On May 27, 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge opened, connecting bustling San Francisco to sleepy Marin County to the north. The Oakland-Bay Bridge had opened six months earlier — but the Golden Gate was an engineering triumph. It straddles the Golden Gate Strait, the passage from the Pacific Ocean into the San Francisco Bay, where rough currents prevail and winds can reach 70 mph.
Nurses are the backbone of the hospital — just ask pretty much any doctor or patient. But a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds 34 percent of patients hospitalized for at least one night in the past year said "nurses weren't available when needed or didn't respond quickly to requests for help."
Since nurses provide most of the patient care in hospitals, we were surprised at the findings. We wanted to find out more. We wanted to know what was going on from nurses themselves. So we put a call-out on Facebook.
During World War II, Harrison Wright served with the Army in Europe. And as he recalls during a visit to StoryCorps with his grandson Sean Guess, he was sent on a very special assignment to mark the end of the war.
Wright was drafted in March 1943.
"I was an 18-year-old boy," he says. "I blew the bugle in our outfit," he adds, largely because he had played the trumpet in high school.
Ryan Young saw a pregnant woman being kicked by her boyfriend. He leaped out from behind the meat counter and intervened. Safeway suspended him, citing a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence. But after the union took up his cause and people boycotted the store, Safeway reinstated Young, calling his action "commendable."
Chuck Shriner was about to receive his diploma from Fort Myers Catholic School in Florida when he dropped to one knee, and struck the praying pose made famous by quarterback Tim Tebow. Shriner won a $5 bet but lost the chance to get his diploma onstage.
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The first free presidential election in Egypt is in its second day. Thirteen candidates are vying to replace Hosni Mubarak in what many there say is a wide-open race. The last election in 2005 saw Mubarak winning 87 percent of the vote against another candidate, a candidate he later threw in jail. Voter turnout yesterday was so strong, election officials kept polling stations open across Egypt for an additional hour.
Mitt Romney laid out his education agenda on Wednesday. In a speech in Washington, he compared the American public education system to that of a third world country. But Romney's plan to deal with what he called a national education emergency does not appear to be a major departure from the policies that have been in place since 2001, under both Presidents Bush and Obama. NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.
The world's leading PC manufacturer has announced it will lay off 27,000 workers over the next two years — a third of those job cuts will be in the U.S. The CEO of Hewlett-Packard says the layoffs are part of a restructuring that will include greater spending on research and development.
Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers resumed this morning in Baghdad. The United States and its allies are pressing Iran to freeze its production of highly enriched uranium, but are refusing to offer the kind of easing of economic sanctions that Iran is seeking as a concession. These talks are described as long and hard, and NPR's Peter Kenyon is covering them in Baghdad, Iraq. Hi, Peter.
OK. So as we've heard, one big question is whether Egyptian voters will give the presidency to an Islamist candidate. The leaders in pre-election polls include a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood, as we've heard, and there's another leading candidate who used to be in the Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood already has the biggest share of seats in Egypt's parliament. And now leaders of this 84-year-old party face the challenge and the possibility of winning the presidency.
American customers have not been able to buy a new Chevrolet Caprice since 1996. Now the car is back, as a police car. The 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV and Detective goes beyond the old black-and-white. Its computer system is voice activated, "Knight Rider"-style. It has eight cameras positioned to scan thousands of license plates per shift, which police computers can then check against a database to find if drivers have outstanding warrants or tickets.
Historically, the veteran and military vote has gone Republican. In 2008, for example, while losing the presidency, John McCain — a war hero — won 55 percent of this vote.
This year, the Obama campaign thinks it can close the gap.
For one thing, neither candidate is a veteran. And the campaign is hoping to capitalize on a generational change in the military. Four years ago, although he lost the veteran vote overall, President Obama won among vets under age 60.
None of the Ramones were actually related, but they all changed their last names to Ramone. They wore matching skinny jeans and leather jackets, and their songs were short and to the point, with hooks that are still impossibly catchy. The band's first album stunned listeners and critics. Joey Ramone described its influence in a 1991 interview in Finland that's posted on YouTube.
The final round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee takes place Thursday, with students between the fourth and eighth grades testing their knowledge of countries, canals and lava lakes. Of the 54 contestants who came to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for the bee, only 10 remain.
Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Oregon officials are trying to ease the stress of road construction, at least for one resident. Two-point-two miles of the Sunset Highway are being repaved. This could disturb Rose-Tu, a pregnant elephant at the nearby Oregon zoo. The Oregonian reports highway crews will move gingerly, letting Rose-Tu grow accustomed to the noise. They hope to avoid stress from vibrations in her feet and sounds captured by those elephant ears. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Nearly two years ago, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered that gun-toting private security companies in his country be brought under state control. But the Afghan force to replace the foreign-funded contractors is off to a rocky start.
According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the new force will increase security costs for USAID projects and could even shut some of them down, at a loss of about $899 million. USAID in Kabul disagrees, and the dispute has gone public.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:47 pm
Tonight, when Ryan Seacrest announces who has won the 11th season of American Idol — when the confetti falls and Jennifer Lopez sheds a perfect dewy teardrop and Randy Jackson's thought bubble explodes with "Dude, that was a moment moment MOMENT" and Steven Tyler purses his immortal lips in that vampire-connoisseur way he does, smelling the perfume of another sweet young victory — I will be out to dinner with friends, far from the agony and ecstasy finalists Jessica Sanchez and Phi
Two New Jersey men have found a way around high gas prices and traffic jams. The mile long trip from Hoboken across the Hudson River to their Manhattan office takes about a half-hour to paddle. They also get their exercise in for the day.
A mass tax revolt is under way in Ireland, and hundreds of thousands of people have resolved to break the law and refuse to pay a newly-introduced levy on households. The tax is $125 a year, but protesters say it could lead to larger property taxes in the future.
Ever since Syria descended into a brutal armed conflict, there have been fears that the sectarian bloodletting would spill over its borders. That may have come to pass. This past week, clashes in neighboring Lebanon have left more than a dozen people dead. NPR's Kelly McEvers has the story from Beirut.