The investigation continues into the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Authorities are trying to learn more about the shooter, Aaron Alexis. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy even after displaying a pattern of misconduct that included incidents involving guns. And members of Congress are asking whether security at the Navy Yard was adequate.
A few years ago, Brown University commissioned a study of its own historical connection to the Atlantic slave trade. The report found that the Brown family â€” the wealthy Rhode Island merchants for whom the university was named â€” were "not major slave traders, but they were not strangers to the business either."
By 10 a.m. Tuesday, several hundred people had already gathered in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park to mark the second anniversary of the movement known as Occupy Wall Street.
With many people coming and going, heading for actions like a McDonald's protest or a march on Washington Square Park, it was difficult to assess actual numbers. Much like Occupy itself, groups changed and reformed all morning.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:45 pm
When William M. Daley â€” son and brother of famous Chicago mayors, former Obama White House chief of staff and all-around Democratic pooh-bah â€” was President Clinton's commerce secretary, he kept in his office a framed passage from Theodore Roosevelt's "Citizenship in a Republic" speech.
"It's not the critic who counts. ... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:17 pm
A gunman shoots up a military facility, kills a dozen people and puts a fair chunk of the nation's capital on lockdown.
The political response to Monday's massacre at the Navy Yard in Washington?
Measured, bordering on muted.
From the words of the president to those on both sides of the gun control debate, caution has been the rule, with even the sharpest partisans tending to hold their tongues in the hours still suffused with tragedy.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 1:43 pm
A school district in Southern California has hired a private firm to comb through the cyber lives of its 14,000 middle- and high-school students, looking for signs of trouble.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Glendale Unified School District is spending $40,000 to have the firm monitor social media use among the district's students. School officials want to know if the kids are posting suicidal thoughts, obscenities or comments intended to bully fellow students.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 11:31 am
When teenagers drink, it's all too often all out, downing five or more beers in a session. But some teenagers are drinking even more, a study finds, boosting the upper limits of binge drinking to 15 drinks or more.
In a poll of high school seniors, 20 percent said they'd had five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks. That's what health officials consider binge drinking.
But 10 percent said they'd had 10 or more drinks at a time, and 5.6 percent said they'd had 15 or more drinks.
And the shooter is known to have been, as we've just reported, a former Navy reservist. But DC's police chief did say yesterday that no active duty servicemembers were killed, no one in uniform. The dead included contractors and civilians, apparently. And to learn more now about those victims of yesterday's shooting, we turn to NPR's Hansi Lo Wang.
And what are you hearing from the people for whom this is a personal tragedy - that is, those who knew one or more of these victims?
A shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. killed 13 people including the shooter. By late Monday, authorities said they were convinced the shooting was the work of a lone gunman, and the lockdown around the area was eased.
The heavy rain has finally stopped in Colorado, but days of flooding have devastated the most populated region of the state, known as the Front Range. As of this morning, we know that eight people have died, though hundreds have not been heard from, some in very remote areas. Officials estimate 1,500 homes have been destroyed, and thousands more damaged. Grace Hood from member station KUMC reports federal aid is making its way into the state, even as crews assess the damage.
Police say the gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, died after a gun battle inside a building at the Navy Yard on Monday. He was a veteran with a history of gun-related incidents. His last known address was in Fort Worth, Texas.
Editor's note: After the crowning of Nina Davuluri as Miss America, we solicited this commentary from writer Anna John, one of the co-founders of the blog Sepia Mutiny. This post includes several embedded tweets that contain explicit language.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:04 am
Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old man believed responsible for Monday's shooting rampage that killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, was a former full-time Navy reservist who had obtained a concealed-carry permit in Texas and was arrested three years ago for illegally discharging a weapon.
From the standpoint of global warming, burning natural gas can be better than burning coal, a study published this week suggests.
This is a contentious issue among people who are opposed to the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking. That technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to release far more gas than conventional drilling can. Opponents of fracking have been concerned not only about local environmental issues, but also about the potential for methane leaks to make global warming worse.
The whole beauty of fantasy sports is that you can manage teams of pro athletes without ever leaving your couch. The process of drafting teams, betting on the success of individual players and trash-talking with your similarly obsessed friends takes place on Web and mobile platforms, and that makes the fantasy sports pastime about more than just bragging rights. It's become a billion-dollar business.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:46 pm
It's mostly the usual suspects on the latest Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans: Bill Gates tops the list for the 20th consecutive year, with a net worth of $72 billion, followed by investor Warren Buffett and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
The Koch brothers, Charles and David, tie for fourth place, while Walton family members with an interest in retail behemoth Wal-Mart occupy positions 6 through 9.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:39 pm
A decade ago, Atkins was undeniably the fad diet of the moment: Back then, nearly 10 percent of Americans said they were either on the low-carb weight-loss plan or had tried it.
But after Dr. Robert Atkins, its namesake and mastermind, died of a head injury in 2003, the brand went downhill fast. Nutritionists berated the plan for promoting saturated fats and cholesterol-rich foods. Sales of Atkins books and food products dropped precipitously. And Atkins Nutritionals filed for bankruptcy in 2005.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:35 pm
By taking his name out of consideration for the Federal Reserve chairmanship this weekend, Lawrence Summers became a metaphor for the difficulties President Obama has had in pursuing his economic agenda.
And the end of Summers, at least as Ben Bernanke's potential successor, signaled that the president's inability to get traction on his economic agenda is likely to get worse, not better. Now even lawmakers in his own party are willing to break with him on high-profile economic decisions.
In the past few years a wisp of a trend has emerged suggesting that the huge rise in obesity among children and teenagers may have peaked.
Here's one more bit of evidence: Teenagers are cutting back on sugary drinks, getting more exercise and watching less TV. But overall they're still pretty awesomely bad when it comes to healthful behaviors, a study finds.
We all knew the "wild child" in school, the one who couldn't sit still during story time, or raise her hand to speak in class. Elizabeth Weil has written a piece for the New Republic, asking if it's the child's fault, or the education system's. She talks with host Michel Martin.
It's been half a century since the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed. The blast killed four little girls and was a turning point in the civil rights movement. Host Michel Martin revisits that era with historian Taylor Branch.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:20 pm
Not long ago, we reported on a new University of Michigan study that found the more young people used Facebook, the worse they felt. According to the research, Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.
We will go to NPR's business news in a moment. Right now, let's get an update on what we do know about a shooting at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. today. We have to begin by being frank. What we do not know exceeds what we do. NPR's Jennifer Ludden is on the scene of that shooting today - or near it - and she's on line. And Jennifer, what have you been learning?
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:02 pm
This post was last updated at 6 p.m. ET.
Helicopters were back in the air on Monday over the 15 counties across Colorado's Front Range where historic flooding has killed at least seven people, left hundreds more stranded and unaccounted for, and forced nearly 12,000 to evacuate their homes.
In a news conference, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said 21 helicopters were conducting "search and rescue missions," and other teams were trying to assess the damage to transportation infrastructure.