Environment
6:36 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Is Living With Extreme Wildfires The New Normal?

A house destroyed by a wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz. Experts say increasing expansion into wildfire-prone areas has created new challenges for firefighters unequipped to protect houses and structures.
Andy Tobin AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 5:02 pm

It has been a deadly year for the people who fight wildfires. In total, 32 people have lost their lives fighting fires in 2013; the highest number in nearly 20 years, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Just one incident accounts for most of those deaths, the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona. In June, the blaze blasted through a firefighting crew known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots; 19 of the 20 men died.

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5:55 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Report ranks Michigan near bottom for nursing home care

Lead in text: 
Nine nursing homes in Calhoun County cited for deficiencies
A new report ranks Michigan near the bottom in nursing home quality of care, with nearly 99 percent of its homes cited for severe deficiencies since 2010.
Author Interviews
5:02 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

How Two Brothers Waged A 'Secret World War' In The 1950s

Courtesy of Times Books

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 6:30 pm

John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles were the forefathers of using covert operations to upset foreign governments — with the aim of overthrow.

They learned the reach of American power abroad when they were partners at an influential New York law firm. Later, with John Foster Dulles serving as secretary of state and Allen Dulles as CIA chief, they shared power in the President Dwight Eisenhower's administration.

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Music Interviews
5:02 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Vijay Iyer On Learning From War

For three years, jazz musician Vijay Iyer has worked with poet and performer Mike Ladd to set the words of war veterans to music. The resulting album, released earlier this month, is called Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 6:30 pm

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Asia
5:02 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Truth Or Propaganda? Finding Real Stories In North Korea

Children mobilized for the annual mass games in Pyongyang act as pixels, portraying a happy patriot in uniform.
David Guttenfelder National Geographic

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 12:21 pm

North Korea remains one of the most closed places in the world. And that makes Tim Sullivan kind of a rarity: As the Asia correspondent for the Associated Press, he's spent about six weeks in the country over the course of two trips.

In addition to his stories for AP, Sullivan also wrote an article entitled "The Real North Korea" that's in the October issue of National Geographic.

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Around the Nation
5:02 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Painful History Buried At Shuttered Vermont Institution

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 6:31 pm

When Gary Wade first started working at Vermont's state institution for people with developmental disabilities, it was already on its way out. The Brandon Training School had been in operation since 1915.

Before it closed for good in 1993, Wade was sorting through the paperwork and found letters written during the 1940s and '50s. One of his favorite clients, Flossie Howe, was asking to leave. "I don't feel like I belong here. I think I have a job in Pittsford, " Flossie wrote.

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Author Interviews
6:41 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

'Faithful Scribe': Tracing Ancestry Through Pakistan's History

The Faithful Scribe, by Shahan Mufti

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 7:10 pm

In The Faithful Scribe, Shahan Mufti examines the history of Pakistan and its relationship to the United States. He also explores how his own family story is part of the tumultuous story of the world's first Islamic democracy.

"A huge impetus for me in writing this book was actually being on both sides of this present conflict, where America is involved in this war in Afghanistan," Mufti tells NPR's Arun Rath. "As we know, the place of Pakistan in this conflict is very dubious and questionable."

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Health Care
6:40 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

The Religious Alternative To Obamacare's Individual Mandate

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:54 pm

The Affordable Care Act requires nearly every American to have health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning Jan. 1. The so-called "individual mandate" has been controversial ever since the law was passed.

But for people who fall into a few select categories, the mandate doesn't apply. Like Native Americans who get health coverage through the Indian Health Service, or people who are incarcerated.

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Music
5:18 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

California Love: West Coast Musicians With International Sounds

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo plays the dan tranh zither, a Vietnamese string instrument, in the song "3 Gnossiennes: Gnossiennes No. 3."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 6:52 pm

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Pop Culture
5:18 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

The New And The Next: A Haitian Star, Bilingual Speed Dating

Maya May, right, started the bilingual speed-dating business, Spanglish Exchange.
Courtesy Spanglish

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 6:52 pm

The online magazine Ozy talks about people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins us regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

This week, he tells NPR's Arun Rath about a rising star in human rights law, a rags-to-riches tale of a whacky impersonator and trend to look out for in the dating world.

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World
5:18 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

Mexican State's Anti-Corruption Plan: Hire Female Traffic Cops

Dressed in the black and neon orange colors of the new transit police, these women are slated to replace a force of notoriously corrupt traffic cops in Mexico State.
Edith Chapin NPR

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:25 pm

In the central State of Mexico, officials are trying a new approach to fight corruption.

Authorities have hired hundreds of women and put them in charge of issuing all traffic violations. They're trying to crack down on the famous mordida, or bribe — a favorite among Mexico's crooked traffic cops.

Authorities say women are more trustworthy and less corrupt than men. But the plan has run into a few snags.

Choosing Female Cops

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Book Reviews
2:49 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

From Kolbasa To Borscht, 'Soviet Cooking' Tells A Personal History

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 6:52 pm

For years I have wondered, albeit vaguely, about gefilte fish, a dish that appears in various guises in novels about Jewish families, almost always at points of celebration or domestic tension. Here's how to make it: Skin a whole pike, mince the flesh, mix with vegetables and bread. Sew the minced fish back into the skin and poach for three hours. Garnish with horseradish.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Elton John, 'Masters Of Sex' And 'Merchants Of Meth'

Elton John tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that The Diving Board is "a very adult album."
Joseph Guay Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 4:26 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Law
7:58 am
Sat September 28, 2013

BP Oil Spill Trial To Begin Second Phase

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Officials from BP, formerly British Petroleum, will be back in a New Orleans courtroom next week. It's part of a complex federal case that will ultimately determine responsibility in damages for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. And that's the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. NPR's Debbie Elliott's been following the trial and joins us. Deb, thanks for being with us.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Glad to be here.

SIMON: Remind us of what's at stake in this phase of the case.

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Sports
7:58 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Rangers, Reds, Indians Battle For AL Wild Card Spot

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's so nice to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Just a day left to the end of regular baseball season. The Cardinals clinched a playoff spot last night. Of course they were playing the Cubs. But those rampaging Cleveland Indians won their eighth game in a row to move a game closer to a wildcard spot. They're knotted up with the Tampa Bay Rays, trying to keep the Texas Rangers in the rearview mirror.

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Around the Nation
7:58 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Pirate Treasure May Lie In Waters Off Cape Cod

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Barry Clifford has spent the last 30 years diving in the waters off Cape Cod. He's searching for buried treasure spilled by the pirate ship Whydah, which sunk there in 1717. He's pulled a trove of artifacts out of the sea and sand over the years and this summer he learned there may be far more treasure waiting. He joins us now from Provincetown, Massachusetts. Mr. Clifford, thanks so much for being with us.

BARRY CLIFFORD: Oh, it's my pleasure.

SIMON: What did you find out?

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Author Interviews
6:05 am
Sat September 28, 2013

On Eliot's 125th, His 'Waste Land' Hasn't Lost Its Glamour

American-born British poet and playwright T.S. Eliot received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.
Chris Bacon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 9:55 am

What do you get a Nobel Prize-winning poet for his birthday?

The poet, in this case, is T.S. Eliot, and this year he would have turned the intimidating age of 125. It's a tough question, but New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon has got an answer: a new re-issue of the first edition of Eliot's groundbreaking poem, The Waste Land.

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Music News
5:25 am
Sat September 28, 2013

'If It Swings': An Asian-American Jazzman's Pioneering Career

Gabe Baltazar (fourth from left) at New York City's Birdland Club in 1962, with members of Stan Kenton's band and the Count Basie Orchestra. The photo, from Baltazar's collection, is signed by Kenton (fourth from from right) and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison (second from right).
Courtesy of Gabe Baltazar

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Saxophonist Gabe Baltazar got his big break after Stan Kenton heard him playing in a college band and invited him to join his Orchestra in 1960.

"One of my biggest highlights in Stan's band was being featured on a beautiful standard tune called 'Stairway to the Stars,'" the 83-year-old Baltazar says. "He liked that tune, and he thought it would be my signature song. And throughout my career, four years with the band, I was featured on that and it was just great."

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Author Interviews
5:25 am
Sat September 28, 2013

I, Spy: Valerie Plame Makes Her Fiction Debut In CIA Thriller

Valerie Plame was outed as a covert CIA operative in a 2003 Washington Post column. Her story was depicted in the 2010 film Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts as Plame.
Dennis Cook AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Vanessa Pierson, the heroine of Valerie Plame's first novel, is — ahem — "blonde, lithe, and nicely sexy." She is also a CIA agent, determined to lasso a nuclear arms dealer named Bhoot before he arrives at an underground nuclear facility in Iran.

But just as her informant is about to tell her where Bhoot will be, he's shot by a sniper who misses Vanessa — or does he simply overlook her? How will Vanessa Pierson halt the terrorists, protect the world and, by the way, also keep the secret of her forbidden romance with David, a fellow CIA ops officer with green-flecked hazel eyes?

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Poetry
5:24 am
Sat September 28, 2013

News From Lake Wobegon: Garrison Keillor Has A New Book Of Poetry

Garrison Keillor has been the host of A Prairie Home Companion since it began nearly four decades ago. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.
Courtesy of Grove Press

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

If you're a regular public radio listener, you may hear Garrison Keillor every morning reading other people's poems on The Writer's Almanac. Now, the Prairie Home Companion host has decided to share some of his own poems for a change.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Carl reads three news-related limericks: Swiffer for men; magic bus; you call your mom with that phone?

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Prediction

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Our panelists predict will be done with the new island off Pakistan.

It's All Politics
3:44 am
Sat September 28, 2013

In Washington's Fiscal Tango, Obama's Lacking A Dance Partner

President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act on Thursday in Largo, Md. In the latest fiscal fight with Republicans, the president is lacking a partner to make a deal with — or even to vilify.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Top White House aides constantly refer to a "civil war" in the Republican Party.

They sometimes use the phrase with near delight, reveling in the tensions that threaten to pull apart the GOP. But for President Obama, the divided opposition creates a major problem: He has neither a partner to cut a deal with nor a high-profile adversary to vilify.

That situation stands in stark contrast to previous fiscal standoffs.

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Politics
3:43 am
Sat September 28, 2013

With Government Shutdown Looming, All Eyes Turn To House GOP

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, express frustration on Friday after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government, but stripped it of language crafted by House Republicans to defund Obamacare.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 3:21 pm

As expected, the Senate passed a bill Friday to keep the government funded through mid-November — without stripping any funding away from the president's health care law.

Now the action returns to the House, where Republicans earlier in the week tied the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act. With the threat of a shutdown looming three days away, the question is now, what will the House do?

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

U.N. Ambassador: U.S. Got What It Sought With Syria Resolution

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:31 pm

In an interview with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power says the U.S. got what it sought in a U.N. draft resolution that calls for Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons or face "consequences."

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Is The Fed Chair Succession Too Politicized?

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. There was once a time when naming a new Federal Reserve chairman was a non-event. Well, not this time. The competition between supporters for former Treasury secretary Larry Summers and the current vice chairman of the Fed, Janet Yellen has been a highly public affair.

As NPR's John Ydstie reports, there's concern that the high profile discussion could politicize the Fed succession in a way that could ultimately hurt the economy.

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

States Face Language Barriers To Health Exchange Sign Up

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

For millions of uninsured people, Tuesday is a big day. That's when they can start signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But for people who speak little or no English, it may be a difficult process. Illinois, which has one of the country's largest immigrant populations, is working to make sure that language is not a barrier to enroll in. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Cuban Athletes Can Finally Go Pro (Outside Of Cuba)

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:17 pm

For the first time in over 50 years, Cuba is letting its athletes sign professional contracts in other countries. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis talks to Robert Siegel about the historic announcement.

2:58 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Schedules altered during Amtrak high-speed rail construction

Lead in text: 
Some passengers might have to take buses to different rail lines.
LANSING - Amtrak is temporarily changing schedules and service on its passenger route between Pontiac and Battle Creek while crews prepare the track to handle high-speed trains. Starting Monday, two trains on the Wolverine line will terminate and originate in Battle Creek instead of Pontiac, so passengers will instead take chartered buses.

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