National

Law
5:19 am
Thu July 17, 2014

California's Death Penalty Declared Unconstitutional

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:21 am

Unlike many recent death penalty rulings, the decision wasn't focused on the method of execution, but on the fact that executions in California are so rarely carried out. The last was in 2006.

NPR Story
5:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Commission To Decide If Some Federal Inmates Will Be Let Out Early

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

One of the most significant changes to the criminal justice system in a generation will be on the table tomorrow here in Washington. The U.S. Sentencing Commission is set to vote on a plan that could send tens of thousands of federal prison inmates home early by reducing prison terms for drug trafficking. It's getting mixed reviews from both law enforcement and some civil rights groups. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson reports.

Read more
NPR Story
5:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

N.C. Governor Causes Controversy With Poet Laureate Appointment

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We have a report this morning on a controversy in the rough-and-tumble bare-knuckle world of poetry. North Carolina has a new poet laureate, Governor Pat McCrory appointed a state employee whose work is self-published. The governor acted without input from the state Arts Council which has some in the literary community upset. Here's Duncan McFadyen of member station WFAE in Charlotte.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Skimping On Sleep Can Stress Body And Brain

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:58 am

"The lion and calf shall lie down together," Woody Allen once wrote, "but the calf won't get much sleep."

Read more
Goats and Soda
8:04 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Dogs Carry Kissing Bug Disease In Texas And Latin America

Dogs throughout Latin America carry the Chagas parasite — and boost the risk of people catching it. And it's not just shelter dogs, like these in Mexico, who are at risk. Even family dogs get the deadly disease.
Jose Luis Gonzalez Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:47 am

We often think about people spreading diseases around the world. This spring, vacationers brought chikungunya from the Caribbean to the United States. Businessmen have likely spread Ebola across international borders in West Africa. And health care workers have carried a new virus from the Middle East to Asia and Europe.

But what about (wo)man's best friend?

Read more
The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Federal Judge Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional In California

California's death row at San Quentin State Prison is crowded, but the execution chamber has been idle since 2006
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:22 pm

A federal judge has ruled that California's use of the death penalty is dysfunctional and violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney's ruling came in response to an appeal by Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to death in Los Angeles in 1995 for the rape and killing of his girlfriend's mother three years earlier.

Read more
The Salt
6:07 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth

This young male, buried at a prehistoric site in Central Sudan, probably munched on the roots of a plant called purple nutsedge.
Donatella Usai Centro Studi Sudanesi and Sub-Sahariani

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:35 pm

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

In The Voice Of A Border District, A Story Of The Immigration Crisis

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Patients With Low-Cost Insurance Struggle To Find Specialists

Dr. Charu Sawhney examines patient Mang Caan. Sawhney supports the Affordable Care Act, but has been frustrated by how difficult it is to find specialists who accept some of the plans her patients bought.
Carrie Feibel for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:02 pm

The Hope Clinic in southwest Houston is in the very heart of Asia Town, a part of the city where bland strip malls hide culinary treasures — Vietnamese pho, Malaysian noodles, Sichuan rabbit and bubble tea.

Inside the clinic, internist Charu Sawhney sees patients from many countries and circumstances. She's a big believer in the Affordable Care Act since most of her patients have been uninsured. She actively pushed many of them to sign up for the new plans.

Read more
Law
4:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

With A Series Of Small Bans, Cities Turn Homelessness Into A Crime

Susan St. Amour panhandles on a median in Portland, Maine. The city tried to ban loitering on medians last year, but a judge found the law unconstitutional.
Caroline Losneck for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:00 pm

Laws that criminalize homelessness are on the rise across the country, according to a new report by an advocacy group. The laws prohibit everything from sleeping in public to loitering and begging. Advocates for the homeless say the laws are making the problem worse.

Susan St. Amour is among those who could be affected by the new restrictions. Twice a week, she stands on a median strip at an intersection in downtown Portland, Maine, asking passersby for cash. She says she needs the money to get by.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire complained about a Democratic effort to reaffirm a contraceptive mandate at a Tuesday news conference
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:34 pm

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

Read more
Art & Design
2:27 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Does Donna Karan's Ramadan Line Border On Cultural Commodification?

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:41 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Now we shift our focus from the political to the sartorial. And there's no one better for sartorial splendor and sense than Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan, who's aesthetic and economic and historical perspectives inform her commentary. Robin joins me to discuss a range of headlines, seemly and not, from the fashion world from her office at The Washington Post. Robin, welcome to the program.

ROBIN GIVHAN: Hi, Jacki. It's good to be here.

Read more
Politics
2:27 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Cory Booker Wants To Help Ex-Offenders Be Economically Productive

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:41 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away.

Cory Booker was in the political spotlight long before he was sworn in as New Jersey's junior senator in 2014. His first campaign to become mayor of Newark was the focus of an award-winning documentary. Part of his term in that office was chronicled in a television series for the Sundance Channel.

Read more
The Salt
2:13 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Not So Offal: Why Bone Soup, A 'Perfect Food,' Tastes So Meaty

Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for "bone soup." The fattiness of the marrow rounds out the chili, tomato, fennel, cumin and ginger.
Konstantin Kakaes for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:43 pm

I ate the best meat I've ever eaten through a straw.

When the Singaporean food stall proprietor who'd just served me a plate of bones first offered the straw, I refused. I didn't want to take any shortcuts as I worked the tastiest bits of marrow out from the skeletal hollows.

Read more
Code Switch
12:51 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Viola Davis Gets Groundbreaking Role As ABC Bets On Diversity

Actress Viola Davis speaks about her new ABC show How to Get Away with Murder at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:49 pm

Read more

Pages