Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 1:42 pm
Following the exit of producer Brett Ratner from the upcoming Oscars telecast yesterday, Eddie Murphy — whose new film Tower Heist is also Ratner's latest directorial effort — has stepped aside as host of the 2012 show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.
The fact that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's 2001 biography was called Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story, is generating some pretty pointed commentary on Amazon.com this week.
Conflict between supporters of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (shown here Sept. 22 at United Nations headquarters in New York) and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is among a number of factors that analysts say are weakening Iran's position in the region.
A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency presents more evidence than ever before that many aspects of Iran's nuclear program are geared toward military purposes. Yet some analysts argue that overall, Iran represents less of a threat today than it did a year ago.
The IAEA report issued Tuesday largely focuses on historical matters, and some observers say Iran is still having a great deal of difficulty in many areas of weapons technology. And it's clear that Iran has experienced several other setbacks in recent months.
Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 12:54 pm
Italy crossed into bailout territory today. The interest rate on the country's 10-year bonds, which has gone through the roof in the past few weeks, rose to over 7 percent.
We've seen this story play out before in other European countries.
A country is in debt trouble. Investors demand higher interest rates to lend money to that country. Paying those higher interest rates mean the country will fall even further into debt. So interest rates go up even more.
[The alleged mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was seen today for the first time in nine years during an arraignment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's the first test of the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston was there.]
When Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri walked into the Guantanamo courtroom this morning, he was all swagger.
The first birth control clinic in the United States opened in 1916. It was operated by Margaret Sanger, who started the clinic after becoming outraged that she couldn't give her patients — poor women in the tenements on New York City's Lower East Side — information about contraceptive options.
"Sanger [went] to these squalid, crowded homes of these young women bearing many children who are begging her — while giving birth — for information about contraception," says historian Jill Lepore. "And it [was] illegal for her to give them any information."
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 4:19 pm
Saying "I wish I had done more" about accusations that one of his former assistants had been sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno just confirmed that he will retire at the end of this season.
The 84-year-old Paterno, who holds the record for most wins by a Division I coach, released this statement moments ago:
"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 1:19 pm
Ah, to be a Harvard laboratory mouse. The pay stinks, but the food is delish! Researchers at the venerable school have been serving lab mice tiny organic burgers made with meat from Savenor's Market, where Julia Child bought her steaks.
"It came out looking like a beautiful little mini hamburger," says Rachel Carmody, a graduate student in evolutionary biology at Harvard who cooked up the mini-burgers in Petri dishes.
Cain accuser and longtime government employee Karen Kraushaar once worked as a spokesperson for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. She offered a statement after meeting with the Miami family of Elian Gonzalez in March of 2000.
Scott Paterno, left, greeted his father — Penn State football coach Joe Paterno — as the coach arrived at his home, Tuesday evening in State College, Pa. Hundreds of students had gathered to show support for the coach.
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 6:27 am
Catching up on some of the latest developments in the scandal at Penn State University — where former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing young boys, two university officials have been charged with lying to a grand jury and not alerting police, and there have been calls for legendary coach Joe Paterno to step down because of concern that he didn't do enough to alert authorities to what was allegedly happening:
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. The holiday season will apparently be a good one for pets. A survey finds most pet owners plan to buy their pets a gift. We're not sure what this means for the economy, but people are spending more. They're budgeting $46 - up $5 from last year. Hopefully, a dog named Echo in Hawaii is not listening, since the owner says her dog is getting a toy for Christmas, and her husband is getting a shirt from the dog.
The Penn State Board of Trustees says it will appoint a special committee to investigate a child sex abuse scandal. This is the case that engulfed the university, its football program and coach Joe Paterno. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period, sometimes in the Penn State locker room.
Regulators in Florida recently gave two utilities permission to begin charging customers for nuclear plants that won't be completed for at least a decade. To encourage development of nuclear power, Florida allows utilities to charge customers upfront for the costs. Now here's a movement there to rethink that policy.
Conservative activists in the Tea Party want Congress to cut government budget deficits. At the same time, liberal protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement want lawmakers to reduce wealth inequality.
Both goals could be achieved by doing one thing: reducing Social Security payments to retirees, the wealthiest demographic group in the country.
A study by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project reveals what teens think about the online experience. While bullying on social media sites like Facebook gets a lot of news coverage, most teens think social networks are a friendly place for them.
In 1962, President John Kennedy (center) and Vice President Lyndon Johnson visited Dr. Wernher von Braun (left), who designed the Saturn rocket in Huntsville, Ala.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
This model of the Saturn V rocket adorns Huntsville's skyline. The city's early role in the race to the moon propelled it to a high-tech center for space, aviation and defense jobs.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says the city is "the only place in the world that still has expertise about going into deep space."
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Huntsville space engineer Greg Allison says that since the Constellation human spaceflight program was canceled, his office is like a ghost town.
Credit Courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County
Huntsville's Cummings Research Park is home to 285 companies specializing in software design, engineering, aerospace and defense, computers and electronics and biotechnology. In the background is the Saturn V rocket model at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
Driving into Huntsville, Ala., it's clear what this city is all about: A giant Saturn V rocket looms ahead in the skyline. This is the city that made the Saturn rockets that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon.
Counting down, it is now exactly two weeks before the clock runs out for Congress's supercommittee. If its six Democrats and six Republicans fail to reduce deficits by more than a trillion dollars, automatic spending cuts will kick in. Under this process, known as sequestration, the law would require half the cuts to come from defense spending. NPR's David Welna reports.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain responded to accusations of sexual harassment at a news conference in Scotsdale, Ariz., Tuesday. Cain say he has "never acted inappropriately with anyone."
Mississippi voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment to their state constitution that would have declared that life begins at fertilization.
The result was somewhat unexpected: As recently as a few weeks ago, the so-called personhood amendment was considered almost certain to pass. Voters in Colorado have twice rejected similar amendments to declare that life begins legally at fertilization, in 2008 and 2010. But Mississippi, with its far more conservative bent, was considered much friendlier territory.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning. We're at the point of the election cycle sometimes called the off-off year. Not many offices were up for grabs but yesterday, some high-profile measures were on state ballots.
Employees load bags onto a Boeing 737-800 running on algae-based biofuel in Houston. Continental (owned by United Continental Holdings Inc.) flew the nation's first passenger jet powered by biofuels on Monday.
This week, two U.S. airlines will be flying passengers on flights powered by biofuels for the first time. On Monday a Continental flight from Houston to Chicago used a biofuel blend made in part from algae, and Wednesday Alaska Airlines is set to fly passengers using a fuel made in part from cooking oil.
If all goes well, more airlines may start to use alternative jet fuels. But the shift is not without its challenges.
In Pakistan, several high-profile kidnappings reveal the cunning of the captors and confusion among police.
American aid expert Warren Weinstein was seized from his home in Lahore in mid-August. Two weeks later, publishing scion Shahbaz Taseer was snatched from his Mercedes at gunpoint, also in an upscale neighborhood of the Punjab capital.
The trail is leading investigators to Pakistan's militant-dominated tribal areas. North Waziristan, on the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is now believed to be a destination of choice for militant kidnappers.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils a sample of the third generation centrifuge for uranium enrichment during a ceremony in Tehran on April 9, 2010. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
The International Atomic Energy Agency released its much-anticipated report on Iran's nuclear program, but failed to conclude definitively that the Islamic republic is engaged in a full-scale weapons program.
Still, the U.N. nuclear watchdog's report raised some serious questions about what Iran is really doing in connection with nuclear weapons.
The man accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 will be arraigned Wednesday at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. He is the first Guantanamo detainee to have his case tried under the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions, and he could be put to death if he is found guilty.