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Environment
7:28 am
Thu July 26, 2012

In Drought-Stricken Midwest, It's Fodder Vs. Fuel

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

In the Midwest, the drought is doing a number on the nation's biggest agricultural crop, corn. The USDA says half of the country's cornfields are in poor or very poor condition, and the short supply is driving up the price. Now, a fight between livestock farmers and ethanol producers over the high priced corn crop. Farmers say ethanol factories have an unfair advantage.

NPR's Dan Charles reports.

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Asia
7:28 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Beijing Flooding Compared To Katrina

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In China, authorities are still counting the cost of heavy weekend flooding in Beijing. Officials now say 37 people died and more than 60,000 homes were damaged. Loses are estimated at nearly two billion dollars, but as NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing, some of the damage is to the government's credibility.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Thu July 26, 2012

'China's Katrina': Second City Flooded; Corruption, Incompetence Blamed

Residents look at a submerged bus on a flooded street amid rainfall in the Tianjin on Thursday. A much expected downpour bypassed Beijing Wednesday but battered the neighboring city of Tianjin instead, flooding many downtown streets and submerging vehicles.
China Daily Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:48 pm

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

Outrage in China about the dozens of deaths last weekend when Beijing's drainage system couldn't cope with heavy rains and much of the city was flooded has been followed by more frustration and anger today.

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Planet Money
4:45 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Meet The Drug Dealer Who Helps Addicts Quit

Suboxone is used in the treatment of opiate dependence.
Drugs.com

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 7:56 am

A prescription drug called Suboxone helps wean people off of heroin and pain pills, but addicts have a hard time getting prescriptions. So they're turning to the black market.

An Albuquerque man who goes by the name Mystery Man has stepped in to fill the void. He says he illegally sells Suboxone every day.

To get Suboxone, Mystery Man has to find a patient with a Suboxone prescription, and give that person the $50 co-pay to fill it. He gets that money by selling, among other things, crack and guns.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:16 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Treating Everybody With HIV Is The Goal, But Who Will Pay?

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:35 am

The big question hanging over the International AIDS Conference this week is whether all 34 million people in the world with HIV can possibly get antiviral drug treatment.

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Television
4:10 am
Thu July 26, 2012

At Bravo, A Pop-Culture Kingpin Works Day And Night

Andy Cohen on the set of his nightly Bravo talk show, Watch What Happens: Live. Cohen is also Bravo's executive vice president of development and talent, and has helped make Bravo a pop-culture heavyweight.
Heidi Gutman Bravo

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:35 am

Andy Cohen has been yakking for most of his 44 years. He has a book titled Most Talkative — a title he earned in high school.

"My mouth has been my greatest asset and also my biggest Achilles' heel," he says.

Most days, it's an asset.

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Latin America
4:09 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Acid Attacks A Rising Menace For Colombian Women

Maria Cuervo, 41, poses at her home in Bogota March 5 with a photo of herself before a stranger threw acid at her face in 2004.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:55 am

A brutal crime more commonly associated with Pakistan or India is now on the rise in South America: Jealous husbands, spurned lovers and, in a few cases, even perfect strangers are dousing women with sulfuric or nitric acids, literally burning off their faces.

In Colombia, the horrific trend is terrorizing women and alarming officials.

Among those disfigured by such an attack is Consuelo Cordoba, 51, who was assaulted a decade ago by her former partner and lives a life of endless physical and psychological pain.

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Business
4:09 am
Thu July 26, 2012

For Temp Workers, 'Temp' Looking More Permanent

Job applicants outside the Staffmark temp agency in Cypress, Calif., in 2005. Temp hiring is usually a harbinger of an improving job market, but some analysts say more employers may be considering temps as a more permanent staffing solution.
Ric Francis AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:11 pm

While the job market remains sluggish, temporary work is one area that's done very well in the economic recovery. Companies are keeping their temps longer and are even using them to fill professional and high-ranking positions.

The average daily number of temporary workers employed during the first quarter of 2012 was more than 2.5 million. That's up from a low of 2.1 million in early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association.

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Asia
4:09 am
Thu July 26, 2012

In Pakistan, Sounds Of A Different Kind Of Drone

Ibrahim Ahmad, the son of the owner of the Imperial Bagpipe Manufacturing Co., tests a bagpipe at a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan. The Pakistani city is the largest producer of the instruments most commonly associated with Scotland.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:35 am

Bagpipes and Scotland? Aye, it's a natural association: Played for centuries, the instrument is especially identified with the Scottish military and traditional Scottish dress, tartan kilts and shawls.

But bagpipes and Pakistan? Nae, you say? Think again.

Turns out no place in the world manufactures more bagpipes than Pakistan. And no city in Pakistan makes more of them than Sialkot.

Bagpipe Central

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Inside Rebel-Held Syria
4:08 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Unspinning The Narrative Of A Syrian Massacre

In this image provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network, a woman holds a child in front of their destroyed home in Tremseh, Syria, on July 14. The authenticity, content, location and date have not been independently verified.
AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:12 pm

Fourth of five parts

At least 100 people were killed earlier this month in a Syrian village called Tremseh. Activists called the deaths a massacre of innocent civilians by government forces, but later reports suggested it was something different. After spending a week with rebel fighters in the country, I discovered some previously untold details about the killings.

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The Two-Way
6:58 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Farewell, Buckyballs: Consumer Agency Files Suit Against Magnetic Toys

Buckyballs.
CPSC

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued its first stop-sale order in 11 years, saying the magnetic toys called Buckyballs "pose a substantial risk of injury to the public," Reuters is reporting.

The CPSC has been trying to curb injuries with this toy since 2010, when it issued a recall of Buckyballs intended for those 14 years and younger. But those efforts haven't helped, the agency said when it announced that it has filed a complaint seeking to stop the company from selling the product.

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It's All Politics
6:35 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Interviewing Scalia: Verbal Wrestling Match With A Master

Nina Totenberg interviews Justice Antonin Scalia at the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:31 pm

I've gotten a lot of email about my interview with Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday. People seem to have liked the story because they could see the justice as a human being — combative, funny, engaging and charming.

That's why I and so many other folks always enjoy spending time with him.

So, take this exchange from our interview. Only part of it was in my piece on air, or even the longer piece on the Web.

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Money & Politics
5:49 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Part Of Romney's Foreign Itinerary: Raising Money

A campaign sticker for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is seen on a sign for Romney Street in London on Wednesday, as Romney arrived to meet with leaders, hold fundraisers and attend the opening of the Olympics.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:29 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is on a weeklong trip in which he's scheduled to meet with three prime ministers, give two speeches and attend the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics. On a more practical level, he'll also raise some campaign cash.

This trip is designed to highlight how Romney would fix the failings he sees in President Obama's foreign policy.

Romney opened his attack Tuesday while still in the U.S. In an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., he lit into the Obama administration's relationship with Israel.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Gov. Brown Unveils New Water Tunnel Plans For California

Gov. Jerry Brown waits for the start of a news conference to announce plans to build a giant twin tunnel system to move water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farmland and cities.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:29 pm

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a new $23.7 billion proposal that would build a twin tunnel system to carry water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta over to the southern part of the state.

Water in Southern California has become an intractable problem. The frustration was evident at the press conference, when Brown dropped a four-letter expletive.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
5:15 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Flaws And All, Medicaid Can Improve Adults' Health

A budget crunch in Oregon led to an unintended experiment that helped researchers assess Medicaid's effect on adults' health.
iStockphoto.com

Among the reasons some governors say they're considering not expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act is that Medicaid is, well, not a very good program.

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It's All Politics
5:14 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pro-Obama SuperPAC Takes Aim At Romney's 'Olympic Gold'

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:31 pm

(UPDATED July 26) The ad described in the post below was pulled off of YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee, citing copyright violation, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

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Election 2012
5:12 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Black Business Owners Urge Obama To Aid Growth

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama poses with National Urban League President Marc Morial on Aug. 2, 2008.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:29 pm

President Obama's speech to the National Urban League conference in New Orleans on Wednesday night coincides with a debate over the role of government in helping small businesses succeed.

Some black Americans say they have an especially hard time when it comes to owning and operating their own businesses.

On the northern edge of New Orleans' French Quarter, Shaka Zulu and his wife, Na'imah, are trying desperately to protect a slice of local culture that sometimes gets lost here.

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Music Interviews
4:38 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

The Practical Side Of The Great American Jam Band

The Grateful Dead circa 1970. The band's members were quintessential rock hippies — but, a new exhibit reveals, savvy businessmen as well.
Gems Redferns

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:29 pm

The Grateful Dead's eponymous live album started it all for Nicholas Meriwether.

It was 1985. He was studying history at Princeton and got hooked by psychedelic jams like "Wharf Rat." After his first concert, he knew: "I will spend the rest of my life thinking and studying this."

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The Torch
4:26 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Fencer Mariel Zagunis Will Carry U.S. Flag In Opening Ceremony

Mariel Zagunis has been named the U.S. flagbearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Here, Zagunis celebrates a win in the individual sabre final at the Pan American Games last year.
Jorge Saenz AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:47 pm

Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist in sabre, has been named the U.S. flagbearer for Friday's Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Zagunis, who was chosen by her peers for the honor, will be the first fencer to carry the flag since 1968, when Janice Lee Romary led the U.S. team in Mexico City.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

'Truly Ironic': Sandy Weill Says Big Banks Should Be Split Up

Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup, in 2006.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:44 pm

Sandy I. Weill, the former Citigroup CEO who helped usher in the era of super banks, said during an interview with CNBC today that big banks should be split up.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:58 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

As Pain Pills Change, Abusers Move To New Drugs

Opana is the latest painkiller that's become popular with drug abusers.
Thomas Walker Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:29 pm

To the uninitiated, Austin, Ind., doesn't look like a town under siege.

In the maze of back roads off the city's main drag, the houses are close together. Some look rundown; others are well-kept.

For Jeremy Stevens, these are his former drug haunts. Steven says many of the homes are inhabited by people who abuse and deal prescription painkillers.

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The Salt
3:55 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Meat Producers And, Ultimately, Consumers Hurt By Drought

These piglets on the Hardin farm in Danville, Ind., are going to cost more to feed than they will fetch at market.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:13 pm

Despite headlines about the crushing drought that's afflicting much of the country's prime agricultural land, the USDA isn't expecting any dramatic increases in the price of food this year or next.

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The Salt
3:52 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

New Pizza Museum Offers A Slice Of American Food And Culture

Brian Dwyer owns the world's largest collection of pizza-related items. He plans to display some of his memorabilia, including pizza-themed music records, in a new museum-restaurant in Philadelphia.
Kimberly Paynter for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:23 am

Many foods have their own dedicated museums — like burnt food and mustard — so why not pizza? That's what Brian Dwyer, the owner of the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia, has wondered for a long time.

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Movie Interviews
3:42 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

For Ai Weiwei, Politics And Arts Always Mix

The famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is also a prominent dissident in his home country. His political side is the focus of Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Ted Alcorn IFC Films

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:49 pm

Last week, a Chinese court rejected artist Ai Weiwei's lawsuit against the tax bureau that had imposed a massive fine on his company. Ai was fined more than $2 million after being detained for three months last year.

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Environment
3:40 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Massive Ice Melt In Greenland Worries Scientists

Images released Tuesday show the extent of surface melt on Greenland's ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. By July 12, 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed.
AFP/Getty Images/NASA

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:53 pm

A pair of NASA satellite images taken just four days apart tells a potentially worrying story of melting ice in the polar summer.

The first, snapped from orbit on July 8, shows about 40 percent of the Greenland ice sheet shaded in pink or red to illustrate probable or confirmed surface melting. The second photo, taken on July 12, shows nearly the entire land mass — 97 percent — blotched in a red hue.

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The Torch
3:29 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Starts London Olympics With A Comeback Win

Carli Lloyd scores the U.S. team's winning goal, in a comeback win over France. The Americans are bidding for their third straight Olympic gold medal.
Graham Stuart AFP/Getty Images

On the first day of competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. women's soccer team bounced back from an early deficit to beat France, 4-2. The game was a rematch for the two teams that met in last year's World Cup semifinals.

France jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the match was 15 minutes old, scoring on a breakaway run by Gaetane Thiney; moments later, a short-range shot found the back of the net after several U.S. players failed to clear the ball following a corner kick.

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Movie Interviews
2:48 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Navajo Teens Make Tough Choices In 'Heartbreak'

Thomas Martinez stands in front of "The Wall," an inspirational collection of his accolades, at his father's house.
Anthony Thosh Collins

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 11:13 am

Like many high school students, Thomas Martinez and Tamara Hardy dreamed of leaving for college and finding their futures away from home. But both grew up on a Navajo reservation and were torn, between those aspirations and their strong ties to their poverty-stricken community.

Martinez struggles to balance the needs of his family with plans to run track in college. Hardy wants to earn an engineering degree away from home, yet like many Native parents, her mother and father are reluctant to see her leave.

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Economy
2:42 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pray For Rain: Food Prices Heading Higher

A "historically low inventory" of cattle and hogs is driving up meat prices, a trend that's expected to continue next year, USDA economist Richard Volpe says.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:30 pm

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Reports Finds 'Widespread Human Rights Violations' In Policing Of Occupy Protests

An Occupy Wall Street protestor is arrested in Zuccotti Park July 11, 2012, in New York.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:21 pm

The New York Police Department has shown "a pattern of abusive and unaccountable protest policing" during the Occupy protests, a wide consortium of legal experts detail in a report (PDF) issued today.

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Around the Nation
2:20 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Eagle Scouts Return Badges In Protest

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed the longtime policy of excluding openly gay Scouts and a ban on openly gay and lesbian adults as leaders. The Supreme Court ruled that this private organization is within its rights to do so. While many praised the group for upholding its values, some who earned the badge of Eagle Scout decided to return those coveted badges in protest. We'd like to hear from Scouts in our audience.

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