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The Salt
12:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Widely-Used Insecticides Are Leaching Into Midwest Rivers

Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey found that neonicotinoids are also leaching into streams and rivers in the Midwest. And that may be bad news for aquatic life in the region.
iStockphoto.com

A class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, which are used on a lot of big corn and soybean fields, have been getting a pretty bad rap lately.

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Goats and Soda
12:19 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Fist Bumps Pass Along Fewer Germs Than Handshakes

Ryan Kellman NPR

A few weeks ago, we took a look at nonverbal greetings around the world. In Japan, they bow. Ethiopian men touch shoulders. And some in the Democratic Republic of the Congo do a type of head knock.

But the American fist bump stood apart from the rest.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Chances Are Pretty Good That's A Bill Collector Calling

According to the Urban Institute report, the typical adult in trouble with bill collectors has a median debt of $1,350.
DNY59 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 12:38 pm

In about one-third of U.S. households, the sound of a phone or doorbell ringing may trigger a desire to duck.

That's because roughly 77 million adults with a credit file have at least one debt in the collection process, according to a study released by the Urban Institute, a research group. A credit file includes all of the raw data that a credit bureau can use to rank a borrower's creditworthiness.

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Shots - Health News
12:06 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Report Says Big Changes Are Needed In How Doctors Are Trained

Proposed changes in medical training would shift money away from big teaching hospitals to clinics.
Erikona/iStockphoto

The way American doctors are trained needs to be overhauled, an expert panel recommended Tuesday, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs.

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Book Reviews
12:02 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

'Ride Around Shining' Reimagines Gatsby's Nouveau-Riche Excess

Most sports novels are about the aspiration to excel physically: to run faster, stretch out one's arms farther. The really cool thing about Ride Around Shining, a debut novel by Chris Leslie-Hynan, is that it doesn't stick to that familiar rulebook. Even though it's set in the world of pro basketball, our narrator here is not the guy who aspires to be a great player; rather, he's the guy who aspires to be a great suck-up to the great player.

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Author Interviews
12:02 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

In 'Blue Eyed Boy,' Author Reveals Long Recovery From Facial Burns

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
11:57 am
Tue July 29, 2014

This One Is Worth Watching: New Zealand Retirees Join 'Happy' Meme

Senior citizens dance to "Happy."
YouTube

At this point, you've surely decided that you've watched more than enough Internet remakes of Pharrell's infectious anthem to felicity, "Happy."

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Tue July 29, 2014

White House Threatens More Russia Sanctions, As Kerry Decries Rebels In Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to reporters Tuesday at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 12:01 pm

Saying that the conflict in Ukraine had "gone on for far too long," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia to use its "considerable influence" to make sure investigators had access to the debris field of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine.

The separatists who control that area of Ukraine, said Kerry, "have displayed an appalling disregard for human decency."

The secretary of state spoke after Dutch and Australian experts abandoned their attempts for a third day in a row to reach the debris field.

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Shots - Health News
10:02 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Getting Hospice Care Shouldn't Have To Mean Giving Up

Patients who get the comforts of palliative care as well as disease treatment live longer, studies show, than those who only get treatment for the disease.
Annette Birkenfeld iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 12:31 pm

It's a painful dilemma for seriously ill Medicare patients: To receive the extra support, counseling and care provided by the program's hospice benefit, they have to agree to stop receiving curative treatment for their disease.

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All Tech Considered
9:54 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Solving The Scourge That Is Slow Hotel Wi-Fi

SpeedSpot is a free app that lets you test the speed of Wi-Fi networks in hotels and share the test results instantly.
Courtesy of SpeedSpot

You know how it feels. You're a moderately frequent business traveler and trying to get some work done from your hotel. But you're slowed — and sometimes stalled — by an intermittent Internet connection. Your hotel Wi-Fi has the download speeds of an early 1990s dial-up connection.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Tue July 29, 2014

NCAA Reaches $75 Million Settlement In Head-Injury Lawsuit

Penn State running back Evan Royster eludes a tackle by Eastern Illinois' Adrian Arrington during a 2009 NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. Arrington was one of the athletes who sued the NCAA over concussions.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 9:40 am

The NCAA has reached a settlement with former athletes that provides $75 million for medical monitoring and research into head injuries. The settlement also calls for a change in the way schools handle head trauma.

As USA Today explains, the NCAA currently requires that member schools only have a concussion management plan. The settlement would require schools to make changes to their policies and "institute return-to-play guidelines."

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Goats and Soda
7:55 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Time To 'Girl Up:' Teens Fight For The Right To School, Soccer

Watch out Congress: Girl Up activists came to the nation's capital in June to lobby for issues affecting girls in the developing world. From left, Alexandrea Leone (Ewing, N.J.), Grace Peters (Flemington, N.J.), Aklesiya Dejene (Chicago, Ill.), Isabella Gonzalez and Erika Hiple (Stockton, N.J.)
Ryan Kellman NPR

They are seven girls in their teens and early 20s, awake at the ungodly (for them) hour of 8:30 a.m. With sleepy smiles, the young women slip into a windowless conference room in a Washington, D.C. hotel to talk to a reporter, who's curious to find out: What's it like to be a global girl activist?

And they're the experts. They're supporters of the U.N. Foundation group called Girl Up, which has the manifesto of "uniting girls to change the world."

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Tue July 29, 2014

White House Says Delayed Action On Climate Change Could Cost Billions

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 9:04 am

In a report issued Tuesday, the White House warned that the cost of inaction when it comes to climate change outweighs the cost of implementing more-stringent regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

Here's how Time boils down the White House's argument:

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Shots - Health News
5:47 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Athletes Should Fear The Heat More Than The Heart Attack

Some marathons are warning runners when conditions increase the risk of heat stroke.
iStockphoto

When a runner's heart stops during a marathon, it gets a lot of press – even though it's actually a pretty rare event. A more common killer among runners, and a condition that needs more prevention efforts, is heat stroke, according to a study by Israeli researchers.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue July 29, 2014

China Puts Former Top Communist Party Official Under Investigation

Zhou Yongkang, who at the time was Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of security, attends a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China in 2012.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 11:15 am

The central committee of China's Communist Party placed a former top-ranking official under investigation on Tuesday.

China's state-run news agency Xinhua says Zhou Yongkang is accused of "serious disciplinary violation."

Reporting from Beijing, NPR's Anthony Kuhn tells our Newscast unit that while there is no specificity to those charges from the party, this usually implies that criminal corruption charges will follow.

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Health
5:35 am
Tue July 29, 2014

A Compromise Deal On Overhauling The VA, But Will It Pass?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
5:20 am
Tue July 29, 2014

For Two Years, He Smuggled Photos Of Torture Victims Out Of Syria

This is one of the some 55,000 images the former Syrian military police photographer known as Caesar smuggled out of the country between 2011 and 2013. The regime used numbers — written on white cards and sometimes directly on the skin — to identify the dead, which branch of the Syrian government had held them and when they died.
Courtesy Syrian Emergency Task Force

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 10:06 am

Warning: This report contains descriptions and an image that could disturb some readers.

The savage and protracted conflict in Syria has left more than 170,000 dead. Now, there are allegations of torture and killing of political prisoners opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Those allegations appear to be supported by evidence: tens of thousands of photographs.

The man who says he took the pictures worked as a military police photographer for the Assad regime and defected last year.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Israel's Prime Minister Says Gaza War Could Be 'Prolonged'

In the morgue of Gaza's Shifa hospital, Palestinian relatives mourn following an explosion that reportedly killed at least 10 people Monday, nine of them said to be children.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 8:43 am

Despite calls from the United Nations for a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned his country to prepare for a "prolonged" war.

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U.S.
5:00 am
Tue July 29, 2014

N.H. Promises To Let D.C. Residents Buy Booze There

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:11 am
Tue July 29, 2014

For Iraqis In Crisis, Dividing The Country Seems A Poor Solution

A volunteer at a Christian church in Qosh, Iraq, loads aid onto a handcart Monday for delivery to displaced Shiites who are sheltering there.
Alice Fordham NPR

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:35 am

The muscular farmer sits in the basement kindergarten of the church, perched on a tiny chair intended for a child. He and his family are spending the holiday here, after being forced to flee from extremists.

"Our village is more than 300 years old," Ahmed Ali says of Shreikhan, near Mosul, "and we never had any such problems."

For most Muslims around the world, Eid is a time for gifts, feasts and visiting relatives. But for him and others in a militant-controlled swath of northwest Iraq, it's a strange and unhappy holiday.

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Business
3:38 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Zillow To Buy Rival Real Estate Site Trulia

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:35 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin America
3:35 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Venezuelans Celebrate Chavez With A Focus On His Handwriting

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
2:56 am
Tue July 29, 2014

What Ray Rice's 2-Game Suspension For Assault Says About The NFL

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 8:50 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
2:56 am
Tue July 29, 2014

On NASA's Birthday, Mars Rover Sets A Mileage Record

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:35 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
2:56 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Uber, Airbnb Under Attack In Spain As Old And New Economies Clash

Taxi drivers protest against Uber, an on-demand car service app, during a 24-hour strike July 1 in Barcelona, Spain. They say it undercuts their business and are calling for the government to ban it.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:43 am

This summer, more people than ever before are booking rooms on Airbnb and using carpooling websites and smartphone apps to get around on vacation. The new "share economy" can be a money saver in areas hard hit by the economic crisis, like southern Europe.

But in sunny Spain, authorities are cracking down.

In Barcelona — one of the top destinations for European tourists this summer — police are pulling over and ticketing drivers suspected of using the private taxi app Uber.

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History
2:56 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Ghost Cats And Musket Balls: Stories Told By Capitol Interns

Interns who host tours on Capitol Hill, stopping at sites like the small Senate rotunda, don't always have their facts straight.
The Architect of the Capitol

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:00 am

Every summer thousands of interns flood the offices of Capitol Hill. One of their primary duties is to give constituents tours of the famous buildings. They parade visitors from the rotunda to statuary hall, offering stories and anecdotes.

But while these intern tours provide a great deal of information, they are sometimes a little short on actual history.

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Middle East
2:56 am
Tue July 29, 2014

U.S. Aid To Rebels In Syria: Too Little Too Late?

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:35 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
2:56 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Ruling Against D.C.'s Gun Law Sends Local Officials Scrambling

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:00 am

Copyright 2014 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit http://wamu.org.

NPR Story
2:55 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Crews Are Containing Western Wildfires, But More Bad Weather's Ahead

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:35 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
6:55 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

LA Judge Rules Sale Of Clippers Can Move Ahead

A Los Angeles judge has issued a preliminary ruling against embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The judge decided that Sterling's wife, Shelly, was within her rights to agree to an earlier $2 billion sale of the team. Dan Woike has been reporting on the story for the Los Angeles Register. He speaks with Audie Cornish about the ruling.

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