U.S. News

Buried In Grain
10:03 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Should Grain Bins On Farms Be Regulated, Too?

Two young workers died in flowing corn at this commercial grain storage complex in Mount Carroll, Ill., in 2010. OSHA regulates 13,000 commercial grain bins like these. But grain bins on 300,000 family farms are largely exempt from OSHA regulations.
John W. Poole NPR

The commercial grain industry responded to a record number of grain entrapments and deaths in 2010 with more safety videos, publications and training programs.

"Have tragic incidents still happened? Yes," says Jeff Adkisson, who heads the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois. "Are we working to reduce them further? Absolutely."

Randy Gordon, president of the National Grain and Feed Association, sees no need for additional regulations. "The [occupational safety and health] standards, we think, are very adequate to address this danger," he says.

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U.S.
3:02 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Can Detroit Return To Its Former Glory?

The population of Detroit has dwindled, and now there aren't enough taxpayers to pick up the tab for essential city services.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 5:07 pm

The newly appointed emergency financial manager of Detroit begins the Herculean task Monday of turning the once bustling capital of the car business back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Though Detroit still has its cultural centers, architectural gems, funky restaurants and packed sporting events downtown, the city has suffered an urban blight that has slowly eaten away at its neighborhoods.

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Sports
12:24 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

March Madness: Good For Fans, Bad For Business

Pittsburgh fans try to distract Wichita State's Ron Baker as he shoots a free throw during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The distractions of the tournament are so great that worker productivity suffers.
George Frey AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 4:34 pm

March Madness is here. Even President Obama has filled out a NCAA Division I men's college basketball tournament bracket. His pick to win it all was Indiana University.

The bracket frenzy is unbelievable, says Deborah Stroman, who teaches sports administration at the University of North Carolina.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi: From Iran To NCAA Hoopla

Rebounding machine Arsalan Kazemi is the first Iranian-born player in Divison I men's college hoops.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 1:23 pm

San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.

Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.

But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.

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It's All Politics
8:12 am
Sat March 23, 2013

A Hint Of Bipartisanship On This Obamacare Tax?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, was joined by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in taking steps to try to stop an Obamacare medical device tax.
Jim Mone AP

Anyone looking for a glimmer of bipartisanship in Washington might want to pay attention to the medical device tax that is part of Obamacare. It took a notable, if largely symbolic, hit this week from the left and the right.

The 2.3-percent excise tax on devices ranging from MRI machines to pacemakers to stethoscopes was meant to raise $20 billion over 10 years to help pay for extending health care coverage to the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

But so far it has raised more ire than revenue.

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Politics
6:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Senate Passes Budget After Late-Night 'Vote-A-Rama'

It took until the wee hours of this morning, but the United States Senate has passed a budget for the first time in four years. But before senators could vote on the budget itself, they had to work their way through dozens of amendments, in a process known as "vote-a-rama." Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Tamara Keith, who was following along.

Politics
6:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Polling Latinos: What Would It Take To Turn Republican?

Host Scott Simon talks with Gary Segura, co-founder of the polling firm Latino Decisions, about whether Latino voters are more likely to vote Republican if the party backs comprehensive immigration reform. Segura is also a professor of American Politics and chairman of Chicano/a Studies at Stanford University.

Sports
6:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Rhymed Wrap: NCAA So Far, In A Poem

NPR's Mike Pesca rhymes his way through the 32 opening-round games of the NCAA basketball tournament.

NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Gay Lobbying On The Hill Has Short Yet Strong History

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:37 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

One argument used by some conservatives in the Supreme Court cases is that gay Americans have become so politically powerful and prominent they don't need special consideration from the courts. Whether or not that's true, it is clear that lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgendered advocacy groups have built a strong network of lobbyists and political activists in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
5:32 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Senators Who Oppose DOMA, Despite Having OK'd It

Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Tuesday on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday they'll hear arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 10:53 am

The soul-searching over the Defense of Marriage Act went viral last week after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a social conservative and original co-sponsor of the 1996 bill, sought out CNN to say something no one saw coming.

Portman said he'd decided to oppose DOMA and support same-sex marriage, two years after learning his college-age son was gay.

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Education
4:22 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Race, Poverty Central To National School-Closure Debate

Jean De Lafayette Elementary School is one of 50 schools slated to be closed in Chicago. Cities across the country are facing similar decisions, and opposition to the closures is growing.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:49 pm

In Chicago, parents are fighting to prevent the city from closing 54 public schools. The Chicago Teachers Union is planning a rally against the cost-cutting proposal next week.

School closings are nothing new, but in a growing number of districts around the country, what was once seen as a local decision to close schools has now morphed into a politically charged campaign.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
4:20 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

As Support For Gay Marriage Grows, An Opponent Looks Ahead

Maggie Gallagher has been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage for the past decade. She debated the issue at Saddleback College this month with John Corvino (right), a gay-marriage proponent who is also a personal friend.
The Lariat Robert Cody Shoemake

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on gay marriage, Maggie Gallagher, one of the nation's leading voices in opposition to same-sex marriage, is also preparing for what might come next.

Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, likes to call herself an "accidental activist." After graduating from Yale in 1982, she thought she'd become a writer and focus on what she called "important things," like money and war. She never fathomed she'd end up on TV almost daily, smack in the middle of the war zone over gay marriage.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Saturday Mail Delivery: Safe For Now?

Veteran USPS letter carrier Michael McDonald gathers mail to load into his truck before making his delivery run in the East Atlanta neighborhood on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:25 pm

Does the budget bill passed by Congress this week derail the United States Postal Service (USPS) plan to end Saturday delivery of first class mail?

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Politics
3:34 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

From Leadership Posts, Women Said To Be Changing Senate Tone

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks at a field hearing of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, in Tacoma, Wash., last year.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

A lot of fanfare followed last November's election, when the number of women in the U.S. Senate surged to 20 — more than ever before.

But quieter victories came after. Female senators now claim an unprecedented number of leadership positions, and for the first time in history, women are at the helm of both the Appropriations and Budget committees — as well as half of the Armed Services subcommittees.

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Around the Nation
3:13 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

14 Million Americans Don't Work Due To Disability, And The Number Is Growing

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now we begin a series of stories that will continue next week on the program, a story that's central to our economy but rarely discussed. It's about 14 million Americans who don't have jobs and who don't show up in any of the unemployment measures we use - 14 million Americans who are invisible to the American economy and essential to understanding it. Here's NPR's Chana Joffe-Walt with our Planet Money team.

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U.S.
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

FCC Chairman Had Trouble Pleasing Interest Groups, Industry

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The head of the Federal Communications Commission gathered his staff this morning, 1,700 people, to tell them this...

JULIUS GENACHOWSKI: I'm announcing that I'll be stepping down as chairman of the FCC in the coming weeks.

BLOCK: The FCC regulates your cell phone, your television and the companies that bring you the Internet. Here's NPR's Neda Ulaby.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: In this morning's speech to his staff, Julius Genachowski talked about how their work affects ordinary people.

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Law
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

40 New York Counties Call For Repeal Of State's Tough New Gun Laws

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And now, the end of our series Guns in America. This week, we've taken you to Georgia, where Charles Foster Jr. was shot and killed in the early hours of 2013.

BLOCK: To Wyoming which leads the nation in suicides, many by gun.

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Law
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

State Laws Govern Gun Purchases Very Differently Across The Country

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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National Security
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

After Decade Of Detention, Guantanamo Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. More than two dozen detainees at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are on a hunger strike. U.S. officials say the prisoners are refusing meals because after a decade in detention without trial, they feel they have been forgotten. But lawyers for the men tell a different story. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.

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Middle East
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

U.S. Pledges $200 Million To Jordan To Aid With Syrian Refugees

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And first up this hour, President Obama's tour of the Middle East. There are two headlines from that trip today - new aid for people fleeing Syria's civil war; and new diplomatic ties between two of Washington's key allies in the region, Turkey and Israel. First, the aid money. The president met with Jordan's King Abdullah today. He pledged $200 million to Jordan, to help care for the flood of refugees from Syria.

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Business
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Former QB Drew Bledsoe Becomes Unlikely Lobbyist For Interstate Wine Sales

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe has been a lot of places since his glory days with the New England Patriots. He went on to play for Buffalo and Dallas and in his retirement, he returned to his hometown of Walla Walla, Washington, where he founded a winery. Bledsoe has not forgotten his New England fans. In fact, he wants people in Massachusetts to be able to buy his wine and, for that matter, other wines online.

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Shots - Health News
2:25 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Doubts Raised About Cutting Medicare Pay In High-Spending Areas

Whose wallet would get pinched if Medicare payments were cut in areas where service levels run high?
iStockphoto.com

Doctors and hospital administrators in parts of the country that are heavy Medicare spenders can relax their grips on their prescription pads and billing computers.

An influential panel on Friday panned the idea raised in Congress to pay them less for Medicare services if their regions are heavy users of medical services.

The idea is an outgrowth of decades of research into why Medicare spends more per beneficiary in some places such as New York City, Florida and McAllen, Texas, and significantly less in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

FAA Announces Tower Closures Coming In April

The control tower at Troutdale Airport in Troutdale, Ore., one of the towers slated for closure.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:22 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Friday that it will close 149 air traffic control towers from April 7 due to budget constraints. The number announced is 40 fewer than the FAA originally planned to close. The cuts in service are part of the FAA's response to sequestration, as we reported in a recent story from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa.:

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The Salt
11:43 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Some Toddler Foods Come With A Mega-Dose Of Salt

Prepacked foods marketed for toddlers can have extremely high levels of sodium compared to the 1,500-milligram daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:46 pm

Feeding toddlers can be a challenge, so it's easy to see the lure of prepackaged favorites like mac and cheese. But many of those foods deliver startlingly high amounts of sodium, some with three times more than recommended in a single serving, according to a new survey.

The offenders include not just savory snacks but also healthful-sounding foods like pasta and chicken, according to Joyce Maalouf, a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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U.S.
10:45 am
Fri March 22, 2013

'Severing Love From Diapers': The Other Case Against Gay Marriage

Zachariah Long (left) and Edward Ritchie protested last year against a gay marriage bill in Maryland. In 1973, Maryland became the first state to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Voters there legalized gay marriage in 2012.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:30 pm

Gay marriage opponents say they're protecting women and children first.

When the Supreme Court hears oral arguments about same-sex marriage next week, much of the debate will turn on legal questions surrounding issues such as federalism and due process.

But the underlying questions are more emotional, with moral objections frequently raised by members of the faith community.

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Barbershop
9:52 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Should There Be Sympathy For Steubenville Rapists?

Two teens accused of rape in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted and sentenced this week. Host Michel Martin talks to the Barbershop guys about how the victim — and the perpetrators — were treated in the press. Writer Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar and Republican strategist R. Clarke Cooper discuss the week's news. ADVISORY: Please note, this conversation includes a discussion about rape and may not be suitable for all listeners.

The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Man Arrested On US Airways Flight After Impersonating Pilot

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:59 am

A 61-year-old French man on a US Airways flight out of Philadelphia almost got an upgrade by playing pilot.

Philippe Jernnard of La Rochelle, France, had a ticket and was denied an upgrade for the West Palm Beach, Fla., flight departing Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday. He later showed up in the cockpit jump seat wearing a white shirt with an Air France logo and a black jacket with epaulets, CBS News reports.

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The Two-Way
11:56 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Investigators Seek Link Between Texas Car Chase, Colorado Shooting

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 6:25 am

Earlier this week, we told you about the head of Colorado's Department of Corrections who was shot and killed after answering the front door of his home.

On Thursday, a Colorado parolee who may be linked to Tom Clements' killing led Texas deputies on a high-speed car chase that ended only when he crashed into a semitrailer, opened fire and was subsequently shot down.

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It's All Politics
4:32 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

NRA-Driven Gun Provisions Pass Along With Spending Bill

Customers shop for guns at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store in Tinley Park, Ill., in January. One of the gun provisions in the spending bill prevents the Justice Department from requiring gun dealers to conduct an inventory to see if guns are lost or stolen.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a temporary measure to keep the government funded through the end of September. Government shutdown averted.

But it turns out the continuing resolution didn't just address spending. It contains six measures that limit how federal agencies deal with guns.

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