Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:07 pm
Utah's attorney general has filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay that would allow the state to enforce its limit of marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
Similar requests have already been rejected by district and circuit courts. Earlier this month, a federal district court invalidated Utah's ban on gay marriage that was endorsed by voters in 2004, saying it is not constitutional.
Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.
In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.
The Detroit Red Wings are kind of playing a home game on New Year's Day — even if it'll be played about 40 miles west of their home ice in downtown Detroit.
Mike Babcock, the Red Wings head coach, told the NHL Network that might not be such a good thing, because home teams haven't fared so well in prior Winter Classics.
"The reason the home team doesn't have much success is there's probably a New Year's Eve party going on in everybody's house," he said. "So you gotta decide whether that's more important, or the game's more important."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg displays a confiscated AR-15 assault rifle in East Harlem as District Attorney Cy Vance (right) looks on during a news conference in October 2012 in New York City.
A federal judge has largely upheld New York's tough gun control law passed in the weeks after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Judge William Skretny in Buffalo rejected arguments from opponents that its ban on large-capacity magazines and the sale of semi-automatic rifles infringed on Second Amendment rights.
He ruled that the provisions were constitutional because the state has an "important governmental interest" in public safety in a suit brought by the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
Residents of Casselton, North Dakota are starting to return to their homes. That's after yesterday's fiery crash of two freight trains, one carrying crude oil. From Fargo, Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 2:44 pm
Melissa Harris-Perry, host of an MSNBC weekend show, apologized on Tuesday for comments she and her panelists recently made. On Sunday, Harris-Perry had her guests — a group of comedians — caption a photo of Mitt Romney's family, which included Romney's adopted grandchild.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. Today, for our last parenting roundtable of the year, we decided to look back at 2013 in parenting, and we ask some of our regular contributors and you to share some of your best and worst parenting moments of the year.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:30 am
As 2013 winds down, so does @Todayin1963, Code Switch's historical Twitter account. Since June, I've been "live-tweeting" moments from 50 years ago as if they were happening today, picking slices of that year that might have made their ways into people's Twitter timelines had tweeting been a thing back then.
In 2013, Chicago newspapers and television stations kept a daily deadly count, listing those slain each day, most by gun violence. One of the most noted occurred early in the year when Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot and killed about a week after performing at inauguration events in Washington, D.C., with her high school band.
A judge has extended life support for a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy operation earlier this month.
The order, issued by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo, grants the family's eleventh-hour appeal to keep Jahi McMath on a ventilator at least until Jan. 7. Another judge had ruled that Children's Hospital of Oakland, where McMath has been a patient since the Dec. 9 surgery, could shut off the breathing machine after 5 p.m. ET on Monday.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:53 pm
A dozen oil tanker rail cars burst into flames after two trains collided in eastern North Dakota on Monday.
No one was hurt during the derailment or fire, but thick black smoke was rolling off the wreckage after five explosions rocked the town of Casselton, about 10 miles west of Fargo.
The collision occurred after a westbound train carrying soybeans derailed, and an eastbound train hauling crude oil ran into it, Cecily Fong, the public information officer with the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, tells Reuters.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:51 pm
In general, getting a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation isn't the mark of a good day. But after a brewery owner got a letter from a law firm representing Starbucks, he saw a chance to draw distinctions between the businesses — and to be funny.
The coffee company's bone of contention, Missouri brewer Jeff Britton was told in a Dec. 9 letter, was the use of the name "Frappicino" to describe a stout served at Exit 6 Brewery, a brewpub in a tidy strip mall in Cottleville, northwest of St. Louis.
Twitter made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in November. Both the social media giant and the relative newcomer Snapchat are valued in the billions, but neither company has yet turned a profit.
Zero. That's the total amount of revenue created by Snapchat in 2013. It's the total profit collected by Twitter. And it's roughly how much Apple's stock price has increased between early last December and now.
Which makes you wonder: With all these zeros piling up, how are so many people in Silicon Valley making so much money from technology?
This is one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales off the coast of Southern California as they migrate south for the winter. But recently, there have been an unusually high number of sightings of other whales.
"We've had so many whales," Dan "The Whale Man" Salas tells the guests on his boat. "This is all in the last two weeks. We've had orcas, we had a sperm whale, we've got humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales. Yesterday we had a massive pod of gray whales, so we never know what we're going to see out here."
The same kind of technology that recommends movies on Netflix or purchases on Amazon is now helping students choose college courses.
A new program developed on a campus in Tennessee uses predictive analytics to suggest classes, and now the technology is spreading across the country and is seen as a way to make higher education more efficient.
On average, graduates take a year's worth of classes they could have done without, or they drop courses before making a bad grade. For Nashville State Community College student Jonathan Hudspeth, it was anatomy and physiology.
In Park City, Utah, on Sunday, ski jumper Jessica Jerome, 27, became the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
But to get to this point has been a fight.
Ski jumping has been an Olympic sport since the advent of the Winter Olympics — that is, men's ski jumping. But for the women — who often soar just as far if not farther than the men — it has been a fight that took them to a Canadian courtroom and was marked with years of setbacks. They were told again and again that women's ski jumping wasn't at a high enough caliber to be in the games.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 3:13 pm
The FAA announced Monday which states will become test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles. Congress has asked the agency to come up with a plan to integrate UAVs into the nation's airspace. State leaders hope the test sites will lead to jobs and industry investment.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 3:58 pm
In a 7,000-word investigative report published by The New York Times on Sunday, David Kirkpatrick revisits last year's assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Kirkpatrick finds that — contrary to much commentary from mostly Republican members of Congress — al-Qaida was not involved. He joins Robert Siegel to talk about his reporting and the backlash against his conclusions.
In a Philadelphia courtroom today, a judge agreed to release a Catholic Church official who's serving prison time for his handling of sexual abuse claims. Last week, a Pennsylvania appeals court overturned Monsignor William Lynn's 2012 conviction. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to resume work in a couple of weeks. Among other cases, the justices will be deciding the rules that govern campaign finance and they will hear arguments in cases regarding the so-called buffer zones around abortion clinics and the Affordable Care Act's requirement that for-profit companies cover contraception in their health plans.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 3:09 pm
Many doctors aren't asking teenagers about sex or sexuality, and those who do are spending just 36 seconds on the topic, on average. That's not much time to get into sexually transmitted diseases or birth control, let alone sexual orientation, dating or other big topics.
And teenagers are so bashful when it comes to asking questions about sex and health that they won't bring it up if the doctor doesn't, researchers say.
New Years' resolutions, whether they're about family, money or health, are often forgotten in a matter of weeks. Now a social entrepreneur is encouraging people to keep their promises all year long. Host Michel Martin speaks with Alex Sheen, the founder of the group, Because I Said I Would.
The big energy story of 2013 was a boom in domestic oil production, especially in North Dakota. NPR's Arun Rath talks with national correspondent Jeff Brady, who saw the boom firsthand during a recent reporting trip to the state.
Before turning the page on 2013, All Things Considered wanted to tell you stories you haven't heard — unknown stories about people you've heard of, and unknown people who have affected your lives in ways you can't imagine.
The passing of one sports legend went largely unnoticed this year. She's a figure you might know from the movie A League of Their Own, starring Geena Davis and Tom Hanks.
Abortion rights activists are working on a counterattack to the 200 bills that have passed in states across the U.S. since 2010.
In the past three years, Republican-led legislatures have backed bills to regulate abortions and the doctors and clinics that perform them.
Bills to ban abortions at 20 weeks are among the laws that cropped up three years ago and have now passed in about a dozen states. This year, North Dakota pushed to end abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy.