From NPR News

Pages

Around the Nation
12:01 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Historic Ford Plant Site Likely A Tough Sell

Ford employees assemble parts for Ranger pickup trucks. The last Ranger rolled off the line weeks ago as the plant prepares to close.
Jennifer Simonson for NPR

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

The Ford Motor Co. recently closed its historic Twin Cities Assembly Plant on a scenic river bluff in St. Paul, Minn. In better times, the parcel of land might have made condo developers drool, but in today's real estate market, redevelopment of the old factory could be a long way off.

The industrial architect Albert Kahn was particularly skilled at making factories blend into their surroundings. The 2-million-square-foot plant has a classical stone facade that flows along the Mississippi River bluff. The red tile roof of its hydroelectric plant glows in the sunlight.

Read more
It Was A Good Year For...
12:01 am
Tue December 27, 2011

In Vermont, Gravel And Road Business Is Up

Chris Carl, foreman of the Shelburne Limestone Corp. quarry in South Wallingford, says Vermont's weather woes helped to more than double the quarry's business.
Nina Keck Vermont Public Radio

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:53 am

Federal, state and local spending on roadways is down nearly 6 percent. That's made it a tough year for many in the road-building business β€” but not in Vermont. There, pavers, excavators and other companies have had one of their busiest years ever, thanks to a storm named Irene.

For the past several months, Steve Wilk and Doug Casella have spent a lot of time in and out of their pickup trucks, checking on their road crews. For a business meeting, they just pull off onto the rocky shoulder to talk about new guardrails and blacktop for a job they're working on.

Read more
Iraq
12:01 am
Tue December 27, 2011

No U.S. Troops, But An Army Of Contractors In Iraq

As many as 5,000 private security contractors will be protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The U.S. Embassy compound (above) and several consulates will have about 15,000 workers, making it the largest diplomatic operation abroad.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

The U.S. troops have left Iraq, and U.S. diplomats will now be the face of America in a country that remains extremely volatile.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, along with several consulates, will have some 15,000 workers, making it the largest U.S. diplomatic operation abroad. Those diplomats will be protected by a private army consisting of as many as 5,000 security contractors who will carry assault weapons and fly armed helicopters.

Read more
News
4:15 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

With 'Occupy' Protests, Police Aimed For Restraint

This fall American police were confronted with something they hadn't seen in 40 years: prolonged, simultaneous political protests across the country. In most cities, police showed restraint. But there have been exceptions β€” sometimes involving copious amounts of pepper spray. Those flashpoints have become a cause for concern.

Read more
Economy
4:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

What's Holding Back One 'Job Creator'? Not Taxes

"We've got the space, we have equipment, we've got the cash, we've got the customers, we have the product," says Tim O'Keeffe, owner of G.L. Huyett. "We have everything we need β€” except the people."
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:53 am

There aren't many people on the broad Kansas prairie, but there is industry.

At G.L. Huyett, boxy machines jammed into a big metal building grind steel into heavy transmission parts.

"We're a supplier of last resort," says Tim O'Keeffe, who owns the company. If you have disruptions in the supply chain and someone can't meet a shipping time, he says, G.L. Huyett can step in.

Read more
The Record
3:31 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

It Was A Good Year For Swag

Lil B.
Courtesy of the artist.

2011 was a good year for the word "swag". Not trinkets, or party favors, not an acronym for Stuff We All Get, "swag" comes from swagger. This year a term that hip-hop artists have been using for nearly a decade enjoyed a moment in the spotlight.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

Hospitals Move To Curb Elective Early Deliveries

More hospitals in Massachusetts and across the country are saying no to elective deliveries of babies before 39 weeks unless medically necessary. Doctors cite increased health risks associated with early deliveries, not costs β€” though Texas' Medicaid program has stopped paying for such births.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

'Blink Of An Eye' Starts Year Off With A Bang

A nuclear bomb wipes out a U.S. city β€” and it's unclear who the real perpetrator is. Though current events β€” the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Iraq β€” have overtaken the plot of Blink of An Eye, the political thriller from former Secretary of Defense William Cohen is exciting nonetheless. Alan Cheuse

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

Occupy Response Prompts Debate Over Use Of Force

In most cities, police have shown restraint in dealing th Occupy protests this fall. But there have been exceptions, sometimes involving what experts say is excessive force, and the use of pepper spray and tear gas. Those flashpoints have become a cause for concern.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

In Kabul, Banking On Luxury Accommodations

A five-star hotel in Afghanistan may seem a risky business proposition. But not to the Marriott chain, which is going to manage a six-story hotel under construction in Kabul. Part of the U.S. and NATO security bubble, it will likely draw foreign businesspeople hoping to sign reconstruction deals.

Election 2012
3:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

In Iowa, All Eyes On Republican Hopefuls

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 4:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

Read more
NPR Story
2:30 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

Finish Your 2011 To-Do List? The Clock's Ticking!

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 2:30 pm

Remember those 2011 new year's resolutions? If you haven't contributed to your child's college savings plan or spent your use-it-or-lose-it flexible savings account funds, there are still a few days left to get it done. Chicago Tribune columnist John McCarron shares tips on taking care of business.

Animals
1:38 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

Endangered Turtle Survives Trans-Atlantic Journey

A Kemp's ridley sea turtle like this one traveled 4,600 miles across the Atlantic ocean in 2008. After being rehabilitated in Portugal, it is being reintroduced into its native Gulf of Mexico waters on Tuesday.
US EPA via flickr

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 4:28 pm

On Florida's Gulf coast Tuesday, there will be a celebrated homecoming. For a turtle. This is no ordinary turtle: Known as Johnny Vasco da Gama, after the 15th-century Portuguese explorer, it crossed the Atlantic twice β€” by sea and by air.

Johnny, as his human friends call him, is a critically endangered Kemp's ridley turtle. Only a few thousand of these sea-turtles exist, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico. Normally, they do not migrate across the Atlantic.

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

How Iraq, Afghanistan Have Changed The Military

U.S. forces have left Iraq and a drawdown in Afghanistan is underway, but both wars have left an indelible impact on the U.S. military. The armed forces have altered strategy and tactics, and countless lives have been changed β€” including those of the families of service members serving multiple deployments.

Conflict In Libya
12:55 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

Injured In Battle, Libyans Recuperate In U.S. Hospital

Dr. Ryan Zaklin and other doctors at Spaulding Hospital are wearing name tags in English and Arabic to help their Libyan patients. There are also small sticky notes with English words written on them scattered throughout the hospital to help the patients learn terms for common objects.
Sacha Pfeiffer for NPR

Libya's civil war toppled a dictator and put the country on a path to democracy, but many of the rebel fighters who helped create that change are still recovering from battle injuries. Spaulding Hospital in Salem, Massachusetts, near Boston, is treating about two dozen of them β€” the only hospital in the country providing this kind of care.

Handwritten signs in Arabic are hung in a physical therapy room at the hospital, where several Libyan patients are getting rehab for injuries to their shoulders, hands and arms.

Read more
Digital Life
12:24 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

The Touchy-Feely Future Of Technology

While many think of the tablet computer as a new idea, the concept can traced back to the original Star Trek series and Arthur C. Clarke's 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Noel Celis AFP/Getty Images

In 1975, when then-composer and performer Bill Buxton started designing his own digital musical instruments, he had no way of knowing he was helping to spark the next technological revolution. But nine years β€” and a master's in computer science β€” later, that all changed.

Read more
The Record
12:00 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

Skylar Grey: And The Hits Keep Coming

Skylar Grey.
P.R. Brown Courtesy of Universal Music Group

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 2:41 pm

Read more
Technology
11:38 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Timeline: A History Of Touch-Screen Technology

The University of Illinois released its PLATO IV touch-screen terminal in 1972.
Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 10:15 pm

1948 The Electronic Sackbut
The history of touch technology begins with touch-sensitive music synthesizers. According to the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Hugh Le Caine's Electronic Sackbut, completed in 1948, is widely considered to be the first musical synthesizer. The Sackbut is played with the right hand on the keyboard and the left hand on control board above the keyboard. The right hand controls volume by applying more or less pressure on the keys, while the left hand controls four different sound texture options.

Read more
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
11:15 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Jimmy Fallon's 'Thank You Notes' For Everything

Jimmy Fallon says he spends almost 12 hours each day at the Late Night offices, which makes the rest of his life difficult. "If I want to play video games now, I have to schedule it," he tells Terry Gross.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 11:18 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on May 23, 2011.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:02 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Paul Disavows Newsletters, But In '95 Video He Seems To Claim Credit

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas speaks during a campaign stop in Fort Madison, Iowa on Dec. 21.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 12:15 pm

Ron Paul's struggles to distance himself from some decades-old controversial newsletters got a bit tougher over the holiday weekend.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:12 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Gingrich Ballot Stumble In Virginia Could Be Sign Of Delegate Fight Ahead

A supporter takes a photo with a cell phone as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich greets supporters Dec. 22 in Richmond. Gingrich said then that he would gather enough signatures to make the Virginia ballot, but over the weekend he failed to qualify.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Every four years, a small subset of political junkies starts salivating over the prospect that no one candidate will garner enough delegates to win his or her party's nomination for the presidency. That would lead to the junkie's greatest fantasy: a brokered convention.

Read more
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
9:11 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Waits: Paying Homage To Outcasts On 'Bad As Me'

Tom Waits.

Jesse Dylan

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on October 31, 2011.


Read more
Around the Nation
7:10 am
Mon December 26, 2011

NBA Commissioner Turns Boos Into Cheers

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 7:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's All Politics
7:07 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Silent For A Night (Or Two) In Iowa, Candidates Keep Pace In Ads

Around the Nation
7:05 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Santa Trackers Set Record On Christmas Eve

The North American Aerospace Defense Command keeps an eye on Saint Nick's progress from an Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. NORAD volunteers in elf hats fielded more than 100,000 calls from kids checking on Santa.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Milwaukee VA Cuts In-Patient Stays

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 7:16 am

The VA hospital in Milwaukee is shortening its residential mental health treatment programs. Doctors there say the shortened stay β€” from 90 to 45 days β€” will mean more intense treatment and will make it easier for veterans to transition back into society sooner. Some patients worry about being pushed out too soon.

Sports
5:26 am
Mon December 26, 2011

NBA Stars Didn't Disappoint In Season Openers

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 7:16 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Perhaps more than any other major professional sports league in this country, the National Basketball Association is star-driven. And yesterday, the stars did not disappoint. A Christmas slate of season-opening games featured the electric play of the league's Most Valuable Player, Derrick Rose, and the NBA's top scorer, Kevin Durant, and this guy named LeBron James as well. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman monitored as much as he could of 13 hours of NBA action. And he joins me now.

Good morning, Tom.

Read more
Europe
5:18 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Russians Keep Up Protests For Free Elections

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 7:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Children's Health
4:20 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Philadelphia Practice Flight Helps Autistic Kids Fly

People travelling through Philadelphia International Airport Terminal A West Transit Corridor. The airport is the 12th busiest in the world.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 7:16 am

Air travel horror stories typically involve lost luggage, missed connections and overzealous security staff. But families affected by autism face other challenges in navigating airports and planes.

A Philadelphia program is bringing families, airport employees and airlines together to help autistic kids fly more comfortably.

Airports are loud, hectic places: blaring announcements, glaring lights and long lines can spell trouble for people with autism. They often can't tolerate noise, bright lights and close quarters.

Read more
Business
4:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

The Top Gadgets Of 2011

Linda Wertheimer talks to Rich Jaroslovsky, tech columnist for Bloomberg News, about his top gadget picks for 2011.

Pages