A Blog Supreme
6:00 am
Sun August 7, 2011

A Millennial Incursion At Newport

Trombone Shorty, with Dan Oestreicher on baritone saxophone in the background, performing at the Newport Jazz Festival on Saturday.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

The New Black Eagle Jazz Band is about as traditional as they come. The musicians have been playing together for 40 years. And they opened this year's Newport Jazz Festival with rousing, old-time New Orleans polyphony, a style that dates back to the teens and 1920s.

At the same moment, a mere 300 feet away on another stage at Fort Adams, is a band of twenty- and thirty-somethings on the opposite end of the musical spectrum. It's called Mostly Other People Do the Killing.

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Politics
6:00 am
Sun August 7, 2011

White House Scorns S&P Downgrade

When Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. government's credit rating, the Treasury Department and White House responded swiftly with criticism. Guest host John Ydstie talks with NPR's National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea about that response.

Commentary
6:00 am
Sun August 7, 2011

Manatee Scars Come From A Fight They Can't Win

Spot a manatee, the friendly, charming and prehistoric marine animal common in Florida's waters, and you're likely to think they're constantly besieged by sharks or other toothy killers. Many bear heavy scars and other marks of attack. But, as essayist Diane Roberts writes, manatees have no natural predators. What's attacking them? Boat propellers.

Race
4:16 am
Sun August 7, 2011

After Years Of Research, Confederate Daughter Arises

Mattie Clyburn Rice is the second black "Real Daughter" to be recognized by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization that was once exclusively for whites
Jessica Jones

Originally published on Sun August 7, 2011 7:01 pm

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. It's of particular importance to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization for female descendants of Confederate soldiers.

The group includes 23 elderly women who are the last living daughters of those who served. One of them is black.

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Animals
4:14 am
Sun August 7, 2011

Fighting Decline, Micronesia Creates Shark Sanctuary

Micronesian islands have declared vast areas of the Pacific Ocean to be a sanctuary for sharks. It's the latest move in a trend to create zones where sharks can live undisturbed.

These top predators are in serious decline around the world because they are being over-fished. Mostly, they are caught to feed an insatiable appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia.

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Economy
4:05 am
Sun August 7, 2011

American Pride Takes A Hit With S&P's Downgrade

For generations, the United States and its debt — sold in the form of U.S. Treasuries — have been synonymous with safety. Now, though, the nation's sterling credit is tarnished. The ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded the U.S. from AAA to AA-plus, one notch down. The downgrade has raised big questions about what this will mean for investors and for the nation as a whole.

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John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street and the federal budget for NPR for two decades. In recent years NPR has broadened his responsibilities, making use of his reporting and interviewing skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His current focus is reporting on the global financial crisis. Ydstie is also a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

Science
3:49 am
Sun August 7, 2011

Dinosaur Hall Roars To Life In Los Angeles

At the center of the new Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is a display on T. rexes' growth and eating habits.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

At the new Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, visitors are greeted with the simulated sound of a dinosaur's roar. Some 300 dinosaur specimens are on display. It's also a hands-on show, with interactive games where kids can become paleontologists. The centerpiece of the revamped exhibit are three Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, including the youngest known T. rex fossil in the world.

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Politics
7:48 pm
Sat August 6, 2011

Gov. Perry Tries To Keep Focus On God, Not Politics

It could have been a typical service at any megachurch in the South, with a tight band, a great choir, big-screen projection, and a large congregation swaying and praying. But the speaker who drew the biggest response at the prayer rally in Houston on Saturday was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, looking resplendent in a red tie and his much-envied mane of dark hair.

The often combative Republican governor did not attack his nemesis, Barack Obama, who Perry often accuses of overreaching and whom he may try to defeat at the polls next year.

In fact, Perry prayed for him.

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Health
2:51 pm
Sat August 6, 2011

Mexico To The Rescue In America's 'Venom Belt'

Centruroides sculpturatus, or bark scorpion, is the only scorpion species that is dangerous to humans. It lives mainly in Arizona but has turned up in New Mexico and southern Nevada.
Monica Ortiz Uribe NPR

Toxicologists refer to the American Southwest as the "Venom Belt" for its many venomous spiders, snakes and scorpions. In fact, doctors estimate there are about 250 severe scorpion stings a year in this country.

Most of those stung are children in Arizona, but the U.S. ran out of its own supply of scorpion antivenom nearly a decade ago. Mexican doctors, however, have been treating stings from venomous creatures for years, and what they've learned may now save American lives.

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