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Movie Reviews
7:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

A 'Girl Most Likely,' Unlikely To Succeed

Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening are daughter and mother in a dysfunctional-family comedy about a playwright whose life needs a reboot — and the people who help her push the button.
Roadside Attractions

In Girl Most Likely, a likable but warmed-over comedy about rediscovering the nutso family you thought was holding you back, the gifted Kristen Wiig plays Imogene, a playwright on the skids after a brief sojourn into minor Manhattan celebrity.

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Arts & Life
6:31 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Civil War's First African-American Infantry Remembered In Bronze

Boston's Shaw Memorial sits at the corner of Beacon and Park Streets.
Andrea Shea WBUR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:37 pm

The Shaw Memorial, by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, stands 11 feet by 14 feet, like a giant bronze diorama, on the corner of Boston Common. In it, 40 or so black soldiers march to war alongside their white colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, on horseback.

The statue memorializes the first African-American volunteer infantry unit of the Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, which was crushed 150 years ago Thursday in a battle at Fort Wagner in South Carolina.

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Around the Nation
5:55 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

South Boston Transformed In Whitey Bulger's Absence

Four decades after James "Whitey" Bulger first rose to power, "Southie" is not what it used to be. The once blue-collar, Irish-Catholic neighborhood is now an ethnic melting pot that has been invaded by young urban professionals who have gentrified the area and smoothed out its once-rough edges.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

When the FBI brought reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger back to his old stomping ground of South Boston to be tried in federal court after 16 years on the lam, he must have done a double take. The neighborhood that Bulger is accused of terrorizing with murders and extortion is booming.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

GOP Won't Defend Ban On Veterans Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on June 29.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

House Republicans, who defended in court the Defense of Marriage Act only to see it struck down by the Supreme Court last month, have now decided not to try to defend a similar law that denies veterans' benefits to married, same-sex couples.

BuzzFeed, which broke the news Thursday of the GOP's decision, reports that:

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Shots - Health News
5:11 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

For A Long And Healthy Life, It Matters Where You Live

It's not just living longer that matters. It's living healthier longer.
iStockphoto.com

It's not just how long you live that matters. It's healthy life expectancy – the additional years of good health you can expect once you hit 65.

And by that measure, a new analysis shows it makes a lot of difference where Americans live.

Hawaiians are lucky in more than their idyllic weather and gorgeous scenery. Seniors there can expect a little more than 16 years of healthy life after 65. Women in Hawaii can expect more than 17 years.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

A 'Psychological Thriller' About SeaWorld's Resident Killer

Tilikum, a 6-ton orca who has killed two of his SeaWorld trainers, is the main subject of Blackfish, a documentary that describes itself as "a psychological thriller with a killer whale at its center."
Magnolia

If Blackfish were an Inside Edition episode, the promo copy might read something like this: Twenty years after Keltie Byrne was brutally killed in 1991, Dawn Brancheau, a marine-mammal trainer like Byrne, became a victim of the same killer — who to this day goes unpunished.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Strange Doings Among Chess-Mad '80s Coders

Patrick Riester plays one of the alpha geeks competing in a game-writing tournament in Computer Chess, a willfully odd comedy from mumblecore pioneer Andrew Bujalski.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:33 pm

"I don't mind putting something pleasant out into the world," said filmmaker Andrew Bujalski in a recent New York Magazine interview.

You don't hear that too often outside the sphere of general-audience entertainment, let alone from a writer-director widely credited with pioneering mumblecore, the slackerish mini-movement that never really was.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Detroit Files For Bankruptcy

Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:32 am

(This story last updated at 6:45 p.m. ET)

The city of Detroit has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, seeking Chapter 9 protection from creditors and unions owed some $18.5 billion in debt and liabilities.

In a news conference on Thursday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he didn't want to go into bankruptcy, but the city will now "have to make the best of it."

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The Salt
4:46 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

These Pictures Might Tempt You To Eat Bugs

Gordon recommends dusting the deep-fried tarantula spider with smoked paprika.
Chugrad McAndrews Reprinted with permission from The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 10:18 am

Oh, Jiminy Cricket, you've never looked more scrumptious.

The grasshopper kabob is one of several enticing images of insect cuisine included in the new, revised edition of The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook, by avowed entomophagist (i.e., bug eater) David George Gordon.

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Code Switch
4:45 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

S.C. High Court Moves To End Saga Of 'Baby Veronica'

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that custody for Baby Veronica, shown here in a October 2011 provided by her adoptive mother, Melanie Capobianco, be transferred from her biological father to the Capobiancos.
Melanie Capobianco AP

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:47 pm

UPDATE July 24, 2013: The South Carolina Supreme Court denied a petition for rehearing and ordered Baby Veronica's adoption by the Capobiancos finalized, as reported by NPR's Nina Totenberg.


Less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court sent an unusually messy child custody case back to the lower courts, South Carolina's Supreme Court has ruled to end the long-running saga of Baby Veronica, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.

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This Is NPR
4:34 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Small Screen, Big Stories: NPR Comes To Google Glass

NPR developer Michael Seifollahi wears Google Glass while working at his desk.
NPR

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 10:31 am

This month, NPR has arrived on its smallest screen yet.

One of the more fascinating tech developments of 2013 has been the arrival of Google Glass. The latest in wearable computing, Glass — true to its name — puts mobile technology in a pair of lightweight glasses, complete with Internet connection, apps and a video-ready camera.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Florida Community Asks Mermaid To Swim Elsewhere

Jenna Conti, also known as Eden Sirene, before being asked to stay out of the water.
Courtesy of Bob Abruzzese

Jenna Conti just wants to swim.

In her custom-made mermaid costume.

At the Fishhawk Ranch community pools in Tampa, Fla.

But rules are rules, the local development district board says. And the rules say no swim fins in the pools.

So Conti, or Eden Sirene as she's known when she swims, has been left high and dry.

She "just wanted to really show some magic here in Fishhawk," Conti says.

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Europe
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Investigators Take Action Following Heathrow Fire

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Nearly one week ago, a fire erupted inside a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at London's Heathrow Airport. Thursday, the British Air Investigation Branch issued a bulletin urging the deactivation of an emergency transmitter on all 787s. The British investigators stopped just short of blaming the Emergency Locator Transmitter for the fire. But they did recommend that the Federal Aviation Administration order the deactivation of beacons on 787s under FAA authority. Melissa Block talks with NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

Africa
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

South Africa Honors Still-Ailing Mandela On His Birthday

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, South Africa marked the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela. The former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been hospitalized in Pretoria for six weeks because of a lung infection.

Around the country, South Africans marked Mandela Day with songs, tributes and volunteer work, as NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.

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World
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Russians Protest Sentencing For Anti-Corruption Activist

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

A Russian judge delivered an unexpectedly harsh sentence on an anti-corruption campaigner who led the biggest protests against President Vladimir Putin since he took power in 2000. Alexei Navalny was sentenced to five years in jail for theft. Protesters chanted "Shame! Disgrace!" outside the court in Kirov.

Environment
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service

An aircraft lays down a line of fire retardant between a wildfire and homes in the dry, densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 13.
John Wark AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:13 pm

The deaths of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., this summer have focused a lot of attention on just how bad wildfire has become in the West. And research predicts the situation is going to get worse.

Over the past decade, the region has seen some of the worst fire seasons on record. In addition to lives lost, the fires have cost billions in terms of lost property and in taxpayer money spent fighting the blazes.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Where Are All Of Wyomings Escalators?

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Turning now to escalator news, specifically Wyoming escalator news.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is a reported paucity of moving staircases in the Cowboy State, and that shortcoming has been posited as an argument for Wyoming to have fewer than its allotted pair of senators.

CORNISH: The argument goes like this: Why should a state with only two escalators get two senators?

BLOCK: Well, for some insight, we turn to the self-proclaimed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune.

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U.S.
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Furloughs Cut Into Classtime At U.S. Military Bases

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Civilian furloughs have begun at U.S. military installations worldwide. The mandatory days off without pay, prompted by the current round of budget cuts known as sequestration, are looming over Defense Department-run schools that serve the children of military families. For teachers at the nation's most populous Army base, Fort Bragg, cuts mean no new textbooks and a loss of school days.

Energy
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Carbon Tax Gaining Popularity, But Not With Lawmakers

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

The idea of taxing carbon emissions to curb climate change has been gaining surprisingly diverse and bipartisan support over the past year. Everywhere, that is, except Congress.

Politics
4:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Lawmakers Work To Finish Deal On Student Loan Rates

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 11:46 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

College students across the country, you can now exhale. Today, a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal to stabilize rates on federal student loans. Two weeks ago, the rates for undergraduates doubled to 6.8 percent. Lawmakers have been working to avert the hike, but they couldn't agree on the basics until now, as NPR's Cory Turner explains.

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