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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Theoretical Physicist Seeks Concrete Answers In 'Genius'

Ted is a theoretical physicist facing a slew of resolutely concrete problems. His son is racing headlong into puberty. His daughter's prodigious intellect causes her to stand out at school — the very last thing the girl wants. His elderly father-in-law isn't remembering much, these days, save for the fact that he hates Ted's guts. His wife is sick and getting sicker, just as his employer, a prominent think tank, threatens to fire him for lack of productivity. To keep his job, and its health care coverage, Ted needs an idea.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In India, At Least 22 Children Die After Eating Poisoned School Lunch

A woman cries after her grandson, who consumed a poisoned meal at a school on Tuesday, died at a hospital in the eastern Indian city of Patna.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:42 pm

At least 22 children are dead in India after they ate a poisoned school lunch Tuesday at a school in the eastern state of Bihar.

The images are horrific. The AFP reports:

"There were emotional scenes as children, their limbs dangling and heads lolling to one side, were brought to a hospital in the Bihar city of Chhapra.

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Business
3:51 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Yahoo's Stock Soars, Sales Remain Flat

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

There's been excitement on Wall Street about a turnaround at Yahoo since Marissa Mayer became head of the company last year. Mayer has completed high profile acquisitions and sought to improve worker morale. Second quarter revenues missed expectations as Yahoo struggled to corral advertising dollars.

Politics
3:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Senate Fails To Detonate 'Nuclear Option'

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

Democrats had been preparing to change Senate rules on filibusters to push through President Obama's nominations to executive branch positions. Republicans agreed to allow votes on five nominations, and Democrats agreed to replace two particularly contentious names with others.

Around the Nation
3:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Paul, Cruz Back Bill Changing Military Sexual Assault System

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And support is growing in Congress for a bill that to allow military prosecutors to decide whether or not to try serious military crimes, including sexual assault. That would take the decision out of the hands of commanders, commanders who are in a position of overseeing the careers of both the victims and the accused. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that two Republican senators and possible presidential hopefuls in 2016 are joining forces with Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

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Business
3:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Rising Interest Rates Worry Banking Industry

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

Five years after the start of the financial crisis, the U.S. banking industry continues to earn strong profits. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs became the latest big bank to report better than expected earnings. But rising interest rates mean a riskier environment for banks.

Business
3:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Hasbro Cuts Off Funding To National Scrabble Association

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:54 am

The company had spent millions of dollars supporting the independent group. The National Scrabble Association played a support role for the Scrabble community for more than 25 years. It worked with Merriam-Webster to create an official dictionary, and it refereed tournaments. Hasbro is now taking over those duties.

Europe
3:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Civil Servants In Greece 'Sit-In' To Fight For Their Jobs

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:57 am

Greece's two largest unions held a general strike and anti-austerity demonstrations on Tuesday. Now, the country's parliament will debate and vote on deep civil service cuts. Greece must downsize the public sector in order for it to keep getting international bailout loans.

Business
3:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke To Address Members Of Congress

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:50 am

It's semi-annual testimony time for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Sounds dry but lots of people will be hanging on his every word these next two days. Markets have been on a wild ride since Bernanke delivered a news conference last month. In that speech he laid out plans to scale back the Fed's bond-buying program.

Law
3:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Holder: It's Time To Examine 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Attorney General Eric Holder says it is time to take a hard look at so-called Stand Your Ground laws. These are laws that allow people to use deadly force to defend themselves, if they believe they're under attack. Holder delivered that call to action yesterday in a speech to the NAACP in Orlando, Fla., a short distance away from where unarmed, black teen Trayvon Martin was shot and killed last year. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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Shots - Health News
2:02 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Sickle Cell Anemia Is On The Rise Worldwide

Red blood cells are normally shaped like doughnuts, but sickle cells (purple) are flattened and clump together.
NIH

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 9:45 am

Sickle cell anemia may not be as well-known as, say, malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. But every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with this inherited blood disorder. And the numbers are expected to climb.

The number of sickle cell anemia cases is expected to increase about 30 percent globally by 2050, scientists said Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most common, will be the hardest hit.

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Joe's Big Idea
2:01 am
Wed July 17, 2013

All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood

Wood fibers are coated with carbon nanotubes and then packed into small disks of metal. The sodium ions moving around in the wood fibers create an electric current.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

The big idea behind Joe's Big Idea is to report on interesting inventions and inventors. When I saw the headline "An Environmentally Friendly Battery Made From Wood," on a press release recently, I figured it fit the bill, so went to investigate.

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The Salt
2:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Oregon, The GMO Wheat Mystery Deepens

Wheat grows in a test field at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Some scientists believe that there's a chance that genetically modified wheat found in one farmer's field in May is still in the seed supply.
Natalie Behring Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:34 pm

The strange case of genetically engineered wheat on a farm in Oregon remains as mysterious as ever. If anything, it's grown more baffling.

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Parallels
1:59 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

The Mathare Valley, shown here in an aerial map, is one of the largest and oldest slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Residents are using hand-held GPS devices to map the area, which comprises 13 villages and is home to nearly 200,000 people.
Courtesy of Muungano Support Trust and Jason Corburn, UC Berkeley

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:56 pm

If you were to do a search for the Nairobi city slum of Mathare on Google Maps, you'd find little more than gray spaces between unmarked roads.

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Around the Nation
1:58 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Europeans Traverse U.S. On Famous Lincoln Highway

Erik and Mary-Ann Gjermundsen of Norway are making the nearly 3,400-mile trip across the U.S. in their small Messerschmitt.
Jenna Dooley NPR

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:54 am

This year marks the centennial of America's first transcontinental road: the Lincoln Highway. You might have driven on the highway and not even known it, since it stretches from New York to California, passing through states like Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, and carrying different state route numbers along the way.

Erik Gjermundsen of Fredrikstad Norway is checking off another item from his bucket list.

"I've been in the U.S. many times and I have always wanted to drive coast-to-coast," Gjermundsen says. "You have to do something in the summer and this was different."

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