With a modified wheelchair and a $20 bowling ball from a yard sale, a Virginia man rolled a perfect game last week. George Holscher had 12 strikes in a row, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Holscher is the second wheelchair bowler on record to rack up 300 points.
For years the United States has urged the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a peace accord based on a two-state solution. Well, there are growing concerns within the international community that the chances of that ever happening are dimming.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The Palestinians angered Israel last week by securing a symbolically important vote at the United Nations General Assembly, upgrading their status from a non-member entity to a non-member state. Israel responded with reprisals.
Well, the subject of our last word in business today may not change the world, but it is kind of snazzy. It is called the Air Umbrella. Now, picture an umbrella handle and nothing else, sort of like a wand.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Yeah. We are entering a magic world, here. That wand apparently keeps you dry by releasing a shield of air. The tech website Mashable says it's still a design concept, but in theory, you could adjust the power and size of your invisible air shield depending on how heavily it's raining.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, who took power last June, is facing a rebellion against his rule. It all started with a set of controversial decrees by the president that put him above the law until a constitution is in place. That move has polarized the country. Judges are on strike and critics say the president is pushing through an illegitimate constitution.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says it's up to congressional Republicans to take the next step in budget talks to avoid the pending automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the end of the year.
Brad Hines is a building contractor in Los Angeles who spends a good eight hours a day in his 2008 Dodge Ram. He talked to us from his truck — hands-free, of course.
"I do everything in my truck. I drive from job site to job site. I take calls. I try to get on the computer and clean up daily reports. I answer emails on my phone. I use my truck as a mobile office," Hines says.
The idea of the mobile office is far from new — Willy Loman; the Avon Lady; plumbers; electricians. Now, technology is taking the idea of working from the road to a whole new level.
Cameron Harris, who has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 8 years old, explains the ins and outs of using glucagon for blood sugar lows. Harris hosts a video podcast series called "In Range" on YouTube.
When Kerri Sparling was 7 years old, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her family didn't know anyone with the disease, so they sent her to diabetes camp — "where every single camper had Type 1 diabetes," she says.
"That was my first sense of not only other people who had diabetes, but a true community," says Sparling.
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple.
The director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said last week that preliminary data showed the possibility that the agency's Mars Science Laboratory – the six-wheeled rover that landed on Mars in August — had found signs of carbon-containing molecules.
Gary Ross has penned and directed some big Hollywood hits like Big, Pleasantville and The Hunger Games. But for the past 15 years, his obsession has been something much more personal: a Dr. Seuss-ian children's book called Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind.
It started when Ross got a call in 1996 from fellow screenwriter David Koepp. Koepp was up against a tight budget and approaching deadline with his debut directorial effort, The Trigger Effect. Its heroine had to read an as-yet-unwritten bedtime story to her child.
Over three decades, Ian MacKaye has tested a few possibilities of what punk can mean. His first band to make a national impact, Minor Threat, was a clear outgrowth of the hardcore scene in his native Washington, D.C. His second act, Fugazi, was subtler: four musicians, all songwriters, infusing punk's energy with rhythms pulled from funk, reggae and even classic rock.
Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 2:50 pm
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took to the Sunday talk shows to push the Obama administration's plan to avert the "fiscal cliff," saying that while he was optimistic about a deal with Republicans, there would be no agreement without an increase in tax rates for the top 2 percent of income earners.
High on a hill overlooking Pakistan's scenic Swat Valley sits a recently excavated cemetery. Italian archaeologist Luca Maria Olivieri walks across the site and lays a sun-beaten hand on a clay slab jutting out from a high, dun-colored wall. It's an ancient grave.
Olivieri says the remains still have to be carbon-tested, but archaeologists believe the graves contain members of a Dardic community, which dominated this part of Pakistan 3,000 years ago.
It's believed Alexander the Great fought one of his battles here, in the village of Udegram.
Wildlife ecologist Danielle Garneau is making a habit of tracking down roadkill. She actually seeks it out, hunting for clues about larger ecological trends. Garneau records it all on a free smartphone app, EpiCollect.
Standing by the side of the road in upstate New York, phone in hand, Garneau peers down at a dead, bloody and smelly skunk.
In the name of equality, the French government has proposed doing away with homework in elementary and junior high school. French President Francois Hollande argues that homework penalizes children with difficult home situations, but even the people whom the proposal is supposed to help disagree.
Afghan families walk along a dusty road in Kabul, the Afghan capital, last month. In the latest in a series of dramatic inflows and outflows, more Afghans are leaving the country than returning, fueled by unease about next year's withdrawal of NATO forces.
Credit S. Sabawoon / EPA/Landov
Passengers wait for their luggage at Kabul International Airport in March. Visas are difficult to come by, so many Afghans rely on smugglers to make their way out of the country.
Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 8:00 am
Convulsed by war and civil strife for decades, Afghanistan has experienced some of the largest ebbs and flows of migration anywhere in the world.
It began with the Soviet invasion in 1979, which sent millions of Afghans fleeing to Iran and Pakistan. When the Taliban were driven from power in 2001, many Afghans began returning home.
Now, the country has hit another milestone: For the first time since 2002 and the beginning of the current war in Afghanistan, the country has a negative migration rate — more Afghans are leaving than returning.
Making an already head-splittingly difficult deal on the fiscal cliff even harder to resolve is a set of three rules by which the Republicans who run the House play.
These are not official regulations; they're more shibboleths that House GOP leaders have adopted in recent years. And those rules are leaving House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, little room to maneuver as lawmakers try to avoid a set of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year.
Germans are famous for their efficiency and being on time. But a much-delayed, expensive new airport in the German capital, Berlin, is rapidly destroying that reputation.
Located in the former East Berlin neighborhood of Schoenefeld, the new airport is to replace three others that serviced passengers in the once-divided city. One of those, Tempelhof — made famous by the Allied airlifts of food and supplies during the Soviet blockade of the late 1940s — is already closed.
Five years ago, Paul Young was working three jobs outside Portland, Ore., when he decided to write a Christian tale of redemption for friends and family. He went down to an Office Depot and printed off 15 copies of the story he called The Shack.
The manuscript was never intended for broad publication, but it eventually caught the attention of two California-based pastors. They took it to 26 different publishers but got rejected each time. So the pastors set up their own publishing company and started a whispering campaign among churches.
Miss America's walk might look effortless, but her road to success probably cost more than you think.
Ten-thousand women will compete in a Miss USA-sponsored pageant this year. That organization is just one of more than 15 small circuits, each with its own local, state and national competitions. It's a big industry. From the organizers, designers and coaches, lots of people make money — except the contestants.
Twenty-four women are in the running to become the latest Miss District of Columbia USA.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 12:44 pm
Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, was clearly frustrated with the tactics some of his colleagues were using to gum up the legislative process.
The mere threat of a filibuster of a procedural motion to allow the defense authorization bill to be considered on the floor caused the Senate's leadership to balk at scheduling the legislation at all.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:45 am
A Kansas City Chiefs player shot and killed himself at Arrowhead Stadium early Saturday morning after fatally shooting his girlfriend.
Police say linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, shot the woman at her home, then drove to a training facility at the stadium just east of Kansas City, Mo. When police arrived at the scene, according to reporter Laura Ziegler of member station KCUR, they found Belcher with a pistol to his head, thanking team coaches for everything they had done for him.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
It's Inauguration Day in Mexico, and President Enrique Pena Nieto inherits a country with a mixed record.
Most of Mexico is embroiled in a deadly drug war that has claimed the lives of as many as 50,000 people, but Pena Nieto is also taking over an economy that is doing surprisingly well — thanks, many say, to the outgoing head of state.