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1:56 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Letters: Rare Diseases, Only Children

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Wednesday, and time to read from your comments. James in Laurel Hill, Fla., emailed during our conversation about research into rare diseases. "I would like to affirm the comment made by your guest about rare disease research leading to help for more common diseases," he wrote. "My nephew has brittle bone disease. Some aspects of his treatment have been used to help mend broken bones in accident victims, so research into rare disorders can definitely lead to treatment for others."

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Country Singer Slim Whitman, Known For His Yodel, Dies

Slim Whitman arriving at Heathrow Airport in 1976.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:18 pm

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

"Suffering On A Huge Scale": World Refugee Numbers Swell

Afghan refugee children collect items of use from a pile of garbage on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 2:24 pm

The United Nations Refugee Commission says more than 45.2 million people were in "situations of displacement" around the world as of last year — the most since 1994.

A report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says there were 15.4 million refugees in other countries, 937,000 people seeking political asylum and 28.8 million people forced out of their homes but still inside their own countries.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

FBI Director Says Agency Is Using Drones Over The U.S.

A Predator drone
General Atomics Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 4:55 pm

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is using drones on United States soil for surveillance purposes, the agency's director, Robert Mueller, told a Senate committee today.

"Our footprint is very small, and we have very few and of limited use, and we're exploring not only the use but also the necessary guidelines for that use," said Mueller , answering a question from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Mueller, who was testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said they were used in a "very, very minimal way and very seldom."

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Fine Art
1:10 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Art Of Life: Claes Oldenburg At MOMA

Oldenburg's fascination with simple, everyday objects often led him to food as a subject, as with Pastry Case, I, 1961-62.
Claes Oldenburg Museum of Modern Art

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 4:05 pm

The sculptor Claes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm but grew up in Chicago, went to Yale and came to New York in 1956, where he became a key player in the pop art movement — the major counter-reaction to the abstract expressionism that dominated the 1950s. So much for art history.

Although Oldenburg is a serious artist, probably no artist in history ever created works that were more fun. In a new show at the Museum of Modern Art — really two shows — practically everyone, including myself, was walking through the galleries with a huge grin.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Oops. Wrong Birth Year Fixed On N.Y.C. Mayor Koch's Tombstone

Look closely: Ed Koch's tombstone had the wrong birth date. It's fixed now, but the error had the late New York City mayor born in 1942, rather than 1924.
Andrew Savulich NY Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:24 pm

"You could call it a 'grave' mistake," says WNBC-TV of New York City.

The tombstone of Edward I. Koch, the city's colorful, three-term mayor who died in February, listed an incorrect birth date for him. Instead of showing Dec. 12, 1924, the year mistakenly read 1942 — until yesterday.

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The Salt
12:26 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Women And Children Caught In Middle Of Potato War

Fresh white spuds aren't allowed in a government supplemental nutrition program for women and children because, unlike other fruits and vegetables, potatoes aren't lacking in the typical diet.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:01 pm

We didn't plan it, but somehow, it has turned into Potato Week here at The Salt. The latest twist in the tater tales takes us to Capitol Hill.

Americans love to pile on the potatoes – we consumed a whopping 112 pounds per capita last year. But lately, the potato industry has been playing the part of jilted lover and taking its heartache to Congress.

According to the National Potato Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture "discriminates" against fresh, white potatoes.

Huh?

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:21 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name, Of A Beetle For A Beer Bottle

YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:35 pm

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

It's Beach Time... In Alaska, Where Heat Wave Breaks Records

In this photo taken on Monday, people swim and sunbathe at Goose Lake in Anchorage, Alaska.
Rachel D'Oro AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:44 pm

Taking advantage of an intense heat wave that broke long-standing records yesterday, residents of Anchorage, Alaska, headed to the beach at Goose Lake.

As the Anchorage Daily News reports, the National Weather Service recorded a high temperature of 81 degrees in the city, beating the previous record of 80 degrees set in June of 1926.

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Classics in Concert
12:07 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Mozart's Violin Comes To Boston, Live In Concert

Daniel Stepner performs on the violin once owned by Mozart himself.
WGBH

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 4:46 pm

Mozart never made it to America: getting seasick crossing the English Channel put an end to any of his seafaring fantasies. But America was frequently on Mozart's mind. In fact, his closest collaborator, librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, actually immigrated to these shores and became the first professor of Italian at Columbia University in New York.

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Middle East
12:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

To Arm, Or Not To Arm The Syrian Rebels?

The White House says the United States will arm Syrian rebels, but a new poll shows most Americans don't like the idea. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Shadi Hamid of The Brookings Institution, about America's current and future involvement in Syria.

Around the Nation
12:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

'Teenpreneur' Makes Money Off Great-Grandma's Hair Recipe

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Next we're going to talk to a young entrepreneur who's all about hair. Leanna Archer was just nine years old when she launched her own line of natural hair care products. Her great-grandmother in Haiti had a special recipe for hair pomade and Archer used that recipe to begin a line of oils, hairdressings, and conditioners.

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Race
12:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Hair Touching Is A No-No

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee. This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll talk to the CEO of a six-figure company who launched a hair business when she was nine. But first, can I touch your hair? It's a question many black women say they're often asked. And sometimes people don't ask, they just reach out and grab it. It's a familiar topic here on TELL ME MORE, but a recent project in New York has started the conversation again.

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History
12:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Exhibit Explores U.S. History of 'Rights' Versus 'Privileges'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll glimpse into the mind of a sociopath. We'll hear from an author who says she is a sociopath, but your assumptions about people like her might be completely off-base. That's in a few minutes.

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Mental Health
12:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Inside The Mind Of A Sociopath

Confessions of a Sociopath is written under the pen name of M.E. Thomas.
Random House

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:48 pm

What exactly is a sociopath? Many people might think of killers, criminals, the cruel and heartless, Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining.

That's the common wisdom. But it's being challenged by a new memoir, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight. It's written under the pen name of M.E. Thomas. The author says most sociopaths are not incarcerated — and the silent majority of them live freely and anonymously. They're your neighbors, colleagues, maybe even family members and lovers.

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The Salt
11:28 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Martini: This American Cocktail May Have An International Twist

The martini: international drink of mystery?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 2:15 pm

There's no cocktail more distinctly American than the martini. It's strong, sophisticated and sexy. It's everything we hope to project while ordering one.

Baltimore-born satirist H.L. Mencken is said to have called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet." But is the martini perfectly American? Maybe not entirely.

So in honor of National Martini Day on Wednesday, we decided to dig into the drink's muddled past.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Scandalgate: A DIY, All-Purpose News Story

Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Good grief.

Scandals seem to swarm around American presidents like yellow jackets around a state park picnic table.

In fact, administration after administration has spent its second term swatting away falsehoods — and true tales — of miscreancy.

And so patterns have emerged. This happens, then that happens and eventually — well, you know how it works.

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Political Junkie
11:05 am
Wed June 19, 2013

It's The Final ScuttleButton Puzzle ... For Now

Ken Rudin collection

Some words I never thought I would utter: This is the last ScuttleButton puzzle that will ever appear on the NPR Web site.

With the cancellation of Talk of the Nation, and of course the weekly Political Junkie segment that goes with it, the long relationship between Political Junkie and NPR is coming to an end.

Thus, this is the last button puzzle, with the final winner (and t-shirt and button prizes) announced on Wednesday, June 26th — the final Junkie segment on TOTN.

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Shots - Health News
11:04 am
Wed June 19, 2013

AMA Says It's Time To Call Obesity A Disease

NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:15 am

While the American Medical Association may not have the clout it once did, it's still the largest single group of doctors making waves about health and the practice of medicine.

So it's not nothing when the AMA's House of Delegates approves a measure to label obesity a disease. The group's deliberative democratic body passed a measure in Chicago Tuesday that broadly, if vaguely, says obesity is a medical condition:

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:15 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Does Life Have A Purpose?

Kind of cute. But pretty stupid. A scale model of a baby sauropod in its egg.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

I don't mean our private lives, our personal choices and hopes, the plans we make along the years. I imagine that each and every one of us believes our lives do have a purpose, or many. What I mean is life as a natural phenomenon, this strange assembly of matter endowed with autonomy, capable of absorbing energy from the environment and preserving itself through reproduction.

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