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Health
10:59 am
Tue December 18, 2012

In France, Free Birth Control For Girls At Age 15

An employee tidies boxes of medicines displayed in a pharmacy in the city of Caen in western France last month. Beginning in 2013, girls between the ages of 15 and 18 will be able to get birth control free of charge, and without parental notification.
Charly Triballeau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

Beginning next year, young women in France between the ages of 15 and 18 will have access to birth control free of charge, and without parental notification. The French government says the new measure is intended to reduce pregnancies in this age group that result from a mixture of ignorance, taboo and lack of access to contraception.

One place where information is available on birth control, abortion and sexual abuse is a family planning clinic in a gritty neighborhood in the east of Paris.

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Shots - Health News
10:50 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Seniors Looking To Quit Smoking Get More Help From Medicare

Medicare is making it easier for beneficiaries to stamp out cigarettes for good.
larding Flickr

Everyone knows that quitting smoking is one of the surest ways to reduce the risk of dying.

But it has taken a long time for some Medicare beneficiaries to get the same kind of help with quitting that's routinely available to people with private health insurance.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Tue December 18, 2012

For Two Cubans In Guantanamo, Daily Commute Between Two Worlds Ends

Luis La Rosa, left, and Harry Henry on one of their last days at work on the U.S. Naval Station Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Suzette Laboy AP

We've had to focus on news about the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., since Friday, which means we missed some interesting stories over the past few days. NPR intern Rachel Brody shares one of them.

This is a story about a daily commute that spanned regimes, not just miles.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Is A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Near?

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House last month.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:50 am

(Scroll down for updates on the GOP's "plan B" and White House rejecting it.)

Talks are "heating up."

Differences are "narrowing."

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Tue December 18, 2012

NBC News' Richard Engel, Two Colleagues Freed From Syrian Captors

NBC News' Richard Engel. (2009 file shot.)
Meet the Press Getty Images

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and two members of his production team are free after five days of being held captive in Syria.

The network says Engel and his colleagues were traveling with rebels in Syria last Thursday when they were kidnapped by armed men. Their captors "executed one of the rebels 'on the spot,' " NBC says.

Monday evening, NBC reports:

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

In A 'Numb' Newtown, Students Head Back To School

In Newtown: A memorial to the victims.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 1:00 pm

  • NPR's Don Gonyea, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Most students returned to school today in Newtown, Conn., site of Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead or dying.

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Animals
7:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Christmas Comes Early At Australia's Taronga Zoo

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:06 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Questions Answered About Indiana Jones Package

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Remembrances
6:07 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Sen. Inouye, A War Hero Who Broke Barriers, Dies At 88

Inouye's wife, Maggie, waves to a neighbor as she, the senator and son Kenny prepare to leave their home, Aug. 4, 1973, in Bethesda, Md.
Bill Weems AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 1:06 pm

Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye, the Senate's senior member, died at a Bethesda, Md., hospital Monday. He was 88 years old and was suffering from a respiratory ailment. The Japanese-American was known for his heroism in World War II and for breaking racial barriers.

Born to Japanese immigrants in Hawaii in 1924, the young Inouye dreamed of becoming a surgeon, but world events intervened as he was listening to the radio on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941.

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Business
5:31 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:54 am

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with pressure to sell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Politics
5:31 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Gun Issues Return To Political Debate

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In the wake of those mass killings in Newtown, Connecticut, there is a new conversation in Washington about gun laws. And there are signs that the outcome could be different than in the past.

Here's NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
4:26 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Coverage Rapid, And Often Wrong, In Tragedy's Early Hours

Flowers, candles and stuffed animals make up a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn., on Monday. Much of the initial news coverage of Friday's events was later found to be inaccurate.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 2:09 pm

Nearly everyone reported so many things wrong in the first 24 hours after the Sandy Hook shootings that it's hard to single out any one news organization or reporter for criticism.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Tue December 18, 2012

South Carolina's New Senator A Tea Party Favorite, Staunch Obama Critic

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott smiles during a news conference announcing him as Jim DeMint's replacement in the U.S. Senate at the South Carolina Statehouse on Monday in Columbia.
Rainier Ehrhardt AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:18 am

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley named a fellow Republican, Rep. Tim Scott, as the state's next senator on Monday. He replaces retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and will make history as the first black senator from the South since 1881.

Haley, however, wanted everyone to know her selection was based on Scott's merit, not his race.

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Law
3:45 am
Tue December 18, 2012

'Black America's Law Firm' Looks To Big Cases With New Leadership

Sherrilyn Ifill will become the new president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in January.
Courtesy of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:47 pm

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been called the law firm for black America. Once run by Thurgood Marshall, the group played a major role in desegregating public schools and fighting restrictions at the ballot box.

Now, the Legal Defense Fund is preparing for a new leader — just as the Supreme Court considers cases that could pare back on those gains.

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Asia
3:22 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Daughter Of A Dictator Favored In S. Korean Election

South Korean presidential candidate Park Geun-hye, who appears slightly favored in Wednesday's election, is the daughter of a military dictator who ran the country for nearly two decades. She would be South Korea's first female president.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:07 am

Her presidential campaign rallies present blaring pop music and dancing supporters, but Park Geun-hye's campaign involves managing some tricky legacies.

Her father, Park Chung-hee, was a military dictator who ran the country from the time he carried out a 1961 military coup until his assassination in 1979. His memory still stirs mixed emotions among South Koreans.

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Economy
3:20 am
Tue December 18, 2012

The Downsides Of Living In An Oil Boom Town

Cyndy Aafedt (left) owns the El Rancho hotel in Williston, N.D. Jobs in town have been hard to fill. Her employee, Mary Joy Hardt (right), who is from the Philippines, is one of many people with J-1 visas helping to fill retail, hotel and restaurant job openings here.
Meg Luther Lindholm for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:18 am

The population boom in Williston, N.D., has been a blessing and a curse for many local businesses. Williston, the fastest growing small city in America, is enjoying an oil boom and has seen its population double in the past two years.

At the city's brand new McDonald's, manager Vern Brekhus struggles every day to maintain his staff of nearly 100 workers.

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History
3:20 am
Tue December 18, 2012

WWII 'Canteen Girl' Kept Troops Company From Afar

During World War II, "Canteen Girl" Phyllis Jeanne Creore spoke and sang to the troops and their loved ones for 15 minutes every week on NBC radio.
Courtesy of Phyllis Jeanne Creore Westerman

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:07 am

American service members have long spent holidays in dangerous places, far from family. These days, home is a video chat or Skype call away. But during World War II, packages, letters and radio programs bridged the lonely gaps. For 15 minutes every week, "Canteen Girl" Phyllis Jeanne Creore spoke and sang to the troops and their loved ones on NBC radio.

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Health
3:18 am
Tue December 18, 2012

NIH Revisits Debate On Controversial Bird Flu Research

A prefectural officer carries a chicken on a poultry farm on Oct. 15 on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, where chickens suspected of being infected with bird flu were found.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:14 am

On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is holding a second day of talks about whether and how to continue funding some controversial scientific experiments.

Back in January, virologists agreed to temporarily stop research that was creating new forms of bird flu because critics argued that the work was too dangerous. NIH officials are now seeking input from scientists and the public about how to proceed.

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Holiday Music
2:03 am
Tue December 18, 2012

'What Christmas Means' To Soul Singer KEM

Of "Christmas Time is Here," Kem says, "It's one of those songs that I hear and it's like, 'I wish I wrote that.' "
Anthony Mandler Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:07 am

For KEM's What Christmas Means, the R&B singer wanted to cover several aspects of the season: the birth of Christ, for one, but also Christmas as a "romantic holiday."

"You spend time cuddled up by the fire, warm and cozy with your wife or your husband," KEM tells NPR's David Greene. "You spend more time being intimate with shopping — we're doing things with the kids, we're together. There's a lot of sincerity, a lot of warmth."

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Science + Technology
6:39 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

After A Year Of Study, Twin Probes Crash Into Moon

The GRAIL mission's gravity map of the moon. Very precise measurements between two lunar probes orbiting the moon allowed researchers to study the moon with great detail.
NASA/JPL/Caltech

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

At about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, two washing machine-sized space probes crashed into the surface of the moon. It was all by design and marked the end of NASA's GRAIL mission. The two probes had been orbiting the moon for almost a year, and they've sent back data that have given scientists an unprecedented look inside our nearest solar system neighbor.

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