U.S. News

Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Wed January 21, 2015

War Over Obamacare Heats Up In States

Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Ritze, a Republican and a physician, plans to revive the fight against the Affordable Care Act in the 2015 legislative session.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:12 am

Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Ritze is a foot soldier — one of hundreds — in a passionate war over the Affordable Care Act that is reigniting as state legislatures convene across the country.

The Republican lawmaker, a family doctor, has stood behind three anti-Obamacare bills supported by conservative groups in Oklahoma and other states. None has made it into law, but Ritze plans to pick up the fight in the 2015 legislative session that convenes in the Sooner State next month.

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Sweetness And Light
12:58 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Frank Deford To The NBA: Who's On Worst?

The Atlanta Hawks' Mike Scott scores over the Detroit Pistons' Greg Monroe in a game Monday. The Hawks are currently leading the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Dave Tulis AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:58 am

Even with free agency, our professional leagues show a reliable sort of sameness from year to year. Oh sure, each season there are a few teams that surprise, but mostly, changes in the standings are evolutionary. That said, I don't believe I've ever seen a league that looks so cockeyed as the NBA is this year.

First of all, it's just plain weird to see the two historically glamorous franchises, the Celtics and Lakers, both down near the bottom of the standings, while up top are teams that previously were nondescript also-rans.

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It's All Politics
10:04 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Political Theater, Crazy-Glued GOP Seats And More Congressional Reaction

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., applauds during the president's State of the Union address. Not every member of Congress was so moved.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:14 pm

President Obama mentioned Congress 13 times in Tuesday's State of the Union address. He called on Congress to pass a law to ensure women are paid the same as men, to raise the minimum wage, to support the president's plan to make community college free, to help students with loans reduce their payments ... you get the idea.

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The Two-Way
9:51 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Albuquerque Selects Independent Monitor To Oversee Police Reforms

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 11:36 pm

The city of Albuquerque and the U.S. Justice Department have selected an independent monitor, Dr. James R. Ginger, to oversee police reforms. Ginger's selection is part of a settlement the city negotiated with DOJ over the police department's use of force. Ginger previously served as an independent monitor for a similar agreements reached with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and the New Jersey State Police. He was selected from a pool of 17 applicants. A judge is expected to sign off on his selection Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The Obamas' Guests For The 2015 State Of The Union Address

Alan Gross (center), recently freed after being held in Cuba, speaks with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly before the start of the State of the Union speech in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol. At left is Judy Gross.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 9:59 pm

President Obama's guest list for tonight's State of the Union address includes Alan Gross, the Maryland man who was freed from a Cuban prison in December after five years of captivity — an event that was announced along with a new era of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Gross will be attending with his wife, Judy, who worked to gain his release.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

J.C. Penney Brings Back Its Print Catalog, After A 5-Year Hiatus

A J.C. Penney store in a Pembroke Pines, Fla., shopping center. The company's resurrected print catalog will be much thinner than its previous "Big Book," which was sometimes 1,000 pages.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:05 am

After more than five years away, and at a significantly smaller weight, J.C. Penney Co.'s print catalog is back. The company discontinued its often 1,000-page "Big Book" in 2009 and phased out several smaller, specialty catalogs over the past few years as well. But the company announced this week that it's re-entering the print catalog game.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'Tonight, We Turn The Page': Obama Lays Out 2015 Agenda

President Obama receives a standing ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:48 pm

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

French Quarter Sees Violent Crime Surge; Residents Demand Changes

New Orleans police officer Patrick Schneider patrols Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter on Saturday.
Jason Saul WWNO

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

New Orleans' most visited neighborhood rarely sees the type of violent crime that plagues other parts of the city. Recently, several high-profile robberies have rattled the region and led to criticism of the police department and the mayor, both of whom are rethinking safety measures.

Over the next few weeks, more and more visitors will roam the city's famous French Quarter, drinks in hand, for Mardi Gras. In less than 2 square miles, the French Quarter combines hotels, restaurants, street performers, and all-night bars with historic homes and tight-knit neighbors.

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The Salt
4:18 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Would Kids Eat More Veggies If They Had Recess Before Lunch?

A baked potato with toppings on a lunch tray at a school in Wisconsin. Students are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they're rushing to get to recess, researchers say.
Micheal Sears MCT/Landov

Schools are offering more and more healthy foods for lunch. And schools that participate in the National School Lunch program require students to choose a fruit and a vegetable side. Yet plate waste is a big problem in schools; as The Salt has reported, kids throw away anywhere from 24 to 35 percent of what's on their trays.

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NPR Ed
3:22 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

What To Expect From Obama Tonight On Education

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is promoting a plan to make publicly funded community college available to all students.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 3:50 pm

On the education front, President Obama's State of the Union address is likely to focus on three big proposals:

First, the president wants to talk about the idea he floated last week of making community college tuition-free. This is new.

The plan would benefit about 9 million full- and part-time students and would cost the federal government about $60 billion over 10 years. According to the administration's numbers, that would account for three-fourths of the total cost. States and community colleges would come up with the rest.

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Remembrances
3:05 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Instant Replay Inventor Changed The Way We Watch Sports

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you have watched any football on television recently then you have watched a lot of instant replay.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Law
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

BP Back In Court For Final Phase Of Gulf Oil Spill Trial

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Montana Governor Declares State Of Emergency After River Oil Spill

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

New York Under Pressure For Locking Up Teens In Adult Prisons

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

New York is one of only two states that still locks up 16- and 17-year-olds in adult prisons. A commission report released this week found that those young people — most of them black and Hispanic — face a high risk of assault and victimization behind bars and an increased risk of suicide. Gov. Andrew Cuomo now says he'll push the legislature to raise the age of adult incarceration to 18, a move that could mean the transfer of more than 800 teenagers out of state correctional facilities.

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Politics
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama Tries To Spread State Of The Union Messages Outside Speech

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:45 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Parents Who Shun Vaccines Tend To Cluster, Boosting Children's Risk

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:05 am

Although vaccines are among the safest, most effective ways to protect children from major communicable diseases, some parents still doubt this. As a result, some choose immunization schedules that defy science or refuse to vaccinate altogether.

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Code Switch
11:21 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Barbie Has Some Royal Competition In Nigeria

Taofick Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princess dolls a month and reckons he has 10 to 15 percent of a small but fast-growing market.
Akintunde Akinleye Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:26 am

In Nigeria, Barbie has some fierce — some brown — competition: Taofick Okoya, a 43-year-old entrepreneur, has created Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls that are outselling Mattel's classics. Okoya tells Reuters that he sells about 6,000 to 9,000 dolls a month and that he has "about 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market."

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Shots - Health News
11:13 am
Tue January 20, 2015

The City Might Not Be To Blame For High Asthma Rates

Dr. Stephen Teach helps Jeffery Ulmer listen to his daughter Alauna's asthmatic breathing at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Alauna's mother, Farisa, holds her. The District has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the country.
Jahi Chikwendiu Washington Post

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 2:15 pm

Asthma affects children regardless of where they live and whether they are rich or poor. But scientists have long thought that living in poor urban neighborhoods adds an extra risk for this troublesome lung inflammation. A new study suggests that's not necessarily the case.

Asthma is often triggered by something in the environment, so in the 1960s, scientists started looking for places where asthma was especially bad.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama, In Tonight's State Of The Union, Will Focus On Middle Class

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 5:41 pm

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight and is expected to focus on the state of the economy and its impact on the middle class.

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Books
3:34 am
Tue January 20, 2015

A 'Guantanamo Diary' From A Prisoner Still On The Inside

Slahi quotable.

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 12:55 pm

Mohamedou Ould Slahi joined the rebels in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, was seized in his native Mauritania a decade later, and was sent to Jordan, where he was held for months. He eventually landed at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, where he remains.

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Law
3:31 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Jury Selection To Begin In 2012 Aurora Theater Mass Shooting

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:07 am

Copyright 2015 Colorado Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.cpr.org.

Law
11:03 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Should Judicial Candidates Be Allowed To Solicit Campaign Money?

Judge Adrian Adams is helped with his robe by his daughters during a robing ceremony Friday in Gretna, La. Adams won a race for 24th Judicial District Court in November behind a campaign that raised a modest $22,350, including several four-figure donations from attorneys and law firms. Louisiana law, like Florida law, bars judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:56 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Paddle Boarder Who Wanted To See Orcas Gets An Up-Close Look

An orca swam directly at — and then under — Rich German's paddle board off the California coast recently.
Rich German YouTube

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:38 am

Rich German says he had been dreaming of getting a close look at orcas. That dream came true recently, as a pod of five orcas swam around — and even under — German while he stood on his paddle board off of Laguna Beach, Calif.

The intimate sighting came after years in which German says he has seen graceful sea animals, from dolphins to blue whales.

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Politics
2:38 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Obama Can Expect An Unfriendly Audience — But There's A History Here

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Economy
2:38 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

U.S. Solar Industry Sees Growth, But Also Some Uncertainty

A worker installs solar panels atop a government building in Lakewood, Colo. The industry has added more than 80,000 jobs since 2010, according to The Solar Foundation.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 pm

The solar energy business is growing fast, thanks in part to a steep drop in panel prices.

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Health Care
2:38 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

After Aurora Shooting, A 'New Way Of Responding' To Mental Crises

Mental health therapist Shaundra Drysdale updates daily use numbers inside a crisis support services center in Greeley, Colo.
Grace Hood KUNC

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 pm

It's been two and a half years since the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting in which James Holmes allegedly killed 12 people at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Jury selection for the 2012 incident is scheduled to start Tuesday. One of the reasons why it took so long to get to court was the battle over Holmes' psychiatric evaluations. After the shooting, Colorado legislators approved $20 million to change how people going through a mental health crisis can get help.

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The Salt
2:38 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Chipotle's Pulled Pork Highlights Debate Over Sow Welfare

A sow nurses her piglets in a farrowing crate in an Elite Pork Partnership hog confinement building in Carroll, Iowa, in 2009.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 2:47 pm

About a third of all Chipotle restaurants are not serving carnitas at the moment, because the restaurant chain has suspended one of its major pork suppliers.

The restaurant chain has declined to identify the supplier and the exact reasons for the suspension. In its official statements, Chipotle said only that the supplier was not in compliance with the company's animal welfare standards.

But when David Maren heard the news, he had a pretty good idea what the problem was.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

NFL's Wilfork Lifts Driver Out Of Crashed Car, Hours After AFC Title Game

New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork seen here before a practice Wednesday, helped a woman who was trapped in a crashed car Sunday night.
Charles Krupa AP

Massachusetts State Police are crediting New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork with helping a driver at an accident Sunday night, after Wilfork helped lift a woman out of a crashed car — "with one hand," police say. The car had turned over on its side, trapping the driver.

The incident occurred at 12:45 a.m., as Wilfork, whose NFL bio lists as being 6 feet 2 inches tall and 325 pounds, was heading home from the Patriots' win in the AFC Championship Game. That's when he saw a car had crashed on Route 1, which runs past his team's stadium in Foxborough.

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Law
2:03 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Whistleblowers Say DOJ Grants Failed To Protect Kids Behind Bars

The Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act allocates grant money to states, which are supposed to protect young offenders and make sure they're not housed with adult criminals. Whistleblowers say they've spent years flagging problems with the programs.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 pm

There's new scrutiny this year on a federal program that's supposed to protect juveniles in the criminal justice system. Senate lawmakers want to pass a bill that would ensure young people are not locked up alongside adult offenders — and they're quietly investigating the use of federal grant money for the program.

Whistleblowers like Jill Semmerling are helping to drive the effort. Semmerling loved her job as a federal agent at the inspector general office's in the Justice Department, where she carried a firearm and a badge to work every day.

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NPR Ed
11:41 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Classroom Reflections On America's Race Relations

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., marches with other civil rights protesters during the 1963 March on Washington.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

In Peter Maginot's sixth-grade class, the teacher is white, but all of his students are black. They're young and they're honestly concerned that what happened to Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner could happen to them.

"Who can tell me the facts that we know about Mike Brown?" Maginot asks the class at Shabazz Public School Academy, an afro-centric school in Lansing, Mich.

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