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Movie Reviews
5:59 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska'

After receiving a dubious letter, the aging Woody (Bruce Dern) heads off on a quest to collect $1 million, dragging his son David (Will Forte) along with him.
Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:32 pm

Woody Grant has white hair, a cranky disposition and a stubbornness that just won't quit. When we meet him, he's being stopped by a highway patrolman as he's walking down the shoulder of a Montana interstate. His son David picks him up at the police station, and it turns out Woody was on an 850-mile stroll to Nebraska, to collect the million dollars promised to him in a letter.

David points out gently that the letter is an ad for magazine subscriptions, but he's no sooner got the older man back to his house then he gets a call from his mom: Woody has hit the road again.

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It's All Politics
5:37 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

How Obama's Response To NSA Spying Has Evolved

President Obama's response to the NSA spying revelations has changed over the past five months.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

A team of surveillance experts on Wednesday delivered preliminary recommendations to the White House on whether and how to amend U.S. spying policies.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Four Marines Killed In Camp Pendleton Training Accident

Marine Corps recruits train at the Edson Firing Range at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in 2008.
Denis Poroy AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:41 pm

Four Marines have been killed in a training accident at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, Calif., base officials said.

The Associated Press says the accident occurred at 11 a.m. Wednesday "during a range maintenance operation."

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Intelligence Officials Aim To Pre-Empt More Surveillance Leaks

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, speaks during a conference at the Ronald Reagan Building, in October.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

NSA officials are bracing for more surveillance disclosures from the documents taken by former contractor Edward Snowden — and they want to get out in front of the story.

In a recent speech, NSA Director Keith Alexander said Snowden may have taken as many as 200,000 NSA documents with him when he left his post in Hawaii. If so, the vast majority of them have yet to be released.

Intelligence officials tell NPR they believe Snowden's secrets fall into four categories:

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The Two-Way
5:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Holy Cow' And 'Kangaroo Court': Panel Grills HealthCare.gov Officials

Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer, answers questions in a House Oversight Committee hearing about problems with the federal HealthCare.gov site. One Democrat on the committee called the hearing "a kangaroo court."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:46 pm

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of HealthCare.gov was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

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It's All Politics
4:52 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Map Of Gay Marriage: Hawaii Becomes Latest To Legalize

Proponents of gay marriage rally outside state House chambers at the Hawaii Capitol in Honolulu on Nov. 8.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:49 pm

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed legislation Wednesday making Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Abercrombie, who called a special session in August to address the issue, moved quickly after the state Senate passed the bill, 19-4, Tuesday. The House approved it by a 30-19 vote Friday. Gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii will be eligible for marriage licenses starting Dec. 2.

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All Tech Considered
4:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Tech Stats We Now Know About HealthCare.gov

Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer, testifies before the House oversight committee about problems implementing the health care program.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

The big numbers out today are the administration's counts of how many people actually enrolled in health exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first month, the government said.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Can Math Help Contestants Beat The Odds On 'The Price Is Right'?

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, this hour, "The Price is Right" and how to get it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

CORNISH: We're talking about the popular daytime game show, of course. Sure, you could study up on the cost of canned goods, living room sets and big screen TVs to win or you could tip the odds in your favor and apply game theory. That's what Ben Blatt did for a recent article in Slate. He joins us now. Hey there, Ben.

BEN BLATT: Hey, it's great to be here.

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Health Care
4:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Health Care Numbers Are Out, And They're Disappointing

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:46 am

The Obama administration released its much anticipated enrollment numbers for the first month of the troubled HealthCare.gov website Wednesday. And as predicted, the numbers were disappointing.

Just over 100,000 people managed to navigate the process and choose a health plan between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2 — 106,185 people, to be precise.

But barely a quarter of those, 26,794, enrolled through the federal website that's signing up people in 36 of the states. The rest enrolled through state marketplaces.

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Your Health
4:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

New Cholesterol Guidelines Could Put More Americans On Statins

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

New cholesterol guidelines are out and the bottom line is millions of Americans will be told they should be taking a cholesterol-lowering drug and millions will be told that they can stop. The new guidance comes from the nation's two leading groups of heart specialists. It's a big departure from the advice Americans have been getting for decades to get their cholesterol levels down to a certain number.

As NPR's Richard Knox reports, the new emphasis is on whether you fit into one of four risk groups.

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Parallels
4:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Americans Might Soon Get To Buy Mexican Beachfront, Border Land

Rosarito, Mexico, near the U.S. border in the Mexican state of Baja California, is home to thousands of Americans who live there full or part time, many in properties with long-term leases. A proposed change to Mexican law would allow foreigners outright ownership of Mexican beachfront properties.
Guillermo Arias AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

For the first time in nearly a century, Mexico is considering letting foreigners own land outright along the coast and near international borders. Right now, only Mexicans can hold the title to land in the so-called restricted zone. The president and many lawmakers want to relax the ownership laws in hopes of spurring a wave of foreign investment in the country.

But others are crying foul and reviving nationalistic fears of foreign invasion and domination that incited enactment of the law so many years ago.

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NPR Story
3:58 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Denuding Of Cleveland, One Scrap At A Time

Shorty Rock on the streets of Central, the neighborhood that is the epicenter of Cleveland’s scrap trade. (Peter Larson)

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:26 am

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NPR Story
3:58 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

A String Of Attacks On Militants In Pakistan

Youngsters gather at spot where Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior leader of the feared militant Haqqani network, was assassinated at an Afghan bakery in the Bhara Kahu area on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

A senior leader in the Haqqani network was killed on Sunday in Pakistan. Nasiruddin Haqqani was gunned down outside a bread store in Rawalpindi.

His death is the latest in a string of attacks on militants in the region. Earlier this month, a U.S. drone strike killed the Pakistani Taliban’s leader Hakimullah Mehsud. Before that, U.S. forces detained Latif Mehsud, a senior commander in the Pakistani Taliban.

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NPR Story
3:58 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

What Will An Airline Merger Mean For Holiday Travel?

Yesterday, American Airlines and U.S. Airways reached a settlement with the Justice Department, avoiding a trial that could have stopped the $11 billion deal to combine the two airlines.

Now the two carriers are free to combine and create the world’s largest airline, but they must make room for low-cost competitors at seven airports.

NPR’s Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss what the merger entails and how it could affect holiday travel. 

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Code Switch
3:38 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Fox Says Diversity Leads To Good Ratings And Better Business

Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison play Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane in Fox's new show Sleepy Hollow.
Courtesy of Fox

It's easy, when writing about network TV, to be cynical.

For example, when I heard the Fox network had been holding annual conferences on diversity, telling top show producers their casts and crew had to feature more people of color, I remained skeptical. What's the catch, I wondered?

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The Salt
3:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

It's National Indian Pudding Day! Here's Why You Should Celebrate

Indian pudding, served warm with vanilla ice cream — a dish well worth celebrating.
Katherine Perry NPR

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:08 am

Turns out, Nov. 13 is National Indian Pudding Day. It sneaked up on you again, didn't it?

You can't be blamed.

Indian pudding is virtually unknown outside of New England, and even there it's tricky to find. But this enduring New England dessert may actually deserve a day of its own.

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Can Young People Get Obamacare For $50 A Month? Sometimes

President Barack Obama speaks in Boston about the Affordable Care Act. Obama and his supporters have often said the health care law would allow half of single Americans under 35 to get insurance for less than $50 a month.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 1:56 pm

For Obamacare to succeed, it's crucial for young people to sign up.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Who Gets The Blame For NSA Spying? NSA Says Not Us

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Over at the NSA, officials say they welcome the president's policy review on surveillance. But they and other intelligence leaders bristle at the idea that they've overstepped their bounds in gathering information, both here and abroad. For months, the NSA has been on the defensive as a result of the Snowden disclosures.

NPR's Tom Gjelten says the agency is now trying to get out in front of the story.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Aid Groups Worry As Winter Approaches In Syria

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

War has many ways to kill, even those who escape violence on the battlefield. For more than two million Syrian refugees who are spread across the Middle East, the weather is now their greatest enemy. International aid workers are racing against the coming cold. They're trying to prepare the refugee population, which is already weakened by war and deprivation. NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Beirut.

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All Songs Considered
3:33 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Results? The Albums Everyone Can Love

Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 9:07 pm

A while back (a long while back), Bob Boilen and I were sitting around the office, chatting like we do about music and life, and got to wondering: Is it possible to come up with a top ten list of albums that everyone can agree on?

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

More Than 106,000 Chose Health Plans Under Affordable Care Act

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a report Wednesday revealing that 106,185 Americans selected a health plan in the new marketplace from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:47 pm

More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first reporting period of open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplace, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That number is only "about 20 percent of the government's October target," as NPR's Scott Horsley reports for our Newscast unit.

Less than 27,000 people used the federal HealthCare.gov site to select a plan. The overall number includes enrollments made via federal and state marketplaces from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the agency says.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Police: British Spy's Strange Death Was 'Probably An Accident'

Scotland Yard says it believes a British spy whose naked, decomposing body was found padlocked inside a gym bag in a bathtub three years ago, probably died accidentally.

Gareth Williams, 31, was working for Britain's MI6 spy agency when his body was found at his home in August 2010.

Last May, a coroner concluded that Williams was probably murdered, but on Wednesday London Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt told reporters that the death was "most probably ... an accident."

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All Tech Considered
2:36 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Flooded And Powerless: When Lights And Cellphones Go Dark

Typhoon survivors line up Wednesday to charge their mobile phones using power outlets provided by a cellular service provider in Tacloban, Philippines.
Dita Alangkara AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 9:35 am

Updated Nov. 14 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

It's hard to imagine what would happen when, in the wake of destruction, lights go dark and cellphones become useless. For many inhabitants of the Philippines this past week, that was reality.

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Code Switch
2:22 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

How Can A White Supremacist Be 14 Percent Sub-Saharan African?

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:53 pm

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The Salt
2:14 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Could Hunger Make Us More Charitable?

Researchers have a hunch that because we often had to share food to survive, we're inclined to be more interested in giving when we're hungry.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 3:44 pm

Hunger can make people emotional, that's for sure. Some people get "hangry" when their blood sugar levels drop and their irritability rises. Others get greedy.

But new research suggests that we may have another, innate response to hunger: a desire to encourage others to share what they have.

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Book Reviews
1:44 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

A 'Marriage', A Divorce, A Dying Dog And Essays Done Right

iStockphoto.com

Pity the poor essay collection. Unlike its close, more creative neighbor — the short story collection — or its snooty relation, The Novel, the humble essay collection is the wallflower of the literary world. And, when an essay collection is composed — as Ann Patchett's new volume partly is — of pieces previously printed in fashion and pet lovers' magazines, it really might seem like a grab bag of minor material — as, admittedly, a few of the pieces here are.

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The Record
1:36 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'12 Years A Slave' Is This Year's Best Film About Music

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 2:02 pm

12 Years a Slave is the most compelling film about music to be released this year, maybe this century. It's so many other things, too, as others have noted: a corrective to the weird cocktail of piety and cartoonishness that Hollywood usually supplies when depicting slavery; a gorgeous art film and an actor's hellish paradise; a cultural highlight of the Obama administration.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Obama's Surveillance Review Panel Issues Initial Findings

Former chief counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke is a lead member of a panel appointed by the president to review the country's surveillance policies.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:34 pm

A team appointed by President Obama to review U.S. spying policies in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations about National Security Agency programs has delivered an interim report to the White House.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in an email to news organizations that the review group "has orally provided their interim report to the White House, with their final report due by Dec. 15." She said the results would be made public "in some way" once the finished review is submitted.

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Politics
1:04 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Death Penalty Delayed But Not Denied By Drug Problems

An April 2005 photo of the death chamber at the Missouri Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon has halted the execution of convicted killer Allen Nicklasson, citing concerns about the use of propofol as an execution drug.
JAMES A. FINLEY AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:48 pm

Like many states, Missouri is struggling to obtain the drugs it normally uses to carry out the death penalty.

Last month, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon stayed an execution under pressure from the medical community and the European Union, which threatened to hold up supplies of propofol, the anesthetic the state intended to use.

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Author Interviews
12:27 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Christmas Lights Make Slippers In Global 'Junkyard' Economy

A woman worker sorts used plastic bottles at a recycle center in Mumbai, India.
Rajanish Kakade AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

When you think of recycling, you probably think of cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. Well, think a little bigger.

There are businesses devoted to recycling metal, paper, plastic, oil, textiles, cell phones, computers, motors, batteries, Christmas lights, cars and more. The hidden world of globalized recycling and reclamation, and its impact on the environment and the global economy, is the subject of the new book Junkyard Planet by journalist Adam Minter.

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