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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Majority In Congress Are Millionaires

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks on CBS's Face the Nation in Washington on Oct. 27. A new report lists Issa as the wealthiest member of Congress.
CHRIS USHER AP

For the first time in history, more than half the members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of financial disclosure reports conducted by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Of the 534 current members of the House and Senate, 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012 – up from 257 members in 2011. The median net worth for members of the House and Senate was $1,008,767.

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Monkey See
2:59 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

When Tough Questions Go Horribly Wrong

Girls executive producer Jenni Konner (from left), creator and star Lena Dunham and actress Jemima Kirke take questions on the first day of the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:45 am

Nothing exposes you like asking a tough question.

Like a boxer extending a jab, you reveal yourself in the moment, stepping aggressively to a subject in a way that also makes you vulnerable. Handle the moment badly, and like an off-balance prizefighter, you might be the one hugging the canvas after a knockout blow.

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It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

High Court's Pass On 'Fetal Pain' Abortion Case Unlikely To Cool Debate

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:02 pm

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Sues Baseball, Players Union Over Suspension

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, playing for the Yankees' minor league affiliate Charleston RiverDogs, runs to first base during a game in July 2013.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:25 pm

Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez is suing Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association in federal court, trying to overturn a 162-game suspension.

The judge hearing the complaint also agreed to allow the Yankees third baseman and his lawyers to release an unredacted version of the decision handed down by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.

ESPN reports:

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The Salt
2:35 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Breaded Steak Sandwich

The best sandwich photos are indistinguishable from crime scene photos.
NPR

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:17 pm

There are those who say "less is more," and there are those who say "less is stupid." The latter are responsible for taking a steak sandwich, deciding it needed more calories, and creating the Breaded Steak Sandwich. A thin cut of beef is breaded and fried, placed in a hoagie roll, and covered in what they call "red gravy." Ricobene's here in Chicago is famous for it.

Eva: It's the kangaroo of sandwiches. It's carrying around a slightly smaller breaded thing in its pouch.

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Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Older Folks Get Modest Memory Boost From Brain Boot Camp

Study participants were trained in practical reasoning skills like managing medications.
Jorge Salcedo iStockphoto

Older people who took a few weeks of classes to train their brains say their ability to perform everyday tasks declined less than people who hadn't had the training, even years later.

But the difference between them was modest at best, and wasn't independently verified. So it's impossible to know if the people were really doing better at tasks like reading bus schedules or completing order forms, or if they just thought they should be.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Review Of Terrorism Cases Finds NSA Spying Helped Very Little

A graph from a study about the efficacy of NSA programs.
New America Foundation

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:53 pm

Surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency helped very little when it came to cases brought against individuals the United States says were linked to al-Qaida.

That's according to a review of 225 cases by the New America Foundation, which describes itself as a "nonpartisan public policy institute."

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Chomp! Fish Snatches Bird In Flight: VIDEO

My what big teeth you have. An African tigerfish.
Smithsonian Channel

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:56 pm

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Side Effect Of Legal Pot: Police Budgets Take A Hit

The legalization of marijuana could dry up a revenue stream for police, according to reports. Here, two men share a water pipe underneath the Space Needle shortly after a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana took effect in Seattle in 2012.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:04 pm

Some U.S. states are viewing the legalization of marijuana as a chance to gain new sources of tax revenue. Several states allow its use for medical reasons; Colorado has approved its recreational use, and Washington will follow suit this year.

But the decriminalization of pot also stands to remove a funding source for police: property forfeitures from drug dealers. Such funding is "going up in smoke," The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Movie Reviews
12:01 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Three Protesters, One 'Square': Film Goes Inside Egypt's Revolution

Before protesting in The Square, Khalid Abdalla (left) acted in such films as The Kite Runner, Green Zone and United 93.
Noujaim Films

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:46 am

A revolution is a bit like a writing a mystery novel. It's hard to start but even harder to come up with a satisfying ending.

They're still working on that in Egypt. Three years after the toppling of dictator Hosni Mubarak — the crowning moment of the Arab Spring — the army's running the country again; the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, has been arrested and charged with treason; the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned; and Tahrir Square's secular protesters are getting arrested. All this in the name of order and country.

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Author Interviews
12:01 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

As A Latina, Sonia Sotomayor Says, 'You Have To Work Harder'

In addition to being the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor was New York state's first Hispanic federal judge.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:46 am

Like most sitting Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor is circumspect when talking about the court; but she has written intimately about her personal life — more so than is customary for a Supreme Court justice.

"When I was nominated by the president for this position, it became very clear to me that many people in the public were interested in my life and the challenges I had faced," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "... And I also realized that much of the public perception of who I was and what had happened to me was not quite complete."

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The Salt
11:44 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Italians To New Yorkers: 'Forkgate' Scandal? Fuhggedaboutit

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza on Staten Island on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:10 am

Over the past week, two high-profile leaders in the New York metropolitan area found themselves at the center of unfolding political scandals. At least one, it seems, has some plausible deniability.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie's political future is in doubt over the ever-widening "Bridgegate" fiasco, as emails revealed that members of his closest inner circle were involved. But just across that bridge, New York City's newly installed mayor, Bill de Blasio, became embroiled in another kind of drama: "Forkgate."

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Letter: Kalashnikov Suffered Remorse Over Rifle He Invented

Russian President Vladimir Putin pauses by a portrait of Mikhail Kalashnikov at the arms designer's funeral in December.
Sergei Chirikov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:37 pm

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 rifle who died last month at the age of 94, wrote a letter in 2012 to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church expressing "spiritual pain" over the deaths caused by the ubiquitous weapon.

More than 100 million AK-47 and variants have been sold worldwide since it was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1949. The Kalashnikov rifle quickly developed a reputation for being cheap to make, reliable and easy to use, making it the weapon of choice for many of the world's infantry soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Japan's Suntory To Buy Maker Of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark

Three bourbon whiskeys.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:59 am

A piece of legendary Americana will now be owned by a Japanese firm.

Beam Inc., the maker of the bourbons Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, will be sold to Japan's Suntory in a deal the companies say is worth $16 billion, including assumed debt.

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Law
10:19 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court Declines To Consider Arizona Abortion Law

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And some news from the Supreme Court this morning: The justices have decided not to intervene in a legal battle over abortion in the state of Arizona. Earlier, an appeals court said the state's law banning most abortions after 20 weeks was unconstitutional. The high court's decision today not to review the case effectively blocks that ban from coming into place in Arizona.

NPR's Julie Rovner joins us to talk about the implications of this. Hi, Julie.

JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: Hey, David.

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Technology
10:02 am
Mon January 13, 2014

From The Archives: 1984, The Year Of Online Shopping?

In 1984, shopping online wasn't this easy.
Guy Erwood iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:41 pm

Amazon.com was founded in 1994.

A decade earlier, in 1984, only 8.2 percent of households in the United States had computers, according to the U.S. Census.

But there were limited ways to shop via a computer in 1984. And Robert Krulwich, who was then NPR's business correspondent, decided he wanted to try it.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Mon January 13, 2014

New Problem For Christie: Audit Of Sandy-Related Spending

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, in one of the "Stronger Than The Storm" ads aimed at bringing tourists back to his state after Hurricane Sandy.
StrongerThanTheStorm YouTube channel

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:01 am

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World
9:41 am
Mon January 13, 2014

'Weight Of The World' On Syrian Boy's Shoulders

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:42 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the good news in many cities is that the murder rate is at historic lows, but the bad news is that many of those murders remain unsolved. We'll take a look at New York City, where a newspaper's close look at the issue is raising some uncomfortable questions about race and geography. But first, we return to a major international story that's also provoking some uncomfortable questions for world powers - the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Pope Calls Abortion Evidence Of 'The Throwaway Culture'

Pope Francis received applause from hundreds of worldwide ambassadors to the Holy See on Monday as he entered a huge hall in Vatican City.
Osservatore Romano Press Office EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:28 pm

Pope Francis, criticized by some conservative Catholics as not speaking out forcefully against abortion, said Monday that the practice is "horrific" and evidence of "the throwaway culture."

In an annual speech known as the pontiff's "State of the World" address, Francis told diplomats and journalists gathered at the Holy See that it "is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

Hunger, he said, is a threat to world peace, noting that food, like human life, is being discarded as unnecessary.

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All Tech Considered
9:28 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Soft Launching In Nine Months? You'll Need A Social Strategy

Don't Forget Buzzfeed. 34 Signs That You're Expecting ... That You're Not Expecting.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:07 am

Editor's Note: If you can't tell from your own Facebook or Twitter feeds, many young couples these days are sharing news of their growing families by making pregnancy announcements via social media. So our social media team's Melody Kramer decided, if you can't beat 'em, improve 'em! Here's her humorous take on how to really think through the social media strategy of the baby to be, er, "product" you're about to "launch."

Dear Jackie and Jeff,

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Wordless News
9:13 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Wordless News: Desegregation On The Docket

Maria Fabrizio

Every day, illustrator Maria Fabrizio posts a news-inspired image on her Wordless News blog. This week, all of her pictures will be inspired by stories she hears on Morning Edition.

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The Salt
9:09 am
Mon January 13, 2014

California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

This dead juvenile coho salmon was found in a tributary of California's South Fork Eel River. About 20 large-scale marijuana farms are located upstream from the watershed pictured. All of them divert water from the stream.
Courtesy Scott Bauer

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:08 pm

For many users and advocates of marijuana, the boom in the West Coast growing industry may be all good and groovy. But in California, critics say the recent explosion of the marijuana industry along the state's North Coast — a region called the "emerald triangle" — could put a permanent buzz kill on struggling salmon populations.

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Monkey See
8:36 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Chris Christie And Pulling The Red Handle

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 5:16 pm

I'm going to tell you a story, and then we're going to talk about Chris Christie, and if you're not into those two things, you can tag out. I won't be offended.

Let's see. How to begin.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court Ends Arizona's Bid To Reinstate 20-Week Abortion Ban

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:59 am

The United States Supreme Court on Monday refused to revisit a lower court ruling that struck down Arizona's ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The AP reports:

"The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman's constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Mon January 13, 2014

UPDATED: Airliner That Landed At Wrong Airport, Takes Off Safely

A frame grab provided by KSPR-TV shows Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 at Taney County Airport on Sunday.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:26 pm

Update at 5:18 p.m. ET. Takes Off Safely:

The Southwest Airlines 737 that landed at a wrong airport in Missouri has taken off safely despite a short runway.

The airline said the plane took off after a thorough inspection.

"The aircraft is scheduled to resume regular service later today," Southwest Airlines said. "We continue to support the NTSB in their investigation to uncover the circumstances which led the Pilot in command of flight 4013 from Chicago Midway to land at PLK, six (6) nautical miles from the Branson Airport we serve."

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Monkey See
8:14 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Golden Globes Share The Wealth, Such As It Is

Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the hands-down highlight of the deeply silly Golden Globes.
NBC Universal Getty Images

Let us say this first: The Golden Globes are Hollywood culture at its most purely self-perpetuating. Given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of journalists so gleefully obscure that there is usually a joke about how gleefully obscure they are, the Globes lack the gravitas of the Oscars, which is really saying something, given the fact that the Oscars lack the gravitas of the Tonys and the Tonys lack the gravitas of a halfway decent episode of Law & Order: SVU.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Gates Says He Wept Each Evening Over Troops' Deaths

Robert Gates in June 2011 during his final official news conference as secretary of defense.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:08 am

The news from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' interviews with NPR and other news outlets — notably, how he uses a new book to criticize many in the White House — has now been widely reported.

But we also want to point to two passages in his conversation with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that particularly struck us.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Thailand's Opposition Launches Mass Rallies To Close Bangkok

Anti-government protesters cheer as they occupy a major intersection in central Bangkok on Monday. Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters occupied parts of the capital.
Damir Sagolj Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:12 pm

Anti-government protesters in Thailand have thronged key intersections in the capital, Bangkok, in the start of a mass demonstration aimed at thwarting elections and forcing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office.

For months, opposition protesters have been engaged in an on-again, off-again effort to topple Yingluck, and have said they want to replace her government with an unelected ruling council.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Permit To Hunt And Kill One Black Rhino Sold For $350,000

A black rhino in Namibia's Etosha National Park.
Frans Lanting DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:23 am

The Dallas Safari Club's controversial auction of a permit to hunt one black rhino in Namibia raised $350,000 over the weekend, the club confirms on its Facebook page.

That's at the lower end of the range that club executive Ben Carter had expected. In December, he told NPR that he hoped the auction would raise $225,000 to $1 million.

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