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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Thu January 9, 2014

French Court Rules Controversial Comedian's Show Can Go Ahead

A French court has ruled that comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, seen here on May 13, 2009, can perform Thursday night in Nantes, France.
Remy de la Mauviniere AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 9:27 am

A French comedian whose performances authorities want to ban because of the act's perceived anti-Semitism has been given the go-ahead to perform in the city of Nantes, France.

A court ruled Thursday that Dieudonne M'bala M'bala's show Thursday night that will open his nationwide tour can go ahead. About 5,000 tickets have been sold for the performance.

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Parallels
10:18 am
Thu January 9, 2014

No Rain On His Parade: Parisian Preserves Art Of Umbrella Repair

An estimated 15 million umbrellas are thrown away in France each year. Thierry Millet is trying to change that, one umbrella repair at a time.
Lejeune Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:21 am

When an umbrella breaks, most people just throw it away — and pick up another one, from a street vendor or maybe a drugstore.

But what if you got it repaired instead? Would you even be able to find someone who could do the work?

In Paris, it's still possible, but just barely. What was once a thriving profession has dwindled dramatically. These days, Thierry Millet, 58, says he is the city's last umbrella repairman.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Book News: Cache Of Letters From 'Frankenstein' Author Found

An image of author Mary Shelley, circa 1830.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:40 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:17 am
Thu January 9, 2014

A Rain Forest Begins With Rain, Right? Is This A Trick Question?

MinuteEarth YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:50 am

Think of a rain forest — rich with trees, covered by clouds, wet all the time.

Then ask yourself, how did this rain forest get started?

I ask, because the answer is so going to surprise you. It's not what you think.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Case Against Clemency: Expert Says Snowden's Leaks Hurt Security

The National Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade, Md.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 8:25 am

A former NSA general counsel tells NPR's Morning Edition that Edward Snowden advertised his theft of government secrets as an act of civil disobedience and should take responsibility.

"He did the crime — he should do the time," says Stewart Baker, also a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

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Shots - Health News
10:16 am
Thu January 9, 2014

How Medigap Coverage Turns Medicare Into A Health Care Buffet

How about back surgery, a cardiac catheterization and an MRI scan?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:01 pm

Restaurants know customers eat more at fixed-price buffets than when they pay a la carte. Economists have been saying for years that the same kind of behavior goes on in the federal Medicare program for seniors and the disabled.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:16 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Anthropology Of Walking

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 9:27 am

Catching up on my journal reading over Christmas break, I came across a study by an international team of anthropologists which points to a fascinating pattern in how humans move across the landscape. Whether foraging for food in Tanzania or walking from Space Mountain to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disney World, we tend to adopt what's called a Lévy walk, a type of random walk where groups of short step lengths are interspersed with longer movements.

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The Salt
10:16 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Is Sugar Addiction Why So Many January Diets Fail?

Indulge or resist? Sugar cravings can be a serious challenge.
iStock

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:34 am

We've survived the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, when rich, sweet treats come at us non-stop. Now is the season of reform, when gym memberships, cleanse books and weight-loss plans sell like gangbusters.

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Business
5:15 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

News Or Ad? Online Advertisers Hope You'll Click To Find Out

Buzzfeed is among a growing number of outlets using native advertising online. The ads mimic the site's look and style, and some link to pages almost indiscernible from a typical Buzzfeed page.
screengrab/Buzzfeed.com

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 8:11 am

The New York Times unveiled a major redesign of its digital offerings Wednesday. With a new scroll feature, readers will never again have to click to read the second half of a story, and the site is crafted to appeal to a mobile audience.

But the redesign has also embraced a controversial shift in journalism: Some posts on the site that look like articles are reported and written by people working for the paper's advertisers.

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Author Interviews
4:58 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

In An Age Of Slavery, Two Women Fight For Their 'Wings'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:29 pm

Sue Monk Kidd's new novel is a story told by two women whose lives are wrapped together — beginning, against their wills, when they're young girls. One is a slave; the other, her reluctant owner. One strives her whole life to be free; the other rebels against her slave-owning family and becomes a prominent abolitionist and early advocate for women's rights.

The book, The Invention of Wings, takes on both slavery and feminism — and it's inspired by the life of a real historical figure.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Solar Flare Will Hit Earth Thursday; Northern Lights May Expand South

Coming At You: An image created by NASA combines two pictures from its Solar Dynamics Observatory. One shows the location of a large sunspot; the other shows Tuesday's massive solar flare.
NASA/SDO

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:51 pm

Tired of reading about intensely cold temperatures? Here's some news that might help take your mind off this week's deep freeze. It could even give you an excuse to hang around outside Thursday.

An intense solar flare is being blamed for disrupting a NASA mission and could force airlines to reroute some flights. That's the bad news. The good news is that the flare is also expected to expand the viewing field of the aurora borealis southward, perhaps down to Colorado and Illinois.

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Economy
2:47 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Coal-Mining Area Grapples With How To Keep 'Bright Young Minds'

Colby Kirk of Inez, Ky., is a junior at the University of Kentucky, studying to be a financial analyst. He says there aren't many opportunities for college grads in his hometown.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 11:23 am

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education and tax cuts to help create jobs.

In the coming year, NPR will explore the impact and extent of poverty in the U.S., and what can be done to reduce it.

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Middle East
2:46 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

As Rebels Fight Rebels, Grim Reports From A Syrian City

The flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, flutters on the dome of an Armenian Catholic Church in the northern rebel-held Syrian city of Raqqa on Sept. 28, 2013. At first, Syrian rebels and civilians welcomed the experienced Islamist fighters, and the groups fought together to take over the city from Syrian troops. Now, many Syrians fear and resent ISIS.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:29 pm

Reports from the Syrian city of Raqqa are dire. In the north-central provincial capital, "the atmosphere has gone from bad to worse," says one activist with a rare link to the Internet. He reports the city is "completely paralyzed," the hospital is abandoned, and there are bodies in the central square. There is no power or water for a city of more than half a million people. Even the critical bread ovens are shut.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

White House Defends War Policy Against Memoir's Harsh Critique

White House press secretary Jay Carney fields questions Wednesday about former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new memoir.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 3:13 pm

The White House rebuffed a largely critical assessment of administration policymaking presented in a new memoir by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, saying disagreements over the course of action in the Afghan war were part of a "robust" internal process.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Germany's Merkel To Visit U.S. Amid Anger Over NSA Spying

President Obama walks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 6, 2013. Relations between the two allies are strained after documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, suggested the agency had spied on Merkel and other world leaders.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:09 pm

German Chancellor Angela Merkel accepted an invitation Wednesday from President Obama to visit the U.S., just months after relations between the two allies hit a low following revelations the U.S. was spying on Merkel and other world leaders.

Obama made the invitation during a conversation Wednesday with the German chancellor. Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesman, said the visit would occur in the next few months.

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