U.S. News

Education
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

UNC May Have Passed Football Players With 'Phantom' Classes

The University of North Carolina is embroiled in an academic fraud case involving students who received high grades for classes that were never held. Many of those students happen to be football players. The case has resulted in the indictment of a professor, who was a department chair. Audie Cornish talks to Dan Kane, an investigative journalist at The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh.

Law
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Halts Gay Marriages In Utah

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously granted a stay in the Utah gay marriage case, putting a stop to the weddings until an intermediate appeals court has heard and ruled on the matter. It could be a potentially precedent-setting case.

Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Forest Service May Try To Recoup Rim Fire Costs With Logging

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a large salvage logging operation in the area affected by last year's historic Rim Fire, which burned 410-square miles of California's Sierra Nevada. The proposal is meeting stiff opposition from environmental groups who say the land is better left untouched.

Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Giving Up Info To Drive A Worthy Risk For Maryland's Undocumented

Maryland has just become one of several states that allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. Such licenses are issued as long as the immigrants show some form of legal ID — such as a passport — and they will have to take road exams. But critics worry about security risks, and costs to the state.

Shots - Health News
1:08 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Frostbite Tips For Novices: Skip Whiskey And Shed Your Rings

Jenny Hackett walks across a street in St. Louis, Mo., on Sunday. Subzero temperatures are predicted there Monday, with bitter cold sweeping east.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:38 am

Frostbite isn't usually a major worry here in Washington, D.C., but with wind chills below zero forecast for half of the Lower 48 by Tuesday morning, millions of people from the Plains to the East Coast will have to start thinking like Arctic explorers while waiting for a school bus or heading to work.

Noses, fingers, toes and ears face the biggest risk. Those body parts have less blood flowing through them and a lot less mass than the body's core. They're also more likely to be exposed to the elements. Obviously, bundling up those tender parts is key.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Nation Turns Blue As Temperatures Continue To Plunge

Alison Mueller skies to work through several inches of snow in Detroit as the area deals Monday with record-breaking freezing weather. Wind chill has driven temperatures in Michigan and much of the Midwest down to 50-70 degrees below zero.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 3:55 pm

One weather map tells the story.

Check out the National Weather Service's map of the Lower 48 for Monday night. If you need to know just how much of the nation's going to be freezing (or well below!), it offers a bone-chilling picture. Anywhere in the blue-to-purple shades is going to be cold — and that's before accounting for wind chills.

What is the Weather Service forecasting?

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NPR Story
3:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Dangerously Cold Weather Felt Across Much Of U.S.

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's news many of you know already: It's cold, really cold, even dangerously so in much of the United States, and another Arctic blast is expected. We are talking about temperatures 25-below zero in North Dakota. And the South isn't being spared, its single digits in some spots in Georgia and Alabama.

Chuck Quirmbach from Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

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Sports
1:03 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Figure Skater With 'Happy Feet' Hopes To Clinch Spot In Sochi

Jeremy Abbott performs during a figure skating competition in Paris in 2012.
Gonzalo Fuentes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

As the Olympic Games get closer, athletes like figure skater Jeremy Abbott are focusing on making Team USA. With only two slots on the U.S. men's figure skating team, the competition is tough. But the three-time U.S. champion — who has yet to deliver on the world stage — wants 2014 to be the year he takes a medal in Sochi, Russia.

Abbott, 28, has been in ice skates since he was 2 years old. He's already been to one Olympics, placing ninth at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

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Shots - Health News
1:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Dental Coverage Deciphered, And The Latest On Sign-Up Deadlines

Laura Breland gets her teeth cleaned by Denise Lopez-Rodriguez at a community health center in Aurora, Colo., in 2012. Dental coverage is available through the Affordable Care Act.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:01 pm

New Year's Day marked the halfway point to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for coverage this year.

And after a dismal start, things seem to be going a lot better on the HealthCare.gov website. Federal officials say more than 1 million people enrolled in coverage by the Christmas Eve deadline for coverage that began January 1.

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Around the Nation
1:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine

Hal Faulkner (left), 79, receives his new papers from two Marines after having his military status changed to "honorable discharge" at a recent ceremony. Faulkner was kicked out of the Marine Corps in 1956 for being gay.
Courtesy of Phil Latzman

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

Hal Faulkner is 79 years old and he's already lived months longer than his doctors predicted.

"I don't know what to say, it's just incredible that I'm still here," Faulkner says in a halting voice made gruff by age and cancer.

Faulkner joined the Marines in 1953, and served in the Philippines. In 1956, he got kicked out with an "undesirable discharge" for being gay. His military papers said "homosexual" on them, quite an obstacle in the 1950s.

Still, Faulkner moved on, and had a successful career in sales.

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Around the Nation
3:53 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Calif. Toxin Law Warns Consumers, But Can Burden Businesses

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 4:55 pm

All over California, signs in restaurants, parking garages and other businesses warn that you could be exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer.

The disclosure is mandated by 1986 state law. If a company fails to warn consumers, it can be sued.

But a lot has changed since the law was passed: The list of toxic chemicals is longer and the lawsuits are more prolific. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed an amendment to ease the burden on businesses.

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Law
3:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Electronic Rights At The U.S. Border: What They Can Search

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 4:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

About a million travelers enter the United States every day. You might be familiar with the process. Regardless of citizenship, people who legally enter the U.S. face some sort of screening by Customs and Border Protection. But exactly what rights do people have at the borders? And when searching for drugs or contraband, is the government also allowed to look through the data on people's phones or laptops?

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Law
3:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Some Women Decide Their Place Isn't In The Illegal Gun Trade

Most gun crimes are committed by men, but women also help buy, hide and sell guns for others.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:28 am

Most firearms in the U.S. start out in a state of perfect legality, sold by a manufacturer to a federally licensed dealer. But somewhere along the way, some of them cross the line and become what are called "crime guns."

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Around the Nation
8:12 am
Sun January 5, 2014

No Relief Forecast After One Of California's Driest Years Ever

Downtown Los Angeles peeps through the distance and dry brush. Many cities in California closed out 2013 as the driest year since record-keeping began more than a century ago.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 9:13 am

It's a near-perfect morning on Venice Beach in Southern California, temperatures in the 60s, with a breeze. You can hear the waves of the Pacific crash against the sand. Only a layer of clouds mars the scene.

Scott and Sue Nolan, visiting from Houston, play kickball in the sand with their son. They are grateful to be in this mild, if not perfectly sunny weather, but Sue Nolan has noticed something's not right.

"One of the thoughts, when we were driving through town was, how are they sustaining all this with what you see so dry everywhere?" she says.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Sun January 5, 2014

New York Weighs Easing Limits On Marijuana Use

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly considering allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Tim Roske AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 2:03 pm

New York may join a group of states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly considering allowing the use of the drug for medicinal purposes.

The New York Times first reported the story. Here's more from the paper:

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Sun January 5, 2014

'Polar Vortex' Brings Bitter Cold, Heavy Snow To U.S.

A woman cross-country skis in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday. The National Weather Service is warning of "life-threatening wind chill" amid a record-breaking cold spell that has enveloped much of the nation.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 10:08 am

When the National Weather Service warns of "life-threatening wind chill" affecting the Northern and Central parts of the country, you'd better pay attention.

Here's what it says:

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It's All Politics
6:10 am
Sun January 5, 2014

How Media Outlets Sometimes Agree To Agree

Nelson Mandela was not always the universally revered figure he's become.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 7:42 am

When former South African President Nelson Mandela died last month, he was celebrated around the world, lauded in this country by politicians who range as far apart on the ideological spectrum as President Obama and Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.

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Around the Nation
6:01 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Despite Scandals, Nation's Crime Labs Have Seen Little Change

Annie Dookhan, a former chemist, during her arraignment in Brockton, Mass., in January 2013.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 10:33 am

The nation's crime labs are no strangers to scandal. Last year in Massachusetts, bogus testing by former chemist Annie Dookhan called into question tens of thousands of cases and led to the release of more than 300 people from the state's prisons.

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The Record
3:24 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

Phil Everly: Harmony To His Brother's Melody

The Everly Brothers, Phil (left) and Don, perform in 2004 in London.
Jo Hale Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 5:59 pm

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Economy
3:16 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

With Benefits Cut, Unemployed Take Stock Of Dwindling Options

Visitors use the Unemployment Insurance Phone Bank in Sacramento, Calif., on Sept. 20. Tens of thousands in the state lost federal unemployment benefits in December.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 4:51 pm

In November, 222,000 Californians opened their mailboxes to find a warning: Unemployment benefits were scheduled to end in December.

While Congress was inching closer to passing a budget, Emergency Unemployment Compensation was not part of the deal. That's the long-term jobless benefits: extra federal money that allows unemployed workers to collect payments for months longer than they could in better economic times.

Sure enough, on Dec. 18, Congress passed that budget and packed up for Christmas recess, leaving those extended benefits to expire just 10 days later.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Former First Lady Barbara Bush Released From Hospital

Former first lady Barbara Bush in March 2012.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Former first lady Barbara Bush is home after more than five days of treatment at a Houston hospital. She had pneumonia.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath says the 88-year-old wife of one president and mother of another had a couple "truly great days" in which she responded well to treatment.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Sat January 4, 2014

How Cold Is It? It's So Cold That ...

Brrr. This woman was cold Friday in Washington, D.C. But even more frigid temperatures are descending on much of the nation.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 12:26 pm

... there's no hot air left in Washington.

We bet Two-Way readers can do much better than that. Feel free to answer our headline's question in the comments thread.

The news, of course, is that "record breaking cold" is expected through Monday "from the Northern Plains eastward into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley," according to the National Weather Service. It warns that:

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Sat January 4, 2014

How One Man Won $324M And Didn't Realize It For 2 Weeks

One of two winning tickets in last month's $648 million Mega Millions jackpot was sold here, at Jenny's Gift Shop in San Jose. The guy who bought it didn't realize what he had for nearly two weeks.
John G. Mabanglo EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 12:27 pm

The second very lucky winner of last month's massive Mega Millions jackpot is a California delivery driver who didn't get around to checking his lottery tickets for nearly two weeks.

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Shots - Health News
8:24 am
Sat January 4, 2014

22 States Curb Access To Abortion In 2013

Tamir Kalifa AP

The year 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

It also marked another year of success for those who would restrict or even outlaw the procedure.

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Shots - Health News
6:52 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity

Neonatal nurse Florence Mwenifumbo monitors a newborn receiving bubble CPAP treatment in Blantyre, Malawi. The device was developed by students at Rice University in Houston.
Rice 360/Rice University

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 4:15 pm

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Sat January 4, 2014

'Cheers And Jeers' As Boeing Machinists Narrowly OK Contract

Many of the machinists were not happy late Friday when it was announced that Seattle-area workers had approved a new contract with Boeing.
David Ryder Reuters/Landov

There were "cheers and jeers" from rank-and-file union members late Friday when it was announced that a key new contract with aircraft maker Boeing had been approved by a bare majority vote, our colleagues at Seattle's KPLU report.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Comic Artist Yumi Sakugawa On Friend-Love, Identity And Art

Yumi Sakugawa's book I Think I Am In Friend Love With You helps define the joys of modern friendships.
Yumi Sakugawa

About a month ago, I asked my followers on Twitter if they had any recommendations for a comic artist whose work I should check out. Person after person brought up Yumi Sakugawa, a California-based artist. And I was familiar with her work: she's the brains behind the ever-nostalgic strip, "Claudia Kishi: My Asian-American Female Role Model Of The 90s."

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Science
3:53 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Tree-Incarnation: Christmas Trees Return To Nature (A Poem)

Alexandra Jones-Twaddell and Malley Chertkov add a Christmas tree to the growing line in Island Beach State Park in February 2013. Similar dune restoration projects — using trees as a foundation to trap sand — will be carried out this year all along the Atlantic Coast.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 12:38 pm

There are lots of creative Christmas tree recycling programs around the country, and in keeping with the holiday spirit, here are a few of them — set to verse.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

This Week's Massive Winter Storm, Seen From Space

A composite image shows large portions of the United States covered by snow, as a winter storm moved eastward across the country Thursday.
NASA/GSFC/Aqua/MODIS

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 6:38 am

NASA caught our eye earlier today when the space agency tweeted a composite image of the huge winter storm that has covered parts of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. with a deep blanket of snow.

The photos that make up the image were taken Thursday, NASA says, during several passes of its Aqua satellite. The craft used its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer — MODIS — "to capture this true-color image of a massive winter storm moving up the eastern seaboard," the agency says.

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Around the Nation
3:13 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Big Cities See Violent Crime Rates Fall In 2013

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:43 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At the start of this new year, a number of cities in the United States, including its five largest, have a common story to tell about crime. In 2013, they all saw violent crime rates drop significantly. Some also saw murder rates drop to historic lows. From Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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