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2:54 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

For Cash, Murderer Leads Police To Victims' Remains

San Joaquin sheriff detectives sift for human remains that were excavated from an abandoned ranch near Linden, Calif., on Sunday. Authorities say Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog wantonly murdered an unknown number of victims before their arrest in 1999. Now, one of the convicted killers is leading investigators to burial sites that have yielded hundreds of bones.
Craig Sanders AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 6:45 pm

In California's Central Valley, authorities are excavating the gruesome remains of an unknown number of murder victims who were buried many years ago by a pair of convicted murderers and drug users.

The search began last week after one of the convicts agreed to lead authorities to the remains in exchange for cash.

But, the case raises some thorny ethical and legal issues: Should convicted criminals be able to benefit from their wrongdoing?

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It's All Politics
2:41 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

With Payroll Tax Cut Done, Is It Do-Nothing Congress Time? It Depends

Expect the rest of 2012 to bring more political symbolism like Thursday's House hearing on birth control and religious freedom than actual passage of major legislation that solves Americans' problems.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 3:59 pm

Now that Congress has passed the extension of the payroll tax cut and jobless insurance benefits for the long-term uninsured, as well as a fix that prevents cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors, there's the sense that not much else will get done on Capitol Hill, it being a general-election year and all.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

A Passion To Bear Witness: Why War Correspondents Take The Risk

Shadid won two Pulitzer prizes for international reporting, in 2004 and 2010. Here, he poses on the campus of Brown University in the year of his second win.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:01 am

Journalists don't talk about the danger. They don't usually recount the moments of agonizing terror that come after a bad decision to continue on down the road as the faint sound of mortar shells grows louder.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:27 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

WHO Affirms Use Of Birth Control Injections After Weighing HIV Risks

A health worker injects a woman with a shot of Depo Provera, a quarterly contraceptive injection, at a health clinic in Busia, Uganda, in 2009.
MCT MCT via Getty Images

Women living with HIV, or at high risk of infection, should continue to use hormone injections to prevent pregnancy, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

But the advice stressed that couples should use an additional protective method, like condoms, to prevent HIV transmission between partners.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Reports: In Sting, Feds Arrest Man Plotting Suicide Bombing In Washington

Multiple news outlets are reporting that federal authorities have arrested a man who thought he was about to undertake a suicide bombing attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Fox News, which broke the story, reports the man was arrested in Washington on Friday, after a lengthy investigation by the FBI. At the time the man was wearing a vest he thought was packed with explosives but was really provided by FBI agents he thought were al-Qaida associates.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Murdoch Promises Sunday Edition At Besieged Sun Tabloid

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch isn't backing down.

In an email to staff of the besieged Sun tabloid, where ten current and former senior staff have been arrested since November, the 81-year-old media tycoon promised to "build on the Sun's proud heritage by launching the Sun on Sunday very soon.

The email came as Murdoch visited the paper's U.K. headquarters for a meeting with staff. According to the BBC:

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Election 2012
1:25 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

'Sugar Daddies' And Debates Changing All The Rules

Rick Santorum stops to sign a photograph after speaking at the Economic Club of Detroit on Thursday. It marked one of Santorum's first campaign events in Michigan, which holds its Republican primary Feb. 28.
Paul Sancya Associated Press

By the time Rick Santorum showed up in Michigan, he was already out in front.

Thursday's speech before the Detroit Economic Club amounted to the former Pennsylvania senator's political debut in the state, coming less than two weeks before Michigan votes in a Feb. 28 Republican primary.

Nonetheless, Santorum arrived in the state sitting at the top of the polls. It's a big break from the way things used to be.

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World
1:20 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Azerbaijan: Where East Meets West, Spy Meets Spy

Thanks to its strategic location, the small Central Asian country of Azerbaijan has long been a hot spot for rival intelligence agents, from countries such as Russia, Turkey, Iran and Israel. Here, a view of Baku, the capital, in June 2011.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 11:58 pm

The small Central Asian country of Azerbaijan has found itself caught up in the rising international tensions over neighboring Iran and its nuclear program. Despite traditional ties with Iran, the former Soviet republic has increasingly aligned itself with the West, and with Israel.

An incident at a recent soccer match in the Iranian city of Tabriz is still a point of pride in Azerbaijan. In the middle of the match, hundreds of ethnic Azeris in the crowd broke out their national flags and began to chant that the city belongs to them.

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Sports
1:17 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

As Ivies Boost Financial Aid, Teams Up Their Game

Harvard University forward Kyle Casey in an NCAA game against Princeton on Saturday. Casey says financial aid from Harvard makes the school more attractive to student athletes.
Mel Evans Getty Images

New York Knicks guard and Harvard University alumnus Jeremy Lin may be a sudden NBA sensation, but the men's basketball team at his alma mater is making its own mark on the national scene.

Harvard is currently on top of the Ivy League basketball standings. And with a 21-3 overall record and some impressive nonconference wins, the Crimson spent part of the season in the Top 25 in national polls for Division I.

There's a palpable buzz about the team, as well — even a late January road game against the struggling squad from Brown University was a sellout.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Should Sugar Be Regulated Like Alcohol?

Writing in the journal Nature, UCSF pediatrician Robert Lustig and colleagues suggest regulating sugar just like alcohol and tobacco--with taxes and age limits, for example--due to what they call the "toxic" effects of too much sweet stuff. Education, they say, is not enough.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Air Pollution Ups Risk Of Stroke, Impaired Memory

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Where's The Cuttlefish

Duke biologist Sarah Zylinski wants to better understand how cuttlefish see the world. Like their relatives octopus and squid, cuttlefish are master camouflagers--and Zylinski says you can learn something about how they process visual information by testing how they change their skin patterns in relation to different backgrounds.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Approved Reactors Could Power Up Nuclear Industry

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Some good news for the nuclear industry. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed the construction, issued licenses for the construction, of two nuclear reactors at a plant in eastern Georgia. Until last week, the NRC hadn't approved the construction of any new reactors in the U.S. since 1978. That was a year before the partial reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Concrete's Role As A Building Block In History

In his book Concrete Planet, author Robert Courland discusses why the concrete first used by the Romans is more durable than the concrete used in most present day buildings. Plus, mineralogist Peter Stemmerman tells us about his invention, Celitement and why it is greener than Portland cement.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Digital Tools Help Document Vanishing Languages

Linguist David Harrison has travelled to remote corners of the world seeking the last speakers of endangered languages. Now, he's using digital tools to to record and revitalize these dying languages. At the AAAS meeting this week, Harrison unveiled 'talking dictionaries' for eight languages.

Energy
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Desert Military Bases Could Be Boon To Solar

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Last week, the government approved the first new nuclear reactor power plants in over 30 years, but in the meantime, the Department of Defense has been investigating a different energy source for its military bases: solar.

My next guest says the military could install seven gigawatts of solar power on its bases. That's roughly equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants, and that's all without interfering with bombing ranges or rocket tests and of course the desert tortoise.

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The Salt
12:47 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Is That A Plastic Baby Jesus In My Cake?

Sucre in New Orleans is one of many bakeries that leaves the plastic baby out of the king cake.
John Rose/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:04 pm

If you've been in New Orleans for carnival season, or if you're lucky enough to taste a cake from there that has arrived in the mail, there's a pretty good chance that yes, there is a plastic baby that comes with your cake.

The baby, meant to represent Jesus, has become a fixture of the king cake (galette des rois in France or rosca de reyes as it's called in Mexico). It's a frosted yeast dough cake that New Orleans bakeries churn out between King's Day, January 6th, and Fat Tuesday, the last day of indulgence before Lent.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

#Feb17: A First Visit To Revolution Central: The Benghazi Courthouse

While pretty much any corner of Benghazi is a fine place to celebrate this week, the heart of the celebrations are taking place at the courthouse and its public square, where some of the revolution's first protests took place.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Proview Threatens Apple With $2 Billion Suit Over iPad Trademark

Proview Technology is threatening to take Apple to court to seek $2 billion in compensation, because the company says it owns the iPad name in China.

CNET reports:

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Syrian Troops Step Up Homs Shelling After U.N. Resolution

More horrific reports out of Homs only a day after the United Nations General Assembly called on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to end its shelling of the city.

Voice of America reports activists say:

... tank fire and artillery shelling hit four neighborhoods in the central protest city Friday which has spearheaded the 11-month uprising.

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Remembrances
12:08 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers War Reporter Anthony Shadid

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden death of a frequent Fresh Air guest. New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid suffered a fatal asthma attack yesterday in Syria, where he was reporting on the political uprising.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri February 17, 2012

House Passes Payroll Tax Extension

The Republican-controlled House voted 293-132 today to renew a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million workers, as well as extending benefits to millions of unemployed Americans.

The Senate is expected to quickly approve the legislation, which then goes to President Obama for his signature.

Workers would continue to receive the two percentage-point cut in the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax — as much as $2,200 for high-income earners.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Fri February 17, 2012

The Libyan Art Of Honking

Children in Tripoli, Libya, wave a national flag from a car as people celebrate the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Libya's revolution, Feb. 16 2012.
Sabri Elmhedwi EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 1:12 pm

The streets of Benghazi have turned into the world's most joyous parking lot.

Every single vehicle, moving slower than a toddler walking, is honking its horn in a variety of patterns to celebrate the first anniversary of the revolution.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Millions Of Apple Users Unwittingly Tracked By Google

If you thought privacy settings on your iPhone, iPad or Apple desktop were keeping others from tracking your travels across the Web, think again.

Google Inc. and some advertizing companies have been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people using Safari, the default Apple-supplied browser, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In a story today by Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, the WSJ said:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:21 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Infants' Tylenol That's Too Hard To Use

More than a half-million bottles of Tylenol for babies have been recalled because of complaints about a new system for getting the dose right. The doughnut-like receptacle for the syringe seen in the neck of the bottle can get pushed down into the liquid medicine.
Johnson & Johnson

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:49 pm

Johnson & Johnson keeps finding new reasons to recall products.

This time there's a problem with more than a half-million bottles of grape-flavored liquid Tylenol for infants. What's up?

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Movie Interviews
9:59 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Michelle Williams: The Fresh Air Interview

Actress Michelle Williams was recently nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Blue Valentine. In Meek's Cutoff, she plays a bold settler named Emily Tetherow.
Matt Sayles AP Photo

This interview was originally broadcast on April 14, 2011. Michelle Williams just received a Best Actress nomination for her performance in My Week With Marilyn.

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It's All Politics
9:26 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Some Friday Political Stories Worth Noting

Those aren't bags of money but they might as well be. President Obama and the DNC raised $29.1 million in January.
Susan Walsh AP

A few of the political stories worth noting this Friday:

Congressional negotiators reached agreement on extensions of the payroll tax cut as well as federal jobless benefits and a "fix" that would prevent Medicare reimbursements to doctors from being cut. But while the House's Republican leaders and the Senate's Democratic leaders were on board, Senate Republicansn weren't. Votes are expected in both chambers Friday.

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Monkey See
9:01 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Is There Hope In Friday Night Television's 'Timeslot Of Death'?

The Wild Ranger crew of Bering Sea Gold: Steve Riedel, owner Vernon Adkison and Captain Scott Meisterheim.
Ryan Rude Discovery Channel

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 1:52 pm

Call it the resurrection of the time slot of death.

For years, Friday nights have carried a grisly reputation — where shows on broadcast networks are sent to die. But a certain kind of cable show has recently performed well — even really well — on Friday nights.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Libya Celebrates Uprising, But Still A Long Way To Go

Libyans celebrated the first anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted long-time dictator Moammar Gaddafi today, but some of the very militias responsible for toppling the government have turned to terrorizing the population.

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