Police are like the rest of us; they suffer from information overload. The data pour in from 21st century sources ranging from license plate readers to Twitter. But as the information comes in, it hits an old-fashioned bottleneck: human beings.
The Federal Reserve today released transcripts of its meetings in 2008, back when the financial crisis was unfolding. The documents show Fed policymakers struggling to understand and respond to failing Wall Street banks and the global financial system in turmoil. NPR's John Ydstie has been reading through the transcripts and joins us now. Hey there, John.
JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.
CORNISH: So we've had these minutes, at least, right, from most of these meetings for years. What do we learn from the transcripts?
From left to right, America's J.R. Celski, Jordan Malone, Christopher Creveling and Eduardo Alvarez celebrate taking silver in the men's short track 5,000-meter relay at the Iceberg Skating Palace in the Sochi Winter Olympics Friday.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:27 pm
It took far longer than many people expected. But the American Speedskating team that came to Sochi with high expectations has finally won an Olympic medal. The men's short track relay team finished second to Russia Friday, two days before the Winter Games come to an end.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:50 pm
Canada beat the U.S. men 1-0 in Olympic hockey Friday, winning a tense game that saw strong goalie play and stout defensive work. Despite numerous chances, the Americans weren't able to challenge Canadian goalie Carey Price.
The game was a rematch between two teams that played for gold at the Vancouver 2010 Games. That contest went to overtime before Canada's Sidney Crosby scored an artful golden goal that dashed the Americans' dreams of repeating as gold medalists — something they haven't done since the famed 1980 "Miracle on Ice" Olympics.
This Thursday, three Native American tribes are changing how they administer justice.
For almost four decades, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling has barred tribes from prosecuting non-American Indian defendants. But as part of last year's re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a new program now allows tribes to try some non-Indian defendants in domestic abuse cases.
For a political party already facing a difficult midterm election the way the Democrats are, the fewer internally divisive issues the better.
And few items were more divisive among Democrats than President Obama's previous proposal to reduce Social Security entitlement spending by using a less generous formula to calculate cost-of-living increases, so long as Republicans agreed to raise revenue by ending or reducing loopholes that would raise revenue.
Nick Van Sickels (right) with his husband, Andrew Bond, and their daughter, Jules. The couple was legally married in Washington, D.C., but because same-sex marriage is banned in Louisiana, Bond has no parental rights.
The legal battle over gay marriage is moving to the Deep South. Buoyed by federal court victories in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia, gay-rights activists are taking on traditional marriage laws in the very states where those laws enjoy overwhelming public support.
Take Alabama, where Paul Hard is suing the state for violating his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process following the death of his partner, David Fancher, whom he legally married in Massachusetts. Alabama has a constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage.
The state of New York is taking a step toward a more humane prison system. Prison officials reached a landmark agreement today to limit the use of solitary confinement. The deal prohibits the use of extreme isolation to discipline under-age prisoners. It also offers new protections for pregnant women and for the disabled.
With us to talk about the deal is NPR's Carrie Johnson. Hi.
Suzie Felber's kids are only just learning what a commercial is.
"They start screaming when they come on," she says. "They think the TV's broken."
The Felbers usually stream television shows over the Internet in their New Jersey home.
More and more people are following suit, using services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. But these programs take up a huge amount of digital bandwidth, and that's led to a dispute between these services and the Internet service providers that carry them.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:37 pm
Animal welfare groups go to great lengths to show us how "the sausage" is made inside the factory-style farms that produce most of our meat. For the past few years, they've armed activists with video cameras and sent them undercover to document alleged abuses or risky practices.
America's favorite foreign country is its neighbor to the north, according to a new Gallup World Affairs poll. The research firm says Americans' opinions of several countries have shifted. Russia has slipped, for instance. And so has North Korea – the country is now alone in the "least favorable" category.
Rascally former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was once so confident about re-election that he declared "the only way I can lose is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."
That was 30 years ago, when Edwards, 86, was a much younger man. It was long before the Democrat served eight years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy and extortion.
And it was a lifetime – or two — before a recent cringe-inducing reality television show about life with his young wife, her teenage sons and his own grandmother-aged daughters from a previous marriage.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:25 am
With a 2-0 lead late in the game, it seemed like Team USA would finally overcome archrival Canada on hockey's largest stage Thursday, winning an Olympic gold medal that has eluded it for 16 years. But the gold medal went to Canada after a spirited comeback forced overtime.
The Canadians scored on a five-on-three power play, after a sequence of penalties on both teams, including a checking call on Team USA's Hilary Knight. Forward Marie-Philip Poulin scored on an assist from Laura Fortino. Under Olympic rules, the "golden goal" ended the game with a score of 3-2.
Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 12:42 pm
This year's flu season is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard, federal health officials say.
More than 60 percent of flu patients who ended up in the hospital this year have been between the ages of 18 and 64. The proportion of young people among the hospitalized is much higher than usual, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only about 35 percent of flu patients who were hospitalized in the previous three years fell into that age group, the CDC says.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 8:20 am
Full body CT scans can save lives by helping detect cancer early. But the scans use high doses of radiation to create their detailed images, which means they also increase patients' risk of developing cancer later on in life.
Children and teenagers are at greatest risk, because they tend to live long enough to develop secondary cancers. And their growing tissues may be more susceptible to radiation.
A broken pipe funneled 30,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River in North Carolina earlier this month, turning it gray. The pipe has been plugged, but the spill has reignited a fight over storage of coal ash, and scrutiny of the state regulators responsible for monitoring it.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:02 pm
Judging from an attack by one of his Republican opponents, you could easily draw the conclusion that Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska opposes a road that would serve as a lifeline to the remote Aleutian village of King Cove. But you would be wrong.
For someone with a serious injury, it's not just a matter of getting in the door at the <em>closest</em> hospital, but getting in the door at the <em>right</em> hospital, says Dr. Arthur Kellermann, an emergency medicine specialist.
When private hospitals transfer patients who don't have insurance to public hospitals, it's called "patient dumping." But a study from Stanford University published Wednesday suggests a twist: Hospitals, it seems, are less likely to transfer critically injured patients to trauma centers if the patients have health insurance.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:01 pm
Seeking new ways to be a player in mobile messaging, Facebook announced today that it will acquire the fast-growing WhatsApp firm for some $16 billion in cash and stock. The deal includes an additional $3 billion in Facebook stock for the employees of WhatsApp, who would see the shares vest over four years.
This is the second headline-grabbing acquisition by Facebook, following the $1 billion deal for Instagram that was announced in the spring of 2012. The new deal calls for Facebook to pay $4 billion in cash, along with around $12 billion in stock.