Got a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi habit? Lots of Americans do. Consumption of all types of diet soft drinks has been on the rise. And as a nation, we drink an estimated 20 percent more of diet drinks now than we did 15 years ago.
So, is it good for us? A new study finds the answer to that question may depend a lot on, well, what you eat.
Mohamed Fellag, an Algerian comedian and humor writer, plays the title character in the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, who steps in to teach a class of middle school students at exactly the right time.
At the start of a bright, sunny day that seems otherwise like any other day, a popular teacher is found dead in her classroom. It was suicide.
The school is traumatized, especially that teacher's students. By the next day, the principal is at her wits' end trying to find someone willing to take the class. So when Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) offers to teach, it comes at just the right moment.
When he appeared in court on second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was accompanied by his new defense attorney, Mark O'Mara. Hours after the hearing, O'Mara told NPR that he doubts the case will go to trial in 2012.
But in the meantime, O'Mara tells Tell Me Morehost Michel Martin, he'd like to get his client out of jail.
Some Latin American leaders want to talk about the possibility of legalizing some drugs, a move the U.S. strongly opposes. Here, a Mexican soldier stands guard at a huge marijuana plantation that was uncovered in San Quintin, Baja California state, near the U.S. border, last year.
Credit Johan Ordonez / AFP/Getty Images
A man makes a joint during a march last month in Guatemala City, Guatemala, calling for the decriminalization of marijuana.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. The man who Florida police first declined to arrest now faces second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman claims he is not guilty under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which allows for the use of force in self-defense.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Baby boomers are the first generation with large numbers of dual-earner couples heading into retirement. That means negotiating the golden years is all the more complicated. Now there are two careers, two hard-earned nest eggs and quite possibly two competing visions of how and when to retire.
"Do I freak you out?" It's a question that haunts writer Mary Elizabeth Williams and others whom she describes as "physically different, in ways both small and large."
Williams' surgery to remove cancer more than a year ago left a 5 centimeter bald spot on the back of her head. She doesn't mind it — it's a badge of survival — but her daughter, Beatrice, fusses about it from time to time.
Chico's story mimics the stories of many Cuban musicians who left Havana and arrived in New York City in the 1940s — a time when musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were starting to emerge.
Credit Luma Films
Javier Mariscal (left) and Fernando Trueba directed Chico & Rita along with Tono Errando.
The animated film Chico and Rita is set in 1940s Havana, at a time when Cuban musicians were starting to leave the country and join the jazz scene in New York. It was also a time when musical styles were fusing — and changing the Afro-Cuban jazz scene entirely.
The film tells the story of Chico, one of the best piano players in Havana, and Rita, his sultriest singer. They're lovers, and eventually their migration takes them past New York to Paris — criss-crossing continents to make music while struggling to keep themselves and their relationship afloat.
Update at 1:15 p.m. ET, April 13: Since we first published this post, Sybrina Fulton has gone on other news programs to clarify her comments. We have a new post here, headlined "Trayvon's Mother: Encounter Was An Accident, Shooting Was Not."
If you feel like suing somebody, you'd better be patient.
Due to state budget woes, courts all across the country are cutting back on personnel and the number of hours or even days that they're open. That's causing long delays, especially when it comes to civil litigation.
"There's no question that there's been a pretty devastating impact in lots of states in how we deliver services," says Kevin Burke, president of the American Judges Association.
The U.S. now imports far more oil from Canada than from any other country. Persian Gulf imports now account for less than 15 percent of the oil consumed in the U.S. This photo shows the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in 2009.
Credit Marcel Mochet / AFP/Getty Images
The source of U.S. oil imports has been evolving. Canada, Latin America and Africa have been sending more oil to the U.S., while Middle Eastern crude is playing a smaller role. This photo shows an oil operation in 2007 off the coast of Angola, a leading producer in Africa.
Since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1960s and 70s, it's been conventional wisdom to talk about American dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf. But the global oil market has changed dramatically since then.
Today, the U.S. actually gets most of its imported oil from Canada and Latin America.
And many Americans might be surprised to learn that the U.S. now imports roughly the same amount of oil from Africa as it does from the Persian Gulf. African imports were a bit higher in 2010, while Persian Gulf oil accounted for a bit more last year.
The welfare program that operated in the United States between the Franklin Roosevelt administration and the Clinton administration offered poor families assistance with few requirements or time frames. States could enroll as many people as they wanted in the program, and the federal government would match their funds.
The agency says there were 380,000 such applications, up from 367,000 (a number that has been revised upward; previously, the agency had estimated there were 357,000 claims in the week ended March 31).
Claims had been running at the lowest pace since March and April 2008. At 380,000, the pace is the lowest since June 2008.
The man accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, won a key battle at Guantanamo on Wednesday — a judge said he could meet with his lawyers without having to wear restraints.
The early word from Syria is that "flashpoints of the 13-month uprising against President Bashar Assad were quiet Thursday ... suggesting a U.N.-brokered truce was starting to take hold and the regime was keeping a pledge to halt its assault on opposition strongholds," The Associated Press reports.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with the catch of the day. Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources captured, tagged and released a sturgeon weighing over 240 pounds. That makes this fish, a female, the largest on record for the state. One scientist estimates she's 125 years old. The sturgeon is old enough to have been around when Grover Cleveland was president, but a few years too young to remember a first edition of "Moby Dick." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The publishing business is still trying to absorb the news that the Justice Department is suing Apple and publishers for price fixing in the e-book market. Three publishers - Simon and Shuster, Harper Collins and Hachette - decided to settle the suit. But Apple, along with the companies Macmillan and Penguin, plan to fight the allegations. Here's NPR's Lynn Neary.
After months of relentless shelling and gunfire, activists in Syria reported a quieter daybreak Thursday, as a ceasefire arranged by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan appeared to be largely holding.
Opposition figures said rebel fighters inside Syria would abide by the truce as long as the Syrian military does, while the government says its forces will return fire if attacked. Annan is hoping to progress from the cease-fire to getting humanitarian assistance into the country, and eventually to political negotiations.
If you want a mani-pedi - that's a manicure and pedicure to the uninitiated - you don't have to walk very far here in California. There are about 48,000 nail salons throughout the state. A new study by the state government now says some products used in those salons contain toxic substances, even though the products are billed as nontoxic. That sounds scary for salon owners and workers and clients, but representatives of the nail care industry say the study is nonsense. NPR's Ted Robbins reports.
Some other news: Tax day is rapidly approaching, and it turns out that day can hazardous to your heath.
As NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, researchers found a rise in fatal auto accidents on the day taxes are due.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Back in 1789, Ben Franklin wrote: Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. He couldn't possibly have foreseen the linkage reported in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association: 6 percent more people than usual are killed on the roads on tax day.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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The man who authorities said could not be charged with a crime will now face charges.
MONTAGNE: George Zimmerman is expected in court today in Sanford, Florida. Special prosecutor Angela Corey says she plans to charge him with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed high school student.
NPR's business news starts with a big fine for Johnson & Johnson.
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INSKEEP: So much for no more tears. A judge in Arkansas ordered the company most famous for its baby shampoo to by more than a billion dollars in fines yesterday over its marketing for a very different product. That would be an antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.