U.S. News

The Salt
4:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

How Yelp Can Help Disease Detectives Track Food Poisoning

The Yelp app maps out restaurant locations in Manhattan.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Almost 50 million Americans get food poisoning every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. But only a tiny fraction of those cases get reported, making it tough to figure out where they came from.

But health officials recently discovered a trove of data that may help them discover outbreaks of foodborne illness and as well as the restaurants responsible for them, they write in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Senate Confirms Author Of Drone Memo To Federal Bench

This May 20, 2013, file photo shows Harvard Law Professor David Barron during a forum at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
Michael Dwyer AP

The Senate voted Thursday to confirm David Barron, whose judicial nomination had been threatened by his work shaping the Obama administration's drone policy.

The vote to seat Barron on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston was 53 to 45. Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined a unified Republican caucus in opposing the nomination.

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All Tech Considered
3:42 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Can Cop-Worn Cameras Restore Faith In New Orleans Police?

Lt. Travis St. Pierre, of the New Orleans Police Department, shows off a body-worn camera during a press conference in January.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:23 pm

Body-worn video cameras are quickly becoming standard-issue for American police, especially at departments in the process of reform. And in New Orleans, the troubled police department is now requiring almost all officers to wear the cameras.

The city's police department has a dark history of corruption, racism and brutality. The low point may have been the Danziger Bridge episode, after Hurricane Katrina, when police shot unarmed people, then covered up the crime.

These days, the department is trying to rebuild the public's trust — which is where the body cameras come in.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races

Businessman Tom Steyer listens during a meeting to announce the launch of a group called Virginians for Clean Government in September 2013.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 5:59 pm

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has already pledged at least $50 million to his superPAC, NextGen Climate, and now the superPAC's leaders are laying out a hardball strategy for the fall campaign.

The goal: tag seven Republican candidates as "science deniers" who are on the wrong side of the increasingly urgent climate change issue.

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Photography And Memory
3:18 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Overexposed? Camera Phones Could Be Washing Out Our Memories

Rebecca Woolf takes a lot of photos of her children for her blog, Girl's Gone Child, but says she tries to not let the camera get in the middle of a moment.
Courtesy of Rebecca Woolf

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 10:58 am

Los Angeles blogger Rebecca Woolf uses her blog, Girl's Gone Child, as a window into her family's life. Naturally, it includes oodles of pictures of her four children.

She says she's probably taken tens of thousands of photos since her oldest child was born. And she remembers the moment when it suddenly clicked — if you will — that she was too absorbed in digital documentation.

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Science
2:21 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

NOAA Predicts Relatively Quiet Atlantic Hurricane Season

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 4:46 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Optimism and hurricanes are not words we usually utter together, but the Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1st, and today government forecasters offered some cautious optimism. They are expecting a relatively quiet year. Here's NPR's Jon Hamilton.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Hardware Store Owner Retires, Donates Inventory To Charity

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 4:46 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood, a landmark store is shutting its doors and doing something very interesting with its inventory. The store is Rudys True Value Hardware on East 71st Street. It's closing after 54 years. As for Rudy's inventory he's giving it to Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.

And joining us now is Rudy Rosales, proprietor and, I'm told, local institution. Welcome to the program.

RUDY ROSALES: Thank you very much.

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The Impact of War
2:08 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Civilian Life Taught This Military Dog Some New Tricks

In this image from the June issue of National Geographic, Jose Armenta and his wife, Eliana, relax with their Boston terriers Oreo and Sassy, and Zenit, a German shepherd they adopted from the Marines.
Adam Ferguson National Geographic

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 2:59 pm

As a dog handler in the Marines, it was Jose Armenta's job to walk ahead of his platoon and search for roadside bombs with his dog, Zenit, a German shepherd trained for explosives detection and patrol. In 2011, while searching for IEDs planted by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a bomb they didn't detect exploded and Armenta was thrown 20 feet. He narrowly survived, but both his legs had to be amputated above the knee. Zenit was uninjured and redeployed with a new handler.

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NPR Ed
8:54 am
Thu May 22, 2014

'Mischievous Responders' Confound Research On Teens

Not all kids lie on research surveys. But enough teenagers make up answers that it can significantly skew the results.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 11:30 am

Teenagers face some serious issues: drugs, bullying, sexual violence, depression, gangs. They don't always like to talk about these things with adults.

One way that researchers and educators can get around that is to give teens a survey — a simple, anonymous questionnaire they can fill out by themselves without any grown-ups hovering over them. Hundreds of thousands of students take such surveys every year. School districts use them to gather data; so do the federal government, states and independent researchers.

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Law
1:31 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Albuquerque Police Face Federal Scrutiny, Local Outrage

Kenneth Ellis II and family members of people shot by Albuquerque police officers hold a news conference on May 8.
Juan Antonio Labreche AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:40 am

Kenneth Ellis III was shot and killed by police in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Albuquerque, N.M.

He is among the dozens of people local police have shot over the last four years, 25 of whom have died. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report in April saying Albuquerque police have a pattern of excessive force that violates the Constitution.

Investigations and policy changes are in the works, while families of those who have been shot argue more needs to be done.

Building Cases

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The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Supreme Court Halts Execution Of Missouri Inmate

Convicted murderer and rapist Russell Bucklew in a February photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:51 pm

The Supreme Court on Wednesday put off the execution of Russell Bucklew, a Missouri inmate who has maintained that his rare congenital medical condition would make the lethal injection procedure excessively painful.

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Law
5:23 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Invoking 'Castle Doctrine,' Mont. Man Pleads Not Guilty In Teen's Death

German student Diren Dede was fatally shot after he entered the garage of Markus Kaarma in Montana last month. Dede was on a one-year high school exchange program to the U.S.
Oliver Hardt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:21 pm

Montana resident Markus Kaarma pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murdering a German exchange student last month. Kaarma shot the 17-year-old while the student was trespassing in his garage. The case has attracted international scrutiny to the contentious debate over how far Americans may go when defending their homes.

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It's All Politics
5:07 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Pelosi Picks Democratic Team For Benghazi Panel

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the presence of Democrats will keep the House select committee on Benghazi "fair and open and balanced."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 5:33 pm

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's decision to have Democrats participate on the House Benghazi select committee? A defensive move.

Some of her Democrats had urged Pelosi to boycott the committee. In their view, to take part would be to play into the hands of House Republicans who want to use the ninth investigation of the September 2012 attack in Libya, which left four Americans dead, to rally conservatives for the midterm elections.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Kidnapped California Woman, Missing Since 2004, Is Found Alive

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 5:31 pm

A woman in Southern California who was reportedly abducted a decade ago has been found alive, and her alleged kidnapper has been arrested, Santa Ana police say.

The unidentified victim was reported missing by her mother in 2004, when she was 15. Police say Isidro Garcia, 41, was taken into custody on Tuesday and booked on suspicion of kidnapping and rape.

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All Tech Considered
4:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

For Automakers, Internet-Connected Cars Are A Balancing Act

General Motors says its OnStar 4G LTE connection will allow cars to act as a mobile Internet hub.
General Motors

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:21 pm

The Internet is coming to your car. Later this year, General Motors will put Internet connectivity directly into its vehicles. It's the largest auto company to do so.

Of course, safety advocates have some concerns about more distractions for drivers.

The promise of technology is always the same one — that it's going to make our life easier. But anyone who's tried to make a hands-free call in the car knows that's not always true. A task as simple as asking your device to call your mom can be an exasperating experience.

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It's All Politics
3:25 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

In Kentucky, An Epic Senate Race Takes Shape

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic nominee for a Senate seat from Kentucky, talks with recent college graduate Lee Fowler during a May 17 campaign stop.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 1:01 pm

It says something about Kentucky's Republican Senate primary that its most memorable aspect wasn't some fiery debate exchange between Sen. Mitch McConnell and challenger Matt Bevin, or any kind of clash like that. There was no debate.

Instead, it was a weird viral Web video from the Senate minority leader's campaign that featured him smiling in different contexts. Naturally it was one endlessly mocked by late-night comedians and parodied on the Web — it also led to the coining of a new word: "McConnelling."

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Politics
3:18 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

40 Years After Watergate, A Look Back At Nixon's Downfall

Washington Journal

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 11:43 am

Forty years ago, in mid-May 1974, Elizabeth Drew, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, wrote this in her journal: "Rumors went around the Capitol today that the President was resigning."

The Capitol, she observed was "noisy and edgy .. and in the hothouse atmosphere, the rumors burst into full bloom."

By August 1974 the president in question, Richard Nixon, would resign rather than face a Senate impeachment trial.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

New DOJ Policy Urges Agents To Videotape Interrogations

Department of Justice

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 4:49 pm

Senior Justice Department officials have quietly notified U.S. attorneys and federal agents that they're establishing "a presumption" that agents will electronically record statements made by individuals in their custody.

In a memo obtained by NPR, Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole strongly encourages agents to videotape suspects in custody before they appear in front of a judge or magistrate on federal charges. The memo says FBI special agents in charge of field offices or U.S. attorneys can override the policy if they have good cause to set it aside.

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Shots - Health News
3:09 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Anxiety And MRIs May Be Driving The Rise In Double Mastectomies

More women are choosing double mastectomy even if they don't have a high cancer risk.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:21 am

The number of women getting double mastectomies after a breast cancer diagnosis has been rising in the past 10 years, even though most of them don't face a higher risk of getting cancer in the other breast.

That has cancer doctors troubled, because for those women having the other breast removed doesn't reduce their risk of getting breast cancer again or increase their odds of survival. And they don't know why women are making this choice.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

71 Arrested For Internet Child Porn In New York

Hard drives, computers and other electronic devices seized as part of Operation Caireen along with photos of some of the 71 individuals arrested in connection with the investigation.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 5:51 pm

Officials in New York say they have arrested 71 people for possessing and trading child pornography via the Internet in what's being described as the largest-ever such operation in the city.

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Around the Nation
2:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Wait Times Scandal At VA Moves To Front Burner

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:21 pm

President Obama promised accountability for problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs after meeting with Secretary Eric Shinseki. The secretary has been on the hot seat since allegations surfaced last month about a possible cover-up of long wait times at a Phoenix VA medical center.

Economy
2:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Penny Hoarders Hope For The Day The Penny Dies

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Every year, the U.S. government loses money minting pennies. They cost around twice as much to make as they're worth. And some politicians and economists say we ought to just get rid of them. They want the U.S. to kill the penny, take it out of circulation. If that happens, a small group of people plan to make a bunch of money.

NPR's Zoe Chace has that story from our Planet Money team.

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The Salt
1:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

The Vegetables Most Americans Eat Are Drowning In Salt And Fat

This isn't exactly what a healthy serving of veggies looks like.
Lauri Patterson iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 3:02 pm

Popeye and our parents have been valiantly trying to persuade us to eat our veggies for decades now.

But Americans just don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should. And when we do, they're mainly potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Shots - Health News
9:44 am
Wed May 21, 2014

When Doctors Play This Game, You Get Better Medical Care

Hey docs! Play this online game and learn how to do a better job of getting our blood pressure under control!
Lisa F. Young iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:29 pm

Doctors are required to keep current on best medical practices, but those efforts all too often don't do a thing to improve patient care. But what if the class is a game — one that lets you compete against other doctors and show off your smarts?

Plus you get funny emails. Oh, and your patients get better, too.

That's the gist of an online game tested at eight Boston-area hospitals to see if it could improve treatment of high blood pressure by getting practitioners to follow recommended treatment guidelines.

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Environment
1:20 am
Wed May 21, 2014

For N.J. Mayor, The Time To Adapt To Rising Sea Levels Is Now

Hoboken, N.J., residents walk through flood water in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Mayor Dawn Zimmer is advocating for better planning and increased funding for flood-prone urban areas.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 10:41 am

Last week, scientists warned that a massive chunk of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet will eventually drift into the sea and melt, raising sea levels at least 10 feet higher than previous predictions.

Even before the announcement, scientists at the nonprofit research organization Climate Central predicted that surging seas could put the homes of nearly 5 million Americans underwater by the end of this century.

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It's All Politics
7:22 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

McConnell Wins Big Over Tea Party Challenger In Kentucky

Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, left, and his wife Elaine Chao, center, talk with poll workers at their precinct Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:53 pm

Updated at 11:07 pm ET

What some called the Super Tuesday of the 2014 mid-term election cycle, with six states holding nominating contests, began with a big win for the Republican establishment.

In Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell's smack-down of Tea Party-backed businessman Matt Bevin in the GOP primary was an emphatic victory for the five-term senator, who made this bold prediction about other Tea Party-backed Senate challengers earlier this year: "We're going to crush them everywhere."

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The Two-Way
6:36 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

White House To Release Secret Memo On Drone Strikes

The White House will reportedly comply with a court order to release a secret memorandum describing the legal justification for the 2011 drone strike against three Americans in Yemen, including Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida leader born in the U.S.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports that "the document had become a stumbling block in the judicial nomination of the man who wrote it" — Justice Department lawyer David Barron.

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The Two-Way
5:53 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Federal Court Stays Execution Of Missouri Inmate

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 3:59 am

Updated 5:00 a.m. ET Wednesday:

A U.S. Supreme Court Justice has temporarily halted the execution of a Missouri inmate who had been scheduled to die just after midnight Tuesday. Samuel Alito did not explain why he order the suspension of Russell Bucklew's execution.

Original Post:

A federal appeals court has issued a stay of execution for Missouri inmate Russell Bucklew, whose lawyers argued that he has a rare medical condition that would have made a lethal injection unnecessarily painful.

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Law
5:25 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania's Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:51 pm

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The ruling is the latest in a growing cascade of federal and state court decisions declaring a right to marry for gay couples.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down a federal law barring recognition of same-sex marriage, federal and state courts have been rife with challenges to state bans. On Tuesday, Judge John Jones III in Pennsylvania became the latest federal judge to strike down such a ban.

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds

A frame grab image from video provided by Americans for Prosperity shows a political ad against Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., stating the Affordable Care Act is not working.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:04 pm

It's been obvious ever since 2010 that Republicans and conservatives were spending a lot more slamming the Affordable Care Act than the Obama administration and Democrats were spending to defend it.

But 15 to 1?

Yes. That's the ratio calculated by Kantar Media's campaign media analysis group — CMAG to political junkies. Kantar estimates that national advertising against the ACA cost $418 million, compared with $27 million for ads supporting the law. Kantar calls the anti-ACA spending "unprecedented [and] largely unanswered."

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