U.S. News

Around the Nation
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Medical Marijuana Clinic

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:06 am

Girl Scout cookies are never that hard to sell, but this week, one 13-year-old San Franciscan may have outsmarted the competition altogether.

Around the Nation
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Clowns Aren't Cool? Fewer Young People Don The Polka Dot Pants

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Boy Builds Braille Printer Out Of Lego

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:06 am

What do you get when you put a Lego robotics kit, basic tools and a creative mind together? A Braille printer. Shubham Banerjee, 12, talks to NPR's Scott Simon about his project to help the blind.

Politics
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

A Republican View: U.S. Military Should Play No Role In Syria

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Some in Congress believe sending aid to Syria's opposition forces will drag the U.S. into a war it can't win. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., about his adamant stance.

Environment
3:50 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Amid California Drought, Migrating Birds Enjoy Pop-Up Cuisine

Rice farmer Douglas Thomas watches snow geese take flight over his rice fields in California's Central Valley.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:37 am

Millions of birds migrate through California this time of year, but the waterways and wetlands they rely on for food and rest are largely dry due to the ongoing drought. So farmers are keeping their fields flooded to make temporary wetlands, providing a place for migrating birds to rest and eat.

Rice farmer Douglas Thomas is one of these farmers. On a recent morning some 3,000 snow geese float in his rice fields in California's Central Valley. He's watching a young bald eagle awkwardly dive at the flock.

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It's All Politics
7:59 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

FCC Won't Ask Journalists To Explain Themselves After All

Critics told Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler his agency's proposed news media study would threaten press freedom.
Susan Walsh AP

It may not be in full retreat, but the Federal Communications Commission certainly seemed to be in a major strategic withdrawal from a plan that has caused a political firestorm: a study that would have asked journalists and media owners how they decide what is and isn't news.

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Code Switch
5:53 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Asian-American Contestant, 'Villain' Of 'Jeopardy,' Set To Return

Game show contestant Arthur Chu with host Alex Trebek on the set of Jeopardy!
Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:55 pm

If there are any unwritten rules to playing Jeopardy! Arthur Chu may have broken them all.

During his four-day winning streak in late January, he sometimes interrupted host Alex Trebek and cut in before the host could finish a sentence. He often jumped to the hardest clues on the board first and furiously tapped his buzzer whenever he knew the answer.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Overdiagnosis Could Be Behind Jump In Thyroid Cancer Cases

An ultrasound test is used to look for nodules on the thyroid gland at the front of the throat.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:05 pm

You go in for a checkup. The doctor feels your throat. Hmm, she says, there's a lump in your thyroid gland. We better check that out.

And that might be the start of a painful, costly and unnecessary treatment for thyroid cancer, a study says.

The number of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer has tripled since 1975, but many of those cases are probably due to small, slow-growing tumors that would never cause problems, the researchers say.

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Sports
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

It's Winner-Take-All In NASCAR's New Chase

Jimmie Johnson, celebrating a win in July, is a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ. He says the playoff changes should still result in a top driver taking the title.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

NASCAR's old point system was a mathematical labyrinth concerned with consistency: Drivers didn't have to actually win a race to make the playoffs, as long as they were in the top 10 often enough.

Even NASCAR CEO Brian France has joked that fans needed a computer next to them to figure it out. Take this announcement at a race in Richmond, Va., last year:

"Joey Logano is still barely clinging to that 10th spot in points, but he's 25th two laps down. Jeff Gordon only 2 points behind him."

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All Tech Considered
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

In 'Domain Awareness,' Detractors See Another NSA

Protesters line up outside City Hall in Oakland, Calif., to demonstrate against the Domain Awareness Center, a data integration system being built by the city and the Port of Oakland.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:00 pm

Police are like the rest of us; they suffer from information overload. The data pour in from 21st century sources ranging from license plate readers to Twitter. But as the information comes in, it hits an old-fashioned bottleneck: human beings.

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National Security
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

New Military Ethics Chief Will Face A Full Plate

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to appoint a senior officer to oversee military ethics, in response to recent high-profile ethics problems. Whoever takes the job will face a stiff challenge.

Economy
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Meeting Minutes Show Human Side To Fiscal Crisis

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Federal Reserve today released transcripts of its meetings in 2008, back when the financial crisis was unfolding. The documents show Fed policymakers struggling to understand and respond to failing Wall Street banks and the global financial system in turmoil. NPR's John Ydstie has been reading through the transcripts and joins us now. Hey there, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

CORNISH: So we've had these minutes, at least, right, from most of these meetings for years. What do we learn from the transcripts?

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Economy
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Fannie Mae: Now Free From Debt But Still Under Government's Wing

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

With another $7.2 billion in payments to the Treasury Department, Fannie Mae is now in the black for the first time since it entered conservatorship in 2008. Yet Fannie's future is as murky as ever.

Law
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Detroit Unrolls Its Bankruptcy Blueprint

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Detroit officials have filed a blueprint for the city's emergence from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Quinn Klinefelter of WDET reports that unions and others vow to fight the plan.

Politics
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Week In Politics: Minimum Wage And Boehner's Pressures

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Political commentators Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times discuss a proposed minimum wage raise and the challenges facing GOP congressional leaders.

Politics
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Obama And Democratic Governors Agree: Raise Minimum Wage

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

President Obama met Friday with more than a dozen Democratic governors at the White House. They emerged from the meeting declaring their united support for a higher national minimum wage.

Law
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

New Law Stubs Toe On A Tough Unknown: Who Owns The Guns?

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Edge
1:35 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Finally: U.S. Speedskaters Break Drought, Win Silver In New Race Suits

From left to right, America's J.R. Celski, Jordan Malone, Christopher Creveling and Eduardo Alvarez celebrate taking silver in the men's short track 5,000-meter relay at the Iceberg Skating Palace in the Sochi Winter Olympics Friday.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:27 pm

It took far longer than many people expected. But the American Speedskating team that came to Sochi with high expectations has finally won an Olympic medal. The men's short track relay team finished second to Russia Friday, two days before the Winter Games come to an end.

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The Edge
12:28 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

U.S. Loses To Canada 1-0; Will Play in Bronze Hockey Match

Canada's Jamie Benn (right) and Corey Perry celebrate a goal against America and goalie Jonathan Quick during the men's hockey semifinals in Sochi Friday.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:50 pm

Canada beat the U.S. men 1-0 in Olympic hockey Friday, winning a tense game that saw strong goalie play and stout defensive work. Despite numerous chances, the Americans weren't able to challenge Canadian goalie Carey Price.

The game was a rematch between two teams that played for gold at the Vancouver 2010 Games. That contest went to overtime before Canada's Sidney Crosby scored an artful golden goal that dashed the Americans' dreams of repeating as gold medalists — something they haven't done since the famed 1980 "Miracle on Ice" Olympics.

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StoryCorps
1:38 am
Fri February 21, 2014

The Lives Of Blind Brothers Changed When 'Dad' Came Knocking

The lives of Leo, Nick and Steven Argel (from left) changed the day Ollie Cantos knocked on their door.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:29 am

Leo, Nick and Steven Argel are 14-year-old triplets, and they've all been blind since birth.

Growing up in Arlington, Va., their single mother had a hard time caring for them.

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Code Switch
6:07 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

For Abused Native American Women, New Law Provides A 'Ray Of Hope'

Deborah Parker, vice chair of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington state, reacts to President Barack Obama signing the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

This Thursday, three Native American tribes are changing how they administer justice.

For almost four decades, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling has barred tribes from prosecuting non-American Indian defendants. But as part of last year's re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a new program now allows tribes to try some non-Indian defendants in domestic abuse cases.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

USDA Tells Schools: Don't Refuse Food To Students Who Owe

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:29 pm

U.S. school systems should not take cafeteria lunches away from students whose parents have not paid their accounts, says the Department of Agriculture.

The agency is responding to a January incident in which a Utah elementary school served students food but threw it away when their accounts were found to have a negative balance.

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It's All Politics
5:14 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Obama Buoys Democrats By Dropping Social Security Cut Idea

President Obama very likely made Democrats' midterm campaign messaging easier by dropping from his new budget a proposal that would have reduced the size of Social Security checks.
Matt Rourke AP

For a political party already facing a difficult midterm election the way the Democrats are, the fewer internally divisive issues the better.

And few items were more divisive among Democrats than President Obama's previous proposal to reduce Social Security entitlement spending by using a less generous formula to calculate cost-of-living increases, so long as Republicans agreed to raise revenue by ending or reducing loopholes that would raise revenue.

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Around the Nation
4:46 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Gay-Marriage Battle Moves South, And Religious Right Fights Back

Nick Van Sickels (right) with his husband, Andrew Bond, and their daughter, Jules. The couple was legally married in Washington, D.C., but because same-sex marriage is banned in Louisiana, Bond has no parental rights.
Janet McConnaughey AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:02 pm

The legal battle over gay marriage is moving to the Deep South. Buoyed by federal court victories in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia, gay-rights activists are taking on traditional marriage laws in the very states where those laws enjoy overwhelming public support.

Take Alabama, where Paul Hard is suing the state for violating his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process following the death of his partner, David Fancher, whom he legally married in Massachusetts. Alabama has a constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage.

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Law
4:46 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

New York Backs Off Controversial Punishment For Juveniles

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The state of New York is taking a step toward a more humane prison system. Prison officials reached a landmark agreement today to limit the use of solitary confinement. The deal prohibits the use of extreme isolation to discipline under-age prisoners. It also offers new protections for pregnant women and for the disabled.

With us to talk about the deal is NPR's Carrie Johnson. Hi.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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All Tech Considered
4:46 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Video Streaming Is Straining, But Who Will Ease The Tension?

Internet service providers are having trouble keeping pace with growing demand for video streaming services. But there's disagreement over how to fix the problem.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 12:16 pm

Suzie Felber's kids are only just learning what a commercial is.

"They start screaming when they come on," she says. "They think the TV's broken."

The Felbers usually stream television shows over the Internet in their New Jersey home.

More and more people are following suit, using services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. But these programs take up a huge amount of digital bandwidth, and that's led to a dispute between these services and the Internet service providers that carry them.

Slower Service

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

'Piglet Smoothie' Fed To Sows To Prevent Disease; Activists Outraged

A screen grab from an undercover video released by the Humane Society of the U.S. shows a pig in a gestation crate at Iron Maiden Farms in Owensboro, Ky.
Courtesy of The Humane Society of The United States

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:37 pm

Animal welfare groups go to great lengths to show us how "the sausage" is made inside the factory-style farms that produce most of our meat. For the past few years, they've armed activists with video cameras and sent them undercover to document alleged abuses or risky practices.

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Business
4:25 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

After A Weak Holiday Season, Wal-Mart Profits Shrink

A man shops at a Wal-Mart store in San Jose, Calif., in September. Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its annual profits fell.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:37 pm

Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its annual profits failed to grow. And failed by a lot.

Full-year net income tumbled to $16 billion, down by nearly $1 billion from the previous year.

That tells you a great deal about how hard the economy has been on the lower-income shoppers who make up Wal-Mart's core customer base, according to Charles Fishman, author of The Wal-Mart Effect.

"This clearly reflects the economic constraints on people who shop at Wal-Mart," Fishman said.

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Shots - Health News
3:57 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Doctors Urge Patience, And Longer Labor, To Reduce C-Sections

A C-section delivery may be needed to protect the health of mother and child. But too many are done for the wrong reasons, doctors say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 8:22 am

Women with low-risk pregnancies should be allowed to spend more time in labor, to reduce the risk of having an unnecessary C-section, the nation's obstetricians say.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Who's Your Buddy? It's Canada, Americans Say

U.S. and Canadian fans attend the women's hockey gold medal game in Sochi Thursday. A recent Gallup poll finds that Americans see Canada in the most favorable light, compared to other countries.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

America's favorite foreign country is its neighbor to the north, according to a new Gallup World Affairs poll. The research firm says Americans' opinions of several countries have shifted. Russia has slipped, for instance. And so has North Korea – the country is now alone in the "least favorable" category.

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