U.S. News

Politics
3:30 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Baltimore State's Attorney Known For Understanding City's Poor Communities

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:18 pm

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, more about the woman who's building the case against those six officers. Marilyn Mosby is 35 years old. She just took the office of chief prosecutor in Baltimore four months ago. NPR's Nurith Aizenman reports.

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The Salt
2:37 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

'Into The Wild' Author Tries Science To Solve Toxic Seed Mystery

Once the roots of the Eskimo potato got too tough to eat, Christopher McCandless started collecting the seeds in a plastic bag, says author Jon Krakauer.
Photo courtesy of McCandless family

In August 1992, Christopher McCandless died in an abandoned bus in the Alaska wilderness after living mostly on squirrels, birds, roots and seeds for 113 days. Hunters found his body months later. Alaska state coroners declared starvation as the cause of death.

But a mystery lingered: What exactly did him in? A scientific paper published this spring by the journalist who'd been doggedly following the story offers another big clue.

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Sports
2:29 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Tampa Bay Vetted Jameis Winston Before Choosing Him As No. 1 Draft Pick

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:18 pm

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

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Law
2:29 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Six Baltimore Police Officers Face Criminal Charges In Freddie Gray's Death

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:18 pm

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

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Sports
2:29 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Mayweather, Pacquiao Finally Go Head-To-Head This Weekend

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:18 pm

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

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Shots - Health News
12:30 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Urine For A Surprise: Your Pee Might Reveal Your Risk For Obesity

iStockphoto

You might think it's easy to guess if a person is at risk of becoming overweight or developing diabetes. The behavioral traits are pretty clear – that person might exercise less or eat more. He or she might have high blood pressure, or might have gained weight.

But now there's another place to find evidence of those risk factors: in a person's pee.

Researchers are finding clues about the metabolism in human urine – most recently in more than 2,000 samples kept frozen in the basement of Imperial College, in London.

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Shots - Health News
8:55 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Walking 2 Minutes An Hour Boosts Health, But It's No Panacea

Skopein Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 11:46 am

We know that sitting all day is hazardous to our health, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation and atherosclerosis. It all sounds pretty dismal, since many of today's jobs require us to be nearly glued to our computer screens. But a tiny two-minute break may help offset that hazard, researchers say.

People who got up and moved around for at least two minutes every hour had a 33 percent lower risk of dying, according to researchers the University Of Utah School Of Medicine.

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NPR Ed
7:06 am
Fri May 1, 2015

From The White House, A Celebration Of Great Teaching

President Obama escorts 2015 National Teacher of the Year winner Shanna Peeples into the Rose Garden on Wednesday. With them is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Peeples is an English teacher at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:29 pm

No matter how high you climb in life, you never forget your favorite teacher.

This week, President Obama awarded Shanna Peeples, a high school English teacher from Amarillo, Texas, the title of the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.

We've been exploring great teaching as well, with our 50 Great Teachers Project. We even shared the stories of our own favorite teachers.

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StoryCorps
1:34 am
Fri May 1, 2015

For Man With Cystic Fibrosis, 'Death Is Like A Deadline'

Brent Hendricks visited StoryCorps in Atlanta with his mother, Barbara.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 10:04 am

Both of Barbara Hendricks' children were born with cystic fibrosis — a genetic disorder that causes thick mucus to clog the lungs. Her daughter, Tiffany, died of the disease 13 years ago, when she was 15.

"Having CF is like being in a boat with a hole in it," says Brent Hendricks, Barbara's 22-year-old son. "You can keep bailing the water out, and you're fine, but the second you stop, the boat's gonna sink. And, gotta make sure I don't sink."

For Brent, watching his sister die was like watching his own funeral.

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Business
6:19 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Health Insurer Aetna Raises Wages For Lowest-Paid Workers To $16 An Hour

Aetna announced one of its largest pay hikes recently. CEO Mark Bertolini says he believes it largely could pay for itself by making workers more productive.
Courtesy of Aetna

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 2:56 pm

Prospects for low-wage workers at some large companies have improved recently as both Walmart and McDonald's announced pay hikes, but one of the most significant announcements came at Aetna.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Just Do It: Obama Tries To Sway Skeptical Democrats On Trade

It's proving difficult for President Obama to win over Democrats on trade so far.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 6:59 am

President Obama met Thursday with moderate Democrats in hopes of rallying support for a controversial Asia-Pacific trade deal.

The president will need approval from at least some members of his own party to win passage of a "fast-track" bill, authorizing him to complete trade negotiations and present the agreement for an up-or-down vote in Congress.

So far, most Democratic lawmakers have been skeptical.

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U.S.
4:05 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Compton's Cowboys Keep The Old West Alive, And Kids Off The Streets

Derrick Jennings never goes without his hat, boots or cowboy belt buckle. He wears them so it's clear to people that he's a hardworking cowboy.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 6:40 am

In the middle of a gritty urban landscape in Southern California, some modern-day cowboys are trying — against great odds — to keep a little bit of the Old West alive.

Andrew Hosley gently tightens the bridle on Jade, a chestnut mare. More times than he can count, Jade has given kids in this Compton neighborhood a ride.

"I used to have the same reaction when I was a kid of their age," he says, "watching the guys ride by on horses, and I always wanted to touch 'em, ride 'em."

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Sports
3:25 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Clothing Designer Helps NFL Prospects Suit Up For The Draft

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:19 pm

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

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Commentary
3:25 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

The Racially Charged Meaning Behind The Word 'Thug'

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 2:47 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A certain five-letter word has been used repeatedly over the last few days.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: ...The thugs who only want to incite violence...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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It's All Politics
3:25 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Why Hillary Clinton Is Just Fine With Bernie Sanders' Candidacy

Bernie Sanders announced his presidential bid Thursday. Though he'll challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, his candidacy could actually help hers.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:19 pm

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got into the presidential race Thursday, becoming Hillary Clinton's first official challenger for the Democratic nomination. His website has a disclaimer: "Paid for by Bernie not the billionaires."

Although he caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, he's not a registered Democrat — he's actually the longest-serving independent in congressional history. (There's no rule, by the way, barring candidates who are not registered Democrats from running in the Democratic primary.)

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Around the Nation
3:25 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Baltimore Through A Reporter's Eyes: 'Primary Problems Are Not Racial'

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 6:32 pm

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Documents Show FAA Questioned Mental Fitness of Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz

September 13, 2015 photo of Andreas Lubitz, who is believed to have deliberately crashed Germanwings flight 9525 into a mountain in southern France on March 24, 2015, killing all 150 people on board.
Getty Images Getty Images

Newly released documents from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration show that it initially declined to grant a medical certificate to Andreas Lubitz, the pilot who is believed to have intentionally crashed an airline into the French Alps last month.

The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, provide an eerie glimpse into Lubitz's mental history and an effort to conceal that from U.S. medical examiners.

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Space
2:27 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

NASA Spacecraft Crashes Into Mercury, Concluding 4-Year Study Of Planet

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:19 pm

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

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NPR Ed
2:27 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

The Plan To Give E-Books To Poor Kids

President Obama announced an initiative to give e-books to low-income students while visiting the Anacostia Library in Washington on Thursday.
Shawn Thew /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:19 pm

Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?

I see a blue horse, a purple cat, and a new program — unveiled today by President Obama — with one goal in mind:

To put good books in the hands of low-income kids.

More specifically, $250 million worth of e-books available to young, low-income readers — free. The effort will work through a new app, being developed by the New York Public Library, that has the buy-in of all the major publishers.

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Law
2:27 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Baltimore Police Conclude Investigation Into Freddie Gray's Death

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:19 pm

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

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Asia
2:27 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Returning To Vietnam Years After Fleeing War, A Man Finally Feels At Home

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:19 pm

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

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National Security
2:27 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

House Judiciary Committee Passes Bill To Limit NSA Spying

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:19 pm

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

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Environment
12:37 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Drought In Calif. Creates Water Wars Between Farmers, Developers, Residents

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

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: California going back to the drawing board to deal with their drought.

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Shots - Health News
12:13 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Small Plague Outbreak In People Tracked To Pit Bull

Rod-shaped specimens of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial cause of plague, find a happy home here in the foregut of a flea. Fleas can transmit the infection to animals and people, who can get pneumonic plague and transmit the infection through a cough or kiss.
Science Source

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 12:14 pm

For the first time in 90 years, U.S. health officials say they have diagnosed a case of the plague that may have spread in the air from one person to another. Don't be alarmed — the plague these days is treatable with antibiotics and is exceptionally rare (just 10 cases were reported nationwide in 2014).

And if the plague has become mostly a curiosity in the United States, this case is more curious than most.

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NPR History Dept.
9:49 am
Thu April 30, 2015

A Forgotten Tradition: May Basket Day

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt receives a May basket of flowers from young children in 1938.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:42 am

Maybe there really was a time when America was more innocent.

Back when May Basket Day was a thing, perhaps.

The curious custom — still practiced in discrete pockets of the country — went something like this: As the month of April rolled to an end, people would begin gathering flowers and candies and other goodies to put in May baskets to hang on the doors of friends, neighbors and loved ones on May 1.

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Shots - Health News
9:28 am
Thu April 30, 2015

The Great Success And Enduring Dilemma Of Cervical Cancer Screening

Dr. George Papanicolaou discovered that it was possible to detect cancer by inspecting cervical cells. The Pap smear, the cervical cancer screening test, is named after him.
American Cancer Society AP

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 10:29 am

Cervical cancer, which still kills about 4,000 American women every year, is almost entirely preventable. Proper screening can catch early warning signs that could lead to cancer without the right treatment. But how often women should get screened and which tests should be used has been hotly debated by women, doctors and medical researchers for the past decade.

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NPR Ed
4:03 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Skip A Grade? Start Kindergarten Early? It's Not So Easy

A.J. Rich iStock

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:36 am

On the first day of school, perhaps the only person more discussed than the "new kid" is the "new kid who skipped a grade."

Words like "gifted," "brilliant" and "genius" get thrown around to describe these students. Education researchers generally refer to them as "accelerated." It's a catch-all term to describe students who have either entered kindergarten early, grade-skipped or taken single subjects above grade level.

Part of the hype comes from how uncommon it is.

Researchers estimate no more than 2 percent of students fall into these categories.

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Michel Martin, Going There
3:16 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Looting And Rioting? First Responders Remember 1968

Michel Martin's father was a New York City firefighter in 1968, when race riots erupted in neighborhoods across the city and country. His memorial card sits on his dented helmet from those years.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 1:24 pm

Scenes from Baltimore earlier this week have evoked the riots that broke out in many cities after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. I spoke to two first responders who were on duty at the time, Ed Mattson, a retired sergeant from the Baltimore City Police who was in the tactical squad and riot squad in 1968, and Steve Souder, Director of Communications at Fairfax County Department of Public Safety. He was working in communications for the Washington D.C. Fire Department the day Dr. King died. It also made me think of my own father.

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Parallels
1:25 am
Thu April 30, 2015

The Frightened Vietnamese Kid Who Became A U.S. Army General

Brig. Gen. Viet Luong of the 1st Cavalry Division came to the United States in the 1970s after his family fled Vietnam in the waning days of the war there. He's now leading the effort to train Afghan soldiers to fight the Taliban.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 9:07 am

Brig. Gen. Viet Luong sits on a case of MREs, the soldiers' daily meals. He's inside a cavernous hanger at an Afghan army base outside the southern city of Kandahar.

A couple dozen American and Australian soldiers lounge on green cots lining the sides. Banners of U.S. military units hang on the walls. Between the troops is a 6-foot-tall shipment of Girl Scout cookies.

Luong's job is to train the Afghan military to fight a guerrilla force, the Taliban. But he's willing to talk about another guerrilla war, long ago.

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History
1:24 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Founder: Monument Almost Never Got Built

Jan Scruggs gazes up at the names of fellow military service members inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 9:07 am

On a perfect spring morning, Jan Scruggs walks along the site overlooking the wall of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C. Contrasting the bright colors of blooming trees and flowers is the black granite carved with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who served during the war.

Scruggs, a veteran himself, is credited with getting the memorial built. He's now preparing to retire. Morning Edition met Scruggs to learn the story of how the memorial was built, honoring the dead from a war that ended 40 years ago, on April 30, 1975.

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