NPR News

Code Switch
9:46 am
Wed March 4, 2015

A Few Reactions to the DOJ's 'Scathing' Report on Ferguson Cops And Racial Bias

Ferguson Police Department and the Municipal Court in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson AP

The Justice Department reportedly did not find enough evidence to charge white officer Darren Wilson with any civil rights violations for shooting Michael Brown last August. But they did find plenty of evidence of routine discrimination by Ferguson police against black residents.

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NPR Ed
9:36 am
Wed March 4, 2015

The Magic Trick That Could Shorten The FAFSA

The IRS and the Department of Education have the power to make the FAFSA easier without cutting questions. So why haven't they?
LA Johnson/NPR

Read part one of our reporting on the FAFSA, "Shrink The FAFSA? Good Luck With That"

It's deadline time for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Better known as the FAFSA.

The daunting application β€” with its 108 questions β€” stands between many college hopefuls and much-needed financial aid.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Japanese World War II Battleship Musashi Found, Billionaire Paul Allen Says

A valve on the Musashi.
Courtesy of Paul Allen

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 9:12 am

The World War II-era Japanese battleship Musashi was sunk by U.S. warplanes Oct. 24 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles of the war. Despite numerous eyewitness accounts at the time, the ship's location was never known. Until now.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Born In 1898: World's Oldest Living Person Celebrates Birthday

Misao Okawa, the world's oldest living person, poses for a photo with her son Hiroshi Okawa, 92, left, and other family members and friends on her 117th birthday celebration at Kurenai Nursing Home in Osaka, Japan.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

It's now past midnight in Japan, meaning that Misao Okawa, the world's oldest human being, has officially turned 117. She was born on March 5, 1898, and now lives in a retirement home in Osaka.

Okawa has reigned as the world's oldest living person since 2013, when Guinness World Records certified that she was 115.

Okawa celebrated her birthday by eating cake and taking photos with her family, which includes several great-grandchildren.

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Shots - Health News
8:25 am
Wed March 4, 2015

What's A Patient To Do When Hospital Ratings Disagree?

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 8:59 am

When you face a choice about hotels, restaurants or cars, the chances are you head to the Web for help.

Online ratings have become essential tools for modern consumers. Health care is no exception to the ratings game, especially when it comes to hospitals.

Many people check up on hospitals before they check in as patients. But there's a catch. A hospital that gets lauded by one group can be panned by another.

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Code Switch
7:50 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Rapper Jin Tries To Stretch His '15 Minutes' Of Fame

Jin poses for a photograph during an interview with the AP in Hong Kong in 2008.
Jerome Favre AP

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Man's Identity Questioned In LAPD Skid Row Shooting

Protesters gather in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters Tuesday, to express anger over the fatal shooting of an unarmed homeless man Sunday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:48 am

New details have emerged in the case of a homeless man who was killed by Los Angeles police Sunday, as officials say he was the subject of a federal warrant related to violating probation. There's also word that he lived under a stolen identity; for now, his true name is a mystery.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Wed March 4, 2015

For U.S. Children, Minorities Will Be The Majority By 2020, Census Says

The Census Bureau predicts shifts in the U.S. over the coming years, with a more diverse β€” and older β€” population.
U.S. Census Bureau

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 6:26 am

America is heading toward the day when whites will no longer make up the majority of the population. And U.S. children will get there soon, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report. The agency also says the overall U.S. population will grow older β€” and grow more slowly β€” in coming years.

By around 2020, "more than half of the nation's children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group," the Census Bureau says, putting Americans under the age of 18 at the front of a trend that will see the overall population follow suit some 20 years later.

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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Watch A Film From Mali: The Day Before The Music Died

Malian guitarist Vieux Farka TourΓ©.
Courtesy of Kiley Kraskouskas

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 9:44 am

Just its title has an ominous sense of finality: The Last Song Before the War.

The documentary by Kiley Kraskouskas presents the 2011 Festival in the Desert, a showcase for Mali's incredible musicians that had been held underneath the stars outside of Timbuktu for 12 years. Ten months after the joyous celebration depicted in the film, Islamic extremists took over that part of the country. Among the horrors inflicted by the occupiers was a total ban on music.

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World
5:44 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Researchers Explain Why Indian Cuisine Is Exquisite

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:52 am

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

World
5:42 am
Wed March 4, 2015

2 Stories Of Law And Order

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:52 am

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

The Two-Way
5:02 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins For Dzokhar Tsarnaev

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, third from right, is depicted with his lawyers and U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors. The trial begins Wednesday.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:46 am

The trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev begins in earnest Wednesday, with opening statements in a capital trial that's expected to last several months. It took nearly two months to seat a jury.

The 18 jurors (including 6 alternates) will hear and see what prosecutors say is irrefutable evidence of Tsarnaev's role in the notorious twin bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260, as well as in the events that followed, in which a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was also killed.

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NPR Story
4:43 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Federal Findings Don't Surprise Ferguson Protesters

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:10 am

Copyright 2015 KWMU-FM. To see more, visit http://www.stlpublicradio.org.

Law
2:53 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Opening Statements To Begin Nearly 2 Years After Boston Bombing

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:52 am

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

NPR Story
2:53 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Did Netanyahu's Capitol Hill Speech Affect Nuclear Talks In Switzerland?

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:09 am

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

U.S.
1:34 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Immigrants Worry They'll Face Deportation After Deferred Action Delay

Wilfredis Ayala, an unauthorized immigrant from El Salvador, lives in Long Island, N.Y., with his U.S.-born son Justin and Justin's mother Wendy Urbina.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:52 am

Around four million unauthorized immigrants are stuck in legal limbo more than two weeks after a federal judge in Texas suspended President Obama's move to temporarily protect them from deportation.

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The Two-Way
7:14 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court Again Halts Gay Marriage

Tori Sisson, left, and Shante Wolfe, right, exchange wedding rings during their ceremony, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. They were the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County. Such marriage licenses appear to be on hold again following a state Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 7:39 pm

The Alabama Supreme Court once again has instructed probate judges not to issue marriage licenses.

In a 134-page opinion, seven of the nine justices said the U.S. Constitution "does not require one definition of marriage."

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Goats and Soda
5:56 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Peace Corps Teams Up With First Lady To 'Let Girls Learn'

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama unveiled the Let Girls Learn program at the East Room of the White House on Tuesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 6:31 am

First lady Michelle Obama announced Tuesday a new effort to address a longstanding problem: Across the developing world, more than 60 million girls are not in school.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Why Shark Finning Bans Aren't Keeping Sharks Off The Plate (Yet)

A waitress serves shark fin soup in a restaurant in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province on Aug. 10, 2014.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 9:37 am

For decades, sharks have gotten a raw deal on the high seas, where fishermen have butchered them alive by the hundreds of millions and thrown their carcasses overboard, keeping only the prized fins to sell to Asian markets. This gruesome practice β€” called finning β€” has come under fire from conservationists, who say the shark fin trade has decimated species like silky, oceanic whitetip and dusky sharks around the world.

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It's All Politics
4:53 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Clinton Foundation Funding Woes Touch Hillary, Too

The Clinton Foundation has taken contributions, of $1 million to $10 million, from the governments of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The Saudi Arabian government has given as much as $25 million.
Julie Jacobson AP

With assets approaching $226 million, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation plays a prominent role in international development. It has battled HIV/AIDS, provided relief after tsunamis and earthquakes and helped farmers and entrepreneurs in developing countries.

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Politics
4:25 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

House Passes No-Strings-Attached Bill To Fund Homeland Security

An effort by some congressional Republicans to block President Obama's executive actions on immigration by tying it to a Homeland Security spending bill officially failed on Tuesday. House Speaker John Boehner yet again bucked the most conservative wing of his party and brought a "clean" funding bill to the floor. It passed easily, thanks to unanimous backing by Democrats.

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Law
3:59 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Round 2: Health Care Law Faces The Supreme Court Again

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act celebrate outside the Supreme Court in 2012, after a divided court upheld the law as constitutional by a 5-to-4 vote. The latest battle, which the Supreme Court hears Wednesday, is over whether people who buy insurance through federally run exchanges are eligible for subsidies.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:52 am

Round 2 in the legal battle over Obamacare hits the Supreme Court's intellectual boxing ring Wednesday.

In one corner is the Obama administration, backed by the nation's hospitals, insurance companies, physician associations and other groups like Catholic Charities and the American Cancer Society.

In the other corner are conservative groups, backed by politicians who fought in Congress to prevent the bill from being adopted.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Should Hotel Owners Be Forced To Hand Over Guest Records To Police?

When lawyer Thomas Goldstein contended that innkeepers keep guest information anyway to stay in touch with their customers, Justice Scalia cut in: "Motel 6 does this? Jeez, I've never received anything from them!"
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 9:46 am

Hypotheticals about hunting lodges and Motel 6 saved the oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday from being strangled by legal weeds.

At issue was a Los Angeles ordinance that requires hotel and motel owners to record various pieces of information about their guests β€” drivers license, credit card and automobile tags, for instance. The hotel owners don't dispute they have to do that; what they do dispute is the part of the law that requires proprietors to make this information available to any member of the Los Angeles Police Department upon demand.

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Parallels
3:24 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

In France, Young Muslims Often Straddle Two Worlds

Ismael Medjdoub grew up in one of Paris' banlieues. He spends up to two hours a day commuting from his home in Tremblay en France to work and to school at the prestigious Sorbonne in Paris.
Bilal Qureshi NPR

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 6:37 pm

The French, with their national motto of "liberty, equality, fraternity," are so against religious and ethnic divisions that the government doesn't even collect this kind of data on its citizens, but it's believed that nearly 40 percent of the country's 7 million Muslims live in and around Paris.

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Law
3:23 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Ferguson Political Leader: DOJ Report Validates Protesters

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 4:25 pm

The Justice Department is set to release a report that condemns the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department for its discriminatory practices. NPR's Melissa Block speaks with local political leader Patricia Bynes about the report and its implications.

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

It's All Politics
3:20 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

4 Reasons Both Parties Should Be Sweating Bullets Over King V. Burwell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (left), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (center) and House Speaker John Boehner each have reasons to watch the Supreme Court case closely β€” and to worry about its outcome.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 8:01 am

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday in another case that threatens the survival of Obamacare. This one doesn't challenge the constitutionality of the law itself, it merely challenges the legality of one of the most important parts of the system β€” subsidies so that everyone can afford health care. If the court strikes down the subsidies for people who live in states that chose not to set up their own exchanges, and who get their health coverage from the federal marketplace β€” healthcare.gov β€” it would begin to unravel the entire Obamacare project.

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Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

FDA Mandates Tougher Warnings On Testosterone

AndroGel, a testosterone replacement made by AbbVie, is seen at a pharmacy in Princeton, Ill.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 4:57 pm

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it is requiring drugmakers to warn patients that testosterone products may increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Testosterone replacements are approved to treat men with low testosterone related to medical problems, such as genetic deficiencies, chemotherapy or damaged testicles.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

FAA Is Trying To Keep Hackers Out Of Air Traffic Control, Official Says

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:52 am

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told Congress Tuesday his agency is implementing changes to ensure the nation's air traffic control system is protected against computer hackers. Huerta told a House panel "the system is safe," despite a Government Accountability Office report that found "significant security control weaknesses."

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The Salt
2:40 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: Kenyan Farmers See Green In The Color Purple

Three varieties of Kenyan purple tea from What-Cha: silver needle purple varietal white tea (from left), hand-rolled purple varietal oolong, steamed purple varietal green tea-style tea.
Jeff Koehler for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 8:21 am

Across the picturesque highlands of Kenya's Great Rift Valley, fields of tea shimmer in shades of emerald, lime and moss under the equatorial sky.

Some of these fields, though, are now darkened with patches of purple. The purple comes from leaves with high levels of anthocyanins, natural pigments that also give cranberries, blueberries and grapes their color.

These purple leaves are Africa's newest β€” and most intriguing β€” tea.

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U.S.
2:24 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Not Clearing The Snow Off Your Car Before Driving Could Cost You

A driver clears his car windshield in Boston on Jan. 27, after a heavy storm hit the city. Pennsylvania could be the next state to pass legislation that would cite drivers that take to the road before removing the hazardous ice and snow.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 4:25 pm

After weeks of winter storms, snow fatigue has set in across much of the country.

You may be tired of clearing ice and snow off your car, but that can be a safety hazard. And now you could face a fine in some states.

Mike Taylor of Elkins Park, Pa., says just this week he was behind a car on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when, "Snow on the roof blew off, hit my windshield, forced me to jiggle, and it was only because of the stability of the car and I slowed down that I didn't have an accident," Taylor says.

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