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Education
1:42 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Taking Ivy League Classes Online, For Free

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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NPR Story
1:21 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

First Lady Fights Obesity With Moves And Good Food

First Lady Michelle Obama gardens in Soweto township, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The first lady has planted a garden on the South Lawn of the White House — it's the first vegetable garden to be planted there since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden.
Charles Dharapak AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:43 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

'Whitey' Bulger's Girlfriend Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison

This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of Whitey Bulger.
AP

The girlfriend of the notorious mob boss James J. 'Whitey' Bulger has been sentenced to 8 years in prison, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive.

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National Security
12:44 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Ahead Of Moscow Talks, U.S. Options On Iran

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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From Our Listeners
12:44 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Letters: Jobs For Teens And Buddy Guy

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:34 pm

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.

Your Money
12:44 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Improving The Lives Of Single Moms And Their Kids

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Former British PM John Major Says Murdoch Tried To Influence Policy

Former British Prime Minister John Major arrives to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics at the High Court in London, on Tuesday.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

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.

The AP explains:

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It's All Politics
12:24 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Liberal Group Excitedly Eyes Millions Of Potential Latino Voters

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."

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

World Is 'Hellish Nightmare' In Player's 10-Year Long Strategy Game

If you're a fan of Waterworld, then the vision of the future in the Civilization II game played by "Lycerius" may be to your liking. (Kevin Costner in a scene from that 1995 movie.)
Getty Images

"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.

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Music Reviews
11:45 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Edmar Castaneda's 'Double Portion' Of Harp

Edmar Castañeda's new album is titled Double Portion.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:46 pm

The Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda was born in Bogotá, 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.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:42 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Panel Questions Benefits Of Vitamin D Supplements

A woman pours two tablets into her hand from a pill bottle.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 7:35 am

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.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Verizon Introduces 'Groundbreaking' Pricing Scheme, But Is It Really Different?

Verizon's new plan is the biggest revamp in wireless pricing in years, and one that's likely to be copied by other carriers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

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 — dubbed "Share Everything" by the company — 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.

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Author Interviews
11:10 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Under The 'Nuclear Shadow' Of Colorado's Rocky Flats

cover detail: Full Body Burden

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 2:40 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Employers Could Fill Jobs If They Trained More, Complained Less, Prof Says

At any gathering of business owners, you're likely to hear about how hard it is to fill jobs because of a "skills gap."

Lots of employers say they want to hire welders, software engineers, nurses, oil-field workers and so many others, but can't find applicants with the right talents and education.

But Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and director of its Center for Human Resources, says these complaints are largely bunk.

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Business
10:34 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Trouble Finding Jobs? It Might Be The Software

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.

The Two-Way
10:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Blood, Smoke, Fear: U.N. Video From Syria

"We are not animals!" this man told U.N. monitors in Syria.
United Nations

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 — where the monitors were shown blood-stained ruins and where a man angrily declares:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Doctors Have Trouble Keeping Up With Painkiller Abusers

A pharmacy technician counts generic Vicodin tablets at Oklahoma Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla.
Sue Ogrocki AP

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.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Elinor Ostrom, First Woman To Win Nobel In Economics, Dies

Elinor Ostrom in January 2011.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 2:10 pm

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, died this morning at Indiana University's Health Bloomington Hospital.

The university says that the 78-year-old distinguished professor succumbed to cancer.

Ostrom shared the 2009 Nobel. As the prize committee said at the time:

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Alcatraz Escapees Didn't Return 50 Years Later? Says Who?

An Alcatraz cell.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Sure, "there was no sign of the men," as Laura Sullivan and Ben Bergman reported on Morning Edition.

The legend was that Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin would reappear Monday on Alcatraz Island — 50 years to the day after they escaped in one of the most daring prison breaks in U.S. history.

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Economy
8:55 am
Tue June 12, 2012

The Fed's Tough Job Gets Harder In Election Year

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke hasn't said whether the central bank will act to further stimulate the economy.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Americans who fear the economy is losing steam would like to see the Federal Reserve turn up the heat.

That might happen when the central bank holds its next meeting June 19-20. The Fed could take steps to drive interest rates even lower, or create fresh piles of cash to stimulate growth.

But with the election season gearing up, the Fed's ability to act boldly may be restrained. That's because the monetary policymakers want to preserve the Fed's credibility as a nonpartisan entity.

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Planet Money
8:06 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

Jestina Clayton, would-be braider.
Jim Urquhart AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 5:21 am

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.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Tue June 12, 2012

JPMorgan Knew Of Risks, 'WSJ' Reports

"Some top JPMorgan Chase executives and directors were alerted to risky practices by a team of London-based traders two years before that group's botched bets cost the bank more than $2 billion," The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

The Dingo Did Take The Baby

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton holds her daughter Azaria's death certificate as ex-husband Michael Chamberlain (left) looks on after a coroner ruled today that a dingo snatched the baby from a tent in the Australian desert 32 years ago.
Patrina Malone AFP/Getty Images

A coroner in Australia has agreed that the dingo did in fact take the baby — "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:

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Remembrances
7:18 am
Tue June 12, 2012

'Dynasty' Costume Designer Nolan Miller Dies

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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History
6:26 am
Tue June 12, 2012

50 Years Later, Mystery Of Alcatraz Escape Endures

Alcatraz on the 50th anniversary of the escape of inmates Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin.
Annie Tritt for NPR

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" — 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.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Syrian Children Are Being Killed, Tortured And Used As Shields, U.N. Says

A Syrian boy sits in the rubble of house destroyed during a military operation in April in the town of Taftanaz, Syria.
AP

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.

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Political Junkie
5:48 am
Tue June 12, 2012

A Congressional Election In Arizona We All Wish Didn't Have To Take Place

Giffords resigned her seat in January after 4 years in Congress.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 9:48 am

If Republicans had their way, there would not have been a gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin. An unnecessary waste of time, many of them said.

Democrats, for the most part, disagree. Scott Walker's policies, they argued, mandated the recall election.

As for today's special election in Arizona's 8th Congressional District, both Democrats and Republicans agree that it shouldn't be taking place at all.

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Strange News
5:38 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Stealthy Cow May Stand In For Psychic Octopus

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

Strange News
5:30 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Massachusetts Town OKs Fines For Profanity

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

U.S.
4:53 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Massive Wildfire Burns Out Of Control In Colo.

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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