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2:14 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

For Chinese Dissidents, Exile Can Mean Irrelevancy

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife, Yuan Weijing, arrive at an apartment complex in New York on Saturday. A number of Chinese activists have become far less prominent after leaving their homeland, but Chen hopes to continue his work and remain relevant in China.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:21 pm

U.S. diplomats were relieved this weekend when China allowed a prominent dissident, Chen Guangcheng, to fly to New York with his family.

China, too, is presumably happy that Chen is no longer in the country doing his advocacy work. Chinese exiles tend to fade into obscurity when they leave the country, and Beijing might be counting on that to happen with Chen.

But social media may be changing this equation.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:13 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Katie Beckett Defied The Odds, Helped Other Disabled Kids Live Longer

Katie Beckett fits herself with a vibrating vest that helps clear mucous from her lungs. A nurse comes over to her apartment in Cedar Rapids to help her do this twice a day. On the wall to the right are pictures of Katie as a child with Ronald Reagan. This story starts twenty-nine years ago with an angry President Ronald Reagan. <> We just recently received word of a little girl who has spent most of her life in a hospital. <> The little girl in the hospital was three-year-old Katie Beckett. Because of a brain infection, she needed to be hooked to a ventilator at night to breathe. Her parents wanted her home. Her doctors said she'd be better off at home. And it'd be cheaper, too: Just one-sixth the cost.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:46 am

A few years ago, I asked a 13-year-old girl who was receiving care for cystic fibrosis on a Medicaid program known as the "Katie Beckett waiver" if she knew who Katie Beckett was. "Probably some kind of doctor," the girl said.

It was a logical guess. But Beckett was another child with a significant disability, and she changed health care policy for hundreds of thousands of other children with complex medical needs. On Friday, Beckett, at age 34, died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, of complications from her disability.

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The Salt
2:12 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Hail The Conquering Chicken! A Story Of Dinner Plate Domination

Timothy Archibald Courtesy Smithsonian magazine

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:23 am

Why did the chicken cross the road? That's just about the only bit of chicken-related trivia not answered by the cover story in Smithsonian magazine's new food issue this month.

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It's All Politics
1:54 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Booker, Bain, Romney & Obama: Ad Wars Go Full Circle And Then Some

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Bennett Raglin Getty Images for Macy's

This is a classic chain of events that never seems to go out of style in an election year.

First one of the presidential campaigns put out videos that it says are informational but critics say are attack ads. This time, it's President Obama's team and the target is Republican rival Mitt Romney. The point of the spots, such as this one, is to make the case that when Romney ran Bain Capital, some of the companies the investment firm took over ended up shedding jobs rather than creating them.

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Europe
1:45 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

In Fiery Protest, Italian Museum Sets Art Ablaze

Antonio Manfredi, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Casoria, Italy, burns an artwork by French artist Severine Bourguignon. Manfredi is burning the museum's works to protest deep cuts to the arts.
Roberta Basile AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:21 pm

Casoria is a small town in the Naples hinterland known mostly as a hotbed of the local mafia. But last month, it achieved a different kind of notoriety when Antonio Manfredi, director of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) launched his provocative challenge to the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Manfredi's "art war" consists of setting works of art on fire to protest cuts to Italy's arts budget. He's pledged to incinerate two or three pieces of art each week from a museum collection housing about 1,000 exhibits.

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Parallel Lives
12:59 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

At Harvard, Romney Wasn't Your Typical Student

Mitt Romney already had a young family during his time at Harvard, which set him apart from most other students. Here, Romney is with his wife, Ann, and two sons at a business school clambake in 1973.
Courtesy of The New York Times

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:37 am

From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at their shared alma mater.

When Mitt Romney attacks his Democratic opponent on the campaign trail, he often derides President Obama's Ivy League credentials.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Someone Couldn't Count To 10, So British Olympian Can't Claim Personal Best

Heptathlon athlete Jessica Ennis in March at the official British team kit launch for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Warren Little Getty Images for adidas

When she hit the tape Sunday at the Powerade Great City Games in Manchester, England, Britain's Jessica Ennis hadn't only beaten Olympic heptathlon champion Dawn Harper.

Ennis had also run a personal best 12.75 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles — 0.04 of a second faster than she'd ever run that race.

It was her personal best, that is, until 2004 Olympic heptathlon bronze medalist Kelly Sotherton, also of the U.K., tweeted this question:

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Queen Elizabeth's Stylist: A Servant Breaks In The Queen's Shoes

A flag with Queen Elizabeth II's portrait made entierly of Legos is pictured in the window of a shop in central London.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

We'll get back to real news in no time, but we just couldn't resist a couple of curious details that a Sunday Times' interview (pay-wall) with Queen Elizabeth's sylist for 11 years revealed.

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All Tech Considered
11:50 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Military Addresses Double-Edged Sword Of Troops On Social Media

At Forward Operating Base Payne in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Odriscoll looks at pictures of his sister on Facebook. Troop access to social media has been both a blessing and curse for the military.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:21 pm

Inside a plywood shack at a combat outpost in Marjah, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, three Marines sit before a bank of computers provided by the military to help keep up morale. The dingy outpost is made up of a collection of tents where troops live among swarms of flies and the constant hum of generators.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:20 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Health Think Tank Crunches Health Prices For The Masses

Ricardo Reitmeyer iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:06 am

It turns out we may not know nearly as much about all the money spent on health care in the U.S. as we thought we did.

But there's a new group that wants to, well, remedy that.

The problem, Martin Gaynor, chairman of the Health Care Cost Institute, told Shots, is that "two-thirds of the population has private [health] insurance, but most of the information comes from Medicare."

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

On Last Day Of NATO Summit, Chicago Prepares For More Protests

Chicago police officers sit in a bus outside the Boeing headquarters in Chicago on Monday.
Robert Ray AP

After a weekend of intense protests, Chicago is bracing for more today. Marking the last day of the NATO summit, protesters planned to demonstrate in front of Boeing headquarters and at a community that could become the site of a detention facility for undocumented immigrants.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Mon May 21, 2012

30 Days In Jail, Three Years Probation In Rutgers Webcam Case

Dharun Ravi in a Brunswick, N.J., court today during his sentencing.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:36 pm

After emotional appeals from parents on both sides of the case, Dharun Ravi was this afternoon sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation for bias intimidation and invasion of privacy when he used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate at Rutgers University in September 2010.

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World
9:57 am
Mon May 21, 2012

G8 Summit Drives Home Effects Of Euro Crisis

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we want to talk about the hottest spring trends, but - no - we're not talking fashion. We're talking about food. Washington Post food critic, Tom Sietsema, gives us a few things to chew on in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chief Will Resign

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko waits for the beginning of a joint hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Clean Air and Nuclear Safety in December.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Gregory B. Jaczko, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, announced he would resign as soon as his replacement is confirmed.

"After an incredibly productive three years as Chairman, I have decided this is the appropriate time to continue my efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum," Jaczko said in a statement today. "This is the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new chairman..."

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Supreme Court Lets Stand Student's $675,000 Penalty For Downloading

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 10:16 am

Without commenting on the merits of the case, the Supreme Court this morning let stand a $675,000 jury verdict against a 25-year-old Boston University student who downloaded 30 songs nearly a decade ago and then shared them with others on a peer-to-peer network.

The court denied Joel Tenenbaum's "write of certiorari," which means his appeal of a lower court's ruling and the judgment were turned down.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Four Tons Of Marijuana Found Floating Off California Coast

It would take a lot of marijuana plants such as these to make four tons.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 11:33 am

Who dumped the dope?

That's the question of the day along the coast of Southern California as authorities try to figure out how four tons of marijuana — more than 150 bales — got into the Pacific Ocean near Orange County's Dana Point Harbor. They were found this weekend about 15 miles out to sea.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Mon May 21, 2012

On Its Second Day, Facebook Stock Drops

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:54 am

After its much-ballyhooed initial public offering on Friday ended with the stock's price just about where it started, Facebook ended sharply lower today.

Just after the start of trading, the social media giant's shares were trading around $33, down 13 percent about $5 from Friday's close. At close, it ended 11 percent lower at $34.03.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Pakistan Threatens To Overshadow NATO Summit

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 11:23 am

  • Scott Horsley reporting for 'Morning Edition'

As President Obama and other NATO leaders wrap up a two-day summit today in Chicago, the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over reopening supply routes from that country into Afghanistan threatens to "put a crimp in the Obama administration's efforts to lay out a clear strategy for winding down the war in Afghanistan," NPR's Jackie Northam tells our Newscast desk.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Dozens Killed By Suicide Bomber In Yemen

It's been another deadly day in Yemen:

According to the BBC: "At least 63 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack during a rehearsal for a military parade in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, officials say. The assailant, who was reportedly wearing an army uniform, blew himself up among a group of soldiers at al-Sabin Square, near the presidential palace."

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Mon May 21, 2012

New York Reaches Real Estate Milestone

New York has its first million dollar parking spot. The 12 by 23 foot space in lower Manhattan's East Village comes with its own deed and maintenance fees just like the luxury condo it's attached to. The New York Post calculates the investment this way: It's the same as paying $115 parking ticket every day for the next 24 years.

The Two-Way
5:23 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Eclipse Of The Sun: Did You Fall Into The Ring Of Fire's Path?

This combination picture shows the annular solar eclipse as viewed from Tokyo earlier today.
Kazuhiro Nogi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 5:31 am

"That's got to be the prettiest thing I've ever seen," Brent Veltri of Salida, Colo., told The Associated Press, when asked about the eclipse of the sun that was visible across the western U.S. on Sunday afternoon and in much of Asia earlier today.

The celestial show attracted quite a crowd. According to the AP:

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Around the Nation
5:18 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Man Credits Adrenaline For Defeating Mount Lion

Brandon Arnold of Arizona was camping this month when a rabid mountain lion leaped out of the bushes. It attacked his dog. Arnold chased the big cat and hit it with a frying pan.

Political Junkie
4:48 am
Mon May 21, 2012

What Does Ron Paul Want? Hint: It's Not About The 2012 GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:16 am

Ron Paul is not going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Even Ron Paul knows it. His acknowledgement that Mitt Romney will be the nominee is just stating the obvious.

But what exactly did he mean when he said last week that he will "no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not voted"? Was he telling us that he was dropping out of the race?

Not quite.

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Asia
4:38 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Pakistan Signals Afghan Supply Route Will Reopen

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With world leaders gathered for a NATO summit in Chicago, high on their agenda is the future of Afghanistan once Western troops withdraw. Among the leaders there is the president of Pakistan. Pakistan has been keeping NATO from using critical military supply routes running through that country to Afghanistan, something that's irritated NATO countries, whose troops are fighting in Afghanistan.

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Television
4:27 am
Mon May 21, 2012

When Should An Aging TV Show Get Off The Air?

The TV show House is airing its final episode Monday night on FOX, Desperate Housewives on ABC ended last week and NBC has announced that 30 Rock will have its final episodes this fall. TV and media critic Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times explains why choosing to end a show, rather than getting canceled, presents a creative opportunity for the producers.

Business
4:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Ex-Goldman Director Faces Trial On Insider Trading Charges

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 4:58 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A giant of American business goes on trial in New York today. Rajat Gupta is accused of insider trading. He's the one-time chief executive of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company and a former board member of Goldman Sachs.

Prosecutors allege he passed on information about Goldman to billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who's already in prison for insider trading.

NPR's Jim Zarroli is covering this story from New York. Hi, Jim.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Skywatchers Enjoy 'Ring Of Fire' Eclipse

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 4:51 am

Astronomy buffs in the western U.S. were treated to an eclipse known as the Ring of Fire over the weekend. Technically, it's an annular solar eclipse, during which time the moon passes between the earth and sun. The moon blocks out much of the sun's light and casts a giant shadow on the earth.

Shots - Health Blog
3:08 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Your Stories Of Being Sick Inside The U.S. Health Care System

Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., watches birds inside a medical rehab facility.
Brittney Lohmiller for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 8:42 pm

To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.

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It's All Politics
2:02 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th Graders, Analysis Shows

Congress, shown gathered for President Obama's State of the Union in January, is speaking at about a grade level lower now than in 2005, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:30 pm

Members of Congress are often criticized for what they do — or rather, what they don't do.

But what about what they say and, more specifically, how they say it? It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.

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