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In central Florida, the arrests of two middle school girls have shaken the community. The pair is charged with felonies in a case of alleged cyber-bullying that led to a suicide of a 12-year-old girl. Authorities say the suspects bullied the girl for more than a year, taunting her in-person and then online. The abuse continued even after the girl changed schools.
From member station WMFE in Orlando, Nicole Creston reports.
In New York there is no shortage of artists. But recently, one artist caused a flurry of excitement around the city. Banksy, elusive, British and best known for his graffiti art, and for the month of October he staged what he calls a residency on the streets of New York. Everyday, he unveils a new work on his website and identifies the neighborhood it's in, but not the exact address.
Stephen Nessen, with member station WNYC, caught up with one of several Banksy fans who are racing to be the first to locate the daily street art.
Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Stocks surged on Wall Street after Senate leaders reached a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and reopen the government after 16 days of being partially shut down.
On Wednesday, the stock market cheered the debt ceiling deal in Congress. The Dow gained 206 points and all the major indexes closed higher.
Investors of course have been watching the showdown in Washington very closely, since a default could have been a global financial disaster. At the same time, economists are trying to figure out how much the jitters and uncertainty over all this has been hurting the economy.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:33 pm
Wednesday is World Food Day, an occasion food activists like to use to call attention to world hunger. With 842 million chronically undernourished people on Earth, it's a problem that hasn't gone away.
This year, activists are trying to make the day a little spicier with pots full of disco soup to highlight the absurd amount of food thrown away that could feed people: one-third of all the food produced every year.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 2:48 pm
The stereotype of caring for a family member is that it's so stressful it harms the caregiver's health. But that's not necessarily so.
Studies are conflicted, finding that caregiving can harm or help the caregiver. Here's one on the plus side. A study finds that people who care for a family member live longer than similar people who aren't caregiving.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:40 pm
Since the start of the fiscal standoff that led to a government shutdown and a flirtation with a historic debt default, Democrats have been led by the tag team of President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
At times, their tactics resembled the good cop, bad cop routine where one officer offers the suspect a cup of coffee and the other smacks it from the suspect's lips. Reid, of course, is the smacker.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, former San Diego mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of false imprisonment and battery. We'll ask the Beauty Shop ladies to weigh in on that story as well as on other news of the week. That's in just a few minutes.
The record-breaking wildfire in Yosemite National Park is almost fully contained, two months after it started. The blaze calls attention to a problem across the western U.S.: After a century of having its fires routinely extinguished, the forests are overloaded with fuel.
A heated debate has flared up about what to do with that forest fuel. California is hoping to reduce its fire risk through renewable energy, but some worry about the environmental costs of thinning the forests.
IRS offices around the country, like this one in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been closed since the partial government shutdown began two weeks ago. While the agency continues to cash checks from payees, refunds, audits and most other operations are suspended.
Tuesday, Oct. 15,is the filing deadline for the roughly 12 million Americans who received an extension on their 2012 taxes. And having 90 percent of its staff furloughed in the partial government shutdown doesn't mean the IRS doesn't want your money.
"The IRS is shut down, but the tax law is never shut down," says Joshua Blank, professor of tax practice and faculty director of New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program.
Among the bargaining chips in the budget crisis on Capitol Hill, there's the small but persistent issue of taxing medical device manufacturers.
The 2.3 percent sales tax covers everything from MRI machines to replacement hips and maybe even surgical gloves. The tax was imposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. It didn't attract much attention at first — at least, not outside the world of medical device manufacturers.
But they have waged a persistent campaign to undo the tax, and right now is the closest they have come to succeeding.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:03 pm
It's one of the oldest axioms in politics: Voters always say they want to "throw the bums out," except when it comes to their own representative. That's why the re-election rate for House members is typically over 90 percent.
Heading into the 2014 midterms, that long-standing rule appears to be holding true. But against the backdrop of the federal government shutdown, a potential default and general dysfunction in Washington, there are signs it's reaching a straining point.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:25 pm
Neither of them is over 35 years old. One of them played in ATP World Tour events just months ago; the other did so last year. But none of that will keep recently retired tennis players Andy Roddick, 31, and James Blake, 33, from joining a circuit of senior players.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:14 am
The Supreme Court has agreed to review an Obama administration policy that requires new power plants and other big polluting facilities to apply for permits to emit greenhouse gases.
To get these permits, which have been required since 2011, companies may have to use pollution controls or otherwise reduce greenhouse gases from their operations — although industries report that so far they haven't had to install special pollution control equipment to qualify for the permits.
The rule is part of a larger effort by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.
President Obama presented the Medal of Honor Tuesday to Army Capt. William Swenson. Swenson is being cited for his actions during a 2009 battle in Afghanistan, when he risked his life to try to save others. It's taken years for him to be recognized, however. He criticized higher-ups after the battle, which cost the lives of five Americans. Swenson's nomination for the Medal was said to be lost at one point. He is the sixth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor a member of the military can receive.
A clear majority of the U.S. Supreme Court sounded ready on Tuesday to uphold a Michigan referendum banning affirmative action in higher education. But the justices were less clear about whether they want to reverse a 40-year-old doctrine that bars changing the political process to disadvantage racial minorities.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:21 pm
Saying "America is grateful for you," President Obama awarded the nation's highest military honor on Tuesday to former Army Capt. William Swenson.
The Medal of Honor is the first given to an Army officer since the Vietnam War. President Obama said Swenson braved seven hours of continuous fighting, putting his life in danger multiple times to help fallen and wounded service members, as well as his Afghan partners.
NPR's Scott Horsley filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Obama called Swenson 'a remarkable role model for all of us.'
A New York school has taken soccer balls, footballs — and maybe even the fun — out of recess. Officials say hard balls are a safety concern, but critics say they're being too cautious. Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in.
Corn prices are down and the farm bill is stalled in Congress. So there's a lot of uncertainly in the air as harvest season gets into full swing across the Midwest. But this is a time of year when farm families like the Friesens in Henderson, Neb., come together to focus on the big task at hand: the corn harvest.
Everyone in the family has a job to do.
"Like my dad — he drives auger wagon," Curt Friesen says. "He drives auger wagon only. That's all he's done since 1976, I think. ... My wife, Nancy, she drives the combine; that's her job."
Two NASA astronauts are on the International Space Station. While the agency is largely shuttered during the government shutdown, Karen Nyberg and Mike Hopkins are using Twitter to update earth-bound fans on what they're doing.
New homes are back in a big way — literally. This summer, a typical new house in Phoenix was more than 20 percent larger than a resale home as builders across the country added more space to accommodate post-recession lifestyles.
Take Jacque Ruggles' family, for example. Four women from three generations live under one roof.
Palo Alto middle school student Jennifer Munoz Tello (right) stands outside her family's trailer in Palo Alto with her mother, Sandra, and 2-year-old sister, Cynthia.
Credit Eric Westervelt / NPR
Erika Escalante is a program coordinator for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. She grew up in the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park and now lives there with her husband and 6-year-old son, Andre Xavier Bracamontes.
Sunny Palo Alto, Calif., is awash in multimillion-dollar homes, luxury Tesla electric cars and other financial fruits from a digital revolution the city helped spark. The Silicon Valley city is home to Stanford University, at least eight billionaires, and one mobile home park.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:55 am
The budget negotiations in Washington are not front-page news on Mars. There, millions of miles away, NASA's rovers continue to operate, taking photographs and collecting data as they prepare for the coming Martian winter.
NPR's Joe Palca has this report for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 10:49 pm
Monday marks the last day of newsstand sales of the International Herald Tribune, the newspaper that was once instrumental in keeping American expatriates up to date on their homeland. On Tuesday, the paper will bear a new name: The International New York Times.
A red pickup rolls into a 1,000-acre pasture of dry grassland on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in northern Montana. Mark Azure, director of the reservation's fish and wildlife department, is out looking for buffalo when he spots about two dozen of the furry beasts gathering around a watering hole.
The animals are "grazing, wallowing, drinking, checking us out," Azure explains. He says the tribes have been working to see these bison here for years.
"This is their home, this is where they came from," he says.