U.S. News

U.S.
1:52 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

American Tornado Preparedness Has History Of 'Bad Advice'

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Coming up, the strange history of tornado preparedness. Why exactly did they tell us to hide in the southwest corner of the basement? This is NPR News.

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Law
1:45 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Court Prepares To Write New Chapters In Civil Rights History

The Supreme Court is set to deliver opinions in cases involving affirmative action, the voting rights law and same-sex marriage.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:42 pm

It's not unusual for the Supreme Court to find itself at the center of roiling national debates.

But this month, justices are poised to deliver blockbuster opinions involving three of the most divisive issues in the public arena. And in doing so, they will write new and potentially groundbreaking chapters in America's civil rights story.

Affirmative action. Voting rights law. Same-sex marriage.

By June's end, Americans will know if and how public colleges and universities may administer programs designed to enroll more minority students.

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Around the Nation
4:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Many Agree Bridges Are Unsafe, But Few Agree On Fixes

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed last week.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 12:04 pm

As you head out for summer vacation, ponder this: There's a 1 in 9 chance that the bridge you're crossing has been deemed structurally deficient or basically in bad shape by the federal government.

The collapse of the I-5 bridge in Washington last week has once again raised questions about the state of the nation's infrastructure. But there is no consensus on how to tackle the problem or how to pay for proposed solutions.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Firefighters Killed In Houston Motel Blaze

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 4:53 pm

Four firefighters have been killed battling a five-alarm fire at a Houston motel. At least five others have been injured.

The Houston mayor's office confirmed the dead and injured after firefighters responded to the massive blaze at the Southwest Inn shortly after noon. The fire reportedly began at a restaurant and then "flames spread to the motel and were shooting from the roof before firefighters extinguished the blaze," The Associated Press reports.

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Around the Nation
4:33 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

In Ohio Town, Okla. Twister Conjures Echoes Of 1974 Disaster

In 1974, a young Xenia, Ohio, resident sweeps the slab of a house that was destroyed in a tornado that struck the town April 3.
AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

When a tornado roars into a populated area, the change is often drastic and deadly, and it happens within minutes. As the people of Oklahoma struggle to look beyond this month's devastating storms, residents of Xenia, Ohio, are reflecting on the tornado of 1974.

Xenia, in southwest Ohio near Dayton, became well-known to the nation that year. "Everywhere I go, and I've been all over the U.S., if I say I'm from Xenia people say, 'tornado,' " says Catherine Wilson, who runs the historical society in Xenia. She still gets a lot of questions about the twister.

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Shots - Health News
3:56 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Survivor Of Boston Marathon Bombings Has Long Road Ahead

Jen Regan strokes the head of her fiancée, Marc Fucarile, as he sleeps in his hospital bed at Massachusetts General Hospital. Fucarile was injured in the bombings at the Boston Marathon, and had to have his right leg amputated.
Bill Greene Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:41 am

Marc Fucarile reached a huge milestone this week: He was one of the last two Boston Marathon bombing survivors to be released from the hospital.

Fucarile spent 45 days in Massachusetts General Hospital, and he hopes someday to get back to work with a roofing company.

But first he will have to go through rehab. He lost his right leg, and his left leg was badly hurt. He also suffered head injuries.

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

D.C. Agency Approves 2 High-Tech Cancer Centers

After months of heated debate, two of the biggest hospital systems in Washington, D.C., won approval Friday to build expensive proton beam centers for cancer treatment.

Together, the two high-tech expansions are expected to cost $153 million. The green light comes despite questions about whether the proton beam treatment is more effective than less expensive options.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

U.S., Russia At Odds Over Moscow's Plan To Arm Syria

A MIG-29 and its armaments on display at the military aerodrome at Vasylkiv near Kiev, Ukraine.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 4:48 pm

Russian media has hinted that Moscow could speed up delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Syria if the U.S. and its allies decide to impose a no-fly zone to aid rebels there. Meanwhile, a Russian airplane maker says Syria is discussing the purchase of additional MiG-29 fighters.

A Russian arms industry source quoted by Interfax news agency says Moscow could hasten delivery of the S-300 to Syria, even though the missiles would still take months to arrive.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

'Atari Dump' Will Be Excavated, After Nearly 30 Years

The "Atari Dump" of New Mexico, where the game company rid itself of unsold game cartridges, will be excavated this summer. Here, a file photo shows a woman demonstrating Atari's unreleased 1984 Mindlink device, using a headband that picks up impulses from movement of the player's forehead.
Charlie Knoblock AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 4:59 pm

The New Mexico landfill or "Atari Dump" where the game console maker buried its mistakes — the biggest being the game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — will be dug up by game developer Fuel Industries, which hopes to make a documentary about the project.

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Remembering Heroes Of The Second World War
3:04 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Army Nurse Mildred Manning: An 'Angel' POW With A Job To Do

Mildred Manning, then Mildred Dalton, was serving as a U.S. Army nurse in the Philippines when she was taken prisoner by Japanese forces in 1942.
U.S. Army

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

Sixteen million men and women served in uniform during World War II. Today, 1.2 million are still alive, but hundreds of those vets are dying every day. In honor of Memorial Day, NPR's All Things Considered is remembering some of the veterans who died this year.

There were no "typical" tours of duty in World War II, but U.S. Army nurse Mildred Dalton Manning's was particularly extraordinary. Manning, along with six dozen other nurses, was held captive by the Japanese for almost three years. The group became known as the "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor."

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Economy
3:04 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Latest Economic Forecast: A Whole Lot Of 'Meh'

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We knew it couldn't last. We've been reporting some good news about the economy lately. The housing market has been doing quite well. Unemployment is high, but it's been falling. But today, the government released some key economic data and it suggests things are not quite as good as they seemed. Adam Davidson with NPR's Planet Money team joins us to explain. And, Adam, what did we learn today?

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It's All Politics
1:50 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Romney Not Done With Politics

Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., in March.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 2:10 pm

Mitt Romney may have lost the biggest prize in American politics last year, but that doesn't mean he's left the game for good.

While there's no evidence to suggest he's interested in a third consecutive run for the White House, the man who topped the 2012 Republican national ticket is signaling his intent to play a role in the 2014 midterm election.

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Shots - Health News
12:15 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Young Women With Breast Cancer Opting For Mastectomy

Toborcia Bedgood performs a mammogram to screen for breast cancer at the Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles in 2010.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer when they're 40 or younger are choosing mastectomy rather than more limited and breast-conserving lumpectomy plus radiation, a study of women in Massachusetts finds.

Moreover, most of those choosing mastectomy elect to have the other, noncancerous breast removed, too.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

2 Years Added To Expected Life Of Medicare Trust Fund

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

"The trust fund that finances Medicare's hospital insurance coverage will remain solvent until 2026, two years beyond what was projected in last year's report," the program's trustees reported Friday.

In a statement, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gives some of the credit to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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U.S.
6:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Spelling Bee Winner Conquers 'German Curse'

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A 13-year-old from Queens won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. He correctly spelled a Yiddish word of German origin meaning dumpling.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE)

ARVIND MAHANKALI: Knaidel. K-N-A-I-D-E-L. Knaidel.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You are correct.

Shots - Health News
1:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Proton Beam Therapy Sparks Hospital Arms Race

A construction worker paints walls at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore. Each of the center's five rooms will contain a massive piece of equipment that will rotate around a cancer patient to deliver a special kind of radiation.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:41 am

When it comes to reining in health care spending, it still seems like each hospital administrator thinks the guy at the other hospital should do it.

Hospitals are still racing to offer expensive new technology — even when it hasn't been proved to work better than cheaper approaches. Case in point: proton beam therapy, a high-tech radiation treatment for cancer.

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The Salt
1:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Michigan Tracks Cattle From Birth To Plate

Whenever a steer or cow leaves a farm in Michigan or goes to a slaughterhouse, it passes by a tag reader, and its ID number goes to a central computer that keeps track of every animal's location.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:54 am

When you pick up a cut of beef at the store, would you like to know that animal's life history? The technology to do this does exist — at least in Michigan, where the state requires all cattle to carry electronic ear tags. It's the only state that requires such tags.

Michigan's cattle-tracking system was forced on farmers because of a crisis. Fifteen years ago, cattle in part of the state started catching tuberculosis from wild deer.

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StoryCorps
12:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Cherishing The Gift Of Friendship Through A Cancer Bout

Peter Obetz (left) and Jeff Jarrett met in 1998 and are still close friends. Peter was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer in 2004. He was declared cancer-free in 2009. They visited StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

"Food would get stuck down my throat, and it got worse and worse, so I met with my doctor. I had a tumor on my esophagus wall," says Peter, 48, during a visit to StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

TSA: No More Graphic, Full-Body Airport Scans

A U.S. Transportation Security Administration employee demonstrates the less intrusive Automated Target Recognition software in 2011.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:40 pm

The Transportation Security Administration has told Congress that it's finished retrofitting airport scanners to blunt a widely criticized technology that shows graphic detail of a passenger's body as he or she goes through security checkpoints.

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It's All Politics
4:32 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

War Zone Visit A McCain Trademark

In this photo provided by Mouaz Moustafa and the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Sen. John McCain, accompanied by Moustafa (right) visits rebels in Syria on Monday. McCain, who slipped into the country for a surprise visit, favors providing arms to rebel forces in Syria.
Mouaz Moustafa AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:02 pm

There are risks aplenty for a U.S. lawmaker who makes a surprise visit to a war zone, as Sen. John McCain recently did when he crossed the border from Turkey into Syria.

The perils to life and limb go without saying. But there are also other risks: trying to tell the good guys from the bad guys; or being victimized by disinformation from unfriendly Middle Eastern interests.

While McCain got out unscathed from Syria, where he visited rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, he may have had less success navigating the other risks.

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U.S.
3:47 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Will Ill. Legalize Gay Marriage Before Legislature Adjourns?

Activists rally in support of gay marriage on March 25 in Chicago. The Illinois Senate has approved legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage, but it has stalled in the state House.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:04 pm

The clock is ticking for those who hope Illinois will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night, and the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House, where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it.

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Shots - Health News
3:30 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Administration Touts Competition In Insurance Exchanges

The Obama administration is countering criticism that the new health insurance exchanges will be lacking in competition, though it's doing so a bit quietly.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

No, Frosted Mini-Wheats Won't Make Your Kids Smarter

YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:23 pm

  • Hear Robert Siegel's Interview With Attorney Tim Blood

If you thought sugar-coated pockets of shredded wheat could boost your brain power, we're here to break it to you gently: No, they can't. But a check in the mail may soon ease your disappointment.

Breakfast foods purveyor Kellogg has agreed to a $4 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging it ran a deceptive marketing campaign for the sugary cereal.

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All Tech Considered
3:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Online College Courses Get A Big Boost, But Doubts Persist

The University of Tennessee became one of 10 state university systems teaming up with Coursera, a for-profit tech company.
Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:01 pm

From New Mexico to New York, 10 state university systems have announced they are joining the ranks of elite institutions embracing the massive open online course, or MOOC, system.

On Thursday, they unveiled a landmark partnership with Coursera, a for-profit tech company with 3.5 million registered students. It's the biggest effort to catapult degree-granting institutions into the world of global education.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

The Survivor: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Outlasts Political, Legal Trouble

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America," is best-known for aggressively enforcing immigration laws.
Laura Segall Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:52 am

Update at 7:12 p.m. ET Recall Fails

The Associated Press reports that organizers of a petition to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio fell short of Thursday's deadline to collect 335,000 signatures.

Our original post:

Once again, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is at the center of political and legal controversies. Once again, it appears he will survive.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

U.S. Shot Putter Awarded Gold, Years After 2004 Olympics

Adam Nelson (left), has been awarded the gold medal in the men's shot put, after original winner Yuriy Bilonoh of Ukraine was found to have violated doping rules.
Nick Laham Getty Images

U.S. shot putter Adam Nelson has been awarded a gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics, after his rival at those games, Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, was stripped of the victory last December for violating doping rules. The International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Olympic Committee made the change official Thursday.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Father Of Chechen Killed In Florida Says His Son Was Executed

Abdul-Baki Todashev, father of Ibragim Todashev, shows pictures he says are of his son's bullet-riddled body, at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.
Andrey Smirnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:18 pm

The father of the Chechen immigrant who was killed in Florida during an FBI interrogation over his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects says his son was killed execution-style.

At a news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed reporters 16 photos he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue.

"I want justice. I want an investigation," Todashev said. "They come to your house like bandits, and they shoot you."

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Four Men In A Small Boat Face The Northwest Passage

A European Space Agency photo of the McClure Strait in the Canadian Arctic. The McClure Strait is the most direct route of the Northwest Passage and has been fully open since early August 2007.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 1:23 pm

Only a few years ago, even large commercial vessels wouldn't take on the ice-bound Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific via the Canadian north — but climate change has changed all that.

Now, a group of hearty adventurers hopes to be the first to row the 1,900-mile route this summer.

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Shots - Health News
12:57 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Joblessness Shortens Life Expectancy For White Women

Unemployment can be a health hazard.
unknown iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 2:39 pm

At a time when many people live longer, it's been a mystery why white women without a high school diploma have been dying increasingly earlier those with more education.

A study in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior tries to understand this growing mortality gap, and finds two key factors: smoking — already well known as detrimental to life expectancy — and, more surprising, unemployment.

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Shots - Health News
10:56 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Immigrants Subsidize, Rather Than Drain, Medicare

Patients wait in line at Nuestra Clinica Del Valle in San Juan, Texas, in September 2012 file photo. A study released on Wednesday finds that immigrants, particularly noncitizens, heavily subsidize Medicare, and that policies that restrict immigration may deplete Medicare's financial resources.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:42 am

As Congress mulls changing America's border and naturalization rules, a study finds that immigrant workers are helping buttress Medicare's finances.

Immigrants contribute tens of billions of dollars a year more than immigrant retirees use in medical services.

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