U.S. News

All Tech Considered
9:38 am
Mon March 24, 2014

What To Do With Your Smartphone While You're Having Dinner

Where do you draw the line on smartphone use?
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 2:33 pm

There was a time when checking your smartphone at the dinner table was considered offensive. But social norms and behaviors change as we adapt to technologies. Heck, that's the whole central theme of this blog.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:32 am
Mon March 24, 2014

14 Known To Have Died, But Mudslide's Toll May Go Higher

A destroyed house sits in muddy debris near Oso, Wash., on Sunday. A rain-soaked hillside let loose a wall of mud Saturday, inundating neighborhoods along the Stillaguamish River's North Fork.
Lindsey Wasson AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:59 pm

This post was last updated at 7:52 p.m. ET.

Already sad news from a tiny community north of Seattle turned even more grim on Monday. Officials said that they had found six more bodies, bringing the death toll to 14.

What's most stunning, perhaps, is that officials expect that number to climb, because they have received reports of about 108 people still missing.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:51 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Treacherous Mud Slide Debris Challenges Rescue Workers

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Search and rescue efforts resume today as soon as the sun comes up on the scene of a landslide about 50 miles north of Seattle. This slide wiped out part of a small town a couple of days ago, killing at least eight people. And authorities are not sure how many people are still missing.

NPR's Martin Kaste reports.

Read more
NPR Story
3:49 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Troncoso Family Finds Success On U.S. Side Of Border With Mexico

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

About midway through our road trip along the U.S./Mexico border, my colleagues and I rode up a mountain. Okay. Should we hop in?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hop in.

INSKEEP: We boarded a tram car suspended by a cable.

KAINAZ AMARIA: Are we going that way?

Read more
Around the Nation
3:07 am
Mon March 24, 2014

25 Years After Spill, Alaska Town Struggles Back From 'Dead Zone'

Orca Inlet, Cordova's fishing harbor, on a blustery day this month. Commercial fishing is the small Alaskan town's primary industry.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

It's a blustery, snowy March day when Michelle Hahn O'Leary offers a tour of Cordova, Alaska, situated on the eastern shore of Prince William Sound.

Read more
Parallels
2:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

On The Mend, But Wounds Of Violence Still Scar Juarez

Workers arrive at an assembly plant located along the border.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

We had just finished our time in Juarez, Mexico, when we had dinner with some distant relations on the U.S. side of the border. "You," one of my relatives said, "are the first Juarez survivors we've seen in some time."

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:35 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Customers Rush To Retail Store In Connecticut To Buy Obamacare

DeLisa Tolson signed up for health insurance at a retail store set up by Connecticut's exchange. She says she was so happy with the experience, she told all her friends.
Jeff Cohen/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

Mike Dunn stands inside a store in downtown New Haven, looking through the big glass windows at his future customers outside. He's not selling phones or food or clothes. He's selling Obamacare.

There's one week left to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and states have gone to great lengths to enroll as many people up as possible. In Connecticut, the exchange has opened two retail storefronts where people can walk in and sign up.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:24 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Final Call For Questions On Health Insurance As Deadline Looms

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 12:48 pm

There's just one week left for most people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as people race to meet the deadline, they still have questions about the law, and the sign-up process.

"Is there a deadline to enroll in a health plan?" asks Josephine Ilog of Manteca, Calif. "And what happens if a person misses that deadline?"

Read more
Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Freeing Up California's Prisons: A Massive Undertaking

Inmates in a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. California is trying to address court-ordered reductions in overcrowding with a plan to shift thousands of those convicted of "nonserious" crimes to county jails.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 11:18 am

It's been said you can judge the quality of a civilization by the way it treats its prisoners. If that's true, California in 2011 was in poor condition, at least according to the Supreme Court.

Read more
Sports
3:45 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

In LA, Watching Home Team's Ball Games Just Got More Complicated

Pay to (watch them) play: Dodgers fans in and around Los Angeles can only see their team on TV if they have Time Warner cable service.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 5:37 pm

On Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off the baseball season with two games in Sydney, Australia. Fans in most of the country watched the games on the official Major League Baseball Network. But in Los Angeles, home of the Dodgers, fans could only watch on a brand new all-Dodgers channel.

Read more
U.S.
3:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

The Rarely Told Stories Of Sexual Assault Against Female Migrants

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:37 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

A dust-covered car has been in our parking lot at NPR West this week. It was the vehicle that took Steve Inskeep and several colleagues along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico. We've been hearing what they found in recent days, stories of people and goods and culture that cross the border. Steve's in our studio now with a rather difficult story to tell. Steve, what is that?

Read more
Around the Nation
3:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

More Than A Dozen Missing After Fatal Washington Mudslide

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 5:37 pm

An enormous mudslide in Snohomish County in Washington flattened a neighborhood and killed at least three people. Correspondent Martin Kaste speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about the latest.

The Two-Way
7:46 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Nation's Last Known Perfect Bracket Busted By Syracuse Loss

Syracuse's Trevor Cooney (No. 10) shoots between Dayton's Devon Scott (second from left) and Dyshawn Pierre (right) as Khari Price (left) watches during the first half of a third-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday.
Bill Wippert AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:45 am

Then there were none.

We told you about how some stunning upsets in the men's NCAA basketball tournament ended the billion-dollar dreams of those who entered Warren Buffet and Quicken Loans' "Billion $ Bracket Challenge."

We also told you about Brad Binder, 23, of Buffalo Grove, Ill., who up until Saturday afternoon had the last known perfect bracket in the country.

Read more
Europe
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Ukraine Crisis Expected To Dominate Obama's Europe Trip

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. President Obama leaves tonight for the Netherlands. It's the start of a four-nation trip that includes a meeting with the pope and a visit to Saudi Arabia. But the crisis in Ukraine will hang over his agenda. NPR's Ari Shapiro will be on the trip. He joins us now. Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.

MARTIN: Give us a sense of what we expect to happen tomorrow when the president and other world leaders meet at The Hague.

Read more
Politics
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Michelle Obama Convenes 'First Wives Club' In China

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

It is spring break and a lot of us our taking our kids on vacation to the Grand Canyon, maybe Florida. The First Lady Michelle Obama has taken her girls to China for the school break. It's supposed to be a working vacation, of sorts. There will undoubtedly be some sightseeing, but it's hard as the first lady of the U.S. to go to China and not dip into geopolitics at some point.

Read more
Environment
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

The Lingering Legacy Of The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:37 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Here in this country, a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of oil has collided with a ship in Galveston Bay, Texas. Cleanup crews are on the scene, but there's no word yet on the extent of the damage.

The spill comes as the country marks a grim milestone. Twenty-five years ago, Captain Joseph Hazelwood made this emergency call.

CAPTAIN JOSEPH HAZELWOOD: Yeah, it's the Valdez back, we've, should be on your radar there, we've fetched up hard aground.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:20 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Doctors Say Don't Give Birth To Baby In A Tub, But Midwives Disagree

Proponents of water birth say it's easier on the mother and more peaceful for the baby.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 12:49 pm

Hospitals are increasingly giving women the option of going through labor or giving birth in a pool of warm water. Laboring in the tub is fine, the nation's obstetricians and pediatricians say, but there's not enough proof that it's safe to actually give birth in one.

The doctors' statement has raised eyebrows among nurse-midwives, who have been helping women deliver in water for decades in order to ease pain and speed delivery.

Read more
Technology
3:19 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Preserving Audio For The Future Is A Race Against Time

Before 1925, musicians like the Victor Orchestra, conducted by Rosario Bourdon, performed in front of a flared metal horn. An attached stylus would vibrate with the energy of the sound waves and etch them onto a wax rotating cylinder or disc — recording formats that are now very fragile.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress Recorded Sound Section

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

On the very first archaeological dig of her career, Andrea Berlin discovered the room of a house that somebody had lived in around 800 B.C. Talk about beginner's luck.

"I felt like a time traveler," she says.

Berlin is now a professor of archaeology at Boston University, where she teaches and studies ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean. She finds their sculptures and tools and lots of pottery — anything tangible and substantial enough to last two or three thousand years.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:46 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Dayton Sends Third-Seeded Syracuse Home Early In NCAA Tourney

Syracuse's Trevor Cooney (No. 10) shoots between Dayton's Devon Scott (second from left) and Dyshawn Pierre (right) as Khari Price (left) watches during the first half of a third-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday.
Bill Wippert AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:02 am

In an NCAA men's tournament that has surprised many with early upsets, the University of Dayton kept the run going by taking out third-seeded Syracuse 55-53 on Saturday.

As SBNation reports, the win puts the Dayton Flyers into their first Sweet 16 since 1984.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:57 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Need Money For Your Startup? Being An Attractive Male May Help

Men are more likely to get venture capitalist support than women, and a new study found that attractive males get even more points — from both genders.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 6:47 pm

Google. Twitter. Facebook. Back before they got big, companies like these were just startup ideas, born in dorm rooms and run out of garages. Then came the venture capitalists: rich, older men ready to fund the brilliant ideas of younger, creative men.

But what if you are a woman with a startup idea? A new study says you might not do so well. It's been well-documented that businesses started by women receive very little venture capital money.

Read more
Environment
3:18 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

The Change That Seeped From The Exxon Valdez Spill

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 6:47 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Russian forces have now seized the airbase at Belbek, one of the last military installations in Crimea previously under Ukrainian control.

NPR's Gregory Warner is there and will have the latest on that in a little while. But first, a radio transmission from March 24, 1989 to the vessel traffic center in Valdez, Alaska, just after midnight.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO TRANSMISSION RECORDING)

CAPTAIN JOSEPH HAZELWOOD: We're leaking some oil.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Same-Sex Marriages Back On Hold In Michigan

Saying that it wants "to allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay," the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit on Saturday effectively hit the pause button on same-sex marriages in Michigan.

Friday, as we reported, a federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

But late Saturday afternoon, the appeals court weighed in. It said the lower court's decision "is temporarily stayed until Wednesday."

Read more
Code Switch
3:15 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

They Cast Whom?! Actor Choices To Offend Every Racial Sensibility

From a mixed heritage, Adam Jacobs plays Aladdin in the Disney Broadway production of the same name.
Cylla von Tiedemann AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:48 am

Read more
Movies
2:19 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Fatal Accident Fuels Safety Concerns On Hollywood's Sets

A candlelight march honors Sarah Jones, a camera assistant who was killed by a train in February while shooting the film Midnight Rider.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 6:47 pm

There's growing concern in Hollywood over film crews' safety, as crews feel mounting pressure to push their limits on set. The call for attention to the issue amplified after the death of 27-year-old Sarah Jones.

On Feb. 20, the camera assistant was killed in an accident on the set of the film Midnight Rider, a biopic about the musician Gregg Allman.

Read more
Science
12:03 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science

An oiled murre passes the darkened shoreline near Prince William Sound, Alaska, less than a month after the March 1989 spill.
Erik Hill Anchorage Daily News/MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:36 am

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

Twenty-five years of research following the Exxon Valdez disaster has led to some startling conclusions about the persistent effects of spilled oil.

Read more
All Tech Considered
11:45 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Tech Week: Robots, Turkish Twitter And A Frustrated Zuckerberg

A BigDog robot at Boston Dynamics in 2010.
Suzanne Kreiter Boston Globe via Getty Images

Happy weekend! If you've missed our tech coverage and the larger conversation at the intersection of technology and culture this week, here's your look back. ICYMI is what we reported on NPR, The Big Conversation includes news from all sorts of places, and Curiosities are important or fun links we think you should check out.

What was on your radar? What should we look out for next week? Tell us in the comment section below. We do read them, you know.

Read more
Parallels
10:22 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Always Watching: A Fragile Trust Lines The U.S.-Mexico Border

Dob Cunningham (left) and his friend Larry Johnson look over the edge of Cunningham's 800-acre ranch in Quemado, Texas.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 12:21 pm

We drove 2,428 miles on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and it's safe to say that for much of the road trip, we were being watched.

Border Patrol agents, customs officers, cameras, sensors, radar and aircraft track movement in the Borderland. None of that has stopped the struggle to control the border, or the debate over how best to do it.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:40 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Cops Can't Have Sex With Prostitutes, Hawaiian Lawmakers Say

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, with Diamond Head in the background. State lawmakers are vowing to get rid of a provision in Hawaiian law that allows law enforcement officers to have sex with prostitutes if doing so is within the scope of their duties.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:36 am

Headlines across the nation and around the Web — such as the one we posted on Friday that read "In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops" — have led to promises of quick action:

-- "Hawaii lawmakers to end prostitution exemption," says Honolulu's KITV.

Read more
Around the Nation
7:37 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers

On a typical weekday, riders make a total of about 300,000 trips on the Chicago Metra commuter line.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:38 am

During the morning rush at Chicago's Union Station, commuter trains pull in, the doors open and a crush of people, newspapers and coffee cups in hand, pour off like a flood.

Financial analyst Nader Kouklan says he makes the trip from the suburbs to Chicago's downtown every day.

"It's easier and just a faster way to get to work, rather than having to deal with the traffic of the morning commute," Kouklan says.

Law student Amalia Romano rides Chicago's Metra line, too.

"I take it because I don't want to pay $16 to park every day," Romano explains.

Read more
Europe
5:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

How Much Will Russian Sanctions Hurt The EU?

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. U.S. and European leaders have been weighing how to try to tighten economic screws on Russia following its seizure of Crimea. But how much economic pain can the U.S. inflict on Russia without hurting itself in return? We're joined now by Ian Bremmer, who's president of the global risk research firm Eurasia Group. He joins us from New York. Thanks so much for being with us.

IAN BREMMER: Scott, delighted to be with you.

Read more

Pages