U.S. News

Parallels
7:56 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Japanese Baseball Began On My Family's Farm In Maine

Horace Wilson and other members of his family in a portrait believed to date to the 1860s. He's the mustachioed fellow standing at top right.
Courtesy of Abigail Sanborn

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 4:34 pm

There's this strange story about my family that doesn't often come up in casual conversation. We don't talk about it much. I had to prod them when I donned my headphones and stuck a microphone in their faces to do this story. But as soon as we share, people shout, "Why didn't you tell me about that before?"

Here it is: My great-great-great-uncle introduced baseball to Japan.

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U.S.
6:01 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Of Me I Sing: Americans Construct An Opt-Out Society

Parents are being encouraged to keep their children from taking standardized tests in school.
Shannon DeCelle AP

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 1:01 pm

Americans want to go their own way.

The right of individuals to question authority is one of the strongest facets of American life. But the ability to strike out on your own has always been balanced against the need for communal action in a complicated, continental country.

Right now, the pendulum is swinging more toward individualism.

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NPR Story
2:58 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Landslide Debris Makes Search And Recovery Excruciating Slow

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:24 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's day six of the search and rescue operation at the site of the landslide in Oso, Washington. The death toll stands right now at 26. Ninety people are still reported missing. That's left many families in limbo waiting for news. NPR's Martin Kaste reports on why the recovery work has been so excruciatingly slow.

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Shots - Health News
1:27 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Obamacare's National Enrollment Looks OK, But States Matter More

Maygan Rollins, a field organizer with Enroll America, talked health insurance options with Jerry Correa during a recent campaign in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:23 pm

With this year's deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the 6 million Americans who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren't) young.

But experts say the national numbers actually don't mean very much.

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The Salt
1:27 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Why We Got Fatter During The Fat-Free Food Boom

The 1990s were rife with low-fat packaged snacks, from potato chips to cookies.
Youtube and RetroJunk

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:24 am

If you want to trace Americans' fear of fat, the place to start is the U.S. Senate, during the steamy days of July 1976.

That's when Sen. George McGovern called a hearing to raise attention to the links between diet and disease.

And what was the urgency? The economy was booming, and many Americans were living high on the hog. A 1954 Capitol Hill restaurant menu offers a glimpse of what lunch looked like then: steak with claret sauce, buttered succotash and pineapple cheesecake. But soon, that prosperity began to cast a dark shadow within the halls of Congress.

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It's All Politics
5:01 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

The Pope And The President: Common Ground But A Clear Divide

Despite some differences, President Obama and Pope Francis shared a laugh during their Thursday meeting at the Vatican. Obama called himself a "great admirer" of the pope.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 11:04 am

President Obama's Vatican meeting with Pope Francis wasn't without a dose of irony.

The U.S. president, once the world leader whose vow of "hope" and "change" excited millions, seemed eclipsed Thursday in that department by the pope.

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The Changing Lives Of Women
4:31 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Women And Wealth: Local To Global Money Lessons

Our Women and Wealth series will involve you, too. We're asking women to share their best lessons about earning, saving, investing or using money. The above quote comes from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. You can see more from her, and other influential women, and add your two cents at our Tumblr, She Works Her Money.
NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:39 pm

When it comes to money, women rule. Literally.

Think about it: A woman holds the top job at the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Social Security Administration.

At the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde is the managing director.

These women run large, complex organizations that decide how money is invested, budgeted, saved and spent. They shape the rules that govern the global economy.

But over on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, men still do more risk-taking.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

As Obamacare Deadline Nears, Louisiana Gets Special Attention

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., speaks at an Oct. 2013 news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Landrieu's support for the Affordable Care Act is center stage in her campaign for a fourth Senate term.
Evan Vucci AP

With only four days left before the March 31 enrollment deadline, the White House is kicking into high gear trying to round up more Affordable Care Act enrollees – and Louisiana got special attention Thursday.

Why? Enrollment in the federal healthcare exchange there has lagged behind other states and, perhaps as important, citizens are getting bombarded with anti-ACA ads as Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu gears up for a tight race in November.

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Shots - Health News
4:01 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

How Being Ignored Helped A Woman Discover The Breast Cancer Gene

Mary-Claire King says obscurity gave her the freedom to spend years looking for breast cancer genes.
Mary Levin/University of Washington

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 7:17 am

Back in the 1970s, a geneticist named Mary-Claire King decided she needed to figure out why women in some families were much more likely to get breast cancer.

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History
3:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

When A Record Quake Struck Alaska, One Small Church Survived

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Fifty years ago today, the most powerful recorded earthquake in North American history struck Alaska. The quake, which measured 9.2 on the Richter scale, was also the second largest in recorded history. The trembler and the ensuing tsunami resulted in 30 deaths and caused massive destruction, including landslides that destroyed scores of city blocks in Anchorage.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Middle East
3:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

President Prepares To Meet King As U.S.-Saudi Divisions Deepen

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
3:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction

An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early-voting polling site in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 pm

It's that time again, when primary voters start casting their ballots for the midterm elections. As in recent years, voters face new rules and restrictions, including the need in 16 states to show a photo ID.

But this year, some voting rights activists say they're seeing a change — fewer new restrictions and, in some places, even a hint of bipartisanship.

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News
2:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Air Force Roots Out Cheaters In Ranks — As Well As Why They Did It

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 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.

The Air Force has fired nine officers in connection with a cheating scandal at one nuclear missile base. An investigation found there was widespread cheating on proficiency tests at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The case involves a total of 79 officers.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James called it a problem of leadership culture.

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Politics
2:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Internal Report Clears Christie Of Bridgegate, But Dems Don't Buy It

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 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.

We now have the results of an internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. Today's report was commissioned by the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and it finds the governor did nothing wrong. It won't be the last word. Critics question the report's credibility, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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Around the Nation
2:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

A Tour Of The Tragedy In Washington Mudslide Zone

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Snohomish County, Washington, crews are still digging through tons of mud and debris trying to find survivors. Some 90 people are still missing after Saturday's landslide. At least 25 are dead.

Reporters are now being let into the mudslide zone. Among them is Tom Banse of Northwest News Network. He joins us now.

And, Tom, describe what you saw on this tour earlier today.

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Europe
2:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

IMF Bailout Comes With A Hefty Side Of Pain For Ukrainians

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 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.

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Shots - Health News
10:58 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Marathon Training Lowers Heart Disease Risk In Middle-Aged Men

Runners head out during the start of the 115th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011, in Hopkinton, Mass.
Elsa Garrison/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:48 pm

It seems like every cubicle dweller I know is training for a marathon. But then there are those tragic headlines about middle-aged runners keeling over dead at the finish line. Is this really a good idea?

Marathon training actually reduces a person's cardiovascular risk, according to a study presented Thursday at the American College of Cardiology's scientific sessions in Washington, D.C. That's true even if they're just average recreational runners, not elite athletes.

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The Salt
10:12 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Can The Meat Industry Help Protect Wildlife? Some Say Yes

Fox Ranch, outside Yuma County, Colo., is a 14,000-acre nature preserve and working cattle ranch owned by The Nature Conservancy. The ranch is an experiment in planned grazing, which aims to improve soil health and help ranchers' bottom lines.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:15 pm

Last week we reported on a new campaign from the Center for Biological Diversity that hopes to persuade Americans to cut back on their meat consumption. Their pitch? Eat less meat and you will help save wildlife.

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Around the Nation
3:09 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Landslide Dangers Abound In Whatcom County, Wash.

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Search crews working in Oso, Wash., north of Seattle, have now found 24 bodies at the site of Saturday's massive landslide. As the efforts there settle into a grim routine, local officials face questions about why so many people lived in such a hazardous area.

NPR's Martin Kaste reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF HELICOPTER)

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Latin America
3:05 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Deportees To Mexicali Wait For Another Chance To Cross Into U.S.

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. With Linda Wertheimer, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

It was the middle of a sunny day when our road trip along the U.S.-Mexico border led us to one of the driest regions we'd seen.

(SOUNDBITE OF A VEHICLE)

INSKEEP: For a moment there, the landscape made our producer, Selena Simmons-Duffin, think of "Lawrence of Arabia." We had sand dunes over sand dunes over sand dunes. But in that landscape was a slash of blue.

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Parallels
12:58 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Crossing The Desert: Why Brenda Wanted Border Patrol To Find Her

Parts of the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border might stop vehicles, but they don't keep out those making the journey on foot.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:18 am

It's hard enough to drive through the Arizona desert, where the sun is harsh and the distances immense. This is the story of people who walk it.

In particular, it's the story of Brenda, who asked us to use only her first name. She told us yet another of the unbelievable stories you hear in the Borderland.

We met her in Nogales, Sonora, on the northern border of Mexico opposite Arizona. She was living in a shelter for deported people, where she told us of her brief and difficult stay in the United States.

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The Two-Way
6:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

High Court Considers Definition Of Domestic Violence In Gun Case

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:52 pm

Law enforcement, domestic violence organizations and gun control groups won an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday.

The justices ruled unanimously that people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses are barred under federal law from possessing a gun, even though some states do not require proof of physical force for conviction on domestic violence charges.

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It's All Politics
6:14 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

For Senate Candidates, It's Gaffe Season

U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley talks to supporters Karen and Dennis Swallow during a barbecue lunch in October 2013 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.
Scott Morgan AP

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Shots - Health News
4:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb

Researchers say intervention in early childhood may help the developing brain compensate by rewiring to work around the trouble spots.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:03 am

The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.

Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tissue samples from children without autism didn't have those characteristic patches.

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Remembering The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
4:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Brings 'Bad Juju' And Pain 25 Years Later

Scott Pegau, a scientist at the Prince William Sound Science Center, studies the effects of spilled oil on the environment in Cordova, Alaska.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:54 pm

At Ross Mullins' home in Cordova, Alaska, you have to slam the front door extra hard to make it close. The former commercial fisherman lives in a small wood-frame house that's in need of repair. Some of the windows are cracked and he leaves the water faucets dripping to protect uninsulated pipes from the harsh Alaskan winter.

When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground and started leaking oil 25 years ago, the disaster drastically changed the fishing industry in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Mullins has never recovered from that blow.

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Sports
3:51 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

NLRB Sides With College Football Players Hoping To Unionize

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 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.

A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board today could really shake up big-money college sports. The board took the first step in favor of allowing Northwestern University's football players to unionize. A regional director for the board ruled that these college athletes meet the definition of university employees under federal law.

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U.S.
2:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Protesters Want To Sue Secret Service: Do They Have The Right?

A 2004 case involving the Secret Service made its way to the Supreme Court Wednesday. Demonstrators want to sue for being moved away from then-President George W. Bush.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 pm

On a day when three of President Obama's Secret Service agents were put on leave for "disciplinary reasons," the agency came under scrutiny in the U.S. Supreme Court for a separate incident.

The court heard arguments in a case testing whether Secret Service agents can be sued for moving a group of protesters out of earshot of President George W. Bush in 2004.

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U.S.
2:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Unanimous Jury Convicts Al-Qaida Propagandist In Manhattan

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Today, in New York City, just blocks from where World Trade towers stood, a jury convicted Osama bin Laden's son-in-law of conspiring to kill Americans. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was a chief propagandist for al-Qaida. He was seen in videos with bin Laden immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Now he faces life in prison when he's sentenced later this year.

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Around the Nation
2:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Washington State's 'Slide Hill' Has A History Of Landslides

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's now five days into the search for survivors of the massive landslide in Oso in Washington's Snohomish County. National Guard Troops are combing the area with emergency extraction teams. The unofficial death toll so far is now 24, and authorities are promising more clarity tomorrow on the list of missing people. Some 176 persons are unaccounted for but the real number is thought to be lower than that.

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Shots - Health News
2:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

That Health Insurance Deadline Now Comes With Wiggle Room

Christine Moyer checks out options at a health insurance enrollment fair on March 18 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 pm

We're just five days away from the March 31 deadline to sign up for individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. For weeks, administration officials, including the president, have insisted that there would be no extensions to the scheduled end of the six-month open enrollment period.

But now there's some wiggle room. Let's review, shall we?

Start with the key question: Is Monday still the deadline?

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