NPR News

Pages

Business
5:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

BP Argues Companies Are Unfairly Cashing In On 2010 Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:56 pm

Oil giant BP is challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in claims that were filed by businesses after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The total price tag for BP's oil spill is huge — $42.5 billion. At issue here is a fraction of that — but still a lot of money. BP says $540 million has been awarded to businesses for losses that "are either nonexistent, exaggerated or have nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon accident."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:53 am
Tue December 10, 2013

WATCH: Local Coverage Of Mandela's Memorial Service

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:29 pm

Thousands of mourners and dozens of world leaders gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa this morning to celebrate the life of the late Nelson Mandela.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:46 am
Tue December 10, 2013

South Africa Honors Mandela, An 'Incomparable Force Of Leadership'

Members of the public sing and dance as they arrive for the Nelson Mandela memorial service at the FNB Stadium, on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:34 pm

(This post was last updated at 9:27 a.m. ET.)

The skies were gray over Johannesburg this morning. And the rain was relentless.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:57 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Israel, Jordan, Palestinians Strike Water-Sharing Deal

The Gulf of Aqaba, near the Jordanian city of the same name. Under a new agreement, Jordan would build a desalination plant near here.
Jamal Nasrallah AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 10:59 am

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians have agreed to a water-sharing pact that would see the construction of a desalination plant on the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea and bring "a long-awaited Red Sea-Dead Sea pipeline one step closer to completion," according to Reuters.

Read more
Law
7:12 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Indicted On Corruption, Civil Rights Abuses

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:45 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Los Angeles today, federal prosecutors announced charges of corruption and civil rights abuses inside the nation's largest jail system. The indictments came against 18 current and former deputies of the LA Sheriff's Department. NPR's Kirk Siegler has details from outside the federal building in downtown Los Angeles.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Congress Renews Ban On X-Ray-Evading Plastic Guns

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida talk to reporters about their effort to renew the ban on plastic firearms, at the Capitol on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:56 pm

Congress voted to renew a ban on plastic firearms that can skirt airport detectors, but Republican lawmakers blocked efforts to tighten the restrictions.

The Senate approved the measure by a voice vote hours before it would have expired at midnight. The House voted last week to renew the ban.

As The Associated Press reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Government Sells Last Shares In GM, Loses $10 Billion

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson speaks to the media after a June 2013 GM shareholders meeting in Detroit. General Motors posted $152 billion in global revenues in 2012.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Critics of the federal auto bailout will no longer be able to refer derisively to GM as "Government Motors" — on Monday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the U.S. government has sold its remaining shares in the carmaker.

"With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation's history is now closed," Lew said, announcing the sale.

The net? Taxpayers lost $10.7 billion on the deal.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Illegal Wreath 'Tippers' Look For Some Under-The-Table Green

The tips of balsam fir trees are used to make Christmas wreaths.
USDA

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:45 am

That wreath on your front door could contain stolen goods.

The tips of fir trees used to make wreaths are collected by "tippers" and attract high prices — as well as poachers, who cut limbs and even whole trees on private land.

The Christmas greens industry is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars. But like other cottage industries, no one's really counting. Anyone with a desire to make some money can take part — on or under the table. And that's become a problem for some woodlot owners trying to protect their trees.

Read more
All Tech Considered
5:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Teens Dig Digital Privacy, If Snapchat Is Any Indication

Three high school students in Oakland, Calif., swap photos using Snapchat.
Ike Sriskandarajah Youth Radio

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:45 am

The track record of commercial products designed with privacy as a top priority has been abysmal — at least until recently. The ephemeral texting app Snapchat is turning assumptions upside down about young people and their desire for digital privacy.

Fred Cate, director of applied cybersecurity research at Indiana University, is an expert on privacy in the digital age. But when it comes to the viability of tech products that promise privacy, Cate has always been skeptical.

Read more
Art & Design
5:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Royal Gardener Planted The Seed Of Urban Planning At Versailles

Andre Le Notre pumped in water from the Seine River to create the Grand Canal at Chateau of Versailles.
Boris Horvat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:45 am

France's Chateau of Versailles has pulled out all the stops for one of its favorite sons, gardener Andre Le Notre, who designed the palace's famous gardens. This year, to mark the 400th anniversary of Le Notre's birth, several of the garden's fountains are being restored and the chateau is hosting an exhibit on his life through February 2014.

Experts say Le Notre's work was so groundbreaking, it continues to influence contemporary urban architecture.

'The Interlocutor Of Kings'

Read more
The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

U.S. Veteran Freed From N. Korea Says 'Confession' Was Coerced

Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Ben Margot AP

The 85-year-old U.S. veteran who was detained by North Korea for weeks, before being released, says the "confession" that he read and was aired on state television was coerced.

The AP and Reuters obtained a written statement from Merrill Newman in which he says North Korean authorities may have misrepresented his interest in the Korean War.

Reuters reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

18 LA Sheriff's Deputies Indicted In Sweeping Jail Probe

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in 2011
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 6:02 pm

Federal prosecutors announced Monday the indictment of 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies on an array of charges stemming from a sweeping investigation into inmate abuse and corruption.

"These incidents did not take place in a vacuum — in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. "The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice case shows how some members of the Sheriff's Department considered themselves to be above the law."

Read more
NPR Story
4:40 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Soprano Dawn Upshaw And Composer Maria Schneider Make Grammy-Nominated Music Together

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:55 am

Soprano Dawn Upshaw has been a longtime fan of composer Maria Schneider’s work, so Upshaw approached the composer and suggested a collaboration.

The result is the album “Winter Morning Walks,” which has been nominated for three Grammy awards, including Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Classical Vocal Solo.

We revisit our March conversation with Schneider and Upshaw.

Read more
NPR Story
4:40 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

The Close Harmony Of Lily And Madeleine

(lilandmad.com)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:55 am

Each week NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson brings us a new song. Today, he introduces us to the music of Lily & Madeleine with their song “Devil We Know.”

“Lily and Madeleine capture what is sometimes called ‘blood harmony,’ where siblings can make their voices interlock in ways that sound incredibly natural,” Thompson tells Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Read more
NPR Story
4:40 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Newtown Decides Against Shooting Anniversary Event

Photos of Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims sit at a small memorial near the school on January 14, 2013, in Newtown, Connecticut. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:55 am

Residents of Newtown, Conn., have decided against a public commemoration to mark the first anniversary this coming Saturday of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead.

Instead, the town is endorsing a “year of service” and is asking residents to put a candle in their window on Dec. 14, the day of the shooting, to show their commitment to the idea of service to each other.

Read more

Pages