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Middle East
3:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Suspicions Bog Down Talks On Iran's Nuclear Program

Negotiators from Iran and six world powers resume talks Thursday in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program. Iran's Supreme Leader says he's not optimistic, and U.S. officials say "no deal is better than a bad deal." Still, Iran's desire to get out from under crippling economic sanctions may drive progress forward despite the long odds.

Business
3:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Most Remaining Blockbusters To Close In January

Blockbuster is going to shut all of its company-owned stores. Some franchise stores will stay open. At its peak, the video rental chain had about 9,000 stores.

Around the Nation
3:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

'Homesick Hijacker' To Appear In Miami Courtroom

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:11 am

Nearly 30 years ago, William Potts hijacked a plane to Cuba. He is scheduled to be in court in Miami on Thursday. It's the first time he's been in the U.S. for nearly three decades.

Parallels
2:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Camus' Stance On Algeria Still Stokes Debate In France

Algeria-born Albert Camus poses for a portrait in Paris following the announcement that he is being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957. Camus' views on his birthplace still stoke controversy.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 1:56 pm

A hundred years after his birth, French writer-philosopher Albert Camus is perhaps best-remembered for novels like The Stranger and The Plague, and for his philosophy of absurdism.

But it's another aspect of his intellectual body of work that's under scrutiny as France marks the Camus centennial: his views about his native Algeria.

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Politics
1:59 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Why Obama Shouldn't Worry About His Lousy Poll Numbers

President Obama walks with the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 10:06 am

President Obama's poll numbers have hit just about the lowest point of his presidency.

They started sinking after the Obamacare website's miserable debut last month. Now, only around 40 percent of Americans think Obama is doing a good job. More than half disapprove of his performance. (A year ago, the numbers were the opposite.)

It seems obvious to say that a high approval rating helps a president, while a low approval rating hurts him. But here are five reasons Obama's numbers might not be as troublesome as they sound.

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Business
1:58 am
Thu November 7, 2013

No Room For Erasers, As Technology Deletes Pen Businesses

In the 1800s, fountain pens were the height of writing technology, allowing writers to pen words continuously without stopping for an ink dip.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 12:09 pm

We tweet. We text. We email. But how often do we really write anymore? Not much, if you look at the business of selling pens — or "fine writing instruments," as shop owners call them. With their writing tools becoming obsolete, pen stores have folded, including a century-old shop in New York.

But despite the tech-heavy trends, a few old-fashioned pen stores are still holding on.

Wood Shelves, Ink Bottles, And Sinatra

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Monkey See
1:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Shonda Rhimes Knows Where This 'Scandal' Will End

Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes' political drama Scandal, one of TV's most talked-about broadcast shows.
Danny Feld ABC

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 11:37 am

Shonda Rhimes says the Washington she's created for the political drama Scandal is a dark, amoral one — and "a little Shakespearean," in the way it's a place where big themes play out among powerful people who aren't afraid to make bold moves.

"In the world of the show, [our] America sees Washington as this fairy-tale-beautiful place, and everybody who works there is really helping keep that illusion alive," the series creator tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

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Shots - Health News
1:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

How The Affordable Care Act Pays For Insurance Subsidies

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:44 pm

The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.

Johanna Humbert of Galien, Mich., was pleasantly surprised to discover that she qualifies for an insurance subsidy, since her current plan is being canceled. Humbert makes about $30,000 a year, so she'll get a subsidy of about $300 a month. The new plan is similar to her current one, but it will cost $250 — about half of what she pays now.

But where will the money come from to pay for subsidies like these?

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Ecstatic Voices
1:56 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Across America, Voices Rise To Reinvent India

Kanniks with the choir at St. Johns Unitarian Church in Cincinnati in 2004.
Courtesy of Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:20 pm

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
1:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

To Get Around Town, Some Cities Take A Step Back In Time

Construction of the Atlanta streetcar line has hurt many businesses along the route, but there is hope that economic gains will increase once the line opens next spring.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 11:17 am

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

Cities across the country are investing in old-fashioned streetcars to solve what's known as the "last mile" problem. The hope is that trolleys will make it easier for people to get to their final destination.

Atlanta is one of the latest, laying steel rails for a 2.6 mile line. The tracks will run downtown from Peachtree Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district on the east side of the city. Some see this as a big step forward.

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All Tech Considered
4:37 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

4-D Printing Means Building Things That Build Themselves

H. Jerry Qi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado University, holds simple models printed using polymers that have "shape memory." The flat piece on the left can reshape itself into a box with the application of heat.
Glenn J. Asakawa University of Colorado

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:12 pm

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Education
4:31 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Michigan Works To Match Dropouts With Degrees Already Earned

At Lansing Community College in Michigan, students who've moved on to four-year schools can come back and claim their credits, and maybe even a degree.
David Shane/Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 10:15 am

There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.

In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

This Is Nuts! Heist Nabs $400,000 Worth Of Walnuts

A walnut orchard in California's Central Valley.
PRNewsFoto California Walnut Commission

This case is proving a tough nut to crack: Thieves have been making off with shipments of walnuts and almonds in California's Central Valley. The latest heist is valued at $400,000.

Rich Paloma, a reporter with The Oakdale Leader, tells NPR's All Things Considered that in the most recent nut job — he's counted six thefts of walnuts and almond shipments in recent months — the thieves cut through a fence.

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It's All Politics
4:26 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Virginia Result Driven by Obamacare? Shutdown? Not So Much

Democrat Terry McAuliffe speaks to supporters Tuesday in Tysons Corner, Va. McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:47 pm

Virginia Tea Party Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost a closer-than-expected contest for governor Tuesday to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a weak but well-financed and well-connected candidate.

By Wednesday morning, the political world was busy debating the meaning of the outcome in Virginia, where exit polls showed that voters expressed increasing antipathy to the Tea Party, and that it was women — particularly unmarried women — who propelled McAuliffe over the finish line.

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Shots - Health News
4:17 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

IVF Doesn't Raise Overall Risk For Childhood Cancers

Tina Nevill of Essex, England, holds Poppy, who was conceived by in vitro fertilization. The U.K.'s health system records all IVF cycles performed in the country.
Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 8:51 pm

Children who were conceived with in vitro fertilization have the same overall chance of developing childhood cancers as those conceived naturally, scientists reported Wednesday.

"It's a reassuring finding," says pediatrician Alastair Sutcliffe of University College London, who led the study. "It's a bellwether to the future health of these kids as they grow up."

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It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

How Long Must Rand Paul Stay In 'Detention' For Plagiarism?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is sorry for the plagiarized material in his speeches and op-eds. And he thinks some journalists are just plain sorry.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:16 pm

If you were a high-profile politician caught plagiarizing, would you:

  • A) Say something like "my bad," apologize profusely, promise to sin no more and quietly move on, hoping reporters would do likewise? Or ...
  • B) Acknowledge that mistakes were made, then lash out at the news media?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been going with the second option lately.

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Law
4:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

There May Be A Green Light For Pot, But Not For Driving High

In Washington state, dogs don't need to sniff out pot anymore, but troopers are keeping an eye out for high drivers.
Matthew Staver Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 7:44 pm

Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.

It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.

A Smell Once Forbidden

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Another Election?! Relax, This One's To Name A Baby Panda

You can help select a name for the National Zoo's new panda cub.
Abby Wood Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:45 pm

Fresh off Tuesday's election, another is just around the corner: The National Zoo wants you to help name its new panda cub by casting a vote at Smithsonian.com.

You can vote online (no photo identification required and the balloting continues until Nov. 22).

At NPR, we always strive to ensure that our audience is informed of the candidates — even when they're names for pandas.

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Animals
3:26 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

What's In A (Panda Cub's) Name?

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Election Day has come and gone, but your vote can still make a difference. That is in choosing a name for a new giant panda cub. The National Zoo here in Washington has put forth five possible names for the female cub born this summer. You can vote on the Smithsonian National Zoo's website.

And we want to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision, so we've called up our Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn for some help understanding the choices. Anthony, ni hao.

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Planet Money
3:26 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Chips, Beer, Tweets: Why TV Is Key To Twitter's Prospects

Frank Franklin II ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:44 pm

One thing Twitter has that other social networks don't: Users who talk about the world in real time. In practice, this largely means one thing. Millions of people use Twitter while they're watching TV.

Those people often use hashtags to let other fans find their tweets (#BreakingBad, #NFL). More importantly, from Twitter's perspective, this lets advertisers know which users are watching what.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Despite Barriers, Farm Worker Breaks Silence About Rape Case

Guadalupe Chavez moved to a trailer home in Oregon after her sexual assault case went to trial in California.
Grace Rubenstein Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:21 pm

This is the second story in a two-part report about sexual assault of agricultural workers in the U.S. Read part one.

It started with a missing paycheck.

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World Cafe
3:12 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Michael Hollett On World Cafe

Michael Hollett (left) with World Cafe host David Dye.
John Vettese Courtesy of the artist

For this installment of Sense of Place: Toronto, host David Dye talks with NOW Magazine editor and publisher Michael Hollett. For 32 years, Hollett has guided the alternative news publication to reflect the music culture of Toronto.

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The Fresh Air Interview
3:12 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Vince Giordano: The Fresh Air Interview

Boardwalk Empire features music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Abbot Genser HBO

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:42 pm

If you love jazz and pop from the 1920s and '30s, you might already love the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City during Prohibition. The music played throughout the show is performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and a second album of music from the series was recently released.

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NPR Story
3:08 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Are We Headed For 'The End Of The Suburbs'?

More Millennials are moving from the suburbs into cities, like Brooklyn, New York. (karlnorling/Flickr)

For many people, cities are becoming the place to live, while sprawling suburbs are losing their appeal.

In her new book, “The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving,” Leigh Gallagher, assistant managing editor of Fortune, says millennials — the next generation of home buyers — are abandoning their suburban roots and choosing to raise their own families in the city.

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NPR Story
3:08 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Make-A-Wish Foundation To Transform San Francisco Into Gotham City For A Day

Miles, 5, who has leukemia, wishes to be a superhero. The Make-a-Wish Foundation is enlisting San Franciscans to make his wish come true. (Make-a-Wish)

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:02 pm

The mayor of San Francisco, the police chief and a cast of thousands of volunteers are transforming their city into Gotham City for a day to help fulfill a little boy’s wish.

Five-year-old Miles is fighting leukemia, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the Greater Bay Area will grant his wish to be “Batkid” on Nov. 15.

Patricia Wilson, executive director of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
3:08 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Voters Approve Minimum Wage Increases, But Congress Won't Take it Up

Supporters of Proposition 1 which raises the minimum wage to $15 in SeaTac, Washington, celebrate their victory. (Craig Newcomb/Twitter)

Last night, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage by a dollar to $8.25 an hour.

And in SeaTac, Washington, a proposition that would make the minimum wage in some in airport-related industries $15 an hour was leading with over 50 percent of the vote.

But if raising the minimum wage is so popular with voters, why won’t Congress take up the issue?

NPR’s Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to explain.

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World Cafe
2:59 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Basia Bulat On World Cafe

Basia Bulat.
Caroline Desilets Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe's Sense of Place spotlight on Toronto kicks off with a session from singer-songwriter Basia Bulat, who grew up in Little Poland on the east side of Toronto.

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Ask Me Another
2:47 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Spoiler Alert

With the Internet, it can be hard to avoid people talking about key plot points of movies or TV programs that you haven't seen yet. "It's a sled! She's a man! The Red Wedding is not a happy occasion!" See? In this game, we're going to spoil some movies by asking you to identify them based on the very last lines spoken in the film. (Though as you'll see, the last lines of most films are quite vague and spoiler-free.)

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World Cafe
2:46 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Neil Young On World Cafe

Neil Young.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe revisits a 2005 studio session with Neil Young as Sense of Place: Toronto continues. At the time of this recording, Young — who was born in the city — had just released Prairie Wind. In a conversation with host David Dye, the musician reflects on two significant events that affected the album: his recovery from a brain aneurysm and the death of his father.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Election Results From Around The Public Radio Dial

Patrick Cannon, Charlotte, N.C.'s newly elected Democratic mayor, speaks to students at Queens University on Oct. 29.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:23 pm

Governors, legislators and mayors were elected Tuesday across the nation. Voters also made key decisions about taxes, marijuana, genetically modified foods — and even secession.

Below is a roundup of some of Tuesday's most noteworthy election results, reported by NPR member stations:

Colorado

Colo. School Funding Measure Fails By Large Margin (CPR News)

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