Many first ladies choose a mission, and when Michelle Obama moved into the White House, she decided to take up the cause of combating childhood obesity. It's an epidemic that affects up to one-third of all children in the U.S. It's also a personal issue for the first lady. A number of years ago, her pediatrician asked her to rethink her daughters' diets.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener feedback on previous Talk of the Nation programs, including shows on summer jobs for teens, the complications of claiming Native American ancestry and blues guitarist Buddy Guy.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, Isabel Sawhill argued that then-Vice President Dan Quayle was right 20 years ago when he criticized television character Murphy Brown's decision to become a single mom. Sawhill cited statistics that show children in a two-parent family do better at school, then later in life.
Former British Prime Minister John Major told an inquiry that Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul, tried to influence the country's politics during a private dinner in 1997. Major said that Murdoch even hinted that the Prime Minister could lose his media empire's support if he didn't change the way he was dealing with the European Union.
Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:40 pm
It's a given that Latino voters are viewed by both political parties as critical to the the 2012 general election and that polling shows President Obama, and Democrats generally, enjoying a significant advantage with that such voters.
That reality prompted Mitt Romney to tell donors at a closed-door Palm Beach, Fla. fundraiser in April, in remarks overheard by reporters:
"We have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party." He suggested that if the GOP failed to draw significant numbers of Latino voters away from the Democratic Party "that spells doom for us."
"The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." Ninety percent of the population has died from nuclear annihilation or famine. "Three superpowers have been locked in a 1,700-year war" that's "an eternal death struggle."
On Reddit earlier today, a gamer called Lycerius posted those apocalyptic notes about what the year 3991 is like in his decade-long game of Civilization II.
Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:46 pm
The Colombian harpist Edmar CastaÃ±eda was born in BogotÃ¡, and began playing at 13. A few years later, in the mid-1990s, he moved to New York, where he studied jazz trumpet. Then he returned to the harp with a new perspective and set of skills.
An influential panel of experts questioned two big reasons people take vitamin D supplements.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded in draft recommendations released Tuesday that taking less than 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day doesn't reduce the risk for bone fractures among postmenopausal women. And so the task force recommended against doing that.
Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:54 pm
Verizon Wireless announced on Tuesday what it is calling a "groundbreaking" pricing scheme that will "forever change the way customers purchase wireless services."
Essentially what the new plans â€” dubbed "Share Everything" by the company â€” are aiming for is to allow customers to use one bucket of data access to power up to 10 of their devices. The pricing starts at $90 a month, which allows for one smartphone with unlimited voice and text and access to 1 gigabyte of data.
Kristen Iversen spent years in Europe looking for things to write about before realizing that biggest story she'd ever cover was in the backyard where she grew up. Iversen spent her childhood in Colorado close to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons factory, playing in fields and swimming in lakes and streams that it now appears were contaminated with plutonium. Later, as a single mother, Iversen worked at the plant but knew little of its environmental and health risks until she saw a feature about it on Nightline.
Many job hunters are downright frustrated. But one expert says it's not you, it's the employers and a flawed electronic application process that may be preventing qualified people from finding work. Host Michel Martin speaks with University of Pennsylvania's Peter Capelli. He's the author of Why Good People Can't Get Jobs.
Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:36 pm
Stay with this video from the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria. After scenes of smoke rising above Homs and scared-looking families trying to cross highways, it takes viewers inside Talbiseh and al-Rastan â€” where the monitors were shown blood-stained ruins and where a man angrily declares:
The growing awareness about the abuse of prescription painkillers hasn't kept the problem from skyrocketing. In 2008, 14,800 people died of an overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than overdose deaths from cocaine and heroin combined.
The legend was that Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin would reappear Monday on Alcatraz Island â€” 50 years to the day after they escaped in one of the most daring prison breaks in U.S. history.
Note: This post was updated to add audio from Morning Edition.
Jestina Clayton learned how to braid hair as a girl growing up in Sierra Leone. When she was 18, she moved to America. Got married, had a couple kids, went to college.
When she graduated from college, she found that the pay from an entry-level office job would barely cover the cost of child care. So she decided to work from her home in Utah and start a hair-braiding business.
A coroner in Australia has agreed that the dingo did in fact take the baby â€” "settling a notorious 1980 case that split the nation and led to a mistaken murder conviction," as The Associated Press writes.
And Australia's ABC News says Michael Chamberlain and his ex-wife Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton on Tuesday (in Australia) heard words for which they've waited 32 years:
Fans hooked on "Dallas" back in the '80s were probably also watching other popular prime time soaps, including "Dynasty." "Dynasty," like its rival, was about a rich oil family, this one in Colorado, and the women on "Dynasty" defined '80s fashion with their slinky blouses, gold lame, glamorous jewelry, and of course those power suits with the big shoulders.
Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:37 pm
Fifty years ago three men set out into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay in a raft made out of raincoats. It was one of the most daring prison escapes in U.S. history from what was billed as the nation's only "escape-proof prison" â€” Alcatraz.
Most people assume the men have been at the bottom of the bay or were swept out to sea since the night they broke free, tunneling out of their cells in part with spoons from the kitchen and climbing the prisons' plumbing to the roof.
After more than a year's worth of appalling news about atrocities in Syria as President Bashar Assad's regime cracks down on dissent, now there's this:
"New crises have caused enormous suffering for children and continue in 2012. In Syria, children were victims of killing and maiming, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence, by the Syrian Armed Forces, the intelligence forces, and the Shabbiha militia.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Yvonne the cow became famous for her escape from a German farm and certain slaughter. For months she eluded her owner and a friendly bull. Yvonne now hopes to replace Paul the Octopus. You might recall the late Paul predicted the winner for all of Germany's 2010 World Cup matches. Yvonne may not have Paul's powers though. She chose Portugal at a Euro 2012 match. Luckily for Germany she got it wrong. Germany won. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In the southern Rocky Mountains, several destructive wildfires are burning across a vast stretch of parched land and firefighters are struggling to gain control. In Colorado, the High Park Fire which flared up this past weekend is huge, even for a region where wildfires are common. The fires quickly engulfed more than 41,000 acres, destroying dozens of homes and buildings. And there's no end in sight. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC brings us this update.