U.S. News

Religion
3:35 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents'

Andrew Hamblin preaches while holding a snake above his head, LaFollette, Tenn.
Ciaran Flannery NGT

Snake handlers dwell at the edge of the spiritual frontier — a community of people who are willing to die for their faith three times a week in church. Members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church take up venomous serpents to prove their faith in God. The practice is still widespread in Appalachia, though mostly hidden.

Pastor Jamie Coots warns about the scent in the snake room behind his house in Middlesboro, Ky.

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Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

When Should Police Use Deadly Force?

Questions about the appropriate use of lethal force have been raised after police fatally shot Miriam Carey Thursday near the U.S. Capitol. Carey had tried to breach a White House security checkpoint with her car before speeding toward the U.S. Capitol. Melissa Block talks with Eugene O'Donnell, a former officer with the New York Police Department and certified police trainer, about the standard protocols for using deadly force.

Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

New Details Emerge On Woman Shot After Capitol Hill Car Chase

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We're learning more about the woman who led police on a chase through the District of Columbia yesterday. The car chase ended with a shootout that left the woman, Miriam Carey, dead. Carey's family positively identified her body this afternoon. And to learn more about her background, we're joined by NPR's Laura Sullivan. And, Laura, first, what have you learned this point about Carey's mental state?

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Shots - Health News
3:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Want To Read Others' Thoughts? Try Reading Literary Fiction

Would time spent with Anton Chekov, famed for his subtle, flawed characters, make you a better judge of human nature?
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:33 am

Your ability to "read" the thoughts and feelings of others could be affected by the kind of fiction you read.

That's the conclusion of a study in the journal Science that gave tests of social perception to people who were randomly assigned to read excerpts from literary fiction, popular fiction or nonfiction.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Google Vs. Facebook: A Map Of Global Conquest

Google is red; Facebook blue.
Mark Graham/Stefano De Sabbata Internet Geographies at the Oxford Internet Institute

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:14 pm

The U.K.'s Oxford Internet Institute has put together an interesting illustration of the most popular websites around the world. Not surprising, Google and Facebook dominate the globe.

We're not quite sure what the data mean, if anything, but you can be the judge.

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The Government Shutdown
2:51 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The 'Faux Friday' Jobs Report: What Economists Can Guesstimate

Even without official Labor Department data, economists estimated jobs grew moderately last month.
Andrey Popov iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the federal government's partial shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics skipped its monthly Big Reveal at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

There was no September employment report.

Without access to the BLS numbers, data junkies were left to scrounge around for lesser reports. Maybe if they could suck in enough small hits of other statistics, they could feel that old familiar rush?

Nope. Nothing can replace that BLS high.

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It's All Politics
2:21 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Obama's Lunch: Sandwich With A Side Of Shutdown Messaging

President Obama and Vice President Biden at Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop near the White House on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:59 pm

Before President Obama canceled his Asia trip, some of us wondered how he could possibly leave the U.S., especially for the exotic resort island of Bali, during the federal government shutdown.

Forget the logistical complications caused by having so many staffers unable to work the trip. What about the optics of having the president at a lush tourist destination while hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed and worried about missing paychecks?

Obama solved that potential problem by canceling his overseas trip, which would have started Saturday evening.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The Last Word On Hormone Therapy From the Women's Health Initiative

Once hailed as a feminine fountain of youth, then vilified, hormone replacement therapy may finally be finding its place as a short-term treatment for menopause symptoms.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:37 pm

Back in 2002, a research study blew apart the widely held belief that hormone replacement therapy protected women from heart disease and other chronic ills.

Instead, the Women's Health Initiative study found that taking estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy — HRT — actually increased a woman's risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

The study had a huge effect: Within months the number of women using HRT dropped by almost half.

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The Salt
1:40 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Of Goats And Gardens: Making Sense Of Urban Agriculture In LA

A garden in Santa Monica, Calif.
Courtesy of Cultivate LA

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:12 am

Until recently, if you wanted to find out the rules for raising goats in Hollywood, bees in Bel Air or squash in a community garden in South Central Los Angeles, it would have been pretty tough — like standing in various lines at the DMV.

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Science
10:18 am
Fri October 4, 2013

With Government Shut Down, Science Idles

As the budgetary stalemate in Washington continues, many federally funded science projects are now on hold. Matthew Hourihan of the American Association for the Advancement of Science describes some of the effects of the funding impasse on research programs, from the CDC to NASA.

Shots - Health News
9:48 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Despite Many Warnings, Antibiotics Are Still Overprescribed

Unless it's strep throat, antibiotics are unlikely to help you get over a sore throat.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 2:25 pm

We've known for years that antibiotics don't help in most cases of bronchitis or sore throat. And for decades, public health officials have tried to stop doctors from overprescribing antibiotics.

None of that seems to have made a difference, though: Antibiotics are still being prescribed when they don't help — and could hurt, a study says.

Primary care and emergency room doctors are prescribing antibiotics for a sore throat about 60 percent of the time, according to national health surveys between 1997 and 2010.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri October 4, 2013

What We Know So Far About Woman Killed In D.C. Chase

An officer stands just outside police tape Thursday as authorities investigate a car chase that began at the White House and ended near the Capitol.
Lv Mingxiang Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:34 pm

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Around the Nation
3:06 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Federal Shutdown Is Double Whammy For Flooded Colo. Town

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

First, there was the flood. It ravaged Estes Park, Colorado and destroyed one of the town's most popular spots for locals and tourists - Kind Coffee.

AMY HAMRICK: We opened the shop that morning. I was there and we a full house. That quickly turned to a bit of mayhem when the flood waters rose and just essentially came right in the front door.

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Around the Nation
3:06 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Investigators Probe Deadly Capitol Hill Shooting

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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It's All Politics
5:41 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Shutdown Diary, Day 3: More Talk, Little Action

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (from left), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., head for a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 6:04 pm

Congress: On Day 3 of the shutdown, a Washington made tense by partisan acrimony was put even more on edge by a bizarre incident. A woman who drove erratically near the White House and then the U.S. Capitol, causing the legislative complex to be locked down, ended up dead after a high-speed chase that left a Capitol Hill police officer injured.

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Shots - Health News
4:37 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Some Online Journals Will Publish Fake Science, For A Fee

You could do all that brain work. Or you could make it up.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:34 am

Many online journals are ready to publish bad research in exchange for a credit card number.

That's the conclusion of an elaborate sting carried out by Science, a leading mainline journal. The result should trouble doctors, patients, policymakers and anyone who has a stake in the integrity of science (and who doesn't?).

The business model of these "predatory publishers" is a scientific version of those phishes from Nigerians who want help transferring a few million dollars into your bank account.

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Around the Nation
4:19 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Time For Superstorm Sandy Evacuees To Check Out Of Hotels

Sandy evacuees Shawn Little (right) and her daugher, Terri, joined a press conference to protest for more time at city hotels while they look for permanent homes.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

Almost 300 Sandy victims are still living in hotel rooms on the taxpayers' dime — but not for long. City officials say the program is expensive, and it's time for those remaining Sandy evacuees to move out.

This week, the displaced families living in hotels got a letter from New York City officials telling them they will not pay for those rooms after Friday.

This was the message they sent back on Wednesday: Heck no, we won't go!

At a press conference outside City Hall, several dozen evacuees protested for more time.

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Latin America
4:19 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Trade Dispute With Mexico Over 'Dolphin-Safe' Tuna Heats Up

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Look closely at just about any can of tuna sold in the U.S. and you'll find a tiny stamp. Now for more than 20 years, that stamp has certified that no dolphins were harmed or killed when the tuna was caught. For nearly that long, Mexico and the U.S. have been fighting over that label. Mexico says it's made great strides protecting dolphins and that the U.S. now unfairly blocks Mexican tuna from its markets.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Shutdown Quiets NASA, So Space Station Astronauts Enjoy View

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:20 pm

Of all the government agencies, NASA is among the hardest hit by the government shutdown. As of Oct. 1, nearly all of its employees have been told to pack up and head home.

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It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

'Hello, This Is Your Senator Speaking. No, Really'

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., leads a tour group of students from her home state in the Rotunda Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Many congressional staff members have been furloughed by the government shutdown. But that hasn't stopped the phones from ringing, or tourists from visiting.

So members of Congress have been forced to take on some additional responsibilities this week, in addition to legislating — the kinds of tasks typically handled by junior staffers and interns.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., are among those personally answering their office phones.

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The Salt
3:05 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

CDC: Shutdown Strains Foodborne Illness Tracking

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's PulseNet service monitors clusters of sickness linked to potentially dangerous strains of foodborne pathogens such as E.coli or salmonella.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

As we reported Tuesday, the government shutdown is pushing the nation's food safety system to its limits.

For instance, there is normally a team of eight people overseeing the critical foodborne illness tracking database PulseNet. This team identifies clusters of sickness linked to potentially dangerous strains of pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella.

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Religion
3:04 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

2 By 2 and 2x4s: The Building Of Noah's Arks

Carolina and Reniel Peralta of the Hidden Ark in March, before the county government made them tear down the ark. The ark was deconstructed in June, but the concrete elephant still stands.
Kenny Malone WLRN

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

There are just about 30 days — and 30 nights — left in South Florida's rainy season. That will not deter a monumental building task being attempted by a group of people near Miami.

The Hidden Ark project was originally planned for a 5-acre spot just outside Hialeah, Fla., not far from the Everglades. In the spring, builders worked to create a one-tenth of a full-scale Noah's ark — imagine a 150-foot-long bathtub made of wood.

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Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Insurance Brokers Look For Relevance As Health Exchanges Grow

Tim Hebert, an insurance broker in Fort Collins, Colo., says he expects that the health care law will wind up being good for his business.
Kara Donahoe Courtesy of Tim Hebert

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

When states and the federal government rolled out online marketplaces to help people buy health insurance on Tuesday, you'd think that old-fashioned insurance brokers would have been worried.

All told about $200 million is being spent on a new army of people to help consumers find their way. These navigators, guides or assisters, as they're called, would seem to threaten the business of traditional brokers.

Many brokers work for small independent businesses. So are brokers at risk of becoming the next travel agents, whose ranks were thinned by online shopping?

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Car Chase Ends On Capitol Hill, Shots Reported

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. This afternoon, a car chase through the heart of Washington D.C. ended with shots fired near the Capitol. Details are sketchy, but we know that around 2:00 this afternoon, authorities began pursuit of a suspect by car near the White House. That chase ended on Capitol Hill with members of Congress in their offices hearing shots fired outside.

Here's Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, speaking minutes ago.

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

One Police Officer Injured After Capitol Hill Car Chase

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill was the scene of a car chase today that ended not far from the halls of Congress. A Capitol police officer was injured and is being treated at an area hospital. Police say it was an isolated incident with no links to terrorism. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang was on the scene after the shooting and sent this report.

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Feds Arrest Man Allegedly Behind The Silk Road Drug Site

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The secret online drug market known as Silk Road was brought down this week when federal agents arrested the man behind the enterprise. He's charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit drug trafficking. The man accused of running Silk Road is 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht, who's also known as Dread Pirate Roberts. From member station KQED, Aarti Shahani reports.

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All Tech Considered
1:50 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

What We Know About Ross Ulbricht, Or 'Dread Pirate Roberts'

The FBI alleges Ross Ulbricht ran the vast underground drug marketplace Silk Road for more than two years.
Google +

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:58 pm

When federal agents made their bust of Silk Road, the Internet's largest and most sophisticated underground illicit goods market, they unmasked its mastermind and owner, who went by the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts." According to the FBI, he is a 29-year-old Texan named Ross Ulbricht.

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Shots - Health News
12:57 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Medicaid Looks Good To A Former Young Invincible

Brad Stevens used to think he didn't need health insurance.
Sarah Varney

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:38 am

Have you heard about the young invincibles? That's the name given to young people who think nothing bad can happen to them.

Enrollment of healthy people like them in insurance under the Affordable Care Act is key to offsetting the costs of older, less healthy buyers.

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National Security
3:17 am
Thu October 3, 2013

NSA Head Admits Testing U.S. Cellphone Tracking

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 10:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Top U.S. intelligence officials are now warning about the threat to security posed by the partial federal shutdown. It is now idling most of the civilian workforce in the intelligence community. This follows an earlier warning to Congress about limiting their ability to monitor phone and data traffic.

That plea began during a Senate hearing about possible changes to intelligence laws, as NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

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The Government Shutdown
4:57 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Some Are Benefiting From The Government Shutdown

Rasim Akin Sevimli of Turkey tries to peer through the glass of the closed Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Tuesday — his only chance to see the museum before leaving Washington, D.C.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 10:52 am

Among the temporary casualties of the government shutdown, besides the paychecks of 800,000 workers, are all federally funded tourist attractions.

Sure, it's a bummer for those who planned vacations around the Smithsonian museums and galleries, national parks and national monuments (although barricades didn't stop some veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday).

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