U.S. News

Religion
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

As Pope Resigns, Clergy Abuse Survivors Remember 2008 Meeting

Bernie McDaid keeps a framed photo of his meeting with Pope Benedict by his front door. "It was a tough moment," McDaid says.
Tovia Smith NPR

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:09 pm

Among those watching the papal transition closely are survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including a handful who were selected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI five years ago as the crisis raged.

The group left the meeting hopeful that that Benedict would make significant changes in how the church handled both past and current cases. Among those at the meeting were Olan Horne and Bernie McDaid.

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Middle East
3:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

U.S. Plans To Offer More Direct Aid To Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Obama administration is rethinking its strategy in Syria. As the death toll mounts and a diplomatic solution seems out of reach, the administration is planning to do more to help Syrian rebels. That could involve what's referred to as direct, non-lethal assistance. It does not include weapons.

Secretary of State John Kerry is talking about all this in Rome with members of the Syrian opposition, and NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with him.

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Budweiser May Seem Watery, But It Tests At Full Strength, Lab Says

Plaintiffs accuse Anheuser-Busch of misleading consumers about the alcohol content in Bud Light, Budweiser and other products. The brewer denies the claims.
Gary C. Caskey UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:14 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: Beer Is At Full Strength, Tests Say

Samples of Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch InBev beers were found to be in line with their advertised alcohol content, according to lab tests conducted at NPR's request. We've rewritten portions of this post to reflect that new information.

Anheuser-Busch is accused of misleading beer drinkers about the alcohol content of Budweiser and other products, in a series of class-action lawsuits filed in federal court.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
2:59 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Spells Uncertainty For Many Public Schools

Children eat breakfast at a federally funded Head Start program. Many Head Start administrators are concerned they may have to cut back on the number of enrolled children if the sequester moves ahead.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

If Congress and the Obama administration can't agree on a budget deal by Friday, the federal government will be forced to cut $85 billion from just about every federally funded program. Every state could lose federal aid, and a myriad of government programs could shut down or curtail services — and that includes the nation's public schools.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

For Bloomberg, Guns (Like Big Sodas) Are A Health Issue

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media outside the White House after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss the administration's proposals to reduce gun violence.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:17 pm

The victory of a pro-gun-control candidate in the Illinois Democratic primary race to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was also a political win for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose superPAC backed the winner over a candidate it linked to the NRA.

But Robin Kelly's victory Tuesday was, for Bloomberg, more than just another achievement on the gun control front. It was one more win in Bloomberg's unique assault on what he views as the public health problems of our time.

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Governing
2:14 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

5...4...3...2...1... We Have Sequestration

Some countdowns, like the one for the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2006, are credible and some are not. But they all contribute to the Countdown Effect.
Pete Cosgrove AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:57 am

Only a few more hours until the sequestration is scheduled to kick in. You can feel the tension. The anxiety. The pre-panic attack.

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Race
9:56 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Students Vote To Drop 'Redskins'

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:03 am

Students at Cooperstown Central School recently voted to stop calling their sport teams the Redskins. In turn, an Indian tribe offered to pay for new team uniforms. Host Michel Martin talks about the gesture with Ray Halbritter, of the Oneida Nation.

Beauty Shop
9:56 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Do We Still Need A Women's Movement?

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:03 am

100 years ago, thousands of women marched on Washington D.C. to demand the right to vote. Host Michel Martin asks the Beauty Shop ladies about that moment in history, and where the women's rights movement stands today.

The Two-Way
6:09 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Countdown To Sequester: Three Stories That Sum It Up

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:08 am

As a public service to our readers this week we've been offering a list of three stories each day that we think illuminate the looming sequester (or at least the debate over it), set to be triggered by the passing of Friday's deadline.

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Shots - Health News
1:35 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Younger Women Have Rising Rate Of Advanced Breast Cancer, Study Says

Blend Images/Jon Feingersh Getty Images/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:19 am

Researchers say more young American women are being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.

It's a newly recognized trend. The numbers are small, but it's been going on for a generation. And the trend has accelerated in recent years.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 am
Wed February 27, 2013

In Many Families, Exercise Is By Appointment Only

Yvonne Condes helps her son Alec get ready for baseball practice.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:18 am

Most families know that their kids need to exercise. In a poll that NPR recently conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, practically all of the parents surveyed said it's important for their kids to exercise. But about one-third of them said that can be difficult.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Dear College Presidents: Break The NCAA's Vise Grip On Athletes

Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

The great social quest in American sport is to have one prominent, active, gay male athlete step forward and identify himself.

But I have a similar quest. I seek one prominent college president to say to her trustees or to the other presidents in his conference: "The NCAA is a sham and disgrace. Let's get out of it."

We know those presidents who disdain the NCAA are out there, but, alas, none dare speak the words that will break the evil spell.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
4:14 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Advocates Warn Sequester Could Mean Big Cuts For The Low-Income

A nutrition specialist prepares a Meals on Wheels delivery in upstate New York. The national organization says the sequester could mean significant cuts in the number of meals they serve to homebound seniors.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Many programs affecting low-income Americans — like food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — are exempt from across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect March 1.

But many other programs are not, and that has service providers scrambling to figure out how the budget stalemate in Washington might affect those who rely on government aid.

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It's All Politics
3:35 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

A supporter of the Voting Rights Act attends a rally Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:47 pm

The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history rival those of whites.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Immigration Officials Release Detainees Ahead Of Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Ted Robbins about reaction to the Obama administration's decision to release immigrant detainees. The move was attributed to budget cuts.

Law
3:25 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Supreme Court Makes It Harder To Challenge Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

U.S. Supreme Court Police officers stand on the steps in front of the court building in November.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:48 pm

A sharply divided Supreme Court has made it practically impossible for American citizens to challenge the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Can U.S. Embassies Be Safe Without Being Unsightly?

The U.S. Embassy in central London in 2009.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.

Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."

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Politics
3:24 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Most Republicans Who Signed Support For Same-Sex Marriage Aren't In Office

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 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.

Next month, the Supreme Court will take up a highly anticipated challenge to California's Prop 8, the ban on gay marriage. Today, a group of prominent Republicans weighed in with a legal brief opposing the ban. That puts them at odds with their party's position. But as NPR's Don Gonyea reports, it puts them in line with public opinion.

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Economy
3:21 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Despite Its Flaws, There's Money In Measuring Consumer Confidence

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Despite warnings from Washington about looming budget cuts, Americans seem to be feeling better about the economy. Earlier today, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence spiked upwards this month. We hear this number and others like it reported all the time and that got us wondering: What does it mean to put a number to the concept of consumer confidence, a number like this month's, 69.6.

We're going to put that question to Adam Davidson from our Planet Money team.

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Politics
3:19 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

House Makes Little Movement Toward Avoiding Automatic Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm

With automatic spending cuts totaling $85 billion scheduled to start Friday, Congressional leaders and President Obama continued maneuvering to avoid the political fallout. Melissa Block talks to Tamara Keith about the state of play and has details from a poll that suggests that Americans want to cut the deficit, but only in the abstract.

Shots - Health News
1:50 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Anesthesia Care And Web-Surfing May Not Mix, Nurses Say

Distraction is a well-known safety issue in the OR, but there's been very little research on whether smartphones are contributing to the problem.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:48 pm

The next time you're being wheeled into the operating room, you might want to ask the medical professionals there to lay off the eBay and Twitter apps on their phones.

That's the word from the nation's nurse anesthetists, who just came out with a new policy urging OR staff to use their smartphones for the practice of medicine, not Facebooking.

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Politics
1:41 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

It's A Trap! 4 Possible Presidential Pitfalls

U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower relaxes at the 18th hole during a golf game in Newport, R.I., Sept. 10, 1957.
Henry Burroughs AP

You are Barack Obama and you find yourself hacking away in the weeds of sequestration — and some frustration. What's going on?

After all, you won a second term as President of the United States. You withstood the hooks and slices of a nasty campaign. Your approval rating is on the rise. Over President's Day weekend you played golf with Tiger Woods. For an American politician, it probably doesn't get any better than this.

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Around the Nation
10:26 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Trayvon Came Back For George, Says Brother

The shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin one year ago became an international story, and raised difficult questions about race and justice. Host Michel Martin continues her conversation with Robert Zimmerman Jr., the brother of accused killer George Zimmerman, about how his family views the case and the public reaction.

Around the Nation
10:24 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Zimmerman's Brother: 'Truth Will Be Revealed In Court'

Unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was shot and killed one year ago today. Host Michel Martin speaks with Robert Zimmerman Jr., the brother of accused shooter George Zimmerman, about his brother's actions that night and the upcoming trial.

Parenting
10:22 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Bullying And Psychiatric Illness Linked

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Donations Pour In For Homeless Man Who Returned Ring He Got By Mistake

Billy Ray Harris.
GiveForward.com/billyray

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:48 am

Nearly $152,000 has been donated online to help Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City who returned an engagement ring to the woman who accidentally left it in a cup he uses to collect change.

Here's his good news story:

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Winter Weary Central Plains States Getting Walloped Again

While severe winter weather has caused problems for many in the Great Plains, it has also provided some opportunities for fun. On Monday, Simon Mourning (front) and Chance Cain went sliding in Wichita, Kansas.
Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle MCT /Landov

"Another blizzard bore down on the nation's midsection early Tuesday after lashing the Texas Panhandle with hurricane-force winds, closing highways and cutting power to thousands in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas," The Associated Press writes. It adds that "at least two people were killed in the storm, and Midwesterners still digging out from last week's deep snowpack braced for more."

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Around the Nation
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Unarmed Teen's Murder Still Fuels Gun Debate

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

One year ago today, police in Sanford, Florida received a fateful call to their non-emergency line. A man named George Zimmerman was calling to report someone he said was suspicious.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE CALL)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: This guys looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Economy
3:53 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Too Soon To Blame Payroll Tax For Stagnant Retail Sales?

Wal-Mart is one of several large retailers that say an increase in the payroll tax may hurt U.S. sales in the months ahead.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:23 pm

For Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, its earnings projections out last week were not pretty. Sales will fall, it said, and company CEO Clarence Otis called higher payroll taxes a "headwind."

After a two-year tax break, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security payments, went back up to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. The 2-percentage-point increase is an extra $80 a month in taxes for someone earning $50,000 a year.

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Remembrances
3:32 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Koop Turned Surgeon General's Office Into Mighty Education Platform

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 11:34 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

C. Everett Koop was the most outspoken and some would argue the most influential of all U.S. surgeon generals. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The correct plural form of the word is surgeons general.] He wore the uniform throughout most of the 1980s, and he turned an office with little power into a mighty platform - to educate Americans about AIDS prevention and the dangers of smoking.

C. Everett Koop died today at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was 96. NPR's Joseph Shapiro looks back on his career.

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