U.S. News

Politics
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

CIA Pulled Out Of The Shadows With Feinstein's Charge

Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused CIA staff of improperly accessing Senate computers on Tuesday. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times and ex-Rep. Jane Harman about the conflict.

Economy
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

With Some Moves In Congress, Jobless Still Struggle To Get By

On Thursday, the Senate reached a bipartisan agreement to renew jobless benefits for five months for the long-term unemployed. This comes after Congress failed to extend those benefits in December.

National Security
11:22 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Senate-CIA Clash Goes Behind Closed Doors

Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks with reporters after alleging that the CIA broke federal law by secretly removing sensitive documents from computers used by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the panel tasked with congressional oversight of the CIA.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The dust is still settling on Capitol Hill after California Democrat Dianne Feinstein fired a verbal bazooka at the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday morning from the Senate floor.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's chairwoman — normally a stalwart of Washington's spooks — essentially accused the spy agency of illegally and unconstitutionally spying on its congressional overseers.

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Sports
9:32 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Why You Won't Win Warren Buffett's Billion-Dollar Bracket

Florida's Will Yeguete shoots over Missouri's Keanau Post in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament on Friday in Atlanta. Investor Warren Buffett is betting $1 billion that no one can pick all 63 winners of the NCAA college basketball tournament that begins next week.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:19 am

The men's NCAA college basketball tournament starts next week.

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Health Care
7:52 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Under 30? The President Would Like You To Know Health Care Is Hip

The president joined host Zach Galifianakis on the Funny or Die mock talk show, Between Two Ferns this week. Obama was there to promote the Affordable Care Act.
Funny or Die

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 9:32 am

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Sat March 15, 2014

U.S. Beats Russia To Win Sled Hockey Gold At Sochi Paralympics

The U.S. hopes to repeat as Paralympic gold medalists in sled hockey Saturday, when the team will play host Russia. Earlier this week, Nikko Landeros of USA was chased by Dmitrii Lisov of Russia during group play at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Harry Engels Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:12 pm

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Law
5:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Week 2 Of Pistorius Trial Gruesome, Disturbing

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 9:32 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Week 2 of the Oscar Pistorius trial in South Africa has come to a close. Pistorius, the Paralympic champion, known around the world as the Blade Runner is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year. Here to give us a recap of this week's proceedings is David Smith. Smith has been following the case for The Guardian Newspaper and joins from his home in Johannesburg. David Smith, thank you for being with us.

DAVID SMITH: Thank you.

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Around the Nation
5:40 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Drought Closes Oregon Resort Before The Season Even Opens

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 12:03 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. This was supposed to be a special year for the Mount Ashland ski area in Southern Oregon as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. But after a long drought this summer, Mount Ashland had to call it a season early. Yesterday, it declared slope season was over due to a lack of snow. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 am
Sat March 15, 2014

House Passes Payment Fix For Medicare Docs, But At What Cost?

Medicare's payments to doctors will likely be slashed April 1, unless the U.S. Senate can quickly get a derailed compromise back on track.
iStockphoto

Bipartisan support dissolved this week for compromise legislation that would have fixed a longstanding problem with the way Medicare pays physicians. Though the bill passed the House of Representatives Friday, it now contains a provision almost certain to invite veto unless a Senate version can quickly nudge the ultimate bill back toward compromise.

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It's All Politics
5:49 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Breakthrough On Jobless Benefits May Lead To Blind Alley

Republican senators Rob Portman (left), Dean Heller and Susan Collins worked with a bipartisan group to reach a deal to extend long-term jobless benefits for five months.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The bipartisan agreement in the Senate over a five-month extension of federal unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless may seem like a breakthrough.

But for Sister Marge Clark, senior lobbyist for NETWORK — a national Catholic social justice lobby that welcomes the news, the fact that the agreement is seen as a progress shows just how far the political situation in Washington has deteriorated.

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It's All Politics
5:27 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations

Demonstrators protest the Obama administration's deportation policies in Phoenix last year.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:52 pm

Five months before his 2012 re-election, President Obama announced that his administration would stop deportations of more than a half-million young adults, often referred to as "Dreamers," brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Latinos subsequently turned out to vote in record numbers that fall. More than 70 percent marked their ballots for Obama — helping him win the popular vote and triumph in key battleground states.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

U.S. To Relinquish Remaining Control Of The Internet

A screen shows a rolling feed of new generic top-Level domain names (gTLDs) that have been applied for.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:54 pm

The United States announced its intention on Friday of relinquishing its remaining control of the Internet.

In a statement, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration said it wants to relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

FDIC Sues 16 Big Banks, Accusing Them Of Fixing Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:41 pm

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has filed a lawsuit against 16 of the world's biggest banks, accusing them of fixing the London interbank offered rate and costing smaller, failed American banks money.

Bloomberg explains it like this:

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Around the Nation
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

For The Poor, Warmth In The Winter Comes At A Steep Price

Christopher Sessums Flickr

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Even as signs of spring emerge around the country, one particular remnant of winter remains: high energy bills. For low-income residents, a hefty heating bill can be an especially big burden, and not just in traditional cold-weather states.

In January, as temperatures dipped to record lows in eastern Tennessee, the Knoxville Utilities Board urged its customers: If you think you cannot pay your bill, call us. On average, gas bills were 29 percent higher than they were a year ago. And the poor have suffered even more, says Jeanie Fox, a customer counselor.

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Race
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

'I, Too, Am Harvard': A Mantra For Recognition Becomes An Anthem

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You might expect students at one of the world's top universities to have occasional moments of doubt about their studies. But at Harvard, some minority students say they feel discomfort that has nothing to do with academics. It has to do with being black on an overwhelmingly white campus. A new photo montage about being black at Harvard has gone viral. NPR's Tovia Smith reports it is giving new momentum to an old issue.

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News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Lawmakers Seek To Lay Roadblock To Powerful Painkiller

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Sen. Joe Manchin is introducing a bill to force the Food and Drug Administration to ban potent new painkiller Zohydro, backed by a bipartisan effort to get the FDA to remove its approval of the drug.

News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

With Russian Minister, Kerry Kicks A Soccer Ball And Talks Ukraine

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet in London Friday for talks about the crisis in Ukraine.

Commentary
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Week In Politics: Florida 13 And The CIA

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss the Florida special election and Sen. Feinstein's dispute with the CIA.

News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

After Record Deportations, Obama May Turn To More 'Humane' Options

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

The White House announced the president is willing to review his stance on deportations, a policy that's drawn objection from Hispanics and other groups the president depends on politically.

Shots - Health News
8:11 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Young Women Increasingly Turn To ADHD Drugs

Have daunting to-do lists contributed to the rise in ADHD drug prescriptions?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:16 am

Use of ADHD drugs continues to rise in the United States, but the group whose use is increasing the most may come as a surprise: young women.

An analysis of prescriptions filled from 2008 to 2012 through Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management company, found that use of ADHD medications rose 35.5 percent overall. The company's database includes 15 million people with private insurance.

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Technology
3:09 am
Fri March 14, 2014

U.S. Monitors For Cyber Operations In Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In its standoff with Ukraine, Russia has imposed its will but it's tried to hide its hand. Russian troops moved into Crimea but in uniforms bearing no Russian insignia. And there are other tools Russia's is believed to have used that leave virtually no trace: cyber operations. They're part of the modern arsenal. Now U.S. officials want to know if the use of cyber weapons could lead to cyber war.

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The Salt
5:10 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:41 am

When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.

You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.

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Around the Nation
4:43 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Terrible Winter Wreaks Havoc On Roads, Pipes And City Budgets

Potholes on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive, one of which is about half-a-car-length long and at least a foot deep. The city of Chicago says it has filled an estimated 240,000 potholes this winter, 100,000 more than last winter, at a cost of more than $2.8 million.
David Schaper NPR

Bitter cold has returned to parts of the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, following another heavy snowstorm that left 1 to 2 feet of snow from Ohio to New England.

And when all this snow finally melts, it'll expose the physical toll of this brutal winter: potholes, broken water mains, collapsed catch basins and other infrastructure problems.

"This winter's crazy, crazy busy," says John Polishak, a foreman for the Chicago Department of Water Management. "Everybody's been working 16 hours a day, seven days a week. It's exhausting."

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Takes White House To Task Over Privacy

Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his keynote conference as part of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg published an open letter on Thursday in which he takes the White House to task over "the behavior of the U.S. government."

While he does not say so explicitly, Zuckerberg is clearly referring to the reports of widespread surveillance undertaken by the National Security Agency.

Zuckerberg, 29, who has built the world's most successful social network, writes that the Internet works because companies like Facebook strive to make it secure. He adds:

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History
4:03 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Farewell To Carrot Cake (And Other Things Lost Without World War I)

As one listener points out, we might not have carrot cake today if Germans weren't forced to bake with ersatz materials during World War I. This little girl might have had to settle for chocolate instead.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:18 pm

This is the conclusion to an All Things Considered series that imagines a counterfactual history of World War I.

This year marks the centennial of the outbreak of World War I. What started as a beef between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia unleashed a clash that brought in Russia, Italy, France, Germany, England and eventually the United States.

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Environment
4:02 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Oil Industry Gets An Earful As It Eyes Florida's Everglades

Drilling companies have new interest in southern Florida's Big Cypress preserve. The prospect of large-scale operations and possibly fracking worries environmentalists and residents.
Sue Cocking MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

As oil production goes, Florida isn't much of a player. The state produced less than 2 million barrels last year, which is how much oil Texas pumps from its wells each day.

That's about to change as the revolution in oil drilling technology comes to Florida.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Pew Study: Many Technophiles Also Love Libraries

Julie Ball at a newly renovated computer lab at Shute Park Branch Library in Hillsboro, Oregon. The new lab is set to open on Saturday.
Benjamin Brink The Oregonian/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:30 pm

You might think that in a world of Google and Wikipedia, people who love technology wouldn't care much about the musty old local public library. But, according to a new report by the Pew Research Internet Project, you'd be wrong.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Will Democrats Change Their Health Law Message After Florida Loss?

Democrats may have lost the battle in a Florida special election, which Republican Rep. David Jolly (right) won and in which the Affordable Care Act figured prominently. But they don't think they have lost the health-law messaging war.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:35 am

Congressional Democrats' messaging on the Affordable Care Act obviously didn't work as they had hoped in the Florida special election for a vacant House seat, since Republican David Jolly won the Tuesday vote.

But does that mean Democrats should abandon the "fix it, don't nix" it message delivered by Democrat Alex Sink, who narrowly lost a race that Republicans sought to nationalize and turn into a referendum on the health law?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., certainly isn't saying so.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

For A New View On The West Virginia Spill, Follow The Elk River

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

In early January, West Virginia's Elk River was contaminated by a chemical spill near Charleston. NPR's Noah Adams returns to the Elk nearly two months later to follow the course of the river.

Technology
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

With 3-D Printing, Affordable Prosthetics Are In Reach

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:37 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Next, we're going to meet a little girl in Huntsville, Alabama. She was born without fingers on one hand. And now, thanks to 3D printing technology, she has an affordable prosthetic.

As Dan Carsen of member station WBHM reports, her story is one example of life-altering changes on the horizon.

DAN CARSEN, BYLINE: Kate Berkholtz is a smiley, active two-year-old who's happy to have a new tool that helps her pick things up. Right now, she's trying very hard to hold still before a gymnastics class. Can you tell me your name?

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