NPR News

Pages

Europe
3:32 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Old Greek Blasphemy Laws Stir Up Modern Drama

A Greek Orthodox priest is blocked by riot police as he takes part in a protest outside an Athens theater in October. The play, Corpus Christi, portrays Jesus and his apostles as gay men living in modern-day Texas. The director and the cast have been charged under Greece's blasphemy laws.
Alexandros Vlachos EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:16 pm

Before he died in 1994, a Greek monk named Elder Paisios told his compatriots to turn to faith in hard times.

The monk is said to have predicted the economic crisis — as well as a triumphant return of a Greek empire.

With unemployment now at Great Depression levels, many Greeks see him as a prophet.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:30 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Bargain Over Fiscal Cliff Brings Changes To Health Care

A compromise bill that passed the Congress at the last minute included provisions that will reverberate through the nation's health care system.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:46 am

The bill that prevented the nation from plunging over the fiscal cliff did more than just stop income tax increases and delay across-the-board spending cuts. It also included several provisions that tweaked Medicare and brought bigger changes to other health care programs.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:29 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Outspoken Alan Grayson Gets Another Chance In Congress

After losing his bid for re-election in 2010, Democrat Alan Grayson of Florida is back in Congress after winning a safer district.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:24 am

Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.

After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."

His national stature didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.

'The People United'

Read more
Science
3:28 am
Fri January 4, 2013

From Canada To Latin America, The Christmas Bird Count Is On

From left, bird-watchers John Williamson, Donna Quinn, Bruce Hill and Frances Raskin try to spot as many different species as possible during this season's bird count in Loudoun County, Va.
Veronique LaCapra NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:46 am

Every year at around this time, tens of thousands of people take part in a kind of bird-watching marathon. From Canada to Latin America and throughout the United States, participants will get up in the middle of the night. Some brave frigid winter temperatures, and many do whatever else it takes to count as many birds as they can in 24 hours.

Read more
Energy
3:28 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Drilling For Facts Under The 'Promised Land' Fiction

Matt Damon's character in the movie Promised Land comes to town to convince a landowner to allow a gas company to drill on his property.
Scott Green Focus Features

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:41 am

There is plenty in the movie Promised Land that will prompt energy industry insiders to roll their eyes. But the overall issues explored in the film, which is being widely released in theaters Friday, are very real.

A process called hydraulic fracturing has led to drilling booms that are transforming rural communities into industrial zones. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," makes it possible to tap into natural gas reservoirs deep underground. But first, gas companies have to convince landowners to allow them to drill.

The Natural Gas Pitch

Read more
StoryCorps
3:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

A Single Mom's Toughness Pays Off

Reginald Mason, 47, says he owes his successes to his mother, who kept him disciplined during a financially tough upbringing.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:46 am

Reginald Mason was 11 when his father died, so his mother raised him in Harlem by herself.

"She made me and shaped me as a man," Mason, now 47, told StoryCorps, "which, to me, was very difficult for a woman to do without a father being around."

She did a good job, Mason said — despite her toughness.

"The first time my mother told me that she actually loved me, I was 32," he said.

Mason recalls watching his mother struggle financially.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Kansas Presses Sperm Donor To Pay Child Support

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:36 pm

A Kansas man's decision to donate sperm to help a lesbian couple conceive a child in 2009 has landed him in a complicated legal case, as a state agency is now pursuing him for child support payments. William Marotta, 46, is asking a judge to dismiss the case, which has grabbed national attention.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:08 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

You Can't See It, But You'll Be A Different Person In 10 Years

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:06 am

No matter how old people are, they seem to believe that who they are today is essentially who they'll be tomorrow.

That's according to fresh research that suggests that people generally fail to appreciate how much their personality and values will change in the years ahead — even though they recognize that they have changed in the past.

Daniel Gilbert, a psychology researcher at Harvard University who did this study with two colleagues, says that he's no exception to this rule.

Read more
Energy
5:31 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Wind Industry Secures Tax Credit, But Damage May Be Done

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. Although Congress voted to extend a wind energy tax credit, the temporary uncertainty dealt a blow to the industry.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.

Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.

Growing Uncertainty

Read more
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:29 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

After Sandy, Can The Jersey Shore Come Home Again?

A woman walks past a cabana complex pulled off its foundations by Superstorm Sandy in Sea Bright, N.J., in November.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:25 pm

Think about it and you'll start to realize how important the Jersey shore is to American culture. Sure there's the television show Jersey Shore, but there are more enduring signs. Consider the board game Monopoly; properties are named after Atlantic City locations. And during a television fundraiser for Superstorm Sandy victims in November, comedian Jimmy Fallon talked specifically about the Jersey Shore.

Read more
Law
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Father Or Sperm Donor? Kansas Case Says Distinction Comes From A Doctor

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

A Kansas man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple is now being pressed by the state to pay child support. Robert Siegel talks to Tim Hrenchir of the Topeka Capital-Journal, about the case. He has been covering it for the newspaper.

Technology
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

FTC Closes Google Anti-Trust Investigation Without Penalties

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Federal Trade Commission has closed its long-running antitrust investigation of Google. The search giant avoided any financial penalties, and the FTC's move is widely seen as a victory for Google. NPR's Steve Henn has been following the story and joins us now to fill us in on the details. And, Steve, this investigation has been going on for years. And now that it's over, I mean, how big a victory is it really for Google?

Read more
Around the Nation
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

White House's 'We The People' Petitions Find Mixed Success

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

The retro way to get the attention of the White House was to write an op-ed in a high profile newspaper, lobby Congress, or maybe even stage a march on Washington. Today all you need to do is click a few buttons. In 2011 the White House created a petitioning website called "We the People." Petitions that gather 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days receive an administration response. After more than a year in operation, Audie Cornish checks in with Jim Snider, a Harvard fellow who studies democratic reform in the information age, about the site's effectiveness.

Around the Nation
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Aurora Theater Reopens, Angering Some Family Members Of Victims

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

Less than six months after a lone gunman shot up a theater at the Century Aurora 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring at least 58, the movie house is slated to reopen. Several family members of victims, after being invited to participate in reopening events, wrote a letter to Cinemark, owner of the theater, expressing their shock as the company's lack of sensitivity. Audie Cornish speaks with reporter Ryan Parker who has followed these events for the Denver Post.

Movies
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

E-Vote Hiccups Delay Oscar Balloting

Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers prepare ballots for last year's Oscars mailing. Glitches in a new online voting system have prompted organizers to push back this year's balloting deadline.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

Voting for this year's Oscar nominations was supposed to have closed today — but it's been bumped a day, in the wake of complaints about the new online voting system put in place by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hollywood Reporter analyst Scott Feinberg tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the system was supposed to make life easier for academy members.

"Going to e-voting would allow voters to vote from anywhere in the world, if they're on vacation or whatever during the holidays, and just make the process itself more streamlined and efficient."

Read more

Pages