Honduran officials said last week's prison fire that killed 360 was started by accident, when an inmate fell asleep with a lit cigarette. Previous reports in local media had pinned the blame on a prison riot and there had also been reports that inmates were shot at by guards.
The BBC reports that chief prosecutor Luis Alberto Rubi said autopsies of 277 inmates showed no evidence of gunshot wounds and that gasoline did not start the fire.
Millions of people in Yemen turned out to vote Tuesday in an unusual presidential election. There was only one candidate and only one way to vote — yes.
That candidate, Abdrabu Mansour Hadi, was the vice president under Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades. Saleh finally agreed to step down and transfer power to his vice president after nearly a year of mass protests against his rule.
At the movies, life looks like the The Hangover, Part II — the wild and funny part, not the so-sick-you-wish-you-could-die-and-get-it-over-with part.
What 14-year-old out for adventure wouldn't be up for that?
Children who watch movies with drinking scenes are twice as likely to start drinking alcohol themselves, a new study finds. They're also more likely to move on to binge drinking, compared to teens who watch very few movies.
If you head to Yosemite National Park this time of year and stop by Horsetail Fall at just the right time, you might see something spectacular: As the sun sinks low in the sky, the waterfall glows with streaks of gold and yellow — and it looks just like molten lava.
Photographers like Michael Frye flock to the park every February to try to capture the phenomenon. Frye, author of The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite, describes the sight to NPR's Audie Cornish.
With fewer than two weeks remaining before Russia's presidential elections, supporters and opponents of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are trying to show their strength with rallies and demonstrations.
After being stunned by the size of opposition rallies in December, pro-government forces bounced back with competing events of their own.
Robert Ford (left), the U.S. ambassador to Syria, speaks to an unidentified U.S. military attache during a guided government tour in the northern Syrian town of Jisr al-Shughur last June. The U.S. has closed its embassy in Syria owing to security concerns, but Ford is using Facebook to stay involved in the country.
The U.S. evacuated the staff of its embassy in Damascus earlier this month owing to security issues. But that hasn't stopped Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, from using social media to keep in touch with events on the ground, and to try to shape them.
The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will revisit the divisive issue of affirmative action in higher education. The court agreed to hear arguments next fall in a case that challenges the affirmative action program at the University of Texas. By re-entering the fray after more than 30 years of settled law on the issue, the newly energized conservative court majority has signaled that it may be willing to unsettle much of that law.
Khader Adnan, a senior member of the radical Islamic Jihad group, has been held by Israel without charge. Israel agreed Tuesday to release Adnan, 33, who was on a hunger strike for more than two months.
Casaundra Bronner, of Hazelwood, Mo., worked in marketing before being laid off in March 2010. She found a job again in March 2011 but is still uninsured and having trouble getting the health care she needs.
Credit Whitney Curtis for NPR
Randy Howland, of St. Louis, lost his job in September 2009. He has found work again, but he still doesn't have insurance and has had seizures in the past. He pays for medication out of pocket, but doesn't get all the regular testing his doctors recommend.
President Hugo Chavez waves during a military parade in Caracas, Venezuela, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a failed coup attempt he led. After battling cancer last year, Chavez has returned to his high-profile, fiery ways.
Before the rise of Def Jam as hip-hop's definitive record label, there was Profile, which helped shepherd in some of the genre's early shifts in sound and style. A new two-CD anthology, Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, chronicles the label's 15-year history and legacy.
Get ready to dance, because it's Mardi Gras — a day to cut loose before Lent begins. In New Orleans, that means a day of parades, costumes and music everywhere you turn.
For the members of Galactic, Mardi Gras actually started on Monday, with an "annual gig that goes until the sun comes up at local club Tipitina's," saxophonist and harmonica player Ben Ellman says. For the long-running New Orleans funk band, it's one of the biggest gigs of the year.
As humans, we sometimes pay a price for drinking alcohol — in hangovers, or worse. But if you happen to be a young fruit fly, it turns out that alcohol can be just what the doctor ordered.
The pesky little fruit flies often show up when apples or bananas are left sitting around for too long on the kitchen counter. Most folks find them annoying, but Todd Schlenke can't get enough of them.
Would Indiana Rep. Bob Morris approve of his fellow Republican's endorsement of this organization? 1997: Former President Reagan receives cookies from members of Girl Scout Troop #313 as a gift for his 86th birthday.
Saying that the Girl Scouts is a "radicalized organization" that promotes "homosexual lifestyles" and is aligned with honorary president Michelle Obama's "pro-abortion" viewpoint, an Indiana state legislator has told his fellow Republicans he can't support a proclamation honoring the organization's 100th anniversary.
Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 3:06 pm
Greece is looking more and more like one of those "troubled homeowners" we hear so much about.
It's underwater and struggling to cover debts worth far more than its gross domestic product. So nervous lenders are offering to write down some of those loans in hopes of sending Greece a lifeline and keeping Athens current on its payments.
In return, the country has agreed to put its balance sheet in order, a process that is going to be neither easy nor quick.
In the documentary If A Tree Falls, director Marshall Curry tells the story of the rise and fall of the Earth Liberation Front, a group that the FBI once described as America's number one domestic terrorism threat. The film has been nominated for an Academy Award.
The visit of Chinese Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jingping to the United States, raised questions about internal Chinese politics — from human rights to technological development — and how the country will be governed in the future.
Virginia state legislators passed a bill requiring women to receive an ultrasound — which is conducted via transvaginal probe in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy — before having an abortion. Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor for Slate magazine, calls the proposed law "an abomination."
Americans have tended to save more and spend less in the years since the economic downturn in 2008. But according to a survey from BankRate.com, only 54 percent of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including the concept of "black cool," Jeremy Lin and "Linsanity," and which country's constitution Egypt should use as an example.
International tension over Iran's disputed nuclear activities was ratcheted up today, when an Iranian general warned that his country would take pre-emptive action if its national interests were threatened.
Reuters reported Gen. Mohammed Hejazi made his comments in an interview with the semi-official Fars News Agency.
Blues and jazz singer Catherine Russell says she frequently listens to the radio while washing dishes. One night, she was by the sink listening to a Chick Webb compilation when Ella Fitzgerald's "Under the Spell of the Blues" came on. The song struck her.
"The lyric came on, and it was just a beautiful story, and then I [was] compelled to learn the tune, and then I learned about everything surrounding it," she says.
Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 11:35 am
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether it is illegal for mortgage lenders to tack on fees to closing costs for services that were not provided. The case was brought by three Louisiana couples who claim their lender violated a 1974 federal law aimed at preventing abusive practices in real estate closings.
Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 10:54 am
A lanky Libyan man leans hard against the railing, looking out at the waves of the Mediterranean crashing below us on the seafront in Benghazi. He's lost in thought for a moment, then shakes his head and takes a long drag from his cigarette.
"They were dropping like flies," he says. "I knew I was going to die next."
The song "I Got You Babe," on Bahamas' new album, Barchords, is obviously not Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe." This version is an original song the Canadian singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen, who records under the stage name Bahamas, has written about holding and losing someone.
Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 4:19 pm
Researchers have nailed down something scientists, government officials and agribusiness proponents have argued about for years: whether antibiotics in livestock feed give rise to antibiotic-resistant germs that can threaten humans.