Selective leaks from Congressional staff interviews with IRS employees in Cincinnati have been dribbling out for weeks. The workers are at the center of questions regarding the use of "Tea Party" and "Patriot" labels for flagging tax exemptions applications for additional scrutiny.
Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 11:37 am
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Last year on December 14, the front page of the weekly newspaper in Newtown, Connecticut, was peppered with the usual stories: holiday preparations, school budget troubles. That same morning, the community changed forever. Today marks six months since the shootings that left 20 children and six educators dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And for journalists at the Newtown Bee, June 14 is just another day in a community struggling to move forward. Neena Satija of member station WNPR has that story.
After determining that the Syrian government has crossed a red line by using chemical weapons, the White House has agreed to start sending military aid to the rebels. Some analysts think it may be too late to tip the balance in Syria, where Assad's forces backed by Hezbollah, Iran and Russia have been gaining ground.
Home values have been rising in recent months, but mortgage rates have taken a rapid turn upward as well. Some investors are worried that the housing recovery may stall if mortgage rates jump too quickly.
Mortgage rates have seen a relatively sharp rise this month. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan hit 4 percent earlier in June — a big jump from the record lows of recent years. Some investors are now concerned that the housing recovery could be stifled if rates continue to rise quickly.
The Federal Reserve has two main missions: to maximize employment and minimize inflation. Right now, there are few, if any, signs that prices for goods are spiking, and the job market is still crawling out of its long, deep slump.
Credit National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry
"A Gift for the Grangers" was a recruitment poster for the National Grange printed in 1873. Grange membership around this period was estimated by some to be as high as 2 million. Today it's less than 200,000.
Credit Jeff Brady / NPR
The Marys River Grange Hall near Philomath, Ore., was established in 1933. In 2009, a few remaining members were preparing to vote to shut the Grange down. But word spread and a group of new members interested in local and organic agriculture joined and have kept the hall operating.
Lots of passionate people are taking up farming these days, motivated by frustration with industrial farming, concerns about the environment, and a desire to build community and local food markets. Some of these new farmers have joined the Grange, a long-established fraternal organization for farmers with roots in social activism.
In Oregon, Granges dominated by this new generation have banded together in a coalition dubbed "Green Granges," which work together to advance the issues they care about.
Sanford Under The Spotlight As Trial Begins The national media has descended on the town of Sanford, Florida, for the trial of George Zimmerman. He's the man accused of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett to find out how emotions are running in his town.
Breaking the norms of faith isn't always easy — especially for Orthodox Jews. But Ruth Balinsky Friedman wants to take up the traditionally male-dominated role of faith leader. She speaks with host Michel Martin about what a woman can bring to the position.
In 2004, Horace Atwater Jr. took in Adrian Hawkins as a foster child. Adrian was a teenager at the time, "this little, skinny kid, about 14," Horace recalls. "You didn't really have any clothes. You had mismatched socks."
Adrian had lived a difficult life as a child. He lived in several group and foster homes before moving in with Horace. "I remember times being hungry, seeing drugs and all kinds of stuff," Adrian tells Horace at StoryCorps in Atlanta. "I mean, some things had to happen for me to be in foster care."
Lanny Martinson was a 23-year-old Marine sergeant in Vietnam when he last held his dog tags. In the 45 years since, he thought they were gone forever, lost in the mad rush to save his life after he and other Marines walked into a minefield.
He'll soon be getting one of those dog tags back, after a network of people worked together to find the tag's owner. When they contacted him, Martinson was just at the point of filing papers to request new dog tags, all these years later.
The U.S. Census Bureau released its list of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties Thursday, and here's what we learned: They're mainly clustered in the South and West, and their rapid population gains are fueled by a wide variety of economic and cultural factors including the energy boom, military realignment, Hispanic immigration, student enrollment and changing retirement patterns.
Eric Glatt, a Georgetown Law student, poses on Wednesday, in Washington, D.C. Unpaid internships have long been a path of opportunity for students and recent grads. But a federal judge ruled this week that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on production of the 2010 movie Black Swan. Glatt was one of the interns.
A federal court in New York has ruled that a group of interns at Fox Searchlight Pictures should have been paid for their work on the movie Black Swan. The decision may have broad implications for students looking for their first job.
Eric Glatt filed the federal lawsuit against Fox. He says everyone always told him taking an unpaid internship was the way to get his foot in the door in the film industry.
At Fox, he worked as an unpaid accounting clerk, he says — filing, getting signatures, running checks and handling petty cash — but he was working for nothing.
The White House has "high confidence" that the Syrian regime is using chemical weapons against rebel forces, and the U.S. is prepared to offer military assistance to the opposition, a senior administration official said Thursday.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that an estimated 100 to 150 Syrians have been killed in attacks using sarin gas, although the figure "is likely incomplete."
Let's move on now to a sweeping survey here in the U.S. of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender adults. It reveals a community undergoing major change. LGBT adults say they're optimistic about increasing social acceptance.
But as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports, many also describe stigma and rejection.
Melissa Block talks to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. He's a co-sponsor of a bill which would require the government to reveal its collection of Verizon phone records and the PRISM Internet data-mining program.
Conventional wisdom holds that LeBron James of the Miami Heat is the best basketball player on the planet. But despite all that talent, he's had some struggles on the court, most notably now in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. James has failed to crack 20 points in any of the three games so far and at times he's looked indecisive against a very good Spurs defense.
As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, tonight's game is a moment of truth, as LeBron James and the Heat try to even the series.
Unmanned drones aren't just a tool for governments anymore. By as early as this year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects to propose regulations opening up the use of small, unmanned airborne vehicles — or drones — for commercial use.
Tens of thousands of these little, civilian drones are sold and piloted by hobbyists in the United States every year. Right now these drones are flown almost exclusively for non-commercial uses by enthusiast like Pablo Lema. Lema spends weekends flying his quardracopter around the San Francisco Bay.
Firearms manufacturers are pulling up stakes in at least two of the five states that enacted tough new guns laws following the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.
In the months after those shootings, governors in New York, Connecticut and Maryland signed broad new bans on assault weapons. Delaware passed a law requiring universal background checks. Colorado adopted background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
A technician loads patient samples into a machine for testing at Myriad Genetics in Salt Lake City in 2002. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Myriad cannot patent the BRCA genes, which are tested to check a woman's risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that human genes cannot be patented, upending 30 years of patent awards granted by the U.S. Patent Office. The court's unanimous decision has enormous implications for the future of personalized medicine and in many ways is likely to shape the future of science and technology.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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Today on Capitol Hill, the director of National Intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency and other intelligence officials briefed the Senate. They talked about the two surveillance programs that were leaked to the media recently.
A new survey of more than 1,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults finds that more than 90 percent feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago. Here, a woman displays her pro-gay T-shirt at the L.A. Pride Parade in West Hollywood last Sunday.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans say they feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago, and they're overwhelmingly optimistic that the trend will continue. But a sweeping new Pew Research Center survey also finds persistent levels of stigmatization and secrecy in the community.
Finding the right treatment for depression can be a struggle. People find relief with the first treatment only 40 percent of the time. Trying different antidepressants or therapies can take months, which means months of suffering.
Scientists are trying to better the odds by searching for signals in the body or in behavior that could be signposts to the right treatment. Researchers at Emory University say that PET scans of the brain may help predict which people do better on SSRI antidepressants, and which would benefit most from cognitive behavioral therapy instead.