U.S. News

Around the Nation
3:39 am
Sat November 30, 2013

From Lab To Lectern, Scientists Learn To Turn On the Charm

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 4:15 pm

About 20 scientists are clustered in a cramped conference room in San Diego, one of the country's science hubs, but they aren't there to pore over their latest research. Instead, this is a meeting of BioToasters — a chapter of the public speaking organization Toastmasters, geared specifically toward scientists.

"For a typical scientist, they will spend a lot of time at the bench, so they're doing a lot of maybe calculations or lab work where they're not interacting directly from person to person," says BioToasters President Zackary Prag, a lab equipment sales rep.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Costumed As Homeless, Mormon Bishop Teaches A Lesson In Compassion

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Finally, this hour, a Mormon bishop in Taylorsville, Utah, went to great lengths last Sunday to teach his congregation a lesson. David Musselman disguised himself as a homeless person with the help of a professional makeup artist friend. After getting mutton-chops, a ski hat and thick glasses, the bishop waited outside his church and wished congregants a happy Thanksgiving. To describe what happened next, I'm joined by Bishop Musselman, welcome to the program.

BISHOP DAVID MUSSELMAN: Glad to be here. Thanks, Ari.

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Business
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Black Friday's Mission Creep: When The Holiday Deals Are Elsewhere

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one the busiest, most hectic shopping day of the year. But how important is it for retailers and as an indicator of the strength of the holiday shopping season?

Business
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

'Retail Theater:' Inflated Retail Prices Meant To Look Like Steals

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Ari Shapiro talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Kapner about the fake discounts retailers build into their products during the holiday season.

Code Switch
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

New Pilot Program Gives Immigrant Detainees Public Defenders

Matthew Diller, dean of Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law, talks with press about the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project in June.
Cardozo School of Law

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:34 am

In the American criminal justice system, you have the right to an attorney. And if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

That's not the case if you're a defendant in U.S. immigration court. Immigration proceedings are civil matters, and the Constitution does not extend the right to court-appointed attorneys to immigrant detainees.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

In A Small Town With Big Events, Some Are Tiring Of Tourism

In Traverse City, which has hosted the National Cherry Festival since 1926, some residents say festivals occupy the public park too much, while others say it's a reasonable price to pay for the money it brings to businesses.
Traverse City Tourism AP

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 8:29 pm

Many small towns across the country are using special events to attract visitors and commerce. The strategy has been a big hit in places like Aspen, Colo., and Park City, Utah, whose names have become synonymous with major festivals.

But it can take a toll. Some residents in the northern Michigan town of Traverse City complain that they're suffering from festival fatigue and would like a little less excitement.

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Politics
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Week In Politics: HealthCare.gov And Troop Levels In Afghanistan

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:12 pm

Ari Shapiro speaks with political commentators, EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the HealthCare.gov Website and the discord over reaching a troop agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Health
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

As HealthCare.Gov's Deadline Approaches, What Will Be Ready?

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. Tomorrow is judgment day for healthcare.gov. The Obama administration has repeatedly said that by November 30, the troubled website will be up and running for the vast majority of users, and officials say they're on track to reach that goal.

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The Salt
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Party Like It's 1799: Traditional Cider Makes A Comeback

Chuck Shelton in the cold room at Albemarle CiderWorks in Virginia, which makes sparkling alcoholic cider with some of the same apple varieties used by Thomas Jefferson.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 10:51 am

Feeling extra American this week? Wanna keep that post-turkey glow going? Well, how about a very American beverage: cider?

We're not talking about the hot mulled stuff that steams up your kitchen, or the sweet pub draft in a pint glass. This cider is more like sparkling wine.

"This is a phenomenally funky, sour, even mildly smoky cider that has to be tasted to be believed," says Greg Engert, one of the owners of a bar in Washington called ChurchKey. He's pouring cider from a tall champagne-style bottle that retails for around $15.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

A Killer As A Child, Teenage Assassin Now Free In U.S.

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. An American teenager who spent three years in a Mexican prison for heinous crimes is believed to be back in Texas now living with his family. Edgar Jimenez Lugo was 14 when he was arrested and admitted to beheading four people in Mexico. He was working for a drug cartel. Lugo served nearly the maximum sentence for someone of his age and now he's free. Richard Fausset has been covering this story for the Los Angeles Times. He joins us from Mexico City. Hi there.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

From Shop Class To Shipyard: Oregon's Plan For Industrial Interns

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

President Obama often talks about making sure American students graduate high school ready for college. But one program in Oregon is reaching out to the shop class crowd of students who would rather learn a paying trade right away than stay in a classroom. Manufacturers there are using a new internship program to recruit and train teenagers straight out of high school to be machinists, welders and painters. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning reports.

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StoryCorps' National Day Of Listening
12:50 am
Fri November 29, 2013

An Abuse Survivor Finds Family In A Special Teacher

When he was being abused, Rogelio Martinez says his teacher, Lisa Moya King, showed him that he was not alone.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 1:53 pm

Friday is the National Day of Listening, a chance to sit down with a loved one, turn on an audio recorder and ask that person about his or her life. You can find tips on how to record your conversation at nationaldayoflistening.org.

When Rogelio Martinez enrolled in Lisa Moya King's dance class in high school, his father had been deported. Rogelio was bouncing around among family members — and he was being abused.

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
12:46 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Epic Commutes Face Those Caught In Public Transit Puzzle

It takes Chicago resident Sarah Hairston two hours to go 15 miles to get to her part-time job.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

It's a sign of the times: More people are commuting for more than an hour to get to work, and many of the longest commutes are at least partially on public transportation.

Take Sarah Hairston's commute from her apartment on Chicago's South Side to her part-time job at a shelter for homeless teens on the north side of town.

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Shots - Health News
2:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Breaking Up With HealthCare.gov Is Hard To Do

Lara Imler has tried to cancel her enrollment on HealthCare.gov, but to no avail.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:43 pm

Enrolling in HealthCare.gov is not easy, and it's been particularly difficult in Alaska. Just 53 people enrolled in the first month.

Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few who got through, as we previously reported. But Imler discovered problems with her application, and now she wants to cancel her enrollment.

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History
2:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

'Thanks' To The Woman Who Helped Make A November Thursday Special

This portrait of Sarah Josepha Hale, painted by James Reid Lambdin, hangs in Newport, N.H., where she was born.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:39 pm

Thursday's holiday has Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for helping it get national recognition.

Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. And Hale, a prominent magazine editor, persuaded him to declare a national holiday.

Hale, who was from New Hampshire, was a prolific writer of biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials and volumes of poetry, including the children's rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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It's All Politics
12:45 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Very Brief Political History

President George W. Bush paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to American troops in Baghdad on Nov. 27, 2003.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

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All Tech Considered
8:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

HealthCare.gov Team Working Through Holiday To Meet Deadline

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visits navigators helping enroll people on HealthCare.gov.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:07 pm

Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.

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Shots - Health News
7:08 am
Thu November 28, 2013

After The Cranberries And Pie, Let's Talk About Death

What seemed like a burden can become a gift.
iStockphoto

On Thanksgiving morning I'll be making pies with my mom, just as I have ever since I was a girl. But at some point I know we'll be talking about more than shortening versus butter. We'll be talking about how she would like to die.

A few months ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit, she's back home, using her new blue walker to get around.

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U.S.
1:06 am
Thu November 28, 2013

How Fracking In Pennsylvania Helps Clear The Air In New York

The building at 120 East 81st Street is among those converting from an oil- to natural-gas-burning furnace.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:45 am

The state of New York effectively has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing as the government figures out how to regulate the controversial drilling technology. Still, the state is benefiting from a fracking-fueled drilling boom in next-door Pennsylvania.

For decades, oil has been the fuel of choice for thousands of residential buildings in New York City. But now there are fewer chimneys spewing black smoke. That's because the city has a program encouraging owners to convert to cleaner-burning natural gas.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Small-Business Access To Online Health Exchanges Delayed Again

Small employers can still enroll in Affordable Care Act coverage through insurers or brokers, but not through the online exchanges.
iStockphoto

The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.

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Around the Nation
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Wintry Weather May Put Thanksgiving Parades In Peril

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The nasty storm that's dumping rain and snow from Texas all the way up the East Coast isn't just a mess for Thanksgiving travelers. It's bad news for Spider-Man, Snoopy and Hello Kitty. Those beloved comic characters are fan-favorite balloons in Thanksgiving parades, and the biggest and best known is in New York, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Winds in Manhattan have taken their toll in past years. You've probably seen the news footage, as in 1993.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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U.S.
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Winter Storm Freezes Holiday Travel

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you are like many Americans, on thing now stands between you and your Thanksgiving turkey: A long trip by plane, train, bus or car. And stormy weather is slowing things down. Airports are experiencing delays, even some cancellations.

And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, the story is no better on the road.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: This would of course be a bad day to travel, even in the best case scenario. So many trying to get to turkey tomorrow left early today.

STEPHANIE CORRADO: I'm a little concerned...

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Politics
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Democratic Senator Pushes For More Sanctions Against Iran, Not Fewer

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. I'm not trying to scuttle the deal - those words earlier this week from Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. He's one of several high profile Democrats who voiced skepticism of the agreement announced over the weekend to curb Iran's nuclear program. His chief concern with the deal, that it lets Iran off the hook by offering some $7 billion worth of sanctions relief.

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Shots - Health News
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Booming Demand For Donated Breast Milk Raises Safety Issues

Madison Fitzgerald, 20, holds her baby, Jake, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Jake, who was born 16 weeks too early, receives donor breast milk every three hours by mouth.
Carrie Feibel/KUHF

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

The public health message that "breast is best" has been received loud and clear. More mothers in the U.S. are breast-feeding, and they're doing so longer than ever.

But those simple facts hide a complicated world where passions about breast milk run high, and demand has skyrocketed.

Women who have extra milk are intensively courted, by hospitals who need the breast milk for premature babies and by moms who can't nurse their own babies and don't want to use formula.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

'Turkey Day' Stuffing: Unlikely Pitches Fill Our Inboxes

Talkin' Turkey: In the run-up to Thanksgiving, marketers and PR pros seem to compete for the title of the most creative tie-in to their own business or cause. That led us to list some notable pitches.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:56 pm

Turkey is not the only thing that gets stuffed during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Our email inboxes, like yours, have been in Operation Overload this week, glutted with sweet potato souffle recipes, deals of the day, countdowns to Black Friday with BIG SAVINGS and FREE SHIPPING, doorbuster coupons, notices of Santa bar crawls, and more directions for the use of cream cheese than an old Paula Deen cookbook.

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The Salt
1:46 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Did Your Thanksgiving Turkey Take Any Antibiotics?

Turkeys sit in a barn in Sonoma, Calif. An estimated 46 million turkeys are cooked and eaten during Thanksgiving meals in the U.S.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:02 pm

In our series Pharmed Food, we've been looking closely at how the livestock industry in the U.S. uses antibiotics, and what that might mean for human health.

And so as Americans prepare to roast and baste plump, juicy holiday birds, we couldn't help but wonder what antibiotics the average turkey might have been given.

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Shots - Health News
1:42 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

In Rural Iowa, Distance Makes Health Care Sign-Ups A Challenge

Insurance help isn't easy to find in many Iowa counties.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:05 am

Broadlawns Medical Center has been serving low-income residents of Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding countryside for decades. Now there's a twist in Broadlawns' mission as a public hospital: helping people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

On a recent Saturday morning, Jerrine Sanford traveled half an hour from the small town of Runnells to get her insurance questions answered at a hospital-run event.

Sanford, 47, is out of work because of a back injury. She's worried about the law's requirement that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Poultry Pardon: President Rewards America's Top Turkey

President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from left, and Malia, right, bestows a presidential pardon on Popcorn, the turkey, in a White House Thanksgiving tradition.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:56 pm

A turkey caught a break in Washington today. President Obama bestowed the traditional presidential pardon to a turkey named Popcorn, who now becomes the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey. It's the 66th anniversary of the tradition that keeps a lucky turkey or two off the dinner table.

In bestowing the official pardon, the president also observed the tradition of cracking a few jokes at the short outdoor ceremony at the White House, where he was joined by his daughters, Natasha and Malia.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Small Businesses Get One-Year Delay In Health Insurance Process

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:29 pm

The Obama administration announced it is delaying until November 2014 a requirement that small businesses shop for health insurance via the troubled federal HealthCare.gov site, which has been blamed for many problems since its launch last month. The shift applies to businesses with fewer than 50 full-time workers.

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Books
10:29 am
Wed November 27, 2013

A Year Inside The New York Jets

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 7:17 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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