NPR News

All this winter, Morning Edition has been creating The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix by asking people what music makes them move. NPR's own Susan Stamberg says her favorite workout method, Jazzercise, is inherently musical.

Ohio is one of 10 states holding contests to pick their party's presidential nominee on Super Tuesday, but it has been the main focus of attention for GOP candidates because it will be a major battleground state in the general election this November.

The conventional wisdom has been that whoever takes Ohio in the general election goes on to win the White House, which gives Tuesday's contest a lot of potential momentum for the eventual winner.

They're Nobody And Want To Know Everything

Mar 4, 2012

Two mysterious men pull up to the courthouse and head to the public records office. They're strangers, and they ask a lot of strange questions like, "I'd like to look at Mayor John Doe's property deeds." Or, "I want to see Congressman Smith's voting records."

(Sock) Monkey Business: A Festival For Iconic Toy

Mar 4, 2012

Adele Jedynak makes monkey sounds to a group of kids who are steps away from playing Sock Monkey bowling and plush-primate parachuting. It's all part of the Sock Monkey Madness Festival, the eighth annual festival dedicated to the sock monkey in Rockford, Ill.

Every so often, pieces of heaven crash into Earth.

They can come from our own solar system, or millions of light years away. Few of us are lucky enough to get our hands on one of these space rocks. But for meteorite hunters and dealers such as Ruben Garcia, touching a piece of outer space is a daily routine.

The Best Hunting Grounds

One of Garcia's favorite spots to go meteorite hunting is an enormous dry lake bed in southern Arizona.

The vast majority of the 175 indigenous languages still spoken in the United States are on the verge of extinction.

Linguist Elizabeth Little spent two years driving all over the country looking for the few remaining pockets where those languages are still spoken — from the scores of Native American tongues, to the Creole of Louisiana. The resulting book is Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Lost Languages.

A Hollywood Writer's Second Act: Gongs

Mar 4, 2012

There's a Mystery Machine sitting outside Andrew Borakove's nondescript warehouse on a quiet street in Lincoln, Neb.

"I can never be depressed driving around town, because there's always some 4-year-old waving to me manically," Borakove says.

The mystery about the Scooby Doo replica van starts to fade, however, once you notice the bumper stickers on the back. Black background, white font, like a "Got Milk?" ad: "Happiness Is a Warm Gong." "Gongs, Not Bongs." "My Child Is an Honor Gong Player."

Financial Woes Keep Spanish Airport Grounded

Mar 4, 2012

Spanish politicians spent $220 million on the sparkling new Castellon airport on Spain's Mediterranean coast — $40 million alone was spent on TV ads and other marketing. They also paid $600,000 for ferrets and falcons to kill birds that endanger aircraft.

Yet no plane has yet taken off. Construction, which began in 2004, went over budget, partly to fund a 75-foot statue of a local politician out front.

Eric Cantor Endorses Mitt Romney

Mar 4, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a key endorsement Sunday morning when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia endorsed Romney on NBC's Meet the Press.

Cantor cited the economy as the top issue of the campaign.

"What I have seen is a very hard-fought primary. And we have seen now that the central issue about the campaign now is the economy," Cantor said. "I just think there's one candidate in the case who can do that, and it's Mitt Romney."

Residents in parts of the Midwest and South are recovering from a wave of deadly and destructive tornados and storms. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Pastor B.J. Donahue of Piner Baptist Church in Piner, Ky., who describes what his town looks like now.

Paris has become a virtual ghost town as families vacate the city for two weeks of ski holiday, a time-honored ritual the French seem disinclined to give up. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, on to Super Tuesday. In two days, 10 states will cast votes in the GOP presidential nominating contest. It will be the largest single day of voting yet in the Republican race.

And Mara Liasson joins us with analysis. She is NPR's national political correspondent.

OK, Mara. Do you think Romney's win in Washington state may foreshadow what may come on Super Tuesday? I mean 10 presidential contests happening that day.

Russians Vote Amid Calls Against Fraud

Mar 4, 2012

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Russians are voting today in an election that's expected to return Vladimir Putin to the presidency. There's not a lot of suspense about the choice, but there are big questions about whether a growing segment of Russian society will accept the result. Russia's parliamentary elections, in December, were tainted by allegations of massive vote fraud. This time, thousands of volunteer poll watchers have been deployed to try to curb any attempts to rig the vote.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL MARCH)

When President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, he is expected to try to convince Netanyahu to put off any plans his government may have to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Martin Indyk, director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and a former U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pulled ahead of his rivals in Washington State's presidential straw poll on Saturday, with more than one-third of the votes. Romney finished well ahead of Ron Paul, who himself squeaked past Rick Santorum by just over 500 votes. Newt Gingrich had to settle for about one vote in 10.

Virginians will choose between just two candidates on the state's primary election ballot Tuesday: Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

The rest of the Republican candidates failed to collect enough signatures last fall to get on the state's printed ballot. But that hasn't made Romney and Paul's campaigners complacent.

At the headquarters for each candidate in Northern Virginia, volunteers and staff are busy gearing up for Super Tuesday, when voters in 10 states will pick their party's nominee.

Suzanne Ciani's start in music was traditional enough. She was classically trained, majored in music at Wellesley College, and got a fellowship to study composition at UC Berkeley. But when she arrived there in the mid-1960s, just in time to witness the student protests that consumed the Bay Area during that decade, her focus shifted.

In Israel, a country where citizens serve a mandatory military service of two to three years, the exemption of some is a topic of heated debate. That debate is even fiercer now that Israel's Supreme Court has struck down a law that excused ultra-Orthodox Jews from serving in the military.

The decision highlights growing tensions between the religious and secular elements of Israeli society. As the ultra-Orthodox population continues to grow, many are asking what part they will play in the Jewish state.

'They Need To Contribute, Too'

In southern China, a village that rebelled against corrupt Communist officials has elected the main protest leaders as its new village committee leaders. Reformers are hoping this could be a template for defusing unrest through grassroots democracy, but others say the experience of the rebellious village is unique.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh apologized today to a Georgetown University law student he called a "slut" and a "prostitute" this week. His comments about Sandra Fluke, who testified on Capitol Hill that insurers should provide no-cost contraception, outraged women's groups and others, including the president, who called her on Friday.

The famed mystic Rasputin — notorious for his otherworldly powers and his sexual escapades — may not have seemed like a traditional family man, but in fact, he had a wife and three children.

His eldest daughter, Maria, is at the center of Kathryn Harrison's new novel, Enchantments, a dark fairytale mash-up of history and magical realism set during the last days of Imperial Russia.

More than 2,000 young people in Pennsylvania are trying to put one of the nation's worst juvenile justice scandals behind them. It's been a year since a former judge was convicted in the so-called "kids for cash" scandal.

New rules intended to protect the rights of children took effect this week, but questions about Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system remain.

Oil giant BP has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from its well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal was announced late Friday and prompted a federal judge in New Orleans to postpone a Monday trial, but the proposed settlement solves only one piece of BP's legal exposure from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

The animal disease center that the Homeland Security department has maintained since Sept. 11 has fallen into disrepair. A proposed new location in Kansas has been riddled with neighborhood concerns, safety threats and escalating costs. Laura Ziegler of Harvest Public Media reports.

Mormons around the world are getting this warning Sunday: Stop posthumous baptisms of "unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims."

"Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors," says a letter to be read in every Mormon congregation. "Those whose names are submitted for proxy [baptisms] should be related to the submitter."

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Mar 3, 2012

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Predictions

Mar 3, 2012

Now that Fox is developing a sitcom that takes place at an NPR station, our panelists predict what the pilot episode will be about.

Who's Carl This Time?

Mar 3, 2012

Carl reads three quotes from the week's news: Rich Man, Gaffe Man; The Next Big War; and Muggles Rejoice.

Opening Panel Round

Mar 3, 2012

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

We want to remind everybody that they can join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago. For tickets to our shows and more information, you can go to wbez.org and you can also find a link at our website, which is waitwait.npr.org.

Pages