U.S. News

Shots - Health News
1:36 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

How A California Law To Encourage Vaccination Could Backfire

Public school student Julio Valenzuela, 11, grimaces as he gets a vaccination before the start of the school in Lynnwood, Calif., on Aug. 27. Vaccines are required for school attendance.
ROBYN BECK AFP/Getty Images

California has a new law that's supposed to get more of the state's children vaccinated against measles, whooping cough and other infectious diseases.

But the law has taken a strange turn on its way to being put into action, one that may instead make it easier for parents to exempt their children from required vaccinations.

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StoryCorps
5:14 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Severely Burned Marine Finds Strength In Nascent Marriage

Jessica and Anthony Villarreal in December 2011, more than three years after the explosion that severely burned Anthony in Afghanistan.
Courtesy of Jessica Villarreal

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 9:24 am

In June 2008, Marine Cpl. Anthony Villarreal was driving back from a mission in Afghanistan when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb. He was 22 at the time and recently married to Jessica, who was just 21.

Villarreal suffered third-degree burns over most of his face and body and was very severely disfigured. His right arm and the fingers on his left hand eventually had to be amputated.

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Health Care
5:14 am
Sat November 9, 2013

When Caregivers Are Abusers: Calif. Complaints Go Unanswered

Jim Fossum holds a photograph of his aunt, Elsie Fossum, who died from injuries her caregiver said were the result of a fall.
Mina Kim KQED

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 11:32 am

Nurse assistants and home health aides provide intimate care, bathing, feeding and dressing the elderly, disabled or ill. So what happens when an abusive caregiver hurts a patient?

Public health regulators in California have been letting many complaints sit for years — even when they involve severe injuries or deaths.

'Beaten To A Pulp'

Elsie Fossum's nieces and nephews say she was the aunt you wanted to have.

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Code Switch
3:20 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Asian-American Lawyers Act Like '22 Lewd Chinese Women'

Attorney Francis Chin (center) runs through his lines with Yang Chen at a rehearsal for 22 Lewd Chinese Women, the latest trial re-enactment by the Asian American Bar Association of New York.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 9:24 am

A cast of New York lawyers and a federal judge debuted a new production on Friday off-off Broadway — all the way in Kansas City, Mo.

Attorneys have gathered there for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's annual convention. For the past seven years, the meeting has featured dramatic re-enactments of historic trials involving Asian-Americans.

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It's All Politics
3:16 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Don't Read Virginia Result As Pro-Choice: It's Anti-Extreme

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli gestures during an Oct. 24 debate in Blacksburg, Va.
Steve Helber AP

The outcome in Virginia's governor's race this week seemed to illustrate anew the Democratic Party's grip on the women's vote, and the power of the abortion issue.

Even some Republicans argued that social conservative Ken Cuccinelli's defeat at the hands of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won women by a 9-point margin, was another sign that the GOP's anti-abortion stance would continue to doom the party at the polls.

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The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

'The Onion' To Halt Decades-Long Assault On Trees

The Onion announced that it will cease producing print editions of the satirical news source, in favor of its digital efforts. Here, an Onion story from July that declared the death of print.
The Onion

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 5:51 pm

There comes a time, it seems, when even parodies must face reality. And for The Onion, that time will come in December, when the satirical news source will stop publishing print editions and shift to being all-digital.

That's the news from Milwaukee Public Radio, which calls today "a sad day for the sarcastic among us."

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Obama Donor Behind Third-Party Va. Candidate? Maybe Not

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, speaks with the news media after casting his ballot in Nokesville, Va., on Tuesday.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 5:42 pm

This week's hot rumor in Virginia: Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis was a spoiler, bankrolled by an Obama bundler from Texas, to undercut Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli.

On Election Day, Sarvis captured nearly 7 percent of the vote in a race Cuccinelli lost by less than 3 percentage points to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

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The Salt
3:26 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

The Enigmatic Pecan: Why So Pricey, And How To Pronounce It?

Where In the U.S. do people say pee-kahn over pi-kahn? Joshua Katz answered your burning question by mapping Bert Vaux's dialect survey on regional variations in the continental United States.
Courtesy of Joshua Katz

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 1:08 pm

The price of pecans is going up, up, up, which may mean that if you're planning a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, the time to buy them is now. The reasons behind that escalating price all come down to natural forces: supply and demand and weather.

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Shots - Health News
3:18 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

In Massachusetts, Health Care Prices Remain Hard To Get

The price for an X-ray is murkier than the image.
Ivica Kljucar iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:08 pm

I threw out my back in September playing squash and went to the doctor. She sent me down the hall for X-rays. I may need more of them.

So I'm curious, how much does an X-ray cost? It sounds like a simple question. In most places, it's impossible to find out, but I live in Massachusetts, where a new state law says insurers must be able to tell members, in advance, how much a test, treatment or surgical procedure will cost.

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Shots - Health News
3:18 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

White House Releases Long-Awaited Rules On Mental Health

The mental health parity law passed in 2008, but it didn't cover people in smaller health plans.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 12:35 pm

The Obama administration delivered on a long-delayed health care promise when it issued rules to ensure equal health insurance treatment for people who have problems with mental health or need treatment for substance abuse.

The rules, issued Friday, require that most health insurance plans offer the same amount of coverage for mental health and substance abuse claims as they do for medical and surgical coverage.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Blockbuster Fades Out, But Some Zombie Stores Will Live On

This Blockbuster store in Mission, Texas, is franchised by Border Entertainment. The company has 26 stores across Texas and Alaska that will live on after the last 300 or so company-owned stores are closed by early January 2014.
Courtesy of Alan Payne

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:08 pm

Blockbuster was once the king of movie rental stores. At its peak, it had about 60,000 employees and more than 9,000 stores.

But after struggling for several years, the chain is breathing its last gasp. Dish Network, which bought Blockbuster in a 2011 bankruptcy auction, says it will close the remaining 300 or so company-owned stores by January.

On Twitter, it put out a call for "Blockbuster Memories."

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Mental Health Moves Closer To Parity In New Insurance Rules

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (left) is welcomed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing about mental health parity rules Thursday. A new rule issued by the Obama administration aims to increase parity for how insurers handle mental health issues.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:28 pm

Many health insurers must treat coverage of mental health and substance abuse in the same way they handle treatments for physical illness, according to a new rule issued Friday by the Obama administration.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Which Is It? Hurricane, Typhoon Or Tropical Cyclone?

Typhoon Bhopa scene over the Philippine island of Palawan last December.
NASA Goddard's MODIS Rapid Response Team

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 3:21 pm

What's the difference between a hurricane, a typhoon and a cyclone? Nothing more than location.

As Super Typhoon Haiyan slams into the Philippines, we here at the Two-Way found ourselves revisiting old ground about the nature of tropical storms. In case you need a refresher (as we did), here is the lowdown:

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All Tech Considered
1:11 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Tech Week: Twitter Takes Off, Audie Cornish In Silicon Valley

Will It Fly? The Twitter logo decorated a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

It's time for our Friday round-up of the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Here we go ...

ICYMI

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Philadelphians Elect First Whig Since 19th Century

Robert "Heshy" Bucholz is seen in an undated photo provided by Bucholz. A member of the Modern Whig party, Bucholz campaigned door to door and beat his Democratic opponent 36-24 to earn a four-year term as an election judge in Philadelphia's Rhawnhurst section.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 2:46 pm

After winning an election on a platform of pragmatism and compromise, Robert "Heshy" Bucholz, 39, is set to become what many believe will be the first Whig to hold elected office in Philadelphia since before the Civil War. A member of the upstart Modern Whig Party, Bucholz won the post of judge of elections in one of the city's wards.

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The Salt
10:30 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Hunger Games: What's Behind Yelp's Fake Restaurant Reviews?

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 12:58 pm

When it comes to scouting out a new bakery, pizzeria or noodle shop, there are few review sites that compare to Yelp. In turn, the reviews left on sites like Yelp can have a big effect on many restaurants' bottom lines.

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Education
10:11 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Is St. Louis' School Transfer Program 'A Mess?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We are in St. Louis, Missouri today for a special broadcast from St. Louis Public Radio. We're going to be giving you a bit of St. Louis flavor. In a few minutes, we will talk about one of the city's biggest bragging rights. Hint, it has nothing to do with swinging a bat or throwing a ball.

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Education
10:11 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Getting To The Root Of The Problems In School Districts

Host Michel Martin continues the conversation surrounding Missouri's controversial school transfer policy with Don Marsh of St. Louis Public Radio; Ty McNichols, who leads the city's Normandy School District; and Eric Knost, Superintendent of Mehlville School District.

Architecture
1:03 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Size Does Matter, At Least In The Tallest Building Debate

The view from the Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, in Chicago.
FleishmanHillard

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 12:20 pm

There's a question that's looming over the new skyscraper at the World Trade Center site in New York: Should it count as the tallest building in the country?

The developers say yes. But by some measures, the Willis Tower in Chicago — formerly known as Sears Tower — can still lay claim to the title.

Now, an obscure organization known as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is preparing to settle the debate.

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Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Trim Recess? Some Schools Hold On To Child's Play

Students play tag at Ruby Bridges Elementary in Alameda, Calif. The school has expanded recess time with help from the nonprofit group Playworks.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

It's recess time at Ruby Bridges Elementary School and a third-grader is pummeling a plastic tetherball with focused intensity. He's playing at one of more than a half-dozen recess play stations on the school's sprawling cement playground — there's also wall ball, basketball, capture the flag, sharks and minnows, a jungle gym and tag.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

How Kennedy's Assassination Changed The Secret Service

The limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy races toward the hospital after he was shot in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, with Secret Service agent Clint Hill riding on the back.
Justin Newman AP

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:45 am

Nov. 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, a moment that left an indelible mark on those who remember it.

It also permanently changed the agency charged with protecting the president — the U.S. Secret Service.

Looking back at the images of Kennedy, first lady Jackie Kennedy, Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife waving as they rode through the streets of Dallas in an open Lincoln, it all looks terribly innocent and naive.

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

AFL-CIO Lets GOP Speak For Itself In New Immigration Ads

Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate in February. A new AFL-CIO ad features a comment made by Broun regarding illegal immigrants.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:07 pm

The nation's biggest labor group is taking its support for an immigration overhaul to the TV airwaves, with Spanish-language ads that hammer Republican House members.

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Shots - Health News
3:44 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Doctors Slow To Embrace Recommended HPV Testing

The human papilloma virus causes most cervical cancers. That's why HPV testing is now recommended for women ages 30 to 65.
Science Photo Library

For decades the annual Pap test was women's chief protection against cervical cancer. That all changed when a test for human papillomavirus, the cause of most cervical cancer, was approved in 2003.

With the HPV test, women don't need to get Pap tests as often. But that message hasn't gotten through to many doctors.

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

All In The Family: Jimmy Carter's Grandson Runs For Governor

Former President Jimmy Carter and his grandson, Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter, watch a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta on Aug. 14.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:29 pm

Jimmy Carter's grandson is running for Carter's old job — governor of Georgia.

Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter formally announced Thursday he will challenge Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, joining a long list of relatives of famous politicians on ballots in 2014.

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All Tech Considered
3:17 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Nick Bilton On Twitter's Creation Myth & 'Forgotten Founder'

A worker unveils a floor mat bearing the logo of Twitter on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:21 am

On arguably the biggest day in Twitter's history, we wanted to look back to find out just how it all started, because like many Silicon Valley companies, its origin story is fraught.

That's the subject of Nick Bilton's new book, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal. On Thursday, he chatted with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about the 140-character service's complicated history, how Twitter made his book reporting easier and the forgotten founder of Thursday's stock darling.

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All Tech Considered
2:45 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

On Twitter's IPO Day, A Look At How 5 Tech Stocks Have Fared

Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:09 pm

As eyes turned to the markets on Twitter's first day of trading, NPR wondered how some other tech stocks have performed since their IPOs. (Twitter closed at $44.90 Thursday, about 73 percent above its IPO price of $26 a share.)

Some of these stocks have soared. Others have stumbled.

National Security
2:32 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

When It Comes To Public Opinion, More News Is Not Good News For NSA

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

New public opinion polls show distaste for National Security Agency surveillance does not break cleanly across party lines. Despite the administration's attempts otherwise, one new study finds that the more people know about the NSA, the more they dislike it.

Around the Nation
2:32 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Here, Drink A Nice Glass Of Sparkling Clear Wastewater

One man's sewage is another man's drinking water. As wastewater comes through this pipe, straw-like filters get rid of any contaminants wider than a human hair. That's just one step of the purification process.
Amy Standen KQED

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

In California's Silicon Valley, there will soon be a new source of water for residents. That may not sound like big news, but the source of this water – while certainly high-tech — is raising some eyebrows.

With freshwater becoming more scarce in many parts of the country, the public may have to overcome its aversion to water recycling.

Ah, The Stench Of Drinking Water

If text could transmit odor, you'd know where this water is coming from.

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The Salt
2:15 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

FDA Moves To Phase Out Remaining Trans Fats In Food Supply

Crisco was the original product made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which contains trans fats. Today, Crisco has only small amounts of the fats.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

If the Food and Drug Administration has its way, an era of food technology will soon end. The agency announced Thursday it is aiming to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products.

Margaret Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, said at a press conference that her agency has come to the preliminary conclusion that the oils "are not generally recognized as safe for use in food."

If the agency makes this decision final, it will mean a complete ban on this ingredient.

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It's All Politics
1:42 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Why Chris Christie's Popularity May Tear His Party Apart

Gov. Chris Christie visits with students at Jose Marti Freshman Academy in Union City, N.J., on Wednesday.
Rich Schultz AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:11 pm

Chris Christie has become a national phenomenon.

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