U.S. News

Education
4:38 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Missed Summer Learning Spells Out Long-Term Struggles

A researcher at Johns Hopkins University says there are serious setbacks for children without summer educational opportunities, known as the "summer slide."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:52 pm

At first glance, Horizons looks like an ordinary summer getaway for kids: There are games, bonding time and lots of bagged snacks. But along with the songs and the pool, there are fractions to memorize and online grammar quizzes to take.

An affiliate of a national network, the program in Washington, D.C., is a six-week, free summer service for children from low-income families. Its purpose is simple: to make sure they don't fall behind in school by the time September rolls around.

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History
12:10 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Museum Tries To Save The Plant Where Rosie Riveted

The former Willow Run Assembly Plant, in Ypsilanti Township about 40 miles west of Detroit, is where Rosie the Riveter worked during World War II.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 4:38 pm

The historic Michigan factory where the iconic Rosie the Riveter and thousands of other women built B-24 bombers during World War II could face the wrecking ball two months from now.

A modest nonprofit is trying to raise enough money to salvage some of the massive plant, which Ford sold to General Motors after the war. The Yankee Air Museum figures the factory is the perfect place to start anew, after a devastating fire destroyed its collections in 2004.

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National Security
9:33 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Snowden Case Illustrates Decline In U.S.-Russia Relations

President Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Northern Ireland in June.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 4:38 pm

U.S.-Russia relations hit a new low this week, when Moscow ignored U.S. requests and gave temporary asylum to a man who leaked classified documents on U.S. government surveillance programs.

Many in Congress are complaining that the Edward Snowden case is just the latest example of how the Kremlin is thumbing its nose at the White House.

The Obama administration famously reset relations with Russia when Dmitry Medvedev was president. But now that Russian President Vladimir Putin is back in the Kremlin, it seems to be having a more difficult time.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Sun August 4, 2013

FBI Official: Internet A Key Recruiting Tool For Sex Traffickers

Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, speaks during a news conference at FBI headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Evan Vucci Associated Press

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:49 am

  • Hear the full interview with FBI's Ron Hosko on "Weekend Edition"

Ron Hosko, the assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that the Internet has become a key tool for recruitment of child prostitutes and that cutbacks at the federal and local levels have made it harder to clamp down on the problem.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Sun August 4, 2013

One Dead After Driver Plows Through Crowded L.A. Boardwalk

Police and fire officials respond after a car drove through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Maarten Smitskamp ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:31 am

A speeding car plowed through a crowd at Los Angeles' popular Venice Beach boardwalk, killing one person and injuring 11 others before he fled the scene. The driver apparently surrendered to police later.

The Associated Press reports that security video shows the driver of the black Dodge initially parked his car along the boardwalk on Saturday, and then minutes later got back in the vehicle and sped through the crowd. Hundreds of pedestrians were sent scrambling.

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Sun August 4, 2013

State Department Extends Closure Of Embassies

An American flag flies over the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 2:46 pm

Update At 4:40 p.m. ET:

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says Sunday that the embassy and consulate closures will be extended:

In a statement, Psaki says the decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and the it was "not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution ... to protect our employees."

The statement says:

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The Sunday Conversation
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Former Child Trafficking Victim Now Mentors Others

Sheila White ultimately worked through her trauma with the help of a case manager, who helped her understand exploitation.
Sheila White

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Sheila White grew up in a troubled home. She was abused and ended up in foster care as a teenager. Not long after that, feeling low and confused, she met a man who soon became her pimp.

During the years she was forced into sex work, White was exposed to extreme violence. But, she explains, some victims have a hard time leaving their exploiters.

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National Security
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Senate Democrats Proposa FISA Court Reform

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The NSA surveillance programs have raised questions about the balance between privacy and national security. Much of the debate has focused on something called the FISA court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It was this court that approved the NSA spying programs that have caused such a stir. This past week, a group of Democratic senators put out a plan to change how the court works. Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is one of those lawmakers. He told me that the problem with the court is that it's secret.

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Sports
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Pro-Bowl Struggles To Gain Popularity

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A lot of sports have all-star games: baseball, basketball, hockey - the best of the best facing off against each other. But football's all-star game, well, it's having a little bit of trouble. The Pro Bowl, as it's called, has struggled for audiences. So, this past week, the NFL and the player's union declared new rules which they hope will fix the problems. And it just so happens that NPR's Mike Pesca has some thoughts about all of this. Hey, Mike.

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Law
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Sex-Trafficking Sting Covers 76 Cities

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

One hundred children were rescued in the recent three-day sting. Host Rachel Martin talks with Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigations division, about child sex trafficking the U.S.

Around the Nation
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Winging It:: How To Travel Alone

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's one thing to go out and explore a new city or a new country with your partner or a group of friends; quite another to take on this kind of adventure all by yourself.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: This week on our travel segment, Winging It, we discuss the art and science of traveling solo. Janice Waugh is the author of "The Solo Traveler's Handbook."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Law
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Nidal Hasan Murder Trial To Start This Week

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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U.S.
4:29 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Online And Anonymous: New Challenges To Prosecuting Sex Trafficking

John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, speaks during a press conference about a child sex trafficking operation on Monday in Washington.
Brendan Smialows AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:50 am

Monday, the FBI announced the success of a three-day, multicity child sex trafficking operation. The seventh and largest of its kind, the raid recovered 106 teenagers and arrested 152 pimps. Aged 13 to 17, almost all of the young people found were girls.

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Race
3:26 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Preserving African-American Cemeteries

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 4:29 pm

Under a popular park in Washington, D.C., there is a 19th century burial ground that was once the largest African-American cemetery in the city. Advocates want to protect the park from further development and create space for a memorial. But how many other such burial grounds are in similar straits, and how have others solved the problem of co-existing with development and gentrification?

National Security
3:26 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Week In News: Terror Alert

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 4:29 pm

The U.S. State Department issued a warning to Americans traveling abroad this weekend, as well as to many embassies and consulates, that it has learned of the possibility of a terrorist attack. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic.

The Two-Way
10:16 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Pentagon Papers Leaker Daniel Ellsberg Praises Snowden, Manning

Daniel Ellsberg was a military analyst in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of U.S. government decision-making in Vietnam.
Paul J. RIchards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 2:49 pm

Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who in 1971 leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers detailing the history of U.S. policy in Vietnam, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday that unlike Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, he "did it the wrong way" by trying first to go through proper channels — a delay that he says cost thousands of lives.

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Code Switch
7:54 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Obama Warms To Speaking Personally About Race

President Obama speaks about the George Zimmerman acquittal nearly a week after the ruling.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

On race, Barack Obama often says he is not president of black America, but of the United States of America. Though he has not avoided the subject during his time in office, he tends not to seek out opportunities to discuss racial issues.

"He wanted to address them in a time and a way that accomplished specific objectives," says Joshua Dubois, who ran the White House's faith-based initiatives during Obama's first term.

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Politics
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

August Recess Leaves Unfinished Business

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Members of Congress are back in their home districts this morning at the start of a five-week summer recess. They left town with more of a whimper than a bang. They leave a whole lot of unfinished business. We're joined now by NPR congressional correspondent, Tamara Keith. Welcome.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: Let's start with what the Congress did accomplish. There was student loan legislation. What else?

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Business
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Recent Financial Crackdowns A Sign Of Government Toughness

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Economy
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Jobless Rate Falls For Blacks, But It's Not Good News Yet

Employment Specialist Louis Holliday, right, helps an applicant file for unemployment at a Georgia Department of Labor career center last month in Atlanta. The jobless rate for African-Americans fell from 13.7 to 12.6 percent in July, but that's still twice the rate for whites.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

The labor market continues its recovery; the economy added 162,000 jobs in July and pushed the unemployment rate to a 4.5-year low. After a string of bad news, things seem to be to turning around for African-American workers, too.

"The operative word is growth," says Bill Rodgers, an economist at Rutgers University.

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News
5:27 am
Sat August 3, 2013

A New Class Of Radio Rolls Into The City

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:27 pm

In a musty, old row house in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Jim Bear is about to begin his radio show.

"Good afternoon, everybody," he says into the microphone. "You're listening to G-town Radio at GtownRadio.com. We are the sound from Germantown."

Right now G-town is just an Internet radio station. But if the folks at G-town Radio are successful, they'll soon be broadcasting their signal over low-power FM, a new class of non-commercial FM radio.

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Around the Nation
4:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Cow Town Opts For Funk Over Funky Smell

As part of its rebranding effort, Greeley has adopted the slogan "Greeley Unexpected," appearing on a billboard on Highway 34 in Weld County, Colo.
Nathan Heffel for NPR

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Greeley, Colo., has an image problem. Actually, it's more of an odor problem.

A meatpacking plant is on the northeast side of town, and when the wind blows just right, you can't miss the smell — a cross between a slaughterhouse, a cow farm with manure and other unidentified odors.

In fact, the city's website says back in the 1960s, folks joked that that odor was merely "the smell of money." One of the town's main industries was, and is, cattle.

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Politics
4:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Durbin, Harkin Take On Immigration Critic In His Own District

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) listens as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks at a forum on immigration in Ames, Iowa, on Friday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Two top Senate Democrats took the fight for an immigration bill to the home district of one of the issue's toughest critics, Republican Rep. Steve King, on Friday.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) went to Ames, Iowa, to make hay out of King's remarks about the "Dreamers," those young people brought here as children by their undocumented parents.

"There have been some characterizations of these young students that aren't fair at all," Durbin said at a rally on Friday.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Jury Rejects Death Penalty For Somali Pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011.
Joe Grande AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:22 pm

A Virginia jury has recommended life in prison for three Somali pirates convicted of murdering four Americans seized from a sailing yacht off the coast of Africa in 2011.

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It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Congressional Recess Isn't A Cease-Fire; It's A Chance To Reload

Bill O'Leary The Washington Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:32 pm

As Congress heads off for its 2013 summer recess, who could blame a citizen for thinking that maybe the slogan above the House dais should be changed from "In God We Trust" to "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here."

Experts in government like Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have repeatedly warned that compromise, the lubricant that makes the U.S. system work, has been a missing ingredient in recent Congresses, especially in the House. And there were no signs Friday that anything will be different when Congress returns in September from its five-week break.

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Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Congress May Be Getting Its Own Obamacare Glitch Fixed

If you worked here, you'd be worried about losing your employer-funded health insurance contributions.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 8:16 pm

As its last official action before leaving for a five-week summer break, the House today voted — for the 40th time — to block implementation of the federal health law.

But it was something that happened late Thursday night affecting members of Congress and their staffers' own health insurance that attracted more attention around the Capitol.

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World
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

U.S. State Department Cautiously On Alert

U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world will be closed on Sunday and possible for longer. The State Department says it is taking the step "out of an abundance of caution" and wouldn't say if they are receiving direct threats. Members of Congress say there are concerns about an al-Qaida-linked attack. Last year, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed in Benghazi, along with three other Americans. At that time, there were also violent protests at U.S. embassies in Cairo and Tunisia.

Around the Nation
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Yellowstone Geyser Erupts After Years Of Silence

Melissa Block talks to a Yellowstone park visitor who was lucky enough to see Steamboat Geyser erupting for the first time in eight years.

It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Obama Nominee For IRS Chief Has History With Tough Tasks

President Obama has nominated John Koskinen to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:26 pm

The Internal Revenue Service, under attack by congressional Republicans, has been operating without a permanent commissioner. President Obama nominated John Koskinen on Thursday for what might be seen as a thankless job.

The president called his nominee "an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform." But Koskinen will have his work cut out for him, starting with his Senate confirmation hearing.

History With Struggling Agencies

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Around the Nation
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Minneapolis Mayor Performs Marathon Of Gay Marriage Ceremonies

After Minnesota legalized gay marriage at midnight on Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak kept his City Hall open all night, performing one same-sex marriage ceremony after another. By the wee hours of the morning, he had officiated the weddings of 46 couples. He tells Melissa Block about the experience.

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