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Energy
5:33 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Panel Charts Path To New Home For Nuclear Waste

Without a centralized national repository for nuclear waste, the radioactive material is currently being kept at various sites across the country. Above, large concrete canisters, each holding 14 55-gallon drums of waste, are loaded on a truck in Richland, Wash., in June 2005 where they were later shipped to a facility in New Mexico.
Jeff T. Green Getty Images

A panel of experts today set forth a plan for getting rid of thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

Most of it is spent fuel from nuclear power reactors. It was supposed to go to a repository in Nevada called Yucca Mountain, but the government has abandoned that plan.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

McCain Says History Will Judge Obama Harshly On Policy Toward Iran

Sen. John McCain, right, as he endorsed Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency earlier this month.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama has made the case that his administration spoke out forcefully when Iran's government used deadly force to suppress protests in the spring of 2009.

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Presidential Race
5:08 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Gingrich Fights Against The Lobbyist Label

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks Thursday during a Lakeside Inn Tea Party rally in Mount Dora, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:27 pm

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to fend off accusations that he should wear the scarlet "L" — for "lobbyist." This week, he released two of his consulting contracts and said they didn't call for any lobbying.

Like many other former lawmakers, Gingrich was advocating for paying clients, while not officially registering as a lobbyist.

The two contracts disclosed this week came from Gingrich's work for Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant. Between 1999 and 2007, Freddie Mac paid his firm $1.6 million.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
5:04 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

'Birmingham': A Family Tale In The Civil Rights Era

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 1:40 pm

Welcome to the fourth installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club, where we select a book for young readers — and invite them to read along with us and share their thoughts and questions with the author.

Our selection for January — The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis — describes the civil rights era from the perspective of a young (and extremely mischievous) boy and his family.

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The Salt
4:51 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Coop D'Etat: Farmers, Humane Society Partner On Chicken-Cage Revolution

At the JS West egg farm, south of Modesto, Calif., one chicken house has the new, spacious cages that egg producers and animal welfare advocates say keep chickens happier.
Big Dutchman

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 10:45 am

When I first saw the press release, I figured it had to be an April Fools' joke. The Humane Society of the United States, a voice of outrage against all heartless exploitation of animals, joining hands with the United Egg Producers, which represents an industry that keeps 200 million chickens in cages?

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Presidential Race
4:44 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Republican Debates Become Must-See TV

This election cycle, one factor stands above all others in driving the dynamics of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: televised debates.

All Tech Considered
4:38 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Apple Continues To Be Plagued By Reports On Labor Conditions

A new iPhone 4S at Apple's Beijing flagship store.
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:05 pm

Apple has been taking a lot of heat lately for working conditions at plants making its products in China.

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The Picture Show
4:30 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

A Lens On Life In The Kentucky Hollows

Frankie
Shelby Lee Adams Courtesy of Candela Books

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:08 am

"A lot of my work is visiting," says photographer Shelby Lee Adams. "A quarter is actually photographing."

In fact, Adams has spent some 30 years visiting and building relationships with the people in and around Hazard, a small city in eastern Kentucky where he was born.

The visits started well before he was a photographer. As a young boy, Adams would tag along with his uncle, a country doctor, tending to families tucked up in mountain hollows, or "hollers."

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Candidates Campaign On An Economic Silver Bullet: Worker Retraining

President Barack Obama waves after speaking at a UPS facility in Las Vegas on Thursday. Nevada is one stop on the president's latest road trip focusing on the economy.
Julie Jacobson AP

There are not many things that Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney agree on, but when it comes to job training there is common ground.

"It is time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work," President Obama said during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Earlier in the week, Newt Gingrich offered a similar solution for helping those facing long-term unemployment.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

An Emotional Moment: Sen. Mitch McConnell Meets Myanmar's Suu Kyi

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell talks as Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi listens during a press conference after their meeting at her home in Yangon, Myanmar on Monday.
Khin Maung Win AP

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:21 pm

Mitch McConnell, the senate Republican leader from Kentucky, was the original author of the United States' sanctions on Myanmar.

So these last six months have been astounding for him. Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, has gone through an amazing transformation. Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's leading opposition figure, has announced she will seek public office and the U.S. has reestablished diplomatic ties with Myanmar.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Americans Barred From Leaving Egypt Include Secretary LaHood's Son

Egyptian authorities' efforts to prevent organizations that promote democracy from freely working inside their country have now ensnared the son of a U.S. cabinet secretary.

Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and at least five other Americans have been barred from leaving Egypt.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Romney To Highlight Olympic 'Rescue' At 10th Anniversary Of Salt Lake Games

Mitt Romney, then the president of the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee, greets attendees at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Utah.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

The Romney campaign has confirmed that the Republican presidential hopeful will attend an event in Salt Lake City next month commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Olympics.

The event gives the struggling campaign the chance to underscore one of Mitt Romney's signature accomplishments. "I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years," Romney said in a debate and campaign ad. "And I left that to go off and help save the Olympic Games."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:39 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

How Health Care Dropped Out Of The Presidential Conversation

Courtesy of The Advisory Board Co.

Health wonks were miffed about the lack of attention their beloved issue got in President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

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Theater
3:33 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

In Broadway's 'Wit,' A Documentary Of Our Demise

In a revival of Wit on Broadway, Cynthia Nixon plays Vivan Bearing, a brilliant John Donne scholar forced to consider her own mortality when she's diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Manhattan Theatre Club

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:35 pm

In her dressing room at the Friedman Theatre, Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has a nightly ritual: She rubs Nivea cream all over her scalp to soothe the razor burns.

Being completely bald is just one of the many demands of the character she plays in Wit -- a brilliant college professor named Vivian Bearing, who's battling ovarian cancer.

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Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Republicans Prepare To Debate In Florida

Melissa Block talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about Thursday night's Republican debate in Jacksonville, Fla.

World
3:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

McConnell Praises White House's Actions On Myanmar

The Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnnell was on the floor Thursday, offering rare praise for the Obama administration. He agrees with the actions of the White House and the State Department in responding to signs of reform in the southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, also known as Burma. McConnell talks about this rare instance of bipartisanship.

Energy
3:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Obama Discusses Details From His Energy Agenda

The Obama administration released more details Thursday about the energy plan he previewed at the State of the Union this week. He announced an oil-and-gas-lease sale on nearly 38 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico — and proposals for new incentives to increase the use of natural gas in heavy trucks and buses.

Politics
2:24 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

The Public Respects Civility, But Rewards Rudeness

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer points at President Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on Wednesday.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

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Middle East
2:10 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

The State Of Syria: Civil War Or Vicious Stalemate?

Syrian army defectors wave the Syrian revolution flag Thursday, shortly after they defected to join the anti-regime protesters.
STR AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:00 pm

One thing that's certain about the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad is that there is nothing romantic about it.

Unlike Egypt, there's no Tahrir Square filled with hundreds of thousands of people calling for democracy. Unlike Libya, there's no Mad Max warriors in the desert fighting a dictator with guns they've welded to the backs of their pickup trucks.

Instead, grim news seeps out piecemeal from unofficial sources. Most of the reports are little more than body counts, with most of the fatalities blamed on the Syrian security forces.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:09 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Working Long Hours Can Be Depressing, Truly

Working long hours may get you more than a paycheck.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 1:12 pm

Putting in a lot of of overtime can make a person more vulnerable to depression.

You might have guessed that. But now there are some hard numbers, thanks to a study that tracked the health of civil service workers in Great Britain.

People who worked 11 hours a day or more, more than doubled their risk of major depression compared with colleagues putting in eight hours a day.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

To Shrink Budget, Pentagon Proposes Cutting 100,000 Ground Troops

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 3:18 pm

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the the Pentagon will propose a $33 billion cut in the military's budget, for the 2013 fiscal year.

The AP reports that will be achieved by reducing ground forces by 100,000 and by eliminating older aircraft.

The AP reports:

"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tells a Pentagon news conference the administration will request a 2013 budget of $525 billion, plus another $88 billion for operations in Afghanistan. Combined, those totals are about $33 billion less than the Pentagon is spending this year.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

At Penn State: Memorial Service Under Way For Joe Paterno

Sue Paterno, widow of Joe Paterno, consoles one of her grandsons following the memorial service.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 7:32 pm

An estimated 10,000 people are a memorial service for former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, on the school's campus in the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon.

The Big Ten Digital Network is among several outlets that will be webcasting the service.

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The Salt
2:04 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Gardening Map Of Warming U.S. Has Plant Zones Moving North

The new version of the map includes 13 zones, with the addition for the first time of zones 12 (50-60 degrees F) and 13 (60-70 degrees F).
U.S. Department of Agriculture

It's official: Gardeners and farmers can count on warmer weather. If that's you, it might be a good time to rethink those flower and vegetable beds for this year's growing season.

That's the word from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which released a new version of its "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" this week, the first update since 1990. The color-coded zones on this map of the United States are widely used as a guide for what perennial flowers will survive in a particular area, or when to plant your vegetables.

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

In 'Shoot My Man,' Mosley Tells Tale of Atonement

Walter Mosley is also the author of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.
David Burr

Best-selling author Walter Mosley's book All I Did Was Shoot My Man tells the story of a woman trying to get her life back on track after serving an eight-year prison sentence. Leonid McGill, a private investigator, knows she is innocent and tries to help her start over.

NPR Story
1:54 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Planning Your Insanity-Free, 'Practical Wedding'

Weddings don't have to be extravagantly expensive to be filled with joy and fun. "Allocating your money to the places that you care the most about can be really helpful," says author Meg Keene.
Kriss Russell iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 12:21 pm

Couples planning their weddings are forced to make scores of difficult decisions — matching the guest list to the budget, and juggling their own values and the expectations of family and friends. Wedding-planning books and blogs can add more pressure than guidance — they make newly engaged couples feel like their weddings must be showstoppers, never mind the bad economy.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Chávez's Daughter Poses With Dollar Bills, Unleashes Anger, Internet Meme

Hugo Chávez's daughter posted this picture on Instagram.
Instagram

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:55 am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is known for railing against U.S. capitalism. And it's not just talk. Since 2003, his government has made it very hard for Venezuelans to trade foreign currency.

So you can just imagine the uproar in the country when his 14-year-old daughter Rosinés Chávez published a picture of herself covering half her face with a wad of dollar bills.

The Guardian reports:

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Africa
1:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Violence Compounds Problems In Nigeria

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:34 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington, sitting in for Neal Conan. In Nigeria, long-held tensions between Christians and Muslims are flaring again. An Islamist sect called Boko Haram, suspected of having links to al-Qaeda, killed at least 185 people in the past week with coordinated bombings in the northern city of Kano.

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Economy
1:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Grandpa, Mom and Baby, Too — All Under One Roof

As baby boomers age and young people struggle to find work, more families than ever before are choosing to pool resources by moving in together. The economic downturn accelerated this already growing national trend toward multiple generations living under the same roof.

Shots - Health Blog
12:36 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Home Births Grow More Popular In U.S.

Shannon Earle holds her new baby Kiera Breen Earle, moments after she was born at their home last year.
Amanda Steen NPR

The number of women delivering babies at home in the United States has increased significantly, according to the latest government data released Thursday.

Home births increased by 29 percent between 2004 and 2009.

The upward trend is being welcomed by some advocates of home births and midwives, but it's also raising concern among some doctors.

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Presidential Race
12:18 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

The Baffling, Befuddling Primary Season

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign event at Paramount Printing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 1:38 pm

It was so clear for a moment: Mitt Romney was in the lead in the presidential nomination race. Newt Gingrich was a distant second. Rick Santorum — the youthful candidate — was appealing to the socially conservative voters. And Ron Paul was hanging on.

Then things got weird.

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