U.S.

Environment
5:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Why Do Some Clouds Drop Rain, While Others Don't?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Recent storms in California haven't been enough to save the state from a serious drought. And now, the rainy season is winding down. Scientists are trying to understand why some storms unload lots of rain and snow in California and others don't. As Lauren Sommer reports from member station KQED in San Francisco, there could be a link to dust storms thousands of miles away.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: The sky over the Pacific Ocean is looking pretty ominous - big dark gray clouds in the distance.

I think it feels like rain.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Why My Wife Didn't Choose A Double Mastectomy

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:51 pm

Yet another entertainment figure has gone public with her decision to have a double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Samantha Harris is the latest in a series of entertainers who've decided on that surgery as treatment for the disease.

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All Tech Considered
4:37 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

What To Do Now That The Heartbleed Bug Exposed The Internet

The Heartbleed bug has exposed up to two-thirds of the Internet to a security vulnerability.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 10:27 am

With a name like Heartbleed, it's no surprise it's bad. A vulnerability in OpenSSL — the Internet's most commonly used cryptographic library — has been bleeding out information, 64 kilobytes at a time, since March 2012.

"I would classify it as possibly the top bug that has hit the Internet that I've encountered, because of it being so widespread, because it's so hard to detect," says Andy Grant, a security analyst at iSEC Partners.

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Planet Money
4:27 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Across The Atlantic, Glimpse An Alternate Internet Universe

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:53 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Already for many Americans, there are few options when it comes to high-speed broadband. And the reason, says Zoe Chace with our Planet Money team, goes back to a moment when the U.S. decided to go one way and the rest of the world went another.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: That moment, March 14th, 2002, a bunch of people from the Federal Communications Commission pondering an existential question. There's this brand-new cable coming into your home with the Internet on it. What is this thing?

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Around the Nation
3:54 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Out Of The Rubble Of Tragedy, How To Build A New Sandy Hook?

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Newtown, Connecticut, is moving forward with plans to rebuild Sandy Hook Elementary School. The original building where gunman Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults was demolished late last year. The process of designing a new school, one that both honors the wishes of the community and provides a new home for learning, lies with architect Barry Svigals. Svigals and his design team recently unveiled their plans at a town meeting in Newtown, and he joins us now to talk more about it. Welcome to the program.

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Environment
3:54 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers

A male lesser prairie chicken in the Texas Panhandle. The bird's entire habitat includes parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Jon McRoberts AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:29 pm

It's prairie chicken mating season!

Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.

But after they were recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. government, complaints of federal overreach and lawsuits have followed.

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

'Kissing Congressman' Video Puts Scandal In Unusual Focus

Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., in happier days with his wife, Kelly, and House Speaker John Boehner, who swore in the new congressman last year.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:16 pm

Embattled GOP Rep. Vance McAllister has made at least one smart move: He concluded that finding out who may have leaked a security video that captures him in a torrid embrace and lip lock with a woman (not his wife) won't actually erase said video.

One day after the freshman congressman — who ran last year as Christian conservative — indicated he planned to ask GOP House Speaker John Boehner to request an FBI investigation into the leak, he reversed course.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Wanted By The FBI: Bank Robber With Perfect Grammar And Spelling

A photo released by the FBI of the alleged bank robber caught on security video.
FBI

Apparently bank robbers aren't in the habit of worrying much about grammar and spelling when it comes to writing demand notes.

Not so for the "Good Grammar Bandit," who we might imagine turned to a life of crime because it proved more exciting (and lucrative) than being a copy editor.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Red State Returns Spotlight To Women, Backbone Of Texas GOP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:48 pm

Republican women have always played an important role in Texas politics, but this year, the GOP finds itself on the defensive in the campaign for women's votes. As KUT's Ben Phillpott reports, there's a new group to help address the issue: Red State Women.

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

Transcript

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News
3:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

With Proposed Mega-Merger On The Hill, Spotlight's On Consumers

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:48 pm

Comcast and Time Warner executives ran into stiff opposition as they pitched their proposed merger to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The deal would give the combined company a large share of both pay TV and broadband internet service markets. In both cases, lawmakers wanted to know how consumers would be affected.

News
3:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Before Classes Even Begin, Mass Stabbing Leaves School Reeling

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And Melissa Block.

A 16 year-old boy is in custody after a knife attack at a high school near Pittsburgh left at least 20 people injured. Police say among the injured is a school police officer who stopped the attacker with the help of an assistant principal.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports the rampage began just before classes were about to start this morning.

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News
3:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Obama Honors Victims Of Fort Hood Shooting

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:48 pm

President Obama is traveling to Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday to attend the memorial service for those killed in last week's shooting.

Around the Nation
3:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

In Some American Towns, The Billboards Will Have Sirens

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:48 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When you notice a fire truck racing to the scene of a fire, the last thing you'd expect to see on the side of the truck is an ad for a local pizza restaurant. But that could be coming soon in some areas.

Mike Moen, of member station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois, reports on a small fire department that's embracing advertising to help fund emergency services.

(SOUNDBITE OF VEHICLES)

MIKE MOEN, BYLINE: On a recent morning, a fire truck belonging to

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Unintelligible)

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Crossroads GPS At Heart Of GOP's Lois Lerner Probe

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. (center), flanked by the committee's ranking member, Sander Levin, D-Mich. (right), and Sam Johnson, R-Texas, listen on Capitol Hill April 9 as the panel debates whether IRS official Lois Lerner's refusal to testify to Congress deserves criminal prosecution.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 7:08 pm

Among the alleged crimes committed by Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the heart of the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups: singling out Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove's nonprofit group that spent $165 million in the last election attacking Democrats and helping Republicans.

That's according to House Republicans pushing criminal charges against Lerner.

The House Ways and Means Committee met in closed-door session Wednesday to discuss three specific violations Republicans believe she committed while running the IRS's office that handles tax-exempt groups.

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Shots - Health News
2:57 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Pop Stars Are Sippin' On Patron, And Teens Are Bingeing

Singer Ke$ha performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in September.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:57 pm

Ke$ha says that to start the day she'll brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. Nicki Minaj likes to "have a drink, have a clink" of Bud Light. And the party-rockin' hip-hop duo LMFAO like Ciroc, and they love Patron. "Shots, shots, shots, shots everybody!"

All that name-checking of alcohol brands encourages teens to drink, researchers say. Adolescents who liked songs like these were three times as likely to drink, and were twice as likely to binge than their peers who didn't like those songs.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

In Turnaround, More Moms Are Staying Home, Study Says

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 2:10 pm

After decades on the decline, the number of "stay at home" moms in the U.S. has risen, with 29 percent of women with children under 18 saying they don't work outside the home, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

The figure from 2012 is up from 23 percent in 1999.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:00 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Debate: In An Online World, Are Brick And Mortar Colleges Obsolete?

Two teams debated the value of online education in an Intelligence Squared U.S. event at Columbia University.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:18 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Online degree programs are proliferating – and many cost a fraction of the price of a traditional, on-campus degree. Massive Open Online Courses, known as MOOCS, are also catching on in the U.S. and around the world.

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Economy
11:47 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Will Disclosing Employee Information Make Wages More Equal?

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 11:54 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today by talking about an issue that's been a hot topic on Capitol Hill lately. That issue is pay equity. The Democrats have been trying to push legislation through Congress to address what they say is a gender wage gap where women earn less than men for the same work. Yesterday, President Obama signed two orders aimed at closing that gap.

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NPR Story
10:43 am
Wed April 9, 2014

With Free Tuition, Mich. Students Hear 'You Are Going To College'

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 11:54 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. This spring, we're joining our colleagues at Morning Edition to take a closer look at paying for college. So far in this series, we've talked about navigating the mountains of paperwork, whether working during school is a good idea, and if so, how much is too much. And we've also talked about the huge debt that many students face after graduation. But imagine if all those worries went away.

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The Salt
10:18 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Food Scraps To Fuel Vertical Farming's Rise In Chicago

Arugula plant beds inside The Plant, a vertical farm operation in Chicago.
Plant Chicago, NFP/Rachel Swenie

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:28 pm

From plant factories fueled by the magenta glow of blue and red LED lights, to the 30-foot tall Ferris wheel for plants in Singapore, we've shown you the design possibilities for growing vegetables up instead of out.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Wed April 9, 2014

At Least 20 Students Injured In Knife Attack At Pa. High School

Emergency responders gather in the parking lot on the campus of Franklin Regional High School in Murraysville, Pa., on Wednesday after an attack there left at least 20 people, nearly all of them students, injured. Most suffered stab wounds or lacerations.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:48 am

(This post is being updated as news comes in.)

At least 20 teenagers and one adult were injured, two of them critically, Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., when a 16-year-old fellow student attacked them with two knives.

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U.S.
2:49 am
Wed April 9, 2014

States, Lawmakers Want Feds To Use New Math For FEMA Calculations

About 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado in Washington, Ill., last November. Some senators are pushing for a better disaster formula for communities to get financial help.
Tasos Katopodis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 7:02 am

It's no question the weather's been brutal for some communities, including Washington, Ill., a town of 15,000 in the central part of the state. When a tornado ripped through the area last November three people died and more than a thousand homes were damaged.

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Education
2:34 am
Wed April 9, 2014

An Education Reporter Puts Himself To The (Standardized) Test

New standardized tests put more emphasis on using evidence to support arguments.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 12:51 pm

What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?

"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?

"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.

No, my vote is for "standardized test."

That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

GM At Odds With Feds Over Recall-Related Documents

A Chevrolet logo on the grill of a 2013 Traverse at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show. General Motors is recalling more than 1.5 million vehicles, including SUVs, vans and Cadillacs, for defective ignition switches and other problems.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:07 am

General Motors says it has "fully cooperated" with federal authorities in connection with the recall of 2.6 million cars for defective ignition switches and other problems.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration disagrees and says it will fine the automaker $7,000 for each day it misses a deadline to answer 107 questions that passed on April 4.

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Politics
5:21 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

White House Learns Complications Of Pay Equity Debate

Lilly Ledbetter speaks at the White House on Tuesday, during an event marking Equal Pay Day. President Obama announced new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:24 am

Money and politics don't always make for polite conversation, but President Obama tried to tackle both at the White House on Tuesday.

Obama signed a pair of executive orders aimed at encouraging conversation about men's and women's pay scales. It's a talk that Democrats hope will yield political gains this year.

It also raised questions, though, about how the administration pays its own people.

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Around the Nation
5:21 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Putting Student Data To The Test To Identify Struggling Kids

Student Mack Godbee and mentor Natasha Santana-Viera go over Godbee's report card. Godbee's performance has improved since a data monitoring program identified him as a dropout risk.
Sammy Mack StateImpact Florida

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:24 am

At Miami Carol City Senior High in Florida, a handful of teachers, administrators and coaches are gathered around a heavy wooden table in a conference room dubbed the "War Room," looking through packets of information about several students.

There are others at the table, too: analysts from the group Talent Development Secondary, which monitors student data; City Year, a nonprofit that provides mentors; and Communities in Schools, which connects kids with health care and social services.

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History
4:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Developer To Preserve Ancient Tequesta Village In Heart Of Miami

A series of postholes sit on a site that some call a major archeological find, once home to a Tequesta village. A developer wants to build on the site, but agreed to preserve the village.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:24 am

In downtown Miami, amidst the office buildings, shops and high-rise condos, visitors will soon be able to see a site historians are calling Miami's birthplace.

The spot where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay used to be home to the Tequesta tribe, which is where Spanish explorers who first arrived in Florida in the early 1500s encountered them. Today, that spot is the heart of downtown Miami.

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Shots - Health News
4:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Wave Of Newly Insured Patients Strains Oregon Health Plan

Cheryl Stumph goes over paperwork with a medical worker. She finally has health insurance to take care of her family's medical needs.
Kristian Foden-Vencil for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:24 am

Millions of Americans who didn't have health insurance last year now do because of the Affordable Care Act.

In Lane County, Oregon, Trillium Community Health Plan is struggling to deal with a huge influx of new patients looking for health care. CEO Terry Coplin says the company figured 26,000 people would sign up in the first few years. Instead, about that many signed up right off the bat.

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News
3:33 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Al Sharpton, FBI Informant? New Claims Revive '80s Mob Story

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:24 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Reverend Al Sharpton has admitted to working with the FBI and recording conversations with alleged mobsters. The website The Smoking Gun published documents detailing Sharpton's involvement, saying he's the guy referred to in the document as Confidential Informant 7. This was back in the 1980s during some of the bureau's biggest mafia investigations.

As NPR's Joe Rose reports, Sharpton denies any wrongdoing.

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Around the Nation
3:33 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Natural Disasters Are Rare, But So Is Mudslide Insurance

Searchers walk near a demolished house in Oso, Wash., in March. Few homeowners in Washington and neighboring Oregon have mudslide insurance.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:24 am

Depending on whom you talk to, either no one could have predicted the massive mudslide in Oso, Wash., last month — or it was a disaster just waiting to happen. But if homeowners in the slide's path are typical of most people in this part of the country, they were not insured against this kind of event — and are unlikely to see an insurance payout.

That's because standard homeowner's insurance doesn't cover mudslides. And the insurance is not only expensive, it's also difficult to purchase.

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