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Books
12:01 am
Mon February 27, 2012

'Space Chronicles': Why Exploring Space Still Matters

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says valuing space exploration "transforms the culture into one that values science and technology."
AP

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 12:02 pm

After decades of global dominance, America's space shuttle program ended last summer while countries like Russia, China and India continue to advance their programs. But astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of the new book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, says America's space program is at a critical moment. He thinks it's time for America to invest heavily in space exploration and research.

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News
4:46 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

'Hallwalkers': The Ghosts Of The State Department

Peter Van Buren says that although the State Department approved his book, State officials retaliated against him once it was published.
Torie Partridge

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:46 am

The halls of the State Department are haunted, not by actual ghosts, but by people who might as well be ghosts: whistleblowers, people who angered someone powerful and people who for one reason or another, can't be fired.

"People like me, that the State Department no longer wants, but for some reason can't or won't fire, are assigned to what we call 'hallwalking,'" says author Peter Van Buren.

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Presidential Race
4:29 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

Energy Fuels Newt Gingrich's Comeback Plan

Republican candidate Newt Gingrich is counting on his promise of $2.50-per-gallon gas to return him to front-runner status.
Evan Vucci AP

When voters in Michigan go the polls Tuesday, it's unlikely many will tick the box for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In part, that's because Gingrich has all but written off the state, leaving his opponents to fight over it.

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U.S.
3:57 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

What Happens If The Keystone XL Pipeline Isn't Built?

A mock oil pipeline near Cushing, Okla.
Brent Baughman/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:56 am

Part two of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline

Gas isn't like a rare bottle of wine that fetches a high price just because it's rare. But at the same time, no one can agree what drives gas prices. Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at its lowest point in more than a decade; domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

How Sugar Brought An End to Hawaii's Nationhood

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:40 am

If you've seen a Hawaiian tourism commercial, a beach movie, or even a cartoon with Daffy Duck in a lei and a grass skirt, you've heard the poignant strains of "Aloha Oe."

But the tune has a history stretching far beyond cartoons and commercials: It was composed in 1878 by the woman who would become the last queen of Hawaii, Lili'uokalani.

Hawaii is the only state to have once been an independent monarchy. And when Lili'u, as she called herself, was born in 1838, it was at its height.

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Sports
11:38 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Money Ends College Sport's Oldest Rivalries

The Kansas Jayhawks staged a dramatic comeback Saturday to defeat the Missouri Tigers 87-86. Never mind the exciting finish; this may the last time these two teams ever meet.

And it's not the only feud ending this season. College sports has now bid farewell to three of its very oldest rivalries.

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Africa
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Vote In Senegal Threatens Democratic Reputation

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. In West Africa, the people of Senegal are voting for their new president today after days of violent street protests. The sitting president, 85-year-old Abdoulaye Wade, has been in power for 12 years, and he is seeking a third term in office. His opposition rivals say that's illegal, and they insist the president must go now.

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Law
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Court To Seek Who's Responsible For Gulf Oil Spill

The first phase of a wide-ranging trial for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is scheduled to begin Monday. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Debbie Elliott and Jeff Brady, who will cover the trial.

Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Mich. Prospects Looking Up For Romney

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The Republican race for president heads to Michigan and Arizona this week. Both states hold primaries on Tuesday. Former Governor Mitt Romney was in Michigan yesterday, his campaign bus logging more than 250 miles across the state. He's fighting the recent surge of former Senator Rick Santorum.

Romney held three events in three towns - Lansing, Troy and Flint - and NPR's Ari Shapiro was with him at all three stops.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

How Many More Delegates?: A GOP Primary Explainer

Host Rachel Martin speaks with Nate Silver, who writes the FiveThirtyEight blog for The New York Times, about the mechanics of the GOP primary, the number of delegates apportioned so far and how future contests will determine the delegate count.

World
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

For And Against Putin, Russians Share Their Opinions

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

With a presidential elections just a week away, thousands of Russians formed a human chain around Moscow today to demonstrate for a, quote, Russia without Putin.

Much has been made of all the big opposition rallies held recently in Moscow and St. Petersburg. But Russia is vast, and its provinces are very different places than the major urban areas.

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Middle East
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Syrians Head To The Polls, Violence Continues

Syrians vote on a new draft constitution Sunday, though the opposition has called for a boycott. Violence has been reported across the country. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon about the latest on the bombardment of Homs and other developments in Syria.

World
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Ahead Of Vote, A Look Back At Russia's Changes

Host Rachel Martin talks to veteran Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner from Moscow about how Russia has changed since the days of glasnost and perestroika and under the hand of Vladimir Putin.

Middle East
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Syria: On The Brink Of Civil War?

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For a closer look at the chaos in Syria, we turn now to Jon Lee Anderson. He's a reporter for The New Yorker magazine, and last month he spent time in Syria, reporting on the rapidly devolving situation there.

We reached him at his home in England, and he told us about one moment that has stayed with him - his visit to a place called Clocktower Square, in Homs, the site of intense clashes over the past year.

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Media
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

A Brighter Future For Murdoch With 'Sunday Sun'?

The de facto replacement for The News of the World, The Sunday Sun, will premiere its first issue Sunday. Host Rachel Martin talks with Ray Snoddy, a British journalist, about what this means for Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Middle East
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

NGOs On Trial In Egypt

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to shift our focus to Egypt now, where the trial of 43 NGO workers has been adjourned until April. The Egyptian government has accused them of operating in the country illegally and spurring unrest. Many of those charged are American, including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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Monkey See
7:29 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Throwing An Oscar Bash? Here Are Some Ideas

Oscar fans in New York take a closer look at the statuettes on display during the "Meet the Oscars, Grand Central" exhibition at Grand Central Station on Feb. 22.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

Hollywood's elite are gathering in Los Angeles tonight for the Academy Awards. If you're hosting your own viewing party, here are some tips on how to keep your guests flush with Oscar-themed food, drinks and challenging trivia, courtesy of Dan Shapiro. He's a big-time movie buff and co-owner of Modern Bite Bakery in Los Angeles, and he knows how to host festive Oscar parties.

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National Teachers Initiative
5:29 am
Sun February 26, 2012

A Vietnam Vet Teaches More Than The Alphabet

Ron Cushman taught kindergarten and second grade for nearly 30 years. Jamie Marks, 16, is one of many students Cushman is still in touch with.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Ron Cushman's journey to teaching started when he was wounded in the Vietnam War. He joined the Marines in 1968, at the age of 19. He was severely injured the following year.

"I was a scout in the Marine Corps, and I must have stepped on a land mine or a booby trap. That's all I remember," he says.

Cushman's right hand was mangled and eventually amputated.

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The Salt
5:29 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Popcorn Gets Its Moment On The Red Carpet

Popcorn now comes candied in ruby red, indigo blue and more. And don't be surprised by the popcorn buffet at the next wedding you attend.
Bradley P. Johnson via Flickr

Popcorn and movies (or the Oscars) go together like Batman and Robin. And nowadays, options stretch far beyond plain or buttered.

Food critics call one brand the Rolls Royce and another the Prada. They are designer labels for the simplest, most American snack food.

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Presidential Race
5:28 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Why Mich. Catholics Favor The Mormon Candidate

Rick Santorum signs Joe Boulus' apron at a Lenten fish fry Friday in Michigan. Mitt Romney is ahead of Santorum among Catholic voters in the state, despite the fact that Santorum is Catholic.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are neck-and-neck in the polls in the run-up to the Michigan Republican primary on Tuesday.

One group that Romney appears to have an advantage with is Roman Catholic voters despite the fact that he is Mormon and Santorum Catholic.

The disconnect between faith and politics highlights differences among Catholics and shows that some religious voters are focusing more on other issues.

Declaring Faith

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Europe
5:28 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Will France's First Lady Be Able To Seduce Voters?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, greet supporters during a campaign rally in Marseille, France, on Feb. 19.
Patrick Aventurier Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

In the traditional world of French politics, spouses don't usually jump into the fray. But French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy is anything but a traditional political spouse.

Her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, has just announced he is running for re-election this spring. It's a challenge: Polls show him trailing the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande.

Sarkozy's wife has promised to do everything she can to help her husband win — and that includes hitting the campaign trail.

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Author Interviews
5:40 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

A Theologian Has A Falling Out With God In 'Still'

HarperOne

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:46 am

Theologian Lauren Winner was 21 when she became a Christian.

Although she was raised in a Jewish household and had converted to Orthodox Judaism, she says she felt drawn to Christianity. Her surprising conversion is the subject of her first memoir, the bestseller Girl Meets God.

In Winner's new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, she writes about a spiritual crisis.

Winner, an ordained Episcopal priest who teaches Christian spirituality at Duke University, says it happened around the time her mother died and her marriage collapsed.

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Music Interviews
5:37 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Finding Hope, With The Cranberries' Help

The Cranberries (left to right): Noel Hogan, Fergal Lawler, Dolores O'Riordan, Mike Hogan.
Jess Baumung Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:20 pm

This week, weekends on All Things Considered begins a new series called "Why Music Matters": stories from fans, in their own words, about how music has changed their lives. In this first installment, Seattle resident Nathan Hotchkiss reflects on a sheltered childhood.

"My parents were very religious," he says. "I was limited to listening only to Christian music and classical. My father would stay away a lot, and my mother would be wrapped up in her own turmoil, and it would spill over onto me."

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Environment
5:01 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Ranchers' Land Becomes Ground Zero In Energy Fight

Rancher Randy Thompson is fighting to keep the Keystone XL pipeline from being built in Nebraska.
Guy Raz NPR

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:38 am

Part one of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline

Gas prices are spiking once again; the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded is about 12 percent higher than it was a year ago. But winter typically isn't the time for a rise in gas prices. Demand for gasoline is at a 14-year low and domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Gunman Kills 2 Americans In Afghan Ministry; NATO Recalls Advisers

The head of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan has recalled all Western military advisers from government ministries after two high-ranking U.S. military officers were shot dead.

Officials say the gunman has not been identified, but a manhunt is under way.

Reporting from Kabul, NPR's Quil Lawrence says the officers died inside a high-security area of the Afghan Interior Ministry building after an individual turned his weapon on them.

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Europe
3:00 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

A Lonely Winter For Berlusconi

Earlier today, a court ended a corruption trial against Silvio Berlusconi. But that's not the end of the road for the former prime minister, he still faces charges that he paid an underage teenager for sex. Friends of Berlusconi say that he is lonely and increasingly isolated. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks to writer Philip Delves Broughton who got unprecedented access to Silvio Berlusconi in Rome and wrote about the interview for The Atlantic.

Economy
3:00 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

What's Behind The Rise In Gas Prices?

Originally published on Sat February 25, 2012 6:55 pm

Gas prices are on the rise and there's a slew of possible reasons as to why. Tensions with Iran, the Obama administration's policies, and Wall Street speculators have all been cited as factors. But it still doesn't answer why prices are increasing while U.S. demand for gasoline is going down. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with NPR's John Ydstie about some hidden factors behind the jacked up gas prices.

Afghanistan
3:00 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Two American Officers Killed At Afghan Ministry

Two American military officers were shot and killed today in the heavily guarded Interior Ministry building in Kabul. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks to Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence about the shootings, which follow five days of riots and protests over the burning of Koran's at a NATO base earlier this week.

Analysis
3:00 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Week In News: GOP Still Looking For Obama's Challenger

President Obama and his GOP rivals are sparing over gas prices. In an election year, that pocketbook issue could hurt the president, but Republican voters still have no clear cut nominee to face off in November anyway. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney square off in Michigan on Tuesday, with poll numbers flipping between the two. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page about these and other news stories from the week.

Middle East
9:42 am
Sat February 25, 2012

Syria's Army Withstands International Condemnation

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As the assault against Homs continues, Secretary of State Clinton is urging Syrian security forces to disobey orders from their own commanders and stop the violence against protesters. Aram Nerguizian researches Middle East military strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. We asked him about the possibility of further defections among the ranks.

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