NPR News

Pages

10:17am

Thu December 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Putin: Sanctions, Falling Oil Prices Causing Ruble's Tumble

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 8:32 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual news conference in Moscow on Thursday, where he blamed Western sanctions and falling oil prices for his country's economic troubles.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at the West in a year-end news conference today, blaming international sanctions and a steep plunge in oil prices for the precipitous drop in the value of the ruble.

Putin, speaking during a more than three-hour news conference attended by some 1,200 journalists, "promised never to let the West chain or defang his proud nation," according to The Associated Press.

Read more

9:47am

Thu December 18, 2014
Shots - Health News

Worries About Unusual Botulinum Toxin Prove Unfounded

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:05 pm

A culture of Clostridium botulinum, stained with gentian violet.
CDC

Remember that worrisome new form of botulinum toxin we told you about in late 2013, the one that supposedly had to be kept secret out of fear it could be used as a bioweapon that would evade all of our medical defenses?

Well, as it turns out, it's not that scary after all. The antitoxin stored in the government's emergency stockpile works and would neutralize the toxin just fine.

Read more

9:40am

Thu December 18, 2014
Goats and Soda

Pakistan Keeps On Vaccinating Despite Tough Terrain And Terror Threat

A Pakistani health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child during a campaign in the northern city of Rawalpindi.
FAROOQ NAEEM AFP/Getty Images

Between the rugged terrain and the constant terrorist threats, vaccinating Pakistani children against common diseases hasn't been easy. Mountains make it hard — at times even impossible — for vaccinators to reach people in the north. In the south, health workers have to use four-wheelers and camels to travel through Pakistan's harsh deserts.

Read more

7:54am

Thu December 18, 2014
Monkey See

The Many Rabbit Holes (Or Should We Say Labyrinths) Of Serial

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:01 pm

Sarah Koenig and producer Dana Chivvis in the studio.
Elise Bergerson Serial

7:52am

Thu December 18, 2014
Around the Nation

Santa Pays An Early Visit To Cape Cod Eateries

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more

7:52am

Thu December 18, 2014
World

Correct Name Gets Canadian Woman A Free European Trip

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Read more

7:35am

Thu December 18, 2014
The Two-Way

New Era For Cuba? Voices From Miami And Havana

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:22 pm

Anti-Castro protester Lazaro Lozano (left) argues with an unidentified pro-Obama supporter in the Little Havana area of Miami on Wednesday.
Alan Diaz AP

Just hours after the United States and Cuba announced they were moving toward normalizing relations, crowds gathered in Havana and Miami trying to come to grips with a historic shift.

NPR covered the reaction in those two places with two pieces on Morning Edition.

NPR's Greg Allen reported from Miami:

Read more

5:11am

Thu December 18, 2014
Afghanistan

Fight Against Corruption In Afghanistan Press On

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more

5:11am

Thu December 18, 2014
NPR Story

Citing Health, Environment Concerns, New York Moves To Ban Fracking

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The state of New York has banned fracking. After six years of study, the state says there are too many health and environmental questions involved in the controversial drilling method. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

Read more

5:11am

Thu December 18, 2014
NPR Story

Rapprochement With Cuba: What It Includes And Excludes

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, that report came to us from NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, and she's on the line with us still this morning. Hi, Lourdes.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Hi.

Read more

5:11am

Thu December 18, 2014
NPR Story

S.C. Judge Rules 1944 Execution Of 14-Year-Old Boy Was Wrong

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more

5:11am

Thu December 18, 2014
NPR Story

Rep. Sires Pushes Back Against Obama's Cuba Plans

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more

3:46am

Thu December 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

With Sony Hack, Nation-State Attacks Go From Quiet To Overt

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:33 pm

NPR has confirmed from U.S. intelligence officials that North Korea was centrally involved with the recent attacks against Sony Pictures. And the company says it is pulling its comedy film The Interview from the box office. It was supposed to debut on Christmas. These are major developments in what we may now call cyberwarfare.

Read more

3:36am

Thu December 18, 2014
Science

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As World Average

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:36 pm

A lone polar bear poses on a block of arctic sea ice in Russia's Franz Josef Land.
iStockphoto

The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the average rise on the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read more

3:31am

Thu December 18, 2014
Parallels

At An Isolated Camp, Iraqi Police Prep For A Showdown With ISIS

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

More than 4,000 officers of the Nineveh province security force are based in an isolated training camp in northern Iraq. Their aim is retaking ISIS-controlled Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.
Deborah Amos NPR

When Mohammed Taha Yaseen recalls the day that Islamic militants swept through Iraq's northern city of Mosul this past summer, he chokes up.

"The army ran away," he says, and pauses to gain control of his voice. "We didn't run — the police stayed and fought ISIS."

Yaseen, an officer in the Mosul police force, tells his story at an isolated training camp in northern Iraq, less than 20 miles from the front lines with ISIS, also known as the Islamic State.

Read more

3:27am

Thu December 18, 2014
Television

Boundary-Pushing Late Night Hosts Move On — Colbert Up, Ferguson Out

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

Craig Ferguson hosts The Late Late Show in 2011.
Sonja Flemming AP

3:02am

Thu December 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Arizona Driver's Licenses For 'Dreamers'

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 10:33 am

The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., voted against Arizona's appeal, which would have allowed a state ban on driver's licenses for young undocumented immigrants.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Arizona hoped an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court would prevent the state from having to grant driving permits to young undocumented immigrants, also known as "dreamers," who entered the country as children. A federal appeals court ruled in July of this year that Arizona must start issuing the licenses to dreamers, who under Obama administration policy are permitted to remain in the United States.

NPR's Nina Totenberg reported on the Supreme Court's Wednesday decision and the background of the legal dispute:

Read more

9:07pm

Wed December 17, 2014
National Security

The U.S. Says North Korea Ordered The Sony Hack. How Do We Respond?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more

6:26pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Movies

Sony Cancels Theatrical Release Of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:19pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Latin America

Sen. Marco Rubio: Obama's Cuba Deal Is Bad Foreign Policy

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And that changing relationship is something that Frank Calzon is questioning.

FRANK CALZON: The president has given Cuba - most of the Cuban government - most of what they want.

Read more

5:19pm

Wed December 17, 2014
World

U.S. Deal May Not Change Life Much For Everyday Cubans

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:13 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:19pm

Wed December 17, 2014
The Salt

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:21 am

A customer picks up a block of butter at a food store in Tokyo on Nov. 10. Japanese shoppers are up in arms over a serious butter shortage that has forced Tokyo to resort to emergency imports, as some grocers limit sales to one block per customer.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

We are well into the Christmas season, and if you live in Japan, that means sponge cake.

The traditional Japanese Christmas dish is served with strawberries and cream, and it is rich, thanks to lots and lots of butter. But the Japanese have been using even more butter for their Christmas cakes this year, exacerbating what was already a national butter shortage.

Read more

4:46pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Economy

Fed: Interest Rates Could Rise As Early As May 2015

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more

4:44pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Parallels

In Gaza, The Specter Of ISIS Proves Useful To Both Sides

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:15 pm

The Islamist group Hamas, shown here in a rally in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 12, is the strongest faction in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic State, or ISIS, is not believed to be in the territory, though fliers purporting to be from the group have circulated in Gaza. They are widely believed to be fake, but both Israel and Hamas have tried to use them to their advantage.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, more than a dozen writers, poets and activists in Gaza got threatening fliers signed with the name ISIS, the Sunni extremists fighting with brutal violence in Iraq and Syria.

But a few days later, a new flier, also signed ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, denied responsibility and apologized.

The incident is raising the question of whether ISIS is taking root in Gaza — or if someone is just playing around.

Read more

4:39pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Middle East

Pakistani Editorial Calls For Unified Strategy Against Extremists

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:39pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Latin America

Rep. Van Hollen: Alan Gross' Release A 'Miraculous' Moment

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more

4:39pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Global Health

Dreaming Up A Safer, Cooler PPE For Ebola Fighters

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:56 pm

This design of this new anti-Ebola suit will make health workers more comfortable and could also save lives.
Courtesy of Clinvue and Roy Heisler

Here's what it takes to design a better Ebola suit: a roomful of university students and professors, piles of canvas and Tyvek cloth, sewing machines, glue guns ... and chocolate syrup.

Even Youseph Yazdi, head of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID), still isn't sure what the syrup was for.

Read more

4:39pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Goats and Soda

We're Down To 5 Northern White Rhinos: Is It Too Late For Babies?

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Najin, a female northern white rhino, gets a pat from keeper Mohamed Doyo. Najin, who lives at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, is one of only five of its subspecies left in the world.
Ben Curtis AP

A 44-year-old northern white rhino named Angalifu died this week at the San Diego Zoo of old age.

Now only five animals remain in this subspecies, all in captivity. Four are females. The lone male lives in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

So it would seem the northern white rhino is doomed to extinction. Poachers are to blame — they've slain thousands of the rhinos to get their horns, which are hawked in Asia as a health tonic.

Read more

4:34pm

Wed December 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences

President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued, for offenses ranging from theft to running an illegal distillery.

Half of the eight whose sentences were commuted had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Citing "unduly harsh sentences issued for drug offenses under an outdated sentencing regime," a White House official said Wednesday that all eight of those who were punished for drug offenses "would receive a substantially lower sentence today."

Read more

4:31pm

Wed December 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Alan Gross' Release: How It Went Down

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:44 am

Alan Gross and his wife, Judy, in Washington on Wednesday after his release from a Cuban prison.
Algerina Perna Baltimore Sun/TNS /Landov

American Alan Gross had spent more than five years in a Cuban prison, where he lost five teeth, 100 pounds and much of the sight in his right eye. He could barely walk because of chronic pain and was, his wife Judy Gross said in June, "despondent and very hopeless" because he had 10 years to go in his sentence for crimes against the Cuban state. Then, on Tuesday, his lawyer, Scott Gilbert, told him in a phone call that he was going home.

There was a long pause, his spokeswoman Jill Zuckman said today in Washington, and then Gross said, "I'll believe it when I see it."

Read more

Pages