NPR News

Pages

The Two-Way
4:37 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Super Bowl Will Be A Family Affair: Harbaugh Brothers' Ravens, 49ers To Clash

Head coach Jim Harbaugh (left) of the San Francisco 49ers and his brother, head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, before a game on Thanksgiving Day 2011. Their teams will meet again in the Super Bowl.
Rob Carr Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mike Pesca on the Ravens' win

Super Bowl XLVII will be a never-before matchup of teams coached by two brothers.

The Baltimore Ravens, led by John Harbaugh, will play his younger brother Jim's San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

Maybe it should be called the Harbowl, as they're saying on NFL.com.

Read more
Business
3:56 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Obama 'Suits Up' For Inauguration Day

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, the first lady always generates attention for her fashion choices. As we mentioned elsewhere in our broadcast, she made news last week by getting bangs. People do not necessarily pay as much attention to that guy that the first lady may bring around to various events, but presidential fashions can make history. Think of Ronald Reagan's brown suits or Jimmy Carter's cardigans. NPR's Rachel Ward takes a look at this president's sartorial statements.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:53 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Join Us For Coverage Of Inauguration Day; Here's The Schedule

Souvenirs are available in Washington, D.C., as the city celebrates the inauguration.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:32 am

Good morning.

Though he and the vice president have already taken their oaths of office, President Obama is due this noon to stand outside the Capitol for his ceremonial swearing in and then to deliver his second inaugural address.

Read more
Africa
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Nightmare Details Emerge After Siege Ends In Algeria

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama took the oath for a second term yesterday, on January 20th, as the Constitution requires. The public ceremony takes place today at the Capitol, and we'll have live coverage all day long.

Read more
Africa
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Ambassador Huddleston: U.S. Must Save Mali

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The dead are still being counted from last week's attack and hostage drama at a natural gas plant in the remote desert of Algeria. Among those killed are dozens of foreign workers from Britain, Japan and elsewhere, with at least one from America. To get a better understanding of what is unfolding in the region and America's role in it, we're joined by Vickie Huddleston.

Read more
Asia
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

During 2nd Term, Obama To Pivot To Asia

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The president of the United States, as his title suggests, is the leader of this country, but in many ways is also the leader of the world. And so we're looking at how other countries see the next four years on this Inauguration Day. India enjoyed strong relations with the Obama administration in its first term, but in a second term, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports, the South Asian giant is concerned about the uncertainty seen in American policy toward China and Afghanistan.

Read more
Race
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Myrlie Evers-Williams To Deliver Inaugural Invocation

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the widow of a murdered Mississippi civil rights leader will help open the inaugural ceremony today. President Obama selected activist Myrlie Evers-Williams to deliver the invocation. She's the first woman and the first layperson to have the honor.

NPR's Debbie Elliott has this profile.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Evers-Williams' prominent role in President Obama's second inauguration comes in the 50th year since NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was shot to death outside his family's home in Jackson, Mississippi.

Read more
Arts & Life
1:22 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Aretha Franklin Was Already Famous, But Her Hat-Maker Wasn't

At the Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration of President Obama, Aretha Franklin's hat nearly stole the show. Her chapeau became a sensation, and made its creator, 36-year-old Luke Song, famous overnight.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:54 am

After the first Obama inauguration, everybody talked about three things: the historic moment, the Arctic weather — and Aretha Franklin's hat.

If it is possible for a piece of millinery to steal the thunder of one of the most-watched moments in recent memory, the Queen of Soul's hat managed to do it. Her gray felt cloche was topped with a giant, matching bow, outlined in rhinestones that flashed in the chill sunlight as she sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

Read more
It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Inaugural Trivia Quiz

Barack Obama arrives at his 2009 inauguration to become the 44th president of the United States.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 6:51 am

See what you know about the wonkier points of the quadrennial festivities. Scroll to the page bottom for answers and explanations.

1) The Constitution says that a presidency ends and a new one begins on:

a) Jan. 20
b) Jan. 21
c) The third Monday in January following an election
d) It doesn't specify

2) How many presidents have chosen to affirm (rather than swear) to "faithfully execute the office ... "?

a) None
b) One
c) Two
d) Three

Read more
Author Interviews
3:29 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

George Saunders On Absurdism And Ventriloquism In 'Tenth Of December'

iStockphoto.com

George Saunders has been writing short stories for decades.

Saunders, a professor at Syracuse University, was once a geological engineer who traveled the world; he now crafts stories that combine the absurd and fantastic with the mundane realities of everyday life. One story about a professional caveman inspired those Geico commercials.

Read more
Environment
3:29 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Former Anti-GMO Activist Says Science Changed His Mind

Harvest wheat from a field near Wright, Kan. May 10, 2004.
ORLIN WAGNER ASSOCIATED PRESS

For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas destroyed genetically modified food (GMO) crops in what he calls a successful campaign to force the business of agriculture to be more holistic and ecological in its practices.

His targets were companies like Monsanto and Syngenta — leaders in developing genetically modified crops.

Earlier this month he went in front of the world to reverse his position on GMOs.

Read more
Politics
3:08 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Will The Grass Be Greener In Obama's Second Term?

A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. Some environmentalists hope President Obama lives up to campaign promises regarding climate change in his second term.
Jim Urquhart AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:02 pm

One of the chief expectations of those who voted for President Obama is that he moves assertively to pass climate change legislation, whatever the political climate in Washington.

"We have a bipartisan common interest in moving away from fossil fuels towards clean energy," says Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. "The sooner that members of both parties in Congress realize that and develop solutions, the better off we'll all be."

Read more
Food
2:14 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Distilling Presidential History Into 44 Cocktails

Washington, D.C., bartender Jim Hewes distills presidential history into cocktails.
Liz Baker NPR

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 3:04 pm

As Washington, D.C., gears up for the 57th presidential inauguration, political parties are in full swing. We're not talking about run-of-the-mill partisan bickering. We're talking about inaugural celebrations: balls, galas and cocktail parties. Emphasis on the cocktail.

The Round Robin Bar in the Willard Hotel is just a stone's throw from the White House. Bartender Jim Hewes has been serving up drinks there for nearly 30 years.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:12 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Connecting With Nature To Reclaim Our Natural 'Birthright'

Stephen Kellert is a professor emeritus and senior research scholar at Yale University.
John Mueller Yale University Press

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 3:29 pm

"Contact with nature is not some magical elixir but the natural world is the substrate on which we must build our existence," writes Stephen Kellert in his new book Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World.

In it, he tells stories of the environment's effect on us, and ours on it. His writing builds on the traditions of Thoreau, John Muir and Rachel Carson. Modern society, he argues, has become adversarial in its relationship to nature, having greatly undervalued the natural world beyond its narrow utility.

Read more
Inauguration 2013
1:25 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

An Inaugural Memory: President Lincoln's Food Fight

Menu for Lincoln's 2nd inaugural ball, March 6, 1865
Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:27 am

A recently-published menu for Abraham Lincoln's lavish second inaugural ball in 1865 provides an interesting look at how different the nation celebrated its new president just seven score and eight years ago.

Smoked tongue en geleé and blancmange (a firm custard) shared room on the buffet table with roast turkey and burnt almond ice cream.

As Yale food historian Paul Freedman told Smithsonian Magazine writer Megan Gambino, the cuisine could best be described as "French via England, with some American ingredients."

Read more
Music Interviews
12:58 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

For Sean Lennon, Music Is Not A Solo Act

Sean Lennon in the studio, during production of the Alter Egos soundtrack.
Jordan Galland Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 3:29 pm

Sean Lennon, son of John and Yoko, is drawn to musical collaboration and repelled by hydraulic fracturing.

The 37-year-old just released two albums: the improvisational project Mystical Weapons and the score to the independent film Alter Egos.

Writing For Film

Lennon only appears in Alter Egos for a few seconds; the majority of his efforts went into writing the music, which he had to do twice. He describes the film as a "kitsch comedy about superheroes," and his first attempt at the music took a similar vibe.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:15 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Death Toll May Rise After More Bodies Found At Algerian Plant

More bodies have been reported found at the gas plant in Algeria where a four-day standoff with Islamist militants came to a bloody end on Saturday. An Algerian security official tells the AP that the state of the bodies makes it difficult to tell whether the dead are hostages or attackers.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Obama Takes Oath Of Office In White House Ceremony

President Obama is officially sworn in Sunday by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House. Next to Obama are first lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson Family Bible, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Larry Downing AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 11:04 am

President Obama's second term officially begins Sunday: He took the oath of office in an intimate ceremony at the White House, fulfilling the constitutional requirement to take the oath before noon on Jan. 20.

NPR's Ari Shaprio reported on the swearing-in for our Newscast unit. Here's what he said:

"Family and a few close friends gathered in the Blue Room of the White House. The president placed his hand on a family Bible and recited the oath with Chief Justice John Roberts.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

5 Questions About The Inauguration

Workers seen through a fence adjust American flags on the Capitol during preparations Thursday for the inauguration.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:28 am

1) Why Monday?

Inaugural events are sprinkled over three days, with the most important one actually taking place out of the public eye on Sunday. That's when the official oath of office will be administered at the White House, on the date and time (noon on Jan. 20) specified by the Constitution. But because the 20th falls on a Sunday this year, the public festivities, including another oath taking, all happen Monday.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Presidential Double Take: The Difference Four Years Makes

President Obama seems to have picked up a few gray hairs in the four years since he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009 (left). On the right, he's shown in December 2012.
Getty Images/AFP NPR

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 1:56 pm

Every president gets sworn in once, but it's a smaller club of presidents who manage to get there twice. Here's a look at some recent presidents who served two terms. See who changed the most (or the least) in four years.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Obama So Far: Making History, Inspiring An Opposition

President Obama walks outside the Oval Office on May 3.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:17 am

Any American president hoping to stake a claim to being viewed by future generations as great and transformative — or at least very good and effective — would be wise to choose his predecessor well.

To that end, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan probably couldn't have done better than to follow, respectively, James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

Similarly, President Obama no doubt benefited from comparisons to George W. Bush, who's unlikely to make many historians' lists of the presidential greats.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Dependent On Arms Plant, N.Y. Town Braces For Gun Laws' Impact

Standing near the Remington Arms factory, Beth Neale, deputy mayor of Ilion, N.Y., says she's watched a lot of large manufacturers leave the region. She's not sure Ilion would easily recover from losing Remington.
Marie Cusick for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 11:30 am

When New York state passed a wave of new gun-control laws on Jan. 15, it outlawed a type of assault rifle made just over an hour's drive from the state capital.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Welcome To Alaska, Where Winter Is Cold And Bikes Are Fat

Bike shop owner Kevin Breitenbach rides a fat bike in the White Mountains National Recreation Area in Alaska in March.
Josh Spice

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:44 am

The plummeting mercury in Alaska this time of year doesn't keep bikers inside. More and more of them are heading to recreational trails and to the office on "fat bikes." They look like mountain bikes on steroids, with tires wider than most people's arms.

Kevin Breitenbach runs the bike shop at Beaver Sports in Alaska's second-largest city. Aboard a fat bike, he makes his way down a trail that winds through a forest as wet, quarter-sized snowflakes drop from the sky. Visibility is low, and the snow hides the roughest spots on the trail.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

'That's Our Guy': Chicagoans Welcome Obama Back To D.C.

Chicagoan Janice Trice was an Obama volunteer in 2008 and 2012. Her husband died on Election Day in 2008, before he could celebrate Barack Obama's victory, or even find out that he won. She says this pilgrimage is a way for her to honor his memory.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:23 am

For President Obama's first inauguration, Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois organized a group of more than 700 people — on 10 buses — to make the journey from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

Last time, one of those buses broke down. This time, however, the group decided to take an 18-hour Amtrak ride to see the second presidential inauguration of their hometown hero.

Davis staffer Tumia Romero, who organized the trip, says she did not want to deal with the nightmare of a bus having issues again.

Read more
Inauguration 2013
10:27 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Presidential Oath: Not Always Perfect, But It Gets The Job Done

Barack Obama takes the oath of office beside his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, right, and Malia, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.
Chuck Kennedy AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 4:20 pm

President Obama takes the oath of office for a second term on Sunday and Monday. By the time he is through Monday, he and President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be the only two presidents to have taken the presidential oath four times — Roosevelt because he was elected four times, and Obama because he will have taken the oath twice the first time and twice the second.

Obama took the oath twice in 2009 because he and Chief Justice John Roberts messed it up a bit the first time and redid it a second time in private to quell any questions about Obama being president.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:43 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

On His Campaign Promises Report Card, Obama Did 'Pretty Well'

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

PolitiFact has been keeping a list — a very long list — on the president's first term.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning political watchdog assesses the veracity of political claims, and this week, it released a report card on the promises Obama made during his first presidential campaign.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Rev. Al Sharpton, In Six True-False Statements

Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network (NAN), prepares to leave its corporate office for the WWRL radio station in New York, January 11.
Shiho Fukada for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 9:19 am

Editor's note: NPR's Corey Dade recently traveled to New York to interview the Rev. Al Sharpton about the unusual arc of his checkered career, from pugnacious street fighter for racial justice to savvy insider with ties to CEOs, a successful television show and the the ear of a soon-to-be second-term president.

Read more
Education
3:28 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

New Reading Standards Aim To Prep Kids For College — But At What Cost?

New education standards place more emphasis on nonfiction reading and writing over fiction works. Some say this could lead students away from a passionate engagement with literature.
Chris Sadowski iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:17 pm

Once upon a time, in the long ago world of high school reading, Holden Caulfield was perhaps the epitome of angst: a young man suddenly an outcast in the world he thought he knew. The antihero of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye was about to enter a perilous journey of self-discovery.

Read more
Music
3:10 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Janis Joplin: The Queen Of Rock

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. And it's time now for music. Today, a major musical birthday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PIECE OF MY HEART")

JANIS JOPLIN: (Singing) I want you to come on, come on...

LYDEN: Janis Joplin would have turned 70 years old on this day.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PIECE OF MY HEART")

JOPLIN: (Singing) And take it, take another little piece of my heart now, baby.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:02 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

How Did Tacoma, Wash., Get To Be America's 'Gayest City'?

Tacoma, Wash., tops The Advocate magazine's list of "Gayest Cities in America." It was followed by Springfield, Mass., and Spokane, Wash. Advocate editor Matthew Breen says marriage equality gave the advantage to cities in Washington state this year.
USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Every year when The Advocate magazine publishes its list of the "Gayest Cities in America" it comes with a few surprises. This year was no different.

At the top of the list for 2013: Tacoma, Wash.

To Tacoma resident Ellen Cohen, the superlative was unexpected.

"In all of Tacoma coming out as No. 1 in anything would surprise me," she said.

Read more

Pages