The four cuts at the top of this skull "are clear chops to the forehead," says Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley. Based on forensic evidence, researchers think the blows were made after the person died.
Credit Donald E. Hurlbert / Smithsonian
This forensic facial reconstruction shows what the 14-year-old, nicknamed "Jane," may have looked like. Scientists say the remains found at Jamestown are evidence of cannibalism over the winter of 1609-1610.
Credit Donald E. Hurlbert / Smithsonian
Markings on the lower side of the jaw look like they were sawed with a sharp object, says forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley.
"First they ate their horses, and then fed upon their dogs and cats, as well as rats, mice and snakes."
So says James Horn of the historical group Colonial Williamsburg, paraphrasing an account by colony leader George Percy of what conditions were like for the hundreds of men and women stranded in Jamestown, Va., with little food in the dead of winter in 1609.
They even ate their shoes. And, apparently, at least one person.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
President Obama today announced two new heads of agencies that play key roles in the economy. He tapped former wireless and cable industry executive, Tom Wheeler, to head the Federal Communications Commission. And he's naming North Carolina Democrat and veteran Congressman Melvin Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Republicans and Democrats in Florida's Legislature are at an impasse over whether to expand Medicaid. In order to pressure the Republican leadership to hold another vote, Democrats have invoked a rule requiring all bills to be read aloud in the entirety before they're voted on. In this post-Siri world, Republicans have plugged the bills into an electronic reader, dubbed Mary, who's reading t he bills at double speed to a chamber full of bored legislators.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with the war in Syria and the possibility of U.S. involvement. Today, in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used the opportunity of May Day to make a rare public appearance. He visited a power plant and said, we hope that by this time next year, we will have overcome the crisis in our country.
A contentious battle for a spot on Penn State's board of trustees is dividing the university's alumni community. While some candidates and alums focus on the past, others want to push beyond the abuse scandal that shook the school over the last two years. With so much at stake for the much-loved school, some say the board of trustees election is playing out more like a contentious political race for mayor or Congress, not just a spot on a university board.
"Compassionate release" programs that free inmates with terminal illnesses and limited life expectancies are poorly run and lack clear standards, the Department of Justice's inspector general said on Wednesday.
During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.
That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Twenty years ago, when brain imaging made it possible for researchers to study the minds of violent criminals and compare them to the brain imaging of "normal" people, a whole new field of research — neurocriminology — opened up.
Adrian Raine was the first person to conduct a brain imaging study on murderers and has since continued to study the brains of violent criminals and psychopaths. His research has convinced him that while there is a social and environmental element to violent behavior, there's another side of the coin, and that side is biology.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now, we are going to head into the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut on hot topics with our panel of women journalists, commentators, bloggers and activists.
Following up on word there have been discussions between lawyers for Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal investigators about sparing him from the possibility of the death penalty if he provides valuable information about the attacks, NPR counterterrorism correspondent
Forty-seven-year-old Celeste Corcoran is propped up in her hospital bed. In a nearby window is a forest of blooming white orchids from well-wishers. On the opposite wall, a big banner proclaims "Corcoran Strong."
She's recalling how thrilled she was to be near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, waiting for her sister Carmen Accabo to run by. "I just remember standing there, wanting to be as close as I could to catch her," Corcoran says. "I really just needed to see her face."
It may be hard to imagine that people can distill their thoughts on a topic as complicated as race into just six words. But thousands of people have done just that for The Race Card Project, in which NPR host/special correspondent Michele Norris invites people to send in their microstories about race and cultural identity.
My friend the Sports Curmudgeon called me the other day: "Hey, Frank, I got a few things to get off my chest." He was about to take off on a Fantasy Fan cruise, where devoted sports buffs are drafted as fans for desperate losing teams, but he promised to text me his complaints once the ship got out to sea.
Sure enough, here came the Sports Curmudgeon's latest rants.
On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama declared May as Older Americans Month, National Foster Care Month, National Building Safety Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
The president also issued a statement on the investiture of the new king of the Netherlands.
While small and routine, these moves were all easy to understand, as were the accompanying proclamations from the White House press shop.
Roger Bottomley of Fairfax, Va., has been homeless for 10 years. He expected to get a housing voucher, but then his appointment with the local housing authority was canceled because of sequestration. He keeps his belongings in a locker at a homeless day center.
Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.
Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.
And the cuts come at a time when there's a severe shortage of affordable housing across the country.
George Zimmerman, charged with murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting, is back in court. His lawyers say prosecutors have adopted unethical tactics that have hampered Zimmerman's defense. The case goes to trial in May and Zimmerman's lawyers say the government is making it hard for them to be ready.
Now to the hunger strike underway in the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It began back in January. At first, a few dozen prisoners refused meals. Now, more than 100 of the 166 men still at the facility have joined the protest, and more than a dozen of those are being force-fed. Well today, their action drew a response from the president. As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, President Obama vowed at a news conference to try once again to close the island prison.
Jury selection begins next week in the trial of three nuclear protestors. The group, including an 82-year-old nun, broke into the Y-12 Nuclear Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee last summer. The Department of Energy facility houses the nation's stockpile of highly-enriched uranium.
Matt Shafer Powell, of member station WUOT, reports.
NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay in Sports Illustrated this week. Reaction to his announcement has been largely positive. Melissa Block speaks with former tennis great Martina Navratilova about Collin's decision to come out, and Navratilova's own experience after she came out over 30 years ago.
Gov. Jerry Brown in January calls for federal judges to return control of California prisons to the state. This month, a federal appeals court denied Brown's request and ordered the state to reduce its prison population immediately.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:32 pm
California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.
The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:38 am
Cities in Arizona that conduct buyback programs to get guns off the street will now be required to re-sell those weapons, according to a new law signed by the governor.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation late Monday "preventing local governments from melting down the weapons obtained from these popular civic events. Before the new law, the state had allowed such firearms to be destroyed," according to Reuters.