An active conversation — and a hefty dose of outrage — is swirling on social media about the proper boundaries between public and private when it comes to illness and death. Lisa Adams, a stage 4 cancer patient, has been tweeting her experiences with the disease. Writers Bill and Emma Keller have derided her tweets as akin to "deathbed selfies." Melissa Block talks with Meaghan O'Rourke about how we treat dying in the digital age.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, engulfed in scandal over the politically motivated closing of bridge access lanes and questions about how he spent federal Hurricane Sandy aid, pledged Tuesday to "cooperate with all appropriate inquiries."
In his annual State of the State speech from the State Capitol in Trenton, the two-term Republican governor made quick work of the George Washington Bridge controversy, which hopelessly snarled traffic in the city of Fort Lee for days. The circumstances surrounding the episode have clouded the prospects of a potential presidential bid in 2016.
The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.
Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was back in the spotlight today. The annual State of the State speech came at an awkward moment for Christie. The Republican governor had not spoken publicly since apologizing last week for politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the unfolding scandal at the start of his speech.
Members of a special panel of advisers assembled by President Obama are testifying on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In December, the panel recommended changes to the way that the National Security Administration conducts surveillance.
The House of Representatives bought a little time today. It approved three additional days of funding for the federal government, which would otherwise run out of money tomorrow. It's just the latest sign that, unlike last fall, most lawmakers seem genuinely eager to avoid a government shutdown. House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a huge catchall spending bill, known as the omnibus.
The mayor of Charleston, W.Va., says the company behind the chemical spill that essentially shut down his city for days was run by "a small of group of renegades," who in his opinion knew there were problems with the tanks that leaked dangerous chemicals into the city's water supply.
"I'm not even sure they cared what happened to the public," Danny Jones told Melissa Block on Tuesday's edition of All Things Considered.
Jones said he knows some of the people in charge of Freedom Industries and he considers them "to be a little edgy."
The Arab Spring that brought those changes to Egypt began in Tunisia, exactly three years ago today. Tunisians overthrew their dictator, prompting a wave of uprisings across the region. But three years on, lawmakers are still struggling to ratify a new constitution and lay the foundations of their country's future. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley is in Tunis and sent this report.
The U.S. and Afghanistan are locked in a standoff over a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014. That's when the NATO mission there ends. Analysts say part of the reason the two countries can't close the deal is because they just don't understand each other.
Last week, we were shivering in depths of the polar vortex. Now another sign that Mother Nature is in charge. This time it's California, where right now it should be rainy season. Instead, there's growing alarm over a persistent lack of rain. The state is suffering its third consecutive dry year.
And as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, there are calls for the governor to officially declare a drought.
On Tuesday, a federal appeals court struck down Federal Communications Commission rules that would prevent Internet service providers from restricting usage on their networks and charging companies and users more for faster service. Critics say that this will create a two-tiered Internet that will favor those who can pay.
After a slow start, the Affordable Care Act is now attracting customers at a healthier pace. The government said yesterday that 2.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the state and federal exchanges. But there's a serious red flag. A disproportionate number of new enrollees are middle aged or older.
Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli on what that means for the program and for insurers.
Schools that do random drug testing say it helps students say no to illegal drugs, while critics say it's an invasion of privacy. But feeling good about school may affect students' drug use more than the threat of testing.
A survey of high school students found that the possibility that they might face drug testing didn't really discourage students from alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. But students who thought their school had a positive environment were less apt to try cigarettes and pot.
"'I am primarily concerned that not all retired NFL football players who ultimately receive a qualifying diagnosis or their (families) ... will be paid,' Brody wrote in a 12-page opinion filed Tuesday morning.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:02 pm
India's Supreme Court is set to hear a petition Wednesday against one of its own retired judges over allegations that he sexually harassed a former intern — the second such case to be made public in as many months.
The alleged incidents have cast a cloud over the country's highest court and pressure has mounted for it to comply with its own 1997 rulings requiring panels in the workplace to hear harassment complaints. Critics say such a panel for the Supreme Court itself is long overdue.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:09 pm
Take a sip of the Oaxacan Fizz at Father's Office in Los Angeles and you'll discover the unmistakable taste of tobacco. That's because this cocktail is sweetened with a small amount of tobacco-infused sugar syrup.
"A lot of people say, 'I only smoke when I drink,'" says chef-owner Sang Yoon. "We say, 'Now you can do both.'"
Dystopia is all the rage these days, especially in young adult fiction: There's the "Hunger Games" trilogy of course; Veronica Roth's "Divergent" series, in which Chicago has gone to the dogs; Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series, inspired by a nightmare vision of Manhattan; and Stephanie Meyer's non-Twilight novel, The Host, where Earth has been colonized by alien parasites.
High Hopes is a different sort of release for Bruce Springsteen. It features original and cover songs that had been performed live over the years, some never recorded in a studio setting, as well as a few older songs reconceived with new arrangements and musicians.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:09 pm
In a landmark ruling Tuesday, a federal appeals court has struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission's open-Internet rules, effectively ruling that the federal government cannot enforce net neutrality. Put more simply, it can't require that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally.
In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the agency's rules had no basis in federal law. A key passage:
All pregnant women should get tested for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks of pregnancy, a federal panel says, to reduce the risk of dangerous complications for both mother and child.
This isn't one of those controversial bits from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, like its recommendation that women under age 50 not get mammograms. Most obstetricians are already screening their patients for gestational diabetes.