U.S. News

Education
1:20 am
Fri November 1, 2013

What It Takes (And Means) To Learn English As An Adult

Millions of adults who grew up speaking a language other than English are still held back by their language skills.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:33 pm

This is the second report in a four-part series on adult education.

Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.

Immigrants like Perez see English as the key to a better life. Many hope learning the language will help lift them out of poverty and integrate them into American society. But gaining English proficiency is a difficult task amid everyday obligations.

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All Tech Considered
1:18 am
Fri November 1, 2013

For The Tablet Generation, A Lesson In Digital Citizenship

Coachella Valley High School math teacher Eddie Simoneau uses iPads with his students.
Matt Hamilton Coachella Valley Unified School District

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:46 am

This week on All Tech, we're exploring kids and technology with posts and radio pieces about raising digital natives. Look back at the stories and share your thoughts and ideas in the comments, by email or tweet.

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The Salt
1:18 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Are Farm Veterinarians Pushing Too Many Antibiotics?

Cattle crowd inside a feedlot operated by JBS Five Rivers Colorado Beef in Wiley, Colo.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:27 pm

In a barn outside Manhattan, Kan., researchers from Kansas State University are trying to solve the riddle of bovine respiratory disease. They're sticking plastic rods down the noses of 6-month old calves, collecting samples of bacteria.

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Shots - Health News
1:16 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Which Plans Cover Abortion? No Answers On HealthCare.gov

In a hearing Wednesday, Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois questions Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about which insurance plans offer abortion services.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:21 pm

As if the rollout of the federal health law didn't have enough problems, abortion is back in the spotlight.

How the various health plans in the exchanges would or would not pay for abortion was one of the very last issues settled before the bill was passed in 2010. Now abortion's invisibility on the federal HealthCare.gov website has some people pretty upset.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Judge Blocks Oversight For NYPD's 'Stop-And-Frisk' Policy

New York City Council member Jumaane Williams speaks at a March demonstration in Lower Manhattan against the city's "stop-and-frisk" searches.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:37 pm

A federal appeals court judge has put a temporary hold on changes to the New York Police Department's controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy ordered by a lower court and suspended the judge who made the earlier ruling.

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Shots - Health News
4:01 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

For The Young And Healthy, Health Insurance Is A Hard Sell

Students Amanda McComas, Rose Marie Chute and Sari Schwartz are approached in October at Santa Monica City College in California about signing up for insurance with the Affordable Care Act.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Getting young, healthy people to sign up for health insurance is seen as critical to the success of the Affordable Care Act. It's precisely those people who will help offset the cost of the older, sicker ones.

But while cheap health insurance and subsidies based on income are intended to make the program appealing to the young, what if they haven't even heard of the health care law? Or don't want to buy even an inexpensive policy?

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Business
3:34 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

More Foreign Firms Look To Make It In The USA

Acura MDX sport utility vehicles roll off the assembly line at a Honda plant in Lincoln, Ala., in May. Overseas investors have U.S. assets totaling nearly $4 trillion, including auto plants, banks and mines.
Joe Songer AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:44 am

When many Americans hear the word "globalization," they think: "jobs going overseas."

And sometimes it does mean just that.

But as globalization knits nations closer together, foreign companies increasingly are creating jobs in the United States, not luring them away. Despite the Great Recession, slow recovery and political dysfunction in Washington, the United States remains a top destination for the world's wealth.

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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Booker Brings Dash Of Diversity To Still Old, White Senate

Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) as his mother, Carolyn, holds a Bible on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:05 am

Cory Booker is a Yale-educated lawyer and erstwhile tweeter who, as mayor of Newark, N.J., displayed a knack for grabbing headlines while building a mixed legacy as the troubled city's leader.

He's also black, and Thursday at noon the 44-year-old Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, making Congress's upper chamber just a tiny bit more diverse in more ways than one.

Booker, who on Oct. 16 was elected as New Jersey's first black senator, will join Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina as the chamber's only black senators.

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The Salt
3:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'

A test field of sorghum outside Manhattan, Kan., planted by Kansas State University.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:07 pm

Much of the world is turning hotter and dryer these days, and it's opening new doors for a water-saving cereal that's been called "the camel of crops": sorghum. In an odd twist, this old-fashioned crop even seems to be catching on among consumers who are looking for "ancient grains" that have been relatively untouched by modern agriculture.

Sorghum isn't nearly as famous as the big three of global agriculture: corn, rice and wheat. But maybe it should be. It's a plant for tough times, and tough places.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

A Clash Of Styles As GOP Factions Fight For Alabama District

Republican candidates Bradley Byrne and Dean Young are running in a special runoff election Tuesday to fill Alabama's 1st congressional district seat.
Phillip Rawls and Campaign of Dean Young AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:01 pm

Voters in Alabama's 1st congressional district are getting a glimpse of the factions vying for control of the Republican Party as two GOP candidates face off in a special election Tuesday.

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Code Switch
3:07 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

What's So 'Chinese' About A Chinese Fire Drill?

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:09 pm

Enter the phrase "Chinese fire drill" into YouTube and you'll find page upon page of videos of a classic car prank that's been popular since the 1960s.

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Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

FAA OKs More In-Flight Use Of Electronic Gadgets

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:01 pm

Good news for air travelers who can't get enough of their electronic devices: The FAA is relaxing rules on their use aboard airliners.

Education
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Turning The Page On Illiteracy, Adults Go Back To Class

Marilyn Block tutors Jason White at a local library during a one-on-one session that is part of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, in Maryland.
Kavitha Cardoza WAMU

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:33 pm

This is the first report of a four-part series on adult education.

The national debate around education usually focuses on children in school. But there are 30 million adults in the U.S. who have trouble with basic literacy — they struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule.

It also means it's difficult for them to get and hold onto the most basic jobs.

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Sports
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Boston Celebrates First World Series Win At Home In 95 Years

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:01 pm

Boston fans celebrated the World Series win Thursday by the Red Sox over the St. Louis Cardinals. The victory is the first series win for Boston at home in Fenway in 95 years.

Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

New Discovery Park In Rural Tennessee Leaves Community Split

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Tomorrow, a new tourist attraction opens in Tennessee called The Discovery Park of America. Some say it's like a mini-Smithsonian. But it's not in Memphis, Nashville or Chattanooga. It's in tiny Union City, far from any of the state's major destinations.

Chad Lampe of member station WKMS has the story behind this metropolitan park in the rural Tennessee.

CHAD LAMPE, BYLINE: Discovery Park is anchored by a 100,000 square foot exhibit space. It's packed with dinosaur skeletons, a starship theater even a universe exhibit.

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Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

America's First Transcontinental Highway Turns 100

A large sign outside the Lincoln Highway Association headquarters in Franklin Grove, Ill., gives travelers a rough mileage to various spots along the route, including New York and San Francisco.
Jenna Dooley for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:53 pm

A hundred years ago, a new era of transportation in America was ushered in, when the Lincoln Highway was dedicated. For the first time, Americans could drive on one designated route from coast to coast.

The Lincoln Highway still exists in old maps and in the minds of its dedicated fans. The Lincoln Highway Association has charted the old route on Google maps.

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Law
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Federal Court To Weigh Ohio's Execution Drug Cocktail

Ronald Phillips, convicted of the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl, is scheduled to be executed Nov. 14. A court hearing may decide whether the new drug cocktail can be used.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:51 pm

In Ohio on Friday, a hearing in federal court could decide whether that state will become the first to use a particular cocktail of deadly drugs to execute an inmate. It's the latest chapter in what's become a troubled history of capital punishment in that state.

While Texas is far and away the busiest state in the nation for executions, Ohio is just seven spots behind it. It has carried out 52 executions since 1999 and three so far this year, with another one scheduled in two weeks. And that one, the execution of Ronald Phillips, could use a new drug cocktail.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Local Charities Gear Up For Cut To Food Stamp Benefits

This shop in the GrowNYC Greenmarket in New York's Union Square accepts Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), or food stamp benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:06 am

More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will be getting a bit less starting Friday when a temporary benefit enacted as part of the federal stimulus expires.

The Department of Agriculture, which runs the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, as the food stamp program is formally known, says a family of four receiving $668 per month in benefits will see that amount cut by $36. One in 7 Americans receives food stamps.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Wrongful Death Verdict Reversed In Virginia Tech Case

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:28 pm

A wrongful death verdict related to the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech has been overturned after the Virginia Supreme Court found that school officials could not have foreseen that 32 people would die in an attack on its campus.

The ruling overturns the findings of a circuit court jury, which had said the school had not done enough to warn students and staff on campus of the threat posed by Seung-Hui Cho — specifically, during a gap of some two hours between attacks on April 16, 2007.

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Shots - Health News
1:13 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Too Many Texts Can Hurt A Relationship, But

Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:23 pm

Texting has become such a normal way to communicate that it's hard to imagine that we ever used our voices to tell our better halves, "Hey, I got the milk."

But when it comes to a committed relationship, researchers say it's better not to lean too heavily on the texts for the tough stuff. Stick to "I <3 U" rather than "I M sooo disappointed in you!!"

Texting terms of endearment really seems to help. Affirmations like that are associated not just with a more stable and satisfying relationship, but with mitigating hurts and frustrations.

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U.S.
9:59 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Does The Word "Redskins" Cause Psychological Damage?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:02 am
Thu October 31, 2013

A New Way To Do Halloween: Chocolate Chunks In The Trunk

Cars decorated for Halloween wait for kids to come by for "trunk-or-treating" in New Berlin, Wis. The event is seen as an alternative to sending kids door to door for candy.
Stephanie Lecci WUWM

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 7:36 am

The parking lot of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beloit, Wis., is filled with dozens of costumed kids hungry for candy at an early Halloween event.

But the princesses and Iron Men aren't yelling "trick or treat." Instead, it's "trunk or treat" — and that's because these kids, rather than going door to door, are going from car trunk to car trunk. Each car is decorated with a theme.

Pastor Jason Reed says his church likes to focus on the fun — rather than freaky — parts of Halloween.

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
2:02 am
Thu October 31, 2013

For A New Kind Of Commute, Some Eye The Sky

Orangutans can get exercise and look down their noses at zoo visitors, thanks to cables that stretch from one side of the primate habitat to the other.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:21 pm

This story is part of a series on commuting in America.

Orangutans Kiko, Iris and Batang have a short commute — only about 500 feet between the buildings at the National Zoo where they sleep and pass their days. But it's a tricky trip.

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Shots - Health News
2:01 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Congressmen Berate Sebelius For Cancellations, Website Woes

"I apologize," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday at a congressional hearing on problems with HealthCare.gov.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:21 pm

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a date with lawmakers frustrated by the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website.

What she got at the House Energy and Commerce Committee was four hours of venting from Democrats and Republicands alike.

Like Medicare and Medicaid chief Marilyn Tavenner a day earlier, Sebelius opened her testimony with an apology.

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Economy
1:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

When 'Fixed Income' Means Getting By On Social Security

Gilroy Hain's only source of income is the $1,500 a month he receives from Social Security.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:23 am

Social Security has long been thought of as just part of a retirement plan — along with pensions and savings — but it turns out a lot of people depend on it for most of their income.

According to the Social Security Administration, nearly a quarter of older married couples and almost half of single retirees count on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income.

Gilroy Hain proves that's not an easy life.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

U.S. Budget Deficit Falls Under $1 Trillion; Lowest Since 2008

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:19 pm

The U.S. government ran a deficit of $680 billion in the financial year that ended last month — the first time since 2008 that the annual shortfall has been under $1 trillion. It represents a fall from $1.09 trillion in 2012, but as the AP reports, "It's still the fifth-largest deficit of all time."

The Treasury Department announced the news along with the White House budget office Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama Vows HealthCare.gov Problems Will Be Fixed 'ASAP'

President Obama speaks Wednesday at Boston's Faneuil Hall about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:23 pm

President Obama on Wednesday said he takes full responsibility for the troubled HealthCare.gov website and is determined to make sure it gets fixed "ASAP."

"The website hasn't worked the way it's supposed to in these past few weeks," he told an audience in Boston. "There's no denying it. The website is too slow ... and I'm not happy about it."

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Game 6 Of The World Series: What You Need to Know

For Game 6, the World Series returns to Boston's Fenway Park, where the home team hasn't clinched a championship since 1918. Here, Red Sox players warm up in front of the Green Monster.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:33 pm

Only one team has a chance of winning the World Series tonight in Game 6 at Fenway Park: the Boston Red Sox. The St. Louis Cardinals have a chance to lose the series — or they can kick off a two-game sweep to win it all on the road. For Boston fans, this is the first time they would be able to celebrate a home World Series win since 1918.

Game 6 begins at 8:07 p.m. ET; it's being televised by Fox. Here are the big storylines we're seeing:

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Around the Nation
4:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Infosys To Pay $34 Million To Settle Immigration Fraud Case

The Indian IT company Infosys has tentatively agreed to pay the U.S. government $34 million for alleged immigration violations.

Shots - Health News
4:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On Edge

One person who got a letter canceling his health insurance was Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. He holds up the letter during a congressional hearing Wednesday on insurance problems. He says his family chose to buy private insurance rather than use the congressional plan.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

President Obama repeated this line or a variation of it many times during the campaign to pass his landmark health care bill: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period."

But while that might be true for people who get health insurance through their employer, it's not true for many people who buy their policies in the individual market — about 5 percent of the nation's policyholders.

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