Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep and NPR reporters give a "close read" of President Obama's State of the Union speech. In some cases they are checking facts. In others, they are asking what some parts of the speech really mean.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:31 am
The White House seemed surprised last month when President Obama's inaugural address was characterized in some quarters as a liberal manifesto. So Tuesday night's State of the Union speech was firmly grounded in the bread-and-butter pocketbook issues facing the middle class.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:00 am
The Department of Energy will soon decide whether to allow more liquefied natural gas exports. The gas industry argues more exports are good for the U.S. economy. But manufacturers want cheap gas to stay at home and power factories. Environmentalists worry exports will increase drilling across the country even more.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:42 am
The credit card company American Express has teamed up with Twitter to allow its customers to buy products just by tweeting about them. Tweet the item you want, confirm your purchase and your item will be delivered.
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:58 am
The top financial worry of Americans is that they won't have enough money when they retire, according to a recent Gallup poll. And the average age at which Americans expect to retire keeps rising — from age 60 in the mid-1990s to age 67 now, the survey showed.
Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.
Retirement isn't what it used to be, or even when it used to be.
U.S. companies that have their networks routinely penetrated and their trade secrets stolen cannot be surprised by a new National Intelligence Estimate on the cyber-espionage threat. The classified NIE, the first-ever focusing on cybersecurity, concludes that the U.S. is the target of a major espionage campaign, with China the leading culprit.
Tunisian soldiers stand guard as a woman holds up a poster featuring opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession in a suburb of Tunis on Feb. 8. Belaid's assassination has laid bare the political rifts in post-revolutionary Tunisia.
The political crisis in Tunisia is deepening after last week's murder of a prominent secular politician. Tunisians are increasingly divided over their country's government and future, just two years after collectively overthrowing the dictator in a popular revolution.
Katherine Webb (left), the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, and McCarron's mother, Dee Dee Bonner (second from left), watch McCarron celebrate after the BCS National Championship college football game on Jan. 7. Webb was caught on camera and announcer Brent Musburger enthusiastically remarked that quarterbacks "get all the good-looking women." ESPN later apologized.
Gentlemen of a certain age might make a nostalgic note that today, Valentine's eve, is the 80th birthday of Kim Novak.
One of Miss Novak's most famous movie roles was in Picnic, where she played the gorgeous ingenue who could've married the son of the richest man in town but instead fell for a hunk of a bum who was an old football star.
Picnic is being revived on Broadway, as is Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, where — guess what? — Maggie, played by the beautiful Scarlett Johansson, is married to a hunk of a bum who is a former football star.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:50 pm
Porridge doesn't get a lot of love and respect. It's the fairy tale stuff of Goldilocks, or the pauper gruel of Oliver Twist. But really, porridge can be a beautiful thing, especially during the cold slog of winter. It's a comforting way to start the morning, a nice warm hug of a breakfast. And, dare I say, it actually can be kind of exciting.
Kirk Siegler talks to Melissa Block for an update on the search for former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner. A man that authorities identified as Dorner was holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of officers surrounded the home. Dorner is wanted for questioning in three murders and one attempted murder.
Fifty years ago, the White House was the site of an unusual party.
It was a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation's centennial, held on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and many of the guests were descendants of the people Lincoln's historic document freed.
But noticeably absent was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights leader had declined the invitation after earlier conversations with President Kennedy about segregation had yielded few results.
One of the long-standing knocks against electric cars is that it can be hard for the machines to hold a charge in cold weather. That's exactly what New York Times reporter John Broder says he found when he took a Tesla Model S on a road trip from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:43 pm
In his State of Union address on Tuesday, President Obama set forth a sweeping vision for his second term, tackling not only monumental issues such as entitlement and tax reform but also everyday ones like raising the minimum wage and providing universal preschool.
Coming off an inaugural address that many saw as a powerful embrace of a liberal agenda, President Obama opened the speech with a nod to bipartisanship.
A Hindu devotee prays after a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati -- during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Sunday.
Credit Anoo Bhuyan / for NPR
The Kumbh Mela is one of the rare times that sadhu nagas make themselves known. Many of these ascetics live in forests and villages, and have little contact with ordinary Indians. Their population is dwindling, as young devotees prefer not to pursue a life of deprivation.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
An Indian devotee holds an offering at the Sangam.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
A father dips his son into the holy waters.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
Naga sadhus, naked holy men, walk in procession after bathing on the auspicious day of Mauni Amavasya on Sunday.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
Hindu devotees cram as they board their train Monday at Allahabad train station, the site of Sunday's stampede. Thirty-seven people were killed in the stampede.
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
Hindu devotees wait Monday to board a train at the site of Sunday's stampede. Survivors blamed the tragedy on baton-charging police and the slow response of medics.
Credit Anoo Bhuyan / NPR
A man blows a horn in celebration during the daylong procession that drew 30 million devotees Sunday, the most auspicious day of the 55-day-long Hindu festival.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
Pilgrims make their way over pontoon bridges.
Credit Julie McCarthy/NPR
A naga sadhu smeared in ash serves up the early morning tea for his akhara, or sect, one of 13 that has its own camp on the 20-square-mile grounds.
Credit Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP
A Hindu devotee prays after a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati — during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Sunday.
Credit Anoo Bhuyan for NPR
An officer guards the purses of pilgrims who came to pay homage to the holy waters at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, a Hindu nun, edited the Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
The Hindu gathering known as Kumbh Mela is on a scale difficult to fathom: The world's largest religious festival is millions of feet shuffling, millions of mantras chanted, countless sales of firewood to ward off the night cold. Millions of incense sticks will be burned and bells rung in devotional rituals called aartis.
Jet-setting swamis, naked holy men and foreigners fascinated by Eastern mysticism joined tens of millions of pilgrims for a dip in river waters believed to be holy.
Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:35 am
The painkiller diclofenac isn't very popular in the U.S., but it's by far the most widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, in the world.
A slew of studies, though, show diclofenac — sold under the brand names Voltaren, Cambia, Cataflam and Zipsor — is just as likely to cause a heart attack as the discredited painkiller Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was pulled from the U.S. market in 2004.
Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.
NBCUniversal owns several familiar news and entertainment brands, including NBC, CNBC, Universal Pictures, Telemundo, USA Network and Universal Parks and Resorts.
President Obama is expected to put specifics behind the vision he outlined in his inaugural address a few weeks ago. Get live updates from the speech and join NPR journalists in analyzing what it could mean for the future.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
A U.S. Coast Guard hearing opens Tuesday to investigate the October sinking of the replica ship HMS Bounty off Cape Hatteras and the deaths of her captain and a crew member as the vessel fought unsuccessfully to outmaneuver Hurricane Sandy.
At issue in the hearings are the actions of the ship's captain, Robin Walbridge, who chose to head out to sea despite the approach of Sandy, one of the largest storms in decades to hit the U.S. East Coast.
And we turn now to the big political news of the day. In a matter of hours President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress, the first of his second term. Tens of millions of Americans will be watching as the president lays out his agenda and picks up where he left off in his inaugural address last month. He's expected to focus on job creation and talk about how leveling the playing field to give everyone a fair shot will help the economy grow.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. When President Obama speaks this evening, there will be one member of Congress sitting in the audience whose last chance to be there for the State of the Union address was January 23rd, 1980. That was for President Jimmy Carter's final State of the Union address. High on the president's list of concerns then was a couple of countries that presidents still talk about.
Something that President Obama is not likely to dwell on tonight is the feeble state of campaign finance laws. It was three years ago that he used the State of the Union to challenge the Supreme Court on its Citizens United decision, which encouraged more corporate money in politics. This year, though, he has his own tax-exempt social welfare group backed with corporate contributions to help advance his agenda. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
The U.S. will bring home 34,000 troops from Afghanistan by this time next year. President Obama is expected to announce the news tonight in his State of the Union address. That will cut the force in half and set the stage for the pullout of most of the remaining U.S. troops by the end of 2014. The drawdown from Afghanistan is just one of several developments today on Capitol Hill that will have a big impact on the Pentagon.
Finally this hour, an unexpected announcement from the world of Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has decided to drop wrestling from the games beginning in 2020. It is a major blow to the sport, which is among the world's oldest. Today, wrestling is represented on every continent. NPR's Mike Pesca reports on fallout from the decision.