NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

U.S. Sues Bank Of America Over Mortgage Loans To Fannie And Freddie

The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan filed a lawsuit today that alleges Bank of America Corp. cost American taxpayers more than $1 billion when it sold toxic mortgages — originally issued by Countrywide Financial — to the government controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

NPR's Margot Adler explains it like this to our Newscast unit:

"U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara described the conduct of Countrywide as 'spectacularly brazen in scope.'

Read more
The Salt
5:49 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Aspartame And Cancer Risk: New Study Is Too Weak To Defend, Hospital Says

Diet soda
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:06 pm

We almost brought you news today about a study that appeared to raise some troubling questions about aspartame, the popular sugar substitute found in many common foods like diet soda. Note the key word — almost.

A study due to be published at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and released to reporters earlier in the week under embargo found some correlation between drinking diet soda and an increased risk of leukemia and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as a few other rare blood-related cancers.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Rajat Gupta, Former Goldman Sachs Director, Sentenced To Two Years

Rajat Gupta as he arrived at the federal courthouse in Manhattan in June.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Rajat Gupta, who was once a director at Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble, has been sentenced to two years in prison, after a federal jury convicted him of insider trading.

Gupta was convicted of leaking information to Galleon Rajaratnam, the billionaire co-founder of Galleon Group who was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

More Than 700 Kurdish Prisoners Now On Hunger Strike In Turkey

Turkish soldiers block a street as Kurds demonstrate on September 3 in the center of Beytussebap, about 25 miles from the Iraqi border.
AFP/Getty Images

As the war in Syria rages unabated and Turkey struggles to manage an increasingly dire refugee situation and cross-border retaliations, another conflict simmers.

Read more
13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:32 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Should Scientists Promote Results Over Process?

Don't touch that! It's hot! Well, actually, there's a good chance it's hot.
Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:46 am

Consider: two scientists are asked whether there's any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change. The first says, "It's a fact humans are causing climate change – there's no room for doubt." The second replies, "The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there's always room for doubt."

The first scientist is probably a more effective spokesperson for the scientific consensus. But the second scientist is providing a more accurate representation of how science works.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Texas Attorney General Sends Warning To International Election Observers

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to reporters 2011.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 10:47 am

The Texas attorney general is warning international election observers not to mess with Texas.

"Your opinion is legally irrelevant in the United States, where the Supreme Court has already determined that Voter ID laws are constitutional," Greg Abbott wrote in a letter sent to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors elections across the world.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:05 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Geneticists Breach Ethical Taboo By Changing Genes Across Generations

An image of researchers at Oregon Health & Science University removing the nucleus from the mother's cell before it's inserted into the donor's egg cell.
Courtesty of Oregon Health & Science University

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 2:21 pm

Geneticist reported Wednesday that they had crossed a threshold long considered off-limits: They have made changes in human DNA that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

The researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland say they took the step to try to prevent women from giving birth to babies with genetic diseases. But the research is raising a host of ethical, social and moral questions.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Boeing Successfully Tests Electronics-Frying, Microwave Missile

Computers fried by CHAMP.
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

It's not the sexiest of weapons, because it doesn't cause big explosions, or fly around the world in minutes. But the effect is huge and could cripple a modern military without causing any casualties.

This week, Boeing announced that it has successfully tested a missile that can send out targeted, high-power microwaves that fry electronics without actually causing an explosion.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Here's The List: 63 Barnes & Noble Stores Where Crooks Hacked PIN Pads

A Barnes & Noble store in San Bruno, Calif. It's on the list.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:41 am

If you shopped recently at 63 Barnes & Noble stores in nine states and used a credit or debit card there's a chance that thieves got hold of data about your accounts and your PIN.

As the company has announced:

Read more
13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:48 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Moving Beyond Political Correctness

Adaptation or biological imperative?
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 5:01 pm

I grew up in Greenwich Village, not that far from the campus of New York University. Back in the 1970s campus demonstrations were pretty common, but I remember one in particular. I was walking by myself toward Washington Square Park and I came upon what was a small but very energetic and frightening protest. I think what made the encounter scary for me was that the students were objecting to the presence on campus of a "Nazi," who, apparently, was coming to give a lecture. Or maybe what I found disturbing was that I found it hard to believe the protesters.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

UPDATED: Sandy, Now A Hurricane, Hits Jamaica, Sets Sights On Cuba

National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:49 pm

Update at 3:46 p.m. ET. Sandy Makes Landfall:

At 3:20 p.m. ET., Sandy made landfall about five miles east of Kingston, Jamaica, the Hurricane Center said in an update.

Our Original Post Continues:

The tropical cyclone Sandy has just crossed the threshold to become a hurricane.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
12:12 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

When You're Almost Extinct, Your Price Goes Up

Illustration by NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:35 pm

When a species gets rare, its market value rises. The higher its price, the more it's hunted. The more it's hunted, the rarer it gets. Not a happy cycle, and this keeps happening ...

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:06 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

How Does The Polio Vaccine Reach A Remote Corner Of The World?

Health workers transport the polio vaccine by donkey in southeastern Pakistan.
Asad Zaidi Courtesy of UNICEF Pakistan.

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:00 pm

In the past week, we've had a lot to say about polio — from its history in the U.S. to vaccination efforts in Nigeria and Pakistan.

Read more
Monkey See
11:11 am
Wed October 24, 2012

"Take This Job and Planet!": Why Clark Kent Quit His Day Job

DC Comics

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:42 pm

By now you've likely heard that in the pages of Superman #13, on stands today, Clark Kent quits his once-beloved great metropolitan newspaper.

Disillusioned by his employer's increasing predilection for glitzy infotainment over hard-hitting news, Clark takes a principled stand and abandons print journalism for the web, a medium blissfully free of petty, frivolous, celebrity-driven content OH WAIT

Read more
The Salt
10:48 am
Wed October 24, 2012

When Fire Met Food, The Brains Of Early Humans Grew Bigger

Actors Stan Laurel and Edna Marlon play at socializing around the campfire. It turns out that early man's brain developed in part thanks to cooking.
Hulton Archive Getty

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 1:08 pm

If you're reading this blog, you're probably into food. Perhaps you're even one of those people whose world revolves around your Viking stove and who believes that cooking defines us as civilized creatures.

Well, on the latter part, you'd be right. At least according to some neuroscientists from Brazil.

Read more

Pages