The Aurora, Colo., theater where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting last summer reopens Thursday, with a private event for victims' families and first responders.
But some families are giving the event a pass, arguing that the decision to reopen is insensitive. Jessica Watts lives just a few miles from the theater where her cousin, Jonathan Blunk, and 11 others were killed and dozens more wounded.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Here's something we haven't bee able to report for a while: State budgets are looking better. Thanks to an improving economy, spending cuts and some tax increases, more than 33 states and the District of Columbia report their financial condition is stabilizing. Even California, the poster child for the budget mess, is looking OK, at least in the short run.
House Republicans have left Washington, D.C., and reconvened three hours south, just outside Williamsburg, Va., for a closed-door retreat. They've heard from pollsters about why the public doesn't like them. Now they'll hear from consultants about how to woo women and minorities. David Welna talks to Audie Cornish.
The U.S. formally recognized the Somali government for the first time in 20 years on Thursday when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud at the State Department. Hassan is the first permanent Somali president since 1991 and faces a daunting task of rebuilding a nation torn by conflict and Islamist insurgencies.
The economy has been growing in Kansas, but the state's budget is still projected to be in the red next fiscal year. A tax cut passed last year is aimed at growing the economy, but it's predicted that there will be a significant shortfall first.
Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:55 am
When I discovered I was pregnant, I realized it was time for a change of pace. I'd been covering conflicts around the world for 12 years. The plan was to retreat to balmy Miami where my family is, have my baby and just slow down for a bit.
My husband was taking time off; I would have plenty of extra help if I needed it. While pregnant, I fantasized about the tender, quiet moments I would share with my daughter, her suckling contentedly while I cooed.
"How hard could motherhood be?" I blithely thought.
In a December article for The New Republic, "The Grayest Generation: How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society," the magazine's science editor Judith Shulevitz points out how the growing trend toward later parenthood since 1970 coincides with a rise in neurocognitive and developmental disorders among children.
Dr. Beth Zeeman says she can spot a case of influenza from 20 paces. It's not like a common cold.
"People think they've had the flu when they've had colds," Zeeman, an emergency room specialist at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., tells Shots. "People use the word 'flu' for everything. But having influenza is really a different thing. It hits you like a ton of bricks."
This is the second of a two-part discussion. Read Part 1.
A third of young adults in this country say they don't identify with any organized religion. NPR's David Greene wanted to understand why, so he met with a group of men and women in their 20s and 30s, all of whom have struggled with the role of faith and religion in their lives.
Maria Peyer and Mike Bixby are one of those couples who just seem made for each other. They hold hands when they sit and talk. They're happy to spend the morning cooking brunch with their children in their home in southern Washington.
Bixby and Peyer have known each other since they were young, but got married only a few years ago.
"It just hadn't been the right time, until it was. God bless Facebook," says Peyer.
"She Facebooked me, and asked if I remembered her, and then it just went from there," Bixby says.
Millions of acres of marginal farmland in the Midwest — land that isn't in good enough condition to grow crops — could be used to produce liquid fuels made from plant material, according to a study in Nature. And those biofuels could, in theory, provide about 25 percent of the advanced biofuels required by a 2007 federal law.
But there are many ifs and buts about this study — and, in fact, about the future of advanced biofuels.
Joining me from Las Vegas, where he's attending the annual SHOT Show, a firearms industry trade convention, is retired Army Major General D. Allen Youngman. He is now the executive director of the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council. Welcome to the program, General Youngman.
DEAN ALLEN YOUNGMAN: Thank you, Robert. Good to be here.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. If there is even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try - those words today from President Obama, as he unveiled a far-reaching package of new gun control measures. They fall into two categories: those that require congressional approval, and those that don't.
Lucas Codognolla's hands shake as he waits in line at the Bridgeport, Conn., DMV for his turn to take the road test.
"I don't know if it's nerves or the excitement, you know?" he says.
The 22-year-old's family emigrated from Brazil when was just 9. When he turned 16 and wanted to get his driver's license, his parents sat him down and told him the truth: He was in the country illegally.
Initially, he lied to his friends about why he couldn't drive, he says. But then, as he got older, driving simply became necessary.
In anticipation of Inauguration Day, NPR photographer Becky Lettenberger and producer Justine Kenin visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to ask Americans: "What do you want President Obama to remember in his second term?"
This video shows some of the answers we received outside the White House. But that was just the start of a project that we're calling "Dear Mr. President."
Finally today, in less than a week the country will celebrate President Obama's second term with a slew of inaugural events. There is a swearing in, a parade, breakfasts, lunches, and of course the balls. And there are many of them, but we want to tell you about one of them. It is the Native Nations Inaugural Ball. Native Americans from around the country will be coming in to participate.
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama are touting new proposals aimed at curbing gun violence. Host Michel Martin learns more from Paul Barrett, author of 'Glock: The Rise of America's Gun' and Craig Whitney, author of 'Living With Guns, A Liberal's Case for the 2nd Amendment.'
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 8:20 am
It's been a rough morning for many parents and their children in New York City, where about 8,000 school bus drivers and monitors have gone on strike — meaning about 152,000 students had to get to school some other way.
The Mile High Gliding facility at the Boulder Airport in Colorado is one of Carol Fiore's favorite haunts. And it's a perfect day for flying: clear, breezy and with a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountains.
Fiore used to fly gliders regularly, but a few years ago she stopped. Flying them had become painful.
"I felt, in a way, that I was searching for something that wasn't there," Fiore says. "I was looking for that laughter and that incredible time that I had flying with Eric, and he wasn't in the plane with me. I was by myself."
This may sound far-fetched, but football reminds me of Venice. Both are so tremendously popular, but it's the very things that made them so that could sow the seeds of their ruin.
Venice, of course, is so special because of its unique island geography, which, as the world's ecosystem changes, is precisely what now puts it at risk. And as it is the violent nature of football that makes it so attractive, the understanding of how that brutality can damage those who play the game is what may threaten it, even as now the sport climbs to ever new heights of popularity.
In November, more than 1.5 million Los Angeles County voters passed the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act. The new law orders porn actors to wear condoms during sex scenes.
"The porn industry has been sending a very bad message by saying the only kind of sex that's hot is unsafe," says Michael Weinstein, CEO of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the measure.
Sitting in his office, just over the hills from the nation's porn film capital, Weinstein says the new law was meant to protect both performers and those who watch the movies.
The House made good on a promise from Speaker John Boehner to pass stalled federal aid for those hit by Hurricane Sandy. Tamara Keith talks to Robert Siegel to explain the politics surrounding the $51 billion package.