U.S. News

Wisdom Watch
9:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Reverend Run: From Rapper To Preacher

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 11:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program I will share a few thoughts in my Can I Just Tell You essay but now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's the part of the program where we speak with those whose work has made a difference. Today we are speaking with a hip-hop pioneer.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Parents of Slain Children Share Memories At Newtown Funerals

This photo provided by the family shows Jessica Rekos. Rekos, 6, who was killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.,
AP

Two more funerals were held in Newtown, Conn., Tuesday, for first-graders James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos. The two children were killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.

The Connecticut Post reports that James, 6, was born four weeks early — and that "his family would quip that it was because he was hungry."

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Michigan's Snyder Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Guns In Schools

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:50 am

Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed pistols to be carried in schools and other places where they had been banned. The Michigan legislature had approved the legislation when its lame-duck session ended Thursday — one day before the Newtown elementary school shootings.

As NPR's Rick Pluta reported for today's Morning Edition, Snyder has said that Friday's tragedy played a role in his consideration of the bill:

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

NRA Issues Statement Amid Calls For New Gun Control Laws

The National Rifle Association of America has broken its silence to comment on Friday's gun violence that ravaged a tight-knit Connecticut community, releasing a statement in which the gun-owners' rights group said it "is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:19 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Investors, Retailers Shy Away From Guns; Will It Last?

Rifles are displayed for sale at a gun shop in Aurora, Colo., in July. Gun makers are feeling isolated by changing public attitudes.
Alex Brandon AP

It's a nervous time for companies that make and sell guns.

On Tuesday, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, announced it was selling its stake in Freedom Group, maker of the American Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which was used in the Newtown killings last Friday, along with other brands such as Remington.

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Law
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Gun Advocate Sen. Joe Manchin Calls For Gun Law Changes After Newtown

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is a freshman Democrat with an A-rating from the National Rifle Association. And he's one of those conservative and moderate Democrats who, since the Newtown killings, have spoken of the need to do something about guns. He's said everything is on the table. Senator Manchin, welcome.

SENATOR JOSEPH MANCHIN: Thank you very much.

SIEGEL: And I want to get a sense from you about how big a table you're really talking about. There was...

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Law
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Mich. Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Weapons In Schools

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Around the Nation
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Jersey Shore Residents Draw Line In The Sand Over Dunes After Sandy

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Hurricane Sandy pounded New Jersey back in October and has prompted serious debate about how best to protect coastal towns. The state wants to build bigger sand dunes to protect against a storm surge. But some beachfront homeowners say the plan threatens their property rights.

From member station WNYC, Janet Babin reports.

JANET BABIN, BYLINE: Ortley Beach is on a barrier island about two hours south of New York City.

(SOUNDBITE OF OCEAN WAVES)

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Around the Nation
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Much Of Newtown Heads Back To School After Shootings

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

At the Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut, today, there were two more funerals. First, for 6-year-old James Mattioli, followed by a service for 6-year-old Jessica Rekos. They're among the 20 children killed in Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Also today, classes resumed at all Newtown schools except for Sandy Hook.

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Around the Nation
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Private Equity Group Withdraws Stake In Gun Company After Newtown

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Religion
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Clergy Called On To Help With Healing In Newtown

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In Newtown, Connecticut, religious leaders gathered this afternoon to share strategy on how best to help their hurting community. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, the town's clergy are being tested in unprecedented ways, following Friday's devastating attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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The Salt
1:59 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

The other Mars Curiosity rover, made of gingerbread and on display on the Caltech campus.
Brian Bell courtesy California Institute of Technology

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:47 am

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
12:44 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Officials In Newtown Follow A Well-Worn Media Script

Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police conducts a news briefing Saturday in Newtown, Conn. The strategy for dealing with the wave of news media in Newtown echoes that of some past tragedies, experts say.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 1:04 pm

Fielding questions from reporters Friday in the first hours after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance made one thing perfectly clear: The news media could consider him the one and only reliable source for information on the tragedy.

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The Salt
12:36 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

One Airport's Trash Is 2 Million Worms' Treasure

Charlotte Douglas International Airport has deployed an army of 1.9 million worms to eat through its organic waste. The airport has reduced the trash it sends to the landfill by 70 percent.
Julie Rose

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Food waste is not just a problem for restaurants — airports also have to deal with piles of this kind of garbage.

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Education
10:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Catching Up With Remedial Courses In College

There's a lot of talk about students struggling in K through 12 classrooms. But once they get to college, many students fall even further behind. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sarah Gonzalez, NPR's StateImpact Florida reporter, about the high number of college students enrolling in remedial classes.

Children's Health
10:11 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Kids And Teens: Is Pot Bad If It's Legal?

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:56 am

There are some warnings parents drill into their kids: don't drink, don't smoke, and don't do drugs. Now that Washington state and Colorado have legalized marijuana, those conversations just got more complicated. Host Michel Martin speaks with pediatrician Dr. Leslie Walker for advice on how to talk with young children and teens about marijuana.

Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:38 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Children's Shooting Deaths Leave Small Town Numb

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:07 am

Newtown, Conn., is still reeling from the shock of last week's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sadness is everywhere as the first of many funerals were held Monday. The police investigation continues but most of the big questions about the attack remain unanswered at this time.

Around the Nation
3:31 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Conn. Adult Shooting Victims Hailed As Heros

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:17 am

Six school employees died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. President Obama has hailed them as heroes. The six women included a veteran school psychologist, a dedicated special education teacher and a young substitute at the beginning of her career.

Law
1:45 am
Tue December 18, 2012

'Black America's Law Firm' Looks To Big Cases With New Leadership

Sherrilyn Ifill will become the new president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in January.
Courtesy of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:47 pm

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been called the law firm for black America. Once run by Thurgood Marshall, the group played a major role in desegregating public schools and fighting restrictions at the ballot box.

Now, the Legal Defense Fund is preparing for a new leader — just as the Supreme Court considers cases that could pare back on those gains.

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It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Some Senators Show Willingness To Take On Gun Laws

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has an "A" rating from the NRA, but questions why anyone would need the kind of semi-automatic assault rifle used in the Newtown, Conn., killings.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

As President Obama spoke to mourning families in Newtown, Conn., on Sunday night, he clearly seemed to suggest a need for tougher gun laws.

"Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard?" he said.

For Congress, the politics have been too hard.

The combination of a powerful gun owners' lobby in the form of the National Rifle Association and a loss of public support for gun control has stymied efforts in recent years to tighten gun laws.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:15 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

DeMint's Replacement Has Had Quick Political Rise

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Carolina is getting a new U.S. senator. Governor Nikki Haley announced today that she is appointing Republican Congressman Tim Scott to fill the seat being vacated by Jim DeMint who's retiring. Scott is a freshman member of the House.

And as NPR's Brian Naylor reports, he will be the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:14 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Schools Reexamine Security After Newtown Shooting

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In the aftermath of Newtown, school officials and parents across the country were asking themselves the same question today: How safe is my school? NPR's Claudio Sanchez has that story.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: In Nashville, Tennessee, Ruth Rosenberg asked her daughter's first-grade teacher what school was going to be like today. Teachers there were told to downplay any discussion of the Newtown shooting since many kids still don't know what happened, including her 7-year-old daughter, says Rosenberg.

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U.S.
3:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Federal-State Tug Of War: Drawing The Lines In Immigration Overhaul

Maria Lola Melisio, 18, entered the U.S. illegally with her mother when she was 7. Now she's an undocumented resident living in Alabama, which has one of the country's toughest immigration laws.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Inside a modest storefront in Loxley, Ala., 18-year-old Maria Lola Melisio points out the Mexican spices and other products for sale in her mother's market.

"There are the leaves where you make your tamales — you roll them up in that," she says.

Melisio has long dark curls and is wearing a houndstooth scarf in support of the Alabama Crimson Tide. When she was 7 years old, she entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico with her mother, and still has a scar on her back from crawling under the border fence. It's a story she's kept secret until now.

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The Salt
3:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Not Just For Coffee Anymore: The Rise Of Caffeinated Foods

The contents of a box of some of the new foods containing caffeine collected by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 6:45 am

That buzz from your morning cup of joe waning? How about a quick boost from caffeinated mints, gum, Perky Jerky or, from the makers of Cracker Jack, coffee-flavored Cracker Jack'd snacks?

It's not just coffee and tea and soda anymore. "There's a proliferation of foods; all kinds of things are now being caffeinated," says Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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Education
3:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Among Schools With Shootings, A 'Tragic Fraternity'

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In 2005, Red Lake High School in northern Minnesota was the scene of another school shooting. In all, 10 people died, including the 16-year-old shooter. When I went to Red Lake soon after the attack, I talked with the school principal, Chris Dunshee. He told me Red Lake had joined what he called a tragic fraternity along with schools in Columbine, Colorado, and Paducah, Kentucky. When I reached Dunshee today, he sad the Newtown shooting had brought painful memories flooding back.

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Pop Culture
3:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (Of Lost Mail)

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, a good old-fashioned mystery in the Windy City. Last week, something unusual arrived at the University of Chicago admissions office. It was a thick manila envelope tied with string bearing all kinds of worldly looking stamps and postal markings.

GARRETT BRINKER: We received this package that was addressed to Henry Walton Jones.

SIEGEL: That's Garrett Brinker director of undergraduate outreach at the University of Chicago and actually, it was Henry Walton Jones, Jr.

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Law
3:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Senators Call For Return Of Assault Weapon Ban

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, reacting to the shooting deaths in Newtown, Connecticut, called yesterday for reinstating the Assault Weapon Ban, which was in effect from 1994 until 2004 when the law expired. How effective was it?

Well, we're going to ask Professor Daniel Webster who studies firearm policy and gun violence prevention. His field is public health, and he's at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Webster, welcome to the program.

DANIEL WEBSTER: Thanks for having me.

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

One Gun Used In Conn. Attack Has 'Rambo Effect'

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

That weapon that David just mentioned, the AR-15, was not only used in last Friday's school shooting. It was also used this month by a gunman who killed shoppers at a mall in Oregon. And it was used back in July in the attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. The semiautomatic AR-15 is essentially a civilian version of the military's M-16. And it is, according to the NRA, the country's best-selling firearm.

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

First Of Shooting Victims Buried In Newtown, Conn.

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The painful process of burying the victims of Friday's shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, began today with the funeral of the youngest victim. Noah Pozner leaves behind a 6-year-old twin sister, as well as his mother, father and three other siblings. He was remembered at a service in nearby Fairfield, and NPR's Tovia Smith was there.

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Politics
3:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Talks May Have Hit Breakthrough Moment

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Discussions here in Washington are intensifying between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama as they try to find an agreement to avert a raft of year-end spending cuts and tax increases. The two men met today at the White House for 45 minutes. NPR's Tamara Keith joins us now from Capitol Hill with an update. And, Tamara, there does seem to have been something of a breakthrough in negotiations. Speaker Boehner agreed to let tax rates rise. President Obama came back with a counteroffer. Where are we right now?

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