I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. First of all, you might be noticing that the program sounds a little bit different today. We are having some technical difficulties that are not allowing us to play some of the music and other elements you're used to hearing. But we're still going to have great conversations.
Presidential speeches are usually meant to inspire — and sometimes challenge — Americans. Host Michel Martin continues her State of the Union conversation with a group of diverse people: Oakland Lewis, who is looking for work, Gaby Pacheco, an immigrant rights activist, and Trei Dudley, a college student.
Beginning March 1st, many people who receive social security and other federal benefits will no longer receive paper checks. The Treasury Department says sending payments electronically will save nearly a billion dollars. But some experts say it could affect the "un-banked." Host Michel Martin talks with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:32 pm
Cans of the popular flavored malt beverage Four Loko will soon sport an "Alcohol Facts" label to make it plain they pack a potent punch.
The changes are part of a final settlement announced Tuesday between the Federal Trade Commission and Phusion Projects, whose products have been blamed for hospitalizations and deaths among young people.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Republican Senator Marco Rubio delivered the Republican reply to the State of the Union. In mid-critique, Rubio wanted water but water was out of reach. The senator ducked down, reached off screen, found it, sipped it and resumed. But the Twittersphere had left the building. Water tweets flooded the nation. Rubio tweeted too - a picture of his water bottle. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
NPR's Kirk Siegler, reporting for the NPR Newscast
We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:25 p.m. ET.
While authorities have canceled the "tactical alert" that had been in place during the manhunt for accused killer Christopher Jordan Dorner, the case has not been closed because it's not absolutely certain that Dorner is dead, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman just told reporters.
So, Los Angeles police officers and their families who have been under protection while Dorner was on the run will continue to get that protection until his death has been confirmed.
In New York, it's hard to get a dinner reservation to a trendy restaurant on Valentine's Day. And apparently, for hipsters in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood, it can be tough to get a spot on a romantic tour of a sewage treatment plant. New York's Department of Environmental Protection says this Valentine's Day, it had to add an extra tour because of the demand. Why the sewage plant tour is so trendy? Hmm, maybe the pheromones.
Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep and NPR reporters give a "close read" of President Obama's State of the Union speech. In some cases they are checking facts. In others, they are asking what some parts of the speech really mean.
Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.
Retirement isn't what it used to be, or even when it used to be.
U.S. companies that have their networks routinely penetrated and their trade secrets stolen cannot be surprised by a new National Intelligence Estimate on the cyber-espionage threat. The classified NIE, the first-ever focusing on cybersecurity, concludes that the U.S. is the target of a major espionage campaign, with China the leading culprit.
Tunisian soldiers stand guard as a woman holds up a poster featuring opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession in a suburb of Tunis on Feb. 8. Belaid's assassination has laid bare the political rifts in post-revolutionary Tunisia.
The political crisis in Tunisia is deepening after last week's murder of a prominent secular politician. Tunisians are increasingly divided over their country's government and future, just two years after collectively overthrowing the dictator in a popular revolution.
Katherine Webb (left), the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, and McCarron's mother, Dee Dee Bonner (second from left), watch McCarron celebrate after the BCS National Championship college football game on Jan. 7. Webb was caught on camera and announcer Brent Musburger enthusiastically remarked that quarterbacks "get all the good-looking women." ESPN later apologized.
Gentlemen of a certain age might make a nostalgic note that today, Valentine's eve, is the 80th birthday of Kim Novak.
One of Miss Novak's most famous movie roles was in Picnic, where she played the gorgeous ingenue who could've married the son of the richest man in town but instead fell for a hunk of a bum who was an old football star.
Picnic is being revived on Broadway, as is Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, where — guess what? — Maggie, played by the beautiful Scarlett Johansson, is married to a hunk of a bum who is a former football star.
A Hindu devotee prays after a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati -- during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Sunday.
Credit Anoo Bhuyan / for NPR
The Kumbh Mela is one of the rare times that sadhu nagas make themselves known. Many of these ascetics live in forests and villages, and have little contact with ordinary Indians. Their population is dwindling, as young devotees prefer not to pursue a life of deprivation.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
An Indian devotee holds an offering at the Sangam.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
A father dips his son into the holy waters.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
Naga sadhus, naked holy men, walk in procession after bathing on the auspicious day of Mauni Amavasya on Sunday.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
Hindu devotees cram as they board their train Monday at Allahabad train station, the site of Sunday's stampede. Thirty-seven people were killed in the stampede.
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
Hindu devotees wait Monday to board a train at the site of Sunday's stampede. Survivors blamed the tragedy on baton-charging police and the slow response of medics.
Credit Anoo Bhuyan / NPR
A man blows a horn in celebration during the daylong procession that drew 30 million devotees Sunday, the most auspicious day of the 55-day-long Hindu festival.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
Pilgrims make their way over pontoon bridges.
Credit Julie McCarthy/NPR
A naga sadhu smeared in ash serves up the early morning tea for his akhara, or sect, one of 13 that has its own camp on the 20-square-mile grounds.
Credit Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP
A Hindu devotee prays after a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati — during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Sunday.
Credit Anoo Bhuyan for NPR
An officer guards the purses of pilgrims who came to pay homage to the holy waters at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, a Hindu nun, edited the Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
The Hindu gathering known as Kumbh Mela is on a scale difficult to fathom: The world's largest religious festival is millions of feet shuffling, millions of mantras chanted, countless sales of firewood to ward off the night cold. Millions of incense sticks will be burned and bells rung in devotional rituals called aartis.
Jet-setting swamis, naked holy men and foreigners fascinated by Eastern mysticism joined tens of millions of pilgrims for a dip in river waters believed to be holy.
Kirk Siegler talks to Melissa Block for an update on the search for former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner. A man that authorities identified as Dorner was holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of officers surrounded the home. Dorner is wanted for questioning in three murders and one attempted murder.
One of the long-standing knocks against electric cars is that it can be hard for the machines to hold a charge in cold weather. That's exactly what New York Times reporter John Broder says he found when he took a Tesla Model S on a road trip from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut.
Fifty years ago, the White House was the site of an unusual party.
It was a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation's centennial, held on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and many of the guests were descendants of the people Lincoln's historic document freed.
But noticeably absent was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights leader had declined the invitation after earlier conversations with President Kennedy about segregation had yielded few results.
Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.
NBCUniversal owns several familiar news and entertainment brands, including NBC, CNBC, Universal Pictures, Telemundo, USA Network and Universal Parks and Resorts.
President Obama is expected to put specifics behind the vision he outlined in his inaugural address a few weeks ago. Get live updates from the speech and join NPR journalists in analyzing what it could mean for the future.
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A common vitamin supplement appears to dramatically reduce a woman's risk of having a child with autism.
A study of more than 85,000 women in Norway found that those who started taking folic acid before getting pregnant were about 40 percent less likely to have a child who developed the disorder, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
President Obama began last year's State of the Union address by recognizing recently returned Iraq War veterans, adding: "At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known." Expect more historical references in Obama's Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress.
Sometimes the best way to advance an argument is by looking back.
President Obama's second inaugural address was filled with historical allusions. His State of the Union address on Tuesday, which will lay out a long list of agenda items for the year and his second term, is likely to employ fewer references to the past.
North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test is much more powerful than the previous two, according to estimates made by instruments that measure seismic waves from the blast. It's about the size of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in World War II.
But it's not so easy to verify the claim that the nuclear explosive has also been miniaturized. That's a critical claim because a small warhead would be essential if the rogue regime chose to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.
Big bombs are easier to make, but they aren't all that useful as a threat.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:20 pm
Plenty of people are ready to offer advice on noshing options when it comes to the Super Bowl. But what do you serve when the occasion for gathering in front of our screens is President Obama's State of the Union address?
When NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro posed that question to his 125,000 Facebook followers earlier Tuesday, plenty of people jumped at the chance to toss off a bon mot.* Among our favorites: