U.S. News

National Security
2:36 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Hagel Critic: 'He Seems To Have Some Kind Of Problem With Jews'

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:01 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today, President Obama announced his nominees for two key national security posts. For CIA director, he picked John Brennan, now his top counterterrorism adviser. And for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska, a Republican and a Vietnam War veteran.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

What Lance Armstrong, And The USADA, Might Gain From A Confession

Lance Armstrong, seen here at a LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride in October 2012, might be willing to confess to doping — in exchange for an easing of his lifetime ban, according to reports.
Cooper Neill Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:23 am

The news that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong might be willing to confess to the doping charges he spent years denying has reopened interest in his case — and in the question of whether his lifetime ban from competitive sports could be eased in exchange for Armstrong's cooperation.

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Around the Nation
3:59 am
Mon January 7, 2013

U.S. Murder Rate Declines, But Chicago's Goes Up

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:56 am

Steve Inskeep talks to NPR Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson and Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here, about the jump in the 2012 Chicago homicide rate, and what it means for the nationwide rate.

Business
3:55 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

iPads, China: Twin Threats To Wisconsin's Paper Industry

The Nekoosa Paper Mill was established in 1883. Its mill in Nekoosa, Wis., sits on the banks of the Wisconsin River, and is now owned by a Canadian paper company.
Mike De Sisti Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:11 pm

Deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, lumberjacks still cry "timber," just not as often as they once did. Across the state, milling lumber into good paper, the kind called "knowledge" grade for books, has employed thousands for more than a century, and created a distinct culture.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

GOP Senators Warn Of Tough Road For Hagel Nomination

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, seen here in 2008, is reported to be President Obama's pick to be the next defense secretary.
Dave Weaver AP

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 3:19 pm

President Obama will on Monday name former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be his next defense secretary, an administration official confirmed to NPR.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska is a Vietnam veteran. He would succeed Leon Panetta, who is retiring.

Our original post follows:

Republican senators say former Sen. Chuck Hagel can expect a tough nominating process if President Obama names him to be the next defense secretary.

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Politics
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Seeing The House Through Freshmen Eyes

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

The 113th Congress convened last week, and introduced a batch of fresh faces to Washington. Host Rachel Martin speaks with two freshmen members of the House of Representatives, Democrat Ami Bera of California and Republican Rodney Davis of Illinois, about the incoming Congress and what they hope to accomplish.

Media
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Al-Jazeera Expands Its American Purview With Current TV

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Rebel Republicans Tried To Send Boehner A Message

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Last week, House Speaker John Boehner narrowly held onto his leadership post after some in his own party voted against him or abstained.

Sports
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

A Lesson In Coaching: Which Football Tactics Work

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

As the bowl games march on, NPR's Mike Pesca talks with host Rachel Martin about coaching in college football.

The Two-Way
4:42 am
Sun January 6, 2013

The Tax Man Takes Aim At The World's Wealthy

Protesters demonstrate outside a Starbucks coffee shop in London last month. Protests were held at Starbucks throughout the U.K. after it was revealed that the coffee chain had paid almost no corporate taxes for the last three years.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:17 am

As 2013 begins with wealthy Americans in line for bigger tax bills, they're not alone. Tax fairness takes the spotlight worldwide this year, as cash-strapped governments look to impose more of the burden on well-heeled companies, individuals and institutions, and to catch and punish tax cheaters.

This week, as the U.S. Congress averted a plunge off the fiscal precipice, British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight countries that make up about half of the world's economic output.

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Around the Nation
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

How A Community Created A Garden From Sadness

John Underhill waters flowers at a makeshift memorial for shooting victims outside the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 20, 2011. Many of the plants and flowers at area memorials were replanted at a community garden.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Brad Holland had big plans for the empty lot he owns in midtown Tucson, Ariz.

"This was going to be my dream house before the economy collapsed," Holland says. "I had a big empty lot and said, 'Wow, a lot of good can come out of this.' "

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It's All Politics
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Former Sen. Scott Brown May Be Eyeing Quick Return To Washington

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., attends the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 30. Scott lost his re-election bid, but could be running for office again in a matter of weeks.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 5:08 pm

Among the new members of Congress sworn in this week was Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And within days, the Massachusetts Democrat could become her state's senior senator.

That's because 28-year incumbent Sen. John Kerry is expected to be confirmed soon as secretary of state.

And replacing him later this year after a special election could be the very senator whom Warren unseated: Republican Scott Brown. For Brown, it would be an unusual second chance.

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U.S.
4:12 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Without Broader Action, Conn. Town Writes Its Own Gun Laws

The three selectmen for the town of Weston, Conn., David Muller (left), Gayle Weinstein and Dennis Tracey, hold a town meeting in which they discuss a proposed gun-control ordinance.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 11:35 am

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the state's governor and President Obama called for stricter gun laws.

In the meantime, at least one small town in Connecticut is drafting new ordinances of its own.

The town meeting in Weston begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Moving through the agenda, the attendees discuss appointments to the Commission on Aging, there's some talk of the budget and two fourth-graders make their case for eliminating plastic bags.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Obama's On-Again, Off-Again Relationship With Progressives

President Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff on Monday. Some progressives say the president was not aggressive enough with Republicans during budget talks and are hoping he is stronger in his second term.
Charles Dharapak AP

When Barack Obama first took office four years ago, many progressives were on cloud nine. Here was a president pledging to tackle some of the issues closest to the progressive base: climate change, gun control and what he called our "broken immigration system."

That was in 2008. Fast forward to now and these are just a few of the unresolved issues leaving progressives unsatisfied.

With Obama's second term around the corner, some progressives are wondering if President Obama will reboot and follow through with his earlier promises.

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It's All Politics
2:00 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

What Happens When The Speaker Isn't Talking?

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in November.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:13 am

The last thing Washington policymakers need is another obstacle to reaching agreements in the next two months on mandatory spending cuts and raising the nation's debt limit.

But the start of the new 113th Congress brought word that House Speaker John Boehner had sworn off future one-on-one negotiations with President Obama.

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The Picture Show
10:48 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Looking For Lost Memories In The Delta

"The Peter's Rock Church in Marianna is no everlasting monument; it has been left to rot, its windows broken, its steeple fallen over. Still, I found it beautiful. Kneeling in the cemetery, listening to the insects hissing, watching as a dog wandered past, I felt history coming at me from all sides."
Eugene Richards National Geographic

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 6:14 pm

Photographer Eugene Richards had several reasons to visit the Arkansas Delta 40 years after his initial visit.

"I went back, ostensibly, to look at the culture and see if there was anything left of it," he says. Or at least — that was the pitch he gave National Geographic magazine, in hopes that it would send him there, which it did. You can see the story in the magazine's November issue.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Gunman, Hostages Reported Dead In Aurora, Colo., Standoff

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:54 am

Four people are dead inside an Aurora, Colo., home Saturday following a standoff with an "armed and dangerous" man holding hostages, police say. Aurora is the Denver suburb where a gunman opened fire in a movie theater last July, killing 12 and injuring many more.

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Politics
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Pioneering N.H. Senator Looks Ahead To Next Term

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Linda Wertheimer speaks with freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire about the challenges facing the 113th Congress. Shaheen is a former governor of New Hampshire and a part of the state's new all-female delegation to Congress.

U.S.
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Mississippi's Low Water Levels Could Bar Barges

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Barge traffic on the Mississippi River could grind to a halt in the next few days. Water levels on the nation's largest waterway are very low in certain parts of the river because of the most severe drought in decades. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks to Mark Fletcher of Ceres Barge Line about how the shipping industry is coping with the lack of rain.

Sports
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

NFL Playoffs Kick Off In A Season Of Rookies

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

The NFL playoffs get underway this weekend with four wildcard games. Three rookie quarterbacks are leading teams into the playoffs, and Baltimore Raven veteran Ray Lewis plays his last home game. Monday, Notre Dame faces Alabama in the college national championship game. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Howard Bryant of ESPN about these crucial games.

Author Interviews
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

'The King Years': An Intersection Of Race And Politics

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

President Obama will be publicly sworn in for a second term on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a notable confluence of events. Historian Taylor Branch joins guest host Linda Wertheimer to talk about race and democracy, past and present. Branch's new book is The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

Economy
3:27 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Long-Term Unemployed Seem To Be Staying That Way

Alecia Warthen, 43, has been unemployed since April. She says she's applied for more than 100 jobs and has received only four interviews and no offers.
Ailsa Chang NPR

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 10:42 am

The latest figures show December was another month of steady, moderate job growth. But for many people still struggling with long-term unemployment, the situation hasn't actually changed much at all.

For Alecia Warthen, the last eight months have been painfully stagnant.

She was the first person in her family to finish college, after growing up in one of the roughest sections of Brooklyn. She had earned an accounting degree and worked as a bookkeeper for most of the last decade.

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U.S.
3:26 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Illinois Claws At Mountain Of Unfunded Pension Liability

Illinois union members and supporters rally at the state Capitol on Thursday against legislation that would try to control the state's pension-fund shortfall by, in part, reducing pension benefits.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 11:45 am

Illinois' pension-fund shortfall is by far the largest in the nation, and the clock is ticking for the state's governor and lawmakers to tackle the problem before a new Legislature is sworn in next week. So far, their proposals have stoked frustration from state employees and retirees.

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On Aging
4:14 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Baby Boomers' Last Wishes: Motorcycle Hearses And Facebook Obits

Lew Bird says that before passing away, his friend requested that his funeral include one last ride on a motorcycle.
Peter Gray for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Old Aristocracy Hill isn't a part of Springfield, Ill., that draws a lot of attention. The quiet neighborhood dates back to before the Civil War, its historic homes now carefully preserved by proud business owners.

But outside a stately funeral home, a large black-and-chrome Harley Davidson motorcycle trike pulls out of the parking lot, towing a matching casket in its glass-sided trailer.

It's not something you would expect to see, but it's exactly what 67-year-old Lew Bird says his friend Dave Rondelli wanted: one last ride.

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Around the Nation
2:53 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Foreigners Visiting 'Birth Hotels' In California Draw Local Ire

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Cindy Chang of the Los Angeles Times about the proliferation of so-called "birthing hotels" — homes in residential neighborhoods set up for foreign women, mostly Chinese, to come stay while they wait to give birth in the U.S. While it's not illegal to travel to the U.S. while pregnant, some of the "hotel" operators are breaking zoning and building ordinances, raising the ire of neighbors.

Business
2:52 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Electric Companies Surprising Winners In New Tax Package

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The new last-minute tax deal cobbled together by Congress and the White House has produced at least one surprise winner, electric companies. That's because the two sides agreed not to increase the taxes that most people pay on dividends. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren explains why that is welcome news to the electricity business.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Potential Geithner Departure Could Complicate Debt Ceiling Battle

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama may be going into the next big budget fight without his long-time treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner had been planning to leave before the start of the president's second term, but that would mean he is departing with the debt ceiling still looming and the Treasury scrambling to keep up with the government's bills.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, Secretary Geithner has made no secret of his plans to leave the government, but it sounds like his departure could be complicated.

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Media
2:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

With Current TV Purchase, Al Jazeera Buys Opportunity For New Viewers

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:44 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, evidence that size really doesn't matter - that is, size of audience. Al Gore sold the cable channel he started, Current TV, to al-Jazeera for $500 million. How many eyeballs does the Qatari-owned news channel get for that money? Well, here's some context. Here are some TV audience numbers. When NBC came in first among the broadcast networks for viewers last week, Neilson estimated they had 7.3 million viewers.

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Around the Nation
2:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate Held Steady In December

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We got a snapshot of the economy at the end of 2012 today. And if you are hoping for a big change in this morning's jobs report, the picture is probably disappointing. In short, it's more of the same.

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Animals
2:48 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Disappearing Mule Deer A New Reality Throughout Western U.S.

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Scientists throughout the west are investigating a mysterious disappearance. Mule deer are vanishing. In Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, populations are half what they were in the 1970s. From Aspen Public Radio, Luke Runyon reports on some possible reasons.

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