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2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Fort Hood Suffers Another Shooting Tragedy

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

Military officials say a soldier opened fire at the base killing three people before taking his own life. A senior officer says the shooter was being assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

4 Dead, Including Shooter, At Army's Fort Hood

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

A soldier who was undergoing assessment to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder opened fire on Wednesday at the base. Four people are dead including the shooter, who killed himself.

The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

U.S. Troubled By Iran's Choice Of 1979 Hostage-Taker For U.N. Post

The U.S. says Iran's potential nomination of a new United Nations ambassador who was a hostage-taker during the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is "extremely troubling," but stopped short of saying it would deny him a visa.

"We're taking a close look at the case now, and we've raised our serious concerns about this possible nomination with the government of Iran," State Department deputy spokesman Marie Harf said of Hamid Aboutalebi, who was a member of a radical Muslim student group who seized the took over the embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

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It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Campaign Finance Ruling Winners: The Political Pros

The Supreme Court victory for Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon (center) was also a win for those in the political campaign business.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 12:10 pm

The Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision has been described both as a victory for the First Amendment and as another damaging blow to campaign finance laws.

One thing seems certain: The decision, which overturned limits on the aggregate amounts individual donors can give to candidates and campaigns, will mean more money sloshing around political campaigns.

In practical terms, that means more business for the political consultants who orchestrate most serious federal political campaigns.

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Business
3:53 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Traders Defend High-Speed Systems Against Charges Of Rigging

"The stock market is rigged," says Michael Lewis, and high-frequency traders are to blame. But defenders of high-speed trading say it plays a legitimate role.
Paul Giamou iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed this week that they're both investigating the world of high-frequency stock trading. They did so at a time when a new book on the subject, Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, is causing an uproar on Wall Street.

To read Lewis' book is to be reminded of how drastically the stock market has changed in a decade — and how opaque it remains. Lewis says this opacity serves to cover up some disturbing developments.

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It's All Politics
3:13 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

A Younger, Wealthier Capital City Turns A Political Page

Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayoral nominee in Washington, D.C., talks with reporters after a Wednesday news conference at the National Press Club in Washington.
Evan Vucci AP

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has been shadowed by scandal since the day he was elected to the city's top job in 2010, and there's no doubt it crippled his re-election campaign.

An ongoing federal probe into how you ran your previous campaign will do that.

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News
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Dogged By Scandal, DC Incumbent Goes Down In Primary

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

There will be a new mayor in Washington, DC, next year. And that's because the incumbent mayor, Vincent Gray, was soundly defeated in yesterday's Democratic primary. As Patrick Madden of member station WAMU reports, a late-breaking scandal helped turn the race in favor of one of Gray's challengers.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Drawing On Family History, Julian Castro Hopes To Paint Texas Blue

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

The story of the changing demographics in Texas can, in many ways, be told through the family history of Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio. Mayor Castro discusses his story, as well as what Texas' expanding Hispanic population means for the state's political future.

News
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Survey: Americans Skeptical Of Prison For Non-Violent Drug Crimes

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to a new survey from the Pew Research Center that's found more evidence of a shift in public attitudes toward illegal drug use.

As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the survey indicates growing public skepticism about prison terms for nonviolent drug offenders.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: This shift has been going on for a while now. Previous polls already showed a new majority in favor of legalizing marijuana. But in this survey, you also see changing attitudes toward harder drugs.

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Law
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

High Court's Campaign Finance Ruling Has Critics Dismayed

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Dallas.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And in Washington, this is Robert Siegel.

With the campaign season just around the bend, the Supreme Court today issued a decision that will likely put even more emphasis on the role of money in politics. Elsewhere in today's program, Nina Totenberg reports on that ruling. We're going to hear one reaction to it now.

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Law
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky

The Prison Rape Elimination Act standards are now taking effect in many states. Three auditors recently questioned staffers at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a practice inspection.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

On a recent day at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, inmates in jumpsuits peek out of their cells to see three men with clipboards walk into the housing unit. These men are auditors doing a practice inspection. They're here to see if the facility complies with a federal law called the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA.

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Shots - Health News
2:14 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Run When You're 25 For A Sharper Brain When You're 45

Leading an active lifestyle in your 20s will benefit your brain down the road.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 1:47 pm

If you're in your 20s, you might work out because it's fun, or because it makes you look better. But here's another reason to hit the gym or go for a jog — exercising now may help preserve your memory and cognition later in life.

Researchers figured this out by following 2,700 men and women for 25 years as part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study.

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Shots - Health News
12:24 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin

Images of the developing fetal brain show connections among brain regions.
Allen Institute for Brain Science; Bruce Fischl, Martinos Center for Biomedial Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 10:21 am

A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and autism.

The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

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The Salt
11:03 am
Wed April 2, 2014

The Old And Mysterious Practice Of Eating Dirt, Revealed

Dr. William Rawlings holds a piece of kaolin from his hometown of Sandersville, Ga.
Courtesy of Adam Forrester

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:51 am

There's an old saying in the South: "A child's gotta eat their share of dirt."

Mamie Lee Hillman's family took this literally, but they weren't after just any old dirt.

"I remember my mom and my aunties eating that white dirt like it was nothing," says Hillman, who grew up in Greene County, Ga., and used to go with her family to dig for their own dirt to snack on. "It was an acceptable thing that people did."

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Oso Mudslide: As List Of Missing Shrinks, Death Toll Rises

A flag flies at half-staff in the midst of the mudslide rubble in Oso, Wash.
U.S. Army National Guard/handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:45 pm

This post will be updated as news comes in.

Here is some of the latest news from Oso, Wash., the tiny community north of Seattle that was devastated by a mudslide on March 22:

-- Death Toll At 29: Authorities say the number of confirmed fatalities as of this morning was 29. (We updated that figure at 11:15 a.m. ET.)

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Religion
1:56 am
Wed April 2, 2014

For 'Lent Madness,' Reverend Pits Saints Against Each Other

Comments on the Lent Madness website have gotten heated. Mark D. writes, "So I got my wish: JS Bach is in the mix. But he's in the same bracket with the Wesleys and Thomas Merton?? This is going to be ugly."
Courtesy of Adam Thomas/Lent Madness

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:04 am

We're deep into Lent, the season when Christians prepare themselves for Easter. For those of you who have been preparing by giving up something — chocolate, or driving, or yelling at the kids — it can feel like a pretty long time.

But, some folks are looking to reframe Lent, with a little madness.

"A lot of people see Lent as the church's season of doom, and gloom, and guilt, and depression, and eating dirt," says Tim Schenck, an Episcopalian priest in Massachusetts.

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Shots - Health News
1:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Small Health Insurance Co-Ops Seeing Early Success

Karl Sutton leaves his mobile greenhouse in Montana. He sells spinach as part of a farmers co-op, and likes that nonprofit business model for his health insurance, too.
Eric Whitney for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:04 am

Many of us know the names of some of the big U.S. health insurance companies — like Blue Cross, Aetna and Wellpoint. But what about CoOportunity Health, or Health Republic Insurance of New York? These are among 23 new companies started under the Affordable Care Act. They're all nonprofit, member-owned insurance cooperatives that were begun, in part, to create more competition and drive prices down.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Mother Of Victim: More Killed By GM Ignition Switch Defect

Laura Christian, far right, talks about how her birth daughter Amber Marie Rose was killed on July 29, 2005, in a car crash that investigators determined was linked to a defective ignition switch.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:24 pm

The birth mother of Amber Marie Rose, the teen whose 2005 death was the first linked to an ignition switch problem that's triggered a massive recall of General Motors vehicles, says that through a Facebook group for families of victims, she's identified at least 29 fatalities due to the defect. GM only acknowledges 13 deaths.

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The Salt
2:52 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

It's Official: Americans Are Floating In A Pool Of Ranch Dressing

Tomatoes, pizza, Pringles — Americans are not afraid to douse everything in ranch.
Mr.Ducke/Flickr; Jamaila Brinkley/Flickr; Hajime Nakano/Flickr; Janet Hudson/Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 4:37 pm

Many a gab session of my 1980s suburban youth was fueled by Cool Ranch-flavored Doritos — after school, on a campout, on a sleepover — whenever the girls got together. We'd seek out that tangy, salty flavor, inhale a bag or two, and lick the red, blue and green flecks off our fingers when they were all gone. (Ah, the pre-calorie-counting days.)

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Shots - Health News
2:42 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Review Finds Mammography's Benefits Overplayed, Harms Dismissed

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:04 pm

Talk to women here in the office, and it quickly becomes clear that we're confused about what to do about mammograms. And no wonder.

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Health Care
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Beyond The Fog Of Spin And Doubt: What Has ACA Achieved?

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Dallas.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel in Washington, where President Obama cheered the Affordable Care Act today.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Law
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Mother Of Earliest Auto Defect Victim Calls On Congress To Act

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The earliest of the 13 deaths attributed to the faulty ignition switch and acknowledged by GM was in 2005. Amber Marie Rose was 16 years old. One year earlier, she had been reunited with her birth mother, Laura Christian, who had given her up for adoption as an infant. Her adoptive parents sued GM and the automaker settled. Miss Christian, though, has been speaking for the family and joins us. Welcome to the program.

LAURA CHRISTIAN: Thank you.

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News
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

GM Ignition Switch Controversy Comes To Capitol Hill

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:58 pm

General Motors CEO Mary T. Barra testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday, speaking before a House panel that is investigating how the company handled problems with its vehicles' ignition switch.

Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

A Penny For A Native's Thoughts On Dime Box, Texas

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) I saw miles and miles of Texas...

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And in those miles and miles of Texas, a treasure of unusual town names...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) I saw miles and miles of Texas. Going to live here 'til I die...

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News
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

American-Made, Haven-Kept? Congress Looks At Caterpillar's Tax Returns

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:58 pm

Caterpillar executives are on Capitol Hill answering questions about the company's tax returns. Caterpillar is accused of shifting money abroad to avoid billions in taxes. Company officials say Caterpillar has followed the law.

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

Transcript

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Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

As Texas Gets More Diverse, Educators Grab The Bull By The Horns

Students participate in orchestra practice at Dr. John Folks Middle School in suburban San Antonio. The school is brand new and was built with explosive growth in mind — the student population is expected to double to 1,200 within five years.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:45 pm

Texas is in the midst of a population boom and demographic sea change. It's grown faster than any other state and has more than doubled its population in just 40 years, from 11 to 26 million people.

And overwhelmingly, the fastest growth is among Hispanics who now make up 38 percent of the state's population and will be the largest single group in Texas by 2020.

Majority Minority State

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It's All Politics
2:17 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Chicago Mayor Could Face Tough Re-Election Challenge

Frustration with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has fueled speculation about a challenge from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:00 pm

Will Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served at President Obama's side during his first White House term, find himself facing a challenge from another politician who was once close to Obama?

Maybe, if the woman who is president of the Cook County Board, Toni Preckwinkle, decides to run to against the mayor next year.

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Shots - Health News
10:50 am
Tue April 1, 2014

People Who Are Still Uninsured May Turn To Community Clinics

Dr. Cheryl Focht checks a patient's eyes at Mary's Center, a federally funded health clinic in Washington, D.C.
Heather Rousseau NPR

If you're uninsured, you may have run out of time. Monday was the official deadline to sign up for health insurance on the marketplaces or face a penalty, unless you were already in line for enrollment.

Still, people who missed the cutoff have options to get the health care services they need, though they may not be simple or assured.

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The Salt
10:14 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Do Girl Scout Cookies Still Make The World A Better Place?

Girl Scouts sell cookies on Feb. 8, 2013, as a winter storm moves in on New York City.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 1:40 pm

It's a pretty bold move to blast Girl Scout cookies, those precious sugary treats whose limited run from late winter to early spring is just about over for the year.

But a few brave voices argue it's no longer all that delightful to see little girls peddling packaged cookies, or to buy them in the name of supporting the community. (And no, this is not an April Fools' joke.)

To some doctors and parents, the tradition increasingly feels out of step with the uncomfortable public health realities of our day.

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Shots - Health News
10:02 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Becoming More Popular Doesn't Protect Teens From Bullying

Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan, left) found out the hard way that moving up into the A-list clique doesn't protect you in the movie Mean Girls.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 6:01 am

Movies like Mean Girls have told us that the popular crowd rules, and the nerds and nonconformists get picked on.

But even the top rungs of high school social ladder aren't immune to bullying, researchers say. Becoming more popular can actually increase a teen's risk of getting bullied rather than making them immune to attack.

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