Dwight Yoakam has been making music that mixes country with rock 'n' roll since the 1970s. Working out of Los Angeles rather than Nashville, he's built a career that has also included a solid acting career, appearing in movies like 1996's Sling Blade and the recent TV series Under the Dome. Yoakam's new album is called Second Hand Heart, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says it's one of Yoakam's most stylistically diverse.
Reporter Gregory Johnsen talks with Fresh Air's Dave Davies about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and how the chaos is impacting the U.S. fight against al-Qaida. Johnsen describes a country torn apart. "I don't even think it's accurate to speak of Yemen as one country anymore," he says. "I think the country has been definitively and decisively broken in the way that no one will ever be able to put it back together again."
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 1:26 pm
Senate lawmakers have confirmed Loretta Lynch for the post of attorney general after a five-month delay, voting largely along party lines, with Democrats in the chamber joined by 10 Republicans supporting her nomination.
There's a growing battle in Washington, especially among Republicans, over the Export-Import Bank, an 80-year-old federal agency that helps to finance American companies in foreign trade. Congress must reauthorize the bank by June 30 or it will shut down.
The Senate voted Thursday, 56-43, to approve the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as U.S. attorney general, ending a more than five month-long political impasse that had stalled her bid to become the first black woman to lead the Justice Department.
Lynch, 55, grew up in the shadow of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, where her family had preached for generations. Most recently, she prosecuted terrorists, mobsters and white collar criminals as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, a district that covers 8 million people.
Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 9:07 am
Have you ever had an "aha" moment? Suddenly, it becomes clear you have to make a change in your life, and you actually go ahead and do it.
Safeena Husain, 43, has had three "aha" moments. She ran away from home in India to an ashram. She let her fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages to plot a new career in the U.S. And she found her true calling after a soul-shaking encounter in a Himalayan village.
NPR's Tovia Smith is covering the sentencing phase of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial in Boston. A jury is weighing whether the 21-year-old convicted in the bombings that killed three people and left 264 others wounded should be put to death for his crimes. Tovia will be tweeting developments as they happen.
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And al-Qaida is at the center of a pretty stunning announcement from the White House this morning. President Obama said two hostages of al-Qaida, including an American, were killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation.
Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 8:51 am
Regardless of our cooking prowess, all of us have undoubtedly spent some time in the kitchen. We all need to eat, and our preferences are intensely personal. Yet food is often overlooked in the biographies of anyone who wasn't a chef or gastronomic icon.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 5:03 pm
The simple act of thinking can accelerate the growth of many brain tumors.
That's the conclusion of a paper in Cell published Thursday that showed how activity in the cerebral cortex affected high-grade gliomas, which represent about 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors in people.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 1:35 pm
Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest bank, has been fined $2.5 billion by U.S. and U.K. regulators for trying to manipulate the so-called LIBOR rate, a benchmark for interbank loans, which in turn is used to set interest rates on everything from credit card debt to mortgages.
The German bank is one of eight financial institutions, including Swiss-based UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland, that were caught up in the scandal, which involved dozens of traders and managers and spanned a four-year period from 2005-2009.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 3:31 pm
Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET
President Obama offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the American and Italian aid workers killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January. Both men were held hostage by al-Qaida.
"I take full responsibility for a U.S. government counterterrorism operation that killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qaida," Obama said.
Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 10:34 am
For the first time, scientists have edited DNA in human embryos, a highly controversial step long considered off limits.
Junjiu Huang and his colleagues at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, performed a series of experiments involving 86 human embryos to see if they could make changes in a gene known as HBB, which causes the sometimes fatal blood disorder beta-thalassemia.
Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 8:04 am
Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET
The European Union has agreed to more ships, planes and helicopters to patrol the Mediterranean in hopes of stopping migrants from Africa and the Middle East and stopping people smugglers who facilitate them.
At an emergency summit in Brussels, Britain pledged three ships, while Germany and France said they would provide two each. Belgium, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania were also to supply ships, patrol boats and helicopters.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 10:24 am
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted this week for the first time in four decades. Quiet since 1972, it's blown twice since Wednesday, generating striking images and concerns over the effects of both the lava and a mammoth cloud of ash.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 9:18 am
How many different flavors of jam do you need to be happy?
In 2000, a famous experiment showed that when people were presented with a supermarket sampler of 24 exotic fruit flavors, they were more attracted to the display. But, when the sample included only six flavors, they were 10 times more likely to actually buy.
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a story of an unrepentant offender. Lucas Hinch was having trouble with his Dell computer, so he did something. He took that computer into an alley in Colorado Springs, and he shot the Dell with a 9 mm pistol eight times.
Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 9:37 am
Updated at 11:34 a.m. ET Friday
Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation and handed a $100,000 fine for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, in the form of notebooks he shared with his lover.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 8:04 am
Despite Saudi Arabia's announcement earlier this week that a coalition would wind down the nearly month-old military campaign it has been waging in Yemen, warplanes have been hitting areas under Houthi control Thursday. It's now very unclear when peace talks that were mentioned earlier this week might occur.
From Riyadh, NPR's Leila Fadel reports for our Newscast unit:
"The Saudis had said that although strikes were ending, they would use force against Houthi movements inside the poor Gulf country.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 3:34 pm
The parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed man whom a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot and killed last August, have filed a civil lawsuit against the city, along with former police chief Thomas Jackson and Darren Wilson, the now-former officer who shot Brown, 18.
The lawsuit was filed by Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden at the St. Louis County Courthouse Thursday morning. It says Wilson "unjustifiably shot and killed" Brown, using "an unnecessary and unreasonable" amount of force.
Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 10:29 am
Privately run Medicare plans, fresh off a lobbying victory that reversed proposed budget cuts, face new scrutiny from government investigators and whistleblowers who allege that plans have overcharged the government for years.