NPR News

Pages

The Two-Way
6:02 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Arizona Gov. Brewer Vetoes Controversial Bill

Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., on Monday at the White House when she and other state executives met with President Obama.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 6:10 pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she has vetoed controversial legislation that would have allowed business owners in her state to refuse to serve gays and others if those customers somehow offended the proprietors' religious beliefs.

Brewer, a Republican, announced her decision at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon, following a flurry of meetings between the governor and state legislators.

Update at 7:52 p.m. ET Brewer's Comments

"I call them like I see them," Brewer said of the proposal, "despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd."

Read more
Code Switch
4:40 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

To Play The Part, Actors Must Talk The Talk — In Chinese

Chinese billionaire Xander Feng, played by Terry Chen, shakes hands with Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, in Netflix's House of Cards.
Nathaniel E. Bell Courtesy of Netflix

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

The success of the Netflix series House of Cards lies in the details.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Debbie Dingell Poised To Keep U.S. House Seat In The Family

Debbie Dingell with Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and then-presidential candidate Barack Obama during a 2008 campaign event in Flint, Mich. Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run for her husband's House seat.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 6:22 pm

Debbie Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run to succeed her husband, John Jr., for the southeast Michigan congressional seat that's been in the family since John Sr. was elected in 1933.

Though several news outlets reported her intentions, former Michigan state legislator Bill Ballenger of InsideMichiganPolitics.com retained a kernel of skepticism.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Robot Swarm: A Flock Of Drones That Fly Autonomously

An image from a video by the COLLMOT Robotic Research Project shows a group of drones flying autonomously across a field.
COLLMOT Robotic Research Project

Can drones, the small unmanned aircraft that are at the forefront of fields from warfare to commercial delivery systems, fly without human intervention? A team of Hungarian researchers answers yes, having created 10 drones that self-organize as they move through the air.

The team based its creation on birds such as pigeons, which fly in tight bunches while making adjustments and decisions. They fitted quadcopters — drones with four rotors — with GPS, processors and radios that allow them to navigate in formation or while following a leader.

Read more
Politics
4:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Rep. David Camp Releases Tax Overhaul Plan

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., left, walks with House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. to a Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

In the three years Republican Rep. David Camp has wielded the gavel of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, overhauling the tax code has been his abiding ambition.

The last revamping of the tax code was 28 years ago, and facing the prospect of having to relinquish that gavel at the end of this year, Camp declared today the time has come to start the debate on a new tax code overhaul.

Read more
The Far Reach Of The West's Drought
4:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Search For Drinking Water In California Has Led To The Ocean

Extreme drought conditions in California have state officials looking for alternative sources of water, including desalinated ocean water.
Richard Vogel AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

California is getting some much needed rain this week, but more than two-thirds of the state is still in extreme drought conditions, and that has the state thinking about alternative ways of getting water.

On the coast in Carlsbad, Calif., construction workers are building what will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. When finished in early 2016, it is expected to provide up to 50 million gallons of fresh drinkable water every day.

Read more
Parallels
3:35 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Ask Me Anything: Reporting From Ground Zero In Ukraine

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
NPR

NPR's Berlin Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has covered four revolutions in the last three years, including the Arab Spring.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:24 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome

The new test scans a mother's blood for bits of a fetus's DNA.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 9:24 am

A new blood test offers pregnant women a safe and much more accurate way to screen for Down syndrome.

A study that evaluated the test in 1,914 pregnancies found that the test, which checks DNA, produces far fewer false alarms than the current screening techniques.

Read more
The Salt
3:24 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All

Should you fear a chemical inside metal food containers like the ones that hold beans? Government scientists say no.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:39 am

Maybe BPA isn't so bad after all.

The plastic additive has been vilified by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are reporting in the journal Toxicological Sciences.

Read more
The Record
3:22 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Paco De Lucia, Modern Superstar Of Flamenco, Dies

Paco de Lucia in 1982.
Paco Junquera Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Paco de Lucia, considered by his fans and critics to be the world's greatest flamenco guitarist, died Wednesday in Mexico of a heart attack. The 66-year-old musician was a modern superstar in a Roma, or Gypsy, tradition that is hundreds of years old.

Read more
Parallels
3:10 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela

A demonstrator confronts riot policemen during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela's capital, on Feb. 22.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. has been able to do, aside from criticize the jailing of opposition figures or the rising death toll as protesters continue to take to the streets, blaming the government for high inflation and crime.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:47 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

You Got What In The Mail? Home Test Boosts Colon Cancer Screening

Instructions for the colon screening test were devised so they can be understood in any language.
Courtesy of Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:57 am

Everybody's supposed to get screened for colon cancer starting at age 50, but many of us haven't gotten around to it. That's especially true in the Latino community, where about half of people are up to date on screening, compared to 66 percent of non-Latino whites.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:35 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

With Tech Outsourcing, The Internet Can Be 'A Scary Place'

When it comes to Internet security, many experts agree outsourcing can create added risks, even if they disagree on the merits of outsourcing in the first place.
Igor Stevanovic iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

When you hear the word outsourcing, you might think of threats to American jobs. To cyber experts, there's another threat: to our data.

This week, thousands of the industry's leading minds from around the world are discussing the Internet and security at their annual powwow in San Francisco, the RSA Conference. These topics matter more and more to us non-experts, especially as people become the victims of cybercrime.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:35 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs

Up till now, all babies have had two genetic parents. That could soon change.
Klöpper & Eisenschmidt GbR iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.

Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.

Read more
Business
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Swiss Bank Finds Itself Under American Scrutiny

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Top executives at one of Switzerland's biggest banks said today they're sincerely trying to prevent tax evasion by U.S. citizens. They also said conflicting laws in the two countries make it almost impossible to do that. The chief executive of Credit Suisse appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has been looking into the use of secret Swiss bank accounts by Americans.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

Read more
Europe
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

British Diplomat Weighs In On Ukraine, Russia And Syria

The U.K. supports stability and democracy in Ukraine, says British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who visited NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

The complicated situation in Ukraine is headed toward an important moment, as a vote on an interim government has been scheduled for Thursday. But tensions are running high in the region, with Russia ordering military exercises along its border.

Read more
Europe
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

A Day Away From New Government, Ukraine Seeks Stability

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with the latest developments from Ukraine and some of the responses from Western powers. Washington is offering financial advice and is now considering a $1 billion loan-guarantee package to help support the Ukrainian economy. In a moment, we'll hear how the British government views the crisis.

Read more
Africa
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

In Brutal Raid On School, Islamic Militant Group Continues Its Rise

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In northeastern Nigeria, a brutal attack on a boarding school is the latest sign of the rise of Islamist militants and the inability of the government to stop them. The attack came in the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday and details of the massacre are gruesome. At least 59 students were killed. Many were burned alive, after militants set fire to a locked dormitory. Students who tried to escape were shot and their throats were slit. They slaughtered them like sheep. That's the way one teacher described the attack to the Associated Press.

Read more
Education
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Teachers Unions Mobilize To Delay The Common Core

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The nation's largest teachers union is calling for a delay in the adoption of the Common Core. That's the name of new math and language arts standards that are supposed to be in place next fall in 45 states. The 3 million-member National Education Association has been a strong supporter. But as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, the NEA now says teachers and students haven't had enough time to prepare.

Read more
Law
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Minority Aspirants To Federal Bench Are Hindered By Underrating

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. When a president taps someone to become a federal judge, the American Bar Association reviews and rates the nominee. That rating shapes whether the president's pick is confirmed by the Senate. Now, new analysis claims that the ABA ratings are biased. NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam reports.

Read more
News
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Feeling The Fiscal Squeeze, EPA Seeks To Slim Down

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Environmental Protection Agency has a lot on its plate, now add to that budget concerns. The agency is hoping to trim its staff. Like a number of other government agencies, the EPA is offering buyouts to employees.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reports, it's all part of a shrinking federal workforce.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Portable Potables: How To Fight Drought By Reusing Water

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Desalination is just one way of tackling the drought. Another technique to conserve water is quite simply to reuse it. David Sedlak is professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California Berkeley. David, welcome to the program.

DAVID SEDLAK: Thank you for having me, Audie.

Read more
Education
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Fed Up With Zero Tolerance In Schools, Advocates Push For Change

De'angelo Rollins got into a fight with a fellow student at their middle school in Bryan, Texas. He was sent to the principal's office — and, later, adult criminal court.
Laura Isensee KUHF

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 1:34 pm

In 2010, De'angelo Rollins got into a fight with a bully at his new middle school in Bryan, Texas. His mother, Marjorie Rollins Holman, says her shy son reported the bullying, but the teacher didn't stop it.

Then it came to blows.

"The boy ended up hitting my son in the face first," Holman says. "My son hit him back, and they got in a little scuffle."

That scuffle landed her then-12-year-old son in the principal's office — and in adult criminal court after the school police officer wrote the sixth-grader a ticket.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Massachusetts Launches Health Care Shopping Experiment

Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts signed the law enacting the state's latest phase of health care on August 6, 2012.
Eric Haynes/Governor Deval Patrick's Office

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

To shop for health care, it would help to know what childbirth or a CT scan will cost ahead of time. But is it possible to actually list prices for medical procedures? And will patients armed with the information look for bargains when they seek care?

Massachusetts is trying to find out. Since Jan. 1, hospitals and doctors there have been required to tell patients how much things cost, if they ask. It's part of the state's health care cost control law. We set out to run a test.

Read more
All Tech Considered
1:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Supersonic Jet Throws Traditional Design 'Out The Window'

Slim screens embedded into the walls of the aircraft can be dimmed or changed to one of many stored images.
Spike Aerospace

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:28 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

Requesting the window seat on a flight is about to take on a new meaning.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Federal Judge Voids Texas Gay Marriage Ban

Couples Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss speak with reporters outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse in San Antonio earlier this month. The judge in their case ruled Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Wednesday.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:01 am

Saying that a Texas law barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and demeans the dignity of homosexuals, a federal judge struck down the law Wednesday. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia doesn't mean gay marriages can be held in Texas, however; he placed a stay on the decision, anticipating an appeal by the state.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

'Planet Bonanza' Indeed: NASA Unveils 715 New Worlds

This artist rendering provided by NASA, shows Kepler-11, a sunlike star around which six planets orbit.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:47 pm

The job of NASA's Kepler mission is to peek at the far reaches of space in the hopes of finding potentially habitable planets. The space agency announced a stunning success, saying that Kepler had identified 715 new planets that orbit 305 stars. The discovery boosts the number of verified planets by around 70 percent.

"Four of the planets are about twice the size of Earth and orbit in their star's so-called habitable zone," NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports for our Newscast unit, "where temperatures might be suitable for liquid water."

Read more
Law
12:21 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Supreme Court Allows Stanford Ponzi Scheme Suits To Go Forward

Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, who conned investors in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, arrives in custody at the federal courthouse for an Aug. 2010 hearing in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:16 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that investor lawsuits may go forward against investment advisors and others for allegedly helping Texas tycoon Allen Stanford in a massive fraud.

Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison for bilking investors in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme. The investors who lost money are suing others involved in the scheme, contending that they also engaged in misleading conduct.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Ukraine Zeroes In On Leader For Interim Government

With Ukraine in a political limbo following the flight of its president Saturday, the name of Arseniy Yatsenyuk is being put forth as the country's next leader until new elections are held in May. Yatsenyuk is a member of the Batkyvshchina party, whose leaders include former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

On Wednesday, a web page dedicated to Yatsenyuk announced, "Began collecting signatures under the agreement on forming a coalition. The government will be voted on Thursday," according to a web-based translation service.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Killers Sentenced In Hacking Death Of British Soldier

The victim: Fusilier Lee Rigby.
U.K. Ministry of Defense

One of the two men who hacked to death a British soldier on a London street in May 2013 was sentenced Wednesday to spend the rest of his life in prison. The other was given a minimum term of 45 years.

Read more

Pages