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Jamestown, Virginia — the first successful English colony in North America — was a difficult place, to say the least. Most of the colonists who arrived in 1607 died shortly thereafter.

Now archaeologists have discovered the remains of some of the colony's first leaders — Jamestown's elite.

Here's a bit of good news for Medicare, the popular government program that's turning 50 this week. Older Americans on Medicare are spending less time in the hospital; they're living longer; and the cost of a typical hospital stay has actually come down over the past 15 years, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Americans have been intentionally ramming cars into each other for sport for decades. And at this time of year, fans crowd into county fairs to see battered, souped-up cars bash each other to pieces.

This steel equivalent of blood sport draws a passionate following, and the drivers say it is deeply addicting.

"There's nothing better," says John Green, a demolition derby driver at a recent fair in Franklin County, Kan. "A lot of people say they would do it, but until you get in there and do it you never know the real feeling."

If you looked at the children at the edge of Conrad Cooper's pool, you'd think you were watching an ad for something. Jell-O, maybe. Or a breakfast cereal kids like. They're that cute.

They're lined up on the steps in the shallow end, 10 little ones, ranging from age 2 to 5. The boys are in board trunks, many wearing rash-guard shirts like the weekend surfers they might become years from now. The girls wear bright one-piece suits and two-pieces that show their childish potbellies.

Monthly premiums for California's 1.3 million Covered California customers will rise a modest 4 percent, on average, officials with the agency said Monday. This increase is slightly less than last year's increase of 4.2 percent for consumers who bought policies on the state's health insurance marketplace.

Some consumers could even achieve a reduction in their premium, of an average of 4.5 percent, if they choose to shop around.

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The executive board of the Boy Scouts of America has ended its outright ban on gay scout leaders today, but there's a caveat. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the resolution allows each scout unit to decide for itself whether to accept gay adult leaders.

When undocumented immigrants move through government-run detention centers in the U.S., it can take months before they find out if they'll be deported or allowed to stay in the country.

During this long wait, many become frustrated. And some turn to religion.

It's the job of the in-house chaplain to help connect detainees to religious services.

Keith Henderson, chaplain at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., says, "I love it. I love the job," partly, he says, because he likes challenges.

The case of Sandra Bland has raised anger and suspicions nationwide since she was found dead in a jail cell in Hempstead, Texas, two weeks ago. Bland's family and supporters have rejected the medical examiner's finding of suicide, and the criminal district attorney for Waller County, Texas, says he's recruited two outside lawyers to assist in the investigation of her death. The local investigation has been reviewed by the FBI, and local prosecutors have pledged to bring the case to a grand jury next month.

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NPR's Melissa Block speaks with Noreen Malone about her New York Magazine cover story. For the first time ever, the majority of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault were photographed – 35 of the 46 who have come forward. There are also individual portraits with accounts from each of the women, which often include strikingly similar details.

Sitting vice presidents are usually seen as political heirs to the White House. But not this year.

With Hillary Clinton surging to the front of the Democratic field and the sudden rise of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden has largely been an afterthought.

It's official. The 2024 Olympic Games will not take place in Boston.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Olympic Committee "severed ties" with Boston on Monday. In a statement, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said, "I strongly believe that bringing the Olympic Games back to the United States would be good for our country and would have brought long-term benefits to Boston." He continued, "However, no benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our City and our citizens were rightly hesitant to be supportive as a result."

Tweets Welcoming #ObamaInEthiopia

Jul 27, 2015

President Obama made history this week as the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia. He was welcomed with flowers, flags and plenty of tweets.

The Trevor Noah countdown has begun. The South African stand-up comedian will begin hosting Comedy Central's Daily Show on Sept. 28. And what better way to get ready than ... by doing comedy.

It's been a theory of mine that the assistant principal has the toughest job in education.

I got that idea a long time ago, when I was a student teacher at a middle school.

It seemed the assistant principal's job goes something like this:

The Fish Creek Fire in Interior Alaska isn't much to look at. It's about 7,500 acres in size, sitting about an hour south of Fairbanks near the twisty Tanana River. The main fire front — the made-for-TV part, with torching trees and pulses of orange heat — flamed out more than a week ago, leaving behind a quiet charred landscape.

Lihong Wang creates the sort of medical technology you'd expect to find on the starship Enterprise.

Wang, a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has already helped develop instruments that can detect individual cancer cells in the bloodstream and oxygen consumption deep within the body. He has also created a camera that shoots at 100 billion frames a second, fast enough to freeze an object traveling at the speed of light.

Federal regulators are fining Fiat Chrysler $105 million for failing to acknowledge and address safety defects in a timely fashion.

The civil penalty — the largest ever imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — will be accompanied by three years of "unprecedented" federal oversight, the agency says. Fiat Chrysler has also agreed to buy back some vehicles from their owners.

In Oklahoma, some people in charge of enforcing the law seem to be skirting it. State audits have found people in district attorney offices have used seized money and property to live rent-free and pay off student loans.

When state Sen. Kyle Loveless first heard about the audits, he'd already been thinking about amending the civil asset forfeiture laws — mainly because the state doesn't always follow the law.

A federal judge in California has ruled that immigration authorities improperly detained women and children who tried to enter the U.S. illegally. Immigrant rights activists are praising the ruling. Julia Preston, who covers immigration for The New York Times, explains the case.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

As President Obama was in Kenya to discuss the threat from Islamist extremists, in neighboring Somalia at least 10 people were killed in a suicide car bomb by militants of al-Shabab – the extremist group considered the region's biggest danger.

It's the tourist mantra these days: Get to Cuba before it loses its 1950s nostalgia and turns into a capitalist tourist trap.

This week saw 54 years of Cold War-era hostilities warm up in the Caribbean sun: On Monday, Cuba and the U.S. reopened embassies in each other's capitals, a major step in the normalization of relations between the long-time foes.

President Obama, wrapping up his three-day visit to Kenya, urged the east African country to "choose the path to progress" by tackling corruption, eliminating income inequality and promoting gender equality.

"I'm here as president of a country that sees Kenya as an important partner. I'm here as a friend who wants Kenya to succeed," he said in a speech at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi.

"You can choose the path to progress, but it requires making some important choices," he said in the 40-minute speech that was broadcast on Kenyan television.

Next week marks the 70th anniversary of one of the worst disasters in U.S. Naval history — and one of the worst shark attacks on record. But it's a story that many people don't know.

In the summer of 1945, World War II was almost over, but in the shadows of that moment comes a story of survival that changed lives forever.

If you're a movie fan, you may recognize this line from the 1975 blockbuster, Jaws: "Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was coming back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. Just delivered the bomb."

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