NPR News

NPR Story
3:17 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

In An Era Of Gridlock, Does Controlling The Senate Really Matter?

Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has reportedly been talking privately about what he'd do as majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 5:41 pm

Republicans are increasingly confident that when this year's midterm elections are over, they will control both houses of Congress. But in this period of polarization and gridlock, what difference would it make?

This midterm election doesn't seem to be about anything in particular other than whether you like President Obama or not. There's no overarching issue, no clashing national agendas. Instead, it's just a series of very expensive, brutally negative races for Congress.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Ferguson City Council Weighs Changes To Court System

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 4:00 pm

The city council in Ferguson, Mo., is proposing big changes to its police department and municipal court system. But some residents of the city and the St. Louis region don't think the proposals will significantly alter a law enforcement system that they say targets low-income African Americans.

Around the Nation
3:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

McCaskill Criticizes Programs That Supply Military Equipment To Police

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 4:00 pm

Federal programs that give or pay for military-grade equipment for local police departments are coming under new scrutiny from the Senate Homeland Security panel. An oversight hearing on Tuesday was the first Congressional response to last month's turmoil in Ferguson, Mo. It was called for by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, who has criticized the "militarization" of Ferguson's police force.

Media
2:38 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

The Video, The Tabloid Site And The NFL's Unwanted Reckoning

Ray Rice has been cut from the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL following an assault on his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 12:33 pm

The NFL built its fortunes on a series of ever-expanding TV contracts worth billions of dollars showing hundreds of games to tens of millions of fans. Now a tabloid news shop has brought all conversation about the NFL to a standstill by posting a silent video lasting less than four minutes.

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Shots - Health News
2:32 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

When Scientists Give Up

Randen Patterson left a research career in physiology at U.C. Davis when funding got too tight. He now owns a grocery store in Guinda, Calif.
Max Whittaker/Prime for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:29 pm

Ian Glomski thought he was going to make a difference in the fight to protect people from deadly anthrax germs. He had done everything right — attended one top university, landed an assistant professorship at another.

But Glomski ran head-on into an unpleasant reality: These days, the scramble for money to conduct research has become stultifying.

So, he's giving up on science.

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Science
2:32 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

U.S. Gets Middling Marks On 2014 'State Of Birds' Report Card

"The State of the Birds" 2014 report found that red knots (above) and other shorebirds are among the most threatened groups in the U.S. More than half of U.S. shorebird species are on the report's Watch List — species that are currently endangered or at risk.
Gerrit Vyn The Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 9:30 am

All is not well with the nation's birds. The most comprehensive study ever of birds in America is out today, and it says many populations are in steep decline, even as others are doing well.

The report, called "The State of the Birds," comes from the federal government, universities and conservation groups — 23 organizations that have spent years examining bird populations, as well as habitats where the various species live.

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Goats and Soda
2:32 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

In Liberia's Hard-Hit Lofa County, Ebola Continues To Take A Toll

Alieu P. Manor, 18, survived Ebola. He gazes into the room of his cousin, Varlee Kanneh, who was not so lucky.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:18 pm

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has hurt Liberia more than any other country. And within Liberia, no town has been hit harder than the primarily Muslim farming town of Barkedu, in Lofa County in the far north. Despite a population of just 8,000, the small, dusty town accounts for a large percentage of the country's more than 1,000 Ebola deaths to date. The virus has swept away entire families — children, women and men.

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Music Interviews
2:32 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

With Prince In Your Corner, It's Good To Be KING

The women of KING (from left): Anita Bias, Paris Strother and Amber Strother.
Sharon Esquivel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:17 am

A few years ago, the members of the R&B group KING received a royal endorsement when Prince discovered them on YouTube. He loved their sound so much, he asked them to open for him.

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U.S.
2:32 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Rep. Jackie Speier: 'Imperative' To Have A Coalition In Taking On ISIS

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 4:00 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
1:58 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

How The Four Seasons Clashed, Dealt With The Mob And Made Lasting Hits

Along with the Broadway play, the new film Jersey Boys highlights Bob Gaudio's role in The Four Seasons: writing most of the group's hits. In the movie, John Lloyd Young stars as Frankie Valli (left), Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio (second from left), Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito (second from right), and Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi (right).
Keith Bernstein AP

Frankie Valli used to be the only name people recognized from The Four Seasons. But the Broadway musical and film Jersey Boys changed that: Now, more people know about Bob Gaudio.

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Shots - Health News
12:52 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Get The Measles, Get Ready To Be Out For Two Weeks

Helen Down holds her 14-month-old daughter, Amelia, for an MMR shot in Swansea, England, in April 2013. The vaccination was in response to a measles outbreak.
Geoff Caddick AFP/Getty Images

Measles is often lumped in with flu and chickenpox as mild childhood illnesses. But people who got measles during outbreaks in the United Kingdom say they were pretty darned sick, missing two weeks of school or work on average.

A bout of the measles lasted 14 days on average, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Public Health England. That added up to having to take 10 days off work or school. More than a third of people needed someone to stay home to take care of them, too.

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Parallels
11:48 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Behind Every Good Whisky Is A Trusty Distillery Cat

Elijah, the Woodford Reserve Distillery mascot cat in Versailles, Ky., in 2013. He kept the workplace mouse-free for more than 20 years before dying this summer, the distillery said.
Charles Bertram Lexington Herald-Leader

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 9:42 am

Editor's Note: The Glenturret distillery announced Wednesday that Peat the kitten was killed. It was found on the side of the road near the distillery and was presumably hit by a car. The accident took place on Monday, the day before this story aired and was published online, but the distillery did not make the announcement until Wednesday.

As the great poet T.S. Eliot once said:

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Jose Padilla Gets 4 Years Added To His 2007 Sentence

Jose Padilla is escorted by federal marshals near downtown Miami in 2006. Padilla was sentenced a second time by a federal judge on Tuesday, getting an additional four years for terrorism conspiracy charges.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 5:14 pm

A federal court in Miami has added four years to a sentence handed down in 2007 for Jose Padilla, who was convicted of conspiracy and supporting al-Qaida.

The Associated Press says: "The new sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, who originally gave Padilla more than 17 years in prison. She also previously gave Padilla, a U.S. citizen and Muslim convert, credit for the more than three years he was held without charge as an enemy combatant at a South Carolina Navy brig."

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Janay Rice Says Assault Video Has Brought A 'Nightmare' To Life

The Baltimore Ravens released running back Ray Rice from the team Monday, after video emerged of him assaulting his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer. On Tuesday, Janay Rice said the media has exploited a moment that they both regret.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 11:54 am

The wife of Ray Rice, whose NFL career was derailed Monday by the release of surveillance footage showing him hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator, says the new attention is making the couple relive one of the most painful moments of their lives. Janay Rice says the media have used the episode to boost ratings.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Canada Says It Has Found Ship From Doomed 1845 Arctic Expedition

The Erebus and the Terror among icebergs, as illustrated in The Polar World by G. Hartwig in 1874. Sir John Franklin, British naval officer and arctic explorer, commanded the 1845 expedition of the ships to search for the Northwest Passage. All members of the expedition perished.
G. Hartwig/Universal History Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 6:31 pm

One of two ships lost more than 160 years ago in an ill-fated expedition to the Northwest Passage led by British Capt. Sir John Franklin has been found by Canadian archaeologists, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today.

It could be the HMS Erebus or the HMS Terror — researchers aren't sure yet, but they believe one of the two appears in this sonar image:

"This is truly a historic moment for Canada," the prime minister said of the discovery.

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Politics
10:24 am
Tue September 9, 2014

5 Questions About The 2 Weeks Congress Plans To Work This Fall

Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives return to work at the Capitol this week after a five-week vacation. They must get to work on a continuing resolution to extend funding for government agencies to prevent a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 5:45 am

Tanned and rested after a five-week summer vacation, Congress has returned for a brief session before returning home to campaign for re-election. This autumn session is expected to last a couple of weeks, give or take a couple of days.

What can be accomplished in so short a time? A great deal, if House and Senate choose to work together. Or nothing, if they don't. If you are wondering which will happen, you haven't been watching the 113th Congress up to now.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Formula One Legend Michael Schumacher Sent Home From Hospital

Seven-time Formula One champ Michael Schumacher, shown here in 2012, has been sent home after months in a Swiss hospital recovering from a serious head injury caused by a skiing accident.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 2:26 pm

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is headed home to his house in Gland, near Geneva, to continue his recovery from a serious head injury caused by a December skiing accident in France.

Sabine Kehm, Schumacher's manager, said in a statement that Schumacher is making progress after months in a Swiss hospital.

The Two-Way reported Schumacher's accident in December, when it was unclear if he would even survive.

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Goats and Soda
9:57 am
Tue September 9, 2014

You Won't Catch Ebola From A Giraffe In Tanzania

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 12:33 pm

Korean Air has stopped all flights to Kenya. International travelers are canceling safaris. And parents of some students traveling to South Africa are nervous.

Why? Ebola.

The virus has dominated headlines for several months — and for good reason. The current outbreak is the worst in history, with more than 3,700 reported cases and 1,800 deaths as of Aug. 31.

The virus has also wreaked havoc on Africa's tourism industry.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Marriage Of 96-Year-Old Woman Raises Legal Questions

Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, shown here in their home in Annandale, Va., were married earlier this year. One of Hill's daughters says the marriage was improper and that Hill's estate is now in question.
Matthew Barakat AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 12:01 pm

The recent marriage of two nonagenarians might seem romantic ... but the family of 96-year-old Edith Hill doesn't think so. The Associated Press is reporting a legal dispute in Alexandria, Va., between Hill's daughter Patricia Barber and Barber's sister, Rebecca Wright, who took their mother to marry 95-year-old Eddie Harrison.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Tue September 9, 2014

A Fresh Look At Flight Safety Instructions

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:59 am

Usually, the airplane boarding process feels like rote muscle memory: find seat, stow bags, sit down, fall asleep. But not this time.

I am on my way to Minneapolis and I'm not tired. So for the first time in a while, I find myself listening to the classic airplane safety monologue. The flight attendant instructs passengers "to insert the metal fitting into the buckle of your seat belt" and "to take a few moments to locate your nearest exit." And of course, to "familiarize yourself with the flight safety instruction card that is found in the seat-back pocket."

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Shots - Health News
8:36 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Can I Buy Insurance After Being Injured In An Accident?

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:29 pm

Now that the federal health law forbids denial of insurance for pre-existing condition, some people have wondered if they can wait until they get sick to buy health coverage.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Tue September 9, 2014

High U.S. Support For Airstrikes, Low Numbers For Obama, Poll Says

A U.S. military plane lands Aug. 11 on the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf. U.S. public support of airstrikes against Islamic militants jumped sharply, according to a new poll, as President Obama prepares a strategy.
Hasan Jamali AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 8:38 am

U.S. public support for airstrikes in Iraq and Syria has spiked as President Obama prepares to meet with leaders in Congress at the White House to plan a strategy against the Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Scientists Doubt That Meteor Caused Crater In Nicaragua

A handout picture provided by Nicaraguan Army on Monday shows the place where what was first reported as a meteorite fell close to International Airport Augusto Sandino, in Managua, Nicaragua.
Nicaraguan Army/ Handout EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 9:09 am

We reported on Monday that a meteor, thought possibly to be a chunk of an Earth-passing asteroid, was the cause of a 40-foot crater outside the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital.

But astronomers and NASA scientists are now casting doubt on that possibility. The biggest mystery is that no one so far has reported seeing a flash of light in the sky that would be expected to accompany such a meteor strike.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Tue September 9, 2014

4 Things To Know About Obama's Islamic State Strategy

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 3:27 pm

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

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Code Switch
5:48 am
Tue September 9, 2014

In Korea, Adoptees Fight To Change Culture That Sent Them Overseas

Dain Suh/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 8:32 am

In the Gwanak-gu neighborhood of Seoul, there is a box.

Attached to the side of a building, the box resembles a book drop at a public library, only larger, and when nights are cold, the interior is heated. The Korean lettering on its front represents a phoneticized rendering of the English words "baby box." It was installed by Pastor Lee Jon-rak to accept abandoned infants. When its door opens, an alarm sounds, alerting staff to the presence of a new orphan.

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NPR Ed
5:45 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Q&A: One Student's Educational Saga In New Orleans

Whitman Wilcox V, 17, stands for a portrait on Aug. 15 at his home in New Orleans.
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 6:21 pm

This year, NPR Ed is reporting on the dramatic changes in the New Orleans school system.

Whitman Wilcox V attended kindergarten through second grade at a neighborhood public school in the Lower 9th Ward. He had just started the third grade when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. His family was forced to evacuate; he wound up at a Catholic school in Houston.

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Around the Nation
5:08 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Human Candidate Runs In N.H. Primary

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 6:11 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

David Montenegro made news in 2012.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HUMAN")

THE KILLERS: (Singing) Are we human or are we dancers?

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Dutch Investigators: MH17 Brought Down By 'High-Energy Objects'

A pro-Russian rebel touches MH17 wreckage at the crash site of the Malaysian airliner near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, in July.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 1:29 pm

An initial investigation by Dutch experts appears to support the long-held theory of what happened to MH17 over eastern Ukraine: The Malaysian airliner was brought down by multiple "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft."

Although the preliminary technical report by the Dutch Safety Board did not directly say the objects were surface-to-air missiles, it left little room to conclude otherwise.

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History
4:54 am
Tue September 9, 2014

U.S. Flag's History Inspire Mixologists To Get Creative

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 8:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
3:06 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Senate Moves Forward In Bid To Limit Campaign Funds

People stand with signs on Capitol Hill as Senate and House Democrats called for an amendment to the Constitution aimed at curbing special interests' financial clout in elections.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 6:11 am

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Monday to debate a proposed constitutional amendment that would let Congress and the states put caps on political spending. But that's probably the high-water mark for the amendment.

When Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) called the vote tally, it looked like a big win for advocates of the constitutional amendment: 79 ayes, 18 nays. That's a dozen votes more than the 67-vote majority needed to actually move the amendment out of the Senate and over to the House.

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