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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lydia Loveless, 'Somewhere Else'

Lydia Loveless' new album, Somewhere Else, comes out Feb. 18.
Patrick Crawford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:11 pm

"Take me far from this tainted world where statistics murder dreams, where art, beauty, love, everything's money," begins a quote printed inside the packaging for the latest album by singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless. The words belong to 19th-century French symbolist-decadent poet Paul Verlaine — not a common touchstone among country-rockers, although the sentiment is one most musicians have likely felt. (It gets nicely echoed in a poem Eric Church recites on his latest record).

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lost In The Trees, 'Past Life'

Lost In The Trees' new album, Past Life, comes out Feb. 18.
DL Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:10 pm

Lost in the Trees founder Ari Picker studied film composition at the Berklee School of Music — an alternate career path that couldn't be better suited to the music he makes now. A film composer, even more than a bandleader, creates work with a constant awareness of the audience's reaction to it, and thus has a keener sense of how to craft that reaction.

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Books News & Features
5:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Romance Novels Sweep Readers Off Their Feet With Predictability

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:26 pm

Romance novels are a $1.4 billion industry, dwarfing the literary book market by millions.

Last summer, Harper's editor Jesse Barron attended the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas. Emceed by a handsome novel-cover model named Jimmy, the event helped professionals and novices alike to pool resources, share ideas and generally have a love fest.

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Environment
5:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Kansas Mayor Says Sustainability Is About Community, Not Politics

The community of Greensburg, Kan., was hit hard by an F5 tornado in 2007. The event inspired one resident to run for mayor.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:36 pm

In Washington, the debate over what to do about climate change is split largely down party lines. But it hasn't always been that way.

Republican Sen. John McCain campaigned on the issue in his presidential runs. "Climate change is real," he said in 2007. "The Earth is warming, and it is the result of greenhouse gas emissions."

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Author Interviews
4:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

With Fearlessness And A 'Code Name,' Iraqi Helped Navy SEALs

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:33 pm

For years, Johnny Walker interpreted for the U.S. Navy SEALs on missions all over his home country of Iraq. He served on over a thousand missions, and stood out as an invaluable part of nearly every team he worked with.

No, Johnny Walker isn't his real name. The SEALs gave him the nickname in honor of his love of Johnnie Walker Whisky — and to protect his identity, a necessary precaution even today.

"Bad guys, if they hear your real name, they can find you," he tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Music
3:48 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Art Laboe And His 'Devil Music' Made Radio Magic

Radio DJ Art Laboe has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a place in the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Courtesy of Art Laboe

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:33 pm

At 88 years old, and after seven decades in the business, Los Angeles radio host Art Laboe is still at it.

Six nights a week on The Art Laboe Connection, Laboe takes requests from his loyal listeners, who tune in on more than a dozen stations in California and the Southwestern United States.

This week, he'll be hosting his annual series of Valentine's concerts, featuring the "Oldies But Goodies" he's played for decades.

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Arts & Life
3:48 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

When Deborah Met Jimmy: Scoring An Interview With The President

Deborah Norville, Emmy Award-winning journalist and host of Inside Edition, got her big break with an interview with then-President Jimmy Carter.
Courtesy of Deborah Norville

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:33 pm

As part of a new series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click and people leap forward into their careers.

Before she became an Emmy Award-winning journalist, Deborah Norville was a senior at the University of Georgia with a low-paying job as a weekend reporter at WAGA-TV in Atlanta. She was barely scraping by on her weekly pay of $75.

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Business
3:17 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Funeral Home Kiosks Offer Shoppers The Ultimate Deal

Forest Lawn funeral services has a kiosk at the Glendale Galleria mall in Glendale, Calif., to reach potential customers who may not want to visit a funeral home.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Forest Lawn is a big name in the funeral business, and it has funeral homes all across Southern California. Most are stately, sprawling estates. But the Glendale location is a little different.

First off, it's tiny — the size of a typical funeral home bathroom. Second, there aren't any coffins or headstones for sale. There is an attendant, but he can't sell you anything: The urns are only on display. The place feels pretty inconspicuous. It could as easily be marketing homemade pottery as end-of-life planning.

It's also right in the middle of a shopping mall.

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Music Lists
3:01 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

The Other Guys: 5 Bands Missing From The British Invasion

The Shadows on stage in the 1960s. The British rock act, formed as a backing band for singer Cliff Richard (center), was among the U.K. acts who stayed behind as The Beatles and others were cresting in America.
Paul Popper Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:59 am

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Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Prospectors See A Golden Lining In California's Drought

A man looks for gold in Woods Creek in Jamestown, Calif., in 2011.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:33 pm

Wayne Warren shakes wet dirt out of a plastic bucket and into a metal chute, tossing aside bigger rocks. For him, California's drought is golden.

Yes, golden. Warren is knee-deep in the San Gabriel River, an hour outside of Los Angeles. That chute next to him is a sluice box. The water washes away the dirt in a muddy cloud, and he leans over the box. Out of the creek, he taps his findings into a green, plastic gold pan and gives it a few swirls. What's left ...

"Sure is pretty in the sun, huh?" he says.

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The Salt
12:21 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Four-Legged Athletes Compete With Olympic-Sized Heart

Sky, an Australian shepherd, runs the weave poles with the intensity of an Olympian.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 4:19 pm

In Sochi this week, athletes are competing in a display of human grace and skill. Many will win. Many more will lose, and many tears will be shed.

In New York on Saturday night, athletes of a different breed competed in a display of canine finesse and dexterity. Many won. If any lost, none knew it. Not one shed a tear.

At the Westminster Dog Show's Masters Agility Championship, 225 exuberant dogs dove through tunnels, flew through hoops, leaped over hurdles and wove in and out of poles with the focus of the highest-level Olympic champion.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Syrian Official Says 600 Evacuated From Rebel-Held Homs

Syrians on two buses followed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's vehicles evacuate Syria's battleground city of Homs, on Friday.
Uncredited AP

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Swiss Narrowly Approve Rollback Of Immigration Allowances

Members of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) cheer after the results after winning a narrow vote on an anti-immigration referendum on Sunday.
Marcel Bieri EPA/Landov

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

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The Sunday Conversation
11:10 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Addict Lives With 'Monster' That's Waiting To Pounce

Ruben Casteneda
Ruben Casteneda

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:45 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

This Sunday Conversation with Ruben Castaneda was inspired by WAMU's five-part series, "Crack: The Drug that Consumed the Nation's Capital."

When Ruben Castaneda first moved to Washington, he lived his life along two separate tracks.

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Monkey See
10:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Beatles, As America First Loved Them

It's been 50 years since The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, to an audience of screaming, hair-pulling, ecstatic (in the classic sense) teenage girls. Cutes in suits, you might call them, like (and, of course, nothing like) countless other bands of the time that wore skinny ties and shared microphones and said "oh" and "yeah" and "baby."

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Energy
10:32 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Oil, Gas Drilling Seems To Make The Earth Slip And Go Boom

Infrastructure used for oil and gas may be making more earthquakes. In Texas, there 10 times the number of earthquakes now than a few years ago.
Mark Rogers AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 4:21 pm

There's been a surge in earthquakes in the U.S. over the last few years. In Texas, there are 10 times the number of earthquakes now than just a few years ago.

Scientists say it's likely linked to the boom in oil and gas activity, meaning that people who never felt the ground shake are starting to.

Here's how Pat Jones of Snyder, Texas, describes the earthquake that struck her town in 2010: "It just sounded like some car hit the back of our house. We got up and checked around and we didn't see anything or hear anything else."

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Sports
10:32 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Was That Jump A 6? Subjectivity In Olympic Judging

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And it's time to talk sports, specifically the Olympics; the skill, the precision, the pure athleticism. And yes, the style. And we're talking specifically about ice skating, because our own Mike Pesca has some thoughts on that sport.

Good morning, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. How are you?

MARTIN: Hello. I am well. So, I understand Olympic ice skating has undergone some reforms in recent years. Do tell? What changed?

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The Salt
9:55 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Beatlemania! When The Fab Four Rocked The Lunchroom

I want to hold your lunch! This 1965 lunchbox — considered "one of the Holy Grails" of lunchbox collecting — sold for $936.10 in 2013. It came with a thermos. Another mint condition sample sold for $1,625 last fall.
Courtesy of Hake's Americana & Collectibles

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:18 pm

The Beatles are not only considered the top of the heap when it comes to musical acts of the 20th century, they're also apparently the kings of the lunchbox.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Is It Enough Rain For Drought-Stricken California?

The cracked-dry bed of the Almaden Reservoir is seen on Friday, in San Jose, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:04 am

California, which has been experiencing its worst drought on record, is welcoming some heavy rainfall this weekend, but it's still too early to say if it signals a wholesale quenching of dried up streams and farm fields.

NBC News says:

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Books
9:27 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Why Confounding Coincidences Happen Every Day

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Coincidences confound us. Miracles amaze us. And the chance that the same person could be hit by lightning three different times, well, that just defies explanation. Or does it? David Hand is an emeritus professor of mathematics at Imperial College in London. And he has written a book called "The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day." He joins us from the BBC studios in London. Thanks so much for being with us.

DAVID HAND: Thank you very much for inviting me.

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The Edge
9:19 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Team Figure Skating Already Has Its Share Of Controversy

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the team ice dance short dance figure skating competition at Sochi on Saturday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:37 am

Controversy is nothing new to figure skating, so perhaps it's not surprising that team figure skating, new to this Olympics, has already come in for some unwanted attention. The Russian and U.S. figure skating teams are strongly denying reports that they are in collusion.

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Shots - Health News
8:46 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Birth Control And Blood Clots: Women Still Weighing The Risks

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:28 pm

The drug company Merck, maker of the NuvaRing contraceptive, says it will pay out $100 million to settle thousands of liability lawsuits from women who say they were harmed by using the product.

These women say that the birth control method put them at greater risk of life-threatening blood clots, and that they were not adequately warned of that risk.

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The Edge
8:14 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Speedskaters Get A Little Help From Their Friends

From left: U.S. Speedskaters Kelly Gunther, Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson and Sugar Todd are aiming for Olympic glory in Sochi, Russia.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:15 pm

Speedskating is the U.S.'s most successful winter Olympic Sport. In Sochi this year, great things are expected again.

The secret to their success includes talent, skill and hard work, but there's also a network of support that buoys the team.

Two-time gold medalist Shani Davis is looking to win a history-making third: He would be the first speedskater to win the same event in three different Olympics.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Bangladesh Factory Owners Surrender In 2012 Fire That Killed 112

A Bangladeshi police officer walks between rows of burned sewing machines in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Nov. 2012.
Khurshed Rinku AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:59 am

The owners of a Bangladesh garment factory that caught fire in 2012, killing 112 workers, have surrendered to police to face homicide charges.

Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, were charged in December but remained free until their surrender on Sunday. The couple were denied bail. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Tazreen Fashions factory, which produced clothing for retail giants such as Wal-Mart, lacked emergency exits and other safety measures.

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Afghanistan
7:33 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Plan Aims To Assure Afghanistan Aid Goes Where It's Supposed To

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

This coming week, the U.S. Agency for International Development plans to announce a new monitoring program that is designed to keep track of the aid dollars being spent in Afghanistan. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Larry Sampler, head of USAID programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Sunday Puzzle
7:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Break Loose, Break Loose, Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Break Loose." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word has a long-A vowel sound (as in "break"), and the second word has a long-U vowel sound (as in "loose").

Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Sam Williamson of Charlevoix, MI, and it's a two-part question: where in most homes will you see the words SHE and HIS ... and what word will you see right after HIS?

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Author Interviews
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Seed Librarians, Stone Carvers And Sheepherders Along The Hudson

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Travel can take on many modes: Air, bus, boat, car — and how about going a few hundred miles by bicycle?

One day in the spring of 2012, English designer and photographer Nick Hand set off on his bicycle from Brooklyn, New York, and traveled north up the Hudson River, collecting the stories of local artisans he happened to meet along the way.

Hand put all those stories together in a new book called Conversations on the Hudson, and he tells NPR's Rachel Martin that he found inspiration in a similar journey he'd already taken around the British coastline.

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Author Interviews
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

A Vietnamese Pioneer, Modeled On An American Legend

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Pioneer Girl is the story of a young woman whose brother has disappeared. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with author Bich Minh Nguyen about the novel, and its connection to the writer Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Music Interviews
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Handy Ambassador To New Zealand's Music Scene

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New Zealand is famous for a lot of different things: sheep, stunning vistas, even Hobbits. And one of the specific island's most notable musical exports is a guy named Neil Finn. He took to the stage in the 1980s with the chart-topping kiwi bands Split Ends and Crowded House. Neil Finn has also had a strong solo career. And his new album, "Dizzy Heights," comes out Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NEIL FINN: (Singing) You must reveal your inter sorrow. Show what you're made of, don't know what you're afraid of...

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History
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Collecting The Letters Of Wartime

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Letters written in a time of war reflect almost universal longing and loss, no matter the century or the enemy. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Andrew Carroll, the director of the Center for American War Letters, about his personal collection of wartime correspondence from every American conflict, going back to 1776.

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