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Arts & Life
1:41 am
Fri January 18, 2013

In A Fragmented Cultureverse, Can Pop References Still Pop?

At Tyler Perry's live performances, his gospel-tinged references aren't meant for everyone in the audience.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:11 am

On a recent episode of Saturday Night Live when the comedian Louis C.K. played host, one skit parodied his eponymous show on F/X. It riffed on the theme song and the discursive style of his comedy.

But here's the thing: Fewer than 2 million people watch Louie. About 7 million watch Saturday Night Live. That means even optimistically, at least two-thirds of the audience is missing the joke.

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The Two-Way
1:38 am
Fri January 18, 2013

As Social Issues Drive Young From Church, Leaders Try To Keep Them

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:11 am

On Friday, Morning Edition wraps up its weeklong look at the growing number of people who say they do not identify with a religion. The final conversation in the Losing Our Religion series picks up on a theme made clear throughout the week: Young adults are drifting away from organized religion in unprecedented numbers. In Friday's story, NPR's David Greene talks to two religious leaders about the trend and wonders what they tell young people who are disillusioned with the church.

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Animals
1:36 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Figuring How to Pay For (Chimp) Retirement

Hannah and Marty eat watermelon snacks at the Save the Chimps sanctuary.
Save the Chimps

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 8:06 pm

Retirees flock to Florida — and the Sunshine State even has a retirement home for chimpanzees.

There, chimps live in small groups on a dozen man-made islands. Each 3-acre grassy island has palm trees and climbing structures, and is surrounded by a moat.

This is Save the Chimps, the world's biggest sanctuary for chimps formerly used in research experiments or the entertainment industry, or as pets. The chimps living here — 266 of them — range in age from 6 years old to over 50. And as sanctuary Director Jen Feuerstein drives around in a golf cart, she recognizes each one.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:34 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Experts Urge Caution As $50 Billion In Sandy Aid Passes House

Much of the money from the Hurricane Sandy relief bill the House of Representatives passed will fund beach and infrastructure restoration projects in areas such as Mantoloking, N.J., seen on Oct. 31.
Doug Mills AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:11 am

The House of Representatives passed a bill this week to spend $50 billion to help states struck by Hurricane Sandy. The action comes more than two months after the storm, and the measure now goes to the Senate.

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It's All Politics
1:32 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Latino Voters Urge Obama To Keep Immigration Promise

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:35 am

Latino voters were a key to President Obama's victory in November, turning out in big numbers and supporting Obama by more than 2 to 1 over Republican Mitt Romney.

Now, many of those voters say it's time for Obama to do something he did not do in his first term: push hard for and sign a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

Let's start with a group of Latinos — young and old, some U.S. citizens, some not — heading from Florida to Washington, D.C., for Obama's inauguration and for meetings with members of Congress. As caravans go, it's a small one: 13 people in two vans.

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StoryCorps
1:31 am
Fri January 18, 2013

The Moment Race Mattered: A Haunting Childhood Memory

Bernard Holyfield (right) shares a childhood story with his friend Charles Barlow, about growing up in a racially charged Alabama during the early 1960s.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:11 am

When Bernard Holyfield was 5 years old, he was the proud owner of a dog named Lassie, a collie who closely resembled the namesake fictional dog on television.

"And we used to always keep Lassie tied up at the house with a chain, kind of like our protector," Holyfield explains to his friend Charles Barlow, 63, for StoryCorps at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta.

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Shots - Health News
4:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

It's Legal For Some Insurers To Discriminate Based On Genes

Slides containing DNA sit in a bay waiting to be analyzed by a genome sequencing machine.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 8:48 am

Getting the results of a genetic test can be a bit like opening Pandora's box. You might learn something useful or interesting, or you might learn that you're likely to develop an incurable disease later on in life.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Homebuilding Is Booming, But Skilled Workers Are Scarce

New homebuilding reached a 4 1/2 year high in December, welcome news for an industry that lost 2 million jobs during the downturn. Despite those job losses, the sector is experiencing a labor shortage in some parts of the U.S.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:29 pm

The construction industry in the U.S. is staging a comeback. In one indicator, the Commerce Department announced Thursday that new homebuilding has reached its highest level in 4 1/2 years.

While that's a promising sign for the industry, more than 2 million construction jobs have been lost in the sector since employment hit its peak. While some might expect that means plenty of people are ready to fill the new jobs, many markets around the country are actually experiencing a shortage of construction workers.

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It's All Politics
3:40 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Some House Republicans Deny Risk Of Default In Debt Ceiling Debate

Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, shown in June 2012, says the U.S. won't default unless the president chooses to let it happen.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:10 pm

The federal government hit its debt limit at the end of last year. Since then, the Treasury Department has been taking what it calls "extraordinary measures" to keep the government funded and avoid defaulting on U.S. obligations.

But those measures will run out sometime between the middle of February and early March. Then it's up to Congress to raise the debt limit.

House Republicans are wrestling with the best strategy at a retreat Thursday and Friday in Virginia. And some have been denying that there is a risk of default if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

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All Tech Considered
3:38 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Bump On The Road For Driverless Cars Isn't Technology, It's You

Car companies are picking up automobile concepts such as this Lexus SL 600 Integrated Safety driverless research vehicle, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 11:07 pm

When you watch science fiction movies, you notice there are two things that seem like we will get in the future — a silver jumpsuit and driverless cars.

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U.S.
2:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Aurora Theater's Reopening Sparks Mixed Emotions

Workers dismantle the fence around the remodeled Century theater in Aurora, Colo., in preparation for the cinema's reopening Thursday. The theater's owner sent 2,000 invitations to the private event, being held for victims' families and first responders.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:10 pm

The Aurora, Colo., theater where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting last summer reopens Thursday, with a private event for victims' families and first responders.

But some families are giving the event a pass, arguing that the decision to reopen is insensitive. Jessica Watts lives just a few miles from the theater where her cousin, Jonathan Blunk, and 11 others were killed and dozens more wounded.

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Education
2:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Seattle High School's Teachers Toss District's Test

Garfield High School's academic dean and testing coordinator, Kris McBride, at a news conference announcing the teachers' boycott of the MAP test in Seattle on Jan. 10.
Ann Dornfeld for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:10 pm

An entire school of teachers in Seattle is refusing to give students a standardized test that's required by the district. The teachers say the test is useless and wastes valuable instructional time.

Meanwhile, individual teacher protests of standardized tests are popping up nationwide, and the Seattle case may make bigger waves.

'I Just See No Use For It'

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NPR Story
2:42 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Many Of Nation's Mayors Receptive To Obama's Ideas On Reducing Gun Violence

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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NPR Story
2:42 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Woman Behind 'Dear Abby' Guided Readers Through Personal Crises

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Her real name was Pauline Friedman Phillips, and she was one of the most widely read advice columnists in the world. You probably recognize her as Dear Abby.

Phillips died yesterday at a hospital in Minneapolis. She was 94 and had struggled for many years with Alzheimer's.

NPR's Neda Ulaby has this remembrance.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

AP Credit Will No Longer Be Accepted At Dartmouth

Advanced Placement exams, which many high school students use to gain course credits when they attend college, will no longer be accepted for credit at Dartmouth College, the Associated Press reports.

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Shots - Health News
1:52 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Anonymity In Genetic Research Can Be Fleeting

Each strand of DNA is written in a simple language composed of four letters: A, T, C and G. Your code is unique and could be used to find you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 3:12 pm

People who volunteer for medical research usually expect to remain anonymous. That includes people who donate their DNA for use in genetic studies.

But now researchers have shown that in some cases, they can trace research subjects' DNA back to them with ease. And they say the risk of being identified from genetic information will only increase.

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Africa
1:16 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Mali, Algeria Violence Stokes Fear Of New Terrorist Haven

A picture taken with a mobile phone earlier this month purportedly shows Islamist insurgents in Gao, Mali.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 2:04 pm

Hours after French troops launched a ground offensive in Mali to quash an Islamist rebellion, militants retaliated by seizing dozens of hostages, reportedly including Americans, in neighboring Algeria — an attack that underscores Western fears of a deteriorating security situation in northwestern Africa.

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Shots - Health News
1:14 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Scientists Try To Thwart Flu Virus By Resetting Its Clock

When flu viruses (in red) accumulate an escape protein too quickly, they exit the cell nucleus (in blue) before they've made enough viral copies to spread the infection.
Benjamin tenOever

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:33 pm

Flu viruses can tell time. Sort of. And the viral clock-watching could provide a new way to fight the flu.

A study in Cell Reports describes how researchers tapped into the flu's internal clock as they search for ways to keep the virus from spreading.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Massey Mine Boss Sentenced; Feds Toughen Mine Safety Rule

Mine helmets and painted crosses were placed at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine as a memorial to the 29 miners killed there.
Jeff Gentner AP

Nearly three years after a deadly mine explosion in West Virginia, a former Massey Energy mine superintendent has been sentenced to prison and federal regulators have toughened a regulation that could have helped prevent the disaster.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

'Dear Abby' Dies; Pauline Phillips Was Adviser To Millions

Pauline Phillips — Dear Abby — in 2001.
Fred Prouser Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 12:52 pm

Pauline Phillips, known to millions of advice-seekers around the world as the original "Dear Abby," has died. She was 94.

The company that syndicates Dear Abby says on its website that she "died Wednesday ... in Minneapolis after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease."

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Up Next For Lance Armstrong: Post-Confession Court Cases

Lance Armstrong, right, faces several court cases tied to evidence that he cheated. One of the suits was filed by his former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis. Here, the pair ride during the 2003 Tour de France.
Paolo Cocco AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 7:14 pm

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's confession to doping isn't just a matter of passing interest to sports fans, it has the potential to be pivotal new evidence in a raft of legal matters that have swirled around the cycling star for years.

Armstrong already has lost his battle with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which detailed "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" in sports when it announced a lifetime ban of the cyclist last October.

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U.S.
11:23 am
Thu January 17, 2013

A War Correspondent Takes On Her Toughest Assignment

NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro (right) conducts an interview in the West Bank.
Courtesy of Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:55 am

When I discovered I was pregnant, I realized it was time for a change of pace. I'd been covering conflicts around the world for 12 years. The plan was to retreat to balmy Miami where my family is, have my baby and just slow down for a bit.

My husband was taking time off; I would have plenty of extra help if I needed it. While pregnant, I fantasized about the tender, quiet moments I would share with my daughter, her suckling contentedly while I cooed.

"How hard could motherhood be?" I blithely thought.

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Around the Nation
11:00 am
Thu January 17, 2013

'Grayest Generation': Older Parenthood In The U.S.

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 11:47 am

In a December article for The New Republic, "The Grayest Generation: How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society," the magazine's science editor Judith Shulevitz points out how the growing trend toward later parenthood since 1970 coincides with a rise in neurocognitive and developmental disorders among children.

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Music
10:45 am
Thu January 17, 2013

After Big Year, Emeli Sande's 'Version Of Events'

Emeli Sande.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 8:35 pm

After huge critical and commercial success last year, breakthrough British sensation Emeli Sande has her sights set on America.

It's a long way from her roots. Born to a Zambian father and English mother, the singer-songwriter was raised in Scotland. She tells NPR's Michel Martin that being the only mixed-race family in a small village had a big impact on her.

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The Salt
10:23 am
Thu January 17, 2013

4 Tips To Help A Foodie Get Through Chemo

Some of the author's favorite foods, like yogurt, just didn't taste good during chemo.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:12 pm

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, it was clear that I would be thinking about a lot of things — myriad doctor visits, multiple tests, surgeries and chemotherapy.

Here are some things I knew about chemotherapy going in: it is unpleasant; it poisons your body; it makes you nauseated.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Thu January 17, 2013

'Make Me Asian' App Removed From Google Play Store

A screenshot from the "Make me Asian" app page in the Google Play store. The app is no longer available.
Google Play

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 8:10 am

"Make Me Asian," a smartphone app that drew the ire of Asian-American activists for what they say are stereotypical depictions, is no longer available on the Google Play Store.

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Shots - Health News
9:55 am
Thu January 17, 2013

After Years Of Silence, The Plague Can Rise Again

There's no doubt that the plague has staying power.

The deadly bacterium has probably been infecting people for 20,000 years. And, its genes have hardly changed since it killed nearly half of Europe's population during The Black Death.

Now microbiologists have evidence that strains of the plague may be able to reactivate themselves and trigger new outbreaks — even after lying dormant for decades.

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Inauguration 2013
9:44 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Designing Inaugural Dresses, Not All Roses

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, let's head back to events in this country. Thousands of Americans will be in Washington to watch history being made at the presidential inauguration, to hear President Obama's vision for the next four years.

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Latin America
9:44 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Mexico: New President, New Drug Violence Plan

Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, recently enacted a law to compensate victims of drug violence. It also sets up a national registry to record the crimes. Host Michel Martin discusses the new law with Nik Steinberg of Human Rights Watch.

Politics
9:44 am
Thu January 17, 2013

President Obama's Gun Control Plan 'Extreme?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, for years, we've been telling you about the tens of thousands of people who have been killed or kidnapped by the drug cartels in Mexico, but the truth is, nobody really knew how many there were because nobody kept track. This week, the new president of Mexico signed a new law to set up a national registry of victims and to compensate the families. We'll have more on that in just a few minutes.

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