U.S. News

Education
11:31 am
Fri September 28, 2012

New Wave Of School Integration In Birmingham, Ala.

First-grade teacher Euginia Miller reads to her class at Avondale Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala. In this crucible of the civil rights movement, the city's schools are being reintegrated, as a handful of middle-class parents ignore the school district's poor reputation and enroll their kids in the city's public schools.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:05 pm

When Laura Kate Whitney enrolled her 4-year-old, Grey, at Avondale Elementary, a public school in Birmingham, Ala., she and her husband were bucking a trend. Whitney and her husband are white, middle-class professionals. Public schools in Birmingham are 95 percent black, and 90 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch.

Whitney's is one of about two-dozen similar families who are not buying into the conventional tradeoff that if you live within city limits and have means, you send your kids to private schools.

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The Salt
8:08 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Some Grumble About Change As School Lunches Get Leaner And Greener

Michelle Kloser, School Nutrition Director for the West Salem School District in Wisconsin took this picture of Thursday's lunch, which includes baked chicken and rosemary potatoes.
Michelle Kloser for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:16 am

This fall, the more than 38 million kids who get their lunches through the National School Lunch Program are seeing big changes on their trays.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Fri September 28, 2012

'It's Insane. It's Crazy:' Gunman Kills Four, Then Himself, In Minneapolis

In shock: The scene outside a Minneapolis business Thursday. A gunman killed four people, wounded four others and then killed himself.
Richard Tsong-Taatarii Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:03 am

"This is something we see on the news in other parts of the country, not here," Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Kris Arneson said Thursday night as her department began investigating why a man apparently walked into a sign company, killed at least four people and then took his own life.

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StoryCorps
1:28 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Finding Health After Letting Go Of Hate

Charlie Morris, 91, says he was at school in 1939 when he found out his brother was dead. For 10 years, his hatred consumed him and plagued his body with mysterious ailments. "When I began to forgive, there was all the answers to my illness," he says.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:49 am

In 1939, Jessie Lee Bond died. His death certificate says he drowned accidentally, but his family has always maintained that he was lynched after an argument with white shop owners — shot and thrown into the river.

No one has ever been charged with his death.

Decades later, his now-91-year-old brother, Charlie Morris, told StoryCorps in Memphis, Tenn., that he was at school when he was called down to the office and told that his brother had been murdered.

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Education
1:24 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Parsing Fact From Fiction In 'Won't Back Down'

Nona Alberts (Viola Davis) and Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) share a triumphant moment with Nona's son Cody (Dante Brown) and Jamie's daughter Malia (Emily Alyn Lind).
Kerry Hayes 20th Century Fox

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:19 am

Won't Back Down opens with a little girl's anguished face. It fills the entire screen. The camera hovers as she struggles to read a simple sentence on the blackboard out loud.

She's dyslexic. Not that anyone at Adams Elementary cares — least of all her second-grade teacher, who is berating or slapping kids around when she's not shopping for shoes online.

But if it was your kid who was struggling and nobody at school cared, what would you do? What could you do? That's how director Daniel Barnz hooks you.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Man Behind Anti-Muslim Film Arrested For Violating Terms Of Probation

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 9:54 pm

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ordered the man behind the anti-Islamic video that is believed to have sparked deadly protests in the Muslim world to be detained.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal ordered Nakoula Basseley Nakoula held Thursday afternoon. He was deemed a flight risk.

Our original post continues:

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

In 1980s Romney Video From His Bain Days, Profits, Not Jobs, Were Focus

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:30 pm

From the magazine that brought you the infamous, secretly recorded "47 percent" video comes a new one about Republican candidate Mitt Romney — this one offering a very different objective for Bain Capital than the one he brags about on the campaign trail.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Skaters Detail Abuse And Sabotage Allegations As Racing Season Begins

Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:18 pm

More than the ice is frosty at the Olympic Oval outside Salt Lake City this week, as short track speedskaters begin the 2012-2013 season.

U.S. skaters are split over allegations of abuse leveled against two coaches and a claim that one coach ordered the sabotage of a Canadian competitor's skates at an international competition last year.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

A Second, Chance Interview With Subject Of Controversial First Lady Remarks

Mitt Romney speaks Thursday at American Legion Post 176 in Springfield, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 4:17 pm

During the Republican National Convention last month, I traveled with Mitt Romney's campaign from Tampa, Fla., to the American Legion conference in Indianapolis.

Romney delivered a speech about foreign affairs and national security. Among the thousands of attendees from around the country, I interviewed one woman from Virginia whose quote sparked a conversation among NPR's audience and staff.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Renoir Found At Flea Market May Be Real, But It's Also Stolen

This weekend's auction of a flea-market find that turned out to be a work by French Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir has been put on hold, after evidence turned up the painting had been pilfered from a Baltimore museum decades ago.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:42 pm

Turns out there's a bigger story behind the Renoir painting purchased for $7 a couple of years ago at a West Virginia flea market — a mystery, and an alleged theft, in fact.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
3:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Aurora, Colo., Tries To Capitalize On Its Ethnic Riches

Families in a predominantly Latino youth soccer league gather for matches in Aurora. Hispanics make up nearly a third of the city's population, according to the 2010 Census.
Megan Verlee for NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:00 am

Aurora, Colo., became a familiar name this summer, in the wake of a mass shooting at a local movie theater.

But there's much more to this Denver suburb than the recent tragedy. Just ask Ethiopian immigrant Fekade Balcha. Balcha's apartment, on Aurora's north side, sits in a dense neighborhood of squat brick apartment buildings and tiny homes.

"You see, in our apartment, there are Russians, Mexicans, Africans," Balcha says. "From Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and something like that."

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Around the Nation
3:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:39 am

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The Salt
2:26 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Health Benefits Of Tea: Milking It Or Not

The Emperor's Himalayan lavender tea is popular at Washington, D.C.'s Park Hyatt Tea Room, but please don't put milk in it.
Courtesy of Park Hyatt

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:50 pm

The idea that milk may diminish the potential heart-health benefits of tea has been a topic of some debate. Lots of us can't imagine black tea without a little dairy to cut the bitterness. But, according to this research going back to 2007, we might want to at least consider trying, say, a nice cup of green tea sans sugar or cream.

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Business
2:24 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

American Airlines Fliers Fed Up As Labor Clash Rages

American Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport this month. Reports indicate that American Airlines has canceled somewhere between 2 and 5 percent of flights in recent days, reportedly blaming a surge in pilot sick days and maintenance write-ups by pilots.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:37 am

Pat Henneberry is an airline's dream customer. She flies all week, every week, and buying an $800 ticket so that she can have full flexibility is standard operating procedure. She's an American Airlines platinum customer. But she is fed up with the endless delays and cancellations.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Streams Of Water Once Flowed On Mars; NASA Says Photos Prove It

NASA says it has found proof that water shaped the rocks on the left, in a photograph taken by the Mars rover Curiosity (left). For comparison, the agency released an image of rocks from the Earth (right).
NASA

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:20 pm

NASA's Curiosity rover has found definitive proof that water once ran across the surface of Mars, the agency announced today. NASA scientists say new photos from the rover show rocks that were smoothed and rounded by water. The rocks are in a large canyon and nearby channels that were cut by flowing water, making up an alluvial fan.

"You had water transporting these gravels to the downslope of the fan," NASA researchers say. The gravel then formed into a conglomerate rock, which was in turn likely covered before being exposed again.

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Sports
9:43 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Gabby Douglas: I Had A Job To Do In London

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 11:54 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

It was an iconic moment, really one of those amazing Olympic moments when a brilliantly smiling Gabby Douglas became the first African-American gymnast to win a gold medal in the individual all-around. People were amazed as she twisted her petite frame and flew through the air with both power and grace. It was the second gold for Douglas. She and her teammates won the team gold medal as well, and since then Gabby Douglas and the rest of the Fabulous Five have become celebrities.

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The Salt
1:39 am
Thu September 27, 2012

New Anti-Obesity Ads Blaming Overweight Parents Spark Criticism

A controversial ad by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota shows an overweight shopper and her daughter buying junk food.
courtesy Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:50 am

This week, a new anti-obesity media campaign launched in Minnesota has been getting a lot of attention, and not necessarily the good kind.

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National Security
1:37 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Army Seeks To Curb Rising Tide Of Suicides

U.S. troops from the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment patrol at dawn in Kandalay, Afghanistan on Aug. 4, 2011. A worldwide stand down for troops to take part in suicide prevention training Thursday is part of the Army's response to an alarming suicide rate of nearly one per day.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 7:04 pm

At Fort Myer, Va., a small Army base across the river from Washington, D.C., Chaplain Mark Worrell is talking to about 100 soldiers, reciting the grim numbers.

"This year, 2012, there have been more suicides in the Army than combat deaths," he says.

Worrell paces in front of the stage in a small auditorium and talks with the soldiers for more than an hour about the warning signs of suicide. He asks them what they would do if a friend starting selling his tools and lost interest in his favorite hobbies.

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It's All Politics
4:57 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Cherokee Nation Chief Demands Apology From Scott Brown Campaign

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., speaks during a news conference in Boston last Friday.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 1:29 pm

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET, Sept. 27

Alleigh Marre, a spokeswoman for Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's campaign, released a statement, saying:

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Another Iowa Judge Faces Ballot Box Battle Due To Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, right, faces a retention vote Nov. 6.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 4:27 pm

A battle is under way in Iowa over whether a state Supreme Court justice can keep his job.

Critics have launched an all-out campaign to throw him off the bench because of his ruling three years ago clearing the way for same-sex marriage. The judge's supporters are fighting back, but they may need to get over their reluctance to mix politics and the judiciary.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

'Wanna Go To The Dance?' Is SO Passe. Try YouTube

Andrew Forsyth, a high school junior, devised an elaborate scheme to ask his girlfriend, Maddy Powell, to their high school's homecoming dance.
Gigi Douban for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

She doesn't know what's about to happen, but this is a moment high school junior Maddy Powell has been waiting for.

She's sitting in her Advanced Placement biology class, and her boyfriend, Andrew Forsyth, is finally going to pop the question.

Don't worry — he's not asking for Maddy's hand in marriage. But what Andrew has planned is perhaps as elaborate as a marriage proposal.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

UC OKs $1 Million Settlement In Pepper-Spray Suit

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
Thomas K. Fowler AP

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 4:44 am

The University of California will pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Occupy protesters at UC Davis who were pepper-sprayed last November, according to a preliminary settlement filed in district court.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Army Brigadier General Faces Sexual Misconduct Charges

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:42 am

Months after his sudden removal from his post in Afghanistan, Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has been charged with multiple violations of the military's Uniform Code, ranging from wrongful sexual conduct to several rules violations.

For our Newscast desk, NPR's Tom Bowman reports that "Sinclair faces multiple counts of sexual misconduct and maltreatment of subordinates, as well as charges he violated orders by possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed."

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Middle East
2:46 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Ahmadinejad Rails Against Israel In U.N. Speech

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:46 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. Some called it awkward timing, others called it an outrage. Today, as Jews mark the high holy day of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, the president of Iran attacked Israel in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. His message came as no surprise. The U.S. stayed away, complaining about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repulsive slurs.

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Middle East
2:46 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Ahmadinejad's Last Speech To U.N. Milder Than Usual

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For more on Ahmadinejad's speech and the dynamics of political power in Iran, I'm joined by analyst Karim Sadjadpour, who specializes in Iranian politics and society. He's with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Welcome to the program.

KARIM SADJADPOUR: Thank you, Melissa.

BLOCK: We heard Ahmadinejad today make a point of saying that this was his eighth time speaking before the general assembly. Did you hear anything different in this swan song speech, either in tone or in content, than you've heard before?

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It's All Politics
2:45 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

New Groups Make A Conservative Argument On Climate Change

Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Bob Inglis now runs the Energy and Enterprise Initiative.
Energy and Enterprise Initiative

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 8:22 am

One topic you don't hear much about from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is climate change. Like so much else, it's become politically divisive, with polls showing Republicans far less likely to believe in it or support policies to address it.

But two new groups aim to work from within, using conservative arguments to win over skeptics.

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Around the Nation
2:17 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Young Illegal Immigrants Seek Work Permits

Carlos Martinez, 30, shows off his new work permit, which he received after applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Mamta Popat Arizona Daily Star

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

It's been more than a month since the government began accepting requests for its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama administration's policy for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Hundreds of thousands of people are eligible for the program. So far, only 82,000 have applied.

Carlos Martinez is one of the 29 people who have actually gotten deferrals. It means that he won't be deported, and that he can get a work permit. Martinez applied for the deferred action program the first day.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

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Education
10:10 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Librarians Reach Out To Spanish Speakers

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

We just talked about the changing demographics in this country. In fact, the Pew Research Center says Latinos will make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population by the year 2050. So we talked about how that might affect our public schools, but there's another group that's paying very close attention to these changes, and that's librarians.

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Race
10:09 am
Wed September 26, 2012

School Segregation Persists, New Report Says

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, a new documentary follows a harrowing day in an Oakland, California emergency room, where the policy questions about health care play out in real life. We talk with the director of "The Waiting Room." That's in just a few minutes.

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