Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:48 pm
For bartenders, the words "last call" have a hidden meaning: It won't be long before they're enjoying a drink of their own. And after hours of making tonics, flips and fizzes, what does a bartender drink? Often, the answer is short and simple: Fernet.
In a world of citrusy, sugary drinks that can all taste alike, Fernet Branca stands alone. Depending on how your palate responds, the Italian digestif can be called everything from refreshingly bold to an acquired taste to cough syrup that's gone bad.
No one wants to be readmitted to a hospital, but it does beat one alternative: death.
As Medicare prepares to start punishing hospitals with higher than expected readmission rates, new government data show that some hospitals with high readmissions are actually doing a better job than most in keeping Medicare patients alive.
The team of searchers and scientists who were hoping to find pieces of aviator Amelia Earhart's plane off an island in the mid-Pacific report being "disappointed that we did not make a dramatic and conclusive discovery."
We've been following some big developments today in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in Britain. Prosecutors are charging eight people - including a former top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron - and a woman who was Rupert Murdoch's top lieutenant. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
Two former top editors at News Corp.'s now defunct News of the World tabloid in the U.K., including a man who later became a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron, now face criminal charges related to the so-called hacking scandal.
The BBC writes that "eight people, including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, will face a total of 19 charges relating to phone hacking, the Crown Prosecution Service" announced today. Coulson, after leaving Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., worked for Cameron.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with continuing coverage of the Pittsburgh Mills shopping mall. Yesterday, we told you of a bear that strolled into Sears, had to be tranquilized and taken away. Now a second bear has appeared at the same mall near the Olive Garden. Didn't stick around but later returned, backing up traffic on the highway. State game officials say they now plan to set a bear trap. In case the bear is listening, they plan to set that bear trap on Monday. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
We're remembering this morning the first American woman to go into space: Sally Ride. She died yesterday in San Diego. Ride made her historic trip into space in 1983 aboard the space shuttle Challenger, a trip that made her an instant folk hero. NPR's Joe Palca has our report.
JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Sally Ride was born on May 26th, 1951. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just outside Los Angeles, where she went to Westlake High School.
SUSAN OKIE: She prided herself on being an underachiever.
Top influenza researchers around the world published a statement back in January saying they would temporarily hold off on any work with contagious, lab-altered forms of a particularly worrisome form of bird flu.
The unusual voluntary moratorium was supposed to last only 60 days, but it's been more than six months. And scientists don't agree on what should happen next.
Stop by most any unirrigated farm across the lower Midwest and you'll see crops in distress. Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it's not likely to drive many out of business.
Most of those farmers carry terrific insurance, and the worse the drought becomes, the more individual farmers will be paid for their lost crops. The federal government picks up most of the cost of the crop insurance program, and this year that bill is going to be a whopper.
Among those on Mitt Romney's list of potential running mates, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has youth and experience, he's a conservative from a swing state, and he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up.
But the chairman of the House Budget Committee would not be the safest of choices.
Back in February, when the Republican primary was still in full swing and the party's right wing was conspicuously unhappy with the idea of Romney, tax hawk Grover Norquist spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
I'm standing next to a ridge, looking at the Syrian town of Salaqin. Just up on the ridge you can see the silhouettes of a mosque and couple of water towers. It looks like a very small, inconsequential town, but because it's on the Syrian-Turkish border it's very important to the rebels.
What the Syrian rebels are trying to do right now is carve out a kind of safe zone, a buffer zone where they can gather, assemble and plan attacks against the Syrian regime's army, and also a place where they can move weapons and money into Syria.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. It's a sort of launching pad for a foreign trip that will take Romney to three countries over the next week: the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland.
Romney, a man with a lot of domestic policy experience, is now trying to demonstrate his proficiency with international affairs.
Two American women cyclists from Idaho will race at this summer's Olympics. And their events couldn't be more different: Kristin Armstrong races the clock, wearing an aerodynamic teardrop helmet in the time trial.
Meanwhile, mountain biker Georgia Gould combines speed with technical prowess to navigate rocky descents and dirt trails.
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. She blasted off aboard Challenger, culminating a long journey that started in 1977 when the Ph.D. candidate answered an ad seeking astronauts for NASA missions.
As occurs after seemingly every mass killing that involves firearms, the shootings in a suburban Denver movie theater last week have renewed calls for tougher gun control laws.
Just as predictably, those calls have led to pushback by gun-rights advocates who accuse those calling for stricter legislation of trying to exploit the tragedy to restrict Americans' Second Amendment rights.
Worth noting is that neither of the two major-party candidates running for the White House has engaged in any current gun control debate.
Congress created a monster when it decided that the entire government will face across-the-board cuts in January, unless an agreement on deficit reduction is reached.
The deadline for the automatic spending cuts — called sequestration — is now approaching, and the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry say those cuts would be horrible.
The Pentagon, perhaps the world's premier planning agency, views the threat of a 10 percent budget cut like an invasion from Mars. It's too awful, too scary and, as Pentagon press secretary George Little puts it, too "absurd."
Olympic reporting veterans like myself (London is Games No. 8) noticed something extraordinary this weekend at the first London 2012 news conference called by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.
The "something" sat there on the podium, directly in front of Rogge: an aquamarine bottle of Powerade, a Coca-Cola product. And next to Rogge, in front of IOC spokesman Mark Adams, was a carefully positioned bottle of caramel-colored Coke. Dozens of photographers and TV cameras were capturing the event; it seemed impossible to miss the OIympic sponsor's products.
In the days since the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., there's been little discussion of the laws that allowed the gunman to acquire his arsenal.
Authorities say suspect James Holmes, who was arrested at the scene of the shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more, was armed with a modified assault rifle, two pistols, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told CNN this weekend that the guns are not the problem.
In the Main Press Center, where thousands of journalists are gathered to cover the London 2012 games, the call went out Monday: Let the drinking begin!
It was all part of a welcome party for journalists covering the Summer Olympics. First, cute kids from a nearby elementary school serenaded the group. The next thing you knew, London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe was talking about cheap booze.
The meeting features speeches from U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush, health ministers from many countries around the world, Bill Gates, NIH scientists Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins and hundreds more.
The U.S. Olympic basketball team narrowly beat Argentina late Sunday, 86-80, as the two teams prepare for the start of the London Games Friday. The tight score came despite a fast start for the U.S. squad, who were dressed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1992 Dream Team.
The Americans raced to a 31-16 lead early on, but they were only 4 points ahead late in the game, and pulled away thanks to three-pointers by Kevin Durant and Chris Paul — who posted a photo of his uniform on Instagram.