NPR News

U.S.
1:41 am
Tue March 3, 2015

States Face Correctional Officer Shortage Amid A Cultural Stigma

Corrections officer Sgt. Charles Galaviz secures an inmate for transfer with handcuffs and shackles Jan. 24 at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, in Lexington, Okla. Overtime is mandatory for correctional officers in the state's prisons, which have a manpower shortage of about 33 percent and the highest inmate homicide rate in the country.
Sue Ogrocki AP

More than 1.3 million people are incarcerated in state prisons in this country, and keeping those prisons running requires tens of thousands of corrections officers. But right now, some states are facing major staffing shortages.

Much of this shortfall is because of the strong economy, but recruiters also are struggling with the job's cultural stigma.

Cadets at Wyoming's Department of Corrections Training Academy are practicing how they'll handcuff prisoners; in a few weeks this scenario will be very real, but right now everyone is pretty relaxed.

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Economy
1:39 am
Tue March 3, 2015

In Houston, Falling Oil Prices Spark Fears Of Job Cuts Beyond Energy

In recent weeks, the price of gasoline has ticked up but regular unleaded still costs about a dollar less than it did a year ago. That's good for consumers, who have more money to spend. But in Houston, one way or another, the paychecks consumers depend on come from the oil business.

The world's three biggest oilfield service firms — Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes — have announced a combined 22,000 layoffs in recent months. Those job cuts are worldwide, but many are falling in Houston, where all three companies have headquarters.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Abortion Restrictions Complicate Access For Ohio Women

Abortion rights opponent Brian Normile of Beavercreek, Ohio, holds up a poster during a prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., in January.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Ohio may not have gotten the national attention of say, Texas, but a steady stream of abortion restrictions over the past four years has helped close nearly half the state's clinics that perform the procedure.

"We are more fully booked, and I think we have a harder time squeezing patients in if they're earlier in the pregnancy," says Chrisse France, executive director of Preterm. It's one of just two clinics still operating in Cleveland, and its caseload is up 10 percent.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends In Better Health

Uzuri Pease-Greene, right, leads a walk through the public housing complex in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco where her family lives. She is working to have the old buildings replaced.
Talia Herman for NPR

Faiza Ayesh giggles with delight as she describes her brand-new two-bedroom apartment in Oakland, Calif. She shares her home with her husband and three little girls, ages 3, 2 and 5 months. Ayesh, 30, says she just loves being a stay-at-home mom. "It's the best job in the world."

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Author Interviews
1:36 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Ever Cheat At Monopoly? So Did Its Creator: He Stole The Idea From A Woman

Charles Darrow sold Monopoly to Parker Brothers in the 1930s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Monopoly can be pretty addictive once you start playing it, right? Well, for author and journalist Mary Pilon, searching for the game's true origins proved just as consuming. She writes:

"In the process of reporting this story, I hacked off over a foot of hair in one anguished swoop, sold off many of my material possessions, was confronted by law enforcement for falling asleep in public places ... found Monopoly money in my linens when doing laundry, fretted about finances, [and] had nightmares about the various aspects of the story ..."

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NPR Ed
1:34 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Behold The Humble Block! Tools of the Trade

Bing Nursery School Courtesy of Bing school

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using — if only for a short time — in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, Presidential Fitness Test and Bunsen burner.

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The Two-Way
8:06 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Seattle Cuts Public Transportation Fares For Low-Income Commuters

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:06 pm

Yesterday, Seattle began offering some commuters lower fares for public transit based on their income. Individuals making less than $23,340 a year and families of four making less than $47,700 annually now qualify for a program called ORCA LIFT, which will give users rates of $1.50 per ride, less than half of usual peak fares. [ORCA stands for "One Regional Card For All."]

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Shots - Health News
7:18 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

GAO Report Urges Fewer Antipsychotic Drugs For Dementia Patients

About 1 in 3 patients with dementia who live in nursing homes are being sedated with antipsychotic drugs, the GAO says. Outside nursing homes, about 1 in 7 dementia patients are getting the risky drugs.
Wladimir Bulgar iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:16 pm

Older adults with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia are at risk of being prescribed dangerous antipsychotic medication whether they live in nursing homes or not. That's according to a study from the Government Accountability Office published Monday.

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Obama Says Iran Should Commit To 10-Year Freeze Of Nuclear Program

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
Evan Vucci AP

President Obama says reaching a long-term deal with Iran is the best way to assure that the country does not attain a nuclear weapon.

Obama made the comments in interview with Reuters, just a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to speak to a joint meeting of Congress in which he will lay out his reasons for opposing a diplomatic deal with its enemy.

The wire service reports:

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Code Switch
4:16 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Before Rosa Parks, A Teenager Defied Segregation On An Alabama Bus

"I knew why they chose Rosa" Parks instead of her as a symbol of the civil rights movement, Colvin says. "They thought I would be too militant for them."
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 5:45 pm

Rosa Parks is well-known for her refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a public bus in Montgomery, Ala., in December 1955. But Parks' civil rights protest did have a precedent: Fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin, a student from a black high school in Montgomery, had refused to move from her bus seat nine months earlier. However, Colvin is not nearly as well-known, and certainly not as celebrated, as Parks.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

With Much Controversy, Boston Begins Removing Parking Space Savers

A fashion doll in a milk crate saves a parking space on a residential street in South Boston.
Elise Amendola AP

The near-record amount of snow that has fallen on Boston this winter is testing one of the city's great traditions: On orders from Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Public Works Department began removing parking space savers from city streets on Monday.

In the past, the informal rule has been that whoever takes the time to dig out a parking space gets to keep it for 48 hours. But this year, the city has gotten about 100 inches of snow and those 48 hours have turned into weeks.

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Sandwich Monday: The Funnel Cake Corn Dog

Like five fat, delicious fingers.
NPR

When the corn dog was discovered in an Iowa cave in the 1950s, explorers dated it at roughly 40,000 years old. Its recipe has gone largely unchanged since then, though few makers use real glyptodon meat anymore.

Recently, though, the dog has had an evolutionary transformation. There's now a State Fair Brand Funnel Cake Corn Dog, a turkey and pork hot dog wrapped in a sweet funnel cake batter.

Eva: Time to reinforce the roller coaster.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Walk A Little Faster To Get The Most Out of Your Exercise Time

Government guidelines say exercising 2.5 hours a week will keep you healthy, but a study says you can get the job done in less time if you rev it up.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 3:50 pm

Some people — who are they? — have no problem fitting regular aerobic exercise into their lives. The rest of us want to know how much we have to exercise to see health benefits. Now we have some answers: You may want to go just a tad longer and harder than you'd thought.

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All Tech Considered
2:58 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Free Wi-Fi On Buses Offers A Link To Future Of 'Smart Cities'

More than 600 Porto city buses and taxis have been fitted with routers to provide free Wi-Fi service. It's being touted as the biggest Wi-Fi-in-motion network in the world.
Sérgio Rodrigues Veniam

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:38 pm

Board any city bus in Portugal's second-largest municipality, Porto, and you've got free Wi-Fi. More than 600 city buses and taxis have been fitted with wireless routers, creating what's touted as the biggest Wi-Fi-in-motion network in the world.

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Parallels
2:58 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Britain's Muslims Still Feel The Need To Explain Themselves

Members of the Muslim community leave the East London Mosque after prayers before the start of the holy month of Ramadan in June 2014. The mosque has an estimated 7,000 worshippers.
Rob Stothard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 5:19 pm

Jihadi John, runaway schoolgirls, no-go zones: the headlines are everywhere in Great Britain.

If you are Muslim in Britain, you can't get away from them. If you're Salman Farsi, you're often at the center of it.

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Law
2:58 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Supreme Court Seems Divided Over Independent Redistricting Commissions

Arizona commission attorney Mary O'Grady (left) and Stephen Miller, a city council member, point to a possible redistricted map in 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:38 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed closely divided Monday as it heard arguments testing how far states may go to prevent political parties from drawing congressional district lines to maximize partisan advantage.

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Goats and Soda
2:51 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

How 'Flower Beds' Give Love And Lentils To Moms And Babies

Mina, a 22-year-old mother in Jamkani, Chhattisgarh, says sending her child to the Fulwari gives her more time to farm and collect forest wood.
Ankita Rao for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:09 pm

Chhattisgarh is one of the world's worst places to raise a baby, let alone be one. The state in central India has some of the worst health indicators in the country, including sky-high child mortality and extreme malnutrition.

For decades, aid organizations tried to improve the health of moms and babies in Chhattisgarh. Little made a dent. But then a garden of flowers rose up in the state.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Judge Reduces Sentences For Amish Involved In Beard-Cutting Attacks

Sam Mullet stands in the front yard of his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011. Mullet has now been sentenced to serve 10 years and nine months in jail.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 3:09 pm

A federal judge in Cleveland has reduced the sentences of 16 Amish men and women who were convicted of cutting the beards and hair of their detractors.

If you remember, an appeals court threw out their hate-crime convictions last summer, saying the attacks were fueled by "interpersonal and intra-family disagreements, not the victims' religious beliefs."

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Science
2:04 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Science-Based Artist Gives Celebrity Tortoise A Second Life

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:38 pm

George Dante fell in love with taxidermy as a young child. His parents took him to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and he couldn't tear his eyes away from the dioramas in the Hall of African Mammals.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Task Force Calls For Independent Probes Of Police-Involved Shootings

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:38 pm

Law enforcement agencies should measure community trust the same way they monitor crime rates. That's among the recommendations of a task force established after police-involved killings of unarmed black people in Ferguson, Mo., in Cleveland and on Staten Island, N.Y.

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NPR Story
1:12 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Iraq Launches Offensive Against ISIS

This image posted on a militant website on Saturday, June 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant leading away captured Iraqi soldiers dressed in plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. (AP Photo via militant website)

Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces today began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit from the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

The offensive is seen as a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by ISIS.

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NPR Story
1:12 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Revisiting The Pre-WWII Chinese Nightclubs With Author Lisa See

A promotional playbill from the Forbidden City nightclub, which was in business from the late 1930s to the late 1950s. (Wikimedia Commons)

Last year, Chinese American author Lisa See spoke with us about her latest book, “China Dolls.” The book tells the story of popular Chinese nightclubs in San Francisco in the late 1930s.

With the release of the paperback edition of the novel this week, we revisit Here & Now host Robin Young’s conversation with Lisa See.

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NPR Story
1:12 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Warren Buffett's Letter To Shareholders Only Hints At Successor

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks at an event called, "Detroit Homecoming" September 18, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

There’s long been speculation about who will take the reins as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway when Warren Buffett steps down.

This weekend, that speculation continued as Buffett repeated that he had identified his successor. His vice chair Charlie Munger, in a separate letter, named two Berkshire employees – Ajit Jain and Greg Abel – as among those likely to get the job.

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Shots - Health News
1:02 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Can Family Secrets Make You Sick?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 5:32 pm

In the 1980s, Dr. Vincent Felitti, now director of the California Institute of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, discovered something potentially revolutionary about the ripple effects of child sexual abuse. He discovered it while trying to solve a very different health problem: helping severely obese people lose weight.

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Shots - Health News
12:57 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Take The ACE Quiz — And Learn What It Does And Doesn't Mean

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Source: CDC

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 1:18 pm

An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be, and the higher your risk for later health problems. You can take the test below:

So, you've got your score. Now what?

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Cuteness Break: The Genial Quokka Steals Scenes And Hearts

A photo from the Taronga Zoo shows a 6-month-old quokka, a marsupial that's a hit on social media.
Taronga Zoo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:33 pm

We'll get back to the day's serious news soon — but for now, we wanted to be sure you're aware of the insanely cute quokka, a small furry animal that in recent months has become a favorite photo partner in Australia.

The quokka had a flurry of fame in 2013, when it was called "the happiest animal in the world" due to the natural (and photogenic) curl of its mouth and what seems to be a friendly nature. Now people are taking photos with the marsupial that lives in southwestern Australia.

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Goats and Soda
12:45 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Elephant On The Menu? It's Not Just A Birthday Dish For Robert Mugabe

An African elephant in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park is a draw for tourists.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Newspapers around the world have reported that elephant was to be served at a $1 million birthday party for Robert Mugabe, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, held on Saturday.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Riddle Of Mysterious Tunnel Solved, Toronto Police Say

A 33-foot-long tunnel found in Toronto, Ontario, is pictured in this handout photo provided by Toronto Police.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:02 pm

Police in Toronto say they have solved the riddle of a mysterious tunnel discovered near a venue for the upcoming Pan American and Parapan American Games.

Maybe.

Police say two men told investigators that they built the tunnel for "personal reasons." Police verified their account, deemed there was no criminal intent or concerns about security, and closed the case.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Clinton's Portrait Has Hint Of Lewinsky's Blue Dress, Artist Says

Artist Nelson Shanks' 2005 portrait of former President Clinton, which hangs at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.
National Portrait Gallery, Nelson Shanks AP

Here's a story about that blue dress. No – not that blue dress.

Artist Nelson Shanks, who has painted royalty, popes and world leaders, tells the Philadelphia Daily News that his portrait of President Clinton for the National Portrait Gallery has a not-so-obvious reference to the infamous blue dress worn by Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern with whom Clinton had an affair.

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Music
11:20 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Now Is The Time' For Organist Chris Foreman

With guitarist Bobby Broom, organist Chris Foreman has recorded several albums with the Deep Blue Organ Trio. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Foreman is one of a few Chicago jazz heroes who should be better known outside the city limits.

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

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