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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Yankees' Mariano Rivera Becomes Top Closer In Baseball History

Alex Peluso, right, and his friend Chris Filomio, of Wappinger Falls, N.Y. show their support for New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera during batting practice.
Kathy Kmonicek AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 4:02 pm

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera earned his 602nd career save, today, making him the top closer in baseball history. In a drama-free, 1-2-3 inning, Rivera surpassed Trevor Hoffman as the new record holder for most saves.

ESPN reports:

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Justices Department Expresses Concern Over Texas Redistricting Plan

The United States Justice Department expressed concern Monday about whether new Texas redistricting plans for four U.S. House seats comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects the interests of minority voters.

In a filing with a special three-judge court panel in Washington D.C., civil rights lawyers at Justice wrote that they doubted new boundaries for the House seats "maintain or increase the ability of minority voters to elect their candidate of choice."

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Education
3:05 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Parents Fight Over Pledging Allegiance In Schools

Martin Rosenthal, a parent in Brookline, Mass., says he willingly pledges allegiance to the flag but has filed a measure that he says would protect public school students from being pressured into saying the pledge in their classrooms.
Tovia Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 5:01 pm

Residents are waving the flag in Brookline, Mass., both for — and against — the Pledge of Allegiance.

Courts have ruled that public schools cannot compel students to recite the pledge, so in Brookline, as elsewhere, the pledge is voluntary.

But critics say there's still pressure on students to conform, and they want the pledge out of the classroom altogether.

A Concern About Peer Pressure

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Pirate Party Wins Seats In Berlin Elections

Deputies of the Pirate Party pose in the House of Representatives in Berlin today. Free wireless Internet and public transport; voting rights for over-14s are just some of the policies of the "Pirate Party."
Hannibal Hanschke AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 3:01 pm

Germany's state parliament now has representatives from a brand new political party that focuses heavily on Internet freedoms. The Pirate Party won 8.5 percent of the vote for the Berlin state parliament and ousted the Free Democrats, which is part of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition.

And who are the party members? Here's how Der Spiegel opens their story today:

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Damaged By 1928 Flood, Pompeii Painting By John Martin Now Restored

A museum employee looked at John Martin's recently restored The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, at the Tate Britain in central London on Monday (Sept. 19, 2011).
Andrew Winning Reuters/Landov

"A painting considered beyond repair after being submerged in filthy floodwater when the Thames breached its banks in 1928 will be seen in something approaching its wild and lurid former glory on Tuesday when it goes on public display for the first time in a century," The Guardian writes.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:37 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

To Cut Deficit, Obama Takes A Scalpel To Health Programs

President Barack Obama describes his plan to reduce the deficit in remarks delivered Monday in the White House Rose Garden.
Susan Walsh AP

President Obama's plan to cut the deficit doesn't exactly spare Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs. But he also doesn't propose the sweeping sorts of changes envisioned by House Republicans earlier this year.

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Middle East
2:23 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

With Police Watching, Syrian Dissidents Meet

More than 300 Syrian dissidents met near Damascus on Sunday, and afterward they held a news conference and called for more protests to oust President Bashar Assad's government. From left: Rajaa Nasser, Hussein Awdat, Hassan Abdul Azim, Saleh Mohammed and Samir Aita.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 4:23 pm

It was an unprecedented gathering in Syria: The security police were monitoring, but they did not break up, a six-hour meeting of more than 300 dissidents at a farmhouse outside the capital Damascus.

Syria's traditional dissidents, men and women who have spent years in jail, have met before. For the first time, they sat together Sunday with young street organizers of the current unrest.

Samir Aita, an opposition figure who lives in Paris, attended the gathering and talked about the significance when he reached Beirut.

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Around the Nation
2:17 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Cherokee Nation Faces Scrutiny For Expelling Blacks

Black Freedmen, who are descended from the slaves of Cherokee Indians, protest their expulsion on Sept. 2 outside a regional Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Muskogee, Okla. Marilyn Vann, in pink, is the president of the Descendants of Freedmen Association.
Alex Kellogg NPR

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 10:37 am

Every September, the Cherokee Nation celebrates its national holiday. The holiday marks the signing of its first constitution after the Trail of Tears in 1839. The main event, a big parade, features traditional Cherokee music, colorful floats and people singing and dancing in traditional garb.

The holiday draws tens of thousands of people to Tahlequah, Okla., the heart of the Cherokee Nation. But this year it was marked by controversy and protests.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:46 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Pediatricians Play Beat The Clock During Checkups

Ahhhhhhhh!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 1:48 pm

Feeling rushed at the doctor's office? No wonder, if you're there with an infant or toddler.

A third of parents say the last well-child visit with the doctor lasted 10 minutes or less. About half said the checkup lasted 11 to 20 minutes. That leaves about 20 percent who say the visit took longer than 20 minutes. The findings appear in the latest issue of Pediatrics.

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Youth Radio
1:36 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Calif. Community Takes Action Against Sex Trafficking

High-heel shoes hang from a gated window in an empty alley behind the National Lodge Motel. The Oakland city attorney has filed suit against the motel, arguing that it knowingly facilitates child sex trafficking.
Denise Tejada

In the San Antonio neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., sex trafficking has been a problem since several motels moved into the community decades ago attracting pimps.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

In Their Words: Obama, Boehner On Taxes

Far apart: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and President Obama in July.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

For comparison purposes, here's a look at the latest words about taxes from President Obama (D) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). As NPR's Mara Liasson said earlier, "yes, we're at a stalemate."

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Abbas: 'Matters Will Be Bad' For Palestinian Authority After Statehood Move

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sounded a defiant note, today, while still recognizing the consequences of asking the United Nations to grant Palestinians statehood.

Abbas said he planned on presenting a formal request to the U.N. during his speech on Friday. As Reuters reports, Abbas also said "all hell has broken out" against them because of the decision.

Reuters adds:

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Afghanistan
1:12 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Afghan Parliament Still Stymied By Election Dispute

Protesters in Kabul, Afghanistan, demonstrate against the results of last September's parliamentary poll, Jan. 23, 2011. A year after the elections were held, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and lawmakers are still fighting over the results, and the Parliament has accomplished very little.
Musadeq Sadeq AP

Last weekend marked a milestone for Afghanistan's Parliament that should have been cause for celebration: It's been a year since Afghans braved the threat of insurgent violence to go to the polls to pick a new legislature.

But a dispute over election results has smoldered between President Hamid Karzai and lawmakers ever since. And the resulting gridlock has prevented the new parliament from passing a single notable law, confirming any of the president's ministers, or giving any oversight to the president or his cabinet.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Welcome To The List: Italian Sparrow Is A Species, Researchers Say

An Italian sparrow.
L. B. Tettenborn

Bird watchers, and other nature lovers, take note:

"Scientists in Norway say they have conclusive genetic evidence that sparrows recently evolved a third species," the BBC reports. "The Italian sparrow, they argue, is a cross between the ubiquitous house sparrow and the Spanish sparrow."

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Mon September 19, 2011

UBS Ups Estimate On Rogue Trader Loss

UBS equities trader Kweku Adoboli (L) is led into a prison van as he leaves City of London Magistrates Court in central London on Friday.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

The Swiss bank UBS announced last night that a rogue trader lost more money than it originally announced. UBS said the total loss is $2.3 billion. In a statement, the bank also gave some detail about the alleged actions of Kwaku Adoboli, who was arrested and charged in London on Friday.

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