And let's talk about the Boston Marathon as a target. U.S. officials have worried for years that terrorists might go after so-called soft targets, where security is minimal and the opportunity to inflict casualties is great. People gathered in shopping centers, football stadiums, outdoor concerts are all highly vulnerable. Until now, we have largely avoided such attacks.
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When you learn about the simple ingredients in the explosive devices at the Boston Marathon, you sense the challenge investigators face. The bombs included items almost anybody could buy. And so an initial look at the evidence does little to narrow down the list of suspects.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. We're learning more about the victims of the Boston Marathon attack. Of three people killed, one person's name has yet to be released. Two others are known - 8-year old Martin Richard, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.
NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports on how the news of Campbell's death tore through her hometown of Medford, just outside Boston.
From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.
Well, yesterday was not a day that you wanted to be traveling on American Airlines. The carrier cancelled all of its main routes for several hours, and also many of its commuter flights, as well. Almost 2,000 flights were infected in all. American blames computer networking problems.
Now, the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon struck at a very special type of sporting event. Marathons have been called the most democratic of sports, with the fewest physical barriers between athlete and spectator.
NPR's Mike Pesca examines whether the attack could permanently damage that accessibility.
Oakland, Calif., was once a hub of African-American culture on the West Coast.
In the 1940s and '50s, Oakland was home to an entertainment corridor nicknamed The Harlem of the West. In the '60s, the city gave birth to the Black Panther Party. By the '80s, black folks made up nearly half of Oakland's population.
Yet another movie about Jackie Robinson arrived as baseball held its annual commemorative celebration of No. 42, but officials of the game are fretting over the fact that only 8 1/2 percent of current major leaguers are black.
Given that African-Americans only constitute about 13 percent of the U.S. population, and that rarely do we have any industry or school system or community population that correlates exactly to the whole country's racial or ethnic makeup, baseball's somewhat smaller black cohort hardly seems like an issue to agonize over.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:22 pm
Babies and toddlers in the poorest parts of the world are getting better fed.
What's the proof? Stunting in kids – a sign of poor nutrition early in life — has dropped by a third in the past two decades, UNICEF reported Monday. But there's a long way to go. Globally, a quarter of kids under the age of 5 were stunted in 2011. That's roughly 165 million children worldwide, with nearly 75 percent of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the report says.
It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient.
But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand.
Two years ago, we reported on an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.
At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:35 pm
Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.
And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.
"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."
The general consensus is that food labels that advertise lower sodium are a good way to help people make more healthful choices. But after that, what we think those labels mean gets a bit fuzzy, according to a new study.
Nutrition researchers were wondering just how we interpret the various sodium-related claims slapped on food packages: claims like "low in sodium" but also how a food product will reducing the risk of disease like hypertension, or "help lower blood pressure."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington; Neal Conan is away. It's been less than 24 hours since two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon, and there are still more questions than answers about what happened. We can tell you so far that three people were killed, more than 170 injured.