News From NPR

Pages

The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey Among 16 Honored At White House

From one president to another: Former President Bill Clinton receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from current President Obama.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:04 pm

A former president, a baseball legend, a country music star and a woman who's a powerhouse in American media were among 16 people honored Wednesday at the White House with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Read more
Around the Nation
9:43 am
Wed November 20, 2013

The Art Of Letter-Writing Isn't Lost On These Scribblers

Do you write letters anymore? A few determined people are doing their best to keep them arriving in U.S. mailboxes.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:00 am

When was the last time you wrote a letter?

If the answer is "not recently," then you can count yourself among the millions of Americans who just don't write letters anymore. The post office says the average American home receives only one personal letter about every two months.

But there are a few determined people who are doing their best to wreck that average.

"It's becoming a lost art," says Deb Bruzewski.

Every day she curls up on her plaid couch in her home in Auburn, Mich., to write a few of her 60 letters for the week.

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:39 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Why College Campuses Get Hit By Meningitis Outbreaks

Six students and a visitor have fallen ill with meningitis at Princeton University in New Jersey, shown here in August 2013. All have recovered or are recovering, officials said.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:06 pm

For the past nine months, Princeton University in New Jersey has been trying to halt an outbreak of bacterial meningitis in its students without success. So it's going to offer students a vaccine that's not yet approved for broader use in the US.

Since bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the brain and spinal cord that can cause brain damage and death, having it on campus is no small matter.

Read more
All Tech Considered
9:36 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Russian App Wants E-Book Piracy To End, Happily Ever After

Moscow-based app Bookmate has a subscription e-book service — similar to others on the U.S. market, but with more of a focus on targeting piracy in emerging literary markets.
Courtesty of Bookmate

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:55 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Got an innovation you think we should feature? Fill out our form.

Read more
13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:35 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Why We (Should) All Love The Stars

Part of the ALMA array on the Chajnantor plateau of Chile points skyward to the Milky Way, our own galaxy. The center of our galaxy is visible as a yellowish bulge crossed by dark lanes, which are themselves huge clouds of interstellar dust.
José Francisco Salgado ESO

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 9:31 am

Millions of people read their horoscopes every day. They hope to find some kind of answer in those lines, as if the cosmos and its alignments had something to say directly to each one of us. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, indeed, the cosmos spoke to us this way?

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:35 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Kids Are Less Fit Today Than You Were Back Then

There's a reason she's out there all alone. Children worldwide are spending less time on sports and active play and more time with TVs and video games.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 9:44 am

Children around the world are less aerobically fit than their parents were as kids, a decline that researchers say could be setting them up for serious health problems once they're grown up.

Children today take 90 seconds longer to run a mile than kids did 30 years ago, according to data from 28 countries. Children's aerobic fitness has declined by 5 percent since 1975.

Read more
The Salt
9:35 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Can A Fish Farm Be Organic? That's Up For Debate

Employees at Pan Fish USA, a salmon fish farm, unload fish feed on Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Ron Wurzer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 11:34 am

This year, Americans are expected to buy more than $30 billion worth of organic grains, produce, coffee, wine and meats.

Some producers of farmed fish want the chance to get a cut of those profits, and retailers, who can charge a premium price for organic farmed fish, are with them. But an organic label for aquaculture is not coming easy.

Read more
13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:54 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Embracing Life And Death

Given how little we understand about the roots of consciousness, it simply doesn't make a whole lot of sense to make commitments one way or the other when it comes to questions of what exactly dies and how.
Duncan P. Walker iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 11:32 am

It's the question beyond all questions, the central enigma, the unrelenting mystery. Beyond understanding the nature of matter or the origin of species, past the strangeness of quantum computing or the reality of a multiverse, it's there. Always.

I'm talking about death.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:43 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Senate Finance Chairman Floats International Tax Code Overhaul

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., arrives for a hearing with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Capitol Hill last month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:20 pm

The U.S. tax code is messy, complicated and full of loopholes. And if you're searching for the most incomprehensible, technically dense part of that code, international tax law would be a good place to start.

Read more
All Tech Considered
10:37 am
Tue November 19, 2013

This Slide Shows Why HealthCare.gov Wouldn't Work At Launch

A slide from McKinsey & Co.'s outside review of HealthCare.gov, in the spring.
House Energy and Commerce Committee

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 6:07 am

This is a story of contrast between two popular methods of software development. One is called "waterfall," the other, "agile."

Waterfall development favors listing a huge set of requirements for a system up front, letting developers go away for months (if not longer) and expecting a huge software product in the end.

Read more
The Salt
10:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

How To Prepare For Climate Disasters? Artist Says Dehydrate Food

Fan raises egg-laying hens in the yard behind his studio on Staten Island.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:59 pm

Emergency aid workers are rushing this week to get food aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines — just the latest reminder of how vulnerable the food supply can be when disaster hits.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan's Exact Death Toll May Never Be Known

In Tacloban, the Philippines, graffiti on the side of a grounded ship sends a message out to the world.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:30 am

The hard work of getting aid to survivors and accounting for the dead continues in the central and southern Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:20 am
Tue November 19, 2013

University Of Texas Students Cancel 'Catch An Illegal Immigrant Game'

Students walk through the University of Texas at Austin campus near the school's iconic tower in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:41 am

Update at 10 a.m. ET. Game Has Been Cancelled:

Our friends at NPR member station KUT report the Young Conservatives of Texas has called off a game of "catch an illegal immigrant," which had sparked condemnation from the University of Texas at Austin community at large.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:18 am
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Reportedly To Pay $4 Billion To Mortgage Borrowers

People walk by JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York, in August.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:45 pm

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay $4 billion to consumers who were hurt by faulty mortgage underwriting, part of a larger $13 billion deal to settle the bank's liability in the collapse of toxic securities during the housing crisis.

The deal is expected to be announced this week.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue November 19, 2013

NSA Releases Some Files On Electronic Surveillance

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:17 am

Reporters on the national security beat are sifting through about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the National Security Agency released late Monday.

The heavily redacted records, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement, "demonstrate the care with which NSA's foreign intelligence collection ... is run, managed, and overseen."

Read more

Pages