It came as a surprise to many people when Vermont's governor recently devoted his entire 2014 State of the State address to what he called a "full-blown heroin crisis."
While it may not fit Vermont's bucolic image, the state's addiction problem has long been acknowledged. And as the state has expanded treatment, it's also been coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the issue: addicted mothers.
The Deep South is in a deep freeze. Snow, sleet and freezing rain have gripped a region more accustomed to sun and surf. As a result, roads are a mess and from South Louisiana to the Carolina coast, classes are cancelled, airplanes are grounded, and businesses and government offices are closed.
NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: In Birmingham, Alabama today, just getting around town is practically impossible.
It's single-digit cold as Brett West steps into the snow in his backyard in Ridgefield, Conn., and points to a wooden monstrosity. It stands 32 feet high and looks kind of like a wooden roller coaster.
"The whole thing's made of wood — two-by-fours, four-by-fours and 3-quarter-inch plywood, all pressure-treated lumber, with a lot of screws."
The homemade track was the first training ground for his son, Tucker, an 18-year-old who is the youngest member of the U.S. luge team in Sochi.
Ala'a Miqbel phoned his wife and his boss on the morning of Aug. 26 last year, just to say he was almost at the Erez crossing. That's the checkpoint between the Gaza Strip, where Miqbel lives, and Israel.
The U.S. Consulate had invited Miqbel to attend a conference in the West Bank. Although he'd been to Ramallah for work several years ago, Israeli security wanted to interview him before granting a travel permit this time.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:54 am
When you are out of work and looking for 27 weeks or longer, you become part of a group the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls long-term unemployed. The share of long-term unemployed workers hit its peak in May 2010, when 46 percent of the unemployed were long-term unemployed. It has hovered around 40 percent of the unemployed in the three years since.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:18 pm
In a railyard outside Chicago, the deep cold of winter can threaten a Midwest staple: beer. The large distribution hub regularly holds more than 1 million cases, according to Crain's Chicago Business. A Crain's reporter spent a night on the job with the man who must keep the beer safe.
Pete Seeger believed songs were a way of binding people to a cause. He popularized "This Land is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome" and wrote "If I Had a Hammer." In 1940s, he co-founded The Weavers, who surprised everyone, including themselves, when they became the first group to bring folk music to the pop charts — until they were black listed. Seeger refused to answer questions about his politics when he appeared before House Un-American Activities committee in 1955.
In a move that's being seen as retaliation for negative stories about its leaders, China's government has told a New York Times reporter that he must leave the country when his visa expires Thursday. The government has not granted a request for a new visa that was made last summer.
The development comes despite objections from Vice President Joe Biden, who has urged senior officials in Beijing not to punish U.S. journalists with de facto expulsion.
From Beijing, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:12 pm
On Sunday, we told you about bartenders who are up in arms about a new California law that makes it illegal for culinary workers to touch uncooked food with their bare hands. Turns out, sushi chefs are ticked off, too.
For sushi chefs, crafting sashimi or a great roll is a lot like creating art. It requires skill and feel. Bare hands are essential.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:47 pm
The annual State of the Union speech isn't just stagecraft: the message is mandated by the U.S. Constitution (trivia alert: Article II, Section 3). It's intended to give Congress a status update on the country and make recommendations where needed, but the tradition has evolved over time.
The history of the address is rich, even if the individual speeches sometimes seem fleeting and forgettable.
Who was the first person to deliver this presidential memo? (George Washington.)
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:51 am
Police in the Philippines played "wheel of torture" to dole out punishments to criminal suspects during interrogations, according to country's own Commission on Human Rights.
"They do it for fun, it's like a game for entertainment," Loretta Ann Rosales, the chair of the Commission on Human Rights said. "We're trying to correct this mindset based on a human rights approach to policing, but obviously it may take a lot of time."
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:20 pm
Drinking remains one of the biggest health risks for college students, with 80 percent of students drinking alcohol and more than one-third binge drinking.
This may seem like an inevitable part of student life. But there's actually a lot that schools can do to help students get their drinking under control if they're willing to offer more than generic online courses, a study finds.
Now it's time for our Money Coach conversation. You've heard by now about the problems at a number of retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, where hackers were able to access supposedly private information from the millions of customers who used credit and debit cards at the stores. But now there are people trying to take advantage of that chaos and scam you again. Here to tell us more is Sheryl Harris who writes for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Welcome back. Thanks so much for joining us.
It has been more than a decade since Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Pakistan. On January 23, 2002, he left the house of his friend and colleague, Asra Nomani, for an interview but never returned.
Teenagers are often seen as impulsive and moody. But psychiatrist Daniel Siegel says it's time to rethink adolescence as a time of great opportunity, as well as challenge. Host Michel Martin speaks with Dr. Siegel about the teenage brain and his new book Brainstorm. Parents Leslie Morgan Steiner and Aracely Panameno join in.
As the enrollment period continues for health coverage on the state health insurance marketplaces, people continue to have many questions about buying a plan there.
What happens with premium tax credits if a couple gets divorced? If the premium tax credit is based on the previous year's income when the couple filed taxes jointly, many wouldn't qualify. But once someone is divorced, one individual might have little income. What is the subsidy based on in that situation?
Through one lens, the National Football League — on the threshold of Super Bowl XLVIII — looks to be at the top of its game. Revenues are ridiculously high: more than $9 billion a year, CNN reports. Television ratings are roof-piercing: 34 of the 35 most-watched TV shows of autumn 2013 were NFL games, according to the NFL.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:21 am
Demonstrators in Kiev's main square are welcoming the news that Ukraine's "widely despised" prime minister is stepping down, that anti-protest laws have been repealed and that protesters may get amnesty, NPR's Corey Flintoff reports.
HealthCare.gov's infamous failure to launch has inspired some fresh legislation that aims to organize and streamline the currently scattered — and expensive — approach to multimillion-dollar technology projects built by the government and its contractors.
In recent years, rampant borrowing has driven a significant chunk of China's economic growth. The bill is now becoming clearer — and it's big. Late last year, China revealed that local governments owe nearly $3 trillion – more than the gross domestic product of France, the world's fifth-largest economy.