U.S. News

Sports
10:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

A Dangerous 'Ritual': Chewing Tobacco In Baseball

Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn's death has revived conversations about the use of smokeless tobacco in the sport. Tobacco and baseball researcher Ted Eaves discusses why so many players use it.

Faith Matters
10:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Baptist Preacher: Compel Congregants, Don't 'Guilt' Them

Pastor Amy Butler will take the helm of New York City's progressive Riverside Church later this year. She discusses her desire to become a faith leader and explains her vision.

NPR Ed
9:08 am
Fri June 20, 2014

The Politics Of The Common Core

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announces his plan to remove Louisiana from tests associated with the Common Core.
Melinda Deslatte AP

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday that he wants to cut ties with the Common Core State Standards, the benchmarks in reading and math that he helped bring to the state four years ago, and replace them with new, Louisiana-specific standards.

"We won't let the federal government take over Louisiana's education standards," Jindal said in a statement. "We're very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators."

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

CDC Says Dozens Of Workers Could Have Been Exposed To Anthrax

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says that as many as 75 of its workers may have been accidentally exposed to live anthrax bacteria this month because of a safety problem at one of its labs.

Member station WABE's Michell Eloy reports from Atlanta that the CDC says the possible exposure "occurred after researchers at a high-security lab failed to follow the correct procedure to deactivate the bacteria."

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans' Top Leadership Gets A Red-State Member

Newly elected House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana (left) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speak to the media following the House Republican leadership elections on Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:09 pm

House Republicans, whose voter strength can be disproportionately found in the red states of the South and Mountain West, have once again elected a majority leader from a state that voted twice for President Obama. But the race for majority whip was won by a red-state representative who made the case for regional diversity in Republican leadership.

Hailing from California, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy replaces Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, whose surprising primary loss to a political newcomer set the stage for Thursday's leadership elections.

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Arts & Life
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Never Tell Them The Odds: Cities Vie To Host 'Star Wars' Collection

While cities are still competing for the not yet built Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, parts of the collection are already on display. The "Star Wars Identities" traveling exhibition, currently at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis, France, features 200 objects from George Lucas' collection — including the costumes of Chewbacca, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

A short time ago, in a city not far away, Star Wars creator George Lucas decided to build a museum to house his movie memorabilia and his art collection.

There's just one looming question: Where should it go?

Lucas says he'll spend $300 million of his own money to build the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum and will provide a $400 million endowment after his death. In addition to holding Skywalker artifacts galore, the museum would also host Lucas' private art collection, featuring works by Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth, among others.

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Law
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

From Supreme Court, Firm Support For Employee In Retaliation Case

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:20 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that public employees cannot be fired in retaliation for testifying truthfully on matters of public corruption or public concern. The unanimous decision came in the case of Edward Lane, who was fired after he testified that an Alabama state legislator was a no-show employee being paid by the taxpayers for no work.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

NTSB: Truck Driver Who Hit Tracy Morgan's Limousine Was Speeding

Truck driver Kevin Roper attends his first appearance at the Middlesex County Courthouse, last Wednesday. Roper pleaded not guilty in the fatal New Jersey Turnpike crash that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan.
John O'Boyle AP

The driver of a semitrailer that hit a limousine carrying comedian Tracy Morgan, seriously injuring him and killing a fellow passenger, was speeding moments before the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report.

NTSB says Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper was going 65 mph in a 45 mph construction zone just before the June 7 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. The crash killed 62-year-old James McNair of Peekskill, N.Y.

The NTSB says:

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

House GOP Picks McCarthy For Majority Leader; Scalise Gets Whip

Kevin McCarthy of Calif. arrives with his GOP House allies for leadership elections on Thursday. McCarthy won his bid to replace outgoing Rep. Eric Cantor as the party's majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:14 pm

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

Calif. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been chosen by House Republicans to be their next majority leader, taking the place of Rep. Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning primary upset earlier this month. Louisiana's Rep. Steve Scalise has been selected to fill the majority whip post left vacant by McCarthy's promotion.

McCarthy defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative with close ties to the Tea Party, in a secret ballot for the position.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

New York Passes Bill To Outlaw Tattooing Pets

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:56 pm

If you live in New York, you might want to cancel that appointment to get your dog tattooed: On Wednesday, a bill prohibiting pet tattooing passed the state Legislature. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to ink it.

The soon-to-be-law, which gained bipartisan support and was endorsed by the Humane Society of New York, prohibits "unnecessary body modification" of animals but includes an exemption for piercings or tattoos for the purpose of medical identification.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Accused Of Illegal Fundraising

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks in Milwaukee in May. Newly released documents show prosecutors are alleging Walker was at the center of a nationwide "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate with outside conservative groups.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:28 pm

Prosecutors believe that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups in violation of state law.

The Associated Press reports that "documents were filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the probe by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth. They were ordered publicly released Thursday by a federal appeals court judge after prosecutors and the Wisconsin Club for Growth did not object."

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama: U.S. Forces Won't Return To Combat In Iraq Crisis

President Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House Thursday. Obama said the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq — but that U.S. forces won't engage in combat with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:56 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help it cope with the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has won several key battles in recent days.

Obama said Americans won't be taking up combat roles in the conflict — and he said the U.S. won't take actions "that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another."

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Shots - Health News
11:33 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Want Your Kids To Ace School? Good Motor Skills May Help

The cross country team may do more for your child's grades than the math tutor.
Robert Brown iStockphoto

There's no lack of evidence that children are getting fatter and weaker. And children who are obese or out of shape tend to do worse in school. But scientists are just starting to figure out just what it is in that mix that makes the difference with academics.

It looks like just being strong isn't the secret. Children and teens who did well on a hand-grip test and on a standing long jump did less well in school than peers who tested well on cardiovascular fitness and motor ability, according to a study of about 2,000 people in Spain. And motor ability mattered the most.

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Race
10:13 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Using Google Earth To Document Slave History

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today is Juneteenth. It's a celebration commemorating the end of slavery and dates back to 1865. Around the country, some towns are celebrating with festivals and events. In Asheville, North Carolina, an effort is being made to do more in remembering the city's slave history. A team of archaeologists is using technology to map gravesites in a cemetery that served the black community in that city for generations. Joining me to talk more about the project is Jeff Keith. He's a professor at Warren Wilson College. Welcome to the program.

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Sports
10:13 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Fumbled Patent: Is It Just A Matter Of Business?

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
1:01 am
Thu June 19, 2014

U.S. Plan To House Immigrant Kids In Tiny Va. Town Rattles Residents

St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Va., closed last year, but recently struck a deal to lease campus buildings to the federal government. The rent would allow the college to remain open — though not for education — and would provide funds to cut grass, staff guards, issue transcripts and allow the college to find a buyer.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:15 am

The influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children to the U.S. has sparked a controversy in an unlikely place far from the U.S.-Mexico border: a tiny town in southern Virginia.

The federal government had struck a deal to house some of the migrants in an empty college in Lawrenceville, in the heart of Virginia's tobacco belt. The first busload was expected as early as Thursday, but a local backlash has put the plan on hold.

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Code Switch
12:59 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Still Learning From The 'Pearl Harbor' Of The Civil Rights Movement

Civil rights activists gather outside Mount Zion Church in Philadelphia, Miss., on Sunday to honor the murdered civil rights workers. From left: Bob Moses, Dave Dennis, Rita Schwerner Bender, Leroy Clemons, Myrlie Evers-Williams and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:37 am

This weekend marks 50 years since three young civil rights workers went missing in Philadelphia, Miss., drawing the nation's attention to the brutal resistance to equal rights in the South at the time.

Justice came slowly, but the murders did help spur change. Today, young people are still learning about the activists' legacy, hoping to inspire further action.

Attack At The Church

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The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

3rd Inmate Executed After April's Botched Lethal Injection

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement photo of John Ruthell Henry, who was executed by lethal injection Wednesday evening.
AP

John Ruthell Henry has received a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, becoming the third inmate to be put to death since the botched execution of an Oklahoma prisoner in April set off a flurry of legal challenges.

The Florida governor's office says Henry, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:43 p.m. ET after a last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was turned down.

He was convicted of fatally stabbing his wife, Suzanne Henry, and her 5-year-old son in 1985.

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Onetime Auschwitz Guard Arrested In Philadelphia On German Warrant

The Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I in Poland, circa 1945. Writing over the gate reads "Arbeit macht frei" (Work Sets You Free). Johann Breyer has admitted to working as a guard at the camp but says he only supervised work parties outside the gates.
Uncredited AP

An 89-year-old man accused of aiding and abetting the killing of 216,000 Jews as a Nazi camp guard at the concentration camp located in Auschwitz, Poland, during World War II, has been arrested in Philadelphia.

Johann "Hans" Breyer, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1952, was arrested by U.S. authorities Tuesday night. He is being held without bail.

The Associated Press says:

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U.S.
5:05 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Grappling With Gangs, Salt Lake City Turns To Racketeering Laws

Members of the FBI Evidence Response Team enter the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City in April after a U.S. marshal shot Siale Angilau, who authorities say was a member of the city's Tongan Crip Gang. Angilau was on trial for racketeering charges when he rushed the witness stand with a pen.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:05 am

When it comes to gang activity, most people picture cities like Los Angeles and Newark. But gangs are a problem in unexpected places, too — like Salt Lake City, where law enforcement officials are using federal racketeering charges to try to bring them down.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Iraq's Meltdown Troubles U.S. Political Waters

Before talking about the situation in Iraq, President Obama bantered with (from left to right) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:25 pm

Iraq has a long history of roiling American politics. And that doesn't appear about to change anytime soon.

With the Shiite-led Iraqi government losing control of large parts of its country to the Sunni extremist group known as ISIS, the question of who lost Iraq is starting to reverberate through Washington the way "who lost Vietnam" and "who lost China" did in earlier eras.

That all of this is happening during a midterm election stirs even more politics into the mix than if the current violence and ISIS inroads had occurred last year.

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NPR News Investigations
3:59 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

National Data Confirm Cases Of Restraint And Seclusion In Public Schools

Carson Luke, 13, was injured when he was restrained at a school in Virginia when he was 10 years old.
Sarah Tilotta/NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:52 am

The practice of secluding or restraining children when they get agitated has long been a controversial practice in public schools. Now, new data show that it's more common than previously understood, happening at least 267,000 times in a recent school year.

NPR worked with reporters from the investigative journalism group ProPublica, who compiled data from the U.S. Department of Education to come up with one of the clearest looks at the practice of seclusion and restraint.

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Law
3:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Michigan's High Court Limits The Fees Billed To Defendants

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Michigan's top court, today, moved to put limits on what local governments can charge defendants who go through the court system. The court ruled in a case we told you about last month of a man who got billed more than a thousand dollars for his court costs. NPR's Joseph Shapiro, who reported the series of stories we called Guilty And Charged, has this update.

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Economy
2:22 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Sluggish Housing Market A Product Of Millions Of 'Missing Households'

NPR Census Bureau

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

A year ago, the housing market looked like it was finally recovering. Sales and prices were picking up. But then home sales fizzled. Currently, they are down about 7 percent from last spring.

A big part of why housing remains so stunted is that there are more than 2 million "missing households" in the U.S. That's how economists describe the fact that fewer people are striking out on their own to find places to live.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Fed Slows Pace Of Bond Buying, Keeps Rates Steady — For Now

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, on Wednesday. The Fed announced that it was cutting back on bond buying and would leave short-term rates unchanged.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:03 pm

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve said today it will further curtail its bond purchases because of an improving U.S. job market, but it offered no hint as to when it might start raising short-term interest rates.

A statement from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee said:

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Law
12:31 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

When Unaccompanied Children Cross The Border, Judges Can't Always Help

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 12:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
12:31 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Watch Out For Bridezilla: Avoiding A Wedding Etiquette Blunder

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 12:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now. It's wedding season. You might be invited to a wedding or two or three. Yesterday we talked about how engaged couples should start talking about money before the wedding, so if you'd like to catch up on that conversation, go to npr.org.

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Sports
12:31 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

What Does Body Ink Say About NBA Players' Pain And Personalities?

Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets has cartoons all over his legs.
Jack Dempsey AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 12:55 pm

Ethan Swan, who runs an art gallery in downtown Los Angeles, believes that "so much of art is about the creation of meaning through image." He also believes that "tattoos are a great way to mark pain."

So Swan is naturally interested in how body ink plays out for others. It's become what he admits is a quest.

As the founder of the blog NBA Tattoos, Swan tells NPR's Michel Martin that in 2010, he got a new cable package and started watching a lot of basketball.

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Shots - Health News
11:17 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Kids In Juvenile Detention Face Risk Of Violent Death As Adults

Girls who were arrested and detained were at particular risk for premature death in adulthood.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:24 am

Delinquent children are much more likely than their nondelinquent peers to die violently later in life, a study finds. And girls who ended up in juvenile detention were especially vulnerable, dying at nearly five times the rate of the general population.

"This was astonishing," says Linda Teplin, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's medical school and the lead author of the study.

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Parallels
10:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

What's Next For Iraq?

A woman and a girl wash at a camp in Kalak set up for those fleeing the fighting in northern Iraq. The escalating conflict has sent shock waves across the region and is further destabilizing the Middle East.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:40 pm

This post was updated at 9:40 p.m. ET to reflect the Obama administration's pressure on the Iraqi government.

A week ago, it would have been difficult to find anyone in the U.S. arguing for renewed U.S. military action in Iraq. Now there's a furious debate about what the U.S. should, or shouldn't, do in the latest Iraqi crisis.

The drama seemed to erupt out of nowhere as Islamist extremists captured Mosul, one of the country's largest and most important cities, and kept pushing south toward the capital Baghdad.

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