U.S. News

News
2:45 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Obama Honors Victims Of Fort Hood Shooting

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

President Obama is traveling to Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday to attend the memorial service for those killed in last week's shooting.

Around the Nation
2:45 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

In Some American Towns, The Billboards Will Have Sirens

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When you notice a fire truck racing to the scene of a fire, the last thing you'd expect to see on the side of the truck is an ad for a local pizza restaurant. But that could be coming soon in some areas.

Mike Moen, of member station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois, reports on a small fire department that's embracing advertising to help fund emergency services.

(SOUNDBITE OF VEHICLES)

MIKE MOEN, BYLINE: On a recent morning, a fire truck belonging to

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Unintelligible)

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

'Kissing Congressman' Video Puts Scandal In Unusual Focus

Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., in happier days with his wife, Kelly, and House Speaker John Boehner, who swore in the new congressman last year.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:16 pm

Embattled GOP Rep. Vance McAllister has made at least one smart move: He concluded that finding out who may have leaked a security video that captures him in a torrid embrace and lip lock with a woman (not his wife) won't actually erase said video.

One day after the freshman congressman — who ran last year as Christian conservative — indicated he planned to ask GOP House Speaker John Boehner to request an FBI investigation into the leak, he reversed course.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Wanted By The FBI: Bank Robber With Perfect Grammar And Spelling

A photo released by the FBI of the alleged bank robber caught on security video.
FBI

Apparently bank robbers aren't in the habit of worrying much about grammar and spelling when it comes to writing demand notes.

Not so for the "Good Grammar Bandit," who we might imagine turned to a life of crime because it proved more exciting (and lucrative) than being a copy editor.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Debate: In An Online World, Are Brick And Mortar Colleges Obsolete?

Two teams debated the value of online education in an Intelligence Squared U.S. event at Columbia University.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:18 pm

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

Online degree programs are proliferating – and many cost a fraction of the price of a traditional, on-campus degree. Massive Open Online Courses, known as MOOCS, are also catching on in the U.S. and around the world.

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Education
10:54 am
Wed April 9, 2014

With Free Tuition, Mich. Students Hear 'You Are Going To College'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. This spring, we're joining our colleagues at Morning Edition to take a closer look at paying for college. So far in this series, we've talked about navigating the mountains of paperwork, whether working during school is a good idea, and if so, how much is too much. And we've also talked about the huge debt that many students face after graduation. But imagine if all those worries went away.

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The Salt
9:18 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Food Scraps To Fuel Vertical Farming's Rise In Chicago

Arugula plant beds inside The Plant, a vertical farm operation in Chicago.
Plant Chicago, NFP/Rachel Swenie

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:28 am

From plant factories fueled by the magenta glow of blue and red LED lights, to the 30-foot tall Ferris wheel for plants in Singapore, we've shown you the design possibilities for growing vegetables up instead of out.

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Education
1:34 am
Wed April 9, 2014

An Education Reporter Puts Himself To The (Standardized) Test

New standardized tests put more emphasis on using evidence to support arguments.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:14 am

What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?

"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?

"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.

No, my vote is for "standardized test."

That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

GM At Odds With Feds Over Recall-Related Documents

A Chevrolet logo on the grill of a 2013 Traverse at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show. General Motors is recalling more than 1.5 million vehicles, including SUVs, vans and Cadillacs, for defective ignition switches and other problems.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:07 am

General Motors says it has "fully cooperated" with federal authorities in connection with the recall of 2.6 million cars for defective ignition switches and other problems.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration disagrees and says it will fine the automaker $7,000 for each day it misses a deadline to answer 107 questions that passed on April 4.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

White House Learns Complications Of Pay Equity Debate

Lilly Ledbetter speaks at the White House on Tuesday, during an event marking Equal Pay Day. President Obama announced new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Money and politics don't always make for polite conversation, but President Obama tried to tackle both at the White House on Tuesday.

Obama signed a pair of executive orders aimed at encouraging conversation about men's and women's pay scales. It's a talk that Democrats hope will yield political gains this year.

It also raised questions, though, about how the administration pays its own people.

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Around the Nation
4:21 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Putting Student Data To The Test To Identify Struggling Kids

Student Mack Godbee and mentor Natasha Santana-Viera go over Godbee's report card. Godbee's performance has improved since a data monitoring program identified him as a dropout risk.
Sammy Mack StateImpact Florida

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 9:14 am

At Miami Carol City Senior High in Florida, a handful of teachers, administrators and coaches are gathered around a heavy wooden table in a conference room dubbed the "War Room," looking through packets of information about several students.

There are others at the table, too: analysts from the group Talent Development Secondary, which monitors student data; City Year, a nonprofit that provides mentors; and Communities in Schools, which connects kids with health care and social services.

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History
3:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Developer To Preserve Ancient Tequesta Village In Heart Of Miami

A series of postholes sit on a site that some call a major archeological find, once home to a Tequesta village. A developer wants to build on the site, but agreed to preserve the village.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

In downtown Miami, amidst the office buildings, shops and high-rise condos, visitors will soon be able to see a site historians are calling Miami's birthplace.

The spot where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay used to be home to the Tequesta tribe, which is where Spanish explorers who first arrived in Florida in the early 1500s encountered them. Today, that spot is the heart of downtown Miami.

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Shots - Health News
3:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Wave Of Newly Insured Patients Strains Oregon Health Plan

Cheryl Stumph goes over paperwork with a medical worker. She finally has health insurance to take care of her family's medical needs.
Kristian Foden-Vencil for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Millions of Americans who didn't have health insurance last year now do because of the Affordable Care Act.

In Lane County, Oregon, Trillium Community Health Plan is struggling to deal with a huge influx of new patients looking for health care. CEO Terry Coplin says the company figured 26,000 people would sign up in the first few years. Instead, about that many signed up right off the bat.

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It's All Politics
2:18 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Holder Plays Asparagus Card Against GOP Antagonist

Attorney General Eric Holder played the asparagus card against one of his House Republican tormenters.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Revenge and asparagus are apparently dishes best served cold — at least when served by Attorney General Eric Holder.

After a testy exchange Tuesday with Rep. Louis Gohmert, a Texas Republican who had clearly gotten on his last nerve, Holder delivered a dose of ridicule.

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News
2:14 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

An Angry Hearing On The Hill For 'Cockamamie' Twitter-like Network

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy was incensed that he only learned about the creation of a Twitter-like network in Cuba through press accounts. He had the chance Tuesday to vent his frustration when USAID administrator Rajiv Shah appeared before Leahy's committee.

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

Transcript

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Law
2:14 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

New Rules Force Big Banks To Keep A Bigger Cushion

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Five and a half years after the financial crisis that devastated the global economy, U.S. officials are taking steps to strengthen the nation's banking system. Today, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approved tough new rules that require banks to hold a lot more capital on their books. Regulators say the requirements will reduce the risk of bank failures during bad economic times.

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News
2:14 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Al Sharpton, FBI Informant? New Claims Revive '80s Mob Story

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Reverend Al Sharpton has admitted to working with the FBI and recording conversations with alleged mobsters. The website The Smoking Gun published documents detailing Sharpton's involvement, saying he's the guy referred to in the document as Confidential Informant 7. This was back in the 1980s during some of the bureau's biggest mafia investigations.

As NPR's Joe Rose reports, Sharpton denies any wrongdoing.

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Around the Nation
2:14 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Natural Disasters Are Rare, But So Is Mudslide Insurance

Searchers walk near a demolished house in Oso, Wash., in March. Few homeowners in Washington and neighboring Oregon have mudslide insurance.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Depending on whom you talk to, either no one could have predicted the massive mudslide in Oso, Wash., last month — or it was a disaster just waiting to happen. But if homeowners in the slide's path are typical of most people in this part of the country, they were not insured against this kind of event — and are unlikely to see an insurance payout.

That's because standard homeowner's insurance doesn't cover mudslides. And the insurance is not only expensive, it's also difficult to purchase.

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Shots - Health News
9:52 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Nevada Offers Rare Deal: Year-Round Sales Of Health Plans

Put your money down and buy insurance — all year long.
Kajdi Szabolcs iStockphoto

For months, consumers have been warned that they have to buy health insurance by the end of open enrollment or remain uninsured until next year. But a little noticed provision of the health law may give some consumers another chance.

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Shots - Health News
9:12 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Avoiding The Nursing Home Ups The Risk Of Unwanted Medical Care

Signing out the kind of care you want can help your family make the right medical decisions when the time comes.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 10:01 am

Most older people suffer from cognitive impairment or dementia in the year before death, making it more likely that they will get aggressive medical treatments that they don't want.

And people with dementia who are cared for at home are more likely to get unwanted treatment than if they are in a nursing home, a study finds.

That could be because medical personnel are less likely to know a person's end-of-life wishes of someone who isn't in a facility, the researchers say.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Tue April 8, 2014

With NCAA Title, UConn Answers Questions About Kentucky, And Itself

Ryan Boatright of the Connecticut Huskies holds up the NCAA championship trophy after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 at AT&T Stadium on Monday, as his teammate Shabazz Napier is interviewed after the game.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 9:08 am

The Connecticut Huskies are the new NCAA champions, after beating a talented but young Kentucky Wildcats team in the men's final played in Arlington, Texas. UConn notched its fourth — and most unlikely — national title by outplaying a feisty Kentucky squad; the Huskies never trailed in Monday night's game.

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Shots - Health News
1:44 am
Tue April 8, 2014

How Mouse Studies Lead Medical Research Down Dead Ends

I'm not trying to lead you astray. It's just that scientists are not skeptical enough about their mouse studies.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:59 am

Most experimental drugs fail before they make it through all the tests required to figure out if they actually work and if they're safe. But some drugs get fairly far down that road, at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, based on poorly conducted studies at the outset.

Medical researchers reviewing this sorry state of affairs say the drug-development process needs serious improvement.

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Business
1:42 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Just How New Is The 'New' GM?

CEO Mary Barra told Congress that she sits at the helm of the new GM. Is the company new and improved? The answer is complicated.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 7:34 am

During her grilling before Congress last week, General Motors CEO Mary Barra insisted the new General Motors is different and better than the old one.

So as GM begins to fix nearly 2.6 million vehicles for an ignition-switch defect that has been linked to at least 13 deaths, we decided to put that claim to the test.

Exactly how new is the new GM?

NBC's Saturday Night Live answered with a parody version of Barra's explanation:

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Sick 1-Year-Old Rescued From Sailboat 1,000 Miles Off Mexican Coast

The Kaufman family's 36-foot cutter, Rebel Heart.
AP

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 1:28 pm

A family with two small children who set sail on a round-the-world trip in their 36-foot boat were rescued 1,000 miles off Mexico's Pacific Coast after the 1-year-old daughter fell seriously ill.

Eric Kaufman, a U.S. Coast-Guard-licensed captain, and his wife, Charlotte, 3-year-old Cora and baby Lyra set sail from Mexico in March, bound for the Marquesas, a Pacific island chain. They were following a route used by hundreds of small-boat sailors each year that is nicknamed the "coconut milk run" for its generally benign conditions.

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Law
4:32 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Group Goes Online To Find Affirmative Action Plaintiffs

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 6:18 pm

A group opposed to affirmative action in higher education is taking the unprecedented step of looking for plaintiffs online.

The Project on Fair Representation is advertising for college applicants willing to challenge Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Shots - Health News
3:48 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Measles At A Rock Concert Goes Viral In A Bad Way

This one's virus-free: Matthew Followill, Nathan Followill and Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon performed in Los Angeles in December.
Kevin Winter Getty Images for Radio.com

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 9:54 am

If you went to see the Kings of Leon concert on March 28 in Seattle, let's hope you came home with nothing but great memories.

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Sports
3:46 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

The Latest In HD TV, From The Comfort Of Your Courtside Seat

Huge HD TV screens have changed the stadium experience. Many fans who paid big bucks for a ticket to the game will still be watching it on TV.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 6:38 pm

Millions of people will be glued to TV screens Monday watching the NCAA men's college basketball championship — and some of those viewers will actually be in the stands.

Monday's Connecticut vs. Kentucky game will be played at AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, where an enormous Mitsubishi screen hangs from the roof. It's the length of four coach buses by 72 feet high. And while the screen is ridiculously huge, the picture quality of the LED 1080 high definition is amazing.

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The Salt
3:46 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA?

Live tilapia are loaded into a truck bound for New York.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on

Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?

It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Farmed salmon come from big net pens in the coastal waters of Norway or Chile.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Men's NCAA Basketball Final Pits UConn Against Kentucky

The Connecticut Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats will face off on the AT&T Stadium court in Arlington, Texas, on Monday night to decide the men's national champion in the NCAA tournament. The game begins at 9:10 p.m. ET.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 3:56 pm

Monday night's NCAA basketball national championship matches two teams that have a knack for dramatic finishes. But the teams' rankings in this tournament didn't predict their presence in the final: Connecticut was a No. 7 seed, and Kentucky a No. 8. The NCAA says their combined seeding of 15 is a new record.

As you would expect, the game will be broadcast on television by CBS, with the tipoff scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

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U.S.
2:50 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

In New Exhibit, Running Shoes Are Potent Symbol Of Boston Bombing

A pair of running shoes left at the Boston Marathon memorial last year.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 5:29 pm

In the wake of most tragedies, makeshift memorials fill up with flowers and teddy bears. After the Boston Marathon bombings last April, running shoes became potent symbols in the vast memorial there.

Now, after months in storage at the cavernous City Archives, a group of objects left at the site are in a new exhibition at the Boston Public Library.

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