U.S. News

Sports
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

U.S. Figure Skaters Are Underdogs In These Games

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Code Switch
5:02 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Does It Taste As Sweet To Say 'I Love You' In Another Language?

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
Kaan Tanman Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 2:51 pm

Editor's Note: Code Switch is engaged in a month-long discussion and exploration of interracial and cross-cultural dating. Follow the conversation via the Twitter hashtag #xculturelove.

My first kiss was with an Albanian man I met in Venice, Italy; within hours, Jeta and I were telling each other, "Ti amo." I didn't mean it any more than I knew his last name (and I won't kid myself into thinking there was much sincerity on his end).

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Shots - Health News
2:57 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close: Fans Risk Hearing Loss

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:48 am

For diehard football fans, nothing beats screaming your lungs out in the stadium alongside tens of thousands of other fans.

There is, however, a downside: hearing loss.

With the battle among fans to be the loudest crowd getting almost as competitive as the NFL itself, hearing experts say it's time for a serious conversation about the damage caused by crowd noise.

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Health
4:26 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Sidelined By Brain Injury, Ex-NFL Player Copes With 'Desperation'

Sean Morey, then with the Arizona Cardinals, celebrates after blocking a punt against the Seattle Seahawks in 2007. Morey, who suffers from post-concussion syndrome, retired from the NFL in 2010 on the advice of doctors.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

The home of Sean Morey bears the impressive signposts of his 10-year career in the NFL: a Vince Lombardi trophy for his Super Bowl championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. A hefty Super Bowl ring. A framed photograph showing Morey in midair, launching himself like a missile to block a punt. With that play in 2008, his Arizona Cardinals became the only team in NFL history to win a game in overtime with a blocked punt.

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Economy
4:26 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

After Overcoming Early Obstacles, Yellen Assumes Fed's Top Job

Janet Yellen smiles as President Obama announces her nomination for Federal Reserve chairwoman on Oct. 9.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Ben Bernanke hands over the reins at the Federal Reserve to Janet Yellen on Friday. The Fed's vice chairwoman will be the first female ever to lead the nation's central bank. It's a position many view as the second most powerful in the country.

The world of central banking is largely a man's world. But Yellen has been undeterred by such barriers since she was in high school in Brooklyn. Charlie Saydah, a former classmate, says she was probably the smartest kid in the class. Yellen was "clearly smart, and she was smart among a lot of smart kids," he says.

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Southern Fishermen Cash In On Asia's Taste For Jellyfish

Cannonball jellyfish soak up the sun on a South Carolina beach. Fishermen are now pursuing the pest that used to clog their shrimping nets.
Courtesy of Steven Giese

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:39 pm

On the Southeast coast of the U.S., jellyfish have earned a lengthy rap sheet for stinging beachgoers and getting tangled in shrimpers' nets. But lately, the tides have turned for shrimping, and some fishermen in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida are reaping profits from their local pests, the cannonball jellyfish, or "jellyballs."

"The shrimp season [of 2013] was the worst ever in history here," says Howell Boone, a shrimp trawler in Darien, Ga."The jellyfish industry has been about the best thing that's happened to us."

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Politics
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Former Christie Appointee Claims N.J. Gov. Knew About Lane Closures

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

In a letter released by his attorney, the Port Authority official who personally oversaw the George Washington Bridge lane closures is alleging that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about the action. David Wildstein asserts that evidence exists that will contradict Christie's claims to ignorance about the motives behind the lane closures.

Around the Nation
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Homeless In Fargo At The Heart Of An Oil Boom

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 12:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The lure of high-paying oil-related jobs in western North Dakota has drawn thousands of people to the region. Many find work, but some of those who don't find despair. There's a dramatic rise in homelessness and sky-high housing cost are partly to blame. This year's Arctic temperatures are causing a second migration to cities farther east.

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Energy
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Dept. Delivers Unwelcome News For Keystone Opponents

A protest of the Keystone XL pipeline last March along its proposed route near Bradshaw, Nebraska.
NH AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 9:45 pm

The U.S. Department of State says Canada's production of tar sands crude, which has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than other types of oil, is unlikely to be affected by the controversial Keystone XL pipeline proposal.

That assessment came Friday as part of a massive environmental review by the State Department — the analysis fills 11 volumes.

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Middle East
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Afghan Security Agreement Is Still Unsigned — Who's At Fault?

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In Afghanistan, the U.S. is in a political standoff with the government of President Hamid Karzai. At issue is what's called a bilateral security agreement that would govern U.S. troops if they stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014. President Obama addressed the issue earlier this week in his State of the Union speech.

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Shots - Health News
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

More Republicans Push For Fixing, Not Repealing, Obamacare

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

A rift is growing between Tea Party activists and other Republicans over health care.

Some influential conservatives are now saying the Affordable Care Act is too entrenched to repeal.

Take the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an influential business lobbying group. When the ACA passed in 2010, the chamber got behind the lawsuit to fight it at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Christie Knew Of Lane Closures, Former Port Official Claims

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens during a Jan. 9 news conference in which he denied any knowledge of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge when they occurred in September.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:30 pm

The New York Times reports that a former Port Authority official says "evidence exists" that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about politically motivated lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening.

The assertion contradicts earlier statements by Christie, who has said that he was "embarrassed and humiliated" when he found out that the lane closures were politically motivated instead of, as he'd been led to believe, part of a traffic study.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Police Say White Powder Mailed To N.J. Hotels Was Cornstarch

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:32 pm

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating a suspicious white powder that was mailed to several New Jersey hotels near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl — but there were no reports of injuries and preliminary tests suggest the substance was cornstarch.

NPR's Margot Adler reports that the white powder was found in letters mailed to five New Jersey hotels. Another letter was sent to the Midtown Manhattan law office of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. A worker in the mailroom at Giuliani's office opened the letter.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Brain Surgeon Walks 6 Miles Through Storm To Save Patient

Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw, who made a long, cold trek to save his patient in Birmingham, Ala.
Frank Couch AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:46 am

As cities in the southern U.S. continue to recover from the ice and snow storm that brought life to a standstill in many places this week, stories are emerging about the incredible things some people did to help out others.

Let's start Friday with one of those tales.

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Around the Nation
1:01 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Weeks Later, More Questions Than Answers In W.Va. Chemical Spill

Workers inspect an area near storage tanks where a chemical leaked into the Elk River at Freedom Industries storage facility in Charleston, W.Va., on Jan. 13. It is still unclear exactly how much of the chemicals leaked into the area's water supply.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 11:28 am

State officials in West Virginia say that in most areas, they can no longer detect any of the industrial chemical MCHM that spilled into the water supply recently. They say the water is safe for people to drink and use — including most pregnant women. But other public health specialists say they don't trust these assurances.

"I think there's no way to know what the safe levels of the chemicals are at this point," says Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the state's largest public health department. He's in charge of protecting 250,000 people whose water was affected by the spill.

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Beer Drone Can Buzz The Skies No More, FAA Says

A video showing beer being delivered to ice fishermen on a frozen lake became a hit this week — but the FAA says Lakemaid Beer's drone days are over, for now.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:18 pm

Lakemaid Beer is brewed in Stevens Point, Wis., and distributed to several states in the region. But it was a very local delivery that put the company out of favor with the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Law
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

The U.S. Will Seek The Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Law
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

An Unusual Coalition Helps Mandatory Minimum Bill Clear Senate Committee

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 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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Law
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

De Blasio Drops Appeal Of 'Stop And Frisk'

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a step today toward major changes at the nation's largest police force. De Blasio says the city will settle a long-running lawsuit against the New York Police Department's over its so-called Stop-and-Frisk tactics. A federal judge had ruled that the department civil rights of blacks and Latinos.

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Middle East
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Is The U.S. Leaving A Leadership Void In The Middle East?

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In this part of the program, we're going to address a question that keeps bubbling up in news stories and commentary from the Middle East. It's a question President Obama addressed indirectly in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: In a world of complex threats, our security, our leadership, depends on all elements of our power, including strong and principled diplomacy.

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Around the Nation
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

SpaceX Could Give Struggling Texas City A Boost

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft atop rocket Falcon 9 lifts off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in May 2012. The launch made SpaceX the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

The space company SpaceX has identified a remote spot on the southern tip of Texas as its finalist for construction of the world's newest commercial orbital launch site.

The 50-acre site really is at the end of the road. Texas Highway 4 abruptly ends at the warm waves of the Gulf surrounded by cactus, Spanish dagger and sand dunes.

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Around the Nation
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

As States Close Prisons And Cut Crime, Feds Lag Behind

When state prison populations were at their peak, prisons like San Quentin in California used gymnasiums to house inmates in bunks. Now it's the federal prison system that's overcrowded. The Bureau of Prisons says it's 35 to 40 percent over capacity.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:08 pm

State prison populations are declining for the first time in four decades. But at the federal level, incarceration rates are going in the opposite direction.

The federal Bureau of Prisons is on track to swallow a third of the Justice Department's budget by 2020, according to a report by the nonpartisan Urban Institute.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cuts To Food Stamps Add Up To Big Pains For Many Recipients

The farm bill proposes a $1 billion cut to food stamps, which would affect nearly 850,000 struggling families who already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a massive five-year farm bill that costs nearly half a trillion dollars.

The bill includes some reductions to food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year. It's far less than what many Republicans had wanted. But the cuts are large enough to worry some Democrats and many food stamp recipients.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Utah School Draws Ire For Taking Kids' Lunches; Debt Cited

Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, where up to 40 students were served lunch Tuesday — only to have it discarded. They were told they didn't have enough credit on their accounts.
Google

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:41 am

Two state senators are paying a visit to an elementary school in Salt Lake City on Thursday, after reports emerged that the school had served meals to dozens of students — only to throw them away after a cashier confirmed their accounts had an outstanding balance.

Anger and frustration followed the incident, which affected up to 40 students Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Maine's High Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Student

Nicole Maines, center, with her father Wayne Maines, left, and brother Jonas, speaks to reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Maine, in June.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Maine highest court has ruled in favor of a transgender student who sued her former school district after being required to use a staff bathroom instead of the bathroom of her choice.

Nicole Maines is a biologically a boy, but identifies as a girl.

The Associated Press reports:

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Shots - Health News
1:31 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Need A New Name?

The Institute of Medicine is reviewing how chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed and whether that label puts too much emphasis on fatigue over other significant symptoms.
Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:48 pm

If the prestigious Institute of Medicine pays attention to your disease, that's usually considered a good thing. But some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome fear that the review of the condition by the institute, an independent organization that advises the government on health issues, might perpetuate the widespread belief that their condition is purely psychological.

The controversy begins with the name. Everyone experiences fatigue, and lots of people are tired most of the time. But long-standing fatigue is just one of many debilitating symptoms.

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The Edge
1:05 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

American Barista Fulfills Olympic Dream — On Swiss Hockey Team

Jessica Lutz is heading to the Winter Olympics from her job at a coffee shop in Washington. Recently, her fellow baristas made a latte in her honor.
Lauren Katz NPR

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:59 am

Jessica Lutz is on her way from making arty designs in coffee cups to carving Olympic ice in Sochi. And although she grew up in the U.S., Lutz will compete for the Swiss hockey team. Her story is an example of the sacrifices and strategies many athletes rely on to get to the games.

For most of the past year, Lutz, 24, crafted latte art as a barista in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in the D.C. suburb of Rockville, Md., Lutz had a chance to compete for Switzerland because of her father's nationality (she's a dual citizen).

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Air Force Cheating Scandal Widens; 92 Nuclear Officers Linked

The launch-key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D., in 2002.
AP

Nearly 20 percent of the officers in the U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons corps have now been implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal, the secretary of the Air Force said Thursday.

Deborah Lee James told reporters that 92 individuals in the 500-member force are now thought either to have shared information about the answers to the test or to have known that others had done so, The Associated Press reports.

The wire service adds that:

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Sports
9:41 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Could Northwestern Football Union Even Out College Priorities?

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 12:37 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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U.S.
9:41 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Effects Of Gun Violence Are Long Lasting And Wide Ranging, Says Expert

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 12:37 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now we'd like to return to an issue that's in the news all too often. We're talking about gun violence, particularly that experienced by children. That's something the president touched on in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, and something that, in fact, dominated his speech last year. But when we talk about this issue, usually, tragically, we are talking about young people who've been killed.

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