Melissa Block talks to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. He's a co-sponsor of a bill which would require the government to reveal its collection of Verizon phone records and the PRISM Internet data-mining program.
Conventional wisdom holds that LeBron James of the Miami Heat is the best basketball player on the planet. But despite all that talent, he's had some struggles on the court, most notably now in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. James has failed to crack 20 points in any of the three games so far and at times he's looked indecisive against a very good Spurs defense.
As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, tonight's game is a moment of truth, as LeBron James and the Heat try to even the series.
Unmanned drones aren't just a tool for governments anymore. By as early as this year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects to propose regulations opening up the use of small, unmanned airborne vehicles — or drones — for commercial use.
Tens of thousands of these little, civilian drones are sold and piloted by hobbyists in the United States every year. Right now these drones are flown almost exclusively for non-commercial uses by enthusiast like Pablo Lema. Lema spends weekends flying his quardracopter around the San Francisco Bay.
Firearms manufacturers are pulling up stakes in at least two of the five states that enacted tough new guns laws following the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.
In the months after those shootings, governors in New York, Connecticut and Maryland signed broad new bans on assault weapons. Delaware passed a law requiring universal background checks. Colorado adopted background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that human genes cannot be patented, upending 30 years of patent awards granted by the U.S. Patent Office. The court's unanimous decision has enormous implications for the future of personalized medicine and in many ways is likely to shape the future of science and technology.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Today on Capitol Hill, the director of National Intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency and other intelligence officials briefed the Senate. They talked about the two surveillance programs that were leaked to the media recently.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans say they feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago, and they're overwhelmingly optimistic that the trend will continue. But a sweeping new Pew Research Center survey also finds persistent levels of stigmatization and secrecy in the community.
Finding the right treatment for depression can be a struggle. People find relief with the first treatment only 40 percent of the time. Trying different antidepressants or therapies can take months, which means months of suffering.
Scientists are trying to better the odds by searching for signals in the body or in behavior that could be signposts to the right treatment. Researchers at Emory University say that PET scans of the brain may help predict which people do better on SSRI antidepressants, and which would benefit most from cognitive behavioral therapy instead.
The good news is that "a massive storm system originally forecast to affect one in five Americans from Iowa to Maryland surged Thursday toward the Mid-Atlantic after largely failing to live up to its billing in ferocity through the Upper Midwest."
Months of claims and counterclaims come to a head in a hotel conference room in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, when the International Skating Union considers the deliberate sabotage of a speed skate involving an American Olympic medalist and, allegedly, his former coach.
The ISU's disciplinary commission is scheduled to hear testimony behind closed doors from Simon Cho, a Vancouver Olympic bronze medalist in short track speedskating, former American short track coach Jae Su Chun, and at least two witnesses.
With two weeks until the Massachusetts special Senate election, the obvious question is: Can Republicans pull off another stunning upset like they did three years ago?
Back then, in the very blue Bay State, Republican Scott Brown won the seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy's death by riding a Tea Party and anti-Obamacare wave amplified by voter distress over a sour economy.
Companies like Google and Facebook are very much caught in the middle of the current debate about national security and privacy. Press reports have said the companies are required to turn over huge amounts of customer data to government agencies like the National Security Agency, but the companies are often barred from saying anything publicly about the requests they receive.
The Arizona Legislature is debating whether to extend Medicaid to about 300,000 people in the state. The expansion is a requirement to get federal funding under the Affordable Care Act.
The big surprise is who has been leading the charge: Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. She's one of President Obama's staunchest critics and has confounded conservatives in her own party by supporting the expansion.
Google the words "Brewer" and "Obama." You'll get a now-famous image of Brewer wagging her finger at the president on the tarmac last year when she met him in Phoenix.
The National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship gets underway in Chicago Wednesday night, with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins facing off in the first game of the best-of-seven series. It's a classic matchup between two of the NHL's original six teams.
Both teams are recent champs, which is helping passionate hockey fans and players put the bitter labor dispute that almost iced the season behind them.
The National Weather Service warns of a massive storm system that will make its way eastward from Iowa to Maryland in the next 24 hours, as strong winds, thunderstorms, and hail are predicted to hit areas from the upper Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic beginning Wednesday and continuing Thursday.
In this City Life Snapshot from Dayton, Ohio, we meet Brian Young and Maureen Barry in a story of urban re-invention. Young and Barry gathered up 32 neighborhood investors to turn a 19th century grocery store that had fallen into disrepair into a local gathering spot: the Fifth Street Brew Pub Co-op. This story comes to us from Eric Risher and Lesley Fogle of ReInvention Stories, a project at member station WYSO.
One notable absence in the courtroom today, that of William Bulger, Whitey Bulger's brother. William was one of the most powerful politicians in the state for decades. And we're going to take a minute now to learn about the Bulger brothers' relationship. David Boeri has been tracking this saga for a long time. He's a senior reporter for our member station WBUR in Boston. Hey there, David.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
NPR is looking back on the summer of 1963, a boiling point in the nation's violent civil rights struggle. It was 50 years ago today, that civil rights leader Medgar Evers was killed by a white supremacist in Jackson, Mississippi. Today, he's being remembered in Mississippi's capital city.
And as NPR's Debbie Elliott reports, the anniversary highlights both progress made and work that remains.
It is no surprise that privacy advocates are deeply disturbed by the NSA's data collection. The ACLU has already sued the Obama administration. But the general public appears to feel less alarmed. One poll indicates a majority of Americans are comfortable with the NSA's surveillance. Still, many wonder what they can do to control their information. As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that is not easy.
President Obama has promised again to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. But since he delivered a major speech two weeks ago, there's been little follow-up and few signs that any detainees are closer to being released.
Tim Tebow, the polarizing quarterback everyone has come to know and love (or hate), found a new home this week in New England, when the Patriots signed him to a two-year, nonguaranteed contract, igniting yet another cycle of Tebowmania.