President Barack Obama is expected to make some key changes to his second-term cabinet. As Hillary Clinton prepares to step down as Secretary of State, many wonder whether she will run for president in 2016.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:04 pm
Sitar player Ravi Shankar died Tuesday at the age of 92. Brian Q. Silver, a sitar player with over 40 years of experience, talks about playing the unique instrument and how Shankar popularized the Indian musical style.
To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:50 pm
The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.
However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.
Ke$ha uses a dollar-sign instead of an "s" in the middle of her stage name. It's one of those gestures that's meant to bait her detractors — suggesting before anyone else does that she's only in it for the money. It turns out, though, that like pop stars ranging from Madonna on back to Chuck Berry, Ke$ha wants it both ways: mass-audience success and artistic acknowledgment. For Ke$ha, that's what her album title Warrior means: She's fighting a war on multiple fronts.
By the time he turned 40, Joseph Kennedy was a millionaire many times over and the head of what would soon become one of America's greatest political dynasties. In his new biography of the senior Kennedy, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw charts Kennedy's life and trajectory from Boston society boy to Hollywood bigwig to controversial ambassador to Great Britain as World War II unfolded on the European stage.
Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.
And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."
On Tuesday, a federal bankruptcy judge gave the nod to a Chinese firm to buy a Massachusetts technology company. The company, A123 Systems, makes batteries for electric cars, but some in Congress are fighting to block the deal.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:12 pm
India's government has approved an inquiry into Wal-Mart's lobbying activities in the U.S. as a heated debate over the retail giant's plans for stores in India moves into a new phase, NPR's Julie McCarthy tells us from New Delhi.
It's been one of those weeks that makes you not want to open the paper, not want to turn on the news. A young woman with a child in her arms was killed by the father of that child, who then flees and goes on to take his own life.
You might think I am talking about the Kansas City Chief's Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend and his baby's mother, Kasandra Perkins, to death and then drove to the team's practice facility, where he took his own life. But incredibly, I'm not.
The debate over the congressional budget has both political parties putting previously 'untouchable' policies on the table for negotiation. As part of Tell Me More's 'Why Not?' series, host Michel Martin and NPR correspondents Julie Rovner and John Ydstie take a closer look at entitlement spending, like Social Security and Medicare.
Besides the congressional budget, lawmakers are also at an impasse when it comes to the Violence Against Women Act. Host Michel Martin talks with the beauty shop ladies about whether the bill should expand protections for gay people, immigrants and Native Americans.
Cecilia Gímenez's handiwork: the Ecce Homo ("Behold the Man") fresco of Christ, left, and the "restored" version, dubbed Ecce Mono ("Behold the Monkey") at right. Now, the artist is trying her hand at selling her own art work.
Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 4:21 pm
Nobody likes to see a baby in pain. But it's been surprisingly hard for doctors to figure out how to make shots and other medical procedures hurt less.
The solution might be as simple as giving a baby a bit of sugar water before the shot. Or it might not be so simple at all.
How do we know when a baby's hurting? A parent might be able to tell the difference between a cry of pain, the wet diaper cry, and the boy I'm tired cry. Doctors and nurses lack that intimate knowledge.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:21 pm
Update at 3 p.m. ET. On His Way To Miami:
John McAfee, the anti-virus software pioneer who's wanted for questioning in Belize about the murder of a neighbor, tells Bloomberg TV that he has been released from a detention center in Guatemala and is flying to Miami.
He also says he has apologized to Guatemala's president for "putting him into a very slippery position."
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:52 pm
1:30 p.m. ET. Gunman Identified:
The man who killed two people and seriously wounded a third person at a suburban Portland, Ore., shopping mall on Tuesday has been identified by police as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, of Portland, Oregon Public Broadcasting tells us.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a tale of a cat burglar. A young Londoner opted for a new fangled way to thwart neighborhood kitties from stealing her cat's food. She hung a magnet to Milo's collar that unlocked a fancy cat door, which transformed Milo into a cat burglar. Turns out, Milo herself had been slipping into neighbor's homes and the magnet started picking up small metal objects, allowing Milo to carry off 20 sets of spare keys. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Kiam Moriya was born in 2000 at 12 minutes past noon. So Wednesday afternoon, the young man can say: I turned 12 at 12:12 on 12-12-12. He told Yahoo News he's marking the occasion with donuts arranged in the shape of the number 12.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:05 am
The Bureau of Land Management is auctioning off 18,000 acres of oil leases in California Wednesday. The state has one of the largest deposits of shale oil in the country. And it's attracting new attention because of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:24 am
Egypt's protest movement against the controversial draft constitution appears to be losing steam after a lackluster turnout Tuesday night. Opposition leaders had called for mass demonstrations, and they're scrambling to decide whether to boycott Saturday's referendum on the constitution.
Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.
Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.
But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.
Among the loose ends that lawmakers would like to tie up before the end of this lame-duck session is the farm bill, which is made up mostly of crop subsidies and food stamps.
The last farm bill expired in September. The Senate has passed a new one; the House has not. Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 8:15 am
At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.
Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.
Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:44 am
The entertainment industry seems to give us only three things: sex, Justin Bieber and boxing.
Justin Bieber aside, don't producers know almost nobody cares anymore about boxing? But here we have Clifford Odets' period piece, Golden Boy, back on Broadway, and — achtung! — a musical of Rocky mounted in Germany.
Plus the usual same-old, same-old treatments are floating around. Eminem wants to make a boxing movie. Really. Worse, there are actual plans to have Sylvester Stallone fight Robert DeNiro in a boxing film. OMG — I am perfectly serious.