NPR News

Americans love bananas. Each year, we eat more bananas than any other fruit. But banana growers use a lot of pesticides — and those chemicals could be hurting wildlife. As a new study shows, the pesticides are ending up in the bodies of crocodiles living near banana farms in Costa Rica, where many of the bananas we eat are grown.

For decades, circumstantial evidence has shown that golden eagles do indeed attack large mammals like deer and even bear cubs.

But in a paper published Monday in the Journal of Raptor Research, Linda Kerley of the Zoological Society of London and Jonathan Slaght of the Wildlife Conservation Society unveiled stunning images of an adult golden eagle attacking and killing a young sika deer, weighing 88 to 100 pounds.

The images were captured by a camera trap the researchers set up to study Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East.

Fall Music Preview

Sep 24, 2013

President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil was so angry about reports that the National Security Agency was spying on her and others in her country that she recently called off a high-profile visit to the U.S.

The Brazilian leader was still in a fighting mood Tuesday as she used her speech at the United Nations General Assembly to deliver a broadside against U.S. spying. She also called for civilian oversight of the Web to ensure the protection of data.

So your snoring is driving your partner crazy. Does that mean you're destined for one of those awkward-looking sleep apnea masks?

Not so fast, doctors say. Many snorers don't have sleep apnea, which causes a person to frequently stop breathing for brief periods during sleep. It's a big cause of chronic sleepiness and has been linked to a variety of health problems. Sleep apnea can also make a sufferer miserable.

In Henry Dumas' short story "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" three "afro-horns" have been forged from a rare metal found only in Africa and South America. One rests in a European museum; a second one is believed to be somewhere on the west coast of Mexico among a tribe of Indians; and a third is owned by Probe, a jazz musician. When Probe finally plays the afro-horn in public, the sound is devastatingly powerful.

Why Are Most Rampage Shooters Men?

Sep 24, 2013

Aaron Alexis, the man who police say killed more than a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, has joined a heinous parade of mass murdering shooters, nearly all men.

Citing what it says has been "Penn State's continued progress toward ensuring athletics integrity," the NCAA said Tuesday that it is gradually restoring the football scholarships the school lost in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Miami-based Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise operator, reported a third quarter profit nearly a third lower than a year ago following a series of embarrassing and deadly mishaps involving its ships.

Carnival turned a $934 million profit for the period June through August, down 30 percent from the same quarter in 2012.

The first thing you notice about Lucy Schwartz's Timekeeper is the singer's voice — both her physical voice, which is at once ringing and adroit, and her writer's voice, which is precise yet elusive. When Schwartz sings "Ghost in My House," the production renders her tone in an echoing manner that signifies spookiness. It also suggests a metaphor — memory as a ghost, the haunting of someone who's no longer in her life. In general, Lucy Schwartz is in love with the sound of her own voice, and for once that phrase is not meant as a criticism; I think she has good reason to be.

Kenya has long been an African success story, a place that's been relatively stable, peaceful and prosperous despite being in a neighborhood rocked by major disasters for decades.

There's been endless civil war in Somalia, genocide in Rwanda and famine in Ethiopia. Yet these calamities have, by and large, not spilled over to Kenya, which has been the crossroads of East Africa, serving as a business, transportation and tourist hub.

The number of global megacities will grow from 42 today to 89 by 2032. The global middle class will more than double by then. And most of this growth will be in the Asia-Pacific region.

What does all this have to do with global aviation?

Airbus, which released the data Tuesday, says that to meet this demand nearly 30,000 new planes will have to be built over the next 20 years.

Can Mass Shootings Really Be Stopped?

Sep 24, 2013

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act health exchanges is set to begin Oct. 1. But many eligible Americans still have questions.

Tell Me More reached out to listeners via Facebook and Twitter in an attempt to help answer their questions about the law. Host Michel Martin spoke with Mary Agnes Carey, a senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News — a news service not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

On searching for other affordable care options

Kings of Leon appeared to be on the downswing after an unexpected breakdown in July 2011; it was uncertain whether the band would swing back up again. Two years later, the group is revitalized and returning with its sixth album, Mechanical Bull.

Alleged Gunmen Charged In Chicago Mass Shooting

Sep 24, 2013

Authorities have charged two more suspects in connection with last week's shooting in Chicago that wounded 13 people. Police believe that one of them, 22-year-old Tabari Young, was the one who severely wounded a toddler.

That brings to four the number of people charged in connection with the mass shooting Thursday at Cornell Square Park on the city's South Side. Police say it was gang-related.

As the scheduled launch of the state health insurance marketplaces on Oct. 1 approaches, many parents have questions about covering their children. Here are a few we got recently.

I am a divorced dad who has responsibility for maintaining my 15-year-old daughter's health insurance. It was easy when I was working and had a corporate health plan. Now that I am retired and covered by Medicare, I am looking for alternatives when the new exchanges open. Can I buy health insurance for just my underage daughter on these new exchanges?

While conceding that nations will disagree about when and how to step in as "tyrants ... commit wanton murder," President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that "we must get better" at preventing atrocities.

The president again laid out his case for strong international action to hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for his regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Then Obama told world leaders that:

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET:

Telling his nation that security forces have "ashamed" those who attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday declared "we have defeated the monster of terrorism."

As night fell in Kenya and after four days that captured attention around the world, it appeared the crisis was over.

Kenyatta said, as the BBC reports, that the death toll from Saturday's attack by Somalia-based terrorists and the siege that followed was:

-- 61 civilians.

-- 6 security officers.

(This post last updated at 1:00 p.m. ET)

A strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake in southern Pakistan on Tuesday has killed at least 45 people, according to Reuters. The U.S. Geological Survey says the initial temblor was followed by several aftershocks — one of them a 5.9-magnitude.

The affected area is reportedly about 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's western province of Baluchistan.

Tuesday Morning Political Mix

Sep 24, 2013

A brief and abstract chronicle of some of Tuesday's more interesting political stories, the kinds of stories that might get people who like politics talking around a water cooler, if people still did that sort of thing.

As snow begins falling in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park, the town at its doorstep, finds itself newly isolated.

The only year-round road into or out of Estes Park, Colo., now is the Peak to Peak Highway.

It traverses a jumble of mountains all the way. It's not the kind of road an ambulance can scream over at 60 miles an hour. "Not while I'm in the back, hopefully," jokes paramedic Erle Collum.

Home Prices Rise At Best Pace In Seven Years

Sep 24, 2013

Led by more strong gains in Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, home prices in major U.S. cities were up just more than 12 percent on average in July vs. July 2012, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

The average increase was the largest since February 2006, Reuters adds, and is yet another sign that the housing sector is among the economy's strongest sectors.

We first heard about Carol and Willie Fowler's generosity from our friends at Here & Now late last week.

Now, the feel-good story of how they turned something sad into something glad is spreading across the Web.

ABC News describes what happened earlier this month in Atlanta this way:

Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.

That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.

First Listen: Moby, 'Innocents'

Sep 24, 2013

The story of Moby's 11th album is one of collaboration: Innocents, his first full-length recording with an outside producer (Mark Stent, who's worked alongside virtually everyone in pop), finds the versatile multi-instrumentalist recruiting an impressive assortment of guest vocalists.

The Current Presents: Chvrches

Sep 24, 2013

The Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches recently made its second visit to Minneapolis in three months. While in town, its members stopped by The Current's studios in St. Paul to perform songs from The Bones of What You Believe — including this intimate version of the rousing anthem "Recover."

Credits

  • Audio: Michael DeMark
  • Photos/Video: Nate Ryan

Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Leaders Will Not Meet:

After intense speculation that the United States and Iran were on the verge of making history today by coordinating a meeting between President Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there came word this afternoon that the two would not meet during the ceremonies surrounding the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

Just a week before the federal government could shut down if no agreement is reached to fund it past the end of September, it's anyone's guess whether Democrats and Republicans will avoid plunging over this particular cliff.

More certain, however, is that if a shutdown happens over Obamacare and Republicans wind up taking the heat, many GOP fingers of blame will point squarely at Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas Republican will likely become the face of the 2013 shutdown, just as Newt Gingrich became the poster boy of two government shutdowns of the mid-1990s.

Small Businesses: Big Concerns And High Hopes

Sep 24, 2013

Safe to say, Americans love small business. Or at least the Idea of Small Business.

President Obama once told owners: "What you share is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tireless work ethic and a simple hope for something better that lies at the heart of the American ideal. Businesses like yours are the engines of job growth in America."

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