Ongoing Coverage:

NPR News

Pages

The Two-Way
11:03 am
Thu November 10, 2011

After Uproar, Government Scraps 15-Cent Christmas Tree Fee

Forest worker Peter Otto carries two fir trees during the official opening of Christmas tree season in Stolpe, northern Germany.
Carsten Rehder AFP/Getty Images

It didn't take before the Obama administration backed down on a plan to tax Christmas trees this holiday season. Shortly after the USDA announced it had approved a 15-cent per tree fee, there was an uproar.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:01 am
Thu November 10, 2011

French Court Convicts Cyclist Floyd Landis In Hacking Of Doping Lab

Floyd Landis, left, and then-teammate Lance Armstrong during the 2004 Tour de France.
Bernard Papon AP

Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title, today was convicted in absentia by a French court "for his role in hacking into the computers of a French doping lab," The Associated Press reports. Landis was given a suspended sentence of 12 months.

Read more
Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
11:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

N.Y. Plant's Neighbors Expose Regulatory Gaps

John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 8:58 am

Part 4 of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Jeani Thomson has been pleading with New York state officials for more than 30 years to protect her neighborhood from the foul-smelling "blue fog" that settles in her yard. She has long suspected the source is an industrial facility about a mile from her house called Tonawanda Coke.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:54 am
Thu November 10, 2011

In Parliament, James Murdoch Says He Didn't Know Extent Of Hacking

James Murduch, the son of Rupert Murdoch and his deputy CEO at News Corp., was defiant in his second appearance before British Parliament. Murdoch, whose company has been under fire after it was accused of hacking into the phones of royalty and victims of crime, said he did not know the extent of the illegal activity undertaken at his publications.

The New York Times reports:

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
9:20 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Wal-Mart's Clarification On Health Care Leaves Room For Big Moves

After NPR and Kaiser Health News reported yesterday on Wal-Mart's plans to become a big provider of primary care in the U.S., the retailer said its document that served as an invitation to partners for the effort was "overwritten and incorrect."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:11 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Alabama County Bankruptcy Filing Is Biggest In U.S. History

Alabama's Jefferson County has filed for what is the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county commission voted 4-1 in favor of seeking bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after a debt-restructuring deal fell apart.

As The Birmingham News reports the history of the more than $4 billion in debt spans a decade and mostly involves a failed sewer construction deal fraught with corruption. Jefferson County is home to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city.

Read more
It's All Politics
8:56 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Perry Says He 'Stepped In It' At Debate, And Many Agree

Texas Gov. Rick Perry stumbled during Wednesday night's Republican presidential candidate in Auburn Hills, Mich., at one point seeking help from Rep. Ron Paul, (R-TX).
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 3:27 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was doing his best Thursday to limit the damage after he drew a blank at Wednesday's GOP candidate debate on his own plan to reduce the size of government.

Discussing the proposal, Perry said he would eliminate three federal agencies, but then could not name them all, despite being pressed by the moderator.

"Commerce, Education and the — what's the third one there? Let's see," the Texas governor said. Rival candidate Ron Paul suggested it might be the Environmental Protection Agency. "EPA, there you go," Perry responded — incorrectly.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Documents Reveal More Potential Evidence-Sharing Failures By Justice Dept.

Justice Department lawyers prosecuting a former CIA agent for leaking classified information allegedly lagged in turning over evidence that would help the intelligence operative with his defense, causing the judge to bar a pair of government witnesses from testifying.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:12 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Unemployment Claims Drop; Trade Deficit Narrows

We have two pieces of good news on the economic front:

-- Bloomberg reports: "The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September to the lowest level this year as exports surged to a record high."

Read more
Europe
7:51 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Greece's New Interim Prime Minister Faces Huge Task

Lucas Papademos was named prime minister of the new Greek interim government Thursday. His main task will be to implement the multibillion-dollar bailout that Eurozone leaders agreed to last month. But can he convince Greeks to swallow the austerity measures they hate? Steve Inskeep talks to reporter Joanna Kakissis, who is in Athens.

The Two-Way
7:35 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Greece Names Lucas Papademos Its New Prime Minister

Greece's new prime minister-in-waiting Lucas Papademos (R) makes a statement to the national television (EPT) outside the Presidential Palace in Athens.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 3:30 pm

Lucas Papademos, a former vice president at the European Central Bank, was named Greece's new prime minister. George Papandreou, the former prime minister, was pressured to resign earlier this week amid an all-out European Union crisis.

In a statement, the country's president said Papademos' chief role will be to ensure swift passage of the terms of the European Union bailout.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:54 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Christmas Tree Fee Causes Uproar

The Obama administration put off a plan to collect a fee on Christmas trees. An industry group asked for the fee, 15 cents per tree. Conservatives denounced what they labeled a tax on Christmas trees. The White House defended the fee, saying it's not a tax at all. All the same, the administration says it will delay collecting the money.

Around the Nation
6:47 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Did The Emergency Alert System Test Pass Muster?

Had Wednesday's first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System been a real alert, some may have been left in the dark. Instead of that irritating tone interrupting television and radio programming, some TV viewers heard Lady Gaga singing "Paparazzi." Others had their programming switched to QVC, a home shopping channel.

The Two-Way
6:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Penn State Trustees: Paterno's Firing Is In School's 'Best Interest'

For Penn State's Joe Paterno, the winningest football coach in Division I history, his career ends with this statement Wednesday night from the school's board of trustees:

"The board determined that it is in the best interest of the University for Joe Paterno to no longer serve as head football coach, effective immediately."

Read more
Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
4:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

EPA Regulations Give Kilns Permission To Pollute

The Ash Grove Cement Kiln, as seen from an aerial photograph, sits on the northern edge of Chanute, Kan.
David Gilkey NPR

Part three of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities.

The smokestack stands more than nine stories above the southeastern Kansas prairie and the small city of Chanute, and it's bright, white flashing lights are like a beacon in the night sky.

Read more

Pages