Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 3:55 pm
After serving as speaker of the House, publishing several historical novels and running for president, what's next for Newt Gingrich?
One possible third act, Gingrich told NPR staffers on Friday, could be sharing a television studio with his wife, Callista.
"We're kind of intrigued with the idea of doing a daily show, which would change our lives pretty dramatically," Gingrich said. "But if we do it, we want it to be closer to Regis and Kathie Lee than to Bill O'Reilly or Hardball."
When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."
Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer — an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.
Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 3:18 pm
The Bahamas men's team has won the 4x400m relay, edging past a surprisingly quick U.S. team to take the gold medal. It was the first gold medal for any male athlete from the Bahamas. The quartet ran a time of 2:56.72, setting a national record. The U.S. set a season best of 2:57.05 to take silver.
Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze medal, just ahead of Great Britain.
The Bahamas led the race after the first lap, with the U.S. running in second. And the two teams' runners stayed ahead of the pack, extending their lead to make it a two-team race.
Sheik Ahmad Assir speaks to supporters at a tent encampment set up in protest against Hezbollah in Sidon, Lebanon. He accuses the Islamist militant group of using resistance against Israel as a smokescreen for another aim: advancing Iranian regional hegemony.
Credit Mohamad al-Baba / NPR
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, seen here delivering a speech via video in Beirut in June, has dismissed Assir's calls for disarmament.
Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 7:45 am
On a recent day, baffled motorists honked their horns and veered around the blocked entrance to a major street in Sidon. Now Lebanon's third-largest city, Sidon was once a flourishing Phoenician city-state on the Mediterranean.
The street was closed off by Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad Assir, who erected a small tent encampment in protest against the country's most powerful military and political force, the militant Islamist group Hezbollah.
The Royal Spanish Academy — the official arbiter of the Spanish language — recently announced that it will add the word "Espanglish" to the 2014 edition of its dictionary. This is a big deal for the traditionally conservative academy, and it's a big deal for supporters who feel that mix of Spanish and English has officially been ignored for more than a century.
With the Olympics drawing to a close, NBC is looking especially golden. They have had two weeks of great ratings — including record highs. What better time than on the eve of the network's new fall season to rack up two weeks of record audiences? But what might seem a slam dunk for the network is anything but.
Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:59 am
Over the past several years, Lainey Hamrick and the volunteers at Colorado Supporting Our Troops have sent hundreds of care packages to members of the military in Afghanistan, Iraq and bases all over the world. In December, the group shipped 160 boxes of goodies overseas.
<a href="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/08/10/final_pew_sharksoup_chart_archive.jpg">Click the image to see a full-size version.</a> At least eight shark species, many endangered or threatened, were found in bowls of shark fin soup across the country.
Sharks are some of the most feared and fascinating animals on the planet. They've had their own week of awareness-raising and celebration on the Discovery Channel for the last 25 years. But some say they are also delicious — as in the Chinese delicacy — shark fin soup.
American wrestler Jordan Burroughs has won the first and only U.S. gold medal in his sport at the London Games, beating Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi of Iran. Burroughs, the reigning world champion at the 74kg weight, won a point in the first two periods to put a quick end to the men's freestyle match.
Goudarzi took silver with the loss, and the two bronze medals went to Russian Denis Tsargush, whom Burroughs defeated in the semifinals, and Sosan Tigiev of Uzbekistan.
Egyptian riot police sit in the shade by damaged buildings as people walk through debris from the aftermath of clashes on Aug. 1 between Christians and Muslims in Dahshour, on the outskirts of Cairo. The violence was sparked by a dispute between a Muslim and Christian over laundered clothing.
A former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood occupies Egypt's presidential palace, leaving many of the country's Coptic Christians deeply anxious about their future.
Now, a new group calling itself the Christian Brotherhood has emerged, vowing to stand up for the rights of Copts.
On a Cairo rooftop recently, members of the new Christian Brotherhood are debating how to respond to the first major outbreak of Muslim-Christian violence since President Mohammed Morsi came into office in June.
Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.
A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:06 am
Ok guys, reality check here: Nutella is not really a health food, POM Wonderful may be wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily prevent heart disease and... eating Splenda Essentials doesn't single-handedly make the pounds drop off.
Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:27 pm
Every nation that sent a delegation to the London Games sent at least one female athlete — a first for the Olympics. This year's Team USA has more female than male athletes — and the women have won nearly twice as many medals: 100 total medals, by my count, to 59 for the men.
So yes, it looks like this is the Year of the Woman at the Olympics, particularly for the United States.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:59 am
There is something special about Eastern Kentucky University: We call it "the Power of Maroon."
Eastern Further, a group of Eastern alumnae who recognize the positive impact that EKU has had on our lives, has organized a running team to compete in the Disney Princesses Half Marathon in February 2013.
Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:20 am
The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a settlement with Facebook in which the social media leader agrees to get users' approval before making any privacy changes and agrees to periodic third-party audits for the next 20 years on how it handles user privacy.
We told you about this settlement back in November, but today, Reuters reports, after a period of public comment, the settlement has become official.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:01 pm
In what could be the last podcast before GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's V.P. announcement, NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin once again review the finalists. Plus: A look at the latest Obama and Romney ads, more battleground state polls, primary results in Missouri and elsewhere, and a look ahead to the next Tea Party target: U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin on Aug. 14.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, if you thought the Tea Party a passing political fad with a catchy name, our next guest would urge you to reconsider. He's written a new book about the Tea Party and what he believes is the source of its influence in today's politics. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.
Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Credit Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech
Soybean paste is extruded into 350 gram segments for testing in toilets.
Credit Maximum Performance
Soybean paste is mixed to the right consistency and moisture content to produce fake poop at the Maximum Performance factory.
Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:31 am
Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.
A practical joke? No, not in the least.
Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.
Shiming Zou of China is declared the winner over Paddy Barnes of Ireland during their men's light flyweight boxing semifinal in London. The match was scored a 15-15 tie; Zou won on the number of punches landed.
Four years ago, Irish boxer Paddy Barnes lost to China's Zou Shiming by a score of 15-0 in Beijing. Today in London, Barnes fought his way back into their match to tie Zou at 15-15 — but he still lost. Barnes accepted the decision, but the result might confuse anyone who isn't familiar with boxing's scoring system.
Saying it wants "to protect homeowners from surprises and costly mistakes by their mortgage servicers," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed new rules it believes would make the home loan process simpler and give struggling homeowners more of a chance to avoid foreclosures.