NPR News

Pages

It's All Politics
3:20 am
Thu April 4, 2013

The Hunt Is On For A New FBI Director

FBI Director Robert Mueller is set to leave office this year. Whomever President Obama chooses to replace him could become a big part of Obama's legacy.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:11 am

Robert Mueller became FBI director just days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, he's been the U.S. government's indispensable man when it comes to national security.

But Mueller's term has expired, and the clock is ticking on an unprecedented extension that Congress gave him two years ago.

The first time the Obama White House thought about a replacement for Mueller, back in 2011, officials threw up their hands and wound up begging him to stay. Congress passed a special law to allow it. Then Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa put his foot down.

Read more
The Salt
3:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Political War Brews Over 'Food For Peace' Aid Program

Pakistani aid workers offload USAID food supplies from an Army helicopter in Kallam Valley during catastrophic flooding in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:47 pm

Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.

It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.

America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.

Read more
Health Care
3:17 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Lawyers Join Doctors To Ease Patients' Legal Anxieties

Lawyer Meredith Watts (left) visits client/patient Shirley Kimbrough at her apartment in north Akron, Ohio. Kimbrough is being helped by a program under which lawyers partner up with health providers to supply patients with legal advice.
Jeff St. Clair WKSU

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:44 pm

Two professions that have traditionally had a rocky relationship — doctors and lawyers — are finding some common ground in clinics and hospitals across the country.

In Akron, Ohio, for instance, doctors are studying how adding a lawyer to the health care team can help improve a patient's health.

As a TV drones in the background, about a dozen women and children wait for their names to be called at the Summa women's clinic in Akron.

Read more
Around the Nation
7:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Highlights Colorado's Action On Gun Control Legislation

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

President Obama was in Denver on Wednesday to rally support for gun control laws. Colorado has stepped up on both background checks and ammunition magazines, and Democrats there fear backlash next year.

The Two-Way
7:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Award-Winning Novelist And Screenwriter, Dies

This undated publicity photo provided by Merchant Ivory Productions shows Oscar-winning screenwriter and award-winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (center) with film director and producer Ismail Merchant (left) and director James Ivory in a studio. Jhabvala, 85, died in New York on Wednesday.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:46 am

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and Booker Prize-winning novelist, has died at her home in New York. She was 85.

NPR's Bob Mondello reported on her career for NPR's Newscast Desk:

"With the films of Merchant/Ivory, you tend to think first of period-perfect costumes and settings, but it was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's scripts that gave them substance. She was witty, cultivated and could be wonderfully precise about class and propriety in her adaptations of, say, E.M. Forster.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Brian Banks, Who Was Cleared Of Rape Conviction, Is Signed By Atlanta Falcons

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:04 pm

We've told you the story of Brian Banks. He served five years in prison and then five years of probation for a rape conviction that was thrown out in May 2012.

Read more
The Salt
6:10 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

What Do We Lose, And Gain, When Reducing A Life To A Recipe?

Detail of The Autumn, a painting of a man made of food by 16th century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 11:39 pm

What is the essence of a life? Is it our career accomplishments? Our devotion to friends and family? Our secret little talents and foibles? Is it, perhaps, our killer recipe for beef stroganoff?

Read more
Space
5:40 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sensor On Space Station May Have Seen Hints Of Elusive Dark Matter

Astronauts work to install the alpha magnetic spectrometer on the International Space Station on May 26, 2011.
NASA

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

An international team of researchers announced in Switzerland on Wednesday that an experiment on the International Space Station may have seen hints of something called dark matter. The finding could be a milestone in the decades-long search for the universe's missing material.

Only a tiny sliver of stuff in the universe is visible to scientists; the rest is dark matter. Researchers don't know what it is, but they know it's there. Its gravity pulls on the things we can see.

Read more
Asia
5:35 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Amid Threats, N. Korea's Neighbors Rethink Defense Policies

South Korean marines work on their K-55 self-propelled howitzers during an exercise against possible attacks by North Korea near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

North Korea has been a big headache for the United States, with the new leader there saying almost daily that his country is ready to go to war.

Speaking in Washington on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. can't afford to dismiss that talk as bluster.

"It only takes being wrong once, and I don't want to be the secretary of defense who was wrong once, so we will continue to take these threats seriously," he said.

Read more
Europe
5:29 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Ex-Diplomats: U.S.-Russian Relations Not As Dire As They Seem

Former U.S. and Russian diplomats gather at RIA Novosti in Moscow on Tuesday. From left: former Russian or Soviet ambassadors to the U.S. Vladimir Lukin, Alexander Bessmertnykh and Viktor Komplektov; Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute of USA and Canada; and former U.S. ambassadors to Russia James Collins, Jack Matlock, Thomas Pickering and John Beyrle.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:11 am

Relations between the United States and Russia are testier than they have been in years. The two nations are at odds over human rights, the civil war in Syria and even the adoption of Russian orphans by American families.

But former American diplomats say things aren't as bad as they may seem. They say the two countries should work together on economic and security issues.

Four former U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union and Russia were in Moscow this week for talks with their counterparts, former Russian ambassadors to the United States.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:28 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Botched NY Real Estate Deal That Lost 'Other People' Billions

The Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex is seen from Waterside Plaza in 2006, the same year it was sold in a record-breaking real estate deal.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

The middle-income housing projects Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village sit on an 80-acre patch of Lower Manhattan. In 2006, they came to epitomize the lunatic excess of the housing boom when their 11,232 apartments sold for $5.4 billion. They were bought at a competitive auction by Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

West Virginia Sheriff Shot, Killed Near County Courthouse

Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot and killed on Wednesday as he ate his lunch inside his vehicle.

The Charleston Gazette quotes one eyewitness as saying he saw a man pull up to Crum's car and shoot him "right in the head."

The paper adds:

"Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37, of Delbarton, has been arrested in connection to the shooting, according to West Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous.

Read more
National Security
5:19 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

With Eye On Budget, Hagel Seeks Pentagon Changes

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in his first major policy speech, laid out Wednesday how to deal with threats in an era of tight defense budgets.

Hagel has ordered the Pentagon to take a hard look at how many soldiers and sailors it needs and what types of weapons it buys. He says the Pentagon is at war with itself: There are competing and spiraling costs within the military — for aging weapons, and for health and pension benefits for military personnel and retirees.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:07 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sen. Landrieu's First GOP Rival Sets In Motion Key 2014 Contest

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), poses with his family and House Speaker John Boehner at the start of the new Congress, on Jan. 3. On Wednesday, Cassidy announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 5:44 pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Side Effects Prompt Patients To Stop Cholesterol Drugs

Lipitor and other statin drugs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:57 pm

With one-quarter of adults over age 45 taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, it figures that more than a few people would have trouble sticking with the program.

More than a few, actually.

A big new study of statin use in the real world found that 17 percent of patients taking the pills reported side effects, including muscle pain, nausea, and problems with their liver or nervous system.

That's a lot higher than the 5 to 10 percent reported in the randomized controlled trials that provided evidence for regulatory approval of the medicines.

Read more

Pages