NPR News

Pages

Education
4:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Department Of Education Brings Home A Disappointing Report Card

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Flat, stagnant, static, those are words that the U.S. Department of Education has used to describe the latest reading and math scores for the nation's 12th graders.

As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, most high school seniors appear to be graduating without the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

Read more
World
4:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Kinder Words From Putin, But They Come With A Cost

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the conflict in Ukraine. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin made some conciliatory sounding statements. He called on the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone their planned referendum on autonomy. That vote is currently scheduled for Sunday. Putin also said that Russian troops had withdrawn from the Ukrainian border and that Russia is ready for more talks on ways to resolve the crisis.

Read more
U.S.
4:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

VA Secretary Responds To Call For His Resignation

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with the head of the department of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki. I sat down with him at his office today. The secretary is at the center of a roiling controversy over medical care for former service men and women and he's facing calls for his resignation.

Read more
Music Reviews
4:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Album Review: 'Natalie Merchant'

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:59 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Natalie Merchant is back. Merchant's top singing career that spans decades. In the '80s, she fronted the misleadingly-named folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs. In the '90s, she became a solo success and co-headlined the high-profile Lilith Faire tour. It focused on women musicians. And then in 2001, she released an album called "Motherland." In the aughts, she's been raising a child and rethinking her approach to music.

Well, now comes a brand new LP simply called "Natalie Merchant," and critic Will Hermes has a review.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Shinseki: Swift Action If Problems At VA Hospital Are True

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, flanked by President Obama and Vice President Biden, at the White House last month.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:54 pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki tells NPR that he's determined to get to the bottom of allegations that veterans may have died at a Phoenix VA hospital while waiting for care.

The accusations of extended delays in providing health care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system surfaced last month. The facility reportedly kept two lists of veterans waiting for care, one it shared with Washington and another, secret list of wait times that sometimes lasted more than a year.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Seeking Better Ways To Tell If Surgery Is Too Risky

Just because surgery is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea, especially for frail older people.
Sam Edwards Getty Images/OJO Images RF

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 8:02 am

Older people face higher risks in surgery, but not all 85-year-olds are alike. One may celebrate his birthday skydiving, like former president George H.W. Bush, while another may be unable to stand without help.

Since half of all surgery in the United States is performed on people 65 and older, figuring out an individual's risk is key. Measuring frailty beforehand more accurately predicts who will do well after surgery, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Author Farley Mowat, Who Wrote 'Never Cry Wolf,' Dies At 92

Farley Mowat arrives on the Red Carpet outside the Canon Theatre during the 2010 Canada Walk of Fame Tribute in downtown Toronto, Ontario, in October 2010. Mowat died Tuesday at age 92.
Heinz Ruckemann UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:45 am

Farley Mowat, the Canadian author of the nature classic Never Cry Wolf, has died at age 92, Canadian media report.

The Star quotes Mowat's brother, John, as saying the acclaimed writer and environmentalist died Tuesday, just a few days shy of his 93rd birthday.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:18 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet

Being able to insert the two man-made letters into DNA, alongside the usual four-letter alphabet, could teach old cells new tricks and lead to better drugs, researchers say.
courtesy of Synthorx

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:59 am

For the first time, scientists have expanded life's genetic alphabet, by inserting two unnatural, man-made "letters" into a bacterium's DNA, and by showing that the cell's machinery can copy them.

The advance means that scientists have a new tool for exploring how life encodes information, which could help them understand life's origins.

What's more, this is a step towards giving living cells new abilities, like being able to make more and better medicines, cheaper and faster.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Putin Tells Separatists In Ukraine To Postpone May 11 Referendum

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, addressed the media Wednesday along with the head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter.
ALEXEY DRUZHININ AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 5:42 pm

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine should wait to hold a referendum on secession, Russia's President Vladimir Putin says.

The vote is currently planned for this Sunday. Putin's comments coincide with discussions he had today with the leader of the European group that has stationed military observers in Ukraine.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

A Symbol Of Syria's Uprising, Homs Reverts To Assad's Control

Rebels leave in green buses from the old city of Homs.
GhassanNajjar Twitter

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:43 am

The beginning of the end of the two-year siege of Old Homs came as green buses full of fighters bounced down uneven streets Wednesday — a scene that was captured in a photo that was retweeted hundreds of times.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:47 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

She's A Doctor, Mom, and Republican - But Conservative Enough?

Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby, right, talks to supporter Marvin Hausman in Lake Oswego, Ore. Wehby has drawn national attention and money in her effort to win her party's nomination.
Jonathan J. Cooper AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 3:04 am

Monica Wehby is the Senate candidate Republicans have been waiting for: a camera-ready pediatric neurosurgeon, mother of four, in a party that desperately needs to elect more women.

Make that a candidate some Republicans have been waiting for.

Read more
Television
1:37 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

'Hill Street Blues' Created Two Eras For TV Drama: Before And After

Among Hill Street Blues' many innovations, says David Bianculli, was focusing on a large ensemble cast instead of one or two central stars. Pictured here: Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport, Daniel J. Travanti as Capt. Frank Furillo and Robert Prosky as Sgt. Stan Jablonski.
David Sutton NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:49 pm

It's very easy, and not at all inaccurate, to divide dramatic series television into two eras: before Hill Street Blues — which has just been released on DVD in its entirety for the first time -- and after. Before NBC televised Hill Street in 1981, most continuing drama series were presented as stand-alone, interchangeable hours starring the same characters. Every week, TV detectives Joe Mannix or Theo Kojak or Tony Baretta would investigate a crime, catch the villains and wait for next week to do it again.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:37 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

From Poker Amateur To World Series Competitor In 'The Noble Hustle'

Poker players take part in the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament in Las Vegas.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

When the World Series of Poker began in 1970, it was a pretty modest affair — seven veterans of the game competing for just the honor, no prize money. Today, more than 6,000 players pay the $10,000 entrance fee for the No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Tournament. ESPN televises the final table, and last year the winner took home more than $8 million in prize money.

Read more
The Salt
12:46 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Move Over Chickens, Here's Something Duckier For The Backyard

Daniel Paduano's Pekin ducks search the grass for slugs, snails and insects, which make up a big part of their diet.
courtesy of Daniel Paduano

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 4:26 pm

When we did our egg taste test back in April, comparing chicken, quail, duck and goose, I confessed to how partial I've become to duck eggs. Ever since I tasted them at Abounding Harvest Mountain Farm in Los Gatos, Calif., in March, I've been extolling their custardy texture and flavor to anyone who will listen.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

DEA Raids Target Synthetic Drugs' Makers And Sellers

Makers and sellers of synthetic drugs were targeted in at least 25 states Wednesday, as federal agents made arrests and conducted searches. Authorities say profits from the synthetics could be aiding terrorist and criminal groups in the Middle East.

Read more

Pages