Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 12:04 pm
Attorney General Eric Holder has for the first time directed Justice Department employees to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent under the law," a move with far-ranging consequences for how such couples are treated in federal courtrooms and proceedings.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's the first day of Winter Olympic in Sochi. Winners and losers are flying off the slopes. Those that don't want to know what happened before you have a chance to see it on TV, consider this is a spoiler alert. We're joined now by NPR's Tamara Keith from Sochi. Tamara, thanks very much for being with us.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Glad to be with you.
SIMON: And let's start with the biathlon because someone who's regarded as a legend, I guess, has performed....
Plans are underway to open KitTea, a gourmet tea house in San Francisco, where patrons mingle with "resident" cats. The felines will come from rescue shelters and be up for adoption. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Courtney Hatt, the co-founder of KitTea, about starting a cat cafe.
Alex Rodriguez has accepted his season-long ban from baseball and dropped his lawsuits against the MLB and the Players Association. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine about one of baseball's greatest and most infamous players.
Gray wolves are a controversial and polarizing animal in much of the American West. Wolves have slowly come back from extinction, forcing people to learn how to coexist with the cunning predator. One farmer is teaching his cattle to huddle together as bison do when threatened — there is safety in numbers.
We wondered if some of the numbers in recent jobs reports might reflect a finding in a Department of Education study that came out in January about a group of high school students they began to study 12 years ago. That group of students is now pushing 30, and 23 percent are living with their parents. A Pew national study puts the percentage of that generation called millenials who live with their parents even higher.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:31 pm
A federal jury has found Mayor Tony F. Mack of Trenton, N.J., guilty of six charges ranging from extortion and bribery to fraud. Mack's brother was also convicted of conspiracy and bribery charges in the case, which involved plans for a parking garage.
The Justice Department announced the jury's ruling Friday evening. In a news release about the verdict, U.S. Attorney Fishman said that Mack and his brother, Ralphiel, had schemed to use the influence of the mayor's office to extract money in exchange for easing development on city-owned land. Their trial lasted five weeks.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:42 am
Norovirus isn't just a problem for cruise ships.
The Mohonk Mountain House, a historic resort on the edge of Catskills in New York, closed Friday afternoon so that cleaning crews from a company that specializes in disaster responses can scour the place after an outbreak of intestinal illness. The cleanup is expected to take a week.
Hundreds of people, both guests and staff, were reportedly sickened in the last week or so.
For crews fighting wildfires, the ability to get accurate information quickly is crucial. A breakdown in communication was one factor in a fire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona last year, and in the deaths of two Florida firefighters in Arizona in 2011.
Florida officials hope to address some of those communication problems with a new tracking system designed to keep tabs on crews in the field.
President Obama's plan to bypass roadblocks in Congress and govern through executive order isn't going over well on Capitol Hill. Republican lawmakers are demanding to see the legal justification for some of the president's decisions on healthcare and the minimum wage. NPR's Carrie Johnson has that story.
Ross William Ulbricht, the accused proprietor of a shadowy online marketplace that specialized in illegal transactions, has plead not guilty in a Manhattan court to drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and running a continuing criminal conspiracy.
A trial for Ulbricht, who allegedly ran the now-defunct Silk Road, has been set for Nov. 3.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:31 pm
In politics, it always comes down to timing. And right now, it appears the timing just isn't right for congressional Republicans to take up an immigration overhaul.
If you read between the lines, that's what Speaker John Boehner was saying when he talked earlier in the week about how "difficult" the immigration issue is. And it's what GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell was saying when he indicated earlier in the week that he didn't see immigration overhaul happening this year at all.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 9:22 am
It's been a big week for distressing and important news about women and stroke.
Thursday saw the first-ever guidelines for prevention of stroke in women. They pointed out that women are more likely than men to have strokes. Young women are vulnerable because of pregnancy and birth control pills.
And when women do have strokes, they fare less well than men — even a year later, according to a study published Friday in the journal Neurology.
Applying for a Rhodes Scholarship this year? A new rule means you won't be able to get any help writing or editing your application essay.
The organization that hands out the prestigious scholarship says American students have been sending in too many "formulaic" and "predictable" essays. They usually go something like this, according to Charles Conn, warden of the Rhodes House at Oxford and CEO of the Rhodes Trust:
Ralph Kiner, a home run-hitting Hall of Famer who starred for the Pittsburgh Pirates and later helped define the New York Mets' broadcasts, has died at 91. He was a frequent all-star who later became a favorite of Mets fans and players.
Outside of sports fans' circles, Kiner's name might not ring a bell. But as the New York Daily News reports, he was most definitely a "somebody" for nearly all of his long life:
They're events that took just several minutes, but in a courtroom in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday, prosecutors and the defense laid out different versions of how Michael Dunn, who is white, came to shoot and kill Jordan Davis, a black teen.
It was in 2012, the day after Thanksgiving, that Davis, 17, and three friends stopped at a gas station and convenience store in Jacksonville. They were in an SUV and were playing their music — loud.
Democrats and Republicans have exhausted themselves politically after failing to reach a grand bargain to reduce the debt. Now there's a new economic debate in Washington over economic growth, mobility and income inequality.
But without dealing with the debt, Republicans and Democrats might not be able to navigate even the issues they agree on.
Tomorrow in Maryland, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration will sit down with other law enforcement groups to talk through some big questions. Tainted heroin has recently killed at least 50 people across several states, and they want to find out where it's coming from. The heroin is laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl. While the DEA races to find the drug's source, NPR's Allison Keyes reports community groups are scrambling to warn addicts of the danger.
The city of Valdez, Alaska is no stranger to avalanches but this year has been a whopper. A series of massive avalanches buried the highway into the city, cutting off traffic for two weeks. Snowpack that crashed down the mountains filled a canyon and left the road covered with snow 40 feet deep for a quarter mile stretch. Well, yesterday, after the avalanche, debris was finally cleared, the Richardson Highway was opened to traffic again.