World

The Salt
3:35 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Got Baguettes? Bakers' Lobby Tells France To Eat More Bread

Baguettes head into a giant oven at Le Grenier a Pain Bakery.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:32 am

The French, it seems, aren't eating bread the way they used to. The average French person consumes just half a baguette a day, down from a full baguette 40 years ago.

Those statistics worry the French bakers' lobby, the Observatoire du Pain.

Bernard Vallius, who heads the group, says it used to be that people ate a sit-down lunch and dinner with family or friends every day. Now people — especially the young and those who live in cities — eat sandwiches or skip lunch altogether and snack, he says.

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Monkey See
3:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

The Man Who Gets The Science Right On 'The Big Bang Theory'

David Saltzberg (right) hosts his "Geek of the Week," UCLA student Andrew Peck, on the set of The Big Bang Theory.
Michael Yarish Warner Bros.

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:02 pm

Sure, Bob Newhart may have won his first Emmy for guest-starring as Professor Proton on the hugely popular show The Big Bang Theory, about four young scientists at Caltech. But behind the scenes is a real-life professor, David Saltzberg of UCLA.

Saltzberg studies high-energy particle physics and high-energy neutrino astronomy, using radio-detection techniques when he's not working as The Big Bang Theory's science consultant.

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Around the Nation
6:19 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Strained Foster Care System A 'Meter Of Our Social Problems'

Claudia Felder, 21, was in and out of the U.S. foster care system for nearly 10 years before she found a permanent family. Her difficult story ended happily, but that's not always the case for the 400,000 kids in foster care in America.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 12:02 pm

Claudia Felder lives in Chino, Calif., with her parents. It's a wholesome scene: nice house, three dogs and a parrot and happy family pictures everywhere.

You'd have no idea that the composed, cheerful, articulate young woman got off to a rough start in life.

Felder spent much of her childhood in foster care, starting when she was 3 years old. She's 21 now, and has been living happily with her adoptive family. But memories of an abusive past still haunt her.

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama At Navy Yard Memorial: 'Once More, Our Hearts Are Broken'

President Obama speaks during a memorial service at the Marine Barracks Sunday in Washington, D.C., honoring victims of Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:07 am

President Obama spoke at a memorial service Sunday to honor the 12 victims of Monday's Navy Yard shootings.

"The tragedy and the pain that brings us here today is extraordinary. It is unique," he said.

But Obama also noted Monday's incident is the fifth mass shooting he has witnessed as president. "Once more, our hearts are broken," he said.

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Africa
4:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Kenyan Government Moves To End Deadly Mall Standoff

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:19 pm

In Nairobi Sunday night, Kenyan government forces appear to be preparing for a major push to end the standoff in the Westgate Mall. The government says it has cornered the gunmen who stormed the mall Saturday. NPR's Gregory Warner tells host Arun Rath at least 68 people have been killed.

Education
4:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

In Push For 'Common' Standards, Many Parents Left Uneducated

The Common Core Standards establish academic expectations across states in math and English language arts.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 2:51 pm

Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the first-ever national academic standards for students. But opposition is growing, and some lawmakers are having second thoughts about their states' support.

Meanwhile, proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they've never even heard of Common Core.

Looking For Direction

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The Salt
4:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Move Over Vodka; Korean Soju's Taking A Shot At America

Boxes of empty Jinro soju bottles sit in a downtown Seoul, South Korea, shop on April 1, 2005.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Every year, the trade magazine Drinks International puts out a list of the top-selling alcohols in the world, and in the category of spirits, there is one brand that more than doubles the sales of its closest competitor every year. Smirnoff, Jack Daniel's and Bacardi don't even come close.

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Author Interviews
4:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

'Hollywood Said No,' But 'Mr. Show' Fans Said Yes!

From left, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross co-created the sketch comedy series Mr. Show. They have since played long-running roles on Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, respectively.
Sharon Alagna Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:19 pm

When the comedy program Mr. Show with Bob and David came on the air in 1995, there was nothing like it. Created by comedians Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, it was full of dark, subversive and riotously funny sketches tied together with bizarre and brilliant segues reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

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Europe
4:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Merkel Appears Victorious, But Coalition's Future Uncertain

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:19 pm

In Germany Sunday, exit polls show that Chancellor Angela Merkel has won a third term, with her political party getting the most votes. But one of the key members in her ruling coalition appears to have been voted out of parliament, leaving it unclear who Merkel will partner with in her next government.

Parallels
4:22 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Small Syrian Border Town Magnifies Rift Between Rebel Groups

A Free Syrian Army soldier stands on a Syrian military tank in front of a damaged mosque in the Syrian town of Azaz in September 2012. A different rebel group, an al-Qaida offshoot, took over the town on Wednesday.
Hussein Malla AP

A small town on the Syrian-Turkish border is playing an outsized role in what has become a war within the war in Syria. Azaz is now a symbol of the dangerous rift between Western-backed rebels under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army and a radical Islamist groups linked to al-Qaida.

Clashes on Wednesday — the seizure of Azaz by an al-Qaida offshoot — were followed more closely than other battles, in part because Azaz was the gateway town for journalists reporting on Syria.

From Cooperation To Competition

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Crash Stops Cross-Country Charity Bike Ride, Miles From Goal

Jacob Landis has been riding his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium, to raise money to help the needy pay for cochlear implants. His ride ended Saturday night due to a crash — but Landis says he'll still be at the Marlins' stadium next week.
Jacob's Ride

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:24 pm

Cyclist Jacob Landis, who rode more than 10,000 miles on his bike this year to raise money for cochlear implants, will miss out on the final miles of his ride after being hit by a truck. Landis had planned to ride his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium this season. Despite the crash, he says he'll still go to the final game on his schedule.

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This Is NPR
3:03 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Join NPR For A Night Of Cheap-Date-Tested, B.J. Novak-Approved Fun; Thursday, 10/10

The Ask Me Another team (top) and audience members at the NPR show's Central Park taping for SummerStage 2013.
Steve McFarland for NPR

Fugazi, comedy and friendly competition.

Got your interest yet? NPR has an event coming up that let's just call... the answer to your date-planning needs. A guaranteed night of buzzer-busting shenanigans and they-went-there banter all set to lyric-shifting house music and can't-stop, won't-stop laughs.

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Music Interviews
2:17 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

?uestlove And Elvis Costello On Writing Together

?uestlove and The Roots play backing band to Elvis Costello on the new collaborative album Wise Up Ghost.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:34 am

Since NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon launched in 2009, Elvis Costello has been a frequent guest. There, Costello got to work with the show's in-house band, The Roots, and he struck up a professional relationship with the its leader, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Striking Images, Personal Stories Emerge From Kenyan Mall Attack

Civilians try to move to safety in a Nairobi shopping mall, where a standoff that began Saturday has lasted into Sunday. Images and witness accounts depict harrowing scenes inside the mall.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

One day after panic and confusion took over a shopping mall in Nairobi, survivors' accounts and photographs provide a close-up perspective of the scene. Their stories have given new detail to the chaos that erupted after attackers used grenades and guns to begin a standoff that lasted into Sunday.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Suicide Attack Strikes Church In Pakistan; Dozens Dead

People gather outside All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, after a suicide bombing attack killed scores of people earlier in the day, officials said.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:33 am

Two suicide bombers struck the All Saints Church following a service in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, killing more than 70 people and wounding more than 120, according to the AP and other news outlets. The victims are believed to include many children.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sun September 22, 2013

China's Bo Xilai Is Given Life Sentence For Bribery, Other Crimes

Men watch a TV screen showing former Chinese politician Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life in prison Sunday by a court in Jinan, Shandong Province.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese court has sentenced Bo Xilai, the former Politburo member who was snared on graft charges, to life in prison. The sentence for offenses that include bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power, completes a shocking fall for Bo, who had been a rising star in China's political system.

"Bribes received directly by Bo or via his family totaled 20.44 million yuan (about 3.3 million U.S. dollars), the court decided," reports state news agency Xinhua.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Nairobi Mall Attack: Civilians Remain Hostages; Dozens Dead

Kenyan soldiers secure a section of Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall, in this image taken from AFP TV. At least 68 deaths have been reported as a result of Saturday's midday attack by gunmen at the mall.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:26 pm

This post was last updated at 5:25 p.m. ET.

A standoff that began with a shocking attack at Kenya's Westgate Mall Saturday is in its second day, with civilians held hostage by gunmen in the upscale shopping center.

The authorities say they have isolated the attackers. As of Sunday afternoon, Red Cross officials reported 68 deaths and at least 200 wounded in the assault, with 49 people still missing. We'll add news to this post as it emerges.

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Code Switch
7:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia

In this 2011 photo, American-born Islamist militant Omar Hammami, right, sits with al-Shabab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow during a press conference in Somalia.
Farah Abdi Warsameh AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:42 am

Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

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Sports
7:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

New NBA Cameras Could Catch Lazy Players

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A little over a year from now, if you walk into any NBA arena, there's a good chance you'll be standing underneath six expensive high tech cameras. You probably won't see these cameras, though. They'll be tucked away up in the rafters, but during the game those six cameras will be tracking the exact location of every player on the court and the ball 25 times a second.

Zach Lowe has been reporting on this phenomenon for the sports website Grantland.com. He joins us now from our studios in New York. Hi Zach.

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Sports
7:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Extra Wild Card Adds Man-Made Drama To MLB

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's almost October, which means baseball playoff time. So for the uninitiated, let's review how Major League Baseball recently changed who gets to go to the playoffs. As always, the top three spots in each league go to the best teams in the three divisions; best teams from East, West and Central. There's also a fourth slot - the wildcard slot.

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