The Duchess of Cambridge receives a bouquet of flowers, as she leaves after a visit to Hope House in London on Tuesday. The former Kate Middleton appeared unaffected by the controversy surrounding remarks made by author Hilary Mantel.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:24 pm
The movie Lincoln inspired a Mississippi citizen to push the state to correct a clerical error that kept the state from officially ratifying the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
NPR's Debbie Elliott sent this report to our Newscast unit:
"In 1865, Mississippi was among the states that rejected the 13th amendment. But in 1995 lawmakers voted to change that. Problem was the state never sent official word to the U.S. archivist, so the ratification was never recorded.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:48 pm
Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.
The Chinese army is the source of a persistent and prolific cyber espionage unit, whose hackers have attacked dozens of U.S. corporations and government agencies. That's the conclusion of a lengthy report released today by the computer security firm Mandiant. Mandiant says the hacking campaign goes back at least to 2006 and it targeted industries strategic to China's growth, including IT, energy and aerospace.
This week on our program, we're going to hear from the directors of the five films nominated for Best Short Documentary at the Oscars, from life in the throes of breast cancer to life as a can collector on the streets of New York.
My co-host Audie Cornish begins with a conversation with the filmmaker of "Kings Point," a documentary about the not-so-golden times in a retirement community in Florida.
And now some news from the world of online education. So-called cyber schools appear to be falling short of their sales pitch. The largest are run by a for-profit company called K12, which has made a big business of virtual education. Now, poor standardized test scores have captured the attention of state lawmakers around the country. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN in Nashville has this story about K12's failing grades.
Colorado's Legislature is poised to pass sweeping gun reform. The House passed bills that limit high-capacity magazines and require background checks on private gun sales. The bills will now be debated in the Senate, which promises bills of its own. Colorado has experienced two of the worst mass shootings in the nation, the latest in July 2012.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
We're learning more about the actions of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer turned fugitive in Southern California. Today, police in Los Angeles said they believe he stalked LAPD officers and their families before he began his alleged killing rampage. Authorities say Dorner killed himself last week during a violent standoff in the mountains east of L.A. NPR's Kirk Siegler has this update.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The Marine general poised to lead all NATO forces has decided to resign. General John Allen served 38 years in the military, including as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. But his long career will also be remembered for his peripheral role in a recent scandal. Here's NPR's Tom Bowman.
The U.N. reports that for the first time in six years, casualties in the Afghan war have decreased. There was sharp drop in the number of dead and wounded attributed to attacks by Afghan government and Western forces.
One of Britain's most celebrated authors has launched a withering attack on the Duchess of Cambridge, the pregnant wife of Prince William, branding her a "shop-window mannequin" with a plastic smile whose only role in life is to breed. Prime Minister David Cameron described award-winning writer Hilary Mantel as "misguided" after she likened the former Kate Middleton to a "machine made" doll, devoid of personality.
Lance Armstrong's ex-teammate testified Tuesday at the trial of a Spanish doctor accused of masterminding one of the world's largest doping rings. Tyler Hamilton, who was stripped of his 2004 Olympic gold for doping, says he was a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. He described secret meetings with the doctor at the side of a highway in Spain, and how he and the doctor used secret telephones to arrange blood transfusions. Hamilton told the court that one 2004 transfusion from Fuentes went bad, and turned his urine black.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
Authorities in Belgium have an expensive mystery to solve. Last night, on the Brussels airport tarmac, masked gunmen attacked an armored vehicle as it was loading diamonds onto a plane. They made off with an estimated $50 million worth of uncut diamonds.
As we hear from NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, the attack was meticulously planned, leading some to believe the thieves had help from the inside.
You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Next week, Secretary of State John Kerry sets off on his first official trip. He'll head to both Europe and the Middle East. He will not be visiting Russia but aides say he might meet his Russian counterparts somewhere on the trip.
They have a lot to talk about, from the crisis in Syria to a dispute over adoptions, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:02 pm
By now, it's widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver.
So now, the contest boils down to each side scampering for the higher ground of moral indignation.
An undated handout graphic distributed on July 4, 2012 by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva shows a representation of traces of traces of a proton-proton collision measured in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience in the search for the Higgs boson.
There's an underground bunker at a radio station in Charlotte, N.C., where time has stopped. Built decades ago to provide safety and vital communications in the event of a nuclear attack, it's now a perfectly preserved relic of Cold War fear that's gained new relevance.
The secret bunker is part of the office lore that old-timers at WBT Radio whisper to the newbies. That's how radio host Mike Collins learned of it back in the 1980s.
The Hazara Heritage Park will be built on the edge of Abbottabad, Pakistan, set in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Credit Anjum Naveed / AP
The compound where Osama bin Laden spent his final years was torn down in 2012, about a year after he was killed. Pakistani developers say it's time to move past those events and they are planning an amusement park and an outdoor activity center on the other side of Abbottabad.
Developers in Pakistan will soon break ground on a new amusement park and outdoor activity center, a private, $30 million project billed as a state-of-the-art facility that will bring jobs to a hard-hit area.
But there's one issue that's raising some eyebrows: the site is in Abbottabad, not far from the place where Osama Bin Laden secretly lived until American forces killed him.
This does not trouble Sheikh Kaleemuddin, the project director, who is effusive about the picturesque spot where he plans to build.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:54 pm
Kishi Bashi (who's real name is K Ishibashi) is known for his thrilling live performances, looping and layering his violin and voice to create a symphony of sound. But when he decided to cover "A Sunday Smile," one of his favorite songs by the band Beirut, K went for "real" musicians, captured in this live-in-studio video.
As part of homecoming ceremonies at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state in January, Army Spc. Tyler Jeffries — with crutches and prosthetic legs — joins his unit in formation as the national anthem is played. The homecoming marked the first time Jeffries had seen his platoon since he lost both his legs in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan last October.
Credit Ben Watson / NPR
Jeffries takes his first steps on prosthetic legs during what he described as an exhausting and painful physical therapy session at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., in November 2012, less than two months after the roadside bombing.
Credit Florangela Davila for NPR
As family and friends welcome the returning soldiers, Staff Sgt. Michael Blair gives Jeffries a bear hug.
Credit Florangela Davila for NPR
While his unit waits for buses to take them to a gym where family and friends will greet them, Jeffries sits in a wheelchair, one of his prosthetic legs visible.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:55 pm
The discovery of horse meat in European beef products created an international uproar. James A. Serpell, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, explains why some foods that are forbidden in some cultures are considered delicacies in others.
What if, before your children were born, you could make sure they had the genes to be taller or smarter? Would that tempt you, or would you find it unnerving?
What if that genetic engineering would save a child from a rare disease?
As advancements in science bring these ideas closer to reality, a group of experts faced off two against two in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the proposition: "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies."