LATEST FROM NPR

Pages

Business
5:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Farm Bill's Sugar Subsidy More Taxing Than Sweet, Critics Say

While many people enjoy sweet treats — like these chocolate bunnies — the price of a key ingredient has some people bitter. A government subsidy program is criticized for keeping sugar prices too high. But as prices fall, the government may buy sugar to help processors.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:55 pm

While you indulge in some Easter Peeps and chocolates this weekend, you might want to think about all that sugar. No, this isn't a calorie warning. In the U.S., raw sugar can cost twice the world average.

Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:12 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Sand From Fracking Could Pose Lung Disease Risk To Workers

A worker stands on top of a storage bin on July 27, 2011, at a drilling operation in Claysville, Pa. The dust is from powder mixed with water for hydraulic fracturing.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 1:50 pm

When workplace safety expert Eric Esswein got a chance to see fracking in action not too long ago, what he noticed was all the dust.

It was coming off big machines used to haul around huge loads of sand. The sand is a critical part of the hydraulic fracturing method of oil and gas extraction. After workers drill down into rock, they create fractures in that rock by pumping in a mixture of water, chemicals and sand. The sand keeps the cracks propped open so that oil and gas are released.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

1,569: S&P 500 Closes At All Time High, Rising Above Oct. 2007 Mark

A trader on floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 25, 2013. U
Richard Drew AP

The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index broke new ground today, closing at 1,569, an all-time high that erased the record set on Oct. 9, 2007.

The S&P joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which broke its 2007 record earlier this month.

Both indices have now recovered all the losses they suffered during the Great Recession.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Obama Forms Presidential Commission To Study Voting Problems

Voters line up into the night outside a Miami polling station, some waiting for hours to vote in the 2012 presidential election.
Wilfredo Lee AP

President Obama has established a new bipartisan commission on election administration, something he promised to do in his Feb. 12 State of the Union address. He signed an executive order Thursday making it official.

Read more
Animals
4:15 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Algae Bloom Kills Record Number Of Florida Manatees

A rescued manatee suffering from exposure to an algae bloom called red tide in southwest Florida comes up for air as it swims into a critical care tank at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
Steve Nesius Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:38 pm

More than 200 manatees have died in Florida's waterways since January from an algae bloom called red tide, just as wildlife officials try to remove the marine mammal from the endangered species list.

It used to be boat propellers that were the biggest killer of manatees, but red tide has been especially bad this year.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officer Steve Rice routinely scours the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida for dead manatees. He has found more than 20 in the past few weeks.

Read more
Latin America
3:59 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

From The Stone Age To The Digital Age In One Big Leap

Chief Almir of Brazil's Surui tribe attends a press conference with Google representatives in Rio de Janeiro last year. Chief Almir has brought technology to his previously isolated people, who now use smartphones to send photos of illegal logging in the Amazon.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:38 pm

In the heart of the Amazon in western Brazil, an Indian tribe called the Surui lived in the Stone Age as recently as the late 1960s. They wore loincloths, hunted monkeys with bows and arrows, and knew little of the increasingly modernized country in which they lived.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Ritual, Pope Francis Washes The Feet Of Young Inmates, Women

Pope Francis washes the feet of a prisoner at the Casal Del Marmo Youth Detention Centre during the mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday in Rome.
L'Osservatore Romano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:47 pm

During a Holy Thursday ritual, Pope Francis continued to break the traditions at the Vatican.

Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 young people at a youth prison. Among them were two women and two Muslims. The act was a break with tradition. As The Guardian reports, all modern popes have partaken in the ritual by washing the feet of fellow priests at either St Peter's or the Basilica of St John in Lateran.

Read more
U.S.
3:29 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Pennsylvania Tightens Abortion Rules Following Clinic Deaths

A police car is posted outside the Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia, on Jan. 20, 2011. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, accused of murder, performed abortions in the clinic.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:38 pm

A Philadelphia doctor who performed abortions is on trial for murder. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is accused in the deaths of a female patient and seven babies who the prosecutor says were born alive. District Attorney R. Seth Williams laid out the case in disturbing detail in a grand jury report last year.

When authorities raided Gosnell's clinic in 2010 they found squalid conditions: blood on the floor, the stench of urine and a flea-infested cat wandering through the facility.

Read more
Africa
3:27 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Congo, Lure Of Quick Cash Turns Farmers Into Miners

Gold miners pass up pans of sediment from an open-cast mine near the town of Mongbwalu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, last April.
Jonny Hogg Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:27 pm

One day while he was watching TV, farmer Emmanuel Tshiteta saw a news segment about people digging.

With shovels and picks, they forged deep holes, then packed the rocks they uncovered into plastic mesh bags. They carried the bags to a river to wash away the dirt, revealing handfuls of aqua-colored ore. The next day, they sold the ore for quick cash.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Chocolatiers Lindt Loses Final Appeal To Trademark Golden Easter Bunnies

Chocolate Easter bunnies by Swiss company Lindt, left, and Austrain company Hauswirth, which agreed to stop making chocolate Easter bunnies that look like those made by Lindt & Spruengli in 2012.
Heinz-Peter Bader Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:02 pm

After 12 years, a federal court in Germany has settled an epic Easter battle: It ruled Lindt & Spruengli, the Swiss chocolatier, could not trademark its gold-foil wrapped easter bunny chocolates.

Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports:

Read more
It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Thieves Target Political Ad Consultants On New FCC Site

A woman views a Mitt Romney campaign ad in September, a month after the launch of an online government database that is supposed to make it easier for the public to see what political ads air in big markets, and how much is spent on them.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 2:41 pm

Poke into the obscure corners of the Federal Communications Commission's website, and you can find one of the deepest disclosures in campaign finance.

Read more
Found Recipes
1:50 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Tuscan Pie A Sweet Springtime Take On Spinach

Tuscany's sweet spinach pie is a dish that's often associated with Easter and spring.
Courtesy of Pinella Orgiana

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 12:55 pm

Easter brings with it many predictable foods: chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, ham, and hard-boiled eggs. But some Italians use the season to feature a surprisingly sweet vegetable dish on their tables.

It's called torta co'bischeri agli spinaci. Francine Segan calls it "Tuscany's sweet spinach pie." Segan is a food historian and author of Dolci: Italy's Sweets. She shared a recipe for the pie for All Things Considered's Found Recipe series.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Students Killed As Mortar Slams Into Syrian University

A photo released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows bloody tables and chairs in a Damascus University cafeteria that was struck by a mortar Thursday.
AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 2:55 pm

A mortar shell hit part of Damascus University in Syria's capital on Thursday, killing at least 10 students and wounding a number of others, according to the official Syrian news agency, which says the shell fell on an outdoor café in the architecture department.

NPR's Susannah George is following the attack from neighboring Lebanon: "State TV footage shows puddles of blood in a colorful school cafeteria, and an awning is torn above where the mortar allegedly landed."

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:20 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

'Love Your Butt' Ads Try To Conquer Colonoscopy Fears

Cute it may be. But will it convince you to get a colonoscopy?
loveyourbutt.org

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 1:50 pm

The billboard in Washington, D.C.'s Metro stopped me in my tracks on the way to work: "Love Your Patooty."

An advertisement for yoga pants? Padded chairs? No.

Closer examination revealed it was encouraging me to get a colonoscopy.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

'Shame On Us If We've Forgotten' Newtown Victims, Obama Says

Standing in front of mothers whose children have died in shootings, President Obama said Thursday at the White House that if the nation fails to toughen its gun laws, "shame on us."

"Shame on us if we've forgotten" the 20 children and 6 educators killed three months ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and all the others who have died in gun-related violence before and since then, Obama added.

Read more
The Salt
12:18 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Mapping The Microbes That Flourish On Fruits And Veggies

You call it salad. The bacteria call it home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 1:06 pm

Deadly microbes like salmonella and E. coli can lurk on the surface of spinach, lettuce and other fresh foods. But many more benign microbes also flourish there, living lives of quiet obscurity, much like the tiny Whos in Dr. Seuss' Whoville. Until now.

Scientists at the University of Colorado have taken what may be the first broad inventory of the microbes that live on strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes and eight other popular fresh foods.

It turns out the invisible communities living on our food vary greatly, depending on the type and whether it's conventional or organic.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:00 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Maybe We Should Retire The Word 'Retire'

The official portrait of retirement has changed, and it didn't change to this.
iStockphoto.com

Retirement ads are everywhere these days. The Villages lures retirees to come live, love and golf in Florida. USAA offers financial counsel to retiring military personnel.

Read more
Religion
11:31 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Bishop: 'I See Marriage As A Sacred Institution'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, if you follow sports you might have sympathy - or not - for heartbroken March Madness fans whose schools have already flunked out. We're going to ask why we care so much when our brackets are broken. That conversation is in just a few minutes. But first we want to return to two important cases being argued in the Supreme Court this week.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Residents Wait To Return Home After Landslide On Puget Sound Island

Houses sit near the edge of a landslide on Whidbey Island on Wednesday.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:05 pm

Residents forced from their homes on Puget Sound's scenic Whidbey Island in Washington State are waiting for a green light from geologists and engineers after a large landslide knocked a house off its foundation and threatened to damage several others.

The landslide on the island, about 50 miles north of Seattle, measured about a quarter-mile wide and a half-mile deep, according to NBC News.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Powerball Winner Owes Thousands In Child Support Payments

Powerball winner Pedro Quezada holds up a promotional check featuring his $338 million jackpot. He owes $29,000 in back child support payments, according to New Jersey law enforcement authorities.
Julio Cortez AP

Now he can catch up with his bills. Pedro Quezada of New Jersey claimed the fourth-largest jackpot in the history of the Powerball multistate lottery on Tuesday. Instead of taking the $338 million dollar prize in installments, he opted for a one-time lump sum payment of $211 million, which is the third-largest single cash prize the lottery has ever awarded.

Read more

Pages