In a remote part of Afghanistan early last year, a girl was sentenced to death. Her crime was possession of a cellphone. Her executioners were to be her brothers. They suspected her of talking on the phone with a boy. The girl, in her late teens, had dishonored the family, her brothers said.
"My older brother took the cellphone from me and beat me very badly. It was dinnertime. They told me that they would execute me after dinner. They said to me this would be my last meal," says "Lina," a pseudonym.
Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the subprime mortgage crisis.
Over the past decade or so, news stories about unethical behavior have been a regular feature on TV, a long, discouraging parade of misdeeds marching across our screens. And in the face of these scandals, psychologists and economists have been slowly reworking how they think about the cause of unethical behavior.
In general, when we think about bad behavior, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. But that model, researchers say, is profoundly inadequate.
One year to the day after announcing to the world the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama is in Afghanistan, the nation from which the al-Qaida leader and his followers planned and organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The news of the president's unannounced trip was confirmed just before 3 p.m. ET. Obama is scheduled to deliver a televised address aimed at Americans this evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.
A recent NPR story about homeless veterans brought a remarkable email from listener Gary Bressick, who runs an insurance agency in Los Angeles. The story focused on one veteran, James Brown, who had just moved into his first apartment after living on the streets for most of the previous three decades.
Feminist literary scholar Susan Gubar was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in November 2008. She then began her emigration "from the world of the healthy to the domain of the ill," she writes in her book, Memoir of a Debulked Woman.
Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread throughout the abdomen, and is typically fatal. To slow the spread of the disease, Gubar underwent a procedure known as the mother of all surgeries — a radical debulking operation in which her ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, appendix and parts of her intestine were removed.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous Talk of the Nation show topics including the outlook for new graduates and jobs, guns and "Stand Your Ground" laws, and violinist Joshua Bell's new job.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's China visit comes at a fragile moment in diplomatic relations. Some analysts describe the Chen Guangcheng and Bo Xilai incidents as a "perfect storm" that will test the relationship between the U.S. and China.
In the first formal acknowledgement of what's been an open secret, White House Counter Terrorism adviser John Brennan publicly stated that the U.S. conducts drone strikes targeted on al-Qaida. In a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Brennan opened many doors on drone strikes.
In a piece in last month's Chicago Tribune, reporter Bonnie Miller Rubin described a message from an earlier self, a copy of the Davenport Times Democrat from 1973 that introduced her as that paper's first gal on the sports desk, complete with a photo of her in a short skirt jogging alongside the track team from a local college. In a column, her then-editor wrote: Please, no special treatment for her just because she's a member of the fairer sex. She joins us in a moment.
Are religious people more moved by compassion than those who described themselves as less religious or non-religious?
A group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley set out to answer that question and what they found would surprise some: In three experiments, the social scientists found that the less religious were more generous when presented with situations that stimulated their compassion, which the scientists defined as "an emotion felt when people see the suffering of others which then motivates them to help, often at a personal risk or cost."
Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 3:07 pm
The sports world is brimming with talk about Lopez Lomong, the American runner who set a 2012 world best in the men's 5,000-meter race in California Sunday. It was Lomong's first race at that distance (just over 3 miles), which he covered in 13 minutes and 11.63 seconds. But the race took a very unusual turn in its final laps.
A year ago Tuesday, Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces inside a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. When President Obama announced the news, he called the death of bin Laden "the most significant achievement to date" in the war against al-Qaida.
There continues to be a lot of talk about gender bias in the book industry. The core argument goes that, while both male and female authors write novels about relationships and the domestic sphere, when a woman does so her books are relegated to "chic lit," and when a man (like Jonathan Franzen) does, he's lauded for serious literary achievement.
It's been a year since U.S. special forces entered Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden. Host Michel Martin looks at the impact bin Laden's life and death had on the Arab world with journalist and policy analyst Rami Khouri. He says bin Laden tried to play on Arab anger, and failed.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. A year ago today, U.S. Special Forces launched a secret mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, so we thought it appropriate to spend the first part of our program today getting different perspectives on what the death of bin Laden has meant to the security of the United States and the world.
If you make your own yogurt, there's a chance your yogurt could outlive you.
That's because some bacteria that grow and feed on the sugar in milk – the process that ferments milk into yogurt — can procreate indefinitely in new generations of yogurt.
But not all yogurts have these immortal powers. The typical store-bought yogurt only carries a few strains of bacteria that have been isolated by scientists. Those bacteria on their own can't regenerate very long — maybe just for a generation or two.
Saying he wants to give his supporters "an insider advanced notice that on Wednesday I'll be officially suspending the campaign," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich uses a video this morning to take another step on his way out of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign.
If history holds, Mitt Romney is still months away from announcing a vice presidential running mate on the Republican ticket. But he continues to make appearances with those who could be on the so-called short list.
Or in Romney's case, it may still be a rather long list.
On Monday, Romney campaigned with freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the 43-year-old former state attorney general, in her home state of New Hampshire.
An Associated Press investigation has concluded that the U.S. military and its allies in Afghanistan have been "under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops."