U.S. News

Middle East
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

U.S. Offers Additional $60 Million In Humanitarian Aid To Syria

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 10:41 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new aid package for Syrian rebels. For the first time, the administration is vowing to send aid directly to the people who are fighting to topple the regime in Syria. At a meeting in Rome, Kerry had the chance to hear from some of them and from countries backing the rebels. NPR's Michele Kelemen has our story from Rome.

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Energy
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Outgoing Energy Secretary Could Be Remembered For More Than Solyndra

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The outgoing energy secretary, Steven Chu, got a rousing ovation this week when he spoke at a summit on energy innovation. But his tenure has been clouded by the department's investment in alternative energy companies that later failed, most notably Solyndra. As Chu leaves office, his real legacy may be the government's ongoing search for energy breakthroughs. NPR's Scott Horsley tells us more.

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Science
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

String Theory: Fascinating, Not Science Fiction

Tell Me More has been honoring Black History Month by speaking with African-Americans who've excelled in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. Sylvester James Gates Jr. spent his career researching string theory. He explains to host Michel Martin that, while it seems like science fiction, it's really anything but.

Shots - Health News
8:17 am
Thu February 28, 2013

New York Medical School Widens Nontraditional Path For Admissions

iStockphoto.com

Should students who want to attend medical school have to slog through a year of physics, memorize the structures of dozens of cellular chemicals or spend months studying for the MCAT? Not necessarily.

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All Tech Considered
3:57 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

As States Embrace Online Gambling, Questions Arise

Internet gambling has become legal in New Jersey and Nevada, but experts say enforcement and regulations still need to be straightened out.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:35 pm

Several states are rushing to establish a foothold in online gambling — an activity that federal officials were only recently trying to ban.

Just a while ago, the federal government actually viewed online gambling as a crime. Lately, the Obama administration has taken a more permissive stance. It now allows states to sell lottery tickets online.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had expressed reservations about online gambling a month ago and had vetoed an earlier version of the bill. But in the end, the pressure to sign the legislation was just too great.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

'Best Fracking State In The Union': North Dakotans Pitch New License Plate Slogans

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

North Dakota's legislature is considering a proposal to authorize the first changes to the state's license plate in two decades. North Dakotans are volunteering some humorous ideas for the plate's new slogan.

Religion
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

As Pope Resigns, Clergy Abuse Survivors Remember 2008 Meeting

Bernie McDaid keeps a framed photo of his meeting with Pope Benedict by his front door. "It was a tough moment," McDaid says.
Tovia Smith NPR

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:09 pm

Among those watching the papal transition closely are survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including a handful who were selected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI five years ago as the crisis raged.

The group left the meeting hopeful that that Benedict would make significant changes in how the church handled both past and current cases. Among those at the meeting were Olan Horne and Bernie McDaid.

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Middle East
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

U.S. Plans To Offer More Direct Aid To Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Obama administration is rethinking its strategy in Syria. As the death toll mounts and a diplomatic solution seems out of reach, the administration is planning to do more to help Syrian rebels. That could involve what's referred to as direct, non-lethal assistance. It does not include weapons.

Secretary of State John Kerry is talking about all this in Rome with members of the Syrian opposition, and NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with him.

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Law
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Conservative Justices Skeptical Of Key Part Of Voting Law

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:43 pm

A majority of Supreme Court justices seemed prepared on Wednesday to invalidate a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The law is considered the most effective piece of civil rights legislation in the nation's history.

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Around the Nation
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Mayors Warn Congress That Sequestration Could Hit City Services

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Republican Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., about his concerns for the pending sequester. Smith is in Washington, D.C., with a group of more than 30 mayors, warning members of Congress about the damage that could come to America's cities with these cuts.

Technology
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Piracy Alert System Raises Concerns About Fair Use, Misidentification

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, a new tool in the anti-piracy toolbox. This week, half a dozen Internet service providers - from Verizon to AT&T, along with entertainment industry trade groups - launched the Copyright Alert System.

It's a program to help deter online piracy. When they see movies or TV shows getting swapped illegally, they will trace that back to the person who's doing it, using the IP address. And then - well, here to tell us what happens next is New York Law School professor James Grimmelmann.

And James, what happens next?

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Fine Art
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Artist Behind Rosa Parks Statue: She Was 'Superwoman Dressed In Clark Kent's Clothes'

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

President Obama and the top congressional leaders gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday morning for the dedication of a new statue honoring civil rights activist Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up a seat on a public bus sparked a boycott and a movement.

The Salt
3:12 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Budweiser May Seem Watery, But It Tests At Full Strength, Lab Says

Plaintiffs accuse Anheuser-Busch of misleading consumers about the alcohol content in Bud Light, Budweiser and other products. The brewer denies the claims.
Gary C. Caskey UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:14 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: Beer Is At Full Strength, Tests Say

Samples of Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch InBev beers were found to be in line with their advertised alcohol content, according to lab tests conducted at NPR's request. We've rewritten portions of this post to reflect that new information.

Anheuser-Busch is accused of misleading beer drinkers about the alcohol content of Budweiser and other products, in a series of class-action lawsuits filed in federal court.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
2:59 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Spells Uncertainty For Many Public Schools

Children eat breakfast at a federally funded Head Start program. Many Head Start administrators are concerned they may have to cut back on the number of enrolled children if the sequester moves ahead.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

If Congress and the Obama administration can't agree on a budget deal by Friday, the federal government will be forced to cut $85 billion from just about every federally funded program. Every state could lose federal aid, and a myriad of government programs could shut down or curtail services — and that includes the nation's public schools.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

For Bloomberg, Guns (Like Big Sodas) Are A Health Issue

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media outside the White House after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss the administration's proposals to reduce gun violence.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:17 pm

The victory of a pro-gun-control candidate in the Illinois Democratic primary race to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was also a political win for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose superPAC backed the winner over a candidate it linked to the NRA.

But Robin Kelly's victory Tuesday was, for Bloomberg, more than just another achievement on the gun control front. It was one more win in Bloomberg's unique assault on what he views as the public health problems of our time.

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Governing
2:14 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

5...4...3...2...1... We Have Sequestration

Some countdowns, like the one for the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2006, are credible and some are not. But they all contribute to the Countdown Effect.
Pete Cosgrove AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:57 am

Only a few more hours until the sequestration is scheduled to kick in. You can feel the tension. The anxiety. The pre-panic attack.

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Beauty Shop
9:56 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Do We Still Need A Women's Movement?

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:03 am

100 years ago, thousands of women marched on Washington D.C. to demand the right to vote. Host Michel Martin asks the Beauty Shop ladies about that moment in history, and where the women's rights movement stands today.

Race
9:56 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Students Vote To Drop 'Redskins'

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:03 am

Students at Cooperstown Central School recently voted to stop calling their sport teams the Redskins. In turn, an Indian tribe offered to pay for new team uniforms. Host Michel Martin talks about the gesture with Ray Halbritter, of the Oneida Nation.

The Two-Way
6:09 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Countdown To Sequester: Three Stories That Sum It Up

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:08 am

As a public service to our readers this week we've been offering a list of three stories each day that we think illuminate the looming sequester (or at least the debate over it), set to be triggered by the passing of Friday's deadline.

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Shots - Health News
1:35 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Younger Women Have Rising Rate Of Advanced Breast Cancer, Study Says

Blend Images/Jon Feingersh Getty Images/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:19 am

Researchers say more young American women are being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.

It's a newly recognized trend. The numbers are small, but it's been going on for a generation. And the trend has accelerated in recent years.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 am
Wed February 27, 2013

In Many Families, Exercise Is By Appointment Only

Yvonne Condes helps her son Alec get ready for baseball practice.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:18 am

Most families know that their kids need to exercise. In a poll that NPR recently conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, practically all of the parents surveyed said it's important for their kids to exercise. But about one-third of them said that can be difficult.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Dear College Presidents: Break The NCAA's Vise Grip On Athletes

Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

The great social quest in American sport is to have one prominent, active, gay male athlete step forward and identify himself.

But I have a similar quest. I seek one prominent college president to say to her trustees or to the other presidents in his conference: "The NCAA is a sham and disgrace. Let's get out of it."

We know those presidents who disdain the NCAA are out there, but, alas, none dare speak the words that will break the evil spell.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
4:14 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Advocates Warn Sequester Could Mean Big Cuts For The Low-Income

A nutrition specialist prepares a Meals on Wheels delivery in upstate New York. The national organization says the sequester could mean significant cuts in the number of meals they serve to homebound seniors.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Many programs affecting low-income Americans — like food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — are exempt from across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect March 1.

But many other programs are not, and that has service providers scrambling to figure out how the budget stalemate in Washington might affect those who rely on government aid.

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It's All Politics
3:35 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

A supporter of the Voting Rights Act attends a rally Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:47 pm

The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history rival those of whites.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Immigration Officials Release Detainees Ahead Of Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Ted Robbins about reaction to the Obama administration's decision to release immigrant detainees. The move was attributed to budget cuts.

Law
3:25 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Supreme Court Makes It Harder To Challenge Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

U.S. Supreme Court Police officers stand on the steps in front of the court building in November.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:48 pm

A sharply divided Supreme Court has made it practically impossible for American citizens to challenge the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Can U.S. Embassies Be Safe Without Being Unsightly?

The U.S. Embassy in central London in 2009.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.

Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."

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Politics
3:24 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Most Republicans Who Signed Support For Same-Sex Marriage Aren't In Office

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Next month, the Supreme Court will take up a highly anticipated challenge to California's Prop 8, the ban on gay marriage. Today, a group of prominent Republicans weighed in with a legal brief opposing the ban. That puts them at odds with their party's position. But as NPR's Don Gonyea reports, it puts them in line with public opinion.

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Economy
3:21 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Despite Its Flaws, There's Money In Measuring Consumer Confidence

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Despite warnings from Washington about looming budget cuts, Americans seem to be feeling better about the economy. Earlier today, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence spiked upwards this month. We hear this number and others like it reported all the time and that got us wondering: What does it mean to put a number to the concept of consumer confidence, a number like this month's, 69.6.

We're going to put that question to Adam Davidson from our Planet Money team.

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Politics
3:19 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

House Makes Little Movement Toward Avoiding Automatic Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

With automatic spending cuts totaling $85 billion scheduled to start Friday, Congressional leaders and President Obama continued maneuvering to avoid the political fallout. Melissa Block talks to Tamara Keith about the state of play and has details from a poll that suggests that Americans want to cut the deficit, but only in the abstract.

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