National & World News from NPR

Pages

Middle East
3:58 am
Fri August 3, 2012

U.S. Sees Signs Of Al-Qaida Arm In Syria

Members of the Free Syrian Army are seen in a neighborhood of Damascus, Syria on June 28. Several huge suicide bombings this year suggest al-Qaida or other extremists are joining the battle against President Bashar Assad's regime.
AP

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 4:34 am

Late last month, counterterrorism officials discovered a disturbing video on YouTube that showed what appeared to be a faction of the Syrian rebel army standing in front of a fluttering black banner. The mysterious flag — which read "no god but God" in white Arabic cursive — is thought to be a reproduction of the Prophet Muhammad's battle flag. It has also become al-Qaida in Iraq's calling card in Syria.

Read more
The Torch
3:57 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Would You Rather Win Silver Or Bronze? (Be Careful What You Wish For)

all-around gymnastics final." href="/post/would-you-rather-win-silver-or-bronze-be-careful-what-you-wish" class="noexit lightbox">
Who's The Happiest? Researchers studied photos of Olympic medalists to learn who is the happiest. Here, bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina of Russia, gold medalist Gabby Douglas of the U.S., and silver medalist Victoria Komova of Russia pose after the all-around gymnastics final.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 8:32 am

Both athletes were U.S. swimmers, both were dripping wet after finishing an Olympics final, and both had just won medals.

The first said, "It's not my normal specialty. ... We went out there and raced tough – and just came up a little short."

The second had a beaming face. He said, "[I] swam my own race. And knew I had a lane, and had an opportunity, and I went for it. It worked out, you know, it's just awesome that I get to go on the podium tonight. Honestly, I'm really proud of myself!"

Read more
Energy
3:57 am
Fri August 3, 2012

States Ask Detroit: 'Build Us A Natural Gas Car, Please'

Honda's CNG Civic is the only natural gas-fueled sedan currently available in the United States. With so few CNG passenger cars on the road, pumping stations are few and far between.
Tracy Samilton for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 4:31 am

More than 20 state governors are taking an unusual step to boost the natural gas vehicle industry. Independent of the federal government, they're asking Detroit carmakers to build them a new kind of car: a midsize sedan that runs on compressed natural gas instead of gasoline.

The governors are hoping to boost demand for natural gas cars with their collective buying power. Combined, the states say they could ultimately buy thousands of CNG vehicles to replace their current vehicle fleets — if those cars were available.

Read more
Joe's Big Idea
3:56 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Crazy Smart: When A Rocker Designs A Mars Lander

NASA engineer Adam Steltzner led the team that designed a crazy new approach to landing on Mars.
Rachael Porter for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 5:43 pm

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:45 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Nursing Schools Face Faculty Shortage

Nursing students in a simulation lab at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
Elizabeth Lee Cantrell UVA School of Nursing

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:43 pm

There have been lots of goodbye parties this year at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. So far, 11 professors have retired. That's one-fourth of the faculty, and Dean Dorrie Fontaine is in no mood to celebrate.

Over the next few years, the Affordable Care Act will probably boost demand for nurses to take care of the newly insured, she says, "and I need faculty to teach the practitioners that are going to take care of these uninsured."

Read more
Planet Money
2:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Keeping The Biggest Secret In The U.S. Economy

In one part of the BLS offices, a supervisor rings this bell to let employees know that it is officially 8:30 AM.
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 9:04 am

Read more
Opinion
11:10 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Grandfathers Go To The Mat For Gymnast Grandson

Gymnast C.J. Maestas has been tumbling since he was 18 months old. His grandfathers Frank Barela (left) and Frank Maestas have been a lifelong source of support.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 9:39 am

As fans around the world are riveted to the 2012 Summer Games in London, one young gymnast already has his sights on 2016.

Albuquerque, N.M., native C.J. Maestas, 20, has been tumbling his entire life. A self-described "hyper" kid who loved to climb on things, C.J. joined his first gymnastics class when he was 18 months old.

"As a little baby, you were always jumping," C.J.'s grandfather Frank Maestas recalls.

Read more
Poetry Games
8:37 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Against All Odds, You 'Swim Your Own Race'

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 9:19 am

South African poet Mbali Vilakazi is also a performer and radio producer based in Cape Town. Vilakazi's poem pays tribute to South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, the first female amputee ever to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

One Dead, Dozens Hurt When Double-Decker Bus Crashes Into Bridge

One person has died and at least 25 have been hurt when a double-decker crashed into a concrete pillar near Litchfield, Illi., police said. The Megabus, which was headed to Kansas City, lost control on a south-bound lane of I-55 when a tire blew.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

"As many as half the people on the bus were injured, according to State Police Capt. Scott Compton.

Read more
The Torch
4:30 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Photos Of Day 6 From The London Olympics

U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps (bottom) of the United States and Ryan Lochte (center) compete in the Men's 200m Individual Medley final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.. Phelps placed first and Lochte placed second.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

The best Olympic images of the day include snapshots from swimming, gymnastics, rowing, judo and cycling competitions.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Romney Flunks Obama On Economy; President Mocks GOP 'Tax Cut Fairy Dust'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event Thursday in Golden, Colo.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 6:32 pm

In his first campaign speech since returning from his trip abroad, Republican Mitt Romney on Thursday told an audience in the swing state of Colorado that President Obama has failed on the economy. And he wielded a scorecard to make his point.

"His policies have not worked," Romney said in Golden, Colo., outside Denver. "They have not gotten America back to work again. My policies will work."

Obama spent much of the day in battleground Florida before a planned evening trip to another swing state, Virginia.

Read more
The Torch
4:20 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

If Gabby's Got The Gold, Why Flip Over Her Hair?

Gabrielle Douglas performs Thursday on the beam during the artistic gymnastics women's individual all-around final. Some people are focusing on her hair rather than her skill.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:35 pm

Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old gymnast from Virginia Beach, Va., won another gold medal Thursday. The first was won with her team earlier this week. She was the only member of the team to perform in all four rotations. So, why are some black women obsessed with her hair? Writer Monique Fields has this perspective.

Never mind how she flies like a raven on the balance beam. Or flutters across the floor. Or soars on vault. Or swings on the uneven bars.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:20 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

West Nile Virus Makes A Comeback This Summer

Christopher Doll releases fish into the water of a neglected pool to kill mosquitoes that might carry West Nile Virus in Concord, Calif., in 2009.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:39 pm

The West Nile virus is back, and it's looking like it could be particularly bad this year. As as result, federal health officials are warning people to protect themselves against the mosquito-borne infection.

The West Nile virus first showed up in the U.S. in 1999 and quickly spread from coast to coast, raising widespread alarm. Some have argued that red-breasted robins play a key role in the spread of the virus.

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:20 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Its Financial Future In Question, Facebook Tries To Tell A Different Story

Mayank Sharma of New Delhi lost his memory. A video by Facebook shows how he used Facebook's "people you may know" feature to rebuild his life.
Facebook/Vimeo video screengrab

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:39 pm

On its first day as a public company in May, Facebook's stock traded for more than $40 a share. On Thursday, investors could pick up a share for less than $20. Facebook has lost nearly half its value during its first few weeks on the Nasdaq. Institutional investors such as Fidelity are selling their stake. Facebook executives are now desperate to change the conversation about the company.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:20 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Learning From Rubén Blades' Shadowy Poetics

Lin-Manuel Miranda performs in his Tony-winning musical, In the Heights, in 2008 in New York City.
Steven Henry Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 8:59 am

Read more

Pages