NPR News

Pages

Around the Nation
1:18 pm
Sat October 1, 2011

Like The Lions, Detroit Finally Has A Winning Season

Detroit Lions Jason Hanson (left) and Don Muhlbach walk off the field after Hanson kicked a 32-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday in Minneapolis. The Lions won 26-23.
Genevieve Ross AP

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 5:27 am

After many awful seasons this year's Detroit Lions are — can you believe it — undefeated. To add to the glory, each of the Detroit car makers is showing signs of health with increased quality and profitability. It's long-awaited good news for a city that's been through bad times.

There's no denying that Detroit has had an image problem for quite a while. A whole cottage industry has sprung up over the years with many people from all walks trying to help turn that image around.

Read more
Middle East
1:00 pm
Sat October 1, 2011

Al-Qaida's Continuing Loss Of Leadership

Originally published on Sat October 1, 2011 4:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, Host:

Now, that al-Qaida leader killed this week, Anwar al-Awlaki, he was born in New Mexico. And a decade ago, he was already branding himself as a kind of spokesman for Muslim Americans. Here he is as a guest on NPR's TALK OF THE NATION back in 2001, two months after 9/11.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Sat October 1, 2011

Veterans Celebrate 150 Years Of The Medal Of Honor

More than 50 of America's most decorated war heroes are in Louisville, Kentucky, this weekend to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. Three men have received the honor in the last year — the first time the Congressional Medal of Honor Society has welcomed new living members since Vietnam. Reporter Brenna Angel of member station WUKY, reports on how they shared their stories across generations.

Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Sat October 1, 2011

Week In News: Chris Christie For President? Still No

Originally published on Sat October 1, 2011 4:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, Host:

We're back with ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

CHRIS CHRISTIE:

I'm 100 percent certain I'm not going to run. I don't want to run. I don't feel like I'm ready to run. First, you have to have in your heart, you got to want it more than anything else. More than anything else. I don't want it that badly.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:21 pm
Sat October 1, 2011

A Losing Battle? The Fight To Save The Postal Service

More than half a million people work for the U.S. Postal Service making it the seventh largest employer in the world. But like a lot of other businesses, this one is being hit hard by the tough economy and transformed by the Internet.

Read more
Africa
10:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Democracy Steadily Takes Root In Africa

Zambia's newly elected President Michael Sata (right), a long-time opposition figure, is shown at his swearing in ceremony in Lusaka on Sept. 23. Seventeen of the 49 sub-Saharan nations in Africa are holding elections this year.
Thomas Nsama AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 1, 2011 3:19 pm

The international spotlight has been on North Africa this year, where Arab autocrats have been overthrown by government opponents seeking democracy in three separate countries – Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

But farther south on the continent, a less dramatic democratic trend has been playing out for years.

Seventeen of the 49 nations in sub-Saharan Africa are holding national elections this year. That's partly an accident of timing. But it's also a sign that holding power in Africa these days increasingly requires a leader to hold regular elections.

Read more
World
6:23 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Conditional Aid For Pakistan: Change Not Guaranteed

Pakistani security personnel stand alert on a street in Quetta in September. Proposed appropriations bills in both the U.S. House and Senate make economic and military assistance to Pakistan conditional.
Banaras Khan AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan is a leading recipient of U.S. economic aid, receiving billions of dollars every year in both civilian and military support. However, the recent rocky patch between the two countries is pushing many members of Congress to reevaluate the assistance package.

Read more
Middle East
6:13 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Turkey's Quiet Deal Keeps U.S. Close, Israel Not Far

President Obama meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday in New York City. Turkey has agreed to a U.S. radar installation as part of a NATO missile defense system.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 1:41 pm

Turkey's leaders have called Israel the "West's spoiled child," and the "bully" of the eastern Mediterranean. When a Tel Aviv soccer team showed up in Istanbul recently for a match, the welcome was less than warm.

In September, Turkey kicked out the Israeli ambassador, suspended military and trade deals and threatened legal and naval action to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Read more
National Security
6:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Al-Awlaki's Death Raises Questions About U.S. Tactics

A joint CIA and U.S. military operation targeted and killed the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in an air strike this week. Awlaki had been linked to terrorist attacks against the United States and was a key target for several years. NPR's Rachel Martin shares the latest with host Scott Simon.

Politics
6:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Early Returns Show Slow Season For Campaign Fundraising

The books closed at midnight on another reporting period for the Federal Election Commission, as candidates and political action committees continue to fill their coffers for the 2012 election. Host Scott Simon talks with Tony Corrado, professor of government at Colby College, about campaign fundraising for the 2012 presidential race.

Politics
6:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Super PACs Promise A Super-Packed 2012

Many political watchers say the 2012 presidential campaign is shaping up to be the most expensive election cycle in American history. One reason: the growing influence of political action committees, independent groups that raise money largely from corporations, trade unions and the wealthy. Host Scott Simon talks with Bill Burton, co-founder of the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, about his group's fundraising efforts for the 2012 presidential election.

World
6:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Bahrain Doctors Face Prison After Protests

This week, a military court in Bahrain handed down harsh sentences to 20 doctors and medical personnel accused of stockpiling weapons and illegally occupying a hospital during recent protests. The doctors say they're being punished for treating demonstrators injured in anti-government protests. Host Scott Simon speaks with Dr. Fatima Hajji, one of the medical professionals sentenced to prison.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Sailor Charts Solo Trip Into The Record Books

It's been more than a hundred days since Matt Rutherford has walked on dry land. With any luck, it'll be another 200 before he does. The 30-year-old Marylander is sailing around North and South America. Alexandra Gutierrez of member station KUCB in Unalaska reports that if he makes it, he'll be the first person to do the 23,000-mile trip alone and without stopping.

Sports
6:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Playoffs Start With Thrills, Chills And Rainouts

The 2011 baseball playoffs have begun, but fans are still reeling from perhaps the single most exciting end to baseball's regular season since Babe Ruth ate 30 hot dogs. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Tom Goldman about this week's playoff action and more.

Around the Nation
2:38 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Recycled Water Quenches San Antonio's Thirst

In times of drought, the Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery Facility pumps water up from underground and sends it back to San Antonio for use. The facility uses water from the Edwards Aquifer and the Carrizo Aquifer.
Paul Robinson San Antonio Water System

Gliding along in a flat-bottom boat on the San Antonio River thorough the heart of downtown San Antonio is a beautiful and authentic Texas experience.

There's one thing a boat tour guide is not going to mention, however. Texas is in the middle of a historic drought, and the river that tourists are cruising along with ducks, big bass, catfish and perch is actually treated sewage water.

Read more
Living Large: Obesity In America
1:34 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Surgery Not 'A Magic Pill' For Obese Patients

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 1:41 pm

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America

Losing weight in America is big business. Americans spend $61 billion a year on everything from diet pills and exercise videos to meal plans, health club memberships and medical treatment. One of the fastest growing and lucrative segments of the weight-loss market is surgery.

Read more
Election 2012
11:28 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Florida Faces Protests Over Early Primary Date

This December, along with the holidays, voters in Iowa and New Hampshire can also look forward to lots of visits from presidential candidates. The primary calendar now looks like it will start early in January—first with the Iowa caucuses, followed closely by New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and then, by month's end, Florida.

On Friday, officials in the Sunshine State announced they were scheduling their presidential primary on Jan. 31 — breaking party rules and forcing four other states to move up even earlier to maintain their places in the batting order.

Read more
Space
10:38 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Flying Telescope Makes An Out-Of-This-World Find

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, known as SOFIA, is a modified Boeing 747 airplane that houses a NASA telescope.
Melissa Forsyth NPR

Astronomers are lining up to use a powerful new NASA telescope called SOFIA. The telescope has unique capabilities for studying things like how stars form and what's in the atmospheres of planets.

But unlike most of the space agency's telescopes, SOFIA isn't in space — it flies around mounted in a Boeing 747 jet with a large door cut on the side so the telescope can see out. Putting a telescope in space makes sense: There's no pesky atmosphere to make stars twinkle. But why put one on a plane?

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:26 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

On Anniversary Of Funding Ban, Even Allowed Abortions Often Go Unpaid For

Today marks 35 years since Congress first passed what's come to be known as the Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal abortion funding.

While the actual language of the rider to the annual funding bill for the Department of Health and Human Services has changed considerably over the years, since 2003 it has allowed federal Medicaid funds to pay for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the woman is endangered by the pregnancy.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Messenger Reveals Mercury Is Not What Scientists Theorized

This dramatic view was captured as the spacecraft's highly elliptical orbit positioned MESSENGER high above Mercury's southern hemisphere.
NASA

For years scientists have been faced with a mystery about the planet Mercury. Its iron core is much bigger than that of most other planets. More than half of Mercury's mass comes from its core. In comparison, about 32 percent of Earth's mass comes from its core.

Scientists theorized that was because Mercury is so close to the sun that its rocky surface simply melted away.

A new study, which was released along with a series of other papers about Mercury in this week's issue of Science, disputes those theories.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:13 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Death Toll Rises To 15 In Listeria Cantaloupe Outbreak

Worker holds up a cantaloupe for sale
Ed Andrieski AP

Illnesses linked to tainted cantaloupes continue to mount.

Updated figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 84 people in 19 states have been sickened by listeria bacteria from an outbreak linked to cantaloupes, and 15 have died.

Jensen Farms recalled its Rocky Ford cantaloupes two weeks ago. That recall was just expanded to three more states: Indiana, Louisiana and Wisconsin.

Read more
National Security
2:51 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Debate Erupts Over Legality Of Al-Awlaki's Killing

Within moments of Anwar al-Awlaki's death, debate erupted over whether the U.S. had a legal basis to target one of its own citizens with deadly force.

Last year, President Obama put al-Awlaki on a secret list that gave the intelligence community a green light to target him in a deadly drone attack.

The move bothered human rights advocates so much that they sued, enlisting al-Awlaki's father as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Read more
Middle East
2:40 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Drone Strike Ends Hunt For Al-Qaida Leader

A Hellfire missile fired from an American drone killed Anwar al-Awlaki on Friday, ending a two-year hunt for a radical cleric who had called on his followers to attack the U.S. any way they could.

Some details of the strike are sketchy. U.S. officials and the Yemeni Defense Ministry both confirmed that a drone had fired on a convoy of cars that was carrying Awlaki in northern Yemen. They said it was a joint operation, but it is unclear what role the Yemeni military played in the attack.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

U.S. Ambassador To Syria Responds To Attack By Regime Supporters

After his convoy was attacked by pro-regime protesters in Damascus, U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford used the embassy's page on Facebook to comment on the incident.

Read more
Middle East
2:16 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Sale Of U.S. Bombs To Israel Raises Questions

With all the recent turmoil in the Middle East, one piece of news that has been overlooked is the revelation that the Obama administration approved the sale of 55 deep earth penetrator bombs to Israel in 2009.

The two-year-old transaction was recently reported by Newsweek. No U.S. officials have talked openly about why the bunker busters were provided to Israel but speculation falls most heavily on a single target.

Read more
News
2:01 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Interactive: Where America's Same-Sex Couples Live

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 2:03 pm

A new analysis of 2010 census data by the Williams Institute shows how same-sex couples are distributed across the nation. Liberal enclaves are well-represented, of course. But so are some surprising pockets of the heartland and the South.

The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Google, Apple Hire High-Profile Lobbyist To Ask Congress For A Tax Holiday

Bloomberg has a story worth reading, today. They report that Google, Apple and Cisco Systems' lobbying for a tax holiday on offshore profits has just received a big gun.

Read more
Conflict In Libya
1:00 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Libya's Newest Concern: Looming Political Battles

Abdel Hakim Belhaj (center left), a prominent militia commander, walks with Transitional National Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Tripoli on Sept. 10. The battle to oust Moammar Gadhafi produced a number of leaders who will have to work together to form a new government.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Libya's victorious militias are still fighting the last forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi, but as the military endgame draws closer, some are worrying about the political battles that are just beginning.

The question is an old one for revolutionaries: How to go from a military triumph to a civilian government?

In Libya, the problem is magnified because the fighting is still going on and the military consists of various regional militias that don't answer to a single commander.

Read more
Politics
12:58 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

The Man Behind The Illegal Immigration Crackdown

Alabama and Arizona have some of the toughest immigration laws in the country. Behind both states' laws, and many others, is Kris Kobach, a constitutional lawyer and the Kansas secretary of state.

Kobach has helped several other states shape immigration legislation, and he says there's more to come in 2012.

Many national stories have called the 45-year-old conservative a "movie star," handsome and loaded with charisma. He looked the part greeting some 60 guests during a recent address to the Pachyderm Club in Topeka, Kan.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:51 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Data On Same-Sex Couples Reveal Changing Attitudes

Ryan Witmer (left) and Jhonmar Castillo wait with other couples to exchange vows in a civil union ceremony June 2 in Chicago's Millennium Park. New data from the U.S. census may reveal as much about changing attitudes as about changing numbers.
Scott Olson Getty Images

As bans on gay marriage and civil unions spread across the majority of America in the past decade, new U.S. Census figures reveal a starkly different trend: The number of same-sex partnerships skyrocketed even in the most prohibitive states.

Some 646,464 gay couples said they lived together in last year's census, an increase of 80 percent from 2000, according to revised figures released this week. Same-sex couples make up just 1 percent of all married and unmarried couples in the U.S., but as a group they nonetheless made large gains in every state.

Read more

Pages