U.S. News

Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Unbridled Kentuckians Decide It's Time For A Kick-Ass New Slogan

Whit Hiler (left) and Griffin VanMeter are spearheading the campaign to change Kentucky's slogan from Unbridled Spirit to Kentucky Kicks Ass.
KentuckyForKentucky

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Kentucky is known for horse racing, bourbon and college basketball. And if a couple of creative advertising professionals have any say in the matter, the Bluegrass State will be world renowned for something else.

They want the state to replace its current slogan, Unbridled Spirit, with a new one — Kentucky Kicks Ass.

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Law
3:16 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Immigration Reform Plan Gets Mixed Reviews Across Country

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The debate in Washington over immigration reform is underway. Today, a bipartisan group of senators released a framework for sweeping changes to the nation's immigration laws. President Obama is scheduled to unveil his own plan in Nevada tomorrow. The Senate outline includes, among other things, a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million immigrants now living in the U.S. illegally. It also calls for stricter border security and employment verification.

As NPR's Debbie Elliott reports, the plan is already getting mixed reviews.

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National Security
3:15 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Pentagon To Dramatically Expand 'Cyber Warrior' Force

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

And we begin this hour with talk of America's cybersecurity and All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: The U.S. military is facing the prospect of serious budget cuts in the coming months, but one area is set to grow. Defense officials say they are planning a huge increase in its force of cyber warriors.

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Environment
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

The Silver Lining In Drought: 5 Upsides To Rain-Free Weather

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Drought is mostly seen as a bad thing — and for good reason. It dries up crops, destroys landscaping and stops ships from moving. But even the lack of rain clouds has a bright side.

Good For Grapes

Last summer it seemed like all Midwestern farmers were upset over the lack of rain. But not all of them were; those growing grapes were embracing the drought.

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Gold Rush Has Little Luster For Some In The Golden State

Miner Steve Ator cleans a drill bit inside the Lincoln Project Mine, in Sutter Creek, Calif.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Gold mines are reopening in California, some dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. Soaring gold prices are drawing mining companies back into the Sierra Nevada foothills. But some communities fear the effect on local environments.

Dan Boitano, a fifth-generation miner, has been working as a tour guide in the Golden State's historic gold country. His family has been around since the Gold Rush.

Up until a few years ago, he was still guiding tours for visitors.

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National Security
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Threat Emerges At Intersection Of Terrorism, Syndicated Crime

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This month's hostage taking at a natural gas plant in Algeria shows how international terrorism is evolving. Groups such as al-Qaida have long been motivated by radical ideology. What's happening now in North Africa is a little different. For groups there, there's also a financial motive.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports on the dangerous intersection of terrorism and syndicated crime.

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History
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Dillingham Commission's Ranking Of Immigrant Groups Affected U.S. Policy For Decades

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

As momentum grows for immigration reform, Audie Cornish takes a look back in time at another moment when the country was grappling with its immigrant population. In the early 1900s, the Dillingham Commission was mandated by Congress to undertake a massive study of immigrants. We take a look at the 1911 report with Senate Associate Historian Betty Koed. Its conclusions led the country to prioritize certain immigrants over others. We explore how those findings still reverberate today with Richard Alba, a professor of sociology who has spent decades studying the immigrant experience.

Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Immigration Reform Plan 'A Major Breakthrough'

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

A bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled a plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws on Monday.

Education
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Lockdowns The Norm For Schools With Frequent Threats

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:42 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Long before the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, school administrators and teachers across the country had been thinking hard about how to respond to danger on campus. Lockdowns are one technique that school safety experts say have become more common since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Robyn Gee spent two years as a teacher in San Francisco before becoming a reporter for Youth Radio. We asked her to look into how lockdowns are being used in the Bay Area.

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Afghanistan
2:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Women In Combat: What Do Troops In Afghanistan Think?

U.S. troops in Afghanistan appear to have mixed feelings about the decision lifting the ban on women in combat positions. Some women already operate in combat zones. Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley is shown here with her Marine Corps team in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:17 pm

The new U.S. military policy on women serving in combat roles was crafted in Washington, but it will play out in places like Afghanistan.

And sitting outside at the military base at the Kabul airport, male and female troops offered their thoughts on what the new policy might mean.

"I wasn't completely surprised with it. It's not anything we haven't discussed before," said Capt. Monica Paden, a military intelligence officer from San Diego. "We have been slowly being integrated into combat arms and into units in support roles."

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Digital Life
10:22 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Can Online Anonymity Be A Good Thing?

Mariah Arostigue (left) and Noah Reyes, 11th-graders, chat as they work on their homework in a pre-calculus class at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, Calif.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:08 am

Tell Me More's "Social Me" series looks at how young people interact online — with a focus on online identities, privacy issues and breakthroughs in Internet-based learning.

Throughout the series, Rey Junco shares his research as a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that there's more to online identities than the constant cycle of headlines about cyberbullying, "slut-shaming" and "catfishing."

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National Security
10:11 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Rep. Duckworth: About Time For Women In Combat

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up in the program we will have the first of a series of conversations we're having this week about how young people are using social media. We're calling the series Social Me and that will be later in the program.

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Around the Nation
3:54 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

A Doctor's Kindness Gives Homeless Inventor A Second Chance

Mike Williams (left) was homeless and broke in Sacramento, Calif., when he met Dr. Jong Chen. Now the two men are working together to develop a portable housing pod for the homeless.
Courtesy of Mike Williams

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 4:34 pm

In California in the early 1980s, a cracked tooth sent Mike Williams to the dentist's office.

When Williams asked to see the tooth, the dentist said he had a mirror but that there was no camera or anything to show people the insides of their mouths. So, Williams invented one: the first intraoral camera.

His invention was a big success, and it led to other medical technology ventures that made him millions of dollars. Williams' career as an inventor and entrepreneur took off, but it wouldn't last.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Gun-Control Advocates Should Listen More, Obama Says

President Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, talks at the White House on Jan. 16 about proposals to reduce gun violence. Obama has called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and is pushing other policies in the wake of the mass shooting last month at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama said that those support gun control should "do a little more listening" to differing viewpoints in the debate over firearms in the U.S.

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U.S.
4:55 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Ending Combat Ban More Change In Thinking Than In Reality

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

It was an announcement that made history.

SECRETARY LEON PANETTA: If they can do the job, if they can meet the standards...

MARTIN: Something that will change the U.S. military in a fundamental way.

PANETTA: If they can meet, you know, the qualifications that are involved here, there is no reason why they shouldn't have a chance.

MARTIN: Women can now officially serve in combat. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made the announcement last week.

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Energy
3:52 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Focus On Fracking Diverts Attention From Horizontal Drilling

Opponents of fracking demonstrate during the Winter X Games 2012 in Aspen, Colo.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 8:00 am

Mention the recent surge in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. and one word comes to mind for a lot of people: "fracking." Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial technique that uses water, sand and potentially hazardous chemicals to break up rock deep underground to release oil and natural gas.

But there's another technology that is just as responsible for drilling booms happening across the country: horizontal drilling.

Environmental Consequences

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U.S.
4:28 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Investing In Citizenship: For The Rich, A New Road To The U.S.

The Barclays Center in New York, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, was built partially with investment from overseas donors seeking U.S. citizenship. A little-known immigration program allows wealthy investors to get a green card in exchange for funding American businesses.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:17 pm

The traditional immigrant story is a familiar one.

Someone who longs for a better life makes the tough journey, leaves behind the hardships of his or her native land and comes to the United States to start again. That story, in a lot of ways, helped build this country.

These days, however, there's a very different kind of immigrant who wants to come to this country — the rich — and they have a different set of dreams.

Anthony Korda was a barrister, or lawyer, in England who vacationed frequently in the U.S. with his family.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

.Gov Site Goes Down; Anonymous Claims They Did It

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:47 am

The hacker-activist group Anonymous is claiming responsibility for taking down a government website Saturday. NPR's Giles Snyder reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Newtown Residents Join Gun Control Rally In Washington

Newtown, Conn., residents Darren Wagner and Georgia Monaghan traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the gun control rally on Saturday.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:47 am

Residents of Newtown, Conn., where 20 children died in December's school shootings, marched alongside other supporters of gun control at a rally on the National Mall on Saturday.

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Around the Nation
5:42 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Help Slow To Come For Returning U.S. Veterans

Hundreds of veterans and military spouses meet with prospective employers at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., in December. Veterans say they're still having trouble finding jobs and getting other types of assistance.
Larry French AP/National Chamber Foundation

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

As thousands of troops are set to return from Afghanistan over the next two years, veterans on the homefront say they want to see increased reintegration support this year.

The latest jobs report — and the first of the new year — shows a dismal picture for the nation's newest veterans. Unemployment among those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan stands at 10.8 percent — far higher than the national rate of 7.8 percent.

It's a number that has veterans and their advocates concerned.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

In Arizona, Some Retirees Caught In Never-Ending Battle With Invasive Species

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We go now to Arizona, a magnet for retirees, and for some the answer to the question how should I spend my spare time is this: How about swinging a pick axe in the desert? NPR's Ted Robbins sent this postcard from Ironwood Forest National Monument.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: This must be Gary Borax's idea of a good time because he keeps coming back.

GARY BORAX: I've probably been out here 30, 40 times over the years and nearly half of those buffel grass-related.

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Around the Nation
3:23 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Anti-Abortion 'March For Life' Draws Thousands In Washington

Tens of thousands of anti-abortion protesters gathered on the National Mall on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Around the Nation
3:17 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Obama's New Chief Of Staff A Popular Choice At White House

President Obama named Denis McDonough his fourth chief of staff on Friday, replacing Jack Lew, who has been nominated to be secretary of the Treasury. McDonough, 43, has been deputy national security adviser and a foreign policy advisor to Obama for six years.

It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Court Ruling Upsets Conventional Wisdom On Recess Appointments

President Obama "strongly but respectfully disagrees with the ruling" on recess appointments by a federal appeals court, says White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:51 pm

In a bombshell decision on the limits of executive power, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., has invalidated President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Legal experts say the court's reasoning upends decades of conventional wisdom and deals a big victory to Senate Republicans in an era of congressional gridlock.

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Shots - Health News
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

To Fight Addiction, FDA Advisers Endorse Limits On Vicodin

An FDA advisory panel voted to increase controls on painkillers containing hydrocodone, such as this generic version of Vicodin.
Sue Ogrocki Associated Press

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:38 pm

A key federal panel Friday recommended placing new restrictions on Vicodin and similar prescription painkillers.

At the conclusion of an emotional two-day hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 19-10 to recommend the agency change how drugs that contain the opioid hydrocodone are classified as controlled substances.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Long Forgotten, 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Survivor Speaks Out

Sarah Collins Rudolph was with her sister Addie Mae Collins when a bomb exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. The 1963 bombing killed her sister and three other girls, and Collins Rudolph was seriously injured in the attack.
Frank Couch AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:22 pm

Signs of 1963 are everywhere in Birmingham, Ala., these days. The city is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights events of that year: the children who marched until police turned fire hoses and dogs on them; Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"; and the September bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Planted by white supremacists, the bomb killed four young girls preparing to worship. It was an act of terrorism that shocked the country and propelled Congress to pass the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

To Combat Suicides, Army Focuses On The Homefront

Alicia McCoy holds a photo of her husband, Sgt. Brandon McCoy. Despite taking part in basewide suicide prevention efforts at Fort Campbell in 2009, Sgt. McCoy took his own life in 2012.
Blake Farmer for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:32 pm

When Sgt. Brandon McCoy returned from Iraq, he showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. His wife, Alicia, remembers him being on edge in public.

"I'm watching him, and his trigger finger never stopped moving, constantly," says Alicia.

Four years later, after he returned from a tour in Afghanistan in 2011, she says, she'd wake up with his hands wrapped around her throat. She told him: Get help or get a divorce. So he scheduled an appointment and — along with Alicia — trekked to the Fort Campbell hospital located on the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Some In GOP Want New Electoral College Rules

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Not many Americans are fans of the Electoral College. But trying to change the way electoral votes are allocated makes lots of people unhappy, too.

That's what Republicans in a number of states are finding just now. There are a half-dozen states that President Obama carried last November where both the legislature and the governor's office are controlled by the GOP — Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.

In most of those states, there are efforts under way to change how electoral votes are distributed.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Don McLean Fined For Speeding; No Chevy (Or Levee) Involved

Don McLean back in the day (1975). American Pie came out in 1971.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:22 pm

Singer Don McLean has been fined $400, BDN Maine Midcoast reports, for cruising through a Rockport, Maine, school zone last September at 43 mph when the legal limit was 15 mph.

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NPR Story
10:06 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Shoring Up The Nation's Crumbling Coastlines

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 9:20 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Hurricane Sandy battered the coastline here in New York and New Jersey. Take the city of Long Beach on Long Island. In 2006, the city council unanimously rejected a plan to construct 15-foot-high dunes on the beach there, saying that the 15-foot-high dunes would block ocean views, lower property values, affect surfers' waves.

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