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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?