Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 12:40 pm
The standard by which a person is judged to be mentally competent enough to face execution for a crime will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed Monday to hear a Florida case revolving around that issue.
The capital punishment case, Hall, Freddie L. v. Fla., centers on the standard for judging mental disability and how state officials arrive at that judgment. The case will be argued in Washington early in 2014.
Vincent Schaefer, one of the General Electric scientists who worked on Project Cirrus in the 1940s, <a href="http://www.gereports.com/thinking-outside-the-cold-box/">makes</a> snow in the lab using dry ice.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:29 pm
Several prank bombs caused paranoia at Los Angeles International Airport last week. One — packed in a 20-ounce soda bottle — exploded in a restroom, one on the tarmac and a third was found just fizzling.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus has made his career monitoring the Earth's climate, and he's alarmed at what he sees. After reading a new, bleak international report on climate change, Holthaus has decided one important way to reduce his carbon footprint is to give up airplane travel for good.
Washington State has finalized rules for recreational marijuana sales, joining Colorado in beginning to create a legal framework for the pot industry. Randy Simmons, deputy director of the Washington Liquor Control Board, says other states and even other countries are watching Washington's developing system very closely.
The pull of addiction can come from many directions: from food to alcohol to the Internet. So what connects those dependencies?
"Addiction is a memory, it's a reflex. It's training your brain in something which is harmful to yourself," says Dr. Charles P. O'Brien, co-founder of the Center for Studies of Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 8:08 am
The Slants, a six-member band from Portland, Ore., calls their sound "Chinatown Dance Rock" — a little bit New Order, a little bit Depeche Mode. They describe themselves as one of the first Asian-American rock bands. Their music caters to an Asian-American crowd, they've spoken at various Asian-American events, and they're proud of all of it.
Known for quiet diplomacy, Saudi Arabia is taking an unusual and very public step to protest the international community's failure to resolve the crisis in Syria and other issues that interest Riyadh.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia was elected to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which the Saudi ambassador to the U.N. initially called a defining moment in his nation's history.
Four months have passed since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden began spilling secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, but many Americans still don't know what to think about the disclosures.
For good reason. The surveillance programs are highly technical, involving the bulk interception of huge volumes of communication data as they traverse multiple links and networks. The laws governing what the NSA can do are complex and open to conflicting interpretations.
Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story about the U.S. government's massive surveillance program, is quittingThe Guardian. He's leaving the British daily and joining a journalism startup with eBay founder and billionaire philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.
A facility outside Seattle, surrounded by pine trees, is a refuge for addicts — of technology.
There are chickens, a garden and a big treehouse with a zip line. A few guys kick a soccer ball around between therapy appointments in the cottage's grassy backyard.
The reSTART center was set up in 2009. It treats all sorts of technology addictions, but most of the young men who come through here — and they are all young men — have the biggest problem with video games.
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel speaks at his election night party on Feb. 22, 2011, in Chicago. As mayor of Chicago, Emanuel has faced major challenges, ranging from a ballooning deficit to education, the economy and crime.
Credit Kiichiro Sato / AP
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union, parents, students and other opponents of a plan to close scores of Chicago public schools march through downtown Chicago in March. In the end, the city closed 50 schools, mostly in low-income communities.
Credit Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
Protesters at an anti-gun violence rally in Chicago in February hold up photos of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton at the scene where she was killed Jan. 29. She was shot dead two weeks after she performed at President Obama's second inauguration.
A little more than two years ago, Chicago's then-mayor-elect, Rahm Emanuel, expressed his gratitude to supporters on election night.
"Thank you Chicago, for this humbling victory," he told the crowd. "You sure know how to make a guy feel at home."
But today, Emanuel faces sobering challenges common to most of American's biggest cities.
Not only are schools troubled, Chicago's homicide rate spiked last year — a total of 516 murders — the highest in 10 years. Unemployment is 9 percent. And the city's deficit is looming near the $1 billion mark.
Convicted killer Joseph Jenkins in a photograph taken on Sept. 20 by the Orange County,Fla., Sheriff's Office — after he escaped from prison. Jenkins went to the Orange County Jail to register as a felon.
Convicted killer Charles Walker in a photograph taken on Oct. 11 by the Orange County, Fla., Sheriff's Office — after he escaped from prison. Walker went to the Orange County Jail to register as a felon.
Philadelphia Public Schools have been facing a funding crisis. There have been a series of layoffs, including assistant principals, school nurses and counselors. Some funding has come through to rehire hundreds of staffers, but not any new nurses. Host Scott Simon speaks with Eileen DiFranco, who has been a school nurse in the city for more than 23 years, about the situation.
After years of jokes, Ultimate Frisbee players say they're finally getting some respect. This year the sport received provisional recognition from the International Olympic Committee, and Ryland Barton of KWBU in Waco, Texas, reports that this weekend its national championship will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
The Cardinals beat the Dodgers Friday night, and Detroit and Boston are back at Fenway on Saturday. Host Scott Simon talks with Howard Bryant of ESPN about the games and what's ahead for the World Series.
The political instability over funding the U.S. government and raising the debt ceiling could have international financial implications. Host Scott Simon speaks with Matthew Goodman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies about how emerging economies view the dollar after the current debt crisis.
This week, politicians and pundits of almost all persuasions seemed to agree that the Republican Party took a hit from the shutdown. But Jonah Goldberg of the National Review sees a path forward. Hos Scott Simon talks with Goldberg about how the party can put its schisms behind it.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. San Antonio's newest library doesn't look very bookish. It's got neon orange walls, a play area for children that has glowing screens, and it abounds with desktop computers, iPads, eBooks and laptops. They call it BiblioTech because it's completely digital. There is no paper in this library.
Washington, D.C.'s football team has been under increasing criticism for keeping an old team name that's a racial epithet. I usually don't say it. I will now - for the purposes of information. The Washington Redskins. That name's been hotly debated, criticized for being a racial slur, but defended by the team's owners as actually being a kind of tribute to Native Americans.
Not all viruses are bad for us. Some of them might even help up us fight off bacterial infections someday.
Naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages attack specific types of bacteria. So researchers at the University of Leicester decided to try and take advantage of phages' bacteria-destroying powers to treat infections with Clostridium difficile, a germ that that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.