U.S. News

The Government Shutdown
3:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

GOP Shutdown Strategy Gives House A Twilight Zone Feel

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., holds a news conference Oct. 3 with the GOP Doctors Caucus — members of the House who are medical professionals by training — to talk about how the government shutdown is affecting medical research.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:51 pm

With little progress being made to resolve the government shutdown, House Republicans have decided on a piecemeal strategy.

They have been voting to reopen small pieces of the government — for example, on Wednesday, they approved bills paying for the Federal Aviation Administration and for death benefits to the families of service members.

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Youth Radio
3:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

High Schools Struggle To Tackle Safety On The Football Field

Football practice at Castro Valley High School in California. Proper hitting technique requires players to keep their heads up to prevent neck injuries and concussions.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:41 pm

The NFL adopted a new rule this season that makes it illegal for players to hit with the crown of their helmet. In other words, ramming your head into someone.

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It's All Politics
2:51 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Like The GOP, Boehner's Ohio Buddies Split On His Leadership

House Speaker John Boehner, accompanied by GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Eric Cantor, spoke to the press Tuesday, as the partial government shutdown entered its second week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Spirits were high when a posse of John Boehner's friends traveled from Ohio to the nation's capital to celebrate the longtime Republican congressman's elevation to House speaker in January 2011.

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Shots - Health News
2:18 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Even Mild Strokes Take A Toll On Quality Of Life

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., gets help entering the Capitol from Vice President Joe Biden (right) in January 2013, one year after suffering a stroke at age 52.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Having even a small stroke can be a scare. Some people recover well, while others struggle to talk, move or live as they did before.

Quality of life in the years after a stroke is something that's gotten surprisingly little attention, even though so-called quality-adjusted life years are a common measure for the cost-effectiveness of medical treatments.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Shinseki: Shutdown Means Veterans Will Not Get Benefits

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies on Capitol Hill in April.
Evan Vucci AP

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki warned lawmakers on Wednesday that the partial government shutdown means that about 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month.

Shinseki, in testimony before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said pensions to more than half a million vets or surviving spouses will also be derailed if the stalemate over a temporary spending measure drags on into late October.

The Associated Press reports:

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Around the Nation
10:20 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Yuppie Condos Destroying Chinatowns?

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
10:20 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Janet Yellen's Resume Makes Us All Feel Like 'Slackers'

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. In a few minutes, we will talk about people and their attachment to the land in two very different places in the United States, and how that attachment to the land may be threatened.

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Politics
10:20 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Govt. Shutdown 'Wake-Up Call' To Native Americans

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The partial government shutdown is now into its ninth day. There's no sign of a breakthrough anytime soon. So we are going to look at a number of ways the country is being affected. Later in the program, we'll speak with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax about how this stalemate is playing out with our trading partners overseas.

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U.S.
10:20 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Service Members Keep Promises, Even If Congress Doesn't

Pfc. Norman McQueen, U.S. Army Air Corps
photo courtesy Michel Martin

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:07 pm

So finally today, you might have noticed I've been out of the office a bit lately. I'm taking that trip a lot of us have, or will be taking: having to get more involved in caring for an elderly parent. And because I've been on that road, I have found myself going through old drawers and boxes in a way I had no reason or right to do before now.

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U.S.
10:20 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Property Taxes May Cause Slaves' Descendants To Lose Homes

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now to a different story about the changing face of another historic community. Sapelo Island, just off the coast of Georgia, is home to one of the few remaining Gullah Geechee enclaves. These tight knit communities in the nation's South-East trace their roots back to slavery times and share a distinct culture and dialect. But now that's being threatened by a changing economy.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Oregon's Mile Of Glacier Caves: A Hidden, And Disappearing, World

A scene from another world: entering a glacier cave on Mount Hood. Two explorers say they have mapped more than a mile of caves in Sandy Glacier.
Brent McGregor

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:19 pm

In the past two years, explorers Eddy Cartaya and Brent McGregor have used ropes, ice screws, wet suits and flashlights to map out more than a mile of passages underneath a glacier on Oregon's Mount Hood, in what are thought to be America's largest known glacier caves outside Alaska.

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It's All Politics
4:41 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Diary: Obama Takes On The Default Deniers

At a Tuesday news conference, President Obama underscored Democrats' refusal to negotiate with Republicans on bills to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:30 pm

On Day 8 of the federal government's partial shutdown, President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner. But the morning phone call produced no movement toward resolution, according to readouts by aides to both men.

Here are some of Tuesday's news highlights:

President Obama

Obama gave his first lengthy press conference since early August, answering questions for more than an hour.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

NSA Says It Has 'Mitigated' Meltdowns At Utah Data Farm

A new National Security Agency data center in Bluffdale, Utah, has had electrical problems that will delay its opening, according to reports.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:49 am

This was supposed to be the month the National Security Agency cranked up its biggest data farm yet, in a Salt Lake City suburb.

The $1.2 billion complex covers 1.5 million square feet, and includes 100,000 square feet devoted solely to computers and servers.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Does Where You Shop Depend On Where You Stand?

A composite image of a Whole Foods in Providence, R.I., and a Cracker Barrel in Springville, Utah.
Steven Senne/AP and George Frey/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:19 am

The federal government shutdown is now in its second week, and one big reason for the division in Washington is the growing divide between different kinds of voters back home. Those differences make news on Election Day, but they're visible every day.

Members in both parties find less and less common ground, in part because their constituents have such contrasting notions of government's proper role. And those contrasting visions often coincide with contrasting lifestyles — evident in many of the choices they make.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Botanic Garden Shuts Down, But Who'll Water The Plants?

The U.S. Botanic Garden, which is closed because of the government shutdown, says a small staff is looking after its plants. The garden's website still highlights part of its collection that's in bloom.
U.S. Botanic Garden

Among the casualties of the federal government shutdown is the U.S. Botanic Garden, which has been closed since Oct. 1.

As the government shutdown began, the final official act of many furloughed office workers was to grab their plants so they could care for them at home. That raised a question in Washington: Who would look after the Botanic Garden's plants?

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Health Care
3:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

State Health Exchanges: The Good, The Bad, And The Glitches

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Suzanne Cloud, that jazz musician we just heard, lives in Pennsylvania, one of the majority of states using the federal government's system for the new health insurance marketplace. And as we've just heard, the federal system has been plagued with problems. But what about the 16 states and District of Columbia that decided to set up their own insurance exchanges? How are they doing?

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Environment
3:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:25 am

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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All Tech Considered
3:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Health Exchange Tech Problems Point To A Thornier Issue

"We can do better," says White House spokesman Jay Carney, of healthcare.gov's ongoing software problems and delays.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:24 pm

One week after its rocky rollout, the federal site to help you sign up for health insurance exchanges went down again overnight for additional software fixes. The Obama administration says the technology powering the marketplaces buckled under unexpectedly high traffic. But the ongoing software hiccups for healthcare.gov point to a much thornier problem: procurement processes.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

House GOP's Latest Idea: A Fiscal Supercommittee, Sort Of

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) at the hearing where he discussed his bill to create a bipartisan committee to tackle fiscal issues.
C-SPAN screen shot

The latest House GOP gambit in the fiscal fight is ... wait for it ... a supercommittee.

But Republicans aren't calling it a supercommittee since that's the term for the failed panel that brought us the the sequester.

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Shots - Health News
1:34 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Many Teens Admit To Coercing Others Into Sex

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:16 pm

Almost 1 in 10 high school and college-aged people have forced someone into sexual activity against his or her will, a study finds. The majority of those who have done it think that the victim is at least partly to blame.

The results come from a multiyear study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was designed to look for the roots of adult sexual violence. Most adult perpetrators say they first preyed on another while still in their teens.

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All Tech Considered
10:33 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Solved: The Minds Behind The 'NSA' Billboard Reveal Themselves

The reveal.
BitTorrent

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:32 pm

Someone's taken credit for the shadowy billboard on the 101 Freeway near San Francisco — a plain white sign with black text reading, "Your Data Should Belong To The NSA." We wondered about it last week and got some interesting theories in the comments.

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Mental Health
10:09 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Mental Health Care: Why Some Get It And Some Don't

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up in money coach - look, you're a college student, you're hard-pressed for some cash and one of your classmates invites you to a, quote, amazing business opportunity. Is there a way to tell if it's the real deal and not just a scam? We'll take a closer look at some of these schemes or scams that seem to target college students in just a few minutes.

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Parenting
10:09 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Wait, Yelling Hurts Kids?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Family Of Man Who Set Himself On Fire Says Act Wasn't Political

The man who set himself on fire Friday at the National Mall was John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J., police say. Constantino's family links the act to "a long battle with mental illness."
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:55 am

Officials have identified the man who died after setting fire to himself last week on the National Mall as John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J.

Constantino poured gasoline on his body and ignited it Friday afternoon while sitting on the mall. Passersby used their clothing to try to put out the flames. He was eventually airlifted to a hospital, where he died later that night.

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National Security
2:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Examining The Special Ops 'Tool Kit'

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Two raids by U.S. Special Operations Forces days ago caught the world's attention. In Libya, U.S. operatives captured a man named Abu Anas al-Libi, thought to be the al-Qaida mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In Somalia, Navy SEALs stormed the villa of a different man wanted by the United States, a Kenyan-born senior leader of the terrorist group al-Shabab. That raid was not successful. Meeting heavy resistance, the Special Forces were forced to withdraw.

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Law
1:25 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Calif. Law Allows Undocumented Immigrants To Practice Law

Sergio Garcia speaks at The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) news conference in August. Garcia, 36, is a law school graduate who passed California's bar examination, but he's living in the U.S. illegally.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:32 am

Sergio Garcia passed the California Bar exam four years ago. The bar granted Garcia a law license, but then rescinded it because he was undocumented.

The justices of the California Supreme Court may have been sympathetic to Garcia, but it quickly became clear during arguments they didn't think the law was on his side. Specifically, as the U.S. Department of Justice argued, federal law prevented Garcia's admission to the bar.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Enter The Quiet Zone: Where Cell Service, Wi-Fi Are Banned

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is protected from interference by federal and state laws.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:03 am

There are no physical signs you've entered the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area that covers the eastern half of West Virginia. But the silence gives you a signal. Somewhere around the Virginia-West Virginia state line, the periodic buzzes and pings of our smartphones stopped.

"Zero [service]. Searching," said photographer John Poole, who traveled with me to the zone.

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Shots - Health News
5:02 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Delaying Aging May Have A Bigger Payoff Than Fighting Disease

Gaining a few more years of healthy life would be great for individuals, but expensive for Medicare, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:24 pm

Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease has been the holy grail of medical research. But there could be even greater benefits if aging itself could be delayed, a study finds.

This is not quite as farfetched as it sounds. While the anti-aging "cures" being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging.

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It's All Politics
4:14 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Voting Math Fails To Add Up

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:57 pm

A lot of words have been spilled since the government shutdown began nearly a week ago, but some of the most noteworthy came from the lips of House Speaker John Boehner Sunday on ABC's This Week:

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," Boehner said, referring to a spending bill to end the shutdown that would be devoid of any extraneous language.

Why is this significant?

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Code Switch
4:12 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Undocumented Immigrants In Calif. Will Benefit From New Laws

California's Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.
AP

The federal government remains shut down over a budget stalemate, but California's Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to wait for Congress to make decisions on the Gordian knot that is U.S. immigration policy. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.

"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's moving ahead," Brown stated. He added, with trademark bluntness, "I'm not waiting."

The "Trust Act" Vs. "Secure Communities"

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