National News

Gates Memoir Tests Civilian-Military Rules Of Engagement

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 07:48

In Duty, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates writes that the Obama team was always "suspicious" of the military and never trusted senior leaders. The memoir is a case study in a long-standing cultural divide between the White House and the military.

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Hundreds Of Thousands Still Without Water In W. Va.

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 07:07

A chemical spill contaminated the local water supply near Charleston. Inspectors found that the company responsible for the spill had not taken any steps to contain it by the time inspectors arrived on Thursday.

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Ariel Sharon, Whose Life And Career Shaped Israeli History, Dies

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:14

The former prime minister, who had been in a coma after suffering a massive stroke in 2006, died on Saturday. Sharon's career spanned the birth of the nation and most of its essential turning points. Israelis had a love-hate relationship with him that was beginning to soften only shortly before his death.

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Will The Colts Run Out Of Luck Against Patriots?

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:00

Saturday's NFL playoffs pits Tom Brady's Patriots against the Colts and the Seahawks against the Saints. Over on the other side of the world, will Serena serve herself into history — again? NPR's Scott Simon talks with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine, about the sports stories of the week and sports to come.

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Al-Qaida-Linked Group Faces Backlash In Iraq

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:00

The al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has played a key role in the war against Syria's government but now faces a major onslaught from other rebel forces. ISIS militants are also under fire in neighboring Iraq. NPR's Scott Simon and correspondent Deb Amos discuss how ISIS arose and what it wants to achieve.

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Israel's Ariel Sharon: A Man Of War's Journey Toward Peace

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:00

Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who suffered a devastating stroke in 2006 at the height of his political power, died Saturday after spending eight years in a coma. NPR's Scott Simon remembers Sharon with former ambassador Dennis Ross, who has played a leading role in shaping U.S. policy on Israel.

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The Cigarette's Powerful Cultural Allure

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:00

Nearly 20 percent of Americans still smoke, in spite of what we know about the dangers. Part of the reason is the allure of a cigarette, so elemental to classic scenes in movies, television shows and books. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Richard Klein, author of Cigarettes are Sublime, about smoking and American culture.

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50 Years After Surgeon General's Warning, Smokers Still Light Up

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:00

In the 50 years since the Surgeon General's landmark report on smoking, what's worked to convince people not to smoke, and what hasn't? NPR's Scott Simon talks with Kenneth Warner, professor of public health at the University of Michigan, about cigarette consumption before and after the report.

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Rare Scottish Bird Reveals Its Long-Secret Winter Home

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:00

Think you have a long commute? Well it's probably nothing compared to the red-necked phalarope's. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Malcie Smith of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds about their record-breaking migration and how scientists tracked the tiny birds.

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December Jobs Report Has Analysts Flummoxed

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 05:00

The U.S. economy gained just 74,000 jobs in December, according to a disappointing report released by the Labor Department on Friday. Economists had been expecting nearly three times as many jobs. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell slightly, to 6.7 percent. It's not that more jobs were created, though — many of the long-term unemployed just stopped looking.

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Dies At 85

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 04:53

Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic figures. Before being elected prime minister in 2001, he had served as one of the county's most lauded generals.

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Who Gets To Be A Superhero? Race And Identity In Comics

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 02:26

Artist Orion Martin recently posted several images reimagining X-Men characters as people of color. This touched off a conversation about race in comic book worlds, and how these comic book depictions relate to real life.

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The Church Bathroom That Stood As A Monument To A Segregated Past

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 02:26

When the bathroom building went up behind a small Louisiana church in 1959, the doors were painted different colors. Ushers would follow black parishioners outside to make sure they entered the correct door. The once-segregated bathroom recently became part of a discussion of racism, a from-the-pulpit apology, and a demolition.

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Historic House Is Yours Free, But There's A Catch

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-11 02:25

In an effort to save a tiny 1920s Sears kit house from demolition, architects are offering it free to anyone who can move it to another property. Current owners of the Arlington, Va., plot want to build a bigger home where the kit house stands.

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Former Reagan White House Spokesman Larry Speakes Dies

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-10 19:00

Speaks became acting White House press secretary after President Ronald Reagan and Press Secretary James Brady were shot in a 1981 assassination attempt — and held the position for six years. He was 74.

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Neiman Marcus Says Hackers Stole Credit Card Data

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-10 17:47

The upscale retailer isn't yet saying how many customers might be at risk, but it is confirming that a breach of credit card data took place. The company says it learned of "potentially unauthorized payment card activity" before Christmas.

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$1.35 Billion In Losses Reported By Nevada's Major Casinos

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-10 16:55

For the fifth straight year, Nevada's big casinos report net losses – a total of $1.35 billion in the most recent fiscal year. Statewide, 263 casinos grossed at least $1 million in gaming revenue, totaling $23 billion, according to a report released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

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Will Bad Jobless Data Spur Action On Unemployment Insurance?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-10 16:17

Just as the Senate seemed to descend into another round of partisan gridlock, this time over extending emergency jobless benefits, the arrival of a surprisingly weak December jobs report raised the pressure on lawmakers to act.

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The Upside Of The Bitter Cold: It Kills Bugs That Kill Trees

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-10 15:45

Scientists say that the freezing weather can help reduce the population of a beetle that harms trees, as well as other invasive species. In Minnesota, up to 80 percent of the beetle's larvae may die off, buying some time for those who feared its negative effects on the ash tree population.

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