U.S. News

Law
3:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Calif. Lawyer's Ballot Proposal Calls Referendum System Into Question

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
3:03 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race?

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a 2016 hopeful, takes a selfie with an Iowa supporter earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:44 am

Just after midnight Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scooped his own big announcement by about 10 hours. Ahead of a planned speech, he posted the news of his presidential bid on Twitter.

"I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!" he tweeted.

The tweet, which included a 30-second video, was retweeted more than 3,000 times in 30 minutes. Cruz's announcement generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, posts, comments and shares) Monday on Facebook. And during his planned speech at Liberty University, his staff live tweeted lines from the speech on his account.

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The Salt
2:44 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Arsenic In California Wines: Should Drinkers Be Concerned?

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

There's been a lot of buzz around the story that some inexpensive California wines, including a Charles Shaw (aka two-buck Chuck) white Zinfandel sold at Trader Joe's, have been found to contain traces of arsenic.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

In Havana, A Journey Into The Forbidden With A Provocative Artist

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera poses for a photograph near the statue of José Martí in Havana's Revolution Plaza. She was arrested in December for planning a political performance there.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

It was still dark when Tania Bruguera hopped into a cab with us on her way to Revolution Square.

"All of a sudden it looks quite subversive what we're doing," she said. Her voice revealed a little nervousness, but it translated into a giddy laughter.

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Law
2:39 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Supreme Court Rules On Two Closely-Watched Discrimination Cases

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
2:39 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

University And Biotech Firm Team Up On Colorblindness Therapy

A simulation from the Neitz lab of what colorblindness looks like, with normal color vision on the left and red-green colorblindness on the right.
Courtesy of Neitz Laboratory

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:39 pm

More than 10 million Americans have trouble distinguishing red from green or blue from yellow, and there's no treatment for colorblindness.

A biotech company and two scientists hope to change that.

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National Security
2:39 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Female Marines Carry The Load And Kill The Enemy?

Sgt. Courtney White carries her machine gun before a live fire exercise at the Marine base at Twentynine Palms, Calif.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

More than a dozen Marines from Alpha Company fan out across California's Mojave Desert, far into the distance. Machine-gun fire gives them cover. The small forms dash ahead. Some drop to one knee, others fall on their stomachs, firing at pop-up targets.

Only one woman is part of this group. Until last fall, Sgt. Kelly Brown was fueling helicopters and trucks. Now she's running with an assault rifle.

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Code Switch
12:30 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Takeaways From The Federal Report On Deadly Force By Philadelphia Cops

Two years ago, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called for a federal review of the city's police practices. Ramsey called for a similar federal inquiry during his tenure as Washington, D.C.'s police chief.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:55 pm

Even before the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., or the Eric Garner incident in New York City last summer, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called on the federal government to look into how the officers in his department used force, and how their use of force might contribute to the department's often strained relationship with the city's residents.

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Shots - Health News
10:13 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Patients Often Aren't Offered Minimally Invasive Surgery

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:32 am

It would be nice to think that when you go in for surgery you'd be offered the safest, cheapest alternative, but that's not always the case, a study finds.

Some hospitals are much more likely than others to offer minimally invasive surgery for procedures like colon or lung surgery or appendectomy, according to an analysis published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

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NPR Ed
9:32 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE

Early physical fitness is a path to sustainable fitness for life.
LA Johnson

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:09 am

One of our occasional conversations with thought leaders in education.

When it comes to kids and exercise, schools need to step up and focus more on quality as well as quantity. And, says Dr. Gregory D. Myer, they need to promote activities that develop motor skills, socialization and fun.

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Sweetness And Light
2:23 am
Wed March 25, 2015

'Borland Effect' A Fumble For Football? Deford Says It Will Pass

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, center, during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Borland announced that he will retire after just one season to protect himself from brain injuries.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:18 am

Once again, the question of the NFL's pre-eminence — even existence — has been raised with the retirement of Chris Borland, a very good player, who has walked away from the game and millions of dollars at the age of 24 in order to preserve his health, or more specifically, his brain.

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U.S.
2:19 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Remote Jailing Cuts Off Inmates From Real-World Support System

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 9:49 am

On weekdays, the visitation room at Yakima County Jail in central Washington state buzzes with the sounds of 20 simultaneous conversations between inmates and their friends and family.

Preston Bighead is nearing the end of a seven-month sentence for a DUI conviction, but he hasn't seen his family once.

"It's two-and-a-half hours for my girlfriend to come visit — five hours round trip," he says.

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Code Switch
6:35 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Retired Oakland Police Officer Recruits Locals To Police Their Own City

File photo of the Oakland Police Department as they salute at the public memorial service for slain Oakland police officers.
Michael Macor-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:42 am

Police departments around the county are under more and more pressure to diversify. In Oakland, Calif., officials say police-community relations also might be improved by increasing the number of cops who actually live in the city.

Margaret Dixon, a fiery retired Oakland police officer, grew up in a rough part of this city of 400,000. These days she's teaching classes at Merritt College, an Oakland community college — including one on policing and community relations.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Obama Says U.S., Israel Face 'Clear, Substantive Challenge'

President Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday in the East Room of the White House.
Susan Walsh AP

A significant disagreement between the United States and Israel was on full, public display at the White House on Tuesday.

During a news conference, President Obama said he took Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his word that there would not be a two-state solution in the Middle East as long as he is in power.

If you remember, Netanyahu made waves after he seemed to write off a two-state solution on the eve of parliamentary elections.

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Sports
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Bowling's First 900 Score Still Disputed After 30 Years

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Jeff Richgels, who writes the blog, "The 11th Frame," about when bowler Glenn Allison rolled 36 strikes in 1982. His score was disallowed because of an alleged performance enhancing lubricant.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

U.S. Reconsiders Troop Withdrawal Plan In Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're going to talk more now about the decision to keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of this year. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman is here in the studio.

Welcome, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

President Obama Holds First Meeting With Afghan President

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Lessons In Moving Forward On Race From A 40-Year Mayor

"It's an intense job, you give it all, everyday, and I just don't want to get into another term where I say 'Gee, it would be nice to take it a little bit easier,'" Mayor Joe Riley says.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

It might not sound newsworthy that Charleston, S.C., is getting a new mayor next year. But the last time the city elected a new mayor was 40 years ago, in December 1975.

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Injured Nurses
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Despite High Rates Of Nursing Injuries, Government Regulators Take Little Action

Michael Bolla and Sally Singer lift Leon Anders using a ceiling lift and sling at the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, Calif. The VA system is among a very small number of hospitals that have installed equipment and provided proper training so their nursing staff can avoid physically lifting and moving patients themselves.
Annie Tritt for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

Just about everybody who has studied the hospital industry agrees that it needs to confront the epidemic that plagues many of its staff: Tens of thousands of nursing employees suffer debilitating injuries every year, mainly from doing part of their everyday jobs — moving and lifting patients. The problem is, nobody agrees how to get hospitals to take aggressive action.

As NPR has been reporting in its Injured Nurses series, nursing employees suffer more back and arm injuries than just about any other occupations.

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Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

California Plastic Bag Referendum Could Spark Environmental Showdown

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Parallels
12:50 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

With Improved Relations, Are The U.S. And Cuba Ready To Play Ball?

Yoan Francisco, a rookie for the Havana Industriales, warms up before a game at Havana's Latin American Stadium. Cuban baseball has been facing hard times, but improved diplomatic relations with the U.S. have raised the possibility of increased cooperation and new opportunities.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 3:57 pm

It has already been a messy game at Havana's Latin American Stadium, the premier baseball stadium in Cuba. The home team, the Industriales, has given up five runs in the first inning; a shortstop fumbled a ball, an outfielder failed to hustle and an easy out became an extra-base hit.

The home crowd isn't deterred. The vuvuzelas, those ear-splitting plastic horns, still swell when an opposing batter reaches two strikes.

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Code Switch
12:48 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

From A Congresswoman To A 'Queen,' Girl's Dress-Up Photo Series Rolls On

Lily Bushelle (right) dressed up as Shirley Chisholm. In 1968, Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress.
Courtesy of Marc Bushelle

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:18 pm

Janine Harper and Marc Bushelle's photo series of their daughter Lily dressed up as different African-American heroines started as a Black History Month project.

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The Salt
11:22 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Why There's A Big Battle Brewing Over The Lean Meat In Your Diet

Never underestimate the power of a footnote.

When a panel of nutrition scientists tasked with updating the government's guidelines on healthy eating released its 500-plus-page tome on Feb. 19, one particular 52-word footnote threw a wrench into the conventional wisdom on lean meat. It caught the meat industry's eye, and it's created a controversy.

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Shots - Health News
9:31 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Feds Claim Obamacare Launch Is Hindering Government Transparency

Unfilled requests for public records are piling up as the government claims it is being overwhelmed by Obamacare.
Bjorn Rune Lie Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:53 pm

A heavy workload caused by the Affordable Care Act, government technology limits and staff shortages are causing unusually long delays in filling public records requests, federal health officials say.

The waits in some cases could stretch out a decade or more.

The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to respond to records requests in 20 working days, though providing documents often takes much longer. The FBI, for instance, recently reported that complex requests could average more than two years to fill.

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Shots - Health News
9:22 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Quality-Testing Legal Marijuana: Strong But Not Always Clean

Andrey Saprykin iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:52 pm

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in four states, but that doesn't mean it's a tested consumer product. Some of those potent buds are covered in fungus while others contain traces of butane, according to an analysis of marijuana in Colorado.

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Shots - Health News
9:01 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Even In Nursing, Men Earn More Than Women

If he's a nurse anesthetist, he could be making $17,290 a year more than his female counterparts.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:52 pm

Women outnumber men in the nursing profession by more than 10 to 1. But men still earn more, a new study finds.

Even after controlling for age, race, marital status and children in the home, males in nursing outearned females by nearly $7,700 per year in outpatient settings and nearly $3,900 in hospitals.

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NPR History Dept.
8:18 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Old-Timey Slang: 'Polking' Was A Vulgar Word

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 11:48 am

"All slang words are detestable from the lips of ladies," Eliza Leslie said in 1867. She was the author of the Behavior Book, a 19th century etiquette manual published in Philadelphia.

How times have changed. Men and women in contemporary America sling slang around like hash — or like weed. From txt msgs to the Twitterverse, the jargon can be jarring.

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Afghanistan
3:04 am
Tue March 24, 2015

U.S. Weighs Its Responsibility When Afghan Forces Commit Abuses

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, they're handing off responsibility to Afghan forces. And for Afghan forces, that means taking responsibility for their actions, even when they commit abuses. NPR's David Welna reports.

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Shots - Health News
1:44 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Many Doctors Who Diagnose Alzheimer's Fail To Tell The Patient

When combined with results of other neurological tests, and in the context of a thorough medical history, atrophy of the brain (shown here in an MRI scan) sometimes indicates Alzheimer's.
Simon Fraser Science Source

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 11:01 am

Doctors are much more likely to level with patients who have cancer than patients who have Alzheimer's, according to a report released this week by the Alzheimer's Association.

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Animals
1:40 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Sea Turtles Test Urban Waters In Southern California 'Jacuzzi'

A recently rescued sea turtle recovering on the banks of the San Gabriel River.
Sanden Totten Southern California Public Radio/KPCC

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 9:59 am

The green sea turtle typically lives in tropical waters, like the shores of Mexico or Hawaii.

But recently, scientists have discovered a population swimming year-round in a river just south of Los Angeles. It's the northernmost group of these turtles known to science.

Visit the 3-mile stretch of the San Gabriel River in Long Beach, wait a few a minutes, and Cassandra Davis says you'll usually see their heads above the water.

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