After Minnesota legalized gay marriage at midnight on Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak kept his City Hall open all night, performing one same-sex marriage ceremony after another. By the wee hours of the morning, he had officiated the weddings of 46 couples. He tells Melissa Block about the experience.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory sent out a plate of cookies to abortion law protesters who had gathered outside the governor's mansion on Tuesday. Audie Cornish speaks with Mary C. Curtis, who writes for the Washington Posts' blog She the People, about the incident and North Carolina politics.
In Boston Friday, former mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger said he would not take the stand in his criminal trial and that his defense would rest. But before that happened, he railed at the judge and his defense team.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts received increased attention following the leaks about programs monitoring U.S. citizens. Some lawmakers are proposing changes to secret courts, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). He speaks with Melissa Block about the proposal.
U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world will be closed on Sunday and possible for longer. The State Department says it is taking the step "out of an abundance of caution" and wouldn't say if they are receiving direct threats. Members of Congress say there are concerns about an al-Qaida-linked attack. Last year, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed in Benghazi, along with three other Americans. At that time, there were also violent protests at U.S. embassies in Cairo and Tunisia.
The Internal Revenue Service, under attack by congressional Republicans, has been operating without a permanent commissioner. President Obama nominated John Koskinen on Thursday for what might be seen as a thankless job.
The president called his nominee "an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform." But Koskinen will have his work cut out for him, starting with his Senate confirmation hearing.
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant California an extension on an order issued by the justices more than two years ago for the state to release some 10,000 inmates from its overcrowded prisons.
The high court's original May 2011 ruling held that congested conditions in the California's 33 prisons amounted to cruel and unusual punishment as defined by the Eighth Amendment. The court gave the state two years to comply with an order to free the prisoners and alleviate the overcrowding.
Bick Boyte plops a 1-pound bullfrog in his aluminum canoe, still half alive. He resumes his kneeling position, perched upfront, on the hunt for a big bellower. Boyte hears the "wom, wom, wom" and knows frogs are within reach.
Boyte and Tommy Peebles have been "gigging" Tennessee ponds together since their daddies first taught them. Boyte now owns a truck dealership. Peebles is a real estate lawyer. But in the warm moonlight, they revert to their boyhoods. Peebles does the paddling.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 1:48 pm
The lighting in the NPR newsroom isn't doing me any favors. Maybe it's time to get some "work" done? Then again, cosmetic surgery makes people look only about three years younger and no more attractive, according to a study that tries to add some objectivity to a very subjective field of medicine.
The researchers took before and after photos of 49 people who underwent facial cosmetic surgery at a private practice in Toronto. The patients ranged in age from 42 to 73. Some had face-lifts and neck-lifts; others had brow-lifts or had their eyelids done.
In New York, a jury has found former Goldman Sachs securities trader liable on six of the seven fraud charges. This is being seen as a big win for the Securities and Exchange Commission, as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.
One day after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last December, Liza Long wrote a blog post urging the country to focus on treatment for the nation's mentally ill youth. In it, she shared the story of her own son, "Michael" (not his real name). "I live with a son who is mentally ill," she wrote for The Blue Review.
Skiers Jessie Diggins (from left), Kikkan Randall and Sadie Bjornsen finish practice. During the summer, they ski on Eagle Glacier to prepare for competition. It's one of the few places where skiers can train on snow during the summer.
The U.S. women's cross-country ski team has never won an Olympic medal. But that could change in Sochi, Russia, in February. The team has a secret weapon: a pristine glacier high above the mountains of Anchorage.
On the ground, it's summer. But as soon as the helicopter crests the mountain: winter. The snowy white Eagle Glacier stretches out for miles, rimmed by rocky peaks.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:55 am
Taking acetaminophen causes rare but potentially deadly skin reactions in some people, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.
The goal is not to scare people off Tylenol and other acetaminophen-based pain relievers, which are among the most popular medications in the United States, federal officials say.
Instead, they want people to be aware that these skin conditions can be a side effect of using acetaminophen, so that if they notice a rash or other skin reaction they can stop taking the drug and quickly get to a doctor.
There's a large contingent of the public that sees Edward Snowden as a victim, a whistle-blower who saw abuse and revealed it. Just today, a poll released by Quinnipiac University found that among registered voters, 55 percent consider him a whistle-blower; only 34 percent called Snowden a traitor. Of course, it all depends on how you define whistle-blower.
JESSELYN RADACK: My definition is based on the legal definition...
Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre was found liable on six of seven counts on Thursday. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Tourre of misleading investors in a mortgage-linked security.
House Republicans' plans to hold the line on federal spending and maintaining the cuts demanded by sequestration were thrown into doubt this week. Leaders abruptly pulled a transportation spending bill off the floor, prompting a rare public statement from the Republican chairman of the appropriations committee to lash out at the decision.
The New York Jets are one of many teams with a quarterback controversy headed into the new season. But in New York, it seems that controversy attaches itself to everything the Jets do. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath reflects on the difficulties of leading the Jets.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:59 pm
A federal jury in New York City has found that Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs trader who regulators say caused investors to lose $1 billion, is liable in the mortgage securities fraud case filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Regulators say Tourre, 34, a native of France who was nicknamed "Fab" in his office, packaged toxic subprime mortgages into a collateralized debt obligation that was sold to investors under the name Abacus in 2007.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm
Every Sunday, hundreds of worshippers descend on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee. They come here to pray and to eat a weekly meal together, called a langar. On Aug. 5, 2012, as women were preparing the meal, a gunman opened fire, killing six people, including the temple president, a priest, fathers and a mother, before turning the gun on himself. Photos of the victims now hang in the lobby of the temple, called a gurdwara.
Buzz, Georgia Tech's mascot, wasn't the only bug in the students' midst last fall. An outbreak of bacterial pneumonia sickened at least 83 in what the CDC called the largest known outbreak at a university in 35 years.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:26 pm
You can lead college students to soap and water, but you can't make them wash their hands. In fact, you can't even make them read their e-mail.
That was one takeaway from an outbreak of pneumonia at Georgia Tech last fall that sickened at least 83 students – "the largest [outbreak] reported at a university in 35 years," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. In a few minutes, we'll hear from the former Commerce Secretary in the George W. Bush administration, Carlos Gutierrez. He's organized a group of high-powered Republican donors to press for immigration reform. He says immigration is a boon to the economy and we'll hear more of his argument in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the number of FBI background checks jumped after September 11th, but a new report says the agency's records aren't always accurate and their mistake could cost you a job. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:01 am
How will humans survive the zombie apocalypse? Will it be each man for himself or will a coordinated effort be what saves us from ultimate doom?
An MIT professor is trying to answer this question for us mortals. "There is a price that society pays if everyone determines his behavior selfishly," Ruben Juanes says. And this cost of selfish behavior is what game theorists call the price of anarchy.
And our last word in business today is Lucy in the sky with diamonds.
That's the message and the title of a combination art installation/holiday experience.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
The Curtis Hotel in Denver is offering the following accommodations: A 5-by-7-foot inflatable chamber - kind of like a kids' bouncy house - set on top of a lift, which is on top of a van. The price tag: $50,000.
And let's hear now about more leaks about government surveillance from Edward Snowden, and more signs that Congress wants to limit that kind of surveillance. The latest round of leaks showed up in The Guardian newspaper, in an article detailing the power of a program that searches the Internet for everything from e-mail traffic to Web surfing.
As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, the government continues to insist these efforts are legal and that it respects civil liberties.