NPR News

Pages

All Tech Considered
4:32 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Google, Facebook And The Next Billion Users

Men look at mobile phones at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The market for mobile telephones in developing countries has grown quickly, and now Facebook and Google are trying to get users to use the Internet on their devices.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 10:47 am

The chances are slim that a person living in poverty in a developing nation has access to the Internet on a computer. It's expensive and, in some places, there's a lack of infrastructure to support it.

The chances are better, though, that that person owns a cellphone. It's probably not an iPhone or an Android, and he or she probably hasn't purchased a data plan for it, but it has the ability to access the Internet.

Google believes that this category of cellphone user is the future of its expansion.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:43 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Why Election Day Was Sort Of Like Mother's Day

New Hampshire Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan and Gov. John Lynch visit with fourth-graders from Derry, N.H., at the Statehouse on Thursday in Concord. Come January, Hassan will govern a state where — for the first time — all U.S. senators and representatives also are women.
Jim Cole AP

I'd like to thank Carol Shea-Porter, Ann McLane Kuster, Jeanne Shaheen, Kelly Ayotte, Maggie Hassan and ... Jocelyn Chertoff.

On Tuesday, Democrats Shea-Porter and McLane Kuster won congressional seats from New Hampshire. They'll join Democratic Sen. Shaheen and Republican Sen. Ayotte in the nation's capital in January when the 113th Congress convenes — giving New Hampshire the first-in-the-nation all-female congressional delegation.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:43 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Ian McEwan's 'Sweet Tooth' Pits Spy Vs. Scribe

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 9:29 am

Author Ian McEwan's latest creation, Serena Frome, isn't much of a spy. She got recruited into MI5 by her Cambridge history tutor, whom she wanted to dazzle. But he dumps her, and she never sees it coming. She winds up on the clerical side of the operation, cross-filing schemes and plots to stop terrorists, until one day, in the middle of the Cold War, she's summoned to the fifth floor of the agency, where five wise men ask her to rank three British novelists according to their merit: Kingsley Amis, William Golding and David Storey.

Read more
Politics
3:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Taxing Work Ahead: Have Negotiating Tables Turned?

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit at the White House on Friday. He says this time around, he has proof that Americans agree with his approach.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:38 am

Republicans and Democrats agree: Election season may have ended just four days ago, but it's already time to get back to work. In this case, "back to work" might mean "back to fighting."

Leaders in both parties made their opening bids Friday on how to deal with the tax, spending and debt problems that face the country at the end of this year.

While the scenario echoes last year's spending battle, there are some differences that could push the parties toward the resolution they never reached last time around.

Where The President Stands

Read more
Asia
3:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Grim Chronicle Of China's Great Famine

Chinese villagers welcome the arrival of tractors purchased by a farmers' cooperative in April 1958, during the Great Leap Forward campaign. The disastrous modernization program ended in China's great famine and tens of millions of deaths.
Keystone-France Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 9:29 am

First of two parts

It's not often that a book comes out that rewrites a country's history. But that's the case with Tombstone, which was written by a retired Chinese reporter who spent 10 years secretly collecting official evidence about the country's devastating great famine. The famine, which began in the late 1950s, resulted in the deaths of millions of Chinese.

Read more
StoryCorps
3:25 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Amidst War, U.S. Guardsman Forges Unexpected Bond

Ali, an Iraqi teenager, wears Spc. Justin Cliburn's helmet and radio equipment in Baghdad. Ali and Cliburn became unlikely friends while Cliburn trained Iraqi police in 2005 and 2006.
Courtesy of Justin Cliburn

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 1:11 pm

The Military Voices Initiative, a StoryCorps' project, collects stories from members of the U.S. armed forces, with a special focus on those who served in post-Sept. 11, 2001, conflicts. Every month, highlights from that initiative air on Weekend Edition Saturday.

Spc. Justin Cliburn, 30, was deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His job was to train the Iraqi police in Baghdad. During his time there, he got to know a boy in his early teens named Ali, who walked through their compound one day.

Read more
Election 2012
3:25 am
Sat November 10, 2012

What An All-Female Delegation Says About N.H.

Maggie Hassan was elected governor of New Hampshire on Tuesday, as the state also voted in the first all-female congressional delegation.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:43 am

The 2012 elections will be remembered for the pivotal role female voters played in re-electing President Obama. But in New Hampshire, it will be remembered as the year women swept all major races.

Democratic Congresswomen-elect Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter will join Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte in the nation's first all-female congressional delegation.

But another Granite State woman who won big Tuesday, Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan, is quick to stress that putting women in top offices is nothing new here.

Read more
Europe
3:24 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Retro London Cabs On The Road Toward Extinction

The company that makes London's iconic taxis has had financial difficulties, leaving cabbies in a lurch.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:54 am

Cabbie John Crowood's traditional London taxi was one among hordes as he began trundling through the city's streets with so many other benevolent black beetles more than 30 years ago.

Today, he's one of a dwindling band. Crowood says that the only company that makes the classic retro London cab had to recall 400 of its newest vehicles after a mechanical defect was found, leaving hundreds of his fellow cabbies unable to ply their trade.

Read more
Middle East
3:24 am
Sat November 10, 2012

As Turkey Rises, 'A Real Problem' With Censorship

Kurdish women hold pictures of jailed journalists in Istanbul on Sept. 10, during the start of the trial of 44 journalists with suspected links to rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 12:25 pm

Nearly two years ago, Soner Yalcin and more than a dozen of his employees at the online news outlet OdaTV joined the growing list of incarcerated Turkish journalists. Yalcin, the owner of OdaTV, is one of the sharpest critics of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

As their trial proceedings dragged on, challenges to the state's case grew, and most of the outlet's journalists were released, pending the trial's conclusion. But Yalcin and two others remain behind bars, 22 months and counting.

Read more
Music News
10:10 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

A Veteran's Standing Ovation, 70 Years In The Making

This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere.
Kevin Gift

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 8:55 am

When you reach a certain age, big life surprises tend to come few and far between, unless you're Harold Van Heuvelen. Van, as everyone calls him, has had a blockbuster week full of dreams fulfilled. The story of his dream starts more than 70 years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Van Heuvelen enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor. He was posted to a base in New Orleans as an instructor for recruits. He spent the war stateside, training men who were being shipped out to Europe and the South Pacific.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
10:00 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

John Williams' Inevitable Themes

Flanked by composer Leonard Slatkin and soprano Jessye Norman, John Williams takes a bow during his 80th-birthday celebration at Tanglewood in August.
Stu Rosner

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 8:52 am

For more than 50 years, John Williams' music has taken us to galaxies far, far away through adventures here on earth, made us feel giddy joy and occasionally scared us to death.

Read more
Law
4:46 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Review Key Part Of Voting Rights Act

Mervel Parker fills out his ballot at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday. Alabama is one of nine states with a history of discrimination that the Voting Rights Act requires to obtain pre-clearance before changing any election procedures.
Julie Bennett AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it would consider eliminating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the federal law that for decades has been the government's main tool for fighting discrimination at the polls.

The law, first enacted in 1965 and reauthorized three times by Congress since then, is generally considered the most effective civil rights legislation in American history. Its provisions were extended by a Republican Congress in 2006 and signed into law again by President George W. Bush.

Read more
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
4:43 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Uprooted By Sandy, Residents Scatter To New Housing

Residents wait for information from FEMA in the Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Superstorm Sandy washed away a large section of the iconic boardwalk here on Nov. 2.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New Jersey and New York coastlines last week, FEMA has already put more than 30,000 residents in hotels and motels and given out roughly $300 million in rental assistance.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced more help for residents: a new program called NYC Rapid Repair for people whose houses were damaged by the storm. The program, paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cut through bureaucracy and get contractors to many damaged homes starting next week, he said.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:12 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Upside To Plunging Off The Fiscal Cliff

With Congress on the edge of a fiscal cliff, set to occur Jan. 1, some say a fiscal plunge is exactly what's needed to break the political logjam.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Now that the election is over, Washington is transfixed by the fiscal cliff, the automatic tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect Jan. 1 if nothing is done.

The sudden shock could seriously damage the economy.

But some Democrats and policy analysts are suggesting that going over the fiscal cliff could help break the political logjam.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:45 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again: Obama And Boehner Clash On Fiscal Cliff And Taxes

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit Friday in the East Room of the White House.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 3:52 pm

If you fell asleep Rip Van Winkle-like earlier in the year only to wake up Friday, you might be forgiven for thinking no time had passed.

Because on Friday, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, while House Speaker John Boehner strongly indicated that proposal was a non-starter with House Republicans.

But, of course, we just had an election in which the president won a second term and, through that, some political capital. Exactly how much remains to be seen.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Lockheed Martin's Incoming CEO Resigns Over Relationship With Subordinate

Former Lockheed Martin President and Chief Operating Officer Christopher E. Kubasik.
PR NEWSWIRE via AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:16 pm

Lockheed Martin announced that its board of directors asked for the resignation of Christopher E. Kubasik, 51, the current chief operating officer and incoming chief executive office.

"Kubasik, previously slated to become CEO in January, resigned after an ethics investigation confirmed that he had a close personal relationship with a subordinate employee," Lockeheed said in a statement. "His actions violated the company's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, but did not affect the company's operational or financial performance."

Read more
Music Interviews
3:09 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Squeezebox Brutality: Murder Ballads From Finland

Two legendary 19th century Finnish murderers grace the cover to Kimmo Pohjonen's Murhaballadeja.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Murhaballadeja features a striking photo on the cover: Two beefy, big-jawed men with cruel eyes are in prison garb, shackled with heavy chains at the neck, wrists, knees and feet. Turns out they're legendary 19th century murderers from Finland. These are the kinds of characters you'll find in a collection of murder ballads from Kimmo Pohjonen.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:09 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Daniel Day-Lewis On Creating A Voice From The Past

Day-Lewis used firsthand accounts of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, along with his personal letters, to develop a voice and a style for Steven Spielberg's biographical drama.
David James DreamWorks

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:29 pm

Daniel Day-Lewis has won two Academy Awards for fully immersing himself in his characters in There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot.

Now the British actor is taking on one of America's most iconic figures in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, playing the 16th president during the final months of his life. Day-Lewis tells NPR's Melissa Block that it was a daunting prospect — but that ultimately Lincoln was a surprisingly accessible figure.


Interview Highlights

On playing such an iconic figure

Read more
The Picture Show
2:01 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Art Of Chinese Propaganda

"Beloved Chairman Mao, we are loyal to you forever." 1967
Courtesy of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center lies buried in an unmarked apartment building off the tree-lined streets of the city's former French Concession. There are no signs. You have to wend your way through apartment blocks, down a staircase and into a basement to discover one of Shanghai's most obscure and remarkable museums.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Weigh Constitutionality Of Voting Rights Act

Aug. 6, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson presents one of the pens used to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to James Farmer, Director of the Congress of Racial Equality.
National Archives Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.

According to Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog:

Read more
The Salt
1:44 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Sky-High Vegetables: Vertical Farming Sprouts In Singapore

Mah Bow Tan, a member of Singapore's Parliament, inspects Chinese cabbage growing at the commercial vertical farm. Troughs of the veggies stack up to 30 feet in the greenhouse.
Courtesy of MNDsingapore.

Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.

Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Extramarital Affair

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director, David Petraeus, in Sept. 2011.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus submitted his resignation today, citing an extramarital affair.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," Petraeus, 60, said in a message sent to CIA staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation."

Read more
The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Lee MacPhail, Half Of Only Father-Son Duo In Baseball Hall Of Fame, Dies

Lee MacPhail in 1985.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:37 pm

Former American League President Lee MacPhail, who as a baseball executive with the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles helped build World Series champions, has died. He was 95.

Read more
World
1:02 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

To Combat Sanctions, Iran Buys Up Gold

Iranian women look at a jewelry shop display in Tehran, Iran, in 2010. Iran now appears to be stockpiling gold in an attempt to stabilize its economy, which has been hit hard by Western sanctions.
Atta Lenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Iran is stockpiling gold. That's the way David Cohen sees it. He's undersecretary of the Treasury, and the Treasury's point man for the banking sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Iran.

"Iran is attempting to hoard gold, both by acquiring it and by preventing the export of gold from Iran, in a somewhat desperate attempt to try and defend the value of its currency," Cohen says.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Los Angeles Lakers Fire Coach Mike Brown Five Games Into The Season

Former head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers gives instructions during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers in November.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:49 pm

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired coach Mike Brown only five games into the season.

In a press release, the Lakers said Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff will take over in the interim.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:24 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Obama's Feat: Not Just Winning But How He Won

President Obama greets the crowd after a Sept. 22 speech in Milwaukee.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:50 pm

Maybe it's just math, but it may also be a great political accomplishment.

President Obama has put together a coalition that's not only been a winner for him, but promises to pay dividends to his party for years to come.

A mix of minorities, young people and educated white professionals has now driven him to two majority-vote presidential victories — the first Democrat to pull that off since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri November 9, 2012

NASA Successfully Uses 'Interplanetary Internet' To Control Robot

A diagram of a space Internet.
NASA

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:18 pm

Read more
NPR Story
10:46 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Boehner: To Avert Fiscal Cliff, Kill Tax Loopholes

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner addressed a major economic issue this morning. In a press conference, the Republican talked about the so-called fiscal cliff. That's the combination of higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of this year.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:37 am
Fri November 9, 2012

How Changing Visual Cues Can Affect Attitudes About Weight

Pictures like these helped British researchers gauge people's attitudes about weight.
Courtesy of Martin Tovee

With most Americans fat or fatter, you'd think we'd be lightening up on the anti-fat attitudes.

Alas, no. Even doctors often think their overweight patients are weak-willed.

But changing negative attitudes about body size might be as simple as changing what you see. When women in England were shown photos of plus-sized women in neutral gray leotards, they became more tolerant.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:33 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Obama To Lay Down His Markers On Economy & Fiscal Cliff

Vice President Biden looks on as President Obama speaks at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:08 pm

The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.

In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.

Read more

Pages