Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:55 am
Members of the House and Senate have reached a bipartisan agreement on a five-year farm bill that will end months of uncertainty for farmers and agriculture workers, its backers say. If enacted, it would close the gap left when the previous farm bill expired late in 2013, after an emergency extension lapsed.
The Agricultural Act of 2014, which will likely come up for a vote on Wednesday, reflects the many agendas that helped to complicate its creation.
Nick Goepper is headed off to the Olympics in a couple of days, but he's not taking it easy: He spent the weekend hurtling through the air on ESPN at the X Games.
The sport is slopestyle. If you've watched any extreme skiing on television, you'll know it well: Skiers hit rails and walls and massive jumps; they seem to spend more time in the air than on the snow.
The extra point might just be the most unexciting play in football. After all, the post-touchdown, 1-point kick is successful 99.5 percent of the time — so successful that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently talked about eliminating it.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:53 pm
Internet companies that receive U.S. government requests for information about their customers will be able to disclose more details about surveillance than has been allowed, according to a deal announced today by the Justice Department.
The shift will allow technology and communications companies "to publish the aggregate data ... relating to any orders issued pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)" — and in more ways than had been previously allowed.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:41 am
Republicans have offered a wide array of proposals to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act since it became law in 2010. But few have come with the pedigree of the plan just unveiled by a trio of senior Senate Republicans.
The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act, or CARE for short, is a proposal being floated by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
In poor sections of some southern American cities, you'll find lots of stray dogs. In Macon, Georgia, one woman has taken it upon herself to try a drastic solution to the problem. Georgia Public Broadcasting's Adam Ragusea reports.
A couple of minutes ago, we heard White House aide Dan Pfeiffer speak of using every ounce of creativity to advance policies that the president favors and that Congress will not approve. That is an illusion to the realm of executive orders, directives from the White House that bypass Capitol Hill. And joining us to explore that realm is Kenneth Mayer, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and author of "With the Stroke of a Pen: Executive Orders and Presidential Power." Welcome.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama prepares to hit the proverbial reset button on his second term tomorrow night. The president will lay out his agenda in the State of the Union address. After a rough and tumble 2013 sparing with Congress over the budget and Obamacare, the president is expected to make some adjustments.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:58 pm
Just like the issues and themes that color the annual State of the Union speech, the list of White House invitees is intended to send a message about what an administration cares about and prioritizes.
The State of the Union guests, after all, are announced beforehand with biographies attached. And the typically staggered announcement of names allows the media to chew them over for several news cycles.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:38 am
The National Weather Service is warning, once again, that brutally cold weather is going to be spreading across much of the nation, from the upper Midwest down to the deep South and up through the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England.
The Weather Service even throws an exclamation point into its forecast for this week:
Musician Clarence Clearwater, like so many Navajos, has moved off the reservation for work. He performs on the Grand Canyon Railway, the lone Indian among dozens of cowboys and train robbers entertaining tourists.
"I always tell people I'm there to temper the cowboys," says Clearwater. "I'm there to give people the knowledge that there was more of the West than just cowboys."
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 8:08 am
A Fort Worth, Texas, woman who was 14 weeks pregnant when she was found unconscious and brain-dead after suffering a pulmonary embolism, has been taken off life support after a weeks-long court battle by the hospital to keep the ventilator on.
A ventilator that had kept Marlise Munoz's heart and lungs functioning for two months was switched off at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a family attorney said.
Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 9:09 am
Arizona Sen. John McCain has gone soft when it comes to conservative principles. That's according to his state's Republican Party, who sent the former presidential candidate a message on Saturday by voting to censure him for his 'liberal' voting record.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 7:45 am
Police have identified the gunman who killed two people at a Maryland shopping mall before taking his own life, but officials say they still don't know why he did it or whether the assailant had any relationship with the victims.
As we reported, the shooting occurred at about 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mall in Columbia in the Baltimore suburb of Columbia, Md.
It's a heavy burden for such a light movie but it's possible that Anchorman 2 is the movie that will ring in the end of film. The L.A. Times reported last week that Paramount Pictures, the studio that made "Anchorman 2," will move to a completely digital format to distribute its films to theaters. It's a shift with huge implications, not just for cinephiles who are attached to the warmth and quality of 35 millimeter film, but for archivists who rely on film as a medium that will stand the test of time.
The Yankees signed the Japanese superstar pitcher this week for a whopping $155 million. NPR's Rachel Martin talks sports with sports correspondent Mike Pesca about what that means for the Bronx Bombers' bottom line.
Ten years ago, NASA's rover, optimistically named Opportunity, landed on Mars on what was to be a three-month mission. But Opportunity is still going strong today, still searching the Red Planet, sending data and images back to NASA. To celebrate Opportunity's decade of life, we called Jim Bell. He's an astronomer at Arizona State University. Welcome to the program.
JIM BELL: Great to be here.
MARTIN: So, take us back, Jim. What was Opportunity originally designed to do?
To California now where a polarizing lawsuit goes to trial tomorrow. At issue, whether job protections for public school teachers undermines students' constitutional rights to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit say it could provide a model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. But to unions and state officials, all the lawsuit does is demonize teachers.
A new documentary follows The 12 O'Clock Boys, a gang of Baltimore dirt bikers who do dangerous stunts at top speeds on city streets." I think it's a kind of escape for these guys; it's a kind of renegade sport," says filmmaker Lotfy Nathan.
Credit Noah Rabinowitz / 12 O'Clock Boys
Pug is a young teen who aspires to be one of the 12 O'Clock Boys. "I've been on this earth for a decade and a couple years," Pug says in the film. "So what that makes me — I'm a grown-ass man."
It doesn't take long to understand why a Baltimore gang of dirt bikers is called the 12 O'Clock Boys: Flying at top speeds down city streets, they flip precariously high wheelies, maneuvering their bikes to near vertical positions, like clock hands at high noon.
The police try to crack down on them, but that only adds to the gang's allure — especially for a young rider named Pug. "If I fall, I'm gonna hop back on my bike," Pug says. "Doesn't matter if I break my arm or anything, I'm hopping back on this bike."
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers.
This week, the company responsible for a toxic chemical leak into the Elk River in West Virginia announced that a second previously undisclosed chemical was present and may also have slipped into the water supply - this after people in and around Charleston, West Virginia, had already spent days avoiding the tap water only to have officials declare it's safe for drinking last week.
Republican Party leaders gathered in Washington this week for their annual winter meetings. They approved new rules for the 2016 presidential primaries designed to create a more orderly path to the GOP nomination — and, the party hopes, to the White House.
But this week's meeting also provided an opportunity to see how far Republicans have come in an effort begun a year ago to reach out to new voters — especially young people, minorities and women.