Ever since Republicans began using the words "repeal and replace" back in 2010 to describe their intentions for the Affordable Care Act, they've faced a question: What, exactly, would they replace it with?
While there's currently no clear Republican alternative for the health care law, President Obama's signature domestic achievement, the House Republican leadership is signaling there will be one this year.
Western lawmakers and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urge changes to the way America pays to fight and recover from wildfires, starting with preserving money that's meant for fire prevention. They met with fire officials Monday who predicted a busy fire season for much of the West.
NPR's Nathan Rott reports for our Newscast unit:
"Secretary Jewell says her department and the U.S. Forest Service spend more than $3 billion annually fighting fires. A third of that is spent on megafires, the biggest 1 percent of any season's blazes.
Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:03 pm
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, made a submission to federal court in Manhattan on behalf of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who is on trial there. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is "an eloquent, spellbinding speaker," but he did not have any prior knowledge of al-Qaida operations, Mohammed said.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:37 pm
The number of people getting colon cancer has fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over 50, and much of that progress is due to screening, a study finds.
But a substantial number of people in that target age group still haven't been screened, and a consortium of organizations say they're pushing to get 80 percent of those people screened at least once by 2018.
"The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office said Austin resident Sandy Le, who had been in critical condition with head injuries, died at University Medical Center Brackenridge after she was hit by a speeding car on Red River Street outside The Mohawk Club last Thursday.
Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:17 am
Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who was accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a plea deal reached with government prosecutors. A judge accepted the plea deal Monday; the general's sentencing hearing will continue Tuesday.
NPR's Tom Bowman reports for our Newscast unit that the prosecution's case against Sinclair, 51, fell apart because of missteps by the Army command and credibility problems with his accuser:
Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:34 pm
The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has spawned the largest-ever multinational air-sea search — involving ships, airplanes from at least 14 countries and requests for radar information from as many as 26.
The nature of the search, in which such an enormous stretch of the globe is being scoured, is also equally unprecedented, officials say.
In less than a year, Google has bought more than a half-dozen robotics companies, setting the industry abuzz. But when I ask Google what it's up to with all these robots, the company won't say a thing.
"They are very careful — they haven't disclosed what they are doing," says Richard Mahoney, the director of the robotics program at SRI International, a nonprofit technology accelerator in Menlo Park, Calif. Mahoney also served on the board of Redwood Robotics, one of the companies Google bought.
On a sunny afternoon in the dusty, overcrowded Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, a group of Syrian girls recites a familiar pledge and hope to change their future. The youngsters promise to serve God and country, to help people at all times and live by the laws of the Girl Scouts.
The troop was organized by Hanna Vazquez, a volunteer with Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based humanitarian group.
"We are going to do the Girl Scout music badge," she says, as the girls gather around.
"No one on the corner has swagga like us," sang rapper M.I.A. in her global hit "Paper Planes." The song was later sampled by T.I. and Jay Z in their hit song "Swagga Like Us." A few years before that, it was Jay-Z who declared "I guess I got my swagger back" on his 2001 album The Blueprint.
The word swagger should be a familiar term to anyone who has listened to popular hip-hop songs in recent years; a recent search on Rap Genius turned up more than a thousand songs that used the word in the lyrics.
When you see actor Jason Bateman on screen, he's usually playing the nice guy — or at least the nicest guy in the room. On the TV cult favorite Arrested Development, Bateman is easily the heart of the show.
But given the chance to direct a movie, he cast himself as a vulgar sociopath with a gift for coming up with the perfect put-down. The film is Bad Words, and it tells the story of a 40-year-old elbowing his way onto the middle-school spelling-bee circuit, to the frustration of kids, parents and teachers alike.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Talks resume this week in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program. Western powers want to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons. Iran wants relief from economic sanctions. Well, today, we look at one of the issues: the construction of Iran's heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak. Critics doubt Iran's claims that the reactor is just for medical research, not weapons.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
And if you're trapped in traffic right now, or even if you're not, don't take your eyes off the road. Just let your mind drift slightly and think of Paris. That's where a spike in air pollution has driven the government to ban half of all cars from the road. Several cities in France are giving it a try, and Paris has the most severe restrictions.
The United States and Europe both condemn the vote in Crimea. President Obama announced measures he says will increase the cost on Russia. They include the freezing of U.S. assets of certain Russian officials. The president warned there would be more to come, quote, "if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine." The European Union is also issuing sanctions.
Foreign ministers met in Brussels today and NPR's Ari Shapiro tells us what they did.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Got grit? That's the new it-thing in education. New research suggests that perseverance and resilience are key to a student's success. The science is still out on how or if grit can be taught, but schools around the nation are trying. One program in particular called Brainology is showing some promise.
NPR's Tovia Smith checked it out at a public school in Brooklyn.