Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:32 pm
Someone's taken credit for the shadowy billboard on the 101 Freeway near San Francisco — a plain white sign with black text reading, "Your Data Should Belong To The NSA." We wondered about it last week and got some interesting theories in the comments.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up in money coach - look, you're a college student, you're hard-pressed for some cash and one of your classmates invites you to a, quote, amazing business opportunity. Is there a way to tell if it's the real deal and not just a scam? We'll take a closer look at some of these schemes or scams that seem to target college students in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:55 am
Officials have identified the man who died after setting fire to himself last week on the National Mall as John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J.
Constantino poured gasoline on his body and ignited it Friday afternoon while sitting on the mall. Passersby used their clothing to try to put out the flames. He was eventually airlifted to a hospital, where he died later that night.
Two raids by U.S. Special Operations Forces days ago caught the world's attention. In Libya, U.S. operatives captured a man named Abu Anas al-Libi, thought to be the al-Qaida mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.
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In Somalia, Navy SEALs stormed the villa of a different man wanted by the United States, a Kenyan-born senior leader of the terrorist group al-Shabab. That raid was not successful. Meeting heavy resistance, the Special Forces were forced to withdraw.
Sergio Garcia passed the California Bar exam four years ago. The bar granted Garcia a law license, but then rescinded it because he was undocumented.
The justices of the California Supreme Court may have been sympathetic to Garcia, but it quickly became clear during arguments they didn't think the law was on his side. Specifically, as the U.S. Department of Justice argued, federal law prevented Garcia's admission to the bar.
There are no physical signs you've entered the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area that covers the eastern half of West Virginia. But the silence gives you a signal. Somewhere around the Virginia-West Virginia state line, the periodic buzzes and pings of our smartphones stopped.
"Zero [service]. Searching," said photographer John Poole, who traveled with me to the zone.
Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease has been the holy grail of medical research. But there could be even greater benefits if aging itself could be delayed, a study finds.
This is not quite as farfetched as it sounds. While the anti-aging "cures" being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging.
The federal government remains shut down over a budget stalemate, but California's Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to wait for Congress to make decisions on the Gordian knot that is U.S. immigration policy. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.
"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's moving ahead," Brown stated. He added, with trademark bluntness, "I'm not waiting."
It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.
That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.
The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.
"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:23 pm
The federal government shutdown has given governors across the country an opportunity to take part in one of their favorite pastimes: scolding Washington.
Among Republicans, though, there appears to be some disagreement over exactly who's to blame for the latest budget impasse.
One camp of GOP governors — often those in blue states or with national ambitions (if not both) — has largely chastised all parties involved. They're eager to distance themselves from Washington and portray themselves as results-oriented "outsiders."
Daring weekend raids by U.S. armed forces to capture suspected terrorists in Somalia and Libya are generating a hearty debate among national security lawyers who are raising questions about what authority U.S. forces have to enter foreign soil and how long the al-Qaida operative who was captured can be held without trial.
In other immigration news, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure that makes it harder for federal immigration officials to detain people believed to be in this country illegally. The new state law, called the Trust Act, restricts local police from holding undocumented immigrants without serious criminal records and turning them over to immigration authorities. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.
Rapper Blitz the Ambassador explains to Tell Me More for the occasional series "In Your Ear," that his favorite songs are the ones that helped shape his sound. "I keep these songs really close because they always remind me of where it all begins, and what makes me the artist that I am," he says.
As his name suggests, Blitz sees himself as an ambassador for Africa and hip-hop.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 12:00 pm
More details are emerging after a pair of U.S. commando raids over the weekend that targeted alleged terrorists in Libya and Somalia.
In Libya, Abu Anas al-Libi, a top al-Qaida operative accused by Washington of involvement in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was snatched from a street in the capital, Tripoli, in an operation on Saturday.
Last year, Kathy Noyes began to notice that her 12-year-old son, Jonathan, was eating more than usual. She caught him eating late at night. She found empty peanut butter jars and chip and cookie bags stashed around the house.
She didn't know what to make of it. Her friends said, "Well, my boys eat a lot too. They're growing boys. Just wait till you get your grocery bill when they're 16."
But Jonathan soon started to be sent home from school frequently because he was sick.
Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.
"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.
Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban.
The vast majority of professional scientists, mathematicians and engineers are men. But why? More young women than ever are pursuing advanced degrees, but there are still very few female professors of physics, math or engineering. We caught up with some young women at UCLA, all good students who had scored well enough in math to get into UCLA, and asked them why they decided not to study science or math in college.
With a government shutdown nearing its second week, there were no signs of a new deal in Washington Sunday. But several leaders are speaking out about the impasse, even as they look ahead to the next battle: an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
When House Speaker John Boehner was asked on ABC's This Week about the possibility that he might present a "clean" funding bill that doesn't attack the new health care system in the Affordable Care Act, the Ohio Republican said there was no point.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:21 pm
Students in a Virginia school system are now eating hamburgers with additives in them, after officials heeded their complaints about the appearance and taste of the all-beef burgers it had been serving. The burgers that are now being served include a reported 26 ingredients.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:23 pm
In a referendum marked by a large turnout and an emphatic result, the people of Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school. Sandy Hook was the scene of a mass shooting last December, when 20 children and six staff members were killed.
Saturday's vote asked citizens to decide whether to take nearly $50 million in state money to fund the demolition of Sandy Hook and the planning and construction of a new school on essentially the same site.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:50 am
Karen, once feared to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane, has stalled out and weakened into a tropical depression. The National Weather Service says the storm is "drifting" at 2 mph, moving toward Louisiana's southeastern edge. As of early Sunday morning, it was about 165 miles west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
It's chile season in New Mexico, where they take their chiles pretty seriously.
Indeed, the chile is the official state vegetable, so it's probably best to not mention it is actually a fruit. No matter what it is, the fall harvest is on, and that means it's time to fire up the grills.
Green chiles roasting over a hot gas flame give off a smoky, sweet, pungent perfume.
That smell is part of what has drawn customers like Lorenzo and Peggy Lucero to the Diaz farm in Deming, in southwest New Mexico, for the past 30 years.