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Health Care
12:26 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 1:03 pm

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

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Africa
11:46 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'Hotel Rwanda' Manager: We've Failed To Learn From History

Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered more than 1,000 people in his hotel during the Rwandan genocide, says the brutal violence in Syria, the Central African Republic and the Congo shows history repeats itself while people fail to learn from it.
Courtesy Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 1:38 pm

Paul Rusesabagina is a figure from history — a terrible history.

He was the manager of the Diplomat Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, 20 years ago, when the genocide of Rwanda's Tutsi people began. More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus would be killed in just three months.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Chinese Ship Reportedly Detects 'Pulse Signal' In Search For Airliner

A map shows the location of a pulse signal that was reportedly detected by a Chinese patrol ship searching for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. China's state-run media says the signal is being investigated as a possible clue to the missing airliner's final location.
Google Maps

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:59 am

A Chinese Coast Guard ship has detected an ultrasonic pulse on a frequency used by black box recorders, according to China's state news agency, fueling new hope that searchers might be closing in on a beacon from the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that vanished weeks ago. The ship found the pulse signal in the south Indian Ocean, Xinhua says.

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The Salt
8:18 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Newbie Urban Gardeners Don't Realize How Much Soil Is Contaminated

Graze the Roof is a community-produced garden that grows vegetables on the rooftop of a church in San Francisco.
Sergio Ruiz/Flickr

Originally published on

The majority of Americans now live in cities, which means we have very little to do anymore with the production of our food.

But there's a reversal of that trend afoot, as more city people decide that they want to cultivate crops and raise some livestock. After all, there are few things more satisfying that biting than a bunch of tender, red radishes you grew yourself, or a fresh egg from the backyard.

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Book Reviews
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'In Paradise,' Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty

In his six-decade career, Peter Matthiessen has written 33 books, including The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country.
Linda Girvin Courtesy of Riverhead Books

Originally published on

At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.

Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.

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Middle East
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

For Syrian Refugees, 'Life Has Stopped'

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Syrian refugees have flooded into Lebanon since the war began. The UN said this week that 1 million refugees are now in the country. NPR's Scott Simon and Alice Fordham discuss the impact.

Afghanistan
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

With Modern Election, Voters Make A Break From Old Afghanistan

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Afghans voted for a new president Saturday, with only scattered violence. NPR'S Renee Montagne tells NPR's Scott Simon that the vote reflects the country's tug between tradition and modernity.

Around the Nation
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Bringing Death To The Shopping Mall: Selling Caskets At The Kiosk

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Malls have long been the place to "shop till you drop." In Southern California, Forest Lawn, a funeral industry leader, has made them places to shop before you drop.

Around the Nation
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'Muse Of Painting' Came To Churchill's Rescue — And Bush's

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Portraits of world leaders painted by former President George W. Bush go on exhibit in Dallas on Saturday. He took up the hobby after he read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as Pastime."

Around the Nation
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Argument May Have Led To Fort Hood Shooting

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Officials at Fort Hood, Texas, are investigating an argument that may have led to a shooting spree there this week. They are moving away from a focus on the suspect's mental health issues.

Afghanistan
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Afghans Vote In Large Numbers Despite Risks

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

After a campaign marred by violence, Afghans voted Saturday in presidential elections for what's to be the first ever democratic transfer of power. Results are not expected for some time.

Sports
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Final Four Fans Bedeck Themselves In Team Colors

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

The men's Final Four in college basketball is Saturday in North Texas. With the teams come fans, some rabid in their love for for all things Huskies, Gators, Badgers and Wildcats.

Music Interviews
7:38 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Puerto Rico's Most-Loved And Most-Hated Band

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:11 am

The bad boys of Puerto Rico have grown up. Step brothers Rene Perez Joglar and Eduardo Cabra of Calle 13 have a new album that takes a more thoughtful route to deliver their message.

World
5:45 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Taunt Or Miscalculation? Iran's Provocative Pick For U.N. Envoy

Iranian students climb over the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, Nov. 4, 1979. The students went on to seize the embassy staff, and hold 52 of them as hostages for 444 days.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Iran's reported decision to name Hamid Aboutalebi as its ambassador to the United Nations has ignited anger in the U.S. That's because the diplomat was part of the student group that held Americans hostage in 1979. Now, dozens of lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to deny him a visa.

It's the latest sign of just how difficult it will be for Washington and Tehran to overcome decades of mistrust.

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Environment
5:40 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters

A sign at the old Kerr-McGee uranium mill site in Grants, N.M., warns of radioactive material. This week, the Justice Department announced a $5 billion settlement against the mining company to pay for the cleanup of toxic sites the company left across the U.S. over a period of more than eight decades.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:26 am

This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case. The toxic legacy of the company involved, Kerr-McGee, stretches back 85 years and includes scores of sites across the country.

Kerr-McGee ran uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, wood-treating businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, and a perchlorate plant on a tributary of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir — and it was messy.

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