U.S. News

Sports
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Confessions Of A Kentucky Derby Gate-Crasher

Stephen Johnstone and his niece, Sarah, crashed the Kentucky Derby celebration together in 2008.
Courtesy of Stephen Johnstone

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:21 am

On Saturday night, 150,000 people will pack Louisville's Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky Derby. But only a few will celebrate the victory from the winner's circle.

Stephen Johnstone has experienced that celebration many times. He's been in the winner's circle with the winning families, jockeys and governors — but not once was he invited.

Johnstone is a retired gate-crasher. The first time he crashed the Kentucky Derby was in 1963. Johnstone and several college friends slipped underneath a fence at Churchill Downs.

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Code Switch
2:49 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

A Black Jockey At The Kentucky Derby, Once Again

Kevin Krigger rides Goldencents during a six-furlong workout at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., in January.
Benoit Photo AP

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:41 am

The Kentucky Derby's 139th running is this weekend, and it will feature a sight that's been a rarity in the race for much of the past century — an African-American jockey.

"Everything that comes with the Derby right now for me is not the same as the majority of the other riders, or any other riders, because I'm the only African-American rider in the race," Kevin Krigger says.

Krigger was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but he's been racing in California. He's the first African-American jockey to ride in the Derby in more than a decade.

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NPR News Investigations
2:03 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Justice In The Segregated South: A New Look At An Old Killing

When John Queen died in August 1965 in front of the Ice House (the building between the Standard Oil station and The Dollar Store), rules of racial inferiority were so entrenched in Fayette, Miss., that black residents felt they couldn't complain. But just four months later things changed and black residents marched on Dec. 24 as part of their boycott against white-owned businesses.
Jack Thornell AP

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:41 am

This story contains language that some may find offensive.

In the segregated South in 1965, John Queen was about as insignificant as a man could be. He was black, elderly and paralyzed. His legs had been crushed when as a boy he fell off a roof. For the rest of his life, he pulled himself around with his hands.

In Fayette, Miss., he would shine shoes on Main Street for a few coins. People called him "Crippled Johnny" or "Shoe-Shine Johnny."

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Business
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

New U.S. Trade Representative Faces Big Challenges Abroad

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Expanding trade abroad is a high priority for President Obama. This week, he nominated a trusted adviser named Michael Froman to become the next U.S. trade representative. Froman is currently deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the challenges he would face as trade representative.

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Economy
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Stock Market Rallies On Better-Than-Expected Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

The stock market rallied on Friday after a better-than-expected jobs report. The Labor Department said employers added 165,000 jobs to payrolls in April. The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.5 percent.

Economy
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Jobs Report Better Than Expected, But Still Not That Great

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. The unemployment rate edged down a tiny bit today to 7.5 percent. That's the lowest it's been in more than four years. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 165,000 net new jobs in April. This was better than most economists expected. Even better, the government said it had undercounted in February and March by more than 100,000 jobs.

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Law
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

California Reluctant To Further Reduce Its Prison Population

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

To California now, where Governor Jerry Brown promises to keep fighting federal court orders to reduce his state's prison population. While Brown did meet a deadline late last night to file a plan for further inmate cuts, he insists those cuts will jeopardize public safety, and he says he intends to take an appeal back to the Supreme Court. NPR's Richard Gonzales has the story.

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Around the Nation
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Pre-Exam Party Grows Into Violent 'Drink Fest' In Madison

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tomorrow, in Madison, Wisconsin, college students will be partying, and it's not your average University of Wisconsin party. It's the annual Mifflin Street block party, a pre-exam bash. And as we hear from Gilman Halsted of Wisconsin Public Radio, the tradition has morphed into a sometimes violent 24-hour drinking fest, and the city and university are not happy about it.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Employment Numbers Tell Us A Lot (But Not That Much)

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 3:17 pm

The nation's unemployment rate hit a four-year low of 7.5 percent and the job market improved last month. Friday's news helped push the Dow Jones industrial average above 15,000 for the first time.

Was that a rational response?

Although the jobs report for April was positive, what triggered the market reaction was the fact that it was better than expected. Instead of 145,000 jobs created, as most economists predicted, the Labor Department says there were 165,000 new jobs.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Witherspoon's Punishment: $100 Fine & A Viral Arrest Video

Actress Reese Witherspoon in a photo provided by the City of Atlanta Department of Corrections after her arrest.
AP

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Faith Matters
10:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Humanists On Surviving Crisis Without A Prayer

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we often talk about people with mad skills in tough competitions, so in just a few minutes, we are going to meet two teenagers who are making their mark in chess. That's later.

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Arts & Life
10:21 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Hey Teenagers! We Want To Hear Your Stories

Are you the next Radio Diaries teen diarist?
M Mujdat Uzel iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:49 pm

Are you a teenager with a story to tell? NPR and Radio Diaries want to hear it. Write it down, photograph it (and record it if you want) and then submit it to the storytelling site Cowbird.

Beginning in 1996, Radio Diaries gave tape recorders to five teenagers to create audio diaries about their lives. Starting on May 6, All Things Considered will revisit these original diarists, now in their 30s, to document their lives for NPR listeners.

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NPR Story
8:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

To Combat Rising Seas, Why Not Raise Up The Town?

When the Great Storm of 1900 battered Galveston, Texas, the town simply lifted itself up--in some places as much as 17 feet. Could a similar approach save cities today? Randy Behm of the US Army Corps of Engineers and Dwayne Jones of the Galveston Historical Foundation talk about the costs and feasibility of raising a town, albeit with better technology than Galveston's hand-cranked jacks and mules.

TED Radio Hour
8:00 am
Fri May 3, 2013

What Role Do Relationships Play In Learning?

Rita Pierson at TED Talks Education.
Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:18 pm

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Unstoppable Learning.

About Rita Pierson's TEDTalk

Veteran teacher Rita Pierson believes that relationships are crucial to education. She talks about how classrooms lack the kind of human connections kids need to feel inspired and to learn. Pierson gave her talk as part of the PBS Special TED Talks Education, airing May 7.

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It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Ayotte Becoming Gun Control Lightning Rod

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., has drawn the focus of gun control proponents for voting against a bid to expand criminal background checks for gun buyers.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:37 pm

Of the senators who have become lightning rods for voting against expanded criminal background checks for gun buyers, New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte is drawing the most bolts.

Video of Ayotte being questioned by the daughter of the principal killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., has gone viral.

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Around the Nation
3:27 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Birmingham Students Reenact Historic March, 50 Years Later

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:22 pm

In Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday, children took to downtown streets in a reenactment of historic events there 50 years ago. It's part of a series of events this year marking Birmingham's crucial role in the civil rights movement.

Around the Nation
3:27 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Sandy Hook Parent: 'Arming Staff And Teachers Is Laughable'

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:18 pm

In December, six-year-old Benjamin Wheeler was among those killed in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, his father, David Wheeler has met with officials in Washington, D.C., urging tighter controls to rein in gun violence. He speaks with Melissa Block about his views on the legislative process and what his path forward is from here.

Economy
3:27 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Housing Recovery Lifts Other Sectors, Too

Chevy trucks line the lot of a dealer in Murrysville, Pa. Sales were up by double digits at Chrysler, General Motors and Ford last month.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:00 pm

The government's employment report for April comes out Friday. It's an important measure of the economy's health and the advance signals have been mixed. One report this week showed layoffs falling to a five-year low, but another suggests disappointing jobs creation.

At least one sector is providing some positive news for the job market: housing.

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Politics
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

On Recess, Senators Get An Earful Over Failed Gun Vote

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Senators whose votes on the gun bill got attention back home have been getting an earful during the recess week, when many are back in their states.

Politics
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Obama Nominates Campaign Fundraiser For Commerce Secretary

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Influential Chicagoan Penny Pritkzer has been tapped by President Obama to lead the Commerce Department.

Politics
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Two Nominations Round Out Obama's Second-Term Cabinet

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

President Obama rounded out his cabinet on Thursday by naming Chicago benefactor Penny Pritzker as Commerce Secretary and White House aide Michael Froman as U.S. trade representative.

News
2:39 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

When It Comes To Guns, How Young Is Too Young?

A woman holds a .22-caliber Crickett youth rifle at a Gander Mountain store in Flint Township, Mich. This type of gun, which is marketed to children and comes in a variety of colors, was involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky.
Steve Jessmore The Flint Journal/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

The shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky at the hands of her 5-year-old brother has opened up yet another debate about gun control.

While no one favors the idea of 5-year-olds using weapons without supervision, there is no consensus on the appropriate age to start hands-on training with firearms.

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U.S.
2:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bill Would Put Immigration Verification System To The Test

Employers using the E-Verify program are required to post an E-Verify Participation Poster, shown here in a handout photo. A Senate bill would make participation in the system, used to check employees' immigration status, mandatory for all employers.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Some employers around the nation have been using E-Verify to check the immigration status of employees for years. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the online system is designed to make it harder to hire unauthorized workers — and harder for those workers to find jobs.

While participation in the program has been voluntary since 1996, the immigration bill now in the Senate would make E-Verify mandatory.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Colorado Weighs Reopening A Psychiatric Hospital To Serve the Homeless

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, center, exits the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility in Las Animas, Colo., on Wednesday after touring the facility. Hickenlooper has proposed closing the facility due to budget concerns.
Andy Cross Denver Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 2:22 pm

Last summer's mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., led Gov. John Hickenlooper to call for stricter gun control and big new investments in mental health care.

Several significant gun bills passed, and a package of mental health reforms is moving forward. But there may not be enough support to win funding for 300 new inpatient psychiatric beds.

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Code Switch
12:49 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Crunching The Numbers On Blacks' Views On Gays

Jason Collins, a journeyman NBA center, came out as gay this week in the pages of Sports Illustrated.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:06 pm

A relatively high-profile black man came out this week. And with it, a hardy old narrative got another moment in the sun.

When Jason Collins, a journeyman NBA center, announced that he was gay, many commentators who applauded his disclosure still nodded to the idea of heightened opposition to gay rights among black people.

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National Security
9:57 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Interrogations Without Torture

In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, some critics said investigators should have used harsh interrogation techniques with the surviving suspect. Host Michel Martin speaks with counterterrorism expert and former FBI Agent Joe Navarro about how attitudes about torture have evolved, and what really are the most effective ways to interrogate.

The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Boston Bombings: A Guide To Who's Who

A makeshift memorial in Copley Square, near the site of one of the Boston Marathon bombings, on April 24.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:30 am

As the investigation continues into the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon and the crimes that followed, more names are being added to the story. Here's a guide that we'll keep updating, with links to relevant posts or stories. As always, if new information comes in that changes what is being said about anyone, we will pass that along:

THE VICTIMS

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Health
1:02 am
Thu May 2, 2013

New York Tobacco Regulations Light Up Public Health Debate

The New York City Council is considering a number of regulations on cigarettes, including raising the minimum age for buying cigarettes to 21.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

If you're under 21, you may soon have a hard time lighting up in New York City. Public health officials in New York want to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes.

The initiative is one of three proposed tobacco regulations the City Council will debate at a hearing Thursday afternoon.

"We think if we can prevent people from taking up the habit before they're 21, we might just be able to prevent them from taking it up at all," says New York Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Bones Tell Tale Of Desperation Among The Starving At Jamestown

The four cuts at the top of this skull "are clear chops to the forehead," says Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley. Based on forensic evidence, researchers think the blows were made after the person died.
Donald E. Hurlbert Smithsonian

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

"First they ate their horses, and then fed upon their dogs and cats, as well as rats, mice and snakes."

So says James Horn of the historical group Colonial Williamsburg, paraphrasing an account by colony leader George Percy of what conditions were like for the hundreds of men and women stranded in Jamestown, Va., with little food in the dead of winter in 1609.

They even ate their shoes. And, apparently, at least one person.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Obama Taps Congressman To Oversee Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 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.

President Obama today announced two new heads of agencies that play key roles in the economy. He tapped former wireless and cable industry executive, Tom Wheeler, to head the Federal Communications Commission. And he's naming North Carolina Democrat and veteran Congressman Melvin Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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