Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:35 pm
Since the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, there have been renewed calls for police departments to hire more minority officers, but it turns out it's not that simple.
Police in the U.S. are more diverse than they were a generation ago. In the 1980s, 1 in 6 officers belonged to an ethnic or racial minority. Now it's about 1 in 4. The challenge these days is finding enough recruits to keep that trend going.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:34 pm
Derek Lucas Reyes, 20, went from being undocumented in the U.S. to undocumented in his native Mexico.
He sits at a table after breakfast in a shelter filled with people recently deported from the U.S. to Nogales, Sonora. At his feet is a paper shopping bag the Department of Homeland Security gave him for his belongings. Inside the bag: his deportation paperwork, a toothbrush, toothpaste and some other necessities he got from Mexican aid workers.
Today was another big day for energy news: Oil prices fell to a new five-year-low, below $61 per barrel on world markets; the U.S. said its supplies of crude oil increased last week; and OPEC said it expected lower demand next year.
The news prompted a selloff on Wall Street. Jim Paulson, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, tells our NPR's Newscast unit investors fear global economic tumult.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:30 am
It's not Star Wars on the high seas — but the U.S. Navy says it has made a "historic leap" by deploying a laser weapon system for the first time. The Navy released a video showing a LaWS — shorthand for "laser weapon system" — being used by the USS Ponce during target practice in the Persian Gulf.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:00 am
The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.
It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.
For starters, the bill — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 3:03 pm
For centuries, the central challenge in health care was ignorance. There simply wasn't enough information to know what was making a person sick, or what to do to cure them.
Now, health care is being flooded with information. Advances in computing technology mean that gathering, storing and analyzing health information is relatively cheap, and it's getting cheaper by the day. As computers continue to fall in price, the cost of sequencing a single person's genome is tumbling, too.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:39 am
Uber, the ride-sharing service that is growing in value, is also watching its troubles mount.
It's latest woes are in California where, as NPR's Laura Sydell tells our Newscast unit, the attorneys general of San Francisco and Los Angeles counties are suing Uber. Here's more from Sydell's report:
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:54 pm
Radiation treatment for breast cancer could take less time and cost less for many women, but doctors aren't putting that knowledge into practice, a study finds.
And one reason is that the doctors in charge of radiation treatment will make less money, according to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a study author and chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 9:20 am
Negotiations over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill Congress will consider this week included how to handle Washington, D.C.'s bid to legalize marijuana. Some 65 percent of the federal district's voters approved the move via ballot initiative last month.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:58 pm
On this cold and rainy Tuesday, Bafana Khumalo stood in front of the White House with a controversial demand for President Obama: The U.S. should provide foreign aid to fund abortions for women who've been raped during conflicts and in other circumstances. Currently, the 1973 Helms Amendment prohibits the use of foreign aid money for abortions as "family planning." About 200 protesters joined Khumalo.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 3:34 pm
It's a sunny autumn afternoon and a good time to make apple crisp at Pathstone Living, a memory care facility and nursing home in Mankato, Minn. Activities staffer Jessica Abbott gathers half a dozen older women at a counter in the dining area, where the soundtrack is mostly music they could have fox-trotted to back in the day.
Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:47 pm
The World War II era is about to officially draw to a close in the United States Congress. This comes after seven full decades during which there was always a veteran of that war in the legislative body.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:50 am
The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Artist? Carpenter? Quidditch player? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.
Monica Shah opens her classroom door as first period social studies class is about to start. She's barely taller than the middle school students who shuffle down the hallway. "What up, DJ Shah?" a student calls out as he passes.
Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 8:05 pm
If you get health insurance at work, chances are you have some sort of wellness plan, too. But so far there's no real evidence as to whether these plans actually improve the health of employees.
One thing we do know is that wellness is particularly popular with employers right now, as they seek ways to slow the rise of health spending. These initiatives can range from urging workers to use the stairs to requiring comprehensive health screenings.