U.S. News

The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Drug Sentencing Guidelines Reduced For Current Prisoners

Attorney General Eric Holder, seen here Monday, has supported changes in drug sentencing, but the Sentencing Commission went further than he preferred
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday voted unanimously to reduce terms for drug traffickers already in prison.

More than 46,000 drug offenders will be eligible for early release, unless Congress makes a move to stop the plan by Nov. 1.

On average, sentences could be reduced by more than two years.

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U.S.
11:07 am
Fri July 18, 2014

From Middle-Class To Poverty In A Mercedes

Darlena Cunha sparked a heated debate online when she wrote about driving a luxury car to pick up her WIC benefits. Host Michel Martin talks to Cunha about her piece and the reaction to it.

Barbershop
11:07 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Does Le Return Of LeBron Signal A Comeback For Cleveland?

From LeBron James' return to the Cleveland Cavaliers to longtime NFL reporter Pam Oliver being sidelined from the sidelines, the Barbershop guys weigh in on the latest news.

U.S.
11:07 am
Fri July 18, 2014

New Chief: NAACP Is Oldest And Best Civil Rights Organization

The nation's oldest civil rights organization, will begin its annual convention this week under new leadership. Civil rights attorney Cornell William Brooks shares his vision for the organization.

Shots - Health News
9:01 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Half Of Texas Abortion Clinics Close After Restrictions Enacted

Texas gubernatorial hopeful and state Sen. Wendy Davis came to prominence when she opposed legislation restricting abortions. The bill eventually became law and is now blamed for the closure of abortion clinics across the state.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 8:40 am

In a little over a year, the number of clinics that provide abortions in Texas fell to 20 from 41, and watchdogs say that as few as six may be left by September.

Many clinics closed because of a requirement that doctors at those clinics obtain hospital admitting privileges within a certain radius of the clinic, and many doctors couldn't comply. The requirement took effect last November. This week marks the first anniversary of the state law that started it all.

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NPR Ed
8:33 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Q&A: Designing Playful Learning Spaces

Margaret Middleton, Boston Children's Museum
Courtesy of Margaret Middleton

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:40 pm

When we talk about playing and learning, we naturally think of children's museums. Most major cities offer some experience like this, where kids are able to get their hands dirty, and — shocking! — learn something at the same time.

The museums — at least the good ones — are always both engaging and interactive in a way that's fun for kids, but they're also fun for grown-ups too. As we've been reporting for our series on play next month, it got me wondering: What goes into creating great museum experiences, and how do designers go about them?

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Around the Nation
3:30 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Border Agency Chief Opens Up About Deadly Force Cases

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske sits under an image of New York's Ground Zero in his office in Washington. For him, it serves as a daily reminder of the security threats that have shaped his agency.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:57 am

The new commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says he is reviewing scores of incidents in which agents have used deadly force.

R. Gil Kerlikowske made that statement during an exclusive interview with NPR's Morning Edition. It was his first extended conversation about controversial incidents in which the Border Patrol has killed civilians without apparent accountability. (Click here for a full transcript of the interview.)

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Shots - Health News
1:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Head Scientist At CDC Weighs Costs Of Recent Lab Safety Breaches

The CDC's director, Tom Frieden, testified before a congressional subcommittee Wednesday regarding a recent anthrax incident and lab safety improvements he is instituting.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 8:40 am

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the hot seat.

It all started in mid-June, when the CDC announced that dozens of its scientists might have accidentally been exposed to anthrax.

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

FedEx Charged With Shipping Drugs For Illegal Online Pharmacies

FedEx was indicted Thursday on charges of assisting illegal online pharmacies by shipping controlled substances.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:28 pm

A federal grand jury has indicted FedEx on charges of assisting illegal pharmacies. Prosecutors say the shipping company knowingly distributed controlled substances, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

FedEx is "accused of conspiring to distribute prescription drugs to people who never met with doctors — a violation of the Controlled Substances Act," Johnson says.

She says prosecutors in San Francisco demanded that representatives for FedEx appear in court on July 29.

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The Salt
3:43 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

QUIZ: Which Of These State Fair Foods Are Faux?

Deep-fried breakfast on-a-stick is a new food at this year's Minnesota State Fair. It contains American and Swiss cheeses, a sausage patty, one egg and Canadian bacon sandwiched between two pancakes, then dipped in a light, sweet batter and deep-fried on a stick.
Courtesy of Minnesota State Fair

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:54 pm

It is the season of state fairs, when you may have a chance to expand your palate or test your gag reflex at the concession stands. (Once you're stuffed, maybe you'll get to admire a butter sculpture.)

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Economy
3:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers

Participation in the workforce has dropped significantly since 2007, and economists say more than half of the dropouts may never return.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:46 am

Since late 2007, the U.S. labor force has shrunk significantly, raising questions about where former workers have gone and why.

Now the White House Council of Economic Advisers says it has found answers and has compiled them into a detailed research report released Thursday.

As it turns out, most of the missing workers have been hiding in plain sight: They are retiring baby boomers.

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News
3:24 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge

Ireland (shown here in this Dingle Peninsula photo) has been among the greenest pastures for countries seeking to reduce their tax liabilities through a process called "corporate inversion."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

When is it OK for an American company to avoid paying American taxes?

That's the question the Senate Finance Committee will wrestle with next week as the Obama administration urges lawmakers to make it harder for companies to duck corporate taxes by setting up shop overseas.

The latest tax-cutting strategy to go under the microscope, these so-called corporate inversions are a buttoned-down variation of an older, sexier tax dodge called the "naked inversion."

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Around the Nation
2:57 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Ring The Bells: A Carillon Campaign Is Going Nationwide

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Reporter Julie Rose unravels the unique art of the carillon. A carillonneur is someone who, at a wedding or funeral, hammers away on wooden pegs with their fists and hands to coax music from large bells. Brigham Young University has a particularly active carillon, with recitals every afternoon — often involving students who have only recently discovered the instrument.

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Science
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Scientists and engineers at NASA are using origami techniques to help solve a fundamental dilemma facing spacecraft designers: How do you take a big object, pack it into a small container for rocket launch, and then unpack it again once it arrives in space — making sure nothing breaks in the process.

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Men In America
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Face Of The Millennial Man, Sketched In Data

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 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. We've been hearing from men about what they think it means to be a man and what their lives are like.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JOE EHRMANN: I recognize that I was a socialized male that had separated my heart from my head, trying to live life from the neck up.

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U.S.
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

As Immigration Crisis Grows, A Protest Movement Gains Steam

In Oracle, Ariz., on Tuesday, protesters gather near the entrance to a juvenile facility in an effort to stop the arrival of a busload of Central American immigrant children. The bus never arrived.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:01 pm

Anti-illegal immigration activists are planning several hundred protests in cities across the country on Friday and Saturday, part of a growing backlash against the federal government's efforts to temporarily house migrant children detained at the border.

Protesters say they are concerned about safety, as the Obama administration pushes to move detainees from Texas to shelters run by nonprofits in other states.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Amid Roiled Landscape Of Border Politics, Obama's Plans May Change

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

The Obama administration's request for more funds on immigration could get a congressional vote soon. Meanwhile, the crisis at the border is complicating Obama's plan to take unilateral action to ease deportations. The politics of immigration are shifting quickly.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Senate Re-Authorizes Government's Role In Terrorism Insurance

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize a bill first passed after 9/11. It allows the government to act as a financial backstop in the event of a large terrorist attack. Supporters say it's crucial for anyone trying to build a shopping mall or skyscraper. But as NPR's Laura Sullivan reports, the bill may run into trouble in the house.

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Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Months From Water Crisis, Leaking W.Va. Tanks Are Demolished

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

At the beginning of the year, residents of Charleston, West Virginia smelled a licorice odor in their water. It turned out a chemical used in coal production had leaked out of a nearby storage tank, contaminating the water supply for 300,000 people. This week, tanks at the center of this crisis are being demolished. But as Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports, that doesn't necessarily bring closure.

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Men In America
12:54 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Modern American Man, Charted

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:27 pm

This summer, All Things Considered is looking at the lives of men in America. By some measures, not much has changed over the past few decades — girls still do better in school, and men still make more money. In other areas, the shifts are profound.

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Shots - Health News
12:54 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, shown here in her home town of Twin Falls, Idaho, decided not to hide the insulin pump she wears to treat Type 1 diabetes during the pageant.
Photo illustration by Drew Nash/Courtesy of Times News

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:57 am

There she is, Miss Idaho. And there it is, the insulin pump attached to her bikini bottom during the swimsuit competition. Since posting the photo on social media on Monday, Sierra Sandison has become a new hero to the Type 1 diabetes community.

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U.S.
10:17 am
Thu July 17, 2014

In Climb Up The Economic Ladder, African-Americans Getting Left Behind

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:51 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Code Switch
8:44 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Study Reveals Worse Outcomes For Black And Latino Defendants

Cyrus Vance Jr., the district attorney for Manhattan, wanted to see if there were disparities in how the cases were disposed of.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:26 am

There are a lot of steps that come between an arrest and a conviction, and between conviction and sentencing. And throughout that winding process, a prosecutor's decisions carry enormous weight.

Does the prosecutor accept the case? Does she have the defendant jailed before trial? Is a plea bargain offered to the defendant, and if so, what are the terms?

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Skimping On Sleep Can Stress Body And Brain

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:58 am

"The lion and calf shall lie down together," Woody Allen once wrote, "but the calf won't get much sleep."

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News
6:02 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Obama Unrolls New Sanctions Against Russia

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama had some announcements today on U.S. policy overseas. In the White House briefing room, the president ran through a long list of what he described as pressing foreign policy challenges - questions about the election results in Afghanistan, Iranian nuclear talks, the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel and finally, the situation in Ukraine. The U.S. government imposed new sanctions on Russia today over interference in that country. Here's how President Obama summed it up.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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U.S.
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother — her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Federal Judge Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional In California

California's death row at San Quentin State Prison is crowded, but the execution chamber has been idle since 2006
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 5:56 pm

A federal judge has ruled that California's use of the death penalty is dysfunctional and violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney's ruling came in response to an appeal by Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to death in Los Angeles in 1995 for the rape and killing of his girlfriend's mother three years earlier.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Patients With Low-Cost Insurance Struggle To Find Specialists

Dr. Charu Sawhney examines patient Mang Caan. Sawhney supports the Affordable Care Act, but has been frustrated by how difficult it is to find specialists who accept some of the plans her patients bought.
Carrie Feibel for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

The Hope Clinic in southwest Houston is in the very heart of Asia Town, a part of the city where bland strip malls hide culinary treasures — Vietnamese pho, Malaysian noodles, Sichuan rabbit and bubble tea.

Inside the clinic, internist Charu Sawhney sees patients from many countries and circumstances. She's a big believer in the Affordable Care Act since most of her patients have been uninsured. She actively pushed many of them to sign up for the new plans.

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Politics
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Miss. Primary Saga Rolls On, As McDaniel Refuses To Back Down

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Mississippi's Republican Senate runoff was decided three weeks ago, but the loser in that race refuses to accept the results. Longtime Sen. Thad Cochran is the certified winner, but his tea party-backed challenger, Chris McDaniel, alleges there might have been thousands of improper votes cast and today another twist. NPR political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that twist. And Charlie, State Sen. Chris McDonnell's campaign held a much anticipated press conference today. But what actually happened?

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