From NPR News

Pages

Shots - Health Blog
5:06 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

FDA Tells Weight-Loss Surgery Centers To Pull Misleading Ads

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 4:54 pm

In an unusual move, the Food and Drug Administration has warned a marketing company and eight surgery centers in Southern California that their billboards and other advertisements touting weight-loss surgery are misleading because they don't adequately describe the risks from the procedure.

The agency's letters ask the surgery centers and the marketing firm 1-800-GET-THIN to pull the allegedly misleading advertising.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Biden: Iraq Will Be A Partner; History Will Judge If War Was Worth It

Vice President Joe Biden is interviewed by NPR's Robert Siegel in the Secretary of War Suite of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Dec. 13.
David Lienemann The White House

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 7:49 pm

Saying that the U.S. is not looking for Iraq to be an ally, Vice President Biden told NPR's Robert Siegel this afternoon that the U.S. now views that country as a partner.

"We're looking for a stable, democratic government that is not beholden to anyone in the region and is able to be secure within its own borders and have its own policy ," he said during an interview in Washington's Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House.

Read more
Iraq
4:39 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

U.S. Troops (But Not Their TVs) Prepare To Leave Iraq

A day after leaving Iraq last week, U.S. Army soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division lined up their armored vehicles near Kuwait City, Kuwait. Armored equipment will not stay behind after troops leave Iraq, but other property may.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:34 am

The final American troops are set to leave Iraq in a matter of days. Just a few thousand remain, and they will be heading south toward Kuwait — the starting point for a war that began nearly nine years ago.

The last American military unit out of Iraq will be part of the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas. The division fought in some of the war's toughest battles and suffered nearly 300 killed.

Read more
Music
4:22 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Schubert's 'Winterreise' Paints Bleak Landscape For Bill T. Jones

Choreographer Bill T. Jones at an appearance earlier this year.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

As snowstorms hit the country today, All Things Considered revisits a vivid story that choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones shared about one winter song. It originally aired Dec. 13, 2011.

Read more
Afghanistan
4:20 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

For U.S. Troops, Fighting Starts At Afghan Border

Staff Sgt. Joshua White (center), Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell (left) and Brigade Sgt. Maj. Mike Boom (right) observe a joint patrol of U.S. Army and Afghan National Army soldiers and Afghan police in Paktika province, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3. The mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan has become a new front line in the Afghan war.
Matt Ford AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 11:37 pm

The mountains along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan would be cruel enough without the war raging on below — cliffs drop from 8,000-foot peaks that are spotted with only a few trees among the rocks.

But Afghanistan's eastern border has become the focus of the conflict as militants plot their attacks inside Pakistan, then slip across the rugged frontier to carry them out.

In Afghanistan's southeast Paktika province, Forward Operating Base Tillman looks across toward Pakistan over craggy peaks that American troops have nicknamed "Big Ugly" and "Big Nasty."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Billionaire Dreamer, Aviation Pioneer Aim For Orbit

A computer-generated image provided by Stratolaunch shows the planned carrier aircraft, with a rocket attached on its centerline and six jet engines suspended beneath its wings.
Stratolaunch Systems

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 4:26 pm

Remember when the space shuttle — aka "space truck" — was going to make make trips into Earth orbit a routine thing? It really didn't turn out the way people had hoped. Now there's a new pretender to throne, another team ready to try and make bring flights into space a little closer to an everyday reality.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:03 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

How Alabama Banned Holiday Gifts For Teachers

A new ethics law in Alabama bans all government workers — including teachers — from receiving gifts.
Lisa Thornberg iStockphoto.com

This time of year, you might be thinking about what sort of gift or tip you'd like to offer your child's teacher for Christmas.

In Alabama, they won't let you get away with that kind of illegal behavior.

Alabama's new ethics law, which took effect in March, bans nearly all gifts to government workers — not just elected officials, but all state, county and municipal employees. That includes schoolteachers, as a lengthy opinion from the state ethics commission makes clear.

Read more
Europe
3:55 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Europe Gets Austerity, But With Few Signs Of Growth

A French man holds a flare during a protest against the government's austerity measures on Tuesday in Lille, northern France. European governments are proposing austerity measures, but critics say there should also be a plan for economic growth.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 8:20 pm

The plan European leaders agreed on last week to save the euro doesn't seem to have reassured the markets.

Two ratings agencies said the plan worked out in Brussels, which calls for greater fiscal integration, failed to address the immediate crisis of rising debts and the crushing costs of borrowing.

And some economists worry that the EU leaders are wrong to put so much emphasis on austerity without any real plans to stimulate economic growth.

For example, Portugal's growth rate last year was anemic, and the economies of Greece and Ireland shrank.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Do You Ignore Your Phone While Driving?

Just put it in the cupholder.
Michael Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 3:32 pm

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

That's the message from the National Transportation Safety Board, which today recommended that states "ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers."

That means put the phone down and leave it there.

Read more
Middle East
3:23 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

For Some Arab Revolutionaries, A Serbian Tutor

Srdja Popovic, who runs the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, speaks in Belgrade in February. He played a prominent role in ousting Serbia's dictator in 2000, and has worked with Arabs involved in uprisings in their countries during the past year.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 7:21 pm

Srdja Popovic, a lanky biologist from Belgrade, helped overthrow a dictator in Serbia a decade ago. Since then, he's been teaching others what he learned, and his proteges include a host of Arab activists who have played key roles in ousting Arab autocrats over the past year.

"This is a bad year for bad guys," Popovic says with a broad grin in a New York cafe.

Read more
Law
3:15 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Immigration Detainees Seek Prison-Rape Protection

Human rights advocates are calling on the Obama administration to do more to protect people in immigration detention centers from sexual assault. A new federal rule that will take effect next year covers inmates in jails and prisons, but some Homeland Security officials want an exemption for facilities that house illegal immigrants.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

You're Fired, Trump Tells Himself; He Won't Be Moderating Any Debate

Donald Trump on the FOX & Friends set last week.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 3:59 pm

He'd hinted that this might happen.

Read more
Research News
2:58 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

No 'God Particle' Yet, But Scientists Say Stay Tuned

This image, from a sensor at the particle accelerator at CERN, is an example of the data signature a Higgs particle might generate. Researchers will spend into 2012 sifting through data in an attempt to find the Higgs.
CERN

Physicists have a grand theory that describes how tiny particles interact to form all the stuff we see in the universe — everything from planets to toasters to human beings.

But there is one particle predicted by this theory that has never been detected in experiments. It's called the Higgs boson. Scientists are dying to know if it really exists — and now researchers are closer to finding out than ever before.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
2:44 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Facebook Aims To Prevent Suicides With Online Help

iStockPhoto.com

If you're considering suicide, Facebook now stands ready to get you some help.

The gigantic social-networking site said Tuesday that if any of its 800 million users type a post saying they are contemplating suicide, the site will offer to connect them to a crisis counselor through the site's chat system.

Read more
Newt Gingrich
2:37 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Analysis: Gingrich's Tax Plan Would Benefit The Rich

Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, seen here during Saturday's ABC debate, is currently leading in GOP polls. His tax plan would introduce a 15 percent flat income tax.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

According to many polls, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is now leading the Republican pack. His plan to rewrite the nation's tax policy hasn't gotten as much attention as some of his other proposals, but, according to a new analysis, it would require sweeping changes to the government.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Fed: Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Policy Unchanged

Signs suggest "that the economy has been expanding moderately" in recent months, "notwithstanding some apparent slowing in global growth," Federal Reserve Policymakers just reported.

And, as expected, they announced no policy changes that would either add or subtract to the amount of help the central bank gives the economy.

In "Fed speak":

Read more
The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

The Buck Stops: Treasury Suspends Production Of Presidential Dollars

The $1 George Washington coin.
U.S. Mint AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 4:05 pm

Saying it can save taxpayers $50 million a year, the Treasury Department announced today that it is suspending almost all production of presidential dollar coins.

Read more
NPR Story
2:10 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Slipping Out Of The Middle Class Can Hit Kids Hard

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:10 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The Department of Agriculture reports that the number of students receiving free or reduced lunch soared by 17 percent last year. That's up to 21 million. Given the state of the economy, the statistics may come as no surprise, but each new child who qualifies for free lunch means another family fallen out of the middle class.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Death Toll Rises In Syria, Adding To U.N. Estimate Of 5,000 Killed So Far

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Syrian mourners carrying the coffin of a woman who was reportedly killed in the al-Hula region of central Homs province on December 12, 2011.
YouTube AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:40 pm

One day after the United Nations said that more than 5,000 people have died in nine months of protests and clashes against the Syrian government, the AP quotes activists saying that at least 28 more people died Tuesday at the hands of Syrian security forces.

Fighting between the government and the opposition was heaviest along the country's northwestern border with Turkey.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Robocalls To Cellphones? States Marshal Opposition

"No, I don't want to renew my subscription." What if they could reach you anywhere?
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:51 pm

A bill before Congress that would allow some types of "robocalls" to be made to cellphones if consumers have given companies their numbers doesn't have many sponsors and wouldn't seem to be the kind of legislation that would stand much of a chance of passing when an election year looms.

But it's getting an increasing amount of attention this week thanks to something that's very rare these days — bipartisan opposition.

Read more
Planet Money
1:09 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

White House Kills Dollar Coin Program

Dollar coins gathering dust in the Fed's Baltimore brach.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 5:24 pm

The federal government will stop minting unwanted $1 coins, the White House said Tuesday. The move will save an estimated $50 million a year.

Earlier this year, we reported on the mountain of $1 coins sitting unused in government vaults. The pile-up — an estimated 1.4 billion coins — was caused by a 2005 law that ordered the minting of coins honoring each U.S. president.

Read more
News
1:04 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism

Americans are craving food grown locally: There are now more than 6,000 farmers markets across the country. Here Ron Samascott organizes apples from his orchard in Kinderhook, N.Y., at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

You can talk about the global village, a mobile society and the World Wide Web all you want, but many in our country seem to be turning toward a New American Localism.

These days, we are local folks and our focus is local. We are doing everything locally: food, finance, news, charity. And maybe for good reasons.

"One bedrock thing that is going on," says Brad Edmondson, founder of ePodunk and former editor of American Demographics magazine, is that "because of aging and the recession, people aren't moving around as much."

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Op-Ed: Protests In Russia Can't Sideline Putin

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now the Opinion Page, which was moved - which we moved from its regular Monday slot this week because of our special broadcast yesterday from National Geographic. After big demonstrations in Moscow and other cities in Russia over the weekend, we heard comparisons to the Arab Spring. Some predicted the protests could herald sweeping change. In an op-ed for The New York Times, Kathryn Stoner-Weiss argues that the protests are not completely meaningless, but she concluded that things will go on, much as they did before.

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Letters: The Postal Service,Why We Gossip

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Troop Pullout Not The End Of US Presence In Iraq

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. About 5,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, and they will all leave by the end of this month. Yesterday, President Obama marked the end of the nearly nine-year-long war as a campaign promise kept. He stood beside Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki yesterday and reflected on the costs and said U.S. troops will leave with their heads held high.

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Medicare, Medicare Hard To Change, Says Former Head

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Until the beginning of this month, Donald Berwick served as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Berwick's nomination got caught up in the partisan politics that accompany passage of the health care law, and he took office under a controversial recess appointment. His mission was to make the centers more efficient, to cut costs and to deliver more patient-centered care. On his way out of office, he said that as much as a third of the money spent on Medicare and Medicaid is wasted.

Read more
The Salt
11:58 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Greeks Stomach Economic Crisis With Help Of 'Starvation Recipes'

Historian and cookbook author Eleni Nikolaidou with her book Starvation Recipes. Recession-hit Greeks are fascinated with the book's World War II-era survival tips and recipes.
Thanassis Stavrakis ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 3:53 pm

When Eleni Nikolaidou began studying the survival diets of World War II Greece a couple of years ago, she never expected to turn the research for her master's thesis into a cookbook.

Read more
Television
11:39 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

Louis C.K. has written for The Late Show with David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
FX

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 12:37 pm

In the FX TV series Louie, comic Louis C.K. plays a divorced father of two struggling to balance his comedy career with being a single dad. The show, which has just been picked up for a third season, is often based on events that have happened to C.K. in his own life.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:34 am
Tue December 13, 2011

New Poll Suggests Latino Voters See 'Hostile' GOP

Nearly half of the Latino voters in a new survey said nominating Sen. Marco Rubio as a vice presidential candidate would have no effect on their votes.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 4:07 pm

The overwhelming majority of Latino voters believe that the Republican Party ignores them or is outright "hostile," and that nominating Hispanic Sen. Marco Rubio as a vice presidential candidate might do little to change it, according to a national poll released Monday.

The December survey, conducted by impreMedia and the polling group Latino Decisions, is the first to test the popularity of the freshman senator from Florida with America's Hispanics.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:25 am
Tue December 13, 2011

White House's 'Promise Kept' Iraq Timeline Starts On Jan. 20, 2009

"Promise Kept," it says on the landing page of the Iraq War interactive timeline posted by the White House today.
WhiteHouse.gov

A message from the White House on its Twitter page popped up a few minutes ago saying:

"After nearly 9 years of sacrifice, America's war in Iraq is coming to an end. Experience the interactive timeline: wh.gov/iraq"

Read more

Pages