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It's All Politics
4:16 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Amazingly, Congress Actually Got Something Done

House Speaker John Boehner takes the gavel from Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Jan. 6 at the start of the 114th Congress.
Mark Wilson Getty

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:58 pm

They said it couldn't be done. And for more than a decade they were right.

But on Thursday, staring at a deadline that could have disrupted health care to millions of seniors, the House got something done.

It voted to fix the flawed formula for compensating doctors who provide services to patients under Medicare. But this time it wasn't just a patch for a few months or years — like the ones Congress has done 17 times since 2003.

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Law
4:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Ellen Pao Trial Highlights Long Road To Ending Workplace Bias

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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National Security
4:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

National Guardsman, Cousin Arrested For Trying To Join Islamic State

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

An Illinois National Guardsman and his cousin were arrested for allegedly conspiring to provide support to the self-proclaimed Islamic State. One of the men wanted to go to Syria to martyr himself, and the other planned to carry out an attack on a nearby military base in northern Illinois.

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Science
4:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought

A 2008 view of the leading edge of the Larsen B ice shelf, extending into the northwest part of the Weddell Sea. Huge, floating ice shelves that line the Antarctic coast help hold back sheets of ice that cover land.
Mariano Caravaca Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

The Antarctic is far away, freezing and buried under a patchwork of ice sheets and glaciers. But a warming climate is altering that mosaic in unpredictable ways — research published Thursday shows that the pace of change in parts of the Antarctic is accelerating.

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Religion
4:01 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Church Of Scientology Calls New HBO Documentary 'Bigoted'

The HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief airs Sunday — over the vigorous objection of Scientology officials.
Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

The Church of Scientology is famous for its efforts to silence its critics, but it has not blocked an upcoming HBO film that turns a harsh light on the powerful organization and its leadership.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, directed by Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, will debut Sunday over the vigorous objection of Scientology officials.

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The Salt
3:42 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again

Not so ugly, eh? Supposedly imperfect produce rescued and reclaimed for consumption by Bon Appetit and Better Harvests.
Far left and far right: Courtesy of Ron Clark/Better Harvests. Center three images: Courtesy of Bon Appétit Management Company

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 10:00 am

Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl who never gets noticed takes off her eyeglasses and — voila! — suddenly, everyone can see she was beautiful all along?

Well, a similar sort of scenario is starting to play out in the world of produce in the U.S. (minus the sexist subtext).

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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

How Much Does Cancer Cost Us?

WNYC

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:27 pm

Before we started our Living Cancer series, we went on NPR's Facebook page to ask people about their experiences in paying for cancer treatment. Over a hundred people from across the country responded.

We talked with some people by phone to learn about their stories.

Maureen Carrigg, who lives in Wayne, Neb., was diagnosed with multiple myeloma six years ago. Even though she says she was meticulous about staying within her insurer's network for care, she still ended up owing $80,000 in out-of-pocket costs.

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National Security
3:03 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Testing The Standards: Do Gender Differences Matter For Combat?

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

The man who designed the training experiment to determine if female Marines should be allowed into combat positions is not a Marine himself, but a civilian scientist. His data could also help the Marines justify their own standards for what makes a person fit for combat.

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Sports
2:54 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Did You Place Your Bet? March Madness Betting Could Surpass Superbowl

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will bet $9 billion over the course of this year's March Madness tournament, more than double what they bet on the Super Bowl. NPR's Robert Siegel interviews Jay Rood, vice president of racing and sports books at MGM Resorts, about this busy time of year for betting in Las Vegas.

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Parallels
2:02 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

A Fraying Promise: Exploring Race And Inequality In Havana

A view of one of the oldest parts of Havana. The buildings in the city tell a story of inequality.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:02 pm

Miguel Coyula points at an open door in the middle of Old Havana. The mahogany door looks worn, but still handsome. The concrete facade has lost most of its paint, and time has ripped parts of it open.

"That's marble," Coyula says, pointing to the treads of the staircase. "They are the remnants of something that was very glorious."

Coyula is an architect and an economist, and as he walks through the streets of Havana, he doesn't just see breathtaking decay. He sees how economic policies and social circumstances have shaped this city.

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Shots - Health News
1:38 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Critic Faults Alcoholics Anonymous For Lack Of Evidence

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:24 pm

Founded by two men in Akron, Ohio, in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous has since spread around the world as a leading community-based method of overcoming alcohol dependence and abuse. Many people swear by the 12-step method, which has become the basis of programs to treat the abuse of drugs, gambling, eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors.

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Shots - Health News
1:36 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

A Single Gene May Determine Why Some People Get So Sick With The Flu

The H1N1 swine flu virus kills some people, while others don't get very sick at all. A genetic variation offers one clue.
Centre For Infections/Health Pro Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:07 pm

It's hard to predict who will get the flu in any given year. While some people may simply spend a few days in bed with aches and a stuffy nose, others may become so ill that they end up in the hospital.

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Colorado Primed To Become The Silicon Valley Of Agriculture?

A drone built by Agribotix, a Boulder startup, flies over a farm in Weld County, Colo. The drone has a camera that snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there, Agribotix stitches the images together, helping the farmer see what's happening in a field.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:31 am

Colorado is famous for its beer and its beef. But what about its farm drones?

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Parallels
1:31 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

How Yemen's Chaos Stretches Beyond Its Borders

People examine the rubble following an air strike near the airport in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Thursday. Saudi Arabia said it carried out bombing raids in neighboring Yemen as Houthi rebels, allied with Iran, continued their offensive in the country. Yemen's president fled the country Wednesday and was reported to be in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Khaled Abdullah Reuters/Landov

Yemen's downward spiral toward civil war is a disaster for the poorest country in the Arab world and adds one more member to the growing list of Middle East states that have imploded in the past several years.

But how important is Yemen to the wider world?

One argument holds that Yemen is, and always has been, an isolated backwater. The chaos is tragic for Yemenis, but remains largely an internal feud between rival groups and will have limited spillover beyond its borders.

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Goats and Soda
1:26 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Ebola Is Not Mutating As Fast As Scientists Feared

In November, the Ebola virus found in Mali was surprisingly similar to strains circulating in Sierra Leone six months earlier.
Courtesy of NIAID

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:31 pm

Back in August, scientists published a worrisome report about Ebola in West Africa: The virus was rapidly changing its genetic code as it spread through people. Ebola was mutating about twice as fast as it did in previous outbreaks, a team from Harvard University found.

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It's All Politics
1:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

After Spending Scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock Says Goodbye

"Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term but few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did," Rep. Schock said on the House floor Thursday.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Once a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock gave his final speech on the House floor Thursday.

Schock, who was elected to Congress in 2008, will resign his House seat at the end of the month. His resignation comes after weeks of questions about his judgment, lavish lifestyle and spending.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Census Data Prove It: We Prefer Sunshine And Golf Carts

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:17 pm

If you live in a town still dotted with dirty piles of old snow, this is not going to come as good news:

The U.S. Census Bureau today listed the nation's fastest-growing metro areas. And it turns out, Americans prefer Florida's sunshine, lakes and beaches to your cloudy, cold climes.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Indiana's Governor Signs 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, on Thursday, where he signed into law a bill that would allow business owners with strong religious convictions to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:32 am

Indiana business owners who object to same-sex couples will now have a legal right to deny them services after Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law.

The legislation, approved by Indiana's GOP-controlled House and Senate, prevents state and local governments from "substantially burdening" a person's exercise of religion unless a compelling governmental interest can be proved.

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It's All Politics
10:50 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Skinny Jeans, Expanded Waistlines, And A Washington 'Fix'

Congress tries every year to plug a loophole that would otherwise result in a 21 percent cut in Medicare doctors' pay. But it doesn't exactly always tighten its belt in the process.
Key Wilde Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:24 pm

Every year about this time, after a Washington winter of inactivity, I notice my pants have grown a little tighter. Years ago, I resolved to address this by cutting back on burritos and beer.

But the (ever more abundant) flesh is weak. And burritos are soooo tasty. So instead, every spring I simply let out my waistband a bit, while promising to redouble my dieting efforts next year. I call this, "The belt fix."

Sound familiar?

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Richard III, Whose Remains Were Found Under A Parking Lot, Reburied

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby waits at the entrance to Leicester cathedral where the reinterment ceremony of Richard III was held Thursday.
Michael Dunlea Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Richard III, the last English king to die in battle and who famously, in literature, offered his kingdom for a horse, was finally given a burial fit for a king — some 530 years after he was killed.

Hundreds lined up to watch the last Plantagenet king being laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral in England.

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Code Switch
10:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Some Messy History Behind A Fight Over A Restaurant Called 'Chop Chop Chinaman'

The logo of Chop Chop Chinaman restaurant sits on a window outside the dining area Thursday in Chicago.
Armando L. Sanchez Chicago Tribune/TNS/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 12:02 pm

Over in Chicago, a restaurant called Chop Chop Chinaman has been getting a lot of heat for its name. In February, Chicago-area resident Jeannie Harrell was arrested for scrawling "F*** this hate crime s***. It's 2015" in lipstick on the restaurant's window, right next to the shop's decal sticker of a rickshaw and a man wearing a triangular hat.

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NPR History Dept.
9:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Board Games That Bored Gamers

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 12:29 pm

Gaming is a way of life for Americans of all ages.

We play games on Facebook, on our phones, on phantasmagorical home systems. We play on fields and courts and dining room tables. Contemporary culture mavens speak of the gamification of education and the workplace and our day-to-day communications.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Pilots Downing Their Planes Is Unusual, But Not Unprecedented

Rev. Msgr. Vincent Puma comforts Cindy Heck, daughter-in-law of EgyptAir Flight 990 victims Donald Heck and Bea Jeanne Heck, in a photo from 2000.
John Freidah AP

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:25 pm

Investigators have concluded that the crash of a German airliner earlier this week that killed all 150 aboard was a deliberate act by the co-pilot, and that there is "nothing to suggest a terrorist attack."

Even so, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, speaking at a news conference in Paris today, refused to characterize the actions as suicide.

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The Salt
9:22 am
Thu March 26, 2015

How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking

A 16th century woodcut shows the interior of a kitchen. In medieval Europe, cooks combined contrasting flavors and spices in much the same way that Indian cooking still does today.
Paul Lacroix Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:24 pm

My father usually starts off his curries by roasting a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, anise, cumin and bay leaves. Then he incorporates the onions, garlic and ginger — and then tomatoes and chilies and a touch of cream.

The North Indian cuisine I grew up eating is about melding together distinct, disparate flavors and building up layer upon layer of spice and seasoning. Much of European cuisine, by contrast, is about combining complementary flavors — think potatoes with leeks, or scallops with white wine.

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Shots - Health News
8:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

High-Deductible Health Plans Cut Costs, At Least For Now

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:07 pm

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn't pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? You're a foot soldier who's been drafted in the war against high health costs.

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Goats and Soda
7:52 am
Thu March 26, 2015

What's Up With Parents Who Don't Vaccinate Their Children?

Two drops of polio vaccine are administered to a child in a Nigerian health clinic.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 12:10 pm

A decade ago in Nigeria, rumors spread that polio vaccines were surreptitious sterilization efforts. That led to a boycott of the vaccine in 2003 and a resurgence in the poliovirus three years later.

The story points up a key point about vaccines: Confidence is critical.

A new study of more than 20,000 people in five countries looks as why people aren't confident in vaccines. The reasons vary, from a belief the vaccine isn't safe to a bad experience with a previous vaccination.

And the results can be devastating.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Details Emerge About Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz

German policemen stand outside a house believed to belong to Andreas Lubitz in Montabaur, Germany, on Thursday. Lubitz, the co-pilot on the Germanwings plane that crashed Tuesday, is suspected of deliberately crashing a the jet into the French Alps.
Ralph Orlowski Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 2:21 pm

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Andreas Lubitz "wanted to see his dream of flying fulfilled," says the flying club of the co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing 150 people.

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News
7:17 am
Thu March 26, 2015

French Prosecutor Points Toward Co-Pilot's Actions In Jet's Crash

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Ed
6:51 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Are Women's Colleges Doomed? What Sweet Briar's Demise Tells Us

Students in the Powell Reading Room at Sweet Briar College, circa 1950.
Rebecca Thomson Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:21 am

Sweet Briar College in Virginia will close its doors in May, after 114 years of teaching women at its scenic campus in western Virginia.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Released From Prison

In this Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, arrive at federal court in Washington to learn their fates when a federal judge sentences the one-time power couple for misusing $750,000 in campaign money.
Susan Walsh AP

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has stepped out of a federal prison in Alabama and now goes to a halfway house to complete a 2013 sentence for spending hundreds of thousands in campaign money on personal items.

WLS in Chicago reports: "The Jackson entourage, consisting of his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson; his wife, Sandi Jackson; and the former congressman's two children, arrived at Maxwell Air Force Base around 4:15 a.m. Thursday."

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