U.S. News

Around the Nation
3:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

VA Still Under Pressure To Reduce Disability Claim Backlog

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

For years, the backlog of disability claims for veterans has been fodder for politicians, pundits and even comedians, like Jon Stewart.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")

JON STEWART: And paper disability records still undigitized and piled up so high that the floor of one VA field office is going to collapse.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Inside The Beef Industry's Battle Over Growth-Promotion Drugs

Beef cattle stand in a barn on the Larson Farms feedlot in Maple Park, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 2:39 pm

When the drug company Merck Animal Health announced plans to suspend sales of its Zilmax feed additive last week, many observers were shocked.

Yet concern about Zilmax and the class of growth-promotion drugs called beta agonists has been building for some time. In an interesting twist, the decisive pressure on Zilmax did not come from animal welfare groups or government regulators: It emerged from within the beef industry itself, and from academic experts who have long worked as consultants to the industry.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Secret Court: NSA Surveillance Program Was Unconstitutional

An image taken from the FISA court opinion released Wednesday. The document reveals instances in which the court saw the NSA overstepping in its surveillance efforts.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 6:53 am

A secret federal court found that the National Security Agency violated the civil rights of Americans when it collected thousands of emails and other digital messages between Americans, according to a 2011 opinion released Wednesday.

The FISA court ruled parts of the program to be unconstitutional and ordered them to be revised. The government made changes and the court signed off on the program in November of 2011.

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Animals
1:35 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Are Making A Tenuous Comeback

A puffin prepares to land with a bill full of fish on Eastern Egg Rock, off the Maine coast in July. Last year young puffins died at an alarming rate from starvation because of a shortage of herring.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:12 pm

Rocky, windswept Eastern Egg Rock, about 6 miles off the coast of Maine, was once a haven for a hugely diverse bird population. But in the 1800s, fishermen decimated the birds' ranks — for food and for feathers.

When ornithologist Stephen Kress first visited 40 years ago, the 7-acre island was nearly barren, with only grass and gulls left. Not a puffin in sight. Not even an old puffin bone.

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All Tech Considered
1:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Weekly Innovation: Hey, You're Taking Too Long In The Shower

The Uji shower head will be available for sale in early 2014. Its light turns from green to red as the shower progresses.
Courtesy of Brett Andler

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:16 am

This week's innovation pick is a shower head that reminds you you're taking too long. The Uji shower head gradually turns from green to red as users linger in the shower.

"It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers," said one of the co-inventors, Brett Andler. "By letting people become aware of how long they're in the shower, we've actually been able to cut shower time by 12 percent."

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Code Switch
12:23 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Summer Of '63: Old Lessons For A New Movement

Participants in the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride sit on a bus that will travel from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2003.
J. Emilio Flores Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

All this summer, NPR is looking back to civil rights activism of 1963, marking the 50th anniversary of a number of events that changed our society. From the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi to the March on Washington; NPR is remembering the past and examining how our society has changed.

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Shots - Health News
11:25 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Brushing And Flossing Could Cut Risk Of Oral HPV Infection

Oral HPV infections are on the rise. Brushing and flossing well wouldn't hurt.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:19 pm

The human papillomavirus is a big cause of mouth and throat cancers, and those cancers have been getting more and more common.

So researchers asked: Could brushing and flossing make a difference?

It looks like the answer is yes, at least when it comes to being infected with oral HPV.

People with poor oral health are more likely to have an oral HPV infection, according to research from the the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.

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Law
9:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Ad Dramatizes Trayvon Martin Shooting

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:52 am

The Trayvon Martin shooting is at the center of a new video that advocates changing gun policy. The internet video reenacts George Zimmerman's shooting of the unarmed Florida teen, and includes tape from the 9-1-1 calls that night.

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Around the Nation
9:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Lessons From Getting Shot

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
7:19 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Teen Girls' Yen For Indoor Tans Sparks Battle Over Risks

Almost one-third of white high school girls say they seek out indoor tans.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 9:50 am

Teenage girls remain big fans of tans.

So a report in JAMA Internal Medicine that found about a third of white high school girls indulge in indoor tans wasn't exactly startling. What was a bit startling was how the tanning industry responded, saying, in effect, that we should be worrying more about skin cancer in middle-aged men, not girls.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Not Funny: Clerk Critically Injured In Hasselhoff Sign Theft

One of the promotional images for Cumberland Farms' "Iced Hoffee."
Cumberland Farms' Facebook page

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:22 am

What's been a relatively amusing trend in New England — the theft in the past year of more than 550 advertising signs featuring actor David Hasselhoff — isn't funny anymore.

A clerk who works at a Cumberland Farms convenience store in Shelton, Conn., "remains in critical condition after falling while trying to stop an SUV from driving away with stolen David Hasselhoff signs," The Hartford Courant says.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

35-Year Sentence For Bradley Manning

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Md., on Tuesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:31 pm

Update at 10:18 a.m. ET. 35 Years:

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison Wednesday, according to reporters covering the trial at Fort Meade, Md. He'll get about 3 1/2 years' credit for time he's already spent behind bars.

More details (added at 10:30 a.m. ET):

-- Manning is also to be dishonorably discharged.

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Wed August 21, 2013

School Clerk In Georgia Persuaded Gunman To Lay Down Weapons

Laterrica Luther holds the hand of her 6-year-old nephew, Jaden Culpepper, as students from the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy arrive on buses to waiting loved ones in a Walmart parking lot in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday. A gunman had entered the students' school earlier in the day. No one was hurt.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 9:45 am

Tuesday's terrifying incident at an elementary school near Atlanta — in which a gunman with an assault rifle and other weapons entered the building — ended with no one being hurt after a school clerk apparently spent about an hour talking to the young man. She says she persuaded him to put down his gun and surrender.

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National Security
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Britain Tried To Stop NSA Material From Being Published

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Salt
1:05 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field

Eva Teague, 31, is trying to start her own pig farm in Colorado but is running into financial obstacles typical of many young farmers trying to break into the business.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:29 am

As the average age of the American farmer has crept up to 60, fewer young people are filling in the ranks behind them. That's prompted some to ask if young people even want to farm anymore.

The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don't want to farm in conventional ways.

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Sweetness And Light
1:05 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Tennis Fans: A Stadium Roof Is Coming. So Is Regis Philbin

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

The ugliest, most ill-conceived physical addition to sports scenery was the construction, a few years ago, of the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium at the U.S. Open. Typical U.S. supersize. We'll be bigger than everyone else, so there.

Alas, in the upper reaches of this charmless behemoth you need a GPS to find the players somewhere down there at sea level. Worse, should it rain, which it has a wont to do in New York, there are no players on the court and you get wet.

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Sports
1:04 am
Wed August 21, 2013

With An Urban Face-Lift, Vintage Bike Polo Picks Up Speed

Jacob Newborn takes a shot past Lodewijk Broekhuizen (left) during a bike polo practice session in Milwaukee.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:54 am

Several vintage sports have seen resurgence among young people lately: roller derby, kickball and even bocce ball. But one century-old sport hasn't just found new fans; it's getting an urban makeover.

Welcome to hardcourt bike polo. On a hot, sunny day in Roseville, Minn., the second day of the 2013 North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship is about to begin.

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Millennials and The Changing Car Culture
1:03 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Why Millennials Are Ditching Cars And Redefining Ownership

Zach Brown's preferred mode of transportation is his skateboard. Brown, 27, is an artist and actor who doesn't own a car.
Courtesy of Zach Brown

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:30 am

Part of a series of stories produced in collaboration with Youth Radio on the changing car culture in America.

You might think there's one place in America you absolutely need a car: Los Angeles. You'd be wrong.

"I have been in L.A. without a car for two years now," says Alyssa Rosenthal, a makeup artist.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
1:02 am
Wed August 21, 2013

At 1963 March, A Face In The Crowd Became A Poster Child

Edith Lee-Payne doesn't remember having her photo taken at the March on Washington. What she does remember about that day, she says, is being "glad to be standing with people who wanted to make things right."
Rowland Scherman

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:47 pm

For the month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream Speech" on Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capital from all over the country for the mass demonstration.

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Shots - Health News
5:05 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Golden Arches: Human Feet More Flexible Than We Thought

The healthy human foot's outer arch may be more flexible than previously thought.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:22 am

The notion that sport shoes and inserts should keep the human arch stiffly supported is a decades-old assumption that could use some rethinking, according to a British gait analyst who has closely studied more than 25,000 footsteps of healthy people.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Wildfire Forces Kick Into Highest Gear

The 2013 wildfire season hit a milestone Tuesday: Preparedness Level 5, an officious way of saying resources are stretched thin and it could quickly get worse.

Preparedness Level 5 is the highest on the national wildfire preparedness scale, which the National Interagency Fire Center uses to chart wildfire activity, the deployment and availability of firefighters and equipment and the likelihood that more big fires are coming.

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It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

A Defense For Ted Cruz: Founders Weren't U.S. Born Either

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 10.
Justin Hayworth AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 3:54 pm

If Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) really wanted to put some positive spin on his birth in Canada, he could point out that none of the first seven presidents were born in the United States either.

Of course, that was because the U.S. didn't exist when presidents from George Washington through Andrew Jackson were born. They were all technically British subjects at birth. Martin Van Buren, born in 1782 in Kinderhook, N.Y., was the first president actually born in the U.S.

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Law
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

With Pot Legal In Washington, Will Buyers Stay Underground?

Seattle law enforcement's mellow attitude toward pot was on display at this year's annual Hempfest, where the cops were at the gate — handing out bags of Doritos.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 7:25 pm

In Washington state, regulators are putting the finishing touches on rules for the new state-sanctioned recreational marijuana market. And the man hired to help shape those rules is raising a warning to local law enforcement: toughen up on the black market.

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Animals
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

More Seals Means More Great White Sharks In Cape Cod

Great white sharks are becoming a more common sight along the East Coast. Beach closures are not unusual along Cape Cod, but most beach-goers are taking the new threat in stride.

Law
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Prosecution Rests In Court Martial Of Maj. Nidal Hasan

The prosecution has wrapped up its case against the former psychiatrist accused of opening fire at Fort Hood, killing 13 people. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is representing himself, will present his case beginning tomorrow.

Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Crews Battling Massive Idaho Fire Settle In For A Long Fight

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Fire managers in Idaho say they may be turning the corner on a massive wildfire near the resort towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley. The Beaver Creek fire has caused more than 11-and-a-half million dollars and forced mandatory evacuations of more than 2,000 homes. Sadie Babits of Boise State Public Radio reports.

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Education
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

What's Behind The Turnaround At Miami Public Schools?

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For years, Miami-Dade County Public Schools faced problems common to many urban schools: low attendance, high dropout rates, poor grades. But since 2008, Alberto Carvalho has been in charge of the nation's fourth largest school district, and there've been some noticeable improvements in Miami schools. More students are graduating, fewer are dropping out, test scores are up and the district's budget crisis has faded.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez has this profile of the man some call a miracle worker.

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Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Calls Continue For San Diego Mayor To Step Down

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

San Diego's embattled mayor Bob Filner has wrapped up a second day of closed-door mediation to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. Meanwhile, the debate continues among the city's voters about what should happen to the mayor. NPR's Nathan Rott reports while many want to see Filner resign, others are pleading for patience.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

More College Students Rely On Federal Aid, Study Says

For the first time, a majority of students got federal help to attend college, according to a new U.S. survey. Here, people walk on the Columbia University campus in July.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The percentage of U.S. undergrads who rely on the federal government for financial aid soared above 50 percent in the most recent survey from the National Center for Education Statistics. The data show that for the first time, a majority of students got federal help.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports for our Newscast unit:

"The new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that from 2007 to 2011, the percentage of undergraduate students who depend on federal loans and grants jumped from 47 percent to 57 percent.

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All Tech Considered
2:43 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

How Vine Settled On 6 Seconds

About a year since launching, Vine says it has more than 40 million registered users.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 6:53 pm

Six seconds isn't a lot of time. If you were to read this sentence out loud, by the time you finished, six seconds would be up. But the brevity of Vine, the app that lets users make and share six-second video clips, has attracted 40 million registered users since its January 2013 launch.

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