U.S. News

National Security
10:13 am
Thu June 20, 2013

At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide

Soldiers approach armored vehicles after a training exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas, in January.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 4:42 pm

Suicide killed more American troops last year than combat in Afghanistan, and that is likely to be the case again this year.

According to the Pentagon, there were at least 349 confirmed suicides in 2012, compared with 310 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan in the same period.

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Movies
1:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Translated Into Navajo, Star Wars Will Be

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:44 am

When Dave Nezzie met his future wife, Amanda, they quickly fell in love over a galaxy far, far away.

"I think that was one of the first things that bonded Dave and I together, was our love for Star Wars," says Amanda Nezzie. "Our children have also caught the Star Wars bug."

The family lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and one of the biggest struggles they've had living off the reservation is teaching Dave's native Navajo language to their kids.

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All Tech Considered
12:57 am
Thu June 20, 2013

In More Cities, A Camera On Every Corner, Park And Sidewalk

Micaela Torres and 2-year-old Jakai Johnson swing underneath a surveillance camera at Miwok Park in Elk Grove, Calif. The city's police department collects more than 100 video feeds from across the city.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

This report is part of the series NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century.

Surveillance cameras, and the sophisticated software packages that go with them, have become big business. Many small- and medium-sized cities across American are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cameras and software to watch their residents.

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It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Capitol Hill's Partisan And Racial Divide Cast In Bronze

Vice President Biden joined congressional leaders at the Capitol Hill dedication ceremony for a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Carolyn Kaster AP

A 7-foot-tall statue of famed, lion-maned abolitionist Frederick Douglass that was dedicated Wednesday on Capitol Hill is perhaps best understood as a bronze symbol of the partisan divide in Washington and of racial politics.

The ex-slave, who later became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, was a federal official and an important journalist of his day. It took years for a statue of him to land a spot because it became a proxy in the fight over voting rights and statehood for Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Federal Agents Accuse Two Of Plotting Deadly X-Ray Weapon

Two men in upstate New York have been arrested for planning to build a "radiation particle weapon" that could be mounted on a vehicle and used to target people, according to a report by the Albany Times-Union Wednesday. The men allegedly planned to sell the device to either the Ku Klux Klan or Jewish groups.

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Economy
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Federal Reserve To Continue Bond-Buying Program

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

We begin this hour with a financial forecast from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He said today the economy is doing slightly better. And if the Fed's forecast holds, it will likely begin tapering off its economic stimulus later this year. By the middle of next year, the stimulus program could end, as NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

A Dry Reservation Clashes With Its Liquor Store Neighbors

Oglala Lakota activist Debra White Plume (left), tribal president Bryan Brewer (center) and other protesters create a blockade to prevent trucks from delivering beer to a liquor store in Whiteclay, Neb. The town, which borders the Pine Ridge Reservation, has been the site of recurring protests over alcohol.
Charles Michael Ray/SDPB

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

At the Pine Ridge Reservation just outside the town of Whiteclay, Neb., an upside-down American flag flies on a wooden pole next to a teepee. About 60 people gathered here Monday to protest as beer truck drivers unloaded cases into a Whiteclay liquor store a few hundred yards away.

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

To Rebuild NYC's Beaches, A Native Plant Savings And Loan

Heather Liljengren, a field taxonomist with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, examines the seed pods of the Virginia spiderwort at Oakwood Beach, Staten Island. Liljengren collects seeds from across the region for a seed bank of native plants.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Across the New York region, people are still working to rebuild homes and businesses after the havoc wrought by Hurricane Sandy. But the storm also devastated the dunes and native flora of New York's beaches.

When the city replants grasses on those dunes, it will be able to draw on seeds from precisely the grasses that used to thrive there. That's because of a very special kind of bank: a seed bank run by the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island.

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Europe
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Obama Evokes Cold War In Speech At Berlin's Brandenburg Gate

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. In front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate today, President Obama stood, as he said, along the fault line where a city was divided. In a speech on the former path of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Obama said that while the barbed wire and checkpoints are gone from the city, the struggle for freedom and prosperity continues in many other parts of the world.

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Democratic Bill Would Limit Government's Digital Surveillance

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) about the legislation he is co-sponsoring with Sen. Ron Wyden, to limit the federal government's ability to collect data on Americans without links to terrorism or espionage.

The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Snowden Reportedly In 'Informal' Asylum Talks With Iceland

Edward Snowden, the man commonly called "the NSA leaker" for his role in publishing documents that exposed a secret U.S. surveillance program, would reportedly not receive special treatment from the United Nations if he applies for asylum. The AP says Snowden is in "informal talks" with Iceland about applying for asylum there.

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Shots - Health News
2:36 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Infections From Contaminated Injections Can Lurk Undetected

Spinal MRIs similar to these found infections that many patients hadn't realized they had.
Stefano Raffini iStockphoto.com

People who think they didn't get sick from a nationwide meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections used to treat back pain may want to think again.

Doctors at hospitals in Michigan did MRI scans of people who had been given tainted injections but didn't report symptoms of meningitis afterwards.

About 20 percent of the 172 people tested had suspicious-looking MRIs, and 17 ended up needing surgery to treat fungal infections in or around the spine.

The patients had gotten steroid injections about three months before the MRI, in mid to late 2012.

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It's All Politics
1:50 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Nina Totenberg Answers Your Supreme Court Questions

This artist rendering shows Supreme Court Justices (from left) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan in 2012.
Dana Verkouteren AP

With the Supreme Court expected to hand down big decisions this month — including rulings on voting rights, affirmative action and

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Around the Nation
1:46 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

After A Marine's Suicide, A Family Recalls Missed Red Flags

have created a shrine to Nick in their dining room." href="/post/after-marines-suicide-family-recalls-missed-red-flags" class="noexit lightbox">
Anna holds the flag that was draped over Nick's coffin at his memorial service. She and her husband, Michael, have created a shrine to Nick in their dining room.
Courtesy of Long Haul Productions

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Last year, more U.S. service members took their own lives than died in combat. And despite the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, the pullout in Iraq, and hundreds of new programs designed to help troubled servicemen and women, the number of suicides continues to rise.

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Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Vaccine Against HPV Has Cut Infections In Teenage Girls

A 13-year-old girl gets an HPV vaccination from Judith Schaechter, a pediatrician at the University of Miami, in 2011.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

A vaccine against human papillomavirus — the most common sexually transmitted infection and the cause of almost all cervical cancer — is dramatically reducing the prevalence of HPV in teenage girls.

The first vaccine against HPV, Merck's Gardasil, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006. Cerverix, from GlaxoSmithKline, was approved in 2009.

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Race
10:02 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Hair Touching Is A No-No

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee. This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll talk to the CEO of a six-figure company who launched a hair business when she was nine. But first, can I touch your hair? It's a question many black women say they're often asked. And sometimes people don't ask, they just reach out and grab it. It's a familiar topic here on TELL ME MORE, but a recent project in New York has started the conversation again.

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History
10:02 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Exhibit Explores U.S. History of 'Rights' Versus 'Privileges'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll glimpse into the mind of a sociopath. We'll hear from an author who says she is a sociopath, but your assumptions about people like her might be completely off-base. That's in a few minutes.

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Business
1:21 am
Wed June 19, 2013

U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady

A worker installs parts on a Chrysler SUV engine at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Plants in the U.S. are now operating above 90 percent capacity, but automakers are wary of adding large numbers of new workers.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?

"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."

So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Google Files First-Amendment Request With FISA Court

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:17 am

Google has filed a legal motion asserting its "First Amendment right to publish aggregate information about FISA orders," asking the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to remove the gag order that keeps the company from issuing that information. Google and other big U.S. tech companies have been under fire after it was reported that they allowed the National Security Agency to mine customer data, in a government program called PRISM.

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It's All Politics
4:50 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Boehner Seeks To Reassure House GOP On Immigration

House Speaker John Boehner is getting flak from fellow Republicans over immigration legislation.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 8:29 pm

Faced with the threat of mutiny for what seems like the umpteenth time during his speakership, John Boehner moved to mollify fellow Republicans on Tuesday, saying immigration legislation would need the support of a majority of the House GOP before it could be brought to a floor vote.

After emerging from a meeting with House Republicans, following days of warnings by conservatives that the Ohio Republican had better not try to pass an immigration bill with mostly Democratic votes, Boehner sought to calm the roiling Republican waters.

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Education
4:42 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Home-Schooled Students Fight To Play On Public School Teams

Advocates of allowing home-schooled students to play on public school teams have dubbed legislation allowing it "Tim Tebow bills," after the former NFL quarterback who was home-schooled in Florida.
Stephen Brashear AP

Legislative battles are being fought around the country over whether or not to let home-schooled students play on public high school teams.

Roughly half of U.S. states have passed laws making them eligible to play on the teams. Advocates have dubbed them "Tim Tebow bills," after the NFL quarterback who was home-schooled when he played on a high school team.

But an attempt by Indiana to find a middle ground may not have solved the problem in that state.

Somewhere In The Middle

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

A Field Guide To Jimmy Hoffa Searches

Law enforcement officials search an area in Oakland Township, Mich., on Tuesday for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. The former Teamsters president was last seen at a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975.
Carlos Osorio AP

The mystery of Jimmy Hoffa's final resting place was opened yet again Monday, when the FBI began digging up a field near Detroit in the hopes of finding the former Teamsters president, who was last seen on July 30, 1975.

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History
4:18 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

A Look Back At How Newspapers Covered The Civil Rights Movement

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 4:07 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Perk Backlash: Do Surprise Upgrades Make Us Uneasy?

A new study finds that while "receiving unearned preferential treatment does generate positive reactions, it is not always an entirely pleasurable experience." Examples include getting a free upgrade on a hotel room.
iStockphoto.com

Whether it's a free upgrade on a hotel room or skipping ahead in the check-in line, many businesses give preferential treatment to some customers, hoping to make them more loyal. The practice often works — but a new study suggests that when we get perks we didn't earn, negative feelings can result. And they can make a surprise deal a little less sweet.

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Shots - Health News
3:06 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Patients Lead The Way As Medicine Grapples With Apps

How many calories in that bite? My Fitness Pal and other fitness and nutrition apps can help find the answer.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 8:39 pm

Christine Porter is hooked on the MyFitnessPal app. In October, after deciding to lose 50 pounds, Porter started typing in everything she eats, drinks and any exercise she gets.

"This is my main page here," says Porter. "It's telling me I have about 1,200 calories remaining for the day. When I want to record something I just click the 'add to diary' button. I'm on it all day either through my phone or through the computer."

She says she's lost 42 pounds in nine months.

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It's All Politics
2:58 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Obama's Unplanned NSA Discussion

President Obama listens to French President Francois Hollande during the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

You have to wonder if President Obama ever thought, when he first ran for the White House, that he would need to defend himself from accusations his presidency would be a mere extension of his Republican predecessor.

But there he was with journalist Charlie Rose having to explain why his approach to national security wasn't really like that of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

'Days Of Rambo Are Over': Pentagon Details Women's Move To Combat

Women in the U.S. military will be integrated into front-line combat units by 2016, the Pentagon says. Here, female Marine recruits stand in formation during pugil stick training in boot camp earlier this year at Parris Island, S.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Women in America's armed services will have new options for what units they can join in coming years, the Pentagon says. The military said in January that it will end its combat exclusion that set a minimum size for units in which women could be deployed; the limit kept many women away from front-line combat units. The shift means women could join elite forces such as the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.

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Shots - Health News
1:08 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

FDA Backs Off On Regulation Of Fecal Transplants

Bad bug: The bacterium Clostridium difficile kills 14,000 people in the United States each year.
Janice Carr CDC/dapd

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:34 am

Federal regulators are dropping plans to tightly control a procedure that is becoming increasingly popular for treating people stricken by life-threatening infections of the digestive system.

The Food and Drug Administration says the agency will exercise enforcement discretion and no longer require doctors to get the agency's approval before using "fecal microbiota for transplantation."

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Shots - Health News
11:00 am
Tue June 18, 2013

How To Make Museums More Inviting For Kids With Autism

Dylan Murphy, 3, plays with a swan at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. It was his first trip to a museum that didn't overwhelm him.
Courtesy of Noelle Murphy

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:33 am

Last January, Noelle Murphy and her family were on their way to the Please Touch Museum for children in Philadelphia. Right before they arrived, 3-year-old Dylan had an accident.

"He wet himself," Murphy said, "And we were thinking, 'Oh no, how are we going to deal with this?' "

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Education
9:58 am
Tue June 18, 2013

New Report Finds Many Teachers Aren't Ready To Teach

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. If you are a parent, you might be breathing a sigh of relief or already tearing your hair out trying to find things for the kids to do. Yes, it's that time. It's summer. One thing you'll probably want them to do, though, is keep reading. So our moms roundtable will pass on some of their tried and true methods for getting even reluctant readers to keep reading through the summer. That's coming up later in the program.

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