NPR News

Goats and Soda
7:47 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Is There Any Way To Screen The World's Pilots For Suicidal Tendencies?

Flight crew in cockpit, rear view (zoom effect).
Tom Sheppard Getty Images

The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this week appears to have been a deliberate act carried out by a co-pilot.

It is too soon to put the label "suicide" on the co-pilot's actions. Not enough is known yet about his state of mind or what his motivation might have been. But as investigations continue, the incident raises questions about whether better mental-health screening can prevent a person with suicidal tendencies from taking charge in the cockpit in the first place.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Airlines Worldwide Rush To Adopt '2-Person' Cockpit Rule

A Southwest Airlines pilot and co-pilot preparing for a flight from Dallas last year. In the wake of the Germanwings crash this week, many European airlines are rushing to adopt a two-person cockpit rule similar to the one already in place in the U.S.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:14 am

The global aviation industry is moving swiftly to change policies to reassure the traveling public in the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

Airlines from around the world have announced that they will begin requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times after investigators on Thursday announced that the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 occurred when the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and placed the Airbus A320 into a deliberate descent.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Sen. Harry Reid Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

YouTube

Updated at 8:18 a.m.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Democratic leader in the Senate, said he won't seek re-election next year.

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Social Media Posts Help Police Nab Suspect

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

The Two-Way
5:38 am
Fri March 27, 2015

WATCH: Obama, A 'Wire' Superfan, Talks To Show's Creator David Simon

President Obama talks to David Simon, creator of The Wire.
YouTube

President Obama is a fan of The Wire. He has even said Omar Little was his favorite character on the HBO show.

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Around the Nation
5:25 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Buffalo Fans Cheer Sabres 4-Game Losing Streak

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

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

The Two-Way
5:04 am
Fri March 27, 2015

German Prosecutor: Germanwings Co-Pilot Concealed Medical Condition

Police officers carry boxes outside a house in Montabaur, Germany, on Thursday in connection with the investigation into the Germanwings A320 crash.
Fredrik von Erichsen EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:09 am

Updated at 8:53 a.m.

Prosecutors in Duesseldorf say Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight FU 9525 who appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps, concealed a medical condition from his employers.

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NPR Ed
5:03 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Stretching One Great Teacher Across Many Classrooms

At Nashville's Bailey Middle Prep, Whitney Bradley teaches her 8th-graders how to organize an essay in preparation for the writing section of Tennessee's standardized test. Most in her class trail their peers in literacy.
Blake Farmer Nashville Public Radio

A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms.

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The Salt
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

A 3,000-ton cargo ship, at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. "We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients," said owner Panya Luangsomboon. "We're separated from the fishing boats."
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food, may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

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The Two-Way
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

NASA To Study A Twin In Space And His Brother On Earth

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is seen inside a Soyuz simulator at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in Star City, Russia. Kelly, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency, are scheduled for launch Friday aboard a Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
NASA/Bill Ingalls

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

Later today, a Russian rocket is scheduled to carry a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut to the International Space Station, where they will live for a full year, twice as long as people usually stay.

No American has lived in space for longer than 215 days. Only a few people have ever gone on space trips lasting a year or more β€” the longest was 437 days--and they're all Russian cosmonauts. The last year-plus stay in space occurred nearly two decades ago.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Is There Evidence That Yemeni Rebels are Backed By Iran?

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

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

NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Air War In Yemen May Come At The Expense of Coalition Against ISIS

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 5:40 am

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

NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Displaced Voters Pose A Challenge To Nigeria's Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 5:12 am

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

Around the Nation
2:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Police Departments Open Up 'Safe Lots' For Craigslist Transactions

The Hartford Police Department is one of a number of police departments across the country that are offering up their parking lots as "safe zones" for Craigslist transactions.
Courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

The online classified site Craigslist updated its safety page this week, encouraging users to make exchanges at local police stations. Some police departments across the country are already offering up their headquarters as voluntary "safe zones" for Craigslist deals.

Sebastian Rivera likes to ride BMX bikes. And when he's customizing his ride, he says he'll hop onto Craigslist to look for free stuff or to trade bike parts with people in his area.

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Goats and Soda
2:41 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Her Instagram Feed Finds The Fun In Long-Suffering Somalia

Ugaaso Boocow is back β€” and instagramming β€” in her homeland of Somalia.
Courtesy of Ugaaso A. Boocow

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:23 am

Ugaaso Abukar Boocow has become an Instagram sensation by sending out stunning visual messages from an unlikely place: poor, suffering Somalia.

She was just a toddler when her grandmother fled with her to Canada to escape Somalia's civil war, leaving her mother behind.

Then last year, she decided to go back, moving to the capital, Mogadishu, and reuniting with her mother, whom she hadn't seen in over two decades.

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It's All Politics
4:58 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

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 β€” like the ones Congress has done 17 times since 2003.

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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 β€” research published Thursday shows that the pace of change in parts of the Antarctic is accelerating.

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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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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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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 β€” 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 AppΓ©tit Management Company

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:28 pm

Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl who never gets noticed takes off her eyeglasses and β€” voila! β€” 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

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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National Security
2:57 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Marines Hope To Determine Gender Neutral Standards For Ground Combat

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:

To learn more about the research behind this experimental unit, we turn to Katelyn Allison. She's a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She's part of the team studying this group. Welcome to the program.

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Parallels
2:40 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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Music
1:31 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Courtney Barnett Makes Ennui Vivid On Debut Album

Courtney Barnett is an Australian singer-songwriter in her late twenties who's just released her first full album. It's called Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Barnett fills her songs with details about things she observes around her, everyday details that Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says she somehow manages to infuse with a freshness rare in any songwriter, let along one this young.

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