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4:02 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Return To Alcatraz: Will A Legend End After 50 Years?

Sometimes referred to as "The Rock," Alcatraz Island on San Francisco Bay in California served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, and then a federal prison until 1972, when it became a national recreation area. Now the island is open to tours.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Fifty years ago, three men set out into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay in a raft made out of raincoats. It was one of the most daring prison escapes in U.S. history.

As one newsreel put it: The spoon proved "mightier than the bars at supposedly escape-proof Alcatraz prison."

"Three bank robbers serving long terms scratched their way through grills covering an air vent, climbed a drainage pipe and disappeared from the forbidding rock in San Francisco Bay," the report continued.

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Home Front: Soldiers Learn To Live After War
4:02 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Help And Hope, From Soldiers, For Soldiers

A recent Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event in Boston offered help for members of the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard as they transition back to being civilians.
Tom Dreisbach NPR

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 2:43 pm

The 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard landed back in the U.S. last March after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

After two months of leave, however, their official transition time is over and the deployment paychecks have stopped. It's now time to get back to regular life, and for the members from Massachusetts, that means a mandatory check-in with the unit's leadership.

From Soldier To Civilian

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Space
4:02 am
Sun June 10, 2012

NASA Fishes For Tools To Tackle Asteroid

Astronauts Shannon Walker and David Saint-Jacques test a probe in the waters off Key Largo, Fla. Their research may help NASA set foot on an asteroid someday.
Miami Herald MCT via Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 6:32 pm

NASA may have retired its shuttles, but it has its sights on sending astronauts deeper into space than ever before.

These voyages are years away, but on Monday, astronauts are heading underwater to take part in a simulation that will help them figure out how they might explore one possible new destination: a near-Earth asteroid.

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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Southern Farmers See Midwestern Bias In Farm Bill

Georgia farmer Donald Chase says the Senate's proposed farm bill favors farmers in the Midwest and leaves Southern farmers without a safety net.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 2:58 pm

Southeast of Macon, Ga., near Oglethorpe, rows of peanuts planted six weeks ago have sprouted. Tiny yellow flowers dot the rich-green plants. Donald Chase, his father and grandfather have owned this farm since the 1950s.

Like many southern farmers, Chase objects to the version of the farm bill kicking around in the Senate this week. The bill aims to do away with direct payments to farmers by expanding crop insurance programs.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Could 'Taxmageddon' Crisis Create Compromise?

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 4:35 pm

On Jan. 1, trillions of dollars in spending cuts and tax increases — called Taxmageddon — will take effect unless Congress and the White House can agree on a new plan. Many economists say the country will fall back into a recession if it happens. Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says Congress may actually be "forced to make a decision that affects taxes and spending."

Middle East
3:02 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Free Syrian Army Linked To Damascus Attacks

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 4:35 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

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

Support for Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, may be further deteriorating. That's after Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said his country would be glad to see Assad step down if most Syrians agreed. Russia's been one of the Syrian regime's staunchest supporters.

In Syria itself, another night of gunfire and explosions, some of it in the capital, Damascus. NPR's Deborah Amos is there and with me now.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Accusations, Investigation Follow Intelligence Leaks

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 4:35 pm

The Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine the source of a series of leaks about sensitive intelligence matters. President Obama denied his administration authorized the leaks, but some Senate Republicans accused the White House of deliberately leaking the stories in order to boost the president's national security credentials.

Arts & Life
2:55 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Kansas Arts Budget Restoration Builds Goodwill

Children rehearse for a production of The Wizard of Oz at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, Kan.
Stephen Koranda Kansas Public Radio

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Last year, Kansas became the first state in the nation to completely eliminate arts funding. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has always said he supports the arts, but when the state was facing a tight budget, he said Kansas needed to cut back.

"As we look to grow Kansas' economy and focus state government resources to ensure the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars, we must do all we can to protect the core functions of state government," he said.

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Around the Nation
2:43 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

A Damned Dam On The Penobscot River

Next week, the Great Works Dam on the Penobscot River in Maine will be removed.
John Clarke Russ Bangor Daily News

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Like most members of the Penobscot Nation, Scott Phillips grew up near the Penobscot River and learned to paddle and fish as a young boy. He took to it like a duck to water. He became a competitive racer and eventually opened his own business selling canoes, kayaks and other outdoor gear.

Next week, the first of two dams on the river will be removed, altering the way it's used recreationally. The change could also be a boon to Phillip's business.

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Author Interviews
2:13 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Steve Guttenberg Writes His Own 'Bible'

Steve Guttenberg (left), Michael Winslow (center) and G.W. Bailey star in 1987's Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol, part of the film franchise launched by 1984's Police Academy.
Warner Bros./Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:41 pm

When Steve Guttenberg was 16, he went to see an agent about starting his acting career.

That agent told him: "You are the last guy I would pick to be a movie star."

Guttenberg decided to become an actor anyway.

The summer before he was supposed to start the University of Albany, he moved from Long Island to Los Angeles to try his luck. Once there, he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, he snuck onto the Paramount Studios lot, set up his own office, and started making phone calls to agents and producers.

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Sports
1:42 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Behind The Crowns And Roses, A Deadly Race

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Today had the promise of history — that is, until the horse I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont Stakes. Also scratched: hopes for a long-awaited Triple Crown winner. It was yet another piece of bad news for the horse racing industry, which is under new scrutiny over the safety and treatment of the horses.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Spain, Eurozone Agree To 'Financial Support'

"The Spanish government states its intention to request European financing for the recapitalization of banks that need it," Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said at a press conference on Saturday.
Pedro Armestre AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 4:37 am

Spain will ask, and European finance ministers will agree, to offer up financial aid for the country's struggling banks.

Spanish and eurozone officials announced their intentions after a three-hour emergency conference call on Saturday. If they make good on it, Spain will be the fourth – and largest — member of the 17-nation eurozone to receive outside help as Europe's debt crisis marches on.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
11:31 am
Sat June 9, 2012

The Movie Jared Harris Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Dustin Hoffman in Sydney Pollack's 1982 film, Tootsie.
Columbia / The Kobal Collection Columbia

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 11:28 am

The Weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actor Jared Harris, whose credits include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and AMC's TV drama Mad Men, the movie he can't get enough of is Sydney Pollack's Tootsie. "It's just so brilliant," says Harris.

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Music Interviews
10:03 am
Sat June 9, 2012

'Call Me Maybe': Behind The Song Of The Summer

Carly Rae Jepsen is the 26-year-old singer behind the inescapable pop hit "Call Me Maybe."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 9:57 am

"It's happened a few times, yes," Carly Rae Jepsen says. "And they usually think that they're the first person to do it."

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Simon Says
8:58 am
Sat June 9, 2012

When A Job Interview Turns Into Psychoanalysis

Why should someone who wants a job have to confide their fears and flaws to judgmental strangers?
Royal Five/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 8:17 am

What is your greatest weakness? And is that really any of my business?

Dear Lucy, the workplace advice column written by Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times, ran a letter this week from a 52-year-old unemployed male.

"I've just been asked in a job interview to name my greatest weakness," he said. "I hummed and hawed for a bit and then said something like, 'Why don't you ask my wife?' I didn't get the job."

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The Salt
8:13 am
Sat June 9, 2012

To Grow A Craft Beer Business, The Secret's In The Water

Craft brewers are reaching markets far from their home breweries. In a Washington, D.C., store, beers from California, Colorado, Louisiana, Vermont, and elsewhere are for sale.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 7:47 pm

It's a good time to be a craft brewer, as Americans are thirsty for full-flavored and local beers. But when small breweries grow, they can also risk losing some of the "craftiness" their fans love. And when they expand, many brewers have to rewrite their recipes — starting with the water.

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Middle East
7:33 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Finally Inside Syria, What A Reporter Sees

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

It's been another bloody week in Syria. This week, dozens of people were reportedly killed in cold blood in a tiny farming hamlet in Central Syria by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. It is the latest atrocity in a 15-month revolt against the regime.

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World
7:33 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Bahrain's Crackdown On Activists Extends To Twitter

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 11:42 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

From Syria we head now to Bahrain, where a prominent human rights activist is back in detention this time for what he's been writing on Twitter. The U.S. says it's looking into the case and continuing to encourage Bahrain to allow free speech. Activists say the U.S. isn't pushing its ally hard enough.

NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke with a Bahraini human rights advocate who was in Washington, D.C. this week to remind U.S. officials that activists are still under pressure a year after Bahrain cracked down on anti-government protesters.

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Around the Nation
7:33 am
Sat June 9, 2012

At N.Y. Speedway, Families Join Dreams Of Race Glory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To the daredevils of motor sports now - stock car racers. The Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York - racing takes on a hometown feel. North Country Public Radio's Sarah Harris went to an early season race and has our story.

SARAH HARRIS, BYLINE: At the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, it's all stock car racing all day.

(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINE REVVING)

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Politics
5:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Licking Their Wounds, Progressives Regroup

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley in Providence. Netroots Nation is part pep rally, part technology seminar, and - this year at least - part postmortem. Netroots chairman Adam Bonin kicked off the gathering just two days after the Wisconsin vote, which was viewed very differently in this crowd than it was by the audience at CPAC.

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Sports
5:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Sports Roundup: Basketball, Boxing And Euro Soccer

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year. But it's still a weekend for major matchups of all kinds, with Nadal and Djokovic, LeBron James and the Boston Celtics, and the peerless Manny Pacquiao in action. NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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Europe
5:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Restructuring Europe Amid A Complex Political Climate

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:36 am
Sat June 9, 2012

New Plan Sees More Illegal Immigrants Deported From U.S.

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made a significant policy change. They increased the number of agents responsible for finding and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records by nearly 25 percent. Now, the agency says it wants to remove offenders who pose the greatest threat to public safety or national security.

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NPR Story
5:36 am
Sat June 9, 2012

What's That Sound? Preserving The Noise Of Old Gadgets

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Technology is making a lot of things quieter. A dozen years ago, we recorded a lot of our interviews on magnetic tape.

LIANE HANSEN: This is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

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NPR Story
5:36 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Conservative Confab Rallies Behind Wisconsin Victory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It seems that every week, there's a new study out on political polarization in America. More and more, we talk to, vote with, and get our news from only those who think the way that we do. So, this week we sent reporters on a couple of polar expeditions to political gatherings on the left and the right. And in a moment, we'll hear from NPR's Scott Horsley at Netroots Nation in Rhode Island. First, now here's NPR's David Schaper at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago.

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Author Interviews
4:10 am
Sat June 9, 2012

'Mission': Secrecy And Stardom On The Edge Of War

Mission to Paris book cover

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

Fredric Stahl is "the sympathetic lawyer, the kind aristocrat, the saintly husband, the comforting doctor, or the good lover." At least onscreen.

He's an American movie star, born in Vienna, and says "my dear" with a kind of dreamy, trans-European cosmopolitan allure that makes him seem "a warm man in a cold world." He's also the hero of Alan Furst's new novel, Mission to Paris, set in Furst's favorite locale: Europe on the brink of war.

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Around the Nation
4:09 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Saving Niagra Falls, One (Tightrope) Step At A Time

Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope in the rain during a training session for his upcoming stunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Gary Wiepert AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:42 pm

Niagara Falls has long been a magnet for daredevils, but strict laws have kept them away for more than a century. That's expected to change Friday, when circus performer Nik Wallenda will walk a two-inch-thick wire above the giant waterfall. It's an exception officials hope will rescue tourism — and the city's economy.

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World
4:08 am
Sat June 9, 2012

The Young And The Jobless: Hopes On Hold In Spain

Graffiti on a wall in Madrid reads, "We want to work, let the businessmen who have gotten rich from our labor pay for the crisis." Nearly 50 percent of young adults in Spain are unemployed.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 7:46 pm

The crowd of job seekers at an unemployment office in downtown Madrid looks different than it did a few years ago.

When the housing market went bust, construction workers flooded the lobby. Now, labor reforms have made it easier for corporations to fire workers without seniority. So now young people, including those with an education, are unable to find work.

Jaime Garcia de Sola, a former intern at an investment bank, was one of those waiting in the unemployment line.

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Animals
4:07 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Growling With The Gorillas: A Rwanda Mountain Trek

Gorillas rest in the Virunga mountains of Rwanda. More than half of the world's mountain gorillas live in the volcanic chain in East Africa.
Rebecca Davis NPR

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:58 am

It's not easy shaking a bad reputation. Take the gorilla, for example: It's been saddled with a sketchy rep for as long as anyone can remember. Something along the lines of big, hairy, ferocious and superhuman in strength. A bit daunting, perhaps. And yet folks who work with and study gorillas say they are as much gentle as giant. I recently had the opportunity to find out for myself thanks to a trip organized by the International Reporting Project that took us to Rwanda.

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Author Interviews
12:03 am
Sat June 9, 2012

How 'The Queen Of British Ska' Wrestled With Race

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 5:44 am

The British ska-revival band The Selecter formed in the late 1970s, playing what can be described as rock fused with calypso and American jazz.

Much of what set the band apart was its charismatic lead singer, Pauline Black. As one of few women in a musical movement dominated by men, she was called "The Queen of British Ska."

That experience is one of many recounted in her new memoir, Black by Design, which has just been released in the U.S.

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