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Research News
4:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Why College Freshmen May Feel Like Impostors On Campus

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tens of thousands of freshman have just finished their first month in college. They've signed up for classes, met a bunch of other people and, if history is any guide, asked themselves a question: What am I doing here? Everyone else is smarter and better adjusted than I am. And for some, that question totally changes the college experience, may even cause them to drop out, which is why a researcher was determined to intervene. He told his story to NPR's Shankar Vedantam, who's here to tell it to us. Hi, Shankar.

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Business
4:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Banks Ease Purse Strings On Luxury Home Loans

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And for the first time in decades, interest rates for loans on jumbo homes are lower than rates for a typical mortgage. And because of that, the luxury market is the fastest growing home loans sector.

From member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Peter O'Dowd reports.

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Politics
4:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Congress Keeps Working As Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:54 am

This could be the last day the United States is assured of its borrowing authority. Congress could forestall this crisis by raising the debt ceiling, as it has roughly a hundred times before. But the debt ceiling is tied to the same confrontation that's kept much of the federal government shut down.

Business
4:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

German Businessman Who Built Gummi Empire Dies At 90

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:20 am

In 1945, Hans Riegel took over the gummi bear company founded by his father. He transformed Haribo from a local German candy company to a household name recognized around the world.

Sweetness And Light
2:59 am
Wed October 16, 2013

You Asked For It: Frank Deford's Top 12 List

Frank Deford to football players: Get more creative when you win, please.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:35 pm

As a commentator, Frank Deford gets a lot of suggestions about prominent subjects that he should take to task. Usually, he has already sounded off on these suggested topics, and most of them are cut and dried, with nothing new to add. But here, Deford takes on 12 of these familiar issues — this time with brief updates.

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The Salt
2:58 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Aims To Make Edamame As American As Apple Pie

An Arkansas company is trying to cash in on an edamame boom in the U.S.
Will Merydith Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 2:31 pm

Irene Adams cooks supper for husband, Luke, and 2-year-old son, Cole, at their home in Fayetteville, Ark. She used to serve lots of green beans, but switched to edamame after tasting it at a local restaurant.

"[Cole] used to split his green beans and take out the little seeds inside," Adams says. "So I told Luke we should try edamame, because it's bigger seeds and has more flavor, so that's why we decided to try it and he loves it."

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Environment
2:57 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Fuel In The Fire: Burn Wood For Power Or Leave It To Nature

At more than 400 square miles, the Rim Fire is the largest Sierra Nevada fire in recorded history.
Mike McMillan US Forest Service

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:59 pm

The record-breaking wildfire in Yosemite National Park is almost fully contained, two months after it started. The blaze calls attention to a problem across the western U.S.: After a century of having its fires routinely extinguished, the forests are overloaded with fuel.

A heated debate has flared up about what to do with that forest fuel. California is hoping to reduce its fire risk through renewable energy, but some worry about the environmental costs of thinning the forests.

'It Was Torched'

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Parallels
2:56 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Are We Moving To A World With More Online Surveillance?

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was angered by reports that the National Security Agency was spying on her. She has called for giving individual countries greater control over the Internet.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:04 am

Many governments around the world have expressed outrage over the National Security Agency's use of the Internet as a spying platform. But the possible response may have an unforeseen consequence: It may actually lead to more online surveillance, according to Internet experts.

Some governments, led most recently by Brazil, have reacted to recent disclosures about NSA surveillance by proposing a redesign of Internet architecture. The goal would be to give governments more control over how the Internet operates within their own borders.

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Business
2:55 am
Wed October 16, 2013

There's A New Kind Of Sign Spinner In Town

YouTube

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:15 pm

Want to get cash for gold, buy furniture, find a tanning salon or rent an apartment? You could look those things up online, but in many cities if you just drive around, you probably won't have to go far before you see a person spinning a giant sign that will point you in the right direction.

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Kitchen Window
12:03 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Tickled Pink: Fresh, Young Ginger Is A Sweet Break From Gnarled Roots

Laura McCandlish for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:02 pm

That pink pile of pickled ginger that comes with your sushi is probably from China or Japan. And unless the slices are beige, chances are this garnish, next to the green wasabi, contains food coloring. So it's refreshing when you first see that cream-colored fresh "baby" ginger is naturally, yet shockingly, pink at its tips from where green stems shoot forth.

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It's All Politics
6:50 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Shutdown Diary: Hope Turns Into Wall Street Warning

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, walks to a GOP meeting Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 7:07 pm

Day 15 of the government shutdown started with as much promise as any recently: There was a bipartisan proposal by Senate leaders to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

But any hopes were quickly dashed when leaders of the Republican-controlled House said they would offer a competing proposal because of their dissatisfaction with the Senate effort.

The Senate's Bipartisan Proposal

The Senate agreement between Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., came after weekend negotiations.

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Business
6:21 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

The IRS Can't Take Your Questions. It Will Take Your Return

IRS offices around the country, like this one in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been closed since the partial government shutdown began two weeks ago. While the agency continues to cash checks from payees, refunds, audits and most other operations are suspended.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Tuesday, Oct. 15,is the filing deadline for the roughly 12 million Americans who received an extension on their 2012 taxes. And having 90 percent of its staff furloughed in the partial government shutdown doesn't mean the IRS doesn't want your money.

"The IRS is shut down, but the tax law is never shut down," says Joshua Blank, professor of tax practice and faculty director of New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program.

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The Government Shutdown
5:57 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Why A Medical Device Tax Became Part Of The Fiscal Fight

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

Among the bargaining chips in the budget crisis on Capitol Hill, there's the small but persistent issue of taxing medical device manufacturers.

The 2.3 percent sales tax covers everything from MRI machines to replacement hips and maybe even surgical gloves. The tax was imposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. It didn't attract much attention at first — at least, not outside the world of medical device manufacturers.

But they have waged a persistent campaign to undo the tax, and right now is the closest they have come to succeeding.

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The Two-Way
5:54 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Supreme Court To Weigh EPA Permits For Power Plant Emissions

The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case on the greenhouse gas permits for large polluters early next year.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:14 am

The Supreme Court has agreed to review an Obama administration policy that requires new power plants and other big polluting facilities to apply for permits to emit greenhouse gases.

To get these permits, which have been required since 2011, companies may have to use pollution controls or otherwise reduce greenhouse gases from their operations — although industries report that so far they haven't had to install special pollution control equipment to qualify for the permits.

The rule is part of a larger effort by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.

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It's All Politics
5:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Redefining Rock Bottom: Another Scary Poll For Congress

Cloudy skies shroud the Capitol on Monday. Congress is at an impasse as Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over the crises gripping the nation.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 7:03 pm

It's one of the oldest axioms in politics: Voters always say they want to "throw the bums out," except when it comes to their own representative. That's why the re-election rate for House members is typically over 90 percent.

Heading into the 2014 midterms, that long-standing rule appears to be holding true. But against the backdrop of the federal government shutdown, a potential default and general dysfunction in Washington, there are signs it's reaching a straining point.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Fitch Places U.S. Under Review For A Credit Downgrade

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:58 am

Fitch Ratings, one of the big three credit ratings agencies, issued a warning shot today, saying that while it affirmed the United States' AAA credit rating, it was placing it on "rating watch negative."

In other words, it was placing the country's long-term credit rating under review for a potential downgrade.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Feel Old Yet? Roddick And Blake Will Play On Senior Circuit

James Blake addresses the crowd during an interview with Mary Joe Fernandez after losing on day three of the 2013 U.S. Open.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:25 pm

Neither of them is over 35 years old. One of them played in ATP World Tour events just months ago; the other did so last year. But none of that will keep recently retired tennis players Andy Roddick, 31, and James Blake, 33, from joining a circuit of senior players.

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This Is NPR
5:29 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

A New NPR T-Shirt Designed By Listener Jessica Roush

NPR Threadless design challenge winner Jessica Roush.
Emily Davidson courtesy of Jessica Roush

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 2:33 pm

This week NPR is debuting its newest t-shirt, and it's unlike any other we've had before. NPR teamed up with Threadless earlier this year and challenged designers all around the world to create the ultimate NPR t-shirt. More than 80,000 votes later, we have a winner, a new shirt and a new way for people to support public radio.

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Code Switch
5:03 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Is Pitbull 'Mr. Education'? Rapper Opens Charter School In Miami

Pitbull is one of a growing list of celebrities who have opened their wallets or given their names to charter schools.
Jeff Daly AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:52 am

Rapper Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is the latest in a long list of celebrities lending their star power to the flourishing charter school movement. Alicia Keyes, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Oprah — all support or sponsor charter schools.

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Europe
5:02 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Moscow Suburb Riot Shows Russia's Tense Ties With Migrants

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

Authorities in Moscow have rounded up more than 1,600 migrant workers after an ethnic riot took place over the weekend. Russian nationalists and soccer hooligans attacked a market area in a gritty industrial suburb of Moscow that's home to many migrant workers from the North Caucasus. The riot broke out after police announced that they were searching for a North Caucasian man suspected in the stabbing death of a young, ethnic Slav man. The situation highlights Russia's immigration problem — the country needs migrant labor, but fears what it perceives as foreign influence.

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