National

Pop Culture
2:55 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

3 Hidden Themes Of This Year's Super Bowl Ads

Many of this year's Super Bowl ads, like this one from CareerBuilders.com, play off our affection for animals.
CareerBuilders.com AP

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 10:01 am

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Book Reviews
4:47 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

S'il-Vous-Plait: Raising Your 'Bebe' The French Way

Barnesandnoble.com

When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."

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Around the Nation
3:19 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

What Retirement? Seniors Are Getting Back To Work

Ella Washington, 83, works as a receptionist three days a week at Holly Hall Apartments, a housing complex for disabled and elderly people in Silver Spring, Md.
Emily Bogle NPR

At 75, many people imagine they'll be retired and spending their time playing cards or on a golf course. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of working seniors is actually on the rise. In fact, it's more than doubled since 1990.

Ella Washington decided to go back to work at 83. Today, she's a receptionist in training at a senior living home outside Washington, D.C. She's hoping it will be a stepping stone to a real job, which she's been looking for since 2005.

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The Record
1:18 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

'Soul Train' Creator Don Cornelius Dies At 75

Don Cornelius posing for a portrait in 1973 in Los Angeles.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 11:30 am

The host and executive producer of Soul Train has died. The Los Angeles police department is reporting that Don Cornelius was found dead at his home in Los Angeles this morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:27 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Whose Fingers Are On The Victoria's Secret Model's Shoulder?

Jamie Atlas

It's not like it hasn't been done before; it has. The problem is, it is so easy now, anyone can do it, and we'd never know because the tools are so subtle. I'm talking about doctored pictures — manipulating images, or what simpler folks call "lying." There used to be a saying on the Web: "Pictures, or it didn't happen." No more.

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Your Money
5:01 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:53 am

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

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Business
9:56 am
Thu January 26, 2012

To Grow Business, Starbucks Thinks Outside The Cup

Barista Nicole Adams serves up a drink in March at a Starbucks in downtown Seattle. The company is expanding its coffee options to include a light roast and plans to create a new health and wellness brand.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 12:01 am

Just four years ago, Starbucks seemed to be losing its mojo. Howard Schultz, the man who made Starbucks a household name, returned to the company as CEO. He closed hundreds of stores, streamlined operations and set the company on a path to record revenues and strong profits.

Starbucks serves 60 million beverages a week, which adds up to big profits. The company reports its earnings Thursday. In a bid to further expand its consumer base, Starbucks has a new roast and plans to produce more retail products to sell outside of its coffeehouses.

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Planet Money
9:50 am
Thu January 26, 2012

No, Hedge Funds Can't Foreclose On The Acropolis

DIMITAR DILKOFF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:12 pm

Greece is broke. But there's no blueprint for a country to declare bankruptcy, so Greece's creditors are sort of making things up as they go along.

"You're taking some sort of loss," Hans Humes of Greylock Capital Management told me. "But it's like, how much of a loss do you take? There's this thing called sovereign immunity. You can't go in and take the Acropolis."

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Wed January 25, 2012

In Daring Raid, Navy SEALs Free 2 Aid Workers From Somali Kidnappers

Jessica Buchanan.
- AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:37 pm

In a daring raid reminiscent of the kind used to kill Osama bin Laden, U.S. Navy SEALs swooped into Somalia Wednesday morning and rescued two aid workers, who had been held by pirates for months.

The New York Times reports the soldiers came in by helicopter and engaged in a firefight that killed nine pirates. The SEALs left with Jessica Buchanan, a 32-year-old American, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, who were injury free and on their way home.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Obama Adviser Plouffe: Expect A State Of The Union Heavy On The Economy

White House advisor David Plouffe.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 9:03 am

Tonight, President Obama is set to deliver the final state of the union address of his first term. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne spoke to White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe for a preview of the president's speech.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

White House Chief Of Staff Daley Steps Down

White House Chief of Staff William Daley.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 7:20 am

White House Chief of Staff William Daley is stepping down from his post and will be replaced by Budget Director Jack Lew, NPR's Scott Horsley has confirmed.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Payroll Tax Cut's Last Hurdle Cleared: House Gives 'Unanimous Consent'

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Capitol Hill Thursday (Dec. 22, 2011).
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 1:35 pm

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 1:30 p.m. ET.)

Marking the end of the latest pitched political battle in Washington, President Obama said this afternoon that Congressional approval of measures to extend for another two months a payroll tax cut and benefits for the long-term unemployed is "good news just in the nick of time for the holidays."

"I said it was critical for Congress not to go home without preventing a tax increase" and the expiration of the long-term jobless benefits, Obama said, "and I'm pleased to say they've got it done."

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Leaving Iraq
8:27 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Huge Embassy Keeps U.S. Presence In Iraq

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani speaks at the opening of the huge U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Jan. 5, 2009. It is the largest U.S. Embassy in the world.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 12:40 pm

As the final U.S. troops leave Iraq, they leave behind the largest U.S. Embassy in the world.

There will be about 16,000 people working for the State Department at the embassy in Baghdad and consulates elsewhere in Iraq.

At least 5,000 of those in Iraq will be private security contractors, and there are lots of questions about whether the State Department is ready to run such a big operation in such a volatile country.

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Remembrances
6:56 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Writer Christopher Hitchens Dies At 62

Writer and commentator Christopher Hitchens died Thursday. He was 62.
Amanda Edwards Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 3:06 pm

The influential writer and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday at the age of 62 from complications of cancer of the esophagus. Hitchens confronted his disease in part by writing, bringing the same unsparing insight to his mortality that he had directed at so many other subjects.

Over the years, Hitchens' caustic attention was directed at a broad range of subjects, including Henry Kissinger, Prince Charles, Bob Hope, Michael Moore, the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Reports: Herman Cain 'Reassessing' Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 12:05 pm

(New material based on NPR reporting added to the top of this post at 12:30 p.m. ET.)

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is reassessing his campaign but still plans to move ahead at this time, his Iowa campaign director tells The Associated Press and NPR.

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Economy
1:40 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Black Friday Sales Suggest A Strong Cyber Monday

Workers process orders at an Amazon.com fulfillment center n Swansea, Wales, as they prepare for their busiest time of the year.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 1:23 pm

Shoppers stormed retail stores this past weekend, and now on Cyber Monday, many are clicking their way to more purchases.

"I am definitely a price-based shopper," said Sarah Kelly, a 28-year-old Washington, D.C., resident who bought a KitchenAid mixer Monday morning as a holiday gift. She also bought shoes, clothes and other presents after waking early to search for online coupons and shipping offers. "I only purchase if the shipping is free," she said.

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NPR News
5:09 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

With No 'Superdeal,' What's Next In Deficit Debate?

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the supercommittee co-chairwoman, arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. John Kerry with other members of the deficit reduction panel on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:30 pm

For the not-so-super debt reduction supercommittee, failure is clearly an option.

As the blame-gaming bipartisan congressional committee stumbled toward collapse Monday, washing out on even the most basic show of common purpose, the "what happens next" scenarios began to take shape.

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NPR News
3:39 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Climate Panel: More Extreme Weather On The Way

A U.N. climate panel says that we can expect more extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change. Above, people run from a high wave on Nov. 8 in Nice, France, where heavy rain and flooding forced hundreds to evacuate.
Vallery Hache AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:55 pm

Brace yourself for more extreme weather. A group of more than 200 scientists convened by the United Nations says in a new report that climate change will bring more heat waves, more intense rainfall and more expensive natural disasters.

These conclusions are from the latest effort of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a consensus statement from researchers around the world.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Fri November 18, 2011

As The Protest Ends, What Now For Occupy Movement?

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 10:58 pm

Today's "Day of Action," planned by the Occupy Wall Street movement, culminated at Foley Square near City Hall in New York. In some ways, it felt rather low key, because the space felt wide open and despite a sizable crowd that overflowed onto the streets and nearby sidewalks, the protest felt organized.

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Economy
6:57 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Would Supercommittee Failure Roil Markets?

Analysts worry that failure by the supercommittee to reach a credible debt-reduction deal could upset financial markets, force up interest rates and hurt the economy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:34 pm

With Wednesday's deadline looming, the congressional supercommittee still seems far from an agreement, causing concern that failure could send financial markets into a spiral.

The bipartisan panel, charged with finding budget cuts or new revenues to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, is a child of the summer's debt-ceiling debate. It was an escape hatch for Congress and the president when they couldn't reach agreement on big deficit-reduction measures. That game of chicken helped to send the stock market sliding.

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Election 2012
8:39 am
Mon November 7, 2011

In Ads, Candidates Turn Up Heat On Romney

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 11:50 am

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Business
2:16 pm
Sun November 6, 2011

'Farmville' Makers Putting Stock In Virtual Goods

A screenshot of Piskorskiville. Five percent of Zynga's 200 million monthly users buy "virtual goods" to get ahead in the game or beautify their city.
Courtesy of Misiek Piskorski

Zynga is a company that makes money by selling nothing. Or, to be fair, by selling imaginary things, like tractors that plow farms on Facebook.

A "virtual good" is the term of art for an industry that minted $9 billion last year alone. Zynga is America's first virtual goods company to file an initial public offering. The IPO is expected to go through before Thanksgiving and will test whether the company's modern day alchemy — turning virtual goods into real money — is a game-changer for the gaming industry.

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Music News
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

The Surgery That Saves Silenced Singers

Adele at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

The biggest-selling pop artist of the year has gone silent.

The British pop/soul singer Adele was forced to cancel the rest of her 2011 tour. Earlier this year, she suffered two vocal hemorrhages and will need to undergo surgery.

Singers are in a high-risk business. Many famous singers have needed similar treatment.

"Essentially, people who sing are vocal athletes," says Dr. Steven Zeitels, director of the Voice Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. "So you can look at this as a not unusual scenario as an athlete getting an injury in that area."

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Europe
6:36 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Initial Agreement Reached In Greece Power-Sharing

The Greek president's office said Sunday the country's prime minister and the leader of the main opposition party reached an initial agreement on forming an interim government.

In a statement read on Greek media Sunday night, the office said Prime Minister George Papandreou will not head the interim government and that talks on details of who will form the new Cabinet will continue Monday.

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Election 2012
10:33 am
Wed October 26, 2011

The GOP Campaign Ad Wars, As Seen On YouTube

A new ad from Herman Cain features his campaign manager, Mark Block, taking a drag from a cigarette.

YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 10:29 pm

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NPR News Investigations
10:24 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families

Derrin Yellow Robe, 3, stands in his great-grandparents' backyard on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. Along with his twin sister and two older sisters, he was taken off the reservation by South Dakota's Department of Social Services in July 2009 and spent a year and a half in foster care before being returned to his family.

John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 12:27 pm

Overview of a three-part investigation

Nearly 700 Native American children in South Dakota are being removed from their homes every year, sometimes under questionable circumstances. An NPR News investigation has found that the state is largely failing to place them according to the law. The vast majority of native kids in foster care in South Dakota are in nonnative homes or group homes, according to an NPR analysis of state records.

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Law
10:20 am
Wed October 26, 2011

As It Turns 10, Patriot Act Remains Controversial

Protesters hold up signs outside of Federal Hall during a demonstration against then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2003 in New York City.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 10:27 am

Ten years ago, on Oct. 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act.

Congress overwhelmingly passed the law only weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. It's designed to give the FBI more power to collect information in cases that involve national security.

But in the decade since then, civil liberties groups have raised concerns about whether the Patriot Act goes too far by scooping up too much data and violating people's rights to privacy.

Nicholas Merrill is one of the people sounding an alarm.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Was Libya A 'Recipe For Success,' As Obama Says?

President Obama gestures during his appearance Tuesday (Oct. 25, 2011) on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 7:20 am

The U.S.-NATO mission in Libya was a "recipe for success in the future," President Obama said Tuesday on NBC-TV's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

During a sober discussion that lasted several minutes, the president told Leno that he doesn't agree with critics who say the U.S. led from behind.

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Opinion
10:10 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Foreign Policy: Thoughts On Obama's Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama smiles during a campaign event in San Francisco, California, on Oct. 25, 2011.

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 2:40 pm

Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

With Moammar Gadhafi's timely demise, it's becoming harder and harder to argue that Barack Obama's foreign policy is a failure. Of course, this hasn't stopped the GOP's 2012 candidates for president from trying. They dislike Obama so much that they're even saying nice things about France instead.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:09 am
Wed October 26, 2011

'Nobody's Perfect'

Mike Napoli of the Texas Rangers reacts after first base umpire Ron Kulpa calls Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals safe in the fourth inning of game three of the World Series.

Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 8:05 am

A bad call by umpire Ron Kulpa at first base in game three of the World Series last week in Arlington — even though it turned out not to have a decisive impact on the game's outcome — has led to renewed controversy about the use of instant replay in baseball, as well as about the integrity of umpires.

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