U.S. News

The Two-Way
10:11 am
Sun October 6, 2013

School Pulls All-Beef Burgers From Menu, Citing Complaints

Advocates for healthy food in Virginia schools have met a reversal, after cafeterias changed back to hamburgers with additives due to students' complaints. The schools had been serving all-beef burgers such as these, being grilled at a farmer's market.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:21 pm

Students in a Virginia school system are now eating hamburgers with additives in them, after officials heeded their complaints about the appearance and taste of the all-beef burgers it had been serving. The burgers that are now being served include a reported 26 ingredients.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sun October 6, 2013

The Votes Are In: Sandy Hook Elementary Will Be Torn Down

Voters in Newtown, Conn., have approved a plan to use nearly $50 million in state funds to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school in its place. This photo provided by Craig Hoekenga shows his son Trey, a kindergarten student at Sandy Hook, on the school bus this year. The window has a quote from the late principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in last December's mass shooting.
Craig Hoekenga AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:23 pm

In a referendum marked by a large turnout and an emphatic result, the people of Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school. Sandy Hook was the scene of a mass shooting last December, when 20 children and six staff members were killed.

Saturday's vote asked citizens to decide whether to take nearly $50 million in state money to fund the demolition of Sandy Hook and the planning and construction of a new school on essentially the same site.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Karen Stalls In Gulf; Maximum Winds Fall To 30 MPH

A GOES satellite handout photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical Storm Karen churning in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday afternoon. Karen, the second named storm to hit the U.S. this hurricane season, has weakened into a tropical depression.
NOAA Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:50 am

Karen, once feared to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane, has stalled out and weakened into a tropical depression. The National Weather Service says the storm is "drifting" at 2 mph, moving toward Louisiana's southeastern edge. As of early Sunday morning, it was about 165 miles west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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The Salt
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

That Smoky Smell Means Chile Roasting Season In New Mexico

Fresh picked green chiles are bound for stews, burritos, enchiladas, pozole and more. Fall is chili roasting season in New Mexico.
Tim Robbins NPR

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:39 am

It's chile season in New Mexico, where they take their chiles pretty seriously.

Indeed, the chile is the official state vegetable, so it's probably best to not mention it is actually a fruit. No matter what it is, the fall harvest is on, and that means it's time to fire up the grills.

Green chiles roasting over a hot gas flame give off a smoky, sweet, pungent perfume.

That smell is part of what has drawn customers like Lorenzo and Peggy Lucero to the Diaz farm in Deming, in southwest New Mexico, for the past 30 years.

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Around the Nation
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

In This Business, Scaredy Cats Need Not Apply

To get an interview at the Scream Zone in San Diego County, Calif., applicants have to get past a green demon first.
Beth Accomando for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:42 am

Every job requires a special skill set.

In this business, screaming is one of those skills. Also, being certified on a chainsaw.

"We're always looking for folks who have a passion for wielding a chainsaw while wearing makeup and costume and just scaring the heck out of people," says Jennifer Struever.

Streuver is the event manager for Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County, Calif. Haunted houses are part of the multibillion-dollar business of Halloween — and they need employees.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 am
Sun October 6, 2013

It's Time To Rediscover The IUD, Women's Health Advocates Say

Intrauterine devices are one of the most effect forms of birth control, but are relatively underutilized, at least in the United States.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:56 pm

What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?

IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.

The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they're reversible. Shortly after they're taken out, a woman can become pregnant.

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All Tech Considered
4:50 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

U.S. Shutdown May Be Driving Traffic To 'Sugar Daddy' Sites

A sugar daddy dating website says nearly 14,000 women have joined since Sept. 29, as the federal government prepared to shut down.
Cat London iStockPhoto.com

sugar daddy (noun): a well-to-do usually older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress, girlfriend, or boyfriend

The government shutdown may have become a boon for one kind of online dating site — those that help users find sugar daddies.

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Remembrances
3:56 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Angola 3 Inmate Tastes Brief, 'Bittersweet' Freedom

Herman Wallace (left) and his legal team discuss his trip home to New Orleans after his release from prison on Tuesday. Wallace died on Friday.
Lauren McGaughy The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Herman Wallace died early Friday in New Orleans, three days after gaining his freedom. Wallace had spent the previous 41 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana.

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Technology
3:56 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Developers At Indie Game Festival Looking For Big Break

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:25 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Sales of the insanely popular video game "Grand Theft Auto V" passed the billion-dollar mark just three days after its release this month. But not everyone sees mainstream titles as the industry's game changers. When searching for the next big thing, some of the biggest gaming companies actually look to the little guys: indie game developers. And as NPR's Daniel Hajek reports, they're finding them this weekend at a Los Angeles festival that brings out the underground talent.

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Business
3:56 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Behind JPMorgan's Potentially Massive Settlement With Feds

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

If you're just joining us, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

JPMorgan is one of the world's largest financial institutions. And now there are reports that JP may face the largest bank fine in American history. Bank regulators are in negotiations with JPMorgan over allegations involving bad mortgages. It's just the latest in a string of legal troubles for JPMorgan.

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History
3:56 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

150 Years After Battle Of Gettysburg, Shutdown Hindering History Tours

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.

The U.S. government has been shut down for five days. Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted to grant federal workers back pay when the shutdown ends, but there is no sign that end is coming anytime soon. And frustration among those on the job is growing.

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World
2:57 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

What A Downed Black Hawk In Somalia Taught America

A U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flies over Somalia in September 1993, a month before the battle of Mogadishu.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:44 am

This week marked the 20th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, the deadliest firefight U.S. forces had faced since Vietnam.

The incident ultimately pushed the U.S. out of Somalia, leaving a safe haven for extremist groups.

It continues to impact U.S. foreign policy today, from the rise of Islamists to the nation's reaction when asked to send American troops into harm's way.

'Things Did Not Go Well'

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Pentagon Recalls 'Most' Furloughed Civilian Workers

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a statement announcing the recall of "most DoD civilians" who were put on furlough by the government shutdown.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees back to work, in a move announced just after midday Saturday. The plan will put hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job next week.

"Today, I am announcing that most DoD civilians placed on emergency furlough during the government shutdown will be asked to return to work beginning next week," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Pirate Joe's Celebrates Dismissal Of Trader Joe's Lawsuit

"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. Trader Joe's federal lawsuit against his business was dismissed this week.
_irate Joe's

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 1:32 pm

Pirate Joe's, the grocery store that made waves — and attracted a lawsuit — for selling Trader Joe's items in Canada, has won a battle in its legal fight with the supermarket chain. A U.S. district court judge has granted the Vancouver store's motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit.

After the lawsuit was filed, Pirate Joe's took on the name _Irate Joe's. The store's owner, Mike Hallatt, says he began his enterprise on a small scale last year, driving groceries across the border from Washington State to Vancouver. Trader Joe's does not operate any stores in Canada.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Man Who Set Fire To Himself On On National Mall Reportedly Dies

Police investigate the scene after a man set himself ablaze on the National Mall's lawn Friday afternoon in Washington, DC. The man did not survive his injuries, according to reports.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 1:15 pm

The man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Friday has died of his injuries, according to a police spokesman cited by the AP. The man reportedly used gasoline to commit the act, which drew attempts from passers-by to extinguish the flames.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Sat October 5, 2013

House Passes Bill Allowing Back Pay For Furloughed Workers

Furloughed federal workers demonstrate in Washington earlier this week. Hundreds of thousands of government employees can't work as long as the House of Representatives and Senate remain gridlocked.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 1:58 pm

Federal workers who were furloughed by a government shutdown will receive back pay once they return to work, if a bill approved by the House of Representatives Saturday meets Senate approval. The White House has said it favors such a move.

The vote came after the U.S. government began the fifth day of a shutdown that has put 800,000 people out of work. The bill was approved without a vote against it. The Senate is expected to hold its own Saturday session that begins at midday.

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Around the Nation
5:58 am
Sat October 5, 2013

A Cold, Wet Trip With Spearfishers In Alaska

Alaskan Cory Kuryla (right) goes spearfishing every year along the Chatanika River, north of Fairbanks, with best friend Dave Ensley.
Emily Schwing KUAC

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 9:11 am

For one month each fall, residents of interior Alaska don chest waders and splash through the clear, frigid water of the Chatanika River. With large homemade lanterns hanging from their necks and spears in their hands, the fishermen keep their eyes peeled for whitefish.

Lifelong Alaskan Cory Kuryla leads his best friend Dave Ensley and me down a dark forest trail.

"We make rookies take a bite out of the first fish they catch!" he says.

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Around the Nation
2:08 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Tropical Storm Karen Weakens As It Approaches The Gulf Coast

Workers pump water from the parking lot of the Dadeland Plaza shopping center on Thursday after heavy rains triggered by Tropical Storm Karen in Pinecrest, Fla., a suburb of Miami.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Tropical Storm Karen continued losing strength Saturday as it headed toward the central Gulf Coast, but forecasters were still expecting it to bring significant rain and potential flooding to low-lying areas.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 2 a.m. Saturday that Karen's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 40 mph, making it a weak tropical storm. The storm was moving west-northwest at 10 mph to 15 mph.

Forecasters expect the center of Karen to be near the southeast Louisiana coast on Saturday night, when they say there is a slight chance of strengthening.

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The Government Shutdown
3:37 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

You've Got Shutdown Questions. We've Got Answers

Efforts to resolve the government shutdown are at a standstill.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:47 pm

There's no end in sight to the partial shutdown of the federal government, which has now gone on for four days.

Earlier this week, All Things Considered asked you to submit your questions about the shutdown. NPR's Audie Cornish put those questions to a crack team of NPR reporters for answers:

Is our food or medicine unsafe?

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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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