Europe
3:25 am
Thu December 20, 2012

In A French Village, Protection From The Apocalypse

Doomsayers claim the French village of Bugarach, population 200, will be spared when the world supposedly ends Friday.
Guillaume Horcajuelo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:37 am

Friday is the last day of a 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar, sparking talk about the possible end of the world. About two years ago, a rumor began circulating on the Internet that the French village of Bugarach, population 200, would be the only place to survive this apocalypse.

But despite many news stories of people flocking to the village, less than two weeks before "doomsday," there was no one on the streets. Houses were shuttered against the cold.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Robert Bork's Supreme Court Nomination 'Changed Everything, Maybe Forever'

Robert Bork, nominated by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing, Sept. 15, 1987.
John Duricka AP

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:31 pm

Robert Bork, whose failed Supreme Court nomination provoked a lasting partisan divide over judicial nominations, died Wednesday at age 85.

A former federal judge and conservative legal theorist, he subsequently became a hero to modern-day conservatives. And as solicitor general in the Nixon administration, he played a small but crucial role in the Watergate crisis. In what came to be known as the Saturday Night Massacre, he fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox after the attorney general and deputy attorney general refused President Nixon's firing order and quit.

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Shots - Health News
4:35 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

How The U.S. Stopped Malaria, One Cartoon At A Time

The U.S. Army distributed a monthly pinup calendar to GIs, which encouraged them to protect themselves from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Cartoon by Frank Mack for the U.S. Army. Courtesy of the Images from the History of Medicine.

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:28 pm

"Her business is robbery and coldblooded murder ... they call her Annie Awful ... She's a thief and a killer. She stops at nothing."

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Planet Money
4:31 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Without Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 4:31 pm

There are 760 million Christian children in the world, according to the Pew Research Center. Suppose Santa delivers one gift to each child. What kind of delivery workforce would Santa need?

We couldn't get an interview with Santa. But we did get Paul Tronsor from FedEx and Mike Mangeot from UPS. They helped us go through the numbers.

Here are just a few of the positions Santa would need to fill to pull off Christmas. (Note: For the complete list, see the graphic at the bottom.)

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Robert Christgau contributes regular music reviews to All Things Considered.

Music Reviews
4:06 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Homeboy Sandman: A Rapper Leaves Law Behind

Homeboy Sandman's fourth album is called First of a Living Breed.
Gavin Thomas Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:43 pm

The bare facts of Homeboy Sandman's back story don't sound very hip-hop: prep school in New Hampshire, Ivy League B.A., even some pieces for The Huffington Post. But, as is often the case with class and race in America, bare facts don't tell the whole story.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:58 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

In 'Red Pyramid,' Kid Heroes Take On Ancient Egypt

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:43 pm

If there was a recipe for the best-selling writer Rick Riordan, it would go something like this — start with a love of storytelling, fold in more than a decade of teaching middle school English, combine that with two sons of his own who don't quite share their dad's love of literature, and marinate all of that with a deep passion for mythology.

Riordan has sold tens of millions of kids' books. He hit pay dirt with the Percy Jackson series — it's about an everyday kid who has superhero powers because he's the secret son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

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Agent Orange Book
12:40 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

WMU Professor explores history of Agent Orange

A new book by a Western Michigan University Professor delves into the history of using Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. History Professor Ed Martini also deals with the aftermath of the herbicide in his book Agent Orange: History, Science and the Politics of Uncertainty

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Kalamazoo City Budget
12:06 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell says state's funding of cities needs to change

Bobby Hopewell - file photo

The city of Kalamazoo has a public hearing scheduled for Monday December 17th regarding the budget for fiscal year 2013. The city’s schedule calls for the spending plan to be adopted January 7th. WMUK’s Gordon Evans spoke with Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell. Hopewell calls it “a holding pattern budget” because fourth quarter financial reports will tell the city how much its early retirement program has affected the bottom line. He says the city also has to adjust to the state’s recent actions to phase out the personal property tax. 

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Beauty Shop
11:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Newtown: How Much Media Coverage Is Too Much?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, when rap pioneer Run from the group Run-DMC decided to get active in church, he had no idea how far it would go. We'll talk with him about his transition from rapping to preaching. That's later in the program.

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Economy
11:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Why Not Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?

The White House is promising to veto a new tax proposal from House Speaker John Boehner. But who's bluffing and what's believable when it comes to fiscal negotiations? And what happens if talks break down? For Tell Me More's 'Why Not?' series, host Michel Martin takes a look at what might be on the other side of the fiscal cliff.

Can I Just Tell You?
11:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

What Do Polio And Gun Violence Have In Common?

Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:22 pm

In thinking about the last week's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I keep coming upon the word epidemic. While the death of one child is too many, the death of nearly two dozen in one place, of hundreds in the span of a year — especially by violence, is intolerable. Or at least it should be.

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WMU President John Dunn
9:02 am
Wed December 19, 2012

WMU President John Dunn discusses East campus, security and more

John Dunn File Photo
Credit WMUK

Western Michigan University President John Dunn sat down on Tuesday with WMUK’s Gordon Evans and Mlive/Kalamazoo Gazette reporter Ursula Zerilli to discuss a wide range of issues. 

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Around the Nation
6:43 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Oregon Man Advertises For Wife

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
6:37 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Lottery Winners Donate To School's Football Stadium

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR Story
5:08 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Capitol Hill Reaction To Gun Mayhem Varies

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Even before the events of the last few days, Congress had a busy agenda. Lawmakers are negotiating over taxes and spending that could affect the economy in the year ahead, not to mention almost every part of the federal government and the take-home pay for millions of Americans.

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NPR Story
4:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Gunmen In Pakistan Target Polio Vaccinators

Rukhsana Bibi (center) mourns for her daughter, polio worker Madiha Bibi, killed by unknown gunmen, at a local hospital in Karachi on Tuesday. Gunmen staged additional attacks Wednesday.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Pakistani gunmen staged new attacks Wednesday on health workers carrying out a nationwide polio vaccination program. Six workers were killed Tuesday as they went house to house to administer the immunizations to area children in Karachi and the northwest city of Peshawar.

Although there were additional attacks, the Pakistani government vowed to continue the vaccination campaign — and eradicate the disease — even if there is bloodshed.

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NPR Story
4:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a global bank settlement.

It's the big Swiss bank, UBS. It announced this morning that it will pay a total of $1.5 billion in fines for its role in rigging the interbank lending rate known as LIBOR. The settlement will be paid to Swiss, British and American regulators.

NPR Story
4:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Credit Rating Upgrade Is Good News For Greece

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Greece got a rare bit of good news late yesterday. Standard and Poor's upgraded the country's credit rating six notches to a B minus. I mean, not the worst grade on your report card, but in the financial world this is junk bond status.

Still, Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens that there is a more stable outlook.

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It's All Politics
3:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Single-Issue Solidarity Behind NRA's Clout

A visitor handles a revolver at a Smith & Wesson display during the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits on April 14 at America's Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

The National Rifle Association says it will hold a major news conference Friday — a week after the school massacre in Connecticut — and that it is "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

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Music
3:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Country Singer Sammy Kershaw's Cajun Christmas

Sammy Kershaw's new album of Cajun holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

If the sheer variety of holiday music that pops up each winter is any indication, there's no genre that can't handle a little Christmas spirit. This year, Louisiana country singer Sammy Kershaw decided to test that theory with the sounds of the bayou. His new album of Cajun-infused holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.

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Books News & Features
3:49 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Time For Gun Owners To Be Good Sports About Gun Restrictions

Frank Deford says those who have the potential to reduce the gun violence are people who own guns and who are good sports.
LeightonPhotography iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

I've never had any interest in hunting. Among other things, I'm a terrible shot, but I have friends who hunt, and it appears to me to be a perfectly reasonable sports hobby — certainly every bit as honorable as fantasy football. Moreover, shooting a deer or a duck with a bullet seems to me no more inhuman than catching a trout or a marlin with a hook.

Oh, sometimes I get a little piqued that those who hunt and fish are ennobled as "sportsmen," while people who play golf are just golfers and people who bowl are just bowlers. But then, that's just me being picayune.

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All Tech Considered
6:28 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

The Day Instagram Almost Lost Its Innocence

Instagram was the target of a storm of outrage on Twitter and other sites after the company announced a change in its user agreement that hinted that it might use shared photos in ads.
Karly Domb Sadof AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

The wildly popular photo-sharing site Instagram nearly caused a user revolt when it revamped its terms of service and privacy policy to suggest it could allow uploaded photos to be used in ads without users' permission.

The change — which was posted in dense legalese on its website Monday — sparked users to vow to stop posting their color-filtered, tilt-shifted photos to Instagram.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
5:01 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Mich. Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Weapons In Schools

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Spirit Of The Season
4:38 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

At A Real-Life Santa's Workshop, Christmas Comes Early

Lou Nasti runs a factory in Brooklyn that makes animatronic Christmas displays. He's been at it for almost 44 years.
Neda Ulaby NPR

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

"Everyone calls me Geppetto," announces Lou Nasti. "I mean, look at me: The glasses, the gray hair — and I play with dolls. Come on."

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Asia
4:30 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Rape Case In India Provokes Widespread Outrage

Indian women and children in New Delhi stage a protest Tuesday to condemn the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a city bus.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

The gang rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi has touched off outrage and soul-searching in the increasingly unsafe Indian capital.

Spontaneous protests have erupted, while anguished members of Parliament decried the attack.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

How Much Good Can You Do? There's A Calculator For That

Toby Ord, founder of Giving What We Can.
Giving What We Can

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

This time of year, many are thinking about giving to one charity or another and wondering just how much good their donations will do.

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Julie Rose has been reporting for WFAE since January 2008, covering everything from political scandal and bank bailouts to homelessness and the arts.  She's a two-time winner of a national Edward R. Murrow Award for radio writing. Prior to WFAE, Julie reported for KCPW in Salt Lake City where she got her start in radio.  Before that, she was a nonprofit fundraiser and a public relations manager in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It took a few career changes, but Julie finally found her calling in public radio reporting because she gets paid to do what she does best â

The Salt
2:36 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

One Airport's Trash Is 2 Million Worms' Treasure

Charlotte Douglas International Airport has deployed an army of 1.9 million worms to eat through its organic waste. The airport has reduced the trash it sends to the landfill by 70 percent.
Julie Rose

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

Food waste is not just a problem for restaurants — airports also have to deal with piles of this kind of garbage.

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