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2:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some surprise earnings are at the top of NPR's business news.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR Story
2:30 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Would-Be Homebuyers Appear To Be More Confident

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the nation's homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have since March, 2007, just before the beginning of the Great Recession. What's more, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index has posted its largest one-month gain in roughly a decade.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: David Crowe, the chief economist at the Home Builders Association says things are definitely looking up. It's a trend that began last September.

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NPR Story
2:30 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:39 am

One big reason Canadians have pulled ahead, is the U.S. housing bust destroyed a lot of wealth. Home values in Canada have remained steady, and lately, they've even enjoyed a housing boom.

Human Tissue Donation
2:03 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Little Regulation Poses Problems Tracking Tissue

Unlike organs, tissue doesn't need to be transplanted immediately. Storage facilities like Tissue Banks International in San Rafael, Calif., process and store donated tissue for later use in medical products or as transplants.
Noah Berger AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:16 pm

Part 2 of a four-part series

Two winters ago, Lynnette Bellin tore her knee while skiing with her 5-year-old daughter.

"I felt the trademark pop ... and instantly knew I had injured my knee," she says.

But within a year, she was back to her athletic life.

"Recently in one week, I skied, ran, kayaked, standup paddle-boarded, swam and hiked. At the end of that week, I looked back in awe from where I have come from," she says.

Bellin healed quickly after receiving a tendon from a cadaver, which helped to repair her torn ACL.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:08 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Could The Health Law End Up Back In Court? Opponents Think So

Democratuic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, who was involved in writing the health law, rejects claims that federal health exchanges won't be able to provide tax credits.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:53 am

If you thought last month's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act was the final word on the legality of the health law, think again. Some conservative scholars believe they may have discovered a flaw that could send the law back to court, or at least cause some big problems for its implementation.

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Around the Nation
1:05 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Keeping Kids Connected With Their Jailed Parents

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:53 am

Arizona has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, and that means it also has one of the highest percentages of children with one or both parents in jail. One rural county there is trying to help families stay connected.

On a recent day, 45-year-old Liz Minor sits in the shade outside a coffeehouse in Flagstaff, enjoying icy drinks with her two sons. She relishes this ordinary moment, considering that just a few years ago, their time together was limited to a prison visiting room, separated by shatterproof glass.

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
1:04 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Tina Brown's Must Reads: Modern Warfare

Veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin, shown here in Cairo, was killed in February while reporting in Homs, Syria.
Ivor Prickett AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 6:42 pm

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth."

This month, Brown shares reading recommendations related to the changing nature of war, including a book on Obama's foreign policy and an article about the ongoing destruction of Timbuktu's ancient monuments.

A Reporter Who Wouldn't Quit

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
1:03 am
Wed July 18, 2012

For Olympic Committee, Marketing Is No Game

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps signed an endorsement deal with Subway in 2008, but because Subway is not an Olympic sponsor, Phelps isn't allowed to appear in a Subway ad from July 18 to Aug. 15 2012.
via SubwayEatFresh365/YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 3:57 pm

One record expected to be broken at the London Summer Olympics is the size of its audience — an expected 4 billion people. For advertisers, that's a golden opportunity. But there are also strict rules about who can use the Olympics to promote their products.

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Law
1:02 am
Wed July 18, 2012

For Pirates, U.S. Courts Offer No Safe Harbor

The German tanker Marida Marguerite, which was hijacked off the coast of Oman in 2010.
Dietmar Hasenpusch EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

It's a bad time to be a pirate, at least in the American justice system.

Piracy on the high seas is one of the oldest crimes on the books. But U.S. authorities are using 18th century law in new ways to go after people who may never actually climb on board a ship and the men who negotiate and finance the plots.

About 1,000 pirates are in custody all over the world; about 30 of them are incarcerated in the United States.

Capturing Pirates Over Tea

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Election 2012
10:03 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Study: Many Could Face Obstacles In Voter ID Laws

A voter casts a ballot during the Republican primary election April 24 in Philadelphia.
Jessica Kourkounis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice finds that more than 10 million potential voters in states that require photo ID at the polls live more than 10 miles from offices that issue such ID. Nearly 500,000 of these voters don't have access to a car or other vehicle.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Doping In Baseball: The Needle And The Damage Done

Marathon medal winners listen to the anthem from the victory stand during the presentation ceremony at the XXI Summer Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. From left, Frank Shorter, U.S.A., silver; Waldemar Cierpinski, East Germany, gold, Olympic record; and Karel Lismont, Belgium, bronze. Evidence of doping by the East Germans suggests that Shorter deserved the gold medal.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

The 2012 induction ceremony for the Baseball Hall of Fame takes place this weekend, so there's even more discussion about the 2013 election, because then both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be on the ballot, along with several other players who are also suspected of having used performance-enhancing drugs.

I've been surprised to learn that some baseball writers have declared that they'll vote for Bonds and Clemens because they were the best players in an era when drug use was widespread — ergo if there's a lot of guilt going around, then nobody should be assigned guilt.

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Music Interviews
5:22 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Elton John: Old Songs, Old Friends, New Perspectives

Elton John performs in Ibiza earlier this month. The British singer's new memoir is titled Love Is the Cure.
Jaime Reina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:52 am

Elton John has been writing music since the 1960s, and between then and now, he has had enough life experience to reach some remarkable conclusions.

"I certainly, if I'm being honest with you, don't think you write as good a song on cocaine as you do when you're normal," he tells Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

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All Tech Considered
5:04 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

New Yahoo CEO Among A Rare Few: Women Execs With Tech Creds

Marissa Mayer left Google to become the CEO of Yahoo. She was Google's 20th hire and is responsible for the look and feel of many of Google's major products.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 6:49 pm

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

House Spending Bill Would Slash $6 Billion From Federal Budget

House Republicans today released a preliminary spending bill that would slash more than six billion dollars from the budgets of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.The draft bill also bans NPR member stations from using federal funds to buy NPR programming.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

HSBC Executive Resigns During Money Laundering Hearing

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:06 pm

David Bagley, HSBC's head of group compliance, resigned in the middle of a Senate hearing today that was looking into charges that the bank had been lax in meeting government requirements, allowing Mexican cartels to launder money and giving terrorists access to the American banking system.

Bloomberg reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:16 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

HIV Prevention Drug Truvada No Quick Fix For Brazil's Epidemic

Researchers with HIV medication at a public research lab at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, or Fiocruz, in Rio de Janeiro.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration gave the first green light on a drug to prevent HIV transmission.

Many experts say the drug will help hasten the end of the AIDS pandemic. But experts in Brazil say the drug alone isn't the answer.

One of the drug trials the FDA considered was done at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Research Institute, also known as Fiocruz, in Rio de Janeiro.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Human Rights Watch Says Chávez's Government Intimidates Opponents

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:01 pm

A report (pdf) released today by Human Rights Watch accuses the government of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela of consolidating power in the executive branch and using that power to intimidate his opponents.

"The accumulation of power in the executive, the removal of institutional safeguards, and the erosion of human rights guarantees have given the Chávez government free rein to intimidate, censor, and punish Venezuelans who 'offend' the president or obstruct his political aims," the report found.

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Business
2:54 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

HSBC Accused Of Letting Cartels Launder Money

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:16 pm

A Senate committee looked at the failure of HSBC bank to police money laundering.

Music Interviews
2:01 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Jimmy Cliff's 'Rebirth' Gives New Life To Vintage Reggae

Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff performs in Rabat, Morocco, in May. His new album is titled Rebirth.
Fadel Senna AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:16 pm

Pop music in the 21st century has been flush with precise re-creations of '60s and '70s American R&B — think of Sharon Jones, Adele, Raphael Saadiq and the late Amy Winehouse. Meanwhile, I've been waiting for a similar revival of Jamaica's R&B: ska, rocksteady, roots-reggae.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Pot Growers May Be Killing Rare Creatures With Poison, Researchers Say

A fisher. It now has another challenge.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Already among the animals that may be added to the list of those protected by the Endangered Species Act, the weasel-like fisher now faces this deadly threat:

Rat poison that illegal marijuana growers put out to protect their crops in California.

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Sports
1:53 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Is The Big Apple About To Lose Its Love Of Linsanity?

Jeremy Lin, who last season went from benchwarmer to star for the New York Knicks, might be shipping off to Houston if the Knicks don't match a $25 million contract offer.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:16 pm

In case you were living under a rock last winter, here's a quick refresher on the phenomenon known as "Linsanity."

In just a few weeks, Jeremy Lin — a lanky Asian-American point guard who played his college ball at Harvard — went from a benchwarmer to a star. He led an unlikely winning streak that made the long-downtrodden New York Knicks seem momentarily relevant in the NBA title hunt.

"This kid has single-handedly done the unthinkable: made people want to watch the New York Knicks," Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert said, joining the media frenzy.

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U.S.
1:51 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

States To Use U.S. Immigration List For Voter Purges

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:06 pm

Several presidential battleground states are moving quickly to reach agreements with federal officials to access a U.S. immigration database to purge noncitizens from voter rolls.

The states, including some with large Latino populations, are following Florida, which last week reached its own pact with the Department of Homeland Security to use a database that contains information about immigrants who are in the U.S. legally. The states' efforts had initially been blocked by DHS until the agency relented.

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Books
1:02 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Encyclopedia Brown: The Great Sleuth From My Youth

cover detail

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:35 am

Donald Sobol, the creator of the beloved character Encyclopedia Brown, died last week of natural causes, his family says. He was 87. The first in the Encyclopedia Brown series book was published in 1963, and the series has never gone out of print.

Crime novelist and forensic pathologist Jonathan Hayes has this appreciation of the character Sobol gave young readers.

While other boys got hooked on books about sports legends and race car drivers, there was something about Donald Sobol's boy detective Encyclopedia Brown that spoke to me right away.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Sometimes, 4Chan Users Do The Right Thing

This is the photo posted on 4Chan last night.
Anonymous

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 1:42 pm

4Chan is a cesspool. That's not even editorializing. A few minutes on the notorious, free-for-all Internet message board that gave birth to Anonymous will — in the famous words of Gawker — "melt your brain."

But every once in a while, they do the right thing — like today.

As Hypervocal reports, last night a 4Chan user posted a picture of someone standing on two containers full of lettuce with the taunting caption: "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:17 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Cholera Vaccination Test Reached Targets In Haiti

A lone pig roots through trash dumped over the side of a sewage canal that runs from the center of Port au Prince through Cite de Dieu. During the rainy season, the canal overflows its banks and fills nearby houses with sewage, which can carry cholera.
John W. Poole NPR

The results are in on this spring's high-visibility pilot project to vaccinate 100,000 Haitians against cholera.

Almost 90 percent of the target population – half in Port-au-Prince and the other half in a remote rural area – got fully protected against cholera, meaning they got 2 doses of the oral vaccine.

The results defy the forecasts of skeptics who said in advance of the campaign that it would be lucky to protect 60 percent of the target populations.

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The Salt
11:54 am
Tue July 17, 2012

FDA Bans Chemical BPA From Sippy Cups And Baby Bottles

FDA makes it official, banning the chemical BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups.
Fabrizio Balestrieri iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 1:04 pm

It's been years since manufacturers voluntarily stopped using the plastic additive BPA (Bisphenol A) in sippy cups and baby bottles. But now they have no choice. The FDA announced it has formally banned BPA from these products.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:39 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Athletes Look For Doping Edge, Despite Tests And Risks

An analyst works in the Olympic anti-doping laboratory in January. The lab in Harlow, England will test 5,000 of the 10,490 athletes' samples from the London 2012 Games.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Last weekend Debbie Dunn, a U.S. sprinter set to compete in the London Olympics, resigned from the team after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

And as the games draw closer, we expect to see more reports of elite athletes who have turned to prohibited substances in their search for stronger, faster, and leaner body.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Tue July 17, 2012

William Raspberry, Pulitzer-Winning Columnist, Dead At 76

Washington Post columnist William Raspberry in 1994, after it was announced that he had won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Denis Paquin AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 8:17 pm

William Raspberry, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his column in The Washington Post, died today at his home in Washington, his paper reported. He was 76.

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Business
11:03 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Debt, Debt And More Debt: Is Democracy To Blame?

The marble statue of Plato stands in front of the Athens Academy in Athens. The ancient Greek philosopher had his doubts about democracy.
Dimitri Messinis AP

High-profile experts are staging two separate Washington press conferences Tuesday to demand action on public-debt problems. One group is targeting state budget crises; the other, the federal budget mess.

If the ancient Greek philosopher Plato were still alive, he might hold a third press conference to declare: "It's hopeless. I told you so. Democracy will always degenerate into chaos because people will vote for their immediate self interests, not the long-term good."

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NPR News Investigations
10:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Calculating The Value Of Human Tissue Donation

Chris Truitt holds a photo of his daughter, Alyssa, who died when she was 2, at his home in De Forest Wis. After donating her organs and tissues, he decided on a career change that made him rethink tissue donation.
Narayan Mahon for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:11 pm

Part 1 of a four-part series

The story of how Chris Truitt went from being a tissue industry insider to an industry skeptic starts with a family tragedy.

In 1999, his 2-year-old daughter, Alyssa, died of a sudden health complication. Truitt and his wife, Holly, donated their daughter's organs and tissue, which saved the life of another young girl, Kaylin Arrowood.

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