NPR News

Pages

The Two-Way
7:13 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Twin Toilets In Sochi: Some Wonder Why That's A Big Deal

The loo for two in Sochi: BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg snapped this picture in the men's room at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:54 am

Have you seen the "twin toilets" photo that's been swirling round the Internet the past couple of days?

Read more
The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu January 23, 2014

DOJ Alleges Fraudulent Security Checks By Firm That Vetted Snowden

Surveillance camera video of Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Alexis was one of thousands of individuals cleared by the firm known as USIS.
HO UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:41 pm

The private contractor that signed off on background checks for both NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis is being accused of fraud by the Justice Department for allegedly submitting more than 650,000 incomplete investigations.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 7:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

Read more
The Two-Way
5:08 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Many Missing After Massive Fire At Seniors' Home In Quebec

A firefighter walks past the Residence du Havre after the fire in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least three people died in the blaze at the seniors' home. Early reports were that another 30 people were missing.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 10:39 am

"Three people are dead and 30 people are unaccounted for after an overnight fire broke out at a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec," the CBC reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:47 am
Thu January 23, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Warn They'll Go 'On The Attack'

A protester walks pass burning tires in central Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:24 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.

Read more
Code Switch
2:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

A Different Kind Of Catholicism Grows In Latino Communities

Worshippers are brought to tears at the Wednesday night Charismatic prayer meetings at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in the Bronx, New York City.
Marlon Bishop Latino USA

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:48 pm

In the Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx, Wednesday night is prayer meeting night.

Fifty people gather in the spare assembly room for a ceremony that looks very different from a Catholic Sunday Mass.

For one thing, the service is led by a woman rather than a male priest. She preaches excitedly while a rock band of young Salvadoran immigrants backs her up.

Some people in the audience hold up their hands; others are swaying gently. There are tears in the crowd.

Suddenly, the woman stops speaking in Spanish and begins speaking in tongues.

Read more
NPR Story
2:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Danish TV Drama Sparks Discussions On Wills

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wow. For all we know this could be the next European TV program to become a hit in the United States. You've heard of "Downton Abbey," this program goes a little more continental. The program by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is spreading to other countries, sparking a discussion of the edgy subject of inheritance.

Sidsel Overgaard reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, THE LEGACY)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

Read more
NPR Story
2:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Mexican National Executed For Texas Cop's Murder

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:20 am

Texas has executed a Mexican national for killing a Houston police officer in 1994. Mexico opposes the death penalty and the execution revived a long-running diplomatic row between the United States and Mexico.

NPR Story
2:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Ukraine Opposition Tries To Force Yanukovych From Office

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Protesters in Ukraine have given their country's president an ultimatum. They say he must call early elections or unrest will grow even worse. This country of 45 million people is fighting over which way it leans - toward European nations to the West or eastward toward Russia, which once controlled Ukraine. Protests began when the president gave in to Russian pressure to block a trade deal with the European Union. And those protests have turned deadly this week with at least two people killed - more by some estimates.

Read more
Europe
12:47 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Spain Exits Bailout In A Sign Of Progress, Not Full Recovery

Shareholders protest bank practices at the headquarters of Spain's largest mortgage lender, Bankia, in Madrid on June 23, 2012, at the height of the country's banking crisis. Europe stepped in at that time with $56 billion in loans to help the banking system.
Andrea Comas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:47 pm

Spain's banking system on Thursday is marking an end to its reliance on bailout loans from Europe that were desperately needed 18 months ago to shore up its banks after a construction boom-and-bust.

Spain is now the second eurozone country to cleanly exit its bailout program, after Ireland.

It's a dramatic difference from a year and a half ago, when demonstrations erupted outside banks in Spain almost daily. At the time, record numbers of Spaniards were losing their homes in foreclosure. Unemployment soared past 25 percent and kept rising.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:43 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Hudson High Jinks: 2 States, 1 Port Authority, Lots Of Politics

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey manages the biggest port on the East Coast, along with three major airports, the key bridges and tunnels across the Hudson River, bus and rail lines, and even the World Trade Center site.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:11 am

If you don't live in the Northeast, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey may sound like just another obscure government agency. But it's suddenly been in the spotlight because of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

The agency's name is a bit of an understatement. The Port Authority manages the biggest port on the East Coast, along with three major airports, the key bridges and tunnels across the Hudson River, bus and rail lines, and even the World Trade Center site.

Read more
All Tech Considered
12:42 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Target Hack A Tipping Point In Moving Away From Magnetic Stripes

A cryptographic chip embedded in a British debit card. America is nearly alone in still relying on magnetic stripes to authenticate purchases.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 12:01 pm

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

Read more
Sports
12:40 am
Thu January 23, 2014

7 Facts And 3 GIFs: Hellooo Curling

Potomac Curling Club members (from left) Miriam Terninko, Christopher Richard, Joe Rockenbach and Henrique Kempenich await the arrival of stones to the house during a match Jan. 18 at National Capital Curling Center in Laurel, Md.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 10:39 am

Most of the sports in the Winter Olympics involve great physical strength or agility. The goals are easy to understand: to go faster, to jump farther or more spectacularly. But one Olympic sport — curling — is as much about strategy and physics as physicality.

Read more
Parallels
12:39 am
Thu January 23, 2014

From The Trenches To The Web: British WWI Diaries Digitized

The British National Archives has digitized and posted online about 1.5 million pages of diaries from soldiers and units that fought in World War I. Here, a photo of the 12th (Prince of Wales') Lancers Group.
From a private collection, provided courtesy of the National Archives

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:37 am

On the outskirts of London, in a basement room of the British National Archives, a historian delicately turns pages that have the brittle feel of dead leaves. Each is covered in text — some typewritten, some in spidery handwriting from a pen that scratched across the page 100 years ago.

"Saturday, the 26th of September, 1914," reads one. "The most ghastly day of my life. And yet one of my proudest, because my regiment did its job and held on against heavy odds."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:43 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Post-9/11 Panel Criticizes NSA Phone Data Collection

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:21 am

An independent panel created after the 9/11 attacks says bulk collection of billions of American phone records violates the letter and the spirit of the law.

The new report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board undercuts the foundation of the National Security Agency's long-running phone metadata program, and suggests it conflicts with plain language in the Patriot Act and other laws on the books.

NPR obtained a copy of the report, which will be discussed and voted on Thursday at an open board meeting.

Read more

Pages