NPR News

Pages

Interviews
3:00 pm
Sun November 6, 2011

What Do Occupy Wall Street Protesters Want?

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:59 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

Occupy Wall Street is in its second month of protest, and the frustration with financial big wigs continues to grow. Tomorrow's protesters will track 11 miles from Upper Manhattan to Lower Manhattan, ending in Zuccotti Park, the place where it all started seven weeks ago. They're calling the walk End to End for 99%.

These events are becoming a familiar sight to bankers looking down from their high-rise windows onto the tent city below. But what's Wall Street really thinking about the so-called 99 percent just outside their offices?

Read more
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.

Read more
Africa
9:17 am
Sun November 6, 2011

More Than 100 Dead Reported In Nigeria Attacks

More than 100 died in a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria launched by a radical Muslim sect, a Nigerian Red Cross official said Sunday, as sect gunmen shot and killed another police officer.

Ibrahim Bulama told The Associated Press he expected the number of dead to rise as local clinics and hospitals tabulate the casualty figures from the attacks Friday in Damaturu, the capital of rural Yobe state.

Read more
Business
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Oil Industry Revs Up Tax Break Lobby

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

If your U.S. senator or representative is on the super committee, expect your local airwaves to be peppered with oil industry ads in coming weeks. The basic message: Higher taxes on oil companies don't make financial sense.

The super committee in Congress is racing to find places to cut more than a trillion dollars out of the nation's deficit by Thanksgiving. The oil industry fears that ending its tax breaks may be one way the super committee will decide to raise revenue. That's spurred Big Oil's lobbying machine to work overtime.

Read more
Latin America
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Nicaraguan Presidential Election Fraught With History

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: Nicaraguans go to the polls today and are expected to reelect President Daniel Ortega, who is running in spite of a constitutional ban on presidents serving consecutive terms. Ortega, a Marxist icon of the 1980s, has become a polarizing figure in the Central American nation. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG BARKING)

JASON BEAUBIEN: Martha Alicia Alvado loves Daniel Ortega. After all, it's because of him that she has her own house.

MARTHA ALICIA ALVADO: (Spanish spoken)

Read more
Politics
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

What To Watch For This Election Day

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. A political update now, but not about the 2012 presidential race. This Tuesday is election day in some places around the country, so we've invited in NPR's political junkie Ken Rudin to fill us in on who and what's on the ballot, and what the results may say about 2012. Good morning, Ken.

KEN RUDIN: Hi Audie.

CORNISH: So let's start with the two races for governor. Where are they, and what do we need to know about them?

Read more
Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

American Greeks Watch Europe's Drama Unfold

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: As this week's Eurozone crisis has unfolded, it seems every hour brings an unexpected twist. But if there's one thing certain about the drama, it's this: everyone in Baltimore's historic Greektown is watching. WYPR's Sarah Richards files this report.

Read more
Europe
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Greece Hangs In Limbo As Talks Continue

Though he's said he's willing to step down, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has yet to announce his resignation.
Louis Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

After a week of political turmoil in Greece that threatened the fate of the eurozone, Prime Minister George Papandreou is deadlocked with his major opposition rival in trying to form a coalition government to restore market confidence in the debt-laden nation.

The increasingly unpopular prime minister has not yet announced his promised resignation, keeping the political world on tenterhooks.

Papandreou insists a national unity government would provide broad parliamentary consensus for a crucial $179 billion bailout deal and partial write-off of Greece's debt mountain.

Read more
Economy
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Will China Step In To Aid Europe?

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: There's one country on which the European Union has been pinning its hopes: China. Twice in the last two weeks, European leaders have asked China for major financial help.

NPR Shanghai correspondent Frank Langfitt has been tracking China's reaction and joins us now. Good morning, Frank.

FRANK LANGFITT: Good morning, Audie.

CORNISH: So what role could China play in beefing up the EU's bailout fund?

Read more
Economy
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Middle Class Life Further Away For Next Generation

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

We posed a question to our listeners on Facebook recently: Are you a parent who is worried your adult children won't have the same chance at a middle-class life as you did? Or are you the child of middle-class parents, and find you're not able to match your parents' lifestyle?

Read more
Politics
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Protesters Take Pipeline Fight To White House

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. Organizers say more than 5,000 people signed up online for a protest today at the White House. At issue is the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is proposed as a way to take oil from Alberta, Canada 1,700 miles to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Environmental groups are asking President Obama to kill the project, but labor unions argue the construction would create badly needed jobs. Joining us to talk about the pipeline controversy is NPR's science correspondent, Richard Harris. Richard, welcome.

Read more
Economy
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

American Dream For Middle Class: Just A Dream?

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: Is it still possible to move up the economic ladder in the U.S.? Has the American dream become just that - a dream? As we found out from our social media callout, those questions are on the minds of many families like the Spoerners.

Read more
Movies
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Kirsten Dunst On Expressing 'Melancholia'

Kirsten Dunst's latest film is Melancholia, the story of a melancholic young woman and her family on her wedding day, just before the end of the world. Host Audie Cornish speaks to the actress about translating depression into cinema.

Author Interviews
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

'Breaking The Code' Of A Father's Secret War History

On his 81st birthday, without explanation, Karen Fisher-Alaniz's father gave her two notebooks. Inside were letters he'd written during World War II. The more she read, the more she discovered about the man and the secret role he played in the war. Host Audie Cornish talks with Fisher-Alaniz and her father about her book, Breaking the Code.

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."

Read more
Around the Nation
7:45 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Bring Same-Day Registration Back? Maine Votes

For nearly 40 years, voters in Maine have been able to walk into a polling place or town hall on Election Day and register to vote. But the Republican-controlled legislature this year decided to remove the option, citing the stress on municipal clerks and concerns about the potential for voter fraud.

Angry Democrats responded by launching a people's veto campaign, and come Election Day this Tuesday, voters will consider whether to restore same-day registration.

Read more
Music Interviews
5:26 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Vince Mendoza: A Song Doctor Gets Back To His Own Work

Vince Mendoza has earned many of his laurels arranging and orchestrating other musicians. Nights on Earth is his first album of originals in 13 years.
Marco Borgreve Courtesy of the artist

In 1969, Joni Mitchell released "Both Sides Now," a simple and beautiful song that would become one of her defining works. In 2000, an older, wiser, decidedly more introspective Mitchell revived the song in a radically different incarnation, featuring lush strings and complex harmonies.

Read more
The Salt
4:55 am
Sun November 6, 2011

A Food Security Expert On When 200,000 Tons Of Rice Went Missing

A farmer carries harvested rice on his shoulders in a paddy field in India.
Anupam Nath AP

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 4:58 am

In 2008, food prices around the world surged and awakened fears – which continue to this day — that the world could re-live the disastrous food shortages of the early 1970s.

Read more
Sports
4:25 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Blindness Not Enough To Sideline California Teen

Taylor Howell told Vasquez High's football coach that if he wasn't blind he sure would love to play football. The coach told him he'd have to come up with a better excuse than that. The sophomore now plays center on the junior varsity team.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:19 am

It's afternoon practice for the junior varsity football team at Vasquez High in Acton, Calif. A high desert wind somersaults a discarded paper plate across the line of scrimmage just before it becomes a pile of white jerseys and purple helmets.

"You were offsides," the coach yells after blowing his whistle.

The players dust themselves off and line up for the next play. At center, is Taylor, a lean 15-year-old. His quarterback, Bryan McCauley, is a few yards behind him in shotgun formation.

"Down, set, hike, good," Bryan says.

Read more
Business
4:08 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Custom Cycle Ferries Sperm To Fertility Clinics

Alan Dowden, lab scientist and occasional courier, works at the Seattle Sperm Bank.
Keith Seinfeld for NPR

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Sometimes, couples need help getting pregnant. In Seattle, that help may arrive by bicycle.

To be more specific, a bicycle with a giant sperm cell replica on it.

"It's a delivery bike, purpose-built delivery bike, and inside the front of the sperm we can store one of our cryogenic shipping containers," says Alan Dowden, lab scientist and occasional courier.

Dowden works at the Seattle Sperm Bank. The front of the bike is the bulbous head of a sperm, about the size of very large beach ball, with a long tail stretching behind. It's framed in electric blue.

Read more
Asia
3:44 am
Sun November 6, 2011

'Cake Theory' Has Chinese Eating Up Political Debate

Chinese children celebrate the Communist Party in Chongqing municipality in March. Bo Xilai, the region's party secretary who is vying for a place in the Politburo Standing Committee, espouses a government-intervention model to economics.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

What goes on inside China's leadership is usually played out behind the closed oxblood doors of the compound where the top leaders live. This year, though, a political debate has sprung out in the open — and it has leaders and constituents considering how to move forward politically.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Two Words Enter, One Meaning Leaves

On-Air Challenge: You will be given a five-letter word and seven-letter word. Rearrange the letters of one of these words to get a synonym of the other. For example, if you are given "alloy" and "devoted," the answer would be "loyal," which is an anagram of "alloy."

Read more
Music News
6:42 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

How Opera Helped Create The Modern Media World

Jay Hunter Morris performs in the new Metropolitan Opera production of Richard Wagner's Siegfried. The show's vivid backdrops were created with advanced 3D projection technology.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

"This past week, the Metropolitan Opera opened a new production of Siegfried, the third of the four operas in Wagner's Ring Cycle — in 3D. You won't need special glasses to see the actors on stage. Instead, the background sets are three-dimensional projections of forests and other illusions.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:30 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

Who Benefits When A Private Prison Comes To Town?

The entrance to the Two Rivers Regional Detention Facility in Hardin, Mont. The 464-bed detention facility was built with the promise of bringing jobs and stimulating the economy, but it has sat empty since it was completed in 2007.
Matthew Brown AP

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 8:24 am

Federal and state officials are increasingly contracting private companies to run prisons and immigration detention centers.

Critics have long questioned the quality of private prisons and the promises of economic benefits where they are built. But proponents say private prisons not only save taxpayers money, but they also generate income for the surrounding community.

Read more
Music
4:48 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

From Samba To Flamenco, A Latin Grammy Preview

The Los Angeles band La Santa Cecilia is nominated in the Best Tropical Song category at this year's Latin Grammys.
Rene Miranda Courtesy of the artist

The 2011 Latin Grammy Awards will take place this Thursday in Las Vegas. For those unfamiliar with the categories and nominees, Betto Arcos of KPFK's Global Village returns to weekends on All Things Considered to play songs from a few of his favorite nominated performers. Included are a samba artist best known for his film role as a singing sailor, the reigning king of flamenco, one of Mexico's biggest bands and an L.A. ensemble that channels the various sounds of its city.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:28 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

Unlikely Advocates Fight For Gay Rights In Mich. City

The Rev. Bill Freeman reads from a copy of the U.S. Constitution during a public hearing before the Holland City Council in June. Despite appeals from Freeman and others, the council decided not to expand its anti-discrimination laws to include gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Lindsey Smith

Originally published on Sat November 5, 2011 10:33 pm

Last June, the city council in Holland, Mich., voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its local anti-discrimination laws. Now an unlikely coalition is pressuring the city council to change that vote.

On Wednesday nights, Pastor Bill Freeman turns the podium of the city council meeting into a pulpit. He wants Holland to adopt local laws that would protect people from getting fired or kicked out of their homes because they are gay, bisexual or transgender.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:29 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

A Tale Of Forgiveness From The Tragedy Of Masada

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than 30 books.
Deborah Feingold alicehoffman.com

Originally published on Sat November 5, 2011 6:33 pm

When Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, hundreds of Jews journeyed through the desert and settled in the haven of Masada. In what is now southern Israel, Masada was an old fortress of King Herod's that sits atop an enormous rock plateau surrounded by steep cliffs.

"When I was there, I felt so moved and so connected," author Alice Hoffman tells Laura Sullivan, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Hoffman was so struck by the beauty of Masada's rocky terrain, she says, that she chose to make it the backdrop in her new novel, The Dovekeepers.

Read more
NPR Story
3:00 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

'Darkhorse' Battalion And The Afghan War

This past week, All Things Considered has been sharing stories about the Darkhorse Battalion — that's the Marine unit that suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the 10-year Afghan war. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman wraps up the series today, as he tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan about some of the people he met — both on the battlefield and on the home front.

Art & Design
2:54 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

The Red Solo Cup: Every Party's Most Popular Guest

In 2009, the red Solo cup got extra grips and a square bottom.
Courtesy of Solo Cup Co.

Originally published on Sat November 5, 2011 6:44 pm

On most Saturday nights in college towns across the country, students get ready to party. The one thing all those parties will likely have in common — besides the keg, of course — is a stack of red plastic cups.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
12:00 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

Opening Panel Round

Originally published on Sat November 5, 2011 10:47 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, host: Right now, panel, it's time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Kyrie, this week in Colorado, there's outrage after yet another performance enhancing drug scandal. The winner of what competition has tested positive for a banned substance?

KYRIE O'CONNOR: It'll be one of those cup stacking things or...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No.

O'CONNOR: Not the thing where you pack the grocery bags.

SAGAL: No.

O'CONNOR: Can I have a hint?

Read more

Pages