U.S. News

The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Alabama Republican Jo Bonner Says He's Leaving Congress

Rep. Jo Bonner in July 2010.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:51 pm

Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., says he will leave Congress effective in August to take a senior position at the University of Alabama.

Bonner, who has represented Alabama's 1st District for six terms since 2003, will become vice chancellor of government relations and economic development at Alabama. His sister, Judy Bonner, serves as president of the university.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Black Caucus Leader: We Disagree With Presidents, Even Obama

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, says her group fears an immigration overhaul that greatly expands high-tech visas could have an adverse impact on blacks aspiring to such jobs.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:20 pm

During his time as the first black president in the White House, President Obama has occasionally been criticized by a group he once belonged to as a U.S. senator — the Congressional Black Caucus — for not doing more to ameliorate the difficult lives of many African-Americans.

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Law
3:23 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Justice Sotomayor Takes Swing At Famed Baseball Case

Sotomayor is escorted onto the field by New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the New York Yankees game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 26, 2009.
Bill Kostroun AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:39 pm

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's wicked, waggish sense of humor — and knowledge of baseball — were on full display Wednesday, when she presided over a re-enactment of Flood v. Kuhn, the 1972 case that unsuccessfully challenged baseball's antitrust exemption.

The event, put on by the Supreme Court Historical Society, took place in the court chamber, and as Sotomayor took her place at the center of the bench, normally the chief justice's chair, she remarked puckishly, "This is the first time I've sat here. It feels pretty good."

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National Security
2:56 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Breaking Down Obama's New Blueprint For Fighting Terrorism

At the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday, President Obama outlined plans to limit the use of U.S. drone strikes, and pledged to shut down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Larry Downing Reuters/Landov

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. search for a coherent counterterrorism strategy has revolved around three basic questions:

1. How do we locate suspected terrorists?

2. Once located, how do we go after them?

3. If captured, what do we do with them?

In a major speech at the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday, President Obama addressed all three questions that have been the source of shifting policies and fierce national debates for over a decade.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

For Second Time, Moore Family Loses Home To A Tornado

An aerial photo shows destroyed houses in Moore, Okla., after Monday's tornado. Rena and Paul Phillips, who lost their home in the storm, also lost a house to a tornado in 1999.
Steve Gooch AP

The tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., Monday destroyed some 12,000 homes, according to Oklahoma City Police. And for one family, it was the second house they've lost to a tornado in the past 14 years. Rena and Paul Phillips say that the recent loss won't make them move.

The Phillipses told their story to Rachel Hubbard of Oklahoma member station KOSU, who reports on how they're coping with the loss — and the search for belongings in the rubble of their home — for Thursday's All Things Considered.

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The Salt
2:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

This 9-Year-Old Girl Told McDonald's CEO: Stop Tricking Kids

Hannah Robertson, 9, and her mom, blogger Kia Robertson — with the makings for kale chips, of course.
Jamie Robertson Courtesy Jamie Robertson

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:28 am

It's not every day that a 9-year-old girl chastises the CEO of one of the world's biggest fast-food chains.

Yet that's exactly what young Hannah Robertson did Thursday morning at McDonald's annual shareholders meeting in Chicago. When the meeting opened up to questions, Hannah was first up at the mic with a pointed criticism.

"It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time," she told McDonald's CEO Don Thompson.

Ouch.

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Around the Nation
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

In La., Families Still Searching For Storm-Scattered Remains

Lionel Alverez stands at a family tomb in Plaquemines Parish, La. Hurricane Isaac's storm surge split the double-decker tomb in half, leaving his aunt's and sister's caskets on the bottom but washing away his mother's, which was on top.
Keith O'Brien for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Lionel Alverez is in the Promised Land Cemetery again, taking inventory. He has been coming to this cemetery in Plaquemines Parish, La., all his life. The graveyard is hemmed in between the Mississippi River and the marsh on a lonely stretch of highway.

Promised Land has been the final resting place for the Alverezes for generations. Alverez, 61, points out several graves, one by one. "Albert Alverez. Huey Alverez and Harold Alverez. My brother Allen is near the rear, back there."

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National Security
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Obama Pledges To Be More Transparent About Drone Program

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In a speech today, President Obama laid out a new vision of the global war on terror. He said that more than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, the threat from terrorism has changed and U.S. policy must change with it.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As our fight enters a new phase, America's legitimate claim of self defense cannot be the end of the discussion. To say a military tactic is legal or even effective is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance.

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Around the Nation
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Okla. Family Must Rebuild Tornado-Damaged Home A Second Time

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Authorities in Moore, Oklahoma say that 12,000 homes were damaged in Monday's tornado. In this next story, we're going to meet one family that was affected, and not for the first time. The Phillips lost their home in a tornado that hit Moore on May 3rd, 1999. They loved the community and bought another house two miles away, a house flattened by Monday's tornado.

Rachel Hubbard, of member station KOSU, toured what's left of their home to try to understand how a family can cope with such a loss twice.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

NOAA Predicts Above-Average Hurricane Season

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy in October of last year.
NOAA

With memories of last year's Superstorm Sandy still fresh, NOAA is warning East Coasters and those farther inland to brace for another active Atlantic season, predicting that as many as six major storms will develop between the beginning of June and the end of November.

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Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Hardly A Haven: Home Can Be Deadly In Natural Disasters

Floodwaters from Superstorm Sandy destroyed the first floor of this house in Staten Island, New York. Most of the people who drowned during the storm died in their homes in low-lying areas of New York and New Jersey.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Home can be a refuge. But when natural disaster strikes, hunkering down at home can be a deadly mistake.

All told, 32 of the 53 New Yorkers who died in last fall's Superstorm Sandy drowned, and most of them died at home, according to a report published today in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Shots - Health News
7:32 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Antidepressant May Protect The Heart Against Mental Stress

Researchers tested the antidepressant Lexapro, or escitalopram generically, to see if it would protect the heart against mental stress.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 12:12 pm

Stress can be a bummer for your heart. And, it seems, antidepressants may help some people with heart disease better weather that stress.

That's the intriguing suggestion from a study that tested how people with heart disease reacted when faced with challenging mental and social tests.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Triple Murder May Link Tsarnaev And Man Killed In Florida

Ibragim Todashev, in an undated booking photo provided by the Orange County (Fla.) Corrections Department.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 2:18 pm

Ibragim Todashev, the 27-year-old man shot and killed after he allegedly attacked an FBI agent Wednesday in Orlando, may have been involved with Boston bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple murder.

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The Two-Way
4:41 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Funerals Begin In Tornado-Ravaged Moore, Okla.

Players, coaches and parents collected donations Wednesday in Oklahoma city for the Angle Family, who lost their daughter Sydney, and their home, in the tornado. Sydney was No. 35 on a softball team called 'Bring It'.
Katie Hayes Luke Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 10:44 am

Funerals began Thursday for the 24 people known to have been killed by the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday.

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Around the Nation
2:52 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Okla. Officials Toss Around Storm Shelter Issue After Twister

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The final death toll from that tornado in Moore, Oklahoma is 24. Ten of the dead were children. The search for survivors is over, and now this stunned community begins the long process of rebuilding, which begins with removing a staggering amount of debris. NPR's Wade Goodwyn spent time at City Hall in Moore yesterday.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
1:05 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Living In Two Worlds, But With Just One Language

Elysha O'Brien and her husband, Michael, with their sons. Elysha never learned Spanish but is determined that her children will.
Courtesy of the O'Brien family

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:24 pm

NPR continues its conversations about The Race Card Project, where NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris asks people to send in six-word stories about race and culture. The submissions are personal, provocative and often quite candid.

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Law
1:05 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Sick Inmates Dying Behind Bars Despite Release Program

Nearly 30 years ago, Congress gave terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out, known as compassionate release.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Prison is a tough place, but Congress made an exception nearly 30 years ago, giving terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out. It's called compassionate release.

But a recent investigation found that many federal inmates actually die while their requests drift through the system.

One of them was Clarence Allen Rice.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Teachers In Moore Gather For 'Sharing And Healing'

Stacy Montgomery, pre-K teacher from Briarwood Elementary, grieves with fellow teachers at the informational meeting for Moore ISD teachers and administration.
Katie Hayes Luke NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 9:06 am

What was billed as an informational meeting for teachers turned into a session of sharing and healing.

"A lot of people in this district will need grief counseling, including myself," said Susan Pierce, the superintendent of public schools in Moore, Okla.

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The Salt
4:23 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

In Raw Milk Case, Activists See Food Freedom On Trial

Supporters say Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger's trial isn't just about raw milk: It's also, they say, about the right to get foods from farmers without government intervention.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 3:59 pm

What is the case against Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger really about? It depends on whom you ask.

To hear the prosecution, it's about licensing, not raw milk: Hershberger, a dairy farmer hailing from the town of Loganville, is on trial this week for operating without three licenses. He's also accused of continuing to sell raw milk to members of his private club after he was ordered not to.

If convicted, the father of 10 faces more than a year in jail and more than $10,000 in fines.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Holder Acknowledges U.S. Citizens Killed In Drone Strikes

A Nov. 2010 file image of Anwar al-Awlaki taken from video and released by SITE Intelligence Group.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 5:12 pm

For the first time, the U.S. government has acknowledged killing four American citizens in lethal drone strikes far outside traditional battlefields, confirming information that had been widely known but has only recently been unclassified under orders of the president.

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It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Fears Of Killing Immigration Bill Doomed Same-Sex Amendment

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (center), listens to testimony during a hearing on the immigration bill on April 22.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

After five marathon sessions debating 150 proposed amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a landmark rewriting of the nation's immigration laws this week — and the bill emerged largely intact.

Three Republicans voted with the panel's 10 Democrats on Tuesday night to forward the bill to the full Senate. That strong showing followed a wrenching choice for Democrats on the committee: whether to risk shattering support for the bill by amending it to recognize equal rights for same-sex couples.

How It Played Out

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It's All Politics
3:43 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Think Obama's In Trouble? That Depends On Your Party

President Obama answered questions on scandals involving the IRS and Justice Department, at a news conference last week at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 5:30 pm

Public opinion about the scandals plaguing the Obama administration is decidedly mixed.

Republicans believe that the trio of controversies — concerning Benghazi, the IRS, and the Justice Department snooping on media phone records — are evidence enough that President Obama is either running a government motivated by partisan politics, or is badly out of touch.

Democrats, however, are proving to be much more forgiving.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Basements Not An Option For Many Homes In Oklahoma

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

During a tornado, the safest place to protect yourself is usually underground, but that's not an option for the large majority of people in southern Oklahoma. If you look just at new construction, fewer than 1 percent of homes in the area hit by the tornado have basements. Here to help explain why is NPR's Scott Neuman, who's written about this for our Two-Way blog.

And Scott, where I come from, a basement is a really common thing to have under the house. Not so in Oklahoma. Why not?

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Politics
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

IRS Witness Turns Down Questions At Congressional Hearing

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Another day, another heated hearing on Capitol Hill about the IRS. The agency's leadership has faced angry questions over its flagging of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. At today's hearing, the most anticipated witness answered no questions. Instead, she took the Fifth, as we hear from NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Two Years Later, Joplin Mayor Reflects On Impact Of Tornado

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

On this day, two years ago, just after 5:30 p.m., a tornado roared into Joplin, Missouri. It cut a nearly straight line through town, splintering everything in its path. About 160 people were killed. Some 7,500 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Mike Woolston was the mayor at the time. He's now a city councilor in Joplin, and he joins us from Joplin to talk about his experience two years ago and how it might inform the task ahead for Moore, Oklahoma. Mike Woolston, welcome to the program.

COUNCILMEMBER MIKE WOOLSTON: Thank you.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Identities Of 24 Victims In Okla. Tornado Emerge

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News, I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In Moore, Okla., today, details about some of the people killed in the massive tornado began to emerge. Ten of them are children. They include a 4-month-old girl whose mother also died, an infant and her 4-year-old sister, and seven third-graders who were trapped in the Plaza Towers Elementary School.

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Politics
2:26 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Scandal Politics: The Downstream Effect

The scandals affecting the Obama administration could make some would-be candidates leery of running for political office.
Olivier Douliery Pool/Getty Images

Add this to the list of Democratic worries surrounding the wave of Obama administration scandals: the downstream effect.

It's prime candidate-recruiting season right now — the period in the two-year election cycle when officials in both parties fan out across the map in hopes of persuading prospective candidates to run for Congress. Issues and money always get plenty of attention, but the ability of party leaders to attract strong, capable candidates is vital to success on Election Day.

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Can I Just Tell You?
10:35 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Powerball? America Already Hit The Jackpot

iStock

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 2:30 pm

Finally today, I'm still thinking about that massive Powerball jackpot last weekend. That caused me to think about what's wrong with Powerball — the most important thing, of course, being the fact that I didn't win. You know you feel the same way. I'm sure I would have been a good winner. Like Oprah, I would use my powers for good and not evil. Like, I might buy a Bentley out of the showroom window, just to prove to myself that I could. But then I'd settle down and endow scholarships, and fix up blighted storefronts, and invest in local businesses.

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Around the Nation
10:35 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Sandy Hook's Future: What's To Become Of The School?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to turn to a story that more than five months later is still painful. In the aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, the Newtown, Connecticut community had many tough decisions to make. One of them was just what should happen to the elementary school where 26 people were killed.

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U.S.
10:10 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Photos: Recovery Begins In Tornado-Hit Area

Debris litters a park adjacent to a neighborhood that was destroyed by Monday's tornado in Moore.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:35 am

The powerful tornado flattened entire blocks in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. The death toll remained at 24, with scores more people injured and displaced.

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