U.S. News

All Tech Considered
11:50 am
Tue November 19, 2013

This Slide Shows Why HealthCare.gov Wouldn't Work At Launch

A slide from McKinsey & Co.'s outside review of HealthCare.gov, in the spring.
House Energy and Commerce Committee

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 7:07 am

This is a story of contrast between two popular methods of software development. One is called "waterfall," the other, "agile."

Waterfall development favors listing a huge set of requirements for a system up front, letting developers go away for months (if not longer) and expecting a huge software product in the end.

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The Salt
11:35 am
Tue November 19, 2013

How To Prepare For Climate Disasters? Artist Says Dehydrate Food

Fan raises egg-laying hens in the yard behind his studio on Staten Island.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:59 pm

Emergency aid workers are rushing this week to get food aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines — just the latest reminder of how vulnerable the food supply can be when disaster hits.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Tue November 19, 2013

University Of Texas Students Cancel 'Catch An Illegal Immigrant Game'

Students walk through the University of Texas at Austin campus near the school's iconic tower in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:41 am

Update at 10 a.m. ET. Game Has Been Cancelled:

Our friends at NPR member station KUT report the Young Conservatives of Texas has called off a game of "catch an illegal immigrant," which had sparked condemnation from the University of Texas at Austin community at large.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Tue November 19, 2013

NSA Releases Some Files On Electronic Surveillance

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:17 am

Reporters on the national security beat are sifting through about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the National Security Agency released late Monday.

The heavily redacted records, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement, "demonstrate the care with which NSA's foreign intelligence collection ... is run, managed, and overseen."

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Tue November 19, 2013

LISTEN: For Its 150th, A Reading Of The Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as inscribed on the stone at the Lincoln Memorial.
Pat Benic UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:14 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': The Gettysburg Address put in historical context
  • The Gettysburg Address, read by historian Eric Foner and NPR staff

On this 150 anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, his words — not ours — are important.

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Around the Nation
2:23 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Midwest Tornadoes Send Residents Scrambling

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:15 am

The cleanup continues across the Midwest, where dozens of tornadoes struck on Sunday. The Illinois town of Washington appears to have been hardest hit. The mayor says as many as 500 homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado that cut a path about an eighth of a mile wide from one side of the town to the other.

Code Switch
1:07 am
Tue November 19, 2013

A New Life For An Old Slave Jail

Formerly known as the Alexandria Slave Pen, this ashen gray row house in Alexandria, Va., once housed one of the country's largest slave-dealing firms.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:31 pm

President Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield in Gettysburg, Pa., 150 years ago and declared "a new birth of freedom" for the nation.

That same year, an African-American man named Lewis Henry Bailey experienced his own rebirth. At age 21, Bailey was freed from slavery in Texas. His journey began in Virginia, where he was sold as a child in a slave jail.

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U.S.
1:05 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Little-Known Immigration Mandate Keeps Detention Beds Full

The federal immigration detention center in Florence, Ariz., is one of about 250 such facilities around the country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is required to house 34,000 immigration detainees per day, nationwide.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:04 pm

Imagine your city council telling the police department how many people it had to keep in jail each night.

That's effectively what Congress has told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with a policy known as the "detention bed mandate." The mandate calls for filling 34,000 beds in some 250 facilities across the country, per day, with immigrant detainees.

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Around the Nation
1:04 am
Tue November 19, 2013

After Floods, Some Colo. Rivers Aren't Where They Used To Be

Excavators work to restore the original channel of Left Hand Creek. The creek's diversion structures sit clogged with mud, debris and stagnant water.
Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 am

In Colorado, farmers are scrambling to recover from September's historic floods — floods that decimated miles of roadways, cut off entire towns and sent rivers and creeks into areas they'd never been before.

Like Tim Foster's immaculate front yard.

"It was beautiful," he says. "I had four large blue spruces. We had hundred-year-old cottonwoods all along the bank. We had our irrigation and our pumps. It was just gorgeous."

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All Tech Considered
12:54 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Technology Outpacing Policymakers, Needs Of NSA

Gen. Keith Alexander is director of the National Security Agency, whose duty, his office has said, "requires us to attempt to collect terrorist communications wherever they traverse global infrastructure."
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:15 am

The controversy over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs has exposed a problem in the oversight of those programs: The development of the relevant technology has outpaced the laws and policies that govern its use.

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Details Emerge About Colorado Mine Accident And Safety Record

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:43 pm

One of the men killed at the Revenue-Virginius mine in Ouray, Colo., on Sunday was trying to find the other miner who died.

New details of the incident from the Mine Safety and Health Administration were released Monday. The agency says in a statement that "preliminary information" indicates "that a miner entered an area of the mine where an explosive had been previously detonated."

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All Tech Considered
3:41 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Is It The End Of The Line For The Landline?

A lineman grounds a line on a replacement pole in McNeill, Miss., after 2012 Christmas day storms downed both telephone and electric power lines and poles throughout the state. Upkeep on traditional landlines is expensive, and some are pushing for relaxing requirements that phone companies maintain these lines.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:35 pm

America's traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. Just last month, the Federal Communications Commission told phone companies to start collecting stats on calls that fail to complete. According to one estimate, as many as 1 in 5 incoming long-distance calls simply doesn't connect.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Princeton To Distribute Meningitis B Vaccine

Princeton University's Nassau Hall. The New Jersey university has seen seven cases of bacterial meningitis since March.
Daniel Hulshizer AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:06 pm

Princeton University has decided to distribute a vaccine for meningitis B that has not been approved for use in the United States.

As we've reported, the New Jersey university has seen seven cases of bacterial meningitis since March.

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Politics
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Cheney Sisters' Split Over Gay Marriage Plays Out On TV, Online

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The debate over same-sex marriage is at a furious boil right now inside one famous political family. Liz and Mary Cheney, the daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney, find themselves on opposite sides of the issue. Mary is gay and married. Liz, her older sister, is running for Senate in Wyoming and she has said she opposes same-sex marriage.

She was asked about that yesterday on Fox News Sunday.

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Technology
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Easy As Pie: Soon You Could Push A Button And Get A Pizza

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Ordering a pizza may soon get easier in the U.S. — at least if the company iStrategyLabs has anything to do with it. The company's working on a device they call Pie Pal that allows you to order pizza with the push of a button.

Education
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Small, Private Colleges Woo Veterans With Scholarships

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Many veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are taking advantage of the post 9/11 GI bill to pay for higher education. They often end up at large state schools or for-profit, online universities.

Gloria Hillard reports that a scholarship program in California is opening the doors for veterans who may be better suited for smaller and more expensive private liberal arts colleges.

GLORIA HILLARD, BYLINE: Cory Bloor is giving me a tour of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

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Around the Nation
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Midwestern States Sort Through Aftermath Of Scores Of Tornadoes

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Scores of tornados touched down across the Midwest on Sunday, leveling homes and killing at least eight.

Technology
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Bitcoin Goes To Washington As Senators Parse Currency's Legality

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

The digital currency Bitcoin is becoming more prevalent, both for benign purchases and as a way for criminals to conduct illicit transactions. Bitcoins have been used on underground websites to facilitate sales of narcotics and child pornography. But even those most concerned about criminal activity agree that the emerging digital currency has arrived and can have beneficial uses.

Around the Nation
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Princeton To Use New Meningitis Vaccine To Stem Campus Outbreak

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Princeton University is trying to stop an outbreak of an unusual form of bacterial meningitis, which has already struck seven students. Princeton's trustees decided Monday to start offering students a vaccine that the federal government has approved specifically to help protect students.

Shots - Health News
2:12 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Using Birth Control Pills May Increase Women's Glaucoma Risk

Estrogen affects cells in the eye's retina, which may help explain a possible link between glaucoma and estrogen levels.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 9:37 am

Taking birth control pills may increase a woman's risk of eye disease later in life, a study finds, because they may reduce protective levels of estrogen.

Doctors have long known that cells in the eye have estrogen receptors. But in the past few years they've started looking into whether the changes in a woman's estrogen levels as she goes through life could affect her risk of glaucoma.

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It's All Politics
1:47 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

How Would Your City Handle A Mayor Like Rob Ford?

Mayor Rob Ford talks during a City Council debate in Toronto on Nov. 13.
Nathan Denette AP

If an American city had a mayor as embarrassing as Rob Ford of Toronto, whose problems with drugs and alcohol have caused an international sensation, it could get rid of him.

Probably.

Recalls of local elected officials have become more common in the U.S. over the past few years.

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Race
9:55 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Renisha McBride Shooting: 'We May Never Know' Why

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 12:38 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, when actor Hill Harper got a letter from a young man in prison, he wrote him back thinking that would be the end of it, but it wasn't - not by a long shot. Their correspondence lasted years and it's now the basis of Hill Harper's latest book "Letters to an Incarcerated Brother." And he'll tell us about it in just a few minutes.

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Education
9:55 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Homeless Students A Growing Problem For Schools

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 12:38 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll tell you about the late night talk show called "Totally Biased." Never heard of it? That might be why it was canceled. But we'll also hear why so many critics are up in arms that it was canceled. That's later this hour.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Death Toll Rising After Storms Explode Over Midwest

A firefighter searches through debris in Washington, Ill., on Sunday. Tornadoes and severe weather roared through the area earlier in the day.
Tasos Katopodis Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 10:41 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': WCBU's Denise Molina reports on the storms that hit Illinois
  • From the NPR Newscast: Jean Cochran rounds up the storm news

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET. Two Deaths In Michigan:

The number of people killed by powerful storms that pummeled parts of the upper Midwest on Sunday has risen to at least eight.

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Shots - Health News
1:07 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds

Illustration by Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 10:58 am

Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.

"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But I do believe that our gut microbes affect what goes on in our brains."

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Remembrances
2:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

How Writer Doris Lessing Didn't Want To Be Remembered

Author Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94. Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature for a life's work which included around 40 books and collections of essays and memoirs.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 8:42 am

In the course of a long and eventful life, author Doris Lessing was many things.

She was a mother — and a self-described "house mother" for a procession of starving artists, writers and political refugees. She was a refugee herself, from bourgeois respectability in 1940s Rhodesia. She was a campaigner against racism, a lover, an ardent communist, and a serial rescuer of cats.

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Shots - Health News
1:29 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Why A Patient's Story Matters More Than A Computer Checklist

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:22 am

As I walk to the door of my patient's house on a dirt road outside Tuscaloosa, Ala., I step gingerly. Mrs. Edgars says that she killed a rattlesnake in her flower bed last year.

She is at the door, expecting my visit. Mr. Edgars sits on the couch, unable to recall that I am his doctor, or even that I am a doctor. But he is happy to see me nonetheless.

We chat a moment, then we move on to Mr. Edgars' arthritis. Early on in his dementia he wandered the woods. His wife was afraid he would get lost and die, although the family agreed that this was how he would want it.

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The Salt
9:29 am
Sun November 17, 2013

See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

Screen grab of a map that shows hard numbers about who's getting hit by food stamp cuts.
Stateline

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:20 pm

When you think of Oregon and food, you probably think organic chicken, kale chips and other signs of a strong local food movement. What probably doesn't come to mind? Food stamps.

And yet, 21 percent of Oregon's population – that's one out of every five residents – relies on food stamps to get by. And like many people across the country, these Oregon families who have come to rely on federal food assistance program for meals are learning to make do with less as of this month.

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Law
4:35 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Porn Mogul Larry Flynt Wants Man Who Paralyzed Him Spared

Larry Flynt is speaking out to save the life of the man who shot and paralyzed him in 1978. "I just don't think that government should be in the business of killing people," he says.
Eddie Gallacher Alpha /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:30 am

Larry Flynt is not one to shy away from speaking his mind. As the publisher of the adult magazine Hustler, he's long been a polarizing figure. He's been in and out of court for decades, fighting for the right to publish freely.

During one of those legal battles 35 years ago, Flynt was shot and paralyzed by a gunman on the steps of a Georgia courthouse.

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It's All Politics
3:22 am
Sun November 17, 2013

How Texas Changed, And Changed The Nation, Since JFK

The presidential motorcade travels down Main Street in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was shot.
Cecil Stoughton UPI /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:57 am

Texas wasn't exactly a backwater in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, but it wasn't the economic and political powerhouse that it has become today.

Over the past 50 years, three of the nation's presidents have hailed from Texas.

"For the past few decades, Texas politicians have found a natural habitat on the national political stage in the way Dominican shortstops have found a natural habitat in baseball," the humorist Calvin Trillin wrote a couple of years ago.

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