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4:24 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

China's Growing Influence In Former Soviet Republics

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:38 pm

With China’s rapid rise as a global economic power, it’s become increasingly fashionable to talk about reviving the Old Silk Road: the interlocking series of routes — dating back to pre-Christian times — along which merchants, pilgrims and soldiers travelled from East to West.

The latest person to talk romantically that period is Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his first visit of neighboring Central Asian states in September.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

McDonald's President Was Caught Off Guard By Low-Wage, Single Mom

McDonald's USA President Jeff Stratton responds to an employee who burst into an event.
YouTube screengrab

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:11 pm

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The Salt
3:04 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

What's In That Chicken Nugget? Maybe You Don't Want To Know

Chicken Nuggets, from artist Banksy's 2008 installation "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 12:19 pm

Chicken nuggets: Call 'em tasty, call 'em crunchy, call 'em quick and convenient. But maybe you shouldn't call them "chicken."

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Author Interviews
3:01 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

At 75 She's Doing Fine; Kids Still Love Their 'Madeline'

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 11:31 am

Madeline may be about to celebrate her 75th birthday next year, but the beloved little girl never seems to grow up. After more than seven decades she's still having adventures donned in her coat and big yellow hat with a ribbon down the back.

Readers were first introduced to Madeline in 1939 by author and artist Ludwig Bemelmans. He would go on to write a series of stories that each began in the same way:

In an old house in Paris
That was covered in vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

'Monstrous' Cyclone Barrels Toward India's East Coast

A woman leaves the Bay of Bengal coast with her children in the Ganjam district of Odisha, India.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:47 pm

Here's how the usually restrained meteorologists at the Capital Weather Gang describe the storm that is about to pummel India's east coast:

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Air Force Fires Top U.S. Missile Commander

The launch-key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D., in 2002.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:20 pm

The Air Force two-star general in charge of the country's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles has been relieved of his command for what's being described as questionable behavior during a temporary duty assignment.

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, who led the 20th Air Force, headquartered at Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., has been dismissed, according to a statement issued by the Air Force Global Strike Command.

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Movie Reviews
1:49 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

A Pirate Saga More Sobering Than Swashbuckling

Barkhad Abdi (middle) plays Muse, the leader of a band of Somali pirates who take over a freighter in Captain Phillips.
Hopper Stone Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:52 pm

Most kidnapping melodramas have final scenes — after their climaxes — that are, effectively, throwaways. There are sighs of relief, tearful reunions with families, cameras that dolly back on domestic tableaux to suggest the world has at last been righted.

I think it's telling that in Captain Phillips the most overwhelming scene is after the resolution, in the infirmary of a ship. So much terror and moral confusion has gone down — so much pain — that the cumulative tension can't be resolved by violence. The movie's grip remains strong even when it cuts to black.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

At Urban Summit, A Feeling Of 'The Feds Can't, But We Can'

Political theorist and author Benjamin R. Barber (left) spoke at the CityLab summit this week in New York. He is proposing the formation of a "World Parliament of Mayors."
Courtesy of The Atlantic

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:19 pm

The partial government shutdown was part of the buzz this week at an international gathering of mayors, city planners and urban experts in New York City.

Passing mentions of the U.S. government during several seminars at the CityLab conference sent knowing chuckles rolling through the audience. As in: "Those guys? They're closed for business! At least we're still on the job."

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Some States Allowed To Reopen National Parks — And Foot The Bill

Dawn at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is a favorite moment for photographers from all over the world. They'll soon be able to return to the park, given Utah's deal with the Interior Department to fund park operations.
Courtesy of Wanda Gayle

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 8:16 pm

"This is a godsend!" exclaimed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert late Thursday night, as he signed an agreement with the Department of the Interior to use state funds to reopen eight national park areas in his state for at least 10 days.

The Republican governor wasted no time in wiring $1.67 million to Washington overnight so that some of the areas can open as early as today. Rangers and other National Park Service employees will staff the parks as usual.

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Faith Matters
12:37 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Elizabeth Smart: My Faith And 'My Story'

Elizabeth Smart says she never lost faith during her nine-month captivity.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:56 pm

Elizabeth Smart was just 14 years old when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. She was held captive for nine months and forced to act as Brian David Mitchell's second wife. He raped her nearly every day and told her that the ordeal was ordained by God.

Smart says there were moments when she felt there was no one to turn to — except God. She writes about how her Mormon faith played a key part in her survival in her new memoir, My Story.

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