This week, music is bringing Americans and Russians together in a way that policy discussions never can. And don't call that a cliche in front of the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
If U.S. relations with Russia have hit a sticky patch over Syria and other issues lately, that didn't stop the Chicago Symphony from thrilling a Russian audience this past Wednesday night, just as it did on its last visit — to the then-Soviet Union in 1990.
If the rule of threes holds, it's a strange time to be a U.S. governor. From bears in bird feeders to snoozing to Springsteen, Melissa Block recounts a trio of oddball things governors from Vermont, North Dakota and New Jersey have had to deal with in the last week or so.
In Myanmar, there are signs in the most unlikely places that people are starting to believe recent political reforms are for real, and aren't just a trick.
Take a recent performance of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe in the northern city of Mandalay.
The troupe performs in the family home — it's not allowed to perform in public. Its biting political satire, aimed at the generals and their cronies, has made the troupe a favorite of Western tourists and diplomats.
Investigators in New York City are ripping up the basement of an apartment building in hopes of solving a decades-old mystery: What happened to 6-year-old Etan Patz? The first-grader was walking alone to his school bus stop when he disappeared. Melissa Block talks to journalist Lisa Cohen, author of After Etan: The Missing Child Case that Held America Captive.
The U.S. Forest Service has a cow problem: six dead cows. They were discovered inside a cabin, piled up and frozen solid in the Colorado backcountry. The cabin is at Conundrum Hot Springs at 11,200 feet, accessible only by a precipitous hike. And rangers are trying to figure out how to get rid of the carcasses before they decompose.
Scott Snelson is district ranger for the Aspen-Sopris District at the White River National Forest where the cows were found. And he joins me now.
If diet is destiny, then modern humans should thank our ancestors for their ability to eat just about anything.
Two new studies peek into the distant past to try to figure out just how big a role food played in human evolution. One says that eating meat made it possible for early human mothers to wean babies earlier and have more children.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here in California, broadcasting from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. And just outside the Golden Gate, of course, is the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest body of water on Earth, and its trenches are also the deepest. You could put Mount Everest into some of them, and the top would not even peek out.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:08 am
A Dutch virologist is considering his full range of legal options if his government refuses to lift the restrictions it has put on his controversial bird flu research, and matters could quickly come to a head after a meeting next Monday that will be attended by U. S. observers.
There's another bit of tragic news to report today: 43 people are dead after a truck crashed into a passenger bus in eastern Mexico today. Authorities told the AFP that the incident happened after a trailer came loose and hit a bus carrying agricultural workers headed to work.
The French go to the polls Sunday to choose among 10 candidates for president, and opinion surveys suggest the outcome will be a runoff between the two main figures, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:16 am
Smoking is bad. Quitting smoking is hard. But exercising can make quitting easier, and make sliding back into smoking less likely.
That's the word from a big new study, which tracked the health and habits of 434,190 people in Taiwan from 1996 to 2008. Smokers who got just 15 minutes of exercise a day were 55 percent more likely to quit than were people who weren't active at all. And those active smokers were 43 percent less likely to relapse when they did quit.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here in California, broadcasting from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. And while you might think Silicon Valley or biotech when you think of Northern California, this part of the state is also home to some of the biggest names in the movie business.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 2:50 pm
A year after an uprising threatened Bahrain's monarchy, the royal family is hosting a Formula One Grand Prix race this Sunday as it attempts to show life has returned to normal.
But racing fans will have to make their way through ranks of police and soldiers who are part of a heavy security presence. And riot police have been using tear gas, stun grenades and birdshot to hold back demonstrations around the capital city, Manama.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:06 pm
A photograph published by ABC News this morning shows what the network says is the head of George Zimmerman covered in blood. ABC News says the picture was taken minutes after Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin to death.
The 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting, but he has maintained that he shot Martin, who was unarmed and on his way back from buying candy and tea, in self defense.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 2:23 pm
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we are going to go to Sweden, where a cake and a minister who seemed to have too much fun cutting it have sparked international protests. We'll tell you more about this in just a few minutes.
But first, it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. Catholic parishioners in the Cleveland area were thrilled this week when Bishop Richard Lennon announced he will reopen 12 churches.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Earth Day is Sunday and in anticipation of that we're going to spend some time revisiting one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation's history: the BP oil spill. It's been exactly two years since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded some 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.
A video that caused a sensation in Mexico for using child actors to highlight the country's social and political challenges has been removed from both YouTube and the website of Nuestro Mexico Del Futuro (Our Mexico of the Future), the group that produced it.
Judge Kenneth Lester says George Zimmerman can go free as he awaits trial if he posts a $150,000 bail.
Lester said as a condition of his release, Zimmerman would be electronically monitored, could have no contact with Trayvon Martin's family and would be prohibited from possessing firearms or using alcohol. He will also be on a curfew and have to check in every three days.
The judge said once he is assured that security measures have been met, Zimmerman will be freed.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 11:55 am
UPDATE at 11:50 a.m. EST:
The Associated Press quotes Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhar as saying the 737-200 went down in a farm field of a relatively unpopulated area just a few miles from the international airport in Islamabad.
Mukhar said it was unlikely that anyone had survived.
Pakistani television showed wreckage of the plane, including parts that appeared to be the engine and the wing up against a small building, AP says.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 11:27 am
Arithmetic can be quite enlightening sometimes. One of the country's top agricultural economists just fiddled with the government's balance sheet on crop insurance, and arrived at a shocking conclusion: We'd spend billions of dollars less than we do now if we just gave away a simplified version of the insurance for free.
When John Paton Davies died, he left some unfinished business. His daughter, Tiki Davies, knew he had signed a contract to write a memoir but never finished it. One of her sisters had a carbon copy of the manuscript, which Tiki Davies started typing into a computer.
TIKI DAVIES: What was interesting to me about retyping it is that it's very much in his voice. He was very funny and an elegant speaker as well as a writer. And so I felt as though I had him back for the couple of months I did this.
Drummer and singer Levon Helm was a founding member of The Band. Helm and his group played as a backup band for Bob Dylan in the 1960s. Later the band became famous enough to simply be called The Band.