World

Planet Money
12:49 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Stamps, Jeans, Beer: What Americans Want From North Korea

Can I buy a pair of jeans made in North Korea?
Office of Foreign Assets Control

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:01 pm

U.S. sanctions mean that any citizen or business wanting to buy stuff from North Korea has to send a letter to the U.S. government asking for special permission. A few months back, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for those letters.

Our request was granted: We recently received a packet of 18 letters from Americans who wanted to do business with the most isolated nation on the planet. We've posted all of the letters online.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

North Korea Still Gets Propaganda Mileage Out Of U.S. Spy Ship

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 1:03 pm

North Korea's most famous museum exhibit, the captured American spy ship USS Pueblo, has been painted and polished for display as part of Saturday's "Victory Day" ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean War.

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NPR Story
12:08 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The 'Uncool' Passion of Jonathan Franzen

Best-selling novelist Jonathan Franzen has fallen in love...with birds. Writing for the July issue of National Geographic magazine, Franzen describes how migrating songbirds are being hunted in high numbers in Egypt, Albania, and other places along the Mediterranean. Franzen tells SciFri about the songbirds' plight and how his passion for birds has evolved.

NPR Story
12:08 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Uncovering the Mystery of J.K. Rowling's Latest Novel

One of the biggest mysteries of the new detective novel The Cuckoo's Calling was the identity of the author. It was written by Robert Galbraith, which was revealed to be the pseudonym of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. Patrick Juola, professor of computer science at Duquesne University, discusses how he used computerized text analysis to uncover the mystery.

NPR Story
12:08 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

MERS Virus Update

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a newly discovered virus in the same family as SARS. Most of the documented cases have come from Saudi Arabia, which has seen a 54 percent mortality rate in those patients. Martin Cetron, director of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discusses the emerging virus.

NPR Story
12:08 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

'Moth-ers' Shine a Light on Nighttime Beauties

Think moths are nothing more than drab, little brown fliers stalking your wool sweaters? The folks behind National Moth Week, happening now, want to change that perception. Rutgers University moth expert Elena Tartaglia describes the diversity of moths and the role that they play in nature, and gives some tips on how to become a "moth-er."

NPR Story
12:08 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Phil Mickelson Takes a Swing at Science

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. This next segment is specially dedicated to people for whom midsummer means lush greens, maybe a little sand and hopefully a lot of birdies. We're in the thick of golf season. The U.S. Open wrapped up last month, the British Open last weekend. And in just a few weeks, the PGA Championship begins. Up next, a look at the science of this sport. What sets the pros apart? Stroke mechanics, swing thoughts, physics, psychology?

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NPR Story
12:08 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Melding Two Memories Into One

Reporting in Science, researchers write of linking a mouse's innocuous memory of a room with a more fearful memory of getting an electric shock — causing the mouse to freeze in fear upon seeing the safe room. Study author Steve Ramirez of M.I.T. and memory researcher Mark Mayford of The Scripps Research Institute discuss the implications for modifying human memories.

World
12:03 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The North Korea Files

Read letters sent by U.S. citizens and businesses, asking for special permission to do business with North Korea.

Parallels
11:09 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Indian School Deaths: A Village's Pain Compounded By Poverty

Chandra Devi lost two of her children last week when they consumed a free school lunch in Gandaman village, India. They were among 23 children who died in the tragedy.
Anoo Bhuyan NPR

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 12:13 pm

"We are small people. What can we really do about this?" asks Surendra Prasad, perched on the steps outside the Patna Medical College and Hospital in the state capital of Bihar in eastern India.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Egypt Opens Murder, Conspiracy Investigation Against Morsi

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi attend a Friday rally in Cairo.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 8:54 pm

Egyptian prosecutors have opened an investigation into ousted President Mohammed Morsi, who they suspect of conspiracy and murder, raising tensions as both Islamists and supporters of newly installed military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi turn out for street protests.

The surprise announcement of the investigation against Morsi, who was removed in a July 3 coup, stem from a 2011 prison break in which Morsi escaped and at least 14 guards were killed. Hamas gunmen are said to have led the attack at Wadi el-Natroun prison, an allegation the militant group has denied.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Snowden Wouldn't Face Death Penalty, Holder Tells Russia

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 12:00 pm

"The United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder has told his Russian counterpart in a letter about the "NSA leaker" who remains in legal limbo at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri July 26, 2013

If You Think The French President Is 'Stupide,' Just Say So

France's President Francois Hollande. His predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, reportedly thinks he's "a ridiculous little fat man."
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 12:27 pm

The French are famous for their insults, but traditionally they haven't taken it well when the target is the president of the republic.

A vote in parliament on Thursday has changed that. For the first time in 130 years, it's now legal to say how you really feel about the French leader.

So, if you think that French President Francois Hollande is "a ridiculous little fat man who dyes his hair," as Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly said (in private) of his successor, you're free to say so — in public.

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TED Radio Hour
9:41 am
Fri July 26, 2013

To The Edge

What motivates explorers to venture into the unknown?
TED

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:02 am

"Certainly to enter a world of terror, you should not be pushed by someone. You should be called. You should be curious. You should have the heart of an explorer." — Philippe Petit, high-wire artist

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:10 am
Fri July 26, 2013

It's All Politics, July 25, 2013

Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 9:25 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

All good things must come to an end. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving, for the final time, weigh in on the political news of the week. New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is enbroiled in another sexting saga, President Obama delivers his most expansive comments on race and Mitch McConnell now has a Tea Party challenger. The guys also make 2014 and 2016 predictions, plus read farewell comments from The Listener.

The Two-Way
9:04 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Top Stories: Feds Reportedly Seek Passwords; Egypt's Morsi Accused

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 10:14 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: NPR's Kirk Siegler on the investigation into the crash at LaGuardia
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A Blog Supreme
8:03 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Black History Meets Black Music: 'Blues People' At 50

Amiri Baraka in the 1970s.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 8:34 am

The year 1963 saw the March on Washington, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Medgar Evers, the bombing of the Birmingham church that resulted in the deaths of four black girls and the passing of W.E.B. Du Bois. That same year, LeRoi Jones — a twentysomething, Newark, N.J.-born, African-American, Lower East Side-based Beat poet — published a book titled Blues People: a panoramic sociocultural history of African-American music.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Call Clouseau! 'Pink Panther' Thief Escapes From Swiss Jail

Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) would surely crack the case.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:01 pm

David Niven's been dead for 30 years, so he can't be behind this:

"A Bosnian from the 'Pink Panther' gang of international jewel thieves escaped from a Swiss prison in a dramatic break-out involving a fellow inmate and two armed accomplices, police said Friday." (Agence France-Presse, via GlobalPost)

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Book News: Amazon Posts Loss As It Focuses On Long Game

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Report: Feds Have Asked Web Firms For Users' Passwords

NPR

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 3:09 pm

"The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users' stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders," CNET News is reporting.

It adds that:

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