U.S. News

It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Giffords Group's Radio Ads Hit McConnell, Ayotte On Gun Vote

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, at an April 16 ceremony naming a Capitol Hill conference room for her aide Gabe Zimmerman. Zimmerman died in the same Tucson, Ariz., shootings that Giffords wounded.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

After the Senate failed to pass bipartisan legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases, the superPAC created by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, onetime astronaut Mark Kelly, vowed to remind voters of which lawmakers voted against the plan.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Redesigned $100 Bill To Go Into Circulation After Long Delay

The new Ben Franklin.
Newmoney.gov

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:30 pm

The redesigned U.S. $100 bill will begin appearing after October with new security features that will make it "easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate," the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:07 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Boston Response Praised, But Intelligence-Sharing Questioned

First responders aid injured people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon after the bombing on April 15.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

In the days since the Boston Marathon bombings, local law enforcement officials have been given high marks for their response to the attack and the coordination among numerous federal, state and local agencies involved.

But at the same time, questions are being raised about the coordination among federal agencies handling intelligence they had about the suspects in the months before the attack.

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It's All Politics
2:33 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

How Obama's Response To Terrorism Has Shifted

President Obama makes a statement in the White House briefing room just a few hours after the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

President Obama's time in office has not been defined by terrorism as President George W. Bush's was. Yet incidents like the one in Boston have been a regular, painful through line of his presidency.

When a new administration walks into the White House, nobody provides a handbook on how to respond to a terrorist attack. So the Obama administration has been on a steady learning curve.

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Law
2:25 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

'Taggants' In Gunpowder Might Have Helped Identify Bombers

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Imagine this. A bomb goes off on a crowded American street. Dozens of people are killed and injured. Investigators have no leads except the bomb contained microscopic markers called taggants that tell police exactly where and when the explosives were manufactured. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, taggants are real, but the gun lobby and its industry allies blocked their use years ago.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

1960s Satellite Images Add To Evidence Of Shrinking Sea Ice

An artist's rendering of the Nimbus 1.
NASA

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:30 am

Scientists have digitized and analyzed imagery taken by one of the first U.S. weather satellites to create a montage showing the extent of polar sea ice in 1964 so they can compare it to more recent satellite photos.

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Code Switch
1:33 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Home Sweet Home Costs More For Blacks And Latinos

A "sold" sign is posted outside a home in Carmel, Ind. Black and Latino homebuyers pay about 3.5 percent more for housing than whites and Asians, according to a study released this week by Duke University.
Michael Conroy AP

Black and Latino homebuyers pay more for housing than whites and Asians, according to a study released this week by Duke University. The price difference is about 3.5 percent.

That may not sound like a lot. But Patrick Bayer, a Duke economics professor who led the study, says when you do the math, that percentage can translate to about $5,000 or $10,000 per housing sale.

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Shots - Health News
11:44 am
Wed April 24, 2013

The DEA Wants Your Old Meds, No Questions Asked

Layton, Utah police department employees Holly Plotnick and Shanae Perez pack discarded medications from a collection bin in the lobby in January 2010.
Mike Stark AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 9:40 am

Now that it's spring, maybe you've decided it's time to clean out the medicine cabinet. Maybe you'd rather your teenagers not be tempted by those dusty bottles of Vicodin or other forgotten prescription drugs.

But we're told not to flush medications down the toilet because the drugs can taint rivers and lakes. Traces can also get into drinking water.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Boston Bombing Investigation: Wednesday's Developments

A Massachusetts state trooper salutes Wednesday during the memorial service for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police officer Sean Collier on the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:45 pm

The latest developments in the investigation into the bombings at the Boston Marathon and related news include:

Update at 7:36 p.m. ET. Suspect Unarmed When Arrested:

When police cornered Dzhokhar Tsarnev in a boat in Watertown, they said they traded fire with the Boston bombing suspect.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Death Toll In West, Texas, Fertilizer Explosion Rises To 15

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:31 pm

The number of people who died in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week now stands at 15, officials said Tuesday. Some earlier reports had indicated that 14 people had lost their lives. At least 200 more were injured.

In Waco, TV station KXXV says that officials believe they have found all the victims, quoting Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek saying "No more victims. Everything is searched," in a news conference today.

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Law
5:01 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Sending Ricin Letters

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Mysterious new developments in Mississippi today in the case of poisoned letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. Senator and a Mississippi judge. Federal authorities are dropping charges against a man arrested last week in connection with the case.

NPR's Debbie Elliott has an update for us. And, Debbie, to start, the initial suspect, Paul Kevin Curtis, is actually free tonight. What happened in this case?

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It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Cuts Delay Flights But Not Fingerpointing

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and fellow GOP senators accused the Obama administration of creating a "manufactured crisis" by furloughing FAA air traffic controllers and causing delayed flights.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:02 am

Blame shifting was in high gear Tuesday on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the first air traffic delays tied to the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration controllers began to get attention.

The Republicans' message: Delays at some airports this week — a result of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March, but whose resulting furloughs are just kicking in — was a "manufactured crisis," and that the administration wants voters angry enough to force Congress to give President Obama the higher taxes he seeks.

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Law
3:53 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Justices Say U.S. Improperly Deported Man Over Marijuana

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a longtime legal resident of the United States was improperly deported for possession of a small amount of marijuana. By a 7-2 vote, the justices said that it defies common sense to treat an offense like this as an "aggravated felony" justifying mandatory deportation.

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Around the Nation
3:51 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Thousands Have Applied For 'Deferred Action' Program

Young people wait in line to enter the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles office on the first day of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in August.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:05 am

As Congress continues its debate over immigration reform, nearly a half-million young people who are in the U.S. illegally have already applied for deferred action.

The Obama administration started the policy, formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last year for people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children. Those who are approved gain the right to work or study and avoid deportation for two years.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:13 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Clues Suggest Boston Suspects Took A Do-It-Yourself Approach

Investigators in protective suits examine material on Boylston Street in Boston on April 18, three days after the deadly bombings. The explosive devices were relatively simple to make and law enforcement officials come across them on a regular basis, officials say.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

As investigators look into the Boston Marathon bombings, one crucial question is whether the suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, acted alone or had help. The clues might be found in the bombs used.

From what is now known, it appears the brothers assembled a whole arsenal of explosives. Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau told CNN last weekend that the suspects had at least six bombs, including the two used in the attack and one thrown at police during a shootout.

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Business
3:09 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Online Retailers Take Opposite Sides On Sales Tax Bill

Humberto Manzano Jr. moves a pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix in 2010. Amazon has endorsed a bill making its way through the Senate that would require more online retailers to collect sales tax.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.

The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.

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Law
2:16 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Sticking Points Throw Wrench In Immigration Reform Bill

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Congress, lawmakers are in the thick of trying to figure out new immigration legislation, and as we've been reporting, the Boston bombings have thrown a wrench into that process since it appears the attacks were carried out by legal immigrants. More on that elsewhere in today's program. We wanted to break down the other major sticking points, since there are a lot of them.

And here to help is Fawn Johnson, who covers immigration for The National Journal. Welcome to the studio.

FAWN JOHNSON: Pleased to be here.

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Law
2:16 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Napolitano: Immigration Bill Would Enhance National Security

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

This hour begins with perspectives on the Boston bombings from the U.S. and from the Dagestan region of Russia, where the suspects' parents live. First, to Capitol Hill.

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World
2:04 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Routine On U.S. Racetracks, Horse Doping Is Banned In Europe

French jockey Olivier Peslier celebrates a win at Longchamps racecourse near Paris in 2012. While many drugs can legally be used on horses in U.S. racing, they are barred in Europe.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:30 pm

At the famous Hippodrome de Longchamp just outside of Paris this month, crowds came to cheer and bet on the sleek thoroughbreds that opened horse racing season by galloping down the verdant turf course.

Horse racing in Europe is different from the sport in the U.S., from the shape and surface of the track to race distances and the season itself. Another big difference is doping.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:54 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Boston Search Shines Spotlight On Surveillance Cameras

An investigator inspects the area near a surveillance camera on the roof of the Lord & Taylor store near the Boston Marathon finish line on Thursday. That camera provided the first glimpse of the men who allegedly planted the bombs.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Footage from surveillance cameras along the Boston Marathon route gave the FBI early clues about the bombing suspects. And prosecutors say they'll use some of those images to try to prove their criminal case against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But the proliferation of cameras in America's big cities is raising some tricky questions about the balance between security and privacy.

It was pictures of two brothers taken by a camera outside the Lord & Taylor department store that provided the first glimpse of the men who allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon.

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Race
10:15 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Are There Really More Black Men In Prison Than College?

Activists, filmmakers, and even the president invoke the conventional wisdom that there are more black men in prison than in college. Ivory Toldson, a professor at Howard University, says that's a myth; he explains his findings to host Michel Martin.

Parenting
10:15 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Is American Daycare ... Hell?

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:17 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Money Coach
10:15 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Retirement Gone Wrong? How Seniors Can Dig Out Of Debt

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, how often have you heard that there are more black men in prison than in college? A lot? Well, we'll speak with a professor who's gone back over the research and he says that's just not true. We'll talk about this in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Poll: Public Expects Attacks, But Boston Doesn't Add To Fear

In Boston and other places across the nation, people gathered Monday for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the marathon bombing.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 9:38 am

The Boston Marathon bombings "riveted most Americans" and seemed to "confirm the public's long-held belief that occasional terrorist acts are to be expected," the Pew Research Center says.

In a report released Tuesday morning, it adds that:

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Early Thinking: Boston Suspects Were Working On Their Own

Dzhokhar (at left) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev allegedly killed an MIT police officer, carjacked a vehicle and engaged in a gun battle with police soon after authorities distributed this image of the brothers walking near the finish line of the Boston Marathon just before two bombs exploded. Tamerlan, 26, died from injuries he received. Dzhokhar, 19, was captured Friday night.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:49 pm

(Most recent update: 8:39 p.m. ET.)

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Father Saves Boy From Alligator Attack, With A Stranger's Help

A Fish and Wildlife Service team caught and killed an alligator after the animal attacked a 6-year-old boy Friday. The boy survived with only incidental wounds.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:05 pm

A 6-year-old boy's day off from school Friday left him with a vivid story to tell his classmates, after he was seized — and eventually released — by an alligator in South Florida. The attack occurred at a wildlife refuge near Boynton Beach, Fla., where Joseph Welch had taken his son, Joey, for a canoe ride.

As Welch, a native of Rhode Island who now lives in Pompano Beach, says in a Morning Edition interview airing Tuesday, his idea had been to do "something new and different."

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Half Of Guantanamo Detainees Now On Hunger Strike

We told you last week about an increase in the number of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay. This week, that number has risen further – to cover half of all inmates at the U.S. detention facility; also, 1 in 10 inmates is now being force fed.

Eighty-four of the 166 prisoners at the camp are on hunger strike, the U.S. military said Sunday; 16 of them are being force fed through tubes.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Anthony Weiner Makes Twitter Comeback

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner announces his resignation from Congress on June 16, 2011, in New York. The disgraced former congressman is reportedly considering a run for New York mayor.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 4:14 pm

Anthony Weiner is back — on Twitter, that is.

The disgraced politician who resigned his congressional seat after sending sexual images to female followers on the social networking site — and then lying about it — rejoined Twitter on Monday.

As of 5:50 p.m. ET, Weiner had 4,322 followers.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
4:03 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Boston Lockdown 'Extraordinary' But Prudent, Experts Say

A sign on I-93 alerts motorists that Boston is under a "shelter in place" order Friday.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 7:52 pm

Local officials have defended the decision to essentially lock down the city of Boston on Friday while law enforcement searched for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Residents were told to remain indoors during the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who survived an early morning shootout with police in the suburb of Watertown during which his brother, Tamerlan, was killed.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced the decision to lock down Watertown and the surrounding areas, including Boston, at a dawn news conference Friday.

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Business
3:28 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Airport Delays Raise Questions About Controller Furloughs

Passengers check their flight status at Los Angeles International airport on Monday. The FAA said staffing cuts were causing delays in the Eastern U.S.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Some air travelers faced delays Monday as furloughs of air traffic controllers began taking effect.

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