U.S. News

Law
3:25 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Court Throws Out Ill. Concealed Weapons Ban

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

A federal appeals court has thrown out Illinois' ban on carrying concealed weapons. Now, political leaders — particular those in Chicago — are trying to figure out what comes next. Audie Cornish talks to David Schaper.

Politics
3:24 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Obama Silent On Fiscal Cliff During Negotiations

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

President Obama had previously taken his message on middle class taxes to a toy factory, a Twitter chat, a group of CEOs, a meeting of governors, and a Virginia family.

Economy
3:23 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Fed Tying Low Interest Rates To Job Creation

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Federal Reserve policymakers issued a statement Wednesday saying they will keep interest rates low until the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent. Identifying a specific target for unemployment is a big change for the Fed and is part of its effort to become more transparent.

Law
3:22 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Software Pioneer John McAfee To Be Deported To U.S.

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Guatemala says it will deport software pioneer John McAfee to the United States. McAfee is wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of one of his neighbors. Carrie Kahn talks with Audie Cornish on the latest.

Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

'Radio Pirates' Used Medium As An Organizing Tool

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

The Federal Communications Commission recently passed rules that will mean more community groups across the nation can apply to be on FM airwaves in the coming year. The changes are lauded by those who say more diverse and local voices belong on the radio — especially in urban settings where issues important to the community are often absent in mainstream media. In Springfield, Ill., Mbanna Kantako has been broadcasting illegally for 25 years. He's a pioneer of a movement that led to the pirating of radio channels across the nation.

It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

In Midwest Union Fights, Michigan Shows 2010 Election Still Trumps 2012

Silent protesters Wednesday in Lansing, Mich., wear tape with messages that signify wages they say they could lose because of the state's new right-to-work law.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:54 am

No one can argue the setback to organized labor served up by Michigan's new law, which bars unions from requiring workers to pay dues even if they don't join their workplace bargaining unit.

Tuesday's passage of "right to work" legislation in a state dominated by the auto industry and the historically powerful United Auto Workers was a surprising "smack in the face" to unions, says labor expert Lee Adler, especially given President Obama's nearly 10-point win in the state last month.

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The Salt
2:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Georgia Town Makes Claim For Fruitcake Capital Of The World

The Claxton Bakery in Georgia makes millions of pounds of fruitcake each year.
Stephen Morton AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

In the small town of Claxton, Ga., two bakeries make more than 4 million pounds of fruitcake each year. Both bakeries say Claxton is the fruitcake capital of the world, despite a similar claim made by a company in Corsicana, Texas.

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Business
10:40 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Chinese Firm Buys Massachusetts Tech Company

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:01 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Late today a federal bankruptcy judge gave the nod to a Chinese firm to buy a Massachusetts technology company. A123 Systems makes batteries for electric cars, but some in Congress are fighting to block the deal. Curt Nickisch reports from member station WBUR in Boston.

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Can I Just Tell You?
9:45 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Women Can Be Abusers Too

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:40 pm

It's been one of those weeks that makes you not want to open the paper, not want to turn on the news. A young woman with a child in her arms was killed by the father of that child, who then flees and goes on to take his own life.

You might think I am talking about the Kansas City Chief's Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend and his baby's mother, Kasandra Perkins, to death and then drove to the team's practice facility, where he took his own life. But incredibly, I'm not.

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Animals
8:29 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Scientists Mourn Popular Wolf Shot By A Hunter

The Lamar Canyon pack's alpha female (right) was shot and killed by a hunter on Dec. 6.
Courtesy of Doug McLaughlin

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:34 pm

The most popular wolf in Yellowstone National Park was shot by a hunter last week, a big blow to scientists and many wildlife enthusiasts who loved following her story.

"She was very recognizable, and she was unique and everybody knew her," says biologist Douglas Smith.

The animal known as 832F had a beautiful gray coat and was the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack. Smith has followed this wolf for years but only got to put a tracking collar on her in February.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

As Shots Rang Out In Oregon Mall, Shoppers And Santa Dove For Cover

Jacob Tyler Roberts.
Clackamas County (Ore.) Sheriff's Department

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:52 pm

1:30 p.m. ET. Gunman Identified:

The man who killed two people and seriously wounded a third person at a suburban Portland, Ore., shopping mall on Tuesday has been identified by police as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, of Portland, Oregon Public Broadcasting tells us.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:33 am
Wed December 12, 2012

N.J. Spars Over Free Beach Access Post-Sandy

Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
Doug Mills AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.

Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.

But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Democrats Draw Line On Medicaid Cuts

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:15 am

At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

NHL Lockout Leaves Fans Out In The Cold

Mike Bolt, keeper of the Stanley Cup, takes it off the ice on Dec. 7, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The NHL lockout enters its 88th day on Wednesday.
Darryl Dyck AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:44 am

The entertainment industry seems to give us only three things: sex, Justin Bieber and boxing.

Justin Bieber aside, don't producers know almost nobody cares anymore about boxing? But here we have Clifford Odets' period piece, Golden Boy, back on Broadway, and — achtung! — a musical of Rocky mounted in Germany.

Plus the usual same-old, same-old treatments are floating around. Eminem wants to make a boxing movie. Really. Worse, there are actual plans to have Sylvester Stallone fight Robert DeNiro in a boxing film. OMG — I am perfectly serious.

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The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Boehner Sends 'Fiscal Cliff' Counteroffer To White House

Speaker John Boehner leaves his office Tuesday and walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Obama on the fiscal cliff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 4:33 pm

The back and forth over the "fiscal cliff" continues: House Speaker John Boehner sent a new counterproposal to the White House on Tuesday that, according to a spokesman for the speaker, aims to "achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs."

Tuesday's offer from Boehner follows his remarks on the House floor in which he called on President Obama to identify what spending cuts the White House will accept as part of a "balanced approach" toward a deal.

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Law
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Police Criticized For Firing 137 Shots In Car Chase

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

One hundred thirty-seven shots. In Cleveland last month, a late night car chase culminated in police discharging their weapons 137 times, killing two people who appear to have been unarmed. Many in the community say the incident has racial overtones and are calling for a federal investigation.

From member station WCPN, Nick Castele reports.

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Around the Nation
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Protests Surge As 'Right To Work' Bill Passes In Mich.

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Michigan's House approved legislation on Tuesday that would significantly weaken union powers, as protestors gathered outside. Opponents claim it is politically motivated and hurts the average worker. Supporters say it will help attract new businesses to the state. Thousands of protestors descended on the capitol building as the vote took place.

Business
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

HSBC Officials Knowingly Dealt With Iranian Banks

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:57 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

More now on the HSBC case and, more broadly, on what banks are obliged to do and what HSBC did not do. Jimmy Gurule is a professor of law at Notre Dame University law school, used to be undersecretary for enforcement at the Department of the Treasury. Welcome to the program.

JIM GURULE: Thank you.

SIEGEL: And first, someone makes a big deposit at a big bank. What must the bank do and what must it know about that deposit?

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Business
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Small Businesses Might Still Hire If Taxes Are Raised

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to one of the big sticking points in Washington these days. Much of the debate over impending tax hikes and budget cuts centers on the tax rate for top earners. President Obama argues the tax rate for income over $250,000 a year should be allowed to go up. Republicans say there should be no change in tax rates. When Democrats talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, Republicans hear it as raising taxes on small businesses and killing jobs.

Well, NPR's S.V. Date has been exploring that argument.

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Politics
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Some Democrats Uncomfortable With Fiscal Cliff Cuts

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 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.

Speaker of the House John Boehner took to his chamber's floor today with an update on negotiations over the federal budget. As the clock ticks toward automatic spending cuts and tax hikes, Boehner gave the impression that little has changed.

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Law
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Judge: Zimmerman Must Keep Wearing GPS Tracker

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has himself become a victim. That was the message today from Zimmerman's lawyers, who were in court asking a judge to loosen the terms of his release on bail. The judge refused.

But as NPR's Greg Allen reports, the hearing gave a preview of some of the arguments expected if the case goes to trial.

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Education
3:14 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Berkeley Receives $1M For Undocumented Students

Meng So, coordinator of the University of California, Berkeley's Undocumented Student Program, says students he helps are from low-income families with no experience navigating a university such as Berkeley. So calls undocumented students "underground undergrads."
Carol Ness UC Berkeley

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

The University of California, Berkeley is taking the DREAM Act a step further. On Tuesday, the school announced a $1 million scholarship fund specifically for undocumented students.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Lawyer For WikiLeaks Suspect Says Client Was Treated As 'Zoo Animal'

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into the courthouse on Nov. 28.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:49 am

The pretrial hearing for WikiLeaks suspect Pfc. Bradley Manning ended Tuesday, but as The Associated Press reports, the massive amount of documents he is accused of leaking were hardly mentioned.

Instead, the hearing focused more on "a bedsheet noose, confiscated clothes and whether Manning seriously contemplated killing himself with flip-flops or the elastic waistband of his underwear."

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Inscription On Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial To Be Removed

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed a plan Tuesday to remove the disputed "drum major" inscription from the memorial and replace it with a fuller version of the quote.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The controversial paraphrased quote on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be removed.

A plan to remove the "Drum Major" inscription was approved Tuesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Here's more from the statement announcing the move:

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U.S.
1:44 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

In Freedom, Ex-Felon Becomes Probation Counselor

Clark Porter was 17 when he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for robbing a downtown post office at gunpoint. He spent 15 years in prison and today helps some of the toughest ex-offenders turn their lives around.
Courtesy of Washington Universtiy in St. Louis

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Every weekday, Clark Porter, a tall man with a sturdy build, walks into the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis to work with tough ex-offenders. On the outside, he wears a suit and tie. But on the inside, he has more in common with the former felons than most.

Back in 1986, a skinny 17-year-old Porter went on trial there as an adult for robbing a post office at gunpoint. His sentence: 35 years.

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Around the Nation
11:13 am
Tue December 11, 2012

'Operation Delirium:' Psychochemicals And Cold War

These gas masks were reconditioned at the Edgewood Arsenal for civilian defense use during World War II. Later, in the 1950s and '60s, the arsenal near the Chesapeake Bay was used for secret chemical weapons testing run by the U.S. Army.
Jack Delano Library of Congress

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, journalist Raffi Khatchadourian writes about a secret chemical weapons testing program run by the U.S. Army during the Cold War.

Throughout the 1950s and '60s, at the now-crumbling Edgewood Arsenal by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, military doctors tested the effects of nerve gas, LSD and other drugs on 5,000 U.S. soldiers to gauge the effects on their brain and behavior.

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Parenting
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The Deadly Return Of Whooping Cough

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. In a few minutes we'll hear more about singer and reality show star Jenni Rivera. She died in a private plane crash over the weekend. We'll hear about why she was such a big star on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. That's coming up.

But first, among other things, many of her fans admired about her, Jenni Rivera was a mom of five and on this program we check in every week with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy parenting advice.

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Remembrances
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Remembering Jenni Rivera

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally, we want to take a few minutes today to remember Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. She died in a plane crash in Mexico on Sunday, flying from a concert to a show taping. She was 43 years old, a mother and a grandmother, and a major star on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Here's a bit of a popular song "La Gran Senora," where she tells her man's other woman to back off.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA GRAN SENORA")

JENNI RIVERA: (Singing in Spanish)

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Shots - Health News
8:07 am
Tue December 11, 2012

How A Health Insurer's Overpayment Can Become Your Problem

Hey, give that back!
iStockphoto.com

If your health insurer pays too much for a claim, you might think that would be a good kind of problem. But it could turn out to be more of a headache than a windfall.

Just ask Lisa Dowden, who had gastric bypass surgery three years ago. In September, the 51-year-old lawyer got a bill from her insurer claiming she owed more than $9,100 because it had overpaid for the services of the surgeon who assisted on her operation.

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Shots - Health News
1:18 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Feds Say 'No' To Partial Medicaid Expansion

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks about expanding Medicaid during a speech to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 14. The federal government hasn't set a deadline for states to decide on their Medicaid expansion plans.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

The Affordable Care Act, as passed by Congress in 2010, assumed that every low-income person would have access to health insurance starting in 2014.

That's when about 17 million Americans — mostly unmarried healthy adults with incomes up to 133 percent of poverty, or about $15,000 a year — would gain access to Medicaid.

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