All Things Considered
Demand for rhino horn, used in traditional Chinese medicine, is fueling a slaughter of the animals in Africa. In Vietnam, the sought-after commodity is fetching prices as high as $1,400 an ounce, or about the price of gold. There, some believe ground horn can cure everything from hangovers to cancer.
A massive 2008 temblor in Sichuan province killed some 90,000 Chinese and pointed to the poor construction practices in China. The rebuilding effort was supposed to showcase modern China. But today, many survivors are angry over what they say is official corruption, ranging from poor construction and unpaid workers to bribes and improper compensation for seized land.
At a news conference in the White House East Room on Monday, President Obama responded to criticism surrounding the IRS targeting conservative groups and the administration editing talking points about September's terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Minnesota is poised to become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday, making Minnesota the second state in the Midwest to allow same sex couples to marry. Iowa's Supreme Court legalized it in 2009. Minnesota's embrace of gay marriage caps a dramatic political story that's dominated state politics for two years.
Al Fritz, creator of the "Sting-Ray" bike for Schwinn, died last Tuesday at 88 in Barrington, Ill. His bike had a banana seat and high handlebars that curved like longhorns. It was a huge hit for Schwinn in the 1970s.
Three of the world's largest clothing chains, including H&M and the owner of the Zara chain, have agreed to pay for fire safety and building improvements in Bangladeshi factories. The announcement comes three weeks after a building collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers in Dhaka.
A Philadelphia doctor who performed abortions has been found guilty on three counts of murder. On Monday, a jury convicted Kermit Gosnell of performing late-term abortions that killed three babies after they were born alive. The physician argued that they had actually died in the womb. Gosnell is also charged in the death of a female patient who was killed by a lethal dose of sedatives and painkillers.
The last Census showed 9 million people, about 3 percent of the population, reporting more than one race. That's an increase of one-third from the decade before — and that number is only going up.
Rudresh Mahanthappa's work always seems to be filed under jazz, but it's hard to find a style he doesn't touch: hip-hop, country, metal and soul fused with traditional sounds from India, Africa and Indonesia. And he makes it rock.
Writer-comedian Mark McKinney could watch Hayao Miyazaki's anime film My Neighbor Totoro a million times. "It still makes me laugh, it still makes me smile," he says.
This is a big moment for the deaf, many of whom haven't been to the movies in a long time. The new glasses display closed captions just for the wearer, and they're headed for 6,000 theaters across the country.
Salter's first book, in 1957, won the admiration of writers and critics alike. But he hadn't written a novel since 1979, until now. All That Is sets out to give a sweeping portrait of human experience, with a main character who appears suspiciously similar to Salter himself.
Billionaire entrepreneur John McAfee went on the run in 2012 after his neighbor in Belize was found shot in the head. Journalist Jeff Wise profiled McAfee from 2007 to 2012, and says he found himself taken in by McAfee's charm. He's written about the experience in Psychology Today. Ultimately, Wise says he was duped.
NPR's Three-Minute Fiction contest will close Sunday night. Contestants should submit their stories at npr.org/threeminutefiction.
Honeybees are in trouble across the U.S., but one association in Massachusetts is hoping to boost the population in its own area. The bees it currently uses have a hard time surviving the winter and battling other foes that have been killing bees nationwide. So beekeepers in Plympton decided to breed their own.