Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 10:25 am
A study on guns, violence and mental health, long scheduled to be published this week, finds that gun ownership is a bigger factor than mental illness when it comes to firearms deaths. But the data suggest that both play roles.
As the investigation into Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard progresses, authorities are learning more about the mental state of the gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. A recent police report indicates Alexis was hearing voices coming from walls. Meanwhile, work is resuming at the Navy Yard.
Students at the University of Alabama and community leaders are reacting to allegations that white sororities denied access to black women because of their race.
The student newspaper in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson White, ran a story that quotes sorority members who say they wanted to recruit at least two black candidates but the students' names were removed before members could vote on them.
More than three months after Edward Snowden revealed details of NSA secret surveillance activities, intelligence officials are still assessing the fallout from the former contractor's disclosures. But they already know how the leaks happened.
"We have an extremely good idea of exactly what data he got access to and how exactly he got access to it," says the NSA's chief technology officer, Lonny Anderson.
In interviews with NPR, two government officials shared that part of the Snowden story in one of the most detailed discussions of the episode to date.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:24 pm
Robots are working alongside humans on car production lines, taking what Technology Review calls "a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots" at car factories. Previously, robots had been seen as being too unsafe to place them shoulder-to-arm-joint with humans on the assembly line.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:44 pm
A day after police say a 34-year-old civilian contractor and ex-Navy reservist killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, questions are being asked about how a man with a troubled service record and signs of mental instability had clearance to be on base.
The investigation continues into the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Authorities are trying to learn more about the shooter, Aaron Alexis. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy even after displaying a pattern of misconduct that included incidents involving guns. And members of Congress are asking whether security at the Navy Yard was adequate.
A few years ago, Brown University commissioned a study of its own historical connection to the Atlantic slave trade. The report found that the Brown family — the wealthy Rhode Island merchants for whom the university was named — were "not major slave traders, but they were not strangers to the business either."
By 10 a.m. Tuesday, several hundred people had already gathered in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park to mark the second anniversary of the movement known as Occupy Wall Street.
With many people coming and going, heading for actions like a McDonald's protest or a march on Washington Square Park, it was difficult to assess actual numbers. Much like Occupy itself, groups changed and reformed all morning.
An old wound reopened in New Orleans today. Five former police officers who were convicted of shooting unarmed civilians and of staging an elaborate cover-up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have had their convictions overturned. Today, a federal judge ordered a new trial.
Eve Troeh, of member station WWNO in New Orleans, joins us now with more details. And Eve, first, refresh our memories. Walk us quickly through the basics of this case.
We're going to focus now on yesterday's mass shooting here in Washington, but through the lens of the presidency. Massacres like that one have become remarkably commonplace during President Obama's time in office. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on how these events have shaped the president and his policies on guns.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: When President Obama spoke about yesterday's killing at Navy Yard, he described it as...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Yet another mass shooting.
The names of all of the victims of yesterday's shootings at the Washington Navy Yard have now been released. Twelve people, mostly civilian employees of the Navy, were killed when a gunman opened fire in an office building in the complex Monday morning. The shooter also died. Memorials for some of the victims were held across the city Tuesday.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:45 pm
When William M. Daley — son and brother of famous Chicago mayors, former Obama White House chief of staff and all-around Democratic pooh-bah — was President Clinton's commerce secretary, he kept in his office a framed passage from Theodore Roosevelt's "Citizenship in a Republic" speech.
"It's not the critic who counts. ... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:17 pm
A gunman shoots up a military facility, kills a dozen people and puts a fair chunk of the nation's capital on lockdown.
The political response to Monday's massacre at the Navy Yard in Washington?
Measured, bordering on muted.
From the words of the president to those on both sides of the gun control debate, caution has been the rule, with even the sharpest partisans tending to hold their tongues in the hours still suffused with tragedy.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 1:43 pm
A school district in Southern California has hired a private firm to comb through the cyber lives of its 14,000 middle- and high-school students, looking for signs of trouble.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Glendale Unified School District is spending $40,000 to have the firm monitor social media use among the district's students. School officials want to know if the kids are posting suicidal thoughts, obscenities or comments intended to bully fellow students.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 11:31 am
When teenagers drink, it's all too often all out, downing five or more beers in a session. But some teenagers are drinking even more, a study finds, boosting the upper limits of binge drinking to 15 drinks or more.
In a poll of high school seniors, 20 percent said they'd had five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks. That's what health officials consider binge drinking.
But 10 percent said they'd had 10 or more drinks at a time, and 5.6 percent said they'd had 15 or more drinks.
And the shooter is known to have been, as we've just reported, a former Navy reservist. But DC's police chief did say yesterday that no active duty servicemembers were killed, no one in uniform. The dead included contractors and civilians, apparently. And to learn more now about those victims of yesterday's shooting, we turn to NPR's Hansi Lo Wang.
And what are you hearing from the people for whom this is a personal tragedy - that is, those who knew one or more of these victims?
A shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. killed 13 people including the shooter. By late Monday, authorities said they were convinced the shooting was the work of a lone gunman, and the lockdown around the area was eased.
The heavy rain has finally stopped in Colorado, but days of flooding have devastated the most populated region of the state, known as the Front Range. As of this morning, we know that eight people have died, though hundreds have not been heard from, some in very remote areas. Officials estimate 1,500 homes have been destroyed, and thousands more damaged. Grace Hood from member station KUMC reports federal aid is making its way into the state, even as crews assess the damage.
Police say the gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, died after a gun battle inside a building at the Navy Yard on Monday. He was a veteran with a history of gun-related incidents. His last known address was in Fort Worth, Texas.
Editor's note: After the crowning of Nina Davuluri as Miss America, we solicited this commentary from writer Anna John, one of the co-founders of the blog Sepia Mutiny. This post includes several embedded tweets that contain explicit language.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:04 am
Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old man believed responsible for Monday's shooting rampage that killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, was a former full-time Navy reservist who had obtained a concealed-carry permit in Texas and was arrested three years ago for illegally discharging a weapon.
From the standpoint of global warming, burning natural gas can be better than burning coal, a study published this week suggests.
This is a contentious issue among people who are opposed to the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking. That technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to release far more gas than conventional drilling can. Opponents of fracking have been concerned not only about local environmental issues, but also about the potential for methane leaks to make global warming worse.
The whole beauty of fantasy sports is that you can manage teams of pro athletes without ever leaving your couch. The process of drafting teams, betting on the success of individual players and trash-talking with your similarly obsessed friends takes place on Web and mobile platforms, and that makes the fantasy sports pastime about more than just bragging rights. It's become a billion-dollar business.