U.S. News

News
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Spelling Co-Champs Beat The Bee, Leaving Judges Without Words

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Melissa, can I have a word for a moment?

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Absolutely. How about, thymelici?

SIEGEL: Oh, the dancing chorus in ancient Greek plays?

BLOCK: Yeah.

SIEGEL: No, I was thinking more of, encaenia.

BLOCK: Encaenia. The academic ceremony for conferring honorary degrees?

SIEGEL: Well, of course. Those two everyday words figured in the Scripps National Spelling Bee that ended in a rare tie yesterday.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

House Vote Aims To Derail DOJ Processing Of Clemency Petitions

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 4:41 pm

The House of Representatives has voted to prohibit the Justice Department from hiring more attorneys to deal with thousands of backlogged clemency petitions in a bid to block one of the Obama administration's top criminal justice priorities.

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National Security
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Border Agency Revises And Makes Public Its Use Of Force Policy

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske has released documents regarding the use of force along the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's All Politics
2:44 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

GOP House Votes To Leave States Alone On Medical Marijuana

Marijuana grown for medical purposes is shown inside a greenhouse at a farm in Potter Valley, Calif.
Eric Risberg AP

Perhaps validating what public opinion surveys have been showing for some time, the House voted in Friday's wee hours to prohibit the federal government from interfering with medical marijuana laws passed by 32 states and the District of Columbia.

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Technology
12:45 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Techies, White House Take Part In National Day Of Civic Hacking

Sameer Verma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 1:07 pm

This weekend, software developers, entrepreneurs, and local governments from around the world are coming together to design and build tools for the common good.

Using publicly released data, participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking will work together to integrate new technology tools to solve community problems.

Todd Khozein is one of the organizers of #HackForChange. He is the co-founder of SecondMuse, a collaborative innovation lab that helps find technological solutions to everyday issues.

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Barbershop
12:16 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

When Women Talk, Should Men Shut Up And Listen?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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The Salt
11:10 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Health Advocates Lament GOP Move To Relax School Lunch Rules

Currently, half of all products served in the school lunch program must be "whole-grain rich," which USDA defines as products made of at least 50 percent whole grain. According to the new standards, by the start of the next school year, schools must use only products that are whole-grain rich.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

We told you about lawmakers' proposal to give some school districts a way to temporarily opt out of the new, federal healthy school lunch standards.

The waiver provision was put forward by Alabama Republican Robert Aderholt, who says he supports healthy meals for school kids, but has heard complaints from schools in his district about the challenges of mandating kids to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains at lunch.

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NPR Ed
11:03 am
Fri May 30, 2014

New Orleans District Moves To An All-Charter System

The drill team of Sophie B. Wright, a charter school in the New Orleans Recovery School District. The city's all-charter system is the first in the U.S.
Skooksie Flickr

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 2:57 pm

The nation's largest experiment with charter schools is expanding.

The Recovery School District, a state control board that runs most schools in New Orleans, shut down the last of its five traditional public schools this week, making it the first all-charter system in the nation.

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Code Switch
10:44 am
Fri May 30, 2014

In Historic First, Native American Brothers Win Lacrosse Trophy

Miles Thompson of the SUNY-Albany Great Danes broke the record for goals in a season this year — a season which also saw his younger brother and teammate, Lyle, break the record for overall points.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 1:26 pm

The Tewaaraton Award is college lacrosse's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, given to the best player in the country each year. The award takes its name from the Mohawk word for lacrosse, as a way to honor the sport's Native American origins. The bronze trophy depicts a Mohawk man with a lacrosse stick, surging forward.

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U.S.
9:57 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, let's hear more now about the resignation of Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. President Obama says he accepted that resignation a short time ago at the White House. He had just finished making a statement after the two men held a short private meeting. The President Shinseki's resignation has been accepted partly for political reasons, in that he says it would be politically difficult for Shinseki to focus on the questions at hand for the VA.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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U.S.
9:18 am
Fri May 30, 2014

VA Secretary Apologizes For 'Indefensible' Treatment Delays

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Eric Shinseki, the embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, meets this hour with President Obama at the White House. Now, earlier today, Shinseki spoke at a conference on homeless veterans, and addressed what he called the elephant in the room. The issue of VA clinics lying about how quickly they were seeing patients.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

'No Evidence' Snowden Raised Concerns While At NSA

NSA leaker Edward Snowden during a meeting with Russian activists and officials at Sheremetyevo airport, shortly after he first arrived in Russia last year.
Tatyana Lokshina AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Edward Snowden says that during his time as a contractor with the National Security Agency he raised concerns about the extent of its electronic surveillance, but the NSA's own search of email shows he only asked the agency's legal department for a single "clarification" on a technical issue.

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It's All Politics
3:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

A Speech To A Nation Weary Of War, And Wary Of The World

President Obama enters before speaking at the West Point graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
John Angelillo UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 4:36 pm

President Obama's speech this week to the West Point grads was for them, their families, the Army they will help lead and the nation they serve. But through much of the hourlong presentation the president seemed to be addressing another large and varied crowd: his critics.

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Economy
2:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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The Salt
2:49 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Hot Sauce Art: LA Museum Honors Sriracha and Tapatio

Audrey Chan's Proposal for a Mural Dedicated to David Tran.
Courtesy of the Chinese American Museum

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:46 pm

You can find bottles of Sriracha and Tapatio, two of America's most popular hot sauces, sharing space with the ketchup and mayo in millions of American refrigerators, on the shelves of supermarkets and adorning the tables of restaurants across the country.

And until July 12, the fiery condiments are conquering yet another space: the walls of a museum.

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Performing Arts
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Veterans' 'Philoctetes' Puts Modern Spin On Ancient Greek Play

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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U.S.
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

As Oklahoma Drought Continues, Farmers Prepare For Losses

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The agricultural economies of southern Great Plains states have withered after four years of extreme drought. Farmers in Oklahoma are bracing for one of the worst wheat crops in the state's history. As StateImpact's Joe Wertz tells us, that poor wheat harvest could have national consequences.

JOE WERTZ: Wayne Schmedt adjust's his faded, blue baseball cap and crouches down in a wind-whipped field of stunted wheat.

W. SCHMEDT: We don't have any use for this, so we'll give it to you as a souvenir.

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Environment
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

States Say Cutting Down On Carbon Was Easier Than Expected

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:45 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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Politics
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Old Senate Tradition Lies Behind Controversial Judge's Nomination

There's an idea in the Senate that it's still a chamber operating on mutual respect and goodwill between colleagues. That's why venerable traditions like "blue slips" — slips of paper senators can use to block any White House choice for judgeships in their home state — carry over today.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 8:56 am

As President Obama continues to take heat for nominating to the federal bench a judge who once wanted to keep the Confederate emblem on the Georgia state flag, the White House says what's partly to blame for the choice is an old Senate tradition.

It turns out that tradition — which gives virtual veto power over judicial nominations to home state senators — helps explain why almost all the judicial vacancies without nominees are now in states with Republican senators.

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Law
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Criminal Records Keep Creating Obstacles Long After Incarceration

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 9:55 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa block. More than 65 million Americans have some kind of rap sheet. That's more than one in four adults. Criminal records follow people for the rest of their lives, and those black marks can hurt chances for housing and employment. Well today a new report says it's time to start thinking about forgiveness. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson has the story.

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Shots - Health News
12:28 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Measles Hits Amish Communities, And U.S. Cases Reach 20-Year High

Measles was brought to Ohio's Amish communities by people returning from mission trips to the Philippines.
Chuck Crow The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 4:34 pm

Members of Amish communities in Ohio traveled to the Philippines for heartfelt reasons: They were there on service projects to help less fortunate people. Unfortunately, they came home with unwelcome hitchhikers: measles viruses.

Those travelers hadn't been vaccinated against this highly contagious disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. As a result, they have triggered an outbreak of more than 130 cases, primarily among their unvaccinated friends and relatives in Amish communities.

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The Salt
7:22 am
Thu May 29, 2014

You Can Thank 150 Different Compounds For The Sweet Smell Of Bacon

A screenshot of the Why Does Bacon Smell So Good video.
American Chemical Society/YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 6:43 am

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Around the Nation
5:33 am
Thu May 29, 2014

NPR Reporter Witnesses One Of Chicago's Latest Shootings

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:33 pm

Gun violence in Chicago is so common in some neighborhoods that the daily reports of shootings can seem like little more than numbers. Our reporter saw the dangers of Chicago's South Side firsthand.

The Two-Way
5:31 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Judge Halts Ohio Executions, Citing Drug Controversy

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:33 am

A federal judge has put Ohio's next two scheduled executions on hold, saying he needs more information about the state's proposed changes to its lethal injection process.

A scarcity of the drugs that were once commonly used to carry out U.S. executions has complicated the lethal injection process — and has prompted several death row inmates to challenge whether Ohio and other states are violating the Constitution's protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

From Ohio Public Radio, Karen Kasler reports for our Newscast unit:

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Race
1:06 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Shooting Of Sikh Army Veteran Divides Community

A photograph of Parminder Singh Shergill is displayed during his funeral services at Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi, Calif., on Feb. 8.
Randall Benton Sacramento Bee

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:31 am

In late January, a mentally ill man was shot and killed by two police officers in Lodi, Calif., south of Sacramento. Tragedy often follows a confrontation between the police and a mentally ill person, but the facts of this case are in dispute.

The victim was a Sikh Army veteran, and his death has roiled the Sikh community and the city. On a recent Saturday evening, more than 100 people gathered at the Sikh temple in the largely agricultural community of Lodi, to remember Parminder Shergill.

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Shots - Health News
12:57 am
Thu May 29, 2014

The Divide Over Involuntary Mental Health Treatment

Involuntary commitment to a hospital for mental illness can be a lengthy and complex process. A California law makes mandatory outpatient treatment an option.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:19 am

The attacks near the University of California, Santa Barbara, are renewing focus on programs aimed at requiring treatment for people who are mentally ill as a way to prevent mass shootings and other violence.

In California, a 2002 law allows authorities to require outpatient mental health care for people who have been refusing it. Proponents argue that this kind of intervention could prevent violent acts.

But counties within the state have been slow to adopt the legislation, and mental health professionals are divided over its effects.

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It's All Politics
7:03 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

10 Thoughts On Obama's West Point Policy Address

In his commencement address to the Military Academy at West Point Wednesday, President Obama condemned isolationism but spent more time outlining the hazards of intervention.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:34 pm

President Obama gave the graduation speech Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, using the occasion to describe "the next phase" of the U.S. war against terrorism and his ideas about national defense and foreign policy in general. Here are a few general impressions.

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The Two-Way
6:43 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Holder Urges Prosecutors To Back Criminal Justice Changes

Attorney General Eric Holder took his case for overhauling the criminal justice system to an unlikely location on Wednesday — a closed-door conference of prosecutors, who were meeting at their national training center in Columbia, South Carolina.

According to a person familiar with Holder's unpublicized remarks, Holder urged an audience of criminal division chiefs from U.S. Attorney's offices to support Smart on Crime initiatives that would reduce some drug sentences and to open up the clemency process to hundreds of inmates with clean records in prison.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

American Said To Have Carried Out Suicide Bombing In Syria

Photo reportedly of Abu Hurayra al-Amriki (Abu Hurayra the American), an American said to have participated in a recent suicide truck bombing in Syria.
Twitter

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 6:31 pm

U.S. officials are investigating claims circulated on social media sites that an American fighting with Syria's rebels helped carry out a suicide truck bombing in the war-torn country over the weekend.

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