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Shots - Health Blog
6:26 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

No Surgery Required For Some Stabbing, Shooting Patients

iStockphoto.com

When it comes to a gunshot or stab wound in the stomach, surgeons will almost reflexively open up a patient's abdomen to look for damage.

But that's starting to change as doctors rethink how best to manage trauma cases.

A team of researchers pored over the National Trauma Data Bank and examined more than 25,000 cases of penetrating injuries to the abdomen (about 12,000 gunshot cases and 13,000 stabbings) in the U.S. between 2002 and 2008.

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The Salt
6:16 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Why Overpriced Japanese Sushi Is Bad For Bluefin Stocks

Each January, the first bluefin tuna auction at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market commands some of the highest prices of the year.

This year's auction got off to an especially extravagant start when a sushi chain owner paid 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, for one 593-pound bluefin tuna yesterday, according to wire service reports.

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Author Interviews
5:39 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

'Pity The Billionaire': The Right's Unlikely Comeback

How did the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009 give birth to a conservative populist revolt?

That's the question Thomas Frank tries to answer in his new book — and sharp-tongued liberal polemic — Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

After Seven Years, Families Of Slain Blackwater Contractors Settle Suit

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 9:21 pm

Seven years after the suit was filed, the families of four contractors killed in Iraq have settled a lawsuit with Academi, the company formerly known as Blackwater.

If you remember, the 2004 incident produced one of the most gruesome images of the war in Iraq: the charred bodies of two Blackwater guards were hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

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Commentary
5:05 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

On The GOP Trail, The Serendipity Of A Lost Wallet

Aarti Shahani waits for the airport shuttle to take her on her final leg.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:44 pm

It's Jan. 1.

I'm en route to Iowa to cover the caucuses. I'm a novice reporter and NPR editors trusted me to tag along.

At my layover in Minneapolis, I reach into my pocket to pay for a chai tea latte and — wait — where's my wallet? I can't find my wallet. I double, triple, quadruple check.

I run back to the gate. "Ma'am, I think my wallet fell out of my coat in overhead. Seat 20B." She checks it out. Negative. It's not there.

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What's in a Song?
4:46 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Group Singalongs Provide Comfort For A Livelihood Lost

Barre Toelken (second from right) at one of his weekly singing sessions with his wife Miko (far right) and friends.
Hal Cannon

For the past several years, a group of friends has gathered every week in the living room of a suburban home in Logan, Utah, to sing long-forgotten songs. It's a fun way to spend the evening, but it's also therapy for a dear friend.

Until several years ago, Barre Toelken was a folklorist at Utah State University. He'd spent much of his life preserving sea shanties and other antique songs, but then he had a stroke and was forced to retire.

"I used to know 800 songs," Toelken says. "I had this stroke, and I had none of these songs left in my head. None of them were left."

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Snowy Owls, Rare In North America, Are Appearing All Over The U.S.

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 6:51 pm

Snowy owls are a rare sight in the United States. They usually live in the Arctic but every third or fourth winter some will venture south.

But this year, the AP reports, there is an abundance of the birds, which garnered almost mythical stature when they were featured in the Harry Potter films.

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Not Officially Republicans, 'Undeclared' Voters Could Sway N.H. Race

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman shakes hands with voters following a business lunch campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H. on Jan. 5.
JESSICA RINALDI Reuters /Landov

In Tuesday's primary, many of those showing up to vote will not be registered as Republicans. In New Hampshire, voters unaffiliated with either party can vote in the primary.

So-called "undeclared" voters outnumber both Republicans and Democrats in the Granite State, accounting for more than 40 percent of the electorate. That makes New Hampshire's independent vote a tempting, but elusive target.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

SuperPACs, Candidates: Dancing Solo Or Together?

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 6:54 pm

This is the season of the presidential superPACs: They flooded Iowa with attack ads, and now they are looking ahead to primaries in South Carolina and Florida.

SuperPACs (political action committees) can solicit big, corporate contributions — something candidates can't do. And, according to the law, superPACs are barred from coordinating their ads with the candidates they support. But it's not nearly that simple.

A SuperPAC Attacks

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Near Icy Waters, Marine Life Gets By Swimmingly

Hairy-chested yeti crabs, seven-armed sea stars, white octopuses — all these creatures were seen for the first time by researchers in the Antarctic. Robert Siegel talks to biologist Alex Rodgers of the University of Oxford, who led the expedition.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Navajo Code Talker Keith Little Dies

One of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers from World War II has died. Keith Little, who transmitted codes in important Pacific battles such as Iwo Jima and Saipan, died Tuesday at 87. He led the Navajo Code Talkers Association in recent years and fought to get recognition for the Code Talkers, who were ordered to keep their contribution to the war effort secret for decades after the war ended.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Santorum Tries To Connect With N.H. Voters

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum nearly won the Iowa caucuses on the strength of his retail campaigning across all of the state's counties — and his connection with Christian conservative voters. Now he's in New Hampshire, with just days to go before the first-in-the-nation primary. Santorum is trying to connect with independent-minded voters in a very secular state.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Diver Finds Lost Class Ring From The '30s

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel talk about a diver who found a class ring lost in the 1930s — and reunited it with the owner's grandson nearly 40 years later.

Middle East
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

In Syria, Suicide Bomber Kills More Than Two Dozen

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Syrian officials are vowing to respond with an iron fist to a suicide bombing in Damascus today, 25 people were killed. It was the second deadly bomb attack in the Syrian capital in recent weeks. The government and opposition activists traded accusations as to who was responsible. And the bombing raised fears of escalating violence, as the Arab League presses Syria to implement a peace plan.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is monitoring developments in Syria from Istanbul.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)

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Law
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Justice Department Redefines Rape

The Justice Department is redefining the criminal definition of "rape" for the first time since the 1920s. It will now include same-sex assaults and a definition beyond actual intercourse. This will change the way local police departments report crime statistics.

Photography
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

A Digital Death? Why Kodak Stopped Clicking

Kodak's Steven J. Sasson holds the world's first digital camera, which he built in 1975, at Kodak headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., in 2005. The company is now trying to sell about a thousand patents for digital photography to prevent bankruptcy.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Sat January 7, 2012 1:11 am

The end could soon be near for Kodak, and the iconic film manufacturer may have itself to blame.

Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., could be headed into bankruptcy over the next few weeks. The company has seen its profits plunge in recent years, largely because of the popularity of digital cameras.

Kodak is trying to move into new product lines like inkjet printers, but in the meantime it's attempting to raise cash by selling off some of the patents it's developed over the years.

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Sports
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

NFL To Kick Off Exciting Playoff Weekend

The NFL kicks off an exciting weekend of games Saturday when it starts its playoffs. Meanwhile, there's big news in the sport that most of the rest of the world calls football. Fox television is making a major play to air more soccer games in this country, including an English Premier League game before the Super Bowl. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis talks with Robert Siegel about the news in both kinds of football.

Commentary
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Week In Politics: Jobs; Recess Appointments; GOP Campaigns

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times. They discuss the jobs numbers, Obama's recess appointments and presidential campaign developments.

Economy
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Report Posts Stronger-Than-Expected Employment

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Today, new evidence that the pace of job growth is picking up. The government's employment report for December showed 200,000 jobs added to payrolls. The unemployment rate continued its downward trend falling to 8.5 percent.

And while that may be welcome news, as NPR's John Ydstie explains, the December report could be overstating job growth.

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National Security
3:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

U.S. Navy Ship Saves Iranians From Pirates

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, a story with this you-can't-make-it-up headline: Americans Rescue Iranian's From Pirates. According to the U.S. Navy, yesterday in the North Arabian Sea, a Navy battle group came across a fishing vessel in distress. The crew was Iranian and they'd been held hostage for weeks by pirates. And here's the irony: The American battle group included the same aircraft carrier that Iran's government threatened earlier this week.

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Africa
2:51 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Rapper's Imprisonment Tests Moroccan Reforms

Moroccan rapper Mouad Belrhouate, shown here on an album cover, is commonly known as El-Haqed, or "the defiant one." He's been jailed for four months and is awaiting trial in Casablanca. His supporters say his case shows the limits of recent political changes introduced by King Mohammed VI.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:18 pm

Morocco has been called one of the winners of the Arab Spring. The country's young king, Mohammed VI, offered a new constitution and early elections, taking the steam out of a protest movement that rose up last February.

But the arrest and trial of an artist who writes provocative rap songs show that there seem to be limits to the reforms.

The rap songs of 24-year-old Mouad Belrhouate are popular in Morocco, even more so after the four months he has spent in jail.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

American Teen Mistakenly Deported To Colombia Is On Her Way Home

Jakadrien Turner.
Screenshot ABC

Jakadrien Turner, a Texas teen deported to Colombia after authorities said she lied to them about who she was, is headed back home today.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Mountain Dew Mouse Story Goes Viral

No, he wasn't going extreme, Pepsi says.
Eric Isselee iStockphoto.com

We thought the World Wide Web was supposed to make information fly.

But now we have to question that notion.

It's taken a year and a half for us to hear that Pepsi is defending itself against a lawsuit claiming that a mouse was found in a can of Mountain Dew by saying that the furry little creature couldn't have been there because:

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Opinion
1:50 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Internet Exiles Stores On Main Street

John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy in Louisville, Ky., closed his record shop after 26 years of business because of the bad economy.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Open any children's book with a scene set downtown and you'll see a picture of basically the same row of shops. There's a bookstore, a pharmacy, a florist, a post office and a bank, and maybe a bakery where the kids can hope for a free cookie.

Nearly all those businesses are under threat from the Internet.

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Environment
1:42 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Winter Wonderland? Wonder No Longer

The winter solstice has come and gone, making it officially winter in the U.S., with cooler temperatures, less sunlight, and, in some places, snow, ice, and frost. A panel of experts discusses the different phenomena that combine to make up the season we call winter, and give tips for how best to appreciate the natural world in wintertime.

The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Obama Administration Will Ease Path To Legality For Some Immigrants

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 2:26 pm

The Obama administration said it is proposing a change for the way some apply to become legal, permanent residents of the United States. The change would affect American citizens whose children or spouses are in the country illegally.

The current rule mandates that in order to apply for legal status, a person must return to their country and wait there while the long process continues. The rule tweak would allow those family members to stay in the country while the application works its way through the bureaucracy.

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Medical Treatments
1:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

One Scholar's Take On The Power of The Placebo

A placebo can take the form of a sugar pill or even a fake surgery. It's often used to test the effectiveness of a trial drug. Ted Kaptchuk, director of Harvard University's Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter, discusses potential applications for the healing power of placebos.

Health
1:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Debate Persists Over Publishing Bird Flu Studies

A federal advisory board has urged scientific journals not to publish the research from two labs that have developed an airborne flu virus. Microbiologist Vincent Racaniello discusses why the move sets a bad precedent. Biosecurity expert D.A. Henderson talks about the risks of publishing the research.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Levitating Fruit Flies To Learn About Space Travel

Physicist Richard Hill and colleagues at the University of Nottingham have a powerful magnet that they have used to levitate fruits, beer and most recently, fruit flies. It's a low-cost way to study the effects of zero gravity on biological systems, Hill says.

Research News
1:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Parasitic Fly Threatens Honey Bee Populations

Honey bee colonies around the United States are in decline, threatened by several different diseases and parasites. John Hafernik, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, describes how a parasitic fly that was thought to prey upon bumblebees may pose a new threat to honey bee populations in the U.S.

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