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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 29, 2014 | NPR · Virologist Thomas Geisbert has spent decades studying Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers. He speaks to Audie Cornish about the current Ebola outbreak, the worst in history, and how it might be contained this time around.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · The Eid festival, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, serves as a time for visiting relatives and exchanging gifts. But one family's holiday in Gaza traces the death and displacement wrought by the war between Hamas and Israel.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · China has begun investigations into one of the country's senior politicians. Zhou Yongkang was a former domestic security chief, and he's suspected of "serious disciplinary violations."
 

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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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Civilization

Dec 27, 2013 — Charles Krauthammer's Things That Matter, at No. 3, features essays on sports, politics and culture.
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Sep 7, 2013 — Author Jesse Walker argues that believing in shadowy cabals and ominous secrets isn't just for people on the margins — it's as American as apple pie. He says that our nation's paranoia stretches back to the colonial era, and that some conspiracy theories are believed by a majority of Americans.
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Aug 5, 2013 — Earlier this summer, NPR's Backseat Book Club — our book club for young readers — asked you to weigh in on your favorite books for kids age 9-14. We heard from more than 2,000 of you, and our expert panel has whittled your hundreds and hundreds of nominations down to a list of 100 great reads.
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Jul 5, 2013 — Tash Aw's Five Star Billionaire, set in Shanghai, explores the dynamic tumult of that city. Reviewer Ellah Allfrey says that Aw, with gentle compassion and keen understanding, shows his characters succumb to the lure of a city where everything seems possible.
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Mar 28, 2013 — The American South as a region has been defined by change since the Civil War. Twenty years after she left the South, Georgia native Tracy Thompson went on a four-year journey to explore what it means to be Southern in the 21st century. In The New Mind of the South, she shares her discoveries.
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Dec 11, 2012 — Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka was the first black African to win the Nobel Prize in literature, in 1986. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that the best part about it was the money. His latest work, Of Africa, is a study of the continent that has dominated his career.
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Oct 26, 2012 — Barzun authored dozens of books and essays on everything from philosophy to music to baseball. He died Thursday, just one month shy of his 105th birthday. "I don't know anybody who had such a Renaissance mind," says his friend and colleague, Prof. Henry Graff.
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Sep 20, 2012 — Thomas Frank analyzes the U.S. political divide, Siddhartha Deb looks into the heart of India, Emmanuel Carrere writes about the 2004 tsunami, and comic actress Mindy Kaling laughs at everything. In fiction, Britain's Alan Hollinghurst follows the evolution of English society.
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Jul 21, 2012 — From the ultimate Olympic reference book to an account of the last London Games, bibliophile cabbie Will Grozier recommends books that put both the 2012 Games and their host city in context.
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Jun 26, 2012 — Anthony Heilbut's essay collection, The Fan Who Knew Too Much, features reflections on the Queen of Soul, soap operas and Jewish immigrants. The highlight of this sometimes harsh collection, says Michael Schaub, is a history of LGBT contributions to gospel.
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