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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Ukraine's Separatists To Proceed With Vote, Despite Putin

Pro-Russian separatists say they'll hold a referendum Sunday on seceding from Ukraine, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments that they should wait to hold the vote. Thursday, a gunman installs a banner reading "Do not forget, do not forgive!" in eastern Ukraine.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 1:55 pm

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told separatists in Ukraine they should postpone a referendum on secession, leaders of the group say they'll hold the vote this Sunday as planned.

The decision was announced by a committee heading the so-called Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine. The group held a news conference Thursday to say they would go ahead with plans to hold the vote.

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Politics
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., started what she calls power workshops for women in the Senate years ago.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 3:51 pm

There's a long-held assumption that women are more likely than men to collaborate. As the number of women in Congress has increased, however, so has the partisanship and gridlock. So does a woman's touch actually help on Capitol Hill?

There's a lot of academic research that supports the idea that women are better at building bipartisan coalitions. Studies have found that women in Congress not only sponsor more bills but also collect more co-sponsors for those bills.

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Politics
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Executioner's Lament

Dr. Jay Chapman, pictured here in 2007, developed the original formula for lethal injections with the intention of making executions in the U.S. more humane.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:47 pm

In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison, and five officers shot him.

The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs, based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock out the inmates, one to relax or paralyze them, and a final drug that would stop their hearts.

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The Seams
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Art Of A Lost American Couturier, On Display At The Met

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 3:32 pm

Thursday in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art officially reopens its fashion galleries after a $40 million, two-year renovation.

Named for Vogue magazine's editor, the Anna Wintour Costume Center features an inaugural exhibit of the work of Charles James, a flamboyant designer considered America's first couturier. This caps days of glamorous events at the Met, including the Costume Institute's benefit gala, presided over by Wintour — with Hollywood stars.

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It's All Politics
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

At Times All A President Can Say After Disaster Is, 'We're Here'

President Obama surveys tornado damage with Vilonia, Ark., resident Daniel Smith on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 8:53 am

Daniel Smith's house is barely standing after a tornado in Arkansas late last month killed 16 people. The EF4 tornado ripped a gash through the rural communities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were wiped clean to their slabs, businesses shredded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, President Obama went to see the damage for himself, and to meet with residents like Smith. It's a task that he and many presidents before him have had to do far too often.

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The Salt
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future

Wheat fields like this one could yield wheat with less zinc and iron in the future if they are exposed to higher levels of CO2, according to the journal Nature.
Zaharov Evgeniy iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:26 am

In the future, Earth's atmosphere is likely to include a whole lot more carbon dioxide. And many have been puzzling over what that may mean for the future of food crops. Now, scientists are reporting that some of the world's most important crops contain fewer crucial nutrients when they grow in such an environment.

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Science
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Civil War Invades An Elephant Sanctuary: One Researcher's Escape

A female forest elephant charges, in Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve in the Central African Republic.
Michael K. Nichols National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 9:14 am

Ivory poachers are killing some 22,000 African elephants a year. Among the recent casualties was a group of rare forest elephants in the Central African Republic.

Those elephants were featured in an NPR program, Radio Expeditions, in 2002, when former NPR host and correspondent Alex Chadwick and sound engineer Bill McQuay went to central Africa to record them.

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Law
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Legendary D.C. Law Firm To Pay Chevron In Ecuador Pollution Case

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 8:04 am

A long-running legal battle between a legendary Washington law and lobbying firm and a major oil company has been settled.

D.C.-based Patton Boggs has agreed to pay Chevron $15 million to settle a case that centers on pollution from drilling activity in the rainforests of Ecuador.

The case has gone on for more than four years, and the stakes were enormous for the two powerhouses.

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Africa
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

U.S. Team To Assist Nigeria In Locating Kidnapped School Girls

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk through what the United States may be able to do in searching for kidnapped girls in Nigeria. The U.S. has promised assistance, Nigerian officials have now accepted. This would involve the United State more overtly than before in fighting Boko Haram, the extremist group that says it took the girls.

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Code Switch
5:57 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

After 6 Decades, 'Jet' Magazine Decides To Go All-Digital

Jet magazine founder John H. Johnson started the publication to spotlight black achievements and report on events that he thought were important to black communities. But as the media and political landscape around Jet changed, the magazine struggled.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:33 pm

When I was growing up, my aunt used to stack dozens of magazines high on a side table at the top of her stairs. It was an accidental library of black magazines — lots of Ebony and Essence, the stray Black Enterprise here and there, but especially the digest-sized Jet. When I was at that age where kids want to consume every written word, I would blow through those old issues of Jet by the pile. That's probably the only real way to "read" Jet, since every article seemed to be shorter than 300 words. It was black news, bite-size.

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