Nation/World

Pages

The Two-Way
6:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Last Of The 'Sound Of Music' Von Trapps Dies At 99

Maria von Trapp in 2008 at the age of 93. The daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp points to her father on an old family picture. She died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont.
Kerstin Joensson AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers — the Austrian family that inspired the 1965 film The Sound of Music -- has died at 99 at her home in Vermont.

Von Trapp, whose family escaped Nazi Germany, died on Tuesday of natural causes, her brother Johannes von Trapp said, according to the New York Daily News.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:29 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Head Of Ukrainian Parliament Assumes Presidential Power

A woman cries Sunday in front of a memorial to people killed in clashes with police in Independence Square, Kiev.
Marko Drobnjakovic AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 4:04 pm

This post was updated at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's opponents are moving quickly to take government power, although no one is certain how permanent those moves will be.

The Ukrainian legislature has voted to give the president's powers temporarily to the Parliament speaker, Oleksandr Turchinov.

On Sunday, Turchinov addressed the nation, saying that Ukraine was ready to talk to Moscow about improving relations, but made it clear that further integration with Europe would be his top priority.

Read more
My Guilty Pleasure
6:03 am
Sun February 23, 2014

For This British Author, If It Bleeds, She Reads

iStockphoto

The first thing you need to know about my guilty pleasure is that you probably share it. George Orwell certainly did. He writes about it in his 1946 essay, Decline of the English Murder: "It is Sunday afternoon ... Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what it is that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder."

Read more
Fitness & Nutrition
4:21 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Can Exercising Seniors Help Revive A Brooklyn Neighborhood?

Linda Beckford (right) exercises as part of a walking group that tries to make their neighborhood a better place to live. If nothing else, the seniors feel more confident about going outside.
Quoctrung Bui NPR

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:57 am

The Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for many things, among them huge public housing projects, extremely high poverty and crime. Last summer, a one-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed as he sat in a stroller in the neighborhood.

But that's one side of life in Brownsville. Down the street from that murder, on weekday mornings, is another side.

Read more
Latin America
4:19 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Drought Could Drain More Than Brazil's Coffee Crop

The ground outside Sao Paulo is cracked and dry. It was the hottest January on record in parts of Brazil, and the heat plus a severe drought has fanned fears of water shortages and crop damage.
Nacho Doce Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:01 am

Brazil, a country usually known for its rainforests, has been facing a severe drought in its breadbasket region, leaving people in the cities without water and farmers in the countryside with dying crops. Global prices for coffee, in particular, have been affected.

Scientists in Brazil say the worst is yet to come — yet no one in the government, it seems, is listening.

On a recent day, farmer Juliano Jose Polidor walks through the desiccated remains of his cornfields.

What's happened to this crop, he says, is a total loss.

Read more
Parallels
4:18 am
Sun February 23, 2014

As The Economy Struggles, Venezuelans Hit The Streets

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raises his fist after the National Assembly gave him wide-ranging powers to rule by decree for one year on Nov. 19, 2013. With the economy struggling, demonstrators have taken to the streets the streets.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

Leopoldo López is a rock star to Venezuelans living in the United States. But in west Caracas he's the rich guy. And those contrasting images could affect the outcome of street protests playing out in Venezuela right now.

But first the obvious: This week's arrest of López, a top Venezuela opposition leader, is a reminder that President Nicolás Maduro's credibility is plummeting during the anti-government demonstrations that have swept his country since Feb. 12.

Read more
Middle East
12:01 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Taliban Suspends Talks On Prisoner Exchange

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:45 am

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

Read more
Around the Nation
11:40 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

One Dead, 28 Sickened By Carbon Monoxide At New York Mall

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 2:21 am

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:41 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Fred Armisen's Fake Bands (And Their Real Songs)

Bryan Cranston and Fred Armisen in character as The Bjelland Brothers, a sibling soft rock duo dreamed up by Armisen for a 2010 sketch on Saturday Night Live.
NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:57 pm

A lot of obscure bands want to reach a national audience, and they send their records to NPR. Unfortunately, there's a lot of forgettable stuff in the mix, and recently the staff of All Things Considered received the kind of CD it would usually toss.

It's got a pair of singles by two bands — The Blue Jean Committee, which came out of the 1970s Massachusetts folk scene; and The Fingerlings, a British post-disco/synth band of art-school graduates. Both sound desperately tiresome.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Forecasting The 'Future' By Tapping Into Human Consciousness

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.

Read more
The New And The Next
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Making The Coffee Shop Your Office, Without The Guilt

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about pay-as-you-go coffee shops popping up around the world that offer a place to work "without any kind of moral shame" or pressure to spend money on coffee and snacks.

They also discuss how the rise of the bioscience sector in Cleveland is revitalizing the city's economy.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Explosion On Ky. Natural Gas Pipeline Under Investigation

Burned-out vehicles sit among the ruins following a natural gas pipeline explosion in Kentucky on Thursday.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

A huge boom awoke the people of rural Adair County, Ky., at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 13. Calls flooded 911 dispatchers with reports of a large fire.

The flames were from an explosion on a natural gas pipeline. It left a crater 60 feet deep, destroyed two homes and sent two people to the hospital.

Federal investigators are examining the cause of the blast, but it wasn't the first time the pipeline had failed in some way.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Closing America's Largest Landfill, Without Taking Out The Trash

Trucks dump trash at the Puente Hill Landfill in Puente Hills, Calif., on October 31, 2013. The nation's largest landfill is now covered with soil and closed, and will one day be a park.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

The covering of America's largest landfill — east of downtown Los Angeles — is underway.

The Puente Hills landfill took in trash from all over LA County, becoming the go-to repository for most of Los Angeles' garbage. Over its more than 50 years in operation, the landfill grew higher than 500 feet.

It stopped receiving new trash in October, but the old waste will actually stay. All those years' worth of garbage will be covered up and remain underneath the ground.

Read more
Latin America
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Notorious Mexican Drug Trafficker Arrested

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Mexican officials have captured that country's number one drug trafficker, Joaquin Guzman, also known as El Chapo. The announcement was made this afternoon by Mexico's attorney general who says the head of the feared Sinaloa Cartel was arrested by special marine forces without a single shot being fired.

We're joined now by NPR's Carrie Kahn in Mexico City. Carrie, they've been looking for Guzman for 13 years. How did they capture him?

Read more
Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Where Are The Heroes To Save Pittsburgh's African-American Center?

The $42-million August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh is for sale because it can't pay its bills. Some are questioning why the Center was allowed to fail.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

In 2009 a gleaming performing arts space opened to great fanfare in downtown Pittsburgh. The distinctive $42 million-dollar building is as long as the block it occupies, and the corner of the building looks like the sail of a ship made in glass and stone.

Read more
The Edge
12:04 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

U.S. Men's Hockey Team Loses Bronze To Finland

Finland's Teemu Selanne celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the men's ice hockey bronze-medal game U.S. vs. Finland at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on Saturday.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

A 43-year-old, six-time Olympian helped lead Finland to a bronze-medal win over the U.S. men's hockey team on Saturday.

Teemu Selanne scored two of Finland's five goals, shutting out the U.S. team 5-0.

Team USA had hoped to overcome Friday's crushing loss to Canada, which, if won, would have made the U.S. a contender for the gold. Despite playing great hockey the entire tournament, things seemed to fall apart against Canada and later, Finland.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

In Rare Unison, U.N. Demands That Syria Allow Humanitarian Aid

A Syrian refugee boy stands outside his tent at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, earlier this week.
Muhammad Hamed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 3:17 pm

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously called on Syria to immediately allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to millions of needy people in the war-torn country.

Veto-wielding Russia and China, which have been strong supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in the past, joined other members on the council in passing the resolution.

The move doesn't threaten sanctions, but it does warn of "further steps" if Syria doesn't comply.

Read more
The Picture Show
11:47 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Beyond Sochi: Photos Of Russia By Russians

A kitten loves on an old woman in the Cossack village of Velikopetrovskaya near Cheliyabinsk.
Igor Lagunov, Magnitigorsk

The gap between how foreigners view Russia and how Russians view themselves is wide and as old as the country itself.

Russian photographer Valeriy Klamm felt that foreign photojournalists who came to work in his country arrive with the pictures they want to send back home already in their head: Bleak images of a cold and desolate place where autocrats lord over drunks.

Read more
Fresh Air Weekend
11:32 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: David O. Russell, 'Last Of The Unjust,' And 'Sonic Wonders'

Why does thunder rumble? Acoustic professor Trevor Cox explains that it has to do with the way lightning is a jagged line. "Each little kink is actually generating the sound, and the reason thunder rumbles is because the sound takes different time to come from different kinks because they're all slightly different distances from you," he says.
Mariana Suarez AFP/Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Read more
The Two-Way
11:17 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Mexican Drug Cartel Kingpin Captured In Joint U.S.-Mexico Raid

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City on Saturday. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said that Guzman, the head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:04 am

This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

The head of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was captured overnight by U.S. and Mexican officials in the Pacific coastal town of Mazatlan.

Read more
Europe
11:08 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Russia's Cossacks Ride Back From History As 'Patriots'

Cossacks, who formed a feared military force in czarist times, start their 2012 ceremonial march from Moscow to Paris in memory of soldiers killed during the war against Napoleon in 1812.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 4:17 pm

The contrast couldn't have been greater: the protest band Pussy Riot in colorful ski masks and mini dresses, attempting to film a segment for a new video on Sochi's waterfront; and Cossacks in traditional uniform with black sheepskin hats and riding boots, patrolling Sochi streets as part of security for the Olympics.

The Cossacks, trying to enforce a government ban on protests, knocked band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to the ground, lashed her with a horse whip, and roughed up other musicians.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Prediction

Our panelists predict how organizers will spice things up at the next Olympic games.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Lightning Fill In The Blank

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Limericks

Carl reads three news-related limericks: Pay As You Go, The Yippy Menace, and Dead Sexy.

The Two-Way
10:31 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Tale Of Two Popes: Francis, Benedict Appear Together In Public

Newly-elected Cardinal Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, Archbishop of Managua, right, is hugged by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during a consistory inside the St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on Saturday.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Pope Francis and his predecessor, Benedict XVI, appeared together at a ceremony anointing 19 new cardinals in what The Associated Press described as "an unprecedented blending of papacies past, present and future."

In the solemn event, known as a consistory, Francis on Saturday bestowed red hats on his first batch of cardinals.

Read more
The Protojournalist
10:13 am
Sat February 22, 2014

A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 1

Amy Bailey

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 4:41 pm

Tons of people responded — thoughtfully, wittily, smartly, poignantly — to NPR's recent request: Tell us the six songs of your life.

Sifting through the more than 1,000 annotated playlists, we came up with a few that seem exemplary of the original idea: People telling the stories of their lives — up to this point — through a half-dozen songs.

We were knocked out by the variety of the selections.

Read more
The Edge
9:17 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Getting Technical: Questions And Answers About The Winter Olympics

American Bode Miller inspired a question about terminal velocity, resistance, and friction with his skiing in Sochi. It's one of many technical questions that came up during the Winter Olympics.
Olivier Morin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 9:41 pm

Events in the Winter Olympics can be highly technical, with arcane rules and specialized equipment that can defy easy explanation. On the question-and-answer site Quora, several interesting topics have come up in recent days, from why athletes use tape on their sleds to how a human can surpass 80 mph on skis.

Read more
The Edge
9:16 am
Sat February 22, 2014

U.S. Olympic Officials: It Wasn't Suits That Hurt Speedskaters

Speedskaters from the U.S., Brian Hansen (from left), Jonathan Kuck and Joey Mantia, compete in the team pursuit speedskating race for seventh place at the Adler Arena Skating Center on Saturday.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:55 am

America's performance in the 2014 Winter Games has been solid, if not spectacular. Team USA has managed to stay at or near the top of the medal heap in Sochi for most of the games.

But big names like snowboarder Shaun White, speed skater Shani Davis, skier Bode Miller and both U.S. hockey teams have disappointed when they were expected by many experts to dominate. (With hockey, however, it might have been more hope than actual expectation of gold.)

Read more
Simon Says
8:58 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country

Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska decided not to compete in Friday's slalom race, in a show of solidarity with protesters in Kiev.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 12:06 pm

Sports are supposed to be separate from politics, but athletes and games can't always be kept separate from life and death.

Scores of people were killed in Ukraine this week, as the security forces of President Viktor Yanukovich opened fire on anti-government protesters in Kiev's Maidan, now called Independence Square.

While some 800 miles away, more than 40 Ukrainian athletes have been skiing, skating, working hard to win medals at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Read more
All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

Deafheaven's George Clarke on stage at Empire in Springfield, Va.
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 2:43 pm

Read more

Pages