U.S. News

Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Guidelines Aim To Clear Confusion Over Ear Tubes For Kids

You can probably chuck those ear plugs and enjoy the pool.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:28 am

Doctors have been putting in a lot of ear tubes. It's the most common outpatient surgery in children.

Despite how common the tubes are, it's been hard for parents to know if and when a child should get them. "Pediatricians are confused about it too," says Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, chairman of otolaryngology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. "And ENT doctors."

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Jury Acquits Man Who Wrote On Sidewalk With Chalk

Sidewalk chalk: A jury ruled Monday they aren't the tools of a criminal.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 4:03 am

Jeffrey Olson faced 13 years in jail for writing on a sidewalk with chalk. But a San Diego jury of two men and 10 women found him not guilty of criminal vandalism.

Olson, 40, was charged with 13 counts of vandalism for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. His messages, according to Gawker, included:

— "No Thanks, Big Banks"

— "Shame on Bank of America"

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Calif. Judge Rules Yoga In Public Schools Not Religious

Third-graders at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif., perform chair pose with instructor Kristen McCloskey in December 2012.
Kyla Calvert for NPR

Earlier this year, we told you about some parents in the San Diego area who were suing the Encinitas Union School District to stop yoga classes because they believed the ancient Indian practice had religious overtones. Well, today we have a decision in that case: A judge ruled that the school district was not teaching religion when it offered elementary school students yoga classes.

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Digital Life
2:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Kids Unplugged: Summer Camps Ban Electronics

Camp Sloane director Andrew Keener, staff and campers gather for an end of the year campfire last year.
Courtesy of Camp Sloane

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:31 pm

A decade ago, many summer camps nationwide started instituting a no-tech policy, banning cellphones, pagers and electronic games.

Camp Manitou-Lin in Middleville, Mich., had just started banning electronics at the start of summer in 2003.

Back then, 11-year-old Michael Lake of Grand Rapids was not so enthusiastic about the new policy. "I live on my Game Boy. When I get home, I'm going to need two packs of batteries," he said.

Cut to 2013, and the Xbox, Instagram, iPhone and iPad. Technology has dramatically changed, and yet some things have stayed the same.

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It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Will Texas Become A Presidential Battleground?

Texas was decidedly red on the electoral map in NBC News' "Election Plaza" in New York's Rockefeller Center in 2008. Do Democrats really have a chance to turn it blue in the future?
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:11 pm

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

With the two parties in Washington gridlocked on immigration, the budget and other issues, it's easy to forget that when it comes to winning presidential elections, one party has a distinct advantage.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The ZIP Code Turns 50 Today — Here Are 9 That Stand Out

Each black dot represents the geometric center of a ZIP code.
Matt Stiles U.S. Census Bureau

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:50 pm

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Zone Improvement Plan, the network of ZIP codes we use for everything from mail delivery to credit card security.

The U.S. Postal Service began using the five-digit codes on July 1, 1963, hoping they would improve the efficiency and speed of mail sorting. Since then, the codes have assumed a role in the identities of many Americans, helping to define where they live or work.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Texas Teen Jailed For Sarcastic Facebook Comment

Justin Carter at home before his arrest. The 19-year-old has been in the Comal County, Texas, jail since March.
Courtesy of Jack Carter

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 3:33 pm

A Texas teen faces up to eight years in prison after making a comment on Facebook about shooting up "a school full of kids." Deputies in Comal County, Texas, charged then-18-year-old Justin Carter with making "terroristic threats" — a third-degree felony — in March. According to the Comal County Jail, he's been behind bars since March 27, unable to make his $500,000 bail. Austin-based KVUE-TV reports:

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Code Switch
12:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The Secret History Of The Word 'Cracker'

Fun with homonyms!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:21 am

As you might have gathered from our blog's title, the Code Switch team is kind of obsessed with the ways we speak to each other. Every Monday in "Word Watch," we'll dig into language that tells us something about the way race is lived in America today. (Interested in contributing? Holler at this form.)

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Education
8:59 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Hear the #NPRAspen Education Chat

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 11:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are also hearing your thoughts about education on Twitter at #NPRAspen. I just want to read one more of the tweets that we got, it says treat teacher time and energy as valuable, finite resources, design schools to use them efficiently. That comes from Roxanna Eldin (ph) in Miami. Please stay with us as we continue our special broadcast from the Aspen Ideas Festival, we're broadcasting from the Hotel Jerome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Education
4:03 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Tell Me More: Education Special And Twitter Chat

Use #NPRAspen to share your ideas about improving education and learning.
NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 3:06 pm

  • Listen: July 1 Education Special
  • Listen: July 2 Education Special

Education has been a critical topic for Michel Martin at NPR's Tell Me More, and we are eager to again tackle the topic of learning and education.

On Monday and Tuesday, July 1 and July 2, Tell Me More will host a live radio broadcast and Twitter chat from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., focusing on education and, even more broadly, on learning.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 am
Mon July 1, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act

Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary's Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:25 am

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

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Around the Nation
3:30 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

New Rules Puts Brakes On Truck Drivers' Schedules

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people die each year in large truck and bus crashes. New rules that go into effect Monday aim to reduce those numbers.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 5:35 pm

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people die in large truck and bus crashes every year in America, according to the Department of Transportation, which also says 13 percent of those deaths were caused by fatigued drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to see those numbers go down, so the enforcement of a new set of rules starts Monday.

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U.S.
3:22 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

The First President To Travel Abroad

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 5:35 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

President Obama's trip this week adds a few countries to the dozens long list of those he's visited in his two terms in office. But it was only at the beginning of the last century that an American president first ventured beyond the country's borders.

EDMUND MORRIS: It was a tradition that the president of the United States should stay home and govern the country during his term of office. And Theodore Roosevelt was the first person to break that tradition.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Western States' Heat Wave Turns Deadly; No Relief In Sight

It was hot Saturday in Sun City, Ariz., and across the Southwest.
Richard A. Brooks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:51 pm

(Most recent update: 4:45 p.m. ET.)

The brutal heat wave that has Southwest states in its grip is being blamed for at least one death.

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All Tech Considered
5:18 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Q&A: On The Death Of Google Reader And The Future Of Reading

Google is shutting down the Google Reader on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 8:01 pm

You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.

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Code Switch
5:07 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Legalese Aside, How Do We Talk About Race Nowadays?

Field director Charles White of the NAACP speaks at a podium outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court ruled that a key part of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.
Win McNamee Getty Images

This was a week in which the country was reminded of our continuing struggle with race — and how we're still not quite sure how to talk about it.

The conversation started with the actions of the Supreme Court: A key provision of the Voting Rights Act was dismantled, and the University of Texas was told to re-evaluate its affirmative action policy.

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Sports
4:00 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Back On The Ground, Nik Wallenda Dreams Up His Next Walk

Nik Wallenda practices walking across a wire in Sarasota, Fla., last week.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:07 pm

Daredevil Nik Wallenda of the famous "Flying Wallendas" family successfully walked on a 2-inch-thick cable across a 1,500-foot gorge near the Grand Canyon last week — without a net.

Back on solid ground, Wallenda says of course he has butterflies, but he doesn't get dizzy and there's no fear. He speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden about his latest death-defying walk on the high wire.


Interview Highlights

On training for the Grand Canyon

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Sports
3:46 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

'I Am A Gay High School Basketball Coach'

Anthony Nicodemo is head basketball coach at Saunders High School in Yonkers, N.Y.
Courtesy of MSG Varsity

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 3:03 pm

When pro basketball player Jason Collins announced earlier this year that he was gay, Anthony Nicodemo was listening.

Nicodemo is the head basketball coach at Saunders High School in Yonkers, N.Y. At great risk to his cherished career, he recently decided to come out to his team.

"I said, 'You know, I always try to preach to you guys about being yourself and really being honest and open,' " Nicodemo recounts his story to NPR's Jacki Lyden.

"'I haven't been honest with you guys. I haven't been honest with a lot of people. I am a gay high school basketball coach.' "

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

It's 'Wedding Weekend In San Francisco' After Prop 8 Ruling

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on Saturday.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 4:59 am

"A long line of fiancés and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.

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Around the Nation
1:44 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

With Fifth Grade Over, Campaign Manager Can Focus On Winning

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Over the next few months, you might get a knock on your door from someone volunteering or working for a political campaign. Often, these are college students, eager to explain their candidate's vision, or the virtues of their political cause. But residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts might see a much younger face at their door. From member station WGBH, Anne Mostue reports.

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Religion
1:44 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Athiests Erect A Public Monument

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 6:32 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The first atheist monument to be displayed on U.S. government property will be dedicated today in Starke, Florida. The monument is near a black granite display of the Ten Commandments, which was installed in the courtyard of the Bradford County Courthouse last year.

From member station WJCT, Cyd Hoskinson reports.

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Paula Deen's Next Cookbook Is Canceled

Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TV's The Today Show.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:12 pm

Pre-publication orders had made it No. 1 on Amazon, but now Paula Deen's publisher has said it won't be putting out her next cookbook this fall.

As Publishers Weekly says:

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Will Death Valley Top 130 Degrees? Here's Where To Watch

If you're in the red or orange zones, try to stay cool.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:33 pm

We can't do anything about the oppressive heat wave that's cooking states across the nation's Southwest.

We can, though, wish everyone the best and point to the always-important tips and guidance for how to stay safe when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Those include:

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Space
6:08 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Shuttle Atlantis Lands For Good At Kennedy Space Center

The space shuttle Atlantis, with its cargo arm extended, goes on display today the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:06 pm

Visitors to the new Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center walk into the building under a big orange external fuel tank like the one the shuttle rode into space.

The tank's a replica — but the shuttle inside is the real deal.

People who worked on the shuttle program, like retired technician Tom Boarman, are looking forward to reuniting with Atlantis.

"Well, it will be a very familiar sight to me," Boarman said. "I've seen it on the pad many times — all the shuttles."

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News
3:21 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Gay Marriage Now A State-By-State Battle

Advocates for gay marriage in gather outside the New Jersey Statehouse on Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:44 pm

Gay rights activists celebrated two big victories this week before the U.S. Supreme Court, as justices overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California.

Now gay marriage opponents and supporters are turning their attention to individual states, like New Jersey, where polls show most residents support same-sex marriage. So far, one person, Gov. Chris Christie, has stood in the way.

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Code Switch
3:18 am
Sat June 29, 2013

PR Experts On How To Prove You're Not A Racist

Paula Deen dissolved into tears during her appearance Wednesday on NBC's Today show with Matt Lauer. The celebrity chef told Lauer she was not a racist, but image experts say she'll have to work harder to convince the public.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:44 pm

The empire of Paula Deen is crumbling.

Sears and Walgreens are among the latest companies cutting business ties with the celebrity chef, and Ballantine Books has announced that it will no longer publish her cookbooks.

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Health
3:17 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Despite Alzheimer's, Couple Holds Tight To Old Memories

The Greenes say they take it a day at a time and relish the many long-term memories they've shared for nearly 60 years.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:44 pm

Right now, 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. One of them is 73-year-old Pansy Greene. She's in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and she and her husband, Winston, want people to know that so far, their daily lives have changed little despite the diagnosis.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
10:08 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Judge Who Struck Down Proposition 8 Knew Case Would Go Far

Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California's proposition banning gay marriage in 2010. The Supreme Court kept that ruling intact on Wednesday.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:25 pm

When the Supreme Court issued its decision clearing the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California, former District Judge Vaughn Walker had worked up a sweat.

"I was at the gym on the treadmill, and the television was on. So I was working up a sweat for reasons other than Proposition 8," says Walker, who now has a private practice.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
4:24 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Police Take Different Approaches To 'The Tyranny Of 911'

Miami Public Service Aide Tatayana Harris enters information into her laptop after clearing an accident in Miami's Little Havana community. Harris has been a Miami Police PSA for five years and hopes to become a police officer.
Marsha Halper for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:22 pm

When the 911 phone system was established, it gave citizens a fast, easy way to reach police in an emergency.

But it also created a logistical challenge for law enforcement: Police departments get so many calls, 911 can be as much a burden as a boon. Many calls are non-emergencies, and responding can take police away from situations where they're really needed.

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It's All Politics
4:21 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Gun Group Aims To Stop Immigration Bill

Some gun-rights advocates see a threat to the Second Amendment in Congress' immigration overhaul plans.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:49 pm

What does an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws have to do with the Second Amendment right to own guns?

If you're the Gun Owners of America, everything.

The GOA, a smaller cousin of the National Rifle Association that often takes an even more aggressive approach, is branding the just-passed Senate immigration bill, with its path to citizenship for people in the country illegally, as an "anti-gun amnesty."

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