NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
10:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

NYT Journalist James Risen Won't Be Forced To Reveal His Source

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder won't compel The New York Times' James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, to name his confidential source on CIA operations intended to prevent Iran from building its nuclear program.

It's the conclusion of a standoff that has lasted for years, as NPR's David Folkenflik reported for our Newscast unit. It began in 2006, David reports, when "Risen's book State of War revealed the CIA had botched a scheme to feed the Iranians faulty material on how to refine nuclear fuel for weapons."

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The Two-Way
8:43 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Georgia Woman Gets $100K Over Her Arrest For Cursing At Police

Amy Barnes, of Marietta, Ga., has won a settlement after she says police abused her constitutional rights. Barnes was arrested and held in solitary confinement overnight for cursing at officers.
David Goldman AP

After seeing "yet another African American stopped for doing nothing other than being outside while black," Atlanta-area resident Amy Barnes says, she yelled profanities at police officers — who then arrested her. That was two years ago. Today, Cobb County agreed to pay Barnes $100,000.

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The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Amazing Photos Show Clouds Filling The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is seen from the South Rim on Sept. 6, 2013.
Alexandra Schuler DPA /LANDOV

A rare total cloud inversion took place in the Grand Canyon on Thursday, filling the huge void with what looks like a rolling white fog. The event was captured in striking photos by the Grand Canyon National Park; on Friday, the park posted a time-lapse video.

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The Two-Way
6:25 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Are Men Idiots Who Do Stupid Things? Study Says Yes

Charles Darwin, perhaps best known for his work on evolution, died at the age of 73 in 1882. He would not have been a candidate for the Darwin Awards.
AP

A new study shows what at least some of us might have suspected for a long time: Men are idiots and do stupid things.

That's the premise of the authors' Male Idiot Theory. The study, published in BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, looked at past winners of the Darwin Awards. The awards are given to those people who die in such an idiotic manner that "their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive."

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The Two-Way
4:48 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Dingell Admitted To Hospital, One Day After Casting Last Vote In House

Rep. John Dingell, seen here in June, was admitted to a hospital Friday as a precautionary measure. The Democrat is retiring as the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, was admitted to a hospital in Washington, D.C., as a precaution Friday, one day after casting the final vote in his nearly 60 years in Congress.

The Michigan Democrat's office didn't give details on Dingell's condition, other than to say he was under observation and "resting comfortably." Dingell visited a doctor's office earlier this week, after he fell down and bruised his hip.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Tamir Rice's Death Ruled A Homicide By Medical Examiner

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:24 pm

The death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot last month by a police officer, has been ruled a homicide by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner.

Tamir suffered gunshot wounds to the torso and suffered injures of "major vessel, intestines and pelvis," the examiner's report said.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

3 Wounded In Shooting Outside Portland High School

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:04 pm

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

A shooter wounded two boys and a girl outside a high school in Portland, Ore., in what police said may be a gang-related assault.

The incident occurred near Rosemary Anderson High School. The Oregonian reports that a 17-year-old was shot in the back and another person, a female, was shot in the chest. The newspaper did not give specifics on the third victim.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

NOAA Team Finds Shipwreck Of The 'Titanic Of The Golden Gate'

A sonar profile view of SS City of Rio de Janeiro above a painting of the steamer.
Coda Octopus (top) and painting of SS City of Rio De Janeiro NOAA (top); Mystic Seaport (bottom)

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:49 pm

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it has found the remains of a 19th century passenger steamer that sank near the present-day Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance to San Francisco Bay, killing 128 people, mostly immigrants from China and Japan.

Inbound from Hong Kong, the City of Rio de Janeiro, which came to be known as the "Titanic of the Golden Gate," went down in dense fog after hitting submerged rocks early on the morning of Feb. 22, 1901.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Vatican, Citing 'Delicate Situation,' Rejects Dalai Lama Meeting With Pope

The Dalai Lama, flanked at left by Rome's Mayor Ignazio Marino, arrives at the opening of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome on Friday.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:12 pm

Pope Francis won't meet privately with the Dalai Lama because of a "delicate situation," the Vatican's spokesman said today, in an apparent reference to the Holy See's relations with China.

The Dalai Lama, who is in Rome for a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize winners, had requested a private meeting with the pontiff but said Thursday that the request had been rejected.

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Shots - Health News
1:43 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Confusion Over Job-Based Insurance Can Shortchange Consumers

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:19 pm

Misunderstandings about whether some types of job-based coverage disqualify consumers from signing up for subsidized insurance through the health law's marketplaces may lead some people to buy skimpier employer plans instead.

In recent weeks, some of the people called assisters, who help shoppers find coverage, say consumers are being told by employers that their bare-bones plans meet the minimum requirements under the law. That kind of insurance would cover preventive benefits, for instance, but might leave out prescription drugs and emergency care.

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The Salt
1:28 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Florida Tomato Pickers' Wins Could Extend To Dairy, Berry Workers

Farm workera at Lipman Produce load tomatoes on a truck on Jan. 16, 2014 in Naples, Fla. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. joined an initiative that will require its Florida tomato suppliers to increase farm worker pay and protect workers from forced labor and sexual assault, among other things.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:25 pm

Farm workers in America have long been among the nation's poorest paid and most abused workers. But conditions have been improving for Florida tomato pickers, and those advances may soon reach other farm fields, according to the annual report released Thursday by the Fair Food Standards Council, or FFSC, a labor oversight group based in Sarasota, Fla.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Coming Soon To Iowa: Driver's License On A Smartphone App

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:07 pm

A smartphone app will soon serve as an official driver's license for many Iowans.

"We are really moving forward on this," Paul Trombino, director of the state's Department of Transportation, told Gov. Terry Brandstad during an agency budget hearing this week. "The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation."

His comments were reported by The Des Moines Register.

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The Salt
11:43 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Aerial Photos Are New Weapon In Organic Civil War

The Cornucopia Institute commissioned this photo of an organic egg producer in Saranac, Mich. According to Cornucopia, the facility is owned by Herbruck's Poultry Ranch, which has a license to maintain up to 1 million chickens on this site.
Courtesy of The Cornucopia Institute

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:11 pm

If you look at it one way, these are the best of times for organic egg and milk producers. They can barely keep up with demand. Prices for their products are high. Profits are rolling in. Operations are expanding.

But that expansion is provoking suspicion, name-calling, and even clandestine investigations within the organic "community" because some organic advocates believe that some of these megafarms are not truly organic.

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Monkey See
11:12 am
Fri December 12, 2014

'Top Five': A Good, Not Great, Day In New York With Chris Rock

Rosario Dawson (left) plays Chelsea Brown, a New York Times reporter who spends a day interviewing Rock's character, Andre Allen.
Ali Paige Goldstein Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Chris Rock has been on a tear — a widely shared interview with Frank Rich in New York Magazine, a widely shared guest column in The Hollywood Reporter, interviews with Audie Cornish on All Things Considered, Terry Gross on

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Fri December 12, 2014

'Computer Failure' Restricts Airspace Over London

A Eurocontrol map showing the air traffic situation over Europe on Friday.
Eurocontrol

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 3:34 pm

The airspace over London has been severely restricted because of a "computer failure," Eurocontrol, the European flight safety body, said on Friday.

NPR's Ari Shapiro tells us many flights are expected to be grounded for more than three hours.

"The U.K.'s National Air Traffic Control Center experienced a mid-afternoon power failure," Ari reports. "That forced Heathrow and other airports in the London area to stop all air traffic in and out. Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport, so this will have ripples all across the continent."

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