A heat wave is broiling America's Southwest, where temperatures are expected to soar past 110 degrees in coming days. Before noon on Friday, temperatures in many parts of southeastern California, Nevada and Arizona had already topped 100 degrees.
An "excessive heat warning" was issued Friday by the National Weather Service, which blames the dangerously high temperatures on "a massive area of high pressure across the Western United States through Monday."
A few weeks ago, Alberto Baco Bague arrived in New York for a roadshow of sorts. In just 48 hours, Baco, Puerto Rico's secretary of economic development and commerce, met with more than 30 hedge fund managers, investors and others who could be classified as very well-off.
His mission might seem quixotic at best: trying to convince these well-heeled New Yorkers to uproot themselves from Manhattan and relocate to Puerto Rico. But he says they are starting to come.
It's emotional, high-stakes and dramatic. But the trial of reputed mobster James Whitey Bulger now ongoing in federal court in Boston, is not being recorded or televised, so the drama is harder to come by for anyone not inside the courtroom.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Today, in the trial of George Zimmerman, a key witness bolstered Zimmerman's claim that he acted in self-defense when he killed teenager Trayvon Martin. The witness was a neighbor in the Sanford, Florida community where Zimmerman encountered Martin and he was the only person to see them fight before Zimmerman fired the gunshot that ended Martin's life.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. The NBA season may have ended, but there is still a lot of pro basketball to talk about. The NBA draft took place last night with a real surprise choice leading things off, and there's a big trade in the news too. NPR's Mike Pesca is with us. Hi, Mike.
The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act this week. The court said that the standard by which it is determined that some states need preapproval for making changes to voting laws was unconstitutional. So what does it mean for the Department of Justice and states that were affected by the law? Audie Cornish speaks with Bill Yeomans, law professor at American University.
This City Life Snapshot brings us sound of an old fashioned technology for connecting our cities that's still operating in some parts of the country. We board a Pullman Rail Car that regularly makes the trip from Chicago to New Orleans thanks to the company, Pullman Rail Journeys. Head Steward Rick Hansen gives us a tour. This comes to us from Jennifer Brandel at member station WBEZ and the Localore project Curious City.
Summer travel is in full swing, and that means crowded airports, flight delays and long security lines. To help calm weary travelers, some airports are turning to man's best friend.
San Jose's and Miami's international airports have therapy dog programs, and Los Angeles International Airport — ranked the second-most-stressful airport in the country last year — launched its own crew of comfort dogs this year.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. President Obama announced a plan this week calling on the environmental protection agency to regulate how much carbon power plants are allowed to emit. He had tried and failed to get Congress to act on climate change from the very first days of his presidency. This week in a speech at Georgetown University, he announced it was time to take matters into his own hands.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Back in 2007, Congress funded, and the president signed into law, a new kind of research organization, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E. You had heard of DARPA? This was ARPA-E. And its mission is to back energy technologies that are too risky for investors but offer a potentially huge payoff if they work.
Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to "correct" same-sex attraction.
Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 11:10 am
Changing its story. Walking it back. Clarifying.
Whatever you call it, the IRS inspector general now has a different account of what investigators knew about the ideologies of the groups that underwent extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.
Inspector General J. Russell George explained in a letter released Thursday morning that investigators knew all along "progressives" were listed in documents used by IRS agents to screen applications.
High-rise apartment buildings might not seem like fertile ground for making compost.
But officials in New York want to capture and recycle more of the city's food waste — even in some of the nation's most vertical neighborhoods. They're expanding a pilot program that's also trying to encourage composting by turning greenmarkets and libraries into drop-off sites for residents' food waste.
The Senate approved a sweeping immigration bill Thursday, endorsing a bill that would put millions of immigrants who illegally entered the United States on a path to citizenship. The final vote tally on the bill was 68 in favor, with 32 opposed.
The bill also includes measures that would punish employers who take advantage of immigrant workers, as well as providing billions in spending to employ fences and high-tech tools to help secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
All 52 Democratic senators voted for the bill, along with 14 Republicans and two independents.
Twenty percent of strokes hit people under age 65, and the cause of many of those strokes remains a mystery. Having had a concussion or other traumatic brain injury might make the risk of a stroke more likely, a study says.
Back in 2011, researchers in Taiwan had unearthed an association between traumatic brain injury and stroke by combing through hospital records.
It's one of those "Oh, really?" findings that gets scientists itching to check it out themselves.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:03 am
It's deja vu all over again in Maine.
For the first time in years, a state has acted to allow its citizens to purchase prescription drugs by mail from other countries. The idea is to take advantage of those nations' lower prices, which can be half the cost of those at American pharmacies.
If conservatives think that the mainstream media has been giving advocates of gay marriage sympathetic coverage, they may have a point. A recent Pew Study, for example, found almost equal amounts of stories giving affirming or neutral coverage of gay marriage, but only a smattering of coverage sympathetic to the arguments of those opposed to it. But journalists are wrestling with aspiring for objectivity, reflecting changes in public mores, and, in many cases, addressing their own sense that gay marriage is a civil right just like interracial marriage was in the 1950s and 1960s.
Student loan rates are set to double on Monday, with Congress not likely to take action before then. The debate now is on how to lower costs for students without needing annual stopgap bills. Such a measure would not pass until mid-July at the earliest and would have to be applied retroactively to undo the coming rate hike.
The Senate gave final approval to a massive immigration overhaul that spends billions on border security, increases the number of legal immigrants and also creates a path to citizenship for the 11 million people who entered illegally.
Testimony resumed Thursday in the George Zimmerman trial. One of the state's key witnesses, Rachel Jeantel, was back on the stand for more grueling cross-examination by the defense. She was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just before Zimmerman shot and killed the 17-year-old.
Kremlin allies on Russia's Human Rights Council are having a field day with the case of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. They say the United States is seeking to punish Snowden for advocating government transparency and peoples' right to privacy. In short, after taking criticism from the U.S. over Russia's human rights for decades, Russia is taking the opportunity to dish it out to the U.S. Analysts in Moscow say that regardless of what information Snowden may provide to Russia, his propaganda value is huge.
The Guardian newspaper has released a new leaked document that details how the National Security Agency, after Sept. 11, collected email records. The program targeted foreigners but included Americans. It ended in 2011.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
The battle over a new abortion bill in Texas will resume now that Governor Rick Perry has called a second special legislative session. It's scheduled to begin on Monday. This past Tuesday night, an audience far beyond Texas watched as a Democratic state senator filibustered an anti-abortion bill for 12 hours. When Republicans cut her off, spectators jeered and the chamber erupted in pandemonium.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we'll talk about college students and Facebook. We've all noticed how much they all seem to love it. But it turns out how they use the social media site varies quite a bit depending on who they are, and that can actually help or hurt their success in school.