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.
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.
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.
On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
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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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:22 am
In just a few days, college basketball fans will celebrate the sport's biggest day: Selection Sunday. As soon as the bracket unveiling ends, the speculation will begin over who will be this year's Cinderella.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:53 am
A federal judge dropped charges on Wednesday against an Indian diplomat because she enjoys diplomatic immunity.
As Krishnadev reported back in January, the case of Devyani Khobragade, who was indicted on charges of falsifying visa documents for her Indian maid, "sparked a diplomatic row between India and the U.S."
According to a grand jury indictment, Khobragade said she was going to pay her maid $9 an hour. She actually paid her $3.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:39 am
A New Jersey judge likely made history this week when he released an opinion that found women can keep the biological father of their children out of the delivery room.
NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports that the ruling involves a couple who got engaged after the woman became pregnant but later broke up. The man sued for the right to be present at the birth of his child. Jennifer filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The case was argued by telephone — while the New Jersey woman was in the hospital to give birth.
The Affordable Care Act — which many see creating challenges for businesses — could benefit a particular group of business people: entrepreneurs.
Joshua Simonson was reluctant to give up his job at a Portland, Ore., area grocery store, New Seasons Market, which he says had provided excellent health care for him and his family. He had a pre-existing condition that has prevented him from getting insurance in the private market, but one key development helped convince him to quit and start a farm.
A bill aimed at punishing Russia for sending its forces into Crimea by imposing sanctions on Moscow and providing economic aid to Ukraine has passed a key vote in the U.S. Senate.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 14-3 to pass the measure that authorizes $1 billion in loan guarantees to the new government in Kiev as well as the freezing certain Russian assets in the U.S.
A would-be shoe-bomber for al-Qaida told his story to a jury in New York City yesterday. Saajid Badat testified in the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. That's the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who the government says was aware of the shoe-bombing plot. The witness has told some of his story before. He's in Britain. He's cooperated with authorities there and in the U.S.
But some of what he said was new to Benjamin Weiser, of The New York Times, who's covering this trial and who joins us from New York. Welcome to the program.
Minnesota is expected to pick a new lead technology contractor for its health insurance marketplace in the coming weeks. The state has been working hard to improve its website, but in its first few months serious technical problems made it difficult if not impossible to use.