U.S. News

Energy
3:29 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Wind Industry Secures Tax Credit, But Damage May Be Done

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. Although Congress voted to extend a wind energy tax credit, the temporary uncertainty dealt a blow to the industry.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.

Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.

Growing Uncertainty

Read more
Economy
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Increased Payroll Taxes Pinch Some Middle Class Families

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We may have avoided the fiscal cliff for the moment, but most Americans will still feel a dip in their take home pay this year. That's because payroll taxes that fund Social Security were not on the negotiating table this week in Congress. They are resetting back up to where they were at the end of 2010. It's an increase of two percentage points.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Aurora Theater Reopens, Angering Some Family Members Of Victims

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Less than six months after a lone gunman shot up a theater at the Century Aurora 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring at least 58, the movie house is slated to reopen. Several family members of victims, after being invited to participate in reopening events, wrote a letter to Cinemark, owner of the theater, expressing their shock as the company's lack of sensitivity. Audie Cornish speaks with reporter Ryan Parker who has followed these events for the Denver Post.

Law
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Father Or Sperm Donor? Kansas Case Says Distinction Comes From A Doctor

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

A Kansas man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple is now being pressed by the state to pay child support. Robert Siegel talks to Tim Hrenchir of the Topeka Capital-Journal, about the case. He has been covering it for the newspaper.

Technology
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

FTC Closes Google Anti-Trust Investigation Without Penalties

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Federal Trade Commission has closed its long-running antitrust investigation of Google. The search giant avoided any financial penalties, and the FTC's move is widely seen as a victory for Google. NPR's Steve Henn has been following the story and joins us now to fill us in on the details. And, Steve, this investigation has been going on for years. And now that it's over, I mean, how big a victory is it really for Google?

Read more
Around the Nation
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

White House's 'We The People' Petitions Find Mixed Success

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

The retro way to get the attention of the White House was to write an op-ed in a high profile newspaper, lobby Congress, or maybe even stage a march on Washington. Today all you need to do is click a few buttons. In 2011 the White House created a petitioning website called "We the People." Petitions that gather 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days receive an administration response. After more than a year in operation, Audie Cornish checks in with Jim Snider, a Harvard fellow who studies democratic reform in the information age, about the site's effectiveness.

U.S.
1:55 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase, But Culprits Hard To Capture

Officers Carol Mitchell and John Hill investigate the death of a disabled teen who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are increasing nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Los Angeles and New York City have the highest rates of those deaths.

In Los Angeles, where the car is the major mode of transportation, hit and runs involving pedestrians occur almost daily. But these crimes can be the most difficult for law enforcement to investigate and solve.

People Don't Want To Get Involved

Read more
U.S.
1:49 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays

Tamara Burney's kindergartners eat lunch in the Hillview Elementary cafeteria in Jefferson County, Ala.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Holidays are typically a festive time, with breaks from the routine, meals with loved ones, maybe even some gifts. But for many families across the U.S., the season comes with intense stress: Roughly 1 in 5 families with children are not getting enough food.

For some, free or reduced-price school meals have become a major source of basic nutrition. When schools close for the holidays, many of those families struggle to fill the gap.

Read more
The Salt
1:48 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Drought Puts The Squeeze On Already Struggling Fish Farms

Catfish swim in a tub outside the Osage Catfisheries office.
Kristofor Husted KBIA News

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

This year's drought delivered a pricey punch to US aquaculture, the business of raising fish like bass and catfish for food. Worldwide, aquaculture has grown into a $119 billion industry, but the lack of water and high temperatures in 2012 hurt many U.S. fish farmers who were already struggling to compete on a global scale.

Read more
U.S.
1:20 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:34 am
Thu January 3, 2013

With Those Lost In Mind, Sandy Hook Students And Staff Return To Classes

Early Thursday morning, a school bus carrying students from Sandy Hook Elementary headed to their new school.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:49 pm

  • Jean Cochran reporting on the NPR Newscast

(Scroll down for updates. Our most recent was at 2:45 p.m. ET.)

Hoping that they have done their best to create "a safe and a secure learning environment for these kids," school officials in Connecticut today welcomed the 500 or so surviving students from Sandy Hook Elementary School and their teachers back to class.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:26 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Brings One Family Closer

The day after their neighborhood was flooded, the Hardys returned to their house to start bagging up the garbage. The contents of the fridge were spread all over the kitchen floor and even outside. There were sausages in the street. The kitchen floor was a mess of muddy puddles.
Courtesy of Heather Hardy

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:26 am

The Hardy family goes back generations in a tiny neighborhood called Gerritsen Beach at the southern end of Brooklyn. For them, Superstorm Sandy has created something like an extended family reunion.

Their 2 1/2 bedroom house is currently just barely livable. They removed a fallen tree, replaced drywall, fixed the electricity and heat, and threw down rugs to keep the dust and mold from overwhelming them until they do the work the house really needs.

The Hardy family is more closely knit than a lot of people could stand.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Clinton Discharged From Hospital After Blood Clot Treatment

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital today, after being treated for a blood clot. In December, Clinton and former President Bill Clinton attended a dinner for Kennedy honorees at the Department of State.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:40 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she was admitted Sunday for treatment of a blood clot that followed a concussion she suffered after fainting. Clinton has reportedly been taking blood thinning agents to help the clot dissolve.

"She's eager to get back to the office," according to a statement from Philippe Reines, deputy assistant Secretary of State, announcing Clinton's discharge.

Read more
Sports
4:26 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Game, Set And Match: U.S. Tennis Tournaments Move Abroad

Pete Sampras returns a forehand against Russia's Marat Safin during an exhibition tennis match at the L.A. Tennis Open tournament in 2009. The tournament, which has been around for decades, is now relocating to Colombia as America's dominance in the sport declines and global appeal surges.
Danny Moloshok AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:16 am

Throughout most of its 86 years, Los Angeles' premier tennis tournament attracted the biggest names in the game. But over the years, stars stopped coming, and so did fans.

Now the Farmers Classic, which has been in L.A. since 1927, is headed to Bogota after it was bought by a Colombian sports marketing and entertainment company.

"There's a big hole in my heart. And believe me, this is something we didn't see coming, I'll be honest," says Bob Kramer, longtime tournament director of the Farmers Classic.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

In Alabama, Is Bamboo Invasive Or An Inventive New Crop?

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Bamboo is now being used to make everything from bicycles to bathroom tissue. Now there's a movement afoot to begin growing the crop on a wide-scale basis in Alabama.

Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Who Are The Wealthiest Americans? Depends On Who You Ask

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama praised the cliff-dodging deal last night, saying it delivers on a central promise of his campaign.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

Read more
Business
3:26 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Some Frustrated After Congress Kicks The Can On Debt Ceiling, Spending Cuts

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Throughout the fiscal cliff drama, business leaders pressed Washington for a deal. But the limited nature of the bill that passed is unlikely to make many business leaders happy.

Politics
3:24 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

With New Congress, GOP Could Ditch Boehner As Speaker

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

That squabble over aid related to Hurricane Sandy comes at a critical time for House Speaker John Boehner. Tomorrow, Congress is sworn in on Capitol Hill. And in the House, majority Republicans will decide if Boehner keeps his post.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

UPDATE: With A Swish Of His Autopen, Obama Signs Fiscal Cliff Bill

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu, Hawaii, Wednesday. Obama returned to Hawaii to continue his vacation — prompting questions about how he will sign the fiscal cliff bill.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:43 am

Update at 7:35 a.m ET, Jan. 3. Signed By Autopen:

As many had expected he would, the president did sign the fiscal cliff agreement with an autopen. The bill was back in Washington, D.C., while Obama was in Hawaii on vacation. So, it was signed by an autopen machine that produces a copy of the president's signature. As we outlined earlier, this has been done before.

Our original post — "How Will President Obama Sign The Fiscal Cliff Bill?"

Read more
Around the Nation
3:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Federal Sandy Aid Package Provokes War Of Words Inside GOP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

A $60 billion federal aid package for states affected by Hurricane Sandy is moving forward, but it hasn't been an easy political process. There's been hot debate about it within the Republican Party. Last night, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives declined to vote on an aid package, and that infuriated lawmakers across New York and New Jersey.

Read more
Politics
3:22 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal Includes Breaks For Tuna Canneries, Rum Makers

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The American Taxpayer Relief Act is 157 pages long. It's not all about avoiding impending tax hikes. Some of it has to do with tax benefits for ceiling fans and tuna canneries. NPR's Ari Shapiro is here to explain.

And Ari, in spending bills, little weird provisions like this might be called pork-barrel spending or projects. Are we looking at a kind of earmark?

Read more
Science
2:50 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides

George Zimmerman (left) and his attorney appear in court for a bond hearing in June. Zimmerman's case sparked a nationwide debate about so-called "stand your ground" laws.
Joe Burbank AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:54 am

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.

Read more
National Security
1:34 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

At $130 Million A Plane, Critics Question The Cost Of The F-35

Visitors look at a Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the Singapore Airshow in 2010. The cost of the plane keeps on rising and is now $130 million or more per plane, depending on the model.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Second of two parts

In a mile-long building on the edge of Fort Worth, Texas, an assembly line is taking shape to build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin, which got the contract to build the jet back in 2001, is slowly cranking up production. It's hard to keep a plane current, when it takes so many years to develop.

But Lockheed's Kevin McCormack says the F-35 is designed to change as technology evolves.

Read more
Music
10:00 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Gospel Star Vicki Yohe's Shares Songs Of Strength

Vicki Yohe may look like a country western singer with her blond hair and blue eyes. But she's an urban gospel star. Yohe's latest album is titled, I'm at Peace: A Praise and Worship Experience. For Tell Me More's In Your Ear series, Yohe shares the songs that lift her up in tough times.

Health
10:00 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Chastity: Why Wait?

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:07 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee sitting in for Michel Martin, who is under the weather. Coming up, you either loved him or hated him, but if you ever saw him perform, you certainly remember him and his catchphrase - dyn-o-mite - from the classic sitcom "Good Times." We'll talk to comedian Jimmie J.J. Walker later in the program.

Read more
National Security
1:45 am
Wed January 2, 2013

How Good Is The World's Most Expensive Fighter Jet?

The U.S. Navy version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter conducts a test flight on Feb. 11, 2011, over the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The F-35 is the fighter jet of the future for the U.S. military, but its high cost and many delays have raised questions.
U.S. Navy Lockheed Martin/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:34 pm

First of two parts

After years on the drawing boards and in testing labs, a new fighter plane is entering the U.S. arsenal. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is supposed to help the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines replace their fleet of aging aircraft.

But this plane has become the most expensive military procurement program in history. While critics continue to carp about the cost, the plane is now in the skies, and the military says it's the lynchpin for future defense strategies.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Inside The Fiscal Cliff Budget Compromise Bill: Tax Cuts and Tax Hikes

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:44 am

The budget compromise bill that is meant to allow the U.S. government to avoid higher tax rates and austere budget cuts has tax rates as its central issue, with discussions about more spending cuts, and the federal debt limit, put off until the coming weeks.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

The Slow Carving Of The Crazy Horse Monument

When completed, the Crazy Horse mountain carving will be 641 feet long by 563 feet high.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

South Dakota is famously home to Mount Rushmore, but it's also been making room for a second colossal mountain carving that, when finished, will dwarf the four presidents.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:35 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

The Rose Parade's Evolution Into A Cultural Event

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Right now in Pasadena, the floats in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade are the homestretch. The Rose Parade is a long-established national tradition, of course, watched every year by hundreds of thousands across the country. Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison covered the event many times and wrote today: Its huge cultural shadow has been as much about what you didn't see on display as what you did.

Read more
Race
12:35 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

The Emancipation Proclamation: A Public Document

For the 150th birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation, the National Archives is displaying the original document for members of the public to visit. A'Lelia Bundles, chair and president of the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Archives, viewed the Proclamation Sunday; she discusses what the document did — and did not do — for slaves.

Pages