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10:57 am
Fri January 20, 2012

The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

An illustration shows heretics being tortured and nailed to wooden posts during the first Inquisition.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:42 pm

The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims' cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment.

"[There are] expense accounts [for things] like how much did the rope cost to tie the hands of the person you burnt at the stake," says writer Cullen Murphy. "The people who were doing interrogations were meticulous."

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News
10:50 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Farmers Arm Themselves Against Pecan Thieves

Pecan farmers in New Mexico are paying security guards to watch over their land. Pecan prices have risen more than 365 percent in just two years and have led to a spate of thefts across the country.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 6:42 pm

The past two years have been good for pecans — so good, in fact, that there's been a spike in pecan theft from California to Georgia. And it's not people swiping a few nuts from a tree in someone else's backyard, but theft in amounts that could land someone in jail.

Greg Daviet's century-old family farm has harvested pecans in Las Cruces, New Mexico, since 1965. This year, Daviet tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, an increase in demand from Europe, the Middle East and India has led to a price hike, with China as the top importer.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Senate Vote Delayed On PIPA, Its Anti-Piracy Bill

Saying that "recent events" have raised questions, but that "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that there won't be a vote in his chamber next Tuesday on the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

That's the Senate's version of controversial legislation that supporters say would cut down on Internet piracy — but that opponents say would amount to censorship.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri January 20, 2012

VIDEO: Obama Sings In Harlem; Channels A Little Al Green

President Obama at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem on Thursday (Jan. 19, 2012).
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:38 am

  • President Obama sings a little bit

Perhaps if things don't work out the way he hopes on Nov. 6, President Obama can be a backup singer someday.

Last night at a campaign fundraiser in Harlem's Apollo Theater, he briefly broke into song with a bit of Al Green's Let's Stay Together. The Associated Press has the video here.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Report: Killings Of U.S., Allied Troops By Afghan Soldiers Is On The Rise

U.S. troops and Afghan National Army soldiers on a joint security patrol in Kandahar province last August.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:22 am

"Four International Security Assistance Force service members were killed today in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army," the NATO-led military command in Kabul reports.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Four Headlines From Thursday's GOP Debate

Newt Gingrich (right) responds to a question a question about things one of his ex-wives said about their marriage during last night's debate in South Carolina. Mitt Romney, looks on.
John Moore Getty Images

While others analyze what Thursday's GOP presidential debate does or doesn't tell us about what may or may not happen Saturday when South Carolina Republicans hold their primary, here's the top news from that four-man clash in Charleston:

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Around the Nation
7:09 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Law Enforcement 'Tests' Accuracy Of Breathalyzer

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement faced accusations that a breathalyzer was giving inaccurate readings. So it commissioned a study. Fifteen employees consumed more than $300 worth of whiskey, mixers and Doritos, and then used the breathalyzer. Judges are considering whether the study was legitimate.

Europe
6:59 am
Fri January 20, 2012

British Judge Recruits Pedestrians For Jury Duty

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 5:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

(POST-BROADCAST CLARIFICATION: This story takes place in London, Ontario.] Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Londoners hoping to avoid jury duty ought not to walk too close to the courthouse. A frustrated judge there recently exercised a little-known power: sending police into the street to rustle up jurors.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

8 Precinct Vote Totals Missing From Iowa Caucuses

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

You may have thought Iowa was done counting its votes a few weeks ago. Well, then came the news this week that based on further review, Rick Santorum actually won more certified votes than the declared winner, Mitt Romney. The problem is the tallies from some precincts remain lost. And yesterday, Iowa's GOP chairman called the overall results inconclusive.

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Business
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with IKEA's success building.

The largest furniture maker in the world is ending the week with a bang. Sweden's IKEA posted, today, a record profit for its 2010, 2011 fiscal year. Net profit was up more than 10 percent to $3.8 billion. The company saw its biggest gains in China, in Russia and in Poland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Renee Montagne has the Last Word in business.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Santorum Struggles To Finding His Footing In S.C.

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We're waking up on a morning before a key Republican primary in South Carolina, and after a day when the field of Republican candidates went up, down, and up again. Rick Perry went down and bowed out of the race. Newt Gingrich rode a surge in the polls. And Rick Santorum went up, when it was revealed that he got the most votes in the Iowa caucuses, not Mitt Romney.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Republican SuperPAC Ads Target GOP Rivals

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

With those stakes high in South Carolina, the political ads are getting more pointed.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reports, the candidates themselves are taking aim less at each other and more at the White House.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: The day before the South Carolina primary, the remaining Republican candidates are making their final TV pitches to voters. Here's part of what the Mitt Romney campaign bills as its closing argument.

(SOUNDBITE OF A POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT)

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

At Debate, Gingrich Denies He Sought Open Marriage

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. The four Republicans still running for president met last night for their last debate before the South Carolina primary. They sparred over health care, abortion and tax returns. The race in South Carolina is now a dead heat, with Mitt Romney's earlier lead wiped out by a late surge by Newt Gingrich.

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Movies
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

'Red Tails' Fought Racism — And World War II Foes

Escorting a squadron of bombers, Andrew "Smokey" Salem (Ne-Yo) signals fellow pilots on the way into combat with German forces in the new film Red Tails, based on the experiences of the famed Tuskegee Airmen fighter group.
LucasFilm

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 5:53 pm

It took George Lucas more than two decades to bring the movie Red Tails to the screen. It was all the way back in the late '80s that the man behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones fell under the spell of another story of adventure, this one with real-life heroes — the African-American fighter pilots of World War II.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

ABC Airs Interview With Gingrich's Ex-Wife Marianne

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As Mara just mentioned, the debate last night opened with a question about a claim made by Gingrich's ex-wife. Well, Marianne Gingrich gave her exclusive interview to ABC's "Nightline," putting the candidate's personal life in the spotlight once again. NPR's Tamara Keith has more.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: The interview was incredibly hyped, in part because Marianne Gingrich has been silent so far on her ex-husband's presidential candidacy. This was her first television interview since their 1999 divorce.

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

As 'Citizens United' Turns 2, SuperPACs Draw Protests

Dozens of televisions display a political advertisement with the image of GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich at a store in Urbandale, Iowa, on Dec. 27. Republican candidates and their superPACs have spent millions on television and radio ads.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 1:28 pm

Saturday is South Carolina's Republican presidential primary. It's also the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's famous Citizens United decision.

That's the case that allows corporations to explicitly support or attack specific candidates. The day will be marked with attack ads — and protests.

The Republican presidential race has covered just three states so far. And superPACs linked to candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have spent a total of $20 million. They're feeding voters a heavy diet of negativity.

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It's All Politics
12:40 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Gingrich, Santorum Shine, Romney Doesn't At Last Debate Before S.C. Primary

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul participate in the GOP presidential candidate debate at the North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
David Goldman AP

The last Republican presidential debate before Saturday's South Carolina primary was expected to be lively. It didn't disappoint.

It was clear, even before the four remaining candidates met on the stage in Charleston, SC, that at least three of them would face some fairly high-stakes moments that could change the course of the contest. The question going into the debate was would they be able to master those moments?

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Stephen Colbert Wants You To Know: That's Definitely Not His SuperPAC

Comedian Stephen Colbert appears before the Federal Election Commision in Washington, June 30, 2011. The FEC granted Colbert's request to form a political action committee.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:06 am

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is running for president. He's parodying the process — including, now, superPACS — in the same way he has parodied cable news. He's getting plenty of attention, but to really look into his political practical joke, I needed to go upstairs and find Peter Overby, NPR's man on campaign finance. I warned him it would seem like a dumb question, but I needed his help. What, exactly, is a superPAC?

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Africa
12:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

For Moroccan Activists, The King's Reforms Fall Short

Morocco's King Mohammed VI introduced reforms after protests began last February. But activists say the measures didn't go far enough and they are still taking to the streets. Here, the king is shown in his palace in Rabat on June 17.
Azzouz Boukallouch AP

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:42 am

When a pro-democracy movement took to the streets of Morocco last February, King Mohammed VI, who has been on the throne for more than decade, responded swiftly.

Within weeks, the king had proposed a new constitution and snap elections. The Moroccan example of reforms without violence was hailed by some as a model.

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Your Money
12:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

How Property Taxes Climb, Even If Home Value Drops

Shaker Heights in Cleveland has some of the highest property tax rates in the state (roughly $3,700 per $100,000 of assessed home value).
Brian Bull WCPN

Millions of homeowners are finding out that their property taxes are either holding steady or climbing, even as their house may be worth much less. There may not be much they can do about it.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's fiscal officer, Wade Steen, has been taking many calls from unhappy homeowners. He says they most often live in a community where voters passed a recent levy. That's a property tax measure that boosts funding for things such as schools and libraries.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Dissolvable Tobacco Products Draw FDA Scrutiny

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a gathered a group of scientists and other experts to study flavored melt-in-your-mouth tobacco products.

The panel, meeting this week, will hear from two camps of stop-smoking advocates: those who worry that dissolvables are a gateway to smoking and others who say they help people kick the habit.

Gregory Conley, a 24-year-old law student at Rutgers University, pops a dissolvable during class or while he's studying.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Katy Perry's Perfect Game

Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 3:55 pm

If you listen to commercial radio, this is not news: Katy Perry had a huge year. She went No.1 five times. She was the most played artist on the radio. But the record industry is so weird, it's hard to know whether this kind of success translates into huge amounts of money.

So we asked.

I walked over to Katy Perry's record label. She's on Capital, which is under EMI. I met Greg Thompson, executive vice president of marketing and promotion at EMI.

"Did you guys end up in the black?" I asked.

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Asia
12:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Not-So-Happy New Year: Rail Website Woes In China

People line up to buy train tickets at Changsha Railway Station in Changsha, in southern China's Hunan province on Dec. 28, 2011. Million of Chinese are expected to cramp onto China's train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese lunar new year that starts on Jan. 23, 2012.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 10:33 pm

During China's Lunar New Year holiday, more than 200 million people will travel home. It's the world's largest annual migration, and every year, Chinese tell horror stories about trying to get train tickets.

This season, the holiday falls on Monday, and it was supposed to be different: For the first time, China's rail ministry created a website to reserve seats. But things didn't work out as planned.

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Movie Reviews
12:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Carol Channing, Still Delightfully 'Larger Than Life'

Carol Channing — who turns 91 on Jan. 31 — appears in the 2010 Gypsy of the Year celebration, an annual salute to Broadway's hardest-working chorus performers.
Peter James Zielinski Entertainment One

Whenever the late New York Times caricaturist Al Hirschfeld sketched Carol Channing — whether picturing her as an indomitable Dolly Levi, swathed in feathers and sequins, or as carbon-crazed Lorelei Lee, eyes sparkling like the diamonds that were that splendid creature's best friends — he always made her appear a creature composed entirely of lipstick, mascara and hairspray.

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Movie Reviews
11:57 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

'Coriolanus': A People's Hero Turns On His Own

Bare-Knuckle Politics: The battle-hardened Roman general Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) runs for office at the urging of his mother (Vanessa Redgrave) — but it turns out he's no booster of majority rule.
Larry D. Horricks The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:16 pm

Ralph Fiennes showed up for a frenzied cameo near the end of Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, and her hand-held, adrenaline-charged approach clearly inspired his film of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, which he both acts and directs the bloody hell out of.

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StoryCorps
10:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Using A New Voice To Enjoy Life After Cancer

Rene Foreman visited StoryCorps in Los Angeles with her daughter Michelle.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:01 am

In 1999, Rene Foreman was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She underwent surgery that saved her life; it also took her voice box. To speak, Rene now uses an electrolarynx — a small device that she holds against her throat to produce her voice, electronically.

Discussing how having a synthesized voice has changed her life, Rene, 70, told her daughter Michelle that the electrolarynx helps her to enjoy each day, even if it also makes her stand out in some ways.

Of those times, Michelle asks, "How do you feel when people turn around and look at you?"

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The Record
8:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Megaupload Shut Down By The FBI

Courtesy of Megaupload.

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 4:37 pm

Click the link above to listen to Laura Sydell's conversation with Morning Edition's David Greene about the Megaupload indictment and the attack on the Department of Justice's website by the group Anonymous.

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Opinion
6:26 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

For Two City Slickers, Survival Of The Savviest

A wagon makes its way across the country.
istockphoto.com

Rhoda Janzen is the author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.

Recently my friend Peggy and I decided to make a jaunt from my house in Southwestern Michigan, across the state to Detroit. We took her car. At day's end we pulled into my remote driveway on Lake Allegan. It was then I realized that didn't have my keys. They were in fact, hanging in the little key box in my laundry room.

Oh no.

I had no way of getting into my home.

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