U.S. News

It's All Politics
4:51 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

DeMint's Departure: A Onetime Ally Spurns Rubio

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:28 am

There was a time when Jim DeMint was committed to helping Sen. Marco Rubio achieve his goals.

Not anymore.

At least not when it comes to remaking the nation's immigration laws.

DeMint is president of the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, which on Monday released a report contending that an immigration overhaul would cost U.S. taxpayers $6.3 trillion over 13 years in direct and indirect spending like welfare and public schools.

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Business
4:02 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Net Retailers Aren't Buying Online Sales Tax Proposal

The Senate on Monday approved a bill to allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say sellers will get help navigating tax collection, but many retailers says complying will be burdensome and opens the door for unforeseen problems.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Congress is considering a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say a law is necessary to level the playing field with brick-and-mortar stores and to raise revenue for states.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:00 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Undertaker: Slain Boston Bombing Suspect Should Still Be Tended To

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Is there a code of ethics when it comes to burying a body, no matter what that person did while he or she was alive? The family of Tamerlan Tsarnaev is finding out, as they've received rejections from local cemeteries to bury the 26-year-old bomb suspect's body. Audie Cornish talks to undertaker and author Thomas Lynch for his perspective.

Education
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Long-Lost Memo Stirs Allegation Of Cheating In D.C. Schools

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For years now, Washington, D.C., school officials have been under pressure to fully investigate allegations of inflated test scores, cheating and possibly a cover up. At the center of it all is Michelle Rhee. She's the fiery former school chancellor who based much of her success on dramatic gains in kids' reading and math scores. Those gains are now suspect. And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, questions about what really happened just won't go away.

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Law
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

New York Attorney General Plans To Sue Two Major Banks

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he's suing Bank of America and Wells Fargo for violating the terms of a national agreement over foreclosure abuses. Schneiderman claims he has documented 339 violations by the banks of standards that were part of the agreement.

Explosions At Boston Marathon
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Cemeteries Refuse To Take Body Of Boston Bombing Suspect

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

A funeral director in Massachusetts says he's having trouble finding a burial plot for the slain suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. There are some efforts to send the body back to Tamerlan Tsarnaev's famly in Russia.

Politics
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Conservative Group: Immigration Reform Would Cost $6 Trillion

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 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.

It's not clear what the cost might be of a bipartisan Senate bill that would give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants. But today, the conservative Heritage Foundation announced it has the answer. Here's NPR's David Welna.

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Democrats Back Same-Sex Amendment To Immigration Bill

Some Democrats want to amend the immigration bill before the Senate to allow foreign-born same-sex spouses of Americans to qualify for green cards.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

The immigration overhaul bill before the Senate would provide, among other things, more visas for migrant farm workers and high-tech workers, and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

One thing it would not provide is help for same-sex couples in which one partner is an American and one foreign-born. For heterosexual couples, a foreign-born spouse automatically qualifies for a green card and many of the benefits of citizenship. Not so with gay and lesbian couples.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Pentagon: China's Government Hacked U.S. Networks

The 12-story building outside Shanghai that is alleged to be the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army's hacking group.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:53 pm

The Pentagon has for the first time fingered Beijing directly for cyberattacks against both U.S. government networks and commercial computers, calling the practice a "serious concern."

The new report says numerous U.S. diplomatic, economic and defense industry networks were hacked in 2012 at the direction of China's government and its military.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports: "In previous reports, the Pentagon has linked computer attacks to China, but not its government."

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Radio Diaries
11:08 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Teenage Diaries Revisited: A Gay Teen's Family, 'Evolved'

Amanda as a teenager (left). She now lives in Manhattan and works as a massage therapist.
Radio Diaries (left), David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:19 am

Name: Amanda Brand

Hometown: Queens, N.Y.

Current city: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: Massage therapist

Then:

"My mother's always yelling at me, 'How are you supposed to find a man?'... I tell her, I'm like, 'I'm not interested in men.' "

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Mon May 6, 2013

U.S. Courts More Lenient With Offshore Cheats, Analysis Finds

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting bit of analysis today: U.S. courts tend to hand out more lenient punishments to those who hide money offshore to cheat on their taxes than they do to more mundane tax evaders.

The Journal relies on Internal Revenue Service statistics and "data compiled by former U.S. Justice Department lawyer Jack Townsend."

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The Salt
8:18 am
Mon May 6, 2013

No More Fakelore: Revealing The Real Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine

The Dutch Haven restaurant and gift shop in Ronks, Pa. Color postcard, circa 1955.
Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania Press

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 11:58 am

News flash: Whoopie pies are not indigenous Pennsylvania Dutch food, no matter what the tourist traps say. Nor are the seafood bisque, chili, roast beef and other dishes crowding the steam tables at tourist restaurants in Lancaster County, Pa.

Instead, how about some gumbis, a casserole of shredded cabbage, meat, dried fruit and onions? Or some gribble, bits of toasted pasta akin to couscous? Or some schnitz-un-gnepp: stewed dried apples, ham hocks and dumplings?

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Joy Turns To Tragedy As Bride And 4 Others Die In Limo Fire

San Mateo County firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers investigate the scene of a limousine fire in which five women died Saturday.
Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune MCT /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 11:39 am

This is one of the weekend's saddest stories.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused a horrific fire inside a limousine late Saturday night on the San Mateo Bridge over San Francisco Bay. A new bride and four of her friends — all women — died as they tried to escape. Four other women, who had also been celebrating Neriza Fojas' recent marriage, managed to escape. So did the driver.

As The San Francisco Chronicle says:

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Boston-Area Cemeteries Say No To Burying Bombing Suspect

Tamerlan Tsarnaev in April 2009.
Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:47 am

  • From the NPR Newcast: WBUR's Deborah Becker reports (with introduction from Jean Cochran)

Officials in Cambridge, Mass., have urged the family of deceased Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev not to ask that he be buried in a city-owned cemetery. Meanwhile, at least four private cemeteries in the area have already turned down such a request.

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National Security
3:44 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Hidden Cost Of The Drone Program

A model of a drone is hoisted in the air at a protest of the U.S. military's use of drones during a demonstration on April 3 in New York.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:02 pm

A faint light has begun to shine in recent weeks on the secretive U.S. program of drone strikes and targeted killings.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Solar-Powered Airplane Completes First Leg Of U.S. Flight

The Solar Impulse takes off from Moffett Field NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, as a team member rides an electric bike alongside the plane.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The Solar Impulse, an airplane traveling across the United States using only solar power, is in Phoenix today, after reaching Arizona from California Saturday. It took the plane about 20 hours to travel from Mountain View, Calif., near San Francisco.

The aircraft is capable of flying at night as well as in daytime; the plane had about 75 percent of its battery power remaining when it landed in Arizona.

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Interviews
3:03 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Price Glenn Burke Paid For Coming Out

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:20 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

And you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THING CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Kelly McEvers.

This past week, Jason Collins became the first athlete who's active in major American team sports to announce that he's gay. His story reminded us of the story of Glenn Burke. Burke was an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s when his teammates discovered he was gay.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Springs Fire May Be Fully Contained Monday, Officials Say

Elite U.S. Forest Service Hotshot firefighters walk the blackened edge of the Springs Fire near Camarillo, California. Citing favorable weather, officials say the fire could be contained Monday.
David McNew Getty Images

Firefighting officials in California are optimistic that they can get more of the Springs Fire under control Sunday, as for the second day cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to help their cause. The fire could be entirely contained by Monday, they say.

"Firefighters made progress overnight," member station KPCC reported this morning. "The Springs Fire is holding fast at 28,000 acres."

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Soccer Referee Dies, One Week After Being Felled By Punch

Soccer referee Ricardo Portillo died Saturday, after being struck by a player. Here, Portfillo, is seen holding a soccer ball, in a photo held by his brother-in-law, Jose Lopez, Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:11 am

A soccer referee who was punched by a player after calling a foul on him during a recreational soccer game in Utah died Saturday night, a week after he was hit once in the face. The suspect, who received a yellow card penalty from referee Ricardo Portillo, was arrested Monday and remains incarcerated, officials say.

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U.S.
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

What Visa Changes Say About U.S. Immigration Priorities

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The U.S. Senate is poised to weigh in on a bipartisan bill that would overhaul this country's immigration system. The bill calls for more border security and a pathway to citizenship for the country's undocumented immigrants. But there are some easy to overlook changes in the bill that would affect the lives of would-be American immigrants, people like this.

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Around the Nation
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

A Splash Of 'Urban Ocean' On A Southern California Cruise

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:41 pm

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., sounds like a picturesque summer outing. But the Urban Ocean boat cruise highlights the juxtaposition of a powerful port with a fragile ecosystem: You're just as likely to see trash as you are to see marine life.

In front of the aquarium, school kids are running around, eager to go inside and pet the sharks and see the penguins. There's also a marina, where a small passenger boat called the Cristina shoves off from sunny Shoreline Aquatic Park.

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U.S.
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Jumping Hurdles, Making The Grade For A Foreign Worker Visa

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:03 am

Planet Money's Zoe Chace reports that the immigration overhaul bill proposes doubling the number of skilled-worker visas available to companies that want to hire foreign workers. But the application process is a challenge in itself. (This piece initially aired May 2, 2013, on Morning Edition.)

Politics
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Congress Heads Back To Debt Talks, Immigration

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:38 am

Lawmakers return to Congress on Monday, following a week's hiatus. Host Rachel Martin checks in with NPR congressional correspondent David Welna about what's on their agenda for the upcoming session. Internet sales tax, paying creditors, immigration, Benghazi hearing, Syria, Guantanamo

Around the Nation
2:52 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Times Square's Naked Cowboy Wrangles Some Co-Workers

The original Naked Cowboy, Robert Burck (second from right), shows off with new naked cowfolk, from left, Karen Munos, Titus Gandy, Alejandra Quinones and Patricia Burck in New York's Times Square.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 8:21 am

In the bustle and craziness of New York's Times Square on a busy afternoon or night, you will see scores of costumed figures: Batman, Elmo, the Statue of Liberty.

But for more than a dozen years, arguably the most original of these is the Naked Cowboy. His fame has now spawned a franchise, with eight different cowboys and cowgirls.

Almost anytime you go to Times Square, you will see the original Naked Cowboy in a white cowboy hat, white boots and white underwear briefs, with the words "Naked Cowboy" written across his butt. That's all he's wearing.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Kentucky Derby: Rain-Soaked Track Awaits A New Champion

Joel Rosario rides Orb during the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The odds-on favorite won the race.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 5:01 pm

Update at 6:45 p.m. Orb Takes Derby Title:

Favored heavily 5-1 prior to the race, Orb has taken the title of the 139th Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The win gives Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first victory in the race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds.

"It's like living a dream," Orb's jockey, Joel Rosario, told NBC after the race, calling it "a perfect trip."

The other top finishers were Golden Soul in second, Revolutionary in third and Normandy Invasion in fourth place.

Orb ran the 1 1/4 mile race in 2:02.89.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Shifts In Weather And Strategy Help Slow Springs Wildfire

Standing on a rooftop, a man looks at the Springs fire's approaching flames in California Friday. The wildfire, reportedly, 20 percent contained, might be weakened by high humidity and cooler temperatures Saturday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 10:11 am

Firefighters in Southern California are welcoming the latest weather forecast, as lower temperatures and higher humidity could help them control the Camarillo Springs Fire. But the wildfire along the coast remains formidable: It has reportedly burned at least 43 square miles of land and property, nearly doubling in size Friday.

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Children's Health
4:02 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Bulletproof Whiteboards And The Marketing Of School Safety

This type of bulletproof whiteboard, produced by the Maryland company Hardwire, has been purchased by a Minnesota school district.
Hardwire, LLC

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:58 pm

A recent news item out of Minnesota caught our eye: "Bulletproof Whiteboards Unveiled at Rocori Schools."

Bulletproof what? Where?

That would be whiteboards, at the small central Minnesota Rocori School District, which will spend upward of $25,000 for the protective devices produced by a company better known for its military armor products.

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History
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

WWII Prisoner Of War Created A Code, Uncracked Until Now

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:22 am

Sixty years ago, John Pryor, a British prisoner of war in a German camp wrote about 80 letters home. Under his prosaic descriptions of camp life were coded messages asking for supplies and detailing German military secrets. Host Scott Simon talks with Stephen Pryor, his son, who worked with researchers at the University of Plymouth to finally crack his late father's code.

Economy
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

More Jobs, But Wait: They May Not Pay Much

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The economy added 165,000 jobs in April. That exceeded the expectations of economists. It also drove down the unemployment rate to a four-year low, 7.5 percent. Unfortunately, the biggest gains were in lower-paying fields like hospitality and temp agencies. And as the school year comes to a close and young people start looking, the question is will there be enough work for them. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Economy
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Fewer Jobs, Persistent Racial Disparity

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And that racial disparity in the unemployment numbers isn't just among younger workers. The overall unemployment rate of African-Americans is 13.2 percent. That is almost twice that of white Americans. Among Hispanics, it's 9 percent. Yesterday, we spoke with Darrick Hamilton, associate professor of economics at the New School in New York. He studies racial economic inequality and we asked him to try to explain any reasons behind the two-to-one gap in joblessness between blacks and whites.

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