U.S. News

The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Holy Empathy! Batkid Lives Superhero Dream In San Francisco

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, talks strategy with Batman before saving a woman from peril in San Francisco on Friday. The Make-A-Wish Foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City for Miles, creating a daylong event to grant the leukemia survivor's wish to be a superhero.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 4:50 pm

Friday was a busy day in the crime-fighting world. As a superhero might say, you never know when a dastardly plot will emerge. And sometimes you're outnumbered. But not in Gotham, and not today — because an entire city seemed to stand with Batkid, aka a 5-year-old boy named Miles, whose wish to be a superhero has been granted.

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It's All Politics
3:37 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

GOP Candidates Split Over Obamacare In Louisiana Race

State Sen. Neil Riser (left) and Vance McAllister are pictured in images provided by their campaigns. The two Republicans are running against each other in a Louisiana congressional special election.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:58 pm

There's a House special election Saturday, but almost no one outside Louisiana has noticed.

Here's why: The race in the state's safely Republican 5th Congressional District will have no impact on the balance of power in Congress.

There's also very little separation between state Sen. Neil Riser and businessman Vance McAllister, the Republicans who are battling to replace GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, on the major issues.

But there's one notable difference between the candidates that makes the contest worth watching — their stances on Obamacare.

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All Tech Considered
2:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Cellphones As Radios: Immigrants Dial In To Native Stations

Boubacar Sanogo from Mali drives a cab in New York City and listens to ZenoRadio on his smartphone — though it can also be accessed using a more basic model.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:07 pm

A year and half ago, Baruch Herzfeld, an entrepreneur in New York City, had a novel idea: connect immigrants in the U.S. with radio stations in their home country using nothing more than a cheap cellphone.

The result is ZenoRadio.

ZenoRadio employee Atif Enin, who's from Egypt, points to a list of countries, each with a U.S. phone number.

"This is for a local Egyptian station; this is for Lebanese, Moroccan, then Syrian, Yemeni, Algerian, Iraqi and Somali," Enin says.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

U.S. Tech Firms May Be Feeling Bite From NSA Spying Reports

Recent disclosures about NSA surveillance have affected U.S. relations with allies and tainted America's image around the world. Now the fallout seems to be creeping into the U.S. tech sector.

Cisco Systems, which manufactures network equipment, posted disappointing first-quarter numbers this week and warned that revenues for the current quarter could drop as much as 10 percent from a year ago — partly as a consequence of the NSA revelations.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Study: Odds Of Being Murdered Closely Tied To Social Networks

Chicago police investigate a shooting in front of the Uptown Baptist Church in August. Five people were shot, one fatally, during the drive-by, in which gunmen fired more than 20 rounds.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 3:06 pm

A team of scientists has confirmed something your parents probably warned you about as a teenager — that hanging out with the wrong crowd can be dangerous.

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Shots - Health News
2:01 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Federal Brain Science Project Aims To Restore Soldiers' Memory

President Obama has pledged millions of dollars to fuel research into understanding the workings of the human brain.
Zephyr Science Source

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:07 pm

When President Obama announced his plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain seven months ago, it was long on ambition and short on details.

Now some of the details are being sketched in.

The BRAIN Initiative will include efforts to restore lost memories in war veterans, create tools that let scientists study individual brain circuits and map the nervous system of the fruit fly.

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Shots - Health News
1:26 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

For Many People, Lowering Blood Pressure Will Take A Village

A third of Americans have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Half of them don't have it under control.
iStockphoto.com

There are 78 million people in the United States with high blood pressure, and half of them don't have it under control.

Hypertension remains a difficult problem to solve, despite decades of persuading and prodding from doctors and health authorities.

So it may be time to try a different tack, one that involves giving people more support and less badgering, according to the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Think of it as the "it takes a village" approach to high blood pressure.

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Around the Nation
12:58 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Once An Ancient Village, Soon An Entertainment Complex?

In the middle of downtown Miami, archaeologists excavate a site holding evidence of a more than 1,000-year-old Tequesta Indian village.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:07 pm

As work began on one of the last pieces of undeveloped ground in Miami's fast-changing downtown, archaeologists uncovered the site of an American Indian village. It was already centuries old by the time Columbus arrived in the New World.

The question now for the city and the developer of the planned entertainment complex is how much of the site will be preserved.

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Shots - Health News
10:29 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Consumer Guide To Obama's Plan For Canceled Health Policies

President Obama laid out a plan Thursday to allow people who received insurance cancellation notices to keep their coverage, at least for a while.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama's pledge to Americans that they could keep their health plans if they liked them began to backfire last month.

Insurers sent cancellation letters to hundreds of thousands of customers holding individual and family policies. Their plans wouldn't comply with the law come Jan. 1.

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The Salt
10:07 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Menu Site Makes It Easy To Compare Restaurant Fat Stats

MenuStat, a new website by the New York City Department of Health, allows users to compare the calorie counts of items between restaurants, over time.
Screenshot of MenuStat.org

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 2:43 pm

New York City became a leader in pushing restaurants to be more transparent when it required calorie counts on menus in 2006. Now the city's health department has developed a new tool for those who'd like even more detailed information about restaurant food.

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TED Radio Hour
7:20 am
Fri November 15, 2013

How Can Deserts Turn Into Grasslands?

James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:06 pm

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Misconceptions.

About Allan Savory's TEDTalk

About two-thirds of the world's grasslands have turned into desert. Allan Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

About Allan Savory

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StoryCorps
1:35 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Making New Connections On A Trapped Subway Train

New York City subway conductor Paquita Williams (left) and passenger Laura Lane became friends after a two-hour train breakdown.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:37 am

Laura Lane met Paquita Williams, a New York City subway conductor, when their train was stopped underground for two hours. Generally, Paquita says, most passengers are nice, but "there's times if the train breaks down, people think that's my fault."

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Environment
1:04 am
Fri November 15, 2013

A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance

Trout fishing is big business in Montana, bringing in tens of millions of dollars annually.
Tom Murphy Getty Images/National Geographic

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:08 pm

Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.

"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."

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Around the Nation
1:03 am
Fri November 15, 2013

With Robberies Up, Oakland Residents Turn To Private Cops

Security officer Steven Long patrols the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood in Oakland, Calif. With city police struggling to control crime, several neighborhoods have hired private security to patrol local streets.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:16 am

The city of Oakland, Calif., is in the middle of a robbery epidemic. In response, some residents in several Oakland neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands, hiring private security companies to patrol their neighborhoods.

Overall, robberies in Oakland are up 24 percent over the past year, with armed robberies up 45 percent. Since the recession dried up local tax revenues, the Oakland Police Department has been hamstrung by the loss of more than 200 officers and can't respond to all the calls it receives for help.

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The Salt
1:01 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Philippines Disaster Rekindles Fight Over Food Aid Rules

A relief worker looks over boxes of aid provided by the U.S. on November 14, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Proponents of food aid reform say it makes more sense for the U.S. to buy food donations locally than ship them across the globe.
Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:49 am

Emergency aid, including stocks of food, started arriving this week in cyclone-devastated areas of the Philippines; more is on the way.

The first wave of aid — high-energy biscuits designed to keep people alive when food is scarce — arrived via airlift. Huge shiploads of rice will be needed in the weeks and months to come. And exactly how the U.S. donates of that rice is a flashpoint in a long-running debate in Washington, D.C., about food aid.

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Health Care
4:28 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Counting Who's Bought Into Obamacare Is Tougher Than You Think

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:29 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.

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It's All Politics
3:56 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Facing Media Blitz, Obama Leans On Football Metaphors

President Obama strikes the Heisman Trophy pose after he awarded the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the Air Force Academy football team in April 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:44 am

It's well known that President Obama is an avid sports fan: he had a basketball court installed at the White House shortly after taking office, fills out his NCAA tournament bracket on ESPN every year and often hits the links on weekends.

So it comes as little surprise that Obama leaned heavily on sports metaphors at his press conference Thursday, where he took responsibility for the problems the administration has experienced rolling out the Affordable Care Act and explained how he plans to fix things.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama To Congress: 'Let's See' Before Any New Iran Sanctions

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:26 pm

President Obama on Thursday asked Congress to hold off on imposing any new economic sanctions on Iran to give negotiators more time to forge a deal on Tehran's nuclear program.

"My message to Congress has been that let's see if this short-term, phase-one deal can be completed to our satisfaction," Obama told reporters during a White House briefing.

"Let's test how willing they are to actually resolve this diplomatically and peacefully," he said.

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The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later
3:16 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

JFK's Lasting Economic Legacy: Lower Tax Rates

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:00 pm

As the young U.S. senator takes the oath to become president, he sets out to fix an economy struggling with rising unemployment, slumping profits and depressed stock prices.

He knows the deep recession could prevent him from advancing his broader domestic and diplomatic agenda. Yes — all true for President Obama.

But that's what John F. Kennedy faced as well. On his frosty Inauguration Day in January 1961, Kennedy had to start fulfilling his campaign pledge to "get America moving again." Like Obama, he would need to win over a deeply skeptical business community.

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Around the Nation
3:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Mobster 'Whitey' Bulger Gets Two Life Terms And Then Some

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:22 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Victims wept in court today as a federal judge sentenced Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger to two life terms in prison, plus five years, ensuring that the now 84-year-old will never walk free. Bulger was convicted in August of running a massive racketeering operation that spanned decades and included extortion, drug running and at least 11 murders. NPR's Tovia Smith was in court and joins us now. Hi, Tovia.

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Around the Nation
3:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

150 Years Later, Newspaper Retracts Gettysburg Address Diss

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Silly remarks, that's how a Pennsylvania newspaper dismissed the Gettysburg Address after it was first delivered by President Lincoln. 150 years later, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg would like to take it back.

JOHN MICEK: We committed a bit of a clangor.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A clangor, also known as a blunder, blooper or faux pas. That's John Micek, the opinion page editor of the Patriot-News. He says the clangor took place back in 1863 when the paper went by the name of Patriot & Union.

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Around the Nation
3:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Boeing Continues Showdown With Its Largest Union

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last night, members of Boeing's biggest union, its machinists, soundly rejected a company contract offer. Boeing's proposal would have cut pension and health care benefits in exchange for a promise to build the new version of its triple-seven jetliner at its Seattle area factory. The company said if the union voted no on the contract, it would look elsewhere for a place to build its new plane.

From Seattle, NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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All Tech Considered
3:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

For Ridesharing Apps Like Lyft, Commerce Is A Community

A Lyft driver in San Francisco drops off a passenger as a taxi passes by. The smartphone app lets city dwellers hitch rides from strangers.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:34 pm

This week on-air and online, the tech team is exploring the sharing economy. You'll find the stories on this blog and aggregated at this link, and we would love to hear your questions about the topic. Just email, leave a comment or tweet.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Denver's Smell-O-Scope Targets Marijuana's Skunky Scent

A man uses the Nasal Ranger to detect smells in the southern U.S., in this photo provided by St. Croix Sensory. In Denver, the device is being used to monitor complaints of strong marijuana smells.
Courtesy of Nasal Ranger

Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado. But that doesn't mean residents want the air to smell like a pot rally. Denver is getting more calls to enforce an odor ordinance that can impose a buzz-killing fine on violators. To find them, the city relies on a device called the Nasal Ranger.

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Shots - Health News
2:26 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Oregon Shines On Medicaid, As Texas Stalls On Sign-Ups

Kyle Thompson and his family are all going to have health coverage in Oregon, thanks to the state's successful effort to enroll people in Medicaid.
Kristian Foden-Vencil

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:29 pm

Oregon might be seen as a complete failure or a surprising success when it comes to its health insurance exchange.

One the one hand, the state's website has yet to allow a single person to enroll. That's a big problem for the folks who are hoping to qualify for subsidies and buy insurance that will start Jan. 1.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Police Arrest Hundreds In Global Child Porn Sting

Toronto police say they've cracked a massive child porn network, rescuing 386 children around the world and nabbing hundreds of suspects, including teachers, clergymen and doctors.

Of the 348 people arrested worldwide, 108 were in Canada and 76 in the U.S. Project Spade, as the sweep is known, is described by Canadian police as one of the largest-ever child porn busts.

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The Salt
12:41 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Philadelphia Children's Hospital Bars Herbs And Supplements

Dietary supplements are generally defined as vitamins, minerals, herbs and extracts. They're regulated as a unique category of food by the Food and Drug Administration.
iStockphoto.com

One of the nation's largest and oldest children's hospitals is cracking down on parents who bring their kids herbs, extracts or other dietary supplements.

In what it describes as a break from other hospitals, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP, last month removed most dietary supplements from its list of approved medicines, and established new policies for administering them.

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Health Care
11:23 am
Thu November 14, 2013

The Road Ahead For Obamacare

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we're in the thick of football season but increasingly, fans are worrying about how their favorite players are faring after their playing days are over. Now, there's a new plan to address that, and the head of the NFL Players Association will be joining us later in the program to tell us more about that - as well as, of course, his take on the allegations of bullying in the Miami Dolphins locker room. That's later.

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Shots - Health News
10:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Common Test For Bladder Infections Misses Too Many Cases

Urine tests are the gold standard for diagnosing bladder infections. But one common test, the urine culture, can easily miss infections.
Ian Hooton http://www.sciencesource.com/

Most women know all too well the pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection. They also know they'll probably have to trek to the doctor for a urine analysis so they can get a prescription for antibiotics.

Surely there's got to be a better way.

The first step for women with a history of urinary tract infections may be skipping a standard test isn't that good at spotting bladder infections anyway.

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All Tech Considered
1:08 am
Thu November 14, 2013

How The Sharing Economy Is Changing The Places We Work

Co-workers at Denver's Galvanize, a tech hub in Colorado's capital.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 12:43 pm

This week, we've been reporting on the sharing economy — a term that describes the couch-surfing, car-sharing and community-garden-growing world where so many people are using their existing talents, space or tools.

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