U.S. News

Code Switch
7:52 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Critics Find Little Humor In 'SNL' Writer's Jokes About Slavery

Leslie Jones played an "image expert" on last weekend's SNL.
NBC

Almost 21 years ago, Whoopi Goldberg was honored at the New York Friars' Club. More than 3,000 people crowded into the New York Hilton to hear Goldberg roasted by her celebrity friends.

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Sports
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Veteran Horse Trainer Sets Sights On Triple Crown

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And Melissa Block. It was a chestnut colt with four white stockings and a white blaze down his face who surged in the final stretch to triumph in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

LARRY COLLMUS: It is California Chrome in front and from the back of the pack on the outside Commanding Curve has taken second, but California Chrome shines bright in the Kentucky Derby.

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Business
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Alibaba IPO Could Be The Biggest Ever

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce player in China. The Internet conglomerate is filing papers in the U.S. for what could be the biggest IPO ever.

Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'The Heart Of Man Is Like A Mine': A Mendelssohn Mystery

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Twenty-nine bars of music are making classical fans giddy today. Those bars make up a song called "The Heart of Man is Like a Mine."

AMY WILLIAMSON: (Singing in foreign language)

SIEGEL: It was written by composer Felix Mendelssohn.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Mendelssohn wrote the song in 1842, when he was 33 years old. It was a commission for an acquaintance.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: He'd had no intention of publishing this or making it go public in any way.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Report: Climate Change Creates Public Health Costs

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:01 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Brian Stone, director of the Urban Climate Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology, about the public health effects of climate change.

News
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

American Legion Calls For VA Secretary's Resignation

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:34 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The country's largest veteran's organization wants the secretary of Veterans Affairs to resign. The American Legion hasn't targeted a public official this way since 1941. And in the past, they've supported VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. But now, there are allegations that dozens of veterans died waiting for health care. And VA hospitals are accused of fixing the stats. The VA is investigating.

As NPR's Quil Lawrence reports, even its defenders say the department had better have some answers soon.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Despite Warnings On Warming, Public Response Remains Lukewarm

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Here's a warning about global climate change: Humanity's influence on the global climate will grow in the coming century. Increasingly, there will be significant climate-related changes that will affect each one of us. We must begin now to consider our responses, as the actions taken today will affect the quality of life for us and future generations.

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She Votes
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

From Humble Beginnings, A Powerhouse Fundraising Class Emerges

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., asks a question of a witness on Capitol Hill during a June 2013 committee hearing. Since her appointment in 2009, Gillibrand has become one of the Senate's top fundraisers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:54 am

Women are far less likely than men to run for Congress. But here's the curious thing: When it comes to the hardest, most miserable part of campaigning — fundraising — women do just as well as men.

Study after study shows this, but it wasn't always that way. Efforts over the past 30 years to teach women how to raise money and give money have helped them catch up to men as powerhouse fundraisers.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

White House Report Says Climate Change Is Here And Now

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Climate change is not a future problem for faraway places; it's affecting Americans now. This comes from a U.S. government report out today. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren says it also shows that choices people make now will have big ramifications for future generations.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: The National Climate Assessment is the government's take on the latest science about climate change. This is the third one and its message is clear.

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Shots - Health News
1:35 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Most Fitness Apps Don't Use Proven Motivational Techniques

That lovely weather may be more motivating than the smartphone app.
Ferran Traité Soler iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:30 am

If you downloaded a fitness app and didn't become a workout ninja, it may be that the app lacked the scientifically tested motivational techniques that would help get you off the couch.

Instead, most popular fitness apps focus more on teaching you how to do the exercise, according to researchers at Penn State University who analyzed the 200 top apps.

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The Salt
12:43 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

No More Bromine: Coke, Pepsi Drop Controversial Ingredient

A Change.org petition labeled brominated vegetable oil, used in sports drinks like Gatorade, a "fire retardant chemical."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:54 am

Chalk up another win for citizen activists. Coke and Pepsi announced this week that they will no longer use brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, in their soft drinks.

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Shots - Health News
12:25 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Big Ambitions And Flawed Technology Tripped Up State Exchanges

President Obama made the case for health coverage at Faneuil Hall in Boston in late October, a few weeks after enrollment opened for health insurance sold on exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Among the states that looked to expand health coverage to nearly all their citizens, Massachusetts was an early front-runner.

The state passed its own health care law back in 2006 mandating near-universal insurance coverage. That law became a model for federal action. And after the Affordable Care Act went through in 2010, Massachusetts had a head start in bringing health coverage to the uninsured.

Yet Massachusetts threw in the towel Tuesday on the problem-plagued online marketplace that was supposed to make health insurance shopping a snap.

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The Protojournalist
9:54 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The Lost Village In New York City

Central Park swept over Seneca Village.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:49 am

Smack in the center of New York City — in the confines of Central Park — there are ghostly vestiges of a 19th century neighborhood that once was vibrant and thriving but now is largely forgotten: Seneca Village.

It is considered by historians to be one of Manhattan's earliest communities of African-American property owners.

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Shots - Health News
8:24 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Medicare Pays For Alzheimer's Screening, But Do You Want To Know?

The screening tests for dementia are simple, but the questions surrounding them are complex.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:37 am

Medicare will pay for screening for cognitive impairment, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in March that there isn't enough scientific evidence to make the call.

That's the same conclusion that the task force, an independent panel of medical experts, came to more than a decade ago, when it last evaluated dementia screening. Patient advocates say the evidence is crystal clear in one respect: More research needs to be done.

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Code Switch
1:45 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Can Student Journalists Ban 'Redskins' From Their School Paper?

This mural by the football field features Neshaminy's mascot.
Aaron Moselle NPR

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

"Redskins."

That word sits at the center of a controversy in suburban Philadelphia. It's pitted student journalists against school board members, but has left the school community largely shrugging its shoulders.

Student editors at Neshaminy High School in Bucks County have vowed not to print the word, which is the school's Native American mascot.

The Neshaminy School Board, however, is expected to vote later this month on a policy that would reverse the ban.

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History
1:40 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Richmond, Va., Wrangling Over Future Of Historic Slave Trade Site

Ana Edwards, the chief opponent of the Shockoe Bottom stadium proposal, talks about historical markers at the Lumkin Jail historical site in Richmond, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

On a warm spring night, more than 150 people gathered in Shockoe Bottom, a name taken from the Native American word for a site in Richmond, Va. This part of town, bounded by I-95 and bisected by railroad lines, was central to a city that prospered from the slave trade.

"The best guesstimate is several hundred thousand people were sold out of Shockoe Bottom," says Phil Wilayto, a leader of the grassroots movement to establish a memorial park here. "Probably the majority of African-Americans today could trace some ancestry to this small piece of land."

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Environment
1:35 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Drought-Stricken Texas Town Turns To Toilets For Water

After three years of drought, the water has receded from a dock at Lake Arrowhead State Park near Wichita Falls, Texas.
Larry W. Smith EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:07 am

The city of Wichita Falls, Texas, may soon become the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater.

Yes, that includes water from toilets.

The plan to recycle the water became necessary after three years of extreme drought, which has also imposed some harsh restrictions on Wichita Falls residents, says Mayor Glenn Barham.

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Environment
1:31 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Monterey Bay An 'Ocean Buffet Open For Business' This Spring

Three humpback whales surge upward, gulping the silvery anchovies that have been in abundance in Monterey Bay this spring.
Kate Spencer Fast Raft Nature Tours

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

Monterey Bay on California's central coast rests atop one of the largest underwater canyons in the world. It's deeper than the Grand Canyon, making it possible for lots of ocean life — including humpback whales, orcas, dolphins and sea lions — to be seen extremely close to shore. That is, given the right circumstances. Lately, the right circumstances have converged, and there's more marine and wildlife in the bay than anyone's seen in recent memory.

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The Two-Way
6:42 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

USGS: Okla. At Increased Risk Of 'Damaging Quake'

A map showing seismic activity in Oklahoma since 1970.
United States Geological Survey

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 2:55 pm

The U.S. Geological Survey says the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has gone up dramatically in recent months and that the surge in seismic activity has increased the danger of a damaging quake in the central part of the state.

The USGS and Oklahoma Geological Survey issued a joint statement on Friday, citing a dramatic spike in magnitude-3.0 temblors, especially since October 2013.

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Music
3:14 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Yeezy Or The Bard: Who's The Best Wordsmith In Hip-Hop?

Data scientist Matt Daniels charted the vocabularies of hip-hop artists against Shakespeare and Herman Melville.
Matt Daniels

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 10:16 am

William Shakespeare had a wildly extensive vocabulary. Of more than 800,000 total words in all of his works, almost 29,000 of them are unique.

Although impressive, there are a few rappers who give the Bard a run for his money. Data scientist Matt Daniels charted the vocabularies of hip-hop artists against Shakespeare and Herman Melville.

"This is not a serious academic study. This is an, like, 'I thought it'd be cool on the Internet [project],' " he says.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

More Health Insurance Equals Fewer Deaths In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed a health care reform bill during an April 12, 2006, ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston. The bill made Massachusetts the first state in the country to require that all residents have health insurance.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Fewer people died in Massachusetts after the state required people to have health insurance, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

In each of the first four years of the state law, 320 fewer Massachusetts men and women died than would have been expected. That's one life extended for every 830 newly insured residents.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Failure Of Steel D-Ring May Have Caused Circus Accident

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:04 pm

The failure of a 5-inch steel D-ring known as a carabiner may have been the cause of an accident over the weekend that injured nine members of a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey acrobatic troop.

"It was a single piece of equipment that failed," Providence, R.I., fire investigator Paul Doughty told reporters.

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Remembrances
3:01 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Remembering Economist Gary Becker, Who Described 'Marriage Market'

Gary Becker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in 2007.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:59 pm

University of Chicago economist Gary Becker died Saturday at the age of 83. He won the Nobel Prize in 1992 for broadening the horizons of economics, using economic analysis to explore social issues like crime, racial discrimination and drug addiction.

Becker was a giant in the field of economics, and his pioneering application of economic theory to social questions extended to the marriage market. In an NPR interview on the day he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, Becker explained:

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All Tech Considered
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Drone Journalism Can't Fully Take Flight Until Regulators Act

Drone Journalism Lab researcher Ben Kreimer is limited to testing drones indoors.
Courtesy of Drone Journalism Lab

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:12 am

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Education
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Bereft Of Legal Shield, Scholars' Work Is Open To Federal Eyes

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the case of the 1972 murder and the oral history interviews that are said to shed light on it, did Boston College have a right to resist disclosure of the interviews in its archive? Well, Harvard law professor Noah Feldman addressed that question in a column for Bloomberg View, and he joins us now. Welcome to the program.

NOAH FELDMAN: Thank you for having me.

SIEGEL: And, first is there any federal law defending an academic researcher's right to keep the confidence of an interviewee?

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Law
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

States Swap One Drug For Another, And Botched Executions Follow

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett is prompting other states to question their use of the drug midazolam in lethal injections. The Lockett execution is fueling new calls to re-examine how states put inmates to death.

Law
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

A Narrow High Court Win For Prayer Before Government Meetings

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:52 pm

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the government can use Christian prayers to start town meetings, so long as legislators don't discriminate against non-Christians. It's a new chapter in the long-running fight over prayer in public places and on public occasions. NPR's Carrie Johnson explains what happened in the town of Greece, New York.

Politics
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Intra-Party Landscape, Seen From The Edge Of Primary Season

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Voters in three states go to the polls tomorrow in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio. It's the beginning of an eight-week stretch of primaries that should give us a good idea of how the political landscape is shaping up for this November.

NPR's political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that. Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE MAHTESIAN, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

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Shots - Health News
1:47 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Colorado Redraws Insurance Map To Cut Sky-High Ski-Town Rates

Telluride, Colo., where the mountains, powder and insurance rates are all high.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 6:08 am

Relief is in sight – and it won't involve a lawsuit – for the four counties in Colorado that have the the highest Obamacare health insurance premiums in the country.

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Media
10:08 am
Mon May 5, 2014

How A Disgraced Reporter Tested The Public's Trust In Journalism

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 10:35 am

New York Times rising star Jayson Blair was busted in spring 2003 for plagiarizing and making up stories. Filmmaker Samantha Grant's new documentary, A Fragile Trust, sheds light on the scandal.

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