U.S. News

All Tech Considered
4:20 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

The Battle Over Open-Internet Rules Shifts To Congress

President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwidth to customers.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:01 pm

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:56 pm

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

Vapor from an e-cigarette obscures the user's face in a London coffee bar.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:55 pm

Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

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Law
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Air Marshal Whistleblower

Former air marshal Robert MacLean blew the whistle after he was informed that missions on overnight, long-distance flights were being canceled. The announcement came just days after air marshals were warned of terrorist threats.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:30 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 7-to-2 vote, ruled in favor of a fired air marshal on Wednesday. In a decision of great interest to federal employees and air travelers, the court said that the air marshal's alert about safety concerns was shielded by the federal whistleblower protection law.

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Sports
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

'Deflate-Gate' Is 'Sour Grapes' Or Serious Business, Depending Who You Ask

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Rep. Van Hollen: Obama's Focused On Helping Middle Class

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

At Davos, U.S. Economic Recovery Widely Lauded

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
1:03 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Scientists Give Genetically Modified Organisms A Safety Switch

Scientists reprogrammed the common bacterium E. coli so it requires a synthetic amino acid to live.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:37 pm

Researchers at Harvard and Yale have used some extreme gene-manipulation tools to engineer safety features into designer organisms.

This work goes far beyond traditional genetic engineering, which involves moving a gene from one organism to another. In this case, they're actually rewriting the language of genetics.

The goal is to make modified organisms safer to use, and also to protect them against viruses that can wreak havoc on pharmaceutical production.

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NPR Ed
9:08 am
Wed January 21, 2015

State Of The Union: A Quick Wrap On Education

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 2:25 pm

Right off the bat, the president touted the fact that more kids are graduating from high school and college than ever before. "We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world," he said in Tuesday's State of the Union speech. "And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record."

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Law
3:17 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Supreme Court Rules On 2 Prisoner Rights Cases

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 2:10 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Politics
3:08 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Republicans Charge Obama Isn't Serious About Working With Them

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Wed January 21, 2015

War Over Obamacare Heats Up In States

Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Ritze, a Republican and a physician, plans to revive the fight against the Affordable Care Act in the 2015 legislative session.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:12 am

Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Ritze is a foot soldier — one of hundreds — in a passionate war over the Affordable Care Act that is reigniting as state legislatures convene across the country.

The Republican lawmaker, a family doctor, has stood behind three anti-Obamacare bills supported by conservative groups in Oklahoma and other states. None has made it into law, but Ritze plans to pick up the fight in the 2015 legislative session that convenes in the Sooner State next month.

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Sweetness And Light
12:58 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Frank Deford To The NBA: Who's On Worst?

The Atlanta Hawks' Mike Scott scores over the Detroit Pistons' Greg Monroe in a game Monday. The Hawks are currently leading the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Dave Tulis AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:58 am

Even with free agency, our professional leagues show a reliable sort of sameness from year to year. Oh sure, each season there are a few teams that surprise, but mostly, changes in the standings are evolutionary. That said, I don't believe I've ever seen a league that looks so cockeyed as the NBA is this year.

First of all, it's just plain weird to see the two historically glamorous franchises, the Celtics and Lakers, both down near the bottom of the standings, while up top are teams that previously were nondescript also-rans.

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It's All Politics
10:04 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Political Theater, Crazy-Glued GOP Seats And More Congressional Reaction

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., applauds during the president's State of the Union address. Not every member of Congress was so moved.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:14 pm

President Obama mentioned Congress 13 times in Tuesday's State of the Union address. He called on Congress to pass a law to ensure women are paid the same as men, to raise the minimum wage, to support the president's plan to make community college free, to help students with loans reduce their payments ... you get the idea.

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The Two-Way
9:51 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Albuquerque Selects Independent Monitor To Oversee Police Reforms

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 11:36 pm

The city of Albuquerque and the U.S. Justice Department have selected an independent monitor, Dr. James R. Ginger, to oversee police reforms. Ginger's selection is part of a settlement the city negotiated with DOJ over the police department's use of force. Ginger previously served as an independent monitor for a similar agreements reached with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and the New Jersey State Police. He was selected from a pool of 17 applicants. A judge is expected to sign off on his selection Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The Obamas' Guests For The 2015 State Of The Union Address

Alan Gross (center), recently freed after being held in Cuba, speaks with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly before the start of the State of the Union speech in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol. At left is Judy Gross.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 9:59 pm

President Obama's guest list for tonight's State of the Union address includes Alan Gross, the Maryland man who was freed from a Cuban prison in December after five years of captivity — an event that was announced along with a new era of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Gross will be attending with his wife, Judy, who worked to gain his release.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

J.C. Penney Brings Back Its Print Catalog, After A 5-Year Hiatus

A J.C. Penney store in a Pembroke Pines, Fla., shopping center. The company's resurrected print catalog will be much thinner than its previous "Big Book," which was sometimes 1,000 pages.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:05 am

After more than five years away, and at a significantly smaller weight, J.C. Penney Co.'s print catalog is back. The company discontinued its often 1,000-page "Big Book" in 2009 and phased out several smaller, specialty catalogs over the past few years as well. But the company announced this week that it's re-entering the print catalog game.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'Tonight, We Turn The Page': Obama Lays Out 2015 Agenda

President Obama receives a standing ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:48 pm

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

French Quarter Sees Violent Crime Surge; Residents Demand Changes

New Orleans police officer Patrick Schneider patrols Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter on Saturday.
Jason Saul WWNO

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

New Orleans' most visited neighborhood rarely sees the type of violent crime that plagues other parts of the city. Recently, several high-profile robberies have rattled the region and led to criticism of the police department and the mayor, both of whom are rethinking safety measures.

Over the next few weeks, more and more visitors will roam the city's famous French Quarter, drinks in hand, for Mardi Gras. In less than 2 square miles, the French Quarter combines hotels, restaurants, street performers, and all-night bars with historic homes and tight-knit neighbors.

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The Salt
4:18 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Would Kids Eat More Veggies If They Had Recess Before Lunch?

A baked potato with toppings on a lunch tray at a school in Wisconsin. Students are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they're rushing to get to recess, researchers say.
Micheal Sears MCT/Landov

Schools are offering more and more healthy foods for lunch. And schools that participate in the National School Lunch program require students to choose a fruit and a vegetable side. Yet plate waste is a big problem in schools; as The Salt has reported, kids throw away anywhere from 24 to 35 percent of what's on their trays.

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NPR Ed
3:22 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

What To Expect From Obama Tonight On Education

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is promoting a plan to make publicly funded community college available to all students.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 3:50 pm

On the education front, President Obama's State of the Union address is likely to focus on three big proposals:

First, the president wants to talk about the idea he floated last week of making community college tuition-free. This is new.

The plan would benefit about 9 million full- and part-time students and would cost the federal government about $60 billion over 10 years. According to the administration's numbers, that would account for three-fourths of the total cost. States and community colleges would come up with the rest.

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Remembrances
3:05 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Instant Replay Inventor Changed The Way We Watch Sports

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you have watched any football on television recently then you have watched a lot of instant replay.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Law
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

BP Back In Court For Final Phase Of Gulf Oil Spill Trial

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Montana Governor Declares State Of Emergency After River Oil Spill

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

New York Under Pressure For Locking Up Teens In Adult Prisons

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

New York is one of only two states that still locks up 16- and 17-year-olds in adult prisons. A commission report released this week found that those young people — most of them black and Hispanic — face a high risk of assault and victimization behind bars and an increased risk of suicide. Gov. Andrew Cuomo now says he'll push the legislature to raise the age of adult incarceration to 18, a move that could mean the transfer of more than 800 teenagers out of state correctional facilities.

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Politics
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama Tries To Spread State Of The Union Messages Outside Speech

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:45 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Parents Who Shun Vaccines Tend To Cluster, Boosting Children's Risk

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:05 am

Although vaccines are among the safest, most effective ways to protect children from major communicable diseases, some parents still doubt this. As a result, some choose immunization schedules that defy science or refuse to vaccinate altogether.

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Code Switch
11:21 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Barbie Has Some Royal Competition In Nigeria

Taofick Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princess dolls a month and reckons he has 10 to 15 percent of a small but fast-growing market.
Akintunde Akinleye Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:26 am

In Nigeria, Barbie has some fierce — some brown — competition: Taofick Okoya, a 43-year-old entrepreneur, has created Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls that are outselling Mattel's classics. Okoya tells Reuters that he sells about 6,000 to 9,000 dolls a month and that he has "about 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market."

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Shots - Health News
11:13 am
Tue January 20, 2015

The City Might Not Be To Blame For High Asthma Rates

Dr. Stephen Teach helps Jeffery Ulmer listen to his daughter Alauna's asthmatic breathing at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Alauna's mother, Farisa, holds her. The District has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the country.
Jahi Chikwendiu Washington Post

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 2:15 pm

Asthma affects children regardless of where they live and whether they are rich or poor. But scientists have long thought that living in poor urban neighborhoods adds an extra risk for this troublesome lung inflammation. A new study suggests that's not necessarily the case.

Asthma is often triggered by something in the environment, so in the 1960s, scientists started looking for places where asthma was especially bad.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama, In Tonight's State Of The Union, Will Focus On Middle Class

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 5:41 pm

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight and is expected to focus on the state of the economy and its impact on the middle class.

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