To California now where a polarizing lawsuit goes to trial tomorrow. At issue, whether job protections for public school teachers undermines students' constitutional rights to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit say it could provide a model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. But to unions and state officials, all the lawsuit does is demonize teachers.
It's a heavy burden for such a light movie but it's possible that Anchorman 2 is the movie that will ring in the end of film. The L.A. Times reported last week that Paramount Pictures, the studio that made "Anchorman 2," will move to a completely digital format to distribute its films to theaters. It's a shift with huge implications, not just for cinephiles who are attached to the warmth and quality of 35 millimeter film, but for archivists who rely on film as a medium that will stand the test of time.
A new documentary follows The 12 O'Clock Boys, a gang of Baltimore dirt bikers who do dangerous stunts at top speeds on city streets." I think it's a kind of escape for these guys; it's a kind of renegade sport," says filmmaker Lotfy Nathan.
Credit Noah Rabinowitz / 12 O'Clock Boys
Pug is a young teen who aspires to be one of the 12 O'Clock Boys. "I've been on this earth for a decade and a couple years," Pug says in the film. "So what that makes me — I'm a grown-ass man."
It doesn't take long to understand why a Baltimore gang of dirt bikers is called the 12 O'Clock Boys: Flying at top speeds down city streets, they flip precariously high wheelies, maneuvering their bikes to near vertical positions, like clock hands at high noon.
The police try to crack down on them, but that only adds to the gang's allure — especially for a young rider named Pug. "If I fall, I'm gonna hop back on my bike," Pug says. "Doesn't matter if I break my arm or anything, I'm hopping back on this bike."
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers.
This week, the company responsible for a toxic chemical leak into the Elk River in West Virginia announced that a second previously undisclosed chemical was present and may also have slipped into the water supply - this after people in and around Charleston, West Virginia, had already spent days avoiding the tap water only to have officials declare it's safe for drinking last week.
Republican Party leaders gathered in Washington this week for their annual winter meetings. They approved new rules for the 2016 presidential primaries designed to create a more orderly path to the GOP nomination — and, the party hopes, to the White House.
But this week's meeting also provided an opportunity to see how far Republicans have come in an effort begun a year ago to reach out to new voters — especially young people, minorities and women.
This image provided by the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center shows Justin Bernard Singleton, 19, of Charleston, who is charged with murder in the death of university student Brandon Robinson.
Police arrested a suspect early Saturday in connection with the fatal shooting of a student at South Carolina State University.
A news release issued by police says Justin Bernard Singleton, 19, of Charleston, was arrested in a parking lot of an apartment complex in Orangeburg, where the campus is located and has been charged with murder in the death of Brandon Robinson, 20, who was shot and killed on Friday.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been fined by the NFL for unsportsmanlike behavior after his team's win over San Francisco in the NFC title game. He's seen here on the sideline after tipping a pass that led to a game-clinching interception.
Days after his conduct in the NFC title game sparked a wide-ranging controversy, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been fined $7,875 for what the NFL calls unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting at the end of that game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Sherman famously tipped a pass into the hands of a teammate late in that game, sealing the win for Seattle. And then he equally famously launched into a brief, but excited and loud, rant about his abilities with sideline reporter Erin Andrews.
NPR's Richard Gonzales reports for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:30 am
Police are looking for four suspects in Orangeburg, S.C., where a student was shot and killed in an attack on the campus of South Carolina State University Friday afternoon. Officials identified the victim as Brandon Robinson, 20, a member of the school's football team.
The shooting took place at a dormitory around 1:30 p.m. The campus was locked down for hours afterward; the search for the suspects is still underway off-campus, officials said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the swift enactment of tough new standards on trains carrying crude oil. And in an unprecedented move, the NTSB made its recommendations jointly with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
With the huge increase in oil shipped by train across North America, the agencies warn another major disaster could be looming.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:10 pm
A North Texas judge has ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove life support from a woman who is 22 weeks pregnant. Her family says Marlise Munoz, 33, is brain-dead. She has reportedly not been awake since November, when she was discovered unconscious in her home. Doctors say she had suffered a pulmonary embolism.
At that time, Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant. Since then, a debate has raged about whether she should be kept alive. Many of the questions center on the details of Munoz's condition, and on state laws about terminating the life of a pregnant woman.
Although the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, there are ongoing fights in many states over how to carry it out. One conflict concerns navigators, the insurance counselors who are supposed to help people learn about the law. This week saw two major developments: a federal judge put a strict Missouri law on hold, saying the state didn't have the right to regulate the work of navigators. But in Texas, state officials did just that this week.
Carrie Feibel of member station KUHF in Houston reports on the new rules in Texas.
Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, EJ Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the charges faced by former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell and the upcoming State of the Union address.
Every four years a handful of cities battle to host the big nominating conventions for the major political parties. The competition for 2016 has already begun, with a surprising and aggressive player making a bid for the Republican National Convention: Las Vegas.
Certainly it's a place that knows how to host a big convention, but for the GOP to give Vegas the nod, the party will have to look past the city's well-earned reputation as "Sin City."
Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:44 am
One of the biggest earthquakes in U.S. history didn't occur in California. Or Alaska. It happened in the country's midsection some 200 years ago in an area where today seven states straddle the Mississippi River Valley.
And seismologists from the United States Geological Survey believe they've uncovered evidence that the New Madrid Seismic Zone, as the area that spawned the 1811-12 quakes is known, is still alive and kicking.
When I heard late Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder had come out in favor of bank accounts for state-sanctioned pot businesses, I assumed the industry would react with cheers. After all, they've long complained about being black-balled by banks, which are justifiably afraid of violating federal laws against handling drug money.
But when I started calling around today, the reactions ranged from "That's nice" to "Meh."
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:12 am
More than 40 vehicles, many of them semitrailers, were involved in a massive pileup on a slippery stretch of Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana that killed at least three people and injured 23 others.
Erick Munoz stands with an undated family photograph of himself, his wife, Marlise, and their son Mateo. Erick Munoz is now fighting to have a Texas hospital remove his pregnant wife from life support, saying she is brain-dead.
I was in the car for about an hour, rolling around Manhattan in the middle of a snowstorm. The ride normally would have cost me $65. But when it came time to pay, my driver, Kirk Furye, was concerned for me.
"Are you going to get in trouble with NPR?" he asked. "You are almost at three times the [normal] amount."
Shoppers at a department store in Sochi, Russia, pass an information banner with photos of suspected terrorists wanted by police. The color photo shows Ruzanna Ibragimova, the 22-year-old widow of an insurgent. Police say she has been spotted in recent days in central Sochi.
Prominent conservative writer and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted in New York on charges that he broke campaign finance laws. D'Souza, a vocal critic of President Obama, is accused of contributing thousands of dollars over the legal limit in a 2012 Senate race.
Another charge alleges that D'Souza, 52, made false statements about the contributions, which he is accused of routing through third parties. That charge carries a possible maximum punishment of five years in prison.
NPR's Peter Overby filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day (third from right) introduce the group's latest "rising stars" Thursday in Washington: Alison Howard (from left), Chelsi P. Henry, Monica Youngblood, Kimberly Yee and Alex Smith.
Credit Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times/Landov
As if to underscore GOP efforts at outreach to female voters, a breakout session of the Republican National Committee's latest "rising stars" at the group's winter meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., entirely comprised young women.