U.S. News

Sports
4:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

In Alaska's Iditarod Sled Race, Vets Are A Dog's Best Friend

Mushers can bring up to 20 dogs to the Iditarod but can start the race with only 16. In the days before the competition, the animals are taken to the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, for pre-race exams.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 10:15 pm

In Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, the "Last Great Race on Earth" begins.

Sixty-seven sled dog teams will start the 998-mile Iditarod race across the barren, frigid and unforgiving land. In this year's competition, there are a handful of first-time racers — but those aren't the only rookies.

One is veterinarian Greg Reppas, whose job is to ensure the dogs are healthy throughout the race.

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U.S.
4:35 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Michigan Officials Take Control Of Detroit's Empty Wallet

With a declining population and dwindling tax base, Detroit has grappled with severe financial problems in the past decade.
J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

In a small public-TV studio before an invitation-only audience of 30 people, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made his case Friday for taking control of Detroit's finances away from the city's elected officials.

The state's signature city is grappling with a declining population, a dwindling tax base and decades of mismanagement — including corruption so pervasive at times that former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is currently on trial for federal racketeering charges.

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Energy
3:22 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Natural Gas Dethrones King Coal As Power Companies Look To Future

American Electric Power's natural gas-burning plant in Dresden, Ohio, is one of the energy company's new investments in alternatives to coal-burning plants.
Michael Williamson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

The way Americans get their electricity is changing. Coal is in decline. Natural gas is bursting out of the ground in record amounts. And the use of wind and solar energy is growing fast. All this is happening as power companies are trying to choose which kind of energy to bet on for the next several decades.

Until recently, half of these plants burned coal to make electricity. Now, that's down to about one-third. Since 2010, about 150 coal plants either have been retired or it's been announced they will be retired soon.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Obama Says He Can't Force A Budget Deal: 'I'm Not A Dictator'

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

Congress failed to reach an agreement on the spending cuts known as the sequester — and now they are out of time. On Friday morning, Congressional leaders from both parties met at the White House. Afterward, House Speaker John Boehner made it clear that Republicans won't budge on taxes.

Sports
3:01 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Major League Soccer Finally On Solid Footing, But Hasn't Reached Big Time

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Major League Soccer season starts tomorrow. Superstar David Beckham is gone and there aren't any new teams to get excited about this year. But the MLS is on solid footing, and as NPR's Mike Pesca reports, the league has big ambitions.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Despite Sequester, Government Shutdown Remains Unlikely

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

The long-feared automatic spending cuts are set to start late Friday, and now Congress must deal with another deadline at the end of this month. Tamara Keith talks to Melissa Block about what happens next.

Energy
3:01 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

State Department Finds No Major Objections To Keystone XL Pipeline Proposal

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. We've reported a lot on the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline. It would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. And today, there's a development in this story. The State Department has released a new analysis of environmental impacts of the pipeline.

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National Security
3:01 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Pentagon Won't Feel Most Of Sequester's Effects Until Summer

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

$46 billion: That's the amount the Pentagon must cut from its budget by the end of September under the new regime of austerity that kicks in today. This afternoon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned about the impact of that.

SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL: Let me make it clear that this uncertainty puts at risk our ability to effectively fulfill all of our missions.

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Sports
3:01 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Gay Athletes Face Discrimination In Professional Sports

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's no secret that the atmosphere in pro sports for gay athletes, especially men, isn't always a comfortable one. This week came another story on that topic: a report that an NFL team asked college players about their sexual orientation when they were auditioning for the league. The NFL says it's investigating. And for more on this, sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us, as he does most Fridays. Hi there, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS: Hey, Audie.

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Around the Nation
2:50 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Drought-Stricken Plains Farmers 'Giddy' Over Heavy Snow

Kirk Sours says heavy snow creates extra work on his ranch, but he's thrilled that the pending melt will bring his otherwise dry pastures much-needed moisture.
Frank Morris/KCUR

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 3:34 pm

Two rapid-fire snowstorms belted Kansas with more than 2 feet of snow this week. They caused thousands of accidents and all kinds of hardships — but they also produced very broad smiles from some quarters.

That's because in a place as dry as Kansas has been lately, a blizzard can be a blessing for farmers and ranchers.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Jedi? Vulcan? Mind Meld? Mind Trick? What Was Obama Thinking?

That's a light saber, sir, not a phaser. (President Obama in September 2009, during a White House event promoting Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.)
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:53 pm

He can't do "a Jedi mind meld" with Republicans and get them to see his way about taxes and spending, President Obama said Friday.

About which CBS News' Mark Knoller immediately tweeted:

"Pres Obama Mixed Metaphor of the Day: The 'mind meld' is not a Jedi tool from Star Wars, but a Vulcan ability from Star Trek."

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Fri March 1, 2013

SpaceX Reports Problem With Dragon Capsule

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday.
John Raoux Associated Press

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:24 pm

Update at 8:10 p.m. ET: Problem Fixed, Arrival Delayed

SpaceX says the problem with its unmanned craft carrying supplies for the International Space Station has been fixed.

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Fri March 1, 2013

'Harlem Shake' On A Plane Has FAA Investigating; See The Video

Doing the Harlem Shake aboard a Frontier Airlines flight has the FAA asking questions.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:32 am

Shakes on a plane aren't all that funny to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Colorado College's ultimate frisbee team last month convinced the crew aboard a Frontier Airlines fight to let them do the "Harlem Shake."

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Sinkhole Swallows Sleeping Man In Florida

An engineer surveys in front of the home where a sinkhole opened up late Thursday near Tampa, Fla. A man who had been in one of the home's bedrooms screamed for help and disappeared. It's feared he died.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:39 pm

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET. Rescue Hopes Dim Further:

"Hopes for the rescue of a man sucked into a sinkhole were dimming Friday as authorities tried to determine whether the ground nearby was stable enough for a rescue operation," the Tampa Bay Times writes.

The Times also has a harrowing account from Jeremy Bush, who survived, of his brother Jeffrey's disappearance into the sinkhole:

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Law
1:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Administration Asks Supreme Court To End Calif. Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:47 am

The Obama administration has filed a friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's ban on gay marriage as a denial of "equal protection under the law." But the brief does not call for the abolition of all state bans on same-sex marriage.

The case now before the high court tests the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a referendum narrowly passed by voters in 2008 that reinstituted a ban on gay marriage.

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Shots - Health News
12:56 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Sacrificing Sleep Makes For Run-Down Teens — And Parents

Napping in class may be common, but it's also a sign that kids need more sleep.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:00 am

When NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health asked parents and caregivers in our new poll whether getting a good night's sleep is important, families overwhelmingly told us that sleep is a high priority.

But almost all said that it's difficult to pull off. And studies suggest this is especially true for teenagers.

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Sports
4:12 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Pete Rose: A Living Legend, Off The Record

Pete Rose holds the record for all-time hits, but he was banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling on the game. Now, his records — but not his name — appear on Topps baseball cards.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 7:04 pm

As baseball emerges from its winter hibernation, one of the game's greatest and most controversial figures, Pete Rose, is back in the news.

The all-time hits leader has been banned from baseball since 1989 for gambling on the game.

It appears fallout continues: A new batch of Topps baseball cards lists some of his many records, but not his name. It's a reminder of Rose's singular status as a Major League Baseball pariah. It also raises the question, with so much bad behavior by top athletes, is it time to re-evaluate Rose's status?

The Art Of Pete

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Business
4:12 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Texas Study Points To A Longer Natural Gas Boom

A natural gas drilling rig just east of downtown Fort Worth, Texas. A new decade-long study finds the region's Barnett Shale formation has sufficient gas reserves to last another 25 years.
David Kent MCT/Landov/Fort Worth Star Telegram

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:59 pm

There are few things in life more joyful than discovering a giant oil or natural gas field in Texas. You're suddenly rich beyond your wildest dreams. When the scope and size of the natural gas reservoir in the Barnett Shale in North Texas first became apparent, there were predictions that the find would last 100 years.

Well, that was over the top. But University of Texas geology professor Scott Tinker, who designed and authored a new study of the Barnett Shale, says there's still a lot of gas down there, even after a decade of drilling.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Some Political Lessons From The Violence Against Women Act Vote

Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act rally in front of the U.S. Capitol last June. On Thursday, the House passed a reauthorization measure.
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:22 pm

The fight over reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act is now behind us. But like much of what happens in Washington, the process wasn't pretty.

In the debate leading up to Thursday's House vote, you had Democrats accusing Republicans of continuing a "war on women," and Republicans accusing Democrats of crass political pandering.

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Law
3:41 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Obama Administration To File Brief Urging Supreme Court To Strike Down Prop. 8

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Now to a developing story about a major Supreme Court case. NPR has previously reported that the Obama administration would file a Friend of The Court Brief, urging The Court to strike down a ban on same-sex marriage in California. Well, today is the deadline to file that brief but it has not yet been filed.

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It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

After Tough 2012, Conservative Koch Brothers Regroup

David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, attends an event at The Economic Club of New York last year.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

The network of political groups headed by conservative industrialists David and Charles Koch spent millions of undisclosed dollars in last year's elections. Now, after failing to help Republicans win the White House or the Senate, the Koch brothers are re-examining the network, its goals and strategies.

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Shots - Health News
3:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Change In Law May Spur Campus Action On Sexual Assaults

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi discusses the Violence Against Women Act on Capitol Hill on Thursday. The House passed the measure, which could help curb violence on campus.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 7:41 pm

Most cases of sexual assault or harassment on school campuses don't attract national attention.

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It's All Politics
3:13 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Justice Department Warns Of 'Pain' From Looming Cuts

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks before a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General on Tuesday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

President Obama minced no words when he talked about how the looming budget cuts known as sequestration could hurt the Justice Department.

"FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go," Obama said.

Starting late Friday, if Congress and the White House can't come to an agreement, the Justice Department will face $1.6 billion in cuts — about 9 percent of its budget. Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of state law enforcement officials who met in Washington this week that the situation looks ugly.

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Around the Nation
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Budget Cuts Could Compromise Safety At Overcrowded Prisons

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

Corrections officers in the federal prison system are bracing for possible staffing cuts and furloughs triggered by the sequester. The cuts come at a time when studies show that inmate crowding and staff shortages in federal prisons are already posing challenges for guards trying to maintain order behind bars.

Middle East
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Syrian Rebels: New U.S. Aid Not Helpful Without Weapons

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For American policy analysts, today's announcement of direct food aid and medical supplies to Syrian rebels is a significant shift. But a top commander in the forces fighting the Syrian regime says it's not nearly enough. NPR's Deborah Amos met that commander in northern Syria today.

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

U.S. Offers Additional $60 Million In Humanitarian Aid To Syria

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 10:41 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new aid package for Syrian rebels. For the first time, the administration is vowing to send aid directly to the people who are fighting to topple the regime in Syria. At a meeting in Rome, Kerry had the chance to hear from some of them and from countries backing the rebels. NPR's Michele Kelemen has our story from Rome.

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Energy
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Outgoing Energy Secretary Could Be Remembered For More Than Solyndra

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The outgoing energy secretary, Steven Chu, got a rousing ovation this week when he spoke at a summit on energy innovation. But his tenure has been clouded by the department's investment in alternative energy companies that later failed, most notably Solyndra. As Chu leaves office, his real legacy may be the government's ongoing search for energy breakthroughs. NPR's Scott Horsley tells us more.

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Science
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

String Theory: Fascinating, Not Science Fiction

Tell Me More has been honoring Black History Month by speaking with African-Americans who've excelled in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. Sylvester James Gates Jr. spent his career researching string theory. He explains to host Michel Martin that, while it seems like science fiction, it's really anything but.

Shots - Health News
8:17 am
Thu February 28, 2013

New York Medical School Widens Nontraditional Path For Admissions

iStockphoto.com

Should students who want to attend medical school have to slog through a year of physics, memorize the structures of dozens of cellular chemicals or spend months studying for the MCAT? Not necessarily.

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All Tech Considered
3:57 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

As States Embrace Online Gambling, Questions Arise

Internet gambling has become legal in New Jersey and Nevada, but experts say enforcement and regulations still need to be straightened out.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:35 pm

Several states are rushing to establish a foothold in online gambling — an activity that federal officials were only recently trying to ban.

Just a while ago, the federal government actually viewed online gambling as a crime. Lately, the Obama administration has taken a more permissive stance. It now allows states to sell lottery tickets online.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had expressed reservations about online gambling a month ago and had vetoed an earlier version of the bill. But in the end, the pressure to sign the legislation was just too great.

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