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Author Interviews
8:42 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Finding 'Life, Death, And Hope' In A Mumbai Slum

cover detail

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 10:01 am

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo spent more than three years in Mumbai's Annawadi slum to do research for her new book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Residents of the slum — which is located next to the Mumbai airport and in the shadow of several luxury hotels — live in devastating poverty.

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Television
8:31 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Two Rowdy Talk Shows Showcase Vintage Humor

Writers for Sid Caesar include Mel Brooks (front, lower right corner) and Neil Simon (back row, upper left corner.)
courtesy of Michael Hirsh

The two DVDs I want to talk about today are hilarious, but they aren't sitcoms. They're talk shows — well, one's a talk show, and one's a filmed seminar. But they're both fascinating examples of a specific pop-culture moment frozen in time.

And they're something else as well: Both are highly entertaining real-time examples of talk-show Darwinism. Both shows feature a large, unwieldy guest roster, all of the guests competing for attention at the same time — and by the time the programs are over, the winners are apparent.

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The Salt
8:23 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Recall Reveals An Egg's Long Path To The Deli Sandwich

How long has that egg been waiting to get to your salad?
iStockphoto.com

What did a Cobb salad and a chicken salad have in common that have made them the latest entries in a big ongoing food safety recall?

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Shots - Health Blog
7:53 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Teen Pregnancies Hit New Low, But Disparities Remain

The rate of pregnancy among teens has dropped.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 9:57 am

Teen pregnancies are at their lowest rate in nearly 40 years, according to the latest data from the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization focused on sexual and reproductive health.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Russians Claim To Have Punched Through To Antarctic 'Subglacial Lake'

In Antarctica, Russian scientists posed at the site where they say they've drilled through to Lake Vostok. The sign indicates that the breakthrough happened on Feb. 5, 2012.
Russia's Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring

One week after pausing with about 40 feet to go, Russian scientists today announced that they have successfully drilled through two miles of ice to reach Lake Vostok — a body of water the size of New Jersey that hasn't been touched for millions of years.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Egyptian Judge Says Foreign Groups Have Been Working There Illegally

Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front of the U.S. National Democratic Institute, an NGO rights group in downtown Cairo on December 29, 2011.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Foreigners who have been working for international organizations in Egypt are in the country illegally and have been engaging in "political activity," a judge in Cairo just told reporters.

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It's All Politics
5:49 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Did Santorum Win Big or Win Squat? What's a Nation to Believe?

Republican presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to supporters, flanked by his daughter, Elizabeth (left), and wife, Karen.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Pity the poor news junkie, waiting bleary-eyed at the witching hour, wondering how to feel about the latest events in the Republican nominating contest.

One news source — let's say it's a cable news operation — says the latest round of GOP presidential preference contests is a huge boost to the flagging fortunes of Rick Santorum, the winner of the night's trifecta. The cable outlets all air tape of Santorum's triumphant victory speech again and again. He surely looks like a winner.

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Santorum's Wins: Huge? Meaningless? In Between?

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum celebrated his victories at a rally in St. Charles, Mo.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 5:47 am

Last night "belonged to Rick Santorum, who went three-for-three in Tuesday's Republican contests," as Eyder wrote on It's All Politics very early this morning.

The former Pennsylvania senator took first place in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Report: Pentagon 'Beginning Review Of Syria Options'

A Syrian rebel stands guard at a street in Idlib, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 6:36 am

As the U.S. continues to search for diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, "the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities," CNN is reporting.

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Around the Nation
5:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Maine Film Festival Shows Off Mustaches

Trophy categories include Best 'Stache Growth Story and Best 'Stache Shaving Story. It is an international film festival and founder Nick Callanan says submissions are coming in from three continents.

Around the Nation
4:52 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Trump Chosen To Revamp Historic Old Post Office

Donald Trump won't be living in the White House, but his brand will be a few blocks away. The Obama administration has chosen Trump to redevelop the Old Post Office. His company plans to build a luxury hotel in that stone Victorian landmark in Washington, D.C.

Middle East
3:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

5 Reasons Why Israel Might Bomb Iran, Or Not

Despite international pressure, Iran has pressed ahead with its nuclear program. Here, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad listens to a technician during a visit to the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility, 200 miles south of the capital, Tehran, in 2008.
Iranian President's Office AP

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 7:22 am

Will Israel bomb Iran or not?

Israel says it hasn't decided. But top Israeli figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, suggest that the country will have to make a choice soon.

Israel believes Iran will soon have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon. Not everyone shares this assessment, and Iran insists its program is only for civilian purposes.

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

TV's King: Web Fails To Dominate Election Coverage

Supporters watch primary results in Manchester, N.H., in January. According to a Pew study, Americans continue to get much of their election news from cable television.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 1:03 pm

The twists and turns of the Republican presidential campaign have been practically made for — and watched on — live television. And despite predictions of new media tools like Twitter and Facebook dominating election coverage, Americans are continuing to rely on an old standby: cable TV.

After coming in second in the Nevada caucuses, Newt Gingrich assured reporters that national news exposure would be a surefire remedy for catching up with Mitt Romney.

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Middle East
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Unrest Reaches Syrian Capital Damascus

As Western nations increasingly push to end the violence in Syria, tension has reached the capital Damascus. Last June, a woman there who blogs under the pseudonym "Jasmine Roman," described Damascus as a city removed from the demonstrations that were taking place elsewhere in the country. Renee Montagne talks with her again, to see how things have changed 11 months after the anti-government uprising began in Syria.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Tuesday's GOP Contests Set Romney's Campaign Back

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had expected to win at least one nominating contest Tuesday. Instead, rival Rick Santorum swept the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses plus the non-binding primary in in Missouri.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Rick Santorum Sweeps 3 GOP Nominating Contests

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 3:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Several factors may affect your thinking as you decide how important last night's voting was. Turnout was low, and no convention delegates were awarded as Missouri held a primary, and Minnesota and Colorado held caucuses.

MONTAGNE: Then again, nobody awarded delegates when Iowa voted, either. The fact is, people voted, and Rick Santorum won all three states.

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Middle East
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Talk Of War Against Iran Heats Up

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Syria's turmoil has overshadowed but not stopped talk about war in another country - Iran. The usual scenario is that Israel might strike Iranian nuclear facilities, with or without the approval of the United States. In The Daily Beast, historian Niall Ferguson dismissed concerns about a strike. In the Washington Post, David Ignatius wrote that U.S. officials oppose an Israeli strike but think it may come in the spring.

We put some basic questions to Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

To Get Bailout, Greece Must Reduce Minimum Wage

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 4:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The deal Greek officials are working on includes several more painful concessions. Among them, reducing the minimum wage.

Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens on how strong unions secured those wages and why some economists say those guarantees have to go.

JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: The minimum wage in Greece is about one $1,000 a month before taxes. International lenders say it must be reduced to about $780 a month to make the Greek economy more competitive.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Some British companies are fuming over where the tickets for this summer's London Olympic games are being printed. Specialty printer Weldon, Williams and Lick in Fort Smith, Arkansas, won the contract.

Asia
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Young People Get India Interested In Coffee

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Starbucks last week announced a plan to open stores in India by the end of the year. Let's follow up on that. This move might certify India as a rising coffee-drinking power, but it also signals a cultural change in a country that is devoted to tea. Elliot Hannon reports from New Delhi.

ELLIOT HANNON, BYLINE: The sound of a barista hard at work may be a familiar one in the U.S. or in Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Cappucino would be fine, ma'am?

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Sports
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Like Punk Rockers, Sabre Fencers Are 'Kind Of Crazy'

Mariel Zagunis during a recent training session in Portland, Ore. Zagunis won gold medals in women's sabre fencing at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 2:18 pm

There are three weapons in fencing: epee, foil and sabre. Mariel Zagunis is the best woman in sabre — she won Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.

To understand the world of Zagunis' weapon of choice, it may be more apt to consult the Sex Pistols rather than a fencing historian. That's because sabre fencers, Zagunis says, are the "punk rockers" of her sport.

"You have to be more aggressive and explosive and kind of crazy," she says. "I think that kind of plays into our personality."

Lesson For A Champion

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Business
2:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 4:38 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with investors hopeful again.

The Two-Way
11:48 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Rick Santorum Has Big Night; Sweeps All Three GOP Contests

Just for the record: Rick Santorum won all three non-binding primaries on Tuesday. The former Pennsylvania senator took the caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and won the "beauty contest" in Missouri.

We live blogged the action over at It's All Politics. Look there for analysis in the morning.

Religion
11:43 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Milestone At University Of Michigan: Muslim Chaplain

Mohammed Tayssir Safi began as the Muslim chaplain at the University of Michigan this semester. His position is the first endowed Muslim chaplaincy at a public university.
Courtesy of Mohammed Tayssir Safi

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 11:19 am

Although the population of Muslim students is growing, there are only about 30 Muslim chaplains at colleges across the country. This semester, the University of Michigan became the first public university with an endowed position for a Muslim chaplain.

"Muslims need to rely on somebody through times of hardship," says Mohammed Tayssir Safi, who was recently hired for the chaplaincy. The university has an estimated 850 Muslim students on campus.

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All Tech Considered
11:41 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Facebook: Lots Of Friends, But Stock Offering Has Risks

Analysts say that to succeed, Facebook needs to figure out how to sell ads on mobile platforms.
Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

When a company files to go public it has to lay out in black and white the biggest risks that face the firm. What could kill it? What could undermine its business? Wipe out all its investors' money? Executives are required to reveal this by law.

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Europe
11:39 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Case In Britain Echoes Dilemma At Guantanamo

Omar Othman, better known as Abu Qatada, is seen at his North London home in October 2001. A British court ruled Monday that he should be released on bail. Although he was never charged with a crime, British officials say he's a "dangerous" supporter of radical Islam.
AP

A legal case in Britain involving a radical cleric has raised new questions about whether authorities can hold a suspected terrorist forever. An immigration judge ruled Monday that a longtime terrorism suspect and detainee in the U.K. should be released on bail.

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Afghanistan
10:01 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Afghans Worried About Early Exit Of French Troops

A French gunner mans a machine gun in a Puma helicopter as it flies over Afghanistan. French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently ordered the withdrawal of all French troops from the country a year ahead of schedule.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Uncertainties surrounding the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan are of particular concern for an area near Kabul that French troops have controlled for the past decade. France now plans to withdraw its army a year ahead of schedule, sparking fears of a potential crisis in Kapisa province.

On a plateau amid the towering Hindu Kush mountains, Hukum Khan, a 31-year-old Afghan farmer, says the presence of French troops hasn't made much difference in his life in the past 10 years.

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Afghanistan
10:01 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Afghans Hedge Bets Amid Mixed Messages From U.S.

Afghan men walk past American soldiers in Ghazni province on Thursday. U.S. and Afghan officials are in talks that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends in 2014.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

After a long hiatus, the Afghan and U.S. governments this week reopened talks on a strategic partnership that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan past the end of the NATO mission in 2014.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Labor Law Changes May Offer Relief For Spain's Youth

Spaniards march through the streets of Madrid, Nov. 27, 2011, to protest spending cuts, high unemployment and political corruption. The government is proposing an overhaul of the country's two-tier labor system, in order to close the gap between temporary and permanent workers.
Pedro Armestre Getty Images

For his age group, Spaniard Miguel Viada is one of the lucky ones. The 25-year-old has a temp job, at the help desk of a tech company in Madrid. But three out of his four roommates are unemployed.

They spend hours on the computer, sending out resumes, he says.

"It's impossible. They find jobs, but for one month, or something like that. And not in very good places or situations," says Viada, who has a master's degree.

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