NPR News

The Two-Way
10:31 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Washington State Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 39

Tayler Drayton, 16, earlier this month painted words of support on a bus stop for those affected by the deadly mudslide at the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:08 am

The death toll in last month's fatal mudslide in Washington state has risen to 39, officials say, after two more bodies were recovered from the debris.

Search efforts following the mudslide, near the community of Oso in the Cascades foothills, have been hampered by rain and the difficulty in recovering victims from the mudslide on the north fork of the Stillaguamish River on March 22.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Medicare Kept Paying Indicted, Sanctioned Doctors

A check of Medicare's new database of payments to physicians confirms that at least $6 million in 2012 went to doctors who had been indicted or otherwise sanctioned.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:26 am

In August 2011, federal agents swept across the Detroit area, arresting doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals accused of running a massive scheme to defraud Medicare.

The following month, several of those arrested, including psychiatrist Mark Greenbain and podiatrist Anmy Tran, were suspended from billing the state's Medicaid program for the poor.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
9:34 am
Wed April 16, 2014

The Ultimate Animal Experience? Losing A Memory Quiz To A Chimp

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:34 am

Time to be embarrassed. You're about to be bested by a young chimpanzee in a memory test.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Iraq's Infamous Abu Ghraib Prison Temporarily Closed

An Iraqi security officer patrols the grounds at Baghdad Central Prison in Abu Ghraib in 2009.
Wathiq Khuzaie Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 11:06 am

Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison that became the center of a 2004 prison-abuse scandal during the U.S. occupation, is being closed temporarily because of security concerns, according to the country's Justice Ministry.

The infamous prison, located on the outskirts of Baghdad near Sunni-dominated Anbar province, is being shut because of fears it could be overrun by Sunni insurgents, according to The New York Times.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Most Of The Dozens Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Reportedly Free

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:48 am

9:45 a.m. ET, April 17: The latest developments have changed this story. We've put up a news post with this headline: Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain.

Our post from April 16:

Most of the 100 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped have been freed, Nigeria's military reports. Only eight are still unaccounted for.

Read more
Code Switch
7:32 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race

Washington Post writer Eli Saslow won a Pulitzer Prize for his series on the prevalence of food stamps in post-recession America.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 10:56 am

This week, Columbia University handed out the Pulitzer Prizes, which are widely considered among the highest honors in journalism. The occasion gives us a good excuse to shout-out some of the finalists and winning entries that touch on issues of race and culture. (Fair warning: These stories are very good journalism done in the service of illuminating some deeply dispiriting realities.)

Speak No Evil

Read more
The Two-Way
7:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

43-Year-Old Cold Case Closed: South Dakota Girls Died In Accident

Cheryl Miller's driver's license was among the evidence collected from the car she and Pamela Jackson were last seen in. The two South Dakota girls disappeared in 1971. Now, authorities say it appears they accidentally drove into a creek. It wasn't until last year that low waters revealed the vehicle.
South Dakota Attorney General's office AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:02 pm

Families and friends who have wondered since 1971 about what happened to two South Dakota girls now have some closure.

Authorities said Tuesday that they believe Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller died when their 1960 Studebaker Lark accidentally went off a gravel road and into a local creek. "All the evidence would appear to indicate an accident," South Dakota Attorney Gen. Marty Jackley said.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:02 am
Wed April 16, 2014

In Ukraine: Reports Of Soldiers Switching To Pro-Russia Side

Men sit on an armored personnel carrier in Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Wednesday. A Russian flag flies from it. When some Ukrainian forces approached the city, locals say, they were persuaded to hand over their vehicles to pro-Russia protesters.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:49 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Kramatorsk, Ukraine

Confusion continues to reign in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia gunmen remain in control of many government offices even as the Ukrainian military sends in troops, tanks and armed aircraft in an attempt to dislodge them.

According to NPR's Ari Shapiro, who is in eastern Ukraine, locals who are pushing to separate from the central government and join the Russian Federation claim that at least some Ukrainian troops are refusing to move against them.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Rescue Crews Dive For Hundreds Still Missing After Ferry Accident

Rescuers head toward the ferry Sewol off the southern coast of South Korea on Wednesday. It sank while on a trip to a resort island. Several hundred people, most of them high school students and teachers, are missing.
Yonhap News EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:05 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the ferry accident
This post is being updated as news comes in.

Unsuccessful in their attempts to find the missing in a sunken ferry off the southern coast of South Korea overnight, rescue divers resumed their search at day break Thursday, Jason Strother reports from Seoul.

A day after the boat began to sink, the cause of the accident is unclear and less than half of the passengers who were on board have been rescued, Strother tells NPR's Newscast Desk.

Most of those unaccounted for are high school students who were on a trip to a resort island.

Read more
Animals
4:55 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Police Trace Heavy-Breathing Emergency Caller

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Police near London received a troubling emergency call. All the dispatcher could hear was heavy breathing. Cops rushed out to investigate, and found the caller running through a yard. It was a dog with a wireless phone in its mouth.

The Belgian Malinois named Layton must have tooth-dialed 999 - Britain's version of 911 - after snatching the phone from its owner. The owner told the Daily Mirror: He's downright naughty, but I would never swap him.

Asia
4:36 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Sad Panda In China Gets Her Own Play Area

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Kelly McEvers, with news of a sad panda in China. Si Jia got depressed after her only companion moved to another zoo. She's now a happy panda. The zoo where she lives built her a mini-amusement park. And now the staff at the Yunnan Safari Park in Southwest China has given her a plasma TV, where she can watch other pandas at play. Si Jia was one of three giant pandas rescued after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Tank Movement Increases Tensions In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tensions remain very high this morning in Eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia demonstrators stormed the city hall in the city of Donetsk. And there are now reports this morning of several Ukrainian armored personnel carriers on the move in some cities flying Russian flags. To try and sort out what's going on, we have NPR's Ari Shapiro on the line. He is in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. Ari, good morning.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, David.

Read more
NPR Story
3:08 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Minority Tartars Consider Pragmatic Approach To Crimea Annexation

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 5:53 am

Tatars were vocal in their opposition to the Russian takeover of Crimea. That's because they remember their history of maltreatment under the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

Science
1:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame

Pat Leiggi (right) of the Museum of the Rockies prepares to move a leg bone of the T. rex at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Is Obamacare A Success? We Might Not Know For A While

Hundreds in California rushed to get health insurance just before the deadline.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

After months of focusing on how many people have or haven't signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we now have a rough total (7.5 million), and everyone's keen to get to the bigger questions: How well is the law working? How many of those who signed up have paid their premiums and are actually getting coverage? How many were uninsured before they signed up? And just how big has the drop been in the number of uninsured people?

Unfortunately, the answers to some of these questions simply aren't knowable — or, at least, not knowable yet.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:37 am
Wed April 16, 2014

After Losing A Leg, Woman Walks On Her Own — In 4-Inch Heels

Heather Abbott of Newport, R.I., shows off her "high-definition" prosthetic leg, which allows her to wear high heels and skirts.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Returning to watch the Boston Marathon was never a question for Heather Abbott. After losing her leg in the bombing last year, watching the race is just one item on a long list of things she did before and intends to do again. Also on that list: wearing 4-inch heels.

"Sometimes, I think: Why am I doing this to myself? Because I could just wear regular flat shoes," Abbott says. "I don't want to give things up that I love to do, so I'm going to get used to it and figure it out."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims

Men pray on the street before the start of the American Muslim Day Parade in 2010 in New York.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.

The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003. It brought the NYPD under fire from community groups and activists who accused the force of abusing civil rights and profiling.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration has promised "a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

In India, Landmark Ruling Recognizes Transgender Citizens

An Indian eunuch in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar dances Tuesday to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling recognizing a third gender category.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:08 am

India now has a third gender.

The Supreme Court has recognized the country's transgender community as being in a third neutral category — neither male nor female.

In handing down the ruling, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said, "Transgenders are citizens of this country ... and recognition as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue."

Article 15 of India's Constitution guarantees that no state can discriminate against citizens on the basis of religion, caste, race or sex.

Read more
NPR Story
3:34 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

In Portugal, A Sales Receipt May Be Your Ticket To Win Big

A customer pays a vendor for her purchases at Feira da Ladra flea market in Lisbon, Portugal, in October 2013. The government has introduced a "Lucky Receipts" lottery to encourage people to ask for receipts — which will automatically be entered into a national lottery for fancy new cars. It's an effort to curb tax evasion and raise revenue.
Mario Proenca Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:51 pm

On Lisbon's cobblestone lanes, the Portuguese economy is hobbling along as it always has — in cash.

In a tiny, 100-year-old bar, Nuno Goncalves pours out glasses of ginja — a Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur — for his customers, mostly old men in flat caps. A small shot-glass full costs 50 cents — cash only. There is a cash register, but it doesn't print receipts.

Read more
Economy
3:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes

Round-tripping occurs when American citizens open bank accounts in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, funnel money into the accounts and then use it to buy stocks and bonds back in the U.S.
David McFadden AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:03 pm

Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping — sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.

Recently, MIT professor Michelle Hanlon and two colleagues set out to find out all they could about round-tripping.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Risks Of Popular Anxiety Drugs Often Overshadowed

Xanax and Valium, prescribed to treat anxiety, mood disorders and insomnia, can be deadly when mixed with other sedatives.
Dean812 Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:40 pm

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose in February, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was the result of "acute mixed drug intoxication." Heroin, cocaine and a widely prescribed class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, were found in his system.

Read more
Book News & Features
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

In Pakistan, Literary Spring Is Both Renaissance And Resistance

Despite enduring violence and instability in Pakistan, artists and authors are thriving on the international stage. For many of them, culture has become a kind of resistance. Above, the 17th century Imperial Mosque in the Old City of Lahore serves as a reminder of the historical legacy and texture of Pakistan's art capital.
Bilal Qureshi/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:29 pm

On one of the first weekends of the Pakistani spring, more than 45,000 people gathered in the city of Lahore for three days of lectures, performances and old-fashioned people watching. The second annual Lahore Literary Festival brought artists from all over the world to Pakistan's cultural capital to share their work — and to celebrate the power of expression.

Read more
News
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ukraine's Army Launches Campaign Against Eastern Militants

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:29 pm

Ukraine's army began a "special operation" in the east of the country Tuesday, moving against pro-Russian militants who are occupying government offices across the region.

News
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Boston Mourns A Tragic Anniversary With Voices Of Victims

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:29 pm

One year has passed since bombs rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The city honored victims of the tragedy Tuesday with a tribute, including speeches from three of the victims themselves.

Around the Nation
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

The Long Wait On Safety Rules For The 'Soda Can' Of Rail Cars

Safety advocates have been pressuring Canadian and U.S. officials to create new safety standards for tank cars and to make old DOT-111s like this one more puncture-resistant.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:29 pm

Freight trains roll through the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Ill., every day, many pulling older tank cars known as DOT-111s. They're known as the "soda can" of rail cars, says village President Karen Darch, because their shells are so thin.

Many of the DOT-111s are full of heavy Canadian tar sands crude oil. Some carry ethanol. And more and more of them are loaded with light Bakken crude oil from North Dakota.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Months Of Training And A Moment Of Silence As Marathon Draws Near

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:29 pm

Even as Boston pays tribute to the victims of the marathon bombing, runners are preparing to run in the race next week. NPR is following the stories of eight of these participants, dubbed the "NPR 8."

Music Interviews
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Perennial Co-Writer Returns With An Album Of His Own

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:25 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

And we're going to talk now with Dan Wilson. You may think you don't know him, but you do. He's your favorite songwriter's favorite co-writer. For instance, power ballads with Adele? Check.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEONE LIKE YOU")

ADELE: (Singing) Never mind, I'll find someone like you.

CORNISH: Hooks for hip hop royalty like Nas? Check.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROSES")

NAS: (Rapping) Heard you tear a rose from the roots, the rose screams.

Read more
The Salt
1:36 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Behold Ukrainian Easter Art: Incredible, Inedible Eggs

Ukrainians have been crafting elaborately decorated eggs for thousands of years.
Konstantin Chernichkin Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:50 pm

As Nancy Shute reported in 2012, Ukrainians have for centuries practiced an ancient form of art, drawing intricate patterns on eggs using a traditional method that involves a stylus and wax.

It's called pysanky, and it's alive and well in Ukraine and Ukrainian immigrant communities around the world.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:35 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself

President Obama meets with faith leaders in the Oval Office on Tuesday — also known as Tax Day 2014.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:00 pm

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.

The White House released the president's tax return last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.

Read more
NPR Story
1:17 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Boston Marks First Anniversary Of Marathon Bombing

Flowers lie on the finish line of the Boston Marathon on the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, on April 15, 2014 in Boston, Mass. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

A somber anniversary is being marked in Boston today. It’s the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The tribute is being held inside Boston’s Hynes Convention Center, just a few blocks from the marathon finish line where two bombs exploded on April 15, 2013.

Three people were killed and more than 260 people were injured, some losing limbs.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Deborah Becker of WBUR joins host Robin Young with details on the day’s events.

Read more

Pages