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Parallels
3:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

As Nelson Mandela Turns 95, South Africa Celebrates

Supporters of Nelson Mandela rally outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, where he has been treated for more than a month. The anti-apartheid icon turned 95 on Thursday.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:39 am

While South Africa celebrates the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela on Thursday, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate remains at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been hospitalized since June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

President Jacob Zuma's office has said that Mandela is in "critical but stable" condition, though Mandela's daughter Zindzi said Wednesday that her father was making "remarkable progress" and could be released soon.

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Code Switch
3:20 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Comedian Hari Kondabolu On Diversity, Race And Burger King

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:20 pm

Hari Kondabolu is a brainy comedian who cuts through the polite talk around race and gender. He's made a lot of key people laugh with his incisive anecdotes, including Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien and John Oliver.

A full-time writer on the FX show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, he recently did a comedy bit on the National Spelling Bee, or "as I like to call it," he joked, "the Indian Super Bowl."

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Parallels
3:19 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Al-Jazeera Under Fire For Its Coverage Of Egypt

Posters in Cairo show Al-Jazeera's logo in red with a bloody hand scratching at it. A bullet can kill a man, the poster says, but a lying camera can kill a nation.
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

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Asia
3:18 am
Thu July 18, 2013

In Today's Beijing, Flash Ferraris And Fading Traditions

Cyclists look at a Ferrari parked illegally and blocking the bicycle lane off a main road in Beijing, on April 7, 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:12 pm

Before it became China's capital in 1949, Beijing was a fairly provincial little city of 2 million people.

Today, it has grown into a megalopolis of some 18 million people.

I've recently returned to the city after a few years away, the first thing that strikes me is: Who the heck are all of these 20-somethings and how did they get to be driving all these Ferraris and Maseratis?

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Shots - Health News
3:17 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tuberculosis Outbreak Shakes Wisconsin City

Dale Hippensteel, manages the Sheboygan County health department.
Jeffrey Phelps For NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

Looking crisp and official in his khaki-colored sheriff's department polo shirt, Steve Steinhardt says Sheboygan, Wis., is a pretty good place to be a director of emergency services.

"Nothing bad happens here," he says, knocking on wood. Unless, that is, you count the tuberculosis outbreak that struck the orderly Midwestern city of 50,000 this spring and summer.

"I never expected TB to be one of the bigger emergencies I'd face when I got into this field," Steinhardt says.

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Parallels
3:15 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Opera Singer Becomes (Soprano) Voice Of Protest In Portugal

Pinto leads protesters in song during anti-austerity demonstrations. "I'm just a normal citizen," she says. "I just have this strong instinct of protecting what I love, and I do deeply love my country."
Courtesy of Ana Maria Pinto

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

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Parallels
3:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

At Estonia's Bank Of Happiness, Kindness Is The Currency

Juan Pablo Gonzalez, a science and math teacher in San Diego, posted an offer to teach urban planting, including hydroponic techniques. He and his wife were inspired by the site and offered to help by translating it into Spanish.
Courtesy of Juan Pablo Gonzalez

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:54 am

Estonia's capital, Tallinn, is considered one of the world's leading "smart" cities, where the government and businesses alike rely heavily on computer technology.

But one group in the Estonian capital is using the Internet for something completely different: an online forum that markets good deeds.

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Code Switch
6:59 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The 40-Year-Old Photo That Gives Us A Reason To Smile

This 1973 photo of five children playing in a Detroit suburb has gone viral on the Internet. The children were Rhonda Shelly, 3 (from left), Kathy Macool, 7, Lisa Shelly, 5, Chris Macool, 9, and Robert Shelly, 6.
Joe Crachiola Courtesy of The Macomb Daily

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:57 pm

In late July 1973, Joseph Crachiola was wandering the streets of Mount Clemens, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, with his camera. As a staff photographer for the Macomb Daily, he was expected to keep an eye out for good feature images — "those little slices of life that can stand on their own."

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The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Talk Of Boycotting Russian Olympics Stirs Emotions

The silver medal design for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Olga Maltseva AFP/Getty Images

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a shudder through the Olympic world Wednesday when he told American Olympic network NBC that the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants the asylum request of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden.

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It's All Politics
6:42 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

San Diego Mayor Faces More Calls To Resign

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in the video statement he released last week.
City of San Diego

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 8:11 pm

San Diego voters knew that Bob Filner could act like a jerk on occasion. But in 2012, they elected him mayor anyway.

Now, though, Filner's behavior may have crossed a threshold that few politicians can recover from.

The Democrat is facing numerous accusations of sexual harassment, and growing calls for him to step down from office.

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Arts & Life
6:19 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

For Actress Ruby Keeler, Another Opening, Another Show

Broadway performer Ruby Keeler was a source of optimism for many during the Depression era, and nostalgia hit audiences hard when she returned to the stage decades later.
General Photographic Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Ruby Keeler was an unknown actress when she starred in the 1933 production of Busby Berkeley's 42nd Street.

But the movie was so popular she was able to land two more splashy musicals that same year — and seven more by the end of the decade. There was nothing extraordinary about her talents as a vocalist or as an actress, but audiences of the Depression era really bought into Keeler's "innocent" onstage persona. In fact, they craved it.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

EPA Building Named For Bill Clinton; He Says That's Fitting

Former President Bill Clinton hugs House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California as another Democrat, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, looks on at Wednesday's ceremony naming the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters for him.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

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This Is NPR
6:17 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Cover Story: The 2014 NPR Wall Calendar

Artist Rich Tu designed this cover art for the 2014 NPR Wall Calendar.
Rich Tu NPR

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:23 pm

We know. It's hard to admit that 2014 is on the horizon. The good news, however, is that mid summer brings with it the new NPR Wall Calendar, which is now available in the NPR Shop. Every year, we ask artists and illustrators to channel their NPR listening (and love) into art for the calendar, and starting today, we're sharing these designs with you. So without further adieu, the cover, by artist Rich Tu.

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Thistle and Shamrock
6:02 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Thistle And Shamrock: At The Edge

Solas
Courtesy of the artist

Hear the evolving sound of a new Celtic music inspired by jazz and classical arrangements and driven by contemporary and world rhythms. Solas, Kila and Shooglenifty are all in the mix.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
5:44 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congress Debates Taking A Step Back From The Mortgage Market

The government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae (seen in 2010) and Freddie Mac in 2008, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

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It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Obama Could Declare An Immigration Amnesty, But ...

President Obama has enough problems with Congress without waving the red cape of a presidential amnesty to immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
Univision screen shot

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:07 pm

In an interview this week, Univision's Adriana Vargas asked President Obama if, in the event Congress failed to pass immigration legislation, he could simply use his presidential power to give amnesty to the estimated 11 million people currently in the U.S. illegally.

The president didn't exactly shut the door on that possibility, though he did strongly suggest it was a portal he'd rather not go through.

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The Salt
5:22 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Help! My Egg Yolks Are Freakishly White

The white egg yolk at left, seen next to a yellow yolk, may seem strange, but it's just a result of the chicken feed used, scientists say.
Junko Kimura Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 10:19 am

Dear Salt,

I recently joined President Obama on his trip through Africa, and I brought a mystery home with me. I wonder if you can help me solve it.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey: I'm Not Broke Or Homeless

Charles Ramsey on the day three young women (and one of the women's daughters) were rescued from a Cleveland home. He gained fame for his accounts of what happened.
Scott Shaw The Plain Dealer /Landov

If you've seen stories in the past few days about Cleveland's Charles Ramsey supposedly being out of work, broke and homeless, then you'll want to read this update that has word from the man himself:

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Planet Money
4:52 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The 'Ask Your Uncle' Approach To Economics

The Federal Reserve, home of the Beige Book.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The Beige Book is weird. It's an economic report released by the Federal Reserve every few months, but it doesn't have many numbers in it. Mostly, it's a bunch of stories gathered by talking to businesses around the country. A Fed economist once described it as the "Ask Your Uncle" approach to figuring out what's going on in the economy.

In the Beige Book released today, for example, we learned that:

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

'We're Here To Stay' Says Newly Confirmed Consumer Watchdog

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ron Sachs/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

One day after his two years in limbo ended and he was confirmed by the Senate as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray told NPR that though political bickering held up his nomination he now believes he has bipartisan support for the bureau's work.

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