Fire Engulfs Notre Dame Cathedral In Paris, Spire Collapses, Towers Still Standing

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world's most famous churches, erupted in flames Monday in Paris — and though its survival remains in question, authorities expressed hope. The commander of the Paris firefighter brigade said Monday night that the cathedral's main structure and two towers of the cathedral had been saved. Flames leaped through the roof and dark smoke billowed into the sky on Monday afternoon. Observers gasped as the spire fell. The roof collapsed shortly...

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This I Believe: I Believe Life Should Be "Pun"derful

Mar 24, 2011

One morning, I called the local barbershop to make an appointment. Unfortunately, the barber was all booked up for the day. 

"Well, this is a hairy situation," I said to my girlfriend as I hung up the phone. She replied, "They certainly left you stranded." 

Call me a pundit, a glutton for punishment, or just a "pun"derful guy…I believe in puns. 

You want to spice up any conversation, here's some sage advice. Have a little fun with it. That's why it's called a “play on words” after all. 

This I Believe: I Believe In Eating My Convictions

Mar 10, 2011
Essayist Lyndsie Wszola.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

I believe in eating my convictions. When I was twelve, I stopped eating meat because I liked animals and didn't want to hurt them. My grandmother saw this decision as a personal betrayal.  

Tim Ziegler next to construction sign on dirt road.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Marcellus shale drilling across Pennsylvania has expanded tremendously in the last couple of years. To extract the natural gas, companies drill straight down about 5,000 feet then shoot highly-pressured water mixed with chemicals and sand vertically through the shale to release the gas. It’s called hydrofracturing, or “fracking.” The whole process requires heavy equipment and millions of gallons of water to be trucked in over roads built to carry passenger cars.

Penn State professor Alex Hristov
Emily Reddy / WPSU

It’s feeding time at an experimental dairy barn not far from Beaver stadium. A big square machine on wheels spits a pile of hay in front of each cow on one side of the barn, and lab assistant Chan Hee Lee pours a bucket of dried green leaf bits on top.

As the feeding machine finishes up and rolls out of the barn, Alex Hristov says they tried a lot of things before they found oregano reduced cows’ methane output.

“We started with essential oils,” Hristov said. “Lavender, mint. Citrus, onion, anything, you name it.

So why is Hristov focused on cutting methane?

This I Believe: I Believe In Remembering

Aug 12, 2010

I sometimes forget I have an older sister. She passed away before I was born, but that doesn't mean I don't have a sister. I didn't know about her until I was 12 years old. But now I think of her often.

Shortly before we moved to the United States from Kirgizstan, on New Year’s Day, my dad pulled me aside and told me we had to go visit a “special little person.” My dad took a deep breath and told me about the short life of my older sister.

This I Believe: I Believe In Heavy Metal

Mar 11, 2010

I believe heavy metal.
 
When I was 12 years old I saw Metallica’s music video for the song, “One.” The video mixes gritty black and white band footage with excerpts from the film Johnny Got His Gun about a hospitalized soldier who lost his arms, legs, sight, hearing, and speech to a landmine. Over this footage, “One” goes from lament to unstoppable barrage.
 
I believed this song.
 

This I Believe: I Believe In Making The Bed

Dec 24, 2009

When I was growing up, I fought constantly with my parents over making my bed in the morning. An after-breakfast check-in was routine at my house. My mom or dad would walk down the hall, check each room, and call from upstairs, "Stop whatever it is you're doing and come make your bed." It was a chore that I simply did NOT like, and so I avoided it. I thought it was absurd to make my bed every morning. It was counterproductive. What could be the benefit of straightening a bed in the morning that would inevitably be undone that evening? This puzzled me for a long time.

This I Believe: I Believe In Caring

Dec 10, 2009

Just a few years ago I was a stereotypical teenager. Everything was about "me." I wasn't interested in anyone else or their needs. I often neglected my family because time with my friends seemed more important. Family dinners were a burden and vacations a punishment.

This I Believe: I Believe In Eating Local

May 25, 2009

This I Believe: I Believe In Public Radio

Apr 2, 2009

For many people, April 15 is TAX DAY! April 15 for me, however, has a different significance…

In 1982, I moved to a small mountain town in Colorado. I thought I’d found the perfect place to live. But there was one thing missing. No public radio. I used to spin the FM dial searching for the voice of the community.  All I would hear was canned music or talk programs packaged somewhere far away and made local only by the commercials injected.

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NPR Stories

Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, entered not guilty pleas Monday in federal court in Boston.

Both waived their right to appear in court for arraignment.

Federal prosecutors announced additional charges last week against Loughlin, Giannulli and 14 other wealthy parents. They face one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest-services mail and wire fraud, as well as one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

As the Trump administration reviews what to do with nearly $1 billion in approved aid money to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and threatens to close the southern border, migrants continue to seek asylum. Unlike previous influxes of migrants, most arriving at the border now are women and families.

Measles is surging. Last week the U.S. recorded 90 cases, making this year's outbreak the second largest in more than two decades.

So far this year, the U.S. has confirmed 555 measles cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday. That's 50 percent higher than the total number recorded last year, even though we're only about a quarter of the way through 2019.

And the virus isn't slowing down.

Was 1999 The Best Year Ever For Movies?

2 hours ago

With David Folkenflik

“Fight Club.” “American Beauty.” “The Matrix.” 1999 was a blockbuster year for movies. But was it the best ever year in film?


Want more from the show? You can get messages right from our hosts (and more opportunities to engage with the show) sent directly to your inbox with the On Point newsletter. Subscribe here.

As they have with so many other industries, apps are shaking up the weight loss business, including big-name companies like Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. And it's basically because more consumers feel the way Jessica Holloway-Haytcher does.

A couple years ago, she tried diet shakes and supplements. She hated them. She also hired a former NFL player turned personal trainer — but his schedule never matched hers.

She spent $600 a month for programs that weren't sustainable. She says she couldn't keep up with the "astronomical" costs.

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The Wait Is Almost Over For The (Almost) Full Mueller Report To Be Released

Democrats in Congress and an overwhelming majority of the American public are eagerly awaiting the expected release this week of the Mueller report. First came the wait for special counsel Robert Mueller to conclude his investigation on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election . That happened three weeks ago, but after Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of the nearly 400-page report, there has been a new anticipation — and growing acrimony — for the...

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Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach In Shadow Of Border Crossing

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought his Bach Project to the sister cities of Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on Saturday. The "Day of Action" featured performances in both cities to celebrate the relationship between the two communities. Ma played the opening notes of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello in a park next to the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, one of the crossings that connect the U.S. and Mexican cities. The Laredo performance took place...

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High Stress Drives Up Your Risk Of A Heart Attack. Here's How To Chill Out

Work Stress. Home Stress. Financial Stress. The toll of chronic stress isn't limited to emotional suffering. High stress can set the stage for heart disease. If fact, research shows that those of us who perceive a lot of stress in our lives are at higher risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems over the long term. The latest evidence comes from a new study of siblings in Sweden. Researchers identified about 137,000 people who had been diagnosed with stress-related disorders;...

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Remembering Dick Cole, Who Risked His Life In WWII Doolittle Raid

World War II pilot Dick Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raid, died last week at age 103. Cole was renowned aviation pioneer Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot in April 1942 on what was regarded as a suicide mission – the first counterattack against the Japanese mainland after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid caused Japan to contract its forces and start a battle with the United States over Midway Atoll, a small ring shaped island between North America and Asia. This battle,...

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Tayari Jones Takes Home Aspen Words Literary Prize For 'An American Marriage'

Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET Friday For judges of the second annual Aspen Words Literary Prize , there was little question who ought to walk away with the award. In the end, in fact, the decision was unanimous: The panel picked An American Marriage , by Tayari Jones. "It's a book for the long haul," writer Samrat Upadhyay told NPR. Upadhyay, a finalist for last year's prize , chaired this year's panel of judges. And he said that with An American Marriage , Jones managed to craft a novel that's ...

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Supporters Sue To Open Safe Injection Site In Philadelphia, Citing Religious Freedom

A nonprofit group in Philadelphia is fighting in court to be allowed to open the first facility in the country for people to use illegal opioids under medical supervision. The group, called Safehouse, has the backing of local government, yet faces a legal challenge from federal prosecutors. The idea of supervised injection sites is to offer people a space where they can use drugs under the supervision of trained medical staff, who are prepared with the overdose-reversal drug naloxone. Such...

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How Can We Be Sure Artificial Intelligence Is Safe For Medical Use?

When Merdis Wells visited the diabetes clinic at the University Medical Center in New Orleans about a year ago, a nurse practitioner checked her eyes to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of blindness. At her next visit, in February of this year, artificial intelligence software made the call. The clinic had just installed a system that's designed to identify patients who need follow-up attention. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the system — called IDx-DR —...

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Tiger Woods Wins His 5th Masters Title, Marking A Career Comeback

Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters title on Sunday, marking an incredible comeback from injury and personal hardship that ended a nearly 11-year-long championship drought. Woods finished the final round of his 22nd Masters appearance 13 under par, winning the tournament by a single stroke over Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, who were tied for second place. Sunday's win at Augusta National — where Woods won his first major in 1997 — was his 15th time winning a major. Prior...

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For Kids With Anxiety, Parents Learn To Let Them Face Their Fears

The first time Jessica Calise can remember her 9-year-old son Joseph's anxiety spiking was about a year ago, when he had to perform at a school concert. He said his stomach hurt and he might throw up. "We spent the whole performance in the bathroom," she recalls. After that, Joseph struggled whenever he had to do something alone, like showering or sleeping in his bedroom. He would beg his parents to sit outside the bathroom door or let him sleep in their bed. "It's heartbreaking to see your...

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Opinion: A Showcase Of 'Uncaged Art' By Children Once Detained

An art show opens in El Paso today. It's what they call a "multi-sensory exhibit" that includes works like a chapel, cut from cardboard, surrounded by trees and hedges spun from yarn, with Popsicle stick church pews and crosses. There are many images of bright birds, cooing in trees; and a looming volcano, smoking over a bright, cheery town. The art was created by teenagers from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other countries when they were held in the Tornillo Children's Detention...

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Why Astronomical Drug Prices Are Bad For Health — And Profits

The price of pharmaceuticals around the world can vary dramatically depending on who's paying for the drugs and where those patients happen to live. Take the pneumonia vaccine. Doctors Without Borders just struck a deal on it for refugee children in Greece. The aid group will pay $9 per immunization for a drug with a list price of $540. In local Greek pharmacies, the vaccine costs $168. France pays $189 for the inoculation while the far less wealthy nation of Lebanon pays $243 for it,...

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Can This Breakfast Cereal Help Save The Planet?

This past week in San Francisco, food writers and environmentalists gathered to taste some breakfast cereal. This particular cereal had an ingredient — the milled seeds of a little-known plant called Kernza — that's the result of a radical campaign to reinvent agriculture and reverse an environmentally disastrous choice made by our distant ancestors. The campaign began 40-some years ago with a scientist-environmentalist named Wes Jackson . He argued that humanity took a wrong turn, thousands...

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Not My Job: We Quiz Journalist Dan Rather On What He Actually Said

We recorded the show in San Antonio, Texas, this week and invited journalist Dan Rather — Texas native and resident — to play our quiz. In addition to reporting on pretty much every major event of the last half century, Rather is also famous for "Ratherisms" — folksy sayings combining colorful metaphors with colorful wisdom. He's used so many of them, we're curious to see if he can pick out what he really said from the ones that we just made up. Click the audio link above to hear how he does....

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Whistleblower Protections Key Tool To Investigators Probing Waste And Abuse Of Power

Civil servant Tricia Newbold recently became a whistleblower, approaching a federal government watchdog and Congress to report senior officials overturning security clearance denials for White House staff. She is protected from retaliation under the Whistleblower Protection Act, which marks its 30th anniversary this week. Since the law was enacted the number of people exposing government wrongdoing has gone up — and so has bipartisan support for protecting those who speak out. But it's not...

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A Mother Of A Son With Autism Thanks A Stranger Who Helped: 'Nobody Does What You Do'

Last year, 33-year-old Walker Hughes — who has autism and is minimally verbal — was rushed to the hospital after he tried a new medication that made him agitated. "We're driving at rush hour and my sweet guy is screaming and grabbing me and we're just scared to death," Walker's mom, Ellen Hughes, now 69, said in a StoryCorps interview recorded in February. "This is not the guy I know at all." Walker Hughes, with his mom Ellen Hughes, at the 2017 Wisconsin State Fair. Courtesy of Ellen Hughes...

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With Indian Elections Underway, The Vote Is Also A Referendum On Hindu Nationalism

Indian elections are often called the world's largest exercise in democracy. This month, nearly 900 million voters are eligible to cast ballots in national elections that started Thursday and will continue for more than five weeks. They are deciding whether or not to re-elect Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. Their votes will also make clear the country's level of support for a growing trend in India's politics: Hindu nationalism. "The...

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