This summer, All Things Considered has asked listeners and guests to share a personal memory of one song discovered through their parents' record collection.
NPR listener Mel Fisher Ostrowski wrote in to tell us about how Don McLean's "American Pie" helped her "bridge a gap between my long-deceased father and baby boy." Hear the radio version at the audio link above — and read a lightly edited version of Ostrowski's original letter to NPR below.
What do you do when, after 30 years, your husband tells you he is leaving you for someone else? If you're poet Sharon Olds, you grab your spiral-bound notebook and write about it. And though the marriage ended in 1997, she has waited 15 years to tell us about it — half as long as her marriage lasted.
Last month, Japanese police officers arrested activists holding Chinese and Taiwanese flags who landed on Uotsuri Island, one of the islands of Senkaku (in Japanese), which is known as Diaoyu in Chinese.
Credit Masataka Morita / AP
Protesters in Manila, Philippines, marched toward the Chinese consulate during a May rally decrying the standoff between the two nations over the Scarborough Shoal.
Credit Pat Roque / AP
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Tuesday in Beijing to press for a peaceful resolution to competing territorial claims in the South China Sea.
A storm has been brewing for decades in the South China Sea, and it has nothing to do with the weather.
Instead, it's a virtual typhoon of competing claims over tiny, uninhabited island chains that ring the South China Sea and reach even farther north. They all have one thing in common: China has claimed control of them.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 1:34 pm
When former President Bill Clinton referred to present President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention as "cool on the outside," Clinton was underscoring the notion that Obama is, well, cool.
President Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination capped two weeks of speeches at the political conventions. Host Michel Martin discusses hits and misses with Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush; and Paul Orzulak, former speechwriter for President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
The Labor Department reported that the economy added 96,000 jobs in August, far fewer than analysts had predicted. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, an indication that more people moved out of the workforce. Host Michel Martin discusses the latest unemployment numbers with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax.
Sandra Fluke found herself in the center of a media storm earlier this year. She became a political target after she testified in favor of President Obama's policy to require most employers' insurance plans to cover contraception. Fluke spoke at this week's Democratic convention, and talks about it with host Michel Martin.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:53 am
What we have here is a moon — a small one (slightly wider than the state of Arizona) — circling Saturn.
If you look closely, you will see a small splay of light at its top, looking like a circular fountain.
That's because it is a fountain — of sorts. A bunch of volcano-like jets are sending fantastically high geysers of water vapor up into the sky, so high that you can see them in this remarkable print by Michael Benson, back lit by light bouncing off of Saturn.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:58 am
At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., NPR digital journalists asked delegates, politicians and other attendees to react to the statement: "Why I'm a Democrat." Here are some of those responses. (And here's what we heard from Republicans the week before.)
President Obama and Vice President Biden are naturally getting the big headlines. But it's former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm who is getting a lot of the buzz this morning for her high-energy address Thursday night at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
A U.S. Predator drone flies through the night sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Such drones have been targeting groups such as the Haqqani network that are accused of attacking U.S. and Afghan forces.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP. HOST: And I'm Steve Inskeep. Hours after President Obama delivered his speech at the Democratic Convention, the latest unemployment report provided a reminder of what's at stake. The unemployment rate dropped in August, which sounds good, but the number of jobs created was below expectations for August.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:53 am
Researchers report that women with genetic mutations that put them at dramatically increased risk of developing breast cancer may also face a heightened risk from radiation used during medical screening and diagnosis.
The imaging tools that help doctors identify disease, injury or damage to the body have long been known to carry some risk of cancer, in large part because ionizing radiation can damage the genetic material in the body.
The Republicans and the Democrats have had their say. The bad news: NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin now have to have their say. This week's episode of the "It's All Politics" podcast reviews both conventions, the highs and the lows, and what if anything it all means for November.
Join Rudin and Elving for the latest political news in this week's roundup.
The young Pakistani girl who has been in custody for about two weeks after neighbors accused her of burning some Islamic religious materials has been granted bail by a judge in Islamabad.
But NPR's Jackie Northam reports that the bail set today — the equivalent of about $10,000 — is an "enormous sum here in Pakistan." So it's uncertain whether Rimsha Masih will be out of jail anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent the month before. Often, the jobless rate dips even when employment growth is weak because the size of the labor force shrank as many Americans gave up looking for work.
It's a report that will surely add to the presidential campaign rhetoric.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a story of a stellar MacGyvering. The International Space Station was faced with a malfunctioning electrical unit and couldn't screw down a new one because the exterior bolts were covered in debris. After two astronauts were stuck outside for hours, they hit on an idea - scrub the bolts clean with a toothbrush. It was a thrifty fix for the $100 billion space station and luckily the toothbrush was a spare. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 7:52 am
"We heard some facts being spun" Thursday night when President Obama and Vice President Biden gave their acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention, report the watchdogs at FactCheck.org.
They and other independent fact checkers have compiled, just as they did at last week's Republican National Convention, a list of those things said by the two parties' standard bearers that don't quite add up or may give misleading impressions.
On the heels of the quadrennial political extravaganzas, it's back to the day-to-day work of winning the election. On Friday, that means the focus returns to a pair of small-population states with relatively few electoral votes.
The day after he formally accepted his party's nomination, President Obama and an entourage including first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden were scheduled to campaign in Portsmouth, N.H., and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 5:50 am
Were last night's convention references to Barack Obama's mother and her struggles with an insurance company before her death a powerful argument for health care reform? Or were they a well-worn misrepresentation of history?
Many air bases across the country are clamoring to get the next generation of fighter jets. But the Burlington, Vt. area is bitterly divided over being one of the Air Force's preferred locations. Some residents say there are enough problems already with the F-16s — like noise.