U.S. News

U.S.
1:10 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Pumps And Polls: Why Americans Wait In Lines

People wait to purchase groceries in self-checkout lanes at Safeway in Washington, D.C.
Keith Jenkins NPR

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:55 pm

Please line up for this multiple choice quiz:

Days before the deluge descended and the chaos commenced, Americans along the Eastern Seaboard waited patiently in single-file lines to try to influence their destiny. Were they ...

A) Waiting to buy gasoline at a station before Hurricane Sandy hit?

B) Showing up to participate in early voting for the 2012 election?

C) All of the above

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The Salt
9:05 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Six Tips For Feeding The Family During A Storm-Related Power Outage

People try to get through the aisles at Whole Foods Market in Midtown in New York on Sunday before the storm.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 10:48 am

Before you brave the rain, wind and inevitable lines at the already depleted grocery store today in the Mid-Atlantic region, take a deep breath.

If you're a moderately good grocery shopper, you probably already have the food you need on hand to make it through the next few days if (when) we lose power because of Hurricane Sandy. (If not, best to find a shelter near you.) But you do need to take extra precautions that what you're preparing is safe.

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Shots - Health News
2:17 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Pricey New Prostate Cancer Therapy Raises Questions About Safety, Cost

Radiation therapist Jean Etienne holds a range compensator, which shapes the depth to which the proton beam enters a patient's body to target a tumor.
Rebecca Davis NPR

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 8:42 am

Bill Sneddon had a feeling he was in trouble when his doctor called with his latest test results.

"I just had a premonition that something's not right," said Sneddon, 68, of Ocean Township, N.J.

And, sure enough, Sneddon's instincts were right. He had prostate cancer.

"Well, it's an eye-opener, you know. I didn't know if I had to buy a yard sale sign, you know," he said. "It's a shocking thing ... It always happens to someone else."

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Education
2:59 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Undocumented Students Take Education Underground

Pam Voekel is a volunteer teacher at Freedom University in Georgia, an informal school for undocumented youth who are banned from some state schools.
John Paul Gallagher

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 2:19 pm

About 35 students meet every Sunday at an undisclosed location in Georgia to study. They are undocumented and banned from attending some of the most prestigious colleges in the state.

Georgia is one of three states to bar undocumented students from attending schools. But a group of professors at the University of Georgia has created a fledgling school to provide a place for students to learn.

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Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

A Save Haven For The Printed Word Turns 200

Antiquarian Hall, the home of the American Antiquarian Society, is located in Worcester, Mass.
The American Antiquarian Society

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 12:37 pm

Back in the 1700s, there was a young printer's apprentice who lived in Boston. His name was Isaiah Thomas and he became one of the first newspaper publishers in the country. He also founded the American Antiquarian Society, which celebrates its 200th birthday this week.

Located in Worcester, Mass., the American Antiquarian Society houses the largest collection of materials printed in the United States. Its library has books, newspapers, letters, even board games dating from 1640 to 1876. Its members include some notable characters, including 14 presidents.

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Law
2:08 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Surveillance Act Criticized, But Can It Be Fought?

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:14 am

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday considers whether to allow a challenge to a federal law that provides for large-scale electronic surveillance of international phone calls and emails. The case is not a direct test of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Rather, it is a test of whether the law can even be challenged in court at all.

How FISA Came To Be

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Commentary
1:18 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Around The River Bend, A Flood Of History

The Ho-Chunk Indians still consider the river to be sacred, and it's easy to feel that calm, floating along the Bark.
Liam O'Leary

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 5:41 pm

The Bark River is my backyard, childhood river. And yet, in a lifetime of travel, I'd never explored it.

I knew it carved the land from the Ice Age to settlement times, from the Black Hawk War of 1832 (in which young Abraham Lincoln appears) to the era of grist mills. But the Bark also flows past impressive Indian mounds. It nurtured poets, naturalists and farmers.

When former Marquette University professor Milton Bates published his Bark River Chronicles through the Wisconsin State Historical Society, I jumped at the chance to learn about the river with him.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:56 am
Sun October 28, 2012

Hurricane CSI: Frankenstorm Sandy And Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy's huge cloud extends up to 2,000 miles based on a satellite image from Sunday.
NASA GOES Project

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 1:10 pm

It was not a good year for people, weather and climate. The winter was strangely warm in many places and the summer ridiculously hot. As a large fraction of the country suffered through extreme or even extraordinary drought many folks naturally wondered, "Is this climate change?" Then along came a presidential election in which the words "climate change" disappeared from the dialogue. Now, just a week or so before voting day, the convergence of westbound Hurricane Sandy with a eastbound cold front is creating a massive storm, a Frankenstorm even, that is threatening millions of Americans.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Sun October 28, 2012

East Coast Braces For Impact From Sandy

High winds blow sea foam onto Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., on Sunday, as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:48 pm

"The time for preparing and talking is about over." That's the message from Craig Fugate, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as Hurricane Sandy, the monstrous superstorm that's churning its way to the U.S. East Coast, threatening millions of people.

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History
7:03 am
Sun October 28, 2012

Closing Courthouse Brought Moonshiners To Justice

The John B. Hayes Federal Building in Wilkesboro, N.C., is among several federal courthouses being closed in the South.
Michael Tomsic WFAE

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 8:58 am

Moonshine used to be big business in the South, an illegal business that also kept the federal courthouses busy. Now one of those facilities, once on the front lines of the war on homemade booze, is shutting down.

The Johnson J. Hayes Federal Building is in Wilkesboro, N.C., where distilling corn whiskey in backwoods breweries was once the town's main trade. It's one of six federal courthouses closing in the South over the next year or two.

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Economy
5:15 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Bust To Boom: Why Housing Matters, Economically

A construction worker finishes a roof in Chicago on Oct. 12. Signs of recovery in the housing market are springing up nationwide, but there's still a ways to go.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 5:45 pm

The economy has peppered political speeches for much of the presidential campaign. But talk of creating jobs has stolen thunder from the housing market.

The epic housing collapse four years ago was a key ingredient in creating the Great Recession in the first place. Plus, boosting the housing market can be a boon for overall economic recovery.

Beginning A 'Long-Term Cycle'

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NPR Story
3:04 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Candidates Sprint To Election In Tight Contest

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 5:45 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm asking for your vote, and I'm asking you to vote early.

MITT ROMNEY: It matters. This race matters. You know how big this race is.

LYDEN: The candidates making their last swings through the swing states a week and a half before Election Day. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us as he does most Saturdays. Hello there, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Jacki.

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House & Senate Races
1:23 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: Brown Vs. Warren In Massachusetts

Elise Amendola AP

A special election two years ago to fill the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat brought a huge change to Massachusetts politics: the first Republican U.S. senator in nearly four decades.

Not surprisingly, Sen. Scott Brown has been a thorn in the side of the state's Democratic establishment since his 2010 victory.

"Most of the time here, you have a Democratic primary and then shortly thereafter, a swearing in," says Maurice Cunningham, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

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Statewide Races
4:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

The 'Ten Commandments Judge' Wants His Seat Back

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, known as the "Ten Commandments Judge," makes an appearance at a Tea Party rally in Mobile. The Republican is running for chief justice again despite being removed from the office nearly 10 years ago for defying a federal court order to remove a massive Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama judicial building.
Debbie Elliott/NPR

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 7:26 pm

Republican Roy Moore, Alabama's controversial "Ten Commandments Judge," is back on the ballot this year, running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court — despite being removed from that office nearly a decade ago.

In a state as red as they come, he is facing last-minute Democratic challenger Bob Vance, who is reaching out to moderate Republicans turned off by Moore's politics.

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The Future Of Nonhuman Rights
4:03 am
Sat October 27, 2012

When A Robot Comes Knocking On The Door

Wall-E fell in love with another robot in the movie named after him. Researchers have yet to create a sentient machine, but a breakthrough could be on the horizon.
John M. Heller Getty Images

Peter Remine says he will know it's time to get serious about rights for robots "when a robot knocks on my door asking for some help."

Remine, founder of the Seattle-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots, says the moment will come when a robot in an automobile factory "will become sentient, realize that it doesn't want to do that unfulfilling and dangerous job anymore, and ask for protection under state workers' rights."

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It's All Politics
4:11 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Obama May Not Need To Repeat 2008 Support From White Voters To Win

The erosion of President Obama's support among white voters means he must rely even more on nonwhites.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:28 pm

While much of what will happen on Election Day is now unknowable, we can predict with certainty that President Obama won't win a majority of the white vote.

No news there. No Democratic presidential candidate, after all, has received the support of most white voters since President Lyndon Johnson's 1964 historic rout of Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

Still, four years ago, Obama did manage to get a very respectable 43 percent of white voters to choose him over Goldwater's Senate successor from Arizona, Sen. John McCain.

That was then.

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Remembrances
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Surfer Takayama Was An Innovator In Board Design

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

One of the great American surfers and great shapers of surfboards has died: Donald Takayama. He entered the scene young, a hard-scrabble kid in Waikiki making his own boards out of scrap materials and skipping school to surf.

CORI SCHUMACHER: He would go from his mom's house, and he'd paddle down the Alawai, that dirty little canal in the Waikiki. You paddle all the way down it, pop out and then go surfing all along Waikiki.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Economists: Romney's 12 Million Jobs Target Realistic, Even If He Loses

Alan Shull attends a job fair in Portland, Ore., on April 24.
Rick Bowmer AP

As the election draws closer, the economy and jobs remain top issues in the presidential race.

President Obama points to the improvement in the labor market since he took office in the midst of a downward spiral.

Both he and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have five-point plans for improving the economy, although their strategies differ.

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House & Senate Races
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Akin Slowly Regains Support After 'Legitimate Rape'

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The race for the Senate seat held by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, has seen some wild swings this year. Republicans initially thought their candidate, Congressman Todd Akin, had the race locked down. But that changed dramatically in August, when a controversial remark by Akin swung the race in McCaskill's favor. Now, Akin's recovered some of that lost support. NPR's David Welna has this update.

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Sports
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

NBA Commissioner Stern Helped League Grow

Audie Cornish talks to sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern, who has announced he will step down in early 2014.

Law
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Time Is Running Out To File Suits Over 2008 Crisis

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Justice Department filed a $1 billion mortgage fraud case this week against Bank of America. To be clear, it is a civil case; the only thing at stake is money.

And as NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, this may be the most accountability tax payers ever see from the 2008 financial crisis. That's because the statute of limitations to bring a criminal case is expiring, and no major Wall Street bank executive has been convicted of a crime.

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National Security
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

As Jihadists Spread, Connecting The Dots Proves Hard

The Ansar Dine group in northeastern Mali is among the Islamist factions proliferating in North Africa and the Middle East. Officials have focused on possible links between these groups and al-Qaida, but counterterrorism experts say understanding the differences is just as important.
Adama Diarra Reuters /Landov

More than a year after popular protests rocked the Arab world, U.S. intelligence officials are struggling to understand the myriad of Islamist groups that have filled the vacuum.

Those groups run the gamut from moderate believers who are willing to give the political process a try to violent extremists. The difficulty is figuring out which is which.

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It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Gay Marriage On Ballot In Four States; Obama Endorses Measures

Supporters rally for a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage, Sept. 10 in Portland, Maine.
Joel Page AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:17 pm

Six states and the nation's capital have recognized the legality of same-sex marriages, either by law or by court order.

But over the past decade and a half, each of the 30 states to consider constitutional amendments that would outlaw such unions has adopted the ban — from Alaska in 1998 to North Carolina earlier this year.

That may change on Election Day, when voters in Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota — awash in money, messages and advertisements from both sides of the issue — will make their decision on whether to recognize gay marriage.

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Around the Nation
2:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Computers, Pinch Of Art Aid Hurricane Forecasters

These are some of the "spaghetti map" models used to generate a forecast for Hurricane Sandy's track. The models have grown increasingly sophisticated over the years.
PCWeather Products Inc.

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 5:07 pm

If you've ever found yourself anxiously wondering where a hurricane might make landfall, then you're probably familiar with "spaghetti charts" — the intertwined web of possible storm tracks put out by many forecasters.

Those lines represent hundreds of millions of observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons and buoys, all crunched from complex forecasting equations on some of the world's most powerful computers.

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It's All Politics
2:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Why The Economy Won't Help Obama — Or Romney

The U.S. economy remains in a gray area, so it's no wonder that the presidential race is essentially tied.

Gross domestic product grew at a 2 percent annual rate between June and September, according to figures out Friday. The White House says this means the economy has been growing for 13 straight quarters.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
1:54 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 25, 2012

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Now comes the debate over the debates. No matter who "won" or "lost," it's clear that there has been momentum building toward Mitt Romney since he first debated President Obama early this month in Denver. Plus, a look at the competitive Senate races. And the comment by Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock about rape, pregnancy and God has put a GOP Senate seat in jeopardy.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for this week's political roundup.

The Salt
3:49 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Aspartame And Cancer Risk: New Study Is Too Weak To Defend, Hospital Says

Diet soda
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:06 pm

We almost brought you news today about a study that appeared to raise some troubling questions about aspartame, the popular sugar substitute found in many common foods like diet soda. Note the key word — almost.

A study due to be published at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and released to reporters earlier in the week under embargo found some correlation between drinking diet soda and an increased risk of leukemia and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as a few other rare blood-related cancers.

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U.S.
3:15 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

As World Series Begins, Detroit Catches Tigers Fever

Fans make their way into the ballpark prior to the Detroit Tigers hosting the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:12 pm

In Detroit, Tigers fans are preparing for the return of their beloved team to the grand stage of the World Series. In a city largely known for hard times these days, the World Series means far more than just a chance at a championship.

Facing high unemployment and crime rates and teetering on the edge of financial collapse, Detroit needs something to celebrate. Maybe something along the lines of the celebration that broke out after the Tigers won the World Series again in 1968.

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Economy
3:07 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

New Home Sales At Highest Level In Over Two Years

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

While federal prosecutors sue Bank of America for its alleged role in the housing crisis, things are looking up for the housing industry. Government numbers out today show that new home sales rose almost 6 percent in September, and that comes on the heels of other promising data out last week on construction activity.

Joining me now to discuss what appears to be a housing recovery is NPR's Yuki Noguchi.

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Law
2:43 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Three Ballot Measures Would OK Pot Beyond Medicine

A marijuana bud at a marijuana dispensary in Denver. Colorado, Oregon and Washington could become the first to legalize marijuana this fall.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:53 pm

Marijuana legalization is back on the ballot this year. California voters defeated a legalization proposal in 2010, but now similar measures have cropped up in three more Western states. This time around, some of the most intense opposition is coming from the earlier pioneers of legalization — the medical marijuana industry.

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