National

Shots - Health News
4:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade

Samantha Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, and has never been able to speak.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:23 pm

Ever since she was a small child, Samantha Grimaldo has had to carry her voice with her.

Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, which means that though she's physically capable in many ways, she's never been able to speak. Instead, she's used a device to speak. She types in what she wants to say, and the device says those words out loud. Her mother, Ruane Grimaldo, says that when Samantha was very young, the voice she used came in a heavy gray box.

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Shots - Health News
4:40 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Depression And Anxiety Could Be Fukushima's Lasting Legacy

A road leading back to the Togawas' old home in the seaside village of Namie is closed due to radioactive contamination.
Geoff Brumfiel NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 7:23 am

Two years ago today, an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Hundreds of thousands of people living near the plant were forced to flee. The World Health Organization recently predicted a very small rise in cancer risk from radioactive material that was released. For the nuclear refugees, though, anxiety and depression could be the more persistent hazard. Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel traveled to Fukushima prefecture and met victims of the accident to see how they are coping.

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Shots - Health News
4:34 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Aspirin Vs. Melanoma: Study Suggests Headache Pill Prevents Deadly Skin Cancer

A doctor checks for signs of skin cancer at a free cancer screening day in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:22 am

It's not the first study that finds the lowly aspirin may protect against the deadliest kind of skin cancer, but it is one of the largest.

And it adds to a mounting pile of studies suggesting that cheap, common aspirin lowers the risk of many cancers — of the colon, breast, esophagus, stomach, prostate, bladder and ovary.

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The Salt
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Poi: Hawaii's Recipe For Revitalizing Island Culture

Historians think poi, a sticky, nutritious food made from pounded taro root, has been eaten in the Hawaiian islands since the time of the ancient Polynesians.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 12:00 pm

There are only about 1,000 people of pure Hawaiian descent left in the world, but island residents are cooking up an idea to keep native island culture from fading away. The key ingredient? Reviving a starchy food called poi.

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National Security
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

When Rand Paul Ended Filibuster, He Left Drones On National Stage

Code Pink activists deliver flowers, candies and other objects of thanks to Sen. Rand Paul's Capitol Hill offices Thursday for filibustering John Brennan's CIA nomination.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 1:21 pm

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky launched a nationwide conversation last week with his 13-hour filibuster of the president's nominee to lead the CIA.

Paul vowed to keep talking until the White House clarified whether it has authority to kill U.S. citizens on American soil with drones.

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Pop Culture
12:03 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Thirty Years Later, Still 'A Good-Old-Boy Thing'

James Best played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, the bumbling minion of Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg, a corrupt county commissioner and the show's Big Bad. Rosco's dog Flash was played by a basset hound named Sandy.
CBS Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:43 am

They were good old boys, never meaning no harm, making their way the only way they knew how — Bo and Luke Duke, the central characters on The Dukes of Hazzard, one of the biggest TV hits of the 1980s.

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Around the Nation
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Amid Unemployment Numbers, Faces Of Those Who've Lost Hope

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

At the same time, there are millions of Americans you can't find in monthly job reports. They've been unemployed so long they're no longer counted, or they're working just a few hours a week in jobs that can't support them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said yesterday that what they call the labor force participation rate fell again to 63.5 percent, the lowest number since 1981.

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The Salt
6:15 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Career Suicide Or Lifesaver? Why A Professional Foodie Went Vegetarian

Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan has made the decision to go vegetarian.
Cristian Baitg iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 5:53 pm

It takes an adventurous palate to be a food journalist, who must sample and judge from a wide world of cuisines. So it's understandable why some chefs and foodies might be suspicious of a food editor who decides to cut himself off from a broad swath of eating possibilities by becoming vegetarian.

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The Salt
5:47 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Gluten Goodbye: One-Third Of Americans Say They're Trying to Shun It

Michele Kelly, owner of Pure Knead bakery in Decatur, Ga., is one of many businesspeople catering to soaring demand for gluten-free baked goods.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:47 pm

Sure, we know that gluten-free is the Jennifer Lawrence of food trends. But we were still startled to hear that one-third of Americans say they're trying to avoid gluten. Really?

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Around the Nation
5:59 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Death Cafes Breathe Life Into Conversations About Dying

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 1:20 pm

We live knowing that everything dies. Like the sun, it's a fact of life. And like the sun, we tend not to look right at it. Unless you've experienced a recent death, it's probably not something you discuss. But a new movement is trying to change that, with a serving of tea and cake.

The fear of death haunts us like nothing else. And it makes sense. All other fears — such as public speaking, centipedes and heights — pale in comparison. So we don't really talk about it.

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Around the Nation
4:43 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Chicago, Dueling Ads Over The Meaning Of 'Jihad'

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 pm

There is an advertising battle going on over the Arabic term jihad. In Chicago, a group has launched a bus and subway ad campaign meant to reclaim the term jihad from another series of ads that presents jihadists as violent.

Education
4:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Faced With Massive Budget Cuts, Philadelphia Plans To Shutter 23 Schools

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Philadelphia is closing almost two dozen of its public schools. The move prompted outcry in the nation's fifth largest city, but the schools in Philly face declining enrollment, aging infrastructure and massive state budget cuts. And those forces came to a head last night when the city's school reform commission took a vote. Benjamin Herold is covering the emotional decision from member station WHYY.

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Economy
4:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Economists Pleasantly Surprised By February Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. 7.7 percent is the latest unemployment rate. That's the number for February, according to the Labor Department's report out this morning. Economists were expecting a ho-hum job survey. Instead, they got a pleasant surprise, as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.

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Law
4:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Dismissal Of Air Force Officer's Sexual Assault Conviction Raises Questions

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Some U.S. Senators are demanding answers after an Air Force commander dismissed a sexual assault conviction against one of his officers. Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson had been sentenced to a year in prison and dismissal from the military for aggravated sexual assault, but he's been reinstated. Senators Jean Shaheen and Barbara Boxer called the decision a travesty of justice. They and Senator Claire McCaskill have written to defense officials about the case.

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Economy
4:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Improved U.S. Jobs Numbers Could Take A Hit From New Budget Cuts

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 pm

The White House is cheering a better than expected jobs report. But economists caution that automatic government spending cuts could lead to slower job growth in the months to come.

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