NPR Blogs

Monkey See
8:07 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Watch: Stephen Colbert Thanks And Remembers His Mom

Seen here in May 2012, Stephen Colbert last night gave a tribute to his mom, who passed away recently.
Charles Sykes AP

Stephen Colbert's mother Lorna died recently at 92, and on last night's Colbert Report, he offered her a funny, sweet, warm tribute that really requires no additional comment.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
7:19 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Book News: Alice Munro, Author Of Pensive Short Stories, May Retire

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

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Thu June 20, 2013

A Plaque And A Flag: U.S. Tries To Revive Taliban Peace Talks

Guests arrive for the opening ceremony of the new Taliban political office in Doha on June 18.
Faisal Al-Timimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:40 am

How hard will peace negotiations in Afghanistan be? For the past day — and before the first official meeting — the United States has been scrambling to get all parties to the table.

The talks were scheduled to begin today in Qatar, but now they are on hold.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu June 20, 2013

SCOTUS Watch: High Court Could Decide Four Major Cases

Members of the media wait for court rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Monday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:44 am

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. No Big Decisions:

The Supreme Court did not hand down any of the big opinions we were waiting for. That means that as its 2012 term comes to a close, we are still waiting for major decisions on gay marriage, affirmative action and voting rights.

The Court will hand down decisions again on Monday at 10 a.m. ET. We'll be here.

But, lest you think it didn't make any news today, it did hand down three opinions:

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The Salt
2:56 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Gourmands Through The Ages: 'A History Of Food In 100 Recipes'

Detail from a painting found on the walls of a 4,000-year-old tomb in Luxor, Egypt, that depicts bread making.
Werner Forman Archive

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:58 am

Think our current culture has become food-obsessed? Take a look at this wall painting from ancient Egypt.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Microsoft Responds To Fan Outcry, Changes Xbox One Policies

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Fans spoke, and apparently Microsoft listened.

In a reversal of the company's previous position, Microsoft announced Wednesday that its forthcoming Xbox One gaming console would no longer require a regular Internet connection and would not restrict used or shared games.

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Federal Agents Accuse Two Of Plotting Deadly X-Ray Weapon

Two men in upstate New York have been arrested for planning to build a "radiation particle weapon" that could be mounted on a vehicle and used to target people, according to a report by the Albany Times-Union Wednesday. The men allegedly planned to sell the device to either the Ku Klux Klan or Jewish groups.

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

A Day After Making List, One Of FBI's Most Wanted Caught

Just a day after being added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, a former University of Southern California professor was arrested in the Mexican beach resort of Playa del Carmen.

Reporting for our Newscast unit, NPR's Carrie Kahn says 64-year-old Walter Lee Williams had been pursued by the FBI since 2011.

She says the indictment against Williams alleges he used his position as a professor of gender and sexuality studies to travel internationally and prey on underage boys.

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Pitchman Who 'Guaranteed' Our Look Fired By Men's Warehouse

George Zimmer founded the Men's Wearhouse clothing store in 1973. The company announced Wednesday that he'd been fired.
Thomas J. Gibbons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:04 pm

He might like the way you look, but may no longer be able to guarantee you will.

Men's Wearhouse Inc. announced Wednesday that George Zimmer, founder and executive chairman of the company, has been fired.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Snowden Reportedly In 'Informal' Asylum Talks With Iceland

Edward Snowden, the man commonly called "the NSA leaker" for his role in publishing documents that exposed a secret U.S. surveillance program, would reportedly not receive special treatment from the United Nations if he applies for asylum. The AP says Snowden is in "informal talks" with Iceland about applying for asylum there.

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Shots - Health News
4:36 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Infections From Contaminated Injections Can Lurk Undetected

Spinal MRIs similar to these found infections that many patients hadn't realized they had.
Stefano Raffini iStockphoto.com

People who think they didn't get sick from a nationwide meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections used to treat back pain may want to think again.

Doctors at hospitals in Michigan did MRI scans of people who had been given tainted injections but didn't report symptoms of meningitis afterwards.

About 20 percent of the 172 people tested had suspicious-looking MRIs, and 17 ended up needing surgery to treat fungal infections in or around the spine.

The patients had gotten steroid injections about three months before the MRI, in mid to late 2012.

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Shots - Health News
3:46 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Vaccine Against HPV Has Cut Infections In Teenage Girls

A 13-year-old girl gets an HPV vaccination from Judith Schaechter, a pediatrician at the University of Miami, in 2011.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:18 pm

A vaccine against human papillomavirus — the most common sexually transmitted infection and the cause of almost all cervical cancer — is dramatically reducing the prevalence of HPV in teenage girls.

The first vaccine against HPV, Merck's Gardasil, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006. Cerverix, from GlaxoSmithKline, was approved in 2009.

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The Salt
3:41 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

And The Winner Of The World Food Prize Is ... The Man From Monsanto

James Finley AP

Ever heard of the World Food Prize? It's sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for food and agriculture," but it has struggled to get people's attention. Prize winners tend to be agricultural insiders, and many are scientists. Last year's laureate, for instance, was Daniel Hillel, a pioneer of water-saving "micro-irrigation."

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Tropical Storm Barry Heads Toward Mexico, Forecasters Say

Tropical Storm Barry, the second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, is expected to hit Mexico's southeastern coast.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:58 pm

The National Hurricane Center has issued coastal warnings in the Gulf of Mexico regarding Tropical Storm Barry. The second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, Barry is currently in the southwest corner of the gulf; it is expected to make landfall in Mexico Thursday morning.

The center says an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft determined Wednesday that the storm, formerly called Tropical Depression Two, had strengthened. Barry is currently about 75 miles east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.

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Monkey See
3:15 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

From Classic Toys To New Twists, Kids Go Back To Blocks

Legos and other interlocking toys are only one kind of blocks that remain popular with kids.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 1:39 pm

I visited Toy Fair in New York City hunting for ideas for our summer series about kids' culture. One of the big takeaways was the increasing popularity of construction games such as Legos. Sales shot up nearly 20 percent last year. Now, it seems, every major toy manufacturer is scrambling to add new games geared toward kids building things.

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