U.S. News

Medical Treatments
3:48 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

CDC Estimates 14,000 Got Infected Steroid Injections

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The CDC announced today that as many as 14,000 people have been exposed to the potentially contaminated steroid treatments. And we're going to hear now about the massive effort under way to identify, notify and, if need be, treat them.

Dr. Rachel Smith is an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. And she says the vast majority of those exposed have now been contacted.

Read more
Economy
3:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Foreclosure Activity Wildly Different Across U.S.

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The housing market may well play a role in tonight's debate and we got word today that foreclosure activity declined to a five-year low in September. The website RealtyTrac says the national average for the number of default notices, auctions and repossessions declined 7 percent month over month. Still, as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that does not mean the entire country is seeing declines.

Read more
Presidential Race
3:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Biden's Job In VP Debate Is To Change The Narrative

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Yesterday on the program we reported on Paul Ryan's debating style. We're going to do the same now for his opponent, Vice President Biden, who's an experienced debater. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

Read more
Technology
3:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Now-Ubiquitous LED Lights Invented 50 Years Ago

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

They are ubiquitous. They're in our cars, our computers, our TVs and the remotes that control them. They light up our streets and, increasingly, our homes. I'm talking about Light Emitting Diodes, better known as LEDs. It was 50 years ago this week that they were invented.

NICK HOLONYAK: In a way, I knew right away from how powerful this result was that we were in the right direction.

Read more
Presidential Race
3:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Close Race Puts Pressure On Biden-Ryan Debate

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Debate number two of the fall presidential campaign takes place tonight in Danville, Kentucky. This one features the number two men on the Democratic and Republican party tickets, Vice President Joe Biden and GOP nominee Congressman Paul Ryan. The debate comes eight days after a meeting between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

Read more
Solve This
3:06 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama, Romney on Higher Ed Help: Dueling Visions

Gan Golan holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt during at a Occupy DC event last year.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?

Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.

Read more
The Salt
2:23 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How A Sleepy Pennsylvania Town Grew Into America's Mushroom Capital

Four hundred million pounds of mushrooms come from farms in Chester County, Pa.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.

But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.

Read more
Around the Nation
10:27 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Finding Unexpected Warmth After Coming Out

Thursday is National Coming Out Day. That's when many LGBT people celebrate the day they came out about their sexual orientation, and encourage others. Host Michel Martin hears from one woman, Keli Pia-Miller, who explains the difficulty of coming out, and how it taught her just how much she loved her family — and how much they loved her.

The Salt
6:51 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Why Foods Go Together Like 'Rama Lama Lama, Ke Ding A De Dinga Dong'

Taking a bite out of a salty pretzel can actually enhance the bitterness of your beer. That's one reason pretzels and beer work as a pair.
James Puccio iStockPhoto

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:49 am

OK, Grease lyrics aside, when it comes to gastronomy, certain foods just belong together: red wine and red meat, sushi and ginger, tea and biscuits, beer and pretzels. But, ever wonder why your favorite cabernet goes so well with a nice filet mignon? What makes two flavors jibe?

Read more
Science
1:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Software Calculates City-Specific Carbon Footprint

Bedrich Benes and Michel Abdul-Massih

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:58 pm

One way to measure greenhouse gases is simply to capture them at the source: You put an instrument on a smokestack, for example. Cities, however, are full of cars, buses, factories and homes that all use fuel or electricity. No one really knows how much carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, comes from each.

Ecologist Kevin Gurney says he can find out.

Read more
Media
1:27 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Advice For Moderators: Keep Order, Out Of Spotlight

Moderator Jim Lehrer gestures before the presidential debate at the University of Denver last week. Moderators must finagle answers out of sometimes-dodgy politicians and keep control, all without seeming to get in the way.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:58 am

PBS' Jim Lehrer came in for widespread criticism last week for failing to control the first presidential debate. Now, moderator Martha Raddatz is confronting partisan criticism in the lead-up to Thursday night's vice presidential debate, the first and only direct confrontation between Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden.

Read more
Law
5:13 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Supreme Court Questions UT's Affirmative Action Plan

Abigail Fisher, the Texan involved in the University of Texas affirmative action case, talks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:25 pm

Affirmative action in higher education appeared to take a potentially lethal hit on Wednesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments testing the constitutionality of a race-conscious admission program at the University of Texas, Austin.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:48 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Romney's Remarks On Abortion Cause A Stir

Mitt Romney's comments on abortion have surprised those on both sides of the issue.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:22 am

Just how many abortion positions does Mitt Romney have? Once again, that answer is unclear.

This time the confusion began Tuesday, during a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'I Was Just Too Polite,' Says Obama, Vowing To Hit Hard At Next Debate

President Obama promised to take it to Mitt Romney in future debates.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

No more Mr. Nice Guy. That was essentially what President Obama told Tom Joyner, the black-radio megahost, to expect at upcoming presidential debates.

On Wednesday, the president explained that his main mistake at last week's debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney was an excess of gentility.

Obama's self-critique, such as it was, came in response to a Joyner question:

Read more
Science
3:31 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Two Americans Share Nobel Prize In Chemistry

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

Two Americans have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Koblika were awarded the prize for their work on protein receptors that tell cells what's going on around the human body. Their research has allowed drug makers to develop medication with fewer side effects. The pair with share the $1.2 million award.

Around the Nation
2:50 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

1,900 Boy Scout Leaders Accused Of Child Sex Abuse

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

A lawyer who represents alleged victims of sexual abuse has made public a list of 1,900 people within the Boy Scouts of America accused or convicted of abuse. The list includes names, dates, locations and some details. Lawyers are expected to release internal documents from the Boy Scouts related to sexual abuse next week.

Law
2:48 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Federal Judges Uphold South Carolina Voter ID Law

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

A panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C., has upheld South Carolina's controversial voter ID law, but says the state can't implement it until 2013. In a unanimous decision, the panel said there wasn't enough time to implement the law ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. The judges also said the law doesn't discriminate against racial minorities.

Law
2:47 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

High Court Case Signals Threat To Affirmative Action

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:31 pm

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a major affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas, on Wednesday. Abigail Fisher, who is white, says she was denied admission to the university because of her race. The court ruled as late as 2003 that race may be used as one of many factors in admissions. In taking the Fisher case, the court may be signaling that it is ready to reverse or narrow previous rulings.

Remembrances
2:46 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Football Player-Turned-Actor Alex Karras Dies

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

Alex Karras played defense for the Detroit Lions in the 1960s. He turned to acting when he retired his cleats, landing a number of character roles in television and film. He was 77.

Presidential Race
2:45 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Ryan Needs To Conquer Wonk Reputation In Debate

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

On Thursday night, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan takes the national debate stage for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman faces off with Vice President Joe Biden. We take a look at the strengths and weaknesses the House budget chairman brings.

Television
2:44 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

With 'Clear Eyes, Full Hearts,' Romney Can't Lose?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been using a new phrase on the campaign trail that's borrowed from one of his favorite TV shows, Friday Night Lights.

National Security
2:40 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Court: Minn. Man Recruited Somalis For Terrorism

Abdifatah Yusuf Isse (center) and Salah Osman Ahmed (right) are among more than 20 young men who left Minnesota since 2007 to join al-Shabab. They are testifying against Mahamud Said Omar (left), who is accused of helping to send fighters and money to the al-Qaida-linked group in Somalia.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:53 pm

A terrorism trial unfolding in a federal court in Minneapolis is providing a rare look inside a jihadi pipeline that funneled some two dozen young Somali-Americans to Somalia to join a terrorist group there.

The testimony from three young men who joined a group affiliated with al-Qaida and subsequently returned to the U.S. has shown just how easy it is for young men to leave the U.S. and join a terrorist organization.

Read more
Religion
2:15 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Why Is Vatican II So Important?

Pope Paul VI hands Orthodox Metropolitan Meliton of Heliopolis a decree during the December 1965 session of the Roman Catholic Ecumenical Council in Vatican City. The decree cancels excommunications that led to the break between the Roman and Orthodox churches nine centuries before.
AP

When Pope John XXIII announced the creation of the Second Vatican Council (also known as Vatican II) in January 1959, it shocked the world. There hadn't been an ecumenical council — an assembly of Roman Catholic religious leaders meant to settle doctrinal issues — in nearly 100 years.

"Many people maintained that with the definition of papal infallibility in 1870, councils were no longer needed. So it was a big surprise," Georgetown University professor Rev. John W. O'Malley says.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

As Race Tightens, The Electoral Map Still Favors Obama

A boy examines CSPAN's 2012 presidential race electoral map at the American Presidential Experience exhibit last month in Charlotte, N.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:17 pm

Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.

In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.

Read more
Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Margaret Spellings: Too Many Still 'Left Behind'

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn to the former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She served under President George W. Bush. She's now the founder and leader of Margaret Spellings and Company. That's a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Madam Secretary, welcome to you. Thank you so much for joining us.

MARGARET SPELLINGS: Glad to be here, Michel. I'm sorry I'm not seeing you face to face. Hurry back.

MARTIN: I know. We'll have to rectify that.

SPELLINGS: We will.

Read more
Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Former 'No Child' Supporter Says It's A Failure

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Our next guest spent years allied with key conservatives on education reform. Diane Ravitch is the former assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush. During her time in that administration and afterwards, she advocated standardized testing and expanding school choice through charter schools. Those would later become key elements of No Child Left Behind under President George W. Bush, but she eventually became a critic of these approaches.

Read more
Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Students Want To Be At Education Reform Table

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Next up on this special broadcast of our Twitter education forum, we'll remind you that we've already had conversations with policymakers, teachers and parents. So now we want to give the final words to those who I think we all agree, have the most at stake, the students. And we'd love to hear from the millions of students American students who are part of America's public education system. But we can't, so we're hearing from two.

Read more
Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

To Shut Down Or Invest More In Failing Schools?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will speak with a former education official who has had a change of heart about some of the school reforms she once championed. Diane Ravitch will be with us in just a few minutes.

Read more
Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Can Online Education Tackle Achievement Gap?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are continuing TELL ME MORE's first Twitter Education Forum. Join in on Twitter at hash tag NPREdChat. Coming up, we'll hear the voices of people you could argue have the most invested in America's schools, the students, but first, we turn to online education. If you or your child have ever been stumped by homework, then you probably already know about the Kahn Academy.

Read more
Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

NPRedchat Tweet: Teaching Reading Takes A Village

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's go now to Sarah Gonzalez. She's a reporter for StateImpact Florida and following the education conversation on Twitter at hash tag #NPREdChat. Sarah, what do you have for us?

SARAH GONZALEZ: Hey, Michel. So Arne Duncan mentioned third grade test scores and we got a tweet from ReadingByThird, which I imagine is reading by third grade, who says schools can't do this alone. Communities need to work with them to help students learn to read well by the end of third grade.

Read more

Pages