U.S. News

Business
3:17 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Low Gas Prices Give SUV Sales A Boost, But Automakers Take Long View

Dodge Ram pickup trucks await customers Jan. 5 on the lot at Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Morrow, Ga. Buoyed by a resurgent economy, holiday sales, cheap gasoline and a love affair with pickup trucks, Americans headed to car dealers in droves last month, pushing full-year sales to what's likely to be the highest level since 2006.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:07 am

Sales of cars surged in December, and analysts believe that the year's total will exceed 17 million, making it the fifth straight year of growth for the industry.

Cheap gas prices helped make that happen, as sales of trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles rose rapidly. Jeep's sales, for instance, were up 40 percent on increased consumer demand for crossover SUVs. Meanwhile, demand for hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles shrank.

Scott Painter, founder and CEO of auto sales website TrueCar, says those trends aren't necessarily good for the industry as a whole.

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Law
3:17 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Same-Sex Marriages Start In Florida

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, Florida became the 36th state to legalize gay marriage after an extended legal battle in state and federal courts. NPR's Greg Allen was at the courthouse in Miami for today's ruling.

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Law
2:47 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Tsarnaev Defense Attorney Has Long History With High-Profile Cases

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 9:05 pm

The trial began Monday for the surviving suspect in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Melissa Block talks to criminal lawyer Jonathan Shapiro about Judy Clarke, one of the defense attorneys representing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Clarke has represented other high profile defendants, including Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph and Tucson gunman Jared Lee Loughner.

NPR Ed
2:46 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

From Foster Care To Freshman Year

When Jasmine Uqdah aged out of the foster care system in 2008, she didn't have a job, a checking account or a car. She did have a college acceptance letter — but no money to pay for schooling.
Joshua Lott for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 7:39 am

By the time she aged out of foster care, Jasmine Uqdah had spent nearly half her life in the system. On a summer day in 2008, Uqdah grabbed her duffel bag and two small garbage bags, and she stuffed everything she owned inside.

It wasn't much — just some clothes and a few stuffed animals. She said her goodbyes to her foster family in Detroit and moved out. She was 18 years old.

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Law
2:30 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Potential Jurors Screened For Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
2:23 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

6 Reasons Size Matters To The New GOP Majorities In Congress

The 114th Congress opens Tuesday, swearing in the most House Republicans since 1947. But how much does the numbers game really matter now?
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:12 am

The 114th Congress opens Tuesday with 246 Republicans taking the oath of office in the House. That's the most the GOP has sworn in since 1947, when the same number arrived for the 80th Congress intent on challenging Democratic President Harry Truman.

For a time, it had appeared that the new 114th majority would eclipse that of the 80th by one. But then Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges and, after a sit-down with Speaker John Boehner a week ago, agreed to resign.

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Around the Nation
2:23 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

De Blasio And NYPD Commisioner Tout Lower Crime, Amid Tensions

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
9:53 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Sleeping Near A Smartphone Can Disturb A Child's Rest

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:17 pm

The last thing my 11-year-old does before she goes to sleep is put her iPod on the nightstand. And that could mean less sleep for her, researchers say.

There's plenty of evidence that children who have televisions in their rooms get less sleep. This is one of the first studies to look at whether having a small screen like an iPod or smartphone in the room also affects rest.

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The Two-Way
4:38 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Oh, It's Winter: Huge Swath Of U.S. Will Be Bitterly Cold

A map showing the forecast low temperatures.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 6:25 am

Winter has arrived in the United States: Over the next day or so, the jet stream will dip and bring some bone-chilling temperatures to a huge swath of the country.

Meteorologists at the Weather Channel say the winter storm will "bring a swath of snow more than 2,000 miles long from the Cascades and Northern Rockies across the Midwest and into the Northeast through Tuesday."

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Around the Nation
3:02 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Funeral For Slain Officer Blended NYPD And Chinese Traditions

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 7:41 am

Copyright 2015 WNYC Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wnyc.org/.

Law
1:35 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Jury Selection To Begin Monday In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 11:23 am

The search begins Monday for the jurors who will decide the fate of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It was the deadliest act of terrorism in the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the trial is one that many have been waiting for.

A couple of dozen survivors are expected in court for at least part of the trial — including Heather Abbott, who lost a leg in the attack. She's hoping for answers to both why and how the bombing was carried out.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 am
Mon January 5, 2015

What Heroin Addiction Tells Us About Changing Bad Habits

U.S. soldiers at Long Binh base in South Vietnam line up to give urine samples at a heroin detection center before departing for the United States. About 20 percent of soldiers said they were addicts, but most didn't continue drug use back home.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:15 pm

It's a tradition as old as New Year's: making resolutions. We will not smoke, or sojourn with the bucket of mint chocolate chip. In fact, we will resist sweets generally, including the bowl of M&M's that our co-worker has helpfully positioned on the aisle corner of his desk. There will be exercise, and the learning of a new language.

It is resolved.

So what does science know about translating our resolve into actual changes in behavior? The answer to this question brings us — strangely enough — to a story about heroin use in Vietnam.

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Starting Over
3:45 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

She Left The Nightlife Behind To Become A Life Coach

Mira Johnson took an unusual route on her journey to becoming a life coach.
Courtesy of Mira Johnson

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 1:45 pm

This is part of a series of stories about starting over, profiling people who, by choice or circumstance, reinvented or transformed themselves.

At just 32, Mira Johnson has made a lot of changes — some drastic. Her choices took her to low points, but also to where she is now: coaching others to make changes themselves.

Perhaps the best place to start her story is with a little-known saying about Portland, Ore.

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Around the Nation
9:23 am
Sun January 4, 2015

NYPD Officer's Funeral Binds Diversity In Culture And Opinion

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Sun January 4, 2015

ESPN Sportscaster Stuart Scott Dies At 49

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:32 pm

The longtime host of ESPN's SportsCenter, Stuart Scott, died today at age 49 after a prolonged battle with cancer, according to the cable network.

Scott was famous for his enthusiasm and a bevy of catchphrases he mined in his commentary, including "Boo-Yah!" and "As cool as the other side of the pillow."

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Sun January 4, 2015

NYPD's Wenjian Liu, Killed In Dec. Shooting, Is Laid To Rest

New York City police officers march before funeral services for police officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home, in Brooklyn on Sunday. Liu and his partner were gunned down in an unprovoked attack on Dec. 20.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:17 pm

Updated at 12:50 noon ET

Thousands of police officers from across the country paid their respects to NYPD detective Wenjian Liu, one of two patrolmen who were gunned down last month in an unprovoked attack in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Liu's widow, Pei Xia Chen, said "he is my hero." The couple had been married only a few weeks when the officer was killed on Dec. 20.

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The Sunday Conversation
8:00 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Attracted To Men, Pastor Feels Called To Marriage With A Woman

Allan and Leeanne Edwards are expecting a baby in July. They met at summer camp, but he was a "raging fundamentalist nerd" at the time and they didn't get together until years later.
Courtesy Allan and Leeanne Edwards

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 12:42 pm

In The Sunday Conversation, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He's attracted to men, but he considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Sun January 4, 2015

North Korea: New Sanctions Prove U.S. 'Inveterate Repugnancy'

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:05 pm

North Korea has lashed out at the U.S. for the latest sanctions imposed on the hard-line regime in response to its alleged hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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Law
6:08 am
Sun January 4, 2015

New York Prepares For Slain Officer's Funeral

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Your Health
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

CDC Recommends Antiviral Drugs For At-Risk Patients

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:37 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Newark's New Mayor Proves His Crime-Fighting Powers Early

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, speaks during a news conference in November. He had met with city Police Chief Anthony Campos and protest organizers after a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:21 pm

Across the Hudson River in Newark, N.J., the murder rate is down, but the new mayor there says that's just a small step in a very long effort to make Newark a safer place to live.

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Business
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Border Businesses Lose Bank Accounts Amid Money-Laundering Fears

La Roca restaurant in Nogales, Mexico, draws a mix of American tourists and locals. It used to have an American bank account and credit card until the bank closed the account.
Jude Joffe-Block KJZZ

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:53 pm

In the border town of Nogales, Mexico, the lunch crowd is settling in at La Roca restaurant. Its live music and traditional cuisine have made it a landmark for 43 years.

The prices are listed in dollars, and many of the diners come in from Arizona. The ownership is American, and so was the restaurant's bank account and credit card until a couple of months ago.

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Shots - Health News
3:29 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Paralympic Champion Makes The Case For Meningitis Vaccine

Amy Purdy, who lost both lower legs because of bacterial meningitis, performs with Derek Hough on Dancing With The Stars.
Adam Taylor ABC via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:15 pm

The last thing on your mind while you're home from school for the holidays is avoiding a deadly disease.

But imagine catching a disease as a teenager — a disease so terrible that it takes not just months to recover, but requires sacrificing both your legs.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Sat January 3, 2015

Former Republican Sen. Edward Brooke Dies At 95

Former Massachusetts Sen. Edward William Brooke speaks in the Rotunda on Capitol Hill in Washington, in 2009 during a ceremony where he received the Congressional Gold Medal. Brooke died on Saturday at age 95.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 6:37 pm

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

Former Massachusetts Sen. Edward Brooke, the first African-American to be popularly elected to the U.S. Senate, died Saturday at age 95, a family spokesman said.

Brooke, a Republican who had been Massachusetts attorney general, was first elected in 1966, defeating former Massachusetts Gov. Endicott Peabody. Brooke served until 1979. He died at his home in Coral Gables, Fla., surrounded by his family.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Sat January 3, 2015

Appeals Court Rules No Delay For Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

The trial of Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will go ahead as scheduled, beginning on Monday after a federal appeals court rejected a motion to delay it.

In a 2-to-1 ruling, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the defense had not met the "extraordinary" standard that would be required to delay the trial.

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Shots - Health News
11:22 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Rural Doctor Launches Startup To Ease Pain Of Dying Patients

Palliative medicine physician Michael Fratkin gets off a plane after visiting a patient on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. He's recently launched a startup to support this kind of work.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:16 pm

Dr. Michael Fratkin is getting a ride to work today from a friend.

"It's an old plane. Her name's 'Thumper,' " says pilot Mark Harris, as he revs the engine of the tiny 1957 Cessna 182.

Fratkin is an internist and specialist in palliative medicine. He's the guy who comes in when the cancer doctors first deliver a serious diagnosis.

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Race
9:11 am
Sat January 3, 2015

The Goal: To Remember Each Jim Crow Killing, From The '30s On

Police watch a crowd of African-Americans as they wait for a car pool lift in 1956 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Don Cravens The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 12:00 pm

The state of race relations in the United States has captivated the country for months. But a group of Northeastern University law students is looking to the past to a sometimes forgotten, violent part of American history.

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Starting Over
8:08 am
Sat January 3, 2015

From Pulpit To Politics: A Pastor Takes Her Work To The Wider World

After three decades as a pastor, Faith Whitmore fulfills her vocation outside the pulpit, as district director for U.S. Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif.
Courtesy Faith Whitmore

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 9:59 am

This is part of a series of stories about starting over, profiling people who, by choice or circumstance, reinvented or transformed themselves.

Faith Whitmore was ordained as a pastor 30 years ago, drawn by a deep sense of God and spirit within her. She worked at churches throughout the Sacramento, Calif., region, eventually becoming senior pastor at one of the largest United Methodist congregations.

It was like running a small business, she says.

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Health
7:48 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Needle Exchange Program Creates Black Market In Clean Syringes

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 1:54 pm

On Friday afternoons, several dozen people line up in the narrow hallway of Prevention Point Philadelphia. The men and women, all ages, hold paper and plastic bags full of used syringes.

"We obviously have a space challenge, but people come in, they drop off their used syringes and they ask for what they need," says Silvana Mazzella, the director of programs at the service center for injection drug users.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Six Education Stories To Watch in 2015

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 12:39 pm

As the senior member of the NPR Ed team with 25 years on the education beat, here are the top stories that my expert sources and I believe will be ones to watch in 2015. For more predictions, check out our crowdsourced list.

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