U.S. News

The Salt
1:39 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Food Fraud Database Lets Us All Play Detective

Spices are common targets for food fraudsters.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 9:45 am

By now we know that not every food is what it seems.

Beef might be horse meat, and tuna might be much cheaper escolar. Extra virgin olive oil is often nothing of the kind.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Man Sentenced To 30 Months For Pointing Laser At Airplane

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:16 am

A man in California has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for pointing a laser at a small jet as it approached the runway at Burbank airport.

Adam Gardenhire, 19, of North Hollywood, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty in October to one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, according to The Pasadena Star-News.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
1:09 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Supreme Court Arguments On California Gay Marriage Ban

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 2:40 pm

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments on California's voter-approved gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8. Audio of Tuesday morning's arguments is available above and a transcript, as prepared by the court, follows.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We'll hear argument this morning in Case 12-144, Hollingsworth v. Perry. Mr. Cooper?

ORAL ARGUMENT OF CHARLES J. COOPER ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONERS

MR. COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

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Europe
7:57 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Amanda Knox May Face Retrial After Italian Court Ruling

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn to news this morning in Italy. In a surprise ruling, Italy's highest court has ordered a retrial of American Amanda Knox. She's the former exchange student who, along with her former boyfriend, was charged in the murder of her British roommate. Today's ruling overturned the 2011 acquittal of the two defendants after they spent four years in jail.

We're joined by NPR's Sylvia Poggioli on the line from Rome. Good morning, Sylvia.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Shots - Health News
1:27 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Attracts Other States' Interest

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks at a rally promoting the expansion of Medicaid in the state in front of the Capitol in Little Rock on March 7.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Since the Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion under the federal health law optional last year, states' decisions have largely split along party lines. States run by Democrats have been opting in; states run by Republicans have mostly been saying no or holding back.

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Spring Break Alert: 'Black' Henna Tattoos May Not Be Safe

Hairdresser Paramjit Kaur paints a traditional Indian henna design on a client's hand in Kent, Wash.
Ralph Radford AP

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 4:59 pm

A henna tattoo looks like a fun beach souvenir — until you break out in a rash and blisters.

The dyes used for the popular temporary tattoos aren't always natural or safe, the Food and Drug Administration warned today. "Black henna" used to make the intricate designs darker often doesn't come from a plant, but from a harsh chemical that causes allergic reactions.

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Law
3:12 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Supreme Court To Examine State Ban On Affirmative Action

A scene outside the Supreme Court on Monday, as the justices announced they would hear another case involving affirmative action in higher education. Many of those waiting in line at the court in a late-season snowfall were hoping to attend oral arguments on gay-marriage cases being heard Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

As the national spotlight turns to the U.S. Supreme Court this week with two historic arguments on same-sex marriage, the court on Monday made headlines on another high-profile issue: affirmative action.

Just 10 years ago a narrow court majority upheld affirmative action programs in higher education in an opinion written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But ever since O'Connor retired and was replaced by the more conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court has been on a steady march to get rid of all race-conscious programs.

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Remembrances
3:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Journalist Anthony Lewis Credited With Reinventing Supreme Court Reporting

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally this hour, we remember an eminent journalist. Anthony Lewis was a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He died today of heart and renal failure at age 85. As we hear from NPR's David Folkenflik, Lewis will be remembered for reinventing coverage of the Supreme Court and for his advocacy of civil rights and civil liberties as a New York Times columnist.

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Law
3:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Dozens Battle Cold Outside Supreme Court For Chance To Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For the lucky few who do get a seat in the court tomorrow, they'll be able to watch arguments about California's ban on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8. On Wednesday, the subject is the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. These are both historic cases. Even so, it's cold out there for all those people lined up outside. So what makes braving the wintery weather worth it?

NPR's Ailsa Chang spent some time today outside the Supreme Court.

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Around the Nation
2:43 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

In One Alabama County, Nearly 1 In 4 Working-Age Adults Is On Disability

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

In the past three decades, the number of Americans who get a monthly disability check from the federal government has skyrocketed. It's now up to 14 million people. That's due in part to our aging workforce. But in many pockets of the country, there's much more to the story. Factories and mills have closed and the U.S. economy has left behind millions of workers who now find themselves unfit or unqualified for the jobs that remain.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Mon March 25, 2013

President's Pen Establishes New National Monuments

Kayak at Sunset San Juan Islands.
Mark B. Gardner San Juan Islands Visitor Bureau

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:53 am

President Obama on Monday designated five new national monuments, including one in Maryland dedicated to anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman and another setting aside Washington state's San Juan Islands.

"These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country," President Obama said in a statement. "By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come."

Here's a list of the new dedications:

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National Security
9:02 am
Mon March 25, 2013

As Qualified Men Dwindle, Military Looks For A Few Good Women

Army recruits perform exercises as part of a demonstration for tourists in front of the military-recruiting station in New York's Times Square.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

When the Pentagon said earlier this year that it would open ground combat jobs to women, it was cast in terms of giving women equal opportunities in the workplace — the military workplace.

But the move has practical considerations, too. The military needs qualified people to fill its ranks, and it's increasingly harder to find them among men.

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The Two-Way
4:32 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Spring Is Just A State Of Mind As Wintry Weather Wallops Much Of Nation

In St. Louis on Sunday the sliding — even without a sled — was good. The area got 6 to 12 inches of new snow over the weekend.
Bill Greenblatt UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:49 am

The calendar says one thing, but the snow, slush and ice coating the nation from the Central Rockies through parts of the Midwest and on into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast say something else entirely.

Technically, it's spring.

In reality, winter still hasn't let go.

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Around the Nation
1:15 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Free Tax Help Protects Low-Income Filers From Pricey Loans

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:50 am

As this year's tax deadline approaches, hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans are relying on free services to help them with their returns.

Tax preparation fees — even a few hundred dollars — can be a burden for those living on the margins. And taxpayers desperate for cash can fall prey to high-cost loan offers that eat into their refunds

At the free tax-preparation site at the main library in Washington, D.C., about 30 taxpayers wait for help from volunteers.

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Law
1:15 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Supreme Court Hears 'Pay To Delay' Pharmaceutical Case

The Supreme Court takes up a case Monday about whether brand-name drug manufacturers can pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:39 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case worth billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and American consumers. The issue is whether brand-name drug manufacturers may pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market. These payments — a form of settlement in patent litigation — began to blossom about a decade ago when the courts, for the first time, appeared to bless them.

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History
3:01 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Marking Forgotten Slave Burial Sites, Online

Ben Harmon, Sandra Arnold's great-grandfather, was born a slave. He was buried on a former plantation in Tennessee and served as the inspiration for Arnold's project.
Courtesy of Sandra Arnold.

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 5:07 pm

It all started on a former plantation in Tennessee. That's where Sandra Arnold's great-grandfather, Ben Harmon, who was born a slave, is buried next to his wife, Ethel. Their final resting spots are clearly marked, gravestone and all, but next to them, Arnold noticed an entire area of unmarked slave graves. She wondered if they could be family, too.

Her research started on that plot, then expanded to the state of Tennessee. Eventually, Arnold learned that it wasn't uncommon to find unmarked slave burial places across the country.

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Business
3:01 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Goldman Sachs Hopes To Profit By Helping Troubled Teens

About half the juvenile offenders released from prison on Rikers Island in New York return within a year, New York City Department of Corrections Commissioner Dora Schriro says.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 5:07 pm

In the New York City prison system, the outlook for juvenile offenders is bleak. They're falling through the cracks, being arrested repeatedly, and being re-released onto the same streets only to be picked up again.

The criminal justice system is failing these 16- and 17-year-olds, says Dora Schriro, the commissioners of the city's Department of Corrections.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

100 Hours On The Supreme Court's Sidewalk: Camping Out For A Seat To History

More than two dozen people bundled up to camp out before the U.S. Supreme Court for a seat to watch oral arguments in a same-sex marriage case on Tuesday.
Elise Hu NPR

Overnight temperatures are dipping below freezing and the forecast calls for snow, but cold, boredom and discomfort haven't stopped more than 30 Supreme Court die-hards from camping out for a seat to history.

"I just really wanted to be part of this moment, so I had been planning to come down for months," said Darienn Powers, a college student who came to Washington from New York. "No matter what, it's worth it to be in there and really experience what's going on."

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The Salt
9:59 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Backyard Chickens: Cute, Trendy Spreaders Of Salmonella

Backyard chickens can be a great hobby. They can also spread disease.
iStockphoto.com

Backyard chickens have become a coveted suburban accessory, one that packages cuteness, convenience and local food production in one fluffy feathered package.

But animal husbandry can be a nasty business, a fact that's often glossed over by poultry partisans like Martha Stewart and New Yorker writer Susan Orlean.

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Sports
6:05 am
Sun March 24, 2013

On Scraping By And The Close-Game Science

In the NCAA men's basketball tournament Saturday, Marquette escaped with a 2-point win over Butler. What does it take to win a close game? Grit and determination? Luck? Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Mike Pesca, who was at the game.

Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Battling Suicide In A 'Gun State' Means Treading Carefully

In Wyoming, a gun is used in about three-quarters of all suicides. Nationally, guns are used about 50 percent of the time.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 3:58 pm

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Religion
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

For Evangelical Leader, Gay Marriage 'Outside Of God's Design'

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:32 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

This week, the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in two cases that could determine the future of gay marriage in this country. In a few moments, NPR's Nina Totenberg brings us the story of a prominent Republican from the George W. Bush administration who's now working against many in his own party to legalize gay marriage.

But first, another point of view from one of the country's leading evangelical Christian leaders.

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Law
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Parent Navigates Personal Grief In Broader Gun Debate

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 6:05 am

Tom Mauser's son, Daniel, was killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Mauser, who has been an outspoken advocate for gun control since then, speaks with host Rachel Martin.

U.S.
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

New York Ads Resurrect Stereotypes For Former Teen Mom

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 2:15 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

GLORIA MALONE: I was a teen mother. I must identify myself as a teen mom. And before I got pregnant, I was honors and AP student. I was involved in the chorus and drama. I was starting to run on the track team. So in every sense, I was the, quote-unquote, person that teenage pregnancy doesn't happen to.

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Law
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Weighing The Effect Of Colorado's New Gun Laws

The state of Colorado passed three new gun measures this past week, going above and beyond federal law. Republicans have said the new laws infringe on the rights of gun owners. But at a signing ceremony last week, Democrats said the new laws would save lives.

Middle East
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Kerry Lands In Baghdad With Syria In Mind

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 6:23 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry touched down in Baghdad today on an unannounced trip 10 years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein. U.S. troops have left but there's plenty for the top U.S. diplomat to do. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with Secretary Kerry. She joins us. Michele, why take this trip now?

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Buried In Grain
10:03 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Should Grain Bins On Farms Be Regulated, Too?

Two young workers died in flowing corn at this commercial grain storage complex in Mount Carroll, Ill., in 2010. OSHA regulates 13,000 commercial grain bins like these. But grain bins on 300,000 family farms are largely exempt from OSHA regulations.
John W. Poole NPR

The commercial grain industry responded to a record number of grain entrapments and deaths in 2010 with more safety videos, publications and training programs.

"Have tragic incidents still happened? Yes," says Jeff Adkisson, who heads the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois. "Are we working to reduce them further? Absolutely."

Randy Gordon, president of the National Grain and Feed Association, sees no need for additional regulations. "The [occupational safety and health] standards, we think, are very adequate to address this danger," he says.

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Buried In Grain
10:03 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Documents: Investigating A Grain Bin Accident

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 4:54 am

Explore the documents from the 2010 Mount Carroll, Ill., incident that describe what happened when two young employees died inside a grain bin and detail workplace safety violations found by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Buried In Grain
10:03 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Fines Slashed In Grain Bin Entrapment Deaths

Friends and classmates of Wyatt Whitebread, Alex Pacas and Will Piper watch as rescuers work to free the boys from the bin (center) full of thousands of bushels of corn. Only Piper survived.
Alex T. Paschal AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:58 pm

The night before he died, Wyatt Whitebread couldn't stand the thought of going back to the grain bins on the edge of Mount Carroll, Ill.

The mischievous and popular 14-year-old had been excited about his first real job, he told Lisa Jones, the mother of some of his closest friends, as she drove him home from a night out for pizza. But nearly two weeks later he told her he was tired of being sent into massive storage bins clogged with corn.

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U.S.
3:02 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Can Detroit Return To Its Former Glory?

The population of Detroit has dwindled, and now there aren't enough taxpayers to pick up the tab for essential city services.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 5:07 pm

The newly appointed emergency financial manager of Detroit begins the Herculean task Monday of turning the once bustling capital of the car business back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Though Detroit still has its cultural centers, architectural gems, funky restaurants and packed sporting events downtown, the city has suffered an urban blight that has slowly eaten away at its neighborhoods.

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