NPR News

Pages

World
3:21 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

New Iran Sanctions, And Fears They Could Backfire

Reporters interview Iranian Minister of Petroleum Rostam Ghasemi before the start of the 160th meeting of the OPEC Conference in Vienna, Dec. 14. The global market for oil complicates the issue of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Xu Liang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:40 pm

The U.S. Congress has approved legislation that targets the Central Bank of Iran and is intended to make it more difficult for that country to sell its oil abroad.

But the latest sanctions could backfire. Reduced oil supplies on the world market could mean higher prices, and therefore Iran could actually make more money from its oil even if it sells fewer barrels.

Read more
The Salt
3:10 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

When The Formerly Rich Need Help Buying Food

Food stamps aren't "stamps" anymore — they're debit cards. But they won't get you a trip to Hawaii.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 4:27 pm

The image of rich folks using food stamps to buy filet mignon is becoming the 21st-century version of the Reagan-era "Welfare Queen."

Read more
NPR Story
3:01 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Iowa Gov. Discusses GOP Presidential Field

It's a big night in Iowa: The Republican presidential candidates are holding their final big debate prior to the Iowa caucuses, which take place on Jan. 3. Melissa Block talks with Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad about various candidates' strengths and weaknesses. In short, he says there's a lot of excitement, and he's reserving judgment on who the winner will be.

NPR Story
2:57 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Tracking An Order In Real-Life Santa's Workshops

Javier Polendo, an employee at a largely automated Target.com fulfillment center in Tucson, Ariz., scans items to be shipped to online customers.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 6:23 pm

There's a world of activity between the time online shoppers click the "place order" button and when a holiday package is delivered to their doorsteps. The National Retail Federation estimates that 38 percent of holiday purchases will be made online this year, which is keeping fulfillment centers large and small very busy.

Target.com runs five fulfillment centers. One of them, in Tucson, Ariz., stretches the length of 16 football fields.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Chemists Unveil Future Self-Cleaning Clothes

In the future, cleaning your clothes could be as easy as hanging it in sunlight.
Rodrigo Buendia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 3:04 pm

A group of chemists have presented what they say is self-cleaning fabric that could one day lead to jeans, shirts and other clothing that dissolves stains and kills bacteria when exposed to sunlight.

The scientists announced their findings in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, which is peer-reviewed and published by the American Chemical Society.

Read more
World Cafe
2:51 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Gary Numan On World Cafe

Gary Numan's new album of rethought demos, Dead Son Rising, came out in September.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 2:52 pm

Considered one of the fathers of electronic music, British new-wave auteur Gary Numan has been releasing studio albums since the '70s. The man behind the classic hit "Cars" has influenced scores of musicians over the years, including Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Beck and many others.

Read more
Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
2:44 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Changes In The Economy Leave Workers Scrambling

A counselor (right) talks with a man about training programs at a nonprofit training and job placement center in Menlo Park, Calif. Seventy percent of the long-term unemployed and underemployed would like the government to offer more job training services, an NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:34 pm

If you're unemployed, it can be painfully clear when you don't have the right skills to land a good job.

With unemployment at 8.6 percent, upwards of 13 million Americans are without a job and looking for work. A recent NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll surveyed hundreds of long-term unemployed and underemployed people, asking whether they thought they had the skills required to find a job.

Read more
Rick Perry
2:43 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Perry Tries To Ride Back Into Iowans' Hearts

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry walks with former Marine officer Dan Moran during a campaign stop Wednesday in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 4:10 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to reclaim a place in the top tier of the Republican presidential field — and his campaign is betting a barnstorming bus tour of Iowa is the key to exceeding expectations in the state's Jan. 3 caucuses.

Read more
Education
2:41 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Military Tuition Assistance Rules May Limit Options

Military advocates have warned that some schools see service men and women as walking dollar signs.
Dave Herriman iStockPhoto.com

Federal money for active duty students is particularly attractive to for-profit schools, which have been signing up members of the services in record numbers.

So, the Pentagon has developed new rules to ensure that service members are treated fairly when they use government money to attend college. Those rules are set to go into effect Jan. 1, but many of the nation's best-known schools say they cannot accept those requirements.

The dispute puts at risk millions of dollars in federal assistance.

Read more
Election 2012
2:25 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

In Iowa, Obama's Campaign Team Rehearses For 2012

President Obama speaks with small-business owners at Rausch's Cafe in Guttenberg, Iowa, during a three-day Midwest bus tour in August.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 4:31 pm

President Obama doesn't have to worry about winning the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. He's almost sure to be the only Democrat in the first-in-the-nation contest. Yet that hasn't stopped the Obama campaign from organizing its own effort to get out the vote.

While Republican candidates have been hogging the Iowa spotlight, a small army of Obama volunteers has been busy behind the scenes. They've opened eight campaign offices around the state, hosted dozens of house parties, and logged tens of thousands of telephone calls.

Read more

Pages