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Middle East
6:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Kofi Annan Pushes Peace In Syria For Second Day

United Nations envoy Kofi Annan continues talks with the Syrian leadership, hoping to find a way to end the violence of the past year. NPR's Peter Kenyon has the latest.

Middle East
6:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

How Should U.S. Proceed With Syria?

P.J. Crowley was U.S. assistant secretary of state for public affairs from 2009 to 2011. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Crowley about how the U.S. should handle the Syrian situation.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Forgotten Irish Laborers Finally Laid To Rest

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This past week, five Irish immigrant laborers were laid to read in Philadelphia, 180 years after their death. From member WHYY, Peter Crimmins reports they were part of a forgotten railroad work crew that was buried in a mass grave under the very railroad tracks they helped construct.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMAZING GRACE")

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Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Santorum Wins Kansas Caucus

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won Kansas' Republican caucuses Saturday. Neither Mitt Romney nor Newt Gingrich spent any time campaigning in the state. Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports.

The Salt
4:44 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup

A farmer sprays the weed killer glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 8:06 am

Since it seems to be Pest Resistance Week here at The Salt, with stories on weeds and insects, we might as well just pull out all the stops. So, next up: Why didn't Monsanto's scientists foresee that weeds would become resistant to glyphosate, the weed-killing chemical in their blockbuster herbicide Roundup?

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
4:23 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Signs Of Recovery Emerge After A Long Downturn

While parts of the U.S. economy struggle, other sectors are seeing growth. Here, job seekers talk with recruiters at a career fair in Manhattan last month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 8:08 am

Millions of Americans are still searching for jobs or facing home foreclosures. For them, the Great Recession drags on into its fifth year.

But for others, the U.S. economy is looking up.

Companies in certain sectors are buying equipment again and hiring workers. These pockets of strength — found in energy, technology, manufacturing, autos, agriculture and elsewhere — are helping invigorate the broader economy.

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Rebuilding Japan
4:23 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Nuclear Woes Push Japan Into A New Energy Future

A liquefied natural gas tanker arrives at a gas storage station east of Tokyo on April 6, 2009. The shuttering of Japan's nuclear power plants has driven an increased reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels.
AFP/Getty Images

The tsunami that struck Japan last year destroyed four nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station on the east coast of the country. Radiation spread through the air and into the ocean, and workers labored for weeks to quench the melting reactor cores. Farmland and numerous towns were evacuated and much remains off-limits.

Since then, Japan has been temporarily shutting down its remaining nuclear plants as the public debates whether to swear off nuclear power permanently. But saying no to nuclear has been and will continue to be costly.

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Middle East
4:21 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Syrian Refugees May Be Wearing Out Turks' Welcome

Syrian girls attend a class in a makeshift classroom at a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border in southern Turkey's Hatay province, on Feb. 8. More than 12,000 Syrians live in refugee camps in Hatay, and several thousand more have found accommodations elsewhere.
Murad Sezer Reuters /Landov

It could be a scene from almost any school in the world: rows of young kids reciting their lessons, the girls dressed in shades of pink and sporting Hello Kitty backpacks, the boys in dark clothing, looking a little restless.

But this makeshift school is in a concrete farmhouse on the outskirts of Antakya, in southern Turkey's Hatay province near the border with Syria. And the 156 students — aged 6 to 13 — are all refugees from cities and towns across Syria.

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Economy
4:20 am
Sun March 11, 2012

An Example To Avoid: City Of Stockton On The Brink

The beleaguered city of Stockton is fighting to avert bankruptcy by cutting staff, including a quarter of the roughly 425-member police force.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 4:21 pm

The city of Stockton, Calif., about 90 minutes east of San Francisco, is broke and on the brink of bankruptcy. Stockton's road to insolvency is a long one, and it appears that, financially speaking, everything that could go wrong in Stockton did.

If Stockton can't solve its budget crisis, it would be the largest American city to go bankrupt.

The City's Seen Better Days

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Mitt Romney
4:20 am
Sun March 11, 2012

To Woo South, Romney Needs More Than A Twang

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the Mississippi Farmers Market in Jackson, Miss., on Friday. The former Massachusetts governor has skeptics in the Deep South.
Rogelio Solis AP

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 11:29 am

Mitt Romney picked up some support in Saturday's contests, but there may be trouble lurking for him in the near future as the GOP race moves to the Deep South.

Despite his second-place finish in Kansas, Romney scored victories Saturday in caucuses in Guam, the Northern Marianas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also won county conventions in Wyoming.

Tuesday's primaries are in Alabama and Mississippi, and the reddest of states are proving to be a tough sell for the former Massachusetts governor. He's trying his best to connect with the Republican base.

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The Two-Way
11:48 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

U.S. Service Member Detained For Allegedly Shooting Afghans

An elderly Afghan man sits next to the covered body of a person who was allegedly killed by a U.S. service member in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, March 11, 2012.
Allauddin Khan AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:57 am

An American soldier in Afghanistan allegedly walked off his base in the pre-dawn hours Sunday morning and began shooting at civilians in their homes in the southern province of Kandahar.

At least 16 civilians are reported dead, including nine children and three women. NATO hasn't confirmed the death toll, but has detained the accused service member.

The attack began around 3 a.m. in two villages in Panjwai, a suburb of Kandahar. They're not far from the U.S. base. As the AP reports:

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Middle East
4:01 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

A War With Iran: Rhetoric Or A Reality?

Bob Kunst (right) protests against a nuclear Iran in front of the White House on Monday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In recent weeks and days, the divisions over how to deal with Iran and its nuclear program have sharpened. The only undisputed fact is that Iran is developing a nuclear energy program, but after that things get murky.

Israel and some European countries believe Iran is moving toward a nuclear weapons program, but U.S. intelligence agencies disagree. Israel argues that a nuclear-armed Iran poses an existential threat, and there's much speculation in the media about a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Putin Opposition Recounts Vote Fraud At Moscow Rally

A protester wearing a costume bearing the words Robocop walks among Russian riot police officers after a rally in Moscow on Saturday.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 4:42 pm

Opponents of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin staged another rally in Moscow on Saturday, but with Putin now elected to the presidency for a six-year term, their mass protest movement seemed to be losing steam.

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Music Interviews
2:36 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Zieti: Amid Brutal Conflict, A Musical Friendship Survives

Zieti's members and extended family in the band's early days. Left to right: Tiende Laurent, Gnakale Aristide, Michael Shereikis (in back) with wife Natasha and son Nicholas, Yeoue Narcisse and Alex Owre.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 4:12 pm

The musical group Zieti started when two American expats met two Ivorian musicians living in a seaside shantytown. They became fast friends, rehearsing on the beach and even recording a few tracks together. The tracks then went missing when Ivory Coast fell into a brutal civil war, scattering Zieti's core to the four winds. Then, after a decade apart, the players reconnected and set about re-recording their lost songs.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Losing Sleep, Saving Time: Set Your Clock Forward This Weekend

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 5:51 pm

Daylight saving time goes into effect at 2 a.m. tomorrow. Remember the adage, "Spring forward, fall back," and set your clock ahead by one hour before you go to bed tonight.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

A Year Later, Japan Slowly Recovers

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

It's already Sunday in Japan. And people across that country will begin to commemorate the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck one year ago. In a moment, we're going to hear about a group of volunteers who have been working with survivors, helping them get back on their feet.

But first to our correspondent Anthony Kuhn who's in Japan. And, Anthony, tell us, first of all, where you are and how it compares to what you saw a year ago.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Volunteers Aid Lives Shattered By Japan Disaster

As Japan continues to rebuild after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami, many Japanese are devoting themselves to dealing with the human costs of the tragedy. Almost 20,000 people died in the disaster, but many thousands more were left injured, homeless and destitute. Doualy Xaykaothao met a group of Japanese people trying to make a difference.

Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

The Curious Case Of Teen Tics In Le Roy, N.Y.

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Now to a story that's gripped a small town in Upstate, New York for the past five months. It's about 18 high school girls in the working-class town of Le Roy. It's just outside of Rochester. Reporter Susan Dominus wrote about it in this week's issue of the New York Times magazine, and she says it all started back in October when a high school cheerleader named Katie Krautwurst woke up from a nap.

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Media
10:45 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Ag-Gag Law Blows Animal Activists' Cover

Struthers raises about 4,500 pigs for meat every year.
Kathleen Masterson Iowa Public Radio

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 4:12 pm

After a series of videos revealing apparent cruel treatment of farm animals went viral, Iowa has made it a crime for people to misrepresent themselves to gain access to a farm. The so-called "Ag-Gag" law targets undercover animal rights activists who secretly take videos. Farmers say they need the legal protection to block those trying to take down agriculture, but critics ask what the industry may be hiding.

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Arts & Life
7:55 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Here (And There, And Really Everywhere) Be Dragons

A close-up of a dragon robe, or long pao, dated late 18th- or early 19th-century China. It's one of many on display in the exhibit "Dragons, Nagas, and Creatures of the Deep" at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.
Renee Comet Textile Museum

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 3:43 pm

As the supernatural enjoys a pop culture resurgence — from vampires to fairy tales — there's also been a firestorm of fascination with dragons. Fire-breathing dragons are central to the much-anticipated second season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, which opens April 1. And this year alone the mystical creatures are being featured in two movies, a new book, video games and a museum exhibit.

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Simon Says
6:57 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Actress Sues IMDB, But It's Internet Privacy On Trial

Actress Junie Hoang is going to court because her IMDB profile reveals her age.
IMDB

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 11:49 am

I hope it's not ungentlemanly to note that Junie Hoang is 40 years old. Her birth date appears in the Internet Movie Database, or IMDb, as does the fact that she has played a headless woman in Domain of the Damned and Ms. Fix-It in Voodoo Dolly.

She doesn't sound like a woman to cross.

Junie Hoang is going to court against IMDb, which is owned by Amazon, because it reveals her age in her entry. She believes that could cost her work.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Non-Romney Candidates Continue Delegate Search

Host Scott Simon reports on the other candidates for the Republican nomination for president: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. This week, they've been campaigning in the South and Midwest in the hunt for votes and nominating delegates.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

How Powerful Is A Political Yard Sign?

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As the candidates stump for votes, Republicans in Kansas and two U.S. territories will caucus today, and pick their choices to be the Republican nominee this fall. Many voters will show their support for a particular candidate. Long before they cast any votes, they might put up a poster or plant a yard sign for their candidate. These signs spring up like mushrooms every campaign season. Do they actually work?

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

The Week In Sports

Tom Goldman joins host Scott Simon to talk about the latest sports stories.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Boats Ashore, Tsunami Scars Japanese Fishing Town

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. One year ago this weekend, Japan was battered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. One of the places hardest hit was the coastal community of Yuriage. What was once a beautiful fishing village, and home to a bustling community of thousands, is now a desolate and deserted place. Doualy Xaykaothao reported from there shortly after the earthquake, and has just returned to file this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF SEAGULLS)

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Fukushima Starts Long Road To Recovery

NPR's Richard Harris talks with host Scott Simon about the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors, one year after multiple meltdowns there spread radioactive materials across a swath of northern Japan. Huge technical challenges remain and prospects for resettling the area are uncertain.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Libyan Interim Leader On Recovery, Instability

This time last year, Col. Moammar Gadhafi was losing control of Libya. Scott Simon talks with Abdel-Rahim el Keib, the Libyan interim prime minister who took over in the wake of the country's uprising.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Romney Wraps Up Deep South Tour

NPR's Ari Shapiro traveled with presidential hopeful Mitt Romney this week as the campaign swung through Mississippi and Alabama ahead of Republican primaries this coming Tuesday.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Will Job Numbers Add Up To Votes For Obama?

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We've been hearing the latest employment numbers show things moving in a positive direction, but the economy and jobs market are still weak. That's, of course, a major factor in an election year. Our friend from the business world, Joe Nocera, joins us. He's an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. Joe, thanks for being with us.

JOE NOCERA: Thanks for having me, Scott.

SIMON: As we heard, of course, the economy added more jobs in February than economists had expected. Is this a trend or true stability?

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Economy
2:56 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Job Trend More Than A Blip, But U.S. 'Can't Stop'

President Obama speaks after touring Rolls-Royce Crosspointe engineering plant in Virginia on Friday. Obama declared America "will thrive again" after another encouraging report on jobs growth.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 11:49 am

The American job market is still a long way from healthy, but its pulse feels a lot stronger now than it did six months ago. The Labor Department says employers added 227,000 workers to their payrolls in February, a solid — if not spectacular — performance. It continues a trend that suggests a genuine recovery, not a temporary blip.

The unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, even as nearly 500,000 people joined the workforce.

Improvement in the job market is a boon for President Obama as he tries to hold onto his own job in November.

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