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The Two-Way
2:02 am
Thu September 26, 2013

George H.W. Bush Is Witness At Same-Sex Wedding Of Friends

Former President George H.W. Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush, right, and their newly wedded friends Helen Thorgalsen, center, and Bonnie Clement.
Susan Biddle AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:34 am

Former President George H.W. Bush's presence as a witness and guest at the marriage of two women in Maine last weekend is being treated by some as his quiet endorsement of same-sex marriage.

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Politics
12:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Not All Republicans Embrace Big Business All The Time

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:12 am

The Republican Party in the past has had a close relationship with Wall Street and big business. But lately there's growing tension and disagreement as some Republicans in Congress consider a possible government shutdown. The Tea Party seems to have the strongest criticism of big business.

Politics
12:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

If The Government Closes, 'Essential' Employees Would Work

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Congress has until Tuesday to agree on funding for federal agencies in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. So let's look this morning at exactly what that shutdown would mean.

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Sports
12:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand To Win America's Cup

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:28 am

Oracle Team USA completed a remarkable comeback to win the America's Cup regatta, winning eight straight races. The American team, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the American team trailed the Kiwis, and were on the brink of being eliminated from the competition.

Animals
12:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Ancient Fish Fossil Sheds Light On Modern Jaws

A newly discovered fossil of a fish in China changes what scientists know about the origins of jaws. It turns out, human jaws are remarkably similar to the jaw of this 419-million-year-old fish. That suggests jaws evolved much earlier than previously thought.

Business
12:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

1 In 7 American Adults Don't Go Online

Fifteen percent of Americans don't use the Internet, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Most of these "offline adults" are 65 years old or older, many live in rural areas and have incomes lower than $30,000 a year.

Shots - Health News
10:44 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

A Medicaid Expansion In Pennsylvania May Take Time

Susan Mull is a substitute teacher in Lancaster County, Pa. She's lived with HIV for 21 years, the past 13 without health insurance. She says an expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania would be "life-changing."
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:26 am

In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.

The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.

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World
10:43 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Syrian Rebels: U.S. Distracted By Focus On Chemical Weapons

Smoke from heavy shelling rises above buildings in Dara'a, Syria, on Aug. 28.
Ugarit News AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:06 am

A satellite cellphone rings for rebel commander Bashar al-Zawi, at home with his family in the Jordanian city of Irbid. It's a rare domestic break for this wealthy businessman turned rebel commander. But he is anxious to get back to his battalion of 5,000 fighters in southern Syria.

They are taking part in a rebel offensive that is squeezing the Syrian army around the city of Dera'a. Military analysts say the fight is one of the most strategically important battles in Syria's civil war, because Dera'a, close to Damascus, is President Bashar Assad's stronghold in the southwest.

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Energy
10:42 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

In Wake Of Colo. Floods, A Scramble To Clean Up Spilled Oil

A crude oil storage tank lies on its side in floodwaters along the South Platte River, in Weld County, Colo., on Sept. 17. Hundreds of natural gas and oil wells along with pipelines are shut down by flooding, as state and federal inspectors gauge the damage and look for potential contamination from inundated oil fields.
John Wark AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:06 am

The heavy floodwaters in Colorado this month caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers, and the state's oil and gas industry is rushing to fix equipment damaged during the storm. It comes at a time when there's growing public concern about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

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Environment
10:42 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

With Murky Water And Manatee Deaths, Lagoon Languishes

Biologists Laura Herren and Brian Lapointe bag red sea grass at Shorty's Pocket, a site in the Indian River lagoon. Manatees have died from eating the toxic macro algae.
Courtesy Brian Cousin FAU Harbor Branch

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:06 am

Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.

An Ailing Lagoon

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Around the Nation
10:40 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

L.A. Puts Chronically Homeless In The Front Of Housing Line

Homeless people rest on a public sidewalk early this year in downtown skid row area of Los Angeles. The United Way of Greater Los Angeles is attempting to end "chronic homelessness" by 2016 with a model that identifies the neediest cases and provides them with permanent homes.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:21 am

An initiative in Los Angeles County is trying to help the homeless by first connecting them with a place to live. The "housing first" model has been used in cities across the country in recent years to combat long-term homelessness.

In L.A. County, the Home For Good project focuses on those who are most at risk, aiming to end chronic homelessness in the area by 2016. Homeless-services providers are gathering information about the population and ranking individuals' vulnerability. Then, the goal is to move the most in need into permanent housing, quickly.

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Sports
10:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

NBA Rookie Wants To Bring Hope To Greece, And To Milwaukee

Milwaukee Bucks first-round draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo speaks at a news conference in Milwaukee on June 28.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:48 pm

Just a few months ago, most Greeks had never heard of a teenager named Giannis Antetokounmpo.

At 6-foot-9, the baby-faced athlete was the towering star of a minor-league basketball team in an Athens suburb. Born in Greece to a Nigerian soccer player and a high-jumper, he was raised and educated in Athens. He only received his citizenship this May.

And then, on June 27 in New York, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that the Milwaukee Bucks had used the 15th pick in the first round of the NBA draft to select Antetokounmpo, who recently turned 19.

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Music Interviews
9:01 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

'You Can Always Come Home': Alan Jackson On Family And Bluegrass

Alan Jackson's The Bluegrass Album combines new originals with some staples of the genre.
Russ Harrington Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:06 am

Alan Jackson has achieved huge success in country music, but he's not above trashing his own industry. The platinum-selling star once voiced his frustration with the narrow range of country music that receives radio play by writing a spot-on parody — "Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Up-Tempo Love Song" — that hit all the mainstream marks on the nose.

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The Two-Way
7:01 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Justice Department Pushes New Thinking On Kids And Crime

The Justice Department, along with the Department of Education, is trying to stop what experts describe as a "school-to-prison pipeline."
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:45 am

For a man who spent the bulk of his career as a public defender, Robert Listenbee's new role walking around the halls of the U.S. Justice Department may not be the most comfortable fit.

But Listenbee, who became administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention earlier this year, says his transition has been smooth. And besides, he says, he couldn't resist the "extraordinary opportunity."

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It's All Politics
2:08 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: The Ted Cruz Show Comes To A Close

Democratic Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan visited with mothers and babies at a Capitol Hill Obamacare event Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Wednesday's Highlights

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ended his marathon Senate floor speech at noon when his appointed time ran out.

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Code Switch
1:07 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Ancient Jewish Tradition Meets Contemporary Design

Sukkah City finalists spread out across New York City's Union Square Park in 2010.
Babak Bryan BanG Studio

At Georgetown University this week, an outdoor religious display looks more like a public art installation than a commandment from the Torah, Judaism's holy book.

First, the basics: It's called a sukkah, a temporary dwelling — translated from Hebrew as a "booth" — where observant Jews traditionally eat and sleep during the weeklong harvest holiday of Sukkot.

The holiday, which began the night of Sept. 18, also pays homage to the 40 years during which the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in temporary structures.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State Department Renews Global Terrorism Alert

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:55 pm

The U.S. State Department has renewed its global terror alert, following the attack in Nairobi, Kenya, by a group claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab.

Because of the "continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence" toward Americans, the State Department said, U.S. citizens should "maintain a high level of vigilance."

The department adds:

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Politics
12:21 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Every Move She Makes, Pundits Are Watching Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City on Wednesday.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:09 pm

When she left the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she just wanted to sleep late and walk her dog. But that hasn't happened.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

In Comeback, Oracle Team USA Wins America's Cup

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In San Francisco today, a dramatic winner-take-all finish to the America's Cup race. Oracle Team USA, the defending champion, completed a remarkable comeback to win the regatta, 9-8. The American team is led by Silicon Valley billionaire and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. They were on the verge of elimination to their opponent, Emirates Team New Zealand. Trailing 8-1, the Oracle team then won eight straight races, concluding this afternoon in the high winds of San Francisco Bay. Announcer Todd Harris had the call on the NBC Sports Network.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Concerns Growing Over North Korea's Nuclear Program

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:03 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Joshua Pollack, a consultant to the US government, about concerns that North Korea has or could soon have the tools to make the centrifuges to enrich the uranium to make the atomic weapons without having to import key elements in the process. Pollack studies arms control, proliferation, deterrence, intelligence, and regional security affairs. He also writes for the blog Arms Control Wonk.

The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand, Keeps The America's Cup

Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates after defending the cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the final race on Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:13 am

Oracle Team USA has successfully defended the America's Cup, leaving challenger New Zealand in its wake off San Francisco after clawing back from a seven-race deficit in one of the most spectacular comebacks in yachting history.

A week ago, it looked to be all over for the U.S., with the Kiwis having built a seemingly unassailable lead and poised at one race away from taking the Auld Mug back to New Zealand.

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It's All Politics
12:11 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

A Tale Of Two Talks: Ted Cruz Outlasts Rand Paul By 8 Hours

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the media Wednesday after delivering a marathon Senate floor speech.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:23 pm

OK, so it wasn't a real filibuster, as no Senate action was actually blocked or delayed. But Texas Republican Ted Cruz's talk-fest did succeed in one key measure: duration.

At 21 hours and 19 minutes, Cruz held the Senate floor 8 hours and 27 minutes longer than Kentucky Republican Rand Paul did in March when he staged an actual filibuster over the country's drone policy.

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Music
11:27 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Rokia Traoré On Taking Up Music, And Mali's 'Iron Women'

Rokia Traoré's latest album is titled Beautiful Africa.
Mathieu Zazzo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:40 pm

When war broke out in the West African nation of Mali last year, one of the targets was that country's ancient music tradition. As Islamist rebels occupied northern Mali, they banned music and shut down clubs and record shops.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Wed September 25, 2013

SEE: Baby Veronica Reunited With Adoptive Parents

Matt and Melanie Capobianco with "Baby Veronica," taken Monday.
Capobianco family photo

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 10:56 am

We're a day late to this, but it's a story this blog has followed for a while and this latest development represents some closure.

On Tuesday, the 4-year-old known as "Baby Veronica" was reunited with her adoptive parents. As we reported, that was the same day the Oklahoma Supreme Court opened the door to that possibility.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Ancient Fish With Strong Jawline Could Rewrite History Of Faces

A reconstruction of Entelognathus primordialis, with the fossil find highlighted above.
Nature

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:18 am

As faces go, Entelognathus primordialis isn't much to look at, even for a fish.

But consider that the 419 million-year-old, armor-plated fish is the earliest known creature to have what humans might recognize as a face, according to research published Wednesday in Nature. That's mostly due to its bony, modern jaw.

As USA Today reports:

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The Salt
10:32 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Pork Politics: Why Some Danes Want Pig Meat Required On Menus

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:16 pm

In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.

In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes "carcasses" — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass?

All this is by way of explaining the hubbub that erupted following a recent headline: "Day Cares Ban Pork."

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Parallels
10:10 am
Wed September 25, 2013

For Some NYU Students, A Sweet Deal To Study ... In Shanghai

The university is currently located on the leafy campus of East China Normal University. Next year, NYU Shanghai will move to a 15-story building in the city's financial district.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:58 am

First-year college student Stephanie Ulan, from Queens, N.Y., had her sights set on New York University, in the heart of Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

She got her wish — sort of.

At first, the school offered her a generous scholarship but told her and her father they'd still have to take out big loans.

"My father is 62 years old," says Ulan, who plans to major in international relations. "There was a big scene and he flipped out and he was, like, 'I can't do that.' "

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed September 25, 2013

FBI Releases Video Of Navy Yard Shooter Moving Through Building

Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying the Remington 870 shotgun.
FBI

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:39 am

The FBI on Wednesday released some preliminary findings in its investigation of the Washington Navy Yard shootings that left 13 people dead including the shooter.

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Parallels
8:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Is Iran's Leader Sincere?

Much To Smile About? Iranian President Hasan Rouhani prepares to address the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:59 am

In keeping with his image as a moderate, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani brought his charm offensive to the United Nations this week and held out the possibility of improved relations with the U.S. after more than three decades of hostility.

"Prudent moderation will ensure a bright future for the world," Rouhani told world leaders Tuesday in New York.

So how is the world responding?

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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