U.S. News

Barbershop
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Should College Dropouts Be Honored By Their Alma Maters?

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:35 am

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Faith Matters
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Gefilte Fish Shortage: Best Thing Since The Parting Of The Red Sea?

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:35 am

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CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Speaking of religion still, if there's one thing that goes hand-in-hand with faith, it is generally food. There have been a number of different food shortages in this country you may have heard about lately. We reported on this program about the shortage of limes. We've seen reports of rising beef prices as well. But right now, during Passover, gefilte fish is in short supply. Matt Chaban joins us now from member station WESA in Pittsburgh. He wrote about this for the New York Times. Matt, welcome.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
1:31 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Six Words: 'Segregation Should Not Determine Our Future'

The student population at D'Leisha Dent's high school, Central High in Tuscaloosa, Ala., is almost entirely African-American. Dent says she and her peers wish they had more opportunities to interact with white students.
Maisie Crow

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:10 am

The investigative journalism group ProPublica, with reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, has just completed a yearlong project, Segregation Now, exploring the re-segregation of schools in the U.S., with a particular look at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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The Two-Way
6:42 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

'Completely Unique': Cave-Dwelling Female Insects Have Penises

Made for a tight grip: The female penis of an insect species newly discovered in Brazil has spines on it.
Courtesy of Current Biology, Yoshizawa et al.

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:51 pm

Four new insect species found in Brazil have rather strange sex lives — to say the least. Their sex organs are reversed: Females have penises and males have vaginas, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

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Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

The Ohio Snake Art That's Been Mid-Slither For A Millennium

The Serpent Mound in southern Ohio is 3 feet high and more than 1,300 feet long.
Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:06 pm

In new installment of the Spring Break series, Noah Adams visits the Serpent Mound in southern Ohio. It's not a burial site; it's a massive, grass-covered effigy of a snake, created a thousand years ago.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Law
3:28 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

When Being Pregnant Also Means Being Out Of A Job

While many women continue to work with little change in their duties while pregnant, others find that pregnancy can be a career liability.
Yuri Arcurs iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:06 pm

The workplace has become a more understanding place for pregnant women or new moms these days. Many companies now have lactation rooms and offer more liberal maternity and paternity leave policies than in years past.

But for some women, pregnancy can still be a career liability.

Heather Myers was fresh out of high school and working at a Wal-Mart in Salina, Kan., in 2006 when she found out she was pregnant. She kept a water bottle with her on the sales floor, as her doctor recommended. Then, her supervisor intervened.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Chelsea Clinton Says She's Pregnant

Chelsea Clinton co-hosts "Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation," in New York on Thursday. Clinton chose the venue to announce that she and her husband are expecting their first child.
Ted Shaffrey AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:54 pm

Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child, also a first grandchild for former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Mark and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year," Chelsea Clinton, who is 34, said at a New York event while sitting on a stage with her mother, according to The Associated Press.

Hillary Clinton said she's "really excited" about becoming a grandmother.

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News
2:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Out Of A Tough Day Of Diplomacy, A Surprising Deal On Ukraine

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:06 pm

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

A deal now that could possibly ease the tensions in eastern Ukraine. The U.S., Europe, Russia and Ukraine came to an agreement that calls on multinational monitors to oversee steps to restore order. The deal would likely delay any new sanctions against Russia. President Obama has already cast doubt on whether the Russian's will cooperate. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has more.

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Law
2:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

States Are Spotty In Following High Court Lead On Juvenile Sentencing

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:06 pm

The Supreme Court has recently ruled that mandatory life sentences, without parole, for juveniles are unconstitutional, but states have varied in how they've complied with these decisions. Cara Drinan, an associate professor of law at the Catholic University of America, explains more.

Health Care
2:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Following Enrollment Deadline, Health Care Focus Turns To States

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:06 pm

President Obama met Thursday with insurance company executives and a separate group of insurance regulators from the states, discussing their mutual interest in administering the new health care law.

Environment
2:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Unlikely Partnerships Spring From California Water Crisis

As California farms struggle amid intense drought, farmers are pressing the federal government to help solve a water crisis.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

At a recent rally in Fresno County, Calif., farmers in plaid shirts stood side by side with migrant farmworkers in ball caps, holding signs that read "sin agua, no futuro" and "no water, no food." Fresno is the top agriculture-producing county in the U.S., with more than $6 billion in annual sales.

Protesters argued that farms could go out of business without more water, and there would be mass layoffs. That rhetoric may be familiar, but the two groups' alliance is decidedly unusual.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million

President Obama speaks about health care on Thursday. ACA enrollment has reached 8 million, he said, and it's "well past time" for Republicans to stop trying to repeal it.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama says that enrollment under the Affordable Care Act has reached 8 million after the March 31 sign-up deadline was extended by two weeks.

"This thing is working," he told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.

The president said that 35 percent of those signing up through the federal government's website were under the age of 35. The need for younger, healthier individuals to enroll in the program is considered vital to the success of Obamacare.

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It's All Politics
1:50 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Hillary Clinton's Presidential Chess Board

Hillary Clinton's decision on whether to run for president in 2016 will ripple across the presidential candidate fields in both parties.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:32 pm

If the jockeying before the 2016 presidential race is a game of political chess, the most powerful queen on the board would obviously be Hillary Clinton.

So much of what will happen in 2016 hinges on Clinton's decision on whether to run, which she has said she'll announce by the end of this year.

If the former secretary of state and New York senator enters the race, she reduces the space on the board for any competitors within her own party. That would be particularly true for the Democratic women mentioned as possibilities for national office.

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Health Care
9:49 am
Thu April 17, 2014

'Miserable' Doctors Prescribe A Different Career

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:38 am

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CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. It used to be that doctor was a profession many people aspired to - it brought prestige, money of course, a sense of purpose, bragging rights for your parents. But now a growing number of physicians say it's not really all it's cracked up to be.

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Race
3:31 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Probe: Gains Of Integration Eroded, Especially In The South

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:41 am

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Kelly McEvers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

This spring will mark 60 years since Brown versus Board of Education. That's the Supreme Court ruling that was intended to end segregation in America's public schools. But a year-long study by the investigative journalism group ProPublica finds that we've never gotten to that goal. In fact, America in recent decades has been moving backward.

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Business
1:27 am
Thu April 17, 2014

When Divorce Leads To A Happily Ever After For A Small Business

Rhonda Sanderson and her ex-husband, John Amato III, shown here in 2010, helped make a business thrive after they divorced.
Courtesy of Rhonda Sanderson

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:03 am

Married couples in America co-own 3.7 million small businesses, according to the Census Bureau, and the arrangement can be fruitful when both marriage and business are going well. But what happens when it doesn't? Most of the time, when the love dies, the business relationship ends, too.

But that's not always the case.

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It's All Politics
3:49 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Bloomberg Seeks To Alter Gun Debate With $50 Million, And Moms

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he plans to spend $50 million this year on field operations to support candidates in favor of gun safety laws.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's plan to invest $50 million in what he describes as a mom-driven grass-roots effort to support pro-gun-safety candidates grabbed headlines Wednesday, and energized gun control activists.

The commitment, the former New York City mayor says, aims to beat back the profound political influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states — to "make them afraid of us," he told NBC's Today show.

"This is what the American public wants," Bloomberg said, referring to his group's intended focus on gun-purchase background checks.

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Law
3:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights

Diego Sanchez, the first openly transgender person to work as a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, helped to develop a new Justice Department program that trains law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender people.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

A groundbreaking survey reports that nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. This year, the Justice Department wants to change that by training law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of trans people in their communities.

Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says its new training program is motivated by a simple yet powerful idea.

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The Salt
3:19 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Cherry Belle radishes grow superfast.
John Trainor Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:39 am

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter. (True story: The polar vortex killed my fall kale crop!)

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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Business
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Legal Moves Might Mean Fiscal Relief, And More PR Troubles, For GM

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

General Motors is signaling its plans to ask a bankruptcy judge for protection from lawsuits related to a defective switch recall. As Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, the action could further complicate its current public relations crisis.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Iranian U.N. Ambassador's Past Makes Fodder For Diplomatic Dust-up

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

The U.S. has denied a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran's choice as ambassador to the United Nations, which is based in New York. Aboutalebi is an experienced diplomat, but his past involvement as a translator during the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is problematic. Iran has complained to the world body, and a special committee is set to review the issue next week. Bloomberg reporter Sangwon Yoon explains the diplomatic controversy and how it may play out.

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Europe
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Entering Talks In Geneva, U.S. Hopes For A Ukraine Breakthrough

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Tomorrow, Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet in Geneva with his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. It's hoped the multilateral talks will produce a diplomatic breakthrough on the crisis in Ukraine. Analysts say that without that, the U.S. and its Western allies have few other options for dealing with Russia's aggression there.

NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

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Education
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

The New SAT: Less Vocabulary, More Linear Equations

SAT preparation books on a bookstore shelf in New York City. The College Board has announced changes in the college entrance exam.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

The standardized test that's been giving America's college-bound teenagers nightmares since the 1920s is getting a makeover.

On Wednesday, the College Board offered new details on changes to its SAT. Among the biggest shifts: Gone are the days of memorizing obscure vocabulary words. Though if you're in high school and set to take the SAT next year, don't burn those vocabulary flashcards just yet. The changes don't kick in until spring 2016.

Why the changes?

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Fine Art
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Deal Treasure: Government Searches For Long-Lost Art

Andrew Winter's Gulls at Monhegan was lost after it was given — wrongly — to an American ambassador to Costa Rica when he retired.
Courtesy of the U.S. GSA Fine Arts Program

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:30 am

At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt enacted a raft of New Deal programs aimed at giving jobs to millions of unemployed Americans; programs for construction workers and farmers — and programs for writers and artists.

"Paintings and sculpture were produced, murals were produced and literally thousands of prints," says Virginia Mecklenburg, chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ex-City Manager Caught In Calif. Salary Scandal Gets 12 Years

Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo arrives at the Edward R. Roybal federal building and United States courthouse on Monday. Rizzo received 12 years in prison and was ordered to pay nearly $9 million in restitution for a scheme to pad his salary.
Nick Ut AP

Robert Rizzo, the former city manager of Bell, Calif., who pleaded no contest to conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds and falsification of public records, has been ordered to serve 12 years in state prison and repay nearly $9 million.

Rizzo, who was city manager of Bell until 2010, apologized during sentencing, telling Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy that he "[breached] the public trust" and that "I am so sorry for that. I will never do anything like this again."

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Code Switch
1:46 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Light And Dark: The Racial Biases That Remain In Photography

Syreeta McFadden has learned to capture various hues of brown skin.
Syreeta McFadden Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:42 pm

When Syreeta McFadden was a child, she dreaded taking pictures after a family photo made her skin appear dulled and darkened.

"In some pictures, I am a mud brown, in others I'm a blue black. Some of the pictures were taken within moments of one another," she wrote in a story for Buzzfeed, digging into an "inherited bias" in photography against dark skin.

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National Security
1:44 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Edward Snowden: From 'Geeky' Dropout To NSA Leaker

What motivated Edward Snowden to leak NSA secrets? Bryan Burrough, Suzanna Andrews and Sarah Ellison explore Snowden's background in an article for Vanity Fair.
The Guardian/Getty Images

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has revealed some of the group's most carefully guarded secrets.

The reporting on the documents he leaked won a Pulitzer Prize for the Washington Post and The Guardian, announced on Monday.

But there's still a lot we don't know about Snowden himself — and his motivation.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:52 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Debate: Millennials Don't Stand A Chance

Jessica Grose, who writes for Slate, Bloomberg Businessweek and Fast Company, says that millennials have been mischaracterized in the media.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:15 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

The "millennial generation" has been getting a bad rap in popular culture in recent years. Millennials, roughly defined as people born in the 1980s and '90s, frequently see themselves depicted as entitled, coddled and narcissistic.

But many — including millennials themselves — dispute those characterizations. Young adults today are tolerant, civic-minded and entrepreneurial, they note, and are thriving despite entering into a tight job market, often with significant amounts of student loan debt.

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Environment
4:36 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Why Do Some Clouds Drop Rain, While Others Don't?

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Recent storms in California haven't been enough to save the state from a serious drought. And now, the rainy season is winding down. Scientists are trying to understand why some storms unload lots of rain and snow in California and others don't. As Lauren Sommer reports from member station KQED in San Francisco, there could be a link to dust storms thousands of miles away.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: The sky over the Pacific Ocean is looking pretty ominous - big dark gray clouds in the distance.

I think it feels like rain.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Why My Wife Didn't Choose A Double Mastectomy

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:51 pm

Yet another entertainment figure has gone public with her decision to have a double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Samantha Harris is the latest in a series of entertainers who've decided on that surgery as treatment for the disease.

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