NPR News

Law
4:47 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Controversial Arizona Law Reaches Supreme Court

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies check the shoes of a suspect arrested during a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix in 2010. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration and crime sweep came after hundreds of immigrant-rights supporters delayed the effort with a rally at a downtown jail, in opposition to Arizona's immigration law SB 1070.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

The U.S. Supreme Court takes up yet another incendiary election issue Wednesday when it hears arguments on a controversial Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants.

As with last month's test of the Obama health care overhaul, the case pits the federal government's assertion of power against some states, and with some exceptions, it pits Democrats against Republicans.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Syria Envoy Kofi Annan Says Situation In Syria 'Bleak'

International envoy to Syria Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council that the situation in the country is "bleak." That's according to the AP, which obtained a copy of the closed briefing.

"He echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in calling the current situation 'unacceptable' and called on the Syrian government to immediately implement his six-point peace-plan," the AP added.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

VIDEO: Northern Lights Seen In Minnesota

The Northern Lights in Minnesota.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:02 am

Last night was pretty spectacular in some parts of Minnesota.

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It's All Politics
3:20 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

As The Campaign Hits Cruising Altitude, Critics Again Target Presidential Travel

President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, en route to Florida, on April 10. Whenever a president runs for re-election, his travel tends to become a political issue.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

The White House has been fielding questions lately about President Obama's travel — what's official, what's political and whether taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill. It's the same issue that rolls around every time a president runs for re-election.

Take President Obama's trip to Florida earlier this month. It featured an official presidential speech on the economy at Florida Atlantic University. On the same trip, the president hit two fundraisers.

How do you sort that out?

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Space
3:14 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Tech Entrepreneurs Bet Big On Asteroid Mining

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, a group of entrepreneurs unveiled a new company that aims to mine precious metals and other resources from asteroids. The idea of exploiting the natural resources on asteroids has been around for more than a century, and this is not the first company to lay out such grand plans.

But as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, this one does have the financial backing of some big names in high tech.

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Animals
2:57 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

A Bug's Life: Store Caters To Collectors Of Crawly Pets

The Poecilotheria metallica is a species of tarantula that reflects a metallic blue color. It is just one of many tarantulas for sale in Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil's pet store. Price: $200.
Kenthebugguy.com

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:49 pm

If you're the kind of person who screams at the sight of an insect or spider — or worse, steps on it — then a new store in Tucson, Ariz., might not be the best place for you to pick up a new family pet.

Owner Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil says his store is the only retail pet shop in the country devoted to insects and other arthropods. Judging from the recent opening day crowd at the store, plenty of people think the critters make great pets.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
2:52 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Olympian's Arc: From 'Ninja Turtles' To London

Terrence Jennings (right) lands a kick during a taekwondo match last fall. Jennings, who says his love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drew him to the sport, will compete in his first Olympics this summer.
Martin Mejia AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Taekwondo is fairly new to the Olympics; it was first officially included in 2000. But in just a few years, the Olympics have become the pinnacle event of the Korean martial art. And the odds of earning a spot competing on that stage are incredibly slim. There are only four slots for Americans — two for men, and two for women.

Terrence Jennings has beaten those odds, by defeating opponents over months of qualifying matches. In July, he'll head to London for his first Olympics.

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Newt Gingrich
2:29 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Through Debt And Derision, Gingrich Keeps Running

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to win all five of the Republican presidential primaries being held Tuesday. The GOP front-runner hasn't had to worry about real competition since Rick Santorum dropped out of the race earlier this month.

But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is still running for president, even though he's short on money and lagging far back in the polls.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Obama Calls Secret Service Employees In Prostitution Scandal 'Knuckleheads'

President Barack Obama laughs with Jimmy Fallon during commercial break as he participates in a taping of the Jimmy Fallon Show on Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:42 pm

In his first public comments about the prostitution scandal that has engulfed the Secret Service, President Obama praised the agency and said those implicated in the scandal should not the diminish the work of everyone else.

"The Secret Service, these guys are incredible," Obama said according to Politico. "They protect me, they protect our girls... A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do."

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Law
2:15 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Firm Leaves Miss. After Its Prison Is Called 'Cesspool'

In 2010, former inmate Ross Walton describes mistreatment he says inmates received from guards. Faced with a court order to reform the Walnut Grove juvenile prison, the company managing the prison is leaving Mississippi.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 6:06 pm

One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes "systemic, egregious and dangerous practices" at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."

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World Cafe
1:57 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Ben Howard On World Cafe

Ben Howard is a no-nonsense, no-frills singer-songwriter.
Courtesy of the artist

A surfer and songwriter, Ben Howard's two loves intertwined when the English surfing world became the first audience for his quiet, meditative music. At the encouragement of friends, Howard released two EPs and was soon invited to tour with Xavier Rudd. Howard is a talented artist in the vein of labelmate and influence Nick Drake, with similarly dark and soulful lyrics.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:40 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Los Angeles Bets On Crusading Doctor To Turn Around Public Health System

Dr. Mitch Katz rides his bike to work, defying the commuting norm in Los Angeles.
Michael Wilson L.A.County Health Services Dept.

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 7:24 pm

It would be easy to confuse Dr. Mitch Katz with any other doctor at the Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles. His desk in a closet-sized, windowless office is littered with patient records, X-rays and cans of Diet Coke.

His everyman demeanor belies his stature. As director of the county's Department of Health Services, Katz, 52, oversees Los Angeles' public hospitals and clinics, the health care of last resort for millions of low-income Angelenos. He oversees 22,000 employees and a $3.7 billion-dollar budget.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

USDA: New Case Of Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:25 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed a case of Mad Cow disease in a cow in central California. It is the fourth case found in the country in recent years.

The animal was a dairy cow and "at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health," U.S.D.A. Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Cardboard Prom Dress Is Just The Right Fit For This Young Woman

Maura Pozek in her latest creation.
Steve Pozek (her dad)

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am

Why did Missouri teen Maura Pozek make her prom dress out of cardboard and paper bags?

Because after fashioning the previous two years' outfits out of Doritos bags and soda can tabs, "I had to top myself somehow."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:25 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Bird Flu Scientist Has Applied For Permit To Export Research

The Dutch scientist at the center of the controversy over recent bird flu experiments says that his team applied for government permission today to submit a paper describing their research to a science journal.

The Dutch government has asserted that the studies, which describe how to make bird flu virus more contagious, fall under regulations that control the export of weapons technology.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:07 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Americans' Cholesterol Levels Shrink, Even As Waistlines Expand

Americans are heavier than ever, yet the amount of cholesterol in our blood is on the decline.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:47 am

A curious — and good — thing has happened on the road to Obesity Nation: the share of the U.S. adult population with high cholesterol has dropped.

Data just out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that only 13.4 percent of adults in this country have high cholesterol, according to data collected in 2009 and 2010.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Cuban Actors, In Movie About Defecting, Appear To Have Defected

As many news outlets have put it, this might be a perfect case of life imitating art: Two Cuban actors, who star in a movie about about teenagers who decide to defect to the United States, have gone missing shortly after arriving in the United States for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Una Noche.

Six days later, Javier Núñez Florián and Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre are still missing and assumed to have defected.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue April 24, 2012

George Zimmerman Has Pleaded Not Guilty In Trayvon Martin Case

George Zimmerman during his bond hearing in a Seminole County, Fla., courtroom on April 20.
Gary Green Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images

On the day after he was arrested, George Zimmerman officially entered a "not guilty" plea to the charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, according to court records now posted online by Florida's 18th Circuit Court.

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It's All Politics
11:29 am
Tue April 24, 2012

3 Things To Watch For In Tuesday's Primaries

A man prepares to put in place an informational sign for voters on primary day 2012 in North Greenbush, N.Y.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:15 pm

(Revised at 2:03 pm ET with new Ron Paul-Pennsylvania material.)

The contest for the Republican presidential nomination may be over for all practical purposes, with Mitt Romney the all-but-certain GOP nominee. But that doesn't mean there's nothing of interest in Tuesday's primaries.

Voters are going to polls in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and New York, though turnout is expected to be low. Still, here are four things to watch for.

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The Picture Show
11:07 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Bicycle Portraits: What Do Bikes Say About A Culture?

Jors Moentsabato: "It helps me a lot, this bicycle of mine. There where I go, I ride my bike. I bought this bike at the shop where they sell old stuff, I found it there."
Stan Engelbrecht

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:52 am

I have to admit I was a bit reluctant when I first saw this series of "Bicycle Portraits" because biking has, in some cases, become something of a cliche steeped in hipdom sprinkled with granola. Or mainly: For NPR to present a series of bicycle portraits just seemed too cute, too predictable.

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Africa
10:59 am
Tue April 24, 2012

The Two Sudans Appear On The Verge Of War

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visits the southern town of El-Obeid on April 19 amid rising tensions with South Sudan. The countries have been skirmishing, and there are fears of a full-scale war. Bashir says South Sudan's leaders only understand "the language of the gun."
Ebrahim Hamid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 11:16 am

Sudan and South Sudan are careering closer to a full-scale war, with fighting along their ill-defined border and belligerent rhetoric coming from both sides.

The conflict threatens to cripple the fragile economies in both nations, and it could create new burdens on neighboring countries in east and central Africa, a region prone to humanitarian disaster.

In the latest developments, South Sudanese officials say that Sudan's air force bombed its territory for a second straight day on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Diners Not Fazed By Second Collapse At 'Heart Attack Grill;' Would You Be?

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 3:57 am

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Law
9:41 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Does Arizona's Immigration Law Have A Chance?

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on Arizona's hotly debated immigration law. The court's decision will affect Arizona and other states that have adopted similar legislation. Host Michel Martin talks with one of its authors, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and law professor Gabriel Chin.

The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Consumer Confidence Held Steady This Month

After a slight decline in March, the widely watched consumer confidence index from the private Conference Board "was virtually unchanged in April," the research group reports.

"The index now stands at 69.2, down slightly from 69.5 in March," it says.

"Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," Lynn Franco, director of the board's consumer research center, adds in its release.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Teacher Of The Year 'Known For Unconventional Techniques'

President Obama gave the 2012 National Teacher of the Year trophy to Rebecca Mieliwocki this morning at the White House.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Rebecca Mieliwocki, a seventh-grade English teacher in Burbank, Calif., was just honored at the White House by being named National Teacher of the Year.

In expressing her thanks, Mieliwocki offered this thought: "I am not the best teacher in America. There isn't just one."

And she went on to talk about the hard work and dedication displayed by most American teachers.

According to Los Angeles' Daily Breeze:

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Shots - Health Blog
8:36 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Dream Adventure Vacation Can Turn Into Medical Bill Nightmare

Zambezi River in Africa." href="/post/dream-adventure-vacation-can-turn-medical-bill-nightmare" class="noexit lightbox">
Here goes nothing. A big jump over the Zambezi River in Africa.
James Whatley Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 11:18 am

If your idea of fun while traveling abroad involves taking part in sports like scuba diving or jumping from someplace high while attached to a bungee cord, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise if you get injured.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Home Prices Continue Downward Drift

A sign of the times, last year in Tigard, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:17 am

"Broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," according to economist David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Focus On Murdochs Shifts: Were They Bamboozling British Politicians?

A video grab from pooled footage taken inside the Leveson Inquiry shows former News International executive chairman James Murdoch giving evidence at the High Court in London earlier today.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 7:59 am

  • Philip Reeves on 'Morning Edition'

Half-way through today's hearing in London into the Murdoch family's "scandal-tarred British newspaper unit," and the ethics of British media outlets, the inquiry's focus has shifted, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Tue April 24, 2012

12th Member Of Military Tied To Secret Service Scandal

"A member of the U.S. military assigned to the White House Communications Agency is under investigation in connection with alleged misconduct in Colombia, bringing to 12 the total number of military personnel being reviewed," CNN reports.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Tue April 24, 2012

It's Zip It Day On Google

Google

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:31 am

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