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Education
5:09 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Closing The 'Word Gap' Between Rich And Poor

In Virginia this summer, Arlington Public Schools transported students in poor neighborhoods to community libraries for group readings. Studies say children from low-income families may hear roughly 30 million fewer words by age 3 than their more affluent peers.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

In the early 1990s, a team of researchers decided to follow about 40 volunteer families — some poor, some middle class, some rich — during the first three years of their new children's lives. Every month, the researchers recorded an hour of sound from the families' homes. Later in the lab, the team listened back and painstakingly tallied up the total number of words spoken in each household.

What they found came to be known as the "word gap."

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Arts & Life
5:08 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Winging It: Biking Around Again In Margaritaville

NPR's Petra Mayer has finally learned how to ride a bike.
Izolda Trakhtenberg

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 11:53 am

I love Key West, and I go there as often as possible: pina coladas, drag queens, shady hammocks, feral chickens — it's the best. There's just one problem: everyone gets around the island by bike, and I've never learned to ride one. Obviously that had to change.

Why didn't I learn? I really don't remember, and neither did my mom, when I asked her about the one time my parents tried to teach me. "You got on a big bicycle that was so big you couldn't really turn the wheels and got discouraged."

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Science
5:04 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another

In Jiaonan county, the Qi wall incorporates outcrops of bedrock.
Linda Nicholas The Field Museum

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.

But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. An American archaeologist recently began surveying one of the biggest.

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Monkey See
5:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

This Is (Not) The Most Important Story Of The Year

News of Justin Bieber's retirement sent shockwaves across the Internet.
Powers Imagery AP

Have you spent much of the holiday season debating whether Justin Bieber really intends to retire?

No? Well, what about the question of whether Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was rightly suspended for making bigoted remarks, or was in fact suppressed for giving voice to traditional values?

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The Two-Way
8:38 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

No Al-Qaida Link In Benghazi Attack, 'New York Times' Reports

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 2:56 pm

The New York Times, after a months-long investigation, says the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, "turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault."

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The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Student Killed In Clashes At Egyptian University

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood at Al-Azhar university make the four-finger Rabaa gesture as they hold tear gas canisters during clashes with riot police and residents of the area at the university's campus in Cairo on Saturday.
Reuters /Landov

An Egyptian student is dead Saturday after clashes between police and Muslim Brotherhood supporters at the country's main Islamic university.

Egyptian media reported that the violence erupted when security forces fired tear gas to disperse pro-Brotherhood students who were trying to prevent classmates from getting into buildings at the famed Al-Azhar university. Some of the buildings were set on fire. Police said 101 people were arrested.

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Middle East
5:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Who Will Lead The Middle East Out Of Turmoil?

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

To the Middle East now where 2013 has been a dark year. The promise of the Arab Spring has been reality checked by events in Syria, Egypt and across the region.

Marc Lynch is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University. As the end of the year approached, he sat down and made what he calls a dark list, people in the Middle East who have contributed to the chaos. He says much of the violence stems from a failure of leadership.

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Africa
5:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

'Smell Of Death' Lingers In South Sudanese City

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

Transcript

ARUN RAT H, HOST:

From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.

ARUN RATH, HOST:

We're going to begin the program today in South Sudan where despite talk of a possible cease-fire, the fighting continues. A power struggle there between the president and his former vice president spiraled into violence along tribal lines. Hundreds have died and tens of thousands are displaced. If not checked, many fear the conflict will become Africa's next civil war.

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Arts & Life
5:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

The Trouble With Assessing 'Black Films'

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

This year was lauded by many news outlets as an incredible year for black films. CNN heralded "Hollywood's African-American Renaissance;" The New York Times called 2013 a "a breakout year for black films." Shani Hilton, deputy editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks to NPR's Arun Rath about why she think those assertions are overstated.

The New And The Next
5:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Teaching Democracy Through Jazz, Perfecting Party Playlists

Peter Mason Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:04 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson tells host Arun Rath about a teacher using jazz to educate young students about democracy and a site that could spruce up the playlist for New Year's Eve parties this year.

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