Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Rent is notoriously high in London and especially so during the Olympic Games. That's why David Weeks stuffed his cab with a mattress, radio, mini-fridge and teddy bear. The cabbie is parking it outside his flat to rent out to tourists for about 80 bucks a night, much cheaper than most hotels, but there's still rules - no smoking and no pets. The vacancy sign is still on, but he's calling it the Hail-a-Hotel. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Hard-line Islamists in northern Mali stoned a reportedly unmarried couple to death for adultery last Sunday. Analysts worry this is growing evidence of the rebel fighters' avowed intention to impose strict Islamic law in the vast territory under their control.
Another version of the story put about by an al-Qaida-linked militant group is that the couple was married but engaging in extramarital affairs.
It's a raggedy moonscape; no lush green grass or tranquil arbors here. Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the Mexican border, is stark and dusty. It's overrun with crumbling concrete markers and old wooden crosses gone askew. And it goes on ... and on ... and on.
"It's 52 acres," says Bernie Sargent, chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. "Sixty thousand people buried here. And they're all dead."
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:14 am
Representing Europe in NPR's Poetry Games is Slovenian poet Ales Steger. Steger's first work translated into English, The Book of Things, won last year's Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. The translator was poet Brian Henry, who also translated Steger's Olympic poem, "Once More."
The Telegraph reports that props from the Olympics opening ceremony are appearing on eBay — everything from an "Industrial Revolution" costume, to pieces of confetti that erupted as Great Britain's team entered the stadium. Some of the performers are calling it "crass." But a seller pointed out it is in the spirit of the games — because it could "help me achieve my own ambitions."
Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.
The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.
The Gilliam Cemetery, which lies 60 miles north of San Francisco, appears to be gaining residents lately. But it's not only because new people have been interred there. Instead, headstones that wound up being buried a century ago have been found and resurrected.
The cemetery's story begins in 1850, when a wagon train of pioneers left Missouri and settled near what is now Sebastopol, Calif. The Gilliam Cemetery was started in 1852, when Polly Gilliam Sullivan and her husband, Isaac, needed a place to bury their stillborn son.
The latest national security issue to figure in the presidential campaign has little to do with Iran, Afghanistan or other foreign policy challenges. Mitt Romney is instead focusing on what he and other Republicans allege is the Obama administration's record of leaking classified information for political purposes.
After five years of crisscrossing the country as a traveling medical technician, David Kwiatkowski landed at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in the spring of 2011. A full-time job in the hospital's cardiac unit soon followed.
It was at Exeter that federal prosecutors say the 33-year-old began to divert syringes of the drug Fentanyl. They say Kwiatkowski, who was arrested July 19, would inject himself with the painkiller, and then refill syringes with a saline solution. He is hepatitis C-positive, meaning those tainted needles might have spread the liver-damaging virus.
In antiquity, Sicily was known as Greater Greece. Now, the eurozone crisis has led to sharp spending cuts and, with an economy based on public sector wages, Sicily is being called Italy's Greece. The central government fears the region's debt of more than $6 billion could further endanger the country's financial stability.
Worried about contagion, the Rome government is dictating on Sicily tough bailout conditions similar to those international lenders imposed on Greece.
A poet and editor of BOMB magazine living in Brooklyn, Monica de la Torre was born in Mexico City. Her poem "Olimpicamente" is told in the voice of the Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was born in the village of La Brecha, in the state of Sinaloa, where her father was a fisherman. Though of limited means, her parents supported her passion for taekwondo, and in 2008 Espinoza fought her way to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. "I am," says the poet, "dumbfounded and positively moved by Maria del Rosario's improbable story."
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Time now for traffic on the 30. London's moving well despite fears the games would clog the city. The M1 highway is busy, but somewhere between normal and nice. And the AP reports inside London no problems at all. The commute to the Houses of Parliament five minutes shorter than normal and bike riders are loving roads cleared of cars for the Olympic races. Wish we were there. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Japan has edged out Sweden for a world record. No, not the Olympics but the Guinness Record for largest ukulele ensemble. More than 2,000 people in Yokohama went to the street to strum their tiny Hawaiian instruments. Trying to top the record is becoming a sport in its own right. Earlier this month in Cairns, Australia, people took on the Swedish record, but they missed the mark by a 150 strummers.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The opening weekend of the Summer Olympics was marked by highs and lows, of course, and the swimming pool had its share of both. World records, a stunning loss and a medal for the home team — and that was all in just one afternoon.
Before American Dana Vollmer answers how a 55.98-second 100-meter butterfly — the fastest time ever, and worth a gold medal — feels, consider this: Vollmer was diagnosed as a teenager with two life-threatening heart conditions that prompted her mom to carry a defibrillator to Dana's races.
An epic battle between the two biggest smartphone makers begins Monday in a federal district court in San Jose, Calif., where computing giant Apple is asking for more than $2.5 billion from rival phone maker Samsung for patent violations.
The suit would be the most expensive patent violation in history, and it's just one front in Apple's war against phones running Google's Android operating system.
As the federal debt balloons, reducing it would seem more and more pressing. Yet policymakers remain far apart. Debt, deficit and budget rhetoric is often accompanied by numbers cherry-picked to support a particular political view.
But a new book by Wall Street Journal economics writer David Wessel lays out the numbers that both political parties face.
Poet Ouyang Yu comes to NPR's Poetry Games representing two continents: Asia, where he was born (in China); and Australia, where he moved in 1991. He is a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, literary translation and criticism in English and Chinese.
Of his poem "Lifting," he writes: "Much as I admire weightlifting heroes or heroines, I can't help reminding myself that, however powerful a weightlifter is, he or she can't lift himself or herself up. The magic of the word is that, when well lifted, it has the power to transform."
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:34 am
Here in the U.S., McDonald's food is not usually considered all that healthy. But in China, it is.
That's because Chinese consumers trust American brands more than their own, says Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research, who studies Chinese consumer behavior. Rein says that in China, McDonald's is seen as providing safe and wholesome food.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with the opposite of a jailbreak. Rodney Dwayne Valentine was released from jail. He asked police officers for a ride to a motel and the officers said no. They told him to call a cab. Instead, Valentine decided to stay put. He refused to leave the jail. The Greensboro News and Record reports that Valentine was then arrested for trespassing. He's back in the slammer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
As the U.S. men's gymnastics team struggles to adjust to the London arena, where they will compete, they're thinking more about pink than gold. That's because the competition floor is covered in hot pink. In a room Barbie would love, the men's team says it's not about gender norms but rather an array of colors making it hard to spot the high bars. As one gymnast put it, real men do compete on pink floors.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.
The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.
One of the alarming consequences of the financial crisis in Greece appears to be a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infection.
The country, which is struggling through a historic debt crisis and a deep recession, still has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe. But budget cuts to health and social services seem to be driving a recent and dramatic increase, especially among injecting drug users.
In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.
An occasional series,Fiscal Cliff Notesbreaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.
About 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up if all the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush were to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. And nearly 100 percent of the highest income earners would have to pay more — including both the Obamas and the Romneys.
China announced today that it is prosecuting the wife of a disgraced party official for the murder of a British man. It's the latest sensational twist in the country's biggest political scandal in decades. NPR's Louisa Lim joins us now from Beijing. Louisa, could you bring us up to speed on this scandal and what the latest news is?
It's the start of state fair season, which means lots of weird and fried food. The Indiana State Fair decided on spaghetti and meatballs ice cream as the fair's official food. The noodles are made of gelato, the sauce is strawberry tomato, and the meatballs are chocolate. It's topped with shredded white chocolate cheese. Yummy. At the Iowa State Fair you can try a double bacon corndog. Last year, Iowa featured deep fried butter. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Lucky Larry is a 17-pound lobster estimated to be at least 70 years old. He was not so lucky when he was trapped and sold to a restaurant in Connecticut. But Don MacKenzie stepped in. He bought Lucky Larry, but not for a dinner date. He sent him back out to sea. For a lobster to live this long and avoid traps, MacKenzie said, he does not deserve a bib and butter. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.