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