Credit Michael Nagle for The New York Times / Redux
Rabbi A. Romi Cohn, a noted mohel, prepares an infant for circumcision at Congregation Shaare Zion in Brooklyn on Sept. 4. Cohn opposes a New York City rule requiring parental consent for a type of circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews.
An ancient circumcision ritual is at the center of a present-day legal battle in New York.
The New York City Department of Health wants to require parental consent for a controversial circumcision practice, which it says can spread the herpes virus. But several Jewish organizations are suing to block the new rule, which they say violates their freedom of religion.
When Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was elected, some Egyptians jokingly referred to him as the Muslim Brotherhood's "spare tire." He was the backup candidate of the Islamist organization, whose first choice for the presidency was barred from running.
But Morsi has proved much more formidable than many Egyptians believed.
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 1:11 pm
A few days ago, two big names in food policy squared off for a formal debate on the following proposition: There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the food and beverage industry's interests and public health policy interests on obesity.
Credit Stan Grossfeld / Boston Globe via Getty Images
Dr. Ann McKee, professor of neurology and pathology of Boston University School of Medicine and co-director of the Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, inspects a brain in the Bedford Veteran Medical Center last year.
Credit Courtesy of Ann C McKee, MD, VA Boston/Boston University School of Medicine.
John Mackey, a tight end who won fame playing for the Baltimore Colts, died in 2011. His brain showed evidence of chronic brain disease and Pick's disease.
As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.
The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.
People originally from northern Mali carry signs that call for military action to retake that part of the country, now under the control of Islamist militants. The rally was held in Mali's capital, Bamako, in October.
In the southern part of Mali, which includes the capital, Bamako, it's not hard to find people who are angry about the Islamist militants who have taken over the country's north.
But there's little reason to believe the Islamists will be ousted soon. The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet this week to discuss plans for a 3,300-strong regional force to enter Mali. But it is unlikely any sort of military operation will take place in the near future.
This photo, taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, shows Mars' Gale Crater, where the rover has taken samples for chemical analysis. Scientists believe that at some point in the very distant past, there was a riverbed here.
NASA is finally receiving data on Martian soil samples from Curiosity, its rover currently traversing the red planet. The results from the soil samples hint at something exciting, but rover scientists are making very sure not to raise expectations.
On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner answered criticisms that Republicans have not proposed a deficit plan to counter the one from President Obama which they find so objectionable. Boehner's plan takes elements from presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal. David Welna talks to Melissa Block about the counteroffer.
Life can be especially cruel for girls growing up on Kenya's Swahili Coast. Some families sell their daughters to earn the bride price, while others encourage them to become child prostitutes for tourists. The girls drop out of school and have babies, and their childhoods are stolen. Now, a coalition of educators, religious and traditional leaders is fighting back.
Thirteen teenage girls — all with babies on their laps — are gathered around a table in the town hall of Msabaha village, not far from the beach resort of Malindi.
But there's no word on whether the unemployed Romney is interested in reprising his role as Salt Lake City Olympics chief. He would be 78, after all, when the 2026 games roll around. That's the earliest opportunity for a Winter Olympics in the United States.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:39 pm
During the presidential campaign, President Obama said that one of things he would do more of during his second term is engage the American people. One attempt at such a thing came on Wednesday, when the White House announced the #My2K Twitter hashtag that they hoped Americans would use to continue debating the "fiscal cliff."
When Christine Rowan gave birth prematurely in August, her new baby was having problems breathing. So Rowan brought her daughter, Zoe, to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for genetic testing.
"It's funny because when we first had the testing done, we didn't even really think about the fact the testing was going to lay out all of her DNA," says Rowan, 32, who lives in Northern Virginia.
But while Rowan and her husband were waiting for the results, questions started popping into their heads.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:15 pm
The story of Bridget Hughes' missing hat struck a chord with many. It was the floppy hat her mom wore years ago when she had breast cancer and was having chemotherapy. Mom died when Bridget, now a volunteer preschool teacher in New Mexico, was seven.
The United States is increasingly concerned that Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons might be used by the regime of Bashar Assad or that it could fall in the hands of terrorists, as the country's civil war continues.
NPR's Tom Bowman tells our Newscast unit that Syria has one of the largest stockpiles of deadly nerve agents in the Middle East. Tom filed this report:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This past Saturday marked World AIDS Day, a day to remember the millions lost, the millions who live with the disease, to focus on ways to build on the remarkable progress in treatment and on ways to prevent the spread of HIV.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last month, the U.S. Air Force released its report on a sexual assault scandal that's shaken the military. Investigation suggests systematic abuse of young female recruits at Lackland Air Base and training facility in San Antonio, Texas. So far, two commanding officers have lost their jobs.
And now, The Opinion Page; in fact a first, an Opinion Page series on the latest round of arguments on taxes and spending that have come to national attention under the ominous term the fiscal cliff. At the moment, the White House and congressional Republicans are at an impasse, and if that sounds familiar, that's because they arrived at a similar stalemate last year. When a subsequent supercommittee failed to reach agreement, the clock started ticking.
In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish writer Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion. She is struggling to understand why some people believe Jesus is the son of God, and weighed down by the guilt she feels wondering what she might have done differently to alter — or ease — her son's fate.
A notorious group of Internet trolls says it has unleashed a worm that has littered Tumblr blogs with inflammatory and racist posts.
According to the technology site The Verge, GNNA, whose full name we can't print in a family blog, says the worm has infected more than 8,000 accounts. The worm spread when users were logged into Tumblr and clicked on a viral — in more ways than one — post that asked for all Tumblr users to "drink bleach and die."
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:51 pm
David Oliver Relin, a journalist who had reported from around the world before gaining fame — and getting mired in controversy — as co-author of the best-selling Three Cups of Tea, took his own life when he died on Nov. 15 in Oregon, The New York Times reports.
Telecommuting and flexible schedules are the latest tools for establishing work-life balance. 'Generation Y' women are taking greater advantage of them. Host Michel Martin talks to Laura Sessions Stepp, who has written about the career choices of millennial women in this week's Washington Post Magazine.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to spend the next few minutes talking about the world of work. Later, we take a look at this week's Washington Post Magazine and we'll speak with a writer who says that the so-called millennial generation, especially the women, really are changing what work looks like.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will speak with the author of a new study that offers some intriguing insights about why some people move up in the workplace more quickly than others. That conversation is coming up in a few minutes.
Carla Franklin was cyberstalked and bullied for years by a man she briefly dated. She has now become an advocate and expert for online harassment. Host Michel Martin talks with Franklin about her experience and cyberstalking laws. *Advisory: This conversation may not be comfortable for all listeners.