U.S. News

The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Gen. Dempsey Disputes Gates' Characterization Of Obama

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, in November of 2013.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:58 pm

The nation's top military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, is disputing former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' contention that President Obama is suspicious of senior military leaders.

In an interview with NPR on Tuesday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he's never picked up on those feelings from the White House.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Christie Concedes 'Mistakes Were Made' In Bridge Scandal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address Tuesday in Trenton, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, engulfed in scandal over the politically motivated closing of bridge access lanes and questions about how he spent federal Hurricane Sandy aid, pledged Tuesday to "cooperate with all appropriate inquiries."

In his annual State of the State speech from the State Capitol in Trenton, the two-term Republican governor made quick work of the George Washington Bridge controversy, which hopelessly snarled traffic in the city of Fort Lee for days. The circumstances surrounding the episode have clouded the prospects of a potential presidential bid in 2016.

Read more
Politics
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Hopes Dim For Long-Term Extension To Jobless Benefits

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.

Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

In California, Alarm Grows Over Shrinking Water Levels

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Last week, we were shivering in depths of the polar vortex. Now another sign that Mother Nature is in charge. This time it's California, where right now it should be rainy season. Instead, there's growing alarm over a persistent lack of rain. The state is suffering its third consecutive dry year.

And as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, there are calls for the governor to officially declare a drought.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

Read more
Politics
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Christie Delivers Statewide Address Under Increased Scrutiny

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was back in the spotlight today. The annual State of the State speech came at an awkward moment for Christie. The Republican governor had not spoken publicly since apologizing last week for politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the unfolding scandal at the start of his speech.

Read more
Law
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Appeals Court Strikes Down Open Internet Rules

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court struck down Federal Communications Commission rules that would prevent Internet service providers from restricting usage on their networks and charging companies and users more for faster service. Critics say that this will create a two-tiered Internet that will favor those who can pay.

Politics
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Obama's NSA Panel Testifies Before Senate Committee

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Members of a special panel of advisers assembled by President Obama are testifying on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In December, the panel recommended changes to the way that the National Security Administration conducts surveillance.

Health Care
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The Young And Restless May Cause Drama For ACA

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

After a slow start, the Affordable Care Act is now attracting customers at a healthier pace. The government said yesterday that 2.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the state and federal exchanges. But there's a serious red flag. A disproportionate number of new enrollees are middle aged or older.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli on what that means for the program and for insurers.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:39 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Drug Tests Don't Deter Drug Use, But School Environment Might

So am I doing this to forget how much I hate my school?
iStockphoto

Schools that do random drug testing say it helps students say no to illegal drugs, while critics say it's an invasion of privacy. But feeling good about school may affect students' drug use more than the threat of testing.

A survey of high school students found that the possibility that they might face drug testing didn't really discourage students from alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. But students who thought their school had a positive environment were less apt to try cigarettes and pot.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:20 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Doctors Recommend Universal Diabetes Testing For Pregnant Women

Before you get too far along, you should get a blood test for diabetes.
Emiliano Rodriguez iStockphoto

All pregnant women should get tested for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks of pregnancy, a federal panel says, to reduce the risk of dangerous complications for both mother and child.

This isn't one of those controversial bits from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, like its recommendation that women under age 50 not get mammograms. Most obstetricians are already screening their patients for gestational diabetes.

Read more
Children's Health
9:53 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Toddler Removed From Home After Viral Swearing Video

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. Today, we're talking about something you might have talked about yourself with other parents or friends if you've seen this video.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You a hoe (bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: You a hoe (bleep).

MAN: What's up then?

Read more
Education
9:53 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Classrooms Getting More Diverse, But Teachers Of Color Struggle

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:58 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Ill-Defined Coverage Muddles Insurance For Developmentally Disabled

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:56 pm

A little remarked upon requirement in the federal health law expands treatments for people with cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities. But some advocates and policy experts are concerned that insurers may find ways to sidestep the mandate.

The health law requires that individual and small group plans sold on or off the health insurance marketplaces cover 10 essential health benefits, including "rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices."

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:33 am
Tue January 14, 2014

California Hospital Workers Pitch Obamacare To ER Patients

O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., is encouraging uninsured patients to sign up for coverage in the emergency room.
Sarah Varney for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:10 am

Angela Felan is sitting in the ER waiting room at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif. A blue surgical mask covers her nose and mouth, and a sweatshirt is pulled snug over her head.

She first came into the emergency room a few days ago with what she thought was bronchitis. The doctor prescribed an inhaler that cost her $56.

Felan, 31, works part time in retail and hasn't had insurance for at least a decade because she hasn't been able to afford it. "Unfortunately even not having insurance is just as expensive," she says.

Read more
The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
1:32 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Discovering Grief And Freedom In A Family's History Of Slavery

"Michael Goings, a man of colour personally appearing in Court and producing satisfactory evidence of his freedom. It is ordered that the following be entered as his Register. To wit, aged 23 years 5 feet 11 1/2 inches high of light complexion. No scars no marks perceivable all of which is ordered to be certified."
Courtesy of Robert Goins

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:40 am

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:33 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Lawyers Seek Justice Department Records On Would-Be Bomber

Lawyers for a young Portland man convicted of trying to blow up a Christmas tree ceremony are asking a judge to order the Justice Department to open its files and share "facts and circumstances" of electronic surveillance that prosecutors disclosed only months after his conviction.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:53 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The Big Impact Of A Little-Known Chemical In W.Va. Spill

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 8:06 am

The chemical that was found last week to be contaminating the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians is used to clean coal. But very little is known about how toxic it is to people or to the environment when it spills.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Water Bans Lifted In Several West Virginia Areas

In West Virginia, a ban on water use has been lifted in at least three areas affected by a chemical spill. Here, Al Jones of the state's General Services department tests the water as he flushes a faucet and opens a restroom on the first floor of the Capitol in Charleston on Monday.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 8:10 am

A ban on using tap water has been lifted in at least three areas affected by a chemical spill in West Virginia, where some 300,000 water customers received "do not use" advisories Thursday. Since then, water has been trucked in to the affected area, which includes nine counties.

West Virginia American Water residents were told they should use the water only for flushing toilets — not for drinking, cooking or washing.

Read more
Race
6:03 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Nearly Six Decades Later, Integration Remains A Work In Progress

Students in Central High School walk through the hallways between classes.
Debbie Elliot NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:30 am

A federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., approved a settlement today that ends decades of litigation over school desegregation there.

The city was one of the first tests of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education, when President Eisenhower sent federal troops to integrate Central High School in 1957.

Just about anyone you speak to about the Little Rock desegregation case says it's time for the contentious and ongoing litigation to be over. But no one is really celebrating either.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Desegregation Pact Gets Judge's Approval In Arkansas

A long-running school desegregation fight in Arkansas is over, after a federal judge accepted a settlement reached by the state, lawyers for black students, and three school districts in and around Little Rock. Under the deal, the state will no longer have to send payments — around $70 million this year — to aid desegregation.

According to the terms of the deal, those payments can stop after the 2017-2018 school year. They had been mandated by a court-ordered program that also included forming magnet schools and shifting students between school districts.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:36 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Google Buys Nest, May Soon Know How Cool You Like Your Home

The Nest Learning Thermostat. The four-year-old company is now owned by Google.
Courtesy of Nest

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:14 pm

As further evidence that this is perhaps the year the Internet of everything really becomes a thing, Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, the home automation company that pioneered smart thermostats and lately,

Read more
Law
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Arizona Abortion Law Remains Ruled As Unconstitutional

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 4:01 pm

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

Read more
Health Care
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Young People Account For A Quarter Of Health Care Enrollees

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We have more details now on just who is signing up for insurance through the government's new healthcare marketplace. About a quarter of the people signing up are under the age of 35. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, the Obama administration released its first demographic breakdown of the insurance customers today.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

West Virginia Tap Water Ban Awaits A Good Flush

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 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.

Faucets in parts of West Virginia are running drinkable water again. This after a chemical spill leaked into the Elk River and tainted the local water supply. After a five-day ban on tap water in and around Charleston, Governor Earl Tomblin today announced the results of days of testing.

Read more
World
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

An American Diplomat In Paris — And A Russian One, Too

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In just a week, the U.N. plans to hold Syrian peace talks in Switzerland. In the meantime, the U.S. is leaning hard on opposition leaders to attend and talk face-to-face with a government they've been fighting hard to topple. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in meetings for the past two days in Paris, laying the groundwork for the conference.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

High Court's Pass On 'Fetal Pain' Abortion Case Unlikely To Cool Debate

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:02 pm

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Older Folks Get Modest Memory Boost From Brain Boot Camp

Study participants were trained in practical reasoning skills like managing medications.
Jorge Salcedo iStockphoto

Older people who took a few weeks of classes to train their brains say their ability to perform everyday tasks declined less than people who hadn't had the training, even years later.

But the difference between them was modest at best, and wasn't independently verified. So it's impossible to know if the people were really doing better at tasks like reading bus schedules or completing order forms, or if they just thought they should be.

Read more
Law
10:19 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court Declines To Consider Arizona Abortion Law

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And some news from the Supreme Court this morning: The justices have decided not to intervene in a legal battle over abortion in the state of Arizona. Earlier, an appeals court said the state's law banning most abortions after 20 weeks was unconstitutional. The high court's decision today not to review the case effectively blocks that ban from coming into place in Arizona.

NPR's Julie Rovner joins us to talk about the implications of this. Hi, Julie.

JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: Hey, David.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court Ends Arizona's Bid To Reinstate 20-Week Abortion Ban

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:59 am

The United States Supreme Court on Monday refused to revisit a lower court ruling that struck down Arizona's ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The AP reports:

"The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman's constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Gates Says He Wept Each Evening Over Troops' Deaths

Robert Gates in June 2011 during his final official news conference as secretary of defense.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:08 am

The news from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' interviews with NPR and other news outlets — notably, how he uses a new book to criticize many in the White House — has now been widely reported.

But we also want to point to two passages in his conversation with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that particularly struck us.

Read more

Pages