Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:30 am
Police are looking for four suspects in Orangeburg, S.C., where a student was shot and killed in an attack on the campus of South Carolina State University Friday afternoon. Officials identified the victim as Brandon Robinson, 20, a member of the school's football team.
The shooting took place at a dormitory around 1:30 p.m. The campus was locked down for hours afterward; the search for the suspects is still underway off-campus, officials said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the swift enactment of tough new standards on trains carrying crude oil. And in an unprecedented move, the NTSB made its recommendations jointly with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
With the huge increase in oil shipped by train across North America, the agencies warn another major disaster could be looming.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:10 pm
A North Texas judge has ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove life support from a woman who is 22 weeks pregnant. Her family says Marlise Munoz, 33, is brain-dead. She has reportedly not been awake since November, when she was discovered unconscious in her home. Doctors say she had suffered a pulmonary embolism.
At that time, Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant. Since then, a debate has raged about whether she should be kept alive. Many of the questions center on the details of Munoz's condition, and on state laws about terminating the life of a pregnant woman.
Although the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, there are ongoing fights in many states over how to carry it out. One conflict concerns navigators, the insurance counselors who are supposed to help people learn about the law. This week saw two major developments: a federal judge put a strict Missouri law on hold, saying the state didn't have the right to regulate the work of navigators. But in Texas, state officials did just that this week.
Carrie Feibel of member station KUHF in Houston reports on the new rules in Texas.
Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, EJ Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the charges faced by former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell and the upcoming State of the Union address.
Every four years a handful of cities battle to host the big nominating conventions for the major political parties. The competition for 2016 has already begun, with a surprising and aggressive player making a bid for the Republican National Convention: Las Vegas.
Certainly it's a place that knows how to host a big convention, but for the GOP to give Vegas the nod, the party will have to look past the city's well-earned reputation as "Sin City."
Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:44 am
One of the biggest earthquakes in U.S. history didn't occur in California. Or Alaska. It happened in the country's midsection some 200 years ago in an area where today seven states straddle the Mississippi River Valley.
And seismologists from the United States Geological Survey believe they've uncovered evidence that the New Madrid Seismic Zone, as the area that spawned the 1811-12 quakes is known, is still alive and kicking.
When I heard late Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder had come out in favor of bank accounts for state-sanctioned pot businesses, I assumed the industry would react with cheers. After all, they've long complained about being black-balled by banks, which are justifiably afraid of violating federal laws against handling drug money.
But when I started calling around today, the reactions ranged from "That's nice" to "Meh."
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:12 am
More than 40 vehicles, many of them semitrailers, were involved in a massive pileup on a slippery stretch of Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana that killed at least three people and injured 23 others.
I was in the car for about an hour, rolling around Manhattan in the middle of a snowstorm. The ride normally would have cost me $65. But when it came time to pay, my driver, Kirk Furye, was concerned for me.
"Are you going to get in trouble with NPR?" he asked. "You are almost at three times the [normal] amount."
Prominent conservative writer and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted in New York on charges that he broke campaign finance laws. D'Souza, a vocal critic of President Obama, is accused of contributing thousands of dollars over the legal limit in a 2012 Senate race.
Another charge alleges that D'Souza, 52, made false statements about the contributions, which he is accused of routing through third parties. That charge carries a possible maximum punishment of five years in prison.
NPR's Peter Overby filed this report for our Newscast unit:
As if to underscore GOP efforts at outreach to female voters, a breakout session of the Republican National Committee's latest "rising stars" at the group's winter meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., entirely comprised young women.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:38 am
Ever wonder what happened with Bertha — the world's biggest tunneling machine, stuck under Seattle? We last checked in on the story right before Christmas, when engineers were preparing to send down inspection teams to identify the blockage. People (OK, the media) were having a grand time, floating ridiculous guesses about what the mysterious object might be. An old ship? Dinosaur bones? Bigfoot?
One month later, there's still no clear answer. Certainly nothing headline-grabbing.
Political reaction to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's announcement Thursday that he won't defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage was strong and swift — and fell squarely along party lines.
A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.
The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole — or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.
Tomorrow, a Texas court will hear the lawsuit of Erick Munoz who wants a Fort Worth Hospital to take his wife, Marlise, off life support. Ms. Munoz suffered what's believed to have been a pulmonary embolism in November. She's been unresponsive ever since. The hospital, John Peter Smith Hospital, will not release a diagnosis to the public. But her husband says she is brain dead and he says the Munozes, both paramedics, had discussed such a possibility in the past and he says that she did not want to be kept alive by machines.
BLOCK: Yeah. You remember yesterday, I was talking about how the Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been calling out the name of a certain U.S. city dozens of times to signal a play at the line of scrimmage.
President Obama has reignited the debate over the nation's marijuana laws. In an interview with The New Yorker, the president said that the thinks smoking pot is less dangerous for the individual consumer than drinking alcohol. He quickly added that he doesn't encourage the use of marijuana, but he said it's important that experiments with legalizing pot in Colorado and Washington state go forward.
Early this morning, FBI agents in and around New York arrested five men in connection with a number of unsolved crimes. At the top of that list is the infamous 1978 Lufthansa robbery at Kennedy International Airport. Law enforcement officials have long suspected that the mob was behind it. And today, more than 30 years later, they finally charged a reputed mobster in connection with the case. NPR's Joel Rose reports.
Editor's Note: This week Code Switch has been bringing you a series of stories prompted by a poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. And one of the findings that stood out was a striking difference between Latinos born and raised in the U.S. and immigrants when it comes to the degree of openness when it comes to talking about sexual orientation.
You might think that retailers have to let you know right away if they get hacked and someone steals your account information.
But recent disclosures by Target and Neiman Marcus that their networks were hacked, and data about their consumers were stolen, have raised questions about how quickly merchants need to alert their customers.
In the case of Neiman Marcus, the company may have had evidence of a breach as far back as July. But the law is a bit murky on just how quickly companies need to let customers know.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:30 pm
Texas has imposed strict new regulations on the insurance helpers, or navigators, who work in the community to enroll people in health plans under the Affordable Care Act.
The navigators must register with the state, undergo a background check and fingerprinting, and complete 20 hours of additional training — beyond the 20 to 30 hours of federal training they've already received.