U.S. News

NPR Ed
10:08 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

A New Study Reveals Much About How Parents Really Choose Schools

A painted map of the U.S. seen from inside a classroom at Homer A. Plessy Community School, a charter school in New Orleans.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 7:13 am

The charter school movement is built on the premise that increased competition among schools will sort the wheat from the chaff.

It seems self-evident that parents, empowered by choice, will vote with their feet for academically stronger schools. As the argument goes, the overall effect should be to improve equity as well: Lower-income parents won't have to send their kids to an under-resourced and underperforming school just because it is the closest one to them geographically.

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

After Foie Gras Ban Lifted In California, Some Chefs Face Threats

Karlene Bley of Los Angeles spreads her torchon of foie gras onto bread during lunch at the Presidio Social Club restaurant in San Francisco. Last week, a federal judge overturned California's ban on the dish.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 10:59 am

Last Wednesday, a federal judge overturned California's ban on the sale of foie gras, the delicacy made from the livers of fatty ducks and geese that have often been force-fed. The ban was approved by California voters in 2004, and went into effect in 2012.

Since the ban was overturned, some chefs using foie gras in their menus have been receiving threats.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

New Solitary Confinement Plan For Younger Inmates At Rikers

A view of buildings on Rikers Island penitentiary complex .
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 10:33 am

New York City officials unanimously agreed Tuesday to eliminate solitary confinement for inmates ages 21 and younger. The decision is groundbreaking: Jails across the U.S. impose solitary confinement on misbehaving inmates.

In recent years, the Department of Correction has been plagued by accusations of inmate abuse at Rikers Island, the second-largest jail in the U.S. In 2012, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) published Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York's Prisons, a yearlong investigation.

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Business
4:48 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Dollar's Rise Is Good News For The U.S., For Now

A pedestrian passes a currency exchange in London Jan. 5. The value of the U.S. dollar has risen about 15 percent against the euro since last summer.
Andy Rain EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:17 pm

If you've traveled outside the U.S. recently, or sent your U.S.-made products abroad, you've probably noticed that the dollar is getting stronger. The stronger dollar is the sign of a healthier U.S. economy, but its strength has the potential to erode growth.

There are a number of factors behind the dollar's rise, says economist Jens Nordvig, a currency expert at Nomura Securities. The main one is the health of the U.S. economy.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Ohio Man Is Arrested For Allegedly Plotting Attack On U.S. Capitol

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:05 pm

The FBI arrested Christopher Lee Cornell of Cincinnati, charging him with buying weapons to carry out a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. Cornell, 20, was monitored by federal agents who say he used Twitter to express support for the extremist group Islamic State as well as "violent jihad."

The arrest warrant for Cornell, who authorities say was known online as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, says that he "purchased and possessed firearms in furtherance of a plan to shoot and kill United States Government officers and employees."

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U.S.
3:27 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Homeland Security Secretary Defends Executive Actions On Immigration

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), about what the effects would be on DHS if Congress did not vote to fund it.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
3:27 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Falling Oil Prices Have North Dakota Migrants Rethinking The Boom

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm

A year ago, as part of our series on the Great Plains oil rush, we brought you the story of a 36-year-old father who had recently lost his job when one of the last major timber mills in the Northwest shut down. After several years struggling to find steady work and even after going back to school, Rory Richardson decided to commute 550 miles from his home in far western Montana, to a place where jobs are plentiful - the oil fields of North Dakota. But after a little more than a year, he and his family have decided the toll is just too great.

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Law
2:45 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Supreme Court Considers Whether A Sock Is Drug Paraphernalia

In 2010, Moones Mellouli was arrested for driving under the influence and having four Adderall pills in his sock. He was subsequently deported.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm

At the U. S. Supreme Court Wednesday, the question before the justices boiled down to whether a sock can be considered drug paraphernalia.

Each year 30-35,000 people are deported for drug crimes. But federal law does not treat all drug crimes equally. The question before the justices was whether the government can deport legal permanent residents for minor drug offenses.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

In Wake Of Lapses, Top Secret Service Officials Are Told To Leave

There's a management shakeup at the Secret Service in the wake of several security lapses: The Washington Post is reporting that four of the Secret Service's senior-most officials have been removed and a fifth is retiring.

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Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

From The Mouths Of Apes, Babble Hints At Origins of Human Speech

Tilda the orangutan, relaxing between gabfests at the Cologne Zoo.
Cologne Zoo

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:56 am

An orangutan named Tilda is providing scientists with fresh evidence that even early human ancestors had the ability to make speechlike vocalizations.

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Around the Nation
2:16 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Chicago Scrambles To Remain Top Contender For Obama Library

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 10:31 pm

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Law
2:16 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Another Shooting Puts Albuquerque Police Back In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm

On Tuesday night, officers shot and killed a suspect who they say fired at them. Earlier this week, the county district attorney said she would seek murder charges against two other officers in the shooting of a homeless man last year.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
2:16 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Threatened By Liability, Iowa City Bans Sledding

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm

The city of Dubuque, Iowa, is the latest city to pass a ban on sledding. It affects all but two hills in town. City Council members say they've passed the ban to protect tax payers from lawsuits and are now asking local legislators to add sledding to the list of activities that cities are protected from being sued for, like skateboarding and biking accidents.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

House Votes To Block Obama's Immigration Actions

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm

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The Salt
1:58 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Philadelphia Pizza Lovers Pay It Forward One Slice At A Time

Slices of pizza on the counter of Rosa's Fresh Pizza, where customers are encouraged to pay it forward.
Elizabeth Fiedler/WHYY

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 1:11 pm

Some pizza restaurants decorate the walls with signed photos of minor local celebrities who once stopped by for a slice.

At Rosa's Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia, the shop is adorned with Post-it notes and letters. The messages are from customers who gave $1 so homeless members in the community could get a slice, which costs $1.

"The homeless, they come in and say, 'I hear you give out free pizza to homeless people,' " owner Mason Wartman tells The Salt.

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Early Test Of An Obamacare Experiment Posts Little Progress

Obama administration officials have warned that ambitious experiments run by the health law's $10 billion innovation lab wouldn't always be successful. Now there is evidence their caution was well placed.

Only a small minority of community groups getting federal reimbursement to reduce expensive hospital readmissions produced significant results compared with sites that weren't part of the $300 million program, according to partial, early results.

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Shots - Health News
8:33 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Working Longer Hours Can Mean Drinking More

It's been a long day. Time to unwind.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 10:21 am

People who try to reduce the stress of a long work day with a drink or two, or three, may be causing more health problems for themselves.

Around the world, people working long hours are more likely to drink too much, according to a study that analyzed data from 61 studies involving 333,693 people in 14 countries.

They found that people who worked more than 48 hours a week were 13 percent more likely to engage in risky drinking than people working 35 to 40 hours a week.

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Race
4:19 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Far From North Africa, Berbers In The U.S. Ring In A New Year

At this Yennayer celebration in Portland, Ore., several groups take to the stage, playing traditional songs, as well as the songs of more recent artists like Idir and Moh Alileche.
Mustapha Akebdan

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 1:29 pm

For most Americans, New Year's is fairly personal. It's a time to make resolutions and down some champagne — and it was also a couple of weeks ago. But for Berbers — the indigenous people of Northern Africa — the New Year starts this week, and it's an occasion to celebrate their heritage.

In Portland, Ore., some residents are celebrating Yennayer, the Berber New Year. It's a holiday that's not traditionally a big deal, but it's an opportunity to celebrate Berber culture, which hasn't always been easy to do.

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Around the Nation
3:21 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Seattle Public Transportation Has Gone to The Dogs — Well, One Dog

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:48 am

For once, here's a positive commuting story: Jeff Young's dog, Eclipse, often rides the bus with him in Seattle. But if the bus pulls up to the stop and Jeff isn't quite done with his cigarette yet, Eclipse will hop on it without him.

The drivers let her on, and she leaps over the other passengers to grab a window seat. Young gets on the next bus, and they meet up a few stops later.

So, where does the canine commuter disembark? (Heh.) A dog park, of course.

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Race
3:03 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Why Our Feelings Toward Some African-Americans Change On MLK Day

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:48 am

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Europe
3:03 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Russian Media Condemn Paris Attacks — But Question Who Was Behind Them

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:48 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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U.S.
3:03 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Miami Rejects Hosting Cuban Consulate, But Tampa Wants It

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:48 am

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Back At Base
1:18 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Without Help, Navigating Benefits Can Be Overwhelming For Veterans

Grant County VSO Bob Kelley makes calls in his office at the Grant County Government Building in Marion, Ind.
Aaron P. Bernstein for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 12:11 pm

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live.

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NPR Ed
1:17 am
Wed January 14, 2015

North Carolina Rethinks The Common Core

Math scores at McMichael High School have improved.
Courtesy of McMichael High School

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 2:49 pm

It's shaping up to be an interesting year for the Common Core, barely five years after 45 governors embraced it. A few states have already repealed the new math and reading standards. Others are pushing ahead with new tests, curriculum and teaching methods aligned to the Core.

And in some states, its future hangs in the balance. North Carolina is one of them.

It was one of the first states that quietly adopted the Common Core, and it moved quickly to put the standards in place.

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Sports
1:16 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Ads Say 'No More' To Domestic Violence, But Will Audience Listen?

NFL commentator and former strong safety John Lynch appears in new public service announcements from the "No More" project.
Timothy White nomore.org

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 8:43 am

NFL games remain among the most popular television programs in America, but this has been a disastrous season for the league's brand.

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The Two-Way
7:50 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

NASCAR's Kurt Busch Testifies That Ex-Girlfriend Is An Assassin

In this May 22, 2014, photo, Kurt Busch walks with Patricia Driscoll before a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The former couple has been in court over Driscoll's claim that Busch assaulted her.
Terry Renna AP

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:05 am

Testifying about a request for a protective order against him, race car driver Kurt Busch told a Dover, Del., court this week that his former girlfriend is an assassin. Patricia Driscoll, who dated Busch for four years, requested the order last November, shortly after their relationship ended.

Driscoll has also filed a criminal complaint against Busch, alleging that he grabbed her and slammed her head into the wall of his motor coach at Dover International Speedway last fall. Busch denies those claims, which the authorities have been considering separately.

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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Rep. André Carson To Become First Muslim On House Committee On Intelligence

Democratic Congressman André Carson of Indiana says he converted to Islam as a teenager after witnessing Muslims "pushing back on crime" in his neighborhood.
courtesy of André Carson

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:21 pm

Rep. André Carson of Indiana's 7th district soon will be the first Muslim lawmaker to serve on the House intelligence committee, according to Politico.

The report says Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, made the announcement in a closed-door meeting today. Neither Pelosi's nor Carson's office would comment.

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Religion
4:45 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Kansas City Catholics Divided Over Vatican Investigation Of Bishop

Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese was convicted of shielding a sexually abusive priest in 2012. He is now the subject of a Vatican investigation.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 3:33 pm

A Catholic bishop normally governs pretty much unchecked in his diocese — only the pope can dislodge a bishop. And each time Catholics celebrate Mass in Kansas City, Mo., they pray for Bishop Robert Finn, right after they pray for Pope Francis.

But some Catholics here, like David Biersmith, a Eucharistic minister, refuse to go along.

"When the priest says that, you know, you're supposed say it with him, but I just leave that out," Biersmith says. "I just don't say it. Because he's not my bishop, as far as I'm concerned."

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U.S.
4:19 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

For Some Immigrants, Temporary Life In U.S. Can Mean A Long Stay

Alex Sanchez with his wife, Blanca, and sons Duvan and Irvin. Sanchez has been eligible to live and work legally in the U.S. since 2001, when his home country, El Salvador, experienced a major earthquake.
Alexandra Starr for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:45 pm

Earlier this month, the U.S. government gave more than 200,000 Salvadorans living here temporarily the opportunity to stay for at least another 18 months.

These immigrants are on something called Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. It's for immigrants who are already living in the United States illegally when a natural or humanitarian disaster hits their home country.

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Business
4:11 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Winning The Truck Battle Isn't Just About Smack Talk. It's Everything

Ford's F-150 truck beat the Chevrolet Colorado and Lincoln MKC as the Detroit auto show's 2015 North American Truck of the Year.
He Xianfeng Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 2:25 am

For the Detroit automakers, there's likely no bigger prize than being the No. 1 truck. Pickups represent the lion's share of profits and the industry's recent growth.

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