When Barron Lerner was writing his book on the history of drunk driving in America — and efforts to control it — he carried out an experiment at home that involved a bottle of vodka, a shot glass and a Breathalyzer. He was the guinea pig.
"I was trying to figure out just how drunk you had to be in order to not drive safely," says Lerner, a professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University, who wrote One for the Road. He decided to drink and test his levels — but he didn't actually get into a car.
Germany has been rocked by allegations that a small, underground neo-Nazi group calling itself the Nationalist Socialist Underground carried out a 13-year-long crime spree that included murder, robbery and bombing. Here, a screen shot from a promotional DVD reportedly made by neo-Nazis Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boenhardt. The two men committed suicide earlier this month.
Credit Getty Images
Supporters of Germany's far-right National Democratic Party walk past a huge banner reading "Nazis? No, thanks" as they arrive to attend a party congress on Nov. 12 in Neuruppin, northeastern Germany.
Germany is reeling from revelations this week that a small neo-Nazi group carried out a deadly, decade-long crime wave. Authorities blame the underground cell for the murders of nine immigrants and a policewoman, a string of bank robberies and a bombing. Two suspects are dead and two others are in custody.
The identity of the suspects came as a shock to many in a country that has worked hard to overcome the stain of Nazism. Now, the focus is on the apparent shortcomings of Germany's domestic security services.
Concertgoers move in a spray of cooling mist as they dance amid the heat of the desert at the hipster Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., in April.
Credit Mike Blake / Reuters /Landov
Hipsters like these urban dwellers in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago have now spread to the farthest reaches of small-town America.
Credit Sam Swett / Flickr
Known online as the "Hipster Cop," Detective Rick Lee (center) walks with protesters in New York in October. The plainclothes officer has been doing community affairs work at the Occupy Wall Street protest.
Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 3:00 pm
The hotel lobby in Franklin, Tenn., has an ultra-urban loft-esque feel — exposed air ducts, austere furniture and fixtures, music videos projected onto a flat panel. Everywhere there is lava-lampish aqua and amber lighting.
Sale racks near the front desk display chargers for iPods and BlackBerrys and a variety of snacks, including Cocoa Puffs and Red Bulls. Every room features a media box for digital video and music.
Brian and Regan Franklin adopted their son, Sammi, from Ethiopia in 2009. The family is ready to adopt another child from the African nation — but is finding it increasingly difficult. Here, the family celebrates Halloween this year.
Credit Courtesy of the Franklin family
Sammi Franklin, now 3, lives with his family in Arlington, Va.
Credit Courtesy of the Franklin Family
Sammi was left in this abandoned building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when he was just a few days old.
Three years ago, when he was only a few days old, Sammi was left in an abandoned building in Ethiopia, where police found him. In 2009, he was adopted and brought to his new home in Arlington, Va., by Brian and Regan Franklin.
Now that the Franklins are ready to adopt another child, Ethiopia — which has been one of the few African countries to allow adoptions by foreigners — is making it tougher.
A special deficit-reduction supercommittee has less than a week to go before a deadline to vote on a plan cutting the nation's deficits. Melissa Block talks to one of the members of the bipartisan panel, Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.
President Obama has spoken for hours during his specific tour this week to CEOs, world leaders and military troops. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, one brief remark caught the ear of Republicans and you're likely to hear a lot of it in the months ahead.
The STOCK Act, a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading stock based on nonpublic information they get because they're lawmakers, has 61 co-sponsors and counting. And after years of languishing with only one hearing, the measure is getting one in the House Financial Services Committee.
What's remarkable about this is that the STOCK Act had just nine co-sponsors last week. What changed? The CBS news magazine 60 Minutes did a story about congressional insider trading.
Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:00 pm
Californians who oppose same-sex marriage just won a procedural victory in court.
The state's Supreme Court ruled this hour that opponents of same-sex marriage who successfully pushed the Proposition 8 law that bans such unions in the state may defend the initiative in court. The court's opinion is here.
Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 2:31 pm
The focus is on Manhattan today as protesters mark the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but there are things happening in other U.S. cities as well. We'll add to this post as reports come in.
-- 4:15 p.m.: Our colleague Bill Chappell has used Storify to gather other feeds and reports about what's happening at various protests.
From New York to California and places in between, Occupy protesters are in the streets today. That's because it was exactly two months ago that the movement began in a New York City park. Police in riot gear were deployed in lower Manhattan this morning, as hundreds of demonstrators marched with the aim of shutting down Wall Street. NPR correspondent Margot Adler has been following the events, and she joins us now live. Good morning, Margot.
Members of the nascent United Auto Workers union staged sit-down strikes in several Flint, Mich., Fisher Body plants in late 1936 and early 1937.
Credit Sheldon Dick / Getty Images
The Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy headquarters in Flint, Mich., is on the former site of Fisher Body 1, an important auto manufacturing plant for General Motors. The original plant was demolished in the 1980s and turned into a GM engineering center.
Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 4:30 am
The former Fisher Body 1 plant in Flint, Mich., produced a lot of cars, thousands of jobs and lots of history — it was one of the places where sit-down strikes led to recognition of the United Auto Workers in 1937.
But General Motors abandoned what remained of the site after its bankruptcy, and the new occupants don't make cars there. Instead, they're riding the next economic wave, selling prescription drugs to an aging population.
I took a walk up and down the main arteries into Wall Street and things seem to be settling down. As the protesters dispersed this morning, they made the decision to leave large groups of people at different intersections in New York's Financial District.
What police have done to control the crowds is block access to certain blocks and they've also barricaded protesters in sidewalks. So what you have now is a fractured protest with, for example, 30 protesters at one intersection and 15 at another.
From 720,000 in the year 1980 to more than 1.9 million in 2010, the number of Americans who are 90 years of age or older has nearly tripled, the Census Bureau reports today in its first comprehensive look at the over-90 population.
And according to the Census Bureau, "over the next four decades, this population is projected to more than quadruple."
As Eyder continues to file posts from the streets of lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been on the march today, here are some other views of what's happening there and other resources for monitoring what's happening:
There are jack o' lanterns, and then there is the pumpkin that comes in cans.
But farmer David Heisler says the world of pumpkins has much, much more to offer.
Heisler grows 38 varieties of pumpkins and winter squash on his farm in Comus, Md., about 50 miles north of Washington, D.C. His farm stand is a riot of pattern and color — red, orange, pink, white, green, yellow, even blue. Though pumpkins originated in the Americas, they're grown and prized around the world: "every continent except Antarctica," says Heisler.
"The final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind," Energy Secretary Steven Chu plans to tell Congress today, as a House committee digs into the controversial $528 million in federal loans made to the now-bankrupt solar energy company.
The agency also said that the "4-week moving average" of claims — a way of gauging the trend over a slightly longer period of time — was "396,750, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 400,750."
Supercommittee member, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., third from left, holds his hand out at a hearing Oct. 26. From left are, Supercommittee Co-Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Baucus, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
As the congressional "supercommittee" runs out of time to reach a deficit-cutting deal, the word "sequestration" is being spoken more and more in Washington.
Depending upon the speaker's political views, the word can be spit out as a curse word, or intoned as a blessing. But love it or hate it, "sequestration" may turn out to be a word that dramatically changes the world's most powerful military, and reshapes domestic programs for public health, education, the environment and much more.