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The Salt
4:21 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Stunting From Malnutrition Affects 1 In 4 Kids Worldwide

Renande Raphael, aged 16 months, is measured to check whether she is growing normally. She's part of a trial in Haiti to see if an extra daily snack of enriched peanut butter prevents stunting and malnutrition.
Alex E. Proimos via flickr

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:22 pm

Babies and toddlers in the poorest parts of the world are getting better fed.

What's the proof? Stunting in kids – a sign of poor nutrition early in life — has dropped by a third in the past two decades, UNICEF reported Monday. But there's a long way to go. Globally, a quarter of kids under the age of 5 were stunted in 2011. That's roughly 165 million children worldwide, with nearly 75 percent of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the report says.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Congress Quietly Overhauled Its Insider-Trading Law

Vice President Biden and members of Congress watch as President Obama signs the STOCK Act on April 4, 2012. A year later, Congress moved to undo large portions of the law without fanfare.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.

That's what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Changes Help San Diego Homeless, But Long Road Remains Ahead

Wanda Rayborn, 63, was homeless for nine years and was living under a tree in downtown San Diego two years ago. She now lives in a newly renovated efficiency apartment — part of an initiative to help get homeless people off the streets.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:05 pm

Two years ago, we reported on an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.

At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much.

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

50 Years Later, King's Birmingham 'Letter' Still Resonates

Martin Luther King Jr., with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (center) and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, defied an injunction against protesting on Good Friday in 1963. They were arrested and held in solitary confinement in the Birmingham jail where King wrote his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail."
Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 11:12 pm

It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient.

But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

American Airlines Grounds All Flights Due To Computer Glitch

American Airlines flights were grounded for two hours on Tuesday due to a glitch in the reservation system, the airline says.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 2:54 pm

A computer glitch in the reservations system at American Airlines caused all of the carrier's flights to be grounded for at least two hours on Tuesday.

"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told Reuters in an email. "We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the outage was announced about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Security Expert: Investigators Seek Bomber's 'Signature'

Boston firefighters talk with FBI agents and a crime scene photographer Tuesday at the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 am

As investigators combed through evidence in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, seeking both motive and perpetrator, we turned Tuesday to a security expert for guidance on how the investigation may be unfolding.

Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA officer, assistant U.S. attorney and deputy legal adviser for the National Security Council, served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He is now a senior adviser at the consulting firm the Chertoff Group, co-founded by former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff.

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It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Background Check Battle: More Prosecution Or More Checks?

Vice President Joe Biden, holds a background check form last week in Washington, as he calls on Congress to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:54 am

One argument that some gun rights groups make against expanding background checks is that the federal government isn't doing a good enough job now of enforcing the law already on the books.

They point out that only a tiny fraction of people caught trying to buy a gun illegally are ever prosecuted.

But gun control supporters say that argument totally misses the point of background checks.

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Music Interviews
2:25 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Rachel Zeffira: An Opera 'Deserter' Embraces Dreamy Pop

Rachel Zeffira's debut solo album is titled The Deserters.
Yuval Hen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:46 am

Listening to her ethereal sound, you might not guess that Rachel Zeffira was classically trained as an opera singer. But on her solo debut, The Deserters, she's not just singing: She also plays piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, cathedral organ, violin, viola, oboe and English horn.

Zeffira makes her home in London now, but she grew up in a small town in rural British Columbia and began playing music at a young age.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Quality Conundrum: Complications Boost Hospital Profits

If he messes up, should the hospital profit?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:35 pm

Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.

And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.

"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."

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The Salt
1:59 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Low-Sodium Food Labels Woo, And Confuse, Consumers

Nutrition fact labels are good but confusing, consumers say.
iStockphoto.com

The general consensus is that food labels that advertise lower sodium are a good way to help people make more healthful choices. But after that, what we think those labels mean gets a bit fuzzy, according to a new study.

Nutrition researchers were wondering just how we interpret the various sodium-related claims slapped on food packages: claims like "low in sodium" but also how a food product will reducing the risk of disease like hypertension, or "help lower blood pressure."

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Vatican Reaffirms Plan To Scrutinize U.S. Nuns

Nuns worship following a Mass for the election of a new pope at St. Patrick's Cathedral in February.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Pope Francis' doctrinal chief has reaffirmed the Vatican's intention to overhaul the largest organization of U.S. nuns, dashing the hopes of some that the newly installed pontiff would take a more conciliatory approach than his predecessor.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Boston Bomb Victim: Krystle Campbell Was 'Caring ... Loving' 'Daddy's Little Girl'

Neighbors sit outside the house of Krystle Campbell's parents in Medford, Mass., on Tuesday. Campbell was killed in the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 4:08 pm

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET. 'You Couldn't Ask For A Better Daughter':

Patty Campbell read a tearful statement in front of her home in Medford, Mass., Tuesday afternoon. She said her daughter, Krystle Campbell, 29, was killed during Monday's Boston Marathon bombing.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Runners Dig In Their Heels: 'We Can Endure A Lot'

A runner heads down the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass., in front of the Boston skyline at dawn, the morning after deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:49 pm

Emily Root Schenkel has never run the Boston Marathon, but now she might.

"It makes me want to run another marathon," she says of Monday's bombings near the finish line in Boston. "That's the last thing I wanted to do, but it makes me want to say, 'Screw you, I'm going to run another one.' "

Schenkel's godmother was a flight attendant on Flight 93, the hijacked airliner that passengers forced down in a field in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

India Refuses Permission For Country's First Playboy Club

Indian Bollywood film actress Sherlyn Chopra at a media event in August for her appearance in Playboy magazine in Mumbai.
Strdel AFP/Getty Images

Hugh Heffner's empire has run afoul of conservative politicians in India, who have decided to halt plans for the country's first Playboy Club.

PB Lifestyle, the Indian firm with rights to the Playboy brand, had hoped that the club in the southwestern state of Goa would be the first of eight to be constructed over the next three years. They were hoping for as many as 120 such clubs in the coming decade.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Unveil Immigration Bill

A group of eight bipartisan Senators has reached broad compromise on immigration reform.

The Gang of Eight, as they've come to be known, released highlights of the bill this afternoon. ABC News reports the bill would:

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
12:04 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Update On The Boston Marathon Bombings

President Obama makes a statement about Monday's explosions at the Boston Marathon. Morning Edition co-hosts David Greene and Steve Inskeep speak to NPR reporters covering the story in Washington and Boston.

Monkey See
11:29 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Boston's Art Museums Offer Free Admission To Provide A 'Place Of Respite'

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston is offering free admission Tuesday.
Lisa Poole AP

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 2:11 pm

UPDATE, 4:08 p.m.: In addition to the institutions mentioned below, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has announced that admission will be free on Wednesday, April 17.

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The Salt
11:16 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Italy's Financial Crisis Means More (Bread) Dough At Home

A young baker at the Roscioli bakery in Rome prepares bread.
Amy Guttman for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:54 am

Processed food packed with salt, fat and sugar has been making incursions into the traditional diets of countries around the world. Even Italy isn't immune to the reach of junk food. But hard economic times are spurring Italians to rediscover home cooking, and especially bread making.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
10:44 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Obama Calls Boston Bombings 'An Act Of Terrorism'

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 12:04 pm

President Obama said the FBI is investigating Monday's twin bombings at the Boston Marathon "as an act of terrorism." Meanwhile, law enforcement officials are asking the public to submit photos and videos from the scene. And Boston Mayor Tom Menino said that as the city grieves the victims it is also proud of those who helped in the explosions' aftermath.

Religion
10:25 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Faith Community Comforts Bostonians

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Joining us now is the Right Reverend Gayle Harris. She is suffragan bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Massachusetts. Welcome to you. Thank you so much for joining us.

REVEREND GAYLE HARRIS: Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: How are you seeing faith communities across the city and the state react to this?

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News
10:25 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Former Terror Expert: 'Very Confident' Case Will Be Solved

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the program today by talking about the bombings that shook Boston yesterday afternoon. Today, civic leaders are trying to find out what happened, but also to help their citizens heal. Here's Boston's mayor, Thomas Menino, at a press conference this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Tue April 16, 2013

China Gives Breakdown Of Its Military, Criticizes U.S.

The Russian-built "Liaoning", China's first aircraft carrier, is a potent symbol of the country's growing military might.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:39 pm

China on Tuesday detailed the structure of its military force in a special national defense report that also took a swipe at the United States for what it described as stoking tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Vivid Novel About North Korea Wins Pulitzer Honor

Novelist Adam Johnson spent time in North Korea and says "it was deeply surreal to walk among thousands of people in the streets of Pyongyang and see that the men all have the same exact haircut."
Courtesy of Tamara Beckwith

Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction Monday, captures the privation and absurdity of life in North Korea in one sentence: "For breakfast, she murdered an onion and served it raw."

The novel is a surreal, feverish look at North Korea under Kim Jong Il. The protagonist Jun Do (a play on "John Doe") grows up in an orphanage, and serves under Kim as a professional kidnapper before deciding to rebel against the state.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Oklahoma City Marathon Will Proceed, Organizers Say After Boston Attack

Oklahoma City officials say that a marathon that's part of memorial events honoring the anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building will take place Friday. Here, Boy Scouts take part in the 2010 event.
Brett Deering Getty Images

News of the deadly bombing attack on the Boston Marathon is echoing in Oklahoma City, where residents will observe the 18th anniversary Friday of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people. The events include a marathon, which remains on the schedule, although officials say they will review their security plans.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
8:47 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Investigating The Boston Marathon Bombings

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 12:04 pm

Morning Edition co-hosts Steve Inskeep and David Greene discuss the investigation of Monday's Boston Marathon explosions with Roger Cressey, a former counterterrorism investigator and member of the National Security Council, and NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.

The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Shattered Family: Blast Killed Boy, Wounded Mom & Sister

This undated photo provided by Bill Richard, shows his son, Martin Richard, in Boston. Martin Richard, 8, was among the at least three people killed in the explosions, Monday, April 15, 2013, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Uncredited AP/Bill Richard

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 12:16 pm

There will be many heartbreaking stories in coming hours and days about the victims of Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Among the first such tragic tales is that of the Richard family from Dorchester, Mass.

As the local Dorchester Reporter writes:

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Shots - Health News
8:35 am
Tue April 16, 2013

How To Avoid A Colonoscopy Billing Kerfuffle

Before your doctor gets to this, make sure he'll bill the colonoscopy as a screening test rather than a diagnostic one.
Sebastian Schroeder iStockphoto.com

Where preventive health care is concerned, a colonoscopy is one of the pricier screening tests, with a cost that often exceeds $1,000.

But under the health care overhaul, most health insurance plans have to cover the test for colorectal cancer without billing patients a dime, even if a polyp is found and removed.

Yet the way your doctor categorizes the test can make all the difference.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Tue April 16, 2013

IMF Lowers 2013 Economic Growth Forecasts

The IMF says economic woes in places like Cyprus will tamp down global growth.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 10:30 am

The International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for global economic growth, including in the United States, citing sharp cuts in government spending and the struggling eurozone.

The Washington, D.C.-based international lender's World Economic Outlook shaved its 2013 forecast to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent. It also trimmed its projection for 2014 to 4 percent from 4.1 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Tue April 16, 2013

The Cruelest Month: Boston Blasts Join List Of Dark Incidents

Oklahoma City Bombing: The Albert P. Murrah Federal Building shows the devastation caused by a fuel and fertilizer truck bomb on April 19, 1995. The blast killed 168 people and injured more than 500.
Bob Daemmrich AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 11:04 am

Howard Berkes is an NPR correspondent based in Salt Lake City.

It may have been the dumbest thing I ever said. On April 19, 1999, I stood before an audience at Idaho State University in Pocatello, talking about the cruelest month. April, I pointed out, and April 19 in particular, have provided celebrated, infamous and sometimes horrific moments in our history.

What was it about the month, I wondered, or the time of year, that made April so meaningful and at times so cruel? Back then, the list was relatively short:

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Social Media Helped Find Loved Ones After Marathon Bombing

A runner uses his cellphone after two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Alex Trautwig Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 10:22 am

In the chaos and mayhem that followed the Boston Marathon bombing, many people were frantic to learn the fate of friends and loved ones who were either in the race or watched it from the sidelines.

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