U.S. News

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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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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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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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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Education
10:22 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Professor Launches Academic Boot Camp

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:40 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's turn to another subject that interests us very much which is education. And we've talked on this program before about how more students are graduating from high school today without basic skills in subjects like reading and math. And some students have to take years of remedial courses so that they can catch up, and that's in college. And that can be discouraging and expensive.

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Law
10:16 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Justice Delayed Brings Freedom For Missouri Man

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 9:55 am

Mike Anderson has been reunited with his family after spending almost a year behind bars. A clerical error left him free after he'd been sentenced to 13 years in prison. Anderson shares his story.

Sweetness And Light
1:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Draft Season: All-American, Twisted And Downright Infectious

Fans outside Radio City Music Hall show support for their teams during the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft on April 25, 2013, in New York.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 12:08 pm

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, there is now a fifth season in major American team sports to go along with baseball, football, basketball and ice hockey. Well, it's sort of an adjunct season, but it's very real and is passionately followed by die-hard fans. It is the draft season, which begins tomorrow with the NFL and extends through late June, when the NHL holds its draft. The NBA and Major League Baseball hold theirs in between.

Fans love real draft days.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Faith Drives A Father To Create A Test For Childhood Cancer

Elizabeth, Samuel, Bryan and Noah Shaw amid Texas bluebonnets on Easter Sunday. Samuel was conceived with in vitro fertilization so he would not suffer from the hereditary cancer that afflicted Noah.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Shaw

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 11:32 am

When Bryan and Elizabeth Shaw learned that their son Noah had a potentially deadly eye cancer, like a lot of people, they turned to their religious faith to help sustain them. But faith is also impelling Bryan Shaw to create software to detect eye cancer in children as soon after birth as possible.

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It's All Politics
8:11 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Establishment Favorite Thom Tillis Wins Senate Nod In N.C.

Thom Tillis greets supporters at a election night rally in Charlotte, N.C., after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:23 pm

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, a victory for GOP establishment forces over the Tea Party in a battleground state that will feature one of the nation's most competitive Senate races this fall.

Tillis, who avoided a runoff by winning more than 40 percent of the vote, will face first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November. Hagan rates among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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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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