U.S. News

The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Another Election?! Relax, This One's To Name A Baby Panda

You can help select a name for the National Zoo's new panda cub.
Abby Wood Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:45 pm

Fresh off Tuesday's election, another is just around the corner: The National Zoo wants you to help name its new panda cub by casting a vote at Smithsonian.com.

You can vote online (no photo identification required and the balloting continues until Nov. 22).

At NPR, we always strive to ensure that our audience is informed of the candidates — even when they're names for pandas.

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The Salt
1:05 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Forget Barley And Hops: Craft Brewers Want A Taste Of Place

The brewers at Scratch Brewing Company add wild plants like spicebush, goldenseal, wild ginger, chanterelles and wild rose root to their beer to give it the flavor of the Illinois woods.
Aaron Kleidon Scratch Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:37 am

Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.

In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.

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Shots - Health News
11:46 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Babies' Immune Systems May Stand Down To Let Good Microbes Grow

He's not just getting a cold. He's building his microbiome.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.

A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. That explanation is at odds with the widely held belief that those new immune systems are just too weak to do the job.

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Code Switch
10:54 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Where Do 'Hoodlums' Come From? San Francisco

Anton Refregier's Beating the Chinese is a panel in the History of San Francisco mural at the city's Rincon Center. Chinese immigrants were frequent targets of hoodlums in the late 19th century.
Carol M. Highsmith Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 11:46 am

Singer Chris Brown was in the news last week after being accused of punching a fan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. Police later identified the alleged victim as 20-year-old Parker Isaac Adams. Brown maintains it was his bodyguard who threw the punch and only after Adams tried to board the singer's tour bus.

Adams' uncle came to his defense after the incident, insisting to reporters that his nephew wasn't a troublemaker.

"Parker's not some kind of hoodlum," Creighton Adams told the AP.

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NPR Story
10:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Texas Tangled In Hair Braiding Controversy

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:10 pm

For women, hair care can be a sensitive issue. But now one woman is picking a fight over hair care with the state of Texas. Host Michel Martin speaks with Isis Brantley who is suing the state for the right to teach hair braiding.

Sports
10:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Did Coaches Encourage Incognito's Bullying?

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:10 pm

Hazing and bullying are commonly found in schoolyards and fraternities. But pro sports? The NFL is investigating possible harassment within the Miami Dolphins between veteran guard Richie Incognito and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Host Michel Martin speaks with sportswriter Kevin Blackistone about the culture of bullying and hazing within the NFL.

Shots - Health News
10:03 am
Wed November 6, 2013

A New Look At An Old Epilepsy Drug Yields Treatment Clue

In epilepsy, the normal behavior of brain neurons is disturbed. The drug valproic acid appears to help the brain replenish a key chemical, preventing seizures.
David Mack/Science Source

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:38 pm

About one-third of people with epilepsy aren't helped by existing drugs.

But a commonly prescribed medicine used for almost 50 years to treat the disorder has revealed new information about how the disorder works that could lead to improvements in treatments.

That drug, valproic acid, is used to treat epilepsy, migraines and bipolar disorder. It's the active ingredient in drugs like as Depakote or Depakon, among other names.

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All Tech Considered
6:18 am
Wed November 6, 2013

The Tech Team Podcast, Episode 1: Kids And Technology

Tech correspondents Laura Sydell and Steve Henn recording the first episode of our tech team podcast in a garage in Silicon Valley. (Naturally.)
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 8:02 am

As loyal readers and listeners know, your NPR tech reporters are organizing our enterprise reporting by exploring a single theme in technology over the course of a week. Our first theme week was on kids and technology and it aired last week. We featured stories about babies and screen time, teens and social media, the science behind video games and more.

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National Security
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Lunch At The Pentagon: Hagel Meets With Military Personnel

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:50 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel oversees the U.S. military as it moves women to frontline combat. Every month, Hagel has lunch with rank and file members of the armed services to hear what's on their minds. This month, Steve Inskeep sat in on that lunch at the Pentagon.

Law
4:43 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Love Triangle Case Puts Chemical Weapons Treaty To The Test

At the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, the subject for debate was the reach of the Constitution's treaty power. But the justices' questions covered subjects from sarin gas to Halloween trick-or-treating. And the facts of the case sounded more like a soap opera.

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Around the Nation
4:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Omaha Man Reunited With Stolen Motorcycle 46 Years Later

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 7:28 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Forty-six years ago, a man in Omaha, Nebraska, parked his 1953 Triumph Tiger motorcycle in his backyard. The next morning it was gone, stolen.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Well, it turned up here in Southern California just a few weeks ago. The bike was inside a shipping container at the Port of Los Angeles. Where was it headed?

LOU KOVEN: It was going to Japan.

CORNISH: That's special agent Lou Koven. He investigates vehicle thefts for the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

41 Hours Of Retail: Kmart's Black Friday Plan Is Criticized

Kmart's plan to be open for 41 straight hours beginning at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning is drawing criticism. At this Kmart store in Connecticut, shoppers wait in line to take advantage of sales on Thanksgiving Day.
Douglas Healey AP

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:10 pm

It's only been hours since Kmart announced its Black Friday plan — to remain open for 41 hours in a row beginning early on Thanksgiving Day. But online critics are throwing a red light on the plan, with some calling the company a Grinch for its aggressive approach to the start of the Christmas shopping season.

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Around the Nation
4:19 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

The Los Angeles Aqueduct Just Turned 100

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This afternoon, north of us here at NPR West, Los Angeles celebrated the centennial of a big moment, maybe the biggest moment in city history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED SPEECH)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I dedicate this aqueduct to you and your children and your children's children for all time.

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Asia
4:19 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Outrage In Pakistan After U.S. Drone Strike Kills Taliban Leader

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Silenced By Status, Farm Workers Face Rape, Sexual Abuse

Maricruz Ladino packs lettuce in a cooler in Salinas, Calif.
Grace Rubenstein Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 4:36 pm

This is part one of a two-part report about sexual assault of agricultural workers in the U.S.

Even though it's a warm day in California's Salinas Valley, Maricruz Ladino looks like she's going ice fishing.

"I look like a tamale — so many layers!" she says in Spanish.

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Code Switch
3:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Fla. School District Trying To Curb School-To-Prison Pipeline

In 2010 and 2011, there were more than 1,000 school-related arrests in Broward County. Nearly three-quarters of them were for non-violent misdemeanors.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 6:57 pm

In Florida, one of the nation's largest school districts has overhauled its discipline policies with a single purpose in mind — to reduce the number of children going into the juvenile justice system.

It's a move away from so-called "zero tolerance" policies that require schools to refer even minor misdemeanors to the police. Critics call it a "school to prison pipeline."

Civil rights and education activists say the policy can be a model for the nation.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Apple's Decision To Make Glass In Arizona Will Create Hundreds Of Jobs

Apple has bought a factory in Arizona that will be re-purposed to make sapphire glass. The material is used in the iPhone 5s, seen here, as well as in the wristwatch industry.
Andy Wong AP

Technology giant Apple is buying a large manufacturing space in Arizona, where high-tech glass for its devices will be produced. The move is being hailed in Arizona, where the economy remains slowed by the U.S. housing market crisis.

From Phoenix, Mark Moran of member station KJZZ reports for our Newscast unit:

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Environment
2:45 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Thanks To Parasites, Moose Are Looking More Like Ghosts

A large bull moose is inspected by a hunter at a weigh station in Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 4:48 pm

The news for moose is not good across the country's northern tier and in some parts of Canada. A recent and rapid decline of moose populations in many states may be linked to climate change, and to the parasites that benefit from it.

In Minnesota, moose populations have dropped from a high of more than 12,000 two decades ago to fewer than 3,000 now. Moose in some parts of Manitoba have declined by 50 percent and more.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Beleaguered Florida Citrus Industry Hits New Snags

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Florida's citrus industry has a new problem. It's long wrestled with crop diseases like canker and greening. But the effort to halt greening has killed millions of bees, as growers have increased their use of pesticides.

And that, in turn, is straining relationships between citrus farmers and their longtime partners, beekeepers. Here's Ashley Lopez of member station WGCU.

ASHLEY LOPEZ, BYLINE: Harold Curtis runs an 1,100-acre grove in southwest Florida. He walks through the rows of trees, packed full of plump, juicy oranges.

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Code Switch
2:37 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

As City Grapples With Murder Rate, Police Chief Reaches Out

Just months after Wade Ingram became police chief in Gary, Ind., in January 2012, he began an unusual initiative: visiting the family of each of the city's homicide victims.

That's meant many visits for Ingram.

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Shots - Health News
12:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Wondering If You Need A Strep Test? Crowdsourcing Might Help

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to skip the strep test sometimes?
iStockphoto.com

Most sore throats aren't strep. But because strep bacteria can in rare cases cause rheumatic fever, people often feel like they should get tested for possible strep infection.

It might be possible to skip that step someday by checking whether your neighbors have been getting strep throat, researchers say. Aside from reducing the cost and inconvenience of needless clinic visits, the neighborhood strep check could reduce the risk of being needlessly treated with antibiotics.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Police Weren't 'Minutes' Behind Los Angeles Shooting Suspect

Paul Ciancia.
FBI Getty Images

Tuesday brings word that some heartbreaking headlines from Monday apparently weren't correct. We'll try to set things straight.

Monday, reports such as these about Friday's shooting at Los Angeles International Airport were getting lots of attention:

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Law
9:54 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Does Equal Justice For All Include The Poor?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, we're going to spend some time talking about some important issues in criminal justice, including what happens after people have served their time. Retailer Target recently announced that it would remove questions about an applicant's criminal history from the initial job applications, but many companies still do it. We'll talk about why this has become a growing focus of advocates.

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Shots - Health News
8:32 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Insurance Cancellations: The Price Of Mending A Broken System?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 10:36 am

Lisa Dieckman, a retired psychologist in Los Angeles, likes the Affordable Care Act's promise that everybody can get health insurance. But she's not happy about being told she can't keep her own coverage and will have to pay considerably more for a policy she doesn't consider any better.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Miami Dolphins Suspend Richie Incognito Over Slurs, Threats

Jonathan Martin, seen here during an NFL rookies' camp in 2012, allegedly received threatening texts and voice mails from teammate Richie Incognito that included racial slurs.
Joel Auerbach Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have suspended a veteran player indefinitely, after he allegedly sent threatening messages that included racial slurs to a younger teammate. The NFL is investigating what is being called a case of hazing and harassment.

Veteran guard Richie Incognito is alleged to have left intimidating messages and texts on the phone of second-year offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the team last week. The Dolphins had not previously provided details to explain Martin's absence.

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

NYC Race Focuses On Income Gap, But How Much Can A Mayor Do?

New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rides the subway while greeting commuters in New York on Monday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

Voters in New York City go to the polls Tuesday to choose their next mayor, and it appears all but certain that they'll elect Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate.

The Democrat has built a wide lead in the polls by distancing himself from the incumbent mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg. In fact, de Blasio has made income inequality the central issue of his campaign, name-checking the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities dozens of times at debates and stump speeches.

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It's All Politics
3:43 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Biden, A Man Of Many Words, Omits One At Va. Rally: 'Obama'

Vice President Biden is greeted by Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., before speaking at a backyard rally for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Monday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Anyone waiting expectantly for Vice President Biden to name check President Obama at an election eve rally Monday went away disappointed.

Besides singing the praises of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe at the Northern Virginia event, Biden mentioned Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (favorably) and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (unfavorably). He singled out McAuliffe's Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, by name. Biden even referred to his own wife and his father.

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

What If A Congressman Comes Out And Nobody Cares?

Rep. Mike Michaud talks to an Associated Press reporter Monday in Portland, Maine, about his public announcement that he is gay.
Clarke Canfield AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:43 pm

The final chapter in the history of bombshells of the closeted gay politician variety may have been written Monday by Rep. Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat running for governor.

Michaud, 58, announced in a column published in two state newspapers and by The Associated Press that he is a gay man, and followed it with the question: "But why should it matter?"

Judging from immediate reaction in Maine, where Michaud next year will be competing to become the first governor in U.S. history elected as an openly gay man, the answer seemed to be that it probably won't.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Why Are Pig Farmers Still Using Growth-Promoting Drugs?

In recent years, pork producers have found ways to keep the animals healthy through improved hygiene.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

It's one of the most controversial practices in agriculture: feeding small amounts of antibiotics to animals in order to make them grow faster.

But what if the drugs don't even work very well?

There's some good evidence that they don't, at least in pigs. They used to deliver a boost in growth, but that effect has disappeared in recent years or declined greatly.

The reason for this is interesting and even paradoxical.

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All Tech Considered
2:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Sportvision Wants To Take You (Home) To The Ballgame

Sportvision uses helicopter and water-based platforms to superimpose the national flags of competing teams over broadcasts of the America's Cup sailing competitions.
Courtesy of Sportvision

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:26 pm

These days, you'd be forgiven if you're more excited about watching the "big game" — whether that's football, basketball, hockey — on TV rather than from inside a sports arena. At least, that's a trend that the Chicago-based sports graphics company Sportvision is banking on.

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