Latest News from NPR

The first and last men to walk on the moon told a congressional committee today that the United States needs to figure out a way to get back into space.

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, told the House Science, Space and Technology Committee that NASA needs a "master plan" to get Americans back in space.

Since the space shuttle program was grounded earlier this year, the only way for American astronauts to get into low Earth orbit or to the International Space Station is to hitch a ride with the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

I logged on to Facebook this week to check out the changes so many people had been griping about in person. "Top News" blared above my News Feed and even more updates spewed in a stream in the right-hand corner of the screen. I reflexively closed the boxes on my profile that explained the "upgrade" and cluttered my view. I was suddenly in the dark, not knowing how to control the information.

The high noon deadline for bioethicist Arthur Caplan's $10,000 challenge to Rep. Michele Bachmann has come and gone without a peep from the Republican presidential hopeful. But damage from her statement linking the HPV vaccine with mental retardation has already been done, Caplan says.

When Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, announced earlier this week that he was stepping down from the number three position in the Senate GOP leadership, his move got the rumor mill going.

Was it because the 71-year old senior senator from the Volunteer State sensed that he wasn't perceived as hardline enough in the Tea Party-era to advance to the the number two position?

Facebook took a leap Thursday towards making itself into what it hopes will be the social center for entertainment and media. You'll be able to see what movies and TV your friends are watching, what music they're listening to and what news items they're reading.

The nation's for-profit colleges and universities have reaped a windfall from the Post-Sept. 11 GI Bill.

The top for-profit companies will bring in around $1 billion in benefits over two years. And some lawmakers say federal regulations encourage these schools to target current and former members of the military.

At a Senate hearing Thursday, lawmakers and witnesses praised the two-year Post-Sept.11 GI Bill, saying it had helped many vets and active-duty service personnel go to college.

It seems that all the big farm groups - from beef and pork producers to sugar and soybean growers — have been paying attention to those "Know Your Farmer" bumper stickers.

As was widely expected, Hewlett-Packard announced that Meg Whitman, the one-time CEO of eBay and former gubernatorial candidate in California, would be its next president and chief executive.

At one point in trading today, the Dow Jones was down close to 500 points or about 4 percent. The U.S. markets followed the earlier global slide as investors grappled with a gloomy forecast from the Federal Reserve and fears of a global economic downturn.

A theory that a virus is the culprit for the mysterious chronic fatigue syndrome has just suffered another serious blow. But some patient advocates are standing by it, saying more research is needed.

The AP is reporting results from a group of Italian researchers using equipment from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) that claims they've measured particles traveling at a speed greater than the speed of light.

Nature reports:

Stocks closed sharply lower Thursday after investors sold stocks with abandon, convinced that the U.S. and the world are headed for a new recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 527 points, the second consecutive plunge since the Federal Reserve announced a change in strategy for fighting the economic slowdown.

At the close of trading, the Dow was down 391.01 points, or 3.5 percent, at 10,733.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 37.18, or 3.2 percent, to 1,129.58. The Nasdaq composite fell 82.52, or 3.3 percent, to 2,455.67.

In an interview with All Things Considered's Michele Norris, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations said the U.S. supports an independent Palestinian state, but trying to achieve that by asking the U.N. to recognize Palestine as a state is "unwise and counterproductive."

Ambassador Susan Rice echoed President Obama, saying "there's no shortcut; there's no magic wand," toward Palestinian statehood. She said the only way to reach a solution is for Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

He's a national hero in China, as NPR's Melissa Block learned in 2009.

Zhu Jian Qiang, or "Strong-Willed Pig", survived for 36 days in the rubble of a home in southwest China after the devastating earthquake there in 2008. It's thought he only had water and charcoal to live on.

"Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers," the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress today, in some of the sharpest words so far about what U.S. officials say is Pakistan's support of terrorist groups.

Those of us who eat beef can thank cattle for turning grass into something tastier. But grass is not always easy to come by, especially in Africa. And without grass, where's the beef?

U.S. military officials have for years talked of links between Pakistan's spy agency and militant groups attacking American targets across the border in Afghanistan.

During a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill, the top U.S. military officer said there's proof.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was blunt. Supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, the militant Haqqani network was responsible for attacks that included the one on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul last week, he said.

The corner of 15th and K streets in Washington, D.C., is busy. Buses, trucks, cars and taxis zip by. There are pedestrians and, increasingly, bikes.

Some 57 million adults ride bicycles in the U.S., whether for commuting or exercise or fun. Cities are adding bike lanes with the help of a federal program that gets its money from the highway bill. Some Senate Republicans tried — and ultimately failed — to block funding for that program, which also pays for sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements.

In an effort to curb puppy and kitty mills, the Toronto city council approved a new resolution that restricts the kinds of pets shops can sell. Now, pet shops will only be allowed to sell dogs and cats that come from a shelter, a Humane Society or a registered rescue group.

The National Post reports on the reaction of one of the people behind the law:

Toronto Restricts Sales Of Cats And Dogs

Sep 22, 2011

Toronto's City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban pet shops from selling dogs and cats unless the animals come from shelters or rescue groups.

The move comes after authorities seized more than 500 dogs from a Quebec puppy mill in what could represent the largest case of animal cruelty in Quebec's history.

The animals are now in the care of the Humane Society. Many of them are suffering from skin and respiratory problems. A representative of the society said the operation involved some of the worst conditions she'd ever seen.

American diplomats just walked out of the United Nations General Assembly after hearing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ask what to him is a rhetorical question: who used "the mysterious Sept. 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq?"

Federal regulators are moving closer to implementing new safety standards for table saws. Every year, several thousand Americans cut off their fingers using the tools.

Engineers at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency tasked with ensuring safety standards on a range of consumer products, say almost all of those injuries could be prevented with a better safety brake system.

Currently, such a brake is only available on one brand of table saw, called SawStop, but the vast majority of saws sold today don't have the safety brake.

As of Tuesday night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 55 people in 14 states have become infected with one of the strains of Listeria monocytogenes tied to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms' production fields in Granada, Colo.

Two U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Justice Department, yesterday, accusing it of misleading the American public about how a section of the Patriot Act is being implemented.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO) take issue with two things agency officials from both the Obama and Bush administrations have said in the past:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange found himself on the wrong side of an unauthorized leak of sorts on Thursday when his autobiography was released in Britain without his permission.

British publisher Canongate decided to go ahead and release Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography because it said Assange received a six-figure advance but then changed his mind and kept the money.

That's one small step for historians ...

We'll stop there and just go to the news:

"An archivist sifting through boxes of former President Bill Clinton's papers and memorabilia from his time as Arkansas governor [has] found a missing moon rock given to the state 35 years ago," the Arkansas News Bureau reports.

Americans Divided On Palestinian Statehood

Sep 22, 2011

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, Host:

President Obama says he will veto that effort if it comes before the UN Security Council. He talked about it in a Wednesday speech before the General Assembly.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, Host:

Ladies, thank you all so much for joining us.

NIA: Thank you.

VIVIANA HURTADO: It's great to be here.

DANIELLE BELTON: Thank you.

ANNE EMANUEL: Hey, there.

We know a little bit more about the fate of that falling weather satellite, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, which is close to its fiery end. NASA now predicts the UARS will plunge into Earth's lower atmosphere "sometime during the afternoon of Sept. 23, Eastern Daylight Time".

If you shopped at a Trader Joe's store this summer, you might have passed activists wielding signs in the shape of plump red tomatoes with slogans like "Trader Joe's Exploits Farmworkers." The Florida-based labor rights group behind these picket lines is demanding that the grocer pay an extra cent per pound to the tomato pickers at the other end of the supply chain.

Why? Because those workers are some of the worst treated and lowest paid farmworkers in the U.S., the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers says.

Pages