U.S. News

The Two-Way
6:42 am
Sun June 9, 2013

The Latest On The NSA Surveillance Story

British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Abbas Momani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 11:51 am

In the past several days, there's been a steady flow of leaks about the National Security Agency and its secret surveillance activities, including the gathering of metadata on domestic and foreign telephone calls and the existence of PRISM, described in media reports as a top-secret data-mining program.

New developments are occurring on a daily basis. Here are a few we're watching right now:

Read more
The Sunday Conversation
4:50 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Making The Switch: An American Woman's Journey To Islam

Karen Danielson, who was raised Catholic, converted to Islam 30 years ago.
Courtesy of the Muslim American Society Chicago

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:35 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Karen Danielson converted to Islam three decades ago, was she was 19. She was raised Catholic, and then later became a Baptist and enrolled in a Baptist college, where she picked up the Koran. Now, she's the director of outreach at the Chicago chapter of the Muslim American Society.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:07 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Lessons From Cicadas: A New Jersey Community's Experience

A member of Brood II alights on a New Jersey shrub.
Fred Mogul NPR

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:58 am

Ten-year-old Markus Gokan has mixed feelings about the cicadas scattered around the yards and sidewalks of Summit, N.J.

"There's tons of them just squashed, just these flat, pancake cicadas that don't look very appetizing," Gokan says.

Yet he's not afraid to touch and handle un-squashed cicadas — to serve a higher purpose.

"I did pick up a few, and I threw them at some people I don't like," he explains.

They screamed, he says, so for him his mission was successful.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

A Year Later, Few Residents Have Rebuilt After Colorado Fire

The High Park wildfire swept through the rural area northwest of Fort Colins, Colo., last June, leaving one person dead.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:58 am

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the High Park fire northwest of Fort Collins, Colo. The blaze consumed 259 homes in the rural area, but so far only 10 households have finished rebuilding a year later.

As Gary and Martha Lemert sort through photographs from the High Park fire, it takes just one before and after shot to convey the complete devastation of their 10-acre property.

All they had left after the fire was a green roof that looked like it had been melted on top of gray rubble. All told, the Lemerts lost eight buildings, including a garage and a guest house.

Read more
Science
4:03 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Aquarium Sculptors Create Coral For Conservation Awareness

Projected image of the complete Blacktip Reef exhibit.
Courtesy of the National Aquarium

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 8:42 pm

Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.

The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.

Read more
National Security
3:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Week In News: Spying Suspicions Come To Light

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Revelations this week that the National Security Agency has been running an extensive domestic surveillance program involving companies like Google, Facebook and Apple has caused many Americans to ask what's left of their privacy. Guest host Tess Vigeland speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic.

U.S.
3:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Signs Point To Destructive Wildfire Season Ahead

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Authorities are still searching for a motive in yesterday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the alleged shooter had weapons with the capacity to fire 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

Meanwhile, north of Los Angeles, fire officials say the so-called powerhouse fire in the Angeles National Forest is 90 percent contained. Twenty-four homes were destroyed, and state officials say the blaze cost some $16 million to knock down.

Read more
Law
3:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

'Not Fighting For Just Sarah': Rating Transplant Priorities

Sarah Murnaghan, center, on May 30 as she and her parents marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her father, Fran, is at left. Her mother, Janet, is at right.
Murnaghan family AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:10 am

Sarah Murnaghan's spirit can be summed up by her personalized Monopoly character: a three-legged silver pig that can stand on its own.

"Everybody sort of expects her to decline here, and she does, but she fights back every time," says her mother, Janet.

Sarah, who has cystic fibrosis, has a reason to keep fighting: She's another step closer to getting a lung transplant. Sarah has been waiting for a year and a half, and doctors say she could die soon without a transplant.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

DNI Calls Reporting On Government Surveillance 'Reckless'

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 7:08 pm

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Saturday said media reporting this week about government surveillance activities amounted to "reckless disclosures" that could hand terrorists a playbook to foil detection.

He said the surveillance measures are legal and said the reporting lacked full context:

Read more
Politics
1:31 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Our Surveillance Society: What Orwell And Kafka Might Say

News about data collection by the government sounds uncomfortably like prophetic novels of the past.
Alex Williamson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 11:48 am

President Obama says he's not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.

Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, "In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:28 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Pakistan's New Government Protests U.S. Drone Strike

Newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right) during a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Islamabad on Wednesday. Sharif has vowed to end U.S. drone strikes in the country.
AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan's new government wasted no time on Saturday in lodging a formal diplomatic complaint with Washington over a U.S. drone strike that reportedly killed seven militants near the Afghan border.

U.S. Charges D'Affaires Richard Hoagland was summoned to Pakistan's Foreign Office to receive the government's official protest. U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson was out of the country at the time of Friday's attack.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:40 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Newark Mayor To Run For New Jersey's Open U.S. Senate Seat

Newark Mayor Cory Booker at a news conference last week.
Julio Cortez Associated Press

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:49 pm

Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced Saturday he would run to finish the late Frank Lautenberg's term in the U.S. Senate.

Booker, a 44-year-old Democrat, has served as mayor since 2006 and is Newark's third black mayor. He is hoping to claim Lautenberg's seat, which has been filled by Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa until a special election in October.

He made the announcement at a Saturday event in which he was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:40 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Three Americans Killed In Latest Afghanistan 'Insider Attack'

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 9:02 am

In another "insider attack," two U.S. soldiers and an American civilian were killed in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province on Saturday by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform.

"Two U.S. International Security Assistance Force service members and one U.S. civilian were killed today when an individual wearing an ANA uniform turned his weapon against (them)," according to a statement from Afghanistan's NATO-led force.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:21 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Tech Giants Deny Granting NSA 'Direct Access' To Servers

A man poses for photos in front of a sign at the entrance to the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, Calif., on Friday.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Tech companies that cooperated with government intelligence-gathering efforts by allowing access to their databases say they did so only reluctantly and that it never involved 'direct access' to servers, according to The New York Times.

Read more
Commentary
7:07 am
Sat June 8, 2013

An Abandoned Racehorse Finds Love On The Home Stretch

Tom Strauss tries to round up some of the rescued horses to show potential adopters, at the MidAtlantic Horse Rescue Organization near Chesapeake City, Md. The rescue takes care of up to 14 horses at a time.
Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 5:31 am

In a small barn on a sprawling farm near Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, something is munching on my blond ponytail, which admittedly looks like a tasty morsel of hay. I turn around and push away the head of a young thoroughbred straight off the racetrack. He inches closer and nudges me in the neck. He's strong, but his eyes are kind and playful. I reach out to rub his nose, and he lets his whole head melt into my arms. And at that moment, the story I was planning to write about the horse industry gets personal.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ariel Castro On 329 Counts

Ariel Castro, whose Cleveland, Ohio, home allegedly became a prison for three kidnapped young women, has been indicted on 329 counts by a grand jury. Other charges include 177 counts of kidnapping and 139 counts of rape, as well as aggravated murder, a charge stemming from "the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy."

Read more
World
4:04 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Russian Rockers Visit Washington To Lobby For Band Mates

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot came to Washington to meet members of the Obama administration and Congress. The feminist activist band is hoping to persuade U.S. officials to visit two of their members in Russian penal colonies to highlight their plight.

Economy
4:01 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

May Unemployment Report Adds Up To Modest Growth

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Steady but not stellar, that's the message today from the government's monthly jobs report. While the economy added 175,000 jobs in May, the unemployment rate ticked up a notch, to 7.6 percent. NPR's John Ydstie explains.

Read more
U.S.
4:01 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Obama Calls Secret Monitoring Programs Legal, Limited

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

President Obama spoke for the first time about revelations that his administration has been continuing the monitoring of Internet communications and warehousing of cellphone records that began under President Bush. Obama defended both programs as necessary to keep the country safe and said Congress had been kept fully apprised.

Politics
4:01 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Despite Assurances, Civil Libertarians Blast NSA Programs

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama was at pains today to defend the National Security Agency programs that were uncovered this week by The Guardian and The Washington Post. He said nobody is listening to your telephone calls and he assured the country that these intelligence efforts come with strict government oversight.

Read more
National Security
4:01 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Obama Defends NSA Programs Amid Meeting With China's Leader

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Today, President Obama acknowledged and defended secret U.S. surveillance programs that have been revealed this week. He said judges approved them and the programs are audited to make sure they don't overreach.

Read more
Code Switch
3:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Black Americans Give Entertainment Options Failing Grades

A poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that African-Americans are unhappy with their local entertainment venues.
Corbis

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

All this week on Code Switch and on air we've been digging into the findings of a survey of African-American views of their communities, finances and social lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Plug Pulled On California Nuclear Plant, For Good

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Southern California, a nuclear power plant that supplied energy to more than a million homes is shutting down for good. As NPR's Ina Jaffe reports, the San Onofre nuclear plant has been idle for repair since January of 2012.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: The twin, white domes at the San Onofre nuclear power plant have been landmarks on the California coast for more than four decades.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS CHANTING)

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:38 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Datapalooza: A Concept, A Conference And A Movement

Jonathan Bush, co-founder, athenahealth, at Health Datapalooza IV, where he urged the government to release more data on health care quality and costs.
FotoBriceno for Health Data Consortium Health Data Consortium

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

If you're having trouble picturing a health "datapalooza," think 2,000-plus data geeks, entrepreneurs, industry bigwigs and bureaucrats stuffed into hotel conference rooms with lots of coffee and PowerPoints.

Early this week the fourth annual Health Datapalooza conference descended on Washington, D.C., including a contest over the course of the two-day meeting to come up with the best health app on the spot.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:36 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

United States Of Outrage: NSA, IRS Overreaches Spark Bipartisan Ire

President Obama speaks at Mooresville Middle School in Mooresville, N.C., on Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:14 pm

Even in an era of stark political polarization, there are still some issues that can draw Americans together and scramble the normal ideological fault lines.

Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency are among them.

Unlike the debates over Obamacare or President Obama himself, which tend to be more litmus tests for party affiliation than anything else, the reactions to reports about overreach by the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency have brought normally warring partisans together.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:31 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Salt, Flies, Pickled Tongues: A Perfect Great Salt Lake Swim

Swimmers begin a 1-mile race in the Great Salt Lake in June 2012. The mountains of Stansbury Island rise in the background.
Connie Hubbard

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

It's the "liquid lie of the desert," as writer Terry Tempest Williams describes it, a vast inland sea so salty it triggers retching when swallowed. Brine shrimp swarm its waters and brine flies blanket the shore. In the right wind and weather its putrid smell reaches Salt Lake City neighborhoods 16 miles away. Storms churn up waves that rival ocean swells.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Wal-Mart Meeting Spurs Protests Over Low Pay, Safety Issues

Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon speaks to shareholders at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., during this week's shareholders' meeting. The company is coping with a bribery scandal, as well as demands from workers.
Gareth Patterson AP

Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores' annual shareholders' meeting this week showed signs of the company's recent turbulence, as protesters assembled at corporate headquarters to shout slogans and demands.

Despite a court-issued restraining order, the protesters, including workers who are on strike, decried low wages and called for better safety procedures for supply-chain workers. And some of their views were heard inside the meeting, as well.

Read more
The Salt
11:40 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Hold The Hot Dog: National Park Visitors Can Feast On Bison Burgers

Stefan Larsson serves up bison sloppy Joes and juniper-smoked bison tenderloin, which will be offered at the Yellowstone National Park this summer. Each park will have different menus featuring local foods.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

The director of the National Park Service doesn't have anything against hot dogs or pizza being served in eateries in national parks.

"But I wanted more options, and more healthy choices," Jonathan Jarvis told me at a tasting event this week to unveil new standards for the concessionaires who operate more than 250 food and beverage operations in national parks.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:56 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Photo Staff Firings Won't Shake Pulitzer Winner's Focus

The Chicago Sun-Times made a surprise announcement last week: it fired its entire photography staff. Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist John White worked there for more than forty years. He talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about what this news means for him personally and the future of photojournalism.

NPR Story
9:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Strengthening Buildings In Tornado Alley

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:33 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Powerful storms this spring: tornadoes like the ones in Oklahoma have caused damage estimated in the billions of dollars and dozens of deaths. But does the destruction have to be so devastating? What are the engineering challenges to designing and building stronger, more tornado-resistant structures and providing better protection for the people who live there?

Read more

Pages