NPR News

Technology
2:15 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

It's Called 'As Hard As Rocket Science' For A Reason

An Atlas missile is launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in October 1964. Cape Canaveral has been the site of numerous launch failures as the United States developed missile and rocket technology.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:14 am

North Korea this week quite literally demonstrated an old truism, with the world as an anxious witness. It turns out that reaching space is, as the saying goes, as tough as rocket science.

The much hyped launch of the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea said was meant to place a satellite into orbit to celebrate the centenary of the country's "Great Leader" Kim Il Sung, apparently failed Friday shortly after launch. It was the fourth time North Korea had tried and failed to do it, adding to the growing worldwide history of failed rocket launches.

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The Record
2:00 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Kraftwerk In New York: Decades Of Influence On Display

Ralf Hutter (left) and the other members of Kraftwerk in performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Tuesday.
Peter Boettcher Courtesy of MoMA

Imagine an era when mainstream music wasn't filled with synthesizers. When electronic music wasn't a force propelling everything from pop and hip-hop to music from the underground. There was a time when this world existed. Then Kraftwerk emerged, and the world we knew changed.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Cheney Expected At Wyoming GOP Convention Saturday

Former Vice President and Lynne Cheney at home after his release from Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia, where he received the heart transplant.
Courtesy of Dick Cheney

Three weeks after a heart transplant, former Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to make his first public appearance on Saturday at the Wyoming Republican Party's annual convention.

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It's All Politics
1:20 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Beyond The Call Of Duty: A Short List Of Heroic Acts By Politicians

Sen. Bill Frist (left) gives a mock smallpox vaccine during a training session in 2003. Frist, a surgeon, once gave CPR to a visitor who collapsed in a Senate office building.
Susan Walsh AP

After rescuing his neighbor from a burning building, Newark Mayor Cory Booker joins an elite list of politicians who have performed heroic acts while in office. While it's inspiring anytime a stranger reaches out to help someone, it's not often that the person risking his or her life happens to be an elected official.

We've compiled a partial list of past heroic feats performed by pols.

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World
1:19 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

In Balancing Act, Turkey Hosts Iranian Nuclear Talks

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, Iran, in March. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated over Iran's continued support of the Syrian regime.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

Iran's suspect nuclear program will again be in the spotlight this weekend when negotiators from Iran and six international powers meet in Istanbul.

Iran was reluctant to have Turkey host the meeting, reflecting Iran's growing unhappiness with Turkish foreign policy moves, especially its call for regime change in Syria, Iran's key ally in the Arab world.

Analyst and columnist Yavuz Baydar says Turkey has stuck its neck out for Iran in the past, defending what it calls Iran's peaceful nuclear energy program and even voting against U.N. sanctions on Iran two years ago.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Tornadoes, Severe Weather Likely Saturday Across Nation's Midsection

The darker areas are being warned about what's coming. They're where tornadoes could occur on Saturday and into Sunday.
Storm Prediction Center

Dangerously strong storms and tornadoes are possible Saturday and into Sunday from north central Texas up through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa and as far east as Wisconsin, the National Weather Services's Storm Prediction Center is warning.

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The Salt
1:03 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Dining With Disaster: Reviving The Last Meal On The Titanic

Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:19 am

Before the iceberg, before the lifeboats, before the sinking, there was the dinner.

On the evening of April 14, 1912, the first-class passengers aboard the Titanic sat down for a sumptuous 10-course meal. The menu included oysters, filet mignon, poached salmon, chicken Lyonnaise, foie gras, roasted pigeon, lamb with mint sauce and Punch Romaine, a palate-cleansing ice flavored with oranges and drenched in champagne.

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World Cafe
1:01 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Gotye On World Cafe

Gotye's new album is titled Making Mirrors.
James Bryans

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 2:18 pm

Gotye (a.k.a. Wouter "Wally" De Backer) has become an international pop star on the strength of his new album, Making Mirrors. The poppy collection includes "Somebody That I Used To Know," which has topped the charts in six countries and hit the Top 20 in 14 others. There's something hauntingly relatable and undeniably catchy about the insightful, ubiquitous break-up song.

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It's All Politics
12:24 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

GOP's Rightward Shift, General Polarization, Fills Political Scientist With Dread

This graph shows the ideological movement for both parties in the House. Note the steady shift towards conservatism among Republicans.
voteview.com

When President Obama recently complained to news media executives about their ostensibly even-handed "pox on both of your houses" coverage of the partisan battles in Washington, it might have seemed like, well, a partisan shot from a Democratic president.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Vermont Governor Has Bear Encounter

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.
Toby Talbot AP

Bears are in the news again.

Tuesday, there was the guy in Los Angeles who was texting-while-walking and almost bumped into a 400-pound black bear. The close encounter with an ursine was caught on video.

Now there's this:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Murder, Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Tulsa Suspects

The two suspects in last Friday's killings in Tulsa of three African-Americans and wounding of two others were formally charged today with "three counts each of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill and five counts of malicious intimidation or harassment," the Tulsa World repo

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Trayvon's Mother: Encounter Was An Accident, Shooting Was Not

Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

After saying Thursday morning on The Today Show that she thought her son's death "was an accident," Trayvon Martin's mother went on other news broadcasts later in the day to say she only thinks the encounter between her son and George Zimmerman was accidental.

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All Tech Considered
10:38 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Instagram Seen Adding 10 Million Users In Past 10 Days

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 12:17 pm

Days after it was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, reports have emerged that Instagram now has more than 40 million users in its photo-sharing community. The gain, which was derived from the service's API, represents a spike of 10 million Instagram users added in the past 10 days, according to Venture Beat.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Tax Procrastinators Have Until Tuesday

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:26 am

Still haven't filed your federal income tax return?

Since you may be a procrastinator, you may not have looked at the calendar lately. So we want to make sure you know that Sunday is April 15th.

But you also might not have realized that this year the deadline is the 17th.

Why?

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Around the Nation
10:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Newark Mayor Enters Fire In 'Come To Jesus Moment'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, often, stories about politicians in their off hours take on kind of a scandalous turn. Not this one. When Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker went home last night, his neighbor's house was on fire. A woman who had escaped the inferno told him that her daughter was trapped inside and what happened next is something really out of an action movie, with Cory Booker in the starring role.

Here's Newark Fire Director Fateen Ziyad describing the scene to New York station WABC.

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Politics
10:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Who Has Upper-Hand In Battle For Women Voters?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we will hear the latest entry in our Muses and Metaphor series for National Poetry Month. Those are our tweet-length poems. We'll have another one in just a few minutes.

But first, we turn to election news and a controversy that's keeping the battle for women voters in the spotlight. Polls show women voters strongly favor President Barack Obama over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:19 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Port-Au-Prince: A City Of Millions, With No Sewer System

A makeshift latrine hangs over the water at the edge of Cite de Dieu, a slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
John W. Poole / NPR

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

Port-au-Prince is about the size of Chicago. But it doesn't have a sewer system. It's one of the largest cities in the world without one.

That's a big problem, but never more so than during a time of cholera.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Obamas And Bidens Release 2011 Tax Returns

The White House just posted word that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama filed 2011 tax returns showing an "adjusted gross income of $789,674" and that they paid "$162,074 in total [federal] tax." That works out to about 20.5 percent of the AGI.

About half of the first family's income was from the president's salary. The rest came from royalties generated by his books. According to the White House:

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Slain New Hampshire Police Chief Was One Week From Retirement

Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, who was killed Thursday.
Greenland N.H. Police Department AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:41 am

One week from today, Chief Michael Maloney was due to retire from the Greenland, N.H., police department.

Thursday night, he was killed during a drug bust in which four officers were also wounded. The man authorities were trying to arrest, and a female acquaintance, were later found dead inside the home where the raid took place. Authorities believe they may have died in a murder-suicide.

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Monkey See
8:21 am
Fri April 13, 2012

I Died On The Titanic

The cast and crew of Titanic, as pictured in my 2001-2002 yearbook. I'm standing in the third row back on the right side, in front of the "captain."
Courtesy of Dana Farrington

I died on the Titanic — in the musical, that is. Titanic opened on Broadway in 1997 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

My small California middle school performed the show in grand fashion. Goodness knows why it hadn't been done before at the school, but the curtains rose on our stage in February 2002.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Today's Hero: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, For Going Into A Burning Building

Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:11 am

  • Mayor Cory Booker on 'Tell Me More'

"When Chuck Norris has nightmares, Cory Booker turns on the light & sits with him until he falls back asleep."

That's just one of many funny tweets showing up this morning attached to the hashtag #corybookerstories.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Tame Inflation Report Gives Federal Reserve Reason To Stay Easy

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 7:08 am

The news that consumer prices rose a relatively modest 0.3 percent in March from February supports "the view the U.S. Federal Reserve has room to provide more support for the economy if needed," Reuters concludes. It adds that:

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri April 13, 2012

It's Friday The 13th, So Say It All Together: 'Paraskevidekatriaphobia'

There's one more Friday the 13th this year, in July.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 6:52 am

You can't say we haven't warned you about Friday the 13ths, and offered a tip for how to get over any fear of such supposedly scary days.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Syrian Activists Claim Regime Is Using Force To Break Up Demonstrations

On Day Two of the fragile ceasefire in Syria, activists say that government forces have fired on some anti-Assad regime demonstrators in various parts of the nation.

Reporting from Beirut, NPR's Grant Clark tells our Newscast Desk that activists say security forces began massing outside mosques during Friday prayers, just before the start of protests.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Holy Hail! Photos, Videos Show Texas Storm's Fury; Drifts 4-Feet Deep

This photo provided by the Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management shows Potter County firefighter Matt Dryden standing next to a wall of hail on Wednesday near Amarillo, Texas. The hail was pushed into drifts of up to 4-feet.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 5:46 am

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History
5:39 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Utah Man Has Titanic Interest In Ship's Sinking

Jeff Jensen got interested in the Titanic when he was just nine years old. Later, his father bought him a replica of the ship that was made from 50,000 matchsticks.

Around the Nation
5:19 am
Fri April 13, 2012

La. Town Named 'Boudin Capital Of The World'

Boudin is a Cajun specialty — sausage filled with rice, pork and herbs. And since Scott, La., is starting a Boudin festival, the state legislature crowned it the "Boudin Capital of the World." Nevermind there are two other Boudin capitals of the world. But Jennings, La., trumps them all. Years ago, it was crowned the "Boudin Capital of the Universe."

It's All Politics
5:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Voters Who Rejected Romney Now His Most Certain Votes

Mitt Romney must now appeal to voters beyond his party's base. On Wednesday, he criticized President Obama's record on women in the workforce during a campaign stop in Hartford, Conn.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Throughout the GOP primary season, Mitt Romney struggled among voters who make up many of the party's key constituencies, including Southerners, evangelicals, those living in rural areas and members of the white working class.

Now that he has the Republican presidential nomination all but sewn up, such voters are the least of Romney's worries.

In fact, the type of Republican voters who were most skeptical about the former Massachusetts governor may end up being among his most certain supporters.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Failed Missile Test May Make North Korea More Belligerent

Prior to today's launch, a North Korean soldier stood guard.
Pedro Ugarte AFP/Getty Images
  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

The disintegration of North Korea's latest long-range missile shortly after liftoff today may just make that communist nation even more belligerent and more likely to test a nuclear weapon or take other provocative actions, NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Seoul.

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