Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, is seen during her days with the church. Now alienated from their family, Phelps-Roper and her sister, Grace, speak to religious and cultural groups.
Credit David Gnojek / AP
Westboro Baptist Church members hold a protest in Topeka, Kan., in this photo from the Showtime documentary Fall From Grace.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 4:25 pm
Nearly a year after breaking with the Westboro Baptist Church, two of Pastor Fred Phelps' granddaughters are enjoying a new freedom. But as they tell a Canadian newspaper, they also want to extend empathy to those they hurt in the name of a cause championed by the man they call "Gramps."
One year ago, Superstorm Sandy battered the northeastern coast causing massive damage to homes and businesses. But how does the recovery look today? Host Michel Martin speaks to WNYC reporter Stephen Nessen and New Jersey relief volunteer Jim Davis to find out.
Each year, Halloween brings out the funny, scary and sometimes racist costumes. This year, a young man is getting criticized for wearing blackface to portray slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Our diverse panel of parents gives their take on when dress-up goes too far.
During the government shutdown, thousands of people with stable jobs suddenly found themselves without paychecks and scraping to get by. NPR Senior Business editor Marilyn Geewax talks with host Michel Martin about why rainy day funds are important, and how to create one.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:00 am
Smartphones and tablets. You can't miss them, and your kids can't resist them. Even the smallest children — 40 percent of kids 8 years old and under — have used their parents' mobile devices, according to a survey out this week by the nonprofit Common Sense Media.
Reverse commuters, include Kathy LeVeque (in the foreground), wait for an approaching outbound Metra commuter train at the Mayfair neighborhood stop on Chicago's northwest side.
Credit David Schaper / NPR
Kathy LeVeque reads her tablet on her reverse commute from her city home to her job in north suburban Deerfield.
Credit David Schaper / NPR
Commuters board shuttle buses at the Lake-Cook Metra rail stop in Chicago's northern suburbs. This Shuttle Bug program is a collaboration between area employers and the suburban transit agency, PACE, to provide better transit options for workers, especially those who live in the city but work in the Lake-Cook job corridor.
It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.
"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.
Scientists have confirmed for the first time that at least one variety of Asian carp is living and breeding in the Great Lakes watershed, where it threatens stocks of native fish.
A U.S. Geological Survey and Bowling Green State University study published Monday says Asian carp taken from the Sandusky River in Ohio show the fish are "the result of natural reproduction within the Lake Erie basin."
Monday was yet another troubled day for the Affordable Care Act.
Sunday night, the outside vendor that operates two key parts of the website that lets people browse and sign up for health insurance experienced a failure.
The failure took place at a vendor called Verizon Terremark and presumably affected other clients as well as HealthCare.gov, the federal website that people use to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
In Texas, a federal judge has ruled that the state's new abortion restrictions are unconstitutional and will not take effect tomorrow as scheduled. The decision comes four months after Democratic candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, staged an 11-hour filibuster against the proposed constraints. Texas' attorney general expressed disappointment and vowed to appeal the federal judge's ruling.
NPR's Wade Goodwyn joins us now from Dallas to discuss the case. And, Wade, there were two parts to Judge Lee Yeakel's ruling. What did he say?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Penn State announced today that it will pay nearly $60 million to settle child sexual abuse claims related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. For much of the past year, the university has been negotiating settlements with more than two dozen people who say they were victims of Sandusky.
New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday in a divisive case the state has already vowed to appeal.
In an opinion issued Monday, District Judge Lee Yeakel said the state's effort to regulate abortions violated the rights of doctors who perform the procedure to do what they determine is best for their patients, and would unreasonably restrict women from accessing abortion clinics.
After Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, people returned to waterlogged homes and began to assess the damage. They created lost-and-found lists on the walls of town halls or Facebook pages to try to recover some of what the storm had swept away.
Lost: Two cedar Adirondack chairs, a necklace passed down through generations. Found: a floating dock, a high school diploma.
Now, one year after the storm, residents on the Jersey shore are still reflecting on what they lost during the storm — and what they might have gained.
The Justice Department is negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with JPMorgan over its handling of mortgage-related securities during the financial crisis. The deal could be announced this week, and it reportedly includes $4 billion set aside for homeowners who lost substantial value on their homes. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on lessons learned from the payout of similar settlements.
Anthropologist Lynne Isbell was running through a glade in central Kenya in 1992 when something suddenly caused her to freeze in her tracks. "I stopped just in front of a cobra," she says. "It was raised with its hood spread out."
Isbell, who is at the University of California, Davis, says she has spent the past couple of decades trying to understand how she could have reacted before her conscious brain even had a chance to think — cobra!
This week, we're exploring the tech frontier through the eyes of our children. So we're starting with the littlest ones — babies. Can certain kinds of screen time help babies learn?
To find some answers, I employed the help of my 1-year-old daughter, Eva. She's still a wobbly walker and the sum total of her speaking skills sound like gibberish. But she has no problem activating Siri, the virtual assistant on my iPhone. Her 16-month-old friend, Lily, is even savvier with the gadgets.
After Hurricane Sandy, the south shore of Staten Island looked like it had been hit by a tsunami. The storm surge devastated whole neighborhoods suddenly, in a matter of hours. In the year since the storm, some families have been rebuilding their homes and their lives. Others are ready to sell their flood-damaged properties and move on.
Joe Salluzzo lives in a neighborhood called New Dorp Beach, a few blocks from the ocean. He rode out the storm on the second story of his brick bungalow, which he's been repairing himself ever since.
Revelations about NSA spying have left people wondering about the privacy of their digital data. But what about the privacy of their faces?
The movies make facial recognition look easy: In the 1998 film Enemy of the State, a team of NSA agents simply freeze a surveillance tape, tap some keys and identify the face a few computer beeps later.
Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va., is unusually busy for a Thursday morning. It's not a typical time for worship, but parishioner Stacy Riggs and her husband have come for something a little different: a medical screening.
It's really only a sliver of time when humans build the bulk of their skeleton. At age 9, the bones start a big growth spurt. And by the time puberty ends, around 14 or 15 years old, the adult-sized skeleton is all but done, about 90 percent complete.
But doctors say a lot of children aren't getting what they need to do that. Calcium and vitamin D are essential, sure, but so is lots of time jumping and running.
Preparing For The Big One, Whisper Campaigns, 'Frankenstein'
In this weekend's podcast of All Things Considered, host Arun Rath explores the power of Hollywood whisper campaigns, learns what some people are doing to prepare for "the big one," and talks to first time composer Alexander Ebert.
Driving through the low-lying community of Lindenhurst, on New York's Long Island, you see house after house lifted up on pilings, 12 feet in the air. Superstorm Sandy put Lindenhurst under 8 feet of water, and many homeowners lost everything. For many, lifting a house has become the go-to solution.
Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:17 pm
The next state to legalize same-sex marriage may be Hawaii, where the state's Legislature will begin a special session on the issue Monday. The governor called the session so that lawmakers could consider the Marriage Equality Act, which would allow same-sex couples to wed.
Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:37 pm
Four children are among the dead in a stabbing attack that took place in Brooklyn Saturday night, New York officials say. Police say five people died from the attack at an apartment in the Sunset Park neighborhood. Emergency responders were called to the residence around 11 p.m.
"All five of the dead had stab wounds to their upper bodies, police said," according to CNN. "Police identified the victims as Qiao Zhen Li, 37; Linda Zhuo, 9; Amy Zhuo, 7; Kevin Zhuo, 5; and William Zhuo, 1."
Home plate umpire Dana DeMuth points to third base, where an obstruction call awarded the St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig home plate — and the winning run in Game 3 of the World Series — Saturday night. Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Koji Uehara were dismayed by the call.
Game 3 of the World Series ended in unusual fashion Saturday night, as a ninth-inning obstruction call on Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks resulted in umpires awarding a base to St. Louis' Allen Craig — bringing the winning run home and putting the Cardinals ahead in the series, 2-1.
It's reportedly the first time an obstruction call has ended a World Series game. And it brought an end to a nearly four-hour contest in which the Red Sox had twice rallied from two-run deficits — most recently in the eighth inning.