U.S. News

The Two-Way
8:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Judge Rejects $20-Million Severance For American Airlines CEO

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton stands next to a control tower at Berlin Brandenburg Airport in March 2012.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:56 am

A severance package of $20 million might have seemed reasonable to American Airlines CEO Tom Horton, but a U.S. bankruptcy judge says it's too much.

The proposed payout, part of a deal that would merge American parent AMR and US Airways Group, first caught the attention of U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis, a Department of Justice official monitoring AMR's Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Explosives Said To Be In Package Addressed To Sheriff Arpaio

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Laura Segall Reuters /Landov

Authorities in Arizona say a package addressed to controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was safely destroyed Thursday after a test for explosive residue confirmed it "contained black powder," The Arizona Republic writes.

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StoryCorps
1:33 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Adoptive Dad Dreamed A Dream That Brought Him A Son

John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 2:19 pm

In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.

"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.

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Environment
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Nominee To Lead EPA Grilled Over Past Work At Agency

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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U.S.
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Army Chaplain Awarded Medal Of Honor For Korean War Heroism

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Amid renewed tensions on the Korean peninsula, President Obama awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor to Army Captain Emil Kapaun, a military chaplain who was taken prisoner during the Korean War.

Law
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Shop Owner Sued By State After Denying Flowers To Gay Couple

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

The Attorney General in the state of Washington is suing a small florist for refusing to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

U.S.
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Immigration Reform Gains Momentum In Congress

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Remembrances
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Designer Of Cold War-Era 'Doomsday Clock' Dies

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block had remembrance of the designer of the Doomsday Clock. Martyl Langsdorf died March 26 at the age of 96.

Around the Nation
2:35 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Fair Or Foul? Pigeon Shoots Ruffle Feathers In Pennsylvania

A sportsman participates in a pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania in 2009. Animal-rights activists want to ban the tradition in the state.
The Humane Society of the United States

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Animal-rights activists are hoping for change in Pennsylvania, where they're fighting to end a tradition: live pigeon shoots. At the events, shooters compete to hit birds that are launched into the air.

Elissa Katz remembers feeling helpless at the site of a pigeon shoot, with feathers flying through the air and wounded birds falling to the ground. "They flutter up in the air as they are sprung from boxes. Shooters have shotguns, they are at fairly close range, and they blast away at the birds," she says.

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It's All Politics
2:31 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Looking To Broaden Appeal, RNC Heads To Hollywood

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the National Press Club in March. Priebus has irritated faith-based values voters and others in the GOP with his quest to retool the party following the losses of 2012.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

The Republican National Committee is holding its spring meeting in the Democratic stronghold of Hollywood this week — part of an effort to broaden the party's appeal.

So far, there are sharp divisions among RNC delegates about the future direction of the GOP. But there's general agreement that the party isn't effectively communicating its message.

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It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Notes On A Sex Scandal: Rebounding From Disgrace

Mayor Weiner? Anthony Weiner, pictured in May 2011 addressing his sexting scandal, says he is considering a run to succeed Michael Bloomberg in New York City.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:26 pm

It's comeback season for public figures who have been disgraced by their own sex lives.

Former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who received national attention after leaving the country to pursue an extramarital affair five years ago, is favored to win a May 7 special House election. He won Speaker John Boehner's endorsement this week.

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Shots - Health News
1:08 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Seniors In The South Are More Apt To Be Prescribed Risky Drugs

Seniors in the Southeast were much more likely to be prescribed more than one high-risk medications in 2009.
Danya Qato and Amal Trivedi Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:53 pm

Health care types have spent years trying to make the point that seniors are being prescribed medications that are unnecessary and dangerous. But the message hasn't really sunk in.

More than 20 percent of people with Medicare Advantage coverage are taking at least one high-risk medication, a new study finds.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Thu April 11, 2013

'He Saved Hundreds': Army Chaplain Gets Medal Of Honor

In this copy of a photograph on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, Kan., a wounded soldier is helped by Army chaplain Emil Kapaun (on the soldier's left) during the Korean War. The Kansas native died a prisoner of war in 1951.
Mike Hutmacher MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:15 pm

It took more than 60 years, but an Army chaplain who died as a prisoner during the Korean War will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama on Thursday.

Capt. Emil Kapaun was a Catholic priest serving with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division who died at age 35 in 1951. And he's not only a war hero — the Catholic Church is also looking into whether he should be made a saint.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Wild Weather Warning: Tornadoes, Heavy Snows, High Winds

Where is spring? Icy branches partially blocked a city street Wednesday in Sioux Falls, S.D. More wintry weather is expected there Thursday.
Dirk Lammers ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • From St. Louis Public Radio: Tim Lloyd reports on the severe weather

While a "Minnesota winter that won't end is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the Twin Cities by Thursday night," people in Missouri and Arkansas are "grappling with the aftermath of a series of storms that spawned at least two tornadoes."

And the wild weather is spreading to other parts of the nation:

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Business
1:21 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn't Pay

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 6:35 pm

This story is part of a two-part series about the construction industry in Texas. Find the first part here.

Homes in Texas are cheap — at least compared with much of the country. You can buy a brand new, five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house near Fort Worth for just $160,000.

But that affordability comes at a price — to workers, many of whom are in the country illegally and make $12 an hour or less, but also to business owners.

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It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Michelle Obama Steps Into Gun Control Debate

First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday speaks about 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago earlier this year.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

First lady Michelle Obama gave a personal and emotional speech Wednesday in Chicago as she stepped into the debate over gun control.

"Right now, my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common-sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence," she said.

The first lady was in her hometown to encourage business leaders to donate millions of dollars to programs for at-risk youth.

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Education
3:30 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

El Paso Schools Cheating Scandal: Who's Accountable?

Former El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is escorted by his attorneys into a Texas courthouse. He was found guilty of fiddling with El Paso schools' test scores for his own financial gain.
Ruben R. Ramirez/The El Paso Times AP

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 12:29 pm

No one knows if Atlanta's school superintendent or any of the people accused of falsifying test results will go to jail, but they wouldn't be the first if they do.

Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of schools in El Paso, Texas, has been sitting in a federal prison since last year. He's the nation's first superintendent convicted of fraud and reporting bogus test scores for financial gain.

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The Salt
3:22 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Cities Turn Sewage Into 'Black Gold' For Local Farms

Thick jets of processed sewage arc out 30 to 40 feet from giant moving spreaders at Birmingham Farm in Kansas City, Mo.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:07 am

On a normal day, Kansas City, Mo., processes more than 70 million gallons of raw sewage. This sewage used to be a nuisance, but Kansas City, and a lot of municipalities around the country, are now turning it into a resource for city farmers hard up for fertilizer.

After the sewage has been processed at a treatment plant, it's piped out to Birmingham Farm on the north side of the Missouri River.

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Law
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Immigration Activists Call For Faster Policy Reforms

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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It's All Politics
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Some States Hike Gas Tax; Va. Tries New Route To Fund Roads

Drivers travel on Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, near Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., in November, just days before the opening of four new express lanes. Virginia is among 19 states that have approved or are considering legislation to increase transportation funding, according to Transportation for America.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

It's no secret that many of the nation's roads are in pretty bad shape. In the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition of America's highways rated a grade of D.

Congestion is a big problem, and so is upkeep. Most states rely on gas taxes to raise the money for repairs and new construction, but that funding source is not the stream it used to be, says James Corless of Transportation for America.

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Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

'Mayors Against Illegal Guns' Push For Background Checks

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns has launched a million-dollar media blitz to support new gun legislation. One TV ad features Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse Lewis, was among those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

NEIL HESLIN: Oh, I feel it's something I owe to my son, Jesse, to speak up and I'm his voice. And I feel if I didn't, I would be letting Jesse down.

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Sports
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Honus Wagner Baseball Card Gained Value From An Early Recall

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

A U.S. District court judge is wrestling with punishment for a sports memorabilia dealer. William Mastro is accused of altering a rare baseball card before selling it. The 1909 Honus Wagner card demands upwards of $2 million at auction. Melissa Block talks with memorabilia magnate Ken Goldin about the case and the card.

Business
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Postal Service Backs Off Ending Saturday Mail Delivery

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Turns out that Saturday first-class mail service isn't going anywhere. The Postal Service today backtracked on its decision to reduce deliveries in an effort to save money. But it says that's only because language in the bill funding the federal government currently bars such a change. As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, this means the service will be running even deeper in the red.

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Politics
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Agrees To Background Check Plan

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Law
2:25 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

A Mother's Fight Against 3 Strikes Law 'A Way of Life'

Sue Reams campaigned to change California's three-strikes law and help set free her son, Shane.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Since the November election, 240 California prisoners facing potential life sentences have been set free. That's because voters changed California's tough three strikes sentencing law.

As NPR reported in 2009, that law sent thousands of people to prison for terms of 25 years to life for minor, nonviolent crimes. Now those prisoners can ask the court to have their sentences reduced.

One of those set free under the new law is Shane Reams. He owes his freedom in no small part to his mother Sue's 17-year campaign to change the law.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

American Tribe Fights To Halt Artifact Auction In Paris

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:37 am

An auction of sacred Native American artifacts scheduled for Friday in Paris is stirring up controversy on both sides of the Atlantic

Seventy Hopi "visages and headdresses" — some more than 100 years old — will go on the block at the Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou auction house, which estimates the sale will bring in about $1 million, according to The New York Times.

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Can I Just Tell You?
10:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Do Physical Compliments Have A Place In Politics?

California Attorney General Kamala Harris
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 1:52 pm

Do you mind if I say this? You look great. The hair is on point. I love the way that shirt goes with that sweater. And, no, that's not the only thing I care about about you. But, yes, I do appreciate a good looking....whoever you are. And now that I think about it, whoever you are, it would be great if we could all just admit that that how you feel about what I just said well, it depends. It depends on who you are, what you do and, yes, how badly you need or want that compliment.

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Sports
10:02 am
Wed April 10, 2013

UConn Sank Louisville In Women's NCAA Matchup

An exciting women's NCAA basketball tournament ended with a dominant win by UConn in Tuesday's final game. ESPN's Pablo Torre talks with host Michel Martin about the game and other sports news.

Around the Nation
1:21 am
Wed April 10, 2013

L.A. Schools Hire Security Aides To Watch For Threats

Students at Tenth Street Elementary out on the playground.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:20 am

Tenth Street Elementary is in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles, a few blocks west of the Staples Center and downtown skyscrapers. It's a tough neighborhood; school security is always an issue.

On a recent day, about 150 third-graders were spread across a worn cement playground, running around, playing chase and tag.

Most lunch hours, you'll find Juan Alfayate, the school's energetic principal, out on the blacktop, dodging soccer balls and having fun with the kids while on playground patrol.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Tiger At The Masters: The Juncture Of Exhilaration And Peril

Tiger Woods spends some time on the driving range during Monday's practice round for the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:20 am

Let us now ponder the exquisite status of Tiger Woods, who has clawed back to the top of the charts thereby to proclaim, with the help of his Nike mouthpiece, that his ragged and raw past few years never really happened because — ta-da –– as his ad says: "Winning takes care of everything."

And yes, indeed, he is No. 1 in the rankings again. And, too, he has a beautiful new girlfriend, although, of course, I will not mention her name here, so as not to be a member of what he calls the "stalkerazzi."

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