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1:20 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Ex-Inmates Speak Out About Labor Camps As China Considers 'Reforms'

Some former prisoners of re-education through labor camps and their supporters hold signs in Beijing declaring, "No Re-education Through Labor." Popular opposition to the camps has grown as China's state-run media has highlighted particularly egregious cases.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:59 pm

Shen Lixiu's story is numbingly familiar.

Officials in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing knocked down her karaoke parlor for development. She says they then offered her compensation that was less than 20 percent of what she had invested in the place.

Shen complained to the central government. Local authorities responded by sentencing her to a "re-education through labor" camp for a year. Once inside, Shen says, camp workers tried to force her to accept the compensation.

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Hollywood Jobs
10:03 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

For Publicist Marvin Levy, It's All About Eyeballs

Spielberg's Schindler's List will mark its 20th year in 2013. Levy was in charge of the publicity campaign for the film and still has his original press kit.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:14 am

Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln has earned 12 Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best director. Another Spielberg film — the multi-Oscar winning Schindler's List — will be celebrating 20 years since its release. These films have at least two important things in common: Spielberg and publicist Marvin Levy.

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StoryCorps
8:03 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

After Prison, A Second Chance To Be A Better Mother

Rowena Gore-Simmons and her daughter, Kenya, now 16, at StoryCorps in Baltimore.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:42 am

When Rowena Gore-Simmons went to prison, her daughter, Kenya, was just 4 years old. On her first night behind bars, Rowena recalls, her hands and feet were shackled.

"I was disappointed in myself, and I was scared for you guys," she told Kenya during a visit to StoryCorps in Baltimore.

During the year Rowena was incarcerated, people would often ask Kenya, 'Where's your mother?'

'I didn't tell them nothing," recalls Kenya, now 16. But all the questions, she says, made her feel like an outsider.

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Media
5:17 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

CNBC Adopts Tougher Tactic In Booking Wars

Morning rush hour commuters pass by a CNBC crew in front of the New York Stock Exchange in September 2006. The channel has adopted a policy that prohibits guests from appearing on rival channels amid breaking news.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

CNBC is far and away the television ratings leader in the financial cable news business. Now, evidence arrives that its executives, producers and reporters are going to great lengths to maintain its status.

The channel has adopted a policy that prohibits guests from appearing on rival channels amid breaking news if they want to be seen by CNBC's larger audience.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

The 'Line' For Legal Immigration Is Already About 4 Million People Long

Newly sworn-in U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in Baltimore in 2012.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

In the back and forth between Congress and the White House over immigration, both sides seem to agree that people now in the U.S. illegally should wait at "the back of the line" for legal residency — meaning no green card until all other immigrants get theirs.

But that presents a problem, because the wait for a green card can take decades.

Maria has been waiting in line with her husband for 16 years and counting for what the government calls a priority date for legal residency. Because she is in the U.S. without documents, Maria asked NPR to use only her first name.

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Shots - Health News
3:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Morning-After Pills Don't Cause Abortion, Studies Say

Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 2:51 pm

The most heated part of the fight between the Obama administration and religious groups over new rules that require most health plans to cover contraception actually has nothing to do with birth control. It has to do with abortion.

Specifically, do emergency contraceptives interfere with a fertilized egg and cause what some consider to be abortion?

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Africa
3:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

In Algeria, Sahara Attack Revives A Fear Of Renewed Terrorism

Algerian police stop cars at a checkpoint in In Amenas, deep in the Sahara near the Libyan border, on Jan. 18. Islamists took hostages at a nearby gas field in a major international incident.
Farouk Batiche AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:30 am

When Muslim extremists overran an oil and gas facility in Algeria's Sahara desert last month, Algerians saw the drama through the lens of their own painful history.

The news that terrorists had seized the In Amenas oil and gas plant stunned people in Algiers, the Algerian capital, who thought they'd seen the last of such attacks.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Surely Congress Would Know Better Than to Hurt Airlines. No?

Those baggage fees, cramped seats and tiny pretzel bags to the contrary and notwithstanding, airline passengers enjoyed good times in 2012, according to an annual recap from Airlines for America, the industry trade group.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Sept. 11 Trial Judge Gives Defense Attorneys Access To 'Camp 7'

This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Defense attorneys in the trial of the five men accused of orchestrating the terror attacks on September 11th will get to see for the first time where their clients are incarcerated.

The army judge presiding over the trial at Guantanamo Bay said today he will allow the lawyers to visit a secret section of the prison.

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Shots - Health News
2:54 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Flu Vaccine Has Been Feeble For Elderly This Season

Kimberly Delp gives a flu shot to Carleen Matthews at the Homewood Senior Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., last September.
Andrew Rush AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 11:25 am

This year's flu vaccine appears to be doing a unusually poor job of protecting the elderly, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Overall, this year's flu vaccine appears to be only about 27 percent effective for people ages 65 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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NPR Story
2:24 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Man's Ashes Take Trip Across The Country

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now, a story from Washington state; a story about one family's unexpected odyssey. Seventy-three-year-old Kevin O'Grady had recently died in Seattle, where one of his two daughters lives. She mailed her father's ashes across the state to her sister, Katy, in Spokane. That's where their father, an Air Force veteran, was to be buried with military honors.

But after several days, Katy had yet to receive the ashes.

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NPR Story
2:24 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

'Friends Of Hamas': How A Joke Went Wrong

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 6:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Among the many charges thrown at Chuck Hagel, as he seeks confirmation as defense secretary, is this one: that he received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas. That explosive claim first surfaced on the conservative website breitbart.com. It got traction and spread among conservative media.

Thing is there's no evidence that any such group exists, not to mention any evidence of a Hamas-Hagel connection.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul Returns $600,000 Of Unspent Operating Costs

Sen. Rand Paul.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:27 pm

For the second year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky, is returning a large part of his office's operating budget to the Treasury.

According to a press release, Paul presented taxpayers in Louisville with an "oversized" check for $600,000.

"I ran to stop the reckless spending, and I pledged to the people of Kentucky that I would work to keep their hard-earned money out of the hands of Washington bureaucrats whose irresponsible spending has threatened our country's economic health," Paul said.

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All Tech Considered
1:56 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Watch Out: Apple Patent Hints At Something For Your Wrist

A drawing from Apple's patent application could give clues to the rumored iWatch device.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The rumor mill has been churning out speculation about what's next from Apple.

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Sports
1:21 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Fans Pitch Bids For Former Red Sox Pitcher's Bloodstained Sock

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's bloody sock and spikes are displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Schilling, whose video game company went bankrupt, is selling the bloodstained sock he wore during baseball's 2004 World Series.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

The 2004 Major League Baseball playoffs will always be remembered for an astonishing Red Sox comeback and a bloody sock worn by pitcher Curt Schilling.

Well, actually there were two bloodstained socks. But the first was thrown away, and now the second sock is being auctioned off to repay Schilling's debts.

Ask any die-hard Red Sox fan and he or she can recall the game by heart. It was Oct. 19, 2004. Schilling took the hill with a bum right ankle in a do-or-die playoff game against the Yankees.

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The Salt
1:10 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

One In Three Fish Sold At Restaurants And Grocery Stores Is Mislabeled

Escolar, right, is often substituted for more expensive Albacore tuna (left), a report on mislabeled seafood found.
Yoon S. Byun Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:24 am

There are so many fish in the sea. But from a diner's viewpoint, peering down at a sliver of white fish atop a bed of sushi rice, a lot of them look the same.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Pretty Picture: Mount Etna Boils Over; NASA Adds Color To Shot From Space

Sicily's Mount Etna early this week, as seen from space. The bright red is lava. Snow is blue-green. Clouds are white. "Shortwave infrared, near infrared, and green light" combine to produce the colors.
NASA

Sicily's Mount Etna has been blowing off steam, and lava, this week. NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite flew over it on Wednesday and took an image that "combines shortwave infrared, near infrared, and green light in the red, green, and blue channels."

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Petition To Legalize Unlocking Cellphones Meets White House's 100K Requirement

Frustration over a change in federal copyright policy that makes it illegal to unlock new cellphones has resulted in more than 100,000 signatures on a petition at the White House's website, meaning the executive branch must now respond to calls to rescind the ruling or "champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal."

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

15 Republican Senators Call On Obama To Withdraw Chuck Hagel Nomination

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, talks on the phone at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:28 pm

Fifteen Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama asking him to withdraw the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense.

The senators pointed to his lackluster performance during his confirmation hearing as well as what they said were his untenable positions on Iran.

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Shots - Health News
12:13 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Feds Set New Rules For Controversial Bird Flu Research

Health officials around the world are on constant lookout for the deadly bird flu. Here a worker collects chickens on a farm in Kathamndu, Nepal, where the virus was suspected of infecting poultry last October.
Prakas Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:25 am

Government-funded scientists here in the U.S. are a step closer to being able to resume some controversial experiments with lab-altered bird flu viruses.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Explosions In Syrian Capital Kill More Than 50

Syrian security agents carry a body following a huge car bombing in Damascus on Thursday. More than 50 people were killed in one of the worst attacks in the capital since the uprising began in 2011.
SANA AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:29 pm

Several explosions ripped through Damascus on Thursday morning in what was one of the deadliest days in the Syrian capital since the uprising began nearly two years ago.

A huge blast in the al-Mazraa neighborhood was the work of a suicide car bomber, according to media reports. More than 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured, according to both the Syrian state media and opposition groups.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Tough Turkeys Are Taking Over A California Town

You talking to me? (A turkey on New York's Staten Island; who's probably just as intimidating, if not more, than those in California.)
Jonathan Fickies Landov

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 11:59 am

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Thu February 21, 2013

In Wal-Mart's Earnings Report, A Lesson On The Tax Code

A Walmart store in Paramount, Calif. in November of 2012.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 11:31 am

The New York Times points out something rather interesting about an otherwise mundane business story. Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter earnings report tells the tale of how changes in the tax code has both helped corporations and hurt them.

As the Times puts it, during the fourth quarter of last year, "the tax code gave and the tax code took away."

The paper explains:

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Graham Says 4,700 Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

U.S. "Predator" drone over Afghanistan in Jan. 2009.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:09 pm

We've all heard that drone strikes directed against al-Qaida and other militants have been on the rise, but now Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has put a number on deaths by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle: 4,700.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, rattled off the death toll during a talk he gave to the Easley Rotary Club in Easley, S.C., Tuesday afternoon.

"We've killed 4,700," Graham said.

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The Salt
10:17 am
Thu February 21, 2013

This Music Is Bananas (Really)

Making a banana piano is easy with the MaKey MaKey.
Jay Silver/Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:26 am

Fresh produce has never been hipper.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Pew: U.S. Catholics Divided On Future Of The Church

A silhouette of St. Peter's statue in front of St. Peter's Basilica is seen from the Vatican Gardens.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Catholics in the United States are divided over what they want from their next pontiff, a new poll from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds.

While a majority (58 percent) say it would be "good" if the next pope allows priests to marry and 60 percent said it would be good if the new pope is from the "developing world," that majority narrows when they asked a broader question.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Want To Be In The Dark? Death Valley Is Among 20 Recommended Places

The Racetrack area in Death Valley National Park, which boasts one of the darkest night skies in the U.S.
Dan Duriscoe National Park Service

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 10:29 am

Hearing that the International Dark Sky Association has declared that Death Valley National Park is now the world's largest "international dark sky park" sent us in search of other places that the organization recommends if you really like "star-filled nights."

The association, which tries to "call attention to the hazards of light pollution," has recognized:

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It's All Politics
9:37 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Failure To Ratify: During Amendment Battles, Some States Opt To Watch

George Washington is depicted addressing the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in this painting by Junius Brutus Stearns. Presumably, no representative from Rhode Island is in the picture; Rhode Island boycotted the gathering and originally rejected the Constitution.
AP

Mississippi has received lots of attention this week for finally having ratified the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. But the state is hardly alone in being slow about blessing some long-established national principle.

After a sufficient number of states have ratified an amendment, it can feel like a moot point for legislatures to give belated approval to laws that are already in effect.

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Around the Nation
9:28 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Chicago Kids Say They're Assigned To Gangs

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll take a trip to Puerto Rico. The economy is struggling, but the music there is thriving. We'll hear more about that in just a few minutes.

But first, we turn to Chicago, where the recent shooting death of honor student Hadiya Pendleton has put that city's battle with gun violence, especially affecting the youngest victims, back into the national headlines.

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Politics
9:28 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Former Social Security Boss On The Real Problem

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, another family is grieving in Chicago after another young person was killed by gun violence this past weekend. Today we're going to bring you some very blunt, powerful perspectives from young people affected by the violence that you might not have heard. This from our colleagues with the public radio program "This American Life." And that's coming up later in the program.

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