U.S. News

Politics
2:31 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Faced With Pentagon Budget Cuts, Congress Finesses The Numbers

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:45 pm

The Pentagon's congressionally-imposed budget cuts ran into a powerful opponent this week: Congress itself. The House Armed Services Committee rejected $5 billion worth of proposed cuts in order to preserve items cherished by individual lawmakers.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Health
2:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

To End Addiction Epidemic, States Focus On Stopping Doctor Shoppers

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:45 pm

Nearly every state has a prescription drug monitoring program that's meant to end abuse of opioids and other powerful pain medicines. But critics say most of these programs have a big loophole: they're voluntary, and many doctors don't use them. States that have made participation in PDMPs mandatory say they've started to cut down on practices that allow pain meds to be diverted into the black market. But those states are the exception.

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Environment
2:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Ahead Of Wildfire Season, Scientists Study What Fuels Fires

A lab technician lighting a fire in a wind tunnel at a fire lab in Riverside, Calif.
Sean Nealon University of California, Riverside

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 5:00 pm

As fire managers in the drought-stricken Southwest gear up for another long and expensive wildfire season, federal fire scientists are trying to better understand the physics behind what makes blazes spread.

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Around the Nation
2:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Federal Goverment Jeopardizes Navajo Family's Ties To Its Home

Navajo elder Stella Peshlakai Smith, 89, stands at a traditional dwelling on her homestead at Wupatki National Monument in 2014. The National Park Service says her children cannot stay when she dies.
Felicia Fonseca AP

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 8:46 am

At 89 years old, Stella Peshlakai Smith shuffles around her Arizona yard in white tennis shoes and a long traditional Navajo skirt. She points to her ceremonial home, called a hogan. "My father made this one [almost 100 years ago]," Smith says. Her modern house sits next door.

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Around the Nation
2:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

The Tale Of 3 Stolen Trees And A Community In Bloom

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:45 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now, the story of three stolen fruit trees and how they sprouted a community movement. It all starts in a vacant lot next to the Cathedral of the Rockies. It's a Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho. Church leaders decided to transform the land into an urban fruit orchard. Last week the church's building superintendent Joe Prin went to a nursery and picked up 22 trees to plant. They included four trees bought by a family whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. They were to be planted as a memorial to her.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NBA Picks Dick Parsons As Interim CEO Of Los Angeles Clippers

Former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons was named interim CEO for the LA Clippers.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 2:29 pm

The National Basketball Association has named a new interim CEO for the Los Angeles Clippers: It's Richard Parsons, the former Time Warner CEO who was also a chairman of Citigroup.

David Aldridge of NBA.com first reported on the appointment.

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Shots - Health News
12:41 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Health Centers Hurt In States That Skipped Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:18 am

More than 1 million patients who use federally funded community health centers will remain uninsured because they live in 24 states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study released Friday by researchers at George Washington University.

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Health
10:39 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Midwifery: A Profession Of Passion, For Men Too

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Remembrances
8:54 am
Fri May 9, 2014

How A Persian-American Love Story Got Its Start In Harlem

Helen and Abol Ghassem's marriage photo, New York City, 1927.
Laleh Bakhtiar Helen of Tus

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 4:02 pm

Editor's Note: On May 10, Iran Davar Ardalan, a senior producer at NPR, will be the recipient of an Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York. The annual award is given to "American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life," according to the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. Ardalan's grandfather traveled from Iran and arrived on Ellis Island in 1919.

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Shots - Health News
6:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hoarding Can Start Early, But Signs Are Hard To See In Teens

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 2:53 pm

Hoarding disorder is generally diagnosed in older adults, after their inability to discard things and their anxiety over possessions leave them unable to function. But it may take root much earlier in life, though psychiatrists say they're just starting to figure that out.

Hoarding symptoms may look different in teenagers than they do in adults, researchers reported at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting this week in New York.

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Around the Nation
3:13 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Oklahoma Delays Next Execution For 6 Months

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Friday, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

The state of Oklahoma now has at least six more months to get to know Charles Warner. He's a man who was scheduled to die, is sentenced for a brutal crime. But the state attorney general agreed to a stay of execution. That gives the state time to investigate the way it puts people to death. The investigation follows the execution of Clayton Lockett, a proceeding that took 43 minutes and intensified debate over the death penalty.

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Oklahoma Agrees To Delay Executions For 6 Months

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:16 pm

The next inmate in Oklahoma who is scheduled to die by lethal injection will get a six-month stay after the drug protocol in an execution last week went wrong.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals agreed Thursday to delay the execution of Charles Warner until an investigation of the botched lethal injection procedure on Clayton Lockett is completed. Warner is now slated to die on Nov. 13.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

House Lawmakers Vote To Reopen Benghazi Probe

South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy leaves a closed-door Republican strategy meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday. Gowdy has been tapped to lead the new Benghazi investigative committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The House voted on Thursday to establish a new investigative committee to look into circumstances surrounding the attack two years ago on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador and three others.

Republicans accuse the White House of misleading the public about the nature of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and stonewalling efforts by Congress to investigate. Democrats see the creation of the new investigative committee as an election-year political ploy to raise money and motivate the party's base.

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The Protojournalist
5:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

13 Spliffy Jobs In The Marijuana Industry

Say what you will about the morality of marijuana, now that 21 U.S. states — and the District of Columbia — have passed some type of pot-friendly legalization, selling weed is big business.

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Around the Nation
3:50 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Messy Legal Road That Led To Oklahoma's Botched Execution

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, here with Michael C. Thompson, state secretary of safety and security, charged that the state Supreme Court had exceeded its jurisdiction when it called for a stay of execution in the Clayton Lockett case in March.
Alonzo Adams AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 9:08 pm

Although most of the country just became aware of issues with Oklahoma's capital punishment protocols last week after Clayton Lockett's bungled execution, his lawyers had been worried for months. That's because in January, two condemned men in different states but injected with the same new drug cocktail endured executions that went badly. Lockett's lawyer, Susanna Gattoni, was unable to keep him from suffering a similar fate last week.

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Education
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Lately, Title IX Has Made Its Presence Felt Beyond The Playing Field

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In college sports, Title IX is known mostly as a way to ensure women are given the same opportunity as men to participate in sports. What is less known is that the act also requires colleges to prevent sexual assault and violence at their institutions.

NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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Education
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

After Stanford Divests From Coal, Activists' Hopes Turn To Harvard

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

Stanford University's decision to stop direct investments in coal mining companies is encouraging student-led divestment movements at other universities. Chloe Maxmin of Divest Harvard discusses her hopes following Stanford's announcement. Harvard University has the largest university endowment in the U.S.

Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Auction Marks An End To A History Of Scandal At Tea Pot Dome

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Here's an exchange from the latest season of "Downton Abbey" that referenced a scandal in U.S. history.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, "DOWNTON ABBEY")

PENELOPE WILTON: (as Isobel Crawley) Is it really called the Teapot Dome Scandal? Seems so unlikely. What's it about?

MAGGIE SMITH: (as Lady Violet Crawley) What is it always about? Bribery and corruption. Taking money to allow private companies to drill for oil on government land.

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Education
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

New Rules Aim To Keep School Doors Open For Undocumented Students

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Obama administration today reissued guidelines for America's schools. The goal is to keep states from turning away children who cannot prove that they are in the U.S. legally. A 1982 Supreme Court ruling allowed undocumented students free access to a public education. But even today, some school districts haven't gotten the message.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.

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Politics
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Keystone Pipeline Dispute Muddles The Path Forward On Energy Bill

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:29 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline has stalled progress on an unrelated bill in the U.S. Senate. Republicans want to attach a series of amendments, including approval for the pipeline to a bill about energy efficiency. But Democratic leader Harry Reid says the Keystone vote ought to be separate. And as NPR's Jeff Brady reports, the disagreement leaves the energy efficiency bill in limbo.

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Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Baffling, Boy-Swallowing Holes Close An Indiana Dune

Rescue gear sits on the sand on Mount Baldy in the Indiana Dunes in July 2013 after a 6-year-old boy was rescued from a mysterious hole that buried him for three hours. Lake Michigan is in the background.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:59 pm

Drive on I-94 just outside Chicago between Gary and Michigan City, Ind., and you catch a glimpse of the massive sand dunes that make up the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Tucked between coal plants and steel mills, the dunes are as high as 200 feet, stretching along the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan.

These dunes were formed some 14,000 years ago, and most are now covered in forest, says park ranger Bruce Rowe, who has worked at the lake shore for 30 years.

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Shots - Health News
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Mental Health 101: Program Helps Police Intervene In Crises

A police officer stands outside the entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 15, 2012.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:24 pm

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? It can be a delicate situation to decipher, and it's been a big concern in Connecticut since the Newtown shootings of 2012.

Lance Newkirchen, a regular patrol officer in the town of Fairfield, is also specifically trained to respond to mental health calls. On a recent weekday, he headed out in his patrol car for a follow-up call.

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Politics
1:22 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Executioner's Lament

Dr. Jay Chapman, pictured here in 2007, developed the original formula for lethal injections with the intention of making executions in the U.S. more humane.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 12:47 pm

In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison, and five officers shot him.

The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs, based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock out the inmates, one to relax or paralyze them, and a final drug that would stop their hearts.

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War On Poverty, 50 Years Later
3:06 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break

Desiree Metcalf, here with one of her three daughters, is one of many poor Americans who find themselves trapped in a system meant to help.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Desiree Metcalf's story is heartbreaking, but among the 46 million Americans who are poor today, her story is not unique.

Metcalf is 24 years old.

She's the mother of three little girls — ages 6, 4 and 2. They all have different fathers.

"That about sums me up, I think," she says.

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Shots - Health News
3:06 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Telepsychiatry Brings Emergency Mental Health Care To Rural Areas

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

North Carolina is facing a very big mental health care challenge — 28 counties across the state do not have a single psychiatrist. That's despite the fact that in recent years, emergency rooms in the state have seen more patients with mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse problems.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living

Miller with one of his cows.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture carries out a census of farmers: who they are, and what they are doing on their farms.

The agency just released the latest one, and it's a feast for all ag geeks. And here's the very first, most basic piece of new information: There are 2,109,303 farmers in this country.

But look a little closer at that number, and you can see that it's not quite what it seems. Most of those farmers are not actually making a living by farming.

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Education
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Department Of Education Brings Home A Disappointing Report Card

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Flat, stagnant, static, those are words that the U.S. Department of Education has used to describe the latest reading and math scores for the nation's 12th graders.

As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, most high school seniors appear to be graduating without the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

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U.S.
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

VA Secretary Responds To Call For His Resignation

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with the head of the department of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki. I sat down with him at his office today. The secretary is at the center of a roiling controversy over medical care for former service men and women and he's facing calls for his resignation.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Seeking Better Ways To Tell If Surgery Is Too Risky

Just because surgery is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea, especially for frail older people.
Sam Edwards Getty Images/OJO Images RF

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:02 am

Older people face higher risks in surgery, but not all 85-year-olds are alike. One may celebrate his birthday skydiving, like former president George H.W. Bush, while another may be unable to stand without help.

Since half of all surgery in the United States is performed on people 65 and older, figuring out an individual's risk is key. Measuring frailty beforehand more accurately predicts who will do well after surgery, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

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Education
10:40 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Sexual Assault On Campus Challenges Students

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR news. We'd like to turn now to something you or a student or a family you know might have been talking about lately - a lot of educators and officials seem to be talking a lot more about the subject lately. It's the issue of sexual violence on college campuses or involving college students.

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