National & World News from NPR

Pages

Joe's Big Idea
6:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Hubble's Other Telescope And The Day It Rocked Our World

The Hooker 100-inch reflecting telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory, just outside Los Angeles. Edwin Hubble's chair, on an elevating platform, is visible at left. A view from this scope first told Hubble our galaxy isn't the only one.
Courtesy of The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science Collection at the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 11:36 am

The Hubble Space Telescope this week celebrates 25 years in Earth's orbit. In that time the telescope has studied distant galaxies, star nurseries, planets in our solar system and planets orbiting other stars.

But, even with all that, you could argue that the astronomer for whom the telescope is named made even more important discoveries — with far less sophisticated equipment.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Tiny Pages Reveal Big, Rodent-Related Worries In 'Devotion'

Courtesy of Riverhead Books

When it came in the mail, I thought it was a joke, this tiny little book. It was hardcover, the size of a pack of cigarettes and about as heavy in my palm as a bird. There was no jacket, just the name — Devotion: A Rat Story — and a rat, embossed in gold.

I read it in an hour, maybe a little less— it's just a hundred pages or so. An appetizer, I thought. A snack.

But two days later, I was still thinking about it. And I'm sure that it'll still be scratching around inside of my skull a week from now, like cold little rat claws scraping inside the walls.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:27 am
Sat April 25, 2015

It's The Fuzz! Cat Detective Swipes A Claw At Crime In 'William'

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 11:36 am

By Gouda — the Mona Cheesa is missing! And when that most famous work of art is discovered to have been taken from its frame in a Paris art museum, the world's foremost International Cat of Mystery, William, is called in on the case.

Read more
Monkey See
4:21 am
Sat April 25, 2015

The Hard Work And Close Bonds Of Competitive College A Cappella

Voices In Your Head, from the University of Chicago, performs their competition set. In the front, you can see Kari Wei — she's the one with the pitch pipe around her neck.
Joe Martinez Photography

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 11:36 am

It's been many years since I did my three semesters of college a cappella, but it remains a genre of performance for which I have enormous affection. In 2012, the arrival of Pitch Perfect meant that suddenly, I knew a lot more people who even knew what a college a cappella was.

Read more
Parallels
4:20 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Invisible For Generations, 'Hidden Armenians' Emerge In Turkey

Armenian Christian women pray at St. Giragos Church in southeastern Turkey. The restored church, reopened in 2011, is the largest Armenian church in the Middle East.
Sertac Kayar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 1:56 pm

A century after Ottoman forces massacred an estimated 1 to 1.5 million Armenian Christians, some of the remaining Armenian Turks are taking tentative steps out into the open. They survived because their ancestors were taken in by Muslim families and raised as Muslims.

Now, thanks in part to a somewhat more tolerant climate in Turkey, their descendants, known as "hidden Armenians," are coming out of hiding.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Pop-Up Podcast: Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

A same-sex marriage supporter waves a rainbow flag in front of theSupreme Court in 2013.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Welcome to a special pop-up podcast from NPR's Washington Desk. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday on whether same-sex marriage bans are constitutional, our correspondents give their take on the legal questions before the court and seismic shift in the culture and politics on this issue.

Gay marriage is now legal in 36 states. And by the end of this Supreme Court term in June, same-sex couples will either be able to wed in all 50 states, or gay marriage bans may be restored in many states where they've been struck down.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

#NPRreads: Rube Goldberg Machine's Dark Origins And Spalding Gray's Last Days

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:51 pm

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we bring you four reads:

From Ina Jaffe, a correspondent on NPR's National Desk:

Read more
The Salt
6:08 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

Beginning in August, a newly formulated aspartame-free Diet Pepsi will hit the shelves, the company says.
PepsiCo

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:16 pm

If you like the idea of zero or low-calorie sodas, but you're turned off by the artificial sweetener aspartame, you're not alone.

Sales of diet soda have fallen off significantly in the U.S. And when PepsiCo started asking consumers what they didn't like, aspartame was at the top of the list.

"It's literally the number-one complaint we've heard from diet-cola consumers as to why they're drinking less and less diet cola, " Seth Kaufman, a senior vice president for PepsiCo, tells The Salt.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:06 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

A Most Indelible Ink: A Magazine Printed Using Blood

The magazine Audio Kultur printed this poster, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians, using blood.
Audio Kultur

"Written in blood" is usually hyperbole. Not so in the case of the latest issue of a Lebanese music and culture magazine.

Audio Kultur used real blood to publish the magazine commemorating the 100th anniversary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians.

Read more
The Salt
6:01 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

These Animals Might Go Extinct Because No One Wants To Eat Them

Choctaw boar
The Livestock Conservancy

The Steller's sea cow, the passenger pigeon and the New Zealand moa all went extinct because people developed a taste for their meat.

Read more
Africa
5:18 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Lawless Libya: The Jumping Off Point For Migrants Heading To Europe

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 5:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Baltimore Police: Freddie Gray Should've Gotten Medical Help At Scene Of Arrest

Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Anthony Batts speaks about the investigation into Freddie Gray's death at a news conference on Friday in Baltimore.
Patrick Semansky AP

Police officials in Baltimore admitted that their officers should have provided medical attention immediately following the arrest of Freddie Gray.

Instead, Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said during a press conference, police officers put handcuffed Gray and put him in the back of a police van without ever buckling him in.

The van went on to make three different stops across town. At the first, Gray was shackeled, but at no point said Commissioner Anthony Batts was Gray ever buckled into the van.

Read more
Parallels
4:06 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Clearing The Tangled Path For Land Ownership In The West Bank

One of the first homes going up on land bought and sold as part of a Canadian-Palestinian investment firm's effort to properly register plots. Much land in the West Bank is not registered and has no title deed, creating problems for economic development.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 5:55 pm

High on a West Bank hilltop, the extended Dissi family gathered on a recent weekend for a day out in the Palestinian countryside.

Aunts, uncles and cousins came to see the half-built weekend home of Taysier Dissi, an electrician and father of three. The concrete-block shell, with windows set and stairs roughed in, is placed just right for the view.

This will be the family's getaway from their home in the cramped confines of Jerusalem's often tense Old City. Dissi paid about $30,000 for one-third of an acre here, bought from a Palestinian-Canadian company, UCI.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

In Charlotte, N.C., Police Use Simulators To Engage Community Amid Distrust

Charlotte Police Chief Rodney Monroe answers questions from the group.
Lisa Wolf WFAE

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:41 pm

Usually police simulators are tucked away in training academies. But in a Charlotte, N.C., middle school gym, a crowd of 100 people watches Capt. Rob Dance as he leads a teenager through a simulated traffic stop that goes bad.

The simulator lets out several loud bangs. Dance notices the teen is nervous, his hands are shaking.

"You shot 24 times," he tells the student. "Did you realize that?"

Read more
U.S.
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

LGBT Activists Push States To Expand Anti-Discrimination Laws

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 7:27 pm

Same-sex marriage is legal in most states but so is discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation.

Gay-rights activists say this creates a contradiction because in many states someone can legally marry a person of the same gender and then get fired for being gay. They are lobbying state legislatures to add LGBT people to anti-discrimination laws that already include things like race, age, religion and disability.

Read more

Pages