Pittsburgh's NPR News Station

Pages

Around the Nation
4:36 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Ohio Kidnapper Ariel Castro Commits Suicide In Prison

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Just months after Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped from years of captivity in a house in Cleveland, their captor is dead. Ariel Castro was found hanging in his prison cell last night. His death has now been ruled a suicide. From member station WCPN, Nick Castele reports.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:45 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

The Inside Story On The Fear Of Holes

Beautiful or creepy? A recent survey found that an image of a lotus seed head makes about 15 percent of people uncomfortable or even repulsed.
tanakawho Flickr.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:25 am

Trypophobia may be moving out of the urban dictionary and into the scientific literature.

A recent study in the peer-review journal Psychological Science takes a first crack at explaining why some people may suffer from a fear of holes.

Trypophobia may be hard to find in textbooks and diagnostic manuals, but a brief Web search will show that plenty of people appear to have it.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Senate Panel Passes Authorization For Force Against Syria

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., listens as the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, speaks before Wednesday's vote.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 8:05 pm

A Senate panel has voted to approve a resolution giving President Obama the authority to carry out punitive strikes against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the authorization by a 10-7 vote, with one senator voting present. The measure must be passed by a vote of the full Senate to come into force. The vote is likely to take place next week.

The vote marks the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 vote giving President George W. Bush authority to invade Iraq.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Skeptical Democrat Takes A Stand Against Striking Syria

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., arrives to register for orientation as newly elected members of Congress descend on Capitol Hill on Nov. 13, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:16 pm

A majority of Congress remains undecided, at least publicly, about President Obama's plan to launch a military strike against Syria.

Not Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan. The 69-year-old Democrat is a firm "no" vote.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

U.S. Won't Enforce Laws Banning VA Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 7:03 pm

The Obama administration will stop enforcing two sections of a law that lays out benefits for U.S. veterans. The sections define marriage as between a man and woman and deny legally married same-sex couples Veterans Affairs benefits like health care and disability payments.

The Justice Department had in 2012 decided not to defend the statute in court. On Wednesday, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, Attorney General Eric Holder explained the executive branch was going a step further.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Economy Expanding At Moderate Rate, Fed Says

Doors for a Chevy Sonic hang on the assembly line at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in 2011.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 6:59 pm

The U.S. economy held steady with "modest to moderate" growth between early July and late August, as Americans bought more cars and auto factories ramped up hiring.

The Federal Reserve's so-called Beige Book, comprising reports from 12 geographic districts around the country, showed that manufacturing activity "expanded modestly" and that several districts reported that "demand for inputs related to autos, housing, and infrastructure were strong."

Read more
The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

S&P Accuses U.S. Of Suing To Retaliate For Credit Downgrade

The Justice Department claims Standard & Poor's knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk but still gave them positive ratings.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 6:03 pm

In a court filing, Standard & Poor's is accusing the U.S. government of using the Justice Department to retaliate for the agency's decision to downgrade U.S. debt in 2011.

The accusation by S&P was made while it tried to defend itself in a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. government, which alleges S&P knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk, but still gave them positive ratings.

Read more
Parallels
2:31 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

How Syria's Neighbors View A Possible Military Strike

Syrian refugees stand in line for food at Kawergost refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq, on Aug. 21. The Syrian civil war has already sparked a refugee crisis in the region. Now, many countries are waiting to see the effects of a possible U.S. military strike.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:12 am

Syria's neighbors have all felt the impact of the country's war, and they will be keeping a close eye on any U.S. military action against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

But, says Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "the reality is that they don't particularly see this [military action] by itself as being that critical."

Read more
Planet Money
2:07 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

The Nobel Laureate Who Figured Out How To Deal With Annoying People

"I've been wrong so often I don't find it extraordinary at all," Ronald Coase told us last year.
University of Chicago

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Update, Sept. 4: We added the audio for David Kestenbaum's radio obituary of Ronald Coase.

If you created the world as a simple economic thought experiment, companies wouldn't exist. Instead, everybody would work for themselves, and they'd be constantly selling their labor (or the fruits of their labor, or use of their tools, or whatever) to the highest bidder. Wages would rise and fall every day (every hour! every second!) depending on supply and demand. That's how the market works, after all.

Read more
Music News
1:57 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Everybody Loves John Fogerty

Wrote a Song for Everyone." href="/post/everybody-loves-john-fogerty" class="noexit lightbox">
John Fogerty teams up with Brad Paisley, whom he calls one of the greatest guitarists alive, in "Hot Rod Heart" on his new album, Wrote a Song for Everyone.
Benjamin Enos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Read more
Book Reviews
1:30 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

From McDermott, An Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 'Someone'

The main character of Alice McDermott's Someone grew up in 1920s and '30s New York.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 3:27 pm

Endurance, going the distance, sucking up the solitude and the brine: I'm not talking about the glorious Diana Nyad and her instantly historic swim from Cuba to Key West, but of the ordinary heroine whose life is the subject of Alice McDermott's latest novel, Someone. "Ordinary" is a word that's used a lot to describe McDermott's characters, mostly Irish and working class, mostly un-heroic in any splashy way.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Lights Out In Venezuela; President Blames Opposition Saboteurs

Fans wait for play to resume Tuesday at a FIBA World Cup qualifying basketball game in Caracas, Venezuela. A blackout left about 70 percent of the country without electricity.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:57 pm

Venezuela's President Nicholas Maduro said a massive power outage that plunged most of the country into darkness Tuesday, causing traffic chaos in the bustling capital of Caracas, was due to sabotage.

Officials said 70 percent of the country was without electricity, shutting down traffic lights and partially disrupting the underground transport system.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

As Pentagon Adds Bombing Options, Kerry Warns Assad

As Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, "Code Pink" protesters behind him held up "bloody hands" to express their opposition to the prospect of U.S. military strikes on Syria.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

"We are not asking America to go to war," Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee early Wednesday afternoon, as he and other top administration officials continued to push Congress to support President Obama's call for military strikes aimed at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Read more
Parallels
1:14 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

'We Are Next': Greek Jews Fear Rise Of Far-Right Party

Mois Yussuroum, a 94-year-old retired dentist, fought the Nazis as part of the Greek resistance during World War II. "Of the 650 Greek Jews who fought in the resistance, I'm the only one still alive," he says.
Joanna Kakissis/NPR

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:22 pm

No one has ever doubted Mois Yussuroum's patriotism. As part of the Greek resistance during World War II, he fought Benito Mussolini's fascist army and then the Nazis.

"The other resistance fighters didn't know I was Jewish," he says, since he used the name "Yiorgos Gazis" in case he was captured. "But my superiors did know, and they gave me many responsibilities, including making me a garrison commander."

Read more
U.S.
1:04 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Program Fights Gun Violence Bravado With 'Story Of Suffering'

Dr. Amy Goldberg explains the medical treatment Adams received after he was shot. Part of her demonstration involves placing stickers on a student volunteer to mark bullet entry and exit points.
Courtesy Jessica Kourkounis

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:06 pm

In 2004, 16-year-old Lamont Adams was shot more than a dozen times near his home in North Philadelphia. He was taken to Philadelphia's Temple University Hospital, where trauma unit head Dr. Amy Goldberg fought to save his life. Goldberg lost that battle and Lamont died shortly after arriving at the hospital, but after treating so many gun injuries and watching so many victims die, Goldberg decided to make a change.

Read more
Parallels
12:40 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

U.S. Competitiveness Up, Ranking Fifth, Survey Says

As the economy continues its recovery, the World Economic Forum's latest survey said U.S. global competitiveness is up after four years of decline.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:44 pm

U.S. competitiveness among global economies suffered after the 2008 global economic crisis. Four years after the crisis, the U.S. slipped in the World Economic Forum's annual competitiveness ranking. This year it's back up a bit: The U.S. rose to fifth position overall from seventh last year, in the forum's latest survey, which was released Wednesday.

Here's what the survey says about the U.S., the world's largest economy:

Read more
The Salt
12:37 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

A Greener Way To Cool Your Foods On The Way To The Grocery Store

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:13 pm

Your produce and frozen foods could soon arrive at grocery stores in trucks that release fewer emissions. Researchers are developing a clean technology to keep your food cool while it travels.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:33 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Chronic Illnesses Outpace Infections As Big Killers Worldwide

Percentage of deaths each year due to neonatal disorders around the globe.
Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 4:41 pm

People around the world are getting healthier and living longer.

Infectious diseases are declining around the globe. But at the same time, chronic health problems are on the rise, particularly in developing nations.

These are some of the key findings in the latest reports released by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Read more
All Tech Considered
12:10 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Data Marketers Know What You Bought Last Summer

The online purchases you make help form a data profile that marketers use to sell you more stuff. A new site lets you see what data the marketers have on you.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 4:09 pm

If you've ever wondered just how much marketing companies know about you, whether it's your education or income or purchase preferences, today you can see for yourself.

Read more
Beauty Shop
12:03 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Who Are The Smartest People On Twitter?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Sheila Bridges stood out for many reasons in her chosen field of interior design. Her celebrity client list, being African-American, but then she began to stand out in a way she did not want - she started losing her hair. We'll talk about how that changed her life and her focus. She talks about that in her new memoir "The Bald Mermaid." And we'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:58 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Texas, Mississippi National Guard Won't Process Same-Sex Claims

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, pictured last month in Orlando, Fla., has said the Texas National Guard must follow state law despite a Department of Defense policy directive on same-sex marriage benefits.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:39 pm

The Texas and Mississippi National Guards are refusing to process benefits claims for same-sex couples, despite a Department of Defense directive to the contrary.

Maj. Gen. John Nichols, commander of the Texas forces, made the announcement Tuesday, saying the state's Family Code conflicts with the Defense directive that was issued last month in response to a Supreme Court decision striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

Read more
Politics
11:58 am
Wed September 4, 2013

What Does America Think Of President Obama's 'Red Line?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend a good amount of time today hearing various points of view about how the U.S. and the international community should respond to events in Syria. Later, when we head into the Beauty Shop, we'll ask our panel of women journalists and commentators for their thoughts. And we also want to ask them about a list published by a business magazine of the smartest women on Twitter that was notably lacking in diversity. That's in just a few minutes.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:53 am
Wed September 4, 2013

So McCain Plays Games On His Phone When He's Bored; Do You?

Those are the hands and phone of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He gets bored sometimes, the lawmaker says. So, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, he played a little poker.
Melina Mara The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:32 pm

We were shocked, shocked to see a photo taken by The Washington Post's Melina Mara of Sen.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:34 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Sprinter Usain Bolt Says He'll Retire After 2016 Olympics

Usain Bolt of Jamaica sprints to victory and a new world record in the men's 4x100 meter relay at the 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Mark Dadswell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:16 pm

Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter widely regarded as the fastest man alive, says he's thinking about hanging up his running shoes after the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

The 27-year-old holds world records in the 100 and 200 meters and has six Olympic gold medals. But Bolt says that before retiring, he'd like to win gold in Rio de Janeiro as well as at next year's Commonwealth Games and best his own world record in the 200.

Read more
Parallels
10:56 am
Wed September 4, 2013

In Damascus, Anxiety, School Shopping And Soldiers Everywhere

Syrian boys walk on the rubble of a building in Damascus that was hit by what activists said was shelling by government forces. The threat of a possible U.S. strike has added to the sense of unease in the Syrian capital.
Bassam Khabieh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 1:29 pm

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.

A threatened U.S. military strike against Syria, now on hold, has left much of Damascus in limbo, filled with unease and uncertainty.

Since President Obama said that the Syrian government must be punished for allegedly using chemical weapons against its civilians, the capital has turned into one huge military barracks.

Read more

Pages