World

The Two-Way
10:46 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Weapons Expert Sees 'Constructive Beginning' In Syria

A convoy of chemical weapons disarmament experts depart the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday. A second team of experts will soon join mission to destroy Syria's chemical program.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:17 pm

A second team of international inspectors is being deployed to Syria, where the process of destroying chemical weapons-producing facilities began Sunday. Syria faces a November deadline for demolishing its production equipment; the first weapons team arrived in the country on Oct. 1.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:16 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Science Suffers In Unseen Ways From Government Dysfunction

Tourists are dwarfed by the Very Large Array in 2005. The facility, on the Plains of San Agustin, 50 miles west of Socorro, N.M., has been closed as a result of the government shutdown. The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas linked together to simulate the capabilities of a single dish 17 miles in diameter.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:41 am

On Saturday night I saw Gravity, the new semi-realistic space survival flick. I thought: an astrophysicist's view of this film would certainly be worth a 13.7 post. But I've left that thought behind for an email I had received the day before:

Dear user community colleagues,

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NPR Story
10:13 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Wi-Fi and Cell-Free Town In Photos

A telephone booth sits by a road leading to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, W.Va. Cell service around the telescope is nonexistent.
John W. Poole NPR

A slideshow of images from Green Bank, W. Va., a town that protects its radio telescope by banning Wi-Fi and cell towers.

The Two-Way
8:52 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Top Stories: Nobel Prize In Physics; Possible Debt Ceiling Vote

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:15 pm

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It's All Politics
8:18 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Tuesday Morning Political Mix

Despite all the warning signs, U.S. leaders continue to barrel toward a debt default with no one yet willing to step on the brakes.
SAUL LOEB AFP/Getty Images

Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 8 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Among the only certainties: many federal workers are a day closer to missing a paycheck and the nation is a day closer to hitting the debt ceiling.

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Music Interviews
8:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Watch: Pearl Jam In Conversation With Judd Apatow

Pearl Jam with writer and director Judd Apatow (third from right).
Karen Loria Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:53 am

When you operate within the pop world — that is, the world in which whatever you make becomes a cultural commodity (i.e. you record a song, it gets played on the radio and various hands exchange money) — you have to engage with the process of generating hype. It's a given, no matter how carefully made your work or how pure your intentions. Some people are in the thick of hype, but let's put thoughts of today's provocateurs aside for a moment. Instead, it's interesting to think about how artists who've had the machine spin around them a few times choose to play the game, or change it.

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World Cafe
8:01 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Pearl Jam On World Cafe: Part 1

Pearl Jam.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:50 am

Pearl Jam is set to release its 10th studio album, Lightning Bolt, on Oct. 15, making it the band's first record since 2009's Backspacer. The group members aren't doing much publicity for the album — but when they do, they make it count.

On Tuesday's edition of World Cafe, listeners can hear director and producer Judd Apatow (Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) talk with the premier American rock band in a wide-ranging interview.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Book News: Without A Shortlist, Nobel-Watchers Turn To Bookies

Haruki Murakami is the author of such books as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.
Elena Seibert Knopf

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:30 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Higgs Boson Researchers Awarded The Nobel Prize In Physics

British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (left) and Belgian theoretical physicist Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:09 am

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the Swedish committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

A Skillfully Composed Space Opera In 'Ancillary Justice'

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:19 pm

"My heart is a fish, hiding in the water-grass."

Breq has found someone in the snow: a stranger to everyone on this planet, a thousand years old, a relic out of time — but despite all that, Breq remembers.

Breq used to be the ship that carried them both.

The assured, gripping and stylish Ancillary Justice is, in its broadest strokes, the tale of an empire, and in its smallest a character study, and part of debut novelist Anne Leckie's achievement is how she handles her protagonists in both of those contexts.

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Research News
4:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Higgs, Englert Win 2013 Nobel Physics Prize

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:26 am

Britain's Peter Higgs and Belgium's Francois Englert won the prize for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson. That's the particle key to explaining why elementary matter has mass. The two will share the $1.25 million prize.

Middle East
4:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

For Now, No War Crimes Charges Against Syrian Regime

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Syria's chemical weapons are very far from being removed, but authorities say they've made a start. Secretary of State John Kerry says he's pleased with the pace of what has happened so far.

Last night, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon laid out a plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons program by the end of next June.

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Animals
4:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

The Truth About Lemmings, The Rodent, Not The Political Animal

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now we have this note as we continue America's most comprehensive coverage of the government shutdown. We have this morning, a scientific clarification about lemmings. Last week, you may recall a Republican lawmaker called his colleagues lemmings. He meant his fellow Republicans were following Senator Ted Cruz on a disastrous mission that led to the government shutdown.

Lemmings supposedly follow each other over a cliff. But we have learned - NPR has learned - that lemming mass suicide is a myth.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Research News
4:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

First Malaria Vaccine Moves A Step Closer To Approval

A health worker administers the malaria vaccine at a clinical trial in Kilifi, Kenya.
Joseph Okanga Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:50 pm

A malaria vaccine studied in more than 15,000 African children has been found to reduce the number of cases of disease by 27 to 46 percent.

That's only modest efficacy compared to most accepted vaccines. But this would be the first anti-malarial immunization on the market, and its developers emphasize that it still prevents a lot of cases. Its main sponsor, GlaxoSmithKline, says it's good enough to justify seeking regulatory approval in 2014.

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Afghanistan
3:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

As Afghan Presidential Race Begins, Warlords Are Prominent

Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, an influential lawmaker and religious scholar, waves at his supporters on Oct. 3, after registering his candidacy in next year's presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:26 am

As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.

And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.

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The Two-Way
7:49 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Calif. Gov. Brown Vetoes Bill Giving Non-Citizens Jury Duty

California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:17 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill today that would have made California the first state in the country to allow non-citizens to serve on juries.

"Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship," Brown wrote in a veto message. "This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don't think that's right."

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It's All Politics
7:15 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Diary, Day 7: The Blame Game

Alabama fans hold up a sign about the government shutdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia State on Saturday.
Butch Dill AP

As the seventh day of the federal government shutdown wraps up, Congress and the White House appear no closer to reaching a budget agreement.

Highlights:

Without much action Monday, a slew of newly released polls filled the news vacuum. While they showed that both parties are taking a hit over the shutdown, it appears Republicans are bearing the brunt of the blame from the American public.

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It's All Politics
6:14 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Voting Math Fails To Add Up

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:57 pm

A lot of words have been spilled since the government shutdown began nearly a week ago, but some of the most noteworthy came from the lips of House Speaker John Boehner Sunday on ABC's This Week:

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," Boehner said, referring to a spending bill to end the shutdown that would be devoid of any extraneous language.

Why is this significant?

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Code Switch
6:12 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Undocumented Immigrants In Calif. Will Benefit From New Laws

California's Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.
AP

The federal government remains shut down over a budget stalemate, but California's Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to wait for Congress to make decisions on the Gordian knot that is U.S. immigration policy. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.

"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's moving ahead," Brown stated. He added, with trademark bluntness, "I'm not waiting."

The "Trust Act" Vs. "Secure Communities"

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Former French Leader Sarkozy Is Cleared In Corruption Case

The decision to dismiss charges against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen here in Paris Monday, could clear the way for him to return to politics.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:36 pm

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.

"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."

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