NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

U.S. Soldier Accused Of Murder In Deaths Of Deaf Iraqi Boys

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 4:13 pm

A U.S. Army sergeant who in 2007 allegedly shot and killed two unarmed deaf Iraqi boys who had no known ties to the insurgents then battling American forces, has now been charged with two counts of premeditated murder.

The story of what Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera allegedly did was spelled out in detail last December by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. An online version of the newspaper's 8-page report is posted here. It began its package of stories this way:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Princeton Meningitis Cases Spur Emergency Import Of Vaccine

Princeton University's Nassau Hall.
DANIEL HULSHIZER AP

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 3:48 pm

A seventh case since March of bacterial meningitis among students at New Jersey's Princeton University has federal health officials considering the use of "an emergency vaccine," The Star-Ledger writes.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:49 am
Sat November 16, 2013

As He Retires, Cricket Superstar Gets India's Highest Honor

Students in Ahmadabad, India, honored cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar in their own way earlier this week.
Siddharaj Solanki AP

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 3:42 pm

Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar has indeed left the pitch for the last time, now that his national team's match against the West Indies is over (India won easily, 495-182).

Read more
The Two-Way
10:43 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Suicide Bombing Causes Multiple Deaths In Afghanistan

An Afghan police officer stands near some of the wreckage after Saturday's suicide bombing in Kabul.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 3:37 pm

A suicide bombing Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan, near the site where elders will meet next week to debate a security pact with the U.S. caused multiple deaths and injuries, NPR's Sean Carberry tells our Newscast Desk.

He reports that:

"The huge blast destroyed cars and shops and scattered debris for more than 100 yards. Witnesses describe seeing injured and dead civilians being pulled from the scene. Afghan officials claim the bomber was under surveillance and exploded his vehicle when stopped at the checkpoint."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:00 am
Sat November 16, 2013

How'd They Do That? Jean-Claude Van Damme's 'Epic Split'

The easy part: Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme before the trucks started backing up and he did his "epic split."
Volvo Trucks

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 3:31 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
8:28 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Estimate Of Number Left Homeless By Typhoon Soars

Patients injured during Typhoon Haiyan lie in the halls of the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban, the Philippines. Despite severe damage to the ground floor and the loss of the roof, the staff of the hospital keep treating patients.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 5:05 pm

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET. Estimate Of Those Displaced Soars:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

EPA Proposes Reducing Ethanol Requirements For 2014

The EPA proposes reducing the requirement for ethanol-blended gasoline.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Bowing to industry complaints, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed cutting back the amount of renewable fuels, such as corn-based ethanol, that refiners must blend with gasoline.

The draft rule would roll back the 2014 requirement for renewables from 18.15 billion gallons to between 15 billion and 15.52 billion gallons.

According to Bloomberg:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

JPMorgan Will Pay $4.5 Billion To Investors Of Toxic Securities

JPMorgan Chase & Co. says it will pay a $4.5 billion settlement to investors over mortgage-backed securities.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle claims from investors who lost money on mortgage-backed securities that went sour as the U.S. housing market imploded.

The settlement is with 21 institutional investors and is separate from the $13-billion-dollar agreement reached last month with the Department of Justice to settle civil charges related to wrongdoing by some of JPMorgan's units.

In Friday's deal, Reuters says:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Holy Empathy! Batkid Lives Superhero Dream In San Francisco

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, talks strategy with Batman before saving a woman from peril in San Francisco on Friday. The Make-A-Wish Foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City for Miles, creating a daylong event to grant the leukemia survivor's wish to be a superhero.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:50 pm

Friday was a busy day in the crime-fighting world. As a superhero might say, you never know when a dastardly plot will emerge. And sometimes you're outnumbered. But not in Gotham, and not today — because an entire city seemed to stand with Batkid, aka a 5-year-old boy named Miles, whose wish to be a superhero has been granted.

Read more
NPR Story
4:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Can You Keep Your Old Health Plan? It May Depend On Where You Live

President Obama met at the White House with CEOs from across the health insurance industry on Friday. Insurers, he says, will be allowed to renew for one more year health policies that don't meet the new national standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:36 pm

President Obama's proposal to try to let more people keep their canceled health insurance policies sounded so simple when he announced it Thursday.

"Insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan," he said in unveiling the proposal at the White House.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

U.S. Tech Firms May Be Feeling Bite From NSA Spying Reports

Recent disclosures about NSA surveillance have affected U.S. relations with allies and tainted America's image around the world. Now the fallout seems to be creeping into the U.S. tech sector.

Cisco Systems, which manufactures network equipment, posted disappointing first-quarter numbers this week and warned that revenues for the current quarter could drop as much as 10 percent from a year ago — partly as a consequence of the NSA revelations.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Who Will Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons? Not Albania

Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama, in a televised address in the capital, Tirana, on Friday.
Hektor Pustina AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:26 pm

The United Nations on Friday outlined a plan for destroying Syria's chemical weapons, but there's still no word on who will carry out the delicate task of disposing of the deadly agents.

The plan "sets ambitious milestones to be met by the Government of Syria," said Ahmet Uzumcu, the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW. "This next phase will be the most challenging, and its timely execution will require the existence of a secure environment for the verification and transport of chemical weapons."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Study: Odds Of Being Murdered Closely Tied To Social Networks

Chicago police investigate a shooting in front of the Uptown Baptist Church in August. Five people were shot, one fatally, during the drive-by, in which gunmen fired more than 20 rounds.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:06 pm

A team of scientists has confirmed something your parents probably warned you about as a teenager — that hanging out with the wrong crowd can be dangerous.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:01 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Federal Brain Science Project Aims To Restore Soldiers' Memory

President Obama has pledged millions of dollars to fuel research into understanding the workings of the human brain.
Zephyr Science Source

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:07 pm

When President Obama announced his plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain seven months ago, it was long on ambition and short on details.

Now some of the details are being sketched in.

The BRAIN Initiative will include efforts to restore lost memories in war veterans, create tools that let scientists study individual brain circuits and map the nervous system of the fruit fly.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:26 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

For Many People, Lowering Blood Pressure Will Take A Village

A third of Americans have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Half of them don't have it under control.
iStockphoto.com

There are 78 million people in the United States with high blood pressure, and half of them don't have it under control.

Hypertension remains a difficult problem to solve, despite decades of persuading and prodding from doctors and health authorities.

So it may be time to try a different tack, one that involves giving people more support and less badgering, according to the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Think of it as the "it takes a village" approach to high blood pressure.

Read more

Pages