NPR News

Army Scraps Most Of The JTRS Program

Jan 10, 2012

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Now a story about the challenges of military communication on the battlefield.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO COMMUNICATION)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Roger, stand by. I believe (unintelligible) trying to push traffic for you.

BLOCK: This is radio traffic from an Army convoy in eastern Afghanistan that's having trouble communicating.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO COMMUNICATION)

A Unique Expression Of Love For Math

Jan 10, 2012

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Last week in Boston, 7,000 mathematicians, math teachers and math enthusiasts from all over the world converged for something called the Joint Mathematics Meeting. Naturally, there was a lot of this...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: C plus S minus two.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, S is A plus B and C is two.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: Right.

BLOCK: But reporter Ari Daniel Shapiro also found a lot that he wasn't expecting.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad delivered a defiant speech today. He called protesters mongrels misled by foreigners and he vowed to stay in power. Assad also criticized the Arab League, which has an observer mission inside Syria.

NPR's Peter Kenyon has more on the story from Istanbul in neighboring Turkey.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A federal appeals court has struck down Oklahoma's ban on Sharia law. The ruling said the state amendment, which was passed in 2010, discriminated against Muslims.

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports.

Israeli Bill Would Prohibit Use Of Nazi Comparisons

Jan 10, 2012

In Israel, it might become a crime to use Nazi comparisons to criticize someone. As the AP puts it, a bill under consideration by parliament would "would impose penalties of up to six months in jail and a $25,000 fine for using the word 'Nazi' or Holocaust symbols for purposes other than teaching, documentation or research."

Not too long ago Nokia was the largest tech company in Europe. Its market cap rivaled Microsoft's. It helped create the mobile phone industry as we know it. But the emergence of a new generation of smartphones — led by Apple's iPhone and Android-based offerings from Samsung, HTC and others — left Nokia behind.

This can be a harrowing time for high school seniors and their parents in the U.S. as they wait to hear from college admissions offices. But the pressure can be equally intense, if not more so in India, where the massive number of applicants and one make-or-break exam keeps students on edge.

Admission to Delhi University, one of India's most prestigious schools, is considered as tough, if not tougher than the process at many leading schools in the U.S.

"It's a very difficult game, given the numbers," says Dinesh Singh, the vice chancellor of Delhi University.

Eight colleges in Georgia will now become four, the State Board of Regents announced today. The move wil affect about 36,000 students and was proposed in an effort to save money.

Binge Drinking: Risky And Widespread

Jan 10, 2012

Binge drinking in America looks to be an even bigger problem than we thought.

About 1 in 6 Americans, or 17 percent of the population, went on at least one drinking binge in a month last year, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That works out to 38 million people.

Political Fact-Checking Under Fire

Jan 10, 2012

Sites like PolitiFact and Factcheck.org are designed to verify political claims and hold politicians accountable. But critics say fact-checking entities are themselves biased. The Weekly Standard's Mark Hemingway and Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post discuss fact-checking in American politics.

Every year, film fans and studio executives travel to Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival, a showcase for independent films from around the world.

While feature films are always a draw at the festival, documentary fans closely follow the nonfiction films that premiere at Sundance each year.

The demonstrations that spread across the Middle East in 2011 unseated leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Yemen's president has agreed to step down and violence continues in Syria. NPR foreign correspondents discuss developments since the Arab Spring and what they mean for the region and the U.S.

In the film We Need To Talk About Kevin, Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton plays the tortured mother of a disturbed, disruptive and manipulative son.

As he gets older, Kevin — played as a child by Rocky Duer, and by Ezra Miller as a teen — systematically undermines his mother and his parents' marriage, and then goes on a horrific, Columbine-reminiscent killing spree.

The film, based on a novel by Lionel Shriver, follows Swinton's character, Eva Khatchadourian, as she attempts to grapple with her son's shocking crime.

Letters: 'The Moment,' Twins And Calendars

Jan 10, 2012

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including the moment that changed your life, differences between identical twins, and a proposal for a new calendar.

The victims of a North Carolina program that forcibly sterilized thousands of people should receive $50,000 in compensation, a task force said Tuesday. The AP writes that this is first time, the state tries to make up for a eugenics program that ran from the 1930s until 1977.

Before any payments are made, however, the state Legislature must approve the panel's recommendation.

The AP reports:

Primary Day in New Hampshire turned into open season as GOP rivals launched a barrage of attacks seeking to undermine front-runner Mitt Romney, whose campaign hopes to live up to expectations that he will deliver a solid victory.

Not only does Romney need to win, he needs to win convincingly — holding challengers such as Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and a resurgent Jon Huntsman comfortably at arm's length.

I don't know about you, but when I spoon into store-bought ice cream or chomp into hot dogs, I don't consider it a risky activity, one that could land me in the dentist's chair with a broken tooth. But it turns out that this does happen. Even Costco, the giant warehouse retailer, says it's true.

The Transportation Security Administration clarified its cupcake policy in a blog post. Cupcakegate — as the agency has termed it — was prompted in December, when TSA officers told Rebecca Hains, who was flying out of Las Vegas, she could not carry cupcakes in her carry-on luggage. The TSA said the icing on the two cupcakes was a security risk.

Nicotine Patches Up Early Memory Loss In Study

Jan 10, 2012

Slapping on a nicotine patch may not just be for smokers trying to kick the habit.

In an intriguing test, researchers tried nicotine patches as a memory booster for nonsmokers with mild declines in their thinking ability, a precursor to dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

In late 2006, Barack Obama held a meeting with his wife, Michelle, and his advisers to weigh whether he should run for president.

"And Michelle Obama, in front of everybody, asks her husband a very dramatic question," says New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor. "She says, 'What do you think you can bring to this that the other candidates can't?' "

Her husband paused for a second, and then responded, "I really think if I became president, it would inspire people all over the world to think of new possibilities."

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 5 p.m. ET)

Five days of emotionally charged and mediated talks have resulted in settlements in the remaining wrongful death cases prompted by the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster in West Virginia.

Sources familiar with the negotiations say that all 29 families of the men killed in the underground explosion nearly two years ago have agreed to compensation offered by mine owner Alpha Natural Resources.

At least 30 people were killed at a busy market in northwest Pakistan after a bomb was placed inside the car of a local militia group tasked with fighting against the Taliban.

CNN reports the explosion occurred in the Jamrud Market in the Khyber near the Afghan border. The AP adds:

This may well be the worst story you've come across yet on politics.

Really, I beg you: You should have very, very low expectations for this story.

And this expectations thing is important stuff.

Pundits, reporters and the campaigns themselves have devoted a lot of energy to setting expectations for the candidates' performances.

Myanmar's upcoming special parliamentary elections just became more legitimate. Aung San Suu Kyi, a leading opposition figure in the country as well as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said she will mount a campaign for a seat in parliament.

After a 21-0 victory over LSU in the bowl championship game last night, a final AP poll crowned the Crimson Tide No. 1. Alabama received 55 first-place votes, while LSU got one.

As the AP reports, yesterday's victory easily erased Alabama's Nov. 5 loss against LSU.

If the New Hampshire primary goes as widely expected, Mitt Romney should emerge the winner among the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. For weeks, polls in the state have shown him with a commanding lead.

But the 2012 campaign season has already delivered some surprises. Maybe New Hampshire will provide the latest in the series of unexpected twists?

Speaking in public for the first time since June, embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad said he would not leave power. According to Reuters, Assad blamed "foreign planning" for the uprising that has engulfed his country. Calling the protesters terrorists, he vowed to respond to threats with an "iron hand."

The AP adds:

Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed to stay in power during a speech Tuesday, defying international pressure for him to step aside. He vowed to respond to threats against him with an "iron hand."

Some in New Hampshire have already cast their votes this morning. As they do traditionally, voters in Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, both small northern New Hampshire towns, cast their ballots shortly after midnight.

The Washington Post reports on the results:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Blue Ivy Carter has made her musical debut. If the name doesn't ring a bell, don't worry. She's only 3 days old. Blue is the daughter of hip-hop power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce. The proud father released a song called "Glory" yesterday, with feature credits given to little B.I.C. In the song, Jay-Z raps that his daughter is the most beautiful thing in the world. Newborn Blue Ivy chimes in with a few cries at the end of the song. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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