NPR News

Pages

The Two-Way
11:59 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Reports: Terrorist Plot Tied To Iran Disrupted

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (right) and FBI Director Robert Mueller announce a plot had been foiled involving men allegedly linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and bomb the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington at a news conference October 11, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee Getty Images
We're following this breaking news as it comes in. Scroll down for updates.

An Iranian-directed plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and possibly attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington has been disrupted, Justice Department officials announced this afternoon.

Saying that the alleged "deadly plot ... [was] directed by factions of the Iranian government" and involved an attempt to hire killers from a Mexican drug cartel, Attorney General Eric Holder also said Iran will be held to account.

Read more
National Security
11:49 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Prosecutor: Christmas Bomb Suspect Prepared To Die

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian suspect in a failed Christmas Day 2009 attack of a U.S.-bound airliner, prayed and perfumed himself in the plane's restroom moments before trying to detonate a bomb sewn into his underwear, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday.

"He was engaging in rituals. He was preparing to die and enter heaven," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel told a court in Detroit as Abdulmutallab's trial opened. "He purified himself. He washed. He brushed his teeth. He put on perfume. He was praying and perfuming himself to get ready to die."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue October 11, 2011

For Those Who Aren't Fans Of The '99 Percent,' There's The '53 Percent'

" href="/post/those-who-arent-fans-99-percent-theres-53-percent" class="noexit lightbox">

Erick Erickson with his photo that started the "53 percent" countermeme.

the53.tumblr.com

The Occupy Wall Street movement, as we noted last week, has latched on to the idea that its supporters are the "99 percent" of Americans who aren't superrich and have been falling behind in recent years.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue October 11, 2011

UFO-Like Drone Makes First Cruise-Mode Flight

This was the first gear-up flight for the X47B.

Christian Turner Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman announced, yesterday, that the X-47B drone it is developing for the U.S. Navy had flown in cruise mode — with its landing gear retracted — for the first time during a test flight from Edwards Air Force Base.

The aerospace company called it a "major milestone," but what caught our attention were simply the pictures of this tail-less plane that looks like hybrid UFO and a B-2 bomber:

Read more
Governing
11:00 am
Tue October 11, 2011

States Consider Drug Test Requirement For Benefits

Dozens of states are considering laws that would require drug testing for government benefit recipients. Those in favor say it would help ensure that tax dollars are used properly, but opponents say it would perpetuate stereotypes about the poor and withhold help from those who need it.

The Salt
10:58 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Listeria Outbreak: Why More Of Us Didn't Get Sick

Experts say it's likely that the number of people who ate cantaloupe contaminated with listeria far exceeds the number of illnesses and deaths reported so far.

Joe Raedle Getty Images

I ate a lot of cantaloupe in the weeks before a listeria outbreak led to a recall in September. And probably like many of you out there, I found myself wondering: Is there any chance that I ate some of the contaminated melons?

"Probably a lot of people ate this cantaloupe," Don Schaffner, a food scientist with Rutgers University, told me. "And a lot of people probably ate lots of (bacterial cells of) listeria."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Smarter Deer? Smarter Drivers? Both? Fewer Being Killed On Roads

The news from State Farm Insurance that "for the third consecutive year, the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. has dropped," is getting noticed in states where Buck vs. Buick encounters are common and usually don't end up well for either party.

But it was this passage in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story that really caught our eye:

Read more
U.S.
8:53 am
Tue October 11, 2011

No Nukes: Bringing The Right And Left Together

" href="/post/no-nukes-bringing-right-and-left-together" class="noexit lightbox">

The type of atomic bomb that was used in Japan in World War II, known as the "Fat Man," shown here in a 1960 photo released by the U.S. government. Liberals and conservatives are gathering at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Tuesday to call for efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

AP

Finally. Something the right and the left can agree on: nuclear disarmament.

On Tuesday, more than 70 notable people from around the world will convene at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. They will beseech international potentates and personages to seriously work toward eradicating nuclear weaponry from the face of the Earth.

To many observers, the idea of undoing what has been done is like trying to put shaving cream back in the can — or, more to the point, radiation back in the warhead.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Egyptian Blogger To Face Retrial; His Hunger Strike Approaches 50 Days

Maikel Nabil Sanad.

maikelnabil.com

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 8:32 am

An Egyptian military appeals court ruled today that blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who was sentenced to prison this spring for insulting government authorities, would receive a new military trial. The decision is regarded as a setback by his supporters, who were hoping for a reduced sentence or a retrial in a civilian court.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Seattle Superhero Phoenix Jones Arrested, Accused Of Assault

Self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones has had a run-in of his own with the law.

The 23-year-old Jones (real name Benjamin John Francis Fodor) was arrested "on suspicion of fourth-degree assault" by Seattle police early Sunday, "after he allegedly doused a group of people with pepper spray," The Seattle Times reports.

Jones posted a $3,800 bail and is due back in court on Thursday.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
7:57 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Lung Cancer Leads List of Malignancies Linked With Bankruptcy

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 8:04 am

Cancer often takes a heavy toll not only on people's bodies but on their finances as well. And just as some types of cancer are more deadly than others, some types cause more financial pain, as recent research from Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Rain Reports For Duty: South Korean Pop Star Starts Military Service

Even this blogger isn't old enough (just barely, though) to have been around when Elvis Presley went into the Army in March, 1958.

But it's well known that was a huge deal.

Now there's this close comparison from Asia:

South Korean pop star Rain today reported for his mandatory 21-month tour of duty with his nation's army.

Read more
U.S.
7:05 am
Tue October 11, 2011

'Underwear Bomber' Trial May Shed Light On Awlaki

This December 2009 file photo released by the U.S. Marshal's Service shows Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

U.S. Marshals Service, File AP

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 11:44 am

Opening statements in the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspect in the failed Christmas Day attack on a U.S.-bound airliner, begin Tuesday in Detroit. Besides the obvious issue of Abdulmutallab's guilt or innocence, questions remain about his ties to the American-born radical imam killed last month in a CIA drone strike.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:56 am
Tue October 11, 2011

In Afghanistan: Opium Production Up; Prisoners Reportedly Tortured

June, 2011: U.S. Marines patrol with Afghan forces through a harvested poppy field in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

David Gilkey NPR

The seemingly intractable nature of the problems plaguing Afghanistan are being underscored yet again with two new reports from the United Nations:

-- Torture. Interviews of 273 detainees who were held at Afghan-government facilities in recent years show that at least 125 were tortured by authorities during interrogations, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:29 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Top Stories: Jobs Bill; Egyptian Violence; Liberian Election

Good morning.

The top story of the day so far, as we reported earlier, seems to be that "Obama's Jobs Bill Is Expected To Hit Roadblock Today In Senate."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:08 am
Tue October 11, 2011

NBA Games Canceled: Anybody Care?

The NBA will rebound (pardon his pun) from any bad feelings generated among fans by the news that the first two weeks of the professional basketball league's season have been canceled because owners and players can't agree on a new labor deal, our colleague Mike Pesca says.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Obama's Jobs Bill Expected To Hit Roadblock Today In Senate

Job seekers waited in line to meet with recruiters at a job fair in Park Ridge, Ill., last month.

Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 5:34 am

The political debate over what to do about the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate and weak employment growth ratchets up again today when the Senate's expected to say no to President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill.

Read more
Africa
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Peace Prize Winner Seeks Re-Election In Liberia

Liberians go to the polls Tuesday to elect a new president and lawmakers in the second key elections since the end of the civil war in 2003. The incumbent leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — Africa's first democratically elected female president — was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, but her opponents say she deserves neither the award nor re-election.

Read more
Law
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Thomas Confirmation Hearings Had Ripple Effect

Clarence Thomas took his oath of office on Oct. 23, 1991.

J. David Ake AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:20 am

Twenty years ago Tuesday, the nation was spellbound by a political and sexual drama that played out before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Following an NPR report, the committee was forced to hold a second round of confirmation hearings to examine allegations it had previously ignored about Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Read more
Economy
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Recession Nips At The Heels Of A Slow-Poke Recovery

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:05 pm

The Labor Department announced last week that the U.S. economy grew by just 103,000 jobs in September. A number like that isn't even enough to keep up with population growth. The fact that the report was widely greeted as positive news suggests just how low expectations have sunk this year.

Since January, the U.S. economy has been hit by a series of external shocks that brought a modest recovery nearly to a halt. The slowdown, however, may have been under way even before the shocks took place.

Read more
2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

The Subtleties Of Marketing Beer To Latinos

Heineken USA

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:05 pm

Any industry looking for major growth in the U.S. market can't ignore Latinos, who make up 16 percent of the U.S. population. As the Latino population grows, beer marketers are trying more nuanced ways of influencing this key segment.

"They love beer," says Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer for Crown Imports, which distributes Mexican beers including Corona and Modelo. "Hispanics are 19 percent more likely to purchase beer than the rest of U.S. consumers." On top of that, Hispanics will make up a large portion of the legal drinking-age population in the future.

Read more
2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

From Ricky Ricardo To Dora: Latinos On Television

Think Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy, Freddie Prinze on Chico And The Man, Sofia Vergara on Modern Family. While Spanish has long had a recurring bit role on English-language television, it has slowly but surely become an integral part of the American soundtrack. Here's a look at a few highlights from the past six decades.

All Tech Considered
1:28 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Wis. Business Hopes To Help Break The CD Habit

" href="/post/wis-business-hopes-help-break-cd-habit" class="noexit lightbox">

Murfie is "sort of like eBay or swap.com combined with iTunes or an Amazon music locker," says co-founder Preston Austin.

iStockphoto.com

Carter Hooper had a problem. The 51-year-old from New Orleans had spent years lugging around his collection of 900 CDs.

"Those things survived Katrina, actually. I was in Katrina; I was in Biloxi, Miss., in a building that almost got blown away, but I had stacked those precious things up in the closet," Hooper says.

Then, Hooper discovered Murfie, a business in Madison, Wis., where he could ship all of his CDs for free, and still retain ownership of them.

Read more
Politics
1:24 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Florida Law Tightens Voting Rules, Angers Advocates

An immigrant signs a voter registration information card at a booth set up at a rally in downtown Miami in 2007. If a new law is upheld, the time period groups have to turn in new voter registrations will be reduced from 10 days to two.

Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 10, 2011 7:07 pm

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan group with a distinguished history. It was founded in 1920, just months before the U.S. Constitution was amended giving women the right to vote.

The Florida chapter of the League was founded two decades later and since the beginning, has worked to educate and register new voters.

But now, the group says, a new law makes it impossible for it to carry out one of its core missions: registering new voters.

Read more
World
1:00 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

In Egypt, Grief Among Coptic Christians Turns To Rage

Christians protest outside St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, a day after 25 people, mostly Christians, died in clashes with Egyptian security forces.

Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Ormany Makary's coffin teetered precariously as throngs of mourners carried the 25-year-old truck driver's body to the front of Abbasiya Cathedral, chanting "Raise up your head, you are Copts!"

But his fiancee, Saafa Gaber, couldn't.

Makary was among the 25 people killed in a night of clashes between mostly Coptic Christian protesters and Egyptian soldiers.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

U.S. Firm Finds Shipwreck Thought To Hold Tons Of Silver

This image captured by a remote submersible shows a steel skylight on the SS Mantola's deck, above the ship's engine room. The wreck sits under 8,000 feet of water.

Odyssey Marine Exploration

More than 94 years after being sunk by a torpedo, a ship carrying tens of thousands of pounds of silver has been located by a marine salvage company. Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. says it has found the SS Mantola, which came under attack by a German ship in 1917, as it sailed from London to Calcutta.

The wreck was found at a depth of around 8,000 feet, near the coast of Ireland. The ship's cargo was insured for 110,000 British pounds — a figure that has been used to deduce that the cargo contained nearly 19 tons of silver bars.

Read more
Sports
10:07 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Woods Finishes 30th After Bizarre Hot Dog Incident

Tiger Woods, hits from the tee on the ninth hole on the final round of the Frys.com Open. Two holes earlier, his birdie putt attempt was interrupted by a man throwing a hot dog onto the green.

Robert Laberge Getty Images

The Frys.com Open brought the first PGA Tour win for Bryce Molder, who joined the tour in 2002. But the tournament was also memorable for Tiger Woods, who played well — and survived having a hot dog thrown at him on the putting green.

Molder holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th that got him into a playoff with Briny Baird. Molder then outlasted Baird on the sixth extra hole, the longest playoff on tour this year, by making a 6-foot birdie putt.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:58 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Netflix Kills Qwikster; Price Hike Lives On

Packages of DVDs await shipment at Netflix's headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:20 am

Bowing to customers' anger and confusion over its move to divide its streaming and DVD video offerings, Netflix is reversing itself, snuffing the plan to offer DVDs by mail via a new service called "Qwikster." News of the backpedaling move was published on the company's blog early Monday.

Read more
The Salt
7:36 am
Mon October 10, 2011

In Peru, A Hunt For Chocolate Like You've Never Tasted It

Farmers dry cacao beans in Uchiza, Peru, a file photo from 2008. Researchers are exploring the wild cacao bounty of Peru's Amazon Basin, part of an effort to jump-start the country's premium cacao industry.

Martin Mejia AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 11:05 am

Christopher Columbus first encountered the cacao bean on his final voyage to the New World some 500 years ago. It took a while for Europeans to embrace the taste — one 16th-century Spanish missionary called the chocolate that indigenous people drank "loathsome."

But by the 17th century, chocolate met sugar, and it became a hit the world over — it's now a $93 billion a year global industry, according to market research firm Mintel.

Read more
Middle East
7:32 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Clashes Spark Outrage Among Egypt's Christians

Egyptians grieve over the coffins of Coptic Christians killed during Sunday's clashes with Egyptian security forces, before beginning a funeral procession from the Coptic Hospital in Cairo.

Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Several hundred Christians pelted police with rocks outside a Cairo hospital Monday, in fresh clashes one day after more than two dozen people died in riots that grew out of a Christian protest against a church attack. Sunday's sectarian violence was the worst in Egypt since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.

Security officials said Monday that the death toll from Sunday night's clashes rose to 26 from 24, after two people died of their wounds.

Read more

Pages