U.S.

Goats and Soda
8:27 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Is There Any Way To Screen The World's Pilots For Suicidal Tendencies?

Flight crew in cockpit, rear view (zoom effect).
Tom Sheppard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:47 am

The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this week appears to have been a deliberate act carried out by a co-pilot.

It is too soon to put the label "suicide" on the co-pilot's actions. Not enough is known yet about his state of mind or what his motivation might have been. But as investigations continue, the incident raises questions about whether better mental-health screening can prevent a person with suicidal tendencies from taking charge in the cockpit in the first place.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Airlines Worldwide Rush To Adopt '2-Person' Cockpit Rule

A Southwest Airlines pilot and co-pilot preparing for a flight from Dallas last year. In the wake of the Germanwings crash this week, many European airlines are rushing to adopt a two-person cockpit rule similar to the one already in place in the U.S.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 9:14 am

The global aviation industry is moving swiftly to change policies to reassure the traveling public in the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

Airlines from around the world have announced that they will begin requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times after investigators on Thursday announced that the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 occurred when the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and placed the Airbus A320 into a deliberate descent.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Sen. Harry Reid Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

YouTube

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 10:13 am

Updated at 11:12 a.m.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Democratic leader in the Senate, said he won't seek re-election next year.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri March 27, 2015

WATCH: Obama, A 'Wire' Superfan, Talks To Show's Creator David Simon

President Obama talks to David Simon, creator of The Wire.
YouTube

President Obama is a fan of The Wire. He has even said Omar Little was his favorite character on the HBO show.

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Stretching One Great Teacher Across Many Classrooms

At Nashville's Bailey Middle Prep, Whitney Bradley teaches her 8th-graders how to organize an essay in preparation for the writing section of Tennessee's standardized test. Most in her class trail their peers in literacy.
Blake Farmer Nashville Public Radio

A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms.

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Latin America
4:26 am
Fri March 27, 2015

U.S. Refugee Program Ignores Dangers Children Face, Critics Say

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 7:00 am

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

NPR Story
4:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Air War In Yemen May Come At The Expense of Coalition Against ISIS

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 7:00 am

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

The Salt
3:44 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

A 3,000-ton cargo ship, at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. "We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients," said owner Panya Luangsomboon. "We're separated from the fishing boats."
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 7:00 am

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food, may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

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Around the Nation
3:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Police Departments Open Up 'Safe Lots' For Craigslist Transactions

The Hartford Police Department is one of a number of police departments across the country that are offering up their parking lots as "safe zones" for Craigslist transactions.
Courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 7:00 am

The online classified site Craigslist updated its safety page this week, encouraging users to make exchanges at local police stations. Some police departments across the country are already offering up their headquarters as voluntary "safe zones" for Craigslist deals.

Sebastian Rivera likes to ride BMX bikes. And when he's customizing his ride, he says he'll hop onto Craigslist to look for free stuff or to trade bike parts with people in his area.

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Science
5:22 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought

A 2008 view of the leading edge of the Larsen B ice shelf, extending into the northwest part of the Weddell Sea. Huge, floating ice shelves that line the Antarctic coast help hold back sheets of ice that cover land.
Mariano Caravaca Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

The Antarctic is far away, freezing and buried under a patchwork of ice sheets and glaciers. But a warming climate is altering that mosaic in unpredictable ways — research published Thursday shows that the pace of change in parts of the Antarctic is accelerating.

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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Amazingly, Congress Actually Got Something Done

House Speaker John Boehner takes the gavel from Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Jan. 6 at the start of the 114th Congress.
Mark Wilson Getty

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:58 pm

They said it couldn't be done. And for more than a decade they were right.

But on Thursday, staring at a deadline that could have disrupted health care to millions of seniors, the House got something done.

It voted to fix the flawed formula for compensating doctors who provide services to patients under Medicare. But this time it wasn't just a patch for a few months or years — like the ones Congress has done 17 times since 2003.

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National Security
5:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

National Guardsman, Cousin Arrested For Trying To Join Islamic State

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

An Illinois National Guardsman and his cousin were arrested for allegedly conspiring to provide support to the self-proclaimed Islamic State. One of the men wanted to go to Syria to martyr himself, and the other planned to carry out an attack on a nearby military base in northern Illinois.

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Law
5:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Ellen Pao Trial Highlights Long Road To Ending Workplace Bias

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

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

Transcript

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The Salt
4:42 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again

Not so ugly, eh? Supposedly imperfect produce rescued and reclaimed for consumption by Bon Appetit and Better Harvests.
Far left and far right: Courtesy of Ron Clark/Better Harvests. Center three images: Courtesy of Bon Appétit Management Company

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:28 pm

Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl who never gets noticed takes off her eyeglasses and — voila! — suddenly, everyone can see she was beautiful all along?

Well, a similar sort of scenario is starting to play out in the world of produce in the U.S. (minus the sexist subtext).

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National Security
4:20 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Co-Pilot's Actions In French Alps Crash Raise Questions About Cockpit Doors

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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National Security
4:20 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Testing The Standards: Do Gender Differences Matter For Combat?

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

The man who designed the training experiment to determine if female Marines should be allowed into combat positions is not a Marine himself, but a civilian scientist. His data could also help the Marines justify their own standards for what makes a person fit for combat.

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National Security
4:20 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Marines Hope To Determine Gender Neutral Standards For Ground Combat

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To learn more about the research behind this experimental unit, we turn to Katelyn Allison. She's a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She's part of the team studying this group. Welcome to the program.

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Shots - Health News
2:38 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Critic Faults Alcoholics Anonymous For Lack Of Evidence

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:24 pm

Founded by two men in Akron, Ohio, in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous has since spread around the world as a leading community-based method of overcoming alcohol dependence and abuse. Many people swear by the 12-step method, which has become the basis of programs to treat the abuse of drugs, gambling, eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors.

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The Salt
2:32 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Colorado Primed To Become The Silicon Valley Of Agriculture?

A drone built by Agribotix, a Boulder startup, flies over a farm in Weld County, Colo. The drone has a camera that snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there, Agribotix stitches the images together, helping the farmer see what's happening in a field.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 7:31 am

Colorado is famous for its beer and its beef. But what about its farm drones?

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Shots - Health News
1:51 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

A Single Gene May Determine Why Some People Get So Sick With The Flu

The H1N1 swine flu virus kills some people, while others don't get very sick at all. A genetic variation offers one clue.
Centre For Infections/Health Pro Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:07 pm

It's hard to predict who will get the flu in any given year. While some people may simply spend a few days in bed with aches and a stuffy nose, others may become so ill that they end up in the hospital.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Census Data Prove It: We Prefer Sunshine And Golf Carts

If you live in a town still dotted with dirty piles of old snow, this is not going to come as good news:

The U.S. Census Bureau today listed the nation's fastest-growing metro areas. And it turns out, Americans prefer Florida's sunshine, lakes and beaches to your cloudy, cold climes.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Indiana's Governor Signs 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, on Thursday, where he signed into law a bill that would allow business owners with strong religious convictions to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:32 am

Indiana business owners who object to same-sex couples will now have a legal right to deny them services after Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law.

The legislation, approved by Indiana's GOP-controlled House and Senate, prevents state and local governments from "substantially burdening" a person's exercise of religion unless a compelling governmental interest can be proved.

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It's All Politics
1:18 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

After Spending Scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock Says Goodbye

"Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term but few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did," Rep. Schock said on the House floor Thursday.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 2:09 pm

Once a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock gave his final speech on the House floor Thursday.

Schock, who was elected to Congress in 2008, will resign his House seat at the end of the month. His resignation comes after weeks of questions about his judgment, lavish lifestyle and spending.

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It's All Politics
11:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Skinny Jeans, Expanded Waistlines, And A Washington 'Fix'

Congress tries every year to plug a loophole that would otherwise result in a 21 percent cut in Medicare doctors' pay. But it doesn't exactly always tighten its belt in the process.
Key Wilde Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 2:07 pm

Every year about this time, after a Washington winter of inactivity, I notice my pants have grown a little tighter. Years ago, I resolved to address this by cutting back on burritos and beer.

But the (ever more abundant) flesh is weak. And burritos are soooo tasty. So instead, every spring I simply let out my waistband a bit, while promising to redouble my dieting efforts next year. I call this, "The belt fix."

Sound familiar?

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Code Switch
11:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Some Messy History Behind A Fight Over A Restaurant Called 'Chop Chop Chinaman'

The logo of Chop Chop Chinaman restaurant sits on a window outside the dinning area Thursday in Chicago.
Armando L. Sanchez Chicago Tribune/TNS/Landov

Over in Chicago, a restaurant called Chop Chop Chinaman has been getting a lot of heat for its name. In February, Chicago-area resident Jeannie Harrell was arrested for scrawling "F*** this hate crime s***. It's 2015" in lipstick on the restaurant's window, right next to the shop's decal sticker of a rickshaw and a man wearing a triangular hat.

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Animals
10:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

SeaWorld Ads Counter Criticism Over Treatment Of Whales

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 2:18 pm

Two years after the release of the documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld continues to struggle. The film shone a critical spotlight on the theme park's treatment of its captive orcas, also known as killer whales.

Since then, SeaWorld has experienced a decline in profits. Attendance was down by a million people last year. But it is launching a new ad campaign aimed at restoring its image and winning back the public.

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NPR History Dept.
10:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Board Games That Bored Gamers

istockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:51 pm

Gaming is a way of life for Americans of all ages.

We play games on Facebook, on our phones, on phantasmagorical home systems. We play on fields and courts and dining room tables. Contemporary culture mavens speak of the gamification of education and the workplace and our day-to-day communications.

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Shots - Health News
9:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

High-Deductible Health Plans Cut Costs, At Least For Now

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:07 pm

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn't pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? You're a foot soldier who's been drafted in the war against high health costs.

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NPR Ed
8:01 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Are Women's Colleges Doomed? What Sweet Briar's Demise Tells Us

Students in the Powell Reading Room at Sweet Briar College, circa 1950.
Rebecca Thomson Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:21 am

Sweet Briar College in Virginia will close its doors in May, after 114 years of teaching women at its scenic campus in western Virginia.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Released From Prison

In this Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, arrive at federal court in Washington to learn their fates when a federal judge sentences the one-time power couple for misusing $750,000 in campaign money.
Susan Walsh AP

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has stepped out of a federal prison in Alabama and now goes to a halfway house to complete a 2013 sentence for spending hundreds of thousands in campaign money on personal items.

WLS in Chicago reports: "The Jackson entourage, consisting of his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson; his wife, Sandi Jackson; and the former congressman's two children, arrived at Maxwell Air Force Base around 4:15 a.m. Thursday."

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