U.S. News

Middle East
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Surprise Invitation Lands Syrian Peace Talks In Hot Water

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference is again in turmoil. The U.N. secretary-general's surprise decision to invite Iran to attend the conference prompted a boycott threat from Syria's exiled opposition. At issue is the fact that Iran has not publicly committed to the framework for the conference or pledged to withdraw its troops and allied militias from Syria. Under pressure from the opposition groups and the U.S., the U.N. has since withdrawn its invitation to Iran.

The Salt
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

D.C. Barbecue Joint Serves Food For Soul And Mind

Chef Furard Tate says he wanted to "bring love back" to a Washington, D.C., neighborhood damaged since the 1968 riots.
Allison Keyes NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Chef Furard Tate is the kind of man who never sits still. He flits from the order desk at Inspire BBQ back to the busy kitchen, where young men are seasoning sauce, cooking macaroni and cheese, and finishing off some dry-rubbed ribs smoked on a grill.

"We grill on a real grill," Tate says. "None of this electric stuff."

But as important as the food is, Tate says it's also important that it's made by young hands who must learn a slow, consistent process.

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Around the Nation
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help

Mentally ill inmates who are able to shower, eat, sit quietly and otherwise care for themselves live in the jail's Division 2. A psychologist is stationed right outside the room, and officers are specially trained to deal with psychotic episodes.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 am

Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Tom Dart walks the halls of his jail every day. With 10,000 inmates, this place is a small city — except a third of the people here are mentally ill.

Dart has created some of the most innovative programs in the country to handle mentally ill inmates, hiring doctors and psychologists, and training staff. But if you ask anyone here, even this jail is barely managing.

"I can't conceive of anything more ridiculously stupid by government than to do what we're doing right now," Dart says.

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Author Interviews
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

For World Superpowers, The Negotiating Table Often Had A Net

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

In the spring of 1971, two global antagonists found a diplomatic opening through an unlikely source, the game of ping-pong.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NEWSCASTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Good evening. The bamboo curtain has been cracked by a ping-pong ball.

MIKE WALLACE: China lifted the bamboo curtain today, long enough to let in 15 American ping-pong players.

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History
1:13 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

A Promise Unfulfilled: 1962 MLK Speech Recording Is Discovered

A recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering this address to the New York State Civil War Centennial Commission in 1962 was recently discovered by the New York State Museum.
Courtesy of New York State Education Department

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Last fall, curators and interns at the New York State Museum were digging through their audio archives in an effort to digitize their collection. It was tedious work; the museum houses over 15 million objects. But on this particular day in November, they unearthed a treasure.

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Shots - Health News
1:39 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies?

You tried burping. You tried bouncing. You tried swaddling. Now what?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 1:53 pm

When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.

Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.

"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."

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Sports
1:32 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.S. Olympic Skier Finds Team Spirit, Minus The Team

Kris Freeman, skiiing here for the U.S. team in 2011, during the Winter Games NZ, was cut from the U.S. Ski team before the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games. Freeman has had to train without their support and still hopes to qualify to compete in Russia.
Hannah Johnston Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:57 pm

The U.S. Olympic team is taking shape in the run-up to next month's Winter Games in Russia. This week, the Olympic cross-country ski team names the athletes who'll be going to Sochi, and veteran Kris Freeman is vying for another spot.

The 33-year-old Freeman already has been to three Olympic Games, and he's considered the country's best long distance racer over the past decade.

All that despite the fact that he has diabetes.

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Shots - Health News
1:28 am
Mon January 20, 2014

In These Gyms, Nobody Cares How You Look In Yoga Pants

Kendall Schrantz, center, stretches after a class at Downsize Fitness in Fort Worth.
Lauren Silverman for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:46 am

If you want to lift weights or use the treadmill at Downsize Fitness, you have to be at least 50 pounds overweight.

Kendall Schrantz is a fan – and a member.

The 24-year-old has struggled with her weight since she was in the second grade. The looks she got at other gyms made her uncomfortable.

But now she drives more than an hour to Downsize Fitness in Fort Worth three times a week, just to exercise.

"It's worth every single penny I paid for gas," she said. "It's worth the time I spend on the road, the miles."

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Around the Nation
3:19 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Clear, Sharp And Properly Exposed: How A Photo Made A Career

Bill O'Leary's photo of Marion Barry getting escorted by an FBI agent made the front page of the Jan. 19, 1990, issue of The Washington Post.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 3:29 pm

As part of a new series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

On Jan. 18, 1990, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for possession and use of crack cocaine in a hotel room during an FBI sting.

Meanwhile, at The Washington Post, intern Bill O'Leary was waiting for his first real assignment.

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Politics
11:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

'Betray Me And You're Dead': How Loyalty Leached Out Of Politics

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is shown here with former top lieutenant Bridget Anne Kelly last September, as they toured fire-damaged boardwalk areas. This month, Christie fired Kelly, his deputy chief of staff.
Reuters /Landov

Those close to a powerful elected official, like a governor or the president, may owe their success to the boss. Yet there are times when the interests of the person on top and those who serve will diverge, and the outcome is predictable.

"When you're a staffer or consultant, at some level you have to understand that you're a bit like a milk carton and at some point you'll reach your expiration date," says Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant. "There could always be a time when the principal is going to have to effectively throw you under the bus."

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Law
10:57 am
Sun January 19, 2014

New York's Medical Marijuana Experiment Begins With Caution

New York is one of the only states in the Northeast without a medical marijuana program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was opposed to medical marijuana, and attempts to create a law have failed to get through the state Senate for years.

Now Cuomo has reversed himself, proposing a medical marijuana research program run under exacting federal guidelines that would be the most restrictive in the country.

Strictly For Research

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Law
9:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

South Texas: The New Hot Spot For Illegal Crossing

The Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas, is more dangerous than it looks because of swift currents and Border Patrol surveillance.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 11:31 am

As the U.S. government has militarized the California and Arizona segment of the Southwest border over the last two decades, illegal crossers have moved to another area. South Texas has become the new border hot spot.

The Rio Grande Valley is also the closest route to Central America. Two-thirds of those caught crossing are from that troubled region.

The Border Patrol and local authorities are straining to keep up.

Fleeing Poverty And Murder

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Law
9:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Anti-Texting Laws Don't Appear To Deter

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We all know talking on the phone or texting while driving is dangerous. More than 41 states have laws that make it illegal to text while driving. Most have laws that forbid new drivers from using their cell phones at all. But that doesn't stop drivers of all ages from talking and typing away. In December, reporter Alisa Roth rode along with a New York state trooper to see how the ban is working there. Here's an encore broadcast of her story.

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World
9:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Germans Cautious About Obama's NSA Proposals

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Last year, revelations that the U.S. had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone soured relations between the two allies. In Europe, President Obama's recommendations to reign in the NSA when it comes to listening to foreign leaders was met with a lukewarm reaction. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that Germans are especially skeptical that the changes will mean an end to American eavesdropping.

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U.S.
4:36 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

To Attract Foreign Tourists, Brand USA Turns To ... Rosanne Cash

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

NSA surveillance appears to have damaged America's reputation abroad, but the U.S. government is hoping that one person can turn it around. Rosanne Cash.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LAND OF DREAMS")

ROSANNE CASH: (Singing) I heard you calling from the start. A river...

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Sports
4:36 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

The NFL: Big Business With Big Tax Breaks

MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will hold the 2014 Super Bowl. The stadium gets a break on local property taxes.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 9:04 am

If you're a football fan, Sunday is kind of like Christmas.

Two conference championship games will determine the teams that advance to the Super Bowl, and the matchups couldn't be more exciting: Denver vs. New England (Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady). And some would say the other game, pitting San Francisco against Seattle, might just feature the two best teams in the league.

America shows its love for the sport in many ways beyond breathless anticipation of big games. It also gives back to the National Football League with tax breaks and publicly funded stadiums.

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Shots - Health News
12:55 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Western Scientists Look To Chinese Medicine For Fresh Leads

Workers prepare Chinese traditional medicine for customers in Beijing.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:08 am

In the quest for new treatments, U.S. researchers are looking to traditional Chinese medicines, some of the oldest remedies in the world.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Missouri Bill Would Add Firing Squad As Death Penalty Option

This is the execution room at the Potosi Correctional Center in Potosi, Miss., as it looked on Jan. 17, 1990. Death by lethal injection was the method used at the prison.
AP

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 1:28 pm

A bill introduced in the Missouri Statehouse adds a firing squad as an option for carrying out the death penalty in the state.

The bill would give the state another option besides lethal gas and lethal injection, which has run into speed bumps because pharmaceutical companies have halted the sale of one of the drugs used in those executions.

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Reporter's Notebook
8:38 am
Sat January 18, 2014

In Appalachia, Poverty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 12:21 pm

President Lyndon B. Johnson went to eastern Kentucky in 1964 to promote his War on Poverty. But when he did, he opened a wound that remains raw today. People in the region say they're tired of always being depicted as poor, so when NPR's Pam Fessler went to Appalachia to report on how the War on Poverty is going, she was warned that people would be reluctant to talk. Instead, she got an earful.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Sat January 18, 2014

UPDATED: Student In Philadelphia School Shooting Surrenders

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 2:12 pm

Update at 4:10 p.m. ET. Student Surrenders:

A 17-year-old suspected in a shooting that injured two students at a Philadelphia school has turned himself over to police.

Philly.com reports:

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Around the Nation
7:31 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Donors Pitch In To Protect Detroit's Art And Pensions

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 9:35 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:01 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Ford's New Truck, GM's New CEO Star At Detroit Auto Show

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 9:35 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The North American International Auto Show opens to the public today. That's the fancy name for the Detroit car show. NPR's Sonari Glinton has been getting a sneak preview in the Motor City, hanging out with engineers and auto execs. And he's with us now. Good to talk with you, Sonari.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: It's good to be here, Lynn.

NEARY: Now, you've spent, I think, four days at the car show. What are the standouts?

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All Tech Considered
3:31 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Still Texting? OMG, That's Already So Old-School

A new report says old-fashioned texting is on the decline in Britain.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:31 am

If you have teenagers in your house, you may find this hard to believe, but texting is on the decline.

For the first time ever, traditional texting — the kind you do through your cell phone provider — has dropped in Britain. That's according to the annual technology predictions report from Deloitte, which reported that the number of text messages passed around by Brits decreased by 7 billion last year.

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Sports
3:26 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Sibling Snowboarders Hope To Reach Olympics At The Same Time

Taylor Gold competes at the 2013 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., one of the qualifying events for the U.S. team. His sister Arielle is also competing in the women's contest.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Snowboarding

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 9:35 am

Patty Gold may be the loudest spectator at the bottom of the half-pipe, with her cheers, gasps and the yelling of her children's names. She mostly stands perfectly still with her hands clasped to her face, waiting for scores, safe landings, and possibly medals.

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The Two-Way
6:29 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

California's Governor Declares Drought State Of Emergency

Gov. Jerry Brown holds a chart showing California's average precipitation as he declares a drought state of emergency for the state Friday. Brown asked residents to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Saying that his state must take steps to plan for prolonged water shortages, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over an extended drought Friday. California faces "water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history," according to the governor's office.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Federal Judge Says N.C. Ultrasound Abortion Law Is Illegal

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:16 pm

A controversial North Carolina law requiring women who want to have an abortion to undergo an ultrasound scan is illegal, according to a federal judge's ruling issued Friday. The state's law required that the women have a medical professional tell them what the image depicts. It also said the women should "listen to the heartbeat of the unborn child."

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Supreme Court To Decide If Warrant Needed To Search Cellphone

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide if police can seize and look through a suspect's cellphone without getting a warrant. This photo shows women in Los Angeles using smartphones on Jan. 7.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court is delving into the technology-versus-privacy debate, agreeing to hear two cases that test whether police making an arrest may search cellphones without a warrant.

The court's announcement Friday that it would take the cases came just hours after President Obama outlined his proposals to address government retention of citizen phone data as part of his speech outlining reforms at the National Security Agency.

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Congress Vows To Step Up To Surveillance Policy Challenge

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., after President Obama's speech.
Charles Dharapak AP

If there was a consensus emanating from Congress Friday after President Obama's NSA reform speech, it was — not surprisingly — that Congress itself has a major role to play in the ultimate fix.

Whether from strong NSA supporters or agency critics, the reactions sounded similar: Congress intends to do much of the steering in the drive to overhaul the NSA's gathering of certain non-public information, especially consumer phone records, in the nation's counterterrorism efforts.

Even so, if you listened closely, you could hear the sound of politics in some of the reaction.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Signs Trillion-Dollar Federal Spending Bill

President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill into law Friday afternoon, enacting more than 1,500 pages of legislation that received broad support in the House and Senate earlier this week. The expansive bill ensures the U.S. government won't face a potential shutdown until at least October.

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Education
3:28 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Trust Exercises: Obama's Surveillance Reforms Toe A Fine Line

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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