U.S. News

Energy
1:01 am
Wed August 14, 2013

10 Years After The Blackout, How Has The Power Grid Changed?

The sun sets over the Manhattan skyline during a major power outage affecting a large part of the Northeastern United States and Canada on Aug. 14, 2003. Ten years later, some improvements have been made to the grid to prevent another large-scale blackout.
Robert Giroux Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 10:58 am

Ten years ago, a sagging power line hit a tree near Cleveland, tripping some circuit breakers. To compensate, power was rerouted to a nearby line, which began to overheat and sink down into another tree, tripping another circuit. The resulting cascade created a massive blackout in the Northeast U.S., affecting power in eight states and part of Canada.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
12:59 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Determined To Reach 1963 March, Teen Used Thumb And Feet

Robert Avery has been a councilman in his hometown of Gadsden, Ala., for almost three decades. As a teen, he and two friends hitchhiked to the nation's capital, where they made signs for the March on Washington.
Erica Yoon NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:48 am

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 capitol from all over the country for the mass demonstration.

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Business
3:28 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

DOJ Suit Seen Delaying, Not Killing Big Airline Merger

A United Airlines jet takes off behind a US Airways jet at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The government's decision Tuesday to oppose the merger of US Airways and American Airlines stunned airline analysts, but many predicted the deal eventually will win go through.

"Given that other airline mergers were approved, this was a surprise," University of Richmond transportation economist George Hoffer said. Other major carriers already have been allowed to combine forces, so "it's illogical to oppose this merger. This move comes a day late and a dollar short," he said.

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U.S.
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Red Cross For Rover: Inside America's Canine Blood Banks

At Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank in Purcellville, Va., dog holder Diane Garcia snuggles with one-year-old Doberman Leon as phlebotomist Rebecca Pearce taps his jugular vein to start the blood draw. Leon's "mom," Carrie Smalser, feeds him peanut butter, to keep him happily distracted and calm.
Christopher Connelly NPR

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:55 pm

America is facing a blood shortage — a shortage of dog blood. Whether Fido tangles with a car and loses, or Barky contracts a blood-damaging disease, dogs — like their people — sometimes need transfusions. And while there's no centralized Red Cross for Rover, there are a few commercial canine blood banks across the country, and many veterinary schools do their own blood banking.

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Chipotle Is Keeping Its Meat Antibiotic-Free After All

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:26 pm

For a few hours Tuesday, it appeared that Chipotle Mexican Grill, an ever expanding source of fast food for the ethically conscious consumer, had softened its hard line against antibiotics in meat production.

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Law
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Brand New N.C. Voter ID Law Already Facing Challenges

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Voting rights advocates are focusing their sights on North Carolina. The ACLU and the NAACP filed lawsuits challenging the state's new voting rules just minutes after Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill into law yesterday.

Dave DeWitt of North Carolina Public Radio reports the new law does more than merely require voters to show an ID at the polls.

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Business
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

DOJ Tries To Block Airline Merger With Antitrust Suit

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:31 pm

The proposed merger of U.S. Airways and American Airlines ran into major turbulence on Tuesday as the Justice Department and six state attorneys general filed an antitrust suit aimed at blocking the deal. Justice Department officials said the merger would eliminate competition and put consumers at risk of higher prices.

Around the Nation
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

19th Century Virginia Tunnel A Relic Of American Ingenuity

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Virginia, there is a cold, damp relic of American ingenuity called the Crozet Tunnel. It was built in the 1850s for the Blue Ridge railroad. For a time, it was the longest tunnel in America, nearly a mile long, under Afton Mountain. Well, today, it's abandoned. But for years, local officials wanted to turn it into a walking path. Well, now it looks like that'll happen.

Reporter Eric Mennel visited the tunnel before it's a change.

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Business
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Some Consumers Push Back Against 'Smart' Utility Meters

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:31 pm

Power companies all over the country are in the process of replacing old residential meters with new digital smart ones. These meters transmit real time data back to the utilities, giving a precise picture of how much electricity customers are using and when. Audie Cornish talks to Severin Borenstein — director of the University of California Energy Institute — about the technology.

U.S.
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Walking Back The Largest U.S. Power Blackout, 10 Years Later

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Ten years ago tomorrow, a sagging electrical line outside of Cleveland touched some overgrown tree limbs. That seemingly minor event triggered a chain reaction and a massive power outage. The blackout affected some 50 million people in eight states and Canada. From member station WCPN, David C. Barnett reports on the biggest power blackout in U.S. history and some of the changes that it prompted.

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Business
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Lawmakers, Banking Regulators Take On Bitcoin

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:39 pm

The New York Department of Financial Services has issued subpoenas to several companies using the virtual currency Bitcoin for more information on how they do business. Audie Cornish talks to Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, about the complications of regulating digital money.

Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Medical Discount Plan In Nevada Skips Insurers

Mounting medical debt and struggles with insurers led Shelley Toreson to drop her health insurance. She now pays discounted rates upfront for her medical needs.
Pauline Bartolone Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 2:19 pm

Shelley Toreson, who lives near Reno, Nev., had health insurance for years — but not anymore. Instead, she is part of an unusual Nevada nonprofit that helps connect 12,000 uninsured residents to doctors and hospitals that are willing to accept a lower, negotiated fee for their services.

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Health Care
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Obama Delays Implementing Another Part Of Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:31 pm

The Obama administration has delayed implementation of another part of Affordable Care Act — this time, it's the rules aimed at limiting out-of-pocket costs for patients.

Parenting
11:54 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Child Safety: Stranger Danger Warning Needs Updating

'Stranger Danger' used to be the mantra parents taught their kids to keep them safe. But now we're learning that strangers aren't the main problem - children are usually harmed by people they already know. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks child safety with a roundtable of experts and parents.

Around the Nation
11:51 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Why Not Take That Marriage Out For A Test Ride?

With so many marriages ending in divorce today, some people wonder if the legal definition of marriage needs updating. One lawyer, Paul Rampell, says maybe it's time to consider 'leasing' your marriage - with the option to renew. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to Rampell about his idea.

Law
11:51 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Stop-And-Frisk: 'I Remember Feeling Helpless'

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 11:49 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now we want to hear from one of the plaintiffs in the New York's stop-and-frisk lawsuit. Nicholas Peart is a lifelong resident of Harlem. He told his story to StoryCorp, that's the national project that records interviews between families and friends across the nation. More than once, he was stopped by police and patted down. One of the first incidents occurred seven years ago while he was out celebrating his 18th birthday, and he talked about that night in his own words.

(SOUNDBITE OF STORYCORP INTERVIEW)

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Law
11:51 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Stop-And-Frisk: Smart Policing Or Violation Of Rights?

A federal judge says New York City's stop-and-frisk policies have violated the rights of thousands of people. Guest Host Celeste Headlee discusses the ruling with Scott Burns of the National District Attorneys Association and criminal justice professor Delores Jones-Brown.

Code Switch
6:28 am
Tue August 13, 2013

How Would You Kill The N-Word?

In 2007, the NAACP held a mock burial for the N-word to symbolize its campaign to stamp out the word's usage. But it's proved to be a hardy foe.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:10 am

We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology or just because it has an interesting story.

NOTE TO READERS: This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now

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U.S.
1:01 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Of Bison, Birth Control And An Island Off Southern Calif.

Bison have been roaming the Santa Catalina Island since the 1920s. At one time they numbered more than 600.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:59 am

In an open-aired Jeep, it's a bone-jarring ride into Santa Catalina Island's vast interior. The dirt road winds and climbs, twists and turns, climbing 2,000 feet up.

From there, the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean comes back into view, and if you squint, you can see downtown Los Angeles 30 miles off on the horizon.

Some days, you can also see wild bison.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Veteran And Service Dog Told To Leave N.J. Boardwalk

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:38 pm

A 19-year Army veteran was given a summons and told to leave the oceanside boardwalk in North Wildwood, N.J., Thursday, after a police officer refused to accept the presence of the veteran's service dog. Jared Goering says it was the first vacation for him and his wife, Sally, in years.

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Education
3:27 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Ala. School District Cancels Bus Service, Igniting Controversy

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

For many communities around the country, the yellow school bus is the quintessential sign that school is in session. Well, one school district is taking its buses off the roads. Citing the need to cut costs, district officials in Hoover, Alabama are canceling school bus service starting one year from now.

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Law
3:08 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

'Whitey' Bulger Found Guilty On 31 Of 32 Counts

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:03 pm

A Boston jury has found James "Whitey" Bulger guilty of 11 murders, racketeering, extortion and other mob-related crimes. Bulger, who was the subject of a worldwide manhunt for more than a decade before being captured in 2011, likely faces life in prison. Audie Cornish speaks with WBUR's David Boeri.

Law
3:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

NYPD's 'Stop-And-Frisk' Deemed Unconstitutional

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:03 pm

A federal judge in New York City ruled that the police department has been violating the civil rights of tens of thousands of minority New Yorkers with its practice of warrantless searches, better known as "stop-and-frisk." It's a rebuke for city officials have defended the tactic as an important crime-fighting tool. Judge Shira Scheindlin is appointing a federal monitor to oversee reforms at the department.

Law
3:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Holder Proposes Reducing Minimum Sentences For Drug Offenses

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:03 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder outlined federal steps to cut long prison sentences for some drug offenders. In a speech before the American Bar Association, Holder said the change is necessary to curb growing incarceration costs and to make the justice system more fair.

Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Waging A 'No Parking' War Along Malibu's Beaches

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:03 pm

A trip to Malibu is the perfect getaway during your summer vacation. But good luck finding a place to park. Some Malibu residents place fake "No Parking" signs along the coast to keep tourists off of public beaches. And it's not just a problem in Malibu. A bill in the California Legislature would allow the state's Coastal Commission to start cracking down on the 600 backlogged public access violations along the coast.

Media
3:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

NPR, Ombudsman Differ On S. Dakota Indian Foster Care Series

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 5:14 am

After an extensive investigation lasting well over a year, NPR's ombudsman has concluded the network's series on South Dakota's efforts to put Native American children in foster care was fundamentally flawed.

The network and the ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos, who is paid to critique NPR's news coverage, have split sharply over his findings.

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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Firefighting's First Female General Makes Order Out Of Chaos

Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, a Type 1 incident commander, addresses the media in the then-evacuated town of Idyllwild, as the Mountain Fire grows closer. Pincha-Tulley has a reputation for being frank and direct with the media and public. "For the next two days," she said, "the fire is going to put embers right over this town."
Nate Rott NPR

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 5:55 pm

A line of dirty fire engines rumbles off of Southern California's Pine to Palms Highway into an open field, trailing a cloud of brown dust. The drivers' faces are smudged with black soot.

Across the road, helicopters land to fill with water and fuel before whacking their way back up through the smoky sky. The scenic San Jacinto Mountains behind them are bare and black, burnt clean of tree and bush. Puffs of gray smoke rise like faint ghosts.

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Code Switch
2:26 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Medgar Evers' Son Honors Civil Rights Icon In His Own Way

After Medgar Evers was murdered, his wife, Myrlie Evers, carried on his work. This photo shows Myrlie Evers and her children, Van, 9; Darrell, 16; and Rena, 14, in June 1969 in their Claremont, Calif., home.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:06 pm

James Van Dyke Evers was only 3 when his father, Medgar, was assassinated in the driveway of the family's home in Jackson, Miss., in June 1963.

A sniper shot Medgar Evers in the back as he returned from a meeting late at night. Tensions had been running high because Evers, the first field secretary for the NAACP, was making headway in pushing the state's black citizens to register to vote. White Mississippians who had lived comfortably under segregation could feel the ground shifting beneath them — and they didn't like it.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

'Ocean's 16' Powerball Winners Claim Share Of Jackpot

The winners of the Aug. 7 Powerball jackpot pose with a check for their share of the $448 million grand prize.
Sam Fromkin New Jersey Lottery

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:19 pm

The 16 women and men who won more than $86 million in last week's Powerball drawing validated their ticket and posed with a gigantic check Monday. The group, which calls itself "Ocean's 16," famously worked at the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department the day after they learned they would become millionaires.

"Lottery officials say each will get about $3.8 million after taxes," the AP reports.

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On Aging
10:25 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Are We Ready For A Massive Aging Population?

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 10:40 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. We turn now to the future of aging in America. By the year 2050, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. That's according to the U.S. Census. And when we talk about getting older, most of us think about, what? Saving for retirement, Medicare, Social Security.

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