U.S. News

National Security
4:10 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

NSA Leaker Sets Sights On South America, But Why Ecuador?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The U.S. continues its cat and mouse game with the man who confessed to leaking NSA secrets, Edward Snowden. After spending the last few weeks in Hong Kong, Snowden caught a plane to Moscow this weekend, and he's believed to still be in Russia. But his exact whereabouts are uncertain. The U.S. has urged Russia not to let Snowden leave.

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It's All Politics
3:10 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

IRS Chief: No Evidence Of 'Intentional Wrongdoing' So Far

Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel testifies before the House Financial and General Government subcommittee in early June.
Win McNamee Getty Images

That "be on the lookout list" used to flag Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny of their tax-exemption applications?

It turns out it wasn't the only one the Internal Revenue Service had been using.

There were also other lists, covering a "broad spectrum" of categories and cases, according to a preliminary IRS report released Monday.

"Once we came to that conclusion, we took immediate action to suspend the use of these lists in the Exempt Organizations unit within IRS," said Danny Werfel, the new acting chief of the IRS, in a conference call with reporters.

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Sports
12:44 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

New Pro League Tosses Its Disc Into The Frisbee Game

Major Ultimate Frisbee team the DC Current faced the New York Rumble on Sunday. The rule changes in Ultimate, such as including referees, give the players the opportunity to concentrate on playing.
Chloe Coleman NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 3:56 pm

You know that flying disc you threw around in college or use to play fetch with your dog? Well, now people are being paid to throw that same disc professionally. They aren't paid much, around $25 a game, but all of the expenses — travel, lodging, uniforms and insurance — are covered by Major League Ultimate.

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Economy
12:25 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

The Number Of U.S. Children In Poverty Continues To Grow

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count survey, children in the U.S. are experiencing a setback in their economic well-being due to the lingering effects of the recession. However, there have been some improvements.

Shots - Health News
10:54 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Doctors Say Wait Longer Before Treating Kids' Sinus Infections

Colds can easily turn into sinus infections in children.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 2:40 pm

Children often get sinus infections after they've had a cold.

It can be hard for parents and doctors to tell when those infections need treatment with antibiotics, and when they should be left to get better on their own.

The nation's pediatricians are trying to make that call a bit easier. In new guidelines released today, they say that it's OK to wait a while longer to see if a child gets better before treating a sinus infection with antibiotics. Now parents can wait and see what happens for 13 days instead of 10 days, the pediatricians recommend.

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Health Care
9:55 am
Mon June 24, 2013

The Unease Over Classifying Obesity As A Disease

More than 1 in 3 Americans are obese, and the problem isn't shrinking. The American Medical Association recently voted to classify obesity as a disease, but not everyone likes the decision. Host Michel Martin talks to a roundtable of medical experts about the pros and cons.

Law
9:55 am
Mon June 24, 2013

What Does Supreme Court Ruling Mean For Affirmative Action?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. My thanks to my colleague Celeste Headlee for sitting in for a few days while I was away last week.

Later on today, we'll talk about that controversial decision by the American Medical Association to classify obesity as a disease. We'll speak with a group of healthcare professionals about what that could mean.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Which Key Cases Will The Supreme Court Rule On?

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:32 am

It's another "decision day" at the Supreme Court. So, once again, we're waiting to see which (if any) big rulings are handed down.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Proposed Changes In Organ Donation Stir Debate

Hospitals and organ banks could get more leeway in decisions about donations.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:55 am

The nation's organ transplant network will consider a controversial proposal Monday to overhaul the guidelines for an increasingly common form of organ donation.

The board of directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing will open a two-day meeting at the organization's headquarters in Richmond, Va., to consider new guidelines for donation after cardiac death.

Donation after cardiac death involves removing organs minutes after life-support has been stopped for patients who still have at least some brain activity.

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Around the Nation
1:02 am
Mon June 24, 2013

In Chicago, Public Housing Experiment Enters New Phase

The last high rise at Chicago's Cabrini-Green public housing complex was demolished in 2011.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 10:25 am

The Chicago Housing Authority has torn down all of its high rises and says it's close to completing its plans to transform public housing. Now, city leaders are moving to the next part of their plan: using public housing funds not just to build homes for poor families, but stores where they could shop and work. Some residents, however, say the city is breaking a promise to provide affordable housing.

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Around the Nation
3:02 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

The 'Time Capsule' Of Mob Lingo At The Whitey Bulger Trial

The testimonies of James "Whitey" Bulger and his Winter Hill Gang cohort have been filled with well-preserved mob lingo.
Jane Flavell Collins ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:39 am

This week, we've been immersed in news about mobs both real and fictional, with the death of Sopranos star James Gandolfini and the continuing trial of James "Whitey" Bulger.

The Sopranos gave us a primer on mob language like "clipping" a "rat." But Bulger's Winter Hill Gang and his Boston Irish cohort were the real deal. Members of Bulger's old cohort came to the witness stand and used the real-life slang of their gang days.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Sun June 23, 2013

High-Wire Artist Nik Wallenda Walks Across Arizona Gorge

Daredevil Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz., on Sunday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:18 pm

Update at 10:03 p.m. ET

Nik Wallenda successfully walked the 1,500 feet across the Colorado River Gorge in Arizona on Sunday. The high-wire daredevil, famous for similar walks like the one he did at Niagara Falls, made the precarious trek live on television and without a net or safety line.

The walk took Wallenda 22 minutes of edging his way along the 2-inch-thick cable.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Federal Safety Officials To Investigate Ohio Air Show Crash

Wing walker Jane Wicker performs at the Vectren Air Show just before crashing on Saturday. She and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed.
Thanh V. Tran Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 10:19 am

Federal air safety officials say they will investigate the fiery crash of a stunt plane at an Ohio air show that killed the pilot and a wing walker.

Thousands of spectators at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton, Ohio, watched on Saturday as the biplane, with wing walker Jane Law Wicker, 46, and pilot Charlie Schwenker, 64, careened into the ground and exploded during a low-altitude maneuver. No one in the audience was hurt.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Vincent Yu Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 3:20 pm

(This story was last updated at 5:17 p.m. ET)

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor accused of leaking classified surveillance information, has asked Ecuador for asylum, the country's foreign minister says.

Snowden left Hong Kong earlier Sunday bound for a "third country," the government in the Asian hub said. He later landed in Moscow.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said:

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Education
5:37 am
Sun June 23, 2013

What Happens Without Affirmative Action: The Story Of UCLA

Students at the University of California, Los Angeles, rally in October to protest claims that race factored into the school's admission decisions.
Neil Bedi The Daily Bruin

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 11:10 am

The Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on a case that may shake up race-conscious admissions in higher education. The justices could change the shape of affirmative action or even strike it down altogether.

California is one of eight states that have already scrapped affirmative action. That means state schools can no longer consider the race of its applicants. At the University of California, Los Angeles, the change has been messy, ambiguous — and sometimes a little ugly.

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News
5:37 am
Sun June 23, 2013

A State Born Of Civil War

Lincoln Walks at Midnight stands outside the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va. The statue depicts President Abraham Lincoln contemplating the prospect of statehood for West Virginia.
Vicki Smith AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:19 am

One hundred and fifty years ago this week, West Virginia became the 35th state in the union.

Born in in 1863, the middle of the Civil War, the state was created by patriots who didn't want to join the Confederacy — no mean feat considering the political climate of the time.

Western Virginians were fed up with their eastern-dominated government, says Joe Geiger, director of the West Virginia State Archives. He says they also felt they didn't get fair funding for education and infrastructure.

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Code Switch
5:03 am
Sun June 23, 2013

More States Let Unauthorized Immigrants Take The Wheel

Immigrant advocates use an image of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on a mock state driver's license during a 2012 rally in Santa Fe, N.M., to protest her proposal to repeal a state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Russell Contreras AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 11:01 am

The national debate over immigration may be churning on in Washington, D.C., but there's one policy a growing number of states can agree on: driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Vermont, Connecticut and Colorado passed new laws this month allowing drivers without Social Security numbers to receive licenses or authorization cards. They join Nevada, Maryland and Oregon, whose governors signed similar laws in May. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn started the trend this year when he signed Senate Bill 957 in January.

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Health
4:28 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Ohio Family-Planning Services At Mercy Of Budget Bill

Family-planning clinics would be pushed down the list of health services receiving funding from the state if a budget bill moving through the Ohio Legislature is signed into law.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 4:53 pm

Working its way through the Ohio Legislature is a state budget bill that has major implications for the way family-planning services are provided. The Ohio budget contains language that puts family-planning clinics at the bottom of the list to receive funding.

Family Planning Association of Northeast Ohio operates several independent family-planning clinics. They do not provide abortions and have no affiliation with Planned Parenthood, but the clinics are still at the end of the line under a new tiered system because they give referrals.

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NPR Story
2:58 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Week In News: Spying, Weapons And Currency

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 4:18 pm

Host Jacki Lyden and The Atlantic's national correspondent James Fallows chat discuss the U.S. government's filing charges of espionage against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Also, President Obama talked nuclear weapons during a speech in Berlin, and Fallows explains the "Tobin Tax" and what it has to do with the stock market and you.

The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Stunt Plane Crashes At Air Show, Killing Pilot, Wing Walker

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 6:55 pm

A stunt biplane crashed and burst into flames at an air show in Dayton, Ohio, killing the pilot and a stunt wing walker, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for the Dayton International Airport, Linda Hughes, and Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston confirmed the deaths to The Associated Press.

The crash happened at around 12:45 p.m. at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton, the AP says. No spectators were injured.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Is This Dog Really That Ugly?

Walle, a beagle-basset mix, won the 25th annual World's Ugliest Dog competition in Petaluma, Calif., on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 2:41 pm

We don't mean to be offensive, but someone has to say it: Walle, a 4-year-old beagle-basset mix who was just crowned the 2013 World's Ugliest Dog, is just NOT that ugly.

In fact, Walle is downright cute.

There's something not quite right in Petaluma, Calif., where the annual competition is held. Genuinely ugly (and, in our opinion, totally deserving) Icky, Josie, Rascal and Mugly — all Chinese cresteds — were shut out.

Even a pug named Penny seems more deserving.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Judge In Zimmerman Trial Bars Audio Experts' Testimony

Judge Debra Nelson addresses concerns from the state and defense during a pretrial hearing on Friday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 1:01 pm

A judge in the murder trial of George Zimmerman has excluded testimony from two audio experts who've suggested that Trayvon Martin can be heard screaming on a 911 call moments before the unarmed teen was fatally shot.

Judge Debra Nelson issued the 12-page ruling on Saturday after hearing days of arguments on whether to allow the testimony.

The Associated Press says one expert ruled out Zimmerman as the screamer and another said it was Martin. Defense experts argued there was not enough audio to determine whom the screams are coming from.

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Science
6:28 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Tawny Crazy Ants Invade Southern States

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:59 am

Tawny crazy ants are invading ecosystems and homes in states including Texas and Florida, wiping out other ant species and overwhelming homeowners. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Texas A&M research scientist Robert Puckett, who says the ants are "ecological steamrollers" that reproduce so fast they are nearly impossible to get rid of.

News
6:28 am
Sat June 22, 2013

The Pioneer Of Parking Dies At 91

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, we're going to remember the man known as Mr. Valet. He pioneered valet parking in Los Angeles more than sixty years ago. He died this past week at the age of 93. NPR's Mandalit del Barco profiled Herb Citrin a few years ago, and we're going to hear a bit of her story right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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National Security
6:28 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Keeping Track Of The 'Security-Industrial Complex'

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Here in the United States, the NSA revelations are also prompting concerns about privacy as well as questions about the involvement of private companies in government spying. Robert O'Harrow, an investigative reporter with The Washington Post wrote in his 2005 book, "No Place to Hide", about what he calls the security industrial complex in this country. Mr. O'Harrow believes the NSA's dealings with private companies are much wider than what we've been told.

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National Security
6:28 am
Sat June 22, 2013

How To Keep Your Smartphone Secure

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

BILL SUPERNOR: I was in a business lounge at an airport in Newark. I look at my phone and I'm moving the buttons and it was definitely behaving a little strange, maybe it was a little slow. I ripped the back off the phone, I pulled the battery out. I mean, I got off the network quickly and I didn't turn the phone back on again until I was out of that airport.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
6:28 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Did IRS Targeting Harm Tea Party Groups?

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Congress continues its hearings into the IRS flagging of Tea Party groups that apply for tax-exempt status. What may have been overlooked is the fact that this status would have offered little practical benefit to most of the groups that were targeted.

Joining us now to help explain all this is NPR's S.V. Date who coordinates campaign finance coverage for NPR. Shirish, thanks very much for being with us.

SHIRISH DATE, BYLINE: You're quite welcome, Scott.

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Shots - Health News
3:14 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Political Fight Jeopardizes Medicaid In Mississippi

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, opposes Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Medicaid and controversy seem inseparable in many states lately. For the most part, the wrangling is about a new wrinkle in Medicaid — the expansion of the health program for the poor and disabled under Obamacare.

Mississippi, though, is raising the stakes. Democrats and Republicans in the state are in a fight, and the outcome could threaten the very existence of the entire Medicaid program there.

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It's All Politics
4:35 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Marco Rubio's Big Problem: Explaining His Immigration Shift

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is a member of the so-called Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group of lawmakers working on immigration reform.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 7:23 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio has a problem. He has transformed from conservative hero to suspect in the eyes of many on the political right because he now supports "a path to citizenship" for people unlawfully in the U.S. after forcefully opposing it in 2010 when he was running for U.S. Senate.

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Media
4:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Is It Ethical? Universities Pay Newspaper For Coverage

Copies of The Orange County Register slide through the presses. The Register is the country's 20th most-read daily, with a circulation of about 285,000.
Grant Slater KPCC

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 5:11 pm

This spring, readers of The Orange County Register in Southern California started seeing much more coverage of local universities. What they probably did not know is that the stories are paid for by the schools. Depending on whom you ask, it is either a smart way to bring in revenue, or a serious breach of journalism ethics.

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