U.S. News

The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Mississippi Man Indicted On Charges Of Mailing Ricin Poision

James Everett Dutschke has been indicted on five counts related to letters containing the poison ricin that were sent to President Obama and others.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 6:45 pm

James Everett Dutschke, the Mississippi man arrested in April on suspicions that he sent letters containing the poison ricin to President Obama and other officials, has been indicted on five federal charges, from sending threats in the mail to knowingly making and possessing "a biological agent... for use as a weapon."

Maximum punishments for the counts leveled against Dutschke, 41, range from five years to life in prison.

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It's All Politics
5:35 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

White House-Issa Fight: Nasty But Normal In Washington

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, is just doing what Congress does at times of divided government.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Anyone searching for the place where the friction between the Obama White House and congressional Republicans is throwing off the most angry sparks need look no further than the clashes between the administration and Rep. Darrell Issa.

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Shots - Health News
5:22 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Miss. Turns To 'Cord Blood' To Track Down Statutory Rapists

Gov. Phil Bryant, at the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Summit in Jackson, Miss., in 2012, supports a controversial effort to identify men who impregnate teen girls.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 6:43 am

Mississippi lawmakers have embarked on a controversial campaign to discourage older men from having sex with teenagers.

Starting in July, doctors and midwives in the state will be required by law to collect samples of umbilical cord blood from babies born to some girls under the age of 16. Officials will analyze the samples and try to identify the fathers through matches in the state's DNA database.

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Law
4:53 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Supreme Court Rules DNA Can Be Taken After Arrest

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case that looked at whether police could take DNA samples from people who had been arrested but not yet convicted of a crime.
Alex Brandon AP

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can routinely take DNA samples from people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime, and see if the DNA matches any samples from unsolved crimes in a national database.

The 5-to-4 decision split the court's conservative and liberal blocs, with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia authoring a fiery dissent. Twenty-eight states and the federal government have enacted laws that provide for automatic DNA testing of arrestees.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Bradley Manning Court-Martial Begins In WikiLeaks Case

The trial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, seen here last month, began Monday with prosecutors saying he delivered thousands of classified documents to America's enemies when he provided data to WikiLeaks.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 6:50 pm

Starkly different views of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning were presented Monday, the first day of his court-martial on charges that he aided the enemy when he gave a large batch of classified data to WikiLeaks that was then posted online.

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U.S.
3:09 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Calif. Firefighters Rush To Get Ahead Of Early Fire Season

The Summit Fire burned hot and fast up the Banning Pass area, near Beaumont, Calif., on May 1, leaving a moonscape in its wake. Houses that had cleared brush and wood from around their property were left unscathed.
Nathan Rott NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 2:39 pm

Fire season is off to an early start in the West. Across California, a hot and dry spring has fire crews on alert. Northeast of Los Angeles, thousands of firefighters are making progress toward controlling the so-called Powerhouse Fire, which has burned more than 30,000 acres and destroyed several homes.

And with no rain in sight, firefighters are out readying homes for a particularly bad year.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Wildfire North Of Los Angeles Is 40 Percent Contained Monday

Sparks fly from a burning hollowed tree in the area of the Powerhouse fire near Lake Hughes, Calif., Sunday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 7:11 pm

Firefighters were able to double containment of the huge Powerhouse wildfire north of Los Angeles to 40 percent Monday, as cooler weather helped them against the blaze that has scorched more than 45 square miles. No deaths have been reported as a result of the fire, which caused some 1,000 homes to be evacuated.

Update at 9 p.m. ET. Some Evacuations Lifted; Name Explained:

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Why Chase Tornadoes? To Save Lives, Not To 'Die Ourselves'

Friday's storm, which produced a mile-wide tornado, as it neared El Reno, Okla.
Richard Rowe Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:10 am

  • Josh Wurman on why scientists get close to tornadoes
  • Josh Wurman on how the community is reacting to three storm chasers' deaths

The deaths Friday of veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their friend Carl Young when a tornado near El Reno, Okla., pummeled their vehicle has raised some questions:

-- Why do storm chasers do what they do?

-- Do the benefits outweigh the dangers?

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It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Lautenberg's Death Sets Off New Jersey Senate Scramble

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died Monday at age 89. He had announced in February that he would not seek re-election in 2014.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:09 pm

The traditionally collegial U.S. Senate was never a natural fit for Frank Lautenberg, the wealthy New Jersey businessman whose headstrong, CEO style could rankle.

But the five-term senator, who died early Monday at age 89, managed to serve as a passionate and able advocate for a tight collection of causes, from gun control and public health to Israel and mass transit.

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The Salt
12:01 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Wal-Mart Pledges Fresher Produce By Cutting Out The Middleman

A shopper selects produce at a Wal-Mart in Deptford, N.J.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 2:02 pm

The nation's largest retailer announced Monday that it will be delivering produce from farms to stores faster by buying fruits and vegetables directly from growers.

The plan is to source about 80 percent of fresh produce directly, explained Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Wal-Mart U.S., during a conference call that we participated in Monday morning.

In many instances, Sinclair says it will be possible to "cut out the middleman," but he added that local wholesalers will continue to "play an important role for us in the areas we serve."

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Shots - Health News
11:03 am
Mon June 3, 2013

More Children Poisoned By Parents' Prescription Drugs

Popular prescription drugs like statins are causing more childhood poisonings.
Matt Rourke ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:25 am

Dad takes a cholesterol-lowering statin so he'll be around to see the kids grow up. But statins, like Lipitor and Zocor, as well as some other common adult prescription drugs are causing a rise in poisonings among children, a study says.

The big surprise is that children are at risk not just from opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, which most parents know need to be kept away from kids.

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Parenting
10:59 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Work/Life Balance: When The 'Kid Card' Gets Old

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Death Toll From Latest Oklahoma Tornado Rises Further

After the storm: Sheet metal that was torn off a building during Friday's tornado in El Reno, Okla., ended up caught in a tree.
Bill Waugh Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 6:58 pm

There are now reports that as many as 18 people died from injuries they received Friday when the latest in a weeks-long series of tornado-spawning storms tore through parts of Oklahoma.

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET. Death Toll Revised:

An update from Oklahoma's Department of Emergency Management Monday evening reports that 12 adults and 6 children died in Friday night's storms, NPR Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis tells us. Officials say that they haven't identified all of the victims. Our original post continues:

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Code Switch
1:36 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Barrier-Breaking Surfer's Legacy A Reminder Of Work To Do

Surfers surround a celebrant who pours libations and says prayers to honor the spirit of surfers past and present and to give thanks to the sea for providing sustenance and recreation.
Karen Grigsby Bates NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:31 pm

The Saturday morning fog was burning off above the part of Santa Monica's beach known as the Inkwell. It's the stretch of sand to which black Southern Californians were relegated by de facto segregation until the 1960s.

Men, women and children walked across the sand in wet suits, carrying surfboards. They're part of the Black Surfers Collective, which aims to get more people of color involved in surfing.

They had gathered to honor pioneer Nick Gabaldon, a legendary surfer who is remembered as the area's first documented board man of African-American and Mexican heritage.

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Law
1:35 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Intent To Harm At Center Of Bradley Manning's Trial

Protesters march during a rally in support of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning outside Fort Meade, Md., on Saturday. Manning, who is scheduled to face a court-martial beginning Monday, is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of classified records to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:23 am

In the three years since his arrest, Bradley Manning, the slight Army private first class with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses, has become less of a character than a cause.

"Bradley Manning is a very polarizing figure. People either think that he is a hero or they think he's a traitor," says Elizabeth Goitein, who co-directs the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "I actually think that he's somewhere in between."

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Shots - Health News
1:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

A Boston Family's Struggle With TB Reveals A Stubborn Foe

Michelle Williams (center) and two daughters visit the grave of her mother, Judy Williams, at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, Mass., on May 11. Judy died in 2011.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:10 am

Thanks to gold-standard tuberculosis treatment and prevention programs, cases of TB in the United States have declined every year for the past two decades — to the lowest level ever.

But TB's course through the Williams family in Boston shows that no nation can afford to relax its efforts to find, treat and prevent TB. It's just too sneaky and stubborn an adversary.

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Around the Nation
1:33 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Cash-Strapped Cities Struggle To Bury Their Unclaimed Dead

Detroit's finances are so tight that unclaimed bodies can wait months or years for a pauper's burial. To help, Perry Funeral Home in Detroit has been holding free memorial services and cut-rate burials for unclaimed remains for years, like this service in 2009.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:34 am

Shrinking government budgets are changing not only how people live, but also how some municipalities deal with death. In Detroit, funding is so tight that when a homeless person dies, it can take a year or more to receive even a simple pauper's burial.

I met T.C. Latham several years ago, panhandling in downtown Detroit. He was short with a scraggly beard, bent glasses missing one lens and, for the most part, on the good side of the police.

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Around the Nation
1:32 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Air Force Trains Special Lawyers For Sexual Assault Victims

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:23 am

Many victims of sexual assault in the military say only one experience comes close to the pain of the actual crime, and that's going to court to bring charges against the attacker.

This is believed to be one reason why so few victims come forward and report these crimes, and now the Air Force is hoping a new team of lawyers will help to change that.

At Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, a tall three-star general stands in front of a class of JAG officers — Air Force lawyers. He tells them they are pioneers in a new field, and then lays a heavy responsibility on them.

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Education
3:37 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Why Some Schools Want To Expel Suspensions

When Garfield High School in Los Angeles stopped suspending students for "willful defiance" several years ago. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to follow suit in all Los Angeles schools.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 10:12 pm

The effectiveness of school suspensions is up for debate. California is the most recent battleground, but a pattern of uneven application and negative outcomes is apparent across the country.

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Around the Nation
1:23 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Detroit Museum Not The First To Consider Selling Out

Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of Postman Roulin is part of the collection in the city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts. The financially troubled city of Detroit is eyeing the sale of its prized artworks.
aPic Getty Images

Detroit doesn't have to wait for Antiques Roadshow to come to town to know the city owns priceless treasures. The city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts holds works by van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir and other artists that could bring in tens of millions of dollars each.

And they just might sell. With the city more than $15 billion in debt, Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager trying to straighten out Detroit's finances, has asked the museum to inventory its works with an eye toward potentially selling them off.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Veteran Storm Chaser Among Those Killed In Oklahoma

Tornado chaser Tim Samaras shows the probes he uses when trying to collect data from a tornado. This photo was taken May 26, 2006, in Ames, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 12:46 pm

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Education
3:20 am
Sun June 2, 2013

If Employment Game Has Changed, Who's Teaching The Rules?

Students aren't getting the advice they need to be successful, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 11:31 am

It still pays to earn a college degree. That is, if you get the right one. Georgetown University published a report Wednesday that looked into this dilemma.

"The labor market demands more specialization. So, the game has changed," says Anthony Carnevale, the report's co-author and director of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce.

Carnevale says students probably aren't choosing the right degrees because they haven't been given the right guidance.

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
4:11 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

No 'Universal' Best Practice To Save Yourself From Tornadoes

A tornado forms over I-40 in Midwest City, Okla., during rush hour on Friday.
Alonzo Adams AP

Friday's tornadoes came less than two weeks after an F-5 tornado destroyed a large section of Moore, just south of Oklahoma City. Both episodes raise two sides of one question: When caught in a tornado's path, should you run or hide?

For Morning Edition the day after the powerful tornado on May 20, NPR's Wade Goodwyn spoke with Molly Edwards, who was covered in pink insulation and standing on the rubble of her home with her family.

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U.S.
3:45 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Bike-Sharing Programs Roll Into Cities Across The U.S.

New York this week became the latest major city to launch a bike-share program.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 7:28 pm

It's a good time to be a cyclist in America.

New York kicked off a new bike-sharing program this week, with Chicago and San Francisco both close behind. Those cities are expected to launch similar systems this summer.

The sharing programs are all check-in, check-out systems, with automated stations spread throughout a city, designed for point-to-point trips. "We try to encourage people to use it ... almost like a taxi," says Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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U.S.
1:52 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

American Tornado Preparedness Has History Of 'Bad Advice'

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Coming up, the strange history of tornado preparedness. Why exactly did they tell us to hide in the southwest corner of the basement? This is NPR News.

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Law
1:45 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Court Prepares To Write New Chapters In Civil Rights History

The Supreme Court is set to deliver opinions in cases involving affirmative action, the voting rights law and same-sex marriage.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:42 pm

It's not unusual for the Supreme Court to find itself at the center of roiling national debates.

But this month, justices are poised to deliver blockbuster opinions involving three of the most divisive issues in the public arena. And in doing so, they will write new and potentially groundbreaking chapters in America's civil rights story.

Affirmative action. Voting rights law. Same-sex marriage.

By June's end, Americans will know if and how public colleges and universities may administer programs designed to enroll more minority students.

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Around the Nation
4:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Many Agree Bridges Are Unsafe, But Few Agree On Fixes

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed last week.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 12:04 pm

As you head out for summer vacation, ponder this: There's a 1 in 9 chance that the bridge you're crossing has been deemed structurally deficient or basically in bad shape by the federal government.

The collapse of the I-5 bridge in Washington last week has once again raised questions about the state of the nation's infrastructure. But there is no consensus on how to tackle the problem or how to pay for proposed solutions.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Firefighters Killed In Houston Motel Blaze

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 4:53 pm

Four firefighters have been killed battling a five-alarm fire at a Houston motel. At least five others have been injured.

The Houston mayor's office confirmed the dead and injured after firefighters responded to the massive blaze at the Southwest Inn shortly after noon. The fire reportedly began at a restaurant and then "flames spread to the motel and were shooting from the roof before firefighters extinguished the blaze," The Associated Press reports.

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Around the Nation
4:33 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

In Ohio Town, Okla. Twister Conjures Echoes Of 1974 Disaster

In 1974, a young Xenia, Ohio, resident sweeps the slab of a house that was destroyed in a tornado that struck the town April 3.
AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

When a tornado roars into a populated area, the change is often drastic and deadly, and it happens within minutes. As the people of Oklahoma struggle to look beyond this month's devastating storms, residents of Xenia, Ohio, are reflecting on the tornado of 1974.

Xenia, in southwest Ohio near Dayton, became well-known to the nation that year. "Everywhere I go, and I've been all over the U.S., if I say I'm from Xenia people say, 'tornado,' " says Catherine Wilson, who runs the historical society in Xenia. She still gets a lot of questions about the twister.

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Shots - Health News
3:56 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Survivor Of Boston Marathon Bombings Has Long Road Ahead

Jen Regan strokes the head of her fiancée, Marc Fucarile, as he sleeps in his hospital bed at Massachusetts General Hospital. Fucarile was injured in the bombings at the Boston Marathon, and had to have his right leg amputated.
Bill Greene Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:41 am

Marc Fucarile reached a huge milestone this week: He was one of the last two Boston Marathon bombing survivors to be released from the hospital.

Fucarile spent 45 days in Massachusetts General Hospital, and he hopes someday to get back to work with a roofing company.

But first he will have to go through rehab. He lost his right leg, and his left leg was badly hurt. He also suffered head injuries.

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