U.S. News

Business
1:20 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Trucker Shortage Worsens As Energy Sector Booms

Keith Ceynar transfers oil from his truck into a tank at a facility outside Alexander, N.D. An increasing amount of oil is being delivered by trucks.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 2:45 am

When goods arrive in Houston, they may come in containers stacked high on huge ships or strung out on long lines of rail cars. But to get to the customer, those goods need to be put on trucks and driven to their final destinations.

And now with the oil and gas sectors booming, the demand for truckers is soaring. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says oil delivered to refineries by trucks shot up 38 percent between 2011 and 2012.

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Business
3:41 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

When Stress Takes Over, Employee Burnout Can Set In

Pushing workers only goes so far, says one long-time human resources manager.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 5:16 pm

As Labor Day honors American workers, stress weighs on many. A changing world — and therefore a changing workplace — has many employees on the job and staring at screens for hours upon hours. Some have reached a breaking point.

John Challenger, CEO of workplace consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, diagnoses burnout. He tells NPR's Jacki Lyden stress can manifest emotionally, mentally or physically. "It can be combined with doubts about your confidence or the value of the work you do," he says.

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Religion
3:04 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

Cowboy Church: With Rodeo Arena, They 'Do Church Different'

A Western motif greets visitors to the Cowboy Church of Ellis County, in Waxahachie, Texas. About 1,700 people attend the church on Sundays.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 6:36 pm

It's Sunday morning at the Cowboy Church of Santa Fe County, N.M. You know you're there because of the chuck wagon parked by the highway.

You couldn't find a more nonreligious-looking building. The church is a charmless metal warehouse on a concrete slab. Inside, the altar is decorated like a set from a 1950s western — complete with saddles, hats, boots, a lasso and wagon wheel.

The band has just kicked off with "I Think God Must Be a Cowboy at Heart," and about 30 people in folding chairs are tapping their feet.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Kerry: Tests Indicate Sarin Used In Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a statement about the use of chemical weapons in Syria at the Department of State last week.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 2:46 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry says that tests have shown evidence of Syria's use of the chemical agent sarin in an attack on the opposition last month that the White House has blamed on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"I can share with you today that blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody from East Damascus, from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of sarin," Kerry told CNN on Sunday.

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Sports
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

College Football Season Starts

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 9:23 am

Alabama starts the year ranked No. 1, but after the playoffs, rankings will be less subjective. Guest host Wade Goodwyn checks in with NPR's Mike Pesca for a preview of the sports ahead: the start of the NFL season, the concussion settlement and a look at the 2013 college football.

Around the Nation
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Austin Lakefront Institution Closes Doors For Lack Of Water

Dockside at Carlos 'n Charlie's on Lake Travis.
Pete Clark

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:54 pm

Carlos 'n Charlie's restaurant on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, will be having its last last call on Monday. But don't bother coming by boat.

The restaurant has been a lakeside hotspot since it opened in 1995. Back then, docking at the restaurant's wharf was a popular way to take in the party atmosphere, which part-owner Pete Clark describes as like "a cheap Spring break movie."

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Middle East
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Assad Supporters Cheer Obama's Decision To Wait For Syria Strike

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 9:23 am

The Syrian president's supporters celebrated when President Obama announced he would seek Congress's approval for a military strike. But rebel forces fighting for President Bashar Assad's ouster were dismayed.

Politics
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

What One GOP Congressman Would Do About Syria

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:08 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

We turn now to Republican congressman Tom McClintock, to hear from him about Syria. He represents California's 4th District. Congressman, thanks for joining us this morning.

CONGRESSMAN TOM MCCLINTOCK: It's my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

GOODWYN: Are you pleased that the president has decided to bring this matter to Congress?

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Politics
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Obama's Nod To Congress Could Be Smart Politics

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 9:23 am

Members of Congress have been arguing for a week that the president should seek their approval on a military response to Syria. Now that Obama has agreed, it may be a case of "careful what you wish for." Guest host Wade Goodwyn asks NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson what Congress might do.

The Two-Way
6:42 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Syrian Media Declares 'Historic American Retreat'

Syrian refugees pass through the Turkish Cilvegozu gate border on Sunday.
Gregorio Borgia Associated Press

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 7:09 am

Syrian state media on Sunday reacted to President Obama's decision to ask Congress for authorization to strike President Bashar al-Assad's regime, calling the move the start of a U.S. retreat.

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All Tech Considered
6:17 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Out Of The Fields And Into Computer Science Classes

The inaugural class of the Computer Science and Information Technology program, scheduled to graduate in 2016.
Hartnell College

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:54 pm

To earn money for her family, Alicia Leon Rios worked in the fields in Salinas, Calif. Meanwhile, she sent her toddler, Leticia, to Mexico to be raised by her grandparents.

Even now, Alicia Leon Rios chokes up thinking about that difficult decision more than two decades ago. But it was worth it, she in Spanish, because her daughter "was able to choose another path."

That path led to college.

Fast-Track To A Degree

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Health
6:17 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Texas Megachurch At Center Of Measles Outbreak

The Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, is linked to at least 21 cases of measles.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:58 pm

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. more than a decade ago. But in recent years, the highly infectious disease has cropped up in communities with low vaccination rates, most recently in North Texas.

There, 21 people — the majority of whom have not been immunized — have gotten the disease, which began at a vaccine-skeptical megachurch.

The outbreak began when a man who contracted the virus on a recent trip to Indonesia visited the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, about an hour and a half northwest of Dallas.

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The Sunday Conversation
3:47 am
Sun September 1, 2013

In The Classroom, Jill Biden Is A Teacher First

Jill Biden thanks teachers during a 2010 meeting at Ft. Belvoir Elementary School in Virginia.
Cherie Cullen ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Jill Biden's most visible role is wife to Vice President Joe Biden. But she has also had her own career as a teacher for more than three decades. Even now, she's a full-time professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

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Governing
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama Asks Congress To Approve Action On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

It was a stunner today for pundits on the Potomac. President Obama announced in the Rose Garden that while he has the authority to unilaterally attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons, he won't use it. Only 24 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for military action, the president made the case for congressional approval.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Governing
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Republican Who Asked For Congressional Say Gets His Wish

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Tom Cole is a U.S. congressman from Oklahoma. He's a Republican and has served in the Congress since 2003. Congressman Cole, thank you for being with us.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Thank you.

LYDEN: Congressman, you signed a letter with more than 100 of your colleagues asking the president to consult with Congress before acting in Syria. Well, President Obama now says he will do exactly that. Are you happy with the president's approach?

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Governing
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

On Syria, How Might Congress Vote?

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

With us now to talk about congressional reaction to the president's announcement this afternoon is NPR's congressional reporter Ailsa Chang. Thanks for being with us.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: You're welcome. Good to be here.

LYDEN: So it seems the president has been listening to the rancor this week, Ailsa, from members of both parties. What's been the reaction from congressional leaders you've had a chance to speak to since the announcement?

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

What Makes The 'Smartest Kids In The World'?

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKIE LYDEN, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

While Britain Votes No, France Still Backs Strikes On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The U.S. will not be acting alone if and when it launches military strikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. French President Francois Hollande spoke with President Obama today. France and the U.S. will act together after congressional discussions.

As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, this Franco-American alliance is a complete turnabout from the lead up to the war in Iraq 10 years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE)

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Chemical Weapons And Civilians: The Invisible Threat

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

The chemical weapons attack in Syria on August the 21st was the first time in a quarter century that such weapons had been used against civilians during a conflict. In 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War, the Iraqi city of Halabja was subjected to a gas attack by Saddam Hussein. At least 5,000 people died.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Lawmakers Welcome President Asking For Their OK On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 2:10 pm

(This post last updated at 4:10 p.m. ET)

Lawmakers, many of whom had urged President Obama to seek authority from Congress before going ahead with a military strike against Syria, were largely positive about his decision to do just that.

The president, in a Rose Garden address on Saturday, said that the U.S. should respond militarily to Syria's Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people, but that he would first seek authorization from Congress.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
1:01 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Read And Listen: President Obama Turns To Congress On Syria

President Obama speaks about Syria from the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 1:24 pm

  • Listen To President Obama's Full Speech
  • NPR Special Coverage Of Obama's Remarks

A transcript of President Obama's remarks on possible U.S. military action in Syria, as released by the White House:

Good afternoon, everybody. Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama To Seek Congressional Approval For Action Against Syria

At the White House Saturday, President Obama said he would seek congressional approval before taking action in Syria.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 9:48 am

  • President Obama's Full Speech
  • NPR Special Coverage Of Obama's Speech

(Post updated at 10 p.m. ET)

President Obama said Saturday he had decided that the U.S. should take military action against Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons, but that he will seek a congressional authorization for the action that could come "tomorrow, or next week or one month from now."

Speaking from the Rose Garden, the president said he believed that he had the authority to act without Congress, but said, "I know the country will be stronger if we take this course."

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Pentagon Plans Syria Strike Options

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, let's take a look at what the U.S. military might do in Syria. The Pentagon has prepared military options that would allow the U.S. to launch a punitive strike against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has been at the center of that military planning, even as he visited Asia this past week. NPR's Larry Abramson has been traveling all week with Secretary Hagel. He's had a unique vantage point on those deliberations and joins us now. Larry, thanks for being with us.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If It's Not Legal, Can A Strike On Syria Be Justified?

President Obama says any military strike he makes against the Syrian government in retaliation for suspected chemical attacks would be limited.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

As the Obama administration argues for a military intervention in Syria in response to a chemical attack that it says killed more than 1,400 Syrians, analysts say the case for a strike lacks a legal framework.

President Obama said Friday that the decision to act is part of a U.S. obligation as a world leader to make sure that regimes are held to account if they are found targeting their own people with weapons prohibited by international norms.

"If there's a sense that if nobody's willing to enforce them, then people don't take them seriously," he said Friday.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

How The Region Might React To An Attack On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

What would Iraq and Israel do if the U.S. launches military action against the Syrian government? Former analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency Joshua Foust speaks with host Scott Simon about the wider consequences for the Middle East.

Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

White House Says It's Not Out To Topple Assad Regime

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A U.N. inspections team left Syria this morning and that team is making its way back to Europe where it will analyze samples that were collected at the site of a poison gas attack outside of Damascus. In Washington, D.C. the Obama Administration says it is already convinced that Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons during that attack, and yesterday the White House released a summary of intelligence that says that more than 1400 civilians were killed by chemical weapons.

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Around the Nation
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Maine Toy Museum Is Really For Grownups

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The small town of Waldoboro, Maine, boasts two attractions: Moody's Diner, reputed to be one of the oldest in the country, and the Toy Museum. It was founded in 1996 by John Fawcett. Karen Michel paid the museum's founder a visit as she wrapped up her summer vacation.

KAREN MICHEL, BYLINE: The sign says world class museum enjoyed by adults, a Maine vacation delight - open.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL RINGING)

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Syrians Anticipate U.S. Strikes

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To Damascus now, as Syrians prepare for what might be coming. Nada Keuttnen works helping visiting journalists there in Damascus, including several NPR reporters. She joins us over Skype. Nada, thank you very much for being with us.

NADA KEUTTNEN: You are welcome.

SIMON: What's Damascus like today?

KEUTTNEN: It doesn't seem different than two, three, even a week ago. The life is going on. People are a bit may be worried and they're trying to buy extra dry food, expecting that something will happen but nothing is.

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NPR Story
5:38 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If 'Humanitarian,' Why Not Intervene In Syria Sooner?

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As U.S. forced reportedly prepare to launch a limited military action against the Syrian government, we turn now to a voice who's long made the case that the U.S. must take some action in Syria. Michael Ignatieff is a leading voice for the idea of humanitarian intervention. He helped develop the concept of the responsibility to protect. He is the former leader of Canada's Liberal party and now back on the faculty of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School.

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Middle East
2:58 am
Sat August 31, 2013

How A Reluctant Obama Ended Up Preparing For A Strike

President Obama discusses the situation in Syria on Friday from the White House Cabinet Room.
Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:06 am

Is President Obama falling into a trap of his own making?

The Obama administration has assiduously avoid intervening in Syria, where more than two years of conflict has left upwards of 100,000 people dead.

Even against that backdrop of so much suffering, there's a case to be made that the use of chemical weapons is an entirely different matter.

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