From NPR News

Pages

Afghanistan
2:22 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Neighbors: Suspect In Afghan Attack Was Family Man

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (left), the U.S. soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., on Aug. 23.
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 12:59 am

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier alleged to have killed 16 Afghan civilians, was described by a former platoon leader Saturday as an "awesome" soldier.

"He always got the job done," said Cpt. Christopher Alexander, who led Bales on his second tour in Iraq. "You give this guy a task — it could be menial, it could be dangerous — either way, you never had to worry about whether he'd get it done and get it done well."

Read more
U.S.
10:38 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Soldier Suspected In Afghan Shootings Identified

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. We now know the name of the American soldier who's in custody for killing 16 Afghan civilians last weekend. NPR has confirmed he is Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. And for more, we're joined by NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Tom, the name has been withheld now for nearly a week since that shooting happened. Why is it out now?

Read more
Music Interviews
6:27 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Moot Davis: A Rocker With A Honky-Tonk Heart

Moot Davis' new album is Man about Town.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Though guitarist Moot Davis grew up a New Jersey rocker, he had an appreciation for country music thanks to his West Virginian parents. But it wasn't until he saw a certain cola commercial that he really turned a corner.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Reports: Officials Identify Soldier Suspected Of Shooting Afghan Civilians

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (left), the U.S. soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., on Aug. 23.
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 4:42 am

Pentagon officials say Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is the soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children.

While a profile of him is not yet detailed, now that his name has been made public one is beginning to emerge.

Bales is a 38-year-old father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash. with a good military record. His neighbors describe him as friendly and "full of life."

His lawyer has said that he's been injured twice and that this Afghanistan deployment was his fourth tour and he was adamant about going.

Read more
Election 2012
5:55 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Incumbents Face Off In Illinois After Redistricting

Rep. Don Manzullo, a 10-term veteran, campaigns in Belvidere, Ill., on March 5.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:20 pm

Redistricting is forcing a handful of congressional incumbents of the same party to run against each other in primaries. On March 6, Rep. Marcy Kaptur defeated fellow liberal Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Ohio.

And next Tuesday, two conservative Republicans square off in Illinois.

The scene is the newly drawn 16th Congressional District, which covers mostly rural territory in the northern part of the state, curving around the suburbs and exurbs of Chicago, from the Wisconsin border north of Rockford to the Indiana border east of Kankakee.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:54 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

'Invisible Children' Co-Founder Arrested In San Diego

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 6:09 pm

Over the past couple of weeks, Invisible Children has been in the news quite a bit. First because a video produced by the organization acheived viral success and shone a spotlight on the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

Then, because the video caused controversy when some said it glossed over a complex issue.

Read more
Election 2012
5:06 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Buying A Political Ad? Let A SuperPAC Foot The Bill

There has been one constant throughout the GOP campaign — Mitt Romney and the superPAC that supports him have vastly outspent his rivals.

Read more
Economy
4:51 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

The Market's Finally Looking Up: Will It Last?

Trader Peter Tuchman reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 13. That same day, the Dow Jones industrial average had its highest close since 2007.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 pm

The stock market hit some major milestones this week: The Standard & Poor's 500 index reached its highest level in more than three years, the Dow Jones industrial average settled in above 13,000 — up about 24 percent since early October — and the Nasdaq rose to its highest level in 11 years. Still, the Federal Reserve has been warning not to get too excited about where the economy is headed next.

David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, says there are a bunch of reason for stocks to be rising.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Egyptians Rally In Cairo To Protest Acquittal Over 'Virginity Tests'

An Egyptian woman shouts anti-military Supreme Council slogans during a demonstration in front of Cairo's high court on Friday.
Amr Nabil AP

Hundreds of Egyptians rallied in Cairo today to protest the recent acquittal of a military doctor charged with forcing "virginity tests" on female activists.

The AP reports:

Read more
Three Books...
4:05 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Pioneers Of The Sky: 3 Books That Take Flight

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 6:44 am

Today, flying is like riding a bus. But it wasn't always that way. Vaulted from the sands of Kitty Hawk and freed from military exigencies by the end of World War I, aviation soared into the 1920s and '30s on a direct course to tomorrow. Here are three flyers who not only helped open the skies, but also brought literary gems back from the cutting edge of progress, from a time when flying was the most exciting thing in the world.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:55 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Obama Spreads (Tele)Phony Story About Long-Dead President

President Rutherford B. Hayes actually was a big fan of the telephone, despite President Obama's assertion otherwise.
AP

Poor Rutherford B. Hayes. It wasn't bad enough that the 19th president, a Republican, was called "His Fraudulency" by Democrats during his one term in office (1877-1881) because of the unusual circumstances of how he "won."

Now, the current occupant of the White House, President Obama, was spreading a most assuredly inaccurate story, according to experts, about Hayes' reaction to an early telephone.

Read more
The Salt
3:02 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Drunk On Biology For St. Patrick's Day

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 8:15 am

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Louis Pasteur joined The Clancy Brothers? Or if The Chieftains were more nerdy and less talented? Well, wonder no longer!

I wrote this song about the science of beer last year and the folks at The Salt asked me to dust it off in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

In a vaguely Irish style, the song salutes that hero of beer production, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and explains the biochemistry of inebriation.

Read more
NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Week In Politics: On GOP Primaries And Obama Campaign

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to follow the money now with our regular Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Welcome back to you both.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

BLOCK: And I want to start with a hypothetical question. What would this primary contest, do you think, have looked like without superPACs and without the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision? David Brooks, a very different race?

Read more
NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

'This American Life' Retracts Apple Story

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The public radio show THIS AMERICAN LIFE has retracted a lengthy story it ran in January. The report painted an ugly picture of working conditions at Chinese factories where they manufacture iPhones and iPads. The story focused on a monologue told by performer and activist Mike Daisey about his interviews with factory workers. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins me now. And, David, this was THIS AMERICAN LIFE's most popular podcast. How are they explaining their decision to retract the story?

Read more
Law
3:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Supreme Court Allows Same-Day Audio In Healthcare Case

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Here's one more piece of legal news. The U.S. Supreme Court will make same-day audio available of the upcoming arguments on the health care overhaul. The court says it's responding to extraordinary public interest in the case. Here's NPR's Nina Totenberg.

Read more
Theater
3:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

'Edith Can Shoot' Centers On Precocious Young Girl

Isabella Dawis plays the protective 12-year-old Edith in the Mu Performing Arts production of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, by Rey Pamatmat.
Michal Daniel Mu Performing Arts

Edith is "too old to be talking to a stuffed frog and too young to be carrying a gun."

That's how Rey Pamatmat describes the main character — who carries both items — in his play Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them.

Pamatmat's play premiered at the prestigious Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky last year. Since then, it's been playing at regional theaters around the country.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
2:51 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Supreme Court Will Release Same-Day Audio Of Health Care Arguments

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will make available same-day audio of upcoming oral arguments later this month, arguments that could determine the fate of the Obama health care overhaul.

Read more
NPR Story
2:42 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

David Edestein Reviews 'Casa De Mi Padre'

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

At age 44, Will Ferrell has played an anchorman, championship NASCAR driver, ice skater, an elf, and George W. Bush. What's his next challenge? Making a movie in which he speaks nothing but Spanish. The Mexican-set action comedy "Casa de mi Padre" is directed by Matt Piedmont, who collaborated with Ferrell on his website Funny Or Die. Film critic David Edelstein has a review.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

'This American Life' Retracts Mike Daisey's Apple Factory Story

Mike Daisey in a scene from "The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs."
Stan Barouh AP

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 4:16 pm

A highly popular episode of This American Life in which monologuist Mike Daisey tells of the abuses at factories that make Apple products in China contained "significant fabrications," the show said today.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:32 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

What Ails Illinois Could Be Romney's Tonic

Union members rally outside of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's office on Feb. 2, demanding pay raises he withheld. Quinn said the state doesn't have the money to cover the raises.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 12:42 pm

Illinois is in the worst fiscal shape of any state in the country.

Its pension system is $85 billion short of what it will need to pay promised retirement benefits, while it's already $8 billion behind on its everyday bills — money for schools, hospitals and private vendors for work already done and approved.

All of that could be good news next week — at least politically — says Illinois state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Editor Who Misled 'Oregonian' About Colleague's Death Is Fired

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 2:14 pm

The "family friend" who told The Oregonian that its editorial page editor was in his car on Saturday when he died of a heart attack turns out to have been another editor at the newspaper. She says she was trying to protect Caldwell's family from the public embarrassment that would come with the truth: that he had been in the apartment of a young woman with whom he was allegedly having sex.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:30 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Wisconsin Target Of Recall Decides To Quit Instead

A Wisconsin GOP lawmaker facing a recall election called it quits Friday and said she hopes the state can get past scenes like this gathering of protesters in Madison on March 10, 2012.
Barbara Rodriguez AP

What happens if the target of a recall election decides to call it quits before the actual election?

If it's Wisconsin, the recall election apparently happens anyway.

Read more
Education
1:25 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Violence In Schools: How Big A Problem Is It?

Students at Gardena High School in Gardena, Calif., lined up for a security check before school in January 2011.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:45 am

When an Ohio high school student killed three classmates in a shooting rampage several weeks ago, it once again brought a national spotlight to a problem widely believed to be epidemic in schools.

The reality, experts say, is exactly the opposite: Violent crime in schools has decreased significantly since the early 1990s.

Read more
Planet Money
1:06 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Why Are Some Countries Rich And Others Poor?

Haiti's brown landscape contrasts sharply with the rich forests of its neighbor Haiti-Dominican Republic Border, South Of Dajabon, Dominican Republic.
National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 5:37 pm

Why are some nations rich and others poor? In a new book called Why Nations Fail, a pair of economists argue that a lot comes down to politics.

To research the book, the authors scoured the world for populations and geographic areas that are identical in all respects save one: they're on different sides of a border.

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Sizing Up America's High-Tech Talent

Business and political leaders have repeatedly warned that America's scientists and engineers are in short supply. However, some economists say the numbers indicate the opposite — a glut of high-tech workers. A panel of experts debate whether America's schools produce the scientific workforce needed to compete globally.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Mount Everest Still Holds Mysteries For Scientists

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

The world's tallest peak. It's so iconic. It's so classic. You'd think we'd have learned everything there is to know about it by now, but you'd be wrong. Scientists still can't even agree on the exact height of the mountain. And what's more, they're not even sure what kind of rocks the mountaintop is made of.

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Teenager Launches LEGO Shuttle Into Space

Estimated altitude for this flight was about 115,000 feet, says Raul Oaida, 18-years-old. Raul launched the shuttle, along with a video camera and a GPS tracker, by way of a large helium balloon. Flight time was about three hours--the shuttle landing about 150 miles south of where it took off.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Adam Riess: One Cosmic Puzzle Solved, Many To Go

Astrophysicist Adam Riess shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for his work on distant supernovae, which demonstrated that the universe was not only expanding--but that its expansion was accelerating. Now he's hunting for clues that might explain why, and one of the prime suspects is a mysterious force known as dark energy.

The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

In Cities Around The Globe, People Line Up To Buy Apple's New iPad

Lines outside the Apple Store in Covent Garden to buy the new iPad on Friday in London, England.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

It's just an update, but people made lines in cities around the world to buy Apple's latest incarnation of the iPad.

Look at this line outside an Apple store in London:

And this scene at a Manhattan Apple store:

NPR's David Folkenflik was in New York City and he filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"In Manhattan, lines wrapped full city blocks at Apple Stores last night as fans waited to buy the new device in person — and that's just for an upgrade on the iPad.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
12:41 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

When Fruit Flies Strike Out, They Like To Booze It Up

Hey, losers, which way to the bar?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 5:04 pm

Have pity on these poor fruit flies.

Researchers made a bunch of male fruit flies into boozehounds by pushing them on females unreceptive to their advances.

After a few days of striking out, the male losers, referred to as the "rejected-isolated" group in a study published online by Science, drowned their sorrows in alcohol.

Read more

Pages