The International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly, otherwise known as the international authority that keeps close tabs on time, will debate a philosophical question this week: They will decide whether to eliminate the leap second and in doing so break its tie to astronomical time.
You could call Michael Brooks a supplement junkie. He pops exactly six pills a day, three times a day, not to mention powders and shakes and chews. "A multivitamin, vitamin C, omega-3s, alpha lipoic acid," he says. "I'm taking a digestive enzyme."
Brooks is a personal trainer in Birmingham, Ala. He's healthy and fit, but he almost obsessively wants to know more, which is why we find him here, a few doors down from a sandwich shop and a nail salon, at a storefront lab called Any Lab Test Now.
Daoud Kuttab, executive producer of <em>Shara'a Simsim</em>, the Palestinian version of <em>Sesame Street</em>, holds a Muppet at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah earlier this month. The producers say they have been forced to put production for the 2012 season on hold because of a funding freeze by the U.S. Congress.
This used to be a busy time of year for Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street.
Producers and educators would be choosing the "words of the day" for the upcoming season. Writers would be brainstorming ideas around a large conference table. Project director Laila Sayegh says everyone would be working long days.
"From the morning, like 8 until 6 o'clock in the evening. And now as you can see, it's empty. We have nothing," she says.
A nurse weighs an Afghan child at a U.S.-funded clinic in Farza, Afghanistan, in September. A new U.S.-sponsored survey shows dramatic gains in life expectancy and other aspects of health care in Afghanistan. But some experts are questioning the accuracy of the results.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Dr. Mohammed Rashidi talks to a mother about her severely malnourished baby at a makeshift mobile health clinic in a remote village in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province last year.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a trio of cases involving free speech and religion.
In the first set of cases, the court declined to address the burgeoning legal debate over what powers school officials have to censor students who are at home, working on their personal computers, when they create parodies or personal attacks involving school officials or fellow students.
The employees of Morgan Stanley, owner of the world's biggest brokerage, will receive a maximum cash bonus of $125,000, this year. As The New York Times puts it, the cap reflects "the difficulties that new financial regulations and the debt turmoil in Europe have posed to Morgan Stanley and its rival firms."
And with tongue firmly in cheek, it also notes that the bankers "may want to put their kitchen renovations off until next year."
Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 1:25 pm
There were hints that all was not well in Paula Deen's Southern-fried world. Last November, when NPR correspondent Allison Aubrey asked Deen if she'd ever do healthier versions of her greasy, sugar-laden fare, Deen said: "As I age, and get older and I get 'different things' that I have to battle physically — it may, you know, resonate closer to home for me."
British tabloids such as <em>The Sun</em> are known for being brash, cheeky and salacious.
Credit Carl Court / AFP/Getty Images
The 168-year-old British tabloid <em>News of the World shut </em>down last July after a widespread scandal that involved phone and voice mail hacking. Now there's a debate about placing new regulations on the British press.
The voice mail and computer hacking and police bribery scandal that has roiled the British newspaper industry has also led to calls for government regulation of the press in one of the world's greatest democracies.
Some newspaper executives, such as Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail and editor-in-chief of the Mail on Sunday, are attempting to draw the line.
Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 12:03 pm
Investigators are now saying arson was not the likely cause of a fire that on Monday destroyed a cypress tree in Central Florida that was an estimated 3,500 years old — making it perhaps the oldest such tree in the nation and one of the oldest in the world.
Known as "The Senator," the tree that once stood 165 feet tall (before a hurricane lopped off about 45 feet in 1925) was more likely brought down by a fire that had been smoldering inside it — without being detected — since a lightning strike about a week ago, investigators say.
The Los Angeles City Council is poised to approve a measure today that would require adult film stars to wear condoms when making films. The AP reports that last week, the council voted 11-1 for preliminary approval.
The new requirement is controversial in the porn industry. NPR's Alex Cohen explored the issue back in 2010. Essentially, the industry claims condoms hurt sales and their method of testing actors every 30 days is effective.
Mustafa Barghouthi (from left), Daniel Levy, debate moderator John Donvan, Dore Gold and Aaron David Miller speak before an audience in New York on the motion "The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State."
Credit Samuel LaHoz / Intelligence Squared U.S.
Daniel Levy, a former Israeli government negotiator, argues for the motion "The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State" at a Jan. 10 <em>Intelligence Squared U.S.</em> debate.
Credit Samuel LaHoz / Intelligence Squared U.S.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold argues against the motion.
The nation's obesity epidemic appears to have hit a plateau, according to the latest federal data released Tuesday.
Obesity soared in the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s, doubling among adults and tripling among children. That raised widespread alarm and debate about the causes and possible solutions. Obesity can increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other serious health problems.
"I don't object to foreigners expressing their opinion," Harper told the CBC. "But I don't want them to be able to hijack the process so that we don't make a decision that's timely or in the interests of Canadians."
If patients and doctors both have easy access to the notes the doctor takes during their office visits, will it change their behavior?
That's a question that an experiment called OpenNotes aims to answer by letting patients of more than 100 primary care doctors in three states see the notes online.
In December, researchers reported the results of surveys taken before the project started in 2010 in which patients and physicians were asked about their attitudes toward making such information available.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli, reporting on the dramatic phone call
Dramatic audio has emerged of an irate Italian Coast Guard officer ordering the captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia to "get back on board!" as the stricken vessel lay crippled off the coast of Tuscany on Friday night.
As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, in the telephone call Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco shouts as he accuses Costa Concordia Capt. Francesco Schettino of abandoning his ship. Schettino was apparently sitting in a row boat at the time.
Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact.com and Washington bureau chief forThe St. Petersburg Times, and PolitiFact.com's Angie Drobnic Holan wrote about how candidates at the Myrtle Beach, S.C. debate rated onPolitiFact'sTruth-O-MeterforPolitiFact.comand It's All Politics:
It's been nearly a year since Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Arab Spring as his online organizing efforts and his arrest helped draw people and attention to the demands by many Egyptians for reform — a movement that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak's regime.
Divers and other rescue personnel are still trying to reach areas of the cruise ship Costa Concordia that haven't yet been explored in a bid to see if any of the 29 people who remain unaccounted for after Friday's crash off the Italian coast of Tuscany might be alive.
But as the BBC reports, hopes are fading. As of this hour, six people are known to have died. More than 4,200 passengers and crew were on board when it struck rocks, took on water and listed on to its starboard side.
Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 8:36 am
There could not have been more apt an epitaph. The once-promising campaign of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman came to an end within hours of his being endorsed by The Columbia State, South Carolina's largest and most influential newspaper, within days of that state's Republican primary.
The woman who wrote the State's endorsing editorial said she felt as if she'd been wooed and won and abandoned by her newly betrothed. Indeed, over the course of his campaign, Huntsman left more than a few journalists feeling jilted.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Remember life before Wikipedia? Well, I don't, but tomorrow, we'll all get to revisit those days. The English-language version of the online encyclopedia will shut down for 24 hours, protesting an anti-piracy bill in Congress. Visitors to Wikipedia will be encouraged to call Congress. The site's co-founder, Jimmy Wales, tweeted he hopes visitors will melt the phone systems in Washington. He also warned students: Do your homework early. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Alexis Rodriguez was treated for pneumonia, and received a bill for nearly $45 million. Grateful as he was for the care, the unemployed doorman complained. The Daily News reports the billing firm printed the invoice number instead of the price: $300.
The Republican presidential candidates gathered last night In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a debate. Myrtle Beach is also the site for the first convention of the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition.
Egyptian cyber activist and former Google executive Wael Ghonim talks to Steve Inskeep about his new book Revolution 2.0, which chronicles his role, and that of social media, in the toppling the regime of Hosni Mubarak.