Now, more on the SNAP program. Close to 16 million American households, nearly 14 percent of households, receive food stamps. That's 48 million Americans. Who are they and how would a cut affect them? Well, we're going to put those questions to Stacy Dean at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Welcome to the program.
STACY DEAN: Thanks for having me.
SIEGEL: What does that population look like? Who are those 48 million Americans?
The House today is voting on a plan pushed its Tea Party wing to slash $40 billion from food stamps. That's twice as much as the original House farm bill contemplated, and eight times as much as the Senate bill.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:19 pm
When the Mars Curiosity made its dramatic and first-of-its-kind landing on Mars in August of 2012, the hope was that the $2.5-billion rover could confirm what scientists had suspected: that there was life on Mars.
Today, in a paper released in the journal Science, researchers explain that if the Red Planet is harboring life, the instruments on the rover have been unable to sniff it out.
NPR's Joe Palca filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:12 pm
They never quite get over it.
Whenever there's a mass shooting, a tragedy that occurs with depressing frequency, survivors of earlier events have their own memories brought back vividly and horribly.
Kristina Anderson, one of dozens of people who was shot at Virginia Tech in 2007, now works across the river from Washington, D.C. When the news of the Navy Yard shootings there broke on Monday, her day melted into tears.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:11 am
New FBI Director Jim Comey said the man who went on a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday was "wandering around looking for people to shoot" and had no apparent rhyme or reason for killing 12 people.
In his first remarks to reporters since taking office this month, Comey said the gunman, Aaron Alexis, ran out of ammunition for his legally purchased, sawed-off shotgun, exhausting a supply in his cargo pants pocket, and then began using a Beretta wrestled from a guard he had shot.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:52 pm
Clicking the "Like" button on Facebook is tantamount to other forms of protected speech, a federal court decided on Wednesday. That is, clicking Like is protected by the First Amendment as a form of assembly or association.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:41 pm
Greece's premier has vowed not to let a neo-Nazi party undermine democracy after the killing of a Greek hip-hop and rap singer by a right-wing extremist.
"This government is determined not to let the descendants of the Nazis poison our social life or commit crimes," Antonis Samaras said in a national television address.
An extremist with possible ties to the right-wing Golden Dawn party has admitted to stabbing to death musician Pavlos Fyssas, who goes by the stage name Killah P. The incident has sparked outrage among many Greeks.
In the mid-1970s, Arkansas' electric chair was being used by the prison barber to cut hair, and the execution chamber in New Hampshire was being used to store vegetables. That's because in 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation by striking down Georgia's death penalty law, effectively ending executions in the United States. But the decision provoked a strong backlash among those who favored the death penalty, and within four years the high court reversed course and issued a set of rulings that would permit the resumption of executions.
If you're on Twitter, you might want to think twice before bragging about all those followers you've been racking up. Some of the people who follow you might be fake — and there are now websites designed to expose them.
NPR's product manager for social media, Kate Myers, talks to Tell Me More's Michel Martin about how to spot fake accounts, why they might be following you and what you can do to stop them.
Sesame Street kicked off its new season this week, and it's putting a special focus on Hispanic heritage. There's also a new character on the block: Armando (also known as Mando). He's played by actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor's in fine arts from New York University and has appeared in several films and the CBS drama The Good Wife. He's currently performing off-Broadway.
Don Cheadle may be one of Hollywood's quietest superstars. He was known for having high impact in supporting roles before Hotel Rwanda catapulted him to fame. He earned an Oscar nomination for playing the real-life hotel manager who protected more than a thousand Tutsis from the Hutu militia during the Rwandan civil war. Cheadle appeared in other critical and box office hits like Crash and Flight. He's now earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV show House of Lies.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:41 pm
The French government has taken a step toward saying non to beauty pageants for girls younger than 16. Earlier this week, the upper house of Parliament voted in favor of banning such contests as part of a larger bill on women's rights.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 2:32 pm
The little plastic sample tray is empty, but the man behind the counter quickly replaces it with one full of a mooncake cut into teeny-tiny pieces. I grab a piece (OK, a couple) before the jostling crowd behind me can get to it. Samples are, after all, the only reason to visit Costco in the middle of a Sunday. There's a large display of square tins, each decorated with a painting of a Chinese man. I take one back to my mother and ask, "Can we get one?"
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:25 pm
On Saturday night, the emergency room staff knows all too well what's coming — people showing up with a broken jaw, a knife wound or a bashed-in face, often after too many hours in a pub. Doctors at the emergency department in Cardiff, Wales, realized that many of the people who were injured in fights never reported it to the police. That realization led to a simple program that has radically reduced the toll of violence.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:08 am
Capitol Hill is rife with rich people — "hillionaires," if you will.
Writing in The New York Times, Nicholas Carnes, a public policy professor at Duke University, points out that millionaires show up in only 3 percent of American families. But more than 60 percent of the Senate, most members of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court — and the president himself — are millionaires.
An appeals court in Texas has overturned the 2010 conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who had been found guilty of illegally funneling corporate money to Texas candidates during the 2002 campaign cycle.
Robbie Fulks has been recording since the mid-'90s, making music that's difficult to categorize. He's written country songs about how compromised most country music is, and while he's fond of folk and bluegrass, he pleases concert audiences with covers of hits by Michael Jackson and Cher. Fulks' new album, Gone Away Backward, is one of his most sustained and subtle efforts.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:37 am
Far fewer people remain on the "missing" list in Colorado as rescuers increasingly reach some of the more remote areas of the 17 counties affected by a devastating flood that has killed at least six people.
The Associated Press reports that the number of missing was at 200 on Thursday, down from a high of 1,200. Electricity and phone service has been restored in some areas, helping trim the list.
There's a new album coming from the band Midlake. The album, Antiphon, isn't out until later this fall, but fans of these modern day creators of classic and progressive rock can get a glimpse of the band's new sound right now with a new song called "Provider."
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:41 pm
Police in India arrested the co-founder of an organization blamed for terrorist attacks across the country. But it was the revelations following the August arrest of Yasin Bhaktal, the alleged head of the Indian Mujahideen, that caught our eye.
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to acknowledge that it violated federal securities laws and will pay $920 million in penalties assessed by regulators in the U.S. and U.K. to settle charges related to the huge trading losses racked up by its London traders last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday morning.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:43 am
The nation's health spending will bump up next year as the Affordable Care Act expands insurance coverage to more Americans, and then will grow by an average of 6.2 percent a year over the next decade, according to projections by government actuaries.
That estimate is lower than the typical annual increases before the recession hit. Still, the actuaries forecast that in a decade the health care segment of the nation's economy will be larger than it is today, amounting to a fifth of the gross domestic product in 2022.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 12:15 pm
I cannot understand how I missed the news that Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are about to open as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, but this charming list of past pairings makes me want to watch the play ... a lot. (David Tennant and Catherine Tate!