Six years ago this month, the I-35 West Bridge in Minneapolis suddenly collapsed during the evening rush hour. Thirteen people died and 145 were injured when the eight-lane bridge fell into the Mississippi River below. Among those hurt that day was Kim Dahl. She was on the bridge driving a school bus full of dozens of children, including two of her own and eight other adults. She remembers the bus rising up then freefalling 45 feet, crashing onto a road below.
Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California is among nearly 200 members of Congress who've signed letters to President Obama demanding he seek authorization from Congress before ordering the use of military force in Syria. To do otherwise, they say, is unconstitutional.
Congresswoman Lofgren joins me now from San Jose. Welcome to the program.
Secretary of State John Kerry says there is clear evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its citizens. He laid out that evidence at a briefing at the State Department, and pledged a "tailored and limited" US response to hold the Assad regime accountable.
President Obama says the world cannot accept the use of chemical weapons on a mass scale in Syria, but much of the world seems unwilling to act in response. The president says the U.S. has not made a final decision either.
Labor Day is right around the corner, so before we mark the unofficial end of summer, here is the final installment in our series, Summer Nights. And for this last evening adventure, we head to Phoenix, where urban hikers strap on headlamps to ascend Piestewa Peak. This time of year, the desert heat can be deadly, so hikers wait until dark to climb to the summit, about 1,200 feet above the city.
Peter O'Dowd of member station KJZZ sends this postcard of one family that's been making the night trek for years.
Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 10:03 am
Television talk show host Wendy Williams is known for pushing the envelope and dishing the dirt on celebrities. But her rise to fame wasn't always glamorous. Host Michel Martin speaks with Williams about her career, her battle with addiction, and her latest book Ask Wendy. This segment initially aired May 6, 2013 on Tell Me More.
Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 10:03 am
A recent report suggests that more white students are heading to top tier colleges, while their black and Hispanic counterparts are turning to low tuition, open-access institutions. Host Michel Martin speaks with Georgetown's Anthony Carnevale, about what the numbers mean. This segment initially aired July 31, 2013 on Tell Me More.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:57 am
It was hard to ignore those headlines saying that people with migraine have brain damage, even if you're not among the 12 percent or so who do suffer from these painful, recurring headaches.
Don't panic, says the neurologist whose work sparked those alarming headlines. "It's still not something to stay up nights worrying about," says Dr. Richard Lipton, director of the Montefiore Headache Center in New York.
Though Great Britain won't be joining in any military action aimed at Syria, it appears the White House is determined to go ahead — most likely within the next few days and most likely with missile strikes.
We'll be following the news throughout the day and over the weekend. As Friday dawns, here's where things stand:
For Syrian Americans, the situation in Syria is emotionally wrenching and the prospect of U.S. intervention leaves them torn. NPR's Cheryl Corley talked with two Syrian Americans in Chicago's suburbs about their hopes and concerns.
CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: In Dr. Zahur Salool's(ph) medical office, he and a colleague are setting up a computer and cellphone to make a Skype phone call to another physician in Syria.
ZAHUR SALOOL: We're trying to make some connections. Can we plug the microphone in?
You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
States that border the Gulf of Mexico are awaiting some big money. They could garner billions of dollars from fines and penalties stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill back in 2010. The states have been anticipating that income and debating how to spend it. Now, they have a plan.
From New Orleans, here's NPR's Debbie Elliott.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: So I'd like to call for a vote by acclamation. All in favor?
Details of the top secret budget of U.S. intelligence agencies have been made public — revealing not only that the nation spends more than $50 billion a year on intelligence but also some detail about how that money is spent. The Washington Post published excerpts of a 2013 budget justification obtained from the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. In the past, the total amount spent on intelligence has been declassified by the U.S. government. The document reveals not only which agency spends the money but also what missions are top priority.
The NFL has agreed to a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players and families over concussions. The money will fund medical exams and treatment and provide compensation to players and families.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Protesters took to the streets in more than 50 cities today, calling for better wages for fast food workers. Like the Occupy Wall Street movement, these demonstrations target income inequality and promote workers' rights. But today's demonstrators also have one very clearly stated goal. Their demand: $15 an hour wages for workers at, say, McDonald's and Burger King.
The Department of Justice issued new guidance Thursday on enforcement of marijuana laws. The move comes after two states — Colorado and Washington — legalized marijuana for recreational use. The department said it would not sue to pre-empt those laws as long as the two states follow the new policy, which applies to all 50 states. The government's priorities for prosecutors include keeping drug profits away from gangs and cartels, and keeping marijuana away from children.
California's pioneering law that prohibits treating young gay people with psychotherapy in an attempt to change their sexual orientation has cleared a constitutional challenge in federal appeals court. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the ban does not violate essential rights.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:59 pm
Spice may be nice, but spices also can carry very bad bugs. About 7 percent of spices tested by Food and Drug Administration researchers were contaminated with salmonella, which can cause serious illness and death. Because of this finding and others, the FDA and international food safety organizations are putting more effort into how to reduce the risk.
As thousands of people gathered in the nation's capital to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, many more activists participated online. Host Michel Martin talks about social justice in the digital age with Michael Skolnik of Global Grind and Corey Dade of The Root.
When President Obama asked Americans to examine their own racial biases, photographer Jane Critchlow took that to heart. She approached black men in her neighborhood and asked to take photos with them. Host Michel Martin talks with Critchlow about her project, and the men's reactions.
Tighter lending standards for certain student loans have left many people looking for other ways to pay for school. Critics say historically black colleges and universities are hit particularly hard. Host Michel Martin speaks with David Wilson, President of Morgan State University, about the situation.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 10:56 am
For Venus Williams, a three-hour tennis match came down to a third-set tiebreaker against Zheng Jie of China at the U.S. Open Wednesday night. But the world's former No. 1 player couldn't get past 44 unforced errors, and Zheng outlasted her in a rain-delayed match. Williams lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).
In the match's final two points, Williams misfired on successive shots after coming back to even the tiebreaker at 5-5, sending Zheng into the third round. Williams is currently ranked 60th in the world.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 7:32 am
The massive "Rim Fire" around California's Yosemite National Park is now about 30 percent contained and it's hoped that cooling temperatures and more moderate winds will continue to work in firefighters' favor.
But The Associated Press cautions that officials say it will likely still be three weeks before the fire is surrounded and that the blaze likely won't be out until many weeks after that.
It's been eight years to the day since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. To mark the anniversary, NPR revisits neighborhood activist and curator Ronald Lewis, a New Orleans resident whomMorning Editionhost Steve Inskeep regularly checked in with in the months after the storm.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:41 pm
There would be no last call on the day of the March on Washington, and Manny and Mitzie Landsman had no choice in the matter. Their D.C. shop, Metro Liquors, was closed for business on Aug. 28, 1963, just one of 1,900 businesses ordered by local authorities not to sell, pour or wrap any alcoholic beverage from 12:01 that morning until 2 a.m. the next day.