Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:18 am
Feeling a little awkward? Consider skipping the alcohol and grabbing a pet instead.
As any dog walker knows, it's easy — unavoidable, even — to strike up conversations with strangers when accompanied by a canine friend. Smaller animals like rabbits and turtles can also lubricate social interactions.
If Congress and the Obama administration can't agree on a budget deal by Friday, the federal government will be forced to cut $85 billion from just about every federally funded program. Every state could lose federal aid, and a myriad of government programs could shut down or curtail services — and that includes the nation's public schools.
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:17 pm
The victory of a pro-gun-control candidate in the Illinois Democratic primary race to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was also a political win for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose superPAC backed the winner over a candidate it linked to the NRA.
But Robin Kelly's victory Tuesday was, for Bloomberg, more than just another achievement on the gun control front. It was one more win in Bloomberg's unique assault on what he views as the public health problems of our time.
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:42 pm
Elba Esther Gordillo will remain behind bars, a Mexican judge decided today.
Gordillo's arrest, yesterday, shocked the country. She is the president of Mexico's national teacher's union and considered the most powerful woman in the country, having the ability to sway both small, local elections and even presidential ones.
Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:33 am
Forty years ago, a caravan of more than 50 cars full of demonstrators pulled into Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. That day marked the beginning of a 71-day occupation led by members of the Oglala Lakota tribe and followers of the American Indian Movement, attempting to address long-standing grievances — not only with the U.S. government but also with tribal leaders.
After school and evening are "crunch time" for most families. It's the time when crucial decisions get made that affect kids' fitness and weight. And that includes snacking.
To get an idea of what parents thought their kids were doing during this time, NPR conducted a poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. Youth Radio's Chantell Williams talked about the findings with teens and their parents.
Things on Capitol Hill today turned emotional, when Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son was killed in Sandy Hook, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Throughout, Heslin held a picture of him holding his son Jesse Lewis, who was 6 at the time of rampage, during his first Christmas. Two other oversized pictures of a smiling Jesse were place on easels beside him.
Heslin's voice cracked almost from the beginning, when he said Jesse was killed about 20 minutes after he dropped him off at school.
If it seems odd that so many members of Congress have such trouble coming up with specific things to cut from the budget (apart from the usual favorites, "waste" and "fraud), perhaps they're simply taking their cues from their bosses, their constituents.
The Pew Research Center studied this in a recent poll, and found that of 19 different budget categories, there is majority support for cutting spending in exactly none of them.
Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:52 pm
Getting economists to agree with each other isn't easy. But Congress and the White House have managed to unite them.
More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.
Students at Cooperstown Central School recently voted to stop calling their sport teams the Redskins. In turn, an Indian tribe offered to pay for new team uniforms. Host Michel Martin talks about the gesture with Ray Halbritter, of the Oneida Nation.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, it's been 100 years since thousands of women marched on Washington to demand the right to vote. We are heading into the Beauty Shop - that's our diverse panel of women commentators - to look back at that moment in history and talk about where the women's movement stands today.
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 9:01 am
Officials at six-nation nuclear talks on limiting Iran's nuclear program say the two-day meeting in Kazakhstan has been a turning point, and Tehran's lead negotiator described the discussions as a positive step.
But NPR's Peter Kenyon, reporting from the talks in Almaty, says it appears that most of what was accomplished was simply laying the groundwork for future discussions.
Declaring it will be the safest cruise ship in the world and will have more than enough lifeboats just in case something goes wrong, the designer of what's supposed to be a replica of the Titanic has unveiled images of what the Titanic II will look like, inside and out.
Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:08 am
As a public service to our readers this week we've been offering a list of three stories each day that we think illuminate the looming sequester (or at least the debate over it), set to be triggered by the passing of Friday's deadline.
"The Obama administration is moving toward a major policy shift on Syria that could provide rebels there with equipment such as body armor and armored vehicles, and possibly military training, and could send humanitarian assistance directly to Syria's opposition political coalition," The Washington Post reports. It cites as its sources "U.S. and European officials."