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Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, of the Danish band The Raveonettes (Courtesy of the artist)

The Raveonettes, 'Killer In The Streets'

Jul 23, 2014

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Bob Boilen

The ocean serene, the sharks below: That's the contrast of noise and melody The Raveonettes do so well, and one you can hear on this song, "Killer In The Streets." The Danish duo are Sune Rose Wagner on guitar and vocals, along with Sharin Foo on bass, guitar and vocals. "Killer In The Streets" is from the new album Pe'ahi, which The Raveonettes released this week without any advance notice.

Sune Rose Wagner told us via email that "Killer In The Streets" is "about being lured in by beauty and mystique and how deceitful and devastating it can be to a young man. It's our take on a hypnotic groove which pulls the listener in unknowingly." The band will begin a U.S. tour in the fall.

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A woman lights a candle near flowers and candles placed in honor of three citizens -- a mother, her 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son -- who were among the victims of flight MH17 in Delft, Netherlands on Wednesday. (AP)

Dutch Day Of Mourning, As Remains Of Some MH17 Victims Come Home

by Eyder Peralta
Jul 23, 2014

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When the two military planes land at the Eindhoven airport, The Netherlands will come to a standstill.

King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be waiting at the airport along with relatives of the 193 Dutch residents who died after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine.

Almost a week after the tragedy and after a protracted international scramble to remove bodies and evidence from a war-zone in Ukraine, there will be some closure today.

DutchNews.nl reports that for the first time since the death of Queen Wilhelmina in 1962, the country has declared a day of mourning.

"Flags will be at half mast on government buildings and church bells will be rung for five minutes prior to the landing of the first plane bringing back the first bodies of the dead," the website reports.

Bloomberg reports that once the planes lands, the country will observe one minute of silence.

After that, begins the grim task of identifying the remains, which Prime Minister Rutte said "may take months."

The plane is scheduled to land at 10 a.m. ET. We'll update this post once that has happened.

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Always and forever (iStockphoto)

Without Conflict There Is No Growth

by Marcelo Gleiser
Jul 23, 2014

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Marcelo Gleiser

Where do values come from? Culture? Life experience? Family traditions? Upbringing? Religion? How do we decide what is right and what is wrong, given that, in most situations, there are arguments for and against opposing viewpoints? Often, what is right for one person is wrong for another, and from these tensions conflict arises. We see this in our families, in our workplace, in religious conflicts, in political disputes. If, on the one hand, diversity of opinion is what enriches us as humans, on the other, it is what feeds the worse that we have to offer.

Given this familiar framework, how can we choose a path that leads to a better life, with more personal and social harmony?

It would be quite na´ve to expect a life without conflict, na´ve and boring. After all, as we struggle to find solutions, conflict leads to new ways of thinking. Nothing ever changes in a world without discord. We see this in our lives; we see this in science. In fact, in science crises are essential: without them there is no innovation. A life lived in harmony can't be a life without conflict. It must be a life where conflict leads to growth. Harmony is not the absence of conflict. It is the state in which conflict leads to positive change. Harmony is dynamic, not static.

Innovation and growth challenge the status quo, shaking the very foundations where most base their values. Change only comes when we are ready to embrace it; change needs open minds. It's much easier to plant our feet in the traditional, the convenient, in what doesn't force us to reexamine our views. No one likes to be wrong. This is why great innovation comes with revolution, often bloody. The blood that is spilled is not always the one coursing through our veins: it is the blood of conviction, of prejudices, of deep-seated ideas that are abandoned by the inexorable force of reason.

We live in a world of rapid change. It's not just the Internet revolution, with its easy access to information and the democratization of opinion. It's how the Internet promotes conflict, good and bad. It's amusing how brave people become on the Internet as they hide behind a pseudonym; they attack with impunity, self-defined authorities in all topics, presenting their opinion as the only reasonable or plausible, even when part of an open discussion forum. (No doubt this will happen here, as it does in any open Internet forum.) As my son, who works for Google, once told me, the Internet shows the best and worse of humankind. The challenge is to make it into a force for constructive conflict. Perhaps the 13.7 community could set the example?

The Enlightenment used values from classical science to forge a new worldview, based on universal equality. As I wrote last week, we need a new Enlightenment for the 21st century. A good start would be to leave cynicism aside, as it goes nowhere. Discord is necessary, but it can't be purely destructive.

So, here we go: What are the values that would forge a new worldview? For one thing, they must be secular. The protection of all life forms and of the planet is a good start.

If we are rare molecular machines capable of self-reflection, we should act in enlightened ways. We are far from this goal. But, since the first step toward change is the awareness of the need for change, there is hope. What do you suggest?


Marcelo Gleiser's latest book is The Island Of Knowledge: The Limits Of Science And The Search For Meaning. You can keep up with Marcelo on Facebook and Twitter: @mgleiser

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Fun hikes offer health benefits for kids of every shape and size. (annedde/iStockphoto)

Many Kids Who Are Obese Or Overweight Don't Know It

by Katherine Hobson
Jul 23, 2014

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Kids can be cruel, especially about weight. So you might think overweight or obese children know all too well that they're heavy — thanks to playground politics. But that's not necessarily so, according to government data covering about 6,100 kids and teens ages 8-15.

About 30 percent "misperceived" their weight status (underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese), according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. (The CDC bases those categories on body mass index, adjusted for gender and age.)

Among children and teens who were actually designated by the CDC as overweight — or between the 85th and 95th percentiles on the CDC's growth chart — 76 percent thought they were "about right;" about 23 percent said they were overweight. Among obese kids and teens (those in the 95th percentile and higher on the CDC's charts), roughly 42 percent thought they were OK weightwise, while 57 percent thought they were in the "overweight" category. Boys, younger kids and children from poorer families were more likely to misperceive their status.

So is it a bad thing if a kid doesn't know he's overweight? The report notes that research has linked knowing your weight status to trying to change behaviors.

"Children who don't have a correct perception of their weight don't take steps to lose weight," such as increasing physical activity or changing eating habits, Neda Sarafrazi, a nutritional epidemiologist with NCHS and an author of the report, tells Shots.

Other studies have suggested that parents are in the dark about their kids, too, with about half underestimating their obese or overweight child's weight. Sarafrazi says it's key for parents to know the truth.

But kids and teens already worry a lot about their weight, as an NPR parenting panel discussed recently.

Marlene Schwartz, a psychologist and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, tells Shots that while she's a big proponent of keeping tabs on kids' BMIs in the aggregate, she's not sure it's helpful to label kids as overweight. More helpful, she says, is giving kids feedback about their physical fitness and what they eat — noting ways to improve.

And if children are obese, or are having weight-related medical problems, Schwartz says, it's better to encourage them to get healthier by cutting out snacking in front of the television, or cutting out sugary drinks, than to tell them they need to lose 20 pounds to be considered "just right."

"Shame is a terrible motivator," she says.

The disconnect occurred mostly — but not exclusively — among kids who were heavier than average. Of the children who were normal weight, most knew it, while less than 4 percent thought they were overweight and less than 9 percent thought they were too thin. And about 49 percent of underweight kids thought they were about right; the rest knew they were too thin.

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Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City on Tuesday. Israeli airstrikes pummeled a wide range of locations along the coastal area as diplomatic efforts intensified to end the two-week war. (AP)

Gaza Conflict Day 16: Here's What You Need To Know

by Eyder Peralta
Jul 23, 2014

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Amid another day of fighting, Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and began a whirlwind session of shuttle diplomacy.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen, who is traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast unit, Kerry is "trying to talk to everybody" to see if he can broker a cease-fire and perhaps lay the groundwork for longer-term negotiations over the future of Gaza.

The Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is now entering its 16th day. Here's what you need to know:

— Kerry has already met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is also in Jerusalem on a parallel mission for peace.

"Kerry spoke briefly and mentioned that 30,000 people came to Max Steinberg's funeral," Michele reports, referring to the Israeli-American who died fighting for the Israel Defense Forces.

Kerry is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The AP reports that U.S. officials have already begun to downplay expectations for the diplomatic mission, saying at the least Kerry's mission can "define the limits of what each side would accept in a potential cease-fire."

— The U.N.'s high commissioner for human rights said Israel's targeting of civilian installations could amount to war crimes.

"The disregard for international humanitarian law and for the right to life was shockingly evident for all to see in the apparent targeting on 16 July of seven children playing on a Gaza beach," Navi Pillay said. "Credible reports gathered by my office in Gaza indicate that the children were hit first by an Israeli airstrike, and then by naval shelling. All seven were hit. Four of them — aged between 9 and 11, from the same Bakr family — were killed. These children were clearly civilians taking no part in hostilities."

NPR's Emily Harris, who is reporting from Gaza, tells our Newscast unit that Israel has said that schools, mosques and private homes can be legitimate targets if militants use them to stash weapons.

She sent this report:

"Yesterday for the second time in this conflict, U.N. staff found a stash of rockets in a school.

"Earlier this week a different U.N. school providing shelter to 300 Gazans was hit with explosives the U.N. believes were fired by Israeli forces. The next day the school was hit again when U.N. staff were there inspecting damage. The main U.N. agency in Gaza did not accuse Israel of deliberately targeting the school, but made it clear in a statement that the Israeli military OK'd the U.N. staff to visit at the time the school was hit. The girls school is in a densely built-up area in Gaza's east, where fighting has been fierce."

— As the fighting continues, the death toll keeps rising: Ashraf al-Kidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza, says 649 Palestinians have been killed and 4,120 have been injured. The New York Times puts the Israeli death toll at 29.

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