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Faced with reports of a "black spot" that interfered with the mobile network in several neighborhoods, technicians at Australian cellphone provider Telstra say they recently found the source of the problem: a man's beer fridge in his garage. The refrigerator was tracked by "software robots" and workers wielding special antennas.

President Obama fired a warning shot Tuesday in the battle over Senate confirmations: He nominated three new judges to the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, and he challenged Senate Republicans not to stand in their way.

Obama complained about procedural roadblocks that have tied up many of his previous nominees — sometimes for years.

Some men have testosterone so low that it's a medical problem.

But how low is too low? And how many men really need a pharmaceutical version of the hormone to replace the testosterone that they might be missing?

The House Appropriations Committee hears from groups that were chosen for additional scrutiny by the IRS based on their conservative-sounding names. That revelation has set off a round of investigations into the agency and their conduct. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

Forms of tuberculosis are emerging that are costly, difficult and at times, nearly impossible to treat. This new, worldwide threat is called multidrug-resistant TB, and it occurs when the bacteria no longer respond to the most common TB medications. Doctors have to turn, instead, to older, less effective drugs that can have devastating side effects such as hearing loss, blindness, aches and severe depression.

About five years ago, Colum McCann stumbled upon a small piece of history he had never known: In 1845, Frederick Douglass, then an escaped slave who was already famous for his anti-slavery writings and speeches, visited Ireland to raise money and support for his cause. McCann says he knew almost immediately that he wanted to turn this historical fact into fiction: "This intersection between history and fiction, between what is real and what is not real, fascinates me," he says.

This isn't the first time Shuggie Otis' masterpiece, Inspiration Information, has been reissued — but that's OK. It's an album that absolutely deserves to be rediscovered every decade or so.

The civil war in Syria is attracting fighters from all over, increasing sectarian tensions in other Muslim countries, threatening the region's tenuous stability, bringing the threat of Russian missiles, and leaving the U.S with few good options.

More than 80,000 people have been killed so far in Syria's civil war, and 4 million of Syria's 20 million people have been displaced. Robert Malley, the program director for Middle East and North Africa for the International Crisis Group, calls it "one of the most catastrophic humanitarian disasters we're facing."

Ohio State University president Gordon Gee will retire on July 1, ending his leadership of the school that was recently embarrassed by his verbal miscues. Gee, 69, recently sparked anger with comments he made about Catholics and rival universities.

Gee made those comments, reportedly intended as jokes, at a session of Ohio State's Athletic Council.

If you're looking for the definitive study that might persuade meat lovers to become vegetarians, this may not be it.

New research published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that vegetarian diets are linked to a slightly lower risk of early death — about 12 percent lower over a period of about six years of follow-up. But the link to longevity was more significant in men compared with women.

Young women covered by a parent's health insurance don't necessarily get maternity coverage. The National Women's Law Center thinks it may have found a way to get them benefits.

The group has filed sex discrimination complaints against five large publicly funded employers, using a little-noticed provision of the Affordable Care Act that bars discrimination in health benefits on the basis of gender.

When Mitch Hurwitz and his collaborators began making the Fox sitcom Arrested Development 10 years ago, it was loaded with jokes — in-jokes, recurring jokes and just plain bizarre jokes — that rewarded viewers who watched more than once. But even though it won the Emmy for best comedy series one year, not enough viewers bothered to watch it even once, so the show was canceled in 2006 after three seasons. And that would have been it, except for a loyal cult following that built up once the show was released on DVD and the Internet.

Putting The Fun Back Into Fundamental Science

Jun 4, 2013

America has a problem. It's an existential problem, a big one that threatens our collective future. Our problem is the failing bond between science and the American people. Luckily for us all, it's a problem that can be solved. The solution? A big party! Well, that's not the solution, but celebrating science is one way to renew our community's bond with society.

If you want to eat like a queen, maybe it's time to break out the cold chicken, curry and cream sauce.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 60th anniversary of her coronation in a ceremony Tuesday at Westminster Abbey. But the event also marks the anniversary of a dish as resilient as the British monarch herself: Coronation Chicken.

Former California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham is a free man today, after spending more than seven years in prison on bribery and other charges. A distinguished Vietnam War veteran and former Navy pilot, Cunningham's 15-year career in Congress ended abruptly when he admitting to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and evading taxes.

In Southern California, a massive wildfire, called the Powerhouse fire, has consumed 50 miles of land northwest of Los Angeles. California residents face wildfire season every year. Grist staff writer Susie Cagle talks about what it's like to live in wildfire country.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Ari Shapiro in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Robert Mueller has run the FBI for 12 years, through one of the most transformative times in the bureau's history. Now he's on his way out. Any day now, the White House is expected to announce that James Comey will take his place.

Every year, thousands of immigrants come to the U.S. seeking protection from persecution or violence in their countries. Many groups have a hard time qualifying, based on the legal limits of asylum. New immigration legislation could change the process.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, we spoke with Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, about moments of wonder: those times when you don't have all the answers, and you can't use a smartphone or Google to get them.

Saying that "insiders and a few party elites" should not choose the person who permanently replaces Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday afternoon that there will be primaries on Aug. 13 and a special election on Oct. 16.

Already under fire for how some personnel gave extra scrutiny to conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service is also dealing with an inspector general's criticism of the $4.1 million spent on a conference in 2010.

Posted here, the Treasury Department audit concludes that:

Trying to placate protesters, Turkey's deputy prime minister issued an apology today.

"The use of excessive force shown against the people who initially started this protest with the motive of protecting the environment was wrong," Bulent Arinc said in a press conference. "And it was unfair. So I apologize to those citizens."

In Philly, Lo Mein Is Going Low Sodium

Jun 4, 2013

Philadelphia is training owners of Chinese takeout restaurants to cut some of the salt in their menu items.

The city is working with about 200 takeout restaurants, providing free cooking lessons and tips on adding flavor without salt. None of the restaurant owners were paid to participate in the program, which offers advice such as how to find suppliers who sell low-sodium ingredients at a reasonable price. Participants are also encouraged to limit the number of soy sauce packets they hand to customers.

Life was already grim in the Gaza Strip when fighting raged between Israel and Hamas last November. Then Khulud Badawi got unexpected bad news about her husband.

"I was at home when my son came in and said, 'Mom, they killed Dad.' I said, 'Who?' He said, 'Hamas.' I asked him, 'Where?' He said, 'Next to the gas station,'" she recalls.

Badawi's husband, Ribhi Badawi, was in prison in Gaza City. He was supposed to go to court that day for a final appeal of charges that he had collaborated with Israel against Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip.

Smoking is expensive, and not just for the person buying the cigs. Employers are taking hard looks at the cost of employing smokers as they try to cut health insurance costs, with some refusing to hire people who say they smoke.

But figures on the cost of smoking have been rough estimates at best, with a very general estimate of $193 billion a year nationwide.

Researchers now say they're got much tighter focus on the number: $5,800 per smoker per year.

Perhaps it was inevitable. Given the huge popularity of the six-story, yellow rubber ducky that's been bobbing around in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, companies in a number of mainland Chinese cities have decided to copy it.

New ducks have popped up in the central city of Wuhan, the ancient city of Xi'an, the northern port city of Tianjin and Hengdian, a town in Zhejiang province that is home to a massive movie studio.

The judge presiding over the case of James Holmes, who is accused of a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, has accepted a not guilty plea by reason of insanity.

This sets the table for a potentially lengthy mental examination of Holmes. The AP reports:

"The next step is an evaluation of Holmes by state doctors to determine whether he was insane at the time of the shootings. That could take months.

Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite whose complaints to the FBI sparked the discovery of an extramarital affair that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, has filed a lawsuit against the federal government.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we are going to dig into a new survey of African-American attitudes about their lives, and some of the findings may surprise you. We'll also talk about how that 401(k) retirement plan, once a fresh idea, may need some new thinking.

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