President Obama rejected Wednesday a proposal to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast — generating intense debate in both countries. Murray Mandryk, political columnist for the Leader-Post of Sasketchewan, offers a Canadian perspective on the controversy.
Sue Freeman, 78, checks her e-mail at her home in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Saturday. An experimental stem-cell procedure last July led to a marked improvement in her eyesight.
Credit Melissa Forsyth for NPR
Sue Freeman, 78, washes Brussels sprouts at her home in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Saturday. Prior to getting an experimental stem-cell procedure last July, Freeman couldn't cook, read or recognize faces.
Credit Melissa Forsyth for NPR
Sue Freeman at her home in Laguna Beach, Calif. "It was pretty amazing," she says of the improvement in her vision. "I was like kind of looking at everything new again, just sort of going around and first not believing it."
Two women losing their sight to progressive forms of blindness may have regained some vision while participating in an experiment testing a treatment made from human embryonic stem cells, researchers reported today.
The report marks the first time that scientists have produced direct evidence that human embryonic stem cells may have helped a patient. The cells had only previously been tested in the laboratory or in animals.
Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 10:09 am
Most housing set up to help the homeless comes with a strict no-booze policy.
But a study on a controversial complex in Seattle that allows chronic alcoholics to keep drinking suggests the lenient approach can work too.
Homeless people with alcohol problems decreased their consumption over two years at the facility, called 1811 Eastlake. The average amount of alcohol consumed on a typical drinking day by the 95 study participants had decreased by about 25 percent at the end of the two-year study.
Saying it was a "blatant interference in its internal affairs," Syria rejected an Arab League plan that the organization hoped would bring an end to the violence.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the official state news agency, the government condemed the plan and accused the Arab League of arming terrorist groups, which they say are responsible for killing civilians and attacking state facilities.
Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 10:32 am
Mitt Romney is reeling. Newt Gingrich is surging. Rick Santorum is hanging on. And Ron Paul continues to zig while others zag.
So goes the rollicking but inconclusive — so far — Republican presidential contest, as it moves from small ball to big time in Florida for a Jan. 31 primary in which some 4 million state Republicans are eligible to vote.
Perspective? More Florida Republicans have already cast early ballots than all New Hampshire votes tallied for the top three finishers in that state's Jan. 10 GOP primary, about 197,000.
Using strong words, Pakistan's military officially rejected a U.S. report, which concluded a NATO strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops was undertaken in self defense. Pakistan's military said parts of the report were "factually not correct."
Two people were killed in the Birmingham, Ala. area after severe storms rolled through the South and Midwest. The storms, reports the AP, triggered tornado warnings in five states.
Currently, the National Weather Service said it expects tornadoes, hail, thunderstorms and winds up to 75 mph to move through Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. These kinds of storms, reports the NWS, are uncommon in the middle winter.
Aiming to reset the narrative after Saturday's bruising loss in South Carolina, Mitt Romney said he would release his 2010 tax returns on Tuesday. The former Massachusetts governor made the commitment last night in an interview with Fox News.
Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 11:06 am
The European Union officially agreed to impose an embargo on Iranian oil, today. The AP reports that the union's 27 foreign ministers agreed on an immediate ban on new contracts for oil and existing contracts will be allowed to run through July 1.
Surely I am not the only one who has harbored secret dreams of being an heiress — not the nouveau riche kind with a reality television crew trailing behind me, but the sort with a full staff, gobs of silver and afternoons spent on the hunt. Though I've come around to my untitled American life, I still adore reading books about drafty old houses and the privileged people who inhabit them.
The New York Giants made the Super Bowl with a three-point win over San Francisco. The New England Patriots made the Super Bowl with a three-point win over Baltimore. Now Las Vegas oddsmakers are taking bets on the big game. The Patriots are favored to win by three.
Court opinions are usually not that exciting but a judge in Chicago is trying to liven up his rulings with illustrations. In one, he used an iconic photo of Bob Marley. The case was about a prisoner's right to keep his dreadlocks on religious grounds.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Having sent observers to examine protests in Syria, Arab leaders have offered a plan to end the violence there. The proposal comes from the Arab League, a group of Arab nations. And NPR's Kelly McEvers has been following this story. She's in Beirut.
KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hello.
INSKEEP: OK. So what do the Arab leaders want to do?
Here's a name back in the news: R. Allen Stanford. In the midst of the financial crisis he was charged with running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme against thousands of investors in the United States and Latin America. Now his trial is set to begin today in Houston.
From member station KUHF, Andrew Schneider has more.
Over the past half-century more than 20 million acres of U.S. farmland were transformed into housing developments. With new home construction all but stopped, farmers in many areas are buying or leasing land once slated for development and planting crops on it.
The two men who helped turn the BlackBerry into a device many people can't live without have stepped aside. Research in Motion is the company behind the BlackBerry and Sunday its co-CEOs resigned. They were under a lot of pressure as investors wonder whether the Canadian firm can turn itself around and compete better with flashier phones like the iPhone.
And now, let's bring in NPR's Cokie Roberts, as we do most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: Well, yesterday, Newt Gingrich was all over the airwaves saying this is now a two-man race, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney - no Rick Santorum in there, as far as he's concerned, or Ron Paul, for that matter.
Tens of thousands of people are attending the Jaipur Literature Festival in India — including many international literary stars and Oprah Winfrey. Author Salman Rushdie was invited but decided not to attend after a warning that hit men would be after him. Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses which has been banned in India for more than 20 years.
David Greene checks in with Jennifer Gibbons, editor of "The Cordova Times" in Cordova, Alaska. We last heard from her two weeks ago when her community had declared an emergency during its efforts to dig out of record amounts of snow.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is campaigning in Florida following a big loss over the weekend to Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary. Romney told a crowd that Gingrich resigned in disgrace after four years as speaker of the House.
GOP presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kicks off his Florida campaign with a rally at All-Star Building Materials in Ormond Beach, Fla., Sunday. Romney starts his Florida primary campaigning after having lost to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina on Saturday.
Credit Jose Luis Magana / AP
GOP presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich poses for a photo with supporters after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., Sunday.
In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the tally stands at 1-1-1. Over the weekend, former House speaker Newt Gingrich re-established himself as a presidential contender with a resounding victory in South Carolina's primary.
He beat second-place finisher former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by more than 12 points. That means Romney, Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have each won a nominating contest. Now all eyes are on Florida.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives for a news conference Dec. 22 to announce that he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., negotiated a deal on the payroll tax cut that was set to expire at the end of the year.
The last battle scar of 2011 for the GOP came in December, when House Republicans painted themselves into a corner on extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut. The fight exposed the party's internal rifts and the loose control of its leaders.
One GOP lawmaker called it "a public relations fiasco." They could compromise with the Democrats or allow taxes to go up — neither option palatable to large portions of the majority.
Booksellers and publishers are worried that Amazon is going to devour their industry. The giant online retailer seems to have its hands in all aspects of the business, from publishing books to selling them — and that has some in the book world wondering if there is any end to Amazon's influence.