From NPR News

Pages

Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

'I Wanted To Live': New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases

Chris Stephens, 28, who has been battling depression all of his life, plays with his dogs at home in Concord, Calif., on Friday. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says, "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life."
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:52 am

A club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.

That's because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who haven't responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.

Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain's serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and don't work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression.

Read more
Election 2012
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Golden Age: Florida Primary Centers On Seniors

Judy Youngblood of Jacksonville, Fla., appears at a rally at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel Monday, wearing earrings she made from campaign buttons supporting Newt Gingrich.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Just how important is the senior vote in Florida?

Nearly one in five Floridians is retired. And a survey conducted by AARP predicts that as many as 60 percent of those who cast ballots in Tuesday's Republican primary — 6 out of 10 voters — will be retirees.

If that number is surprising, AARP Florida director Jeff Johnson says it helps to remember that primaries typically have a low turnout.

Read more
Middle East
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Longtime Allies, Egypt And U.S. Now Have Differences

The U.S. is insisting that Egypt establish a full-fledged democracy and move away from military rule. Here, an Egyptian woman covers her head in a national flag as she demonstrates in a pro-democracy rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 27.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 7:50 am

For many years, top Egyptian officials coming to Washington could expect a warm welcome, with few points of contention.

But for a group of Egyptian generals now in the U.S., several points of friction are likely to dominate the agenda between the longtime allies.

Egypt doesn't like the new conditions U.S. lawmakers have placed on American aid. And the U.S. is furious with the way Egypt has been treating U.S. groups that promote democracy. At least three Americans have taken shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Report Prompts Calls To End Freddie Mac's Conflict Of Interest

A sign for Freddie Mac in front of its headquarters in McLean, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Several U.S. lawmakers and prominent economists on Monday said Congress and the White House should end a financial conflict of interest at the taxpayer-owned mortgage company Freddie Mac.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Death Toll Rises As Syria's Crisis Heads To U.N. Security Council

Syrian soldiers who defected join protesters in the al-Khaldiya neighborhood of the restive city of Homs on January 26, 2012.
- AFP/Getty Images

At least 100 people were killed across Syria today by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, activists said. The Local Coordination Committees, which organize protests on the ground and document the killings, said 76 people were killed in the restive central region of Homs.

The past five days have been some of the bloodiest since the uprising began last March, with about 387 people killed since Thursday, activists said.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
5:24 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Parents Cheat On Booster Seats, Despite Safety Risks

Booster seats reduce children's risk of injury by more than half.
iStockPhoto.com

Grade-schoolers are supposed to be riding in booster seats. But anyone who's ever chauffeured a bunch of second-graders can tell you that the day will come when you don't have enough boosters to go around. Faced with this obvious safety risk, most parents (including this one) buckle up the kids without boosters, and pray.

Read more
Economy
5:08 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Mortgage Giant Places Bets Against Homeowners

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Freddie Mac is a gatekeeper in the mortgage market. In many cases, the taxpayer-owned mortgage company controls who qualifies to refinance a mortgage and who doesn't. Well, NPR has learned that Freddie Mac has been making financial wagers, betting against American homeowners being able to refinance. And now some lawmakers want to put a stop to it. NPR's Chris Arnold has been reporting this story in partnership with ProPublica.org. He has this report.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Japanese Auto Parts Companies To Pay $548M In Fines For Price-Fixing

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 5:21 pm

One of the biggest antitrust investigations in the nation's history has led to fines of $470 million against one Japanese auto parts manufacturer and $78 million against another, the U.S. Justice Department announced today.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:55 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Sen. Jon Tester Decries Citizens United's Impact In Montana, Nationally

Because he sees Citizens United as subverting democracy, Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, proposes a constitutional amendment to reverse it.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 8:30 am

The contest for the seat held by Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, is one of the potentially close 2012 races that could ultimately decide whether Democrats maintain control of Congress' upper chamber.

As such, the battle is attracting attention from outside groups hoping their financial assistance will make a difference for both the first-term Democrat and his Republican challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg, the state's sole House member and a former lieutenant governor.

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:47 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

What The FBI Wants In A Social Media Monitoring App

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:02 am

The FBI has raised eyebrows in the tech world with a public document that asks for advice on how to harvest information from social networking sites.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Santorum Family's Trisomy 18 Saga Casts Spotlight On Sad Condition

Rick Santorum holds daughter Isabella, Monday, June 6, 2011, in Somerset, PA.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum was back on the campaign trail Monday after improvements in the medical condition of his hospitalized young daughter Isabella or "Bella."

Bella's pneumonia, linked to a severe genetic condition, forced the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania to cancel campaign events in Florida over the weekend.

But with the three-year old's turn for the better, Santorum headed to the Midwest to resume campaigning, forgetting Florida where Mitt Romney appeared headed for a big win Tuesday.

Read more
Election 2012
4:41 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

In GOP Primary Race, Can Steadiness Trump Passion?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Ring Power Lift Trucks in Jacksonville, Fla., on Monday. Polls show him widening his lead in Florida after adopting a more aggressive campaign style.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:02 am

Mitt Romney starts the week having undergone a transformation.

For almost a year, he tried to portray himself as the grown-up in the Republican race for the presidential nomination. Now, over the course of two debates and countless Florida campaign stops, the buttoned-up businessman is showing that he can get tough.

This shift has upended the yin-yang dynamic that has been playing out for weeks between the passionate, fiery Newt Gingrich and the staid, steady Romney.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

One Soldier's Progress Against Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the guests in the congressional gallery at last week's State of the Union address was Roxana Delgado, an advocate for soldiers returning home with traumatic brain injuries. Her husband, an army sergeant who NPR profiled in June, 2010, had been dramatically affected by the concussion he received from a roadside blast in Iraq.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:14 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Facebook IPO: Worth The Price Or Next Internet Bubble?

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2007. The company is expected to file papers for an initial public offering this week.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:02 am

Many investors are expecting Facebook to file papers for an initial public offering sometime later this week. The company, which was founded in a Harvard dorm room less than a decade ago, is expected to be valued at nearly $100 billion by Wall Street.

And if these early reports are true this is shaping up to be the biggest Internet IPO ever.

Read more
Europe
3:13 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Tables Are Turned On Crusading Spanish Judge

Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon (center) arrives at the Supreme Court in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 24. The crusading human-rights judge is on trial for his attempt to investigate the more than 100,000 disappearances during Spain's civil war in the 1930s and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Juan Medina Reuters/Landov

Thousands marched in Spain on Sunday in support of Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge who became an icon for human-rights activists when he indicted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

Now, Spain's most famous judge is on trial, after turning his investigations toward the country's own fascist past.

Garzon, 56, is a champion of universal jurisdiction — the idea that the most heinous crimes need to be prosecuted, no matter where or when.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:04 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Gingrich Calls For Panel To Look At Rules For In Vitro Clinics

While talking with the media outside the Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for a commission to look at new rules for clinics that perform in vitro fertilization.
Matt Rourke AP

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is changing another of his positions in an effort to woo socially conservative voters.

Over the weekend he told churchgoers in Florida that as president he'd work to ban research using stem cells derived from human embryos.

Gingrich has long been a strong backer of federal funding for scientific research. In 2001 his support extended to research on stem cells derived from human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization efforts.

But apparently that's no longer the case.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Lost In Translation: Because Of Twitter Joke, Brits Denied Entry To U.S.

Leigh Van Bryan.
Twitter

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:56 pm

Talk about lost in translation: Today's British press is buzzing with a story in the British tabloid The Daily Mail, which reports that two British travelers were denied entry into the U.S., after authorities uncovered two tweets.

In one Leigh Van Bryan quipped, "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America." And in another Van Bryan said that he was going to "dig up Marilyn Monroe."

Read more
The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Republicans, Democrats Aren't That Far Apart, Study Says

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, listening last week as President Obama (a Democrat) gave his State of the Union address.
Saul Loeb/pool Getty Images

If creatures from another planet are listening in on what our politicians and pundits have to say, they might think Democrats and Republicans are about as far apart politically as possible.

But there's new research that supports what many people already suspect: Most "real" Republicans and Democrats (that is, average Americans who have busy lives and aren't running for office or talking on TV), aren't that different when it comes to politics.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Romney Had Testy Target In Gingrich; Will Obama Likewise Oblige?

Will Mitt Romney be able to get under President Obama's skin the way Gov. Jan Brewer says she did?
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:26 pm

With Mitt Romney poised to win the Florida Republican primary, and maybe by a significant margin if the latest polls are correct, it's worth asking: how did the former Massachusetts governor manage to stop Newt Gingrich's surge coming out of South Carolina?

Read more
The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Secretary Clinton Heading To U.N. For Session Condemning Syrian Regime

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:56 pm

As reports come in about an escalation in fighting around Damascus and the deploying of army troops in the city's suburbs, the State Department just announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will go to the United Nations on Tuesday to join other nations in condemning the Assad regime's use of violence.

Read more
The Salt
1:01 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Pacific Mackerel Stocks That Feed Farmed Salmon In Decline

A Chilean purse seiner catches jack mackerel.
NOAA

Farmed salmon, that ubiquitous pink fish decorated with ribbons of fat, can thank the forage fish of the southern Pacific ocean – like anchovy and jack mackerel – for their calorie-rich diet. Indeed, more than 5 pounds of jack mackerel typically can go towards raising one pound of farmed salmon.

Read more
Middle East
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Syria's Uprising Escalates, World Mulls Options

Violence persists around Damascus as protesters continue to urge President Bashar al-Assad's to step down. The Arab League has suspended its monitoring mission and the United Nations Security Council is considering a resolution condemning al-Assad's regime.

Digital Life
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

How Online Paywalls Are Changing Journalism

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Paywall skeptic Clay Shirky long maintained that barriers to newspaper websites were counterproductive and self-defeating, that online readers accustomed to getting the news for free would find another way or another source of news.

Read more
Opinion
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Op-Ed: Israel Will Attack Iran In 2012

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Read more
Your Money
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

As Homeowners Struggle, Freddie Mac Benefits

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A report by NPR and ProPublica finds that Freddie Mac bet billions of dollars against homeowners' ability to refinance their mortgages. Public documents show Freddie Mac sought to make gains through complex securities which would make money for Freddie Mac, but homeowners with high-interest rate loans would not be able to qualify for refinancing. This is not illegal, but it does raise questions about a conflict of interest within a federally-owned company that is supposed to make getting a mortgage easier.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

At E.U. Meeting, Countries Expected To Agree That Austerity Is Not Enough

In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel speak at a meeting at the European Council in Brussels ahead of the European Union leaders summit on Monday.
Getty Images

European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the monetary union's ongoing economic crisis. According to The New York Times, the countries will decide that austerity is not enough to curb the sovereign debt crisis.

The Times reports:

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
12:43 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

A Bid To Replace Neglect For Tropical Diseases With Attention

An artist on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach puts the final touches on a sand sculpture of the assassin bug, which spreads Chagas disease. The sculpture was part of an event in 2009 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the disease.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:31 pm

Tropical diseases that have long been overlooked are getting their due.

An ambitious new push to eradicate, eliminate or control 17 scourges over the next eight years was just unveiled in London. The initiative brings together some of the world's largest drugmakers, health-oriented foundations and nongovernmental organizations. Governments from the developed world and the countries most affected by the diseases are also on board.

Read more
Animals
12:31 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Invasive Pythons Put Squeeze On Everglades' Animals

Nonnative pythons, like this one, are invading the Florida Everglades. As a top predator, the snakes have crippled the populations of rabbits, raccoons and other animals.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:02 am

Scientists are reporting that aliens are wiping out the animals in Florida's Everglades.

The aliens are Burmese pythons from Asia. They've been slithering around south Florida for decades. But scientists now say the constrictors are so bad, they're eating their way through the swamps. And the federal government has decided to take action to prevent their spread.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:26 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Intense Cold Kills 36 Across Eastern Europe

Bulgarian women walk during a snowfall in the village of Rakovski, northeast from capital Sofia.
Nikolay Doychinov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 11:30 am

While the United States has mostly escaped winter, the opposite has been true in Eastern Europe. The AP reports that an intense freeze has killed at least 36 people throughout eastern Europe. In some places, temperatures dropped to negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The AP adds:

Read more
Book Reviews
10:48 am
Mon January 30, 2012

'An Available Man': Love After Loss

cover detail

In my family, we referred to them as "the brisket brigade" — those single ladies of a certain age who began bombarding my brother-in-law with casseroles and commiseration soon after my sister-in-law died. It's a cruel fact of life that nobody plies widows with months of home-cooked meals and baked goods; as Jonathan Swift might have modestly proposed, widows might as well eat each other — there's a surplus supply of them, anyway. But, a new widower gets the Crock-Pots and the romantic fantasies all fired up.

Read more

Pages