NPR News

U.S.
4:08 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Mass Tax Foreclosure Threatens Detroit Homeowners

County officials are foreclosing on tens of thousands of homes in Detroit along streets like this, on the city's west side.
Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo WDET

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:23 pm

In Detroit, tens of thousands of people are facing a deadline tomorrow that could cost some of them their homes. That's when homeowners have to make arrangements to either pay delinquent property taxes — or risk losing their home at a county auction.

When Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last year, it did so with a razor-thin financial cushion. It desperately needs every bit of tax revenue it can muster.

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All Tech Considered
4:08 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Bringing Internet To The Far Corners Of The Earth

Google is doing test flights of its balloons carrying Internet routers around the world. Last June, a balloon was released at the airport in Teresina, Brazil.
Google

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:37 pm

About 2 billion people on earth have a smartphone with a decent Internet connection, but 5 billion are largely or entirely offline, according to global figures by the ITU.

That gap is (surprise, surprise) a big opportunity for Silicon Valley. Google and Facebook are already on high-profile campaigns to connect the unconnected. And they're betting they can make billions of dollars getting people without electricity or toilets to pay for the Internet.

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Race
4:08 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Fear Of The Black Man: How Racial Bias Could Affect Crime, Labor Rates

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:23 pm

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with professors Phillip Atiba Goff of UCLA and Harry Holzer of Georgetown University about how fears of African-American men are manifested in the criminal justice system and the labor market, and what that means for the broader African-American community.

The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

California's Death Row, The Nation's Largest, Runs Out Of Room

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:17 pm

The country's largest death row has run out of room.

As NPR member station KCRW reports, that's because a legal fight has meant that the state has not put an inmate to death in nearly a decade, leaving more than 750 of them on death row in the state.

KCRW reports:

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Airstrikes In Yemen Intensify, Hit Refugee Camp

Pakistani activists march in support of the Saudi government at a protest in Quetta on March 30, 2015. Pakistan is the latest country to join a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.
BANARAS KHAN AFP/Getty Images

Saudi-led airstrikes intensified against Houthi rebels in Yemen. International aid agencies say one strike hit a camp for displaced people and refugees in the north of the country, killing at least 29 people and wounding many others.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the strike hit the Al Mazraq refugee camp in an area controlled by the Houthis. The aid agency says at least 34 people were taken to a nearby hospital, and an additional 29 people were dead on arrival.

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Music
2:46 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Review: Courtney Barnett, 'Sometimes I Just Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit'

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:23 pm

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

Law
2:46 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Prosecution Rests Case Against Admitted Boston Marathon Bomber

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:14 pm

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

Politics
2:46 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Controversy Continues Over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:14 pm

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

Goats and Soda
2:46 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Why Are Chinese Artists Representing Kenya At The Venice Biennale?

In The Shame In Venice 2, Kenyan artist Michael Soi protests the makeup of his country's pavilion at the Biennale.
Courtesy of Michael Soi

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:05 pm

There's something sketchy at this year's Venice Biennale — the international art exhibition sometimes dubbed the Olympics of the contemporary art world.

When you come to the Kenyan pavilion, almost all of the artists will be ... Chinese.

The Biennale, one of the oldest and most important exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, takes place in Venice every two years. Thirty countries, including the U.S., have a permanent slot.

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Parallels
2:46 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado

Cholita, an Andean bear, was abused in a circus in Peru and is now in a small zoo. An animal rights group has now received permission to take Cholita to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado, along with more than 30 former circus lions.
Courtesy of Animal Defenders International

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:59 pm

A badly abused Peruvian bear named Cholita is coming to a sanctuary in Colorado. Animal Defenders International announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expedited the request and she will be on her way next month.

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NPR Ed
1:46 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Revolving Door Of Teachers Costs Schools Billions Every Year

Nearly half of all beginning teachers will leave their classrooms within five years, only to be replaced by another fresh-faced educator.
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 2:57 pm

Every year, thousands of fresh-faced teachers are handed the keys to a new classroom, given a pat on the back and told, "Good luck!"

Over the next five years, though, nearly half of those teachers will transfer to a new school or leave the profession altogether — only to be replaced with similarly fresh-faced teachers.

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It's All Politics
1:44 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Money Rules: Candidates Go Around The Law, As Cash Records To Be Smashed

Would-be presidential candidates are ditching "testing the waters" and "exploratory committees" to hold onto unlimited and undisclosed cash for longer.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

This is Part One in an occasional series of features on campaign finance, called "Money Rules."

The hunt for big bucks is changing the way politicians run for president.

When a candidate finally admits he or she is a candidate, donors are limited to gifts of $2,700. (A donor can give an additional $2,700 if the candidate makes it through to the general election.)

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The Salt
1:41 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour, and the smell of fresh-baked apple-cinnamon muffins floats in the air.

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods — from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S. food safety regulators, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Judy Woodruff Recalls Assassination Attempt On President Reagan

A Secret Service agent brandishes a submachine gun while agents and police subdue a gunman who shot President Reagan, his press secretary, a policeman and a Secret Service agent in Washington on March 30, 1981.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:08 pm

Thirty-four years ago today, John Hinckley Jr. tried to kill President Reagan.

Reagan was shot in the chest but made a full recovery. Three others, including press secretary James Brady, were wounded.

Veteran journalist Judy Woodruff, now with PBS Newshour, was then a reporter with NBC News. She tweeted her recollection of the events of the day:

Music
1:38 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Art Pepper's Startling Intensity Captured On Live Recordings

Since 2006, Laurie Pepper, the widow of jazz saxophonist Art Pepper, has been releasing live recordings her husband made during the last years of his life. A new batch of these recordings from 1981 is out. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Art Pepper played like he was making up for lost time.

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It's All Politics
1:28 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Elizabeth Warren On Hillary Clinton And Running For President

Sen. Elizabeth Warren talked about 2016 to WBUR's Here & Now: "What I care about is that everyone who runs for president, who runs for any national office right now, talks about this core set of issues."
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 2:19 pm

No one in politics today is hearing more calls from progressives to run than Elizabeth Warren, the popular and populist Massachusetts senator. Warren, though, denies any interest in the presidency and continued to do that Monday in an interview with Jeremy Hobson on WBUR's Here & Now.

"I'm out here fighting this fight," Warren said. "I'm fighting it every single day in the United States."

Asked if she wants to run, Warren said bluntly, "I do not."

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Joe's Big Idea
12:34 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Want To Do A Little Astrophysics? This App Detects Cosmic Rays

Smart phones contain a silicon chip inside the camera that might be used to detect rare, high energy particles from outer space.
J. Yang/Courtesy of WIPAC

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:14 pm

Scientists in California are hoping to use your smart phone to solve a cosmic mystery. They're developing an app to turn your phone into a cosmic ray detector. If enough people install the app, the scientists think they'll be able to figure out once and for all what's producing the very energetic cosmic rays that occasionally hit the Earth.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Prosecution Rests In Case Against Admitted Boston Marathon Bomber

In this March 5, 2015 file courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, center, is depicted between defense attorneys Miriam Conrad, left, and Judy Clarke, right, during his federal death penalty trial in Boston.
Jane Flavell Collins AP

After presenting emotional testimony about the the physical damage one of the bombs inflicted on 8-year-old Martin Richard, the prosecution rested in its case against admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

NPR's Tovia Smith is inside the court room and she's been Tweeting about the trial. She reports:

After that testimony, Tsarnaev's defense attorneys did not have any questions, so the prosecution rested its case.

The AP reports:

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Hi-Tech Now An Essential Tool On Southwest Farms

Robots still haven't caught up to the precise hand/eye coordination of human hands. Here, a crew strips heads of iceberg lettuce, and gets them ready to be packed and shipped for Dole. (Kate Sheehy/KJZZ)

Much of the country’s fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in the Southwest and harvested by farm workers.

But these days, a successful harvest relies on a combination of three different factors: farming, technology and venture capitalism.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Kate Sheehy from the Fronteras Desk at KJZZ reports.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

'Twenty Feet From Stardom's' Lisa Fischer Returns Center Stage

Singer Lisa Fischer performs onstrage at the celebration of black cinema hosted by Broadcast Film Critics Association at House of Blues Sunset Strip on January 7, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Lisa Fischer was one of the singers featured in the Oscar winning documentary “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” which looked at the lives of the singers that back up the stars.

Though Fischer won a Grammy as a solo artist in 1992, she was best known for singing with the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

GNC Agrees To New Testing Of Supplements

In this photo illustration, supplements purchased at Wal-Mart and Walgreens stores are shown on February 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. An investigation by the New York State attorney generals office into store-brand supplements being sold at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, GNC and Target found that many did not contain the herbs shown on their labels and some included potential allergens not identified in the ingredients list. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Last month, the office of New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman accused GNC and three other retailers of selling fraudulent herbal supplements.

GNC is the country’s largest specialty retailer of dietary supplements. The company says that its herbal products had passed rigorous quality control tests, but it has agreed to start using new procedures to test the chain’s supplements.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Ex-Feds Accused Of Pocketing Bitcoins During Investigation

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:52 pm

Two former federal agents accused of stealing bitcoins have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Mon March 30, 2015

An Unexpected Wilderness Cam At Britain's 10 Downing Street

A fox runs past the door of 10 Downing Street in London on Monday.
Justin Tallis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:51 am

Things are getting wild at the British prime minister's residence. No, that's not a reference to the official start of the 2015 election campaign: Photographers who staked out 10 Downing Street today captured images of a fox slinking past the door of the famous residence.

And that's not the only animal that appeared at Prime Minister David Cameron's door today. His cat, Larry, popped out for some fresh air — and shared an awkward moment with a police dog.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Ex-Israeli Leader Ehud Olmert Found Guilty Of Corruption

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert waits in a courtroom in Jerusalem's District Court on Monday. The court later found him guilty of accepting bribes in a retrial on corruption charges.
Abir Sultan AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 11:14 am

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been found guilty of accepting money from a U.S. supporter. Olmert was convicted last year on separate corruption charges.

Monday's decision reversed a 2012 ruling that had acquitted Olmert, who was prime minister from 2006 to 2009.

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Shots - Health News
10:23 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Doctors With Cancer Push California To Allow Aid In Dying

Dan Swangard, a 48-year-old physician from San Francisco, was diagnosed in 2013 with a rare form of metastatic cancer.
Anna Gorman/KHN

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:55 pm

Dan Swangard knows what death looks like.

As a physician, he has seen patients die in hospitals, hooked to morphine drips and overcome with anxiety. He has watched death drag on for weeks or months as terrified relatives stand by helplessly.

Recently, however, his thoughts about how seriously ill people die have become personal. Swangard was diagnosed in 2013 with a rare form of metastatic cancer.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Mon March 30, 2015

1 Person Killed After Car Tried To Ram Security Gate At NSA

After a car attempted to crash a gate outside the NSA Monday morning, Maryland state police blocked the freeway entrance that accesses the agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:24 pm

A car that was intercepted near the security gate of the National Security Agency's headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., was fired upon Monday morning, in a clash that left one of the car's occupants dead.

Authorities tell NPR's Dina Temple-Raston that after two suspects tried to ram a vehicle into the entrance gate, one suspect was shot dead and the other was injured by NSA security guards.

The violence took place in Anne Arundel County, where officials say the investigation is being handled by NSA police. Fort Meade lies between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Amid Criticism, Indiana's Republicans To Revisit Religious Freedom Law

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (left) and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, both Republicans, discuss their plans for clarifying the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act during a news conference today at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:43 am

Republican leaders in Indiana say they will work to ensure the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

"This law does not discriminate, and it will not be allowed to do so," Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long said at a news conference with state House Speaker Brian Bosma.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Bangladeshi Blogger Hacked To Death; 2 Students Arrested

Shilpi, a cousin of Bangladeshi blogger Washiqur Rahman, is seen outside a morgue at the Dhaka Medical College in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Monday. The blogger was hacked to death Monday morning by three men in the capital, police said.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:20 pm

A Bangladeshi blogger has been hacked to death in the country's capital, Dhaka, and police have arrested two students at an Islamic seminary in connection with the slaying. Washiqur Rahman's killing comes a month after a deadly attack on another blogger in the capital by Islamists.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Oops: World Leaders' Personal Data Mistakenly Released

(From left) French President Francois Hollande, President Obama, and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, in November 2014.
Glenn Hunt AP

With a single key stroke, the personal information of President Obama and 30 other world leaders was mistakenly released by an official with Australia's immigration office.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Germanwings Crash: Co-Pilot Was Treated For Suicidal Tendencies

Airplanes' contrails streak the sky close to where a Germanwings plane crashed last week, in Seyne les Alpes, France.
Thomas Lohnes Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:59 am

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps last week with 150 passengers on board, received treatment for suicidal tendencies for several years before he became a pilot, a German prosecutor says.

Christoph Kumpa, a spokesman for Duesseldorf investigators, says Lubitz "had been in treatment of a psychotherapist because of what is documented as being suicidal at that time."

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