NPR Blogs

The Salt
12:36 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Hunger Games: What's Behind Yelp's Fake Restaurant Reviews?

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 2:58 pm

When it comes to scouting out a new bakery, pizzeria or noodle shop, there are few review sites that compare to Yelp. In turn, the reviews left on sites like Yelp can have a big effect on many restaurants' bottom lines.

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Shots - Health News
12:34 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Polio In The Middle East And Africa Could Threaten Europe

A doctor vaccinates a child against polio at a health clinic in Damascus, Syria, on Nov. 6. To stop the disease from spreading beyond Syria, health officials plan to vaccinate 20 million children in the region.
Youssef Badawi EPA /LANDOV

Polio outbreaks in the Middle East and Africa could spread to Europe if precautions aren't taken, researchers say.

The recent discovery of the poliovirus in Syria, Somalia and Israel should be a wake-up call for European health officials, according to epidemiologist Martin Eichner at the University of Tuebingen in Germany.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

How Tall Is The Washington Monument? Surveyors Take To The Top

National Geodetic Survey crew members Roy Anderson, left, and Steve Breidenbach set up survey equipment used to measure the height of the Washington Monument.
National Geodetic Survey/NOAA

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:23 pm

The National Geodetic Survey doesn't often get the opportunity to take detailed measurements of the massive stone obelisk that sits in the middle of Washington, D.C.

But a 2011 earthquake in nearby Mineral, Va., damaged the Washington Monument enough that to repair it, the tower had to be wrapped in scaffolding. That gave surveyors access to the very top of the structure.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Poet Pablo Neruda Was Not Poisoned, Officials In Chile Say

Chilean writer and diplomat Pablo Neruda died from prostate cancer, not poison, officials say. He was serving as Chile's ambassador to France in 1971 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 2:57 pm

It was prostate cancer, not an assassin's poison, that killed poet Pablo Neruda, officials in Chile announced Friday. The Nobel laureate's body was exhumed for testing this spring, due to claims from an employee and Neruda's family that the Chilean poet had been murdered at age 69.

From The Santiago Times:

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Palestinian Investigator: Israel Is 'Only Suspect' In Arafat's Death

Oct. 29, 2004: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat boards a helicopter in the West Bank city of Ramallah en route to a hospital in France. He died weeks later.
Scott Nelson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 12:22 pm

A Palestinian investigator says Israel is the "only suspect" in the 2004 death of the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

"We consider Israel the first, fundamental and only suspect in Yasser Arafat's assassination," Tawfik Tirawi, head of a Palestinian committee looking into the case, said Friday at a news conference in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

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Monkey See
11:31 am
Fri November 8, 2013

A Complete Curmudgeon's Guide To 'The Sound Of Music'

Evening Standard Getty Images

NBC has released the first trailer for its live version of The Sound Of Music, airing December 5.

Now, some have chosen to focus on the negative; on the nostalgic sense that to remake this show — or, more precisely, to remake the movie version, as they may well do, at least in part, owing to its ubiquity — is a mistake. No matter the talent involved, like Audra McDonald (as Mother Abbess) and Laura Benanti (as the Baroness), it will be an NBC remake.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Snowden Reportedly Used Others' Login Info To Get Secret Data

Edward Snowden, who provided secret U.S. intelligence documents to several media outlets, may have duped as many as 25 NSA colleagues into giving him their login information, according to Reuters. He's seen here in an image from an October TV report.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:36 pm

Some of the classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden were acquired using the credentials of other NSA workers — including people who had higher security clearance than the former spy agency contractor, according to Reuters. As many as 25 people may have been duped, the news agency says, citing people close to the inquiry.

Snowden reportedly gained his National Security Agency colleagues' trust — and access to documents and data beyond his security clearance — by saying he needed to know their security information as part of his job as a computer systems administrator.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Fri November 8, 2013

'60 Minutes' Apologizes For Benghazi Report: 'We Were Wrong'

CBSNews.com

"The truth is that we made a mistake," CBS News correspondent Lara Logan said Friday as she apologized for an Oct. 27 report on 60 Minutes in which a State Department security contractor claimed he had been on the scene of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack at a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

That attack left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Fri November 8, 2013

More Jobs Than Expected Added, But Jobless Rate Rose In Oct.

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:12 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's John Ydstie previews the October jobs report

There were 204,000 jobs added to payrolls in October, about 80,000 more than economists expected. But the jobless rate edged up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent the month before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Strongest Cyclone Ever? Typhoon Haiyan Slams Philippines

From space, Typhoon Haiyan was almost beautiful. On the ground, it wasn't so pretty.
EUMETSAT

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:08 pm

(Click here for our latest update.)

Meteorologists weren't holding back Friday after watching in amazement as Typhoon Haiyan roared over the Philippines with pounding rain and top sustained winds approaching 200 mph as it neared the coast.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Book News: Claire Vaye Watkins Wins The Dylan Thomas Prize

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the short story collection Battleborn.
Riverhead Books

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Hopes Rising For 'First Step' At Nuclear Talks With Iran

Negotiators at their round table in Geneva, where talks are being held about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Denis Balibouse Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 12:22 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Geneva

(Click here to jump to updates.)

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Shots - Health News
3:06 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Persistence Pays Off For Uninsured Alaskan

Hairdresser Lara Imler used to be an accountant. She doesn't miss her old job, except for the insurance.
Annie Feidt

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:17 am

Despite all the problems with HealthCare.gov, a few dozen Alaskans have managed to enroll in a health plan through the marketplace. Lara Imler is one of them.

Imler, a 37-year-old hair stylist in Anchorage, ditched her office job as an accountant in 2004. She says she loves making people feel better about themselves and is a lot happier cutting hair than she was sitting in front of a computer. But she does miss one big thing about her old job: "I had health insurance, and it was wonderful."

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The Salt
6:12 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

How 17th Century Fraud Gave Rise To Bright Orange Cheese

Shelburne Farms' clothbound cheddar has a bright yellow color because it's made from the milk of cows that graze on grasses high in beta-carotene.
Courtesy of A. Blake Gardner

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:46 am

The news from Kraft last week that the company is ditching two artificial dyes in some versions of its macaroni and cheese products left me with a question.

Why did we start coloring cheeses orange to begin with? Turns out there's a curious history here.

In theory, cheese should be whitish — similar to the color of milk, right?

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