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Humans
2:51 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Changing Climate May Have Led To Earliest Mummies

A photo from a recent National Geographic story shows a long-buried corpse, preserved by one of Earth's driest climates, Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has retained centuries-old skin, hair and clothing.
Enrico Ferorelli National Geographic

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:14 am

A couple of thousand years before the Egyptians preserved some of their dead, a much simpler society made the first known mummies.

The Chinchorros, the first mummy makers, lived about 7,000 years ago in South America, on the coast near the border between modern-day Peru and Chile. The desert area where they lived was so dry, dead people turned into mummies naturally.

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The Record
2:48 am
Wed August 15, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like The White Stripes

The White Stripes.
Autumn De Wilde Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:27 pm

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Feeling Just Wild About Wild Cards

Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is out at second against Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Despite less-than-stellar statistics, the Orioles are contenders in the American League wild-card race.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 1:46 pm

Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, has persuaded his owners and the players to add an extra wild-card team to the playoffs, so now five teams per league will qualify.

Not only is this terrific for the fans, but Selig also wisely managed to make it so that the wild-card teams engage in a one-game showdown for the privilege of being the team that joins the three division winners in the battle for the league championship.

I have just the old-fashioned word for this newfangled development: nifty.

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Fast-Moving Washington Wildfire Burns 60 Homes

As embers still smolder, family members sift through the remains of their home that was destroyed in a wildfire.
Elaine Thompson AP

A wildfire burning near Cle Elum, Wash., has destroyed 60 homes, as it rushed through 45-square-miles of land.

The Seattle Times reports that the fire is still on the move and more homes and ranches are in its path.

The Times adds:

"The fire is proving difficult to fight.

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Election 2012
6:04 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Will Florida Seniors Accept Ryan's Medicare Vision?

An audience member looks on during a campaign rally for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in St. Augustine, Fla., on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.

But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
5:29 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Medalist Claressa Shields Gets A Hero's Welcome

Olympian Claressa Shields visits the USA House in London before leaving for her home in Flint, Mich. Shields was greeted by a marching band and a motorcycle escort in her hometown.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images for USOC

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Hundreds gathered in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, to celebrate the return home of Olympian Claressa Shields. At 17, Shields became the first U.S. woman ever — and the only American this summer — to win a gold medal in boxing.

In a rare moment of joy, Flint greeted the high school student with a marching band and a motorcycle escort.

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All Tech Considered
5:29 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Could The New Air Traffic Control System Be Hacked?

The current radar-based air traffic control system (shown here) will eventually be replaced with a new system called NextGen, which will rely on GPS. A number of computer security experts are concerned that NextGen is insecure and vulnerable to hackers.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
5:19 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Scorching Phoenix Plans For An Even Hotter Future

A Metro Light Rail train rolls by the Devine Legacy apartment building along Central Avenue in Phoenix. The energy-efficient complex includes 65 "urban style" apartments.
Courtesy of Mica Thomas Mulloy

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:37 pm

It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.

A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.

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The Salt
5:18 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Sneaking A Bite During Ramadan's Long, Hot Days

Palestinians order food at a coffee shop in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.
Tara Todras-Whitehill Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:01 am

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has fallen on the longest and hottest days of the year, which means up to 15 hours of fasting in soaring temperatures.

This seems to have increased the number of Muslims who aren't fully observing the fast, and may be sneaking a bite or a drink — though no one wants to say so on the record.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:15 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Exposed Nearby City To Little Radiation

Care managers tend elderly people in March 2012 in Minamisoma, Japan. The home's residents were evacuated eight days after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station was crippled by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
Koji Sasahara AP

After a tsunami disabled the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March of 2011, residents of the nearby city of Minamisoma, just 14 miles from the plant, were evacuated.

But within a few months, most returned to their homes. Still, many communities near the plant have remained skeptical and concerned about possible radiation exposure.

To find out how much radiation exposure these people have received, Japanese researchers measured levels of radioactive cesium in nearly 10,000 residents starting six months after the incident.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
4:53 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Doping Can Catch Up To Olympians Eight Years Later

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Hours after the Olympic torch was extinguished in London, came news of the first medalist to be stripped of a medal for doping. The shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk, of Belarus, was stripped of her gold medal after she tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Earlier this month, another athlete from Belarus - a world champion hammer thrower - was sent home after a retest of his samples from the 2004 Olympics yielded a positive result.

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It's All Politics
4:49 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Ryan's Mission For Fed: Focus On Prices, Not Unemployment

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the close of the committee's hearing on the state of the economy in February 2011.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.

For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

British Bank Agrees To $340 Million Settlement Over Laundering Charges

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:27 pm

Britain's fifth-largest bank has agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges by New York regulators that it laundered money for Iranian clients.

NPR's Chris Arnold filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"In court documents, the regulator alleged that for 10 years Standard Chartered Bank quote 'schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions... involving $250 billion dollars and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for the bank.'

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Around the Nation
4:30 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Drought Stunts Vegetable Contests At State Fairs

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 6:04 pm

The drought this summer has impacted entries at state fairs across the country. Cattle, hogs, vegetables and more all are coming in much smaller and lighter because of the dry conditions. Melissa Block talks with Don Young, who submitted a much smaller pumpkin than normal to be judged at the Iowa State Fair.

Presidential Race
4:30 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan On Ideological Par With Michele Bachmann

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 6:04 pm

Congressman Paul Ryan is well known as a deficit hawk and supporter of small government. His stances on other hot-button issues though — from abortion to gun rights — have received less attention. Melissa Block talks with David Drucker, associate politics editor at Roll Call, about where the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee stands on the issues that have been less central to his public persona.

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