U.S. News

Education
2:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

As Common Core Tests Approach, So Does A Sea Change In Schools

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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News
2:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Russia Votes To Annex Crimea, As The West Looks On

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin moved today to overturn recent history by reclaiming Crimea for Russia. Putin signed a treaty to annex Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and gave a rousing speech to parliament laying out his case. He is also blasted the West for trying to frighten him with sanctions.

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Health Care
9:58 am
Tue March 18, 2014

What You Need To Know As Health Care Deadline Looms

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 11:51 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The Obama administration announced yesterday that 5 million Americans have now enrolled in the Affordable Care Act, and that might be surprising news for some who tried to sign up and were met by major website problems early in the rollout. If you are not one of those 5 million, you still have about two weeks to sign up or figure out if you might be able to stay in a plan you already have.

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Shots - Health News
8:28 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Yes, It's A Headache. No, You Don't Need A Brain Scan

Younger women are most likely to go to the doctor with a headache.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:04 pm

Headaches may be the most common human malady, accounting for one-quarter of all doctor visits.

It's almost always just a headache. But what if it's a brain tumor? Shouldn't I get a CT scan or MRI exam just to make sure?

Evidently I'm not alone in that thought. People in the United States get $1 billion worth of brain scans each year because they have a headache, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.

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All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Weekly Innovation: Paper Notebooks That Become Digital Files

Mod Notebooks sell for $25 each, which includes a prepaid envelope and digitization.
Courtesy of Mod Notebooks

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:14 am

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Around the Nation
3:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Calif. Fight Over Concealed Weapons Could Head To High Court

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that San Diego County's restrictions on concealed carry permits are unconstitutional. The case could have national implications.
iStockphoto

California is shaping up to be the next major battleground over the Second Amendment, as gun rights activists in the nation's most populous state push for loosening concealed carry laws.

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U.S.
3:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Decades Later, A Medal Of Honor For Hispanic-American Hero

Santiago Erevia is one of only three living soldiers receiving a Medal of Honor on March 18. Behind him is a photo projection of his younger self in uniform.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:26 am

At the White House on Tuesday, President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to two-dozen soldiers whose service ranged from World War II to the Vietnam War. These soldiers are being commemorated after congress mandated a review to make sure that no one was overlooked because of prejudice.

One of them is Santiago Erevia, who risked his life on a May afternoon in 1969, charging toward bunkers held by the North Vietnamese.

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It's All Politics
6:22 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

GOP's Health Law Alternative Could Be Messy As Obamacare

First lady Michelle Obama at an Affordable Care Act event in March.
Luis M. Alvarez AP

Ever since Republicans began using the words "repeal and replace" back in 2010 to describe their intentions for the Affordable Care Act, they've faced a question: What, exactly, would they replace it with?

While there's currently no clear Republican alternative for the health care law, President Obama's signature domestic achievement, the House Republican leadership is signaling there will be one this year.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Interior Secretary: 1 Percent Of Wildfires Take 30 Percent Of Funds

A U.S. Forest Service photo shows firefighters near the perimeter of the Elk Complex fire near Pine, Idaho, last summer. Lawmakers are calling for a change in the way America pays for wildfire disasters.
AP

Western lawmakers and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urge changes to the way America pays to fight and recover from wildfires, starting with preserving money that's meant for fire prevention. They met with fire officials Monday who predicted a busy fire season for much of the West.

NPR's Nathan Rott reports for our Newscast unit:

"Secretary Jewell says her department and the U.S. Forest Service spend more than $3 billion annually fighting fires. A third of that is spent on megafires, the biggest 1 percent of any season's blazes.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Sept. 11 Conspirator: Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Had No Military Role

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:03 pm

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, made a submission to federal court in Manhattan on behalf of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who is on trial there. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is "an eloquent, spellbinding speaker," but he did not have any prior knowledge of al-Qaida operations, Mohammed said.

As we reported earlier this month on the first day of Abu Ghaith's trial:

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Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Big Drop In Colon Cancer Fuels Push To Get More People Screened

Many people think that colon cancer screening is no walk in the park. This giant inflatable colon on display at the University of Miami Health System campus was intended to help them think otherwise.
Suzette Laboy AP

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:37 pm

The number of people getting colon cancer has fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over 50, and much of that progress is due to screening, a study finds.

But a substantial number of people in that target age group still haven't been screened, and a consortium of organizations say they're pushing to get 80 percent of those people screened at least once by 2018.

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

One Year After Party 'Autopsy,' GOP Touts Progress

Immigration supporters gather during a rally for citizenship on Capitol Hill last year.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

One year ago, a frank Republican Party assessment of why it came up short in the 2012 presidential election included a stark recommendation.

Embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform, the post-mortem authors urged, or get used to a party whose appeal "will continue to shrink to its core constituents only."

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Army General Pleads Guilty To Adultery; Other Charges Dropped

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair (L) leaves the Fort Bragg Courthouse with his attorney Ellen Brotman, after sexual assault charges against Sinclair were dropped after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges Monday.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:17 am

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who was accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a plea deal reached with government prosecutors. A judge accepted the plea deal Monday; the general's sentencing hearing will continue Tuesday.

NPR's Tom Bowman reports for our Newscast unit that the prosecution's case against Sinclair, 51, fell apart because of missteps by the Army command and credibility problems with his accuser:

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Search For Flight MH370 Reportedly Largest In History

Two satellite maps of the possible location of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 are seen at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Monday.
He Jingjia Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:34 pm

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has spawned the largest-ever multinational air-sea search — involving ships, airplanes from at least 14 countries and requests for radar information from as many as 26.

The nature of the search, in which such an enormous stretch of the globe is being scoured, is also equally unprecedented, officials say.

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Education
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home

Stephanie Taveras (left) visits Julia Alfaro and her 3-year-old daughter, Ayleen, to read and discuss her vocabulary progress.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:34 am

When Andrea Riquetti taught kindergarten in Providence, R.I., the disparity between more affluent students and those from poor families was painfully clear.

"We would read The Very Hungry Caterpillar," she says, "and I would ask them, 'What is this fruit?' And they would call all the fruits just 'fruits,' because they didn't have the specific name."

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All Tech Considered
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Computers That Know What You Need, Before You Ask

Expect Labs' MindMeld app uses predictive computing to push information to us, instead of us having to ask.
Courtesy of Expect Labs

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:14 am

We're already giving voice instructions to virtual personal assistants, like Apple's Siri. But artificial intelligence is getting even smarter. The next wave of behavior-changing computing is a technology called anticipatory computing — systems that learn to predict what you need, even before you ask.

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Education
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

On The Syllabus: Lessons In Grit

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 12:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Got grit? That's the new it-thing in education. New research suggests that perseverance and resilience are key to a student's success. The science is still out on how or if grit can be taught, but schools around the nation are trying. One program in particular called Brainology is showing some promise.

NPR's Tovia Smith checked it out at a public school in Brooklyn.

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News
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

General Takes Plea Deal In Sexual Assault Case

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, a plea deal in the most closely watched sexual assault case in the military. An Army general admitted to charges of mistreating a subordinate and adultery. But Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair will not face more serious charges. That's because the Army's case against him fell apart. We're going to hear more about what happened now from NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Hi, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hello, Robert.

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Middle East
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Dispute And Suspicion Swirl About Iranian Water Reactor

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Talks resume this week in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program. Western powers want to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons. Iran wants relief from economic sanctions. Well, today, we look at one of the issues: the construction of Iran's heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak. Critics doubt Iran's claims that the reactor is just for medical research, not weapons.

Here's NPR's Peter Kenyon.

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Shots - Health News
12:39 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Even If You Don't Have Symptoms, You May Still Have The Flu

Just the sniffles? Could be the flu.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:33 pm

Fever, muscle aches, nausea — these are what we usually associate with having the flu.

But just because you don't exhibit these symptoms, it doesn't mean you don't have the flu, researchers say. And you could be just as contagious. In fact, their study found that roughly three-quarters of people with seasonal or pandemic flu show either no symptoms or mild ones that aren't usually linked to flu.

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Paying for College
10:08 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Navigating The College Money Maze

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:31 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's that time of year again for anxious students and their families. College acceptance letters are coming in, and federal financial aid forms are going out. That means thousands of students and families are starting down the road of deciding where to go and how to pay for it all.

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Around the Nation
3:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead?

At the Lenox Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., educators try to teach kids to see struggle as a normal part of learning.
Tovia Smith/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 4:00 pm

It's become the new buzz phrase in education: "Got grit?"

Around the nation, schools are beginning to see grit as key to students' success — and just as important to teach as reading and math.

Experts define grit as persistence, determination and resilience; it's that je ne sais quoi that drives one kid to practice trumpet or study Spanish for hours — or years — on end, while another quits after the first setback.

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National Security
3:55 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Uniform Rule May Keep Religious Americans From Military Service

Dr. Kamal Kalsi had to apply for special permission from the Department of Defense in order to keep his beard and turban while serving in the military.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:23 am

Monday, 105 lawmakers from both parties sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, urging him to change a relatively obscure uniform requirement for the U.S. armed forces that some argue infringes on religious beliefs.

People who observe religions that require specific hair or dress traditions have to seek an accommodation from a superior to break the Defense Department's uniform requirements.

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Technology
3:04 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Photo Identification: The 'Best And Worst Way' To ID People

How easy is it to spot a fake ID?
Lai Seng Sin AP

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 4:35 pm

As an international armada of planes, ships and helicopters continues to comb the Indian Ocean for any sign of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, now missing for more than a week, Interpol confirms that two passengers aboard that flight were traveling on stolen passports.

Aviation experts say the incident highlights a major security gap at many airports: It is simply too easy to board a flight using someone else's photo ID.

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Around the Nation
3:04 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Kansas Legislature Scolds Itself Over Slew Of Contentious Bills

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says it's not his job to discourage legislators from proposing bills. But if it were, he says, some of the recent legislation might not have come to the floor.
John Milburn AP

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 4:35 pm

Some Kansas lawmakers have been getting a lot of attention during this legislative session for controversial bills they've introduced. Some lawmakers argue that the initiatives are distracting from core issues, like the economy, and are casting a negative light on the state.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Westboro Baptist Founder Is 'On The Edge Of Death,' Son Says

Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps is reportedly in hospice care in Topeka, Kan. Members of the church protest outside the gates at Fort Campbell, Ky., in this 2006 photo.
Christopher Berkey AP

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:16 am

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., that became famous for its controversial protests at funerals, is ill and in hospice care, family members and church officials confirmed today.

Phelps' estranged son, Nathan, first announced his father's condition Saturday night.

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Around the Nation
6:03 am
Sun March 16, 2014

New York's St. Patrick's Parade Bars Gay Pride Groups

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:32 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There is a whole lot of shamrock green on full display this weekend, as cities around the country hold their annual St. Patrick's Day parades. But several high profile regulars have decided to sit out the events because of a ban on gays marching openly as a group in the parades. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is one of those boycotting his city's events, which will be held tomorrow.

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Sun March 16, 2014

David Brenner Dies; The Comedian Was 78

Comedian David Brenner, a staple of TV in the 1970s and '80s, has died at age 78. He's seen here hosting his Nightlife show, with musician Frank Zappa (center) and his children, Dweezil (left) and Moon Unit.
David Bookstaver AP

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:53 am

Comedian David Brenner has died at age 78. A favorite guest of Johnny Carson's on the Tonight Show in the 1970s and '80s, the lanky comedian was famous for balancing his wry jokes with a toothy smile. Brenner had been battling cancer.

When he introduced Brenner as a guest for the first time, Carson described him this way: "He's very clever. Somewhat warped. Which is — if you're going to do comedy, you should be a little bit warped, I think."

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Digital Life
5:51 am
Sun March 16, 2014

A Chronicle Of Phony Tech Gadgets

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:32 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you ever find yourself longing for an iPhone with a telescopic antenna, which serves no apparent purpose, and if you don't mind buying a totally fake phone, then we have a website for you. You can find out all about the world's best fakes at Engadget.com. The tech magazine prints a regular feature online called Keepin' It Real Fake, or K-I-R-F, KIRF. Joining us now to go through a few of his favorites is Engadget's senior editor Michael Gorman. Welcome to the program.

MICHAEL GORMAN: Thanks for having me.

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Race
5:51 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Sergeant To Receive Long-Overdue Medal Of Honor

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:32 am

Melvin Morris served two tours of duty in Vietnam, but because of his race he didn't receive the Medal of Honor. Morris talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the award he'll receive from President Obama.

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