NPR News


8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Criminal Sentencing Efforts Aim To Reduce Prison Crowding

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The Obama administration is now urging some criminals in U.S. prisons to plead for clemency. Many of these prisoners were sentenced under tough drug laws from the days of the crack epidemic. And now, the Justice Department says that low level, non-violent drug offenders should ask for early release. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, is pushing a bill that advocates are calling the biggest sentencing reform in decades.

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The Edge
7:53 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Sweeps Slopestyle Snowboarding With Women's Gold

Jamie Anderson of the United States, center, celebrates with silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland, left, and bronze medalist Jenny Jones of Britain, after Anderson won the women's snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Sunday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 12:06 pm

Jamie Anderson's win in the slopestyle snowboarding competition has given the U.S. a sweep of the event following Saturday's win by Sage Kotsenburg.

Anderson's near-flawless run clinched the women's gold.

The Associated Press reports:

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You Must Read This
7:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

From Muse To Outcast, A Woman Comes Of Age In 'Widow Basquiat'

Rebecca Walker's previous work includes the memoirs Black, White & Jewish and Baby Love. Adé: A Love Story is her first novel.
Amanda Marsalis Courtesy of Little A / New Harvest

Much has been written about Jean-Michel Basquiat, the childlike savant and startlingly brilliant neo-expressionist who went down in a ball of heroin, cocaine and rage before his prime — before he could see his paintings sell at Christie's for $49 million, before he was compared to Picasso and de Kooning. Since his death in 1988, he has been immortalized in countless museum catalogues and even more Ph.D theses, and rendered larger than life on the silver screen by none other than the king of the eighties art world himself, Julian Schnabel.

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5:47 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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5:46 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Learning About Love From Prairie Vole Bonding

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Most mammals have "love 'em and leave 'em" relationships, but not the prairie vole. They mate for life, sharing nest-building duties and an equal role in raising their young.

It looks a lot like a relationship many of us would like to have. Prairie voles have long been of interest to scientists looking at the neurobiology of bonding and monogamy.

Larry Young from the primate research center at Emory University in Atlanta tells NPR's Rachel Martin there's a ritual that happens when a male prairie vole spots an eligible female.

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5:45 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Turning A Million Cubic Yards Of Post-Typhoon Trash Into Jobs

Locals working for a UNDP cash-for-work program clear debris in one of the neighborhoods worst affected by the typhoon that hit Tacloban, Philippines, last November. Tim Walsh runs the program, which he hopes will help keep the local economy going.
RV Mitra/UNDP Flickr

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

In an open dump, in a village outside of Tacloban in the central Philippines, we're sloshing through rainwater and leachate — that's the goo that comes out of rotting trash — while Tim Walsh surveys the site.

"Just walk on the dry bit," he says. "I've got used to the smell over the years and you get immune to it. But for most people the smell of decaying rubbish is not really very pleasant."

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All Tech Considered
6:33 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Creator Of Runaway Mobile Hit Flappy Bird Taking Game Down

Flappy Bird is a simple mobile game that has been downloaded more than 50 million times.

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:08 pm

The free mobile game Flappy Bird was all the rage this week, with reports that it has been downloaded 50 million times since its release in May of last year and that it was pulling in $50,000 a day with in-game advertisements.

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The Edge
5:56 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Sochi Games Expose Indian Corruption And Redemption

Independent Olympic participant Shiva Keshavan makes a run during the men's luge training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday in Sochi, Russia.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 7:11 am

It's one of the most dangerous sports at the Olympic Games. And when Indian slider Shiva Keshavan crashed from his sled during a training run at the luge track Friday, his miraculous recovery went viral.

Flying through icy curves feet first, Keshavan thundered down the frozen tunnel, the scraping blades or "steels" of his small sled sounding like a runaway train.

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Digital Life
5:42 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Dr. Wikipedia: The 'Double-Edged Sword' Of Crowdsourced Medicine

giulia.forsythe Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:17 pm

Wikipedia has become a go-to source for definitions, celebrity facts, and now, medical information. A study by the IMS Health Institute published in January names Wikipedia as the "single leading source" of health care information for both patients and health care professionals.

Unfortunately, some of that information is wrong.

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The New And The Next
5:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Blowing Away The Limits Of Convention


Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 6:34 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 talks with host Arun Rath about a Tunisian inventor with a new design for wind turbines and why HBO's True Detective is so "seductive." They also discuss how Square, a device that enables smartphones and tablets to easily process credit cards, is changing the way people tip.

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