National

Monkey See
11:06 am
Tue July 10, 2012

The Beginning Of The End Of Walter White

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad.
Gregory Peters AMC

CAUTION: This piece contains information about the first four seasons of Breaking Bad, as well as about the finales of The Sopranos and The Wire.

On July 15, the latest "how will it end" game begins for TV viewers — this time drawn out over two years. I'm talking, of course, about the Season 5 premiere of Breaking Bad, a show firmly placed, along with The Wire and The Sopranos, on the "TV is damn good art" podium.

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Planet Money
9:58 am
Tue July 10, 2012

NYT Excerpt: Why The Bronx Seems Gentrification-Proof

The Bronx has lagged as the rest of New York City has boomed.
Chris Hondros AFP/Getty

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:57 pm

This week in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson asks why the borough hasn't been able to catch up with the rest of New York City's phenomenal economic growth:

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Shots - Health Blog
9:43 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Doctors Hesitant To Deal With Patients' Weight Problems

This happens less often than you might think.
iStockphoto.com

In 2010, there were 78 million adults classified as obese in the United States, and roughly 164,000 primary care doctors to take care of them.

It doesn't take a math wizard to figure out that doctors who handle routine care, although they may well want to help their patients lose weight, are unlikely to have the time to provide the kind of intensive coaching to that would help their patients make a lasting change.

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Planet Money
8:03 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Scranton Workers See Pay Slashed To Minimum Wage

Roger Leonard saw his pay plunge to $340 from about $900 for two weeks' work, after Scranton's mayor unilaterally cut city-employee pay to minimum wage.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 12:02 pm

A fight between political leaders in Scranton, Pa., has left each and every city employee earning $7.25 an hour — minimum wage.

Last week Mayor Chris Doherty slashed pay, on his own, saying Scranton had run out of money. Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse issued an injunction telling the city it must recognize pay rates spelled out in union contracts. But Doherty continues to violate that court order.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Wildfire In Southern Idaho Is Growing Quickly

The view from above: A satellite image of Idaho and western Montana, taken Monday and posted by the USDA Forest Services's Active Fire Mapping website, showing smoke and clouds.
USDA Forest Service

Though firefighters have "gained ground on a number of wildfires across the West," they're having trouble in southern Idaho, The Associated Press reports.

There, winds have "fanned a fast-moving blaze across nearly 300 square miles of sagebrush and dry grass," the wire service says. The fire began Saturday. It was apparently sparked by a lightning strike.

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Around the Nation
7:03 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Elaborate Deer Stands Draw Complaints In Minnesota

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Some forest officials in Minnesota are complaining about deer stands. Deer stands are those small platforms hunters set up in trees to get a better view. In some deer-hunting areas, they've grown into veritable tree houses with stairs, shingled roofs, windows, heaters, lounge chairs, and all on public land. One county land commissioner told the Duluth News Tribune: We're seeing mansions out there. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
6:00 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Patriot Coal Files For Chapter 11

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:52 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Coal demand is at its lowest in more than two decades. That's, in part, because of milder winters and a shift to cheaper natural gas. Coal companies are also facing tough new rules proposals from the Environmental Protection Agency for building new coal-fired power plants. Shares for most coal producers have taken a big hit because of these factors and the slow global economy.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Race
6:00 am
Tue July 10, 2012

NAACP Issues HIV-Aids Manual For Black Churches

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:41 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The number of African-Americans contracting HIV and AIDS runs considerably ahead of the rest of the population. And now the NAACP hopes to harness the power of the black church to help. During its annual convention this week, the civil rights group unveiled a new HIV/AIDS manual. As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, it's designed to help ministers talk to their congregations about the problem.

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Black Lung Returns To Coal Country
4:45 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Black-Lung Rule Loopholes Leave Miners Vulnerable

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Coal miners rally for black lung law reform on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1975. (See more from Earl Dotter's "Quiet Sickness" series here.)
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 10:41 pm

Part two of a two-part series.

Thousands of coal miners continued to suffer and die from black lung during the 40 years that tough new limits on exposure to coal dust were supposed to provide protection.

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Dead Stop
3:52 am
Tue July 10, 2012

A City's History Writ Small, In One Cemetery

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:07 pm

On Florida's northeast coast, trams filled with families and school groups run constantly in St. Augustine, hitting nearly all of the old city's historic sites.

But down a side street lies an important piece of St. Augustine's history most visitors don't see, because it's only open one day a month.

"This is Tolomato Cemetery. It was formerly the parish cemetery for what is now the cathedral parish," says Elizabeth Gessner, who heads the cemetery's preservation association.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
3:28 am
Tue July 10, 2012

'Globals' Generation Focuses On Experience

Jennifer Larr (center) is seen here in Rwanda at the Gashora Girls Academy, where she was a teacher in 2011. Larr is part of a new generation of young adults focusing on travel, studying abroad and global experiences.
Courtesy of Jennifer Larr

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:58 pm

Jennifer Larr has the itch to go abroad. She's 26 years old and has already spent a year studying in France and two years in Rwanda with the Peace Corps, and she is headed to Uganda this summer for an internship. She's also a graduate student, studying international relations at UCLA.

Larr is part of a growing number of 20- and early 30-somethings whose American dream has moved beyond suburban homes and traditional nuclear families, and it's one that now goes even beyond U.S. borders.

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Business
3:15 am
Tue July 10, 2012

For Manufacturing Jobs, Workers Brush Up On Math

Brian Gasiewski removes the external housing for an industrial shock absorber from a CNC, or computer numerical control, machine at Fitzpatrick Manufacturing Co. in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Duane Burleson AP

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:52 am

Politicians have touted modern manufacturing as the solution for lifting the economy and providing good jobs.

But today's manufacturing work requires strong math skills — not just adding and subtracting, but a good grasp of fractions, decimals and basic trigonometry. And job applicants who want to go into manufacturing often don't have what it takes.

So colleges and nonprofits, especially throughout Illinois, are stepping in to bridge this skills gap by combining manufacturing training with basic reading and math.

Doing Math On The Job

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Environment
5:46 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Rising Shale Water Complicates Fracking Debate

A water tank truck is seen on the main street in Waynesburg, Pa., on April 13. Scientists say naturally polluted water can rise to the surface of the Marcellus Shale; that finding suggests that frack water could seep out, too.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 6:47 pm

The nation's boom in natural gas production has come with a cost: The technique used to get much of the gas out of the ground, called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has contaminated drinking water. But how often and where this contamination is taking place is a matter of much debate and litigation.

Now, a new study has found natural pathways of contamination — but that doesn't mean the drilling industry is off the hook.

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Sports
4:43 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Pitcher R.A. Dickey's Tale Is As Wild As A Knuckleball

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers his signature pitch, with its unusual grip, against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 6. He's the only knuckleballer in the major leagues, and the pitch has earned him a 12-1 record so far this season.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 11:32 pm

R.A. Dickey's career as a major league pitcher has been as unpredictable as his signature pitch, the knuckleball.

And on Tuesday night, the New York Mets' 37-year-old phenomenon will hit a new pinnacle: the pitching mound at baseball's All-Star Game.

He won't be starting for the National League — manager Tony La Russa chose Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants for that honor. But the manager says says Dickey will pitch.

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Health Care
4:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Texas Rejects Medicaid Expansion In Health Law

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Texas is saying no to key parts of the federal health care law. Today, Governor Rick Perry said Texas will not create a state exchange for people to buy health insurance and will not expand Medicaid. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Perry called both provisions a power grab, brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.

Here's Governor Perry today on Fox News.

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