Nation/World

Pages

National Security
1:53 am
Wed May 29, 2013

For Ailing Vets In Rural Areas, Tele-Medicine Can Be The Cure

Tommy Sowers, assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, meets with vets at the VFW Hall in Nome, Alaska.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:05 pm

Howard Lincoln of White Mountain, Alaska, doesn't always hear it when people knock on his door. He's 82 and he still has a little shrapnel in his jaw from a mortar shell that nearly killed him in the Korean War 60 years ago.

"We heard it whistling, but I was the third one in line running toward the bunker," he recalls.

Wounds to his face, arm and hip laid him up in a Tokyo hospital for quite a while. But he recovered, came home to Alaska in 1955 and says he never applied for Veterans Administration (now the Department of Veterans Affairs) benefits.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:52 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Political Battles Still Dog Redistricting In California

California Citizens Redistricting Commission members sign resolutions certifying the final vote for new legislative and congressional maps at the Capitol in Sacramento in 2011.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:47 am

In most states, the power to draw lines for political districts rests with legislators. In recent years, California voters have tried to make the process less political by taking it out of lawmakers' hands. But not everyone is happy with how things are turning out.

To understand redistricting in California, consider this: Over a 10-year period beginning in 2000, there were 255 congressional races, and only one seat — that's right, one seat — changed parties.

Read more
Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

One More Swing: 'Casey At The Bat'

Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 10:03 am

Frank Deford puts aside his gripes this week to pay tribute to the poem by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner 125 years ago June 3.

The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Head Of White House Economic Council To Step Down

Alan Krueger, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, shown in November.
Jacquelyn Martin Associated Press

Alan Krueger, the chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, says he will step down to return to Princeton to resume his post as a professor of economics.

Krueger, who has served as CEA chairman for the past two years, will return to Princeton in time for the beginning of the fall term. The Associated Press quotes a source familiar with the situation as saying Jason Furman, who served in President Obama's 2008 campaign, will be tapped as a replacement.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:36 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Why Bob Dole's Advice To His Party Fell Flat

Bob Dole, the former U.S. senator and Republican Party leader from Kansas, during his Fox News Sunday interview.
Fox News Sunday screenshot

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:26 pm

The reaction was predictably negative: When former Sen. Bob Dole on Sunday criticized how far the current party has shifted right and advised fellow Republicans to take a timeout for a party self-examination, conservatives almost immediately dismissed him as an anachronism.

One of the few — if not the only — Republicans who seemed willing to openly support the 1996 GOP presidential nominee and former Senate party leader Tuesday was another marginalized former senator, Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine.

Read more
Environment
5:13 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Gulf Coast States Get Creative With BP Oil Spill Money

Tourists watch as workers clean oil from the sand along a strip of oil that washed up on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 10:29 am

Gulf Coast states are lining up to spend $1 billion from BP on coastal restoration. The money is part of BP's legal responsibility to restore the Gulf of Mexico's natural resources in the aftermath of the worst oil disaster in U.S. history.

But the nature of some of the state projects, including boat ramps and a beachfront hotel, is raising questions about just what counts as coastal restoration.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:13 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Novel Examines Afghanistan War From A Pakistani Perspective

The sun sets just east of Chaman, Pakistan, near the Afghan border, on Nov. 8, 2001.
Laura Rauch AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:43 am

Two young men — foster brothers in love with the same woman — leave their small Pakistani town for Afghanistan in late 2001. Jeo, a medical student, wants to help wounded civilians and Mikal is there to look after Jeo, but their good intentions aren't enough to keep them safe in an increasingly dangerous war zone.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

VIDEO: Derailment Near Baltimore Causes Huge Explosion

Mark Paugh carries his 15-month-old son Ryan as they watch smoke from a train derailment in White Marsh, Md. on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:00 pm

The good news first: No deaths have been reported in a train derailment near Baltimore, Md., this afternoon.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

For Chris Christie, Obama Connection Has Risks, Rewards

President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie walk along the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, N.J., on Tuesday. Obama traveled to New Jersey to join Christie in touring the Jersey Shore and inspecting its recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:51 pm

President Obama's second trip to New Jersey to meet with Republican Gov. Chris Christie post-Superstorm Sandy was accompanied Tuesday with a familiar flurry of speculation.

The first time, last fall, Christie's gracious welcome of the president raised questions about whether it might affect Obama's re-election just weeks later.

This time, the questions were inverted: How might Christie's own presidential aspirations be affected by his friendly proximity to the president?

Read more
The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Wal-Mart To Pay $81 Million For Hazardous Waste Dumping

A photo from earlier this month taken in front of a Wal-Mart store in La Habra, Calif.
Jae C. Hong Associated Press

Wal-Mart Stores has agreed to pay $81 million in penalties as part of a guilty plea on criminal charges of improperly disposing of hazardous waste in California and Missouri.

Prosecutors said the violations occurred between 2003 and 2005 and included employees negligently dumping pollutants from stores into sanitation drains.

The Associated Press reports that the plea agreements announced Tuesday "end a nearly decade-old investigation involving more than 20 prosecutors and 32 environmental groups."

Read more
Business
4:15 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Cruise Industry Adopts Passenger 'Rights' As Incidents Mount

Damage on the Royal Caribbean ship Grandeur of the Seas is visible as the ship docks in Freeport, the Bahamas, on Monday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:43 am

About 2,200 passengers were being flown back to Baltimore on Tuesday, a day after their cruise ship caught fire on its way to the Bahamas. There were no injuries aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas.

But in the wake of the incident and others like it, the cruise ship companies have something of a black eye. The industry is now trying to reassure passengers it's OK for them to sail, adopting what it called a passenger "bill of rights."

Read more
Monkey See
4:15 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Comikaze: Not Just The Other Comic Convention

Last year's Comikaze, seen here in September 2012, attracted tens of thousands of attendees.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:43 am

You may be familiar with the San Diego Comic-Con, a constantly expanding convention for fans that started as a niche event for comic-book nerds and is now a sprawling pop-culture event.

Read more
Music News
3:52 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Coming Home: The Woody Guthrie Center Opens In Tulsa

Outside the Woody Guthrie Center, there's a large mural of Guthrie holding his guitar bearing the phrase, "This Machine Kills Fascists."
Brett Deering WireImage

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:43 am

Woody Guthrie's relationship with his home state has always been complicated. The singer-songwriter left Oklahoma and traveled the nation, composing some of the best-known songs of his time and ours. But to many in the state, his progressive political views did not fit with a strong conservative streak during the Cold War period. His reputation there is now closer to a full restoration as Oklahoma opens his archives.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Forgotten For Decades, WWII Alaskans Finally Get Their Due

Frankie Kuzuguk, 82, gets a hug from his daughter Marilyn Kuzuguk at Quyanna Care Center in Nome, Alaska, after receiving an official honorable discharge and a distinguished service coin from visiting Veterans Affairs officials. The VA is still tracking down the few surviving members of the World War II Alaska Territorial Guard or delivering benefits to their next of kin.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:43 am

Alaskan Clyde Iyatunguk grew up hearing stories about the U.S. Army colonel, Marvin 'Muktuk' Marston, who helped his father trade his spear for a rifle, to protect his homeland during World War II.

Marston is a household name with Native Alaskans. The nickname comes from an Eskimo eating contest — muktuk is whale skin and blubber, eaten raw.

After the Japanese reached the Aleutian Islands in 1942, Marston traveled by dogsled across Alaska looking for volunteers who knew how to fight and survive in the Arctic terrain.

Read more
NPR Story
3:45 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

After Long Wait For Combat, Tad Nagaki Became POW Liberator

After serving in World War II, Tad Nagaki returned to Nebraska to farm corn, beans and sugar beets.
Courtesy of Mary Previte

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:43 am

Sixteen million men and women served in uniform during World War II. Today, 1.2 million are still alive, but hundreds of those vets are dying every day. In honor of Memorial Day, NPR's All Things Considered is remembering some of the veterans who have died this year.

"Tad Nagaki was a gentle, quiet farmer," says Mary Previte, a retired New Jersey legislator and former captive of the Japanese during World War II. That quiet farmer, who did extraordinary things, died in April at the age of 93 at his grandson's Colorado home.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Little Dog Does A Big Job In Oregon

Xander, a pug mix, lost both his eyes in an accident. He now works as a therapy dog, and visits groups such as this class at a daycare center.
Steven Silton Herald and News

He can't see, and he's not very big — but as dogs go, Xander the pug is having a big impact on his community in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The blind pup has even made the front page of the local paper, for bringing empathy and happiness to people for whom such things are in short supply.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Bird Flu Shrugs Off Tamiflu In 'Concerning' Development

The H7N9 virus, as seen with an electron microscope.
CDC

Chinese doctors report they've seen signs that the bird flu virus infecting humans is able to overcome one of the few drugs used to fight it.

In a report published online Tuesday by The Lancet, doctors report on 14 patients infected with the H7N9 virus and admitted to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in April. All the people came down with pneumonia, and two died.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Hacking Death Of U.K. Soldier Prompts Anti-Muslim Attacks

A supporter of the far-right English Defense League gestures near Downing Street in central London on Monday.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:35 pm

There's been a sharp rise in anti-Muslim attacks and intimidation in the U.K. since last week's hacking death of British soldier Lee Rigby by two men who said they killed him in the name of Islam.

The Guardian newspaper says that Tell Mama, a hotline for reporting such attacks, registered 193 incidents by Monday evening, including 10 attacks on mosques.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Each Family May Have Schizophrenia In Its Own Way

Genetic changes in signaling pathways in the brain may cause schizophrenia.
iStockphoto.com

Schizophrenia runs in families, but scientists have been stymied in their efforts to nail down genetic changes that could be causing the often devastating mental illness.

By zeroing in on just one pathway in the brain, scientists say they've found genetic variations that are shared in families, and tend to cause specific symptoms.

Read more
Pop Culture
2:34 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

What Happens To Spelling Bee Kids? Years Later, The Prize Is Perspective

Srinivas Ayyagari onstage in 1992 (left); at right, Ayyagari today. "Seeing someone from ESPN commenting on your style and strategy was bizarre and weird. But it's the closest I'll ever come to being an athlete," Ayyagari says.
Srinivas Ayyagari

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 1:25 pm

For an academic contest pitting young spellers against the dictionary, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken on the intensity of the fiercest athletic events. Feeling the warmth of television lights — not to mention nerves and distractions — all while sports commentators are analyzing your "style" and approach is something only a select club of young word-nerdy Americans gets to experience. How does that early experience affect these mostly middle-school-aged kids later in life?

Lasting Memories

Read more
The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Supreme Court Declines Review Of Planned Parenthood Case

The Supreme Court declined to intervene in a case involving Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

In the first Planned Parenthood defunding case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices have refused to disturb a lower court decision that barred Indiana from stripping Medicaid payments to the organization.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:56 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared

Stephen King delves into the seedy underworld of carnies for his latest novel, Joyland.
Hard Case Crime

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:29 pm

For 20 years, Stephen King has had an image stuck in his head: It's a boy in a wheelchair flying a kite on a beach. "It wanted to be a story, but it wasn't a story," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But little by little, the story took shape around the image — and focused on an amusement park called "Joyland" located just a little farther down the beach.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Three Years In A Row, Australia Named Happiest Place By OECD

The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated for the Vivid Sydney festival on May 24, in Sydney, Australia.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 11:13 am

If you lived in Australia, you'd be much happier.

At least that's what you can glean from the latest Better Life Index issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which ranked Australia the world's happiest nation for a third year in a row.

Because we know you're wondering: The United States is ranked No. 6, behind Australia, Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

Read more
The Salt
1:40 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Oh, This Is Fattening? Teens Ignore Fast Food Calorie Counts

Teen boys are far less likely than girls to check out calorie counts before biting into that burger, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:28 am

"Make that a large fry and Coke!"

This is what came out of my 13-year-old son's mouth this weekend on the way back from a camping trip.

After I'd ordered him a kids' meal at the drive-thru, he interjected to change the order. (I let it go, this time, since he's lean and we don't frequently eat fast food.)

But think of those extra calories. Or not.

Apparently, not too many boys his age are inclined to check out calorie counts (or other calorie information) when they eat out.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

London Attack Suspect Leaves Hospital; More Charges Filed

A Nov. 23, 2010, photo shows Michael Adebolajo (center, in dark T-shirt) with suspected Al-Shabab recruits who were arrested by Kenyan police. Adebolajo, one of the main suspects in the brutal murder of a soldier in London, was discharged from the hospital Tuesday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:14 am

One of the suspects in the murder last week of British soldier Lee Rigby has been released from the hospital and is in police custody. Michael Adebowale, 22, received treatment after being shot by police following the brutal attack on Rigby in Woolwich, London. The other main suspect, Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains in the hospital.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Somali Militants Claim To Have Shot Down U.S. Drone

A 2007 file photo released by the Department of Defense, An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle.
Larry E. Reid Jr. Associated Press

A suspected U.S. reconnaissance drone has crashed in a region of southern Somalia controlled by the al-Shabab militant group, a governor of the region says.

Abdikadir Mohamed Nur, the governor of the Lower Shabelle region, told Reuters that al-Shabab had shot down the aircraft over the coastal town of Bulamareer, south of the capital, Mogadishu.

"Finally they hit it and the drone crashed," he said.

Read more
Food
1:19 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Spicy Spectacles: The Hunt For The World's Hottest Pepper

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:57 pm

Part of a competition in Northeast India, Pu Zozam ate five chili peppers, then collapsed. Food scientists call the Bhut Jolokia he ate one of the world's hottest peppers. Writer Mary Roach talks about her experience traveling to the state of Nagaland to try the pepper for herself.

Around the Nation
1:17 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Tact, Tone And Timing: The Power Of Apology

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. I was heading out to do an errand a while back and I decided to drive, and as I approached my car, which was parked in the street, I walked up from behind and, drat, I spot the rear taillight has been smashed, somebody obviously trying to park behind me had bumped into it and cracked it open.

Read more
Digital Life
1:11 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

What's Happened To Wonder? The Bliss Of Confusion

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:12 pm

As children, we are allowed to be confused, lost, and full of wonder. As adults in the age of Google, we are expected to project confidence, knowledge and understanding. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, talks about how learning a foreign language reignited his imagination.

Around the Nation
1:09 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

The Business And Science Of Storm Shelters

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. A small hole in the ground, that's all it looked like the other day in the photo of the Christian Science Monitor, published in its coverage of a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, a small hole in the ground surrounded on all sides by the wreckage of totally flattened homes, right up to the very edge of that hole in the ground, which oddly is rectangular in shape in the photo and has a door attached to it, flung open.

Read more

Pages