Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:12 pm
Doug Gansler is Maryland's top law enforcement official. As the state's attorney general, he's spoken out against the perils of underage drinking.
So, naturally, the posting of an Instagram photo of Gansler in the middle of what appears to be a wild underage drinking party — the attorney general is surrounded by shirtless dancing teenagers and red plastic cups — is proving to be a big political problem.
Americans seem to have a love affair with snacking.
As a society, we eat twice as many snacks as we did a generation ago. Women, on average, nosh on upwards of 400 snack calories per day, according to federal survey data. And men consume almost 600 calories a day in between meals.
So, if nibbling is our new pastime, researchers have a suggestion for one satiating snack that seems to help control our appetites: almonds.
Across the country, newly formed task forces made up of local, state and federal law enforcement officers are starting to view what was once seen as run-of-the-mill prostitution as possible instances of sex trafficking.
With support and funding from the FBI and the Justice Department, agencies are starting to work together to identify and rescue sex trafficking victims and arrest their pimps.
The new approach is being hailed by victims of trafficking and their advocates as a much-needed paradigm shift — and, the FBI says, is reaping results.
One of the major issues that's emerged since the failed rollout of HealthCare.gov is that there was no lead contractor on the project. (CGI Federal was the biggest contractor — awarded the most expensive contract — but says it did not have oversight over the other parts of the system.) Instead, the quarterbacking was left to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a subagency of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been rocked in recent weeks by revelations from a top-level whistle-blower. The former official says church leaders covered up numerous cases of sexual misconduct by priests and even made special payments to pedophiles.
The scandal is notable not only because of the abuse but also because it happened in an archdiocese that claimed to be a national leader in dealing with the issue.
Several times during The Square, Jehane Noujaim's account of Egypt's unfinished revolution, the camera gazes down on Tahrir Square, teeming with multitudes. Yet ultimately, one of the principal appeals of the D.C.-born Egyptian-American filmmaker's documentary is its intimacy.
Twitter announced today that it plans on selling 70 million shares at $17 to $20 each, during its initial public offering.
Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal did the math and it means that the company is looking to raise about $1.4 billion and values itself at about $11 billion at the high end. This is the biggest tech IPO since Facebook went public in May of 2012.
It was Saint-Exupery's Little Prince who declared: "It's a little lonely in the desert." That's a notion writer Cormac McCarthy knows well, his later novels often taking place in dusty Western locales among those isolated from society.
The French film Blue Is the Warmest Color has been making news for months.
It won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Then the director and his stars got into a public feud about the conditions on set and the explicit sex scenes between the film's leading actresses. After months of controversy, the picture finally opens in American cinemas this week — with an NC-17 rating.
But before it became the cinematic flashpoint of the year, Blue Is the Warmest Color was also declared the love story of the year.
Virginia holds elections next month for state offices, including governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. But what was historically a pretty sedate affair is, this year, drawing millions of dollars from all over the country.
Today's hearing may not have cleared up many questions about exactly what's wrong with the health care website, but it does represent a new chapter in the political fight over the Affordable Care Act.
Joining us now is NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. And, Mara, just after Republicans failed in their efforts to defund or delay the health care law through budget fights, the program's right back in the spotlight. Where does the political debate stand?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
On Capitol Hill, it was a day of tough questions and finger-pointing. Lawmakers got their first chance to grill government contractors over the botched rollout of the new government health insurance website. It was the first in a series of hearings. And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle directed their anger at the contractors and at each other.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is furious about the U.S. eavesdropping on her calls. She is the latest to protest loudly to the U.S. as the EU gathers for a regular summit. The meeting should have focused on immigration and the economy, but will be sidetracked by the continued NSA spying anger.
In Detroit today, officials continued making their case before a federal judge that the city is so broke it must declare bankruptcy. Detroit is the largest U.S. municipality ever to seek Chapter 9 protection. And the trial will determine if it's eligible.
As Quinn Klinefelter, of member station WDET, reports that hundreds of Detroit's creditors are trying to block the bankruptcy, arguing that the city did not try hard enough to find the money to avoid it.
In light of new NSA spying revelations — this time, on European leaders — Audie Cornish talks to Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, about why allies spy on each other.
Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:53 pm
What life-threatening illness can you get from repotting plants, attending a rodeo or going spelunking? If you didn't guess histoplasmosis, you're not alone.
This week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, chronicle of all things infectious, reports on the surprising appearance of histoplasmosis, a lung infection caused by a fungus, in four people in Montana.
Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 3:42 pm
Salvadoran journalist Oscar Martinez joins this week's Alt.Latino, kicking off an occasional series of interviews about culture, society and news.
Every year, tens of thousands of Central Americans — from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador — make a perilous overland journey to the United States. They travel north through Mexico to the U.S. border, riding on top of cargo trains known as "La Bestia" or "the Beast."
It all started in 1968 at a pet shop called Fish 'N' Cheeps in New York's Greenwich Village. On the way to a Jimi Hendrix concert, Patricia Wright and her husband dashed into the shop to escape heavy rain. There, a two-pound ball of fur from the Amazon captured their attention. A few weeks and $40 later, this owl monkey became their pet; later on they acquired a female as well.
With its looming, gloomy high stone walls, crumbling corridors, and stark cells that once housed thousands of hard-core criminals, Eastern State Penitentiary certainly looks haunted. Its 142-year history is full of suicide, madness, disease, murder and torture, making it easy to imagine the spirits of troubled souls left behind to roam its abandoned halls.
Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 3:27 pm
It was a bright and sunny autumn afternoon in Philadelphia. But a menacing storm was brewing near downtown in the form of a monstrous, Gothic-style fortress with 30-foot stone walls, iron gates and foreboding towers.
Eastern State Penitentiary is not only one of the nation's creepiest historic landmarks, but it is also one of its top haunted attractions.