NPR News

Pages

Middle East
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Evidence Of Syria's Chemical Weapons Use Questioned

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Saying that Syria has used chemical weapons is a major step for the administration. But as we've heard, there's still a lot we don't know about the evidence the White House is relying on.

Joining us now to discuss those uncertainties is NPR's Larry Abramson. And, Larry, what is known about the evidence that the administration is citing and how the U.S. got a hold of it?

Read more
Middle East
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

White House Undecided On Action For Syria Crossing 'Red Line'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Has the so-called red line been crossed in Syria? Today, the Obama administration said it believes the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons and, as President Obama has said in the past, that is a red line that would trigger serious consequences. But as NPR's Mara Liasson reports, the administration says it still has to evaluate the evidence and decide what actions to take.

Read more
Business
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Regulators Warn Banks On Direct-Deposit Loans

Regulators are warning some of the nation's largest banks to stop offering loans that are hard to distinguish from those given out by storefront payday lenders.
CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Consumer advocates call them "debt" traps. The banks that offer them call them direct-deposit advances and describe them as available funds for short-term emergencies.

But the cash advances have many of the negative characteristics of payday loans. And on Thursday, U.S. bank regulators took a step toward protecting consumers from the risks they pose. The regulators proposed standards for "deposit-advance products."

Read more
Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Making Room: Can Smaller Apartments Help New York City Grow?

Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual

Ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America.
Nha Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:17 pm

A small church in Santa Fe, N.M., has grown up around a unique sacrament. Twice a month, the congregation meets in a ritualized setting to drink Brazilian huasca tea, which has psychoactive properties said to produce a trance-like state.

The Supreme Court confirmed the UDV church's right to exist in 2006. The church doesn't seek new members and prefers to keep a low profile. It did, however, agree for the first time to open up to a journalist.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Illinois River Crests To All-Time High Near Peoria

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Peoria, Illinois, down the middle of Water Street, 30,000 sandbags are stacked on top of barriers. This is Peoria's new floodwall, its first ever. People started building the wall last week to hold back water from the Illinois River. This week, the river crested at an all time high.

From members station WCBU in Peoria, Tanya Koonce reports.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Texas Plant Explosion Memorial Focuses On First Responders

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

President Obama visited Waco, Texas, on Thursday day to take part in a memorial for those killed in the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week.

Health
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Some Near Boston Bombing Suffered Hearing Loss

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Robert Sigel talks with Dr. Alicia Quesnel of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, about the patients she's treating for hearing loss from the Boston Marathon explosions. They discuss the scope of these injuries and the mechanics of hearing loss generally.

Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

George W. Bush Presidential Center Dedicated In Dallas

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

All five living presidents gathered in Dallas on Thursday for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

This Is NPR
5:46 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

A Peek Into Our New Home

Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 9:04 am

Earlier this month, NPR's DC-based staffers shut down our computers on a Friday afternoon and walked out of our home of 19 years for the last time.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Texas Town Honors Dead From Fertilizer Plant Blast

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend a memorial service at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on Thursday, for those killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

West, Texas, said goodbye to 14 people, including 10 firefighters and first responders, who were killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant that leveled part of the town.

President Obama attended a memorial service on Thursday to console the grieving families. He said the "tragedy has simply revealed who you've always been."

He told the audience of about 10,000 gathered at Baylor University's Ferrell Center in Waco that the country would help the community rebuild.

Read more
All Tech Considered
5:29 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

VIDEO: The Future Of Wearable Technology

Screen grab from PBS Off Book / YouTube

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Between Two Worlds, A 'Reluctant Fundamentalist'

A probing conversation between Changez (Riz Ahmed), a young Pakistani activist, and Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American agent, forms the core of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
IFC Films

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 11:08 am

Coming as it does amid intense public debate about the alienation of immigrants in America, the release of Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist is both timely and slightly eerie.

The movie, based on a well-received novel by Mohsin Hamid, charts the political and spiritual journey of Changez, a driven young Pakistani who arrives in New York determined to succeed, American-style.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Arthur Newman': A Bored Man's Bland Ambition

Mike (Emily Blunt) and Wallace (Colin Firth) try on new clothes — and new identities — in the unconvincing comedy Arthur Newman.
Cinedigm Entertainment Group

Being a movie actor is glamorous servitude. On the silver screen, the actor's presence is necessarily bigger than life — yet it's often yoked to parts that are much smaller.

The dreary Arthur Newman inspires such musings not just because it's about role-playing, but also because its two principals are so clearly acting — if for no other reason than they're famous Brits playing ordinary Yanks. This is a movie that wants viewers to believe that Colin Firth, best known to filmgoers as King George VI, is a nobody from nowheresville.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Big Wedding': But The Reception Was A Riot

Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried) take a break from the chaos swirling around their Big Wedding to appreciate the luck that brought so many big-name celebrities out for their big day.
Barry Wetcher Lionsgate

If anything, the title of The Big Wedding feels like an understatement. The wedding that gives the film its climactic setting is outsize, to be sure, but then so is everything about this overstuffed farce.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Pain & Gain': Michael Bay's Suffering Fools

Paul (Dwayne Johnson), Daniel (Mark Wahlberg) and Adrian (Anthony Mackie) are three Miami bodybuilders with big ambitions and not much in the way of smarts.
Mark Fellman Paramount Pictures

For Michael Bay, the director of Armageddon and the Transformers movies, to comment on the excesses of American culture would be a little like — well, Michael Bay commenting on the excesses of American culture.

And yet that's exactly what he does with Pain & Gain, a stranger-than-fiction yarn about a South Florida crime spree that points and snickers in the direction of precisely the supersized grotesquerie that's long been Bay's stock-in-trade. He blankets the film in a tone of smug self-awareness that obscures everything but its bald hypocrisy.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Kon-Tiki:' Seaworthy, And Then Some

The titular craft in Kon-Tiki might seem an unlikely vessel to conquer the high seas — but the real-life Norwegian explorer and journalist Thor Heyerdahl put it to just such a test in 1947. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg dramatize his story in a handsome new movie filmed simultaneously in both English and Norwegian versions.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 10:35 am

Early in Kon-Tiki, a dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl's famous 1947 trans-Pacific raft expedition, the Norwegian ethnographer arrives at the New York Explorers Club trying to drum up support for his crazy adventure.

Though the host initially tells him he's not welcome — Heyerdahl (Pal Sverre Hagen) has already been soundly rejected by every publisher, magazine editor and potential financier in the city — the Danish explorer Peter Freuchen (Soren Pilmark) recognizes him and lets him in.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

In 'Paradise,' Pursuing Something Less Than Love

Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel) travels to a beach resort in Kenya for vacation, where she dabbles in sex tourism with a series of local men.
Strand Relesasing

The opening sequence of Paradise: Love doesn't really have anything to do with what follows, but it does establish director Ulrich Seidl's unflinching eye. At a pavilion somewhere in Austria, a group of cognitively challenged children, many apparently with Down syndrome, ride bumper cars under the supervision of Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel). There's no hint of sentimentality, no attempt at reassurance.

Read more
The Salt
4:58 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Monkeys Also Want To Eat Like The Locals

The blue corn's just as tasty as the red corn, but it's not what the locals like.
Erica van de Waal Science

When you travel, do you want to drink Bellinis in Venice and yak butter tea in Tibet? Well, so do monkeys.

Monkeys will eat new, different food if they travel to a new place and want to fit in with the locals, according to a new study. But back home, they'll eat what Mama eats, shunning perfectly good food if it doesn't get her approval.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

Read more

Pages