This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene, good morning. It was one of the most dramatic about-faces ever, by a public figure. Last night, in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong confessed to using banned performance-enhancing drugs throughout his bicycle racing career. That included seven straight Tour De France victories, though Armstrong was stripped of those titles late last year.
As President Obama prepares to start a second term, MORNING EDITION has asked NPR's foreign correspondents to gauge worldwide expectations for the next four years. We turn, this morning, to Kenya. Pride still runs deep there for the president, with roots in Kenya. But expectations of America's role have shifted from donor aid to partner in trade. NPR's Gregory Warner has the story.
On Thursday, Algerian forces opened fire on Islamists holding dozens of foreigners hostage. The militants, who have been linked to al-Qaida, say they took over the gas facility deep into the Sahara Desert in retaliation for France's attack on Islamic militants in the west African nation of Mali.
With the global auto industry gathered in Detroit this week for the city's renowned auto show, Renee Montagne talks to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne about his company's stunning turnaround, manufacturing overseas and a Chrysler IPO.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is set to take the oath of office for a second time. He has promised an ambitious agenda for the next four years. NPR's Mara Liasson tackles the question of whether it's ambitious enough.
The University of North Carolina is starting a new master's degree program that's sparking a lot of interest among veterans. The program at the university's school of medicine is designed specifically for former military medics. As Jessica Jones with North Carolina Public Radio reports, the idea is to help translate the veteran's unique skills to the civilian world.
One of the top collegiate football players in the country, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, was lionized by the media amid stories of his perseverance on the field after both his grandmother and his girlfriend died.
Thanks to an expose by Deadspin, the girlfriend's very existence is now believed to be a hoax, throwing the Heisman runner-up and his university on the defensive.
On Friday, Morning Edition wraps up its weeklong look at the growing number of people who say they do not identify with a religion. The final conversation in the Losing Our Religion series picks up on a theme made clear throughout the week: Young adults are drifting away from organized religion in unprecedented numbers. In Friday's story, NPR's David Greene talks to two religious leaders about the trend and wonders what they tell young people who are disillusioned with the church.
Retirees flock to Florida — and the Sunshine State even has a retirement home for chimpanzees.
There, chimps live in small groups on a dozen man-made islands. Each 3-acre grassy island has palm trees and climbing structures, and is surrounded by a moat.
This is Save the Chimps, the world's biggest sanctuary for chimps formerly used in research experiments or the entertainment industry, or as pets. The chimps living here — 266 of them — range in age from 6 years old to over 50. And as sanctuary Director Jen Feuerstein drives around in a golf cart, she recognizes each one.
Much of the money from the Hurricane Sandy relief bill the House of Representatives passed will fund beach and infrastructure restoration projects in areas such as Mantoloking, N.J., seen on Oct. 31.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Hurricane Sandy exposed weaknesses in New York City's electricity grid. Experts say work can be done to revamp it so it's more tolerant to support backup solar power. Here, the New York City skyline, seen from the Brooklyn Bridge, on Nov. 3.
Latino voters were a key to President Obama's victory in November, turning out in big numbers and supporting Obama by more than 2 to 1 over Republican Mitt Romney.
Now, many of those voters say it's time for Obama to do something he did not do in his first term: push hard for and sign a comprehensive immigration overhaul.
Let's start with a group of Latinos — young and old, some U.S. citizens, some not — heading from Florida to Washington, D.C., for Obama's inauguration and for meetings with members of Congress. As caravans go, it's a small one: 13 people in two vans.
When Bernard Holyfield was 5 years old, he was the proud owner of a dog named Lassie, a collie who closely resembled the namesake fictional dog on television.
"And we used to always keep Lassie tied up at the house with a chain, kind of like our protector," Holyfield explains to his friend Charles Barlow, 63, for StoryCorps at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta.
New homebuilding reached a 4 1/2 year high in December, welcome news for an industry that lost 2 million jobs during the downturn. Despite those job losses, the sector is experiencing a labor shortage in some parts of the U.S.
The construction industry in the U.S. is staging a comeback. In one indicator, the Commerce Department announced Thursday that new homebuilding has reached its highest level in 4 1/2 years.
While that's a promising sign for the industry, more than 2 million construction jobs have been lost in the sector since employment hit its peak. While some might expect that means plenty of people are ready to fill the new jobs, many markets around the country are actually experiencing a shortage of construction workers.
Getting the results of a genetic test can be a bit like opening Pandora's box. You might learn something useful or interesting, or you might learn that you're likely to develop an incurable disease later on in life.
Few films trying to capture a child's experience of an adult world manage to nail the details. In real life, kids aren't typically the precocious sorts espousing wisdom beyond their years — kids fidget, they ask questions, they get scared. They act like kids.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:42 am
The newsroom has confirmed that the president puts on his pants like most of the rest of us: one leg at a time.
I make light. What it did today was change its stylebook and dropped referring on-air to the president of the United States as "Mr." in second references. Beginning with the inauguration of President Barack Obama for his second term next Monday, "Mr." Obama and his successors will be called by just their last names on second reference. "Obama," for example. Just like the rest of us.
Credit Darlyne A. Murawski / Getty Images/National Geographic Creative
Researchers in Massachusetts and Wisconsin are comparing modern flower blooming data with notes made by Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. The sight of irises blooming during a Boston winter helped spur the research.
Modern scientists trying to understand climate change are engaged in an unlikely collaboration — with two beloved but long-dead nature writers: Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold.
The authors of Walden and A Sand County Almanac and last spring's bizarrely warm weather have helped today's scientists understand that the first flowers of spring can continue to bloom earlier, as temperatures rise to unprecedented levels.
The federal government hit its debt limit at the end of last year. Since then, the Treasury Department has been taking what it calls "extraordinary measures" to keep the government funded and avoid defaulting on U.S. obligations.
But those measures will run out sometime between the middle of February and early March. Then it's up to Congress to raise the debt limit.
House Republicans are wrestling with the best strategy at a retreat Thursday and Friday in Virginia. And some have been denying that there is a risk of default if the debt ceiling isn't raised.