U.S. News

Law
4:04 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against Gun 'Straw Purchases'

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 1:59 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory to gun control advocates on Monday. The 5-4 ruling allows strict enforcement of the federal ban on gun "straw purchases," or one person buying a gun for another.

The federal law on background checks requires federally licensed gun dealers to verify the identity of buyers and submit their names to a federal database to weed out felons, those with a history of mental illness and others barred from gun ownership.

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Shots - Health News
3:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Entrepreneurs Buzzing Over Medical Marijuana In Florida

One of three marijuana plants growing in the backyard of a 65-year-old retiree from Pompano Beach, Fla. He grows and smokes his own "happy grass" to alleviate pain.
Carline Jean MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:05 am

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now have laws allowing for some form of medical marijuana.

Florida appears poised to join the club. Polls show that voters there are likely to approve a November ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use.

If it passes, regulations that would set up a market for medical marijuana in Florida are still at least a year away. But cannabis entrepreneurs from around the country are already setting up shop in the state.

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The Salt
3:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain

When families give up farming and move away, it drains life out of small communities.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 9:37 am

It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.

Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.

According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.

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It's All Politics
3:10 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Poll: Congressional Approval At Dangerous Low Point

The U.S. Capitol is seen in early morning light in December 2013.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Congressional incumbents are facing one of the toughest midterm election climates in recent memory, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

The poll, conducted June 5-8, finds Congress's job approval at 16 percent, its lowest point in a midterm election year since Gallup began tracking the metric in 1974. Satisfaction with the direction of the country comes in at a paltry 23 percent, just a point above its 2010 midterm year low.

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NPR Ed
3:09 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Can Schools Solve The Tech Industry's Pipeline Problem?

When Google went public with data about the diversity of its workforce, it fueled the ongoing conversation about diversity in the technology industry.
Virginia Mayo AP

It's been only a couple of weeks since Google released the diversity numbers on its workforce, and there's been a lot of talk since then about why the tech giant and others in the industry don't really reflect the American population as a whole.

A well-written piece today in Mother Jones offers some provocative thoughts on what can be done about it — and schools could play a big role.

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Business
2:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Growing Worker Shortage Looms Over Logging Industry's Future

Michael Redfern's family has been logging Tennessee forests for four generations. But it's hard, dangerous work in a volatile industry, so fewer young people are pursuing the trade.
Bobby Allyn Nashville Public Radio

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:10 am

Timber is big business in Tennessee. About $1 billion worth of the state's tree products is shipped abroad every year. But within the industry, there is concern that there may soon be too few loggers to keep the profession going.

The Redfern family has been working the state's forests for four generations, but it isn't sure it will see a fifth.

Michael Redfern, 57, runs a three-man operation with his two sons on a 25-acre property in Cedar Hill, near Tennessee's northern border with Kentucky.

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Around the Nation
2:07 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Chicago Gets Out From Under Its History Of Political Patronage

A court-appointed federal monitor will no longer oversee hiring in the city of Chicago. A federal judge ruled that the city has put in place enough safeguards to minimize patronage in Chicago government jobs. It took 45 years of court orders and consent decrees, but political reformers say that patronage, which once built a powerful democratic machine, is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

The Salt
2:04 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The B50 Burger

The B50 Burger — as in, you won't live to be 50.
NPR

Ever since Eli Whitney invented the Beef Gin in 1793, hamburgers have basically been the same: an all-beef patty, eaten as quickly as possible. But now, new technologies are allowing burgerologists to expand the medium. Chef's Burger Bistro in Chicago has created the B50 Burger, with a patty that's 50 percent ground beef, 50 percent ground bacon. And then there's a fried egg thrown on top, just for fun.

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It's All Politics
1:22 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Texas Politics To Be Lone Star Of New HBO Series

A large Texas flag is carried up Congress Avenue toward the Texas Capitol during the annual Boy Scouts Parade and Report to State in Austin in February 2013.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 1:54 pm

Between Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Wendy Davis, Texas politicians in recent years have lived up to their state's reputation for producing larger-than-life characters.

That makes the Texas political scene a natural for the Hollywood treatment.

HBO has given God Save Texas, a drama about the state's often raucous political culture, the green light for development. It's set to unfold at the Texas statehouse, a perennial flashpoint for national debates about issues ranging from abortion to gun rights to the size and role of government.

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Code Switch
7:18 am
Mon June 16, 2014

On The Census, Who Checks 'Hispanic,' Who Checks 'White,' And Why

The word "Hispanic" means very different things in different parts of the country, Julie Dowling says.
blackwaterimages Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:51 am

We've been talking a lot lately about how who fills out the Census in what way. It's an ongoing preoccupation of Code Switch, and one shared by Julie Dowling. Dowling, a University of Illinois sociologist, whose book, Mexican Americans and the Question of Race, came out earlier this year.

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U.S.
3:52 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Home, Food Or Health Care: A Choice Many Renters Can't Afford

As the number of renters in Los Angeles increases, construction of new apartments isn't keeping pace with demand, resulting in rents higher than many can afford.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 12:56 pm

The mortgage crisis that devastated the economy has received endless attention, but it's not just homeowners who have suffered badly in this economy.

As of 2012, renters made up 35 percent of American households. Their numbers are growing, reversing a decades-long uptick in homeownership.

And in the past 50 years, the percentage of income they're spending on the rent has increased dramatically. A quarter of renters are spending more than half their income on rent.

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The Record
9:17 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Casey Kasem, An Iconic Voice Of American Radio

Casey Kasem, in 1975.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 10:56 am

Casey Kasem, the countdown king of music radio and the voice of Scooby-Doo's Shaggy, has died at 82, his publicist confirmed Sunday.

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History
7:21 am
Sun June 15, 2014

From Former Slaves To Writers, Civilians, Too, Rest At Arlington

Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 men and women. Most were members of the armed forces who served in active duty — but not all.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 11:32 am

Just over the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which connects the nation's capital to Virginia, lies a piece of sacred ground: 624 acres covered in rows and rows of headstones and American flags.

Sunday marks the 150th anniversary of the designation of Arlington National Cemetery. The military burial ground was created on land that was once the home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — and was established, in part, to accommodate the many Americans killed in the Civil War.

Today, more than 400,000 men and women are buried there.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sun June 15, 2014

How Trauma Affects The Brain Of A Learner

Chronic stress can cause deficiencies in the pre-frontal cortex, which is essential for learning.
John M Flickr

Our public media colleagues over at KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, have a fascinating two-part report on the efforts of schools in the Los Angeles area to address the effects of "toxic stress" on student learning.

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Africa
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Dorm Living For Staff Of New British Embassy In Somalia

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Obama administration says that it will soon appoint a U.S. ambassador to reopen the mission in Somalia. Now the U.S. embassy closed its doors in 1991 when the Somali government collapsed and warlords took over the country. The danger sharpened two years later when Somali fighters shot down two U.S. helicopters, killing 18 U.S. soldiers in an incident that came to be known as Black Hawk Down.

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Education
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Transcending Music In A Special High School Band

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: I'm Scott Simon. Our next story comes from the NPR Ed team. Reporter Eric Westervelt visited a special high school in New York City for students with cognitive and physical disabilities. And he saw how the music curriculum there has transformed at least one young life.

TOBI LAKES: My name is Tobi Lakes. I'm 15 years old. I listen to I Heart Radio and radio.com - two apps. I practice my piano every night.

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Politics
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Political Daughters Carry On The Family Name In Congress

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In today's Congress, political dynasties rule. If you totaled them up, there are nearly two dozen members of the House and Senate whose parents served, including some women. In the past, women most often came into office through the practice of widow succession. This is where the wife of a politician who had passed away ascends to his seat. But now we're seeing daughters running for office on their own. NPR's political editor, Charlie Mahtesian, offered up several examples.

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

More Than A Vacation: Family Hikes The Appalachian Trail

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Only 1 in 4 people who attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail actually make it. And we're talking adult hikers who know what they're in for. On this week's Wingin' It, we're going to speak with the Kallin family. They are currently hiking the more than 2,000 mile trail.

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Politics
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Congressman Pushes Income-Based Student Loan Plan

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Iraq
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

The Pros And Cons Of U.S. Air Strikes In Northern Iraq

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

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U.S.
3:31 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Before Vegas Shooting, Couple Traveled To Bundy Ranch Stand-Off

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 4:17 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Mental Health
3:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

When Cop Calls Involve The Mentally Ill, Training Is Key

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 4:17 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

While mental illness wasn't a known factor in the events in Las Vegas, it has been at the foreground in a spate of recent shootings. Police officers around the country are dealing with this issue more and more. About 25 years ago, one young officer had an experience that forever changed the way he thought about mental illness.

MICHAEL WOODY: A 27-year-old young woman, single mother of a 7-year-old child, tried to take my life.

RATH: That's Michael Woody. At the time, he was a sergeant for the Akron, Ohio police department.

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Around the Nation
8:35 am
Sat June 14, 2014

The 'Kony 2012' Effect: Recovering From A Viral Sensation

Invisible Children co-founders Jason Russell, left, Bobby Bailey, center, and Laren Poole, record footage in Africa in 2007.
PRWeb

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:52 pm

A little over two years ago, you or somebody you know probably watched "Kony 2012," the YouTube video that redefined what it means to go viral.

The video was made by a small San Diego nonprofit called Invisible Children. It shed light on Joseph Kony, the central African warlord who recruited child soldiers.

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Code Switch
6:57 am
Sat June 14, 2014

50 Years Ago, Freedom Summer Began By Training For Battle

Freedom Summer activists sing before leaving training sessions at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, for Mississippi in June 1964.
Ted Polumbaum Collection Newseum

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:51 pm

Idealism drove hundreds of college students to Mississippi 50 years ago.

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Law
6:06 am
Sat June 14, 2014

After Sending A Man To Prison, Judge Admits He Was Biased

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Obama Takes A Trip To A Sioux Indian Reservation

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation yesterday on the border between North and South Dakota. At a celebration honoring Native American veterans, he quoted the tribe's best-known member - Chief Sitting Bull.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: He said, let's put our minds together to see what we can build for our children.

(APPLAUSE)

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Around the Nation
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Town Shoots For Tacky World Record In Duck Tape Festival

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This weekend, the 11 annual Duct Tape Festival in Avon, Ohio, where Duct Tape - which is a brand of duct, with a T, tape - is manufactured. The festival is held to celebrate and spotlight just about anything you can make with duct tape, and what you can make may surprise you. We're going to go now to Mel Rainey, who is an art teacher at Elyria High School in Avon, Ohio. Thanks for being with us, Mr. Rainey.

MEL RAINEY: No problem - any time.

SIMON: So your students have been building a float for five months?

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Politics
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Cantor's Defeat Was Local, But Reverberations Are National

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sergeant Bergdahl is back on U.S. soil, and the controversy over President Obama's decision to trade with the Taliban for his release continues as events in Iraq bring a new challenge. Here to talk about the week in politics is NPR's Ron Elving. He joins us now from member station KPLU in Seattle in what they like to call the real Washington - Washington State. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

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National Security
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

After Isolation, Bergdahl Likely Faces A Long Recovery

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. And I'm Scott Simon. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has returned to the United States. He's at the Brooke Army Medical Hospital in San Antonio, Texas as new details of his imprisonment by the Taliban continue to emerge. Fox News is reporting that Sergeant Bergdahl spent the last two years in solitary confinement. From San Antonio, NPR's Wade Goodwin has more on this story.

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The Two-Way
3:48 am
Sat June 14, 2014

A San Francisco 'Painted Lady' Sells For $900K Under Asking Price

Michael Shannon, 66, bought the green Queen Anne Victorian on the corner in 1975 for $65,000.
_tar0_ Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 7:38 am

The largest and oldest house of San Francisco's seven "Painted Ladies," which anchors the corner of "Postcard Row," has finally been sold for $3.1 million, $900k below its original asking price.

The house was originally put on the market in 2010, and was removed after several price reductions. In March, it was put on the market again.

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