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3:01 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Seeing The (Northern) Light: A Temporary Arctic Retirement

The Botnen-Chen family moved from Boston to live for a year on Rødøy, a Norwegian island north of the Arctic Circle.
Courtesy of Winston Chen

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:10 pm

By all the laws of anything, Winston Chen should not have quit his well-paying, midcareer job at a software company at age 40. But one day he was watching a TED Talk, one of those popular online video presentations, delivered by a New York designer.

"He presented this absolutely irresistible idea," Chen says. "He said, 'Why don't we take five years out of retirement and spread them throughout your working life?' "

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Syrian Troops Target Key Rebel-Held Town

Dozens of people are dead in heavy fighting around the Syrian rebel-held city of Qusair where troops loyal to President Bashar Assad are making a strong push.

News reports say as many as 50 people are dead.

NPR's Jonathan Blakley, who is in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, is reporting on the fighting for our Newscast Unit:

"Qusair is a strategically important town that lies between the city of Homs, where the Syrian uprising began two years ago, and the Lebanese border. The area has been under siege for weeks.

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Parallels
5:25 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Young Kenyans Build Mobile Apps For Local Use

Kenyans watch a presentation at the "mobile apps garage showcase" this in Nairobi.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:59 pm

You're out navigating the jammed sidewalks of Kenya's capital city when you suddenly realize you're in desperate need of a toilet. You crane your neck over the crowds, vainly seeking a McDonalds, a Starbucks — no such luck. What next?

There could be an app for that. Twendeloo, which is Swahili for "Let's Go to the Loo," would allow you to use your phone to locate the nearest public restroom in Nairobi's business district, then give it a rating for cleanliness.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Two Excerpts You Should Read From Obama's Morehouse Speech

President Obama delivers the commencement address during a ceremony at Morehouse College on Sunday in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 12:35 pm

President Obama, on Sunday, delivered a rare, very personal commencement address at Morehouse College, the historically black, all-male insitution that is the alma mater of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was a short speech, but Obama did not shy away from the subjects of race and responsibility. We've embedded video of the address above, but here are two excerpts you should read. They are taken from his prepared remarks:

On Personal Responsibility:

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Around the Nation
4:58 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Boom Or Bust? Saving Rhode Island's 'Superman' Building

The iconic Industrial Trust Tower, knows as the "Superman building," stands in downtown Providence, R.I. The art deco-style skyscraper, the tallest in the state, lost its last tenant when the bank's lease expired in April.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 11:30 am

Rhode Island is home to beautiful beaches, top-notch universities and a thriving arts scene. Beneath the surface, however, the state faces challenges similar to other parts of the country: shrinking revenues, lost jobs and general economic malaise.

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Music Interviews
4:48 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Deke Sharon Makes A Cappella Cool Again

Deke Sharon performs on the Chinese edition of The Sing-Off in 2012.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Remembering The Long Lost Germans Of Texas

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

More than a century ago, German settlers found a pocket of Texas to call home between Austin and San Antonio. And once the local lingo merged with their own language, it proved to be an interesting dialect. Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden speaks with University of Texas professor Hans Boas, who has been archiving the last remaining speakers of this unique blend.

NPR Story
4:47 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

The Unsuccessful Quest For A Universal Language

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Communications barriers have long vexed us, as showcased in the movie "Rush Hour."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "RUSH HOUR")

CHRIS TUCKER: (As Carter) Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

LYDEN: Scientists in the 17th century were working hard to understand; mainly, the secrets of the universe but also, each other. With Latin on the decline, they were seeking a whole new way of communicating that would defy barriers and borders - a universal language.

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Author Interviews
4:09 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Decade Later And Across An Ocean, A Novel Gets Its Due

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

Sometimes you need some distance to appreciate a classic.

That was certainly the case for John Williams' novel Stoner. When it was originally published in 1965, the only publication to mention the book at all was The New Yorker, in its "Briefly Noted" column. The novel received admiring reviews over the years, but sold just 2,000 copies and was almost immediately forgotten.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
4:09 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

The Movie Katie Aselton Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Actors Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze in Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 action film, Point Break.
Fotos International Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
4:09 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Unacceptable Anger From 'The Woman Upstairs'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

The main character of Claire Messud's novel, The Woman Upstairs, is a good woman. Nora is a 37-year-old elementary school teacher — responsible, kind and reliable. She is also very, very angry.

Her dreams of being an artist have been suppressed; she is seething inside with rage and resentment. But she keeps her anger in until she meets another woman who has everything she does not: a husband, a child and a successful art career. And then everything begins to unravel. As Nora's relationship with the woman and her family deepens, her inner life begins to come out.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

North Korea Fires Another 'Short-Range Projectile'

North Korea launched another short-range projectile on Sunday, just a day after they launched three similar objects.

The projectile landed away from neighboring countries in the sea off North Korea's east coast.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

WSJ: Yahoo! Board Approves $1.1 Billion Purchase Of Tumblr

Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 3:39 pm

The Wall Street Journal has this breaking news from the tech world:

"The Yahoo board has approved a deal to pay $1.1 billion in cash for the blogging site Tumblr."

The Journal, the only outlet reporting the approval, is sourcing its story to "people familiar with the matter." Lauren Armstrong, a Yahoo spokeswoman, told us in an email that they "don't comment on rumors or speculation."

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Sun May 19, 2013

On Sunday News Shows, Obama Official Plays Defense

President Obama walks across the tarmac to greet well-wishers on Sunday upon his arrival in Atlanta, Ga., where he will attend the commencement at Morehouse College.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Talk during the Sunday news shows today focused expectedly on the trifecta of scandals — IRS targeting of conservative groups, the seizure of AP phone records and the attack of the Benghazi consulate — rocking the Obam

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Police Accidentally Killed Hofstra University Student

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:00 pm

After analyzing forensic evidence, Nassau County Police in New York said on Saturday that it was a shot fired by an officer that killed 21-year-old Andrea Rebello.

Rebello, a junior at Hofstra University, was being held hostage by a masked gunman who broke into a house she shared with her sister. Police came looking for the man, when he turned a gun on them. The man allegedly had Rebello in a headlock.

CBC News reports that's when an police officer shot eight rounds. Seven hit Dalton Smith, the gunman, and one of them hit Rebello.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Sun May 19, 2013

WATCH: David Beckham Tears Up At Final Home Game

Paris Saint-Germain's English midfielder David Beckham is thrown in the air by teammates after a French L1 football match between Paris St Germain and Brest on Saturday at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

David Beckham, the storied midfielder who rose to international fame because of his style on and off the pitch, played his last home game for Paris Saint-Germain last night.

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The Salt
8:05 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Giant Renaissance Food People Descend Upon New York

Vertumnus, Arcimboldo's portrait of Emperor Rudolph II
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 4:30 pm

It takes a lot of chutzpah to reduce one of the most powerful men on Earth to a pile of fruits and vegetables.

Luckily for art lovers, Giuseppe Arcimboldo had nerve to spare.

Arcimboldo created this unorthodox produce portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II back in 1590. By that time, the Italian artist had been painting for the emperor and his powerful Habsburg family for more than 25 years, so presumably, they'd grown used to his visual jokes. (The emperor has "peachy" cheeks and "ears" of corn, get it?)

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Sun May 19, 2013

A Lucky Winner In Florida Could Be $590.5 Million Richer

A customer holds a Powerball ticket and money as he waits in line on May 17, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 8:27 am

If you bought a Powerball ticket in Zephyrhills, Fla., sit down and look at these numbers:

10, 13, 14, 22, 52 and 11.

As the AP reports, lottery officials believe only one ticket matched all six numbers in yesterday's Powerball drawing with a record $590.5 million jackpot.

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From Our Listeners
6:54 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction: 'Ten Ring Fingers' And 'Ghost Words'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Ten Ring Fingers by Tamara Breuer of Washington, D.C., and Ghost Words by Matheus Macedo of Winthrop, Mass. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Parallels
6:07 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Russian Lawmakers: Don't Criticize Soviet Actions In WWII

A column of Russia's T-90 tanks rumbles over the cobblestones in Moscow's Red Square on May 9 during the country's Victory Day parade celebrating the anniversary of its costly victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

World War II remains a monumental event in the collective Russian mind. It's known as the "Great Patriotic War," and Russians believe no one made greater sacrifices than the Soviet Union when it came to defeating Nazi Germany.

The end of the war is celebrated with a huge military parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, commemorating the millions of men and women, military and civilian, who died during the struggle.

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