U.S. News

Code Switch
9:45 am
Sat November 29, 2014

A Musical Tribute For A Waiter Who Spoke Out Against Racism

Justin Hopkins sings during a tribute show for Booker Wright, who worked in a whites-only restaurant in the Mississippi Delta.
Brandall Atkinson Courtesy of Southern Foodways Alliance

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:05 am

Editor's note: This story contains racial slurs.

A new musical work pays tribute to an unlikely and little-known civil rights activist: Booker T. Wright. You won't find his name in history textbooks. But his story is a testament to the everyday experiences of blacks in the Jim Crow South.

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History
9:15 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Jesus Started A Chain Letter — And Other Hoaxes

Published in London around 1795, this "copy" of a letter from Jesus in heaven was the imagined correspondence between Jesus and King Abgar of Edessa.
Sheridan Libraries JHU

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 12:26 pm

William Shakespeare wrote in the margins of his books. Noah washed up in Vienna after the flood. Jesus sent a letter back to Earth after his ascension to heaven.

Did you miss those artifacts of history?

Of course you did. They're all frauds, concocted to convince the unsuspecting — and often they did.

These frauds are part of a new exhibit, "Fakes, Lies and Forgeries," at the George Peabody Library in Baltimore.

Curator Earle Havens says the exhibit is timely — these days, the media presents us with fakes and lies all the time.

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Around the Nation
7:59 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Foreign Dollars Fuel A New Condo Boom In Miami

The $1 billion Brickell City Centre, currently under construction, will house condos, a hotel and a retail and entertainment complex. Condo projects are booming in Miami, financed mostly by foreign buyers.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 9:34 am

Few people track Miami development closer than Peter Zalewski. He runs Cranespotters.com, a business that keeps tabs on all the new construction proposed in downtown Miami.

In an area that covers less than 4 square miles, he notes, there's a lot going on. In "downtown Miami, we're looking at 69 towers, 18,400 units," all residential condominiums, Zalewski says.

If history is any guide, not all of the projects will be built. But Zalewski says there are other big projects coming that are likely to add to the total.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Few Arrests In Ferguson Amid Largely Peaceful Protests

Police in Ferguson, Mo., arrested 15 people overnight amid continued, though mostly peaceful, protests following a grand jury's decision earlier this week not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black youth Michael Brown.

Small protests were also held in Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Chicago.

Those arrested in Ferguson — all but one residing out-of-state — were charged with disturbing the peace.

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Race
5:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Columnist: Obama Has Failed Places Like Ferguson

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:05 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
5:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

School District Pays For Health Care But Can't Get Itemized Bill

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho of Miami-Dade County Public Schools says he knows how much gets paid out in health care claims, but the school system's insurance carrier, Cigna, won't disclose the charges.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 2:20 pm

About a year ago at a Miami-Dade County school board meeting, superintendent Alberto Carvalho was happy to announce the district and the teacher's union had just ratified a new contract.

"I believe that this contract honors and dignifies what you do every single day," he told the school board members. It included bonuses for most teachers and it settled how to handle health care expenses after yet another year of rising costs.

"We know exactly what the district pays out in terms of claims, because we are the insurance company. There's no profit to be made," he said.

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Around the Nation
5:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Red Tape Ties Up Purchases Of D.C. Affordable Housing

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:05 am

Nearly 1 in 5 Washington, D.C., residents live at or below the poverty line, but affordable-housing developers are having trouble selling units. This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Nov. 25, 2014.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Parallels
5:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

For Former U.S. Hostages, A Deal With Iran Also Remains Elusive

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, shown in Tehran in March, supports the nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and other world powers. Iran is now receiving some $700 million a month in sanctions relief. Those watching the negotiations include former U.S. hostages in Iran, who have sought compensation for years.
STR AP

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:05 am

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. David Roeder spent more than a year as one of 52 American hostages held by Iranian revolutionaries who took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

"I spent 14 months of my life and getting beaten around and tortured and threats against my family and all those sorts of things," he says.

For many, he adds, the ordeal never ended.

"Quite frankly, I was one of the lucky ones," he says. "I think I'm ok. But there's an awful lot ... who are really hurting. Everything from post traumatic disorder-type depression, to age, of course."

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All Tech Considered
5:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

In 'Disaster City,' Learning To Use Robots To Face Ebola

Since it was built by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service in 1998, 90,000 emergency responders have come to "Disaster City" to climb over mangled steel and through derailed chemical trains.
Lauren Silverman KERA

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:05 am

About three hours southeast of Dallas, there's a city that's been hit by almost every disaster you could imagine including earthquakes, hurricanes and even bombs. It's appropriately called Disaster City.

It's a training site for first responders, but the facility is looking ahead to a different kind of disaster — infectious diseases like Ebola, and robots may play a key role.

One of the first things you see when you enter Disaster City is an enormous pile of rubble.

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This Week's Must Read
3:27 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

After The Ferguson Decision, A Poem That Gives Name To The Hurt

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 4:22 pm

Since George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, I've been repeating these words by the poet Audre Lorde like a prayer. She writes:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother's milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

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Around the Nation
3:27 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Do More Boots On The Border Equal Security?

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 4:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When President Obama announced sweeping changes to the immigration system, this was the first thing on his list.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Art & Design
3:27 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

'New Yorker' Cover Shows A Divided St. Louis

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 4:22 pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Bob Staake, illustrator of the controversial cover of The New Yorker, which depicts the St. Louis skyline divided in half.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
3:27 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Despite Cold Weather And Protesters, Shoppers Seek Black Friday Sales

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 4:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Black Friday can signify a lot of different things. It can mean braving freezing temperatures in Minnesota like this.

SHACARAH REYNOLDS: I'm out here with everyone else for a TV.

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Economy
3:27 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Immigration Policy May Mean Better Jobs, But Impact On Labor Unclear

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 4:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
1:36 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

A 'Dreamer' With Parents Still In The Shadows

Aashana Vishnani's graduation from the Auburn University last year.
Courtesy of Aashana Vishnani

Aashana Vishnani is a "dreamer" in the truest sense of the word.

She came to the United States when she was only 10 years old. Her accent is more Alabamian than Indian. She loves to sing and aspires to someday perform in musicals like Rent or Hairspray. She is also a huge college football fan. Her favorite team is Auburn University, her alma mater where she received a merit-based full-tuition scholarship.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Ray Rice Wins Appeal, Reinstated By NFL

Ray Rice arrives with his wife Janay Palmer for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL, on Nov. 5. in New York.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 2:59 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced earlier this year that showed him hitting his then-fiancee, has won an appeal and will be reinstated by the NFL.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Texas Man Killed After Firing At Government Buildings

Police tape marks off the scene after authorities apparently shot and killed a man who they say opened fire on the Mexican Consulate, police headquarters and other downtown buildings early Friday.
Jim Vertuno AP

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 11:06 am

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

A gunman who fired more than 100 rounds into government buildings in Austin, Texas, and tried to set fire to the Mexican consulate early this morning is dead.

Kate McGee reports for member station KUT that initially officers thought the man might also be wearing an explosive vest, but after a bomb squad examined the body, determined that he was not.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Fri November 28, 2014

America's Black Friday Craziness Has Crossed The Pond

Police are on guard as shoppers line up for a Black Friday sale at a Tesco store in Cardiff, Britain.
Mattthew Horwood EPA/Landov

Black Friday is in full swing in U.S. stores and online, with shoppers across the country hoping to snatch up Christmas bargains.

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales over the same period last year, bringing the total to $616.9 billion. It would be the biggest jump in sales since 2011. The NRF has a breakdown of shopping behavior last year posted here.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Experts Predict Low Oil Prices Through Next Year

A Rosneft oil rig at the Vankor oil field in eastern Siberia. Russia is already feeling the pinch of low oil prices.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 9:29 am

OPEC's decision not to cut production continues to reverberate through global oil markets, with the price of Europe's benchmark Brent crude falling to a four-year low today — bad news for petroleum exporters in the Middle East and Russia, but good news for nearly everyone else.

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Shots - Health News
7:03 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Eyeing That BB Gun For Christmas? Don't Go There, Doctors Say

In the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, all Ralphie wanted was a BB gun.
The Kobal Collection/MGM/UA

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 5:59 am

If you've seen the classic movie A Christmas Story, you know that Ralphie really, really wanted that BB gun. And you know that his mother, his teacher, even the department store Santa all said: "You'll shoot your eye out."

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NPR Ed
5:03 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Talking (Very Frankly) About Sex On Campus

Organizers of the campus Sex Week event at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Courtesy of Nicky Hackenbrack

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 9:05 am

"Losing Your (Concept of) Virginity." "Negotiating Successful Threesomes." "Vagina 101." These aren't your parents' college classes.

Consider this a syllabus for Sex Week, a series of workshops, discussions and screenings dedicated to, well, you know what, that are becoming popular — and controversial — on campuses around the country.

Yale University held one in 2002 and since then there have been at least 20, including at the University of Chicago, the University of Maryland and Harvard University.

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Around the Nation
3:15 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Census Bureau May Stop Asking Marital History Questions

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 5:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
3:13 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Drawing Police Lessons From Ferguson May Not Be Clear-Cut

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 5:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:23 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Wildlife Activists Try To Save Staten Island's Wild Turkeys

A group of wild turkeys surrounds Joanna Tierno on Mason Avenue in Staten Island. She loves to see the birds roaming the streets of her neighborhood.
Courtesy of David Karopkin

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 5:12 pm

By one estimate, Americans will eat 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving.

But this story is not about them. It's about a smaller group of turkeys — about 100 who roam the wild streets of New York City. These feral birds live in Staten Island, the least urban of the five boroughs. Local officials have been trying to relocate the birds for years, but their plan has had trouble getting off the ground.

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The Protojournalist
9:39 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Wacky Wrestlers Of Yesteryear

Two men wrestle in a ring full of smelt during the Smelt Carnival in Marinette, Wis., in 1939.
Wisconsin Historical Society

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 2:37 am

Hoodslam — a popular spectacle that is staged monthly in Oakland, Calif. — is described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "part wrestling show, part carnival act and all comedy."

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu November 27, 2014

A Nationwide Outpouring Of Support For Tiny Ferguson Library

The Ferguson Public Library.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:12 am

The Ferguson Public Library is just a block away from the center of demonstrations at the Ferguson Police Department. As we've reported, when violent protests this week led to the burning of more than a dozen businesses and the uncertainty caused schools to close, the library stayed open.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Holiday Travel Snarls Look To Be Easing

Morgan Griffin, 20 (left), and his brother, Eric Crandell, 12, browse their mobile devices as they wait to board the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train bound for Santa Barbara, Calif., at Union Station in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Snow and rain in the East snarled holiday travel, but by Thanksgiving Day, things looked to be improving.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 9:00 am

The weather is still wreaking havoc for Americans still traveling today in planes, trains and automobiles, but for the most part, the situation has improved dramatically as people crisscross the country making their way to Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends.

AAA estimates that 46 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles to attend Thanksgiving festivities — the most in seven years.

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Shots - Health News
7:03 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Your Adult Siblings May Be The Secret To A Long, Happy Life

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:03 am

Somehow we're squeezing 16 people into our apartment for Thanksgiving this year, with relatives ranging in age from my 30-year-old nephew to my 90-year-old mother. I love them all, but in a way the one I know best is the middle-aged man across the table whose blue eyes look just like mine: my younger brother Paul.

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Around the Nation
2:44 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Damaged Businesses Vow Ferguson Will Rebound From Violence

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 10:12 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Code Switch
1:51 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Stories Of Your First Thanksgiving In The U.S.

We don't endorse using a trident to carve your turkey.
floodllama Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 10:12 am

This past week, we called for stories about your first Thanksgiving in the United States. Who'd you spend it with? Where were you coming from? What'd you eat? What'd you think of it? we wondered.

And many of the stories we heard from you were about food: You had issues roasting the turkey properly. Your mom found, um, a creative solution to making your bird golden-brown. You ate a lot of different alternative Thanksgiving meals. Your stories were goofy and weird, but most of them made us smile. Here are some of them:

Leticia Ortiz

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