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Movie Reviews
5:42 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Music Doc Packs 'Muscle' (Plus A Whole Lotta Soul)

Roger Hawkins, a member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as the Swampers), is just one among the many musicians captured in this documentary about the famous town.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 9:32 am

Most fans of '60s soul know of Muscle Shoals, the tiny Alabama town that produced huge hits. But only the genre's most studious followers will be able to watch Muscle Shoals without being regularly astonished: Even if it sometimes gets lost in its byways, Greg "Freddy" Camalier's documentary tells an extraordinary story.

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Shots - Health News
5:33 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

A Penicillin Shortage Hinders Treatment For Rheumatic Fever

Streptococcus pyogenes shouldn't be taken lightly. Left untreated, an infection with germ can trigger an autoimmune disease that damages the heart.
NIAID/Flickr.com

We often take antibiotics for granted. If you catch strep throat, a round of penicillin can clear it up in a few days.

But because of a curious drug shortage, in many parts of the world it's now easier to get HIV drugs than an old-fashioned form of penicillin that prevents heart damage from rheumatic fever.

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U.S.
5:31 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Fresno Officials Dismantle Homeless Encampments

A former encampment. Fresno officials have dismantled three shantytowns.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

Any day now, Fresno plans to raze a large homeless encampment that's grown up near downtown. The poor, farm-dependent city in California's Central Valley has one of the highest per capita homeless populations in the country.

In recent weeks, city officials there have dismantled three other sprawling shantytowns. The moves have displaced hundreds of people and sparked controversy.

Underneath Highway 180

Fresno is one of the poorest places in America. One in 4 people here live below the poverty line, and the recession only made things worse.

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The Two-Way
5:29 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Russia Agrees To U.N. Resolution On Syria's Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:12 pm

Russia, along with the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have agreed on a resolution concerning Syria's chemical weapons, the U.S. said today.

The draft resolution, a senior State Department official said in a statement, calls for oversight of Syria's surrender of chemical weapons and calls for "consequences" if Bashar Assad fails to comply.

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The Salt
5:20 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Doctors Say Changes In Wheat Do Not Explain Rise Of Celiac Disease

About 40 years ago wheat breeders introduced new varieties of wheat that helped farmers increase their grain yields. But scientists say those varieties aren't linked to the rise in celiac disease.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:09 am

Wheat has been getting a bad rap lately.

Many folks are experimenting with the gluten-free diet, and a best-selling book called Wheat Belly has helped drive a lot of the interest.

"Wheat is the most destructive thing you could put on your plate, no question," says William Davis, a cardiologist in Milwaukee, Wis., who authored the book.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Scientists Find Sea Louse Has Tidal 'Body Clock'

The speckled sea louse.
Wikipedia Commons

One thing you can say about the diminutive speckled sea louse: it's always on time.

Scientists studying the tiny crustacean, a marine cousin of the wood-louse, found that it runs not one, but two internal clocks. Not only does the creature have a circadian rhythm, or so called "body clock" like most land-dwelling animals, including humans, but it also has a circatidal clock that follows the 12.4-hour cycle of the tide.

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The Salt
5:10 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

McDonald's Says Bye-Bye To Sugary Sodas In Happy Meals

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's has made a commitment to stop marketing sodas as a beverage option in kids' Happy Meals.

Instead, the chain has committed to market and promote only milk, water and juice with the children's meals.

Now, if parents order a Coke or Sprite with their child's Happy Meal, they won't be turned down. But sodas will no longer be marketed or promoted visually in any of McDonald's advertisements or in-store visuals.

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Education
4:59 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Student Loan Changes Squeeze Historically Black Colleges

Students and alumni line up at Howard University in Washington, D.C., before August's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Nathaniel Grann The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:46 pm

Stricter lending guidelines for federal school loans have made it harder to borrow money for college. Changes made in 2011 to the PLUS loan program especially have hurt historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, over the past few years.

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Found Recipes
4:59 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Hash Browns To Soothe Any Homesick Midwesterner

If someone asked for onions and green peppers fried into his hash browns, the crunchy grated spuds became "glorified." Amy Thielen shared a recipe for All Things Considered's Found Recipe series.
Amy Thielen for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:09 pm

Ten years ago, when Amy Thielen moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., she and her husband bemoaned the lack of hash browns in the city. She says there were ample breakfast places serving home fries or sliced potatoes cooked with peppers and onions — but no hash browns.

"My husband would often rail when we would sit down to a plate of home fries," Thielen says. "He would say, 'Where is the dividing line? Where do hash browns stop in the United States?' "

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Music Reviews
4:59 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

After 40 Years, Mulatu Astatke Still 'Sketches' Ethio-Jazz Deftly

Mulatu Astatke is known as the father of "Ethio-jazz." His new album, Sketches of Ethiopia, is a multinational collaboration that mixes many styles but stays true to Astatke's Ethiopian roots.
Alexis Maryon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

It is bold indeed for any jazz artist to evoke Miles Davis' landmark album Sketches of Spain. But Mulatu Astatke, like Miles, is a true original.

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Around the Nation
4:59 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Putting Good Deeds In Headlines May Not Be So Good

Glen James holds a special citation while facing reporters with Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis during a news conference at police headquarters on Sept. 16.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

An online collection has raised more than $145,000 for a man who stumbled onto a pile of money and turned it over to police.

Glen James' story of a good deed is just one of many making headlines. It may not be exactly brand new, but public interest does seem to be piqued these days by ordinary folks making what are seen as extraordinary ethical decisions.

Some, however, question if airing this kind of "good" news is actually good.

A Series Of Good Deeds

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Study: Effectiveness Of U.S. Drone Strikes Doubtful

Pakistani tribal villagers hold a rally in the capital, Islamabad, in 2010 to condemn U.S. drone attacks on their villages.
B.K. Bangash Associated Press

U.S. drone strikes carried out in Pakistan appear to have little impact on insurgent violence in neighboring Afghanistan, according to a new meta-study published by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.

But the study also finds that strikes carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles cause fewer civilian casualties than other kinds of combat and that those deaths don't appear to be linked to further violence against U.S. forces and allies.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Police: San Francisco Killing Was Sparked By Baseball Rivalry

A general view of the field at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:56 pm

The rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants added another dark chapter to its history this week: Police said today that Wednesday night's stabbing death near San Francisco's AT&T Park was sparked by a baseball rivalry.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Republican Tactics Slow Down Obamacare Prep

An online course for Affordable Care Act "navigators" in Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:23 pm

As Republicans try to figure out how to defund President Obama's health care law, some members of the party are attacking Obamacare on other fronts, too.

One House committee is investigating groups that were contracted to educate people about how to enroll, and the tactics are slowing down preparation for the rollout of the health care exchanges scheduled next Tuesday.

Investigating The "Navigators"

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Education
4:05 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

College Board 'Concerned' About Low SAT Scores

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

The College Board, sponsor of the SAT, says latest scores show that roughly 6 in 10 college-bound high school students who took the test were so lacking in their reading, writing and math skills, they were unprepared for college-level work.

The College Board is calling for big changes to better prepare students for college and career.

Stagnant Scores

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It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Tea Party Strains GOP's Ties To Big Business

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks at a Sept. 10 Capitol Hill rally against Obamacare.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:10 pm

Is the GOP still the "party of business"?

With the party's long-standing and ongoing push for lower taxes and fewer regulations — both in Washington and in state legislatures — Republicans can reasonably make that claim.

Yet some of the congressional Republican rhetoric in the battle over a continuing resolution, the debt ceiling and defunding Obamacare makes it clear that there's a significant amount of tension between the party and the business community.

Much of the strong language comes from the Tea Party and its friends on Capitol Hill.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'Out In The Dark,' Where Nothing Is Black Or White

Nicholas Jacob (Nimr) and Michael Aloni (Roy) are star-crossed lovers of a different stripe in the Israeli drama Out in the Dark.
Ran Aviad Breaking Glass Pictures

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 7:25 am

Paving the way for a brand-new subgenre — the gay romantic thriller — the atmospheric neo-noir Out in the Dark tells of a Palestinian university student who seeks refuge from the homophobia of his traditionalist West Bank village in the more gay-friendly atmosphere of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'What We Are': Fresh, Grade A Horror, (Re)Made In America

In We Are What We Are, Iris (Ambyr Childers, right) must take up the responsibility of ... let's say "putting food on the table" for the Parker clan, including her younger sister Rose (Julia Garner, left).
Entertainment One

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:41 pm

The best advice for those looking to remake foreign horror movie hits? Don't.

At best, the results tend to be well-made but redundant copies (The Ring, Let Me In). At worst, the misbegotten rehashes that result miss capturing the originals' frights so completely that they nearly take their inspirations down with them (The Grudge, The Vanishing). Everyone's better off if you just leave these things be.

Unless you're Jim Mickle.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

For Richer And For Poorer, But What Of That Vanishing Middle?

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, takes a look at growing income disparity in Inequality for All.
Radius/TWC

The U.S. financial sector's 2007-2008 swoon hurt a lot of people, but it's been a bonanza for documentary filmmakers with an interest in economics. The last five years have seen dozens of movies about the dismal science, most of them pegged to the Great Recession.

The latest is Inequality for All, a showcase for former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich. (He served under Bill Clinton, who borrowed much of his fellow Rhodes scholar's rhetoric, if fewer of his prescriptions.)

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Theater
3:51 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars

In a Broadway transfer of the American Repertory Theatre's acclaimed production of The Glass Menagerie, Cherry Jones plays Amanda, mother to the very troubled Laura (Celia Keenan-Bolger). The play cemented Tennessee Williams' reputation as an American original when it premiered in 1945.
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

Pop-culture aficionadoes will know Zachary Quinto as Spock in the cinematic reboot of Star Trek, and Cherry Jones as President Taylor from television's 24.

But both are accomplished stage actors as well. And tonight, they're opening on Broadway, in a revival of Tennessee Williams' classic play The Glass Menagerie.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

A Look At Parkinson's As Michael J. Fox Returns To TV

Michael J. Fox returns to television tonight with the debut of "The Michael J. Fox Show." (NBC)

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:03 pm

It’s been 22 years since Michael J. Fox was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — and 15 years since he famously told Barbara Walters that he would be cured of Parkinson’s before his 50th birthday.

That didn’t happen, but neither did his doctor’s stated expectation that he would have only about 10 more years to work in television.

Fox makes his return to television tonight — no longer trying hide his Parkinson’s symptoms, as he did during his six years on “Spin City.”

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Panera CEO Takes The Food Stamps Challenge

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:03 pm

Ron Shaich, the CEO and founder of Panera Bread lived on a food and beverage budget of $4.50 per day for a week.

That figure is about the same amount someone receiving food assistance would get per day.

He joins Here & Now to share what he’s learned from the experience.

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NPR Story
3:45 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Popular Science Disables Online Comments

(ccarlstead/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:03 pm

The magazine Popular Science is turning off its user comments, citing a study from the University of Wisconsin that shows readers exposed to rude or insulting comments reported a skewed view of the information they read in the article.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'How Much Will Obamacare Cost Me?' Try Our Calculator

No envelope backs required for this health care calculation.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:13 pm

On Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, the federal health law's marketplaces for individual health insurance are scheduled to open for business.

Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014, or else they'll be liable for a tax penalty.

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World Cafe
3:13 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Pokey LaFarge On World Cafe

Pokey LaFarge and his band, the South City Three.
Courtesy of the artist

Pokey LaFarge transports listeners to a bygone era on Thursday's installment of World Cafe. Along with his band, LaFarge has turned his modern reverence for roots music into a full-time gig. The perceptible influences in his work range from bluegrass to Western swing to country blues. Whether you call it old-fashioned, dated or throwback, the Missouri-bred musician embraces it fully; he even dresses the part.

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Parallels
2:56 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Even As It Criticizes The U.N., The U.S. Relies On It, Too

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks at the United Nations on Tuesday. The U.S. and Iran are taking part in talks Thursday, looking for a possible breakthrough after years of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:56 am

The United Nations has never been a model of efficiency. Critics denounce it as a pointless talking shop. President Obama and his U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, have expressed reservations, if not outright frustration, with the world body.

Yet as the U.N. General Assembly holds its annual session, the U.S. has gone to the U.N. to address its two most pressing diplomatic challenges — Syria and Iran.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig To Retire After Next Season

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in 2011.
Patrick McDermott Getty Images

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will retire after the 2014 season, Major League Baseball said on Thursday.

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All Songs Considered
2:34 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

The Good Listener: Does Using Spotify Make You A Bad Person?

Will listening to music streaming services land you here in the afterlife?

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the online pharmacy's monthly supply of the pills that allow us to trudge productively through this waking life is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, an ethical query about online streaming services.

Andrea Sauceda writes via Facebook: "Does using Spotify (and/or other streaming services) make you a bad person?"

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Health
2:34 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Big Pharma And Meth Cooks Agree: Keep Cold Meds Over The Counter

Key methamphetamine ingredient pseudoephedrine is most easily found in cold and allergy medicines.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:11 pm

Millions of Americans have seen the fictional world of meth use and production in AMC's Breaking Bad, but journalist Jonah Engle has spent a lot of time in the real world of meth.

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Music Reviews
2:34 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Bumpy, Bikers And The Story Behind 'Leader Of The Pack'

The Shangri-Las on the cover of the "Leader of the Pack" single.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:48 pm

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