenue, tucked inside a grand temple of Italian food called Eataly. There's another Nutella bar at Eataly in Chicago. Here, you can order Nutella on bread, Nutella on a croissant, Nutella on crepes.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Obama Gives New Details On America's Effort To Fight Ebola

President Obama spoke Tuesday about the U.S. plan to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, speaking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House plan reportedly includes deploying 3,000 U.S. military personnel and training health care providers in Liberia.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:51 pm

President Obama announced details of his plan Tuesday to help contain the Ebola outbreak that has caused more than 2,400 deaths in West Africa. The strategy reportedly includes sending up to 3,000 military personnel to the region.

Obama spoke at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday afternoon.

Update at 4:18 p.m. ET: 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

The president describes "a major increase in our response." Some details:

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Americans' Waistlines Are Expanding, And That's Not Good Fat

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:31 pm

If your belt needs to be let out a notch, you're not alone. The average American waistline is growing even though obesity rates haven't grown. And excess abdominal fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The collective American waistline grew by more than an inch from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:46 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Colleges Brainstorm Ways To Cut Back On Binge Drinking

Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi conducts a "knock and talk" at a house near campus, reminding students of laws on underage drinking and open containers.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:48 pm

It's early Friday night, and Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi is just starting the late shift. At a white clapboard house, he jumps out of his SUV to chat with four students on the front steps.

"S'up guys!" he calls out, assuring them he just wants to chat. All are underage but one, and that one tells Pirolozzi he has a string of alcohol violations from past years. Pirolozzi banters a bit. He tells them to "call anytime," and reminds them not to walk around the street with open containers.

Read more
Goats and Soda
2:12 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Which Contagious Diseases Are The Deadliest?

Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases)
NPR Composite CDC

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:47 pm

No one knows what the death toll in the Ebola epidemic will be. As of Tuesday, nearly 2,500 people have died and nearly 5,000 have caught the virus, the World Health Organization says.

So how does this epidemic compare with the toll taken by other contagious diseases?

Read more
The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Belgium Agrees To Euthanize Man Convicted Of Murder, Rape

Inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken, seen here in court last autumn, says he wants to die because he sees no progress in the mental problems that were linked to his crimes of murder and rape.
Herman Ricour AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:14 pm

In a country whose laws don't allow for the death penalty, the case of a Belgian man who sees himself as a threat to society — and wants to die — is putting new focus on Belgium's health care and justice system, as well as its laws allowing euthanasia.

After an appeals court in Brussels approved a deal allowing inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken to die from an assisted suicide, the country's justice minister cleared the way for his transfer to a hospital late Monday.

Read more
NPR Story
1:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sheriff Defends Use Of Military Equipment

The images of combat vehicles rolling in to confront demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, provoked national debate over police departments receiving military equipment.

Since 2006, the Pentagon’s Excess Property Program has supplied police departments with almost 80,000 assault rifles, more than 600 armored vehicles, and hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of other equipment.

Read more
NPR Story
1:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Detroit's Post-Bankruptcy Blues

Monument to Joe Louis in downtown Detroit. (memories_by_mike/Flickr)

Detroit is one step closer to ending its bankruptcy ordeal after it reached a settlement with one of its remaining creditors.

Syncora Guarantee Inc. has withdrawn its objections to the city’s restructuring plan in return for a deal worth a fraction of the $200 million the company said it was owed.

Still, when Detroit does emerge from bankruptcy it doesn’t mean its revenue problems will be over.

Read more
NPR Story
1:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Trump Plaza Hotel And Casino Closes Its Doors

Ruth Hardrick, a dealer who worked at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino for 26 years, stands with friend, Anthony Powell, on The Boardwalk, as she answers a question after the casino closed early Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Trump Plaza is the fourth Atlantic City casino to go belly-up so far this year. (Mel Evans/AP)

After 30 years in business Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey is closing its doors.

This is the fourth hotel in the coastal gambling destination to close this year. Has Atlantic City lost its luster?

Vince Mazzeo, state assemblyman representing New Jersey’s 2nd Legislative District speaks with Herw & Nows Jeremy Hobson about the casino closures.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:27 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

13 Days Of High Emotion That Led To The Egypt-Israel Peace

As President Jimmy Carter looks on, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (left) shakes hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David on Sept. 6, 1978.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:13 pm

When President Jimmy Carter decided to bring Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David in 1978 to broker peace talks, his hope that the two men would like each other was "completely naïve and mistaken," says journalist Lawrence Wright.

The first couple of days turned into a screaming match.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled nearly two weeks ago that BP acted recklessly in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig accident and oil spill.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:04 am

Back in school, did you ever fudge the spacing on a report to meet the teacher's page-length requirement? Lawyers representing oil company BP tried something similar in a recent court filing connected to the company's 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Odile Leaves Wreckage In Mexico And Threatens Flooding In U.S.

Cars sit in a flooded street in San Jose del Cabo Monday, after Hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:48 pm

Hurricane Odile is now a tropical storm, but it's still bringing heavy rainfall and power outages to the Baja Peninsula and surrounding areas. And a second storm could threaten the western coast of Mexico and the U.S. later this week.

Odile is still carrying sustained winds of more than 50 mph — and projecting tropical storm winds up to 150 miles from its center, according to the National Hurricane Center, which expects the storm to weaken into a tropical depression by early Wednesday.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:20 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help

The physical therapist will advise, but you're going to have to do the work.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:56 am

I have fond memories of listening to NPR while lounging at the physical therapist's with a heating pad on my shoulder. Don't do that, the nation's physical therapists' association says.

Heat therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other "passive physical agents" almost never help, according to a list released Monday by the Choosing Wisely campaign. Instead, they siphon time and money away from what you really want from a physical therapist — an exercise program that will restore strength and mobility.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:57 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Dempsey Says If Needed He Would Recommend Ground Forces In Iraq

Members of the anti-war activist group CodePink interrupt a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:57 pm

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers today that while the president has ruled out "boots on the ground" as part of a campaign to destroy the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq, he was prepared to recommend a combat role for U.S. advisers or ground troops if the situation warrants.

Read more

Pages