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2:02 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Can We Learn To Forget Our Memories?

Research shows that under certain circumstances, we can train ourselves to forget details about particular memories.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:06 pm

Around 10 years ago, Malcolm MacLeod got interested in forgetting.

For most people, the tendency to forget is something we spend our time cursing. Where are my keys? What am I looking for in the refrigerator again? What is that woman's name?

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Middle East
1:59 am
Mon September 3, 2012

With No End To Conflict In Sight, No Winners In Syria

Omm Ahmed, a refugee from Daraa, Syria, carries her infant near her tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, on Sunday. Syrian civilians have borne the greatest brunt of the conflict in their country.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:15 am

The conflict in Syria is now nearly a year and a half old, and there appears to be no end in sight.

August was the deadliest month yet, with thousands of people, mostly civilians, killed in fighting around the country. While anti-government rebels are making advances, government troops are digging in their heels.

It started as a protest movement. Now, analysts in the U.S. and the region agree, the conflict in Syria is a civil war.

A Civil War

Even Syrian President Bashar Assad came close to acknowledging as much in a speech last week.

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Dead Stop
1:58 am
Mon September 3, 2012

A Resting Place For Hunting Hounds In Alabama

Franky Hatton and Cletis pose in front of the gravestones of Hatton's champion coon hounds at Coon Dog Cemetery near Cherokee, Ala.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:15 am

Seventy-five years ago, Key Underwood and his raccoon-hunting dog Troop had a connection. Years of training and a deep relationship make human and canine a seamless hunting unit. The two can share a special bond.

So when old Troop died, Underwood buried him on the crest of a hill hidden away in the lush countryside near Cherokee, Ala. It was Underwood's favorite hunting spot. He marked the grave with an old chimney stone he chiseled with a hammer and screwdriver.

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NPR Story
1:57 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Once Denied A Purple Heart, A Soldier Gets Her Medal

Retired Army Major Michelle Dyarman holds the Purple Heart medal she was awarded after suffering a severe concussion from an IED in Baghdad in 2005.
Robb Hill for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:11 am

In 2010, NPR reported that some Army commanders refused to award the Purple Heart to many troops who got concussions in combat because they didn't consider these "real" injuries. As a result of our story, the Army did its own investigation and put out new guidelines on Purple Hearts. Last week, the Army told NPR that under the new rules, they've finally awarded the medal to almost 1,000 soldiers, including Michelle Dyarman, whom we profiled in our original 2010 reports.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

On Defense In Era Of Anti-Big Government Sentiment

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was making the case that government was a necessary and positive part of American life. Contemporary Democrats are having less success with the argument.
Joe Caneva AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:57 pm

Democrats today, for the most part, balance between two slightly competing ideas: that government is part of the solution, while still acknowledging that it can be part of the problem. Meanwhile, they're up against a long-running Republican messaging campaign against "big government."

The concept of big government goes back to around the beginning of the 20th century. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer traces the idea to the Wilson administration and its initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Reserve.

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Author Interviews
2:52 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

The Writer Who Was The Voice Of A Generation

After struggling with depression for much of his adult life, writer David Foster Wallace committed suicide on Sept. 12, 2008.
Giovanni Giovannetti Effigie

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:57 pm

When writer David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008 at the age of 46, U.S. literature lost one of its most influential living writers.

The definitive account of Wallace's life and what led to his suicide was published in the New Yorker in March of the following year.

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Election 2012
2:45 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Some In Mo. Still Back Rep. Akin Despite Comments

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., confirms plans in Chesterfield, Mo., on Aug. 24 to stay in the U.S. Senate race.
Sid Hastings AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:57 pm

Many people in Missouri are still backing GOP Rep. Todd Akin — some more strongly than before — after his controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy.

Akin was polling ahead of the incumbent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, but his support fractured into several distinct camps after his comment that women's bodies can block pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." (He has since apologized.)

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Founder Of Unification Church, Dies

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 3:44 pm

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, has died in South Korea. He was 92.

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Remembrances
1:00 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Rev. Moon, A 'Savior' To Some, Lived A Big Dream

Moon and his wife are introduced during the Affirmation of Vows part of the Interreligious and International Couple's Blessing and Rededication Ceremony, 2002, at New York's Manhattan Center. Some 500 to 600 couples participated in the New York ceremony, and an estimated 21 million couples participated worldwide via a simulcast to 185 countries.
Stephen Chernin AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:57 pm

Rev. Sun Myung Moon died Sunday at age 92. The controversial founder of the Unification Church was known for attracting young converts in the 1970s and for conducting mass weddings.

Sun Myung Moon was born in 1920 to a poor family in what is now North Korea. His life took a dramatic turn on Easter Sunday, 1936, when, he says, Jesus appeared before him. As he told cartoonist and interviewer Al Capp, Moon recognized Jesus from a vision he had had at age 3. Moon said he spoke with Jesus in Korean.

"We carried conversation with mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart," Moon said.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Murder Charges Dropped Against South African Miners, For Now

The South African government is reversing its decision to charge 270 striking miners for the murder of their colleagues. Sort of.

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Politics
7:42 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Occupy Plans Resurgence At Democratic Convention

Occupy Wall Street activist Jason Woody listens to a speaker during a rally before the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.
Steve Nesius Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 11:07 am

As President Obama reintroduces himself to America at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next week, the Occupy movement will be there trying to do the same.

Remember Occupy Wall Street, originator of the "We are the 99 percent" slogan?

The group, which helped reshape the nation's political discourse last year before falling into disarray and uncertainty, plans to hold a demonstration outside the convention hall in an effort to recapture the spotlight. A Tampa, Fla., Occupy group protested at the Republican convention in there last week.

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World
4:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

In Russia, 200-Year-Old Battle A Day To Remember

Members of historical clubs, dressed as Russian cavalry, advance during the 2010 re-enactment of the 1812 battle between Napoleon's army and Russian troops in Borodino.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 11:08 am

Two hundred years ago this week, Napoleon Bonaparte fought a battle in Russia that may have begun his undoing. He led his Grand Army against the Imperial Russian Army near a village called Borodino, about 70 miles from Moscow.

It was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars, and it's remembered by Russians as a symbol of national courage. An army of re-enactors relived that Sunday.

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Around the Nation
4:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

From A Single Charter School, A Movement Grows

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:02 pm

City Academy in St. Paul, Minn., became the nation's first publicly funded, privately run charter school when it opened its doors in 1992. Its founders, all veteran public school teachers, had tried but failed to create new programs for struggling students in their own schools.

The school helped launch a movement that has since grown to 5,600 charter schools across the U.S. But back in the late 1980s, it faced strong resistance.

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Afghanistan
4:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

U.S. Drawdown Leaves Afghans With Mixed Feelings

U.S. soldiers still patrol in Afghanistan, like this one speaking with a young man in the eastern province of Khost in August. However, Afghan forces are taking on increased responsibility as the U.S. draws down and prepares for its troops to leave by the end of 2014.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:01 pm

Tens of thousands of American troops will be leaving Afghanistan as the NATO-led coalition enters its final two years in the country. Already, more security responsibility is being placed in the hands of the Afghan security forces, says U.S. Gen. John Allen, who heads the NATO-led coalition here.

"The insurgency is today confronted by a rapidly transforming and increasingly capable [Afghan army], which is bearing a larger share of the burden and a larger share of the sacrifice," Allen says.

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Sports
4:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Paralympian's Pursuit Enables Aspiring Athletes

Tatyana McFadden has won medals at the Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008. At this year's games in London, she's participating in every wheelchair race from the 100-meter sprint to the marathon.
Courtesy of Deborah McFadden

At the Paralympics Games now taking place in London, two American wheelchair racers from Maryland will make history: Tatyana McFadden and her sister Hannah will be the first sisters ever to compete against each other at these world championships for athletes with disabilities.

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Asia
4:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Pakistan's Lone Brewery Sets Sights On India

Isphanyar Bhandara, the head of Pakistan's only brewery, Murree Brewery, sits at his grandfather's desk at the headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. Bhandara's grandfather was a director at the brewery when Pakistan gained independence in 1947, and he bought a controlling stake in the company. The brewery has been run by the Bhandara family ever since.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 9:46 pm

Islamic Pakistan has just one brewery, but it has a rich history.

Bottles of beer have been rolling off Murree Brewery's assembly line since 1860, when the company was founded outside the capital Islamabad — making it Pakistan's oldest private company.

"The brewery was here before Pakistan was here," says CEO Isphanyar Bhandara.

Sitting at his grandfather's desk, he tastes new samples and describes how he ended up running a brewery in a Muslim country, where alcohol is virtually banned.

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Music Interviews
10:05 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Alanis Morissette On Anger, Fame And Motherhood

Alanis Morissette's Havoc and Bright Lights is the singer's eighth studio album.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:57 pm

A lot has changed for Alanis Morissette in the past two decades. Raised Catholic in Ottawa, she spent much of her youth believing she couldn't sing. When she began her music career as a teenager, it was as a dance-pop artist — and, briefly, Vanilla Ice's opening act. Finally, in 1995, she released Jagged Little Pill, an international smash that made Morissette an overnight celebrity, won her an armload of Grammy awards and left her with a "scorned woman" image that she hasn't shaken since.

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Politics
4:37 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

GOP Looks To Amp African-American Support

Mia Love, the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 5:32 pm

Barack Obama won more than 95 percent of the black vote in the last presidential election, and Democrats are expected to have a huge advantage this November. Even so, Republicans looked for ways to appeal to those voters at their convention in Tampa, Fla.

Though the convention hall was packed with delegates this week, it wasn't until gospel star Bebe Winans and the Tampa Bay City Life Church Chorus came on stage that there was any sizable number of African-Americans around.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Four More Beers? Well, Here Are Two From The White House

President Obama drinks a beer — that's presumably not from the White House — as he watches the U.S. men's basketball team play Brazil in an Olympic exhibition game in July.
Alex Brandon AP

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Around the Nation
3:04 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Buffalo Cleans Up From Dirty Industrial Past

City leaders are attempting to increase public access to Buffalo's waterways, long blocked by aging industrial ruins and polluted land.
Daniel Robison for NPR

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 4:37 pm

Along the shore of Lake Erie, the rusting relics of Buffalo, N.Y.'s industrial days have long blocked access to the water and posed risks to residents. Now, after decades of inaction, the city is finally clearing a path for the public to return to the waterfront.

Buffalo's approach has been dubbed "lighter, faster, cheaper." Tom Dee has led this effort as president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., a special state agency in charge of city waterfront property. He says years were wasted chasing grand redevelopment projects, but now the strategy is more homegrown.

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Politics
2:58 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

How 'Government' Became A Dirty Word

President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan, in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in January 1981. In his speech after being sworn in, Reagan called government "the problem."
AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 4:01 pm

The message at the GOP convention this week was clear: Government is too big, too expensive, and it can't fix our economic problems.

"The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government. And we choose to limit government," said Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

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Author Interviews
2:44 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Following The Footnotes Of The Revolutionary War

In his book, Robert Sullivan considers, among other things, how little Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware has in common with the actual historic crossing, which took place at night and during a snowstorm.
Metropolitan Museum of Art AP

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 4:37 pm

When we think of the seminal moments in the birth of the United States of America, many people would point to the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. But according to Robert Sullivan, the founding landscape of our nation is not in Massachusetts. It is in and around New York.

In his new book, My American Revolution: Crossing the Delaware and I-78, Sullivan writes that the majority of battles in the Revolutionary War were fought in the middle colonies: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

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Election 2012
2:06 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

'Why I'm A Republican'

New Jersey delegate April Bengivenga says two words describe why she became a Republican: Ronald Reagan.
NPR

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:10 am

Throughout the week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., NPR digital journalists asked delegates, politicians and other attendees to react to the statement: "Why I'm a Republican." Here are some of those responses. (And here's what we heard from Democrats in Charlotte.)

The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' Author Richard Bach Injured In Plane Crash

A file photo of author Richard Bach, in 1975.
Associated Press

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 2:02 pm

Pilot and author Richard Bach was hurt Friday when the small plane he was flying tangled in power lines as he attempted to land, according to media reports.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:17 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

The Movie Kristen Bell Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Michael Showalter, Christopher Meloni and A.D. Miles star in the 2001 comedy, Wet Hot American Summer.
Amy Rice The Kobal Collection/USA Films

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 4:37 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Fact Check: Paul Ryan Exaggerates Marathon Claim

Rep. Paul Ryan claimed to have run a marathon in less than three hours.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Correction: the Runner's World calculator discussed below is used for training purposes. A pace calculator estimates that Ryan would have needed to run at about 6:50 per mile to complete a marathon in 2:59.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Lawyers Demand Release Of South African Miners Charged In Colleagues' Deaths

Lawyers for 270 miners in South Africa are threatening legal action if their clients are not released from prison today. The mine workers were charged with murdering their own colleagues after police opened fire on a crowd of about 3,000 striking workers two weeks ago, killing 34 people.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells us the government charged the miners with murder using an obscure legal doctrine employed by the apartheid government.

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Participation Nation
10:09 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Americans In Action, Helping Each Other And Making The Whole Country Better

With your help, we spent a month sharing stories about Americans taking action to make their world a better place.
Milos Luzanin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:32 pm

Like a quietly efficient operating system whirring away in the innards of a supercomputer, a vast array of Americans — mostly unseen and unsung — spend hours and hours of every week working together to find ways to make their communities — and the whole country — better.

This is Participation Nation.

In a monthlong blog that ended Aug. 31, NPR collected stories of people actively helping other people, animals and the planet. Here is an executive summary of what we discovered.

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Music Interviews
10:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Garfunkel Defends His Art

Art Garfunkel performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2010.
Barry Brecheisen WireImage

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 4:40 pm

Art Garfunkel is best known as half of the legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel. The harmonies he created with Paul Simon left an indelible mark on American music, but less remembered is his string of Top 40 hits as a solo artist.

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Book Reviews
9:37 am
Sat September 1, 2012

'Headbangers' And The New American Pastime

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 8:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Baseball is still called the national pastime, and poets still compose paeans to its subtlety and gentle pace. But in the 1970s, pro football began to become America's defining game, and it was about as subtle as a kick in the head. As Kevin Cook suggests in his new book, the '70s - the days of Mean Joe, "Mad Dog" John Madden, buttoned-up Tom Landry and Howard Cosell - the days when football was raw and unfiltered.

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