NPR Blogs

The Salt
3:21 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans

There are about 2,000 dairy cows on Pete Olsen's fifth-generation farm in northern Nevada. A new milk processing plant is now putting pressure on Olsen and other dairy farmers to expand the size of their herds. But with the ongoing drought, farmers are struggling to get enough feed for the cows they already have.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 3:13 pm

When Pete Olsen talks about drought on his fifth-generation dairy farm in Fallon, Nev., he's really talking about the snowpack 60 miles to the west in the Sierra Nevada.

The Sierras, Olsen says, are their lifeblood.

That is, the snowmelt from them feeds the Truckee and Carson rivers and a tangle of reservoirs and canals that make this desert bloom. Some of the highest-grade alfalfa in the world is grown here. And it makes perfect feed for dairy cows, because it's rich in nutrients.

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The Two-Way
8:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

House Approves Anti-Regulatory Bills, With Eye On Elections

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:37 am

The House of Representatives has approved several bills that would limit and change the way the federal government regulates businesses. The Republican-backed measures were all passed by largely party-line votes; none are seen as likely to be enacted into law.

The legislation underscores "an increasingly symbolic thrust of legislation as Congress heads toward midterm elections," NPR's David Welna reports for our Newscast unit.

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The Two-Way
7:11 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

5 San Francisco Police Officers Charged With Stealing From Suspects

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:45 pm

A federal grand jury has indicted five San Francisco police officers on charges ranging from extortion to dealing drugs to illegally intimidating suspects.

The AP reports that the cases stem from the release of surveillance videos in 2011. They showed officers walking through "low-income" hotel rooms, illegally searching them and stealing property from suspects.

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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Christie Aide Joked About Targeting Rabbi With Traffic Woes

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly.
Tim Larsen AP

Newly uncensored text messages show that the former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Chris Christie joked with a Christie ally about causing traffic troubles in front of the home of a local rabbi.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
6:12 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Yellen Acknowledges Weaker Economic Data; Markets Rally

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen gestures as she testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing while delivering the Federal Reserves semiannual Monetary Policy Report on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Citing "softness" in the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Senate panel today that the Fed will try to determine if the results are a new trend or are related to this winter's intense cold and storms. Analysts are seeing her comments as signaling a potential shift in the "tapering" of the Fed's stimulus program.

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Shots - Health News
5:26 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Young Doesn't Mean Invincible When It Comes To Strokes

A third of adults who have had a stroke before age 50 have a hard time caring for themselves or living independently.
iStockphoto

Strokes sounds like an old folks' problem, but they hit young people, too. And they don't all shake it off. One-third of people who had a stroke before age 50 are struggling with disability and loss of function nine years later.

Many of those people aren't able to live independently or need help with everyday tasks, such as managing their finances or personal care, a study of young stroke survivors finds. About 1 in 8 wasn't able to live independently.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Boom: Amazing Soccer Goal Comes On Game's First Play

Harrison High School junior Andrew Deltac blasts a kick from 67 yards out to score in the opening seconds of a recent soccer game.
YouTube

If there's a quicker goal in the history of soccer, we don't know about it. On the opening kick, a Georgia high school player received the ball in his own end – and the ball didn't touch the ground again until it crashed into the back of the net, 67 yards away.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Delta's Frequent-Flier Rule Change May Be Sign Of Things To Come

Changes to Delta's frequent-flier program may ground many SkyMiles members.
Chris O'Meara AP

The friendly skies no longer seem as inviting.

Delta Airlines announced that the miles frequent fliers earn on travel will be based more on how much they spend than how far they travel.

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Chickens That Lay Organic Eggs Eat Imported Food, And It's Pricey

Empty shelves where eggs should be at a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C. The store blames increased demand for organic eggs.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:26 am

The other morning, I found myself staring at something strange and unfamiliar: empty grocery shelves with the word "eggs" above them. The store, a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C., blamed, in another sign, the dearth on "increased demand for organic eggs."

This scene is unfolding in grocery stores across the country. But Whole Foods' sign wasn't telling the whole truth. Demand for organic eggs is indeed increasing, but production is also down.

The reason behind that shortfall highlights an increasingly acute problem in the organic industry.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

How Ukraine's Presidential Documents Got Online So Fast

Volunteers scan financial documents in a building at the residence of Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych for further investigations in Kiev Wednesday. Some documents were fished out of the Dniepr river where they were dumped as the former President fled the city.
Etienne De Malglaive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 6:05 am

When Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, he left a trove of documents at his estate; many were thrown into a large reservoir. Journalists called divers and spent the weekend going over soggy papers in a house they had long been forbidden from entering. With the help of volunteers, more than 20,000 pages are now online.

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Monkey See
3:42 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Hurts So Good: Getting A Kick Out Of A Movie Punch

Don't mess with Liam Neeson! He will get you with his phone! Or whatever else is handy! He will beat you up, is what we're saying.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:34 am

My favorite parts of Non-Stop, in which Liam Neeson adds airplane bathrooms to the list of things out of which he has beaten the snot, are the silliest parts. The slow-motion parts. The gravity-defying parts. The parts where everybody in the audience cracks up, but not unkindly.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Arizona's Rep. Pastor, A Democrat, Won't Seek Re-Election

After more than 20 years in Congress, Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., says he won't be running for reelection. He's seen here with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in 2010.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 4:16 pm

He has held his seat in the House of Representatives since 1991 But today Rep. Ed Pastor announced that he won't seek another term. Pastor, 70, announced his decision on Twitter, saying that it was time for him "to seek out a new endeavor."

"After 23 years in Congress serving the people of AZ, I have decided not to seek re-election this year. It has been an honor," he tweeted. "Thank you."

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

U.S. Lets 141 Trillion Calories Of Food Go To Waste Each Year

Nectarines are sorted at Eastern ProPak Farmers Cooperative in Glassboro, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 8:32 pm

The sheer volume of food wasted in the U.S. each year should cause us some shame, given how many people are hungry both in our own backyard and abroad.

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided us with a way to understand our flagrant annual waste in terms of calories, too. It's pretty mind-boggling — 141 trillion calories down the drain, so to speak, or 1,249 calories per capita per day.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Federal Judge Rules Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages

Greg Bourke, front, and his partner Michael Deleon speak to reporters following the announcement from U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn striking down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:51 pm

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn ruled on Thursday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Heyburn's decision strikes "down portions of a 1998 state law and a 2004 state constitutional amendment defining marriage in Kentucky as between one man and one woman, and that prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in other states."

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Latest Leak: U.K. Spied On Webchats, Grabbed Millions Of Images

Who else might be watching? Britain's spies collected millions of images from video chats, according to the latest secrets spilled by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:27 pm

"Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the U.S. National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of Internet users not suspected of wrongdoing," The Guardian writes today in its latest report based on material leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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