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4:11 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Obama Defends Campaign Attacks On Romney

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Think of this as blowback. President Obama's campaign has intensified the questioning of Mitt Romney's business record.

MONTAGNE: That is what candidates often do - work to define the opponent. Republicans are pushing back, defending Romney's record at a private equity firm and attacking the attack.

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Europe
2:24 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Spain's Beloved Four-Day Weekends Are At Risk

People relax at a beach in Barcelona, Spain, on a Monday last summer. Many Spanish workers are upset that some traditional four-day holiday weekends might be scaled back to just three days.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:36 am

One of the perks of living in Europe is the generous vacation schedule. But the austerity moves across the continent could be changing that, at least in some places. Portugal, for example, recently cut four of its 14 annual holidays.

And Spain is shuffling its calendar to shorten extended weekends — something the prime minister says it can no longer afford. The change could mean the loss of a celebrated tradition: the four-day weekend.

A Holiday For Bullfighting

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Middle East
2:23 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Next Goal For Egypt's Islamists Is The Presidency

Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate, appears at a rally in Cairo. Morsi is one of 12 candidates in this week's election and has the full backing of the powerful Islamist group.
Fredrik Persson AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:28 am

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party was the big winner in Egypt's parliamentary elections, and now the group has its sights set on the presidential election, with voting set for Wednesday and Thursday.

The Brotherhood had initially said it wasn't going to field a candidate for president. But what is arguably Egypt's most powerful and social organization changed its mind at the last minute.

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Asia
2:21 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Mongolia's Dilemma: Who Gets The Water?

Amin-Erdene Galkhuu pumps well water to her family's Bactrian camels in Mongolia's South Gobi region. Herders and mining firms both need water in this arid area.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:47 am

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

Second of four parts

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Business
2:16 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Time To Move Grandma: What To Do With Her Home?

Frank Christian takes a break from packing in the dining room of his home in Glen Allen, Va., which he co-owned with his mother. The family recently sold the home in order to free up money for Ida's care.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:04 am

Making the decision to move a parent out of the homestead can hurt.

The house may be full of good ghosts and happy memories. But it also has too many steps and too much lawn to mow. So the time comes to pack up and move on.

A decade ago, at least one part of that transition wasn't so tough. When the for-sale sign went up, an eager buyer was likely to show up with a good offer. But today, families are facing a much more difficult real estate environment.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:21 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

All Routine PSA Tests For Prostate Cancer Should End, Task Force Says

Terry Dyroff, at home in Silver Spring, Md., got a PSA blood test that led to a prostate biopsy. The biopsy found no cancer, but it gave him a life-threatening infection.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 1:33 pm

There they go again — those 17 federally appointed experts at the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are telling American doctors and patients to stop routinely doing lifesaving tests.

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Law
5:43 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Court: No Benefits For Kids Conceived After Dad Died

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:21 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that that a Florida man's children, conceived after his death through in vitro fertilization, are not entitled to Social Security survivors benefits. More than 100 similar cases are pending before the Social Security Administration, but Monday's ruling is unlikely to resolve most of them.

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Medical Treatments
5:36 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Task Force: Men Don't Need Regular Prostate Tests

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:00 pm

A federal task force has concluded that men over 50 don't need a regular blood test for prostate cancer. Millions of men get the test every year. The task force says too many unnecessary treatments are being performed because of the test.

Music News
5:35 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Garbage: After An Absence, Always The Oddball

"I wanted to make loud, guitar-driven rock again," says Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson, on the band's reunion.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:46 am

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Parallel Lives
5:20 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Obama Made A Strong First Impression At Harvard

While a student at Harvard Law School, Barack Obama became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 6:57 am

From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Obama's time at their shared alma mater.

Harvard professor Laurence Tribe is a sort of legal rock star, particularly among liberals. First-year law students he has never met don't just show up at his door saying, "I want to work for you." At least they didn't until March 31, 1989.

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It's All Politics
5:05 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Obama: Romney's Bain Record Is No Distraction

"This is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about."

That's what President Obama said during a press conference in Chicago minutes ago, when he was asked what he thought about Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker's critique of the campaign ad about Mitt Romney's time as CEO of Bain Capital.

If you missed it, Booker made news by going off message on Meet the Press.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Obama: U.S. Making 'Diligent Progress' With Pakistan

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 5:06 pm

President Obama said the U.S. was making "diligent progress" in their negotiations with Pakistan over the reopening of a crucial supply line into Afghanistan.

Obama said he didn't think that issue would be solved by the end of the NATO Summit in Chicago, but "we are making diligent progress on it."

Obama and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari met on the sidelines of the summit. Obama said while their talk was brief he "emphasized... Pakistan has to be part of the solution" in Afghanistan.

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All Tech Considered
3:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

We Ask The Pros: Should You Friend Your Boss On Facebook?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:21 pm

As part of a new tech segment, we're starting a social media advice column in which we'll ask experts your questions about how to behave online. This week's experts are Baratunde Thurston, former digital director of The Onion and author of How To Be Black, and Deanna Zandt, author of Share This!

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Poetry
3:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

NewsPoet: Carmen Gimenez Smith's Day In Verse

Carmen Gimenez Smith visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Claire O'Neill NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:30 am

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

SpaceX Spacecraft Will Attempt Lift Off For A Second Time On Tuesday

SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral in Florida was scheduled to launch Saturday morning, but aborted just before liftoff.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:43 am

The SpaceX unmanned rocket will try to lift off again, after its first attempt was scrubbed a half-second before launch on Saturday.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:21 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Catholic Groups Sue Obama Administration Over Birth Control Rule

In a compromise, President Obama proposed to allow religious universities and charities offer birth control coverage through their own health insurers.
iStockphoto.com

So much for compromise.

A total of 43 Catholic educational, charitable and other entities filed a dozen lawsuits in federal court around the nation Monday, charging that the Obama Administration's rule requiring coverage of birth control in most health insurance plans violates their religious freedom.

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World
3:14 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

For Chinese Dissidents, Exile Can Mean Irrelevancy

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife, Yuan Weijing, arrive at an apartment complex in New York on Saturday. A number of Chinese activists have become far less prominent after leaving their homeland, but Chen hopes to continue his work and remain relevant in China.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:21 pm

U.S. diplomats were relieved this weekend when China allowed a prominent dissident, Chen Guangcheng, to fly to New York with his family.

China, too, is presumably happy that Chen is no longer in the country doing his advocacy work. Chinese exiles tend to fade into obscurity when they leave the country, and Beijing might be counting on that to happen with Chen.

But social media may be changing this equation.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:13 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Katie Beckett Defied The Odds, Helped Other Disabled Kids Live Longer

Katie Beckett fits herself with a vibrating vest that helps clear mucous from her lungs. A nurse comes over to her apartment in Cedar Rapids to help her do this twice a day. On the wall to the right are pictures of Katie as a child with Ronald Reagan. This story starts twenty-nine years ago with an angry President Ronald Reagan. <> We just recently received word of a little girl who has spent most of her life in a hospital. <> The little girl in the hospital was three-year-old Katie Beckett. Because of a brain infection, she needed to be hooked to a ventilator at night to breathe. Her parents wanted her home. Her doctors said she'd be better off at home. And it'd be cheaper, too: Just one-sixth the cost.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:46 am

A few years ago, I asked a 13-year-old girl who was receiving care for cystic fibrosis on a Medicaid program known as the "Katie Beckett waiver" if she knew who Katie Beckett was. "Probably some kind of doctor," the girl said.

It was a logical guess. But Beckett was another child with a significant disability, and she changed health care policy for hundreds of thousands of other children with complex medical needs. On Friday, Beckett, at age 34, died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, of complications from her disability.

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Hail The Conquering Chicken! A Story Of Dinner Plate Domination

Timothy Archibald Courtesy Smithsonian magazine

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 11:23 am

Why did the chicken cross the road? That's just about the only bit of chicken-related trivia not answered by the cover story in Smithsonian magazine's new food issue this month.

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Europe
3:09 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

In Fiery Protest, Italian Museum Sets Art Ablaze

Antonio Manfredi, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Casoria, Italy, burns an artwork by French artist Severine Bourguignon. Manfredi is burning the museum's works to protest deep cuts to the arts.
Roberta Basile AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:21 pm

Casoria is a small town in the Naples hinterland known mostly as a hotbed of the local mafia. But last month, it achieved a different kind of notoriety when Antonio Manfredi, director of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) launched his provocative challenge to the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Manfredi's "art war" consists of setting works of art on fire to protest cuts to Italy's arts budget. He's pledged to incinerate two or three pieces of art each week from a museum collection housing about 1,000 exhibits.

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It's All Politics
2:54 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Booker, Bain, Romney & Obama: Ad Wars Go Full Circle And Then Some

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Bennett Raglin Getty Images for Macy's

This is a classic chain of events that never seems to go out of style in an election year.

First one of the presidential campaigns put out videos that it says are informational but critics say are attack ads. This time, it's President Obama's team and the target is Republican rival Mitt Romney. The point of the spots, such as this one, is to make the case that when Romney ran Bain Capital, some of the companies the investment firm took over ended up shedding jobs rather than creating them.

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Parallel Lives
1:59 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

At Harvard, Romney Wasn't Your Typical Student

Mitt Romney already had a young family during his time at Harvard, which set him apart from most other students. Here, Romney is with his wife, Ann, and two sons at a business school clambake in 1973.
Courtesy of The New York Times

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 8:37 am

From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at their shared alma mater.

When Mitt Romney attacks his Democratic opponent on the campaign trail, he often derides President Obama's Ivy League credentials.

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Television
1:39 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Networks Must Adapt To Decline In TV Viewers

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Advertising executives gathered in New York City last week to get their first look at the fall primetime television lineup. The four big networks announced decisions to cancel some shows, including stalwarts like "CSI: Miami" and "Desperate Housewives." And they also welcomed newcomers, including lots and lots of new comedies. But this is all happening against the backdrop of a dwindling audience. It used to be that the network's losses were cable televisions gain, but cable ratings are also down.

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Education
1:38 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Students Find It's Tough To Graduate In Four Years

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 2:35 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Only a little over half of fulltime students graduate with a bachelor's degree within six years of starting college. Educators blame the low rate on students who decide to adjust their course loads, take time off or drop out of school altogether.

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Opinion
1:33 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Op-Ed: Send Message Of U.S.-NATO Solidarity

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:44 pm

In recent years, critics have questioned the need for a U.S.-European alliance, originally formed to confront the Soviet Union. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright argues the president and NATO leaders must reaffirm the importance of their union to U.S. security.

NPR Story
1:29 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Spitzer's Apology Changes 'Ex-Gay' Debate

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 1:40 pm

Dr. Robert Spitzer's research was widely cited by those who conduct conversion therapy as proof that it worked. Dr. Spitzer says his findings were misinterpreted, and apologized. The American Psychological Association has said there is no evidence that it's possible to change sexual orientation.

After our show, NPR reached out to Exodus International for a statement. The full text of that response follows.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Someone Couldn't Count To 10, So British Olympian Can't Claim Personal Best

Heptathlon athlete Jessica Ennis in March at the official British team kit launch for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Warren Little Getty Images for adidas

When she hit the tape Sunday at the Powerade Great City Games in Manchester, England, Britain's Jessica Ennis hadn't only beaten Olympic heptathlon champion Dawn Harper.

Ennis had also run a personal best 12.75 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles — 0.04 of a second faster than she'd ever run that race.

It was her personal best, that is, until 2004 Olympic heptathlon bronze medalist Kelly Sotherton, also of the U.K., tweeted this question:

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Queen Elizabeth's Stylist: A Servant Breaks In The Queen's Shoes

A flag with Queen Elizabeth II's portrait made entierly of Legos is pictured in the window of a shop in central London.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

We'll get back to real news in no time, but we just couldn't resist a couple of curious details that a Sunday Times' interview (pay-wall) with Queen Elizabeth's sylist for 11 years revealed.

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All Tech Considered
12:50 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Military Addresses Double-Edged Sword Of Troops On Social Media

At Forward Operating Base Payne in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Odriscoll looks at pictures of his sister on Facebook. Troop access to social media has been both a blessing and curse for the military.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:21 pm

Inside a plywood shack at a combat outpost in Marjah, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, three Marines sit before a bank of computers provided by the military to help keep up morale. The dingy outpost is made up of a collection of tents where troops live among swarms of flies and the constant hum of generators.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:20 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Health Think Tank Crunches Health Prices For The Masses

Ricardo Reitmeyer iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 8:06 am

It turns out we may not know nearly as much about all the money spent on health care in the U.S. as we thought we did.

But there's a new group that wants to, well, remedy that.

The problem, Martin Gaynor, chairman of the Health Care Cost Institute, told Shots, is that "two-thirds of the population has private [health] insurance, but most of the information comes from Medicare."

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