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Shots - Health News
2:45 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Healthful Habits Can Help Induce Sleep Without The Pills

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:23 pm

About one-third of American adults say they have problems falling asleep. And prescriptions for sleeping medications are on the rise, with about 4 percent of people using the drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But sleep specialists say people should exercise caution before deciding to take medication to help them sleep.

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Europe
6:56 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Ireland Exits Bailout Program, But Economy Still On The Mend

On Sunday, Ireland became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:24 am

Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by Europe's debt crisis. On Sunday, it passed a big milestone when the nation became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

After three years of the bailout program, it isn't hard to find signs of improvement in Ireland and of an economy coming back from the dead.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been bad in a lot of ways, but there's a silver lining in every cloud," says Conor Mulhall, a 41-year-old father of three.

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Code Switch
6:37 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Zoinks! Tracing The History Of 'Zombie' From Haiti To The CDC

A still from the 1943 film I Walked With A Zombie.
RKO The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:14 am

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

"Who doesn't like zombies?"

That was the subject line of an email blast that landed in my inbox recently from a major online retailer as it announced it was "bringing their Black Friday deals back to life."

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Music Interviews
6:07 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Nine Months In Nigeria, One Brilliant, Difficult Funk Musician

Since recording in the 1970s and '80s, Nigerian William Onyeabor has dropped off the music map.
Courtesy of the artist

Yale Evelev, head of world music label Luaka Bop, digs up information about great-but-forgotten musicians for a living. His quest to compile and release the work of Nigerian funk legend William Onyeabor, though, was a unique challenge.

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Remembrances
6:03 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole, A Life Even Larger Than 'Lawrence'

Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Academy Award for his title role in Lawrence of Arabia.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Peter O'Toole, the Hollywood legend who was made famous in his title role in Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday in a London hospital. The 81-year old Irishman was nominated for eight Oscars in his distinguished career, and was known as a bit of a hellraiser.

To those who hadn't seen the actor perform on the London stage, O'Toole was seemingly catapulted into fame. But it may be more accurate to say he charged into it. As T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole was tall, handsome and sensitive.

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Law
6:03 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

In Press-Rights Battle, Reporter Says Accountability's At Risk

The Justice Department is trying to compel New York Times journalist James Risen to testify in the case of a former CIA official who may or may not have leaked classified information to him.
Mark Lennihan AP

Freedom of the press is considered an essential ideal of American democracy.

President Obama acknowledged as much last month, when he draped a Presidential Medal of Freedom around the neck of former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee.

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Author Interviews
4:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

A Personal 'Report From The Interior' Of Author Paul Auster

A prolific author, Paul Auster has published dozens of works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
Lotte Hansen Courtesy of Henry Holt & Co.

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:32 pm

Fans of the writer Paul Auster know an enormous amount about him. His novels often draw on autobiographical details, and he has written five books that are explicitly about his own life.

Last year, he published a memoir called Winter Journal that tells the story of his life through the story of his own body — every scar and blemish. Now Auster has published a companion autobiography of his intellectual self, called Report from the Interior.

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Sports
4:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Deep In China, 'Cowboys' Have Skied For Thousands Of Years

A lassoed elk struggles after Serik demonstrates the age-old technique of capturing game in deep snow.
Jonas Bendiksen National Geographic

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:21 am

The birthplace of skis is under debate, but the ski is believed to be even older than the wheel.

"So they're one of the very first forms of transportation," travel writer Mark Jenkins says.

Jenkins recently traveled to China, which claims to have invented skis almost 10,000 years ago. His exploration is documented in the December issue of National Geographic.

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NPR Story
4:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

FDA Fighting The Antibiotic Backlash In U.S. Meat

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 6:03 pm

This week, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a voluntary program to help reduce the use of antibiotics in animals raised for their meat. As the use of these drugs has increased, so has the incidence of drug-resistant bacteria. So the FDA is concerned about the public health impact of the use of these antibiotics. Arun Rath speaks with Maryn McKenna about the plan, and how it might work. McKenna writes for Wired Magazine and is the author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA.

The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Top French Officials Won't Attend Sochi Olympics

Olympic rings stand in front of the airport in Adler outside Sochi on November 30, 2013.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

French President François Hollande will not attend the Sochi Olympics in Russia this February, the country's foreign minister said today.

As The Guardian reports, in an interview with Europe 1 radio, Laurent Fabius said the country would not send any top officials to the Games, but did not offer any explanation as to why.

The BBC adds:

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