LATEST FROM NPR

Pages

The Salt
4:02 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

American farms like this iceberg lettuce field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods outside Salinas, Calif., are facing a dwindling supply of farmworkers from rural Mexico.
Kirk Siegler

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.

Read more
The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
3:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Sequester Puts Some Needing Housing Aid 'Back To Square One'

Roger Bottomley of Fairfax, Va., has been homeless for 10 years. He expected to get a housing voucher, but then his appointment with the local housing authority was canceled because of sequestration. He keeps his belongings in a locker at a homeless day center.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.

Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.

And the cuts come at a time when there's a severe shortage of affordable housing across the country.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Spanish Judge Orders Bags Of Blood Destroyed In Doping Case

Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, left, arrives at a court house in Madrid on January 28, 2013.
Dani Pozo AFP/Getty Images

By all accounts, it was a less-than-spectacular end to one of Spain's biggest doping cases. El País, the country's biggest newspaper, summed up the trial of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes saying it ended without blood and without a sentence.

Fuentes was convicted of endangering public health and was given a one-year suspended sentence, a $6,000 fine and a four-year ban from practicing medicine. Most people sentenced under two years in Spain skip prison.

Read more
The Salt
3:52 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Caffeine-Laced Gum Has Energized The FDA

Wrigley says its new Alert Energy Caffeine Gum gives consumers the power to control how much caffeine they get.
Wrigley Incorporated

The caffeinated chewing gum has pushed the FDA over the edge.

The federal agency held its tongue when caffeinated potato chips, jelly beans, chocolate, sunflower seeds and energy bars hit the market.

Read more
Music
3:52 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Marc Ribot Isn't Trying To Comfort Anyone

Ceramic Dog is Marc Ribot, Ches Smith and Shahzad Ismaily.
Barbara Rigon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

After six years as a sideman for many soul veterans, Marc Ribot made his name in 1985 with Rain Dogs, the album that marked Tom Waits' permanent transition from eccentric singer-songwriter to truly weird singer-songwriter. Ribot has held down straight gigs since then, but his work has tended toward the avant-garde. That's much less true on the song-oriented second album by the trio he calls Ceramic Dog.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

No More Politics For Pakistan's Musharraf, Court Orders

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is escorted from a courtroom on April 20.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been banned for life from running for political office, a high court ruled on Tuesday.

The move by the Peshawar High Court appears to end the possibility that Musharraf, who returned to the country last month after four years in self-imposed exile, will stand in the May 11 parliamentary elections as he had hoped.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Qatar Covers Nude Statues, Greeks Take Them Back

This ancient Greek statue, from 520 B.C., is one of two nudes that were covered up in a Greek exhibit that went on display in Qatar. The statues were sent back to Greece.
Nimatallah / Art Resource, NY

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:43 am

The ancient statues depict young men, naked and muscled, in their physical prime. The two sculptures were supposed to celebrate the purity and kinetic beauty of ancient sport in a traveling exhibit, "The Olympics — Past and Present."

But when the Greek exhibit reached the conservative Muslim emirate of Qatar, the two statues were placed behind a screen of sheer black cloth.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Cyprus Passes Tough Financial Bailout Package

A Cypriot left-wing supporter sits in the shade during a protest outside the Parliament in Nicosia on Tuesday.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Cyprus approved a controversial $13 billion bailout from international lenders that's aimed at keeping the country from a messy default and withdrawal from the eurozone.

The agreement, which totals $30 billion when Cyprus' own contributions are included, passed 29-27 in the 56-seat Parliament.

The ruling center-right Democratic Rally party and its ally, the Democratic party, voted for the measure.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Female Soldier Sentenced To 10 Months Over Desertion

The first female to desert during the Iraq war was sentenced to 10 months in prison after she pleaded guilty late Monday during a court-martial.

The AP reports that Pfc. Kimberly Rivera, 30, deserted during a two-week leave in 2007. Rivera headed to Canada when she was ordered back to Iraq for a second tour.

The AP reports:

Read more
U.S.
2:50 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

On California Prisons, It's The Governor Vs. The Courts

Gov. Jerry Brown in January calls for federal judges to return control of California prisons to the state. This month, a federal appeals court denied Brown's request and ordered the state to reduce its prison population immediately.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:32 pm

California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.

Read more
Latin America
2:39 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

As Youth Crime Spikes, Brazil Struggles For Answers

A youth smokes crack in the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A crack epidemic is one factor contributing to the sharp rise in crime committed by Brazilian minors.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:34 am

In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.

Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.

"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."

Read more
The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

NBA Player Jason Collins Could Snag Endorsements, Speaking Gigs

Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards rebounds against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center earlier this month in Chicago.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 4:04 pm

For Jason Collins, coming out just might prove a winning career strategy.

Before this week, the NBA center seemed like just another second-tier professional athlete, slouching toward retirement while still in his 30s. But all that changed overnight when Collins acknowledged he was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine published Monday.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Hic, Hic, Hic: TV Weatherman Keeps Going Despite Hiccups

KHOU-TV's David Paul, hiccuping his way through his forecast Monday night.
KHOU.com

We admire KHOU-TV meteorologist David Paul's good-natured determination.

Check how he handled it when a case of the hiccups hit during his time on the air Monday evening.

And in the comments thread, please share any stories of a time when hiccups hit. Also: your surefire cure.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Teen's Punch Reportedly Lands Soccer Referee In Critical Condition

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:11 pm

A soccer referee who was reportedly punched in the face by a teenager during a game is in critical condition in a Utah hospital, four days after the incident.

After sustaining what seemed to be minor injuries, the 46-year-old official later lost consciousness — leading doctors to find "far more serious head injuries than thought," The Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:22 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Evening Primrose Oil No Match For Eczema's Itch

Evening primrose, also known as sundrops, may be more useful in the garden than in the medicine cabinet.
iStockphoto.com

Eczema is an itchy and, to some, an embarrassing skin ailment. Typical medial treatments like cortisone are less than ideal.

So some people have turned to evening primrose oil, a remedy made from the seeds of a yellow wildlflower that are rich in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Just In Case: Cruise Line Insured Against Loch Ness Monster

This is an undated file photo of a shadowy shape that some people still claim is the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.
AP

There's word that a Scottish cruise line has taken out an insurance policy in case of a beastly disaster. Jacobite Cruises is now insured against damage from the Loch Ness Monster.

"We see it as keeping in line with good business practice," Freda Newton, managing director of Jacobite Cruises, tells The Scottish Sun. "There is so much going on — people have tried to hunt the Loch Ness Monster, people have tried to capture it. We just don't know what could happen. It's prudent."

The Sun reports:

Read more
World Cafe
12:49 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Matt Pond On World Cafe

Matt Pond.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:44 pm

The fact that Matt Pond has dropped the vestigial "PA" from the end of his moniker has more to do with geography than sound. On this episode of World Cafe, we learn why the singer-songwriter (and former Philadelphian) has moved around so much — it's all for love.

Pond does tell host David Dye what hasn't changed: his always likable voice and an ability to write heartfelt songs with melodies that stick.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

4-Year-Old Rape Victim Dies In India

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:20 pm

A young girl raped this month in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has died, according to several news reports. The 4-year-old child had been lured with chocolate by her alleged attacker, who later dumped her at a farm, as NPR's Julie McCarthy has reported.

The New York Times' India Ink blog says the girl's parents found her April 18, the day after the attack, and that she had been in a coma since. She sustained extensive brain and vaginal injuries.

Read more
Interviews
12:04 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

C.J. Chivers: On The Ground In Syria

Gmutlu iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:48 pm

New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers, has spent much of the past year with the rebels in Syria, and has written poignantly about the impact of the fighting on the lives of ordinary Syrians and its devastating impact on that ancient land. Before becoming a journalist Chivers was a Marine and his knowledge of the military sometimes leads him to stories that only an insider would see.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Ontario's First Nation Struggles With Spike In Suicides

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:50 pm

The Neskantaga First Nation is grappling with mental health and other issues in northern Ontario, Canada, where a high suicide rate prompted officials to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. With a population of about 400, the community has seen an average of about 10 suicide attempts a month in 2013, according to local officials.

Read more

Pages