Major stock indexes have shot to record highs in the U.S. this year, gaining more than 20 percent, and yet economic growth remains at disappointing levels. A lot of analysts believe the stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve are behind the stock boom and a possible bubble.
A vote to ban fracking in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver, headed to a recount this month after the measure failed by just 13 votes. Broomfield was one of four Front Range towns considering limits or bans on the drilling procedure some fear may not be safe.
The United States military flew two B-52 bombers into air space that China recently designated as an air defense identification zone. The showdown is part of a larger dispute involving China and Japan and territorial rights in the East China Sea.
The six-month agreement struck between Iran and Western nations last weekend lays out a detailed plan of inspection for Iran's nuclear facilities. The White House calls it "unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring." So how will that work? Melissa Block speaks with Dr. David A. Kay, former U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector, to find out.
Much of the criticism of the interim nuclear deal reached with Iran Sunday has focused on the sanctions relief Iran will receive over the next six months if it follows through on restricting its nuclear program. Although the only irreversible relief being offered is a gradual release of $4.2 billion in frozen Iranian revenue, critics warn that the "architecture of the sanctions regime has been undermined." Analysts say all the important sanctions hampering Iran's economy remain in place, but the announcement of the deal itself is having a psychological impact on markets.
An investigation by The Hollywood Reporter alleges that the American Humane Association has tried to cover up instances of animal abuse and deaths on Hollywood sets. Melissa Block talks with Gary Baum, a senior writer for the magazine who reported the story.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take another case involving the Affordable Care Act, this time a challenge to the provision that for-profit companies that provide health insurance must include contraceptive coverage in their plans offered to employees.
President Obama's Affordable Care Act will be back before the Supreme Court this spring. This time, the issue is whether for-profit corporations citing religious objections may refuse to provide contraceptive services in health insurance plans offered to employees.
In enacting the ACA, Congress required large employers who offer health care services to provide a range of preventive care, including no-copay contraceptive services. Religious nonprofits were exempted from this requirement, but not for-profit corporations.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:29 pm
As I write this, snowstorms are swirling over the East Coast, threatening Thanksgiving holiday travel plans for millions of travelers. How much time in the purgatory of airports will this mean for you? Check out FlightAware's MiseryMap, which combines weather and flight data into a live map that lists which airports are being struck by storms, the number of delays and cancellations, and graphs that show flight destinations and the chances they'll actually make it on time.
A 2010 file photo shows Edgar "El Ponchis" Jimenez Lugo in the city of Cuernavaca, Mexico. The teenage U.S. citizen who acknowledged being a drug-cartel killer has finished his three year juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping and drug and weapons possession.
Three years after the startling arrest of a 14-year-old boy for acting as a gang's assassin in Mexico, the boy, now 17, is reportedly heading to the United States, according to media and government reports. Edgar Jimenez, nicknamed El Ponchis — "The Cloak" — is a U.S. citizen who was born in San Diego.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 2:41 pm
The U.S. Census Bureau keeps a vast and valuable store of anonymous statistics about Americans — their demographics, their neighborhoods, their professions, their households, and more.
Now the agency's putting that information in the palm of your hand.
The bureau on Tuesday announced the release of dwellr, a mobile application that allows users to select their preferences — for housing, demographics and other factors — and learn ideal places for them to visit or live.
A new report from the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project shows that Americans' attitudes about medical care at the end of life are changing. And there's still widespread resistance to talking about the issue. Host Michel Martin learns more about the study's findings and how to have these conversations.
The recent revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs have renewed the debate over the balance between national security and civil liberties.
Some argue that mass electronic surveillance is vital to the fight against terrorism, even if it makes some people uneasy. But others say spying on vast numbers of innocent people is a violation of privacy, as well as a waste of security resources.
An image from a Connecticut State Police report on the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shows a scene at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza killed his mother before driving to the school and killing 26 students and staff last December.
A crime scene photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows a rifle in the master bedroom in the Lanzas' house on Yogananda Street.
Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 5:49 pm
Investigators say they haven't determined why Adam Lanza killed 26 students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. But they know he acted alone in that attack and his mother's murder, according to a summary report released weeks before the one-year anniversary of the shooting rampage.
Methane is the source of the gas we burn in stoves. You can also use it to make plastics, antifreeze or fertilizer. It comes out of underground deposits, but it also seeps up from swamps, landfills, even the stomachs of cows.
And while methane is valuable, a lot of it gets up into the atmosphere, where it becomes a very damaging greenhouse gas.
A report on the Newtown, Conn., school shooting released Monday says we may never know what motivated Adam Lanza to kill twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly a year ago. The long-awaited summary report from the Connecticut State's Attorney mentions that Lanza was a troubled young man who didn't seem to connect with people. He did not share his plans with anyone before the rampage. The report rules out criminal prosecution and closes the case. It was shared with Newtown family members before being released to the public.
The Obama administration says one of the most important gains in the Iran nuclear deal is that it will buy time for negotiations on a more permanent agreement. If no such agreement is reached, sanctions that have been suspended could be re-imposed. But analysts say the obstacles to a final agreement are still huge, and it may not be easy to regain the leverage that sanctions have achieved so far.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. More fallout today from a rape case at an end of summer high school party last year in the town of Steubenville, Ohio. Now, five adults, including the superintendent of schools have been indicted by a special grand jury. None is accused of a direct role in the assault that drew national attention, but all are accused of trying to keep the case quiet. From member station WKSU, M. L. Schultze reports.
Secretary of State John Kerry will have to work hard to allay concerns about the Iran deal, concerns from U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. And as Melissa just mentioned, the White House faces criticism from some in Congress. Kerry will need to convince senators not to impose additional sanctions on Iran so that negotiators can come up with a comprehensive deal over the next six months. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, Kerry seems to be well positioned to take on the challenges.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The nuclear accord reached over the weekend with Iran is, according to President Obama, an important first step. The new Iranian president calls it a definite achievement but to the Israeli prime minister it's a historic mistake. The six-month deal freezes important parts of Iran's nuclear problem. In exchange, Iran gets temporary relief from economic sanctions amounting to about $7 billion.
Hazel Avery, 86, holds her iPad for the first time. The Connecting to Community program, with funding from the AARP Foundation, teaches low-income seniors how to increase social engagement online. The Washington, D.C., program chose seniors with no previous computer experience.
Credit Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post/Getty Images
Volunteer trainer Karen Coville and student Ruby Lester work with Ruby's new iPad.
Michel Martin talks with NPR education correspondents Claudio Sanchez and Eric Westervelt, about a new NPR series looking at problems within Philadelphia's public school system, and the lessons the rest of the country can take from Philly.
Education experts have been sounding the alarm for more students to go into STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. But some researchers suggest the STEM crisis is just a myth. Anthony Carnevale of The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, tells host Michel Martin which side is right.