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4:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Wearing Helmets In Tornadoes Gains Momentum

Tornado survivor Jonathan Ford saves what he can from his home April 29, 2011, after it was destroyed by a powerful tornado in Pleasant Grove, Ala.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 11:18 am

Months after safety advocates embraced wearing helmets during tornadoes — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines on the practice. The CDC says there's not yet enough scientific evidence to fully endorse the idea. But the agency is warming up to people donning helmets when severe weather threatens.

Since a horrific outbreak of tornadoes killed more than 250 people last year in Alabama, safety advocates have been on a crusade.

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Author Interviews
4:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 am

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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Presidential Race
4:18 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Iowa On Same-Sex Marriage: It's Complicated

Iowans attend a marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader on Tuesday at the Statehouse in Des Moines. The head of the organization says President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage could cost him the election.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 7:17 pm

Immediately after President Obama announced his support this week for same-sex marriage, attention turned to politics. The outcome of this year's election will be determined by a handful of states — one of them is Iowa, where the politics of same-sex marriage are complicated.

Same-sex marriage is legal here, but three of the state Supreme Court justices upholding that 2009 decision were removed from office by voters a year later.

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Afghanistan
3:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

U.S. Military Mission: Pushing Afghans To Take Lead

In Afghanistan, American troops are pushing Afghans to take charge.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:48 am

The American military has two main jobs now in Afghanistan: sweeping the remaining Taliban from safe havens and getting Afghan security forces to take charge in the fight.

On a recent day, the Afghan National Army, or ANA, is to be out front on a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol in the countryside outside Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It may seem like a small thing, but it's actually a big deal.

Sgt. Matthew McMurray lets his platoon know.

"ANA is going to lead, too. If they don't want to lead, just stop and make them walk ahead of you," he says.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:54 pm

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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Business
4:52 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

What Caused JPMorgan's Loss Of $2 Billion?

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:35 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Gregory Zuckerman about one of the men behind JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion loss. He's a special writer for The Wall Street Journal and author of The Greatest Trade Ever.

The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

A Helpful Reminder: This Sunday Is Mother's Day

Call your mom. Buy her a present. Give her a big hug and kiss. (And don't forget the mother of your children.)

To all our mom readers, Happy Mother's Day!

We'll leave you with a link to a great piece from Bloomberg, which takes us back to the somber beginnings of the holiday. Bloomberg writes in part:

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Mitt Romney
4:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Romney Shifts Gears On Auto Industry Bailout

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives for a town hall-style meeting at Stamco Industries, a truck parts supplier, in Euclid, Ohio, on Monday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Mitt Romney is from Michigan, a state he has said he hopes to win in November. But the likely Republican presidential nominee has very publicly opposed the government bailout of the auto industry.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

William Balfour Found Guilty In Murder Of Jennifer Hudson's Family

William Balfour.
HO AFP/Getty Images

A jury has found William Balfour guilty of killing three members of Grammy-award winning singer Jennifer Hudson's family.

Balfour, Hudson's ex-brother in law, was found guilty on all three counts of first-degree murder for the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The Chicago Sun-Times adds that he was also convicted of "home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle."

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Sports
3:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Red Sox Slump Threatens Home Sellout Streak

Boston Red Sox left fielder Cody Ross looks down during a seven-run third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on May 5. The Red Sox trail their division, losing 11 of their last 12 home games.
Jim Rogash Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

It was supposed to be a banner season at Fenway Park — the ballpark's 100th anniversary. But the Boston Red Sox are stuck in the basement of their division, having lost 11 of their last 12 home games.

It's putting Major League Baseball's record sellout streak in jeopardy. Ever since 2003, the Sox have sold out Fenway Park for every game — 727 consecutive games.

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Election 2012
3:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

For Evangelicals, Romney Is The Lesser Of Two Evils

Experts say that in order to win this year's election, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will not just have to satisfy evangelicals — he will have to thrill them.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University, the nation's largest evangelical university. The speech will be attended by nearly 35,000 people, and it will give him a chance to win over a huge constituency that, up until recently, has been lukewarm about his campaign.

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Business
3:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Big Losing Bet Tarnishes Wall Street Titan JPMorgan

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon cited "many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment" in announcing a $2 billion loss due to a hedging strategy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

JPMorgan Chase is licking its wounds after announcing that it lost at least $2 billion in a hedging strategy that went terribly wrong. The announcement late Thursday sent the bank's shares tumbling more than 9 percent on Friday.

Meanwhile, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have begun looking into what happened. And there were calls Friday for tighter restrictions on the kind of trades the bank engaged in.

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

On Citizenship Question, Bachmann Not So Neutral

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, recite the Pledge of Allegiance before announcing her candidacy for president last June in Waterloo, Iowa.
Steve Pope Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 3:24 pm

Under assault from conservative blogs that are normally friendly to her — and facing some skepticism in Minnesota, where she's up for re-election — Rep. Michele Bachmann wants to give back her just-revealed Swiss citizenship.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Carroll Shelby, Race Driver And Designer Of The Shelby Cobra, Dies

Actor Steve McQueen, left, and racer Carroll Shelby stand by McQueen's Ford-Cobra roadster, June 28, 1963, in Los Angeles.
Dick Stroebel AP

Carroll Shelby was a race car driver; he was a racing team owner, a chili entrepreneur. He survived a liver transplant and a heart transplant. But perhaps the thing that most people will remember him for is his automotive creations, especially the Shelby Cobra.

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Europe
2:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Who Needs Marriage? Not France's New President

French President-elect Francois Hollande waves to supporters with his companion, Valerie Trierweiler, as he celebrates his election victory in Bastille Square in Paris, May 6. Hollande and Trierweiler will be the first unmarried couple to move into the French presidential palace.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 12:42 am

The French are known for being more tolerant than Americans about their politicians' private lives. One former French president even fathered a child with a mistress while in office.

But every French leader in history has been married — until now.

Next week, after Socialist Francois Hollande is sworn into office, he and his longtime companion, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, will become the first unmarried couple to move into the Elysee presidential palace.

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NPR Story
2:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Week In Politics: Mitt Romney The Bully?

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A story about Mitt Romney's behavior in high school has his campaign in the defensive. The Washington Post has published a long story that details incidents of bullying by Romney when he was a senior at the Tony Cranbrook boys prep school in Michigan. Five former classmates spoke about an incident when Romney led a posse that targeted a student with long bleached-blond hair, tackled him, pinned him to the ground and hacked off his hair as he cried and screamed for help.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

In Greece, Third Bid For Coalition Government Fails

Greece's radical leftist party Syriza chief Alexis Tsipras (L) shakes hands with Socialists leader Evangelos Venizelos before their meeting at the Greek parliament in Athens on Friday. Venizelos admitted that he had failed in a last-ditch bid to form a government after Syriza key leftist party ruled out joining a pro-austerity coalition.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Evangelos Venizelos was the third politician mandated by the Greek president to form a coalition government.

Today, reports the BBC, after meeting with the leaders of different parties, Venizelos emerged empty-handed.

"I am going to inform the president of the republic tomorrow and I hope that, during the meeting with Carolos Papoulias, each party will assume its responsibilities," Venizelos told the BBC.

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Million-Dollar Donors
1:42 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Head Of Shrek's Studio Puts Millions Behind Obama

Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, shown at CinemaCon 2012, has donated $2 million to the pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA Action.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Some two dozen Americans have given $1 million or more to superPACs in the 2012 presidential campaign. The vast majority of them have been Republicans, but one movie mogul has chipped in $2 million to help out the superPAC supporting President Obama.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of DreamWorks Animation studios, was also the co-host of Obama's sellout event Thursday night at the home of actor George Clooney. Katzenberg told the crowd the event raised nearly $15 million, which would make it the most profitable presidential fundraiser ever.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
11:35 am
Fri May 11, 2012

It's All Politics, May 10, 2012

KRISTOPHER SKINNER MCT /Landov

Gay marriage gets an advocate in the White House, but only after Vice President Joe Biden has his say. President Obama's announcement comes a day after North Carolina voters overwhelmingly rejected the concept. And Dick Lugar's 36-year Senate career comes to an end in Indiana. Meanwhile, in the West Virginia primary, Obama defeats a jailed felon from Texas, 59 percent to 41 percent.

Listen to the latest political roundup with NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.

The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Catholic Bishops Are Investigating The Girl Scouts

The first girl scout, Daisy Gordon Lawrence (left), demonstrates techniques like rope-tying and fire-making to young scouts in the late 1940s.
Francis Miller Time

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 11:48 am

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent an "official inquiry" to the Girl Scouts of the USA. NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports the bishops will investigate whether the iconic group has ties or views that conflict with Catholic teaching.

Barbara filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Fri May 11, 2012

'Mama Bird' Evelyn Johnson Dies At 102; Logged 7 Years Of Flight Time

Evelyn Johnson, who holds a world record as the most experienced female pilot, appeared on NPR in 2003. Johnson died Thursday at the age of 102.
Charles Mayer NPR

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 12:12 pm

Evelyn Bryan Johnson, a record-setting pilot who was born just six years after the Wright brothers made their historic flight, has died at the age of 102. Johnson, who began flying in 1944, holds the Guinness world record for the most hours logged by a female pilot — more than 57,000.

In addition to her accomplished flying record, Johnson also helped many other pilots earn their wings. After one student called her Mama Bird, the nickname stuck with Johnson, as she gave lessons and FAA flight exams to thousands of pilots.

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Election 2012
10:55 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Gay Marriage Stand Could Help Obama In Suburbia

Marriage equality supporters Teri McClain (left) and Mary Beth Brotski demonstrate Thursday in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 12:00 pm

Republicans rule rural areas, while any Democrat can count on running up big margins in most of the large cities in the country. That has left the suburbs as the main partisan battleground.

For several election cycles now, the presidency has been won or lost based on the vote among suburbanites in a few key states. That's likely to be true again this November.

And some political observers believe that President Obama took the calculated risk that his newfound support for gay marriage rights will boost his campaign in these all-important counties.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Mother On 'Time' Cover: Breastfeeding Photo Doesn't Show 'Nurturing Side'

The cover of the May 21, 2012 issue of Time.
AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 2:18 am

The latest cover of Time was obviously meant to spark conversation — and that it has.

The photo on the cover shows a 26-year-old mother breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old son. The reaction has been explosive and visceral and a lot of the more thoughtful commentary revolves around a philosophy by Dr. William Sears called attachment parenting, which encourages co-sleeping and carrying your baby everywhere and breast-feeding sometimes into toddlerhood.

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Latin America
10:20 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Art In A Neon Cage: Welcome To The Havana Biennial

For her installation titled Condemned, Lorena Gutierrez used sheets of holographic vinyl and a custom-built cage with neon-light bars.
Nick Miroff NPR

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:35 pm

In Cuba's socialist economy, if you want a well-paid career, you probably won't find it as a lawyer or engineer. You may do much better as an artist. Successful Cuban artists travel abroad, benefit from state support and can earn huge sums selling their work to foreign buyers.

And every two years, they get a shot at a breakthrough at the Havana Biennial, which has become one of the most important art events in Latin America.

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Religion
9:25 am
Fri May 11, 2012

What Will Black Pastors Preach This Sunday?

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 2:04 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Coming up, this is the month when we acknowledge the contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history and ongoing life of this country. We decided to observe it by speaking with people who have changed the game in their respective fields. Today, we are talking with Hikaru Nakamura. At the ripe old age of 24, he has already won the U.S. Championships twice and he's working on his third, as we speak. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Obama's Fundraiser At George Clooney's Home Nets Record $15 Million

A presidential SUV is seen outside of the house of actor George Clooney on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

$15 million.

That's how much President Obama campaign will receive from a fund-raising event last night at George Clooney's home. The New York Times reports the A-list, Hollywood crowd paid $40,000 a person, helping to set "a record for a presidential election fund-raiser."

The Times adds:

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Planet Money
8:58 am
Fri May 11, 2012

JP Morgan's $2 Billion Loss, Explained

Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:17 am

What just happened?

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in America, announced that it lost $2 billion on a massive trade placed out of its London office.

What was the trade?

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Shots - Health Blog
8:13 am
Fri May 11, 2012

FDA Gets Advice To Approve First Pill To Cut HIV Infections

Gilead Sciences' Truvada is a step closer to being approved as a way to prevent HIV infection.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 9:31 am

In what could mark a watershed in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a panel of experts recommended that the Food and Drug Administration give a green light to a pill that can cut the risk of infections.

The daily pill, Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's already approved as a treatment for HIV, but its use could soon expand to include protection of uninfected people.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri May 11, 2012

JPMorgan 'Rogue Trader' Losses Send Chills Through Markets

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 9:46 am

"It was a bad strategy. It was badly executed."

The words of JPMorgan Chase's CEO, Jamie Dimon, as he admitted late yesterday that the investment bank — or, more precisely, a single "rogue trader" working for the bank, had lost some $2 billion in the last six weeks in risky hedge-fund trades.

The news has sent chills through the markets. Shares of JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, lost 7 percent in after-hours trading and British bank Barclays lost 2.9 percent, while more than 2 percent was shaved from Royal Bank of Scotland.

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Business
5:11 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Freddie Mac Names Retired JPMorgan Official CEO

Mortgage broker Freddie Mac named Donald Layton as its new chief executive officer. Layton worked for JPMorgan Chase for nearly 30 years before retiring in 2004.

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