News From NPR

The Salt
8:18 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Newbie Urban Gardeners Don't Realize How Much Soil Is Contaminated

Graze the Roof is a community-produced garden that grows vegetables on the rooftop of a church in San Francisco.
Sergio Ruiz/Flickr

Originally published on

The majority of Americans now live in cities, which means we have very little to do anymore with the production of our food.

But there's a reversal of that trend afoot, as more city people decide that they want to cultivate crops and raise some livestock. After all, there are few things more satisfying that biting than a bunch of tender, red radishes you grew yourself, or a fresh egg from the backyard.

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Around the Nation
7:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Bringing Death To The Shopping Mall: Selling Caskets At The Kiosk

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Malls have long been the place to "shop till you drop." In Southern California, Forest Lawn, a funeral industry leader, has made them places to shop before you drop.

Book Reviews
7:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'In Paradise,' Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty

In his six-decade career, Peter Matthiessen has written 33 books, including The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country.
Linda Girvin Courtesy of Riverhead Books

Originally published on

At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.

Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.

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Middle East
7:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

For Syrian Refugees, 'Life Has Stopped'

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Syrian refugees have flooded into Lebanon since the war began. The UN said this week that 1 million refugees are now in the country. NPR's Scott Simon and Alice Fordham discuss the impact.

Afghanistan
7:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

With Modern Election, Voters Make A Break From Old Afghanistan

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Afghans voted for a new president Saturday, with only scattered violence. NPR'S Renee Montagne tells NPR's Scott Simon that the vote reflects the country's tug between tradition and modernity.

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