Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:37 am
The new batch of Pulitzer Prize winners has just been announced, with novelist Adam Johnson winning the fiction prize with The Orphan Master's Son. The winners of the prizes for Americans' best work in journalism, drama, music, and writing also receive a $10,000 cash award.
The rover Curiosity and other NASA spacecraft at Mars are now in a radio blackout, as the sun is interfering with transmissions. Curiosity took this self-portrait by combining 66 exposures in February.
Communications between the Earth and Mars are on hiatus for several weeks, thanks to interference from the sun. That means NASA's orbiters and rovers that study Mars will be left to their own devices until radio signals can once again travel between the two planets.
Known as "solar conjunction," the problem arises when the orbit of planets places the sun directly between them.
Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 3:25 pm
When the Rev. Gordon Cosby founded Church of the Saviour in the late 1940s, it was one of the first interracial churches in the still-segregated District of Columbia. Cosby, who died last month at the age of 95, is remembered not only for his work as a pastor, but also for his commitment to social change.
The New York Yankees' "Craft Beer Destination" met with derision online, after fans noted the beers were all MillerCoors products — and one of them is a cider. The stand now has a new title, the "Beer Mixology Destination."
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:39 pm
The baseball season is still young, but the New York Yankees have already faced harsh public criticism. No, we're not referring to their lackluster record. Instead, the Yanks were accused of trying to hoodwink beer drinkers with a new "Craft Beer Destination" concession stand at their Bronx stadium.
Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 11:06 am
Inmates fought guards at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after military authorities decided to end communal housing in one of the prison's camps, and instead put prisoners in individual cells. At least one detainee was reportedly injured by a rubber bullet in the clash Saturday.
The violence began after the facility's commander ordered the move Saturday morning. According to the U.S. Southern Command, the decision was made after detainees covered windows and surveillance cameras, limiting guards' ability to monitor them at all times.
Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 9:30 am
A police sergeant in Port Canaveral, Fla., has been fired after he brought targets bearing images resembling Trayvon Martin — a silhouetted figure in a hooded sweatshirt, holding a canned drink — to a police target practice session.
"Whether his act was hatred or stupidity, none is tolerable," Port Canaveral CEO John Walsh says of former officer Ron King, in a report by local station WFTV.
Roads End bar on Broad Street in Hazleton, Pa., displays a sign in 2007 that reads "ALL Legals Served." Longtime residents of the city are divided over the recent influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants.
Many residents say Hazleton, Pa., continues life now as a divided city. While some Spanish-speakers build new lives, longtime residents remain split on how the influx has changed their home.
It's not hard to find a Latino business in Hazleton these days, including law firms, insurance agencies and even a migrant education program. Amilcar Arroyo, the publisher of a local Spanish-language newspaper, says Latinos are now firmly establishing themselves as a part of the city.
At 2 p.m., it's crunchtime for students who write for The Harbinger Online, the award-winning, student news site at Shawnee Mission East High just outside Kansas City, Kan. They've been investigating an initiative to develop common curriculum and test guidelines for states.
The young reporters have pored over countless documents about the Common Core State Standards and talked to Kansas state legislators who pushed for their adoption, trying to understand why they're necessary.
School lunch is often synonymous with loud noise. Studies have shown the decibel level in some cafeterias is as high as a lawn mower.
Every so often, though, students at Alice Terry Elementary School, southwest of Denver, are asked not to make any noise.
When the music teacher told students here they'd occasionally have a "silent" lunch break, this was kindergartner Alyssa Norquette's reaction: "Why do we need a silent lunch? Is it because we're too loud or something?"
Numbers crunching has become a big deal in sports. Analytics have been slower to take hold in the tradition-bound game of golf, but it is happening. NPR's Tom Goldman reports on the phenomenon from the tournament most steeped in tradition, the Masters.
The gun control debate continued to dominate the news this week with President Obama coming out strongly in support of reforming the current gun control laws alongside the Newtown families. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, about that story along with the bird flu in China, North Korea and the Postal Service.
An Xcel Energy crew works to restore a storm-damaged power line on Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D. More than 18,000 homes in the region were without power after a major spring storm brought freezing rain and heavy snow that downed trees and power lines.
Credit Danny Johnston / AP
Larry Gammill, left, and Tim Parks survey tornado damage at a church in Botkinburg, Ark. on Thursday after the building was hit by a tornado. Three tornadoes touched down in Arkansas on Wednesday. The National Weather Service is warning more storms are on the horizon as another warm, wet front is moving up from the Gulf of Mexico.
Credit Dirk Lammers / AP
A large, uprooted tree lies across the yard of a house in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Thursday. An ice storm followed by more than 6 inches of heavy, wet snow downed trees and power lines across the city. Forecasters are calling for another six to 12 inches this weekend.
Credit Rogelio V. Solis / AP
Heavy cranes are covered by debris after a tornado ripped through Kemper County, Miss., on Thursday. A man who was working at the site was killed and another was injured. The tornado was one of at least 12 that touched down in states from Missouri to Georgia this week.
Credit Gretchen Ehlke / AP
Flood waters surround a concession stand near the Milwaukee River in Thiensville, Wis., Thursday. Flooding appeared to be holding steady or falling Thursday, even as meteorologists warned that weekend storms could lead to new problems.
Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 2:40 pm
Spring is spreading its share of nasty weather throughout much of the Midwest and Deep South, leaving thousands of people without power.
The upper Midwest is just emerging from a storm that dumped several inches of snow in parts of the Dakotas and forced temperatures down to as low as 22 degrees. Now, forecasters are saying another 6 to 12 inches of snow could fall as a new storm rages through Montana, North Dakota and northern Minnesota.
Tiger Woods drops his ball after hitting into the water on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. He was later assessed a two-stroke penalty for the improper drop.
Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 5:19 am
Tiger Woods has been given a two-stroke penalty at the Masters, a tournament he's won four times, after a review found that he performed an illegal drop on the 15th hole of his second round Friday. Woods faced a possible disqualification for the infraction.
The incident began when Woods' wedge shot was a bit too on-target — it hit the base of the pin, and shot off the green and into a water hazard.
Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 1:16 pm
In a rare departure from tradition, Saturday's weekly presidential address was delivered not by President Obama but instead by Francine Wheeler, whose son Ben, 6, died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December.
Flanked by her husband, David, Wheeler called for Americans to urge the Senate to pass gun control legislation that it is scheduled to begin debating in the coming week.
In 2001, Daniel Hodd was 17 and starting a promising career as a concert pianist. But he also wanted to become a U.S. Marine.
"At 3 years of age, you walked over to the piano, and you just started playing," Evelyn Hodd tells her son.
He played until he was 17 and performed in the Metropolitan Opera Theater. Juilliard offered him a scholarship. But Daniel decided to go to the military instead. He enlisted in 2002 and deployed to Iraq in 2003.
"That was devastating for me. And then, you had an accident," his mother says.
A new immigration bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week, calling for better border security and a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the United States without legal status.
One big hurdle toward that was cleared this week when the United Farm Workers reached a deal with growers that would address wages and caps the number of visas allowed for new workers.
Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:19 am
So who exactly comprises Progress Kentucky, the superPAC linked to the surreptitious recording of a meeting at Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign headquarters? In the recording, an aide is heard disparaging actress Ashley Judd, who was then considering a Senate run to challenge the Senate's top Republican.
This week marked a new step in Michelle Obama's evolution as first lady. In her hometown of Chicago, she delivered one of the most emotional speeches of her career — about kids dying from gun violence.
"I'm not talking about something that's happening in a war zone halfway around the world," she said. "I am talking about what's happening in the city that we call home."
In the wake of two high profile corruption arrests this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing laws that are supposed to make it easier to catch corrupt politicians. Good government groups say it might also help to take some of the money out of politics in New York — and other states too.
Nearly 500,000 people have petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to make publicly-traded corporations disclose their political spending. The question is: How much clout do 500,000 people actually have?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the launch of FWD.us, an organization promoting immigration and eduction reform. But it's not the first issue he's taken up. In the past, he's donated money to superPACS, politicians and education.
Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders in Silicon Valley are banding together to push for comprehensive immigration reform, the Facebook co-founder announced this week. But Zuckerberg has dabbled in politically charged matters in the past.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll speak with the Reverend Jim Wallis. He's a well-known evangelical leader. He's known for stepping into the political fray on issues he cares about. So we'll ask him why he chose to step out of the spotlight during last year's presidential campaign. That's later in the program.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:03 am
Zack Kopplin has been fighting to have the "Louisiana Science Education Act" overturned since it was first passed in 2008, and he was in high school. Critics of the SLEA say it's used to introduce creationism and other non-scientific theories into public school science class. Kopplin, now at Rice University discusses his continuing campaign against the act.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:56 am
A severance package of $20 million might have seemed reasonable to American Airlines CEO Tom Horton, but a U.S. bankruptcy judge says it's too much.
The proposed payout, part of a deal that would merge American parent AMR and US Airways Group, first caught the attention of U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis, a Department of Justice official monitoring AMR's Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Authorities in Arizona say a package addressed to controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was safely destroyed Thursday after a test for explosive residue confirmed it "contained black powder," The Arizona Republic writes.
In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.
"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.