U.S. News

All Tech Considered
8:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Police May Know Exactly Where You Were Last Tuesday

An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer keeps an eye on his dashboard computer as it reads passing car license plates.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 9:06 am

License plate scanners are the dark horse of the surveillance world. They've been around for a decade, but people rarely notice. They don't look much different from closed circuit cameras, perched over busy intersections. Or they're just another device mounted on a passing police car.

But they notice you: A scanner can ID thousands of plates a day. And a new ACLU report says the vast majority of police agencies now use them.

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Law
2:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Holder: It's Time To Examine 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Attorney General Eric Holder says it is time to take a hard look at so-called Stand Your Ground laws. These are laws that allow people to use deadly force to defend themselves, if they believe they're under attack. Holder delivered that call to action yesterday in a speech to the NAACP in Orlando, Fla., a short distance away from where unarmed, black teen Trayvon Martin was shot and killed last year. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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Around the Nation
12:58 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Europeans Traverse U.S. On Famous Lincoln Highway

Erik and Mary-Ann Gjermundsen of Norway are making the nearly 3,400-mile trip across the U.S. in their small Messerschmitt.
Jenna Dooley NPR

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:54 am

This year marks the centennial of America's first transcontinental road: the Lincoln Highway. You might have driven on the highway and not even known it, since it stretches from New York to California, passing through states like Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, and carrying different state route numbers along the way.

Erik Gjermundsen of Fredrikstad Norway is checking off another item from his bucket list.

"I've been in the U.S. many times and I have always wanted to drive coast-to-coast," Gjermundsen says. "You have to do something in the summer and this was different."

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Clap If You Believe In Roger Maris

Davis says that in his opinion, Roger Maris (above) is the all-time home run record holder. Maris hit 61 homers in 1961.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

In 1961 the American League schedule was lengthened by eight games to 162, and it was about this time that summer that the commissioner –– of whom it was once written, "An empty cab drove up to the curb and Ford Frick got out" –– declared that even if some player broke Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs, it would not count if he needed more games than Ruth had had.

So, when Roger Maris hit his 61st in the last game of the longer season, the distinction did not displace Ruth in the record books but was merely listed along with The Babe's lesser number.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

READ: The Theft Complaint Filed Against Bachmann Aide

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:11 am

Two envelopes filled with cash. A hidden camera. The office of a high-profile politician.

Sounds like a John Grisham novel.

The end result? Maybe not so dramatic.

As NPR's Tamara Keith tells us:

A now-former staffer for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has been arrested for allegedly stealing cash from the desk drawer of a co-worker.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Liz Cheney, Daughter Of Former VP, To Run For Senate

Liz Cheney in 2010.
Chris Usher CBS/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 10:55 am

Liz Cheney, the elder of former Vice President Dick Cheney's two daughters, a former State Department official and a conservative commentator who's often on Fox, is going to challenge Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in next year's Republican primary.

According to The Associated Press, Cheney, 46, confirmed what had been wide speculation about her plans on Tuesday — not long after the 69-year-old Enzi said that he will seek a fourth term.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Unlikely Allies Shake Up Military Sex Assault Debate

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, at a news conference Tuesday with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas (right) and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul and Cruz have endorsed Gillibrand's bill regarding sexual assault in the military.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 3:29 pm

On most recent days, nothing that wasn't bitterly partisan has seemed possible in the nation's capital.

On Tuesday, the city got its exception.

Republican Tea Party Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas stood with liberal Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, endorsing her bill that would dramatically change how military sexual assault cases are reported and prosecuted.

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Science
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Eavesdropping On Nature Gives Clues To Biodiversity

Scientists could use recordings of wildlife to monitor the movements of invasive species like the European starling.
Liz Leyden iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 8:00 pm

Biology professor Mitch Aide uses his ears to learn about the frogs, birds and insects that are all around him. This scientist at the University of Puerto Rico is trying to track how animal populations are affected by a world that's under increasing pressure from human activities.

Aide says, "We would like to have five, 10, 20 years of data of how populations are changing."

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Young People Push Back Against Gender Categories

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 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.

Americans are becoming more accepting of gays and lesbians and, in some cases, transgendered people. At the same time, a new generation of young people is challenging our understanding of gender.

They're calling for more fluid categories beyond just male and female, as NPR's Margot Adler explains.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Holder Calls For 'Hard Look' At 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the annual convention of the NAACP in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday. Holder told the convention that "Stand Your Ground" laws that have been adopted in 30 states should be reconsidered.
David Manning Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:34 pm

Saying that "it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods," Attorney Gen. Eric Holder on Tuesday called for a reexamination of so-called stand your ground laws.

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Education
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues

The latest study says kids learn better in charter schools than in public schools. But even charter school supporters question the study and its methods of research.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

Charter schools turn 21 this year. In that time, these privately run, publicly funded schools have spread to 41 states and enrolled more than 2 million students.

But one key question lingers: Do kids in charter schools learn more than kids in traditional public schools?

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

San Diego Mayor Accused Of Sexually Harassing Women

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 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.

Pressure is growing on the mayor of San Diego to resign. Democrat Bob Filner is being accused by former friends and supporters of sexually harassing women. Filner has apologized, but he also says he's innocent until proven otherwise.

Sandhya Dirks of member station KPBS has the story.

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The Impact of War
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Program Hopes To Help Disabled Veterans Through Free Vacations

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There are a lot of programs aimed at helping disabled war veterans and thanking them for their service. A small community in the Black Hills of South Dakota is offering a thank you in the form of a free vacation. Cara Hetland of South Dakota Public Broadcasting tells us more.

CARA HETLAND, BYLINE: It's common for disabled war veterans to be offered a free meal or free admission to a tourist attraction on Veteran's Day, but a free weeklong vacation in the heart of the Black Hills?

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Business
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

'Living Wage' Laws Create Both Winners And Losers

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To learn more about these living wage bills throughout the country, we're joined by David Neumark. For years, he studied the effects of living wage laws, and he directs the Center for Economics and Public Policy at the University of California at Irvine. Welcome to the program.

DAVID NEUMARK: Thanks for having me.

CORNISH: So, first, some context. How does the living wage differ from what we're all more familiar with, the minimum wage?

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It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

3 Reasons The Senate Didn't Go Nuclear

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was credited by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with playing a crucial role in the filibuster pact.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:55 pm

With Tuesday's bipartisan agreement to let senators vote on seven of President Obama's previously stalled nominations, the Senate proved that the art of compromise isn't dead in Washington, even if it might be severely wounded.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

'Dear George Zimmerman' Letter Hits Home With Many

George Zimmerman during his trial.
Joe Burbank/pool UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:46 pm

There are obviously more provocative things being written and said about the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman than we could ever hope to keep up with.

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Around the Nation
1:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Baseball League Creates 'Islands' Of Refuge For Camden Kids

Angel Ramirez, a North Camden Little League player, walks through the Sixth Street drug corridor, known as "Heroin Highway," on his way home from practice in Camden, N.J. The Little League program is aimed at keeping kids in the struggling city engaged in a sport after school.
Gabe Dinsmoor for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

At a small park in Pyne Poynt on the north side of Camden, N.J., kids take practice cuts on the infield dirt and adjust their hats. A small but enthusiastic crowd shouts words of encouragement, but the cheering parents and playful bench-side scuffles only momentarily disguise the troubles in the city. Baggies, vials and hypodermic needles litter the same field where practice is being held.

"Each day, our kids walk past drug sets and open air drug use," says Bryan Morton, the North Camden Little League president.

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Shots - Health News
11:37 am
Tue July 16, 2013

The Family That Tweets Together Stays Together

Snapchatting, Dad? Could be helping you stay close to the kids.
iStockphoto.com

Retweeted by Mom? Teenagers might say they'd die of embarrassment. But teenagers who are connected with their parents via Twitter and other social media have better relationships with them, and fewer behavioral problems.

A study that asked teens if they used social media to communicate with their parents found that half said yes. And 16 percent said they used social media with their parents every day.

Half of the teens in a this study said they used social media to communicate with the folks. Almost 20 percent said they communicated with Mom and Dad that way every day.

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Money Coach
10:07 am
Tue July 16, 2013

This Summer, Straighten Up That 401(k)

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the Isley Brothers scored a smash hit in 1959 with "Shout." More than 50 years later, though, Ron Isley is still going strong. He joins us to talk about his solo career and some of the bumps in that long road to becoming an R&B legend. That's in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health News
8:22 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Costlier Insurance For Smokers May Not Come With Quitting Help

Smoking can raise your insurance rates, but that doesn't mean you'll get coverage for help with quitting.
iStockphoto.com

Most smokers want to quit. But how to nudge them in that direction is up for debate.

The health law allows new individual and small group health plans to charge smokers up to 50 percent higher premiums next year.

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Sports
1:13 am
Tue July 16, 2013

An Unreal Sport: Mixing 'Fantasy Life' With Reality

Matthew Berry's new book, "The Fantasy Life," talks about how a made-up game has affected millions of lives, including his own.

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:21 am

It's the fourth most popular sport in the United States and more than 30 million people play it in the United States and Canada. Around 13 percent of Americans played it in 2012. There are hundreds of variations across multiple sports, but football is by far the most popular.

And it's pure fantasy.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

PHOTO: Shark Cruises Florida Beach

Cue the Jaws theme: A hammerhead shark in the shallow Gulf of Mexico waters of Seagrove Beach, Fla., on Monday.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 6:36 pm

While on vacation Monday at Florida's Seagrove Beach, east of Pensacola, NPR's Russell Lewis snapped a photo that's been picking up quite a few retweets. It wasn't "Sharknado II," but does seem to have caught folks' interest.

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It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Reid's Limited Senate Options Lead To 'Nuclear' Threat

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warns that if Republicans don't relent on filibusters, they will leave him no choice but to change the chamber's rules.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:23 pm

Sen. Harry Reid may sound a tad hypocritical to some for saying he now supports changing Senate rules in order to end the one that says 60 senators must approve before presidential nominations can get up or down votes. This comes only several years after he indicated he opposed changing the requirement to a simple 51-vote majority.

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Race
4:13 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Zimmerman Verdict Feels Personal For Some In Service Sorority

Attorney General Eric Holder greets Alexis Margaret Herman, member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, before speaking at the organization's convention.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:54 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder looked out over a sea of women in red on Monday and invoked his wife, a member of the influential African-American sorority Delta Sigma Theta. Holder was addressing the sorority's national convention in its centennial year.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Feds Unlikely To Prosecute Zimmerman, Former Prosecutors Say

In Los Angeles on Sunday, demonstrators expressed their anger over the acquittal of George Zimmerman on the charges he faced for the death of Trayvon Martin.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov
  • On 'All Things Considered': NPR's Carrie Johnson and Audie Cornish

Looking ahead after the not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin — a case that reignited the national discussion about race relations:

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It's All Politics
3:45 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' Laws Under Scrutiny Post-Zimmerman Verdict

George Zimmerman (right) is congratulated by his defense team Saturday night after being found not guilty of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Gary W. Green AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 9:47 am

George Zimmerman's defense team didn't invoke Florida's "stand your ground" defense in winning his acquittal of murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

But the specter of the 2005 law loomed, inescapably, over the proceedings.

It was inevitable that the racially fraught trial would again catapult Florida's law — which extends protections for the use of deadly force far beyond the traditional bounds of one's home — as well as those in 21-plus states with similar self-defense measures into the nation's consciousness.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Lucky Breakdown: Fans Take Stranded Dave Matthews To Show

Dave Matthews.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images for Syracuse University

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:50 pm

Imagine:

You're a huge Dave Matthews fan. As you're going to his band's show Saturday in Hershey, Pa., you see a guy standing by the side of the road next to a bike with a flat tire.

Do you stop to help?

Well, when you see that it's Dave himself, you certainly do.

That's just what happened to Emily Kraus and her boyfriend Joe.

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Shots - Health News
2:17 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Doctors Heed Prescription For Computerized Records

Heather Garris, a custodian of medical records, organizes patients' files at Colorado Springs Internal Medicine in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Barry Gutierrez for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:39 am

Uncle Sam wants your doctor to go digital. And the federal government is backing that up with money for practices that start using computerized systems for record keeping.

Nearly half of all physicians in America still rely on paper records for most patient care. Time is running out for those who do to take advantage of federal funds to make the switch. So practices like Colorado Springs Internal Medicine are scrambling to get with the program.

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Around the Nation
2:17 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Holder: Travyon Martin Killing 'Tragic, Unnecessary'

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:13 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to a prominent African-American sorority of the "tragic, unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin" on Monday, saying the Justice Department is still investigating the matter. "We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people," he told members of Delta Sigma Theta in Washington, D.C.

Around the Nation
2:17 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Rare American Chestnut Stands Tall In Northern New York

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

American chestnut trees once made up a quarter of the forest between Maine and Georgia, but at the beginning of the last century, a blight wiped out almost all of them, an estimated four billion. Still, a few remain today, and reporter Natasha Haverty has the story of one pair a family planted in northern New York, in the town of Russell.

NATASHA HAVERTY, BYLINE: To get to the trees, we have to walk up a forest path.

TODD ALESEE: When you don't stand under it, you'll understand.

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