U.S.

Science
2:59 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Soil Doctors Hit Pay Dirt In Manhattan's Central Park

The Bronx may be up, and the Battery down but Central Park is where an amazing wealth of different sorts of microbes play.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 4:52 am

Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich.

But a team of scientists gt a big surprise when they recently started digging there.

They were ten soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers, and sun block," she recalls.

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Shots - Health News
5:40 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

On The Alert For Ebola, Texas Hospital Still Missed First Case

Traffic moves past Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where a patient showed up with symptoms that were later confirmed to be Ebola.
Mike Stone Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 4:02 am

Hospitals have been on the lookout for the Ebola virus in the United States, and Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas was no exception. A nurse there did ask about the travel history of the patient who later turned out to be infected with the virus. But some members of the medical team didn't hear that the man had recently been in West Africa. So he was initially sent home — even though he was experiencing symptoms of Ebola, and that meant he was contagious.

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Law
5:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Michael Dunn Found Guilty In 'Loud Music' Killing

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Jacksonville, Florida, today, Michael Dunn was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music. NPR's Greg Allen reports this was Dunn's second trial in a case that drew national attention.

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Politics
5:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Obama Sidesteps Midterm Campaigning As Approval Ratings Slump

President Obama boards Air Force One after attending a Democratic fundraiser in Newport, R.I. in August. Ahead of this fall's midterm elections, he's not doing big public rallies for Democratic candidates, instead opting for private events.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:13 pm

There was once a day, not that long ago, that Democratic candidates for Congress and governor would love to have President Obama come help them campaign. The big rallies, the big airplane, the big entourage — it was a big deal.

Those days are gone now.

President Obama will hold a private fundraiser Thursday in Chicago for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. What he's not doing is a big public rally.

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Science
5:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

When Can A Big Storm Or Drought Be Blamed On Climate Change?

Melbourne visitors and residents took to the waters of Australia's St. Kilda Beach in January 2013 to escape a fierce heat wave.
Scott Barbour Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:52 pm

Nowadays, when there's a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work? It's a question scientists have struggled with for years. And now there's a new field of research that's providing some answers. It's called "attribution science" — a set of principles that allow scientists to determine when it's a change in climate that's altering weather events ... and when it isn't.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Long-Term Birth Control Works Best For Teens, Pediatricians Say

"Always remember to use protection" is a fairly straightforward message for sexually active teens. But young women have a lot of options when it comes to the types of protection they can choose to use.

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All Tech Considered
3:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Facebook Apologizes For Name Policy That Affected LGBT Community

San Francisco City Supervisor David Campos (right) walks with drag queen Sister Roma to a news conference on Sept. 17 about a Facebook policy that requires people to use their "real" names on their profiles. The site said Wednesday it will modify how the policy is enforced.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:15 pm

Facebook has apologized for a policy that drew criticism from LGBT groups after it led to the deactivation of dozens of accounts belonging to drag queens. While the policy itself will stay in place, Facebook says, it will be changing how the rule is enforced.

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It's All Politics
3:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It?

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:29 pm

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

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Sports
3:42 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

University Of Michigan Coach Under Fire For Playing Injured Quarterback

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:14 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Sports
3:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Royals' Win A Tough Act To Beat As Baseball Playoffs Near

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:14 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Proton Center Closure Doesn't Slow New Construction

Construction is continuing at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in downtown Baltimore. It's one of three such centers under development in the Washington, D.C., region.
Jenny Gold, KHN

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:14 pm

Proton beam radiation therapy has been touted as the next big thing in cancer care. The idea, enthusiasts say, is that doctors can deliver higher, more focused doses of radiation than they can in traditional therapy, with a lower risk of side effects. The massive machines, housed in facilities the size of football fields, have been sprouting up across the country for a decade.

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Global Health
3:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Dallas Ebola Patient Was Not Diagnosed On First Hospital Visit

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:14 pm

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

Planet Money
3:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

How A Law From The Civil War Fights Modern-Day Fraud

Union soldiers found that gunpowder was sometimes mixed with sawdust.
Mathew B. Brady AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:14 pm

A law passed to protect the Union army in the Civil War is one of the key tools federal officials have used to collect tens of billion in corporate fines this year.

During the Civil War, the army relied heavily on private contractors for necessities like uniforms, shoes, and gunpowder. Those contractors often cut corners.

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Animals
3:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

2 New Breeds Allowed To Compete At Westminster Dog Show

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:14 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Big news this week for the four-legged set, for well-bred dogs, in particular. The Westminster Kennel Club announced two new breeds can compete in its 139th dog show in February.

DAVID FREI: The coton de tulear and the wire-haired vizsla.

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U.S.
3:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Secret Service Director Resigns After Storm Of Criticism

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:14 pm

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

The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Hospital Official: Ebola Patient's Travel Not Relayed To Doctors

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 5:53 am

An official from the Texas hospital where an Ebola patient is being treated says a nurse using a checklist for the disease learned that he had traveled from West Africa, but that the information was "not communicated" to doctors making the diagnosis.

Dr. Martin Lester, of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, told reporters at a news conference this afternoon that as a result of the miscommunication, the team of physicians evaluating the patient concluded at the time he was first examined at the hospital on Friday that he suffered from a "low-grade common viral disease."

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:42 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Is That A Lark I Hear? A Nightingale? Surprise! It's A Bat

Quoctrung Bui NPR

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:28 pm

Bats produce "pings" or "clicks," right? They make these high-pitched sounds, too high for us to hear, but when their cries ricochet off distant objects, the echoes tell them there's a house over there, a tree in front of them, a moth flying over on the left. And so they "see" by echolocation. That's their thing. They are famously good at it.

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The Two-Way
4:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

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Politics
4:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Secret Talks And Back Channels Pervaded U.S. Relationship With Cuba

Cuban Premier Fidel Castro addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September 1960 in New York. A new book details secret negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba dating back to President Kennedy's administration.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:34 am

For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.

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Sweetness And Light
4:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Goodbye To All That: Farewells In Sports

Rulon Gardner took off his shoes to symbolize his retirement after defeating Sajad Barzi, of Iran, during the men's Greco-Roman 120kg wrestling bronze medal bout at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:04 am

No, no, I promise: This is not about Derek Jeter. May bats fly down my chimney and trolls enter my door if I inflict any more Derek Jeter farewell upon you. But, of course, I am a sentimental creature, and the player whose name dare not be spoken again did gush forth memories of other grand finales.

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Code Switch
5:54 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Mexico Pays To Help Its Citizens Avoid Deportation From The U.S.

Mexican consulates, like this one in Houston, are helping some unauthorized immigrants from Mexico pay application fees for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
WhisperToMe Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 7:08 pm

Mexico is helping some of its citizens apply for a controversial immigration program in the U.S. called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Since the Obama administration created the program in 2012, more than 580,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors have received temporary relief from deportation and been given work permits that last for at least two years.

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U.S.
5:46 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Details Emerge Of Security Breach During Obama's CDC Visit

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 9:48 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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U.S.
4:59 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Where Activists See Gray, Albuquerque Police See Black And White

Protesters gather outside the Albuquerque Police Department following the shooting deaths of James Boyd and others on March 25. The Justice Department accused the police of engaging in a pattern of excessive force.
Rita Daniels NPR

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:54 am

To understand the tension between the cops and some people in Albuquerque, you have to go back to a Tuesday in April.

It was after the Justice Department had accused the Albuquerque police of engaging in a pattern of excessive force. In March, a homeless camper named James Boyd was shot and killed. Then a 19-year-old woman was killed.

Music teacher Caro Acuna Olvera was eating dinner when a friend called her with the news.

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Shots - Health News
4:59 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

First U.S. Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Dallas

A patient at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has a confirmed case of Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. He is being treated and kept in strict isolation.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 2:10 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.

A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.

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All Tech Considered
4:59 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

EBay Spins Off PayPal Into Fast-Changing World Of Mobile Payments

EBay announced it will split from the payments service PayPal, forming two independently traded companies beginning in 2015.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 5:46 pm

A big breakup is happening in the business world. Online retailing giant eBay is splitting up with its payments operation, PayPal, sometime in 2015. The move comes at a prime opportunity for PayPal, as the future of online payments is still being charted.

When PayPal first came on the scene in the late 1990s, it simplified making online purchases in a way that users adopted, fast.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

New York Boosts Pay For Thousands With Hourly Wage Hike

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs an executive order raising the city's living wage law Tuesday. The move will require some employers to pay their employees between $11.50 and $13.13 an hour, depending on whether the employee receives benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday that effectively raises the hourly wage for thousands of workers in New York City. The city says its expansion of the Living Wage provisions will boost yearly earnings for the lowest-paid workers from $16,640 to $27,310.

From New York, NPR's Joel Rose reports:

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Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

BRAIN Initiative Bets on Wearable Scanners, Laser-Controlled Cells

Andrew Ostrovsky iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 2:11 pm

Eighteen months after its launch, President Obama's plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain is finally taking shape. During separate events Tuesday, the White House and National Institutes of Health offered details about which projects are being funded and why.

At a morning press conference, NIH officials announced $46 million in grant awards to more than 100 investigators. Most of the researchers are working on tools that can "transform how we study the brain," said NIH Director Francis Collins.

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Animals
3:12 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Federal Judges Sends Wyo. Wolves Back To Endangered Species List

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 5:46 pm

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

U.S.
3:12 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

White House Tries To Keep Fence Jumpers At Bay With ... Another Fence

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 5:46 pm

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

U.S.
3:12 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Secret Service Director Admits Mistakes In White House Breaches

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 5:46 pm

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

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