6:21 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Women's basketball: Western Michigan wins final game of regular season

Lead in text: 
Broncos will play at Eastern Michigan Saturday in first round of Mid-American Conference tournament.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, Mi. - It's a strange way to win a basketball game, but Western Michigan University will take anything it can get. Two starters were shut out, but two players came off the bench to combine for 30 points.
6:18 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Holland City Council eliminates Human Resources Director position

Lead in text: 
Director Al Serrano retired February first. Supporters of eliminating the full-time position say there's been no loss of services since then.
The Holland City Council voted 8-1 to eliminate the human relations director position in favor of hiring two part-time bilingual and preferably bicultural employees who will handle the duties of that office instead.
Movies
4:48 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Will 'Oz The Great And Powerful' Gain Emerald Status?

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 5:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

"The Wizard of Oz" means to a lot of people, a young Judy Garland in sparkly ruby slippers. But in the hundred years since L. Frank Baum wrote the Oz stories, they, or stories featuring Oz characters, have been produced dozens of times. The latest, a prequel that opens in theaters this weekend, called "Oz the Great and Powerful."

NPR's Mandalit Del Barco has more.

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Europe
4:48 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Bolshoi Dancer Confesses To Masterminding Attack

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:53 am

In Russia, a prominent dancer with the fabled Bolshoi Ballet has confessed to ordering an attack on the company's director. The director suffered third degree burns after acid was thrown onto his face. For more on the scandals at the Bolshoi, Renee Montagne talks to writer Christina Ezrahi, author of Swans of the Kremlin: Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia.

Business
4:48 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Time Warner To Spin Off Magazine Unit

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Time Warner split.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: You may recall when Time Inc. merged with Warner Brothers, huge, huge media merger. And now it's time for a little entropy. Last night, Time Warner announced its spinning off its magazine unit. That includes publications like, "Time Magazine," "Sports Illustrated" and "People."

Energy
3:07 am
Thu March 7, 2013

BP Bows Out Of Solar, But Industry Outlook Still Sunny

As BP leaves the solar industry, Asian countries such as China are taking a lead role in production.
Xinhua News Agency AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:50 pm

The solar energy business is growing quickly, but future growth will not include oil giant BP.

At the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, BP's CEO made it clear the company is done with solar.

"We have thrown in the towel on solar," Bob Dudley said after delivering a wide-ranging speech Wednesday.

"Not that solar energy isn't a viable energy source, but we worked at it for 35 years, and we really never made money," he added.

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It's All Politics
3:05 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Obama Looks For A Spring Thaw With Congress To Start Melting Deficit

President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room on Friday following a meeting with congressional leaders.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:44 pm

President Obama is hoping for a spring thaw in White House-congressional relations.

The president had dinner Wednesday night with a small group of Republican lawmakers. He's also planning rare visits to Capitol Hill next week to discuss his agenda with both Democrats and Republicans.

Aides say Obama is trying to locate what he calls a "caucus of common sense" in Congress to tackle the country's long-term budget challenges.

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Law
3:04 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Challenge To Michigan's Gay Marriage Ban Grows From Adoption Case

April DeBoer (second from left) sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne, 3, and Jayne Rowse and her adopted sons Jacob, 3, and Nolan, 4, at their home in Hazel Park, Mich., on Tuesday.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:36 pm

A federal judge in Michigan could rule as soon as Thursday on a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. The challenge comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two cases dealing with gay marriage later this month.

In the Michigan case, a lesbian couple sued not because they want to be married, but because they want to be parents.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
3:02 am
Thu March 7, 2013

With Budget Cuts For Ports, Produce May Perish

Border security agents stop a truck at a checkpoint on the way to Nogales, Ariz. More winter produce enters the U.S. at the border crossing than at any other point of entry in the country.
Qi Heng Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:48 pm

Budget-cutting from the government sequester that began March 1 could affect U.S. exports and imports, including what we eat.

Customs and Border Protection officers regulate trade at the nation's 329 ports of entry, in harbors, airports and on land.

One by one, drivers approach booths with Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. More winter produce enters here than at any other place in the U.S. Semis filled with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers headed to grocery stores around the country.

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The Two-Way
2:21 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Alvin Lee Is Going Home: 'Ten Years After' Guitarist Dies

Alvin Lee performing with Ten Years After in the early 1970s.
Lebre Sylvie Dalle /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 9:18 am

Guitarist Alvin Lee, whose incendiary performance with the British band Ten Years After was one of the highlights of the 1969 Woodstock festival, has died.

He was 68. Lee's website says he "passed away early this morning [Wednesday] after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure." An assistant to his daughter also confirmed the news to NPR.

His band's biggest hit — "I'd Love to Change the World" — came a couple years after Woodstock. We'll embed a clip from that.

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8:49 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Magazine ranks Battle Creek among best for business development

Lead in text: 
Site Selection Magazine ranked cities based on number of business development projects in 2012
Battle Creek and another nearby city came in near the top of a national ranking based on business development in 2012. Battle Creek and Jackson tied for second place among metropolitan areas with populations under 200,000 in rankings released by Site Selection magazine. Both cities counted 13 projects last year.
The Two-Way
7:38 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Law Targets Sexual Violence On College Campuses

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 11:30 am

When President Obama signs an updated version of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday afternoon, the law will include new requirements for how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault.

Laura Dunn, who's been invited by the White House to attend, plans to be there.

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Fossils Suggest Giant Relatives Of Modern Camels Roamed The Canadian Arctic

Illustration of the High Arctic camel on Ellesmere Island during the Pliocene warm period, aboutthree-and-a-half million years ago. The camels lived in a boreal-type forest. The habitat includeslarch trees and the depiction is based on records of plant fossils found at nearby fossil deposits.
Julius Csotonyi

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Camels belong in the desert. That's what we've learned since grade school.

Today, NPR's Melissa Block talked to Natalia Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, who tells Melissa that fossils she has unearthed tell a different story.

The fossils, found on a frigid ridge in Canada's High Arctic, show that modern camels actually come from giant relatives that roamed the forests of Ellesmere Island 3.5 million years ago.

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Economy
5:58 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Time For The Fed To Take Away The Punch Bowl?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking Committee in Washington last month. Some analysts wonder if he and other policymakers have kept interest rates too low for too long.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The stock market's long climb from its recession bottom has some people concerned it may be a bubble about to burst — a bubble artificially pumped up by the Federal Reserve's easy-money policy. That's led to calls — even from within the Fed — for an end to the central bank's extraordinary efforts to keep interest rates low.

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Latin America
5:09 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Venezuela-U.S. Relations Could Thaw After Chavez

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We turn now to the last U.S. ambassador stationed in Venezuela. Patrick Duddy represented the U.S. first under the Bush administration then later under the Obama administration. He was once expelled from Caracas. Ambassador Duddy is now a visiting senior lecturer at Duke University's Center for International Studies. When we spoke today, I asked him what it was like for him to be an ambassador to Venezuela under Chavez.

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Music News
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Britain's Brass Bands: A Working-Class Tradition On The Wane

Cornetist Adam Rosbottom rehearses with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in January. The band was founded in South Yorkshire, England, in 1917.
Christopher Werth

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The world often feels full of fading traditions, from drive-in movie theaters to the dying art of good old-fashioned letter writing.

For the British, add brass bands to that list. Traditional brass bands have played an important cultural role in working-class British communities for centuries. But some warn that without funding, they could become a thing of the past.

Take the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in South Yorkshire. The band was originally formed in 1917, and nearly 100 years later, a group of tuba, euphonium and other horn players still bears the band's name.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Hear That? In A Din Of Voices, Our Brains Can Tune In To One

Scientists say that understanding how the cocktail party effect works could help people who have trouble deciphering sounds in a noisy environment. Guests make it look easy at a Dolce and Gabbana Lounge party in London in 2010.
Paul Jeffers AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Scientists are beginning to understand how people tune in to a single voice in a crowded, noisy room.

This ability, known as the "cocktail party effect," appears to rely on areas of the brain that have completely filtered out unwanted sounds, researchers report in the journal Neuron. So when a person decides to focus on a particular speaker, other speakers "have no representation in those [brain] areas," says Elana Zion Golumbic of Columbia University.

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Planet Money
3:27 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

If The Catholic Church Were A Business, How Would You Fix It?

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has officially gone into retirement, the next leader of the Catholic Church has a lot to consider, including finances.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The next pope will be the spiritual leader of the world's Catholics. He will also be leading a multibillion-dollar financial empire. And from a business perspective, the Catholic Church is struggling.

We talked to several people who study the business of the church. Here are a few of the issues they pointed out.

1. Globally, the church's employees are in the wrong place.

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Latin America
2:56 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Cubans Wonder If Aid Will Still Flow Following Death Of Chavez

Cuba's Fidel Castro was a mentor to Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelan leader provided oil and other assistance to Cuba. The two men met in Havana in June 2011 when Chavez went for cancer treatment.
Granma AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an especially tough blow for Cuba, whose feeble state-run economy has been propped up for more than a decade with Venezuelan oil shipments and other subsidies.

The Castro government has declared three days of mourning, calling Chavez "a son" of Cuba, but privately Cubans are quietly fretting about the potential loss of billions in trade and the threat of a new economic crisis.

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Around the Nation
2:33 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Supreme Court's 'Heavyweight'

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses during a group photo in September 2009 in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

In his profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this week's issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin writes: "Ginsburg has suggested that she would like to serve as long as Louis Brandeis, her judicial hero, who retired at eighty-two." Ginsburg turns 80 this month and is marking her 20th year on the court. She has had cancer — colon and pancreatic — and her tiny, frail-looking stature leads many people to wonder if she'll be retiring soon.

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Books
2:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

A Fiendish Fly Recalls Kafka In 'Jacob's Folly'

iStockphoto.com

Man awakens to find out he has turned into an insect. And the Double Jeopardy question is, "What is Kafka's The Metamorphosis?" Well, what other response could there possibly be? Kafka all but cornered the market on that verminous plot in 1915; although, after nearly 100 years, the exclusivity clause may be about to expire. It takes a gutsy writer to pad in Gregor Samsa's sticky steps, but, by now, Rebecca Miller is clearly used to coping with the anxiety of influence and staying true to her own vision.

Read more
2:24 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Kalamazoo Guard unit to return from Afghanistan

Lead in text: 
The state Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs says more than 700 Michigan National Guard members are currently deployed around the world.
PORTAGE, MI - More than 160 local soldiers will return home on Saturday after a 10-month deployment in Afghanistan. The 507th Engineer Battalion will be greeted with a homecoming event scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Portage Central High School's gymnasium, 8135 S Westnedge Ave, Portage. The event is open to the public.
Latin America
2:06 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Hugo Chavez: The Legacy Of A Polarizing Leader

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 2:12 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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Politics
2:05 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

The Political Fallout Of Sequestration

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary in Washington. Jeb Bush switches his views, Romney remarks on his regrets, and the president says he can't call on the force. It's Wednesday and time for...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A Jedi mind meld...

NEARY: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

After Chavez, What's Next For Venezuela

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary.

And as I've just mentioned, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday. He led his country for 14 years. A passionate defender of the poor, Chavez had closed ties with Cuba's Fidel Castro, but alienated the United States with his socialist agenda. His politics reverberated throughout the region.

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:55 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Choices Between Work And Home Still A Problem

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 4:01 pm

Finally today, I read this sentence a couple of weeks ago and I've been thinking about it since: "When you can't change what's bothering you, a typical response is to convince yourself it's not really bothering you."

Let me try that again: "When you can't change what's bothering you, a typical response is to convince yourself it's not really bothering you."

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Latin America
11:55 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Any Praise For Hugo Chavez?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, officials in a number of major cities around the country are looking to close public schools to save money, but some parents and activists say the cost of that move is higher than you might think. We'll talk with a reporter and an activist in her city in just a minute.

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Education
11:55 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Where Kids Go When Neighborhood Schools Close

A rash of public school closings in some U.S. cities has parents and teachers reeling. School officials say the closings are needed to save money, but some argue it's a form of discrimination. Host Michel Martin talks with a Chicago reporter and a Philadelphia activist about how the closings could affect students and local communities.

Africa
7:48 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Hot Coffee Thwarts Robbery Attempt

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This story starts as a business transaction in West Haven, Connecticut. A man ordered coffee at a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts. Then, according to NBC Connecticut, he announced a robbery and tried to climb through the window. Luckily, his hot coffee was ready so the clerk threw it in his face. She followed that with a whole pot. The man fled and the clerk recalled the Dunkin Donuts slogan: Go run on Dunkin, she called after him. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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