Two drug companies, Roche Holding and GlaxoSmithKline, have announced they’ll ramp up research into antibiotics. They join a handful of other companies. This comes after pharmaceutical companies largely stopped working on antibiotics, citing high costs and little payoff.
But with drug-resistant “superbugs” killing more than 23,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been calls for more research in the field.
It’s only February, but the state of Rhode Island has already lost 38 people to heroin overdoses — 27 in January alone. That’s more than double the number in the previous two Januaries. Of course, Rhode Island’s crisis is part of a larger national heroin overdose emergency. More people now die of heroin overdoses (about 30,000 last year) than they do in car accidents.
Critics say the U.S. should never negotiate with a country like Iran. But as the Obama administration and other members of the U.N. Security Council resume talks with Tehran this week, a new book argues that negotiations with your enemy can be the best path.
The book looks back to a secret peace conference during the late stages of the Civil War when President Abraham Lincoln spoke in person with Confederate representatives on the presidential steamboat River Queen, the Air Force One of her day.
“Todo es posible” — anything is possible. That’s the slogan for CNN Latino, a Spanish-language news program launched just over a year ago. But already it’s coming to an end. The program is slated to shut down this month.
This follows the quiet closing last month of the new English-language NBC Latino, which used the tagline “The Voice of American Hispanics.”
With other Latino media outlets going strong, what can we make of this?
Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 3:16 pm
Details are starting to come out about what it was like Monday when one of the pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines flight reportedly locked himself in the cockpit and flew the jet and its 193 passengers to Geneva, Switzerland, instead of Rome, its intended destination.
Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:45 pm
After hearing that the 22 men who have made it to safety so far were all arrested, an unknown number of other South Africans are refusing to leave the illegal gold mine where they were briefly trapped over the weekend.
Every year, students come into my office and say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life." Of course, plenty of people in the world don't have the luxury of such cluelessness, but my students don't look like they're enjoying their privilege; they look scared and depressed, as though they've already failed some big test of character. They might find some comfort in Michael Sims' new biography of the young Henry David Thoreau called, simply, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.
For the past 37 years, Robert Caro has devoted his life to writing the definitive biography of Lyndon Johnson. So far, The Years of Lyndon Johnson has four acclaimed volumes and has shown readers just how complex the 36th president was, as both a politician and a man.
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:17 pm
On paper, the German electro-pop band The Notwist sounds less accessible than it is: Since getting together 25 years ago, its members have delved into everything from hardcore to underground hip-hop to proggy jazz, with many varyingly arty detours in between. But the latter half of its history, particularly once you hit the sublime early-'00s breakthrough Neon Golden, is wonderfully warm and approachable.
This past weekend marked the 450th anniversary of Galileo's birth. In articles celebrating his contributions to science, Clara Moskowitz at Scientific American wonders what he'd make of contemporary science, while Dan Vergano at National Geographic credits him with nothing short of the invention of "our own modern world."
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:53 pm
Many will describe Blank Project as Neneh Cherry's comeback album — and, to be fair, it is her first solo work in 18 years. In that time, though, Cherry has released two collaborative LPs, contributed to numerous artists' projects, started a band with her husband and daughter, toured the world and lived in several different countries, just to name the relevant accomplishments. So, while Blank Project might seem perfectly timed for a '90s-revivalist, Coachella-baiting cash-out, it's actually the culmination of a fascinating career arc.
Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 3:14 pm
"Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed" by the leaders of North Korea against their own people, the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights declared Monday in a report that goes on to accuse that nation's communist regime of "crimes against humanity."
Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:55 am
Most people know Abraham Lincoln for his achievements as president. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and held the nation together through the trauma of the Civil War. His Gettysburg Address is one of the best known in American history.
But what you might not know is that Lincoln cooked.
From his childhood to his days in the White House, food played an integral part in shaping Lincoln's life, food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey tells Tell Me More's Michel Martin.
The other day, I wrote a post about a cartoonist, Connie Sun, and her thoughts about animals. Her mom heard about it, and called Connie to say "Yea!" and then, because she's an honest woman, she asked, "What is NPR?" Here's what happened next:
I have this conversation all the time. So many people are not aware that NPR writes things, "posts" things. But we are spreading the word. (Going from "What is NPR?" to "NPR is blogs?" — that's progress, I think. No?)
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 4:43 pm
John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?
That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*
Fantômas begins as many a good tale begins: with listeners crowding around a fire. In this case, guests of the venerable Marquise surround a retired magistrate who, with relish, tells of the terror that is Fantômas. Fantômas, the criminal mastermind — I would love the book just for the mystery of the name, though in fact, the name isn't even his: it is given to him by rumor, or maybe the police. We know nothing of Fantômas: he is believed to take on the identity of others, sometimes famous others, sometimes several at once.