U.S. News

It's All Politics
3:01 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Top GOP Voter ID Crusader Loses Virginia Election Panel Post

Hans Von Spakovsky in his official FEC photo taken during former President George W. Bush's administration.
FEC.gov

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:24 am

To those who closely follow the voter ID wars, Hans von Spakovsky is a household name, one of the nation's leading crusaders against voter fraud, and also one of its more controversial. Days before the 2012 election, The New Yorker profiled him as "the man who has stoked fear about imposters at the poll."

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
11:56 am
Sat February 23, 2013

The Four Biggest Best Picture Oscar Upsets, Statistically Speaking

The cast of Crash celebrates after its surprise upset of Brokeback Mountain for best picture, at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 12:28 pm

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court To Rethink DOMA

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:34 am

The Obama administration is following through on its relatively newfound support of gay marriage. On Friday, the administration filed a legal brief with the Justice Department that urges the Supreme Court to strike down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

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History
5:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Civil Rights Exhibit Highlights Successes, Work Left To Be Done

An undated photo from the exhibit shows Southern Christian Leadership Conference officials leading demonstrators in a march "against fear and injustice" in Decatur, Ga.
SCLC records, MARBL, Emory University

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 9:55 am

A new exhibit on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta is bringing civil rights leaders together.

Curators have worked for more than three years to catalog roughly 1,000 boxes of historic documents that tell the story of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an early civil rights group first presided over by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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It's All Politics
3:32 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Senate Decisions Could Put Lindsey Graham's Seat At Risk

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voices his opposition to President Obama's choice of former Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska as secretary of defense, on Capitol Hill last week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 9:55 am

It seems Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has done his best in recent weeks to get as much ink as possible, talking about things that play well with the conservatives in his home state of South Carolina, like Benghazi and gun rights.

Graham also held up the nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary to get more answers about what happened in Benghazi, even as he admitted Hagel had nothing to do with it. But his opposition might have more to do with home state politics than the nomination itself.

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Art & Design
3:31 am
Sat February 23, 2013

'Nordic Cool' Illuminates D.C.'s Kennedy Center

Nordic Cool Facade.
Yassine El Mansouri Courtesy: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 11:18 pm

What is Nordic cool?

Right now, it's a massive festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with artists and designers displaying art and culture from their very top sliver of the globe.

The festival arrives at what seems like just the right moment for Americans.

From the Danish modern furniture of the 1950s to the omnipresence of Ikea, Americans have long been attracted to the austere design of Nordic countries.

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It's All Politics
3:13 am
Sat February 23, 2013

States Take Sides As Court Revisits Voting Rights Act

President Lyndon Johnson and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. discuss the Voting Rights Act in 1965. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments on whether a key part of the law is still needed nearly a half century after its passage.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments next week in a case that tests the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the law considered the most effective civil rights statute in American history. At issue is whether a key provision of the statute has outlived its usefulness.

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Africa
3:12 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Fighting Stream Of Terrorist Capital, Kenya Cracks Down On Somali Businesses

People walk down a market street in Eastleigh, a predominantly Muslim Somali neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2009. The neighborhood has come under scrutiny as the U.S. cracks down on terrorism financing.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 8:26 pm

U.S. counterterrorism efforts include choking off the flow of cash to extremists, and urging friendly countries to help. But in Nairobi, Kenya, suspicion of Somali money — and an increase in terrorist attacks — has prompted a country-wide crackdown, with Kenyan police accused of extortion and arbitrary arrests of thousands of Somali refugees.

But how do you tell the difference between tainted money and honest cash?

Take Eastleigh, a neighborhood in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

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It's All Politics
4:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

What's The Sequester? And How Did We Get Here?

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) answers questions during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:26 pm

They've been everywhere this week: dire warnings about threats posed by across-the-board federal spending cuts.

Unless Congress acts, the cuts are due to take effect a week from Friday. The administration is trying to drive home the ways that could affect you.

For example, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday that air traffic controllers will have to take unpaid days off beginning in April. Fewer controllers on the job could mean airport delays, and some airlines may decide to cancel flights.

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U.S.
4:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

As Police Drones Take Off, Washington State Pushes Back

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:28 pm

Last year, Seattle became one of the nation's first cities to buy unmanned drones for use by the police department. Public reaction was less "Gee-whiz" than "What the heck?"

The phrase "unmanned drones" typically conjures images of places like Afghanistan. But the Federal Aviation Administration says it wants to start testing the civilian use of aerial drones here in the U.S. and has already issued special permits to a few police departments interested in trying them out.

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Science
4:03 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Boston Grapples With The Threat Of Storms And Rising Water

The Boston Tea Party museum sits right on the edge of the harbor. With rising sea levels and the increasing threat of strong storms, buildings like these are at particular risk of flooding.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:02 pm

Since the drubbing that Superstorm Sandy gave the Northeast in November, there's a new sense of urgency in U.S. coastal cities. Even though scientists can't predict the next big hurricane, they're confident that a warmer climate is likely to make Atlantic storms bigger and cause more flooding.

Cities like Boston are in the bull's-eye.

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It's All Politics
3:18 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Sequester In South Carolina: A Tale Of Fighter Jets And Preschools

Four F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron of Shaw Air Force Base fly over Darlington Raceway before a NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C., in May 2012.
Geoff Burke Getty Images for NASCAR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

In Sumter, S.C., home of Shaw Air Force Base and the 20th Fighter Wing, cars sport bumper stickers that say, "Jet noise is the sound of freedom."

Throughout the day, F-16s on training runs blast from a runway on base, disappearing into the foggy sky. But if automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts slated for March 1 go into effect, there will be a lot less of that sound.

"To cut to that level, we just could not pay for the amount of flying hours that we currently have," says Capt. Ann Blodzinski, the base's chief of public affairs.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Penn State Officials Take Booze Out Of 'State Patty's Day' Mix

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

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Asia
2:47 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Obama's Meeting With New Japanese Leader Focuses On China

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The Japanese flag flew over Blair House in Washington today. That's where foreign leaders stay when they visit the White House. Japan's new prime minister is here for his first meeting with President Obama, and they've been discussing economic and security issues as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

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Health Care
2:26 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

This Year's Flu Vaccine Falters In Protecting Elderly

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This year's flu vaccine looks like it's not doing much to protect older people. New numbers in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the vaccine has only been effective about a quarter of the time for people 65 and older. NPR's Rob Stein joins me to explain what that means. And Rob, tell us more about these numbers coming from the CDC.

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Sports
2:26 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

DOJ Joins Whistleblower Case Against Lance Armstrong

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is some legal news in American sports as well today. The Justice Department announced it will join a whistleblower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong. The suit was filed by one of Armstrong's former teammates on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team. And for more, I'm joined by NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Aquarium Dumping Linked To Giant Tahoe Goldfish

You're going to need a bigger fishbowl.

Scientists searching for invasive species in Lake Tahoe scooped up a bright orange goldfish measuring nearly a foot and a half long and weighing more than 4 pounds, according to the website Live Science. (You can see it here.)

Environmental scientist Sudeep Chandra says a survey has uncovered a "nice corner" of the lake where about 15 other giant goldfish were living, apparently after being dumped there by aquarium owners.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

FBI Raids The Scooter Store; Will TSA Crack Down On 'Wheelchair Miracles'?

Scooter Store ads are ubiquitous.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Somehow, the image of a slow-speed chase comes to mind:

Federal agents have "wrapped up their search of The Scooter Store's offices in New Braunfels," the San Antonio Express-News reports.

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NPR Story
9:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

How Wood Smoke is Dirtying Alaska's Air

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 11:03 am

In Fairbanks, Alaska, residents are using wood stoves to heat their homes during the frigid winter months. But, smoke created by these wood burners is contributing to some of the worst air pollution in the country. Cathy Cahill discusses air quality in the Last Frontier.

The Salt
8:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

For Fruit Flies, Alcohol Really Is Mommy's Little Helper

Alcohol: a key babyproofing product for this little mother.
Illustration by Daniel M.N. Turner Photos via istockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:26 am

Many a mom has reached for a glass of wine after a long day of tending children. But only fruit fly moms use their version of Chardonnay to guard their babies from harm.

When fly moms see marauding wasps, they seek out the alcohol in fermenting fruit, and lay their eggs there, according to new research. The alcohol is toxic to the wasps, but not to the fruit flies. They've evolved a tolerance for hooch.

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Shots - Health News
3:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Morning-After Pills Don't Cause Abortion, Studies Say

Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 2:51 pm

The most heated part of the fight between the Obama administration and religious groups over new rules that require most health plans to cover contraception actually has nothing to do with birth control. It has to do with abortion.

Specifically, do emergency contraceptives interfere with a fertilized egg and cause what some consider to be abortion?

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Sports
1:21 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Fans Pitch Bids For Former Red Sox Pitcher's Bloodstained Sock

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's bloody sock and spikes are displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Schilling, whose video game company went bankrupt, is selling the bloodstained sock he wore during baseball's 2004 World Series.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

The 2004 Major League Baseball playoffs will always be remembered for an astonishing Red Sox comeback and a bloody sock worn by pitcher Curt Schilling.

Well, actually there were two bloodstained socks. But the first was thrown away, and now the second sock is being auctioned off to repay Schilling's debts.

Ask any die-hard Red Sox fan and he or she can recall the game by heart. It was Oct. 19, 2004. Schilling took the hill with a bum right ankle in a do-or-die playoff game against the Yankees.

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Around the Nation
9:28 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Chicago Kids Say They're Assigned To Gangs

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll take a trip to Puerto Rico. The economy is struggling, but the music there is thriving. We'll hear more about that in just a few minutes.

But first, we turn to Chicago, where the recent shooting death of honor student Hadiya Pendleton has put that city's battle with gun violence, especially affecting the youngest victims, back into the national headlines.

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Music
9:28 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Singer Lea Gimore On Musicals That Move Her

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to turn now to a regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests tell us about the songs that inspire them. Singer Lea Gilmore's mastery of gospel, blues and jazz has made her a name as far away as Siberia. But she freely admits her musical tastes are equally wide-ranging, including a popular tune from a musical that's for an Oscar this Sunday.

LEA GILMORE: Hi, my name is Lea Gilmore and this is what I'm listening to.

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The Salt
8:35 am
Thu February 21, 2013

More Antioxidants In Your Diet May Not Mean Better Health

The flavonoids in coffee may have health benefits, but preventing stroke may not be one of them.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 10:34 am

Antioxidants in foods are good for you, so more should be better, right?

Evidently not.

In a new study, people who ate more antioxidants overall didn't lower their risk of stroke and dementia in old age. That flies in the face of earlier research that found that the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables reduce stroke and dementia risk.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Thu February 21, 2013

L.A. Hotel Where Body Was Found In Water Tank Has 'Long, Dark History'

The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, which advertises "low monthly rates."
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:44 am

  • From KPCC: Chris Nichols speaks with Susanne Whatley about the Cecil Hotel

(Feb. 22, 7:15 a.m. ET: Scroll down for an update. "The water's safe, authorities say.")

The gruesome discovery this week of a young woman's body inside a rooftop water tank at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles is not the Cecil's first brush with such notoriety, as Southern California Public Radio's KPCC reports.

Chris Nichols, associate editor at Los Angeles Magazine, told KPCC about the hotel's "long, dark history."

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Winter Storm 'Q' Barrels Through Nation's Midsection

Snow-packed morning commute in Wichita on Wednesday.
Wichita Eagle MCT via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:02 pm

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. State of emergency in Missouri.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency due to the heavy snowfall. The declaration allows state agencies to work directly with county and city emergency responders.

Jennifer Davidson of member station KSMU reports that about 40 people are staying at The Salvation Army in Springfield, which provides beds, blankets, and food for families in need.

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Shots - Health News
4:33 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

In Reversal, Florida Gov. Scott Agrees To Medicaid Expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, long a foe of the administration's health overhaul, reversed course and agree to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:25 am

Perhaps Florida Gov. Rick Scott's motto should be "never say never."

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U.S.
4:11 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Georgia Death Penalty Under Renewed Scrutiny After 11th-Hour Stay

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:05 pm

A Georgia inmate's execution was halted Tuesday night with less than an hour to go. Prison officials had already given Warren Lee Hill one of the drugs when a federal appeals court stepped in.

Hill has an IQ of 70 and his attorneys have long claimed that he's mentally impaired. His case is now raising questions about Georgia's law, which makes it difficult for defendants to prove they should be exempt from execution.

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U.S.
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

As Sequestration Looms, Defense Civilians Face Furloughs

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Pentagon officials notified Congress on Wednesday that they will furlough some 800,000 defense civilians for one day per week should automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, kick in next month.

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