The United States announced Friday that it will exchange ambassadors with Myanmar, also known as Burma, partly in response to the release of hundreds of political prisoners there. This is the latest development in what appears to be a dramatic turnaround for the repressive government in that Southeast Asian nation. President Obama calls the prisoner release "a substantial step forward for democratic reform." Currently, the U.S. Embassy is headed by a charge d'affaires rather than an ambassador.
A controversy, now, in our nation's capital. It's over plans for a memorial to President Dwight Eisenhower. As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, members of the Eisenhower family object to the design by architect Frank Gehry, and they now want to stop the process altogether.
A cardiologist says former Democratic presidential candidate and senator John Edwards has a life-threatening condition that will require surgery next month, a judge in Greensboro, N.C., announced today.
Standard & Poor's downgraded France's sovereign debt rating to AA+.
The AP says France's finance minister announced the downgrade, which could affect the European Union's bailout fund. France and Germany have been the Eurozone's pillars and their good credit has supported the rescues of countries like Ireland and Greece.
Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:16 pm
The Washington Postjust put out the word that it had an "exclusive interview with Joe Paterno, his first extensive comments on the Penn State scandal and its fallout," and expects to post a report about what he had to say on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
Bombay Bicycle Club isn't from India, nor will any of its members roll through the U.S. on bicycles during their upcoming tour. But the four British indie rockers are bringing a new sound to the States — albeit one with echoes of The Stone Roses, Radiohead and other British rock acts of the past 20 years.
Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I am Ira Flatow. A few weeks ago, we talked about the discovery of new exoplanets, those planets outside of our solar system. There were the first Earth-sized exoplanets, and we had another exoplanet smack dab in the middle of the Goldilocks Zone, you know, where liquid water could exist. That was another first.
Speaking of dark matter and space-time, one of the major questions about our universe is how did it all come into being, and my next guest tackles that question in his new book, "A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing." Lawrence Krauss is also a foundation professor and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University in Tempe. He's also in our NPR Washington studios. Welcome back, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE KRAUSS: It's always good to be back, Ira.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We talk many times about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, germs that resist most antibiotics, except for a precious few. A case in point is tuberculosis. But now comes word of a strain of TB that is totally drug-resistant, TDR TB as doctors are calling it. There are no second-choice antibiotics here. We simply have no drugs to fight this superbug. There are no weapons left. And it has now infected a dozen patients in India.
Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Thinking about a tattoo? Well, forget butterflies, unicorns or mom. Tattoos have gone geek. No more of those blurry anchors and pinup girls. We've got molecules, double-helix strands, mathematical equations all showing up on biceps and other places.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Up next, "Confessions of a Surgeon." Have you ever sat in your doctor's office, you know, doctor's going down that long list of aches and pains, and have you ever thought to yourself: I wonder if he's really listening to me. Well, at least one doctor has confessed to not always paying attention to what his patients say.
Next up: A bit of good news for those of you lamenting the loss of your newspaper science section. The Huffington Post has a new section dedicated to science, also find a lot of technology there. Editors of the news site describe it as one-stop shopping for the latest in scientific news and opinion, with an aim to entertain as well as inform.
Jim Brown, Dennis Rodman and O.J. Simpson are all former professional athletes who've tried their hand at acting. Showbiz might seem like a natural path for guys with big egos and million-watt personalities, but Eddie George is a former NFL player who's taken a different path to the limelight.
He's joining a fraternity of actors that includes Charlton Heston in playing William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
The scene where Marcus Brutus kills Caesar is probably the most famous death scene in all of theater. It's where those famous words, "Et tu, Brute?" are uttered.
In Texas today, conservative Christian and evangelical leaders begin two days of meetings to discuss political strategy, and perhaps to coalesce around a Republican presidential candidate other than front-runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.
Joran van der Sloot, the 24-year-old Dutchman who remains the prime suspect in the still-unsolved 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, was just sentenced to 28 years in prison for the 2010 murder of a woman in Peru.
NPR's business news starts with efforts to streamline the federal government.
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GREENE: President Obama is asking Congress, today, to give him the power to consolidate certain U.S. agencies. Doing that, he says, will reduce the number of federal jobs and make government more efficient.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The government we have is not the government that we need. We live in a 21st Century economy, but we've still got a government organized for the 20th Century.
It's not every day that you hear about teenagers getting terribly ill from the deer they killed and cooked for a high school class. But that's what happened to 29 teenagers in Minnesota, who got sick after they helped hunt, process and cook seven white-tailed deer for an outdoor recreation and environmental science class.
Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 12:54 pm
Maybe even if it weren't a general-election year, President Obama would still be proposing that Congress give him the power to merge federal agencies to make the government smaller and more efficient.
But the fact is it is the year in which the president is seeking re-election, a year in which both the eventual Republican presidential nominee and Obama's GOP opponents in Congress will assert hundreds of times before it's over that he is a big-government Democrat.
Everybody knows things can get a little crazy at Apple stores in the U.S. when the company unveils a new product.
But things got extra crazy in Beijing today when a thousand or more would-be iPhone 4S customers gathered outside Apple's store. They got rather angry when they learned that the company was postponing its plan to start selling the new phone there.
Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 11:57 am
Mitt Romney's campaign has a new TV ad meant to counter attacks on his career at private-equity firm Bain Capital, using the same defense it has ever since his rivals for the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination started taking populist jabs at him.