Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 9:06 am
All eyes are on Iowa this week, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is far away — on a campaign bus tour in must-win New Hampshire.
As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on Wednesday's Morning Edition, somehow there are still New Hampshire voters who remain undecided about Romney — despite the fact that he's practically camped out in their living rooms for the last four years.
Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 6:44 am
Bill Conlin, a Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter for 46 years and this year's winner of the National Baseball Hall of Fame's award for "meritorious contributions to baseball writing," retired Tuesday after three women and a man came forward to accuse him of molesting them in the 1970s when they were between the ages of 7 and 12.
While North Koreans in Pyongyang are "in a state of mourning and ... paying their respects at landmarks across the city," the overall mood is "subdued but calm" as people there react to Saturday's death of leader Kim Jong Il and the likelihood that his son Kim Jong Un is now in charge, according to one of Britain's diplomats in the capital city.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Picture this: A woman in Britain felt a lump in her throat. She tried to take a closer look with a mirror and a pen, but slipped and fell and swallowed the pen. It sounded so improbable, her doctor and her husband did not believe her.
Twenty-five years later, they're eating their words. The woman just had the pen removed. She is in good health - and the pen still works. Doctors scribbled "hello" on a piece of paper.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Mince pies are a centuries-old Christmas tradition. And this year, a six-year-old boy in England won the most expensive mince pie in the world. A London pie maker raffled it off. To make the $4,7000 dessert, he used rare ingredients. And, buried in the holiday treat was a solid platinum coin worth nearly $1,000.
More consumers are turning to buffalo meat as a healthier choice that's often better for the environment. South Dakota is the biggest producer of buffalo, and ranchers there say their biggest challenge is keeping up with the demand.
It was a reversal for CNN celebrity interviewer Piers Morgan yesterday. He had to answer questions about journalists in Britain hacking into phone messages and bribing police. A scandal about press practices has struck at the heart of Rupert Murdoch's media empire in the UK and has led to more than 20 arrests.
NPR's David Folkenflik reports that Morgan insisted he had no involvement in or knowledge of any of it back when he was a high profile tabloid editor in London.
There's a spirited debate going on between GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. A Super PAC called Restore Our Future is running negative ads against Gingrich on Romney's behalf. Gingrich called on Romney to get the ads off the air. Romney responded by saying the law does not allow him to communicate with a Super PAC.
President Obama speaks in the White House's Brady Briefing Room on Tuesday. Behind the president, a ticking clock counts down the time until taxes will go up if Congress can't reach an extension deal on payroll tax cuts.
Credit Susan Walsh / AP
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, surrounded by Republican House members, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
In a year of deadlines and political fights, Congress is closing with one last partisan brawl. At stake are billions of dollars in tax breaks and unemployment benefits for millions of Americans set to expire Jan. 1.
Just in case you've been out buying presents, working or not watching C-SPAN with bated breath, what happened Tuesday was that the House — specifically Republicans in the House — rejected a bill that had broad bipartisan support in the Senate.
Many Americans begin their holidays with travel, and complaining about that travel is quickly becoming a favorite national pastime. Long lines, small seats, hidden fees for everything from carry-ons to a can of Coke - the list goes on. To help us understand why this is the new reality, we reached Seth Kaplan. He's the editor of Airline Weekly.
The Mexican muralist Diego Rivera painted in New York City, San Francisco, Detroit, Europe and the Soviet Union. But some of Rivera's most famous murals and most unusual projects are found in Mexico City.
In Mexico City, Rivera did far more than just paint. He collected pre-Hispanic pottery and indigenous folk art. And he experimented with sculpture and architecture.
And between 1950 and 1952, Rivera built a giant tiled fountain to the Aztec rain god Tlaloc as part of an overhaul of Mexico City's municipal water system.
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. It is the highest military decoration in the United States, reflecting great service and sacrifice. Of the more than 3,400 recipients, fewer than 85 are still living.
Among them is Hershel Williams, who served as a Marine corporal in World War II. He says that on the day he received the honor — Oct. 5, 1945 — he had no concept of it.
Let Iran off the hook or undermine the global economy? Slap sanctions on an Iranian energy company or provide Europe with an alternative to Russian gas? Washington policymaking is especially difficult when the aims conflict, and few cases illustrate that principle more clearly than the challenge of finding a way to punish Iran without hurting someone else.
Students stand outside Penn State's Old Main building, protesting the handling of a child abuse scandal involving retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Credit Evan Vucci / AP
Former NHL hockey player Sheldon Kennedy testified before the Senate subcommittee on children and families during a hearing on child abuse. As a young teen, he said, he was sexually abused for years by a respected hockey coach, but the adults around him who suspected never said a thing.
The revelations about alleged child sex abuse by a former Penn State football coach have caused policymakers to propose new measures to broaden who is required to report suspected abuse.
Each state already has laws that require some combination of doctors, teachers, day care providers and others who work with children to report suspected abuse. If they don't, they could face fines, the loss of a license, and, in some states, possibly jail time.
In California, prison inmates who have committed serious crimes and have been diagnosed with a major mental illness can be forced to serve their parole in a state hospital. At Atascadero State Hospital, shown above in this 1999 photo, there are more than 600 such patients. "As a group," says the hospital's director, "the mentally disordered offenders are the most aggressive."
Mental health and law enforcement officials in California are trying to find ways to hold violent psychiatric patients accountable without punishing people for being sick. It's a response to escalating violence in the state's mental hospitals, where thousands of assaults occur annually. Only a tiny fraction of them, however, result in criminal charges.
Costa Rica is Central America's most stable democracy, a peaceful country that abolished its army in 1948 and now draws nearly a million U.S. tourists a year to its national parks and beaches. But it's also right in the middle of the world's most lucrative cocaine trafficking corridor.
As Mexican drug cartels push deeper into Central America, they've cast a dark shadow over Costa Rica's idyllic green image.
This time last year, Phil Jackson, then the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, complained that the NBA scheduled games on Christmas Day. It seemed, he said, that "Christian holidays don't mean anything" any longer.
A few players echoed Jackson's sentiments, but the complaint died aborning. This Christmas, Sunday, the league has scheduled ... (to the tune of "The 12 Days Of Christmas"):
In 2011, hell was a hot topic, from Hollywood to New York Times bestsellers. In fact, this year has seen an incendiary debate about the existence and contents of hell.
The year began with an epic battle between a priest and Satan, with Anthony Hopkins playing a demon possessed priest in the movie, The Rite. The Hollywood glimpse of the underworld came and went without much notice by moviegoers. But then, another form of hell on earth grabbed the headlines. Judgment Day would soon be upon us.
The two "eyes" on the Anybot are actually a camera and a laser. The camera "sees," the laser points, and the person on the screen controls it all.
Credit Oli Scarff / Getty Images
Robot technology made several advances in 2011. Here, an iCub robot built by the Italian Institute of Technology tracks and grabs a red ball at the Robotville exhibition, held in London.
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
The QA telepresence robot by Anybots chats with people on the floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2009. The CEO of one Silicon Valley startup uses an Anybots robot around the office when he's away on business.
Mike Fennelly isn't easily surprised by cutting-edge technologies, but when he started as an IT guy at a Silicon Valley startup called Evernote, he was caught off guard by a robot rolling around the office.
"It was slightly disturbing for not really knowing what the robot was for at the beginning, and then going, 'Oh, OK. That's Phil,' " he says.
CEO Phil Libin is also known as the company's "robotic overlord." Libin himself isn't actually a robot, but when he's out of town, his robot keeps an eye on things.
Apple's iPhones may seem more cool, but the Google-backed Android phones are much more popular in the United States. In 2011, Android's U.S. market share was 53 percent, compared to 29 percent for the iPhone, according to the research group NPD.
Sleepy police were likelier to fall asleep while driving, a new survey of nearly 5,000 officers in the U.S. and Canada finds. About 40 percent of officers surveyed reported sleep disorders, with various health implications.
Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 4:33 pm
Harvard researchers say they've uncovered a big problem among the nation's 700,000 police officers: a serious lack of sleep.
In what's believed to be the first study of its kind, the researchers queried nearly 5,000 municipal and state police officers in the U.S. and Canada about their sleep habits and symptoms of possible sleep disorders. Then they assessed their on-duty performance for two years.
Forty percent had sleep disorders, and the vast majority of these were undiagnosed before.
Ireland is ranked second followed by Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. Charities Aid Foundation used Gallup's Worldview Poll to look at three behaviors: "giving money, volunteering time and helping a stranger."
The U.S. came out on top after being ranked fifth last year.
Federal policemen escort the armored car carrying a member of Los Zetas drug cartel on June 17. The security forces have been accused of abuses in the fight against the drug cartels.
Credit Alfredo Estrella / AFP/Getty Images
Mexican soldiers at a ceremony in Ciudad Mier on Dec. 8. The military and other branches of the security forces have now battled the cartels for five years. While most of the violence is blamed on the cartels, human rights groups say the security forces have also been linked to abuses.
In Mexico, the last five years of President Felipe Calderon's drug war have been marked by brutal violence, unsolved kidnappings and tens of thousands of deaths. Most of violence has come from the drug gangs, but some of these atrocities have been committed by the Mexican military and police.
Human rights groups say that as state security forces battle the drug cartels, they've tortured, abducted and killed criminal suspects and even innocent civilians.
The body of Kim Jong Il, the deceased leader of North Korea, now lies in state in the capital, Pyongyang. His sudden death has raised concerns about possible power struggles. But so far, all outward signs suggest that the North Korean leadership is lining up behind his son, Kim Jong Un.
Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 3:07 pm
A day after Syria said it would allow Arab League observers into the country, the deadly clashes with government forces continued. Al Arabiya reports that activists said at least 100 Syrian army defectors were killed or wounded and 36 people were killed in clashes with police.
Lindsay Reynolds lives in Waterloo, Wis. Even before the recent economic downturn, Reynolds and her husband struggled to make ends meet. They quarreled, especially over money.
"We never had enough income to pay bills, to pay rent. We were constantly late on rent," Reynolds says. "He always wanted to go do things. He wanted to go buy things. And I said, 'No, we can't. We have to be fiscally responsible.' "