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Shots - Health Blog
2:08 am
Mon October 8, 2012

For Families Of Medicare Recipients, Insurance Choices Are Tricky

Bruce Osterweil, 59, of San Francisco has long relied on his wife's employer-sponsored health plan for coverage, but she recently turned 65 and signed up for Medicare. She's going to retire in January and now Bruce is on his own to find a plan on the individual insurance market.
Sarah Varney KFF

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 11:23 am

Bruce Osterweil is a lucky man to live just a short walk from where San Francisco's Golden Gate meets the cold, rough waters of the Pacific Ocean. He is also a lucky man to have married his wife, Patricia Furlong, who has long provided the family's health insurance through her job at a small financial consulting firm.

But last month, Osterweil's wife turned 65 and decided to retire, and although she may walk away with a crystal bowl or a golden watch for all those years of service, she will also walk away from her company's generous health insurance benefits.

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National Security
2:07 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Predicting The Future: Fantasy Or A Good Algorithm?

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 10:47 am

After failing to predict the Arab Spring, intelligence officials are now exploring whether Big Data, the combing of billions of pieces of disparate electronic information, can help them identify hot spots before they explode. The intelligence community has always been in the business of forecasting the future. The question is whether tapping into publicly available data — Twitter and news feeds and blogs among other things — can help them do that faster and more precisely.

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World
2:07 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Piecing Together 'The World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle'

Roland Jahn, a former East German dissident, is now Germany's federal commissioner of the Stasi archives. His agency is painstakingly piecing together the shredded documents of the former East German secret police. Jahn is shown here in March 2011 at a former Stasi prison at Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 3:35 am

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, frantically tore up millions of files gathered during decades of spying on its own citizens.

More than two decades later, the vast array of secret papers collected by the Stasi is still in huge demand. So far this year, 70,000 people have applied for access to the Stasi archives.

Many are young Germans — some searching for information about relatives, others just eager to know more about their country's past.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Kenny Rogers: 'I Take Great Pride In Not Writing Hits'

Kenny Rogers performs at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., earlier this year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 3:35 am

In the mid-1970s, a man approached singer Kenny Rogers after a performance in the lounge at the Las Vegas Hilton. The mysterious stranger simply said, "Hey, man, I really like your music." Rogers learned later that the fan at the dressing-room door had been Elvis Presley.

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Presidential Race
6:44 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Presidential Politics: Does Likeability Matter?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event in St. Petersburg, Fla. Slate Magazine's John Dickerson says likeability doesn't matter as much in a presidential campaign as you might think.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:32 am

William Lowndes was a congressman from South Carolina who served in the early part of the 19th century. He was once asked to describe who should serve as chief executive.

"The presidency is not an office to be either solicited or declined," he said.

In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes didn't even vote for himself. He saw it as unseemly. And in 1916, Woodrow Wilson called campaigning "a great interruption to the rational consideration of public questions."

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Games & Humor
6:43 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: 'No Down Time'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 7:11 pm

Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction. The new judge this round is thriller writer Brad Meltzer. And the new challenge this round, participants had to write a story in 600 words or less that revolved around a U.S. President--fictional or real. Nearly 4,000 storied were submitted. Host Guy Raz presents one of the favorites selected by our readers, "No Down Time" by Fiona Von Siemens of Los Angeles, Calif. You can read the full stories below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Music Interviews
6:43 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Anat Cohen Bends The Spectrum On 'Claroscuro'

Anat Cohen's new album, her sixth as a bandleader, is called Claroscuro.
Jimmy Katz

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:57 am

Born in Tel Aviv, Anat Cohen came to New York two decades ago to study the masters of jazz. In so doing, the clarinetist and saxophonist started a bit of a stampede: Today, Israel is exporting some of the most vital jazz out there.

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Latin America
3:51 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Venezuela Election Critical Test For Divided Nation And President Chavez

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 6:43 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Thousands of Venezuelans turned out to vote today in a presidential election that pits longtime leader Hugo Chavez against a younger, more moderate rival in Enrique Capriles. Chavez, the fiery left-wing leader, has irritated Washington with his anti-American rhetoric, but he's also won support among many poor Venezuelans for his social programs.

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Science
3:14 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

New Dinosaur Was A Small, Fanged Vegetarian

Pegomastax africanus stood less than two feet tall and sported sharp fangs and a beak.
Todd Marshall

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 10:10 pm

A small, fanged dinosaur called Pegomastax africanus was identified this week, more than half a century after its skeleton was dug up in South Africa. The dinosaur looked like a fierce cross between a chicken and a porcupine, and had long fangs which it used to eat plants and compete for mates. Pegomastax was a diminutive beast, standing less than two feet tall and weighing no more than a small house cat.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:52 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

The Movie Queen Latifah Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Sally Field and Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 9:21 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actress Queen Latifah, whose credits include Living Out Loud, Chicago, Beauty Shop and the new Lifetime TV remake of Steel Magnolias, the movie she could watch a million times is 1989's Steel Magnolias.

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