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Shots - Health Blog
11:10 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Bird Flu Research Rattles Bioterrorism Field

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Sun November 20, 2011 11:23 am

Scientists and security specialists are in the midst of a fierce debate over recent experiments on a strain of bird flu virus that made it more contagious.

The big question: Should the results be made public?

Critics say doing so could potentially reveal how to make powerful new bioweapons.

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Music Reviews
10:51 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Miles Davis' Great, Often Bizarre 1967 Quintet

Miles Davis performs at the 1967 Newport Jazz Festival.
New York Daily News Archive Getty Images

Most of the material from Live in Europe 1967 has surfaced before — the set is subtitled The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1 — but the Belgian concert that performance comes from makes its debut here. This Miles Davis quintet was consistently amazing, not least on its last big tour, when Davis' trumpet chops were in good shape.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu November 17, 2011

At Occupy Wall Street: Some Arrests; A Chaotic 'Morning Rush'

As Eyder continues to file posts from the streets of lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been on the march today, here are some other views of what's happening there and other resources for monitoring what's happening:

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The Salt
10:17 am
Thu November 17, 2011

For Thanksgiving, Pumpkins That Won't Be Found In Cans

David Heisler grows 38 varieties of pumpkins on his Maryland farm.
Melissa Forsyth NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:15 am

There are jack o' lanterns, and then there is the pumpkin that comes in cans.

But farmer David Heisler says the world of pumpkins has much, much more to offer.

Heisler grows 38 varieties of pumpkins and winter squash on his farm in Comus, Md., about 50 miles north of Washington, D.C. His farm stand is a riot of pattern and color — red, orange, pink, white, green, yellow, even blue. Though pumpkins originated in the Americas, they're grown and prized around the world: "every continent except Antarctica," says Heisler.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

White House Shooting Suspect Reportedly Hates Obama, Washington

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, who is in custody for allegedly firing shots toward the White House last week, "hates the president, he hates Washington, he hates society," a law enforcement official tells The Washington Post.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Solyndra Loan Decisions 'Were Mine,' Energy Secretary Chu Says

"The final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind," Energy Secretary Steven Chu plans to tell Congress today, as a House committee digs into the controversial $528 million in federal loans made to the now-bankrupt solar energy company.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Thu November 17, 2011

'A Responsibility To Represent The People:' Occupy Protest In Full Swing

Occupy Wall Street protesters gather about a block from the New York Stock Exchange.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 2:06 pm

You could say that the real point of this march began in the past half-hour or so, as Wall Street employees try to navigate choked streets to get to work.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Jobless Claims Decline By 5,000

There were 388,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 5,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

The agency also said that the "4-week moving average" of claims — a way of gauging the trend over a slightly longer period of time — was "396,750, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 400,750."

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Politics
8:30 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Supercommittee Scenarios: How The Debt End Game May Play Out

Supercommittee member, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., third from left, holds his hand out at a hearing Oct. 26. From left are, Supercommittee Co-Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Baucus, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 2:40 pm

The congressional supercommittee — charged with developing a plan for cutting the nation's deficits by $1.2 trillion over 10 years — is days away from its Thanksgiving deadline.

But at this point, no deal is on the table, and pessimism is growing. Economists are worried: Failure to reach a deal would add yet another cloud of uncertainty to an already-dark outlook.

The supercommittee grew out of a heated fight in August in Congress over whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

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Politics
8:30 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Automatic Cuts: Necessary Medicine Or Doomsday?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned Congress that automatic across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon's budget would "invite aggression from U.S. adversaries."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As the congressional "supercommittee" runs out of time to reach a deficit-cutting deal, the word "sequestration" is being spoken more and more in Washington.

Depending upon the speaker's political views, the word can be spit out as a curse word, or intoned as a blessing. But love it or hate it, "sequestration" may turn out to be a word that dramatically changes the world's most powerful military, and reshapes domestic programs for public health, education, the environment and much more.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Top Stories: Occupy Wall Street Day Of Action; Penn State Scandal

Good morning.

Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have begun what they say will be a day full of marches, civil disobedience and other actions aimed at — this is their goal — shutting down Wall Street.

Eyder is there to follow the story as it develops. His posts from the streets are being collected here.

Our other early-morning headlines:

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Europe
7:59 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Silvio Berlusconi To Release Album Of Love Songs

Now that Silvio Berlusconi has resigned as Italy's prime minister, he'll have more time for his music. Berlusconi's newest album is called True Love. It will be releases this month.

Around the Nation
7:50 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Couple Celebrates 50 Years With Another Big Plunge

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Crowd Gathers In New York, Ahead Of Wall Street Protest

Occupy protesters argue with a passerby.
Eyder Peralta NPR

As the sun rose on Zuccotti Park, a crowd began to gather. Amid the falling leaves and the the occasional shouts for a "mic check," the park was flooded by TV camera lights and the constant hum of two helicopters flying high above the buildings.

It's a cold day in New York and the Occupy Wall Street movement is hoping for a strong showing to mark their second anniversary, but by 6:30 a.m., the crowd was thin, perhaps 100 people.

Robert Segal, 47, said he was not going to march today, but he was here to "support community building."

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu November 17, 2011

EPA Takes Action Against Toxic Arizona Copper Plant

A haze can be seen at night hovering over the Asarco copper smelter, which turns copper ore into nearly pure copper bars.
Emma Schwartz Center for Public Integrity

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency has taken tough enforcement action against a copper smelter in Arizona that has drawn complaints about toxic pollution for years.

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Business
4:32 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Would-Be Accountant Takes To Streets To Find Work

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

College graduates face one of the bleakest job markets on record. Reporter Sayre Quevedo of TurnstyleNews.com met an aspiring accountant who emailed resumes for six months and then tried on something more daring.

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Latin America
4:04 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Sao Paulo's Redesign: 'Big Worm' Could Come Down

Sao Paulo, Brazil, is an economic engine in a booming country. It's also a huge mess, with traffic jams that go for miles, crumbling infrastructure and shoddy airports. Urban planners say it needs a major makeover, including razing the Minhocao, an elevated highway known as the "Big Worm."

Neide Batochio loves to sew on her old Singer, strategically placed at a desk in front of her window. She says that way she can see the Minhocao, which twists and turns feet from bedroom windows for 2.2 miles through the center of the city. She says the sound's not so bad.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Rwanda Genocide Survivor To Sit On Holocaust Museum Board

Renee Montagne talks to Rwandan refugee Clemantine Wamariya about her recent appointment to the board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Wamariya survived the Rwandan genocide and is now a student at Yale.

Business
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Labor Department Wants To Make Farming Safer For Kids

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Life as a kid on a farm can seem idyllic. The work, though, can be dangerous. Kids who do farm work are six times more likely to be killed than those doing other jobs.

The Department of Labor now wants new regulations that would bar children under the age of 16 from doing the most dangerous farm jobs. As Harvest Public Media's Peggy Lowe reports, that's angered many who depend on such labor, and see it as a right of passage.

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Africa
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Congolese Presidential Candidate Orders Jail Breaks

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Voters in the Congo head to the polls at the end of this month. The campaigning has been beset by violence which threatens to undermine an electoral process in a giant nation that's at the heart of Africa. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Campaigning took a stormy turn when veteran Congolese opposition politician and presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi sent a bombshell. He proclaimed himself president and ordered his supporters to stage jailbreaks to free their detained colleagues.

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Environment
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

EPA Sites Asarco For Toxic Violations

The Environmental Protection Agency says the Asarco copper smelter in Hayden, Arizona, has been continuously emitting illegal amounts of lead, arsenic and eight other dangerous toxins, for the last six years. The agency's finding means Asarco could face millions of dollars in fines and could be forced to install expensive pollution controls. The EPA disclosed the action last week to NPR and the Center for Public Integrity, which were jointly investigating toxic air pollution in the town.

The Two-Way
2:15 am
Thu November 17, 2011

At A Quiet Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street Prepares For Big Protests

A near-empty Zuccotti Park on Wednesday night.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Late at night on Wednesday, protesters at Zuccotti Park in New York were outnumbered by police. But every now and then a new protester would come into the park and just stare at the space like they were looking at it for the first time.

Jo Robbin, 29, was one of them. One of the first things she did as soon as she made it past the security check point was pull up her sleeves to show the red markings the plastic ties had left her.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Why Brain Injuries Are More Common In Preemies

The most common cause of brain injury in premature infants is a lack of oxygen in the days and weeks after birth, researchers say.
Ibrahim Usta AP

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:26 pm

Scientists say they are beginning to understand why brain injuries are so common in very premature infants — and they are coming up with strategies to prevent or repair these injuries.

The advances could eventually help reduce the number of premature babies who develop cerebral palsy, epilepsy or behavioral disorders such as ADHD, researchers told the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

When Hard Times Means Leaving A Career For A Job

After a long job search, Alice Eastman, a once highly paid professional, now works at Target. "I've climbed to pretty much the top of the one ladder, and now I'm starting at the bottom rung of a different ladder. It's a job. It's not a career," she says.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

Part of a monthlong series

Alice Eastman, a single mother living in Wheaton, Ill., is one of many Americans who, after losing her job, tried to make ends meet on unemployment while she hunted for a job in her field. Then after a long, fruitless search, she took a lower-paying job in retail.

Eastman had a pretty good job making $75,000 a year at the park district in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, heading up its Department of Natural Resources.

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Election 2012
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Political Climate Ripe For A Third-Party Prospect

Ross Perot, shown on a video screen, addresses the Reform Party's national convention in July 1999 in Dearborn, Mich. The billionaire founder of the Reform Party, Perot ran for president as a third-party candidate in both 1992 and 1996.
Jeff Kowalsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Voter dissatisfaction with both parties is at an all-time high — and voters' trust in Washington is at an all-time low.

This is the kind of political climate that is welcoming for an alternative to the Democrats and the Republicans.

Pollster Stan Greenberg worked for Bill Clinton in 1992, when third-party candidate Ross Perot roiled the race. If it happened back then, Greenberg says, it can happen again next year.

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Newt Gingrich
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

By Attacking The Media, Gingrich Built A Following

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has relished attacking the journalists questioning him during the GOP debates.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was once written off as a footnote in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. But, for the moment, polls now show him among the leaders.

Gingrich may have found his voice, in part, by turning the tables on the political press. Republicans have been doing this for decades — quite explicitly at least since Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in 1968.

In Gingrich's case, it was a strategy masquerading as a tactic — one that he adopted over the summer at a time of desperation.

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Asia
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Asia In Focus As U.S Expands Australia Defense Ties

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Obama hold a joint news conference in Australia on Wednesday. The U.S. is sending some 250 U.S. Marines to the country next year, a number that will later grow to 2,500.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

President Obama traveled early Thursday to the Australian city of Darwin, a base for past U.S.-Australian military cooperation. Now it will be one of several military bases from which the U.S. operates as it seeks to reassert itself in Asia.

Some 250 U.S. Marines will arrive in northern Australia next year, a number that will later expand to about 2,500. U.S. jets and warships will also train with the Australians.

Abraham Denmark, a China specialist at the Center for Naval Analyses, sees the new focus on Asia as a natural evolution of U.S. interests.

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It's All Politics
5:18 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Newt Gingrich's Freddie Mac Ties Could Be Poison In GOP Race

In about a week, we've gone from Newt Gingrich saying during a debate that he was paid $300,000 to dispense wisdom to Freddie Mac "as a historian" to his firm being paid nearly $2 million by the mortgage-financing giant for the former House speaker to provide "strategic advice." There's no telling what added details another week might bring.

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It's All Politics
5:05 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

In Swing Through Sunshine State, Cain Struggles To Regain Momentum

Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain greets supporters at a campaign rally outside of Wings Plus on Wednesday in Coral Springs, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Herman Cain followed a path well-worn by other presidential candidates in Miami to the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana on Wednesday. While there, he had a cup of Cuban coffee, sampled a croquette and, playing to the largely Cuban-American crowd called out, "Freedom for Cuba!"

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Newt Gingrich
5:03 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

As Gingrich Surges, He Has Catching Up To Do In N.H.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich greets a supporter at a kickoff party for the opening of a campaign office in Manchester, N.H., on Nov. 11.
Winslow Townson AP

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 6:22 pm

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's surge to the top tier of the GOP presidential field has been sudden.

That's put him squarely in the media spotlight — Gingrich has been buffeted for the past several days over his consulting work for the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. But it's also highlighted the challenge he faces in early-voting states like New Hampshire, where he lacks a traditional campaign structure.

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