Host Rachel Martin talks with Judith Schulz of the Logic Puzzle Museum in Burlington, Wis., about its International Tongue Twister Contest. This weekend, new Tongue Twister champions were named, and their prizes ranged from a toy boat to a portion of a peck of pickled peppers.
It's rodeo time in Houston, Texas. For three weeks, the city's football stadium plays host to the world's biggest rodeo. And that means chili cook-offs, petting zoos, fried everything, and, oh yeah, there's also the rodeo. Big name performers competing for big money. And as Brenda Salinas reports, it's not just the cowboys getting the crowd riled up.
BRENDA SALINAS, BYLINE: Out of the eight events in professional rodeo, there's one just for women: barrel racing.
Karl Rove had a sharp message to California's Republican Party Saturday. He implored party leaders to "get up off the mat" and work to revitalize the state GOP. Republicans hold no statewide offices in California and have given up a supermajority to Democrats in the state legislature.
Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says efforts to find Jeffrey Bush, who disappeared in a sinkhole, have been discontinued. He says that the conditions at Bush's home have become too dangerous for rescue workers.
"At this point it's really not possible to recover the body," Merrill said at a news conference on Saturday.
He says workers will begin efforts to demolish the home on Sunday.
Wall Street hardly seemed rattled by the $85 billion across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect Friday. As just one indicator, the Dow closed the week within 100 points of hitting an all-time high. For more, host Scott Simon talks with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera.
It was a big week at the Supreme Court. The court heard arguments on a case challenging the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. Plus, the Obama administration filed an important brief in an upcoming gay marriage case. NPR's Nina Totenberg joins host Scott Simon for analysis.
Florida Atlantic University says it's standing by its deal to sell naming rights to its new football stadium to a controversial private prison company. The Boca Raton-based GEO Group faces allegations of abuse and neglect at some of its facilities, and there's a growing call on campus for the school to sever its ties.
In Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, the "Last Great Race on Earth" begins.
Sixty-seven sled dog teams will start the 998-mile Iditarod race across the barren, frigid and unforgiving land. In this year's competition, there are a handful of first-time racers — but those aren't the only rookies.
One is veterinarian Greg Reppas, whose job is to ensure the dogs are healthy throughout the race.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Sequestration is official. President Obama signed an executive order on spending late last night as required by law. He sent the order to Congress and that triggered budget cuts known as sequestration. Earlier in the day, the president met with congressional leaders and when they left without a deal, he took questions at the White House.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Jeffrey Beard has watched America's prisons grow larger and larger every year adding prisoner after prisoner. He began working in the Pennsylvania Corrections system in the early 1970s when there were about 8,000 prisoners. He was secretary of corrections by the time he left in 2010 and by that time Pennsylvania had more than 50,000 people in its prisons.
In a small public-TV studio before an invitation-only audience of 30 people, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made his case Friday for taking control of Detroit's finances away from the city's elected officials.
The state's signature city is grappling with a declining population, a dwindling tax base and decades of mismanagement — including corruption so pervasive at times that former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is currently on trial for federal racketeering charges.
The way Americans get their electricity is changing. Coal is in decline. Natural gas is bursting out of the ground in record amounts. And the use of wind and solar energy is growing fast. All this is happening as power companies are trying to choose which kind of energy to bet on for the next several decades.
Until recently, half of these plants burned coal to make electricity. Now, that's down to about one-third. Since 2010, about 150 coal plants either have been retired or it's been announced they will be retired soon.
Congress failed to reach an agreement on the spending cuts known as the sequester — and now they are out of time. On Friday morning, Congressional leaders from both parties met at the White House. Afterward, House Speaker John Boehner made it clear that Republicans won't budge on taxes.
The Major League Soccer season starts tomorrow. Superstar David Beckham is gone and there aren't any new teams to get excited about this year. But the MLS is on solid footing, and as NPR's Mike Pesca reports, the league has big ambitions.
The long-feared automatic spending cuts are set to start late Friday, and now Congress must deal with another deadline at the end of this month. Tamara Keith talks to Melissa Block about what happens next.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. We've reported a lot on the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline. It would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. And today, there's a development in this story. The State Department has released a new analysis of environmental impacts of the pipeline.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
$46 billion: That's the amount the Pentagon must cut from its budget by the end of September under the new regime of austerity that kicks in today. This afternoon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned about the impact of that.
SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL: Let me make it clear that this uncertainty puts at risk our ability to effectively fulfill all of our missions.
It's no secret that the atmosphere in pro sports for gay athletes, especially men, isn't always a comfortable one. This week came another story on that topic: a report that an NFL team asked college players about their sexual orientation when they were auditioning for the league. The NFL says it's investigating. And for more on this, sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us, as he does most Fridays. Hi there, Stefan.
Two rapid-fire snowstorms belted Kansas with more than 2 feet of snow this week. They caused thousands of accidents and all kinds of hardships — but they also produced very broad smiles from some quarters.
That's because in a place as dry as Kansas has been lately, a blizzard can be a blessing for farmers and ranchers.
Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:39 pm
Update at 2:30 p.m. ET. Rescue Hopes Dim Further:
"Hopes for the rescue of a man sucked into a sinkhole were dimming Friday as authorities tried to determine whether the ground nearby was stable enough for a rescue operation," the Tampa Bay Times writes.
The Times also has a harrowing account from Jeremy Bush, who survived, of his brother Jeffrey's disappearance into the sinkhole:
The Obama administration has filed a friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's ban on gay marriage as a denial of "equal protection under the law." But the brief does not call for the abolition of all state bans on same-sex marriage.
The case now before the high court tests the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a referendum narrowly passed by voters in 2008 that reinstituted a ban on gay marriage.
When NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health asked parents and caregivers in our new poll whether getting a good night's sleep is important, families overwhelmingly told us that sleep is a high priority.
But almost all said that it's difficult to pull off. And studies suggest this is especially true for teenagers.