NPR News

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The International Olympic Committee has awarded Beijing the 2022 Winter Games.

With the selection, the Chinese city will become the first to host both winter and summer games. Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games.

With a vote of 44 to 40, Beijing beat out Almaty, the biggest city in Kazakhstan.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ex-Mossad Chief Supports Iran Nuclear Deal

2 hours ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When engineers at Ford want to see how a new car handles, they take it to a large track with loops and straightaways. But that traditional testing ground isn't much help to Randy Visintainer, director of Ford's autonomous vehicles program.

It's 5:45 in the morning and in a field outside Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, Cambodia's demining rats are already hard at work. Their noses are close to the wet grass, darting from side to side, as they try to detect explosives buried just beneath the ground.

Each rat is responsible for clearing a 200-square-meter (239-square-yard) patch of land. Their Cambodian supervisor, Hulsok Heng, says they're good at it.

In the weeks since Donald Trump launched his self-financed bid for president, the multi-billionaire's hard-edged rhetoric has gotten far more attention than the potential impact of his massive wealth.

Trump has several times said his net worth is or exceeds $10 billion, providing all the money he needs to run.

"I don't need anybody's money," he said as he announced his candidacy in June. "I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 Southern California Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.kpcc.org/.

Tractor-trailers have 18 wheels. But under current federal law you can't be 18 years old and drive one across state lines. You need to be 21. The highway bill working its way through the Senate though would change that.

Recommended Dose, our monthly column of the best in underground dance music, took June off while we argued over our favorite tracks of the first half of 2015. (You can see them here and listen to them here.) So we broke the rules and included a few cuts from June that we didn't hear while hunkered down in the NPR Music war room.

American college campuses are increasingly patrolled by armed police officers — and it's a trend that burst into public view Wednesday, when a University of Cincinnati officer was charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist during a traffic stop. But this arming of college cops is causing some worries.

When prosecutor Joe Deters announced the indictment of University of Cincinnati Officer Ray Tensing on Wednesday, he had harsh words about the officer's competence, saying he should never have been a cop.

Beirut is usually one of the pleasanter places in the Middle East — a bright, cosmopolitan city squeezed between the Mediterranean Sea and a green ridge of mountains. But for the past two weeks or so, the stench from mounds of festering garbage has filled its gaudy streets.

"The trash is climbing up, the mountain is getting higher and higher," says one immaculately dressed, middle-aged woman with a perfect bouffant, wrinkling her nose. She wouldn't give her name because she criticizes powerful people — Lebanon's politicians, whom she holds responsible for the garbage crisis.

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei says he was denied a six-month visa to the U.K. because British officials said he didn't list a criminal conviction on his application.

Ai applied for the six-month business visa, but was instead restricted to a 20-day travel visa from Sept. 9-29.

True, I never basked in the glow of the high school stage. But I have fond memories of working behind the scenes, as stage crew. Dressed in black, I rushed the bed onstage for Tevye's dream sequence in Fiddler on the Roof.

I've also spoken with many people who weren't involved in theater at all but can still — for some reason — remember the shows their schools performed.

There's just something about the high school stage.

Ruvan Wijesooriya

You'd expect Aziz Ansari to know his way around a joke. But who would have suspected he's an avid sociologist, and now something of an expert on the global online single's scene. Just ask him about his research on the cyber habits of Japanese youth, who don't feature images of themselves in their dating profiles.

"They'll post a photo of maybe their cat or a rice cooker,'" he says. "A guy's like, 'Hey, I can make rice. Let's do this!'" 

Syrian musician Zimo calls his music project "Hello Psychaleppo" — as in the Syrian city of Aleppo, but in a psychedelic way.

Zimo's real name is Samer Saem Eldahr. Zimo says Hello Psychaleppo is about "Arab heritage music and electronic sounds." And he believes in the power of music to express a sense of place.

In this track "Tobayabooya," he samples the late Eygptian crooner Abdel Halim Hafez.

Courtesy of Maryam Abolfazli.

Maryam Abolfazli visited Iran for the first time in 2003. She was born in the US to Iranian parents who had become "very Americanized."

Her visit came at a time when Iran was going through an opening in its domestic and international politics. The reformists were in power and things had opened up, to an extent.

"We were hearing [about] and seeing this fun party scene and this alternative, pushing-the-edges style on the streets," she says.

Chimpanzees are like us in many ways. They can cook, they enjoy a good drink here and there, they share about 95 percent of our DNA.

Jason Isbell is riding high this week: His new album Something More Than Free is number one on Billboard's country, rock and folk charts. The musician from rural Alabama got his start with the Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers, and then went solo. For the past few years, he's been sober, after drinking brought him "close to the point of no return."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, a hunting enthusiast who has been identified as the person who illegally poached Zimbabwe's famous "Cecil the Lion."

But officials are asking the public for help in locating Palmer, who has apparently gone into hiding after his identity was made public and social media lit up with scorn and vitriol.

When it comes to getting the HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer, teens below the poverty line are doing better than the rest.

Among teenage girls ages 13 to 17 whose total family income was less than the federal poverty level for their family size, 67.2 percent have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine, compared to 57.7 percent for those at or above the poverty line. For teen boys, it's 51.6 percent compared to 39.5 percent.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages