NPR News

Shaquille O'Neal Announces Retirement On Twitter

Jun 1, 2011

After 19 seasons and four NBA titles, Shaquille O'Neal said he was "about to retire." O'Neal made the announcement on Twitter. "I'm retiring," he wrote and linked to a short video.

"We did it. 19 years, baby" he said in the video. "I want to thank you very much; that's why I'm telling you first: I'm about to retire."

NPR News has learned that Massey Energy executive Chris Adkins will not be part of the executive team at Alpha Natural Resources following today's merger of the two coal companies.

As expected, Joseph "Sepp" Blatter was reelected to a fourth term as president of FIFA. Blatter was running unopposed, but, as we reported yesterday, the English Football Association had called for a delay in the vote, because FIFA, worldwide soccer's governing organization, is embroiled in several ethics scandals.

Last year's GOP takeover of the U.S. House and statehouses across the country has dramatically changed the shape of the nation's abortion debate. It has also given a boost to an even more far-reaching effort: the push to legally redefine when life itself begins.

The question being raised in legal terms is: When does someone become a person?

Plans For Dams In Patagonia Draw Ire From Chileans

Jun 1, 2011

Massive protests have broken out in Chile over the environment — specifically over some dams that are set to be built in Patagonia, one of the world's most iconic wilderness areas. Most citizens disapprove of the HidroAysen project, which scientists and conservationists say will forever change this region.

Yet largely because of a booming copper mining industry, Chile is hungry for energy and the government is pushing ahead with the dams.

"By the end of this year," Defense Secretary Robert Gates says, the Taliban should be to the point where it's willing to take part in formal talks aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan.

But, he said during a conversation set to air on today's All Things Considered, the Taliban must "put down their weapons ... abandon [any ties] to al-Qaida" and agree to live "under the Afghan constitution."

MSNBC reports that:

"Rep. Anthony Weiner [D-NY] said Wednesday that he can't say 'with certitude' whether or not a lewd below-the-belt photo depicted his body, but he insisted that he did not tweet the picture to a 21-year old college student in Seattle, Wash."

It wasn't long ago that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had the solid backing of Iran's establishment. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stood firmly by him during 2009's disputed election that led to the country's most significant unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

But during the past months, Ahmadinejad has been losing support. Today, that became readily apparent when Iran's parliament voted 165-1 in favor of taking the president to court over what they say was an illegal takeover of Iran's Oil Ministry.

Medicare pays more to doctors and hospitals in expensive parts of the country. But a prestigious panel says Medicare's methods of evaluating regional costs are disturbingly imprecise and need to be overhauled.

While reporting for his three-part series on drug trafficking in Central America, NPR's Jason Beaubien spoke at length with "Blue" (a pseudonym) the second in command of the Mara Salvatrucha gang in El Salvador.

In today's report, Jason says that: