National News

Many Americans Believe They Don't Need The Flu Vaccine

Flu season is in swing and likely won't let up until April.

It seemed like high time to check in on how Americans feel about flu vaccination, so we asked more than 3,000 adults in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll, conducted during the first half of October.

All told, 62 percent of people said they had been vaccinated or intended to get vaccinated against flu.

An illustration shows what a helicopter drone would look like on the surface of Mars.

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

Is there ever a time when cool trumps science?

It's a question that becomes relevant when you consider NASA's plans to put a helicopter drone on an upcoming rover mission to Mars.

Think about it. If you tell a friend that NASA's Mars 2020 mission will have an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer on board for determining the fine scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials, you'll probably be greeted with a blank look.

Willem de Kooning's <em>Woman — Ochre </em>(oil on canvas, 1954-55) has been missing for 30 years.

Where's This Painting? 30 Years After Its Theft, Nobody Knows

Thirty years ago, one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century vanished. It wasn't an accident and it wasn't some elaborate movie heist. It was a simple theft — and it's still a mystery.

It was the day after Thanksgiving, 1985. Staff at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson were getting to work, just like any other day.

"It was almost 9:00 o'clock so the museum was gearing up to open the doors," says museum curator Olivia Miller. "The security guards opened the doors for one of the staff members, and two people followed behind."

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foraging might call to mind images of hipsters picking food out of the trash.

But one group in Massachusetts eats only the finest, freshest produce. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees in Cambridge and Somerville and turns it into jam.

Sam Christy, a local high school teacher, started the league four years ago.

During Pope's First Stop In Africa, Climate's On His Mind

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The next time a cooking disaster strikes, remember: It happens to the best of us.

Kitchen Disasters: Top Chefs Recall Dinner Gone Wrong

This time of year we tend to do a lot of writing about food. Usually we describe delicious dishes that remind us of home and our favorite family traditions, but there's something missing from that conversation: the tale of the kitchen disaster, the wreck, the unsalvageable mess for which the only remedy is take-out.

To fully appreciate the special anguish that is a home-cooked meal gone wrong, we've asked three people with particular knowledge in this area to tell us about their worst-ever kitchen debacles.

Between France And Russia, Presidents Seek Common Ground In Syria

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Joel Touitou Laloux's family owned Paris' Bataclan theater from 1976 until last year, when the performance hall was sold and he retired to Israel. He's shown here on Nov. 18 at his home in the Mediterranean coastal city of Ashdod in southern Israel.

From Retirement In Israel, Bataclan Ex-Owner Recalls Better Times

When his cellphone rang Friday night, on Nov. 13, Joel Touitou Laloux didn't answer. The sun had long since set, the Jewish Sabbath was under way, and he doesn't use electronics on Shabbat.

He recognized the number. One of his sons was calling from Paris. Laloux, who managed the Bataclan theater for decades until he and his family sold it in September, now lives in Ashdod, a coastal city in southern Israel.

Finally, after his son's number flashed three or four times, Laloux answered.

Members of the black student protest group Concerned Student 1950 raise their arms during a rally at Mizzou. Protests like this are making high schoolers look twice at where they want to study and the culture of racism on campus.

Amid Application Season, Seniors Consider A New Criterion: Race Relations

For high school students looking to choose a college, grade point averages and test scores may weigh heavy on their minds. But campus atmosphere may not be far behind given recent demonstrations on college campuses across the country.

Students at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia were the forefront of a wave of protests over racist incidents and the reaction of school officials. For some high school students, those protests make racial relations factor highly in their college search.

In this November 2015 photo, A 17-year-old mother sits with her baby in the Inhassune village, in southern Mozambique. In Mozambique there are no laws preventing child marriages and existing child protection laws offer loopholes. If a community decides that a girl is to be married in a traditional ceremony, with or without her consent, lawmakers are powerless to intervene.

New Report Says Child Brides In Africa Could More Than Double By 2050

A new report by UNICEF warns that the number of child brides in Africa could more than double to 310 million in the next 35 years.

Though the rates of child marriage are on the decline in most parts of the world, the number of girls married as children in Africa is expected to increase by 250 percent by the year 2050.

At that point Africa would surpass South Asia as the region of the world with the largest number of young women who were married before their 18th birthday, the report says.