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Parallels
2:54 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Holy Smokes, Batman, You're Protesting In Brazil!

An anti-government demonstrator dressed as Batman carries a Brazilian flag at a protest during Brazil's Independence Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month. The protesters called on the government to provide better security, education, health and public services.
Ricardo Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:52 am

It's not Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but people are dressing up anyway.

A group of Brazilian protesters have been coming out in costume at demonstrations against Rio's governor, Sergio Cabral. There's the masked crusader Batman, of course, but also a motley assortment of other characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

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Politics
2:43 am
Sun September 29, 2013

House Vote Brings Government To The Verge Of A Shutdown

The lights are on at the Capitol as the House of Representatives works into the night Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 8:22 am

Shortly after midnight Sunday morning, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would keep the government's lights on. It would also delay the Affordable Care Act for a year, making the legislation a non-starter for Senate Democrats and the president.

The ball is back in the Senate's court now, with fewer than 40 hours until a government shutdown begins.

The House bill does three things. First, it's a temporary measure to keep government operations funded through the middle of December.

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U.S.
2:35 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Insurance Exchanges Will Open To Scrutiny, Curiosity, Confusion

Workers at a Minnesota health care exchange prepare for opening day on Tuesday.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:51 am

Tuesday is a big day for the White House. That's when new health insurance exchanges open in every state, where people can buy the insurance the Affordable Care Act requires next year. They will also see if they qualify for new subsidies to help them afford it.

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Health Care
3:52 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

The Religious Alternative To Obamacare's Individual Mandate

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:54 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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Author Interviews
3:31 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 4:10 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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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

NSA Reportedly Uses Data To Chart Americans' Social Ties

Efforts by the National Security Agency to track potential suspects and find connections between them have led the agency to collate its reams of data with information drawn from sources that include GPS locators and Facebook profiles, according to The New York Times. The newspaper cites documents provided by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contract worker, as well as interview with officials.

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World
2:18 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 4:25 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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Pop Culture
2:18 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 3:52 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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Music
2:18 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 3:52 pm

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

Report On Arizona Hotshots' Deaths Finds A Communications Gap

A map shows the movements of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew as they fought the Yarnell Hill fire in late June.
Arizona State Forestry Division

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 1:40 pm

The 19 firefighters who died after being trapped by an Arizona wildfire in late June were only about 600 yards from a designated safety zone at a ranch, according to a task force formed by the Arizona State Forestry Division to investigate the firefighters' deaths.

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Parallels
1:03 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

Two Young Girls, A World Apart, United By Twin Tragedies

The author's daughter, right, with her friend Banita. The two girls lived next door to each other in Nairobi.
Courtesty of David McGuffin

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:53 am

When the Navy Yard mass shooting took place in Washington on Sept. 16, my 10-year-old daughter got a one line e-mail from her best friend in Nairobi, where we used to live. It read: "r u ok."

Her friend Banita had seen the news on television in Kenya. She was worried. My daughter wrote back that she was fine. We now live in Washington, but miles away from the site of the latest mass killing here in the U.S.

In this globalized world, communications can bring quick comfort.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

Greek Neo-Nazi Party Arrests Follow High-Profile Murder

The leader of ultra-right wing Golden Dawn party Nikos Michaloliakos is escorted by masked police officers from the police headquarters in Athens on Saturday.
Angelos Tzortzinis AFP/Getty Images

Greek police arrested the leader of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party Saturday on charges of establishing a criminal organization. The police also issued warrants for more than 30 party members — including six members of parliament — on charges of murder, money laundering and other crimes.

Greek TV stations interrupted regular programming to show live scenes of the Golden Dawn members led away in handcuffs. It's the first time since 1974 — when a seven-year military dictatorship ended — that sitting members of parliament have been arrested.

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It's All Politics
12:04 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

My Governor Can Beat Up Your Governor (Or Thinks He Can)

In friendlier times, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in a 2011 panel discussion in Washington, D.C. At the time, O'Malley was chairman of the Democratic Governors Association; Perry was chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Now they're in a spat over Perry's efforts to lure Maryland businesses to Texas.
Alex Brandon AP

Rick Perry wants your business.

The Republican governor has been turning up in other states, touting the wonders of Texas and promising business owners they'll find lower taxes and more manageable regulation there.

"It does help get the word out to business leaders that may be frustrated," says David Carney, a longtime consultant to Perry. "Going in person can get literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of free media coverage."

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Book Reviews
11:49 am
Sat September 28, 2013

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

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 3:52 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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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Sat September 28, 2013

House Ties Government Funding To One-Year Obamacare Delay

Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives at the Capitol on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 5:52 am

Updated at 12:24 a.m. ET Sunday

The House voted early Sunday to tie government funding to a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare, sending the dispute back to the Senate, where it is certain to get a frosty reception. The House measure also repeals the Affordable Care Act's tax on medical devices.

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