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Movie Interviews
11:05 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Hollywood Bug Man Understands How Cockroaches Think

Entomologist Stephen Kutcher has wrangled insects for more than 100 films, commercials and music videos.
Courtesy of Stephen Kutcher

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:33 am

When most people see bugs on the big screen, they squirm, panic or squeal. But not Steven Kutcher. Kutcher is the man responsible for getting those insects on the screen. He's been Hollywood's go-to bug wrangler since the 1970s, handling, herding and otherwise directing insects in over 100 feature films.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Ukraine: Military Standoffs And High Tensions Reported

Pro-Russian marchers (foreground) walk past pro-Ukrainian marchers gathered in Simferopol, capital of Ukraine's Crimea region, Saturday. Several hundred pro-Ukrainian protesters marched peacefully through the city center to a Ukrainian military base that's been blockaded by pro-Russian militants and soldiers.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 8:52 am

Members of pro-Russian forces and Ukraine's military have engaged in several tense standoffs in the largely autonomous region of Crimea, but they have also avoided violence in what's widely seen as a dangerous and uncertain situation. Diplomats are still working to find a possible solution.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:04 am
Sat March 8, 2014

A Kid Named Carl Stirs Up The Bach Musical Dynasty

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, captured around 1733, in a portrait by one of his relatives, Gottlieb Friedrich Bach.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 8:31 am

When it comes to musical dynasties, it's tough to top the Bach family. From town fiddlers to court composers, the Bachs dominated German music for seven generations. Today, Johann Sebastian towers above all his relatives, but there's another important Bach we shouldn't forget — especially today, on the 300th anniversary of his birth.

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Parallels
11:03 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Spain's Robin Hood Mayor Fights For 'Communist Utopia'

Radical Mayor Sanchez Gordillo objects to agricultural subsidies for the land elite. At a rally, he embraces a unionista who wanted to start a communal agricultural project on military-owned land.
Jorge Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 8:31 am

On a sweltering August day in 2012, the mayor of a tiny Spanish town, fed up with the country's economic conditions, did something drastic. It was the height of the economic crisis and most Spanish politicians were away on summer vacation.

With dozens of supporters, Mayor Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo of Marinaleda marched into the local supermarket in a neighboring town.

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Education
11:03 am
Sat March 8, 2014

What The U.S. Can Learn From Finland, Where School Starts At Age 7

President Barack Obama sits with students during a tour of a Pre-K classroom at Powell Elementary School in Washington, D.C., this week.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 9:00 am

Finland, a country the size of Minnesota, beats the U.S. in math, reading and science, even though Finnish children don't start school until age 7.

Despite the late start, the vast majority arrive with solid reading and math skills. By age 15, Finnish students outperform all but a few countries on international assessments.

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Code Switch
11:02 am
Sat March 8, 2014

What World Of Warcraft Can Tell Us About Race In Real Life

"What's an orc gotta do to get a cab in this town???"
Blizzard Entertainment

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 7:27 am

World of Warcraft is trying to reduce racial inequality. Don't worry, this isn't about racial disparities between black, Latino and Asian players — we're talking about gnomes and trolls and orcs here.

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Shots - Health News
11:02 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Reaching The Young And Uninsured On A Texas Campus

Nobody plans to wind up in the emergency room, but costly accidents happen — even to healthy young people.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:55 am

At lunchtime on the North Harris campus of Houston's Lone Star Community College, students stream through the lobby of the student services center, plugged into their headphones or rushing to class.

Many walk right past a small information table about the Affordable Care Act.

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Politics
11:01 am
Sat March 8, 2014

CPAC Is A Siren Call To GOP Presidential Hopefuls

At CPAC this year, even Sen. Rand Paul's cardboard cutout was drawing attention. The Kentucky lawmaker was leading in the straw poll among attendees Friday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 11:00 am

Start with a big ballroom at a resort hotel just outside D.C. Add thousands of conservative activists. Stir in hundreds of political journalists, and you've got an irresistible attraction for any Republican presidential hopeful.

For those with their eye on the Oval Office, it's also an early audition before a key audience.

It's the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC for short — where there's always talk of the next presidential election. This year as many as 10 possible 2016 candidates were invited to speak during the three-day event.

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Simon Says
10:57 am
Sat March 8, 2014

'Unproductive Anxiety' And The Solo Act Of Essay Writing

The essay portion of the SAT exam will become optional in 2016, the College Board announced this week.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 8:31 am

"If you are squeamish
Don't prod the
beach rubble."

Those wise words from Sappho, the Greek woman lyric poet born around 610 B.C. came to mind this week when the College Board announced it will make the essay on the SAT exam optional.

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Books News & Features
10:56 am
Sat March 8, 2014

From Uganda To The Midwest, 'All Our Names' Draws Portraits Of Love

creacart iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 8:31 am

In his latest book, Ethiopian-American writer Dinaw Mengestu explores the nature of loneliness, violence and love. Mengestu is known for his novels about the immigrant experience in this country, but this book, All Our Names, is something of a departure. Much of the story unfolds in Africa and there are two narrators: One is a young man who flees violence and revolution to seek refuge in America, the other is a white woman who has never left the Midwest.

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Author Interviews
10:56 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Meet The Murdering, Kidnapping Imposter Who Fooled Walter Kirn

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 6:46 am

Walter Kirn has written insightful, best-selling novels — including Up in the Air and Thumbsucker, which were made into movies. He's an expert in the art of fiction.

So why did he fail to see the signs of falsehood in real life?

When Kirn was just starting his novel-writing career, he met a man who was a bold financier, an art collector, a fussy eccentric, a dog lover and a Rockefeller. They became friends.

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Health Care
10:55 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Affordable Care Act Isn't Perfect, But It's A 'Pretty Good Structure'

Courtesy of Public Affairs

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 9:20 am

For the Affordable Care Act to be considered a success years down the road, Ezekiel Emanuel believes that all Americans must have access to health coverage, and it must be better quality and lower cost. "And I think it's well within our grasp," he says.

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Economy
10:55 am
Sat March 8, 2014

What Germans Know Could Help Bridge U.S. Workers' Skill Gap

President Barack Obama promotes job training at General Electric's Waukesha, Wis., gas engine plant in January.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 8:31 am

Job training programs are failing to turn out enough skilled workers to fill job openings in the U.S., a phenomenon that puzzles some European companies that expand into the U.S.

President Obama freely admits that America needs to improve the way it trains workers. In a speech at a General Electric manufacturing plant in Wisconsin earlier this year, he said, "We gotta move away from what my labor secretary, Tom Perez, calls 'train and pray.' You train workers first and then you hope they get a job."

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Shots - Health News
10:52 am
Sat March 8, 2014

When Facts Are Scarce, ER Doctor Turns Detective To Decide On Care

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:55 am

It's just past midnight on a freezing Saturday night in Washington, D.C.

In the last hour, five ambulances have arrived at the emergency room where I work. A sixth pulls up.

The paramedics wheel out a stretcher carrying a man, 73, strapped to a hard board, a precaution in case his spine is fractured. There's blood around his neck brace and a strong smell of urine.

"We found him by his bed," a paramedic tells me. The patient told the paramedics he slipped. "Reports back pain and some cuts and bruises," one of them adds.

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The Two-Way
10:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Edward Snowden Tells EU Parliament He Wants Asylum In Europe

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 8:01 pm

In written testimony before the European Parliament, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he is seeking asylum in the European Union but he has not received "a positive response to the requests I sent to various EU member states."

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