NPR News

Pages

Asia
4:08 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

A Primer On China's Military

Melissa Block speaks with Eric Heginbotham — senior political scientist at RAND — about China's military capability today, how it's developed over time and what the Chinese make of ramped-up attention from the US.

Middle East
3:56 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Egyptians Harbor Suspicions About U.S. Aid Groups

An Egyptian soldier on an armored vehicle guards an exchange office in Cairo on Monday. Tensions between the U.S. and Egypt are rising over Cairo's investigation of aid workers, many of them American. An Egyptian Cabinet minister, Faiza Aboul Naga, recently accused the U.S. of directly funding pro-democracy groups in order to create chaos in Egypt.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 5:16 pm

The Egyptian government has further escalated tensions with Washington by accusing U.S. officials of directly funding nonprofit groups to create chaos in the Arab country.

The latest comments were made by an Egyptian Cabinet member to prosecutors conducting a criminal probe into the activities of 43 aid workers, many of them American.

Such claims anger U.S. officials, who have threatened to hold back more than $1 billion in military aid if the crackdown on private, pro-democracy organizations doesn't end.

Read more
The Salt
3:55 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Why The Best Chocolate Is The One You Eat Last

If that Hershey's Kiss is your last, researchers say it's likely to taste better.
John Rose NPR

It's predictable, and hokey, to bring up chocolate and romance in one Valentine's Day post, but hang on — this is fascinating.

A study suggests that your preferences in chocolate may help explain how you pick out or judge potential romantic partners.

No, it's not that people who love dark chocolate are simpatico with others who love dark chocolate. That would be far too pat.

Read more
Music Reviews
3:09 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Dr. Dog: A Standout Among Stereotypes

Dr. Dog's sixth studio album is titled Be the Void.
Chris Crisman

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 5:16 pm

Sometimes I wonder: Do the members of young indie-rock bands know that they're walking stereotypes? There's the scruffy dude who's obsessed with everything vintage and analog, the Pavement-worshiping, whiny-voiced lead singer, the rhythm section that knows its way around every oddity recorded by The Kinks. That's pretty much how I pegged the Philadelphia sextet Dr.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
2:58 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need? Not Such A Mystery After All

Here's one clue that your child may not be getting enough sleep.
iStockphoto.com

Are doctors really clueless on how much sleep children need?

That was the provocative premise of a study we reported on yesterday.

It sparked a lot of attention from parents like me, who were left wondering where pediatricians come up those recommendations for hours of nightly sleep.

Read more
Europe
2:56 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

In Russia, A Debate Over How To Set The Clock

Moscow's city center at dawn. Some Russians are upset that President Dmitry Medvedev put the country on daylight saving time year-round, which means it doesn't get light until 9 a.m. or later in winter.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 5:16 pm

In just a few weeks, most of the United States will shift back to daylight saving time — and Americans will lose an hour of sleep but gain an extra hour of light in the evening.

That won't be happening in Russia, though, where President Dmitry Medvedev has put the country on permanent summer time.

Medvedev's decree, issued last fall, means that it doesn't get light in Moscow now until around 9 a.m. Back in January, it was dark until 10 in the morning.

This has become an issue in Russia's presidential election next month.

Read more
National Security
2:35 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

As China's Military Grows, U.S. Assesses Risks

At the White House on Tuesday, President Obama greeted China's Vice President Xi Jinping and called for cooperation between the two nations.

Later in the day, the Chinese vice president crossed the Potomac to visit the Pentagon, where the U-S military may hope for cooperation, but has to plan for possible confrontation.

The Pentagon's new budget request, unveiled Monday, signals a shift for the US military, with a greater focus on the Pacific.

China is building more ships and aircraft, and is now patrolling hundreds of miles out into the Pacific.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Warm Winter Leads To Early Blooms In Northeast

Kristin Schleiter, of the New York Botanical Garden, in front blooming red camellias.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 5:16 pm

If you live in the Northeast, this has been a wacky winter: It has been deathly cold in Eastern Europe, as flowers bloom in New York City and temperatures rise to the high 40s and even 50s.

I went in search of flowers in bloom and was not disappointed. There were bushes of red camellias, and gorgeous yellow flowering Adonis. Kristin Schleiter is the acting director of outdoor gardens at the New York Botanical Garden. She took me to an outdoor test garden.

Read more
Afghanistan
2:15 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Snowstorms Take A Toll In Afghan Refugee Camps

Aw Muhammad, a resident of a refugee camp in western Kabul, pulls back a shade as one of his six surviving children looks out on the snow. Afghanistan is suffering one of its harshest winters in many years.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Kabul's fourth snowstorm in the past month brought children out to play across the city, including those in the Charahi Qambar refugee camp in the western part of the capital.

Many of the children in the camp don't remember any other life outside of this mud-brick shantytown. Most of their parents fled the southern province of Helmand when the war heated up there four years ago.

Read more
Middle East
2:13 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Iran Can Disrupt Key Waterway — But For How Long?

The USS Abraham Lincoln sailed from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday. This photo was taken from the bridge of the aircraft carrier and shows U.S. aircraft parked on its flight deck. In the background, a U.S. destroyer patrols.
Hassan Ammar AP

The dispute over Iran's nuclear program has again rocked oil markets. And Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, which is just 34 miles wide yet serves as the passageway for 20 percent of the world's oil.

This is not a new drama. In fact, it was a recurring issue in the 1980s. Still, there's been relatively little activity among Gulf oil producers to find alternative routes to get their oil to market.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Westminster Set To Name Top Dog; Out West, A Dog's Star Rises

Miu Miu, a Chihuahua, poses for photographers at a fashion show held before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show is under way, and that means dogs are being pampered, brushed and cajoled to walk before the event's judges. First held in 1877, the Westminster show claims to be second only to the Kentucky Derby in terms of continuously held sporting events.

Read more
Winter Songs
2:02 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

A Skating Rink's 'Ribbon In The Sky'

hey.kiddo via Flickr

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 5:16 pm

Read more
The Salt
1:31 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

McDonald's Teams Up With Humane Society To Phase Out Pig Crates

Score one for the pigs. The news that McDonald's will require its U.S. pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestational crates should add a lot more momentum to efforts to end the practice of confining sows while pregnant.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:16 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Romney's Hard Line On U.S. Auto Industry Good For Primary But Trouble Beyond

Mitt Romney is sticking by his position, first taken in 2008, that the Obama administration should have let GM and Chrysler file for bankruptcy.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Mitt Romney, self-proclaimed "son of Detroit," appears to be in serious trouble in Michigan, falling behind to rival Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in new polls.

Despite that, he's standing firm on his position that the Obama administration should have allowed two iconic car companies — GM and Chrysler — to enter the regular corporate bankruptcy process three years ago.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
1:10 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Family Acceptance Key In Preventing Gay Youths From Considering Suicide

A new study pinpoints signs that an LGBT teens may be at risk for suicide and suggests how to intervene.
Ben Goode iStockphoto.com

Chances are you've seen a YouTube video featuring _______ (fill in a celebrity's name) telling America's gay teens that "it gets better."

There are a slew of them promising that the bullying will eventually subside and that life will improve, if teens can just hang in there.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Fans, Senators Ask FCC To Scrap Sports Blackout Rule

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 1:05 pm

A coalition of fans and five U.S. senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission to scrap its so called Sports Blackout Rule. The policy allows the NFL to block local broadcasts of games that don't sell out.

The rule has been in place since 1975, and the Sports Fan Coalition says it is outdated and "fan-unfriendly."

Broadcasting & Cable reports on the filing, which was entered with the FCC on Monday:

Read more
NPR Story
12:59 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

'Un-Fair' Anti-Racism Ads Draw Mixed Reactions

One of the posters from the Un-Fair Campaign's anti-racism effort. Click to see more.
Un-FairCampaign.org

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 1:00 pm

In January, a group of residents in Duluth, Minn., launched an anti-racism effort called the Un-Fair Campaign. They created ads, posters and billboards aimed to raise awareness about racial injustice and asking white people to recognize institutional racism.

The posters have prompted thoughtful discussion in some circles and backlash in others.

The organizers are also planning other events — a series of discussion, speeches and films, around the city.

Read more
NPR Story
12:42 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Writers Explore The Meaning Of 'Black Cool'

Writer Rebecca Walker set out to create a "periodic table of Black Cool."
Amanda Marsalis

'Cool' is a word that has come to mean so much more than just a temperature. It can be an attitude, a style or a sound. The word continues to evolve and has a variety of meanings.

In a new collection of essays, Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, writers explore the definition of coolness within African-American culture. Writer Rebecca Walker edited the book and compiled a series of essays aimed to build a "periodic table of Black Cool, element by element," to explain the myriad meanings of blackness in the United States today.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

In France, Drivers Face Gas Prices Of $8 A Gallon

Gas prices in France have topped more than $8 a gallon in some areas. In this photo from January, a woman rides her bike past a gas station in Paris.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Prices for gasoline are hitting record highs in France, where a gallon now costs more than $8 in some areas. That's the word from Eleanor Beardsley, who filed a report for our Newscast unit:

"Prices are up because of problems with two of France's main oil suppliers. Nigeria is racked by civil unrest, and European Union sanctions bar France from importing oil from Iran."

"A lower euro has also raised the price of gasoline because crude oil prices are denominated in dollars."

Read more
NPR Story
12:00 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Caregivers Press For Experimental Alzheimer's Drug

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A recent study finds that a drug approved by the FDA to treat skin cancer in humans has reversed signs of Alzheimer's in mice and improvements showed up quickly. Neuroscientist Gary Landreth, one of the co-authors of the study, described that on TALK OF THE NATION: SCIENCE FRIDAY last week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

Read more
Health Care
12:00 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Catholics Split On Health Care And Contraceptives

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Last Friday, President Obama came up a compromise: Catholic and other religious institutions would not have to provide contraception coverage for their employees directly, but the wider goal of women's health would be met because their insurance companies would have to do it.

Read more
From Our Listeners
12:00 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Letters: Resume Tips And Welcoming Veterans Home

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
11:40 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Derided As 'Alien,' Government 'Cancels' Valentine's Day In Uzbekistan

Babur, der Gründer des Mogulreiches.
Wikipedia

If you believe the Uzbek government, today is not a day for love and friendship. Nope.

It is a day to celebrate the Moghul emperor Babur, who celebrates his birthday on Feb. 14. Now this hasn't always been case in the Central Asian country. The BBC reports that in years past, lovers celebrated Valentine's Day by listening to the songs of Rayhan, "a popular singer whose music mixes Eastern melodies with Western pop."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Boeing Closes $22.4 Billion Deal With Lion Air

An artist rendering depicts a Boeing 737 MAX 9. Lion Air of Indonesia has agreed to become the first commercial customer for the plane.
Boeing

When your products sell for more than $80 million, selling one of them is a big deal. Selling hundreds of them in one deal means they're probably feeling pretty good over at Boeing right now. The aircraft company has finalized a deal to sell 230 jets to Lion Air of Indonesia, with a total list price of $22.4 billion — a record for Chicago-based Boeing.

The deal, which was first announced in November during President Obama's multi-country tour of Asia, includes 201 737 MAX jets and 29 of Boeing's extended range 737-900ERs.

Read more
Author Interviews
10:20 am
Tue February 14, 2012

The History Of The FBI's Secret 'Enemies' List

J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI. He introduced fingerprinting and forensic techniques to the crime-fighting agency, and pushed for stronger federal laws to punish criminals who strayed across state lines. He also kept secret files on more than 20,000 Americans he deemed "subversive."
Anonymous Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 11:16 am

Four years after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Weiner published Legacy of Ashes, his detailed history of the CIA, he received a call from a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

"He said, 'I've just gotten my hands on a Freedom of Information Act request that's 26 years old for [FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover's intelligence files. Would you like them?' " Weiner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And after a stunned silence, I said, 'Yes, yes.' "

Read more

Pages