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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

The Coach Who Was Cool To The Cafeteria Dude

Ray Horton made an unusual bargain with a cafeteria worker when he left his job coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers' secondary.
NFL Getty Images

An unlikely story has emerged from the world of the NFL, which until recently exported only tales of internecine warfare among millionaires. But first: If you're a football fan — but love to hate the Pittsburgh Steelers — you may want to just click away now. Because what happened recently may diminish your ability to despise the Steel Curtain.

The day before Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton left to become the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator, he stopped by the team complex for some final farewells.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:29 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Scorpion Venom Meets Its Match

Ryleigh Wagley is the youngest patient in the U.S. to receive Anascorp, an antivenom against scorpion toxin. She was just 25 days old when she was stung by a scorpion in her crib. Her doctor credits the drug with helping save her life from the potentially deadly sting.
Monica Ortiz Uribe KWRG

Spiders and snakes don't bother me much. But scorpions? Get them away!

If you haven't spent time in the Southwest, you might be surprised to learn how common the creatures are there. And Arizona bark scorpions, in particular, can really do some damage, especially to kids.

When these scorpions sting, they inject a potent neurotoxin, which can be life-threatening for young children and infants. Severe reactions to the stings are seen in more than 200 children each year in Arizona.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Video: A World Guinness Parallel Parking Attempt In The Tightest Of Spots

A tight fit.
World Guinness

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 5:49 pm

Imagine trying this in a tight parking spot in the city:

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Economy
1:48 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Double Dip: Is U.S. Headed For Another Recession?

Stock markets plummeted Thursday amid growing worries about the U.S. economy and Europe's mounting debt problems. In late-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 500 points, or 4 percent, and other indexes saw similar drops.

The U.S. economy barely grew in the first half of the year. And economists aren't expecting good news about jobs from the Labor Department on Friday.

These indicators and more are raising questions about whether the United States is headed for a double-dip recession

No Growth 'Surge' In Sight

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Politics
1:42 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Congress Reaches Deal To End FAA Shutdown

Construction crews working on a new FAA air traffic control tower at Oakland International Airport were told to stop working after the House of Representatives refused to reauthorize routine funding of the Federal Aviation Administration. A deal to restore funding was reached Thursday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Congress has reached a bipartisan compromise to end the two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has idled 74,000 federal employees and construction workers and cost the government about $30 million a day in uncollected airline ticket taxes, the Senate Democratic leader said Thursday.

The deal would allow the Senate to approve a House bill extending the FAA's operating authority through mid-September, including a provision that eliminates $16.5 million in air service subsidies to 13 rural communities. A vote on the bill is expected Friday.

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Law
1:41 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Behind Bars: A Brief History Of The Defendant's Cage

This video image taken from Egyptian state television shows former President Hosni Mubarak, 83, lying on a hospital bed inside a cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom as his trial began Wednesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:35 am

The sight of Hosni Mubarak bedridden and caged in a Cairo courtroom as his trial opened this week was perhaps an unbelievable moment for Egyptians who lived for decades under the former president and his feared secret police.

For others around the world, the images of Mubarak, his sons and other co-defendants held behind interlocking steel mesh have been shocking.

Defendant's cages like the one that housed the 83-year-old former leader may not be common outside Egypt, but they're still in use in parts of the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Sen. Harry Reid: Compromise On Hand To End FAA Shutdown

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says there is bipartisan compromise to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has left 74,000 transportation and construction workers idled," writes the AP.

The AP adds that Reid did not specify details in his statement, but other officials say the Senate could approve a House bill as soon as Friday.

This story is still developing. We'll update as we hear more.

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Economy
1:30 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Stocks Take Nose Dive On Global Economic Fears

The stock market is finishing its worst day since the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 500 points Thursday. Investors are concerned that the U.S. economy will enter another recession and that Europe's debt problems are not closed to being solved.

Major stock indexes fell more than 4 percent.

The Dow is closing with a loss of 513 points, or 4.3 percent, to 11,384.

The S&P 500 is down 60, or 4.8 percent, to 1,200. The Nasdaq is down 137, or 5.1 percent, to 2,556.

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America's Mayors: Governing In Tough Times
1:10 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

In Miami-Dade, Economic Upheaval Ushers In Change

Carlos Gimenez, shown at a cafe earlier this year on Election Day, won a recall election that was part of a national wave of voter anger over taxes.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Part 6 of a 6-part series

The economic upheaval of the past several years has had a big impact on the nation's politics — from the president down to the precinct level.

In Florida's Miami-Dade County, it's changed the whole tone of local government.

Carlos Gimenez has been a fixture here for many years — as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, and before that as city manager and fire chief in the City of Miami.

But now he suddenly finds himself in a new job.

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Technology
12:53 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Money Can Buy You Love On Twitter

Companies can be hired to bring in Twitter followers for their clients.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Earlier this week, the online gossip site Gawker reported that Newt Gingrich — a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination — may have paid to get most of the 1.3 million followers of his Twitter account.

Gingrich's campaign has denied the accusation. But on Twitter, numbers are essential — the more you have the better.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:49 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Yet Another Reason To Say Ick to Ticks

A new bacterial species linked to a flu-like illness in humans has been found in deer ticks, like this one, in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Scott Bauer USDA

Ticks may be most notorious for spreading Lyme disease, but the tiny arachnids pass around plenty of other nasty diseases. Now they've got a new sickening hitchhiker to boast about — a just-discovered species of the ehrlichia bacterium that's making people ill in the Upper Midwest.

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Politics
12:45 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Republicans Seek Uber-Volunteers To Woo Voters

In Iowa, the Ames straw poll is just over a week away, which means the Republican presidential candidates are spending as much time there as they can.

But when they're off wooing voters in other states, it's up to their staffs to generate buzz in their absence.

So attracting the best talent could make a difference in turnout next week. But it's not just who they hire — it's also who they recruit as volunteers.

The Uber-Volunteer

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Budweiser Dresses Up Its Cans For 2011

The 12 Cans Of Budweiser: Bud's new design (far right) emphasizes a bow tie. A 1940s version for soldiers (second from left) used olive drab, presumably to blend into combat situations.
Anheuser-Busch InBev

Is Budweiser puttin' on the Ritz? The self-crowned King of Beers will soon be sold in a newly designed can — one whose graphics are dominated by a bow tie. And the can's new look was created by a London-based design firm.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

FBI Cryptic, Family More Vocal About D.B. Cooper 'Suspect'

Lynn D. Cooper's grave site in Pine Butte Cemetery in Bend, Oregon, about 22 miles from Sisters, Oregon.
David Nogueras Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oklahoma woman who sparked renewed interest in the 1971 D.B. Cooper skyjacking continues to provide new details about the uncle she identifies as the famous hijacker.

Marla Cooper also revealed plans to write and publish a book for release in November in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the skyjacking.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Swedish Man Arrested For Trying To Build Nuclear Reactor In His Kitchen

iStockphoto.com

We're a bit late to this story, but it's too good not to pass along: A Swedish man was arrested late last month, after he tried to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen.

The AP reported, yesterday:

Richard Handl said he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his flat in southern Sweden when the police showed up.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Japanese Industry Minister Fires Three Nuclear Officials, Plans To Resign

Japan is firing three top nuclear energy officials, nearly five months after the country suffered the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident of 1986. And Banri Kaieda, the industry minister in charge of energy policy, said that he will resign as soon as he replaces the officials.

"I'm planning to breathe fresh air into the ministry with a large-scale reshuffle," Kaieda said at a news conference. "I'll have new people rebuild the ministry."

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Shots - Health Blog
11:26 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Antidepressant Use Climbs, As Primary Care Doctors Do The Prescribing

Antidepressants like these have become the second-most prescribed type of medicine in the U.S.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Antidepressants have become some of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, yet most of them aren't prescribed by psychiatrists.

And what's more, almost three-quarters of the prescriptions are written without a specific diagnosis, according to a new study, raising the question of whether antidepressants are being prescribed too often.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Flower Once Thought Extinct Will Come Off Endangered List

The Tennessee purple coneflower, a wild Echinacea plant, was first discovered in the late 1800s. But it was believed to be extinct before a botanist found a sample in the 1960s.
J.S. Peterson USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Fifty years after it was brought back from extinction, a Southern flower has taken another step toward survival, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to take it off its Threatened and Endangered Species list.

The Tennessee purple coneflower is only the fifth plant ever to be removed from the list due to recovery. The move, announced Wednesday, will become official on Sept. 2.

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Africa
10:00 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Protests Rage On As Mubarak Stands Trial

The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had served longer than any other ruler of Egypt in modern times, began Wednesday in Cairo. He is charged with ordering the killings of hundreds of protesters, and could receive the death penalty if convicted.

Host Michel Martin speaks with young Egyptian activist Wessam el-Deweny about seeing the once mighty Mubarak wheeled into the courtroom in a cage.

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World
10:00 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Political Volatility Persists During Mubarak Trial

Host Michel Martin and Al Jazeera International's Aberrahim Foukara discuss the charges former Egyptian President Mubarak is facing, and what his trial means for the governmental transition in Egypt and the wider Arab Spring.

The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Economic Pessimism Sends Stock Markets Tumbling

At one point this morning, the Dow Jones industrial was down 350 points, mirroring the drop in Standard & Poor's and most stock markets in Europe. As the Los Angeles Times puts it, today the market came down from yesterday's U.S.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Report Of Gunman At Virginia Tech Appears To Be False Alarm

Virginia Tech was put on lockdown earlier this morning after police received a report that a man was walking around campus with what looked like a handgun "covered by a cloth of some sort."

The university in Blacksburg, Virginia was the site of a 2007 shooting rampage. Officials issued a warning and told students to lock doors and stay inside.

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Economy
8:38 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Unionizing, Flight Subsidies Central To FAA Standoff

A provision attached to a Federal Aviation Administration budget extension would cut subsidies for flights to rural airports. Among the airports that could be affected is one in Ely, Nev., home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

There are two main issues dividing Republicans and Democrats, and the House and Senate, from reaching agreement on reauthorizing funding for the Federal Aviation Administration: a policy on forming unions and subsidized flights at smaller regional airports.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Gadhafi's Son Says Libya Is Forging Ties With Islamists

In an interview with The New York Times, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, said his father's government was aligning itself with radical Islamists among the rebels.

The Times reports:

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Asia
7:37 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Farmers Seek Fair Share Amid India's Housing Boom

Workers construct an apartment building in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Aug. 3, 2011. As many as 100,000 new apartment units are scheduled to be built on land that previously belonged to farmers. A court has halted some development on the grounds that the farmers weren't fairly compensated.
Gurinder Osan AP

A land crisis is gripping India. The country's growing prosperity has created a rapidly expanding middle class that is demanding modern housing and has the money to pay for it.

But building millions of new houses and apartments isn't easy, especially in a country where land is hard to come by.

A land battle on the outskirts of New Delhi illustrates the point.

The property, in an area known as Greater Noida, is undergoing the transition from cropland to towering apartment blocks. Right now, though, it's a visual and legal mess.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:31 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Salmonella Leads Cargill To Recall 36 Million Pounds Of Ground Turkey

When it comes to food recalls, Cargill's decision to pull 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market is a big one — a really big one.

The food giant's taking the action for turkey produced at a plant in Springdale, Ark., because the meat may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella resistant to multiple antibiotics.

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Opinion
7:11 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Weekly Standard: Syria Hearing Worth Listening To

In this photo taken during a government-organized tour for foreign diplomats and the media, US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford covers his nose from the smell of the dead bodies during his visit with other foreign diplomats to a mass grave, in Jisr el-Shughour, north of Syria, on Monday, June 20, 2011.
Bassem Tellawi AP

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration

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Opinion
7:09 am
Thu August 4, 2011

New Republic: The Rhetoric Isn't Helping Syria

A young Syrian who lives in Greece shouts slogans during a protest outside the Syrian embassy in Athens, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. About 80 people gathered outside the embassy as Syrian troops killed nearly 100 people in two days, firing at worshippers heading to Ramadan prayers in the city on Hama, an opposition stronghold.
Thanasssis Stavrakis AP

David Schenker is the Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Japan Takes Action To Weaken The Yen

A money trader reacts in front of the yen-dollar exchange rate at a money market brokerage firm in Tokyo.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 8:08 am

During the early morning hours, Japan sold yen and bought dollars in order to stop the yen from strengthening. Dow Jones estimates that Japan may have spent as much as $20 billion to $30 billion in the transactions, pushing the yen 3.8 percent lower against the dollar.

The AP reports:

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Opinion
7:01 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Weekly Standard: A Dem Challenge Obama? Get Real

President Barack Obama talks with supporters after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.
Paul Beaty AP

Jay Cost is a staff writer for The Weekly Standard.

Froma Harrop wrote a column this week, arguing that Democrats should primary Obama:

"Ed Rendell, do you have plans for 2012? Hillary Clinton? If you, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, or you, the secretary of state, are free next year and wouldn't mind, would you please launch a primary challenge against President Obama?"

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