President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins talks with Thom Hinks and Richard Sunman (far right) after they obtained a marriage license at the Dona Ana County Clerk's Office in Las Cruces, N.M. In August, Ellins' office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
New Mexico law doesn't explicitly ban or approve same-sex marriage. There were a spate of lawsuits seeking to clarify the issue, but they were tied up in the courts. Then in August, the clerk of Dona Ana County, Lynn Ellins, a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage, consulted his staff.
"And we all agreed that it was about time to bring this thing to a head, and if we did nothing, the cases would languish in the district court if we did not move to issue these licenses and try and put the ball in play," Ellins says.
Today, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released a report documenting the aftermath of drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen. A 68-year-old grandmother killed in a farm field in front of her family. Laborers killed after they had gathered in a tent to get out of the summer sun after a long day's work. The human rights groups are calling for more transparency from the Obama administration about America's drone program. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.
A bison crosses a road ahead of a herd of snowmobilers in Yellowstone National Park in 2003. New federal rules announced Tuesday will further restrict the noise and exhaust such vehicles are allowed to emit inside the park.
Credit Craig Moore / AP
Snowmobile exhaust has been so bad that respirators like this one worn by park worker Kitty Eneboe in 2003 have been needed for protection.
The U.S. government Tuesday announced new rules for snowmobiles in Yellowstone that should make the country's oldest national park cleaner and quieter.
The rules were 15 years in the making because of intense wrangling between snowmobile operators and environmentalists. But both groups support the plan and give credit to snowmobile makers for designing cleaner machines.
An ATM sits next to a rack of marijuana clone plants that are used to grow medical marijuana on Wednesday at The Joint, a medical marijuana cooperative in Seattle. Last week Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:21 am
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency charged with surveying the nation's navigable waters to help keep mariners off the rocks and out of the shallows, will cease printing paper charts after mid-April.
The state of Oregon is trying some experiments to bring different kinds of medical professionals under the same roof. Patients can see different kinds of doctors in one visit, and the hope is it will provide better patient care, eventually at less cost to the state.
This can make sense in a primary-care setting, where doctors often have to deal with stomachaches and migraines that stem from mental rather than physical problems.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:49 pm
When it finally came out Tuesday, the September jobs report — delayed for 18 days by the government shutdown — showed a labor market moving forward. But the pace was slow enough to prompt many economists to view it as a letdown.
Job growth "is disappointing, given that employment is still down by about 1.8 million from its peak prior to the recession," Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, said in his analysis.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:22 am
Girls who were more physically active at age 11 did better at school as teenagers, a study finds. And the most active girls really aced science.
It's become pretty much a given that children do better academically when they get regular exercise, even though schools continue to cut or even eliminate recess time. But there's surprisingly little hard evidence to back that up.
One of the meatless dishes prepared at Benson Brewery in Omaha, Neb., for Meatless Monday is zucchini ribbon salad with a dressing made from roasted garlic and tahini, and garnished with green onions and toasted pine nuts.
Credit Courtesy of Vegan Omaha
Chef Matthew Taylor in the kitchen of Benson Brewery, in Omaha, Neb., which promotes a meatless option every Monday. Left, a meatless entree, seitan piccata, at the brewery, ready to be served.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:31 pm
America's relationship with meat is an indulgent one. At 270 pounds of meat per person per year, Americans consume more than almost anyone else in the world. (Mostly, we have our livestock producers' successes to thank for making meat cheap and abundant for us.)
Some other news: in a quiet ceremony in Tulsa last night, this country delivered some long-overdue thanks. Phillip Coon received three medals for his service in World War II. Mr. Coon is 94. Like many veterans, he simply had not been issued the medals, including a Bronze Star, even though he had been entitled to them for decades.
Female Marines have been training for the past month at Camp Lejeune, trying to make it through infantry training. They've got a month to go, including a 12-mile hike with a heavy pack. They're the first ones ever to handle the training, part of an effort to integrate women into combat positions by 2016.
At the 200-year-old U.S. Military Academy at West Point, tradition dictates everything. That includes the habit of having freshmen stand in the yard everyday and call cadets to lunch. It's also tradition that the overwhelming majority of the graduating class will be white and 84 percent male.
Some say those rates are due to natural patterns of matriculation.
"Women will naturally matriculate — or, they have naturally matriculated — into the academy at about the 16 to 17 percent rate," says West Point admissions director Col. Deborah McDonald.
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie debates Democratic challenger Barbara Buono at Montclair University in Montclair, N.J., on Tuesday. Christie's decision not to fight gay marriage in the state takes away an issue Buono had been campaigning hard on.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:35 am
Republican Chris Christie's decision Monday to drop his administration's legal challenge to same-sex marriage made perfect sense for the governor of New Jersey,
But for the potential 2016 presidential candidate, whose path would presumably start in Iowa — where the Republican Party is dominated by social conservatives — the calculation is a bit more complicated.
Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa's powerful evangelical conservative, put it bluntly Monday.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 6:06 pm
They've got a few weeks.
But if federal officials can't get the new online insurance marketplace running smoothly by mid-November, the problems plaguing the three-week-old website could become a far bigger threat to the success of the health law, hampering enrollment and fueling opponents' calls to delay implementation, analysts say.
The limits of workplace theft are being tested in Pennsylvania, where a man called police this month to complain that his Jell-O had been stolen. The flavor was strawberry, he said. And it wasn't the first instance of fridge-theft.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:12 pm
The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.
When it comes to union organizing at an auto plant, the tension is typically between the workers and the management. But not at Volkswagen in Tennessee. There, the United Auto Workers is attempting to finally unionize the automaker's first foreign-owned plant in the South. And so far, Republican officials are the ones trying to stand in the way.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And it's time now for All Tech Considered. This week, we visit the small farming town of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. It's the home of something called Willow Glass, glass that's super thin and flexible and soon find its way into the high-tech marketplace. It's made by Corning in the same plant that developed Gorilla Glass, that's the stuff Apple uses to make the protective cover for its iPhone.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
There's news today of another school shooting. This one in Nevada, at Sparks Middle School near Reno. Two people are dead - a teacher and a student who's believed to be the gunman. Two other students were injured and are in the hospital. NPR's Ted Robbins has more.