U.S. News

Law
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Tough Arizona Sheriff Gets Judicial Reprimand

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A federal judge in Arizona has ruled against the man who calls himself America's toughest sheriff. The judge ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has used racial profiling to enforce the state's tough immigration laws. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has maintained that his department has the authority to round up undocumented immigrants. NPR's Ted Robbins has been following the case and joins us now. Ted, thanks for being with us.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: You're welcome.

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Politics
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

IRS Hearings Highlight Ambiguity Of Nonprofits In Politics

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. In the two weeks since the Internal Revenue Service scandal erupted, the acting commissioner has been ousted, the head of the relevant section has been put on administrative leave. The Justice Department has begun investigating the scrutiny given to conservative groups that sought tax exempt status and three congressional committees have held hearings bombarding IRS officials with questions.

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Please, No More Clothes': Relief Groups Ask For Cash

Relief agencies like the American Red Cross say monetary donations give them the greatest flexibility to address victims' needs.
Erik Lesser EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 2:38 pm

The tornado that devastated much of Moore, Okla., has drawn loads of donations from across the country: food, clothing, medical supplies, toys. Much of it is needed by the victims, but not everything.

After every disaster, relief groups usually ask for one thing: money. But writing a check or texting a donation isn't always that satisfying for those who want so desperately to help.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Toronto Mayor: 'I Do Not Use Crack Cocaine'

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at a city council meeting on Tuesday.
Nathan Denette Associated Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he doesn't smoke crack cocaine and isn't an addict, in response to a video that surfaced recently purporting to show him using the illegal drug.

Last week Ford called the cellphone video obtained by The Toronto Star "ridiculous" and blamed the newspaper for "going after me."

Friday's comments from Ford were more emphatic.

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Code Switch
4:43 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

History Makes Hiring Household Help A Complex Choice

Actress Marla Gibbs (as maid Florence Johnston) and actor Sherman Hemsley (as her boss, George Jefferson), appear in an episode of The Jeffersons.
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 4:39 pm

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It's All Politics
4:39 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Obama's Terror Fight Is Colored Gray, Not Black And White

Protests like this one in 2010 in Pakistan in part led President Obama to recalibrate when U.S. officials will order drone strikes, as part of a nuanced policy.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 5:15 pm

It's difficult for an American president to govern through nuance, especially when it's necessary to persuade a majority of the people that certain actions are essential for national security. And effective persuasion usually requires clarity.

That's how you arrive at President George W. Bush's stark formulation "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists" after Sept. 11, and much of what sprang from it.

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
4:03 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Tornado Safe Rooms In Schools A Popular, But Costly Idea

Many school safe rooms, like this one inside Jeffries Elementary in Springfield, Mo., also serve as gymnasiums. Constructed with a $1.6 million grant from FEMA, which covered 75 percent of the cost, the shelter can hold more than 500 people — enough to accommodate all the school's students and employees.
Scott Harvey KSMU

In the days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., talk of constructing safe rooms in public schools has become commonplace.

In southwest Missouri, officials have built a few of them already, and they are seeking funding to build more.

'A Sense Of Peace'

Karina O'Connell is preparing dinner tonight under the pavilion at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield, Mo., where she's eating with her 9-year-old twin sons, Samuel and John Patrick.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

New York City Hopes Bikesharing Will Make Streets Safer

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

Citi Bike, the country's largest urban bike-sharing system, will soon be rolling in New York City after almost a year of delays. The idea has worked elsewhere, including Paris, Washington, D.C., and Montreal. But critics wonder if it's safe to add tens of thousands of new cyclists to the crowded streets of New York.

Economy
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Housing Market Recovers Though Economy Lags Behind

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

Robert Siegel talks with Adam Davidson from Planet Money team about this week's cluster of positive data on the health of the U.S. housing market. Davidson says the strength of the housing sector is now irrefutable, even though a broader economic recovery is still years away.

Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Moore, Okla., Homes Lacked Improvements After 1999 Tornadoes

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

Melissa Block talks with Timothy Marshall, a civil engineer and meteorologist who has been tracking tornado damage in Moore, Okla., over the past 15 years.

Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Battered Jersey Shore Pins Recovery Hopes On Summer Season

Construction workers work to rebuild the boardwalk in Seaside Heights in anticipation of Memorial Day weekend.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 10:37 am

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer travel season, and it's particularly important for the resort communities along the Jersey Shore still suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

In the popular tourist spot Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., it has taken seven months and more than $1 million to make repairs along Jenkinson's Boardwalk.

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National Security
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Obama: Sexual Assault Has No Place In The Military

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

President Obama delivered the commencement address at Annapolis on Friday, challenging the U.S. Naval Academy graduates to help redefine national defense in the 21st century.

Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Thousands Of Insurance Adjusters Descend On Moore, Okla.

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

In Oklahoma on Friday, state emergency officials said Monday's tornado destroyed 1,150 homes. An unknown number of structures were damaged. The state has registered more than 1,800 insurance adjusters.

The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

'Four Little Girls' Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

The Congressional Gold Medal has been posthumously awarded to four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. President Obama signed the legislation Friday, as (from left) Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr. Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Terri Sewell, and relatives of Denise McNair and Carole Robertson look on.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 3:59 pm

They were just little girls when they were killed in 1963, in what came to be known as the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. And now Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, nearly 50 years after the attack in Birmingham, Ala.

President Obama signed the legislation Friday to award the girls — all of them 14, except for McNair, who was 11 — with the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Ex-Guatemalan President Extradited To U.S.

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo speaks with journalists in Guatemala City before boarding a plane for the U.S. on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo has been extradited to the United States, where he faces charges of laundering tens of millions of dollars through U.S. banks.

Portillo, who served as president from 2000 to 2004, was snatched from a hospital bed in Guatemala City, where he was recovering from liver surgery. He was placed on an airplane bound for New York, according to his lawyer, Mauricio Berreondo.

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Shots - Health News
1:21 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Heart Failure Treatment Improves, But Death Rate Remains High

Heart with congestive heart failure showing an enlarged left ventricle.
Brian Evans Science Source

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 2:31 pm

This is one of those "good news, but" medical stories.

New treatments for heart failure have made it much less likely that people with this chronic condition will die suddenly.

But an analysis by researchers at UCLA finds that the death rate for people with advanced heart failure remains stubbornly high, with 30 percent of people dying within three years.

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NPR Story
9:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Tracking Killer Tornadoes

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
6:01 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Tornado's Survival Rate 'Not Just Luck,' Meteorologist Says

Marc Austin monitors radar and issues warnings at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla., on Thursday.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 7:58 am

Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla., killed 24 people and caused an estimated $2.2 billion worth of damage. As the community reflects on what happened, one question is: How did so many manage to survive such devastating destruction?

Lifelong Oklahoman Kristi Freeman has seen her share of tornadoes, but she says the twister that tore through her neighborhood Monday was something else.

"This tornado was like a monster. It was like something that was alive. It destroyed your peace, your comfort," she says.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Tornado In Moore, Okla.: Friday's Developments

Rita Green carried a plastic bin of items as she helped a family friend salvage things from a home Thursday in Moore, Okla.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 8:19 am

As the residents of Moore, Okla., and surrounding communities continue to recover from Monday's devastating tornado that killed at least 24 people and injured more than 375, we're keeping an eye on the news from there:

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Fri May 24, 2013

'White Flash And Cold Water' After Bridge Collapse In Wash.

The scene near Mount Vernon, Wash., on Thursday after part of an Interstate 5 bridge collapsed into the Skagit River.
Dan Levine EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 3:39 pm

(Most recent update: 5:35 p.m. ET.)

Miracle is the word that comes to Dan Sligh's mind after he and his wife, Sally, survived a plunge off a highway bridge in Washington state on Thursday evening.

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StoryCorps
12:46 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Military Moms: A Bond Borne From Shared Loss

Sally Edwards (left), 80, and Lue Hutchinson, 71, visited StoryCorps in Cincinnati. Their sons, Jack Edwards and Tom Butts, are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:22 am

In 1991, Kentucky residents Sally Edwards and Lue Hutchinson had sons serving in the Gulf War. Sally's son, Jack, was a Marine captain. Lue's son, Tom Butts, was a staff sergeant in the Army. The two men never knew each other, but today, their mothers are best friends.

Both soldiers were killed in February of 1991. Jack was 34. "They were the cover for a medical mission. The helicopter lost its top rotor blade, and they didn't make it back," Sally says.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts Vote To Admit Openly Gay Members

Members of Scouts for Equality hold a rally to support inclusion for gays in the Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:35 pm

The Boy Scouts of America has agreed for the first time to allow openly gay boys as members, but a vote of the organization's National Council left in place a ban on gay Scout leaders.

The Associated Press reports that of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal. The policy change approved by the 1,400-member National Council would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the organization said.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Head Of IRS Tax-Exempt Division Reportedly Placed On Leave

Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:03 pm

Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversees the branch of the agency that targeted conservative groups, has been placed on administrative leave a day after she refused to answer questions in a congressional probe of the scandal.

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Srinivasan's Confirmation First For D.C. Circuit In 7 Years

Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on April 10.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

For the first time in seven years, the U.S. Senate has confirmed a judge to sit on the important federal appeals court for the District of Columbia. The Senate unanimously confirmed Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan on Thursday for the seat previously held by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

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Shots - Health News
4:27 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Why You Have To Scratch That Itch

The origin of itch has confounded scientists for decades.
Oktay Ortakcioglu iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:20 am

Everybody itches. Sometimes itch serves as a useful warning signal — there's a bug on your back! But sometimes itch arises for no apparent reason, and can be a torment.

Think of the itchy skin disorder eczema, or the constant itching caused by some cancers. "A very high percentage of people who're on dialysis for chronic kidney disease develop severe itch that's very difficult to manage," says Dr. Ethan Lerner, an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.

Scientists now say they've got a much better clue as to how itch happens.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Alabama Republican Jo Bonner Says He's Leaving Congress

Rep. Jo Bonner in July 2010.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:51 pm

Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., says he will leave Congress effective in August to take a senior position at the University of Alabama.

Bonner, who has represented Alabama's 1st District for six terms since 2003, will become vice chancellor of government relations and economic development at Alabama. His sister, Judy Bonner, serves as president of the university.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Black Caucus Leader: We Disagree With Presidents, Even Obama

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, says her group fears an immigration overhaul that greatly expands high-tech visas could have an adverse impact on blacks aspiring to such jobs.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:20 pm

During his time as the first black president in the White House, President Obama has occasionally been criticized by a group he once belonged to as a U.S. senator — the Congressional Black Caucus — for not doing more to ameliorate the difficult lives of many African-Americans.

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Law
3:23 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Justice Sotomayor Takes Swing At Famed Baseball Case

Sotomayor is escorted onto the field by New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the New York Yankees game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 26, 2009.
Bill Kostroun AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:39 pm

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's wicked, waggish sense of humor — and knowledge of baseball — were on full display Wednesday, when she presided over a re-enactment of Flood v. Kuhn, the 1972 case that unsuccessfully challenged baseball's antitrust exemption.

The event, put on by the Supreme Court Historical Society, took place in the court chamber, and as Sotomayor took her place at the center of the bench, normally the chief justice's chair, she remarked puckishly, "This is the first time I've sat here. It feels pretty good."

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National Security
2:56 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Breaking Down Obama's New Blueprint For Fighting Terrorism

At the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday, President Obama outlined plans to limit the use of U.S. drone strikes, and pledged to shut down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Larry Downing Reuters/Landov

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. search for a coherent counterterrorism strategy has revolved around three basic questions:

1. How do we locate suspected terrorists?

2. Once located, how do we go after them?

3. If captured, what do we do with them?

In a major speech at the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday, President Obama addressed all three questions that have been the source of shifting policies and fierce national debates for over a decade.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

For Second Time, Moore Family Loses Home To A Tornado

An aerial photo shows destroyed houses in Moore, Okla., after Monday's tornado. Rena and Paul Phillips, who lost their home in the storm, also lost a house to a tornado in 1999.
Steve Gooch AP

The tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., Monday destroyed some 12,000 homes, according to Oklahoma City Police. And for one family, it was the second house they've lost to a tornado in the past 14 years. Rena and Paul Phillips say that the recent loss won't make them move.

The Phillipses told their story to Rachel Hubbard of Oklahoma member station KOSU, who reports on how they're coping with the loss — and the search for belongings in the rubble of their home — for Thursday's All Things Considered.

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