NPR News

National Security
1:58 am
Wed February 25, 2015

'Torture Report' Reshapes Conversation In Guantanamo Courtroom

Defense attorneys for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are now allowed to introduce details regarding their clients' interrogations after the so-called "torture report" was released by the Senate Intelligence Committee late last year.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:40 am

For years in the military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, there's been a subject no one could talk about: torture.

Now that's changed.

This latest chapter began when the military commission at Guantanamo held a hearing earlier this month in the case of five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks — a case that's been stuck for nearly three years in pre-trial wrangling.

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The Two-Way
8:57 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Faces Runoff In Re-Election Bid

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (center and 8th Ward Alderwoman Michelle Harris join phone bank workers Tuesday on Election Day in Chicago. Emanuel was unable to clear the 50 percent threshold in the race, triggering a runoff election against a fellow Democrat in April.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:24 am

Amid turnout of only a third of registered voters, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is headed for a runoff in his re-election bid, according to figures released by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

With 98.6 percent of precincts reporting, the former congressman and chief of staff for President Barack Obama leads with 45.37 percent of the vote, followed by Democratic Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia with 34 percent.

Emanuel required a vote of 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff. The runoff election with Garcia is scheduled for April 7.

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The Two-Way
8:56 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Guilty Verdict Returned In 'American Sniper' Murder Trial

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:18 am

A Texas jury reached a guilty verdict in the murder trial of Eddie Ray Routh, the ex-Marine charged with killing former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, author of the memoir American Sniper.

Routh was sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield to death at a gun range near Fort Worth in 2013. Defense lawyers had argued that Routh suffers from paranoid schizophrenia; Routh had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

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The Two-Way
7:01 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Rebuffs Senate Democrats' Meeting Request

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks past a window overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:52 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined an invitation to meet with two top Democratic senators.

As Reuters reports, Senators Dianne Feinstein, of California, and Dick Durbin, of Illinois, invited Netanyahu for a closed-door meeting during his scheduled trip to Washington next week.

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It's All Politics
6:30 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Tables Have Turned As Senate Barrels Toward Homeland Security Deadline

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered Democrats a Department of Homeland Security funding bill without provisions, but Democrats still want a commitment from House Speaker John Boehner.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:45 pm

The Senate is speeding ahead into the first real deadline it's had since the beginning of the new Congress. In many ways, nothing has changed from past deadlines — lawmakers don't seem interested in resolving the matter with time to spare, rhetoric is hot and angry, and as always, one side is accusing the other of filibustering. Except this time it's the Republicans howling at the Democrats for being the obstructionists.

The script remains the same. The two sides have merely switched parts.

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History
6:20 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Even Pickaxes Couldn't Stop The Nation's First Oil Pipeline

Tanks holding oil in Pithole, Pa., in 1868. Samuel Van Syckel built his first pipeline over just five weeks in 1865. At 2 inches in diameter, it was tiny by modern standards — but it was an engineering marvel.
Drake Well Museum/Courtesy of PHMC

One-hundred-fifty years ago, a man named Samuel Van Syckel built the nation's first commercial oil pipeline in the rugged terrain of northwestern Pennsylvania.

His pipeline transformed how oil is transported — and it would change the modern world, too — but not before a battle that makes the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline look meek by comparison.

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Digital Life
2:59 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

A Stolen iPhone, A New Connection And Minor Celebrity In China

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:16 pm

Months after Buzzfeed writer Matt Stopera's phone was stolen, new pictures from China started uploading to his photo stream. He wrote about it and Chinese twitter, Weibo, picked it up. Kelly McEvers talks to Stopera about his stolen iPhone and newfound fame in China.

Shots - Health News
2:59 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Gerbils Likely Pushed Plague To Europe in Middle Ages

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:43 am

Gerbils are a beloved classroom pet, but they might also be deadly killers. A study now claims that gerbils helped bring bubonic plague to Medieval Europe and contributed to the deaths of millions.

Plague is caused by bacteria (Yersinia pestis) found in rodents, and the fleas that live on rodents. The rodent that's usually Suspect Zero is the rat.

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Law
2:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Little-Known Laws Help Sex Trafficking Victims Clear Criminal Records

This woman, who has had her prostitution charge wiped away, says she got the lotus tattoo to cover up the brand of a former pimp. "Once they put their name on me, I was their property," she adds. She says she got the word "persist" tattooed as a reminder to keep moving forward.
Evie Stone NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 7:05 am

Advocates for women arrested on prostitution charges want the justice system to adopt a different approach. They say instead of being locked up, many prostitutes should actually be considered victims of human trafficking. And they're starting to offer those women a way to clean up the criminal records left behind.

One of them lives in an apartment not far from Dallas. Inside, a 24-year-old woman pushes up her sleeve to show off a tattoo of a lotus flower. The deep purple ink covers up an older mark.

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Code Switch
2:47 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Here's Where Emoji Skin-Tone Colors Come From

Here are the latest set of emoji.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:14 pm

In emoji news (one of my favorite types of weird news, ever): Apple this week released a beta operating system to its testers that finally includes noticeably browner — and, um, yellower — choices.

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Parallels
2:27 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Jordan's King Balances Threats Abroad And Critics At Home

Jordanians marched in the streets of the capital Amman on Feb. 6 to show solidarity with the family of a pilot killed by the Islamic State in Syria. Jordanians also expressed support for the king's decision to take part in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.
Muhammad Hamed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:27 am

Jordan's King Abdullah has faced a delicate balancing act ever since he ascended the throne in 1999 following his father's death. His country shares borders with Iraq, Syria and Israel among others, and there always seems to be trouble in the neighborhood.

His latest challenge has been to convince Jordanians that it's in the country's interest to play a prominent role in the U.S.-led coalition against the self-declared Islamic State.

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Shots - Health News
2:26 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Younger Women Hesitate To Say They're Having A Heart Attack

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 12:21 pm

Each year more than 15,000 women under the age of 55 die of heart disease in the United States. And younger women are twice as likely to die after being hospitalized for a heart attack as men in the same age group.

It doesn't help that women tend to delay seeking emergency care for symptoms of a heart attack such as pain and dizziness, says Judith Lichtman, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. "We've known that for a while," she says.

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Law
2:26 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Sniper Trial Could Be In Jury's Hands Soon

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:16 pm

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

NPR Ed
2:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens Do Both

John Scarborough, a fourth-year pharmacy student at Lipscomb University, talks to high schoolers during a vocational career training class.
Courtesy of Lipscomb University

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:16 pm

Schools don't like to use the V-word anymore — "vocational," as in "vocational education." Administrators say the word is outdated, along with the idea of offering job-training courses only to students who are going straight into the workforce.

Nashville, Tenn., is trying a new approach. The public school system there is encouraging every high school student, regardless of college plans, to take three career-training classes before they graduate.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

U.S. Diplomat Says Change In Immigration Policy For Cubans Is Not On The Table

Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, in February.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:16 pm

The United States' long-time policy of automatically granting residence to Cubans who step foot on U.S. soil will not change "any time soon."

That's according to Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, who will lead negotiations on reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba this Friday.

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Asia
2:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Indonesian Authorities Worried About Return Of Islamic Radicals

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:16 pm

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

Shots - Health News
2:15 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Will Vaping Reignite The Battle Over Smoking On Airplanes?

Those were the days: A stewardess lights a cigar for a passenger aboard an American Airlines flight in 1949.
Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:50 am

My biggest concern while flying is whether my legs will fall victim to deep vein thrombosis from being crammed in the sardine can we call an airplane seat. But on the bright side, at least I'm not increasing my risk of lung cancer, emphysema and bronchitis because of secondhand smoke.

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NPR Story
12:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Uber's New Turf: Mid-Sized Cities

Des Moines, Iowa, is one of the mid-sized cities where Uber is expanding. (Ron Reiring/Wikimedia Commons)

The car-for-hire service Uber has been elbowing its way into big cities across the country, sparking controversies with taxis and regulators.

Last month, the San Francisco-based company raised $1.6 billion in financing, which it is using to fund international expansion.

Closer to home, the company is setting its sights on mid-sized cities, looking to expand its market into areas where taxi service is not as much a part of the culture.

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NPR Story
12:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Revisiting Ransom Riggs' Latest 'Peculiar Children' Book

Ransom Riggs‘ novel “Hollow City” comes out in paperback today. It’s the second of his “Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” series about children with supernatural powers.

Like its predecessor, “Hollow City” is based on vintage black and white photographs that Riggs finds and writes stories around.

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NPR Story
12:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

19 Manatees Rescued From Storm Drain In Florida

Early this morning, 19 manatees were rescued from a drain pipe in Satellite Beach, Florida, south of Cape Canaveral. Florida has been experiencing colder than average temperatures, and the endangered animals were probably seeking warmer waters in the drainpipe.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Feds Close Investigation Of George Zimmerman Without Pressing Charges

George Zimmerman answers questions from a Seminole circuit judge in Sanford, Fla., last November.
Joe Burbank AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:51 pm

Federal authorities have decided to close an investigation of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin back in 2012.

The killing sparked protests and a national conversation on race. Zimmerman, who is white, was acquitted of murder of the unarmed black teenager by a Florida jury, but federal prosecutors were weighing whether to bring hate crime charges against Zimmerman.

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The Salt
12:21 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Chemis-Tea Of Pouring The Perfect English-Style Cuppa

Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 12:33 pm

Tea is a daily ritual for millions of Britons. And the British are very specific about how they take their cuppa: black, traditionally with milk and sugar. In 1946, George Orwell wrote an essay in which he claimed to have cracked the code to putting together the perfect cup of tea with milk. But taste preferences can be very individual, so his solution may not be your ideal brew.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

3 Missing Teenage Girls Now In Syria, British Police Say

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 3:13 pm

British police say three teenage girls believed to have run away to join Islamist extremists have now crossed into Syria. The girls, ages 15 and 16, left their London homes Feb. 17 and boarded flights for Istanbul. Police think they then crossed the border into Syria hoping to join up with militants from the so-called Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Finnish Public Broadcasting To Read Entire Quran In New Series

Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:37 pm

Finnish public broadcasting is reading the Quran — all of it, a half-hour at a time.

Radio 1, the radio arm of broadcaster Yle, will begin reading Islam's holy book on March 7 in 60 installments of a half-hour each.

The readings will begin with a discussion between Anas Hajjar, an imam from the Islamic Society of Finland, and professor Jaakko Hameen-Anttila, who translated the Quran into Finnish.

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NPR Ed
10:33 am
Tue February 24, 2015

The Great U.S. History Battle

American boys re-enact George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in 1776.
Jack Fletcher National Geographic

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:04 pm

William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." And that's never more true than when people start arguing over how American history should be taught in school.

The current fight involves the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam. Nearly half a million high school students took the test last year, hoping to earn college credit.

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Goats and Soda
9:20 am
Tue February 24, 2015

House Of Carbs: A Big Ball O' Carbohydrates Is Good Eating In Ghana

A carb ball shares the bowl with a chunk of meat.
Terrie Schweitzer Flickr

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 2:36 pm

As Homer Simpson might say: Mmmmm, carb balls.

I remember the first time I encountered this specialty of rural Ghana, where I'm spending two years as a Peace Corps volunteer.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Commuter Train Derails After Hitting Vehicle In Southern California

An overturned Metrolink passenger car sits on the side of the road after the commuter train crashed into a truck and derailed early Tuesday near Oxnard, Calif.
Johnny Corona AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:43 pm

Dozens of people were reportedly injured in a commuter train crash near Oxnard, Calif., during Tuesday morning's rush hour. Emergency crews swarmed the area, where several Metrolink train cars were thrown onto their sides by the powerful collision.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Head Of UN Climate Change Panel Resigns Amid Harassment Allegations

Rajendra K. Pachauri speaks at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 11, 2014. He is stepping down as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:51 pm

The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra K. Pachauri, stepped down Tuesday amid allegations of sexual misconduct that have engulfed the celebrated Indian economist and engineer.

Pachauri is one of the world's top climate change officials. His departure from the IPCC is a huge embarrassment for the group, which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for their role in galvanizing international action against climate change.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue February 24, 2015

19 Stuck Manatees Rescued From Florida Storm Drain

In this photo taken Aug. 6, 2014, a manatee comes up for a breath of air at the Miami Seaquarium in Key Biscayne, Fla.
Alan Diaz ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Rescue crews worked through the night to free 19 manatees that had gotten stuck in a storm drain in Satellite Beach, Fla. It's believed the massive, lumbering mammals, in search of warm water after a recent cold snap, swam into a large drainage pipe near Cape Canaveral but were unable to turn around to get out.

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NPR History Dept.
8:33 am
Tue February 24, 2015

The Courage And Ingenuity Of Freedom-Seeking Slaves In America

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:17 am

In the opening of his new book, Gateway To Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, Eric Foner lays out the inspirational story of Frederick Bailey — a young slave in Maryland who teaches himself to read and write; plans to escape slavery by canoe, but gets caught; boards a train wearing seaman's clothes and carrying false papers; and after several unsettling detours — and despite the fact that slave catchers are everywhere — arrives in the free state of New York.

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