U.S. News

Code Switch
4:01 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Years Later, Miss Indian America Pageant Winners Reunite

Vivian Arviso says her year of service as Miss Indian America included a stint answering tourists' questions at Disneyland's Indian Village.
Sheridan County Library

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

The women who were crowned Miss Indian America are reuniting this weekend in Sheridan, Wyo. The Native American pageant ran from 1953 to 1984 and attracted contestants from across the country. Originally, the pageant started as a way to combat prejudices against Native Americans.

Wahleah Lujan, of Taos Pueblo in northern New Mexico, who won the title in 1966, was very shy at the time. In one of her appearances right after she was crowned, she told an audience: "The most important thing in my life is the preservation of our ancient pueblo and the Rio Pueblo de Taos."

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National Security
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Snowden's Asylum Contingent On Not Leaking More Secrets

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is requesting asylum in Russia while he pursues a more permanent asylum in Latin America. A condition of his continued stay in Russia is that he stop releasing information that is damaging to the US.

Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Wal-Mart Threatens To Pull Out Of D.C. Over Wage Requirements

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Wal-Mart is threatening to walk away from plans to build three of six new stores slated for the nation's capital. Those three stores are supposed to go up in some of the city's neediest neighborhoods. But the city council in Washington, D.C., has approved a bill requiring big box stores to pay employees a living wage of $12.50 an hour. And Wal-Mart says if that becomes the law, it will scrap its plans.

NPR's Allison Keyes spoke to people in those communities about their thoughts on the standoff.

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Business
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Boeing Takes Another Hit With Fire On Plagued 787 Dreamliner

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

An Ethiopian Airlines jet caught fire on the ground today at London's Heathrow Airport. It was a Boeing 787, also known as the Dreamliner, which has more than its share of troubles. The 787 has had serious problems with its lithium-ion batteries. In January, one overheated and another caught fire. The whole 787 fleet was grounded for more than three months after that.

Here's NPR's John Ydstie with more on what happened today.

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Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Community Leaders Brace For Fallout From Zimmerman Verdict

Chimurenqa Waller leads demonstrators in a chant in front of the Seminole County Courthouse while the jury deliberated in the trial of George Zimmerman on Friday
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 5:30 am

As the nation waits for the jury's verdict on George Zimmerman, community leaders in Florida are in place, prepared for a big public reaction.

Government and law enforcement officials say they're hoping for the best with any demonstrations that may come after the verdict. But they're also preparing for the worst – rising tensions that could escalate violently.

An 'Opportunity' For Peace?

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Law
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Jury Begins Deliberations In George Zimmerman Case

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. A jury in Sanford, Florida is beginning deliberations in the electric and closely watched trial of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. He's pleaded not guilty. He said he acted in self defense. We have two reports now on the trial and preparations outside the courtroom.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Justice Tightens Guidelines For Obtaining Records From Media

Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at the Justice Department last month.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:59 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder announced a tightening of Justice Department guidelines for dealing with the sensitive issue of subpoenas of journalists' communications, weeks after embarrassing disclosures that his office had secretly obtained phone records and emails from reporters as part of a probe of unauthorized leaks.

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Code Switch
2:21 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Awkwardly Awaiting The Zimmerman Trial's Outcome

George Zimmerman wipes his face after arriving in the courtroom for his trial in Sanford, Fla., on Friday. Zimmerman is charged in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
Joe Burbank AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:40 pm

With the verdict looming in the trial of George Zimmerman, who's charged in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, suddenly speculation has turned to this: the possibility of angry protesters turning to violence if the outcome isn't the one they envisioned.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Man Hailed As A Hero After Epic Swim Saves Stranded Family

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:10 pm

"It wasn't an option. It just had to be done."

That's the simple explanation offered by John Franklin Riggs, discussing his extraordinary effort to get help for his family after their boat capsized in the Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday night. Riggs swam for five hours in darkness before finding help near Deal Island, Md.

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All Tech Considered
10:12 am
Fri July 12, 2013

A Quick History Of Accidental Online Purchases By Kids

In little hands, a tech gadget can quickly turn from a toy to a cash register.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 6:59 am

EBay's app is so easy to use, a toddler can do it — and her parents would argue about whether that's a good thing.

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The Salt
10:12 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Heavy Rains Send Iowa's Precious Soil Downriver

Soil erosion after five inches or more of rain fell in one hour across portions of Western Iowa in 2013.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:33 am

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the Midwest was heading into one of the worst droughts in decades. Now much of the region is soggy.

But the biggest loser from this year's heavy rains? The land itself.

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Around the Nation
10:05 am
Fri July 12, 2013

'Can't Even See The Sky': Ex-Prisoner On Solitary Confinement

Thousands of California prisoners are waging a hunger strike, protesting conditions in the prisons. For more on the strike and the prisoners' demands, host Michel Martin talks with Los Angeles Times Reporter Paige St. John and former inmate Jerry Elster, of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

Code Switch
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Oakland Braces For Seeing Subway Shooting On The Big Screen

Cephus "Bobby" Johnson in 2011, when the former transit officer who shot Johnson's nephew, Oscar Grant, was released from jail. Johnson and other family members have seen Fruitvale Station, a new feature film depicting the shooting, multiple times.
Jason Redmond AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:00 pm

It's not often that Oakland, Calif., hosts a movie opening. But there is plenty of anticipation for Fruitvale Station.

The film is about the life and death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was fatally shot in the back by a white transit police officer in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009.

Grant was killed by Officer Johannes Mehserle, who claimed to have been reaching for his Taser, not his handgun. Mehserle was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months of a two-year term.

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Code Switch
12:48 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Mary Hamilton, The Woman Who Put The 'Miss' In Court

Mary Hamilton was found in contempt of court in Alabama, when she refused to answer questions after the prosecution addressed her only by her first name. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in her favor.
AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:58 am

When the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling, its decisions can carry weight for generations. Think about decisions in the civil rights era regarding school segregation and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama.

As part of our look back on the summer of 1963, we examine another Alabama case that had a subtle effect on the way courts treat defendants.

At a mock trial at Samford University in Birmingham, a student playing the role of a defense attorney questions his client on the stand: "To your knowledge, can a driver turning left turn on a yellow light?"

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StoryCorps
8:03 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

A Father And Daughter 'Keep The Faith' During Cancer Fight

Faith in 2008, on her fifth birthday.
Courtesy of Jerris Marr

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:13 am

For the past three years, StoryCorps' Legacy program has given people facing serious illness the chance to record interviews with loved ones and caregivers. Recently, StoryCorps expanded the program to include children.

In 2007, Faith Marr was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer on her spine. She was 4 years old. That year she had her first of eight surgeries, replacing her vertebrae with titanium rods. Doctors were uncertain about her chances of survival.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Prison Sterilization Report Prompts Call For Inquiry In California

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 1:18 pm

California lawmakers are calling for an investigation into allegations that 148 female prisoners underwent tubal ligation surgeries without the state's required approval. Some inmates said they had been pressured into undergoing the sterilization procedure, according to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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The Salt
3:38 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Why Doctors Oppose Force-Feeding Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

To raise awareness about force-feeding, Yasiin Bey, the musician and actor formerly known as Mos Def, in a video voluntarily underwent the same procedure administered to prisoners who refuse solid food in political protest while they are held in Guantanamo Bay.
Reprieve/Asif Kapadia

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

For centuries, the act of refusing food has turned human bodies into effective political bargaining chips. And so it's no surprise that the prisoners desperate to leave Guantanamo after, in some cases, nearly a dozen years there, have turned to hunger strikes on and off since 2005 to try to win their release.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

House Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamps

House Speaker John Boehner discusses the farm bill vote at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.

The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.

The decision to cleave food stamps — formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.

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Shots - Health News
3:26 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Failure To Communicate Between Doctors And Men About PSA Test

At least they're talking.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 7:11 am

The PSA test has been dissed a lot lately. The nation's preventive medicine task force, for one, says the test is so unreliable in figuring out who's at risk for deadly prostate cancer that most men shouldn't bother getting one.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'A $34 Million Waste Of The Taxpayers' Money' In Afghanistan

Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
SIGAR

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:22 pm

"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."

That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.

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All Tech Considered
3:06 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Anonymous Person Posts $500,000 Bond To Free Texas Teen

An undated photo of Justin Carter, who's facing a felony "terroristic threat" charge in Texas.
Courtesy of Jack Carter

Justin Carter, the 19-year-old who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting, is out of jail. An anonymous donor posted the $500,000 bond to allow Carter to go home. Carter plans to stay near New Braunfels, Texas, to await his trial on a felony terroristic threat charge.

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Law
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

George Zimmerman Trial Winds Down As Closing Arguments Begin

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

The closing arguments in the murder trial of George Zimmerman have begun. Zimmerman is accused of shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Economy
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Innovation Districts' May Be Cornerstones Of New Urban Economy

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:02 pm

Robert Siegel talks with Brookings Institution vice president Bruce Katz, founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, about his new book, The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy. Katz and his co-author Jennifer Bradley argue that "innovation districts," combining office space, residential buildings, and mixed-use retail, will be epicenters of the new urban economy.

Remembrances
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Twister Inventor Created Thousands Of Awkward Party Moments

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Chuck Foley was responsible for millions of awkward party moments since the 1960s. Normally, that's nothing to be proud of but if you're the inventor of the game "Twister," it's not such a bad thing after all.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Foley and his business partner, Neil Rabens, invented the game for Milton Bradley in 1966. They originally called it "Pretzel."

If you're certain age there's no need to explain "Twister." But in case you need a refresher, the game is simple.

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Media
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Cable News Coverage Of Zimmerman Trial Widely Criticized

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

The George Zimmerman trial has received a lot of attention and time on cable news. In many ways it resembles the sprawling coverage of earlier sensational trials. But the Zimmerman trial also has important social and cultural questions swirling around it.

Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Resurrected Farm Bill Passes Without Food Stamps Component

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The farm bill is back. Three weeks ago, the House surprised Hill watchers when Democrats and Republicans alike voted against the bill. Well, today, they passed it - narrowly. In today's bill, though, a huge component was missing. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, House leaders stripped out the section of the bill that deals with food stamps.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Virginia Governor Mired In Controversy Over Gifts, Loans

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's already been a long summer for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. A steady stream of news reports have revealed gifts and loans he and his family accepted from a campaign donor, totaling some $145,000. McDonnell has been mentioned as a possible future presidential candidate, though with these revelations some now express doubt about his chances.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reports the trouble for McDonnell could also affect the Republican who hopes to succeed him in the governor's office.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Nuclear Option' Would End Filibusters For Appointments

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Senate Democrats appear so fed up enough by Republicans blocking President Obama's appointments that they are preparing to change Senate rules. The so-called "nuclear option" would end the use of the filibuster when it comes to appointments, dramatically diminishing the power of the minority party in the chamber.

Environment
2:43 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Wastewater Wells, Geothermal Power Triggering Earthquakes

A geothermal energy plant near the Salton Sea in California taps deep underground heat from the southern San Andreas Fault rift zone. A new study ties the amount of water pulled from the ground by the geothermal plant here to the frequency of earthquakes.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

The continental U.S. experiences small earthquakes every day. But over the past few years, their numbers have been increasing. Geoscientists say the new epidemic of quakes is related to industrial wastewater being pumped into underground storage wells.

Now there's new research that reveals two trigger mechanisms that may be setting off these wastewater quakes — other, larger earthquakes (some as far away as Indonesia), and the activity at geothermal power plants.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Report: Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Get Around Encryption

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announces Microsoft's purchase of Skype in 2011, in San Francisco.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:53 am

The latest in The Guardian's series of reports on secret U.S. electronic surveillance efforts claims to detail the extent of Microsoft's cooperation with the National Security Agency, with the tech giant reportedly allowing agents to circumvent its own encryption system to spy on email and chats, as well as its cloud-based storage service.

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