U.S.

StoryCorps
2:49 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Teenager In The 1950s, Extreme Sledding For The Air Force

Alton Yates says the trip on the high speed sled could be painful, and frightening. But he also says, "We were anxious to get strapped into that seat to conduct the next experiment."
Courtesy of Alton Yates

Originally published on

In the mid-1950s, Alton Yates was preparing to graduate from high school. His mother had recently passed away, and his father was struggling to raise seven kids on his own.

"I knew that as soon as I finished high school I was going to have to help with taking care of the family," Yates tells his daughter, Toni, on a visit to StoryCorps in Jacksonville, Fla.

Most of the jobs available to him wouldn't pay well, so he decided to join the Air Force. They were looking for volunteers to help test the effects of space travel on the human body.

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Business
2:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

As BP Pays For Oil Spill Impact, Some People Aren't Seeing The Cash

Patrick Roy's company, Coastal Rental Equipment, used to rent these large pumps to offshore divers who work for oil and natural gas drillers. After the BP oil spill, when the government introduced a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Patterson, La., business suffered losses and eventually shut down.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:23 am

BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disrupted business all along the coastline. Through the end of July, the oil giant paid more than $13 billion to compensate people, businesses and communities affected. The company is disputing some of those claims in court battles that could drag on for years.

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Books
2:33 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks during a press conference at the Union League Club of Chicago on August 21, 2014.
John Gress Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:23 am

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chair of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" – people paying taxes – and "takers" – people getting government benefits.

Today, Ryan says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how we think about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.

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Parallels
2:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Despite ISIS's Resources, Attacking U.S. Might Be A Stretch

This image, posted on a militant website, shows an Islamic State fighter waving a flag from a captured government fighter jet in Raqqa, Syria. The group is well-funded and has gained territory over the last few months; that's raised some concerns in America, although experts say the organization is largely focused on regional goals.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:23 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently talked about the militants associated with the Islamic State, the group also known as ISIL or ISIS. He made them sound 10 feet tall.

"ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen," he said. "They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology [and] a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess; they are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we've seen."

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Shots - Health News
2:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rats! New York City Tries To Drain Rodent 'Reservoirs'

New Yorkers can take city-run classes to learn how to make their homes and businesses less attractive to these guys.
Ludovic Bertron Flickr

New York City is launching the latest salvo in its never-ending war on rats.

City officials are ramping up efforts to teach regular New Yorkers how to make their streets, businesses and gardens less hospitable to rodents — in other words, to see their neighborhood the way a health inspector would.

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The Two-Way
7:39 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

NFL Lays Out New Penalty For Domestic Violence: 6-Game Suspension

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, shown here in January, has sent an open letter to NFL team owners explaining the league's new policies for preventing and punishing domestic violence and sexual assault.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced new guidelines for how the league will handle incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault. The change in policy, explained an open letter to team owners, come a month after the NFL was criticized for how it handled player Ray Rice's arrest on domestic violence charges.

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Iraq
5:42 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Obama Says U.S. Will Aid Iraqis Who Are Marooned On Mount Sinjar

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

Around the Nation
5:08 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Zero-Tolerance Policing Is Not Racism, Say St. Louis-Area Cops

Police arrest a woman in Ferguson, Mo., protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown. Most officers in Ferguson and nearby Jennings are white, but the neighborhoods they police are predominantly African-American.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:57 pm

The protests that followed the shooting death this month of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., have rekindled long-standing complaints about racist policing, especially in the St Louis area.

Many male African-American residents there say police scrutinize them unfairly. "Every time you see a cop, it's like, 'OK, am I going to get messed with?' " says Anthony Ross. "You feel that every single time you get behind your car. Every time."

Now, police officers in and around St. Louis are becoming more vocal about defending themselves against the charges of bias.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

'We Don't Have A Strategy Yet' On Islamic State, Obama Says

President Obama said Thursday at the White House that the U.S. doesn't yet have a strategy on how to deal with the Islamic State militant group.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:02 pm

President Obama says the U.S. doesn't "have a strategy yet" on how to deal with Islamic State militants who now control vast swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria, but he added that the militant group was continuing to lose arms and equipment because of targeted U.S. strikes against its members in Iraq.

"I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday. "We don't have a strategy yet."

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Code Switch
3:58 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Michel Martin Goes #BeyondFerguson

A demonstrator raises his arms before police officers move in to arrest him on Aug. 19 in Ferguson, Mo.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

We are in Ferguson, Mo., at Wellspring Church to hear from the community in the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Together with St. Louis Public Radio, we are also hosting a Twitter chat using #BeyondFerguson. This is an opportunity to share your reactions, ideas and frustrations, as well as talk about ways to move forward. (Scroll down to see participants.)

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Shots - Health News
3:52 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Texas Law Could Lead To Closure Of Clinics That Offer Abortions

The Hilltop Women's Reproductive Clinic in El Paso, Texas, is expected to close if a state law is upheld by a federal judge.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:31 pm

A federal judge in Austin, Texas, will issue a decision in the next few days about whether clinics that perform abortions in the state must become outpatient surgery centers.

The Texas law is part of a national trend in which state legislatures seek to regulate doctors and their offices instead of women seeking abortions.

The laws are collectively known as TRAP laws, for "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers."

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Shooting Range Accident Draws Focus On Children Handling Guns

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

A tragedy at an Arizona shooting range this week has set off a debate about children using high-powered weapons, as well as America's gun culture. Shooting range owners are defending their industry as safe, criticizing this particular operator for allowing a small girl to use an Uzi.

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Education
3:45 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Want To Widen Your Worldview? A Random Roomie Helps

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

Melissa Block talks to Jesse Singal of New York Magazine, about his article titled "In Praise of the Rando Freshman Roommate." Research shows that when students are paired with roommates from different backgrounds, they tend to develop more tolerant attitudes.

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

Transcript

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Media
3:45 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Foley's Mother: We Didn't Want Him To Go Back To Syria

Journalist James Foley in 2011. He was killed by Islamic State militants in Syria earlier this month.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

The mother of slain journalist James Foley says in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered that the family did not want him to return to Syria after a brief trip back to the United States in 2011.

"We really did not want him to go back," Diane Foley tells host Melissa Block. "I must be honest about that," she says of her son, who was killed by Islamic State militants in Syria earlier this month.

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Shots - Health News
3:16 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Scentless: Losing Your Sense Of Smell May Make Life Riskier

If you can't smell this, you could be in big trouble.
Henrik Sorensen Getty Images

Losing your sense of smell may not sound like a big deal, but it can increase your risk of injury, researchers say. Without the sniffer serving as early warning system, it can be hard to know if the pan is burning on the stove or the chicken has gone bad.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Obama Weighs Possible Immigration Orders — And Their Political Ripples

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Men In America
3:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

No Boss But The Land And Cattle: A Rancher's Coming Of Age

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

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

Law
3:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

When Senate Returns From Recess, Ferguson Will Top The Docket

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

The controversy surrounding the police showdown with protesters in Ferguson, Mo., will be coming to Congress. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has scheduled a hearing to look into the confrontation, while some lawmakers are pushing to end a program that allows police to obtain surplus military equipment.

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Science
3:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Night Of The Cemetery Bats

Big brown bats like this one are relatively common in urban areas, sometimes roosting in buildings. Contrary to popular belief, bats rarely carry rabies and are not rodents. They belong to the order Chiroptera, which means "hand-wing."
Courtesy of Robert Marquis

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

I've visited St. Louis' Bellefontaine cemetery before, but never at night.

It's really dark. The looming trees are black against the sky, where a half-moon is just barely visible behind some clouds.

I can see eerie lights and strange, shadowy figures moving among the gravestones.

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NPR Ed
2:33 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 2:46 pm

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt Finally Make It Official

We take a quick break from the heaviness this week for a bit of celebrity news: "Brangelina" has officially tied the knot.

A spokesperson for Brad Pitt, 50, and Angelina Jolie, 39, confirmed that the couple were married in a private ceremony Saturday in Correns, France.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Thu August 28, 2014

China Warns U.S. Over Surveillance Flights

This handout photo provided by the Office of the Defense Secretary (OSD), taken Aug. 19, 2014, shows a Chinese fighter jet that the White House said Friday conducted a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
Uncredited AP

Beijing has rejected U.S. claims that one of its fighter jets acted recklessly in intercepting a U.S. Navy maritime patrol plane in the South China Sea last week, warning Washington to curtail or discontinue "close surveillance" flights near Chinese territory.

"According to different situations we will adopt different measures to make sure we safeguard our air and sea security of the country," Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said at a news briefing.

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Shots - Health News
9:52 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Hey, You've Got Mites Living On Your Face. And I Do, Too

Want to find your personal posse of Demodex mites? Gently scrape the pores on the sides of your nose.
Juergen Peter Bosse iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:20 pm

When Megan Thoemmes first found a tiny critter living in the pores of her nose, she was disgusted.

"The first time I found one on my face I didn't sleep for four nights," says Thoemmes, a graduate student at North Carolina State University.

But she's made peace with her Demodex mites, not only accepting that the microscopic arthropods are hers for life, but conducting a study that finds that everybody else has them, too.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Russian Hackers Reportedly Hit JPMorgan, Other Banks

JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York. The bank is one of several reportedly targeted by Russian hackers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:21 am

The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to investigate reports that Russian hackers breached security at JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions, stealing customers' account information in possible retaliation for U.S. government sanctions on Moscow.

"We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several American financial institutions," FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said in a statement late Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu August 28, 2014

State Department 'Looking Into' Reports Of Another Jihadi Killed In Syria

A photo from March 2008 provided by the Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff's Office shows Douglas McAuthur McCain, who was killed recently fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Syria.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:15 pm

After U.S. officials confirmed earlier this week that 33-year-old San Diego resident Douglas McCain had died fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Syria, the State Department says it's looking into a report that a second American was also killed there.

NBC, citing an anonymous source, first reported on the second American jihadi, and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says officials are aware of the report and are "looking into it."

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Politics
4:02 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Colo. Democrats Bet On Immigration To Boost Udall's Re-Election Bid

Sonia Marquez of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is encouraging Latinos to turn out for this year's midterm elections.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:25 pm

In southwest Denver, a wave of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador has settled in the neighborhoods around the intersection of Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue.

Billboards are in Spanish. Chile stands, taquerias and Asian noodle houses line the streets.

In a small office plaza across from a carniceria, a group of Latino activists are staging a press conference to roll out their Immigration Voter Accountability Project.

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Law
2:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Former Border Protection Insider Alleges Corruption, Distortion In Agency

James Tomsheck poses in his office in Washington in June 2009. At the time, he was assistant commissioner for internal affairs with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:53 am

Two months ago, James Tomsheck was pushed out of his job as internal affairs chief for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

At the time, authorities criticized him for not doing enough to investigate abuse and corruption.

But now Tomsheck tells a very different story: about a culture that goes out of its way to evade legal restraints.

Use of force by law enforcement agents along the Southwest border has drawn attention and criticism recently, after reports that Border Patrol agents shot and killed unarmed migrants and faced no consequences.

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Science
2:46 am
Thu August 28, 2014

An Icy Solution To The Mystery Of The Slithering Stones

The cavity in this rock will carry the GPS instrument package and its battery pack across the desert.
Richard Norris

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 8:46 am

A century ago, miners working in California's Death Valley reported seeing boulders on the desert floor with long trails behind them — as if the stones had been pushed across the sand. But despite 60 years of trying, no one ever saw what moved them.

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The Salt
2:43 am
Thu August 28, 2014

How Foster Farms Is Solving The Case Of The Mystery Salmonella

Bob O'Connor, a Foster Farms veterinarian, holds an 11-day-old chick at a ranch near the town of Merced, in California's Central Valley.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:57 pm

Foster Farms, California's biggest chicken producer, has been accused of poisoning people with salmonella bacteria. After an outbreak last fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture threatened to shut down three of the company's plants.

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Parallels
2:42 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Brooklyn Man Fights In Syria. Is He A Threat To The U.S.?

This image obtained by NPR shows Ahmed al-Moflihi, a Yemeni-American who is believed to have fought in the Syrian civil war.
NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 9:59 am

Mocha Hookah is a little Middle Eastern restaurant and cafe on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn where you can pick up a shawarma gyro sandwich and a falafel platter and still get change back from your $20 bill. Walk inside and there's Arabic music, soccer games on flat screen televisions, and a hookah, or water pipe, set up at every table.

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