NPR News

Pages

2:50pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Economy

Back-To-School Shoppers Open Wallets, But Carefully

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:29 pm

Shoppers walk along Chicago's Michigan Avenue last month.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

After months of sitting on their wallets, Americans went shopping in July. The uptick reported Tuesday is boosting economists' hopes for a reasonably strong back-to-school season. And retailers are looking for clues about how the holiday shopping season will turn out later in the year.

"This is a good report," Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, wrote in an assessment of the latest report. "It indicates that consumers came back after hunkering down" during the year's first half when sales were "dismal."

Read more

2:49pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Europe

Germans Confront The Costs Of A Nuclear-Free Future

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

A worker on a newly constructed transmission tower near Buetzow, Germany, earlier this month. The German government plans to shut down nuclear power plants and is seeking to replace that production with power from renewable energy sources, especially wind turbines and solar parks. New power transmission lines will be needed.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

After Japan's Fukushima disaster last year, Germany announced a groundbreaking energy plan: It would phase out all of its domestic nuclear power in a decade and make a transition to safer, carbon neutral energy.

The goal is to have solar, wind and other renewables account for nearly 40 percent of the energy for Europe's largest economy in a decade, and 80 percent by 2050.

Read more

2:44pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Presidential Race

Tale Of The Tape: The VP And His Challenger

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:49 pm

Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Evan Vucci/Jae C. Hong AP

Who Is He?

Joe Biden: Biden, whose own presidential aspirations sputtered in 1988 and again in 2008, brought to the Democratic ticket foreign policy chops and an ability to relate to working-class voters. In his 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, he became known as more pragmatist than ideologue. He has also made a somewhat dubious name for himself because of his volubility and not infrequent verbal stumbles. But he has parlayed those potential liabilities into an effective, if occasionally unpredictable, campaign trail presence.

Read more

2:28pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Movie Interviews

Julie Delpy, Keeping It Real In '2 Days In New York'

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Julie Delpy stars in 2 Days in New York, which she also directed, produced and co-wrote.
Jojo Whilden Magnolia Pictures

Actress Julie Delpy first beguiled American audiences in 1995, playing the enigmatic French student in Richard Linklater's film Before Sunrise. Ever since, Delpy has enjoyed life on the Hollywood fringe, preferring indie projects where she can help shape her roles.

She co-wrote the Oscar-nominated script to Linklater's sequel, Before Sunset, and has also begun directing her own projects. For her latest, 2 Days in New York, she directed, produced and helped write the script.

Read more

2:22pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Family's Fight Against Bipolar Disorder Leads To Shock Therapy Success

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:56 pm

Linea Johnson, left, and her mother, Cinda, in May 2012 at the launch of their book on the family's struggle with Linea's bipolar disorder.
Tommy Voeten

The Mayo Clinic's confirmation Monday that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is receiving care there for bipolar depression is a reminder that the condition, which affects around 2.3 million Americans, can be treated.

But figuring out the right treatment for each patient can be a long and difficult road, as a new memoir called Perfect Chaos: A Daughter's Journey to Survive Bipolar, a Mother's Struggle to Save Her shows.

Read more

1:54pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Leader Of Anti-Semitic Party In Hungary Discovers He's Jewish

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 4:11 pm

There's a story out of Hungary that has received quite a bit of play from the religious press but hadn't quite risen to the mainstream until the AP ran a piece about it today.

It's quite dramatic with an incredible plot twist: One of the leaders of Hungary's Jobbik Party, which the Anti-Defamation League says is one of the few political parties in Europe to overtly campaign with anti-Semitic materials, has discovered that he is himself a Jew.

Read more

1:50pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Actor Ron Palillo Dies, He Was Horshack On 'Welcome Back, Kotter'

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:40 pm

Actor Ron Palillo, best known as Arnold Horshack.
Todd Williamson Getty Images for TV Land

"Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Mr. Kotter!"

If you watched TV in the '70s, you probably recognize that line.

So it's with some sadness that we pass along word that Ron Palillo, the actor who played Arnold Horshack on ABC-TV's Welcome Back, Kotter, has died in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Read more

12:58pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Multiple Suicide Attacks Cause Double-Digit Death Toll In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:01 pm

Suicide bombers struck in a normally peaceful area of southwestern Afghanistan today.

Read more

12:55pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Author Interviews

Climate 'Weirdness' Throws Ecosystems 'Out Of Kilter'

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:47 pm

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the past year through June 2012 has been the hottest year in the continental U.S. since modern record-keeping started in 1895. Above, New Yorkers flocked to Coney Island to try to beat the heat in early August.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Science journalist Michael Lemonick doesn't want to be a doomsday prophet, but he does want to be realistic about the threat of climate change. "Since I started writing about climate change all the way back in 1987, we've known what the cause is, we've known what the likely outcome is, and we've had time to act β€” and essentially we haven't acted," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Read more

12:50pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Commission Says Penn State's Accreditation Is 'In Jeopardy'

Penn State during the football team's media day in State College, Pa., on Thursday.
Gene J. Puskar AP

The commission in charge of accrediting universities in the Mid-Atlantic region has warned Penn State that if it doesn't make changes in light of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, it could lose its accreditation.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education put the university "on warning," the AP reports, saying that it wants a report on how the university is complying with integrity standards.

Read more

12:32pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Participation Nation

Blind Stokers Club In San Diego, Calif.

Captain and stoker in the BSC.
Evan Rasmussen Courtesy of the BSC

In tandem bicycle lingo, the captain is in the front, the stoker in the back.

The San Diego-based Blind Stokers Club, founded by Dave White, pairs sighted captains with blind stokers on high performance tandem bikes. As part of a year-round cycling program, members train for Cycling for Sight, a three-day, 200-mile event that benefits the San Diego Center for the Blind.

Read more

11:30am

Tue August 14, 2012
Arts & Life

With Ryan's Ascent, A Few Thoughts On 'Entitlement'

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:27 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan has made changes to social safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security β€” often called "entitlements" β€” a key part of his political agenda.
Win McNamee Getty Images

People are saying that Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate creates an opportunity to hold what Ryan likes to call an "adult conversation" about entitlement spending. In the present political climate, it would be heartening to have an adult conversation about anything. But bear in mind that "entitlement" doesn't put all its cards on the table. Like a lot of effective political language, it enables you to slip from one idea to another without ever letting on that you've changed the subject.

Read more

11:14am

Tue August 14, 2012
The Salt

Reach For The Fries? Apple Slices Recalled For Possible Listeria Contamination

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:29 am

This apple-topped salad is one of several products being recalled for potential contamination with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes
Ready Pac, Inc.

If you've been applauding yourself recently for choosing the apple slices over the french fries for your kid's fast food meal, or an apple-laden prepackaged salad for your own dinner, you might want to hit the pause button.

Read more

11:10am

Tue August 14, 2012
Around the Nation

Is Drought Slowly Killing US Farms?

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:13 pm

Farmers and ranchers continue to suffer from one of the country's worst droughts in 50 years. President Obama recently announced the government will buy up to $170 million of meat from farmers. But some say it's too little too late. Guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with Virginia farmer John Boyd and Harvest Public Media reporter Peggy Lowe.

11:10am

Tue August 14, 2012
Economy

Retail Sales Jump, But Are They High Enough?

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:30 pm

July saw the largest retail sales increase in months, according to the Commerce Department. But not all the news is rosy. NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax joins guest host Jacki Lyden to take a look at consumer spending and the "back to school" season.

Pages