It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Spring is here. And just as temperatures begin to creep up, so do the bugs - all matter of creepy crawlies. Among the noisiest and, for my money, most repulsive...
(SOUNDBITE OF CICADAS)
MICHAEL RAUPP: My name is Michael J. Raupp. I'm professor of entomology and the bug guy here at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Republican, watches the chamber's electronic tally board as it approves a sweeping anti-abortion bill Friday at the Statehouse in Topeka. At left is Majority Leader Jene Vickrey.
Lawmakers in Kansas passed an extensive anti-abortion measure Friday night, which Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign into law. The bill declares that life begins "at fertilization," prohibits abortions related to the baby's sex and blocks tax breaks for health care providers that perform abortions.
The House passed the bill 90-30, hours after the Senate approved it 28-10.
Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 11:52 am
Guns and America were born around the same time and grew up together. Like feuding cousins, their histories have been linked ever since.
Often helpful in American history — and often harmful — the portable gun has been inarguably influential in the national direction. The American Revolution would not have been won without guns. Precious lives at numerous school shootings would not have been lost without guns. And somewhere in between those two truisms lies the truth about what Americans really feel about firearms.
A federal judge ordered Friday what women's groups have failed to accomplish politically for a dozen years. He ruled that Plan B, the most commonly used morning-after birth control pill, be sold without a prescription or other restrictions to women of all ages.
The nation's capital has been undergoing something of a building boom. Dozens of construction cranes dot the Washington, D.C., skyline.
So it comes as no surprise that the federal government is hoping to take advantage of the real estate values and unload what's seen by many as an eyesore on Pennsylvania Avenue: the J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI.
California's economy is a study in contrasts. The state's unemployment rate — 9.8 percent — is tied with Rhode Island for the highest in the country. Parts of the state are still suffering mightily from the housing collapse. But there are also large pockets of job growth and revival.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
At first blush, it might seem like good news from the Labor Department this morning: The unemployment rate that has been dropping in recent months fell again. It fell to 7.6 percent in March. But job growth was much weaker than expected. And the main reason that the rate went down is that a large number of people decided to leave the workforce. NPR's Yuki Noguchi joins us now. Hi, Yuki.
The forced budget cuts known as the "sequester" have not yet started to trickle down to the local level. But that hasn't stopped politicians from talking about what those cuts will mean. But business leaders in a city with strong aviation ties aren't looking at only the conversations in Washington as they plan their futures.
We're going to hear now about this year's big final four matchup, but not in basketball. This weekend Webster University of St. Louis, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Illinois square off outside Washington, D.C. in the Final Four of College Chess, the President's Cup. Those schools emerged in a tie at the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship last December.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are tracking changes in the Philadelphia accent. Reporter Zack Seward dips into archives that include more than a century's worth of Philly natives. The researchers say most regional accents are alive and well, even in the digital age, but they're always changing.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:36 pm
A humble creature that has long toiled in obscurity for the benefit of humankind is poised to win a small measure of the distinction it deserves: designation as Oregon's official state microbe.
It looks to be the first microbe to gain official state recognition.
The microbe in question, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, plays a key role in the state's economy. Without it, sugar would not become alcohol, and Oregon would not have a craft beer industry worth $2.4 billion.
Authorities are looking into the possibility that white supremacist prison gangs may have been involved in a series of shootings of public officials in Colorado and Texas. If so, criminologists say, this would be part of a larger pattern of prison gangs extending their reach.
"Increasingly, these prison gangs are spilling out onto the streets," says Mark Potok, an editor with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.
The 11.7 million Americans searching for work got discouraging news Friday morning when the Labor Department said employers created only 88,000 jobs in March. The weak job growth comes at the same time benefits for the long-term unemployed are shrinking.
The smaller-than-expected increase in payrolls was a big disappointment, coming after a long stretch of much better results. Over the past year, employment growth has averaged 169,000 jobs a month.
A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has ruled that the morning-after pill for emergency contraception must be made available over the counter to girls 16 and under.
The ruling could end a more than decade-long battle over how easy or difficult it should be for teenage girls to obtain emergency contraception. The ruling would also make it easier for older women to obtain the drug because it wouldn't have to be kept behind drugstore counters anymore.
Vice founder Shane Smith attends the premiere screening for the MTV series <em>The Vice Guide To Everything</em> in New York City in December 2010. Vice's new documentary series on HBO launches Friday.
Credit Jemal Countess / Getty Images
Vice Media is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., but it employs 1,000 people in 34 countries.
Fast-food restaurants were a little bit slower Thursday in New York City. Hundreds of workers staged a one-day strike in what organizers are calling the biggest job action ever in that industry. It's a growing segment of the economy, but workers complain that fast-food jobs don't pay enough to survive in New York City.
Here in the United States, 25 percent of doctors are foreign-born. Many of them move from India or countries in the Middle East, few come from Latin America despite its relative proximity to the U.S. A program at UCLA is trying to change that as Jenny Gold reports.
JENNY GOLD, BYLINE: When Jose Chavez Gonzales moved to the U.S., he took any job he could get: cleaning houses, stocking warehouses, construction.
JOSE CHAVEZ GONZALES: I learned how to do a lot of things like flooring, walls, painting.
Every week, the Department of Labor issues data detailing the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. According to Thursday's report, 385,000 people filed last week, the third weekly increase in a row, and a higher figure than expected. Robert Siegel talks with Adam Davidson about this week's initial claims report. Davidson says the report can help illuminate the vital question of whether the United States has a cyclical or a structural unemployment problem.
There's an interesting dynamic to gun legislation after a calamitous tragedy. Many states, like Oregon, set out to make gun controls tougher. We've also seen that today in Connecticut, which extended background checks, limited magazine size and banned some semi-automatic weapons.
GOVERNOR DANNEL MALLOY: We can take action here in Connecticut and we can make Connecticut towns and cities safer and this bill does that.
He won a Pulitzer Prize for his writing, but just as influential as his print essays were his "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" movie reviews. Film critic Roger Ebert died Thursday after struggling for years with cancer. He was 70 years old.
His thumb may have made him famous on TV, but Ebert was first and foremost a print journalist. He worked on newspapers in grade school, high school and college. With his acumen for writing came a love of movies — and on July 12, 2005, proclaimed Roger Ebert Day by the city of Chicago, he told a crowd of admirers why movies matter.
It's a funny thing about dictionaries. First we're taught to revere them, then we have to learn to set them aside. Nobody ever went wrong starting a middle-school composition with, "According to Webster's ..." but that's not how you start an op-ed commentary about terrorism or racism. When it comes to the words that do the cultural heavy lifting, we're not about to defer to some lexicographer hunched over a dusty keyboard.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, it took a while, but you can now see women of color on the covers of so-called mainstream women's or lifestyle magazines. So now we're asking: Should it go the other way? Will there ever be a white woman on the cover of a major black or Latina magazine? We'll talk about that in a few minutes.