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Around the Nation
7:09 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts Vote To Allow Gay Members, But Not Leaders

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 5:01 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Boy Scouts ban on openly gay scouts is coming to an end. That's the result of a vote held today by the leadership of the Boys Scouts of America.

WAYNE PERRY: Our vision is to serve every kid. We want every kid to have a place where they belong, to learn and grow and feel protected.

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It's All Politics
5:40 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Srinivasan's Confirmation First For D.C. Circuit In 7 Years

Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on April 10.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

For the first time in seven years, the U.S. Senate has confirmed a judge to sit on the important federal appeals court for the District of Columbia. The Senate unanimously confirmed Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan on Thursday for the seat previously held by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

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Law
5:39 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Justice Sotomayor Takes Swing At Famed Baseball Case

Sotomayor is escorted onto the field by New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the New York Yankees game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 26, 2009.
Bill Kostroun AP

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's wicked, waggish sense of humor — and knowledge of baseball — were on full display Wednesday, when she presided over a re-enactment of Flood v. Kuhn, the 1972 case that unsuccessfully challenged baseball's antitrust exemption.

The event, put on by the Supreme Court Historical Society, took place in the court chamber, and as Sotomayor took her place at the center of the bench, normally the chief justice's chair, she remarked puckishly, "This is the first time I've sat here. It feels pretty good."

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The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts Vote To Admit Openly Gay Members

Members of Scouts for Equality hold a rally to support inclusion for gays in the Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:35 pm

The Boy Scouts of America has agreed for the first time to allow openly gay boys as members, but a vote of the organization's National Council left in place a ban on gay Scout leaders.

The Associated Press reports that of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal. The policy change approved by the 1,400-member National Council would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the organization said.

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Science
5:34 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

'Extremely Active' Atlantic Hurricane Season Predicted

Hurricane Sandy churns off the Atlantic coast on Oct. 29. NOAA officials are forecasting seven to 11 hurricanes, compared with about six in a typical season.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Unusually warm ocean temperatures and favorable wind patterns mean the Atlantic is likely to see "an active or extremely active" hurricane season this year, say officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The agency expects between seven and 11 hurricanes and as many as 20 named storms during the 2013 season, which runs from June 1 through November.

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Shots - Health News
5:27 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Why You Have To Scratch That Itch

The origin of itch has confounded scientists for decades.
Oktay Ortakcioglu iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:20 am

Everybody itches. Sometimes itch serves as a useful warning signal — there's a bug on your back! But sometimes itch arises for no apparent reason, and can be a torment.

Think of the itchy skin disorder eczema, or the constant itching caused by some cancers. "A very high percentage of people who're on dialysis for chronic kidney disease develop severe itch that's very difficult to manage," says Dr. Ethan Lerner, an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.

Scientists now say they've got a much better clue as to how itch happens.

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Shots - Health News
5:20 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Abortion Opponents Try to Spin Murder Case Into Legislation

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has introduced a federal bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation — six weeks into the second trimester. This is the second straight Congress he's done so, but this time he's broadened his bill to encompass all 50 states, not just D.C.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

As predicted, abortion opponents on Capitol Hill are wasting no time in their efforts to turn publicity over the recent murder conviction of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell to their legislative advantage.

Their latest goal: a federal ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Head Of IRS Tax-Exempt Division Reportedly Placed On Leave

Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:03 pm

Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversees the branch of the agency that targeted conservative groups, has been placed on administrative leave a day after she refused to answer questions in a congressional probe of the scandal.

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The Two-Way
5:08 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Alabama Republican Jo Bonner Says He's Leaving Congress

Rep. Jo Bonner in July 2010.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:51 pm

Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., says he will leave Congress effective in August to take a senior position at the University of Alabama.

Bonner, who has represented Alabama's 1st District for six terms since 2003, will become vice chancellor of government relations and economic development at Alabama. His sister, Judy Bonner, serves as president of the university.

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

After The Storm: Students Gather For One More School Day

Students and teachers from Eastlake Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary schools gathered Thursday to say goodbye for the summer. This was a chance to reconnect after the devastating tornado brought an abrupt end to the school year at Plaza Towers in Moore, Okla.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 5:08 am

Under cloudy skies and through intermittent showers, 4-year-old Kamrin Ramirez holds in her little hands two cards, one addressed to Ms. Patterson, the other for Ms. Johnson, her two preschool teachers at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.

"I write thank you so much," she says.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The Weight Of A Med Student's Subconscious Bias

More than a third of medical students in a North Carolina study had a bias against overweight people.
iStockphoto.com

Quite a few medical school students have something against obese people, and most of those who have such a bias are unaware of it.

That's the conclusion of study appearing in the July issue of Academic Medicine. It was conducted at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. The study's author says the subconscious judgments could affect how patients are treated.

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It's All Politics
4:51 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Black Caucus Leader: We Disagree With Presidents, Even Obama

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, says her group fears an immigration overhaul that greatly expands high-tech visas could have an adverse impact on blacks aspiring to such jobs.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:20 pm

During his time as the first black president in the White House, President Obama has occasionally been criticized by a group he once belonged to as a U.S. senator — the Congressional Black Caucus — for not doing more to ameliorate the difficult lives of many African-Americans.

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Oprah Winfrey's Latest Venture Is Farming In Hawaii

The June issue of The Oprah Magazine includes an article with details on Oprah Winfrey's new farm in Hawaii.
The Oprah Magazine

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 2:48 pm

The local food movement has a powerful new poster girl.

More glowing than American Gothic, Oprah Winfrey and her pal, Bob Greene, appear on the cover of the June issue of The Oprah Magazine, standing in what looks to be a field of kale.

"Oprah's New Farm!" reads the headline splashed across the pair's checkered shirts. "How She's Growing Healthier — and You Can Too."

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Politics
4:03 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Health Officials Decry Texas' Snubbing Of Medicaid Billions

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the opening session of the Texas Legislature in Austin earlier this year.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

The state of Texas is turning down billions of federal dollars that would have paid for health care coverage for 1.5 million poor Texans.

By refusing to participate in Medicaid expansion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, the state will leave on the table an estimated $100 billion over the next decade.

Texas' share of the cost would have been just 7 percent of the total, but for Gov. Rick Perry and the state's Republican-dominated Legislature, even $1 in the name of "Obamacare" was a dollar too much.

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National Security
3:56 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Breaking Down Obama's New Blueprint For Fighting Terrorism

At the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday, President Obama outlined plans to limit the use of U.S. drone strikes, and pledged to shut down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Larry Downing Reuters/Landov

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. search for a coherent counterterrorism strategy has revolved around three basic questions:

1. How do we locate suspected terrorists?

2. Once located, how do we go after them?

3. If captured, what do we do with them?

In a major speech at the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday, President Obama addressed all three questions that have been the source of shifting policies and fierce national debates for over a decade.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

For Second Time, Moore Family Loses Home To A Tornado

An aerial photo shows destroyed houses in Moore, Okla., after Monday's tornado. Rena and Paul Phillips, who lost their home in the storm, also lost a house to a tornado in 1999.
Steve Gooch AP

The tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., Monday destroyed some 12,000 homes, according to Oklahoma City Police. And for one family, it was the second house they've lost to a tornado in the past 14 years. Rena and Paul Phillips say that the recent loss won't make them move.

The Phillipses told their story to Rachel Hubbard of Oklahoma member station KOSU, who reports on how they're coping with the loss — and the search for belongings in the rubble of their home — for Thursday's All Things Considered.

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The Salt
3:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

This 9-Year-Old Girl Told McDonald's CEO: Stop Tricking Kids

Hannah Robertson, 9, and her mom, blogger Kia Robertson — with the makings for kale chips, of course.
Jamie Robertson Courtesy Jamie Robertson

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 10:28 am

It's not every day that a 9-year-old girl chastises the CEO of one of the world's biggest fast-food chains.

Yet that's exactly what young Hannah Robertson did Thursday morning at McDonald's annual shareholders meeting in Chicago. When the meeting opened up to questions, Hannah was first up at the mic with a pointed criticism.

"It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time," she told McDonald's CEO Don Thompson.

Ouch.

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Around the Nation
3:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

In La., Families Still Searching For Storm-Scattered Remains

Lionel Alverez stands at a family tomb in Plaquemines Parish, La. Hurricane Isaac's storm surge split the double-decker tomb in half, leaving his aunt's and sister's caskets on the bottom but washing away his mother's, which was on top.
Keith O'Brien for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Lionel Alverez is in the Promised Land Cemetery again, taking inventory. He has been coming to this cemetery in Plaquemines Parish, La., all his life. The graveyard is hemmed in between the Mississippi River and the marsh on a lonely stretch of highway.

Promised Land has been the final resting place for the Alverezes for generations. Alverez, 61, points out several graves, one by one. "Albert Alverez. Huey Alverez and Harold Alverez. My brother Allen is near the rear, back there."

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

'Lunch Lady' Author Helps Students Draw Their Own Heroes

Author Jarrett Krosoczka teaches a drawing class to a group of third- and fifth-graders at the Walker-Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka is just 35 years old, but he's already published 20 books, including the popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series, NPR's Backseat Book Club pick for May.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

NOAA Predicts Above-Average Hurricane Season

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy in October of last year.
NOAA

With memories of last year's Superstorm Sandy still fresh, NOAA is warning East Coasters and those farther inland to brace for another active Atlantic season, predicting that as many as six major storms will develop between the beginning of June and the end of November.

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Movie Interviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Julianne Moore, Relishing Complicated Characters

Moore (photographed at New York Fashion Week in February 2013) has earned Oscar nominations for her roles in Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far From Heaven and The Hours.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

In the film What Maisie Knew, Julianne Moore plays a troubled rock star whose young daughter witnesses her parents' volatile behavior as they argue over custody during their rocky separation.

On the surface, Moore's character, Susanna, might seem to be an entirely terrible one — a self-involved person and inappropriate mother who's not paying attention to her child. But Moore makes her more complicated than that.

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Shots - Health News
2:52 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Researchers Find Bird Flu Is Contagious Among Ferrets

Of ferrets, men and bird flu.
iStockphoto.com

Scientists have completed the first assessments of how readily the H7N9 flu virus in China can pass among ferrets and pigs. The mammals provide the best inkling of how dangerous these bugs may become for humans.

The news is both bad and good. They've found the new bird virus is easily passed between ferrets sharing the same cage.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Obama To Limit Drone Strikes, Renew Effort To Close Guantanamo

President Obama speaks about his administration's drone and counterterrorism policies at the National Defense University on Thursday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:03 pm

President Obama on Thursday unveiled a major pivot in White House counterterrorism policy, calling for a limiting of CIA drones strikes and for a renewed effort to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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Shots - Health News
1:43 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Hardly A Haven: Home Can Be Deadly In Natural Disasters

Floodwaters from Superstorm Sandy destroyed the first floor of this house in Staten Island, New York. Most of the people who drowned during the storm died in their homes in low-lying areas of New York and New Jersey.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Home can be a refuge. But when natural disaster strikes, hunkering down at home can be a deadly mistake.

All told, 32 of the 53 New Yorkers who died in last fall's Superstorm Sandy drowned, and most of them died at home, according to a report published today in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

In Oklahoma, Praying To A 'God Of Rebuilding'

Sue McClure, a volunteer with Disaster Relief of Oklahoma, assists tornado victims Wednesday at the First Baptist Church in Moore, Okla.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

All that's left standing at Kiaya Roper's house in Moore, Okla., is the bathroom. When a tornado struck the town on Monday, Roper was at work at Central Elementary School, her children were at school and her husband managed to ride out the storm by hunkering down in that bathroom.

"God put his hand down on his head for me," Roper says.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Moore Finds Comfort In Animals Who Survived The Storm

Jen Elsner of Norman brings a lost dog to the shelter at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 8:58 am

There's no room at the inn for the Degmans. Not the Days Inn, anyway.

Jim and Marilyn Degman didn't suffer significant damage to their home in Monday's storm, but they lost power and decided to seek shelter elsewhere. They tried two other places before they found a La Quinta Inn & Suites that would admit Angel Baby, their toy poodle.

"I think she's a little more traumatized than we are, because of her routine," Jim says. "She can't go to her home."

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Television
1:19 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Douglas, Damon Illuminate HBO's 'Candelabra'

Michael Douglas stars as the flamboyant pianist and entertainer Liberace in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:43 pm

Before you see any of Behind the Candelabra -- when you just consider the concept of the TV movie and its casting — this new HBO Films production raises all sorts of questions: How much will be based on verifiable fact, and how much will be fictionalized? On an anything-goes premium-cable network such as HBO, how graphic will the sex scenes be?

And the most important questions involve the drama's two leading men, playing an ultra-flamboyant piano player and the wide-eyed young man who becomes his behind-the-scenes companion for five years. Michael Douglas? Matt Damon?

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Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Seeing Double: Errors In Stem-Cell Cloning Paper Raise Doubts

Biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov stands outside the monkey enclosure at his lab in Oregon. He says the mistakes in his recent paper were caused by the rush to publish quickly.
Richard Clement Reuters /Landov

This feels a bit like deja vu.

Scientists report a major breakthrough in human stem-cell research. And then just a week later, the findings come under fire.

Biologists at Oregon Health & Science University said May 15 that they had cloned human embryos from a person's skin cell.

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Arts & Life
12:55 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

A Read Down Memory Lane: Lessons From Your Former Self

Writings from childhood — cards, stories and other notes — can hide for decades, like time capsules tucked away in boxes, old bedrooms, attics and journals. Writer Jim Sollisch talks about how old thank you notes from his youth foreshadowed his adult life.

The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

3-D Printer Makes Life-Saving Splint For Baby Boy's Airway

Kaiba Gionfriddo, who breathes with help from a splint created by a 3-D printer, plays with his family dog, Bandit, at his Youngstown, Ohio, home.
Mark Stahl AP

A 3-D printer is being credited with helping to save an Ohio baby's life, after doctors "printed" a tube to support a weak airway that caused him to stop breathing. The innovative procedure has allowed Kaiba Gionfriddo, of Youngstown, Ohio, to stay off a ventilator for more than a year.

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