NPR News


1:35 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Greenpeace names activists behind a failed stunt at Peru climate talks

Greenpeace message next to Peru's Nazca Lines.

Greenpeace video

It was a publicity stunt gone wrong. Now environmental organization Greenpeace is naming the activists responsible.

The group has provided Peruvian authorities with the names of the four activists principally responsible for vandalizing the Nazca Lines heritage site. The incident happened during last month’s international climate negotiations in Lima.

Activists positioned giant yellow letters on the ground that read “Time for change! The future is renewable. Greenpeace” near a hummingbird carved in the soil 1,500 years ago.

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1:20 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:28 pm

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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1:20 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Tom Varner's Got 'Nine Surprises' And A Big Band Is All Of Them

In 2005, jazz composer and french horn player Tom Varner left New York for Seattle, where he put together a nine-piece band of local players. Their new album is called Nine Surprises. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Varner can really write, and they can really play.

Shots - Health News
12:24 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Hits 59 Cases And Counting

People who visited Disneyland in December were at risk of getting an unwelcome souvenir: the measles.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 8:50 am

The measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and one other California theme park is expanding, with 59 confirmed cases in patients ranging in age from 7 months to 70 years. The California Department of Public Health has linked 42 of these cases to people who visited Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Park.

Initially, cases were linked to people who visited the parks in mid-December, but health officials now say that other people with measles were at the parks in January while infectious and also have spread the disease.

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12:16 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

What I learned growing up with a devout Hindu mom — and an atheist dad who made fun of her

My mother performs many religious rituals. This one is called Griha Parvesh, a Hindu house warming ceremony. My father makes fun of them all.

Courtesy of Deepak Singh

My mother is a devout Hindu. She follows every ritual, fasts for every festival on the Hindu calendar and performs most religious ceremonies. She even claims to have read every Hindu text.

She has a small temple in her home where she worships daily. When she is not praying in front of her temple, she is constantly chanting a religious verse.

But my father is an atheist who enjoys making fun of my mother’s piety.

"What god are you worshipping today?" he asks my mother every morning.

“What does it matter you?” she responds.

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12:10 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

European Central Bank Launches Stimulus Plan

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:08 pm

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Citing Proximity Of Israeli Election, Obama Won't Meet With Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen here Oct. 22, 2014, will address a joint meeting of Congress on March 3.
Gali Tibbon AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:42 pm

Updated at 12:40 p.m.

The White House says President Obama won't meet with Israel's prime minister in March when Benjamin Netanyahu will be in Washington to address a joint meeting of Congress.

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Goats and Soda
11:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Hello, I Must Be Squatting

You've got to get down — literally — when greeting someone in Northern Ghana.
Kiley Shields for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:48 pm

I'm trying to sleep on a straw mat in the village in Northern Ghana where I'm a Peace Corps volunteer. It's the best way to keep cool when there's no air-conditioning and nighttime temps are in the 80s.

Lots of people are outside sleeping in the center of the compound where I'm living. They're talking. Their babies are crying. I try to tune them out and am almost at the dream state. Then I hear "aninwula."

That's the evening greeting.

No matter the time of day or night, most Ghanaians would be seriously insulted if you ignored their greeting.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Denies Knowledge Of Deflated Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, seen here on Jan. 18, says he "had no knowledge" about the controversy over deflated footballs "until Monday morning."
Elise Amendola AP

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says he had "no knowledge" about the controversy surrounding his team and deflated footballs.

"In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player or staff member about football air pressure," he said in an opening statement at a news conference today.

Belichick added that he had "no knowledge of this situation until Monday morning."

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10:16 am
Thu January 22, 2015

I never knew how differently France and America value religion

French soldiers patrol the street in a Jewish neighbourhood near a religious school and a synagogue as part of the highest level of "Vigipirate" security plan after the Islamist attacks in Paris.

Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

I made my first trip to France in December 2003, when I visited my French cousins in Paris. At the time, newspapers were headlined with the motto of the French Republic, but with the last word changed: “Liberté, Egalité, Laicité.”

That was the buzzword at the time: laicité, or secularism. A law was being advanced to forbid students at public schools from displaying any religious symbols — no headscarves for Muslim girls, no yarmulkes for Jewish boys. The law passed, and it's still in effect. 

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu January 22, 2015

ECB Unveils Massive Bond-Buying Stimulus Program For Eurozone

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi today unveiled in Frankfurt, Germany, a massive bond-buying stimulus program to kick-start the region's economy.
Michael Probst AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:42 am

The European Central Bank has unveiled a massive bond-buying stimulus program to kick-start the region's economy and battle deflation.

"The combined monthly purchases of private and public sector securities will amount to 60 billion euros," ECB President Mario Draghi said today at a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

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9:28 am
Thu January 22, 2015

I'm a woman in America, and I wasn't allowed to drive

Frimet Goldberger grew up in a Hasidic community in New York where women are forbidden to drive. She got her license at age 23, after she left the community.

Courtesy of Frimet Goldberger

I was 23 years old when I first started to drive. It’s not that I was afraid; I wasn’t allowed. Because I'm a woman.

I grew up in a small, densely populated village in upstate New York called Kiryas Joel. And in Kiryas Joel, woman don’t drive. It’s a village of ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jews. In my hometown, women can't be jailed for driving like they can in Saudi Arabia. But driving is still forbidden. A woman who drives would risk being shunned, and her children expelled from the private Hasidic school. She could be excommunicated from the community.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Newtown, Conn., Council Votes To Raze Sandy Hook Shooter's Home

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:52 am

Officials in Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish the home of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The Newtown Legislative Council voted 10-0 Wednesday night to approve a proposal to tear down the 3,100-square-foot home where Lanza lived with his mother. The land on which the home stands will be kept as open space for now.

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8:26 am
Thu January 22, 2015

When will Starbucks pop up all over Cuba? Don't count on it

A child plays at the Prado Boulevard in downtown Havana.

Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Cuban officials sitting across the table from Americans in Havana this week are hoping to sort out the next steps in normalizing relations. That's on the heels of President Obama's request for the US Congress to lift the embargo on trade with Cuba. But even if that momentous step is taken, progress on integrating the economies of the neighboring nations isn't around the corner. 

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8:14 am
Thu January 22, 2015

How Saudi Arabia can stop America from producing more fuel

A pump jack is seen at sunrise near Bakersfield, California.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

"We are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years," said President Barack Obama in his State of the Union Speech on Tuesday night. But what do these words actually mean in practice?

For one, it means that we're in the grip of American oil instead. "There's more oil floating around in the market and that has pushed the prices down around the world," says Robert Kaufmann, an environment science professor at Boston University.

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