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9:12 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Why Are U.S. Presidents Calling On The Military So Often?

U.S. forces transfer a missile for a fighter plane as the military prepared for war in Iraq, in Saudi Arabia in 1990. American presidents have been calling on the military frequently since the end of the Cold War more than two decades ago.
Gerard Fouet AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:22 am

When the Cold War ended two decades ago there was a widespread belief that the greatest threat to U.S. troops would be boredom. It seemed they faced a future with little to do besides polishing their boots and staging the occasional military exercise.

Yet U.S. presidents are calling on the military more often than ever, with U.S. forces carrying out more than a dozen separate operations since the first Gulf War in Iraq in 1991.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Sat August 31, 2013

15 Killed In China Ammonia Leak

Police officers walk out from the main gate of Weng's Cold Storage Industrial Co. Ltd. at the outskirts of Shanghai, China, on Saturday.
Eugene Hoshiko Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:20 pm

A liquid ammonia leak at an industrial refrigeration unit in Shanghai has killed at least 15 people and left six others in critical condition.

NPR's Frank Langfitt says the leak occurred before noon on Saturday at a cold storage facility in the city's northern Baoshan District, which handles seafood.

Besides the six in critical condition, 20 others were injured, according to the Shanghai government.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Teen Gets Three Years In Gang Rape, Murder Of Indian Woman

A protester in India chants slogans as she braces herself against the spray fired from police water canons during a protest in December sparked by the gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:43 pm

An Indian teen has been sentenced to three years in juvenile detention for the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman who later died in the hospital, the first verdict in a case that has sparked international outrage over the brutal crime.

Police say the convicted 18-year-old was one of five men who lured the 23-year-old victim and her male friend onto a bus in the capital, New Delhi, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten in December.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: 'America's Test Kitchen,' 'Short Term 12' And Demian Bichir

Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen says the trick to grilling peaches is using fruit that's ripe but firm.
mccun934 via Flickr

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:20 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'America's Test Kitchen' On Grilling Peaches, Tofu And Burgers: Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop advise using ripe fruit, extra-firm tofu and poking your hamburgers so they don't puff up like tennis balls.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Mandela Remains In 'Critical But Stable Condition'

In an image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma, left, sits with the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela in April.
Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:26 pm

Nelson Mandela is still in the hospital, despite reports to the contrary.

CNN and the BBC, quoting sources close to Mandela, reported Saturday that the ailing 95-year-old anti-apartheid leader and former South African president had returned to his Johannesburg home after a long hospitalization.

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It's All Politics
6:45 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Newest War Veterans In Congress Troubled By Syria Prospects

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who served a tour of duty in Iraq, is not convinced a military strike against Syria is the right thing to do.
Marc Levy AP

President Obama's contemplation of a military strike in Syria over its suspected use of chemical weapons has roused at least 170 members of Congress to question the constitutionality of such action, and others to urge caution informed by the quagmire of recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Few congressional voices, however, may be more resonant than those of the more than 100 military veterans in the House and Senate — particularly the 16 who served in the post-Sept. 11 conflicts in the Middle East, in both combat and non-combat roles.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Putin Calls Claims Of Syrian Chemical Attack 'Nonsense'

An image grab taken from a video posted by Syrian activists earlier this week allegedly showing a U.N. inspector listening to the testimony of a man in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyet al-Sham.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:30 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. claims that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons "utter nonsense" and urged the White House not to launch a retaliatory strike.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If It's Not Legal, Can A Strike On Syria Be Justified?

President Obama says any military strike he makes against the Syrian government in retaliation for suspected chemical attacks would be limited.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

As the Obama administration argues for a military intervention in Syria in response to a chemical attack that it says killed more than 1,400 Syrians, analysts say the case for a strike lacks a legal framework.

President Obama said Friday that the decision to act is part of a U.S. obligation as a world leader to make sure that regimes are held to account if they are found targeting their own people with weapons prohibited by international norms.

"If there's a sense that if nobody's willing to enforce them, then people don't take them seriously," he said Friday.

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NPR Story
5:38 am
Sat August 31, 2013

NBC To Broadcast Britsh Soccer League

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's no joke in American sport circles. Soccer is the sport of the future and always will be. Is the future here? Big time soccer finally has a major American television contract, but it's not the L.A. Galaxy, Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquake, or Columbus Crew. The NBC sports network has started broadcasting a full schedule - should that be schedule - from Britain's premier league. That's Manchester United Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, the Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.

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NPR Story
5:38 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Contenders Battle In The U.S. Open

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and nice to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The U.S. Open full swing. We've seen a curtain call for James Blake, an early exit by Venus Williams, a glitter of greatness from Victoria Duval and Serena Williams star burning bright as ever. For the latest from Blushing Meadows we turn to Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. He joins us from his studios of the Radio Foundation in New York City. Howard, thanks for being with us.

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NPR Story
5:38 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If 'Humanitarian,' Why Not Intervene In Syria Sooner?

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As U.S. forced reportedly prepare to launch a limited military action against the Syrian government, we turn now to a voice who's long made the case that the U.S. must take some action in Syria. Michael Ignatieff is a leading voice for the idea of humanitarian intervention. He helped develop the concept of the responsibility to protect. He is the former leader of Canada's Liberal party and now back on the faculty of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School.

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The Salt
3:06 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Don't Panic! Your Questions On (Not) Washing Raw Chickens

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:25 pm

Without meaning to, I seem to have sparked a "small #chickensh*tstorm," as food writer Michael Ruhlman put it, with my recent post about why you shouldn't wash your raw poultry. The strong, even vituperative responses to the post surprised me. I didn't anticipate that Americans would be quite so passionate about poultry hygiene.

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Middle East
2:58 am
Sat August 31, 2013

How A Reluctant Obama Ended Up Preparing For A Strike

President Obama discusses the situation in Syria on Friday from the White House Cabinet Room.
Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:06 am

Is President Obama falling into a trap of his own making?

The Obama administration has assiduously avoid intervening in Syria, where more than two years of conflict has left upwards of 100,000 people dead.

Even against that backdrop of so much suffering, there's a case to be made that the use of chemical weapons is an entirely different matter.

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Code Switch
2:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Graphic Novel Depicts John Lewis' 'March' Toward Justice

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

John Lewis is the only person to have spoken at the 1963 March on Washington who is still alive. He was just 23 years old when he addressed the crowd of more than 200,000 at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago.

Lewis is a pillar of the civil rights movement. The son of sharecroppers in rural Alabama, he went on to become the president of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and then eventually, a U.S. Congressman from Georgia.

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All Tech Considered
2:56 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Call Me, Haiti? One Man's Quest To Skype Around The World

YouTube

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Comedian Mark Malkoff has lived for a week inside of an IKEA store, consumed beverages at 171 Starbucks in Manhattan in less than 24 hours and proved that his kid's Big Wheel bike could beat a New York City bus across 42nd Street.

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Music Interviews
2:56 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Typhoon: Songs For A Lost Childhood

Typhoon, the Portland, Ore. band led by Kyle Morton, features a dozen musicians playing precise and complicated arrangements.
Jaclyn Campanaro Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Kyle Morton can trace his life as a songwriter back to a bug bite. Morton was bitten by a tick as a child, contracting a case of Lyme disease that went undiagnosed for years, even as it wreaked havoc on his body.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:08 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Prediction

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:56 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, panel, what will be the next new word we learn? Charlie Pierce.

CHARLIE PIERCE: Hackstacking, the process of booking the Sunday News Panel Shows.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: Twerkmenistan, the country assigned to receive Miley Cyrus after her 15 minutes of fame has passed.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: My pain has a name and it is spasgasm, the debilitating back cramp middle-aged people experience after twerking.

(LAUGHTER)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:08 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:56 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, on to our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?

CARL KASELL: Tom Bodett and Charlie Pierce are tied for first, Peter, with three points each. Amy Dickinson has two.

SAGAL: All right. So Amy...

AMY DICKINSON: Yes.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:08 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:56 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

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It's All Politics
5:33 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

6 Things To Keep In Mind As Obama Confronts Syria

President Obama pauses after answering questions from the news media during his meeting with Baltic leaders at the White House on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 6:07 pm

As President Obama attempts to make good on his threats to punish Syrian officials for crossing a "red line" by allegedly using deadly chemical weapons, he's being buffeted by political crosscurrents.

Some arise from the structure of U.S. democracy itself, and the balance of powers between the branches. Others emerge from the nation's particular state of mind after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Here are six points to keep in mind as Obama considers how best to demonstrate American resolve to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Microsoft, Google Say They're Moving Forward With NSA Lawsuit

An employee stands at the Microsoft booth during the 2013 Computex in Taipei on June 4, 2013.
Mandy Cheng AFP/Getty Images

Microsoft and Google say they will go forward with a lawsuit against the U.S. government that seeks to make information about surveillance requests public.

The two giants filed the lawsuit earlier this summer, but were negotiating with the government to reach an agreement.

In a blog post, Brad Smith, a Microsoft vice president and general counsel, said those negotiations failed.

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Parallels
3:46 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

How Do You Say ...? For Some Words, There's No Easy Translation

Ella Frances Sanders Maptia

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Just as good writing demands brevity, so, too, does spoken language. Sentences and phrases get whittled down over time. One result: single words that are packed with meaning, words that are so succinct and detailed in what they connote in one language that they may have no corresponding word in another language.

Such words aroused the curiosity of the folks at a website called Maptia, which aims to encourage people to tell stories about places.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

NPR And On-Air Credits: The End Of A Thank You

Starting Monday morning, you may notice something a little different about NPR's flagship news magazines. Morning Edition producer Jim Wildman sent us this essay about a little change that means a lot to him:

Today with little fanfare, NPR News ended its long tradition of on-air, end-of-program credits for employees behind the curtain — the producers, editors, engineers, librarians, and others who help create NPR's signature programs and signature reporting.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Apple Stores Launch Trade-In Program For Used iPhones

People hoping to upgrade their old iPhone for a newer model now have the option of trading in their phone to get credit toward a new device at an Apple store. The technology company announced the new option Friday, ahead of the expected Sept. 10 release of updates to its iPhone line.

The new trade-in program, which Apple says is available at its 252 U.S. retail stores, has several requirements:

  • The phone must be able to be powered up.
  • The phone cannot be water-damaged.
  • Any generation iPhone is eligible.
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All Tech Considered
3:24 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Taking The Battle Against Patent Trolls To The Public

A group of technology and retail groups is beginning a national ad campaign targeting so-called patent trolls.
The Internet Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation and Food Marketing Institute

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Patent trolls — a term known more among geeks than the general public — are about to be the target of a national ad campaign. Beginning Friday, a group of retail trade organizations is launching a radio and print campaign in 17 states.

They want to raise awareness of a problem they say is draining resources from business and raising prices for consumers.

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Around the Nation
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Summer Nights: Phoenix's Piestewa Peak

Blair Cook and his sons, Dalton and Keegan, set out to hike Piestewa Peak in Central Phoenix.
Peter O'Dowd NPR

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Labor Day is right around the corner, so before we mark the unofficial end of summer, here is the final installment in our series, Summer Nights. And for this last evening adventure, we head to Phoenix, where urban hikers strap on headlamps to ascend Piestewa Peak. This time of year, the desert heat can be deadly, so hikers wait until dark to climb to the summit, about 1,200 feet above the city.

Peter O'Dowd of member station KJZZ sends this postcard of one family that's been making the night trek for years.

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NPR Story
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Poet Seamus Heaney Was A Teacher, Critic, Translator

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Few have used the English language to greater effect than Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who died today in Dublin. He was 74. Heaney was a Nobel laureate and the son of a farmer, a poet reluctantly drawn into the troubled politics of his homeland who attracted long lines of fans to his readings. NPR's Lynn Neary has this remembrance.

LYNN NEARY, BYLINE: Born in Ireland's County Derry, Heaney left home at the age of 12 to go to boarding school. Heaney said the place where he grew up was still a source of energy and image bank for him.

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NPR Story
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

NCAA Has Long List Of Headaches As Football Season Starts

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The college football season kicked off with several games last night, and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel will be back in action tomorrow, but not until the second half of Texas A&M's game against Rice. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now to discuss the week in higher education. Hi, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS, BYLINE: Hey, Robert.

SIEGEL: Johnny Manziel was suspended by the NCAA this week for half a game. What did he do, and why half a game of all things?

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

N.D. Town Mulls Over Threat Of White Supremacist Takeover

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:05 pm

A tiny town in North Dakota is considering handing its governance over to the county to prevent a small group of outsiders from declaring a "white supremacist haven."

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Poll: Americans Want Obama To Seek Congressional OK On Syria

Demonstrators march in protest during a rally against a possible U.S. attack on Syria.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Nearly eight out of every 10 Americans want President Obama to seek congressional approval before launching an attack on Syria, according to an NBC News survey released on Friday.

The survey paints a complex picture of the American electorate. While a majority would prefer to "provide only humanitarian assistance" in Syria and 50 percent say the U.S. should not take military action, survey respondents gave conflicting responses on other questions.

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