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The Two-Way
8:26 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Federal Jobless Benefits Set To End For More Than 1 Million

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) talks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, last Thursday. Reid has promised a vote no later than Jan. 7 on a measure to extend jobless benefits for three months.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Federal jobless benefits going to 1.3 million Americans will officially expire on Saturday after Congress failed to extend them before leaving for the holiday.

NPR's Tamara Keith says it "means anyone who has been out of work and getting benefits for more than 6 months will see their weekly checks stop abruptly."

"Advocates point out that without congressional action another 73,000 people will lose benefits each week," she says.

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Parallels
6:51 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

U.N. Refuge Prepares For Possible Attack In South Sudan

South Sudanese seek refuge at the United Nations compound in the capital, Juba, on Sunday. Though Juba is mostly peaceful now, growing numbers are seeking shelter at the compound in fear the ethnic killings will resume.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

The president of South Sudan spent Friday in a peace summit with regional heads of state, discussing the crisis that erupted last weekend after an alleged coup attempt. At the same time, the government warned of a shadowy rebel army, covered with white ash, marching through the jungle to re-attack the northern city of Bor.

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Newtown Report Offers Few Insights Into School Shooting

This undated photo released Friday by the Connecticut State Police shows the scene inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:19 pm

Connecticut State Police have released an exhaustive report on last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, offering some new details on the massacre that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

Photographs taken by investigators of the home that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza shared with his mother show "numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it," The Associated Press writes.

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Shots - Health News
5:19 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

When Memories Never Fade, The Past Can Poison The Present

Having a perfect memory can put a strain on relationships, because every slight is remembered.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 8:08 am

On Feb. 21, Alexandra Wolff ate steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner. Later that night, sitting in her room, she spent 20 minutes scanning pictures in InStyle magazine.

She remembers those things, just as she remembers that on Aug. 2 she stopped at Target and bought Raisin Bran; and on April 17 she wore a white button-down shirt; and on Oct. 2 she went to TGI Fridays and spoke to the hostess, who was wearing black leather flats with small bows on them.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges

Ripening fruit in a grove in Plant City, Fla., this month. Florida citrus growers are worried about citrus greening, which causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.

The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.

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Science
4:36 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Stretch Or Splat? How A Black Hole Kills You Matters ... A Lot

Never mind holiday stress. Steer clear of black holes, or risk "spaghettification" — or worse.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

It could rightly be called the most massive debate of the year: Physicists are locked in an argument over what happens if you fall into a black hole.

On one side are those who support the traditional view from Albert Einstein. On the other, backers of a radical new theory that preserves the very core of modern physics by destroying space itself.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Amid Political Chaos, Thailand's Army Chief Won't Rule Out Coup

Anti-government protesters enter a Bangkok stadium where election preparations were underway on Thursday.
Wason Wanichakorn AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 5:56 pm

Thailand's army chief on Friday called for calm amid unrest between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup to restore stability.

Asked whether the army would seize the government for the second time in less than a decade, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "That door is neither open nor closed ... it will be determined by the situation."

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Middle East
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Protestors Clash With Security Forces Across Egypt After Crackdown

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

At least three people are reported dead in Egypt after security forces clashed across the country Friday with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. On Thursday, the government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization following a car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura that claimed 16 lives. The brotherhood denied it was behind the attack, and another group claimed responsibility.. For more on the turmoil in Egypt, Robert Siegel speaks with Tamer El-Ghobashy Cairo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

Animals
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered?

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The law that protects endangered species turns 40 tomorrow and perhaps the most controversial thing the government has done under the law is to reintroduce the gray wolf. Ranchers and hunters strongly opposed the move and now the federal government wants to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, this time, it is the scientists who are protesting loudly.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Ecologist Carlos Carroll is walking through the snow in a wide valley in Northern California.

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Technology
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

To Make Intersections Smarter, We Need Cars To Be Smarter, Too

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

Car companies have already begun to design cars that can drive themselves. But to make these smart cars really useful, they'll also need smart roads. As part of his series, "Joe's Big Idea," NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has this story about some computer scientists who were designing a smart traffic intersection. How smart? Well, it can keep traffic flowing at least 10 times faster than old-fashioned intersections.

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National Security
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

U.S. Judge Says NSA Phone Data Program Is Legal, Valuable

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. A stunning court disagreement today over the National Security Agency's mass collection of telephone records. Just one week after a D.C. federal judge found it unconstitutional, New York federal Judge William Pauley determined concluded the opposite. The program, he says, is lawful. The conflicting opinions came in response to two challenges to the NSA's phone data collection.

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NPR Story
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Week In Politics: 2013's Surpises And Predictions For 2014

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with political commentators, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation, and Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for The National Review and columnist for Bloomberg View. They'll talk about what surprised them in 2013, and make predictions for 2014.

Energy
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Will Renewables Suffer Because Of U.S. Oil And Gas Boom

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

And we begin this hour with a milestone of 2013, a remarkable feat with far-reaching implications both at home and abroad. According to the Energy Information Agency, the United States became the world's biggest producer of oil and natural gas. NPR's John Ydstie has more on the turnaround in America's energy fortunes.

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Sports
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

For NFL Teams, Postseason Offers Little Chance For Relaxation

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the National Football League, it is the final week of the regular season and that's usually a time for teams to lick their wounds, rest their starters or just contemplate next year, but not this season. The playoff picture is in such upheaval that many teams are fighting for their postseason lives. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us to talk about what's at stake this week. And hiya, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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Around the Nation
4:10 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Oil Company Looks To Great Lakes As Shipping Demand Booms

A company proposes shipping crude oil by barge across Lake Superior to keep up with the booming supply from North Dakota and Canada.
Jack Rendulich AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than it can be shipped to refineries.

Rail car manufacturers can't make new tank cars fast enough, and new pipeline proposals face long delays over environmental concerns. So energy companies are looking for new ways to get the heavy crude to market.

One proposed solution is to ship the oil by barge over the Great Lakes — but it's a controversial one.

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Business
4:01 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands

Energy companies are adding workers, but fatal accidents are on the rise, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Blue-collar workers, hit hard by automation and factory offshoring, have been struggling to find high-paying jobs.

One industry does offer opportunity: As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, oil and gas companies are hiring. They added 23 percent more workers between 2009 and 2012.

But the hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job — an increase of more than 100 percent since 2009.

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It's All Politics
3:06 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

5 Achievements Of The 113th Congress (So Far)

Congress managed to get a few things accomplished in 2013, with an emphasis on "few."
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

The 113th Congress, which just ended its first year, has come to be defined more by what it hasn't done than what it has. With two warring and ideologically polarized parties controlling either end of Capitol Hill, Congress has more or less become a quagmire for policy.

Still, one of the least productive Congresses of the modern era was able to accomplish a few things in 2013. Here are five of them:

1. Going Nuclear

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

2013: A Look Back At The Year In Tech

A developer, Loic Le Meu selected for Google Glass explorer edition shows off his device. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:15 pm

This year started with high expectations for Google Glass and other wearable technology, but even by the end of the year those devices haven’t really reached the mainstream.

Companies like Samsung and Snapchat saw great success, while others had a few flops.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to look at the year in technology.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Egypt Launches Renewed Crackdown On Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian riot police run after Muslim Brotherhood members after a demonstration in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district on Friday.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:30 pm

Egyptian security forces carried out widespread arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members just days after the government labeled the group, which supports ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a terrorist organization.

Three people were reported killed in Muslim Brotherhood-led protests and some 265 people were arrested as part of the nationwide crackdown, which came as the political group renewed calls for massive anti-government rallies.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
2:13 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Gerald Wilson On Piano Jazz

Gerald Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist.

Composer and arranger Gerald Wilson has charted the course for some of the legends of jazz, including Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.

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