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It's All Politics
4:21 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Justice Department, Texas Face Off In Court Over Voter ID Law

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:54 pm

The Justice Department and the state of Texas faced off at trial Monday over the state's new voter identification law, which the Obama administration claims violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

In opening arguments before a three-judge panel in federal district court in Washington, D.C., a lawyer for Texas argued that the photo ID requirement was intended to limit voter fraud, not to curb turnout of legally registered voters.

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The Record
4:09 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Essence In New Orleans: A Festival That Knows Its Audience

Mary J. Blige performs during the 2012 Essence Music Festival at Louisiana Superdome on July 7.
Erika Goldring Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:23 pm

For the last 18 years, the Essence Music Festival has been the go-to event for African-Americans, especially African-American women. For three days in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands show up for R&B and gospel concerts and panels on politics, financial planning and parenting.

If it's a party, as creator George Wein describes it, it's a party with a purpose.

"New Orleans is a party city and they party," Wein says. "People party here. If you go to the hotels — 40-floor hotels — [there's] like 40 floors of parties."

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Afghanistan
3:54 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

A Taliban Execution Brings Back Painful Memories

A screen grab from the video of a public execution reportedly carried out last month in Afghanistan. The victim is sitting with her back to the executioner, who is at left.
Agence France Presse

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:33 pm

Earlier today, we published and distributed a story by Ahmad Shafi recounting his experience witnessing a public execution in Kabul in 1998. Since the story was published, it has come to our attention that portions of the piece were copied from a story by Jason Burke, published by the London Review of Books in March 2001. We have removed Shafi's story from our website.

It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Swing State TV Stations Spiking Ad Rates As Campaign Cash Pours In

President Obama at a stop on his bus tour of Ohio in Port Clinton on July 5.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:19 pm

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

In Egypt, Court Says Its Decision On Dissolving Parliament Is Final

Workers clean inside the Egyptian parliament in Cairo on Monday.
Mohammed Asad AP

Today there were two big developments in Egypt:

First, Egypt's high court reaffirmed that its decision to dissolve parliament was final and binding. Over the weekend, the newly-elected President Mohammed Morsi had called parliament back into session defying the court's earlier decision.

Reporting from Cairo, Kimberly Adams told our Newscast unit that this sets up a "political showdown."

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The Salt
3:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Brits Battle For Cheesy Glory By Writing National Anthem For Cheddar

The British Cheese Board is looking for a national anthem for cheddar cheese.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:54 am

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Sports
3:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Pitcher R.A. Dickey's Tale Is As Wild As A Knuckleball

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers his signature pitch, with its unusual grip, against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 6. He's the only knuckleballer in the major leagues, and the pitch has earned him a 12-1 record so far this season.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 10:32 pm

R.A. Dickey's career as a major league pitcher has been as unpredictable as his signature pitch, the knuckleball.

And on Tuesday night, the New York Mets' 37-year-old phenomenon will hit a new pinnacle: the pitching mound at baseball's All-Star Game.

He won't be starting for the National League — manager Tony La Russa chose Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants for that honor. But the manager says says Dickey will pitch.

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All Tech Considered
3:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Father Of The Cellphone 'Unleashed' World's Callers From Copper Wires

Martin Cooper holds a Motorola DynaTAC, a 1973 prototype of the first hand-held cellular telephone, in San Francisco in 2003. Cooper made the world's first public call from a cellphone in 1973.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:37 pm

They called it "the brick." And Martin Cooper says it really did look like one: 8 inches high, an inch and a half wide, 4 inches deep, and weighing 2 1/2 pounds.

In other words, the world's first hand-held cellphone, the Motorola DynaTAC, weighed the equivalent of about eight iPhones. (Try jamming that into a pocket.)

"The battery life was only 20 minutes," says Cooper, a former vice president at Motorola who has been called the "father of the cellphone." "But that was not a problem because you couldn't hold that heavy thing up for more than 20 minutes."

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Around the Nation
3:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Texas Defends Voter ID Law

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:38 pm

A federal panel on Monday began hearing a lawsuit by the state of Texas against the U.S. Department of Justice, to allow the state's new voter ID law to go into effect. The Justice Department has blocked the law, arguing that it violates the Voting Rights Act by disproportionately harming Hispanic voters, who are less likely to have the required photo ID. Melissa Block speaks to NPR's Pam Fessler.

Technology
3:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

What's Next For BlackBerry?

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:38 pm

Melissa Block speaks to NPR's Laura Sydell about the outlook for BlackBerry and its creator, Research in Motion.

Health Care
3:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Texas Rejects Medicaid Expansion In Health Law

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Texas is saying no to key parts of the federal health care law. Today, Governor Rick Perry said Texas will not create a state exchange for people to buy health insurance and will not expand Medicaid. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Perry called both provisions a power grab, brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.

Here's Governor Perry today on Fox News.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:06 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Why Silk May Someday Be Added To Vaccines

Soft to the touch, silk may also help preserve vaccines and drugs someday.
Fiorenzo Omenetto Tufts University

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:36 pm

Silk is in neckties, scarves and some fancy underwear and pajamas. Before too long, it might just help keep people from getting sick with measles or polio.

Vaccines play an important role in health, but can be tricky to transport to the far corners of the world. Many vaccines and some other drugs require constant refrigeration — from the factories where they're made to the places where they're ultimately injected into people.

That's where silk comes in.

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It's All Politics
3:03 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Who 'Owns' The Bush Tax Cuts?

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:53 pm

They're called the Bush tax cuts for a reason. And when they were passed in the early 2000s, most Democrats opposed them.

Cut to a decade later: President Obama is calling for a second extension in as many years of the "temporary" cuts, but it won't come without a fight from congressional Republicans.

Given the apparent role reversal, who owns the George W. Bush-era tax cuts now: Democrats or Republicans?

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Four More Charged In Border Patrol Killing Linked To 'Fast And Furious'

With wanted posters off to the side, James L. Turgal, Jr., right, FBI Special Agent in Charge, listens as Laura E. Duffy, United States Attorney Southern District of California, announces the indictments on five suspects involved in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Monday.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 2:14 pm

The Justice Department has unsealed criminal charges against four more people it says are connected to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, as the FBI offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of the fugitives.

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Judging The Health Care Law
1:55 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Congress' Big Stick Just Got a Little Shorter

Susan Clark (left) argues with another protester about the Affordable Care Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts likened the law's Medicaid expansion provision to "a gun to the head" of states.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:58 pm

Nothing breeds lawsuits like uncertainty. That being the case, the Supreme Court's landmark health care ruling is almost certain to open the door to lawsuits challenging the federal government's authority.

The court ruled the federal government can't force states to participate in a major expansion of Medicaid or else risk losing existing Medicaid funds from Washington. That threat amounted to unconstitutional coercion.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
1:37 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Teen Years Pose New Risks For Kids Born With HIV

A boy waits to get his anti-AIDS drugs from pharmacist Rajesh Chandra at the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Center of Excellence in Gaborone.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 10:33 pm

The southern African nation of Botswana is grappling with a relatively new problem in the evolving AIDS pandemic: It now has a large group of HIV-positive adolescents.

The teenagers were infected at birth before Botswana managed to almost wipe out mother-to-child transmission of the virus. These children have survived because of a public health system that provides nearly universal access to powerful anti-AIDS drugs.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

PHOTO: A New Panoramic View Of Mars

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took this panoramic view of the planet between Dec. 2011 and May.
NASA

NASA has released a new, stunning panoramic image of Mars. The scene is stitched from 817 images taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity from Dec. 2011 to May.

To do the image justice, you have to download the hi-resolution version, but be warned it's close to 14 MB.

Here's how NASA describes the scene:

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NPR Story
1:31 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Joy Harjo's 'Crazy Brave' Path To Finding Her Voice

Joy Harjo has won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year for her album Winding Through the Milky Way.
Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:51 pm

In her new memoir, Joy Harjo recounts how her early years — a difficult childhood with an alcoholic father and abusive stepfather, and the hardships of teen motherhood — caused her to suppress her artistic gifts and nearly brought her to her breaking point. "It was the spirit of poetry," she writes in Crazy Brave, "who reached out and found me as I stood there at the doorway between panic and love."

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Shots - Health Blog
1:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Texas Gov. Perry Says No To Medicaid Expansion

Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 3:31 pm

Any doubt, and there probably wasn't much, that Texas would reject an expansion of Medicaid under the big federal health law was dispelled today.

The Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows states to opt out of the expansion without losing all federal Medicaid funding. Only the federal money that would have gone toward the expansion is affected.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

2.97 Million And Counting; '66 Volvo Is Nearing Its 3 Millionth Mile

Irv Gordon in his trusty Volvo P1800S earlier this month.
Seth Wenig AP

"It's just a car I enjoy driving."

That's for sure.

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Around the Nation
12:59 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Storms Hurt Grid And Power Companies' Credibility

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:42 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. At the end of last month, a line of powerful storms left millions without electricity in the midst of record-breaking heat. The storms killed some as trees fell on houses and cars, then the heat took more lives as people sweltered without fans or air conditioning.

The heat wave's broken, the power's back on for most, but the widespread outages left many frustrated and angry. What took so long? Can't we protect power lines? And what about the crews who arrive to help out?

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Opinion
12:59 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Op-Ed: Now's The Time For A Candid Candidate

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:42 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now, the Opinion Page. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes famously carried a lantern in daylight in hopes of finding an honest man. In an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post, Kathleen Hall Jamieson embarked on an even more changeling quest: a search for an honest politician. Now more than ever, she wrote, with a public highly anxious about the economy and worn down after years of promises that things would get better, the time is ripe for a candid candidate.

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Middle East
12:59 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Reporting From Yemen Amid Ongoing Drone Attacks

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:42 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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The Salt
12:45 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Part Science, Part Art, Pollinator Pathway Connects Seattle Green Spaces

This tiger swallowtail butterfly is a pollinator that could benefit from a little more green space.
Jim, the Photographer

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:34 pm

When we think about improving urban food systems, we tend think about growing more vegetables — densely planted backyard plots and community gardens, with tiny tomatoes ripening in the sun. But according to some experts, we should start thinking smaller — way smaller — as in bugs.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Lance Armstrong Sues To Block U.S. Anti-Doping Hearing

Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Panama.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:05 pm

Update at 5:58 p.m. ET. Lawsuit Dismissed:

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Lance Armstrong that sought to stop a USADA hearing into accusations of doping. The AP reports:

"U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled just hours later. He criticized Armstrong's attorneys for filing an 80-page complaint the judge says seems more intended to whip up public opinion for his case than focus on the legal argument.

"Sparks, however, did not decide on the merits of Armstrong's case and said he can refile his lawsuit."

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Libya May Buck Arab Spring Trend And Elect Moderate Prime Minister

Mahmoud Jibril speaks to in Tripoli, Libya on Sunday.
Manu Brabo AP

Over the weekend, about 1.7 million Libyans cast a ballot to choose a prime minister. Like Tunisia and Egypt before it, these elections are the first free elections since a revolution toppled the country's dictator.

Moammar Gadhafi ruled since 1969. As Reuters reports, while there were some violent incidents and anti-vote protests, international observers gave the election process a thumbs up.

Reuters reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:58 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Virus Suspected In Mysterious Cambodian Outbreak

A Cambodian doctor examines a child at Kantha Bopha Children's Hospital in Phnom Penh.
Khem Sovannara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 3:41 pm

An investigation into a perplexing outbreak among young kids in Cambodia is getting traction.

Doctors have identified a potential cause, a virus associated with hand, foot and mouth disease. (The illness is not foot-and-mouth disease, which affects only animals.)

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Author Interviews
10:46 am
Mon July 9, 2012

'The Life That Follows' Disarming IEDs In Iraq

Brian Castner served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2007, deploying to Iraq to command bomb disposal units in Balad and Kirkuk in 2005 and 2006.
Joey Campagna Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 1:46 pm

Brian Castner arguably had one of the most nerve-wracking jobs in the U.S. military. He commanded two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in Iraq, where his team disabled roadside IEDs, investigated the aftermath of roadside car bombings and searched door to door to uncover bomb-makers at their homes.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Romney Raised $106 Million In June; Obama Raised $71 Million

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on July 4 in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Kayana Szymczak Getty Images

For the second month in a row, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his party have raised more money than the Democratic incumbent, President Obama.

Romney and his fellow Republicans hauled in $106 million in June for his presidential campaign, well above the $71 million raised by the president's campaign and Democrats. Both campaigns released their fundraising figures for the month earlier today.

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Africa
10:23 am
Mon July 9, 2012

1-Year-Old South Sudan: Potential To Be Harnessed

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 11:04 am

Transcript

MARIA HINOJOSA, HOST:

I'm Maria Hinojosa and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, violence continues to erupt across Syria. We'll talk to a human rights activist who has seen it firsthand. That's in a few minutes.

But first, a year ago today on July 9, 2011, the world's newest nation was born in Africa.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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