U.S. News

All Tech Considered
3:44 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Yes, Your New Car Has A 'Black Box.' Where's The Off Switch?

Detective Dave Wells plugs his laptop into a car's event data recorder. A large portion of new cars are equipped with the device, and the government is considering making them mandatory in all vehicles. But some say there should be an "off" option.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:43 pm

If you're a vehicle owner and happen to have a car accident in the near future (we hope you don't), it's likely the crash details will be recorded. Automotive "black boxes" are now built into more than 90 percent of new cars, and the government is considering making them mandatory.

Read more
Middle East
2:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Obama Stresses 'Unbreakable Alliance' On Visit To Israel

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:21 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

(SOUNDBITE OF ISRAELI MILITARY BAND MUSIC)

BLOCK: A musical greeting today for President Obama, as he arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there, along with a military band. Israel is Obama's first stop on a four-day tour. Today, the president declared that despite big changes sweeping the Middle East, the U.S. alliance with Israel remains eternal.

Read more
U.S.
2:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Calls To Free Spy Jonathan Pollard Grow Louder

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:21 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Free Jonathan Pollard - that's something President Obama is expected to hear in Israel. In the 1980s, Pollard was a young, Jewish-American intelligence analyst who spied for Israel. He pleaded guilty; and after an alarming victim-impact statement from then-Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, claiming how much damage Pollard's spying had done, he was sentenced to life in prison.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:09 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Pew Poll: For Many Who've Changed Same-Sex Marriage Views, It's Personal

Frank Capley (left) and Joe Alfano protest the San Francisco county clerk's denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Feb. 14.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio conservative Republican who recently said he now supports same-sex marriage because he has a gay son, evidently has plenty of company.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggests that many Americans have changed their minds — going from opposing to supporting same-sex marriage — because they personally know someone who is gay.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Scientists: 'No Options' To Stop Massive Asteroids On Collision Course

Actor Bruce Willis on the surface of an asteroid from the movie Armageddon. Lawmakers are questioning the likelihood of the movie's plot becoming reality.
Frank Masi ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 2:40 pm

Without "a few years" warning, humans currently have no capacity to stop an asteroid on a collision course with the planet, scientists told a Senate panel Wednesday.

"Right now we have no options," said former astronaut Ed Lu. "If you dont know where they are, there's nothing you can do."

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:19 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

How A Patient's Suicide Changed A Doctor's Approach To Guns

Dr. Frank Dumont at his clinic in Estes Park, Colo.
Barry Gutierrez for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 7:11 am

Dr. Frank Dumont knew one of his favorite patients was getting depressed.

When Dumont first started seeing him in his family practice, the man was in his 70s. He was active and fit; he enjoyed hiking into his 80s. But then things started to change.

"He started complaining of his memory starting to slip," Dumont says. The man would forget where he had placed objects, and he'd struggle to remember simple words and phrases.

Dumont prescribed antidepressants and saw him every eight weeks or so.

Read more
Around the Nation
10:24 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Teen Pregnancy Ads: Shame Campaign?

A new public service announcement in New York City aimed at preventing teen pregnancy is raising eyebrows. Ads feature young children with captions such as, 'Got a good job? I cost thousands of dollars each year.' Host Michel Martin asks the beauty shop ladies if the ads are helpful or just a shame campaign.

Shots - Health News
7:48 am
Wed March 20, 2013

How Ideas To Cut ER Expenses Could Backfire

Wilfred Mobley pushes a patient to the radiology department at the University of Miami Hospital in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:58 am

Cash-strapped states are coming up with an appealingly simple fix for soaring Medicaid costs: Don't pay for emergency room visits for people who aren't sick enough to be there.

There's a problem, though. It's almost impossible to figure out who's sick enough and who isn't at the moment they walk in the door, researchers say.

Read more
Sports
1:18 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Good Luck With That 'Perfect' March Madness Bracket. You'll Need It

Kansas center Jeff Withey (left) and Kentucky guard Darius Miller battle under the boards during the second half of the NCAA championship on April 2, 2012.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Basketball fans have one more day to fill out their March Madness brackets. They'll need to predict not just the champions and their route to victory, but also the paths of all the losers. It's not easy. In fact, no person or computer has yet been able to do it.

Read more
Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
1:16 am
Wed March 20, 2013

How To Be The Good Guy With A Gun At School

Stockton Unified School District Police Officer Myra Franco and Chief Jim West patrol 50 schools in California's Central Valley region. One of the campuses was the site of a 1989 shooting massacre.
Richard Gonzales NPR

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Ever since the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, there's been a raging debate over how to keep America's schoolchildren safe. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre proposed stationing an armed guard in every school in the country. Critics said that idea was impractical and would be too expensive to carry out.

But many schools and school districts already have armed police officers. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, about one-third of the schools in the U.S. have added some kind of armed security, according to federal data.

Read more
National Security
1:08 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Off The Battlefield, Military Women Face Risks From Male Troops

Jamie Livingston was sexually abused while serving in the Navy. She now lives in El Paso, Texas.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Dora Hernandez gave a decade of her life to the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard, but some of the dangers surprised her.

"The worst thing for me is that you don't have to worry about the enemy, you have to worry about your own soldiers," she says.

Sitting in a circle, a group of women nod in agreement. All are veterans, most have spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they're also survivors of another war. According to the Pentagon's own research, more than 1 in 4 women who join the military will be sexually assaulted during their careers.

Read more
Business
4:21 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Odd Political Bedfellows Agree: Banks Still Too Big To Fail

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questions Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke during a Senate hearing last month. Senators from both ends of the political spectrum argue that financial reforms are insufficient to protect taxpayers from potential risks posed by large banks.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Amid Washington's dysfunction, one issue has united some liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans: a common concern that "too big to fail" is alive and well.

Despite the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, these lawmakers believe the nation's largest banks still pose a threat to the economy and that the government will step in to bail them out if they get in trouble.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Scholar Outlines The Long, Rocky Road Of GOP Outreach Efforts

Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., speaks on Oct. 22, 1977, in Atlanta. A political scientist says the GOP has suffered some missteps in its outreach efforts to certain voters since at least the time of Dole.
AP

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:04 pm

One of the most interesting observations we've seen regarding the Republican National Committee's latest effort to win the hearts and minds of minorities, women and young voters was to be found on a blog that promotes a

Read more
Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
3:20 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

A Turning Point For Talking About Suicide And Guns In Wyoming

Connie Jacobson, coroner in Natrona County, Wyo., says suicide is one of the biggest public health problems facing the state. Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the U.S., and two-thirds of suicides in the state are by firearm.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:53 pm

Guns are a big part of everyday life in Wyoming, and many residents have been directly impacted by a suicide in which a gun was used. The state has the highest suicide rate in the nation, and three-quarters of Wyoming's suicides are by firearm.

The rural state's relationship with guns has long made suicide prevention efforts challenging. But that may be starting to change.

Lax Gun Laws

Last year, there were more suicides in Natrona County than anywhere else in Wyoming.

The soft-spoken county coroner saw them all.

Read more
Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Gun Metaphors Deeply Embedded In English Language

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In January, when Vice President Biden concluded a week of meetings at the White House over how to curb gun violence, listen to the words he chose to describe the complexity.

VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: We know that it is - there is no silver bullet.

BLOCK: And as for when he'd make his proposal?

BIDEN: I'm shooting for Tuesday. I hope I get it done by then.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

U.S. Gets Low Marks On Infrastructure From Engineers' Group

The 63-year-old Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., has been labeled structurally deficient — as is 1 in 9 bridges in America.
Rod Lamkey Jr. The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

The condition of the nation's roads, bridges and other kinds of infrastructure has actually improved over the past few years, but only slightly, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Four years ago, the group gave the nation's infrastructure a grade of D. Now, in their 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, the engineers say it's up to a D-plus.

Read more
Religion
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Moorish Science Spin-Off Group Bucks Federal And State Laws

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

An intriguing story now that we read about today in The Washington Post: 28-year-old Lamont Butler lived briefly this winter in a mansion in Bethesda, Maryland. The house with 12 bedrooms and 6 kitchens was up for sale. Butler didn't own it. He simply walked in and lived there. But Butler says he wasn't breaking and entering. He claims the mansion was his because he's a Moorish American national, a sovereign citizen not subject to federal and state laws. He says he goes by the free national name Lamont Maurice El.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:46 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

With Headline Bus Tour, 'New York Post' Takes Manhattan

The New York Post is notorious for topping its stories of scandal and gossip with brazen and pun-laden headlines.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:06 am

One of the joys of living in New York City is laughing at the giant screaming headlines in the New York Post. When the former secretary of state knocked back a beer on one of her trips abroad: "Swillary." When the Lance Armstrong doping scandal broke: "Drug Pedaller." And when CIA director David Petraeus admitted having an affair? "Cloak And Shag Her."

Read more
It's All Politics
2:38 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

How The Federal Budget Is Just Like Your Family Budget (Or Not)

Is your family budget really like the federal budget?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

The House has begun debate on its budget resolution, with a vote expected later this week. And as supporters talk about this budget, there's one comparison you hear a lot.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio: "Every family in America has to balance their budget. Washington should, too."

Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J.: "You know, every family in America understands the necessity of a balanced budget."

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.: "This is how every family tries to live in good times and in bad. Your government should do the same."

Read more
Middle East
1:44 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

'We Survived Iraq': An Iraqi Makes A New Home In North Carolina

Ali Hamdani was a doctor in Iraq before becoming a translator for NPR. He now lives in North Carolina.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Ten years after the Iraq War began, NPR is catching up with people we encountered during the conflict. Back in 2008, NPR's armored car was targeted with a so-called sticky bomb in Baghdad. Ali Hamdani, an Iraqi who worked for NPR as a translator and producer, narrowly escaped. Shortly afterward, he left Iraq for the Unites States as a refugee.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Supreme Court OKs Discounted Resale Of 'Gray Market' Goods

People stand in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that U.S. companies that make and sell products abroad cannot prevent those items from being resold in the U.S.

The 6-3 decision — likely worth billions, even trillions of dollars — could have repercussions that extend from U.S. trade policy to local yard sales.

Read more
U.S.
11:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

An 'Absolute Will To Forget': Iraq Casts Shorter Shadow Than Vietnam

A soldier in the last American military convoy to depart Iraq, from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, waves after crossing over the border into Kuwait on Dec. 18, 2011.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 12:30 pm

Sometimes the whole country wants to forget.

Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. The last U.S. troops didn't leave that country until the end of 2011.

But Iraq, which dominated much of the nation's political discourse over the past decade, already seems largely forgotten.

"The Iraq War casts a shadow, but not a very large one," says Richard Kohn, a military historian at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Read more
Health
9:56 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Breast-feeding Mothers Living In First Food Deserts

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:34 am

Most people are aware of the positive effects of breast-feeding. But in many areas of the country, breast-feeding is not the cultural norm, and there's little support available for mothers. Host Michel Martin talks with Kimberly Seals Allers, the co-author of a new report on so-called "first food deserts," and a nursing mother, Areti Gourzis.

Law
9:56 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Can Arizona Demand Voters' Proof Of Citizenship?

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:29 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the president of Xavier University of Louisiana has been on the job for 45 years now and he's guided the school through many storms, including Hurricane Katrina. Norman Francis will be with us in just a few minutes to share his wisdom about higher education and other issues. But first, a hot button issue we've been following had its day in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Read more
Education
9:56 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Norman Francis On 45 Years At Xavier's Helm

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:36 am

Xavier University of Louisiana has a number of distinctions. It is the country's only historically black, Catholic University. Plus, it's one of the leading universities when it comes to sending African-American students on to medical school. And at 45 years, no other university's president has served longer than Xavier's Norman Francis.

The Two-Way
8:44 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Two Steubenville Girls Arrested After Allegedly Threatening Rape Victim

Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:16 am

The 16-year-old girl raped by two Ohio high school football players in a crime that has attracted wide attention has also been the victim of online harassment, the state's top prosecutor said late Monday.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Former Student Planned To Stage Attack At Central Florida University

Former University of Central Florida student James Seevakumaran, who police say was planning to attack others in one of the school's dormitories. He killed himself instead.
Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel MCT /Landov

"It could have been a very bad day for everyone here."

That's University of Central Florida Police Chief Richard Beary's conclusion after seeing the evidence that a former student at the school "drafted plans to kill others in his dormitory but changed his mind early Monday and took only his own life," The Orlando Sentinel writes.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:03 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Accident During Live-Fire Exercise Kills At Least Seven Marines In Nevada

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:43 pm

  • NPR's Tom Bowman, reporting for our Newscast Desk

At least seven Marines are dead and another seven are injured after an accident Monday night in Nevada in which a mortar round exploded inside an artillery tube, military officials tell NPR's Tom Bowman.

The Marines were taking part in a live-fire exercise, those officials say. "Shell fragments, I'm told, killed almost three [Marines] immediately," Tom says. The others died before they could be evacuated to a hospital.

Read more
U.S.
4:02 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Among Thousands Of Gun Deaths, Only One Charles Foster Jr.

Led by the Rev. Willie Phillips (center), protesters march in February against violence in and around Club Majestic.
Mike Haskey Courtesy of The Ledger Enquirer

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 7:45 pm

The Morris Missionary Baptist Church is nestled down a red dirt road, in Morris, Ga., set among pine trees near the Alabama state line. Next to the small white church lies its most recent grave site: that of Charles Foster Jr.

While the mass killings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., garnered a frenzy of news coverage, statistically, they are not the norm. Each year, thousands of gun homicides in the U.S. — 11,000 in 2010 alone — attract little or no media attention.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:45 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Maker Of 3-D Printer Guns Now Has Federal Firearms License

This AR-15 rifle's lower receiver (in soft green color) was produced with a 3-D printer. The 3-D printing industry has criticized the use of the technology for gun part making.
Courtesy of Defense Distributed Dev Blog

Read more

Pages