LATEST FROM NPR

Pages

Economy
4:59 am
Thu January 3, 2013

What Is A Good Unemployment Number, Really?

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:50 am

On Friday, new unemployment numbers will be released for December. In last month's report, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, a four-year low. For a preview of the labor market prospects for the new year, Steve Inskeep talks to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, an international consulting firm.

It's All Politics
3:27 am
Thu January 3, 2013

After Upset Win, House Freshman Looks To Make A Name For Himself

Then-candidate Eric Swalwell speaks as Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., walks offstage during an endorsement meeting at the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club in Oakland, Calif., in September.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:27 am

A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.

California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.

His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."

Read more
Around the Nation
3:26 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Brings One Family Closer

The day after their neighborhood was flooded, the Hardys returned to their house to start bagging up the garbage. The contents of the fridge were spread all over the kitchen floor and even outside. There were sausages in the street. The kitchen floor was a mess of muddy puddles.
Courtesy of Heather Hardy

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:26 am

The Hardy family goes back generations in a tiny neighborhood called Gerritsen Beach at the southern end of Brooklyn. For them, Superstorm Sandy has created something like an extended family reunion.

Their 2 1/2 bedroom house is currently just barely livable. They removed a fallen tree, replaced drywall, fixed the electricity and heat, and threw down rugs to keep the dust and mold from overwhelming them until they do the work the house really needs.

The Hardy family is more closely knit than a lot of people could stand.

Read more
Arts + Life
3:24 am
Thu January 3, 2013

'Downton Abbey' Cast: It's More Fun Downstairs

Hugh Bonneville (left) stars as Lord Grantham and Jim Carter as Mr. Carson, the formidable butler of Downton Abbey.
Joss Barratt Carnival Films

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:41 pm

With the third season of the sumptuously upholstered period drama Downton Abbey coming to PBS Masterpiece Classic on Jan. 6, Morning Edition's David Greene sat down with a half-dozen members of the cast to talk about what's in store.

Read more
Europe
3:23 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Prime Minister Finds Soap Opera's Turkish Delights In Bad Taste

Eggs streak down a billboard advertising the popular Turkish soap opera The Magnificent Century. The show focuses on palace intrigue during the 16th-century rule of Suleiman the Magnificent. Some Islamists have protested the show's depiction of the sultan's harem.
Murad Sezer Reuters via Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:27 am

Suleiman the Magnificent was the longest-reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire, presiding for nearly a half-century at the peak of the empire's power in the 16th century.

During Suleiman's rule from 1520 to 1566, the Ottomans were a political, economic and military powerhouse. Suleiman's forces sacked Belgrade, annexed much of Hungary and advanced across large parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

Read more
The Record
12:55 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Patti Page, Who Dominated The '50s Pop Charts, Dies

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:27 am

Patti Page, whose comforting voice made hits of heartbreaking ballads ("Tennessee Waltz") and novelty songs ("How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"), died Tuesday in Encinitas, Calif. She was 85 years old.

Read more
Sports
6:36 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Game, Set And Match: U.S. Tennis Tournaments Move Abroad

Pete Sampras returns a forehand against Russia's Marat Safin during an exhibition tennis match at the L.A. Tennis Open tournament in 2009. The tournament, which has been around for decades, is now relocating to Colombia as America's dominance in the sport declines and global appeal surges.
Danny Moloshok AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:16 am

Throughout most of its 86 years, Los Angeles' premier tennis tournament attracted the biggest names in the game. But over the years, stars stopped coming, and so did fans.

Now the Farmers Classic, which has been in L.A. since 1927, is headed to Bogota after it was bought by a Colombian sports marketing and entertainment company.

"There's a big hole in my heart. And believe me, this is something we didn't see coming, I'll be honest," says Bob Kramer, longtime tournament director of the Farmers Classic.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Clinton Discharged From Hospital After Blood Clot Treatment

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital today, after being treated for a blood clot. In December, Clinton and former President Bill Clinton attended a dinner for Kennedy honorees at the Department of State.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:40 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she was admitted Sunday for treatment of a blood clot that followed a concussion she suffered after fainting. Clinton has reportedly been taking blood thinning agents to help the clot dissolve.

"She's eager to get back to the office," according to a statement from Philippe Reines, deputy assistant Secretary of State, announcing Clinton's discharge.

Read more
It's All Politics
6:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Democratic Leader Pelosi to GOP Colleagues: 'Take Back Your Party'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a Dec. 19 news conference on Capitol Hill.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 9:00 am

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says she has urged Republican colleagues in Congress to "take back your party" from "anti-government ideologues" in their ranks.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

UPDATE: With A Swish Of His Autopen, Obama Signs Fiscal Cliff Bill

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu, Hawaii, Wednesday. Obama returned to Hawaii to continue his vacation — prompting questions about how he will sign the fiscal cliff bill.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:43 am

Update at 7:35 a.m ET, Jan. 3. Signed By Autopen:

As many had expected he would, the president did sign the fiscal cliff agreement with an autopen. The bill was back in Washington, D.C., while Obama was in Hawaii on vacation. So, it was signed by an autopen machine that produces a copy of the president's signature. As we outlined earlier, this has been done before.

Our original post — "How Will President Obama Sign The Fiscal Cliff Bill?"

Read more
Science
5:10 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides

George Zimmerman (left) and his attorney appear in court for a bond hearing in June. Zimmerman's case sparked a nationwide debate about so-called "stand your ground" laws.
Joe Burbank AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 10:54 am

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.

Read more
All Tech Considered
5:10 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Tech Idea List: Five Nerds To Watch In 2013

Gina Bianchini speaks during a conference in Palm Desert, Calif., in 2010. She is founder of Mightybell, a company she hopes will unlock social media's power by helping small groups organize easily and quickly in the real world.
Francis Specker Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:32 pm

Read more
It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Bidding Adieu To Congressional Trailblazers

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the nation's most prominent gay politician, speaks in Washington last month about his imminent retirement.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 10:15 am

The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.

So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.

Read more
Middle East
3:58 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

Russian-speaking Israelis mingle at the Soho nightclub in Tel Aviv. The club caters to the Russian-speaking immigrant community, featuring hired dancers and extravagant decorations rarely seen in informal Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:54 am

Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.

This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.

Read more
National Security
3:34 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

At $130 Million A Plane, Critics Question The Cost Of The F-35

Visitors look at a Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the Singapore Airshow in 2010. The cost of the plane keeps on rising and is now $130 million or more per plane, depending on the model.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:51 pm

Second of two parts

In a mile-long building on the edge of Fort Worth, Texas, an assembly line is taking shape to build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin, which got the contract to build the jet back in 2001, is slowly cranking up production. It's hard to keep a plane current, when it takes so many years to develop.

But Lockheed's Kevin McCormack says the F-35 is designed to change as technology evolves.

Read more
Health
3:04 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Drug Fulfills Promise Of Research Into Cystic Fibrosis Gene

Kalydeco is one of the first drugs that is effective at combating the root causes of a genetic disease.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:53 pm

The promise of genetic medicine is beginning to be fulfilled, but it's been a long, hard slog.

Take the story of Kalydeco. It's designed to treat people with a lung disease called cystic fibrosis. While not quite a cure, the drug is extremely effective for some CF patients.

But the success of Kalydeco has been more than two decades in the making.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Cliff Deal: What We Learned; What Comes Next

Although the fiscal cliff deal was passed by majorities in both chambers, it has still drawn criticism from the left and right.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:03 pm

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Malala, Shot For Speaking Out Against Pakistan's Taliban, To Stay In U.K.

In November, Pakistani students in Karachi participated in a "Malala Day" to show support for the girl who was shot when she spoke out against the Taliban.
Masroor Xinhua /Landov

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she had been speaking out against that group's efforts to stop Pakistani girls from going to school, will be staying in Great Britain.

Read more
World Cafe
1:43 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Ben Sollee On World Cafe

Ben Sollee.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 11:36 am

  • Listen To The Session

There's not much about Ben Sollee's career that could be described as conventional. The singer-songwriter's primary instrument is the cello, and his work ranges from traditional classical music to Asian folk tunes. Even his preferred method of transportation on tour deviates from the norm; he's been known to travel from one show to the next on a bicycle with his cello strapped to the back.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:30 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

'Rum Cliff' And Other Close Shaves In The Tax, Spending Deal

The 'rum tax' is extended.
istock

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 3:12 pm

You might have thought the intense partisan negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff were all about who wins and who loses when it comes to taxes and government programs.

And that assessment would be essentially correct — but some of the winners might strike you as a bit odd.

Tucked away in the bill's obscure cul-de-sacs are a bevy of obscure tax and spending provisions. We picked five for your perusal. Here goes:

Read more

Pages