Sylvia Mendez says the only reason she wanted to go to an all-white school in California's Westminster District in the 1940s was because of its beautiful playground. The school that she and other Latino students were forced to attend didn't have monkey bars or swings.
"I was 9 years old," she says. "I just thought my parents wanted us to go to the nice-looking school."
When New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger removed Jill Abramson from the paper's executive editor spot on Wednesday, it stunned the media world. Abramson was the first woman to ever fill the paper's top post and was credited with helping right its fiscal ship, and much of the early coverage about just why she was pushed out centered on a possible dispute over her pay, which was less than her male predecessors' compensation.
More than five years after the crash, homebuilding is stuck at half its normal level. That's a big drag on the economy. And things aren't looking much better: A report out Thursday shows homebuilder confidence is at its lowest level in a year.
This severe slump in single-family home construction has been going on across the country. We haven't seen anything close to this kind of a long-term construction slump since World War II.
And I'm joined now by the director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Alice Greenwald. Welcome to the program.
ALICE GREENWALD: Hello, Melissa.
BLOCK: How do you see the role and the purpose of this museum, because as the name indicates, it is both a museum and a memorial, and I would think there might be a tension really between those two missions?
More than 4,000 children are in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families. But it's one girl, known as Jane Doe, who has galvanized advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth.
Jason Schlachter has been gambling for a living since college, mostly online, and he makes lots of money doing it. The trouble is, New Jersey — where he does his gambling — isn't having the same success. The state legalized online gambling in 2013, expecting a $160 million windfall in tax revenue, but it has earned less than $8 million so far. WNYC's Jessica Gould looks at what's gone wrong with New Jersey's big bet.
More legal wrangling over gay marriage in two states on Thursday:
In Arkansas, Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza expanded the ruling he issued last week striking down a ban on gay marriage to also eliminate a separate law that prohibited clerks from issuing such marriage licenses.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki faced tough questions from senators today. They wanted to know about allegations that VA clinics are cooking the books claiming they see patients within 14 days, when in reality veterans can wait months for an appointment. And there was something else senators raised with the secretary: Whether he should take responsibility for the troubles and resign. Here's NPR's Quil Lawrence.
There are questions not just about Nigeria's military capability but also about that government's commitment to bringing the girls home. Earlier today, I spoke with Sarah Sewell. She's the undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights. She's just returned from Nigeria, where she met with senior government officials. They discussed efforts to find the kidnapped girls and, longer-term, how to combat violent extremism. I asked her to describe the tone of those meetings.
Editor's Note: This is a story about a high school band. It is a story that demands to be heard, even more so than read. Please click on the audio player, above, to listen. Audio will be available around 6:30 p.m. EDT.
Many potential new drugs look like they could be big winners — at least when judged by how well they work in mice or other lab animals. Over the years, there have been a number of promising cancer "cures," possible Alzheimer's treatments, and candidate drugs for holding back the ravages of various degenerative diseases.
But, time after time, these great promises fade away once the potential treatments are tried in people. There are lots of reasons for that. Humans aren't rodents, for starters.
As 92-year-old Betty Reid Soskin helped hash out plans for a new national park 13 years ago, this is what stuck in her mind: "What gets remembered is a function of who's in the room doing the remembering."
Office visits are the bread and butter of many physicians' practices. Medicare pays for more than 200 million of them a year, often to deal with routine problems like colds or high blood pressure. Most require relatively modest amounts of a doctor's time or medical know-how.
The National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York was dedicated Thursday morning in front of an audience that included President Obama.
"It tells the story of how, in the aftermath of the attacks, our city, our nation and peoples from across the world came together, supporting each other through difficult times and emerging stronger than ever," said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is the museum's chairman. "That, more than any eulogy, was the greatest tribute we could pay to those that we lost."
Ten years ago this week, attorney Mary Bonauto woke up with more than just your average case of pre-wedding jitters. It had been six months since her arguments had persuaded Massachusetts' highest court to allow the nation's first legal gay marriages, but opponents were still trying to stop the weddings before they started.
"I had been so scared, so many times, during really what had been really a ferocious onslaught to try to keep marriages from ever happening, so I continued to worry," Bonauto recalls.
As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist.
In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning.
It's been well over a month since the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 11 to 3 to declassify and make public the executive summary and findings of its "Torture Report."
But it's not likely that will actually happen anytime soon.
The reason? The CIA — the very agency skewered in the 6,200-page report for its interrogation and detention of more than 100 terrorism suspects from 2001 through 2008 — has been given the job of deciding what to leave in and what to take out of the summary and findings.
And the CIA seems to be in no great rush to finish that job.
When hundreds of California nutritionists and dietitians gathered for their annual conference in April, their Friday lunch was a bacon ranch salad, chocolate chip cookies and a pink yogurt parfait, all courtesy of McDonald's.
Food trucks have been steadily multiplying in cities across the country for a few years now. So their collision with the brave new world of marijuana edibles — from brownies to gummy candy — was probably inevitable, at least in the states where the drug is now legal.
Now, there's a curious fact about the Tappan Zee Bridge that President Obama was standing next to today. It's located at a spot where it seems to make the least economic sense to place a bridge - one of the widest parts of the Hudson River. Three years ago, David Kestenbaum of our Planet Money team dug into this. Here's an encore presentation of his report.
Sexual assaults are now reported more often, but the Department of Justice says non-reporting still remains the rule. In fact, the DOJ says, only one in three victims reports the crime to police. Even fewer receive any social services. A new study finds that a lack of money and training often complicates the problem. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson has more.
CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: After Emma Wagner was assaulted by a stranger last year, her first reaction was to hunker down, afraid of what would happen next.