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Latin America
2:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Cuba To Lift Travel Restrictions But Not For All

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

After controlling the comings and goings of its citizens for 50 years, Cuba is relaxing its grip. The government announced it would eliminate the exit visa requirements. That announcement has been welcomed by many there, but as Nick Miroff reports from Havana, not all Cubans will be treated equally when the new immigration rules take effect in January.

NICK MIROFF, BYLINE: Cuban broadcasters read the announcement word-for-word on state television, just in case there were some who wouldn't have believed it otherwise.

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Business
2:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

'Wired' Magazine Story

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:13 am

Google has nearly 20 data centers packed with computer servers that are huge consumers of energy. Google allowed technology writer Steven Levy of Wired magazine to see its facility in Lenoir, N.C. Levy talks to Steve Inskeep about what he saw while he was there.

Shots - Health News
1:51 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Poor Sleep May Lead To Too Much Stored Fat And Disease

Many Americans aren't getting the recommended seven to nine hours per night.
Franck Camhi iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 9:57 am

Is that 6 a.m. workout getting in the way of good sleep? Don't think your fat cells won't notice.

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that inadequate shut-eye has a harmful response on fat cells, reducing their ability to respond to insulin by about 30 percent. Over the long-term, this decreased response could set the stage for Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and weight gain.

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Shots - Health News
1:49 am
Wed October 17, 2012

States Iron Out The Kinks In Long-Term Care Insurance

Not many elderly people get long-term care insurance. It's expensive and many hope their kids will look after them instead.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:31 am

Long-term care insurance provides money for care when you're too old or sick to wash yourself and cook, though few American use it. Many who do have found that some insurance companies are slow to pay up or deny payments completely.

Oregon is one of several states that's adopting new regulations to improve the industry.

It used to be that the only way to appeal a long-term care decision in Oregon was in court, an arduous process for a person who may be elderly, sick or in a nursing home.

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Sweetness And Light
1:48 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Kickers Are Taking The Kick Out Of Football

Place kicker Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos kicks a second quarter field goal on a hold by Britton Colquitt against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High in Denver on Sept. 23.
Justin Edmonds Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:31 am

Of all the strained sports cliches, my favorite was "educated toe." Remember? An accomplished field goal kicker possessed an educated toe. I had a newspaper friend who wrote that a punter had an "intellectual instep," but the copy desk wouldn't allow it. Spoilsports.

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Health Care
1:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Home Health Aides Often As Old As Their Clients

Onether Lowery, 80, (standing) is a home health aide for Rosalie Lewis, 86. As a whole, the aides are largely female and far older than women in the general workforce.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:03 am

In a red brick rambler in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., Onether Lowery begins her daily shift as a caregiver. She skillfully helps 86-year-old Rosalie Lewis into her electric wheelchair, holding her from the back, then bending over to ease her down.

It's an impressive feat: Lowery herself is 80 years old.

"My mother, she was 89 when she passed away," Lowery says. "I took care of her and I just fell in love with older people. I get along with them very well."

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It's All Politics
10:56 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Media Circus: Candidates Brawl, Pundits Reverse Course Yet Again

CNN's Candy Crowley moderates the second presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 12:57 pm

Pundits fretted that the town hall format for Tuesday's presidential exchange would yield tepid results: undecided voters posing questions over 90 minutes with little more than a passing touch from the moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley.

Boy, was that a misplaced fear. "So much for the analysis this would not be confrontational," Fox News anchor Bret Baier said in the moments after the debate.

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It's All Politics
10:47 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

How Obama Got His Groove Back, And Other Debate Takeaways

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama spar over energy policy during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 11:25 pm

Anyone who thought the presidential candidates couldn't get aggressive within a town hall-style format underestimated the sharp differences in policy that divide them.

President Obama and Mitt Romney remained continuously critical against one another throughout their second debate Tuesday night. Neither ever seemed to finish a statement without launching an attack against his opponent.

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National Security
5:26 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Court Overturns Conviction Of Bin Laden Driver

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, who served a prison term for material support for terrorism.
AP

A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver and bodyguard, Salim Ahmed Hamdan. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Hamdan was at the center of a Supreme Court case that ruled that the Bush administration's military commission system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Federal Investigators Search Pharmacy Linked To Meningitis Outbreak

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:42 pm

"The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts on Tuesday said federal agents raided the New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has killed 15 people and sickened more than 200 others," Reuters writes.

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

In Battleground Nevada, Voters We Met In February Offer Few October Surprises

Jared Fisher, who runs an outdoor recreation and bicycle company, voted for Barack Obama in 2008. He says he has yet to decide who he'll vote for this year.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:54 pm

With eyes on the presidential debate in New York, we decided to turn ours to the swing state of Nevada, where President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney are battling mightily over the state's small but crucial trove of six electoral votes.

Polls show the race at a near dead heat in the Silver State, which was hit harder than any other by the recession, and still records among the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates in the nation.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Court Reverses Conviction Of Bin Laden's Driver

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, with his attorney, in a courtroom sketch from 2007.
Janet Hamlin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:01 pm

Today's decision by a federal appeals court to overturn the conviction of a former driver for Osama bin Laden is unlikely to affect the high-profile cases against the accused architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks or other suspected terrorists who face multiple charges, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston said earlier on All Things Considered.

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Books News & Features
3:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Hilary Mantel First Woman To Win Booker Prize Twice

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:06 pm

Writer Hilary Mantel has won her second Man Booker prize. She was recognized for her book, Bring Up The Bodies. Mantel is the first British writer and woman to win the award more than once.

The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Hilary Mantel Wins Man Booker Prize For 'Bring Up The Bodies'

Hilary Mantel, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, poses with her prize shortly after the award ceremony in London Tuesday. Mantel, won the 50,000 British pounds (approximately $80,000) prize with her book Bring up the Bodies.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:21 pm

"The whittling has finished," declared the website of the Man Booker Prize.

On Tuesday, judges awarded the prestigious literary award to Hilary Mantel for her historical novel Bring up the Bodies.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Picasso, Monet Paintings Among Those Swiped From Dutch Museum

There's an empty space today where a Henri Matisse painting had been hanging at the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Seven paintings were stolen Tuesday, including works by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin.
Peter Dejong AP

At least the thieves had good taste.

Paintings by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin were were among seven stolen from a museum in the Dutch city of Rotterdam before dawn on Tuesday.

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It's All Politics
3:10 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

When The Debate Ends, The Advertising Debate Is Just Beginning

A worker cleans a sign before Tuesday's presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:53 pm

Each presidential and vice presidential debate lasts 90 minutes. If you watch political ads, though, they may seem to go on much longer.

In the hours and days after the first presidential debate and this year's sole vice presidential version, both campaigns used debate footage in their ads — attempting to amplify messages, make counterarguments and drive the focus of the election.

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Shots - Health News
2:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Medicare: Where Presidential Politics And Policy Collide

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney first debated Medicare on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:06 pm

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for about 50 million senior and disabled Americans, is simultaneously one of the most popular and imperiled programs in America.

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Author Interviews
2:38 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

In A 'Dream,' Lincoln Checks In On State Of The Union

Roaring Book Press

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:48 am

With the country mired in a civil war, Abraham Lincoln had a lot on his mind, so it's not surprising that the 16th president experienced vivid, troubling dreams.

"He was haunted by his dreams," says author and illustrator Lane Smith. In one dream, Lincoln found himself aboard an indescribable vessel moving toward an indistinct shore, Smith tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "He had these dreams apparently several times before momentous events of the Civil War, and in fact he had it the night before he was assassinated."

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Economy
2:37 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Home Health Aides: In Demand, Yet Paid Little

Home health aide trainees Marisol Maldonaldo (center) and Nancy Brown (right), shown here with assistant instructor Miguelina Sosa, are studying to join one of the nation's fastest growing yet also worst paid sectors of the workforce.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 1:29 pm

The home care workforce — some 2.5 million strong — is one of the nation's fastest growing yet also worst paid. Turnover is high, and with a potential labor shortage looming as the baby boomers age, there are efforts to attract more people to the job.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Louisiana To Soon Have State's First Black Chief Justice

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson.
Louisiana Supreme Court AP

Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled today that Justice Bernette Johnson has the seniority that entitles her to become the panel's chief justice at the end of January, NPR's Debbie Elliott tells our Newscast Desk.

Johnson will be the first African-American to sit in the chief justice's seat. The state's first Supreme Court was created in 1812.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Former Sen. George McGovern Enters Hospice; Was 1972 Democratic Nominee

Then-Sen. George McGovern in 1972, when he was running for president.
Keystone Getty Images

Former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 presidential nominee, has moved into a hospice care facility in Sioux Falls, his family and friends tell The Associated Press and other news outlets.

The 90-year-old World War II veteran is "coming to the end of his life," his daughter, Ann McGovern, tells the AP.

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Economy
1:01 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

6 Things Surnames Can Say About Social Mobility

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:31 pm

Using data on surnames dating back almost 1,000 years, economic historian Gregory Clark says he's found evidence that families rise and fall across generations at a much slower rate than anyone previously thought. And he says that rate remains constant across national boundaries and time periods.

Clark is writing a book about his research, and he says he's still working out some of his conclusions, but here are six possible takeaways from what he's found so far:

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Economy
1:00 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Movin' On Up? That May Depend On Your Last Name

New research suggests that success in life may be determined by ancestors from hundreds of years ago. The research finds that your chance of making it into the elite is the same in the United States as it is in South America, no matter when you were born.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:06 pm

Here is a question that social scientists have been pondering for years: How much of your success in life is tied to your parents, and how much do you control?

The academic term used for this is "social mobility." And a striking new finding from economic historian Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis claims your success in life may actually be determined by ancestors who lived hundreds of years ago. That means improving opportunities across generations might be a lot harder than anyone imagined.

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News
12:33 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Budapest Quartet Gets To The Heart Of Beethoven

The Budapest String Quartet in 1919.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:42 am

The Budapest String Quartet has always been my standard-bearer for chamber music. I grew up listening to their recordings, and especially admired not only their gorgeous sound, but also the uncanny interaction among all four players, even when there were changes in personnel. They had a way of playing as if they were speaking to each other, expressing deep and sometimes complicated feelings.

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Music Reviews
12:29 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

K'Naan Brings Down Walls On 'Country, God Or The Girl'

K'Naan's new album is titled Country, God or the Girl.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:06 pm

The Somali-born rapper and singer-songwriter K'Naan can sure pack a lot into a 3-1/2-minute pop song: clever wit, heartfelt angst, a hook you can't shake — and, in the new track "Hurt Me Tomorrow," honky-tonk piano. That's the sort of quirk that helped win K'Naan his earliest fans. All sorts of eccentricities survive on Country, God or the Girl, his most expansive and elaborately produced work to date. Mostly, though, the new album soars with pairings of sharp, confessional rap and catchy vocal hooks.

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Shots - Health News
11:38 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Feds Seek Comments On Bird Flu Safety Fears

An electron microscope view of the bird flu virus.
PR Newswire

Here's your chance to weigh in on mutant forms of bird flu that have been in the news — the U.S. government wants to know just how scary you think these new viruses are.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Citigroup CEO's Exit Leaves Wall Street Scratching Its Head

Vikram Pandit on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on in June.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Today's announcement that Vikram Pandit had abruptly resigned as chief executive of banking giant Citigroup has left competitors, analysts and media pundits stunned and sputtering.

"This comes as a huge surprise," William George, a Goldman Sachs board member, said in an interview on CNBC.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Tue October 16, 2012

A Victory For Obama, High Court Refuses Ohio Early Voting Case

With a one sentence decision, the U.S. Supreme Court handed President Obama a victory today.

The court refused to hear a case that sought to block early voting Ohio. The AP reports:

"The court on Tuesday refused a Republican request to get involved in a dispute over early voting in the state on the three days before Election Day.

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Shots - Health News
11:16 am
Tue October 16, 2012

At Polio's Epicenter, Vaccinators Battle Chaos And Indifference

Kano, in northern Nigeria, has been called the "epicenter" of the current polio outbreak. This part of Nigeria is the only place in the world where polio cases are increasing.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 2:16 pm

Polio was eliminated from the Western Hemisphere in the early 1990s. It was stamped out in Europe a few years later. And now, even the Congo and Somalia are polio free.

But in Africa's largest oil-producing nation, Nigeria, polio has been a difficult, contentious foe.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:15 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Should We Ration End-Of-Life Care?

Intelligence Squared U.S. debate." href="/post/should-we-ration-end-life-care" class="noexit lightbox">
Sally Pipes and Ken Connor argue against the motion "Ration End-of-Life Care" in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 1:19 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

As the presidential candidates make their cases to the nation, health care is taking up a lot of talking points. But one subject that's less likely to be debated forthrightly is end-of-life care.

A big driver of U.S. health care expenditure is what's spent in the last year of life. Those who argue in favor of rationing that care say the country cannot afford to provide unlimited health care — either the government or insurance companies have to ration end-of-life care as a policy response.

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