National

Business
5:15 am
Tue March 19, 2013

2 Former CalPERS Officials Indicted For Fraud

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with charges of pension fraud.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: A federal grand jury has indicted the former CEO of the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has more on the bribery and influence-peddling case.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Let's start with the characters. There's Calpers - or the California Public Employees Retirement Systems. As pensions systems, go you can't get bigger.

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Business
5:14 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Visual Effects Firms Miss Out On Films Financial Success

Guillaume Rocheron, Bill Westenhofer, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott at the 85th Annual Academy Awards in February. Rhythm & Hues Studios, the company that produced the effects for winning film Life of Pi, recently declared bankruptcy.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:20 pm

Hollywood studios are demanding more and more visual effects to make blockbuster films. But the artists who create this movie magic are protesting that they and their entire industry are in deep financial trouble. Even the most celebrated visual-effects companies face the risk of going under, and there are calls to revamp the way they do business.

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National Security
5:12 am
Tue March 19, 2013

U.S. Families Forced To Adjust To Women Going Off To War

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 11:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

War has always affected the families of the men who fight them, during the conflict and then during the transition home. In the 1940s, here's how that transition was represented in the classic movie "The Best Years of Our Lives."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (as character) You wrote me that when you got home you and I were going to be married.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) Yes, but things are different now.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: So you changed your mind?

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Politics
4:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

RNC Election Report Calls For Minority Outreach, Primary Changes

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the Republican Party has issued a blistering assessment of why it lost the 2012 election. The Republican National Committee Growth and Opportunity Project told the party that if it wants to win national elections in the future, it needs to change the way it communicates with voters and runs its campaigns.

NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Tracking A $500 Million Art Heist

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

The FBI is seeking information in what is the largest property crime case in history. In 1990, thieves dressed as police officers made off with 13 art pieces valued at up to $500 million. They included two Rembrandt oil paintings.

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Around the Nation
3:18 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Historian Propels Connecticut To Claim 'First In Flight'

Gustave Whitehead and the No. 21. Connecticut claims that Whitehead's half-mile flight in 1901 was the first flight, not the well-known Wright brothers' flight that occurred two years later.
Courtesy Deutsches Flugpioniermuseum Gustav Weisskopf Leutershausen/Historical Flight Research Committee Gustave Whitehead

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:35 pm

The ongoing battle between historians over who was really first in flight was rekindled last week.

New research advances the theory that a German immigrant in Connecticut is responsible for the first powered and controlled flight, rather than the Wright brothers in North Carolina.

But historians at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum are saying not so fast.

Finding The Evidence

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Shots - Health News
3:16 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Bioethics Panel Warns Against Anthrax Vaccine Testing On Kids

The anthrax vaccine has been given to more than 1 million adults in the military. But no one knows how well it would work in children.
Randy Davey Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

A controversial government proposal to test the anthrax vaccine in children would be unethical without first conducting much more research, a presidential commission concluded Tuesday.

"The federal government would have to take multiple steps before anthrax vaccine trials with children could be ethically considered," Amy Gutmann, who chairs the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, tells Shots. "It would not be ethical to do it today."

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Shots - Health News
3:15 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Alzheimer's 'Epidemic' Now A Deadlier Threat To Elderly

Social worker Nuria Casulleres shows a portrait of Audrey Hepburn to elderly men during a memory activity at the Cuidem La Memoria elderly home in Barcelona, Spain, last August. The home specializes in Alzheimer's patients.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 7:44 am

Alzheimer's disease doesn't just steal memories. It takes lives.

The disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and figures released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association show that deaths from the disease increased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2010.

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Bloomberg Wants Retailers To Keep Tobacco Products Out Of Sight

Harry Patel, an employee of Blondie's Deli and Grocery, talks on the phone while waiting for customers in New York on Monday. A new anti-smoking proposal would make New York the first city in the nation to keep tobacco products out of sight in retail stores.
Mark Lennihan AP

First supersized soda, now cigarettes: Under New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new plan, retailers in the city would have to keep tobacco products out of sight. The goal, he says, is to curb the rate of youth smoking.

The measure would make New York the first city in the nation to keep tobacco products out of sight in stores.

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U.S.
5:13 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Among Thousands Of Gun Deaths, Only One Charles Foster Jr.

Led by the Rev. Willie Phillips (center), protesters march in February against violence in and around Club Majestic.
Mike Haskey Courtesy of The Ledger Enquirer

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:45 pm

The Morris Missionary Baptist Church is nestled down a red dirt road, in Morris, Ga., set among pine trees near the Alabama state line. Next to the small white church lies its most recent grave site: that of Charles Foster Jr.

While the mass killings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., garnered a frenzy of news coverage, statistically, they are not the norm. Each year, thousands of gun homicides in the U.S. — 11,000 in 2010 alone — attract little or no media attention.

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Law
5:02 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Supreme Court Tests Limits Of Voter Registration Law

Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne talks with reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court after oral arguments in the case challenging Arizona's voter registration law on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 6:57 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that seeks to redefine a federal law aimed at streamlining the nation's voter registration process.

Congress enacted the law 20 years ago after it found that 40 percent of eligible voters were not registered to vote. Under the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, people can register by mail to vote in federal elections using a standard federal form. The form, among other things, asks prospective voters whether they are U.S. citizens and requires them to sign to the statement, under penalty of perjury.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Obama's Labor Secretary Pick Could Hit Snags Over Immigration Work

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 5:54 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In the east room of the White House today, union leaders sat side by side with civil rights luminaries as President Obama announced his choice for secretary of Labor. The nominee, Justice Department lawyer Thomas Perez, has a back-story the president finds irresistible.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Like so many Americans, Tom knows what it's like to climb the ladder of opportunity. He's the son of Dominican immigrants. He helped pay his way through college as a garbage collector and working at a warehouse.

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Shots - Health News
4:28 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

29 States Get F On Disclosure Laws For Health Care Prices

Laws on price transparency get a failing grade in most states.
iStockphoto.com

Wonder why you can't get a straight answer on how much a treatment or test will cost you? One big reason: State laws that allow hospitals and other providers of health care to keep costs hidden until they send you the bill.

A report card on price transparency released Monday gives 29 states an F and seven states a D for policies that keep patients and their families in the dark on prices. The failing grade went to those with practically no transparency requirements.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Doctors: Bench Athletes At First Concussion Sign

Robert Monges, a coach for James Lick High School, checks tight end Dominic Brewster for a concussion during a football game played in Morgan Hill, Calif., in 2006.
Patrick Tehan San Jose Mercury News/MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:34 am

Figuring out whether a child who might have a concussion should stay in the game just got easier, thanks to this one-word answer from the nation's neurologists: No.

Today the American Academy of Neurology chucked 15-year-old rules that confused pretty much everybody, from parents and coaches to kids and doctors.

Instead of talking about various symptoms and concussion grades, the neurologists now say that the best offense is defense.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Mighty Meatloaf Sandwich

A mouth's eye view of the sandwich on approach.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:57 pm

Compared to the turkey sandwich, or the Reuben, or the grilled cheese, the meatloaf sandwich is an all-too-often overlooked volume in the American Library of Great Sandwiches. (I freely admit the American Library of Great Sandwiches was a terrible idea — no one wants a sandwich after it's been returned, and I'll be returning your Kickstarter money ASAP.)

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