U.S. News

Economy
2:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Widening Wealth Gap: Bringing Income Inequality Into Focus

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:18 pm

The widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. has become a central touch point for economists, pundits and politicians across the U.S. New York City's newly sworn-in mayor, Bill deBlasio, was elected after campaigning against a city divided between the haves and have-nots. President Obama has called tackling inequality the defining challenge of our time, saying that growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility jeopardizes the American dream. But what, exactly, is income inequality?

Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Midwest, Northeast Brace For First Major Snow Storm In 2014

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:18 pm

The first major snow storm of the new year is expected to hit 22 states Thursday and Friday. About 100 million people are expected to be affected.

The Two-Way
5:45 am
Thu January 2, 2014

100 Million People In Path Of 2014's First Wintry Blast

Snow was falling fast Thursday morning in Albany, N.Y.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 9:29 pm

Updated 11:30 p.m. ET

The Associated Press reports: "The National Weather Service said 21 inches of snow had fallen in Boxford, just north of Boston, by Thursday night, while other parts of the state had 17 or 18 inches. It said parts of upstate New York had 18 inches."

The New York Times reports:

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National Security
4:04 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Is U.S. Ready Rethink Sept. 11 Security Policies?

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama says he will soon propose changes at the National Security Agency. Former contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of NSA surveillance programs widespread criticism and prompted a review of the agency's operations by Congress, the courts, and the White House. NPR's Tom Gjelten looks at whether the country is now at a turning point, ready to rethink the security policies in place since 9/11.

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Shots - Health News
2:24 am
Thu January 2, 2014

'Good Behavior' More Than A Game To Health Care Plan

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:03 am

Behaving well in elementary school could reduce smoking in later life. At least, that's what Trillium Community Health Plan hopes, and it's putting money behind the idea.

Danebo Elementary in Eugene, Ore., is one of 50 schools receiving money to teach classes while integrating something called the "Good Behavior Game." Teacher Cami Railey sits at a small table, surrounded by four kids. She's about to teach them the "s" sound and the "a" sound. But first, as she does every day, she goes over the rules.

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The Salt
1:53 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists

Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:49 pm

In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day after day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.

Tasteless food as punishment is nothing new: Back in the 19th century, prisoners were given bread and water until they'd earned with good behavior the right to eat meat and cheese.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

When Teen Drivers Multitask, They're Even Worse Than Adults

You can do it. But your 16-year-old can't. Teens were more likely to have accidents while eating or talking in the car.
iStockphoto

Everyone knows that the first rule of driving is never take your eyes off the road.

Teen drivers start off being careful, but they tend to start multitasking after just a few months behind the wheel, according to research published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

And while older drivers can handle eating or talking to passengers, which trip up the newbies, dialing a cell phone increased the risk of accidents among young and experienced drivers alike.

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Around the Nation
2:02 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Starting Today, You Can Legally Sell Marijuana In Colorado

Wednesday marks the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. Audie Cornish talks with Ryan Cook, general manager of the The Clinic Medical Marijuana Center. The company has three growing facilities and six stores, one of which now offers recreational pot sales to those over the age of 21.

Sports
2:02 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Tech-Savvy Brooklyn's Barclays Center? Yep, There's An App For That

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Nets. It's also home to some of the most advanced technology ever to come to a stadium or arena. Many older sports venues have struggled to keep pace with the latest developments in digital devices and social media. But that's hardly the case at Barclays. The venue even has its own app.

It's All Politics
11:50 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Bill De Blasio Sworn In As New York City Mayor

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (from left) arrives with his family Chiara de Blasio, Chirlane McCray and Dante de Blasio to take the oath of office on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:13 pm

Bill de Blasio was sworn in as the 109th mayor of New York City on Wednesday, marking the return of a Democrat to City Hall for the first time in two decades.

The public ceremony, which took place on the steps of City Hall, followed a formal swearing in at de Blasio's Brooklyn home at two minutes past midnight.

The new mayor took the oath of office from former President Bill Clinton with his hand on a bible once used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He rode the subway to the inauguration with his family.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Blast Rips Through Minneapolis Apartment Building

Crews battle a Minneapolis apartment fire on Wednesday. The billowing fire engulfed a three-story building, sending 14 people to hospitals with injuries ranging from burns to trauma associated with falls.
Jeff Baenen AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:03 am

Update at 6:34 p.m. ET: 14 Reported Injured

Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tim Nelson says 14 people are reported to have been injured, six in critical condition, in the blast and have been taken to area hospitals.

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Business
9:42 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Colorado's Turning Over A New Leaf: Recreational Pot

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in this new year, Colorado is turning over a new leaf. State license retailers spent their New Year's Eve putting plant buds on shelves, stuffing baggies and rolling joints in preparation for what's being called Green Wednesday. Colorado is the first in the nation to regulate and control a recreational marijuana industry.

Business
7:01 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 7:29 am

As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.

"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.

And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

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The Two-Way
2:33 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Dying Lawyer Convicted Of Aiding Terrorism Leaves Prison

Attorney Lynn Stewart smiles at her husband Ralph Poynter, as they leave Federal Court in Manhattan in 2005 after she was convicted on all five charges regarding aiding terrorism, assisting terrorism and making false statements.
David Karp AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 8:47 am

Former defense lawyer Lynne Stewart, 74, who's suffering from breast cancer, has been released from a Texas prison.

In 2005, Stewart was convicted of helping blind Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman communicate with followers while he was serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up landmarks in New York City.

Government attorneys requested the early release for Stewart because the cancer has metastasized to her lungs and bones.

Doctors say she has less than 18 months to live.

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Environment
1:03 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay?

Even when a flood obliterates homes, as Superstorm Sandy did in 2012 in the Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., the urge to rebuild can be strong.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Millions of American property owners get flood insurance from the federal government, and a lot of them get a hefty discount. But over the past decade, the government has paid out huge amounts of money after floods, and the flood insurance program is deeply in the red.

Congress tried to fix that in 2012 by passing a law to raise insurance premiums. Now that move has created such uproar among property owners that Congress is trying to make the law it passed disappear.

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Shots - Health News
3:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Vitamin E Might Help Slow Alzheimer's Early On

Vitamin E has been associated with increased risk of death in some studies, but it may also delay cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease.
iStockphoto

Alzheimer's is a disease without a cure, and the available treatments only slow its progression for a bit. Now there's evidence vitamin E may help hold it at bay, at least for people in the early stages of the disease.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Utah Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Stop Gay Marriages

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:07 pm

Utah's attorney general has filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay that would allow the state to enforce its limit of marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

Similar requests have already been rejected by district and circuit courts. Earlier this month, a federal district court invalidated Utah's ban on gay marriage that was endorsed by voters in 2004, saying it is not constitutional.

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The Salt
3:15 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:02 pm

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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Around the Nation
2:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course

Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
Laura A. Oda MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:23 pm

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

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Sports
2:28 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Icing On The Puck: Hockey Fans And The NHL Winter Classic

NHL Winter Classic hockey game seat pads are displayed at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor ahead of the New Year's Day outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

The Detroit Red Wings are kind of playing a home game on New Year's Day — even if it'll be played about 40 miles west of their home ice in downtown Detroit.

Mike Babcock, the Red Wings head coach, told the NHL Network that might not be such a good thing, because home teams haven't fared so well in prior Winter Classics.

"The reason the home team doesn't have much success is there's probably a New Year's Eve party going on in everybody's house," he said. "So you gotta decide whether that's more important, or the game's more important."

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Judge Upholds Key Provisions Of N.Y. Gun-Control Law

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg displays a confiscated AR-15 assault rifle in East Harlem as District Attorney Cy Vance (right) looks on during a news conference in October 2012 in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

A federal judge has largely upheld New York's tough gun control law passed in the weeks after the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Judge William Skretny in Buffalo rejected arguments from opponents that its ban on large-capacity magazines and the sale of semi-automatic rifles infringed on Second Amendment rights.

He ruled that the provisions were constitutional because the state has an "important governmental interest" in public safety in a suit brought by the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Investigation Begins Into Fiery North Dakota Oil Train Crash

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Residents of Casselton, North Dakota are starting to return to their homes. That's after yesterday's fiery crash of two freight trains, one carrying crude oil. From Fargo, Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports.

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The Salt
1:26 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

A Judge's Cookbook Reveals The Secrets Of Bialys And Bagels

Judge Michael Zusman's bialys are topped with roasted onions, poppy seeds and coarse salt.
Daniel Zwerdling NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:40 pm

There are two important things that you learn about Michael Zusman, baker and co-author of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home, when you bake with him.

First, his real job has nothing to do with bread or writing recipes: He's a trial judge. "Full time," Zusman says. "Wear a black robe every day."

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Code Switch
1:19 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

MSNBC Host Apologizes For Comments About Mitt Romney's Grandson

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry asked her guests to comment on this photo of Mitt Romney's family, which included Romney's adopted grandson.
MSNBC

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 2:44 pm

Melissa Harris-Perry, host of an MSNBC weekend show, apologized on Tuesday for comments she and her panelists recently made. On Sunday, Harris-Perry had her guests — a group of comedians — caption a photo of Mitt Romney's family, which included Romney's adopted grandchild.

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Faith Matters
12:48 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Elizabeth Smart Shares About Her Faith And Kidnapping

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Books
12:48 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Nikki Giovanni Chases Beer And Family

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parenting
10:32 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Parent Resolutions For 2014: Less Telling, More Listening

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. Today, for our last parenting roundtable of the year, we decided to look back at 2013 in parenting, and we ask some of our regular contributors and you to share some of your best and worst parenting moments of the year.

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Code Switch
9:45 am
Tue December 31, 2013

As 2013 Winds To An End, So Do The Tweets Of 1963

The limousine carrying mortally-wounded President John F. Kennedy races toward Parkland Hospital in Dallas just seconds after he was shot.
Justin Newman AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:30 am

As 2013 winds down, so does @Todayin1963, Code Switch's historical Twitter account. Since June, I've been "live-tweeting" moments from 50 years ago as if they were happening today, picking slices of that year that might have made their ways into people's Twitter timelines had tweeting been a thing back then.

It's been an obsessive project, to say the least.

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Around the Nation
1:30 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Despite The Headlines, Chicago's Crime Rate Fell In 2013

Pictures of Chicago residents who have died by gunfire are posted on the city's South Side.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:01 am

In 2013, Chicago newspapers and television stations kept a daily deadly count, listing those slain each day, most by gun violence. One of the most noted occurred early in the year when Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot and killed about a week after performing at inauguration events in Washington, D.C., with her high school band.

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Brain-Dead Girl Can Stay On Life Support, Judge Orders

Family spokesman Omari Sealey makes a statement to the media regarding the condition of his niece Jahi McMath on Monday, in Oakland, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

A judge has extended life support for a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy operation earlier this month.

The order, issued by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo, grants the family's eleventh-hour appeal to keep Jahi McMath on a ventilator at least until Jan. 7. Another judge had ruled that Children's Hospital of Oakland, where McMath has been a patient since the Dec. 9 surgery, could shut off the breathing machine after 5 p.m. ET on Monday.

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