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Law
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

The U.S. Will Seek The Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Law
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

De Blasio Drops Appeal Of 'Stop And Frisk'

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a step today toward major changes at the nation's largest police force. De Blasio says the city will settle a long-running lawsuit against the New York Police Department's over its so-called Stop-and-Frisk tactics. A federal judge had ruled that the department civil rights of blacks and Latinos.

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Around the Nation
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

As States Close Prisons And Cut Crime, Feds Lag Behind

When state prison populations were at their peak, prisons like San Quentin in California used gymnasiums to house inmates in bunks. Now it's the federal prison system that's overcrowded. The Bureau of Prisons says it's 35 to 40 percent over capacity.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:08 pm

State prison populations are declining for the first time in four decades. But at the federal level, incarceration rates are going in the opposite direction.

The federal Bureau of Prisons is on track to swallow a third of the Justice Department's budget by 2020, according to a report by the nonpartisan Urban Institute.

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Movie Reviews
4:18 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

At Home, With Mom And Her Murderous Beau

Depressed single mother Adele (Kate Winslet) and her son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith), give the wounded and desperate Frank (Josh Brolin) a ride, only to realize that Frank is an escaped convict being hunted by local police.
Dale Robinette Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

So here's the setup: It's 1987. Frank, a convicted murderer, has escaped from a New Hampshire prison, and he's holding Adele, a fragile divorcee, and her 12-year-old son, Henry, captive in their own house until they eat his chili.

Turns out it's good chili — so good that it inspires Adele, whom the handsome convict has tied up very gently and tenderly, to reminisce about a conversation she and her son had about his sex education class. Seriously, it's some good chili. And did I mention that Frank is handsome?

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Movie Reviews
3:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

On Urban Streets, Off-Roaders Stir A Noisy Conversation

The Kickstarter-funded 12 O'Clock Boys, director Lotfy Nathan's first film, examines whether dirt bikes keep kids from joining gangs or if they just invent new problems for urban Baltimore.
Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

"This is our tradition, our culture, our release."

So says one of the 12 O'Clock Boys — a large group of dirt bike and ATV enthusiasts who, depending on your perspective, either grace or terrorize the streets of Baltimore each Sunday with acrobatic feats on their motorbikes. They weave through the city traffic, popping extended wheelies, the line of their bikes almost at vertical, approximating the hands of a clock at noon.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Utah School Draws Ire For Taking Kids' Lunches; Debt Cited

Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, where up to 40 students were served lunch Tuesday — only to have it discarded. They were told they didn't have enough credit on their accounts.
Google

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:41 am

Two state senators are paying a visit to an elementary school in Salt Lake City on Thursday, after reports emerged that the school had served meals to dozens of students — only to throw them away after a cashier confirmed their accounts had an outstanding balance.

Anger and frustration followed the incident, which affected up to 40 students Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

'Charlie Victor Romeo': In Crisis In The Cockpit

Sam Zuckerman, Noel Dinneen and Nora Woolley play various airplane pilots in Charlie Victor Romeo, a white-knuckle docudrama with dialogue taken from the voice recorders of six planes that crashed between 1985 and 1996.
Collective: Unconscious

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:24 pm

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

On Campus, Two Weary Souls Find A Spark To Kindle

Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga star as two weary strangers who meet — and spark mutual midlife awakenings — while taking their kids on a college tour.
Anchor Bay Films

Long after many another serviceable movie premise has gone to its grave, the brief encounter will live and be well.

Talk about an unbeatable package: Nothing more urgently captures the disappointment of lives congealed by routine than does the sudden midlife romance; nothing so pointedly speaks to the undying desire for completion by another who understands and accepts us as no one else does; nothing so completely resounds with the fantasy of escape. And nothing so neatly contains all that unruly desire within the 11th-hour return to common sense and responsible self-sacrifice.

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Parallels
2:52 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Report: Syrian Government Has Demolished Entire Neighborhoods

The complete demolition of the Masha' al-Arb'een neighborhood in the Syrian city of Hama. The group Human Rights Watch says the Syrian government army destroyed at least seven neighborhoods since the middle of 2012 because they were opposition strongholds.
DigitalGlobe

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:58 pm

As the Syrian government and opposition forces try to make peace in Geneva, the group Human Rights Watch has issued a new report that accuses the regime of demolishing entire neighborhoods that were considered opposition strongholds.

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All Tech Considered
2:48 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cinemas Struggle As Film Fades Out Of The Picture

The Roxie Theater in San Francisco still has two 35 millimeter projectors, but the switch to digital is inevitable.
Laura Sydell NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

Cinema owners who don't have a digital projector in their movie house can't show Paramount Pictures' latest release: The Wolf of Wall Street. This year Paramount became the first big studio to distribute a major release in the U.S. entirely in a digital format, and other studios are likely to follow.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Obama To Nominate Vice Adm. Michael Rogers As NSA Chief

Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers
U.S. Navy

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:06 am

President Obama has decided to nominate Vice. Adm. Michael Rogers, the current head of U.S. Cyber Command, as the next director of the National Security Agency, The New York Times, Reuters and CNN are reporting.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Amanda Knox Guilty Verdict Reinstated By Italian Court

Amanda Knox speaking during a taped interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in New York in April.
Ida Mae Astute AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:52 am

An Italian court has reinstated the original guilty verdict against U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of her British roommate.

In 2009, Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, but the verdict was overturned two years later. Last year, Italy's Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal and sent the case back to an appeals court in Florence.

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Parallels
2:28 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson's Middle East Flap ... Over Soda

Scarlett Johansson recently became SodaStream's spokeswoman and appeared at an event at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Jan. 10 in New York City. The actress soon found herself engulfed in controversy because of her affiliation with a company that has a factory in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Mike Coppola Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 7:55 am

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Maine's High Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Student

Nicole Maines, center, with her father Wayne Maines, left, and brother Jonas, speaks to reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Maine, in June.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Maine highest court has ruled in favor of a transgender student who sued her former school district after being required to use a staff bathroom instead of the bathroom of her choice.

Nicole Maines is a biologically a boy, but identifies as a girl.

The Associated Press reports:

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Shots - Health News
1:31 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Need A New Name?

The Institute of Medicine is reviewing how chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed and whether that label puts too much emphasis on fatigue over other significant symptoms.
Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:48 pm

If the prestigious Institute of Medicine pays attention to your disease, that's usually considered a good thing. But some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome fear that the review of the condition by the institute, an independent organization that advises the government on health issues, might perpetuate the widespread belief that their condition is purely psychological.

The controversy begins with the name. Everyone experiences fatigue, and lots of people are tired most of the time. But long-standing fatigue is just one of many debilitating symptoms.

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It's All Politics
1:13 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Policymaking By Pen: Obama's New Twist On Old Strategy

President Obama prepares to sign an executive order mandating that federal contractors be required to raise the minimum wage they pay their workers to $10.10, at the end of a Jan. 29 appearance at the US Steel's Mon Valley Works in West Mifflin, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:48 pm

The reviews are in for President Obama's stepped-up use of executive powers to carry out policies he can't get through Congress.

Republicans think the idea stinks.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann threatened to sue Obama over his announced intent to use his "unilateral authority" to change rules regarding, for instance, the minimum wage paid to employees by federal contractors.

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The Edge
1:05 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

American Barista Fulfills Olympic Dream — On Swiss Hockey Team

Jessica Lutz is heading to the Winter Olympics from her job at a coffee shop in Washington. Recently, her fellow baristas made a latte in her honor.
Lauren Katz NPR

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:59 am

Jessica Lutz is on her way from making arty designs in coffee cups to carving Olympic ice in Sochi. And although she grew up in the U.S., Lutz will compete for the Swiss hockey team. Her story is an example of the sacrifices and strategies many athletes rely on to get to the games.

For most of the past year, Lutz, 24, crafted latte art as a barista in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in the D.C. suburb of Rockville, Md., Lutz had a chance to compete for Switzerland because of her father's nationality (she's a dual citizen).

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

U.S. Will Seek Death Penalty In Boston Bombing Case

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:07 am

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department will seek the death penalty in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man charged in connection with the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

"The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Holder said in a statement.

As we've reported, the 20-year-old Tsarnaev has been charged with 30 counts, including killing four people and using weapons of mass destruction.

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Music
12:53 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

'Spirit Of Family' Unites Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Darren Phillip Jones

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:58 am

For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.

The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.

That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

New Animation Details What Went Wrong In 2010 Plant Explosion

A Tesoro Corp. refinery is shown Friday, April 2, 2010, in Anacortes, Wash., after an explosion and fire that killed eight people.
Ted S. Warren AP

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released its draft report into the causes of a devastating 2010 explosion at a Tesoro refinery on Puget Sound. The accident killed seven workers, and the community has been increasingly upset by how long the investigation has dragged on.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Snowy Owl That Enchanted D.C. Is Hit By A Bus

The snowy owl that has been spotted recently in the Washington D.C. area was brought to the Smithsonian's National Zoo for care on Thursday.
Smithsonian National Zoo

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 12:14 pm

A snowy owl that stopped pedestrian traffic — and the presses, when it found a spot outside The Washington Post's building — in Washington, D.C. could not escape the city's danger.

According to the Smithsonian National Zoo, the bird was apparently hit by a bus on Thursday. Police jumped into action and drove the owl to the zoo. They report:

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Sports
11:53 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Sports Writer Ray Didinger On The Myth Of The 'Dumb' Football Player

A.J. Rich iStockphoto

On Sunday, the Super Bowl will draw a TV audience of more than 100 million people, spawn countless watching parties and generate a week's worth of chatter about the half-time show and the best commercials. But at the heart of it is a game — one that Ray Didinger has been covering for decades for a variety of media organizations, including NFL Films.

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Sports
11:53 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ron 'Jaws' Jaworski On What It's Like To Play The Super Bowl

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. To find out what it feels like to play pro football and to play in the Super Bowl, we reached out to former quarterback Ron Jaworski who is now a football analyst for ESPN. Jaworski spent spent 16 years in the NFL, most of them with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team he took to the Super Bowl 15 in 1981. Jaws, as he was often known, had a great passing year then but a rough time in the big game.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu January 30, 2014

New York City Agrees To Reform Stop-And-Frisk Tactics

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:07 pm

Making good on a campaign promise, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will drop an appeal challenging a judge's opinion that found the city's controversial "stop and frisk" practices violated the civil rights of thousands of black and Latino residents.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Justice Dept. Seeks To Expand Clemency For Some Drug Offenders

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:13 am

The Department of Justice is looking to expand the number of low-level, nonviolent drug offenders considered for presidential clemency.

As The New York Times reports, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole told lawyers at a meeting of the New York State Bar Association on Thursday to flag potential candidates.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu January 30, 2014

This Photo Of Lake Michigan Will Make You Shiver

Lake Michigan, now partially frozen, as snow and clouds blow over.
NOAA

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:35 am

A photo posted by our friends at Michigan's Interlochen Public Radio is so cool we just had to know more about it and about what's going on with the Great Lakes during this extra-frigid winter.

As you'll see, the satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows clouds and snow blowing across the now partially ice-covered Lake Michigan.

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It's All Politics
10:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Rep. Henry Waxman, Ferocious Liberal, Says He Will Retire

Rep. Henry Waxman of California speaks during a 2011 hearing in Washington, D.C. The 20-term Democrat was among the "Watergate babies" elected in 1974.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

Rep. Henry Waxman, (D-Calif.), a key architect of the Affordable Care Act and for four decades a ferocious liberal voice on matters of health and the environment, revealed Thursday that he plans to retire at the end of the year.

Waxman's news comes on the heels of a similar announcement from another liberal California "Watergate baby" elected in 1974, Rep. George Miller. Both are top allies of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also of California.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Defining Success Beyond The Dollar Sign

iStockphoto

Amy Chua is known as the Tiger Mom. Ever since writing a book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about raising her daughter according to the strict — and very high — expectations of her own Chinese-immigrant parents, she's been a lightning rod for controversy about parenting and our notion of success in this country.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Thu January 30, 2014

U.S.: Syria Behind Schedule On Dismantling Chemical Stockpile

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:05 am

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says the U.S. is "concerned" that Syria is behind schedule in removing its chemical stockpiles.

Hagel, speaking during a visit to Poland, says Syria "is behind in delivering these chemical weapons precursor materials on time with the schedule that was agreed to."

White House spokesman Jay Carney, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, added: "It is the Assad regime's responsibility to transport those chemicals to facilitate removal. We expect them to meet their obligation to do so."

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Air Force Cheating Scandal Widens; 92 Nuclear Officers Linked

The launch-key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D., in 2002.
AP

Nearly 20 percent of the officers in the U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons corps have now been implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal, the secretary of the Air Force said Thursday.

Deborah Lee James told reporters that 92 individuals in the 500-member force are now thought either to have shared information about the answers to the test or to have known that others had done so, The Associated Press reports.

The wire service adds that:

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