Nation/World

Pages

The Two-Way
6:12 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Book News: John Hollander, Master Of Poetic Forms, Dies At 83

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:55 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Attacks, Reprisals And Church Burnings As Egypt Teeters

In Cairo, soldiers have put barbed wire around the constitutional court, one of many government institutions under guard.
Amina Ismail MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 10:22 am

The news from Egypt, where more than 900 people have died and thousands more have been wounded since the interim government began cracking down on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi last Wednesday, remains grim:

Read more
Around the Nation
5:52 am
Mon August 19, 2013

What Do You Do When Your Cable TV Goes Out?

Here's one thing not to do: call 911. Police in Fairfield, Conn., had to remind residents Sunday night that a cable drop-out is not "an emergency or a police-related concern." They added that misusing the 911 system can result in arrest.

Around the Nation
5:52 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Redheads Flock To Portland For World Record Attempt

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Redheads usually stand out in a crowd, though not at the Portland Redhead Event. More than 1,300 gathered in Portland, Ore., over the weekend - which it hopes is a new world record.

To qualify, participants had to produce pictures of their younger selves and their naturally red hair. If confirmed, this would be Portland's third record this summer. The others? The largest gathering of people hugging trees and the longest floating human chain.

Business
3:52 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Consider Wedding Insurance To Get Hitched Without A Hitch

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:52 am

The average cost of an American wedding cost more than $28,000 last year. Travelers insurance is now offering wedding insurance. There's coverage for failed wedding pictures, the caterer goes out of business, gifts go missing, etc.

NPR Story
3:38 am
Mon August 19, 2013

U.S. Family Of Ill Prisoner Wants North Korea To Release Him

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
3:38 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Democrats And Republicans Push Obama To Get Tough With Egypt

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

After a weeklong vacation, President Obama is back at the White House, though not for long. He's getting ready for a bus tour later in the week to promote his policies on the economy and education. The president is also dealing with demands from both political parties that he get tougher with the Egyptian military, as violence rages in Egypt.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:28 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Hitting The Road Without A Driver

Carnegie Mellon's autonomous car, developed with General Motors, is by all appearances a normal Cadillac SRX crossover — except for the big red button in the middle of the dashboard. In an emergency, the button allows the car to be switched immediately back to standard driving mode.
GM-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 1:19 pm

The cars we drive have gotten ever more sophisticated. They can just about park themselves; they tell us if we're drifting out of our lane; they can prevent skids. Some even automatically apply the brakes if they sense that a collision is imminent.

Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are developing a car that can do all of those things and more — it can actually drive itself. Imagine that commute to work.

Read more
Books
2:07 am
Mon August 19, 2013

For You To Borrow, Some Libraries Have To Go Begging

The Tyson Library in Ludlow, Vt., is required to support itself independently; public libraries in Vermont receive no state funding.
Neda Ulaby NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 3:14 pm

More than 90 percent of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities, according to the Pew Research Center. But the way that love translates into actual financial support varies hugely from state to state.

Vermont, for instance, brags that it has more libraries per capita than any other U.S. state. Some of them are remarkably quaint. In Ludlow, one library is a white clapboard Victorian, slightly frayed, ringed by lilies and sitting by the side of a brook.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:06 am
Mon August 19, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act

From left, Garrett Berntsen, Jennifer Majer and William Shields compare notes at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. Twenty-somethings have new choices under Obamacare.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 10:06 am

The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system.

Read more
Code Switch
2:05 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Not Just A 'Black Thing': An Asian-American's Bond With Malcolm X

Kochiyama looks at a memorial for World War II Japanese-American internees at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Rohwer, Ark., in 2004.
Mike Wintroath AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 12:22 am

The brief friendship of Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama began close to 50 years ago with a handshake.

Diane Fujino, chairwoman of the Asian-American studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, details the moment in her biography Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama.

Kochiyama and her eldest son, 16-year-old Billy, were arrested along with hundreds of other people, mainly African-Americans, during a protest in Brooklyn, N.Y., in October 1963.

Read more
Parallels
2:04 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Sun, Sand And The Seine: The Beach Comes To Paris

People enjoy the sun next to Pont Neuf bridge as "Paris Plage, or Paris Beach, opens along the banks of the Seine river in Paris, on July 20. The annual free event brings a half-mile of beach into the heart of the French capital.
Christian Hartmann Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:48 pm

It's a hot day in Paris and kids run in and out of giant sprinklers set up on the banks of the Seine river not far from Notre Dame cathedral at a place called Paris Beach, or Paris Plage.

Among the wet, excited children are the Obadjia sisters — 4-year-old Judith and 7-year-old Eve. The girls say they come to this magic place every year with their mother and brother, crossing town in a bus to get here.

"I love Paris Plage because we can watch the boats go by," says Judith.

"And when it's hot we can cool off here in the sprinklers," adds big sister Eve.

Read more
Afghanistan
2:03 am
Mon August 19, 2013

In Kabul, A Juggling Act That Offers Joy For Afghan Kids

Students at the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children participate in the juggling parade on the streets of Kabul before Afghanistan's eighth annual national juggling championship last week.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:52 am

Morning traffic in Kabul can be punishing enough as it is. But on a recent day, there's an extra element clogging up the streets, a scene you don't see on a typical day in the Afghan capital.

Read more
Europe
2:02 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Ai Weiwei Exhibit Shines Light On Time As Political Prisoner

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's six iron boxes are part the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale of Arts in Venice, northern Italy. The work on display is called S.A.C.R.E.D. The four initials standing for supper, accuser, cleansing, ritual, entropy and doubt, and referring to Ai Weiwei time 81 days in detention in 2011.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:52 am

Chinese dissident artist and architect Ai Weiwei is an outspoken critic of China's record on human rights. This year, Beijing prevented him from traveling to Venice for the first exhibition of a deeply autobiographical work. His most recent installation is an excruciatingly detailed depiction of the period he was held in solitary detention.

In a quiet corner close to a canal, Sant'Antonin is a typical 17th century Venetian church. But inside, the contrast between the paintings of old masters and the contemporary exhibit is stark.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:29 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

This artist rendering provided by NASA shows Voyager 1 at the edge of the solar system.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 1:52 pm

The Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. It kept on going. Today it's billions of miles from Earth, and scientists have been predicting it will soon leave the solar system.

NPR has been on Voyager watch since at least 2003, when longtime science correspondent Richard Harris provided this warning of Voyager's impending departure.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:23 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Cars In America: Is The Love Story Over?

Classic cars of all makes and models drive the 16-mile stretch along Woodward Avenue during the annual Dream Cruise in 2009 in Ferndale, Mich. During the annual event, the glory days of car culture return, if only for a day.
Jerry S. Mendoza AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:29 pm

Almost as soon as they started rolling off the assembly lines, automobiles became synonymous with freedom. And in the post-World War II boom our relationship with cars intensified.

It was about horsepower, status, being American, and for young people: rebellion. For generations cars inspired countless songs, books and movies. But now there are signs that our car culture is losing some of its shine.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:23 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

A Dystopian View Of America's 'Fallen' Suburbs

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:03 pm

The suburbs can be a creepy place. And they are at their creepiest in Patrick Flanery's new novel, Fallen Land. Set outside an unnamed American city, this dark and complex thriller plays out in a half-built subdivision where construction ground to a halt during the housing crisis.

Read more
Music
4:23 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

A Year After Its Debut, The Song 'Cups' Becomes A Hit

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CUPS GAME)

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Does that sound familiar? You may recognize "Cups" as a rhythmic game from your childhood or from the song "Cups" which is on Billboard's hot 100 as the number six song in the country right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CUPS")

ANNA KENDRICK: (Singing) When I'm gone. When I'm gone. You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.

GONYEA: That's Anna Kendrick in a version of the song from the movie "Pitch Perfect," which came out last year. Since then, it's blown up. Why is it so popular all of a sudden?

Read more
The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

U.S. Investigators Launch Probe Of JPMorgan Chase In China

The office of the locally incorporated JPMorgan Chase Bank in Beijing.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 3:49 pm

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation of JPMorgan Chase's operations in China, reportedly looking into whether the investment bank hired the children of high-ranking Chinese government officials in an effort to secure business.

The Wall Street Journal quotes from an SEC filing that says U.S. regulators are investigating "business relationships with certain clients."

Read more
The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Penn State Reaches Settlement With First Of Abuse Victims

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case in October of last year.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 2:43 pm

A man who claimed sexual abuse by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the university, the first of numerous such claims expected to be resolved in the coming days.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:47 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

What's My Real Cancer Risk? When Online Calculators Don't Compute

Whether or not you'll someday get cancer or any disease can feel like a roll of hundreds of dice. Calculating the odds --€” and knowing what they mean --€” is tricky.
Katie Harbath Flickr

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 10:31 am

Online risk calculators are all the rage these days among public health groups trying to get us to change our unhealthful ways. The World Health Organization developed an online tool that lets you estimate your personal risk of cracking a hip in the next 10 years, for example. You just plug in data about yourself, your lifestyle, and your family medical history.

Read more
Books News & Features
1:22 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Fans Are Like Friends To 'Reigning Queen' Of Women's Fiction

Debbie Macomber's latest book is Rose Harbor in Bloom.
Deborah Feingold

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:12 pm

Go to your nearest paperback rack, and odds are, you'll see two or three, or four, or — well, a lot of books by Debbie Macomber, an author The Sacramento Bee has dubbed "the reigning queen of women's fiction."

Macomber has 170 million books in print; the newest, Rose Harbor in Bloom, has just been released. Her publisher, Random House, celebrated Macomber's selling power earlier this month with a fan retreat at the Gaylord Opryland resort in Nashville, where 400 women gathered for a weekend of tea, knitting and literary friendship.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Koreas Set Talks To Resume Cross-Border Family Reunions

South Korean Kim Jung-Man, right, bids farewell to his North Korean relative before they return to their respective homes on opposite sides of the border in November 2010.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 3:14 pm

North Korea has agreed to talks with the South to resume cross-border reunions of families separated for decades by the most militarized border in the world.

On Sunday, a spokesman for the Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, said it had agreed to talks, hosted by the Red Cross, that are to take place on Sept. 19 at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort.

In the past, temporary thaws in bilateral relations have allowed some families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War to meet briefly at the border.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:08 am
Sun August 18, 2013

China's Disgraced Politician Bo Xilai Goes On Trial This Week

Bo Xilai at the opening of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 2012, six months before his expulsion.
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 3:22 pm

China's Bo Xilai, the one-time Communist Party chief of Chongqing who is accused of bribery, corruption and abuse of power, will go on trial this week in the culmination of a case that has highlighted wrongdoing in the top rungs of the country's political ranks.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:42 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Scotland Yard 'Assessing' New Information In Diana Death

A photo taken in the Alma Tunnel in Paris on the night of Aug. 31, 1997, shows the smashed Mercedes in which Princess Diana and her companion Dodi Al Fayed were passengers.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 3:33 pm

Scotland Yard says it is "assessing [the] relevance and credibility" of new information relating to the 1997 death of Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed in a Paris car crash.

The Metropolitan Police would not say what the information entailed or where it came from, but that it was "not a re-investigation" of the case.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:34 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Philippine Navy Still Hopes For Survivors From Ferry Crash

A relative of one of the missing passengers writes down contact numbers on Sunday at the office of the ferry involved in a collision, in Cebu City.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 4:15 pm

Divers in the Philippines are making scant progress in their efforts to recover survivors — or bodies — from the scene where a ferry sank after colliding with a cargo ship near the central port city of Cebu.

About 35 people have been confirmed dead from MV Thomas Aquinas, which was carrying more than 800 passengers when it was struck late Friday and then sank within minutes.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:07 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Egypt Tense After Bloody Crackdown On Protests

Mourners attend the funeral of Ammar Badie, son of the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, at the Katameya cemetery in the New Cairo district on Sunday. Badie was killed in clashes with security forces.
Ed Giles Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 12:51 am

This post was updated 1:00 a.m. ET Monday

The Egyptian government says at least 36 people were killed Sunday — Islamists who had been in custody of security forces, according to a report in The New York Times.

Read more
Middle East
5:41 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Cairo Mosque Is A Protest Flashpoint

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. At least 800 people have been killed in Egypt since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi last month and the subsequent protests launched by his supporters. Yesterday, a Cairo mosque was the scene of a struggle between police and soldiers and Morsi supporters who had taken shelter there.

Read more
Middle East
4:29 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Obama Struggles To Find Effective Egypt Policy

President Obama delivers a statement on Egypt at his vacation home on Martha's Vineyard on Thursday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:00 pm

The Obama administration is in a difficult situation with its Egypt policy.

President Obama, who often talks about free speech and human rights, has cancelled joint military exercises with Egypt but has stopped short of cutting off aid to the Egyptian military. As the violence continues in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, all sides seem unhappy with the U.S. approach.

In 2009, on his first trip to the Middle East as president, in the same year he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama spoke of a new approach to relations with the Islamic world.

Read more
Parallels
4:29 am
Sun August 18, 2013

What's Next For Egypt: 3 Scenarios

Supporters of the deposed Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, carry an injured demonstrator who was shot during clashes in Ramses Square in Cairo on Friday. Dozens were killed nationwide in escalating violence.
AMR ABDALLAH DALSH Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 11:27 am

For two years, the conversation on Egypt centered on how to build a democracy. Suddenly the discussion has turned much darker, with some wondering aloud whether the largest Arab nation is hurtling toward civil war.

The bloody crackdown by Egypt's security forces has raised the specter of a protracted conflict pitting the military against the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's most powerful political force.

Egypt's escalating crisis is far too volatile for any declarative statements, analysts say. But here are three possible scenarios that could play out:

Read more

Pages