NPR Blogs

The Salt
10:58 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Pictures Don't Lie: Corn And Soybeans Are Conquering U.S. Grasslands

A corn field is shrouded in mist at sunrise in rural Springfield, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:56 pm

For years, I've been hearing stories about the changing agricultural landscape of the northern plains. Grasslands are disappearing, farmers told me. They're being replaced by fields of corn and soybeans.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:08 am
Tue February 19, 2013

The Filibuster Solution, Or 'What If Honeybees Ran The U.S. Senate?'

Adam Cole NPR

Bees are democrats. They vote. When a community of bees has to make a choice, like where to build a new hive, they meet, debate and decide. But here's what they don't do: they don't filibuster. No single bee (or small band of bees) will stand against the majority, insisting and insisting for hours. They can't.

Bee biology prevents it.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Clues Connect Global Hacking To Chinese Government, Security Firm Says

Cyberattack headquarters? The 12-story building in a Shanghai suburb that American investigators say houses an operation responsible for hundreds of cyberattacks on companies around the world.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 3:41 pm

  • Frank Langfitt on 'Morning Edition'

"Hundreds of investigations convince us" that the Chinese government is at least aware of, and likely sponsoring, cyber thieves who have stolen massive amounts of information from companies around the world, including American defense contractors, a U.S. security firm reported Tuesday.

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Monkey See
8:55 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Morning Shots: When They Said 'Have It Your Way,' This Is Not What They Meant

iStockphoto.com

I normally wouldn't call to your attention the fact that Fergie and Josh Duhamel are having a baby, but come on: her hashtag is adorable. [VH1.com]

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Quite A Haul: $50 Million Worth Of Diamonds Stolen In Lightning-Fast Heist

Yves Herman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:50 pm

In a heist right out of movies such as The Italian Job, eight masked gunman drove on to the tarmac at Brussels' international airport Monday night, sped to a plane being loaded with diamonds and made off with about $50 million worth of the precious stones, authorities say.

It was all over in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Newtown Shooter May Have Taken Cues From Norway Massacre

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:57 am

Investigators trying to piece together a motive in December's killings in Newtown, Conn., believe that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza may have been inspired by a similar 2011 massacre in Norway.

The Hartford Courant and CBS News report that authorities searching through Lanza's belongings after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary discovered several news articles about Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Pistorius Says He Feared For His Life; Prosecutor Says Shooting Was Premeditated

Oscar Pistorius in a Pretoria court Tuesday.
Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:51 am

South African prosecutors laid out their case Tuesday against sprinter Oscar Pistorius, charging that the Olympic and Paralympic athlete committed premeditated murder on Valentine's Day when he allegedly rose from bed, put on his prosthetic legs, walked to a locked bathroom door and fired through it four times — killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Book News: New Bond, James Bond, Novel; Jane Austen's Love Lessons

Sean Connery during the making of the James Bond film "Never Say Never Again."
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:51 am

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

  • A new James Bond novel by William Boyd will come out in the U.S. in October. The novel will be a return to the "classic" Bond, and will be set in the 1960s. Ian Fleming, the original Bond author, died in 1964.
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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Israel's 'Prisoner X' May Have Passed State Secrets

The story of "Prisoner X" is dominating the media in both Australia and Israel.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 8:49 am

Last week we told you about "Prisoner X," the mysterious Israeli-Australian citizen who worked for Israel's spy agency Mossad. Australian media broke the story of how the man identified as Ben Zygier languished for months in an Israeli prison until he was found dead of an apparent suicide. Now we have new details on the case.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Chinese Students Wore Uniforms With Cancer-Causing Dyes

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:45 pm

Students in 21 schools in the Chinese city of Shanghai have been ordered to stop wearing uniforms that were found to contain a dye that causes cancer.

NPR's Frank Langfitt is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit. Here's his report:

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Sen. Mike Johanns Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:39 pm

Mike Johanns, the Republican senator from Nebraska, announced Monday that he won't seek another term in the Senate.

Here's more from the Omaha World-Herald:

"Johanns said it was time to 'close this chapter' in his life. He noted that he and his wife, Stephanie, have spent 32 years in public life and that they want to spend more time with family.

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The Salt
10:03 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Fake Food George Washington Could've Sunk His Fake Teeth Into

Stargazy Pie, a cornish dish named for the way the fish heads poke through the crust towards the sky.
Courtesy of Sandy Levins

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:02 pm

If you want to see what George Washington might have munched on, then Sandy Levins is your gal. All the foods she whips up look scrumptious, but if you sneak a bite, you'll get a mouthful of plaster or clay.

Levins is one of a handful of frequently overlooked artisans who craft the replica meals you see in the kitchens and dining rooms of historic houses and museums. Adding faux food to a historical site can help visitors connect to the past, she tells The Salt.

"It's something everyone immediately identifies with, because everyone eats," she says.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Book News: Amazon Fires German Security Firm After Claims Of Intimidation

Books in an Amazon warehouse in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.
Jens-Ulrich Koch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 8:02 am

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

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The Salt
4:28 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Farmer's Fight With Monsanto Reaches The Supreme Court

Vernon Hugh Bowman lives outside the small town of Sandborn, Ind.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 8:35 pm

This week, the Supreme Court will take up a classic David-and-Goliath case. On one side, there's a 75-year-old farmer in Indiana named Vernon Hugh Bowman; on the other, the agribusiness giant Monsanto.

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