U.S. News

It's All Politics
3:09 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Immigration Debate Puts Farm Workers Union In Spotlight

United Farm Workers members were among the crowd that filled the lawn on Capitol Hill during an immigration rights rally Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 7:58 pm

A new immigration bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week, calling for better border security and a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the United States without legal status.

One big hurdle toward that was cleared this week when the United Farm Workers reached a deal with growers that would address wages and caps the number of visas allowed for new workers.

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It's All Politics
4:11 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Tiny Group Linked To McConnell Recording Causes Big Stir

Sen. Mitch McConnell and his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, at a Republican dinner in Winchester, Ky., last month.
Roger Alford AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:19 am

So who exactly comprises Progress Kentucky, the superPAC linked to the surreptitious recording of a meeting at Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign headquarters? In the recording, an aide is heard disparaging actress Ashley Judd, who was then considering a Senate run to challenge the Senate's top Republican.

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It's All Politics
3:20 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

'We Have To Do More': Michelle Obama's Next Four Years

First lady Michelle Obama greets students at Harper High School in Chicago on Wednesday. Twenty-nine current or former Harper students have been shot in the past year, eight of them fatally.
Nancy Stone AP

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:07 pm

This week marked a new step in Michelle Obama's evolution as first lady. In her hometown of Chicago, she delivered one of the most emotional speeches of her career — about kids dying from gun violence.

"I'm not talking about something that's happening in a war zone halfway around the world," she said. "I am talking about what's happening in the city that we call home."

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U.S.
2:26 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Spelling Bee Adds Vocabulary To Make Contest More Educational

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Contestants in the National Spelling Bee will now be required to offer definitions for the words. Audie Cornish talks to sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about the change.

Law
2:26 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

New York Lawmakers To Confront Recent Spate Of Corruption

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:20 pm

In the wake of two high profile corruption arrests this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing laws that are supposed to make it easier to catch corrupt politicians. Good government groups say it might also help to take some of the money out of politics in New York — and other states too.

Politics
2:26 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Thousands Petition SEC To Disclose Corporate Political Spending

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Nearly 500,000 people have petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to make publicly-traded corporations disclose their political spending. The question is: How much clout do 500,000 people actually have?

All Tech Considered
12:35 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Immigration Isn't The First Cause Zuckerberg Has Liked

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the launch of FWD.us, an organization promoting immigration and eduction reform. But it's not the first issue he's taken up. In the past, he's donated money to superPACS, politicians and education.
Jeff Chiu AP

Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders in Silicon Valley are banding together to push for comprehensive immigration reform, the Facebook co-founder announced this week. But Zuckerberg has dabbled in politically charged matters in the past.

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Barbershop
9:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Barbershop Guys Weigh In On 'Accidental Racist'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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Latin America
9:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuela Oil Diplomacy: From Caracas To Cuba

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll speak with the Reverend Jim Wallis. He's a well-known evangelical leader. He's known for stepping into the political fray on issues he cares about. So we'll ask him why he chose to step out of the spotlight during last year's presidential campaign. That's later in the program.

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NPR Story
9:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Teenaged "Troublemaker" Fighting For Science

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:03 am

Zack Kopplin has been fighting to have the "Louisiana Science Education Act" overturned since it was first passed in 2008, and he was in high school. Critics of the SLEA say it's used to introduce creationism and other non-scientific theories into public school science class. Kopplin, now at Rice University discusses his continuing campaign against the act.

The Two-Way
8:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Judge Rejects $20-Million Severance For American Airlines CEO

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton stands next to a control tower at Berlin Brandenburg Airport in March 2012.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:56 am

A severance package of $20 million might have seemed reasonable to American Airlines CEO Tom Horton, but a U.S. bankruptcy judge says it's too much.

The proposed payout, part of a deal that would merge American parent AMR and US Airways Group, first caught the attention of U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis, a Department of Justice official monitoring AMR's Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Explosives Said To Be In Package Addressed To Sheriff Arpaio

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Laura Segall Reuters /Landov

Authorities in Arizona say a package addressed to controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was safely destroyed Thursday after a test for explosive residue confirmed it "contained black powder," The Arizona Republic writes.

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StoryCorps
1:33 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Adoptive Dad Dreamed A Dream That Brought Him A Son

John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 2:19 pm

In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.

"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.

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U.S.
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Army Chaplain Awarded Medal Of Honor For Korean War Heroism

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Amid renewed tensions on the Korean peninsula, President Obama awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor to Army Captain Emil Kapaun, a military chaplain who was taken prisoner during the Korean War.

Law
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Shop Owner Sued By State After Denying Flowers To Gay Couple

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

The Attorney General in the state of Washington is suing a small florist for refusing to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

U.S.
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Immigration Reform Gains Momentum In Congress

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 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.

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Remembrances
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Designer Of Cold War-Era 'Doomsday Clock' Dies

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block had remembrance of the designer of the Doomsday Clock. Martyl Langsdorf died March 26 at the age of 96.

Environment
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Nominee To Lead EPA Grilled Over Past Work At Agency

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:35 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Fair Or Foul? Pigeon Shoots Ruffle Feathers In Pennsylvania

A sportsman participates in a pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania in 2009. Animal-rights activists want to ban the tradition in the state.
The Humane Society of the United States

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Animal-rights activists are hoping for change in Pennsylvania, where they're fighting to end a tradition: live pigeon shoots. At the events, shooters compete to hit birds that are launched into the air.

Elissa Katz remembers feeling helpless at the site of a pigeon shoot, with feathers flying through the air and wounded birds falling to the ground. "They flutter up in the air as they are sprung from boxes. Shooters have shotguns, they are at fairly close range, and they blast away at the birds," she says.

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It's All Politics
2:31 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Looking To Broaden Appeal, RNC Heads To Hollywood

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the National Press Club in March. Priebus has irritated faith-based values voters and others in the GOP with his quest to retool the party following the losses of 2012.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

The Republican National Committee is holding its spring meeting in the Democratic stronghold of Hollywood this week — part of an effort to broaden the party's appeal.

So far, there are sharp divisions among RNC delegates about the future direction of the GOP. But there's general agreement that the party isn't effectively communicating its message.

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It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Notes On A Sex Scandal: Rebounding From Disgrace

Mayor Weiner? Anthony Weiner, pictured in May 2011 addressing his sexting scandal, says he is considering a run to succeed Michael Bloomberg in New York City.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:26 pm

It's comeback season for public figures who have been disgraced by their own sex lives.

Former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who received national attention after leaving the country to pursue an extramarital affair five years ago, is favored to win a May 7 special House election. He won Speaker John Boehner's endorsement this week.

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Shots - Health News
1:08 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Seniors In The South Are More Apt To Be Prescribed Risky Drugs

Seniors in the Southeast were much more likely to be prescribed more than one high-risk medications in 2009.
Danya Qato and Amal Trivedi Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:53 pm

Health care types have spent years trying to make the point that seniors are being prescribed medications that are unnecessary and dangerous. But the message hasn't really sunk in.

More than 20 percent of people with Medicare Advantage coverage are taking at least one high-risk medication, a new study finds.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Thu April 11, 2013

'He Saved Hundreds': Army Chaplain Gets Medal Of Honor

In this copy of a photograph on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, Kan., a wounded soldier is helped by Army chaplain Emil Kapaun (on the soldier's left) during the Korean War. The Kansas native died a prisoner of war in 1951.
Mike Hutmacher MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:15 pm

It took more than 60 years, but an Army chaplain who died as a prisoner during the Korean War will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama on Thursday.

Capt. Emil Kapaun was a Catholic priest serving with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division who died at age 35 in 1951. And he's not only a war hero — the Catholic Church is also looking into whether he should be made a saint.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Wild Weather Warning: Tornadoes, Heavy Snows, High Winds

Where is spring? Icy branches partially blocked a city street Wednesday in Sioux Falls, S.D. More wintry weather is expected there Thursday.
Dirk Lammers ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • From St. Louis Public Radio: Tim Lloyd reports on the severe weather

While a "Minnesota winter that won't end is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the Twin Cities by Thursday night," people in Missouri and Arkansas are "grappling with the aftermath of a series of storms that spawned at least two tornadoes."

And the wild weather is spreading to other parts of the nation:

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Business
1:21 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn't Pay

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 6:35 pm

This story is part of a two-part series about the construction industry in Texas. Find the first part here.

Homes in Texas are cheap — at least compared with much of the country. You can buy a brand new, five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house near Fort Worth for just $160,000.

But that affordability comes at a price — to workers, many of whom are in the country illegally and make $12 an hour or less, but also to business owners.

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It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Michelle Obama Steps Into Gun Control Debate

First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday speaks about 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago earlier this year.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

First lady Michelle Obama gave a personal and emotional speech Wednesday in Chicago as she stepped into the debate over gun control.

"Right now, my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common-sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence," she said.

The first lady was in her hometown to encourage business leaders to donate millions of dollars to programs for at-risk youth.

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Education
3:30 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

El Paso Schools Cheating Scandal: Who's Accountable?

Former El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is escorted by his attorneys into a Texas courthouse. He was found guilty of fiddling with El Paso schools' test scores for his own financial gain.
Ruben R. Ramirez/The El Paso Times AP

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 12:29 pm

No one knows if Atlanta's school superintendent or any of the people accused of falsifying test results will go to jail, but they wouldn't be the first if they do.

Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of schools in El Paso, Texas, has been sitting in a federal prison since last year. He's the nation's first superintendent convicted of fraud and reporting bogus test scores for financial gain.

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The Salt
3:22 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Cities Turn Sewage Into 'Black Gold' For Local Farms

Thick jets of processed sewage arc out 30 to 40 feet from giant moving spreaders at Birmingham Farm in Kansas City, Mo.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:07 am

On a normal day, Kansas City, Mo., processes more than 70 million gallons of raw sewage. This sewage used to be a nuisance, but Kansas City, and a lot of municipalities around the country, are now turning it into a resource for city farmers hard up for fertilizer.

After the sewage has been processed at a treatment plant, it's piped out to Birmingham Farm on the north side of the Missouri River.

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It's All Politics
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Some States Hike Gas Tax; Va. Tries New Route To Fund Roads

Drivers travel on Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, near Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., in November, just days before the opening of four new express lanes. Virginia is among 19 states that have approved or are considering legislation to increase transportation funding, according to Transportation for America.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

It's no secret that many of the nation's roads are in pretty bad shape. In the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition of America's highways rated a grade of D.

Congestion is a big problem, and so is upkeep. Most states rely on gas taxes to raise the money for repairs and new construction, but that funding source is not the stream it used to be, says James Corless of Transportation for America.

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Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

'Mayors Against Illegal Guns' Push For Background Checks

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns has launched a million-dollar media blitz to support new gun legislation. One TV ad features Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse Lewis, was among those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

NEIL HESLIN: Oh, I feel it's something I owe to my son, Jesse, to speak up and I'm his voice. And I feel if I didn't, I would be letting Jesse down.

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