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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · A new salvo has been fired in the fight over teacher tenure. A group led by former TV anchor Campbell Brown filed a complaint in New York state court, arguing that tenure laws are preventing the state from providing every child with the "sound, basic education" its constitution guarantees.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.? That question is at the center of the heated debate about tenure protections and who gets them.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Only one movie in July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has broken the 100 million mark during its opening weekend. Box office receipts all summer have proven anemic. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with RENTRAK, talks to Audie Cornish about the box office slump.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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My Guilty Pleasure

Jul 13, 2014 — Although she's loath to admit it, author Cristina Henriquez used to love Sweet Valley High. She explains why this "all-American" series meant so much to her as an awkward half-Panamanian 5th grader.
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Apr 27, 2014 — Kim Harrison's Hollows series is drawing to a close after ten years of supernatural shenanigans. Reviewer Amal El-Mohtar says the books are fun reading with a solid core of strong female characters.
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Apr 12, 2014 — Whenever writer Yiyun Li feels guilty about her parenting choices, she turns to Peanuts for refuge, holding on to the comforting comic strip as tightly as Linus clutches his security blanket.
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Feb 23, 2014 — Who doesn't like to curl up with a good murder mystery? Author Louise Doughty recommends her favorite collection of such tales, and muses about why we're drawn to stories about homicides.
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Feb 17, 2014 — Fantômas — even his name is mysterious! The French criminal mastermind starred in a series of 19 deliciously pulpy novels beginning in 1911. Author Rachel Cantor says the series is "part police procedural, part gothic horror story, part courtroom drama, part Sherlockian mystery, part existential potboiler."
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Jan 12, 2014 — Author Kim Fu has always loved Batman — at least, one form of him. Her Batman was moral, principled, triumphant: never cheesy or brutish. But Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns cast a guilty shadow over her love for the character, because Miller's bloodthirsty madman shares an awful lot with Fu's favorite version of her hero.
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Nov 17, 2013 — When humor writer Tom Ruprecht decided in high school to read Ian Frazier's Dating Your Mom, he faced a conundrum that most teens would find terrifying: How do you ask your mom to buy you a book with a title like that? And — again, like most teenagers — his solution wasn't exactly graceful. But at least the book of essays was worth it.
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Oct 27, 2013 — Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle and several mystery series, first read Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars in college. It's hardly a staid Latin history book — in fact, it's Brown's favorite guilty pleasure. An academic-looking cover hides a raunchy, violent, thrilling book, she says, full of "around-the-clock degradation."
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Aug 4, 2013 — Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni first read Wilkie Collins' classic detective novel The Moonstone when she came across it in her grandfather's trunk on a rainy Bengali afternoon. When she rediscovered it years later, she realized it is even better than she remembered.
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Jul 14, 2013 — When crime writer Karin Slaughter was struggling to find a good literary relationship, she turned to the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis. She learned about togas and scrolls and came away with a new template for a happy marriage.
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