NPR News

Pages

It's All Politics
2:30 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

For Democrats, Obamacare Web Woes Create 2014 Headache

Glitches in the HealthCare.gov website, shown here, are making the White House and its allies very nervous.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:11 pm

President Obama radiated confidence when he took to the Rose Garden earlier this week to convince Americans that the flaws in the Affordable Care Act website would be fixed.

It's understandable that the president himself might be upbeat about the prospects of resolving the problems currently plaguing the technology behind the law.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Pew: Most Latinos Can't Name 'Most Important Hispanic Leader'

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was named by 5 percent of respondents as "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."
Win McNamee AFP/Getty Images

While most Latinos believe it's important for their community to have a national leader, most of them can't pinpoint whom they think that leader is.

That's the new finding from a survey released today by the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Survey participants were asked an open-ended question to name the person they think is "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."

Sixty-two percent responded they didn't know and 9 percent said no one.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

The Sounds Of New York City, Circa 1920

Times Square near 42nd Street in New York City, in the 1920s.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:59 pm

We can hear the music of the Roaring '20s anytime we want. But what if you could hear the day-to-day sounds of what it was like to live at that vibrant time?

That's the basis of Emily Thompson's project "The Roaring Twenties." She's a history professor at Princeton University who's been mapping the sounds of New York City in the late 1920s and early '30s.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:13 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Funeral Contest Rewards Those Who Think Outside The Pine Box

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:13 pm

Melissa Block talks with Christine Pepper, CEO of the National Funeral Directors Association and judge for the Design for Death contest, about the competition and the winning entries.

The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Sony Explains Why Its PlayStation 4 Costs $1,845 In Brazil

Sony announced U.S. and European prices for its new PlayStation 4 at a news conference this summer. The game system will cost some $1,845 in Brazil, angering fans.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Sony's new PlayStation 4 won't be on store shelves until next month, but the gaming console has already raised eyebrows in Brazil, after reports that it would cost 3,999 Brazilian real — or about $1,845 at today's exchange rate.

The company says the steep cost isn't a case of price gouging, but instead a sign of Brazil's heavy taxes and fees on imported electronics.

The game system will be released in the United States on Nov. 15 and in countries including Brazil later that month. Large retailers in the U.S. will offer the PS4 at a base price of around $400.

Read more
Law
12:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

How A County Clerk Ignited The Gay Marriage Debate In N.M.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins talks with Thom Hinks and Richard Sunman (far right) after they obtained a marriage license at the Dona Ana County Clerk's Office in Las Cruces, N.M. In August, Ellins' office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:51 am

New Mexico law doesn't explicitly ban or approve same-sex marriage. There were a spate of lawsuits seeking to clarify the issue, but they were tied up in the courts. Then in August, the clerk of Dona Ana County, Lynn Ellins, a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage, consulted his staff.

"And we all agreed that it was about time to bring this thing to a head, and if we did nothing, the cases would languish in the district court if we did not move to issue these licenses and try and put the ball in play," Ellins says.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

IRS Delays Start Of Tax Season Because Of Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 12:59 pm

If you were one of those Americans who just can't wait to file your taxes because you're owed a handsome refund, the Internal Revenue Service has news for you: You're going to have to wait.

The IRS said today that the 16-day federal shutdown means it will delay the start of the 2014 filing season by one to two weeks. The shutdown delayed the updating and testing of some of the IRS' systems.

Read more
Music Interviews
11:54 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Lucy Wainwright Roche: In The Family Business

Lucy Wainwright Roche.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:13 pm

Songs by Lucy Wainwright Roche seems to be told with a shrug, a note of apology, or modesty. And, yet, her father is the witty and acerbic singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. Her mother is Suzzy Roche — one third of the harmonious Roche sisters.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:53 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Public Support For Marijuana Legalization Hits Record High

An ATM sits next to a rack of marijuana clone plants that are used to grow medical marijuana on Wednesday at The Joint, a medical marijuana cooperative in Seattle. Last week Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:50 pm

A record number of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll released Tuesday.

The poll, which was conducted Oct. 3-6, reports that 58 percent of the public supports the legalization of marijuana, while 39 percent opposes it.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:44 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Poll: Support For Legalizing Pot Surges During Past Year

A person identifying himself as Jermagisty Tha King of Denver lights up a 28 ounce blunt on April 20, 2012 in Denver, Colo.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Over the past year, Americans' support for legalizing pot has surged 10 percentage points.

That's according to Gallup, which has been asking the question since 1969. That means that 58 percent of Americans — a clear majority for the first time in more than 40 years — support legalizing marijuana and just 39 percent say the opposite.

To see the dramatic shift in public opinion, just look at this historical graph from Gallup:

Read more
The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue October 22, 2013

In Cost-Cutting Move, NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

This undated photo made available by NOAA shows a computer displaying an electronic nautical chart aboard a ship.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:21 am

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency charged with surveying the nation's navigable waters to help keep mariners off the rocks and out of the shallows, will cease printing paper charts after mid-April.

Partly as a cost-saving measure, the NOAA's Office of Coast Survey will offer charts only via on-demand printing, as PDFs or electronic charts.

Read more
The Salt
11:13 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Coffee Coming Up, Nice And Hot ... And Prepared By A Robot

Briggo's Coffee Haus takes up about 50 square feet of space, has a nice exterior wood design, and accepts orders either on-site or via a website.
Courtesy Briggo

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 12:19 pm

A new trend is brewing in the coffee world: coffee prepared by a robot, able to be preordered via cellphone and picked up at an unmanned kiosk, perfectly adjusted to your taste and ready to go.

To some, this might seem lamentable: the beginning of the end of coffee shops as we know them. No more huddling around warm cups of coffee with friends or sipping a refreshing iced latte while reading.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:10 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Doctors Enlist Therapists To Deliver Better, Cheaper Care

Tyler Engel with his parents, Dave and Jennifer. His doctor and therapist worked with the family to help Tyler recover from a concussion.
Kristian Foden-Vencil OPB

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:21 am

The state of Oregon is trying some experiments to bring different kinds of medical professionals under the same roof. Patients can see different kinds of doctors in one visit, and the hope is it will provide better patient care, eventually at less cost to the state.

This can make sense in a primary-care setting, where doctors often have to deal with stomachaches and migraines that stem from mental rather than physical problems.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Cuba To Phase Out Two-Peso Currency System

A woman displays Cuban pesos, or CUP (right) and the more valuable convertible pesos, or CUC (left), in Havana Tuesday. Raul Castro's government announced that it will begin unifying the two currencies.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.

The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:08 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Online Insurance Brokers Stymied Selling Obamacare Policies

Independent online insurance brokers, like eHealth, haven't yet been able to sell subsidized health insurance policies.
eHealthInsurance.com

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:18 pm

Consumers aren't the only ones frustrated by problems with the online health insurance exchanges being run by the feds.

Private companies that sell health insurance on the Internet are also in a bind. Websites like eHealthInsurance.com that were planning to start selling new, subsidized health care policies on Oct. 1 still can't offer them to customers.

Read more
Economy
10:49 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Job Growth Was Disappointing, But Some See Reasons For Hope

Hans Kahl (left) speaks with prospective employees at a job fair for veterans, in Miami on Tuesday. With job growth still slow, the Federal Reserve may keep trying to stimulate the economy.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

When it finally came out Tuesday, the September jobs report — delayed for 18 days by the government shutdown — showed a labor market moving forward. But the pace was slow enough to prompt many economists to view it as a letdown.

Job growth "is disappointing, given that employment is still down by about 1.8 million from its peak prior to the recession," Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, said in his analysis.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:39 am
Tue October 22, 2013

The Capitol Dome Will Get A $60 Million Face-Lift

A rendering of the scaffold system that will surround the Capitol Dome during the restoration.
Architect of the Capitol

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:45 pm

The U.S. Capitol Dome is about to undergo a $60 million restoration. Construction is scheduled to begin in November and last for two years.

"From a distance the dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees," the Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers says in a statement. "On closer look, under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll and the AOC needs to make repairs to preserve the Dome."

Ayers says this will be first time the dome will receive a complete makeover since the one it received in 1959 to 1960.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:19 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Want Your Daughter To Be A Science Whiz? Soccer Might Help

Very few girls get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise daily. But physical activity could help with school, a study says.
evoo73 Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:22 am

Girls who were more physically active at age 11 did better at school as teenagers, a study finds. And the most active girls really aced science.

It's become pretty much a given that children do better academically when they get regular exercise, even though schools continue to cut or even eliminate recess time. But there's surprisingly little hard evidence to back that up.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:46 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Former House Aide Lorraine Miller Named Interim NAACP Chief

Clerk of the House Lorraine Miller discusses legislation with then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during a 2007 signing ceremony.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:25 am

The NAACP has selected Lorraine Miller, a former clerk at the House of Representatives, to the post of interim president and CEO to replace Benjamin Jealous.

The organization, the nation's largest and oldest civil rights group, made the announcement of Miller's appointment at its board meeting over the weekend.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Amazon Raises Minimum Purchase For Free Shipping By $10

Missed It By That Much: Amazon has raised its minimum price for free shipping to $35, meaning that horse masks — a popular item among reviewers — are subject to a shipping fee.
NPR

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:08 pm

Customers who hope to buy enough from Amazon's website to garner free shipping are now facing a higher bar, as the giant retailer raised its minimum order size from $25 to $35. The change took effect Monday, as the busy holiday shopping season looms.

"This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US," the company said in announcing the change.

Read more
The Salt
7:37 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Meatless Monday Movement Gets More Veggies On The Menu

One of the meatless dishes prepared at Benson Brewery in Omaha, Neb., for Meatless Monday is zucchini ribbon salad with a dressing made from roasted garlic and tahini, and garnished with green onions and toasted pine nuts.
Courtesy of Vegan Omaha

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:31 am

America's relationship with meat is an indulgent one. At 270 pounds of meat per person per year, Americans consume more than almost anyone else in the world. (Mostly, we have our livestock producers' successes to thank for making meat cheap and abundant for us.)

Read more
Politics
7:35 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Bipartisan Group Slowed Down By Shutdown?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up in this program, states and cities across the country are facing major budget problems and so some leaders there are saying it's time to slash public pensions. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.

Read more
Parallels
7:19 am
Tue October 22, 2013

In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive

The Chinese border town of Suifenhe is a port of entry for almost all of the hardwood coming from the Russian Far East. Russia is the world's largest exporter of timber, but illegal logging is a growing problem.
Courtesty of EIA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 3:11 am

Forests cover about half of Russia's land mass, an environmental resource that President Vladimir Putin calls "the powerful green lungs of the planet."

But Putin himself acknowledges that Russia, the world's biggest exporter of logs, is having its timber stolen at an unprecedented rate.

The demand for high-value timber is fueling organized crime, government corruption and illegal logging in the Russian Far East. The hardwood cut in the endless forests often ends up as flooring and furniture in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.

Read more
The Salt
7:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Chocolate Fashions Make For A Truly Sweet Little Black Dress

Breakfast of chocolate at Tiffany's? Ten pounds of the dark, sweet stuff were used to craft this Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress and matching handbag, created by master chocolatier Mark Tilling of Squires Kitchen.
Photo: Paul Winch-Furness Courtesy of Salon du Chocolat

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:51 am

If you find yourself sauntering down the runway wearing 40 pounds of chocolate, don't sweat it. Seriously — you might find yourself dripping on the audience.

So warns Fiona Bitmead, one of 10 models who showed off edible chocolate creations Friday night at the Salon du Chocolat in London. Five handlers helped her get dressed.

"[I] had to worry about a dress melting on me!" she says. "I can't say I've ever wanted to eat the dresses I've worn down the catwalk before."

Read more
The Two-Way
7:07 am
Tue October 22, 2013

U.S. Drone Strikes Violate International Law, Reports Allege

Last month, protesters in Multan, Pakistan, expressed their anger about U.S. drone strikes.
S.S. Mirza AFP/Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Philip Reeves discusses the Amnesty International report on U.S. drone strikes

Two reports released on the eve of a White House visit by Pakistan's prime minister allege that the U.S. has "violated international law with top-secret targeted-killing operations that claimed dozens of civilian lives in Yemen and Pakistan," as McClatchy Newspapers writes.

In one of the reports, Amnesty International says that:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:47 am
Tue October 22, 2013

NCAA Won't Ban Miami Hurricanes From Bowls Over Booster's Gifts

The University of Miami's athletic director, Blake James, walks to an NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing in Indianapolis in June. The school's failings "enabled a culture of noncompliance," the NCAA said Tuesday, in announcing penalties for the school and its football and men's basketball coaches.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:14 am

The University of Miami "lacked institutional control" and didn't notice multiple violations by a booster who for years gave cash and gifts to athletes, the NCAA said. But the organization says the school's football team can play in the postseason, stopping short of the harshest punishment available.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:42 am
Tue October 22, 2013

As Smoke Blankets Sydney, Australians Brace For Worse Days

A general view of play as the Sydney skyline is shrouded in smoke during the Ryobi Cup match between the South Australian Redbacks and the Western Australia Warriors at Drummoyne Oval in Australia.
Mark Metcalfe Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:19 am

Wildfires are burning to the north, south and west of Sydney, Australia, and smoke "has been rolling in for days," correspondent Stuart Cohen said Tuesday on Morning Edition.

While the fires are mostly in sparsely populated areas, Sydney is blanketed — "you can smell smoke inside buildings" and health authorities are expecting a surge in cases of people with respiratory problems, Cohen added.

Things may get worse.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:05 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Teacher Who Died Trying To End Shooting Remembered As A Hero

A Sparks Middle School student cries with family members after a fellow student killed a math teacher and himself Monday in Sparks, Nev.
Kevin Clifford AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:46 am

Michael Landsberry, the 45-year-old middle school math teacher and Afghan War veteran who was killed Monday trying to talk down a student shooter at a Nevada middle school, is being remembered as a hero.

Witnesses at Sparks Middle School in the city of Sparks, near Reno, described how Landsberry approached the armed 13-year-old boy and tried to get him to surrender a semi-automatic pistol he had used to shoot two fellow students. The boy then turned the weapon on Landsberry, fatally shooting him, before using the pistol to take his own life.

Read more
Parallels
5:47 am
Tue October 22, 2013

European Parliament Joins List Of Those Upset With The NSA

U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin (in red tie) leaves the Foreign Ministry in Paris after being summoned Monday following reports that the National Security Agency spied on French citizens.
Thibault Camus AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:44 am

The fallout from revelations about the National Security Agency's spying activities continues: A key European Parliament committee approved new rules strengthening online privacy and outlawing the kind of surveillance the U.S. has been conducting.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says the legislation could also have significant implications for U.S. Internet companies. Here's what she told our Newscast unit:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:26 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Roma Couple Charged With Abducting Girl; Missing-Child Tips Pour In

A woman takes a call at the Greek charity The Smile of the Child, which is caring for a girl who police say was abducted by a Roma couple. Officials are trying to find her biological parents.
Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:03 am

Greek officials who are trying to determine the origin of a young blond girl found living in a Roma settlement last week have received thousands of calls since releasing her photo. Some callers offer information; others say the girl may be their child. The head of a charity that's now caring for the girl says about 10 missing-children cases are being reviewed.

Read more

Pages