Thousands of California prisoners are waging a hunger strike, protesting conditions in the prisons. For more on the strike and the prisoners' demands, host Michel Martin talks with Los Angeles Times Reporter Paige St. John and former inmate Jerry Elster, of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.
Cephus "Bobby" Johnson in 2011, when the former transit officer who shot Johnson's nephew, Oscar Grant, was released from jail. Johnson and other family members have seen <em>Fruitvale Station</em>, a new feature film depicting the shooting, multiple times.
It's not often that Oakland, Calif., hosts a movie opening. But there is plenty of anticipation for Fruitvale Station.
The film is about the life and death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was fatally shot in the back by a white transit police officer in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009.
Grant was killed by Officer Johannes Mehserle, who claimed to have been reaching for his Taser, not his handgun. Mehserle was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months of a two-year term.
Mary Hamilton was found in contempt of court in Alabama, when she refused to answer questions after the prosecution addressed her only by her first name. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in her favor.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling, its decisions can carry weight for generations. Think about decisions in the civil rights era regarding school segregation and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama.
As part of our look back on the summer of 1963, we examine another Alabama case that had a subtle effect on the way courts treat defendants.
At a mock trial at Samford University in Birmingham, a student playing the role of a defense attorney questions his client on the stand: "To your knowledge, can a driver turning left turn on a yellow light?"
For the past three years, StoryCorps' Legacy program has given people facing serious illness the chance to record interviews with loved ones and caregivers. Recently, StoryCorps expanded the program to include children.
In 2007, Faith Marr was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer on her spine. She was 4 years old. That year she had her first of eight surgeries, replacing her vertebrae with titanium rods. Doctors were uncertain about her chances of survival.
California lawmakers are calling for an investigation into allegations that 148 female prisoners underwent tubal ligation surgeries without the state's required approval. Some inmates said they had been pressured into undergoing the sterilization procedure, according to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
To raise awareness about force-feeding, Yasiin Bey, the musician and actor formerly known as Mos Def, in a video voluntarily underwent the same procedure administered to prisoners who refuse solid food in political protest while they are held in Guantanamo Bay.
Credit Reprieve/Asif Kapadia
This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of the "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
For centuries, the act of refusing food has turned human bodies into effective political bargaining chips. And so it's no surprise that the prisoners desperate to leave Guantanamo after, in some cases, nearly a dozen years there, have turned to hunger strikes on and off since 2005 to try to win their release.
House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.
The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.
The decision to cleave food stamps — formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.
The PSA test has been dissed a lot lately. The nation's preventive medicine task force, for one, says the test is so unreliable in figuring out who's at risk for deadly prostate cancer that most men shouldn't bother getting one.
Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."
That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.
Justin Carter, the 19-year-old who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting, is out of jail. An anonymous donor posted the $500,000 bond to allow Carter to go home. Carter plans to stay near New Braunfels, Texas, to await his trial on a felony terroristic threat charge.
Robert Siegel talks with Brookings Institution vice president Bruce Katz, founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, about his new book, The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy. Katz and his co-author Jennifer Bradley argue that "innovation districts," combining office space, residential buildings, and mixed-use retail, will be epicenters of the new urban economy.
Chuck Foley was responsible for millions of awkward party moments since the 1960s. Normally, that's nothing to be proud of but if you're the inventor of the game "Twister," it's not such a bad thing after all.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Foley and his business partner, Neil Rabens, invented the game for Milton Bradley in 1966. They originally called it "Pretzel."
If you're certain age there's no need to explain "Twister." But in case you need a refresher, the game is simple.
The George Zimmerman trial has received a lot of attention and time on cable news. In many ways it resembles the sprawling coverage of earlier sensational trials. But the Zimmerman trial also has important social and cultural questions swirling around it.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. The farm bill is back. Three weeks ago, the House surprised Hill watchers when Democrats and Republicans alike voted against the bill. Well, today, they passed it - narrowly. In today's bill, though, a huge component was missing. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, House leaders stripped out the section of the bill that deals with food stamps.
It's already been a long summer for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. A steady stream of news reports have revealed gifts and loans he and his family accepted from a campaign donor, totaling some $145,000. McDonnell has been mentioned as a possible future presidential candidate, though with these revelations some now express doubt about his chances.
As NPR's Brian Naylor reports the trouble for McDonnell could also affect the Republican who hopes to succeed him in the governor's office.
Senate Democrats appear so fed up enough by Republicans blocking President Obama's appointments that they are preparing to change Senate rules. The so-called "nuclear option" would end the use of the filibuster when it comes to appointments, dramatically diminishing the power of the minority party in the chamber.
A geothermal energy plant near the Salton Sea in California taps deep underground heat from the southern San Andreas Fault rift zone. A new study ties the amount of water pulled from the ground by the geothermal plant here to the frequency of earthquakes.
Credit David McNew / Getty Images
This map shows all the earthquakes stronger than magnitude 3.0 between 2003 and 2013. The earthquakes marked in red occurred in the first 10 days following large earthquakes in Chile in 2010, Japan in 2011 and Sumatra in 2012. The triggering of these quakes occurred almost exclusively in three injection well fields, labeled Prague, Trinidad and Snyder.
The continental U.S. experiences small earthquakes every day. But over the past few years, their numbers have been increasing. Geoscientists say the new epidemic of quakes is related to industrial wastewater being pumped into underground storage wells.
Now there's new research that reveals two trigger mechanisms that may be setting off these wastewater quakes — other, larger earthquakes (some as far away as Indonesia), and the activity at geothermal power plants.
The latest in The Guardian's seriesof reports on secret U.S. electronic surveillance efforts claims to detail the extent of Microsoft's cooperation with the National Security Agency, with the tech giant reportedly allowing agents to circumvent its own encryption system to spy on email and chats, as well as its cloud-based storage service.
Homicide remains a leading cause of death for young people, even as rates drop. In Chicago, a teenage boy grieves next to a memorial where Ashley Hardmon, 19, was shot and killed on July 2. Gunmen fired while she was chatting with friends.
You may have noticed that houses are selling a little faster and prices are going up. But not everyone is feeling the benefits. Host Michel Martin speaks with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, about what happened, and what's next in the housing sector.
Racial disparities exist, but what causes them can be complicated. Harvard anthropology student Jason Silverstein says it has to do with a lack of empathy. Host Michel Michel Martin talks with Silverstein about a Slate article he wrote titled, 'I Don't Feel Your Pain.'
Brittney Cooper was on an airplane when, out of the corner of her eye, she caught alarming words on her seatmate's phone. The fellow passenger was texting a message about Cooper's race and weight. Host Michel Martin talks to Cooper about what she did next, and what she was hoping to accomplish.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we're going to talk about something that might have happened to you. Somebody says something personally insulting about you, you heard it. You probably also had a moment where you weren't quite sure what to do about it. We'll talk with a woman who found herself in that very situation, and we'll find out what she did. That's later. But first, we want to continue our conversation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan.
This year, the NPR Cities Project is covering the concept of "smart cities": how cities worldwide are experimenting with technology to solve all sorts of urban problems. Please join us as we tackle the issue of smart cities with a live Twitter chat on Thursday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon EDT.
Policymakers hope implementing technological solutions to urban issues will help cities become more efficient, more user-friendly and more environmentally sustainable.
More than half of Americans in a new Quinnipiac University national poll see former National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden, who spilled secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, as a whistle-blower, not a traitor.
More than half of American voters in a new Quinnipiac University national poll say that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. Interviewers asked more than 2,000 people about the National Security Agency contract worker who leaked secret documents about U.S. surveillance. They also asked about the line between privacy and security.
U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks at a press conference Wednesday on Republican plans to delay enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Looking on are Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Sensing that recent delays in key portions of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obama administration at a weak point in its rollout of the law, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to cripple the measure, at least in the eyes of the public if not in fact.
The two main pilots on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the jetliner that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, had each gotten eight hours of sleep the night before their trip to San Francisco, says the National Transportation Safety Board.
The agency's chief, Deborah Hersman, provided that information and other updates to the media and the public on the investigation into the crash that killed two passengers and injured dozens.
The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.
Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.
"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. "And it is hard to get a party moving when you don't have somebody at the top who is a core leader who can be directive."