World

Code Switch
10:44 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Who Should Be The Next Comedians Of Color On 'SNL'?

Lots of readers said that the comedian Aisha Tyler should get her own late-night talk show
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images for LOGO

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:22 pm

It's an old story: The straightest and surest path to becoming a big-time comedy star is by becoming a cast member or writer on Saturday Night Live. That was proved true again this week when Seth Meyers, SNL's head writer, was tapped to be the new host of NBC's Late Night, the show currently hosted by Jimmy Fallon (SNL cast member, 1998-2004), who took over that gig from Conan O'Brien (SNL writer, 1988-1991).

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Berkshire Hathaway's Credit Rating Knocked Down A Notch

Warren Buffett.
Donald Bowers Getty Images for Fortune

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:53 am

Billionaire investment legend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has had its credit rating lowered from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

In a statement, S&P says that even though Berkshire Hathaway has an "excellent business profile," the lower credit rating "better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income." (S&P's statement is posted on its website, but you have to register to view it.)

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Conflicting Signals From Latest Economic Indicators

Thursday morning's economic news:

-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Twitter Users Risk Damnation, Say Saudi Religious Police

In January, this Saudi man in Riyadh had Twitter open on his computer.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:57 am

"The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis," the BBC reports. "Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites — and especially Twitter — 'has lost this world and his afterlife.' "

International Digital Times notes that:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Book News: Amazon's Tiny Tax Payment Draws Fresh Scrutiny

An Amazon.co.uk parcel passes along a conveyor belt at a facility in Milton Keynes, England.
Bruno Vincent Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:00 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Top Stories: Deadly Texas Twisters; NATO Faces Afghan Bombs

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:50 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Texas Tornado Leaves 6 Dead, Dozens Hurt, Hundreds Homeless.

-- At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul.

And here are more early headlines:

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul

The scene Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy.
Zhao Yishen Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:46 am

Early casualty reports indicate that a powerful suicide car bombing Thursday in Kabul killed at least seven Afghan civilians, four foreign civilian contractors who were working for international forces and two members of the international military force.

Dozens more people were reportedly injured by the blast in Afghanistan's capital city.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

How To Put This 'Delicate'-ly ... Not Le Carre's Best Work

Some novelists interest us because they turn the light of a style we enjoy on whatever subject they take up. Some novelists we enjoy because they have found a great subject and work it well and lovingly. John le Carre seems to belong to the latter group, having found his vein of fiction gold in the world of Cold War espionage.

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World
6:44 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Some Leaders In Saudi Arabia Condemn Twitter

Religious authorities responded after Saudis used Twitter to show images of human rights activists on trial. The BBC reports the kingdom's most senior cleric called Twitter users "fools." The head of the religious police says any social media user will lose the afterlife.

Health
4:38 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Stem Cell Milestone Revives Intense Ethical Debate

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We're going to look closely this morning at a dramatic advance in science.

GREENE: And also its far-reaching implications. The advance involves embryonic stem cell research.

INSKEEP: Which scientists see as a route to dramatic advances in medical treatment. Researchers have now figured out how to make embryonic stem cells that carry a specific individual's DNA.

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Sports
4:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Wrestlers Grapple To Save Sport From Olympic Chopping Block

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

How often do you find Iran, Russia and the United States united behind a single message? Well, representatives from all three countries were in New York City yesterday rallying support for the sport of wrestling, which could be excluded from the upcoming Olympic Games. It was quite a show of sportsmanship and diplomacy. Of course, there was time for some conflict among the wrestlers. It took place at New York's Grand Central Terminal, that's why they called it the Rumble on the Rails.

Here's NPR's Mike Pesca.

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Asia
4:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Yen's Drop In Value Could Fuel Curency War

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Japan's economy is finally getting a lift. The stock market is soaring there. Companies like Toyota and Sony are seeing a surge in profits. And today, Japan's government reported the economy grew a three-and-a-half percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, a significant improvement.

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Middle East
4:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Obama, Erdogan To Discuss Syria's Conflict Spilling Into Turkey

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 12:57 pm

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets President Obama at the White House on Thursday. Their talks will focus on the Syrian conflict. Erdogan has been pushing the U.S. to do more to resolve a conflict.

Middle East
4:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

For Some Syrians, A Trip To The Hospital Takes Days

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:56 am

Syrian government troops are besieging the western town of Qusayr, a stronghold of rebel forces. For civilians and rebel fighters injured in the fierce clashes and intense aerial bombing campaigns in and around that Syrian border town, the nearest hospital is in another country: Lebanon.

Research News
3:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life

This map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.
United States Geological Survey

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:25 am

Scientists have discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it's a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets.

The water samples came from holes drilled by gold miners near the small town of Timmins, Ontario, about 350 miles north of Toronto. Deep in the Canadian bedrock, miners drill holes and collect samples. Sometimes they hit pay dirt; sometimes they hit water, which seeps out from tiny crevices in the rock.

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Parallels
3:02 am
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Hands Over Nation-Building Projects To Afghans

Afghan and U.S. officials attend the closing ceremony for the Paktia provincial reconstruction team on April 9 in eastern Afghanistan. NATO created more than 20 teams to help the Afghans rebuild. But now the U.S. teams are winding down their activities.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:24 am

On a sunny spring day in eastern Afghanistan's Paktia province, Afghan officials and U.S. troops and civilians gather inside the ancient mud fort in the center of Forward Operating Base Gardez. They're attending a ceremony marking the formal end of the work of the provincial reconstruction team, or PRT.

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Obama Announces Resignation Of Acting IRS Commissioner

President Obama makes a statement Wednesday about acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller's resignation.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:39 am

President Obama announced late Wednesday that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steve Miller, has resigned in the wake of a report that employees at the agency engaged in partisan scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

The president, appearing for a brief statement at the White House, said he had directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "to accept the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS."

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Jury Finds Jodi Arias Eligible For Death Penalty

Jodi Arias reacts during the reading of the verdict at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on May 8.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:36 pm

A jury has found Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman found guilty last week of first-degree murder for killing her onetime boyfriend in a fit of rage, eligible for the death penalty.

The Associated Press reports: "The decision came after a day of testimony Wednesday during which prosecutors had to prove the murder was committed in an especially cruel and heinous manner."

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Live in Concert
6:26 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Vampire Weekend, Live In Concert

Chris Tomson (left) and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend perform at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica, Calif.
Brenda Janario KCRW

Whether its members see it as blessing or a curse, Vampire Weekend's early success placed the band squarely under a microscope. Since even before the release of its first album, Vampire Weekend's clever lyrics and use of worldly rhythms have commanded attention; fortunately, the group's fame hasn't waned as its music has become more dynamic and confident.

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This Is NPR
6:18 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Work It! NPR Staff Give And Take Advice For Women On The Job

This credo was quick to catch on at the She Works site and around the NPR building too. "Some pearls around HQ from @nprnews #sheworks project," NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) said on Twitter.
Ari Shapiro NPR's She Works

As part of NPR's series The Changing Lives Of Women, our fearless female journalists are answering tough questions about their careers and offering insight into what it means to "have it all." Nina Totenberg, Audie Cornish and others responded in online essays and some took their best mantras to social media as well.

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