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Politics
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., started what she calls power workshops for women in the Senate years ago.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 2:51 pm

There's a long-held assumption that women are more likely than men to collaborate. As the number of women in Congress has increased, however, so has the partisanship and gridlock. So does a woman's touch actually help on Capitol Hill?

There's a lot of academic research that supports the idea that women are better at building bipartisan coalitions. Studies have found that women in Congress not only sponsor more bills but also collect more co-sponsors for those bills.

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Politics
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Bipartisan Bill Would Stop NSA's Bulk Phone Data Collection

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:54 am

The White House and members of Congress agree that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone logs, disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has to end.

Business
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Drug Industry Moves To Cut Costs, Banks On Future Big Sellers

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 4:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Law
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Legendary D.C. Law Firm To Pay Chevron In Ecuador Pollution Case

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:04 am

A long-running legal battle between a legendary Washington law and lobbying firm and a major oil company has been settled.

D.C.-based Patton Boggs has agreed to pay Chevron $15 million to settle a case that centers on pollution from drilling activity in the rainforests of Ecuador.

The case has gone on for more than four years, and the stakes were enormous for the two powerhouses.

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Politics
1:22 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Executioner's Lament

Dr. Jay Chapman, pictured here in 2007, developed the original formula for lethal injections with the intention of making executions in the U.S. more humane.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 12:47 pm

In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison, and five officers shot him.

The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs, based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock out the inmates, one to relax or paralyze them, and a final drug that would stop their hearts.

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It's All Politics
1:04 am
Thu May 8, 2014

At Times All A President Can Say After Disaster Is, 'We're Here'

President Obama surveys tornado damage with Vilonia, Ark., resident Daniel Smith on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:53 am

Daniel Smith's house is barely standing after a tornado in Arkansas late last month killed 16 people. The EF4 tornado ripped a gash through the rural communities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were wiped clean to their slabs, businesses shredded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, President Obama went to see the damage for himself, and to meet with residents like Smith. It's a task that he and many presidents before him have had to do far too often.

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The Two-Way
6:27 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Colorado Approves Financial System For Marijuana Industry

Colorado lawmakers have voted to create the a financial system for the state's burgeoning legal marijuana industry.

After Colorado legalized pot in 2013, it still had no financial mechanism for legal marijuana businesses. Washington has also approved the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.

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The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Syrian Rebels Leave Homs In Cease-Fire Deal

A photo from June 2012 shows Syrian rebels in Homs. The last of the insurgents were leaving the town on Wednesday under a cease-fire deal.
Uncredited AP

Syrian rebels were retreating from the besieged city of Homs on Wednesday, surrendering the "capital of the revolution" to President Bashar Assad under a cease-fire that gave them safe passage to other insurgent-held areas of the country.

The governor of Homs, Talal al-Barazi, was quoted by the state news agency Sana as saying some 2,000 people would be evacuated. Local activists said the first 600 to leave were wounded fighters and civilians.

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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Congress Holds Former IRS Official Lois Lerner In Contempt

Former IRS official Lois Lerner, during March 5 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Lerner has repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment during congressional appearances on the scandal.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 4:45 am

House Republicans on Wednesday voted to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for repeatedly refusing to answer questions about her alleged involvement in targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

The vote was 231 to 187, with all Republicans voting in favor of the measure and all but a few Democrats voting against it.

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Code Switch
4:57 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

After 6 Decades, 'Jet' Magazine Decides To Go All-Digital

Jet magazine founder John H. Johnson started the publication to spotlight black achievements and report on events that he thought were important to black communities. But as the media and political landscape around Jet changed, the magazine struggled.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:33 pm

When I was growing up, my aunt used to stack dozens of magazines high on a side table at the top of her stairs. It was an accidental library of black magazines — lots of Ebony and Essence, the stray Black Enterprise here and there, but especially the digest-sized Jet. When I was at that age where kids want to consume every written word, I would blow through those old issues of Jet by the pile. That's probably the only real way to "read" Jet, since every article seemed to be shorter than 300 words. It was black news, bite-size.

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Shots - Health News
4:20 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Snip Decision: Africa's Campaign To Circumcise Its Men

hivsharespace YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

If you turn on a radio in Zimbabwe these days, it won't be long before you hear a public service spot featuring the voice of a deejay who goes by the name "Napster the Radio Master."

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Environment
4:04 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

When Colleges Ditch Coal Investments, It's Barely A Drop In The Bucket

Some universities have stopped investing in coal companies, but many others don't see the point. An aerial view of the Coal Hollow Mine in Utah in 2012.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

If the students at Stanford University believe they sent the coal industry a strong message this week, they should think again. The school's decision to eliminate coal from its portfolio did not send shock waves through the industry. In fact, representatives say it will have no financial impact on the industry at all. Nor will it curb the growing demand around the world for coal-generated electricity.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

China, Vietnam Spar Over Oil Rig In South China Sea

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:37 pm

Chinese ships trying to deploy an oil rig in disputed waters of the South China Sea have reportedly rammed Vietnamese vessels in recent days, as the Philippines says it's seized a Chinese fishing boat and its crew of 11 for poaching endangered sea turtles.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Stanford Dumps Its Holdings In Coal, With Climate In Mind

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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War On Poverty, 50 Years Later
3:06 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break

Desiree Metcalf, here with one of her three daughters, is one of many poor Americans who find themselves trapped in a system meant to help.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Desiree Metcalf's story is heartbreaking, but among the 46 million Americans who are poor today, her story is not unique.

Metcalf is 24 years old.

She's the mother of three little girls — ages 6, 4 and 2. They all have different fathers.

"That about sums me up, I think," she says.

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Shots - Health News
3:06 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Telepsychiatry Brings Emergency Mental Health Care To Rural Areas

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

North Carolina is facing a very big mental health care challenge — 28 counties across the state do not have a single psychiatrist. That's despite the fact that in recent years, emergency rooms in the state have seen more patients with mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse problems.

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Author Interviews
3:05 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

From The Ocean Deep To The Courtroom: A Tale Of Sunken Treasure

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

When the SS Central America sank in 1857, it took down tons of gold with it — enough gold that the shipwreck contributed to a financial panic. And when the wreck was found, decades of legal battles ensued over rights to the recovered treasure. Gary Kinder, author of Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, tells the fraught tale of shipwreck and reclaimed gold.

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Media
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

After 6 Decades As A Staple, 'Jet' Magazine Ends Print Run

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. An era in magazine history is closing. Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co., or JPC, says "Jet" magazine is going digital. Some 700,000 subscribers will no longer see a print edition. It's with the exception of one special print issue a year. "Jet" has been a weekly staple in many African American communities for more than six decades.

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates, from our Code Switch team, has this report.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Larry McMurtry Loves The West, But Knocks The Cowboy Off His High Horse

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Larry McMurtry may well be the only Academy Award winner who used some of the precious moments of his acceptance speech to thank booksellers: "From the humblest paperback exchange to the masters of the great bookshops of the world, all are contributors to the survival of the culture of the book, a wonderful culture which we musn't lose," he told the audience in 2006 as he accepted the Oscar for his screenplay for Brokeback Mountain — which was based on a short story.

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Africa
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

U.S. Offers Aid In Search For Nigerian Girls, But Is It Too Late?

Protesters march in front of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in support of the girls kidnapped by members of the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Nigeria is offering a $300,000 reward for anyone who can find the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram. The U.S. is also pitching in with hostage negotiators and intelligence experts. President Obama says the U.S. will do everything it can to provide assistance to Nigeria.

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World
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Peace Talks On Pause: What Went Wrong?

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Now, the moribund Middle East peace process. People who follow that decades-long U.S. diplomatic effort, remember a moment in 1990. A frustrated U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker, fed up with the intransigence of Palestinians and Israelis made this memorable declaration to in testimony to Congress.

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World
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Kinder Words From Putin, But They Come With A Cost

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the conflict in Ukraine. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin made some conciliatory sounding statements. He called on the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone their planned referendum on autonomy. That vote is currently scheduled for Sunday. Putin also said that Russian troops had withdrawn from the Ukrainian border and that Russia is ready for more talks on ways to resolve the crisis.

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World
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Syrian Rebels Cede Stronghold After Over A Year Under Siege

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There's a development today in Syria's civil war. Syrian rebels surrendered control of an important piece of ground, the city of Homs. That's been the heart of uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hundreds of rebel fighters abandoned the city's central district. They left in rickety green buses, escorted by the United Nations. The rebels had been under siege and were running out of ammunition and food.

For more on the story, we're joined by NPR's Alice Fordham. She's in Beirut.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Vermont's GMO Bill Expected To Face Major Legal Challenges

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin will sign a landmark bill into law on Thursday, making the state the first to require food producers to label products made with genetic engineering.

The law won't go into effect for two years, but it's already become a hot topic at the first outdoor farmers market of the season in the capital city of Montpelier.

"Finally we have a vote," says Laini Fondilier, who runs the Lazy Lady Farm stand. "We haven't been able to vote on this by our purchases."

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Education
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Department Of Education Brings Home A Disappointing Report Card

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Flat, stagnant, static, those are words that the U.S. Department of Education has used to describe the latest reading and math scores for the nation's 12th graders.

As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, most high school seniors appear to be graduating without the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

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U.S.
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

VA Secretary Responds To Call For His Resignation

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with the head of the department of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki. I sat down with him at his office today. The secretary is at the center of a roiling controversy over medical care for former service men and women and he's facing calls for his resignation.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living

Miller with one of his cows.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture carries out a census of farmers: who they are, and what they are doing on their farms.

The agency just released the latest one, and it's a feast for all ag geeks. And here's the very first, most basic piece of new information: There are 2,109,303 farmers in this country.

But look a little closer at that number, and you can see that it's not quite what it seems. Most of those farmers are not actually making a living by farming.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Shinseki: Swift Action If Problems At VA Hospital Are True

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, flanked by President Obama and Vice President Biden, at the White House last month.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:54 pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki tells NPR that he's determined to get to the bottom of allegations that veterans may have died at a Phoenix VA hospital while waiting for care.

The accusations of extended delays in providing health care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system surfaced last month. The facility reportedly kept two lists of veterans waiting for care, one it shared with Washington and another, secret list of wait times that sometimes lasted more than a year.

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A Blog Supreme
2:21 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

The First African-American Piano Manufacturer

The high-end Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York, now called Langham Place, took in one of Warren Shadd's pianos.
Courtesy of Warren Shadd

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 9:20 am

At the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February, one couldn't help but notice the striking new grand piano on the main stage, emblazoned with the name SHADD. When the many accomplished pianists that wee­­kend sat down to strike those keys, it was equally easy to spot their delight in the instrument.

That piano was the product of a trailblazer in his field. The Shadd in question is jazz drummer Warren Shadd, the first African-American piano manufacturer. That makes him the first large-scale commercial African-American instrument manufacturer, period.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Seeking Better Ways To Tell If Surgery Is Too Risky

Just because surgery is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea, especially for frail older people.
Sam Edwards Getty Images/OJO Images RF

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:02 am

Older people face higher risks in surgery, but not all 85-year-olds are alike. One may celebrate his birthday skydiving, like former president George H.W. Bush, while another may be unable to stand without help.

Since half of all surgery in the United States is performed on people 65 and older, figuring out an individual's risk is key. Measuring frailty beforehand more accurately predicts who will do well after surgery, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

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