U.S. News

The Two-Way
6:08 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Kerry Will Travel To Kiev Amid Escalating Crisis

Ukrainian military personnel stand guard in the Crimean port city of Feodosia on Sunday. Ukraine is mobilizing for war, calling up reserve troops.
Thomas Peter Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 6:12 pm

This post was updated at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who has described Moscow's military intervention in the Crimea an "incredible act of aggression," will travel to Ukraine's capital on Tuesday to meet with the country's embattled government.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement late Sunday that Kerry "will meet with senior representatives of Ukraine's new government, leaders of the Rada [Ukraine's parliament], and members of the civil society."

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Shots - Health News
5:33 am
Sun March 2, 2014

FDA To Increase Access To Generic Morning-After Pills

Women's health groups campaigned hard to make a generic — and often cheaper — emergency contraceptive pill more widely available.
Elise Amendola AP

The Food and Drug Administration has decided to allow generic versions of the most popular form of emergency contraceptive pills to be sold over the counter, without age restrictions, after all.

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Economy
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

With Housing Recovery, Mortgage-Market Jobs Dip

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 12:24 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

JP Morgan Chase announced this past week that it's going to lay off 8,000 people this year, most of them in the company's residential home loan business. Home sales are slowing nationwide and are now at their lowest point in 18 months. So, does that mean we headed for another housing swoon? Well, NPR's Chris Arnold says that things might be better than they appear.

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Around the Nation
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

With Detroit's New Plan, Plenty Of Pain To Go Around

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

Detroit's emergency manager recently released his plan to get the city through bankruptcy. What do retired city workers think about possible reductions to their pension through the city's bankruptcy?

Around the Nation
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Throw Me Something (Again), Mister: Mardi Gras Beads Revived

Beads are essential to celebrating Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but what happens to the tokens when the revelry ends?
Sean Garnder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras comes each year with dozens of parades filled with marching bands, colorful floats and parade-goers who scream, "Throw me something, Mister!"

That "something" the crowd wants are beads. The goal of any Mardi Gras parade is to catch as many as possible. After the revelry, people often have so many beads around their necks they can barely turn their heads.

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Politics
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

5 Years On, Tea Party Patriots 'Making A Difference,' Co-Founder Says

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

The Tea Party Patriots, one of the nation's largest Tea Party groups, celebrated its fifth anniversary this past week. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with the president and co-founder, Jenny Beth Martin.

Politics
4:01 am
Sun March 2, 2014

In Drafting A Presidential Budget, Cost May Outweigh Benefit

Presidents have been submitting budgets since the 1920s, but now that lawmakers have the Congressional Budget Office, is the exercise worth it?
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

On Tuesday, President Obama will unveil his budget proposal for the coming year. But for all the sound and fury surrounding the president's spending plan, it's likely to have very little significance. Congress routinely ignores the president's budget. And lawmakers have already settled on overall spending levels for the coming year.

That's led some to ask whether it's time to bring the curtain down on this annual exercise in political theater.

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Around the Nation
4:25 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Courts Take A Kinder Look At Victims Of Child Sex Trafficking

An ad on a bus shelter in New Mexico is part of an ongoing effort to educate law enforcement and the public about human trafficking. The Justice Department estimates that each year at least 200,000 children are trafficked for sex in the U.S.
AP

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

We've all seen them: the public service announcements about sex trafficking in America. They're plastered on buses and billboards; images of young women exploited for their bodies, with hotlines to call for help.

The numbers are staggering. The Justice Department estimates that each year at least 200,000 children are trafficked for sex in the U.S., and it is said to generate upward of $32 billion a year.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Oregon Braces For Latest Round Of Food Stamp Cuts

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

In fact, most of those 15 or so states that use the Heat and Eat loophole have Democratic governors. Along with New York and Connecticut are the likes of California, Massachusetts and Oregon. More than 20 percent of Oregonians are on food stamps. That's one of the highest rates in the country. These new cuts would affect over 140,000 people there. On average, they'd lose about $58 a month.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Some States Find Ways To Restore Cut Food Stamp Funding

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Last month, President Obama made a special trip to Michigan to sign the farm bill, finally passed after two years of disagreement in Congress. One important clause said to take effect this month is a major cut to food stamps. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cuts would affect about 850,000 households, saving about $8.5 billion over the next 10 years. That cut was achieved by closing what some see as a loophole regarding who qualifies for the program.

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Business
7:50 am
Sat March 1, 2014

A Picket Line At The Oscars: Visual-Effects Artists To Protest

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:37 am

Hundreds of visual-effects artists are planning to picket the Academy Awards on Sunday for the second year in a row. They're hoping to bring attention to what's been happening in their industry.

The field is losing jobs and relocating to countries with bigger subsidies for employers. It's the result of a technical revolution that's changed the profession since it kicked off in the 70s with Star Wars creator George Lucas' visual-effects company, Industrial Light and Magic.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Russia's Parliament Approves Putin's Call For Troops In Ukraine

Young people look at pro-Russian armed men blocking access to the Ukrainian frontier guard base in Balaklava, a small city not far from Sevastopol, on Saturday.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 4:32 pm

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

Russia's parliament has unanimously approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to authorize the intervention of Moscow's forces in Ukraine until "the normalization of the political situation" there. In response, Ukraine put its own forces on alert and warned that a Russian invasion would spark war between the two countries.

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Animals
5:57 am
Sat March 1, 2014

In The Arizona Wilds, Burro Murders Baffle Investigators

In Oatman, Ariz., burros are likely to nuzzle with tourists and are notoriously difficult to move out of harm's way.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:03 am

In the desert outside of Phoenix, there have been 18 shootings in the last five years, a series of mysteries that has stumped federal investigators.

Let's be clear, we're talking about donkeys: specifically, wild burros, the federally protected asses of the Old West. In late January, out among the desert scrub and beavertail cactus, two from the Lake Pleasant herd were found dead.

"We consider that a murder scene," says Steve Bird, a burro specialist with the Bureau of Land Management.

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Around the Nation
5:56 am
Sat March 1, 2014

New Orleans Piano Legend's Home Finally Restored After Katrina

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 8:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Professor Longhair's house has been saved. Now, last year we brought you a story about the piano legend and the nationwide effort to rebuild his home following Hurricane Katrina. Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair, is widely considered to be the father of modern New Orleans music. He died in 1980, but at carnival time especially, it's evident that Professor Longhair's influence endures. Now, his house will too. Gwen Thompkins brings us this story of music and more.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Around the Nation
5:56 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Learning To 'Be A Man' Brought Chicago Teen To The White House

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:43 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Sand Grinds World's Largest Tunneling Machine To A Halt

The Seattle tunneling machine known as Bertha, which started its task in July, is now stuck 60 feet underground.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:03 am

Contractors working for the state of Washington are planning a high-stakes operation to rescue Bertha — the world's largest tunneling machine.

Bertha is supposed to be boring a 2-mile highway tunnel under downtown Seattle, but it got stuck in December.

Bertha is on Seattle's waterfront, between South Main and South Jackson streets, about 60 feet straight down. At first, they thought the machine was being stymied by a big glacial rock. Then attention focused on the chewed-up remains of a metal pipe. But now it seems Bertha's ailment is mechanical.

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Bill That Bans Undercover Filming At Farms Enacted In Idaho

Dairy cows feed through a fence at an Idaho farm, in this 2009 file photo. Idaho's Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter enacted a bill Friday that criminalizes the act of secretly filming animal abuse at farms.
Charlie Litchfield AP

Idaho's Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed a bill that criminalizes the act of secretly filming animal abuse at agricultural facilities. The move comes days after the state's legislature approved the measure.

"Otter, a rancher, said the measure promoted by the dairy industry 'is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood,'" according to the AP.

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It's All Politics
3:56 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Hillary Clinton's Political Acumen And Other Tidbits From New Docs

Newly released documents by the Clinton Presidential Library shed light on Hillary Clinton's time as first lady.
Mark Wilson Associated Press

Did we learn anything new about Hillary Clinton from the documents released Friday by the Clinton Presidential Library? Was there anything that could matter if she decides to run for president?

The answer so far appears to be no. That said, there were still aspects of the documents that were singled out as interesting flashbacks to Clinton's time as first lady.

Against Individual Mandate Before She Was For It

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Obama Warns Russia Against Using Force In Ukraine

President Obama spoke about the Ukraine crisis Friday afternoon, saying, "The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:46 pm

Saying that the United States is "deeply concerned" by reports that Russia is taking military action in Ukraine, President Obama urged Russia not to intervene in the destabilized country, where tensions have reached new highs this week.

Obama said that he had spoken to Russia's President Putin in recent days, to foster cooperation in coping with the situation.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

'Magic' Overdose Drug Works, But Demand And Price On The Rise

Several states distribute Naloxone hydrochloride, also called Narcan, to treat opium-based drug overdoses. But only one company manufactures the drug, and the price has spiked in recent years.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Calls to the fire department for suspected drug overdoses are increasingly common in Revere, Mass. The department responded to 16 overdose calls in a single six-day stretch in February.

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It's All Politics
2:18 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Another Bush Takes Aim At Texas Office And Family Dynasty

George P. Bush passes a portrait of his grandfather George H.W. Bush at the Republican Party of Texas headquarters in Austin. Bush, the son of a governor and the nephew and grandson of two presidents, is running for Texas land commissioner.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 5:41 pm

George Prescott Bush.

Ring a bell?

It should, and if it doesn't, it soon will. George P. Bush, 37, is a great-grandson of a late U.S. senator from Connecticut; a grandson and nephew of former U.S. presidents; and the eldest son of ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who just may run for president himself in 2016.

On Tuesday, George P., referred to by some as the "Hispanic George Bush" because of his mother's Mexican heritage, will take his generation's first crack at the family business when he runs in a statewide Republican primary for Texas land commissioner.

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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

As Police Monitor Social Media, Legal Lines Become Blurred

BlueJay, a tool by social media monitoring company BrightPlanet, shows the locations of tweeters who have left their geotagging option activated.
BlueJay screenshot

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 6:33 pm

Social monitoring started in the world of marketing, allowing companies to track what people were saying about their brands. But now, with software that allows users to scan huge volumes of public postings on social media, police are starting to embrace it as well.

Many police departments in Britain use a product sold by CrowdControlHQ. CEO James Leavesley calls it a "social media risk media and monitoring" company, meant primarily as a means of staying in touch with the public. But Leavesley says it's also a way to detect trouble.

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Politics
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Behind The Curtain At The Clinton White House

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The Clinton Library and the National Archives released some 4,000 documents today from the Clinton administration. Among other things, the papers the deal with the Clinton's defeated healthcare reforms and then First Lady Hillary Clinton's image. They're part of a trove of documents and the first of several batches to be made public. NPR's Brian Naylor has been going through them and he joins me now. Brian, welcome.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

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Around the Nation
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Olympian Gets Parade In Remsen, Where Ticker Tape Is Made Of Snow

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The first American athlete to win an Olympic medal in singles luge returned home last night. Erin Hamlin's thrilling runs on the ice track in Sochi earned her the bronze. She also earned a police escort past miles of cheering crowds to her tiny hometown of Remsen. It's in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains. North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein was there for her homecoming.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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National Security
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Drawn By Twitter And Trained In Syria, Terrorists Could Turn West

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Syria, some 1,500 groups make up the insurgency. Among them, according to U.S. intelligence officials, are 7,500 foreign fighters from more than 50 countries. They include al-Qaida veterans from Afghanistan and Pakistan and they may be taking aim beyond Syria.

JAMES CLAPPER: And they do harbor designs on attacks in Europe and the homeland.

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Law
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

At Twenty Years Old, Landmark Gun Law Weathers New World

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Twenty years ago today, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act went into effect, that law pushed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The organization says since then more than two million gun purchases have been blocked by background checks, but as NPR's Allison Keyes reports, advocates also use this anniversary to warn about the law's loopholes.

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News
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Joint Surveillance Program Stores Millions Of Yahoo Webcam Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with two stories of authorities tracking people online. In a moment, we'll hear how some police in this country are using software to look for potential criminal activity on Twitter. But first, something you might think would be more private: webcam chats.

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Politics
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Dingell Dynasty Could Continue In Michigan

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

87-year-old John Dingell, the longest-serving member in the history of Congress, retires at the end of his current term. When he goes, another Dingell hopes to win his seat. Today, in the city of Dearborn, in the heart of Michigan's 12th district, Debbie Dingell, the congressman's wife, announced her candidacy. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Connecticut Looks To Sell Its Obamacare Exchange To Other States

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Connecticut's health insurance exchange, hopes to be able to market their expertise.
Jeff Cohen/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:14 am

Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Access Health CT, is walking through the 15th floor of a downtown Hartford office building that houses Connecticut's health insurance marketplace. He passes the legal department, the IT folks and the consultants, then stops in front of three large, wall-mounted computer screens.

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The Salt
1:21 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans

There are about 2,000 dairy cows on Pete Olsen's fifth-generation farm in northern Nevada. A new milk processing plant is now putting pressure on Olsen and other dairy farmers to expand the size of their herds. But with the ongoing drought, farmers are struggling to get enough feed for the cows they already have.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 1:13 pm

When Pete Olsen talks about drought on his fifth-generation dairy farm in Fallon, Nev., he's really talking about the snowpack 60 miles to the west in the Sierra Nevada.

The Sierras, Olsen says, are their lifeblood.

That is, the snowmelt from them feeds the Truckee and Carson rivers and a tangle of reservoirs and canals that make this desert bloom. Some of the highest-grade alfalfa in the world is grown here. And it makes perfect feed for dairy cows, because it's rich in nutrients.

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