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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Supreme Court Notes: Bugs, Pumps And Stolen Credit Card Numbers

Same-sex marriage supporters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg sends us some odds and ends from a very momentous week in the Supreme Court.

Hear all that sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and nose blowing during this week's same-sex oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court?

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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Light Of High Court Arguments, What Does Gay Marriage Tells Us About Polygamy?

Robyn Brown, Meri Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Janelle Brown from "Sister Wives" arrive at the grand opening of Mike Tyson's one-man show at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:18 pm

One of the more interesting exchanges to emerge from the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage this week, wasn't about the sexes, instead it was when Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question about polygamy.

Sotomayor asked Ted Olson, the lawyer asking the court to repeal California's ban on gay marriage, that if he was right and "marriage is a fundamental right" could any state restrictions ever exist. In other words, does declaring gay marriage a civil right, pave the way to legalization of, say, polygamy?

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Syrian Opposition Leader Not Leaving Post

We told you over the weekend about the Syrian opposition leader who resigned in frustration, criticizing the international community for not doing enough to end the civil war in Syria. Turns out he's staying in his job.

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Shots - Health News
6:06 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Many Hot Water Heaters Set Too High, Upping Burn Risk

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:16 pm

Burns are nasty injuries — they're painful and, if you're not careful, they can quickly get infected. Two children die from burn injuries every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A surprising number of these deaths originate with tap water that is way too hot.

The problem, a new study suggests, is that many water heaters are set dangerously high.

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It's All Politics
6:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History

Police stand guard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices hear arguments on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:34 pm

Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.

It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.

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The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

French President Tries Again For Tax On Rich

French President Francois Hollande takes part Thursday in an interview on French 2 TV in Paris.
Fred Dufour AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:41 am

French President Francois Hollande is trying again with his 75 percent tax on millionaires.

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Animals
5:46 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

What's Behind The 'Fairy Circles' That Dot West Africa?

Thousands of "fairy circles" dot the landscape of the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia. Why these barren circles appear in grassland areas has puzzled scientists for years.
N. Juergens AAAS/Science

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:19 pm

There's a mystery in West Africa that's puzzled scientists for years. Strange circles of bare soil appear in grassland; they're commonly called "fairy circles." These naturally occurring shapes last for decades, until the grass eventually takes over and the circles fade.

Now German scientists think they have an explanation — a horde of insects seems to be bioengineering thousands of miles of desert.

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Business
5:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Farm Bill's Sugar Subsidy More Taxing Than Sweet, Critics Say

While many people enjoy sweet treats — like these chocolate bunnies — the price of a key ingredient has some people bitter. A government subsidy program is criticized for keeping sugar prices too high. But as prices fall, the government may buy sugar to help processors.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:55 pm

While you indulge in some Easter Peeps and chocolates this weekend, you might want to think about all that sugar. No, this isn't a calorie warning. In the U.S., raw sugar can cost twice the world average.

Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.

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Around the Nation
5:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Phoenix, A New Quest For Diverse Public Pool Lifeguards

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:57 pm

After noticing that most of the lifeguards at the public pools used by Latino and African-American kids were white, the Phoenix aquatics department decided to try to recruit minorities.

More than 90 percent of the students at Alhambra High are black, Latino or Asian. On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city's Melissa Boyle tells students she's not looking for strong swimmers. Like many under-resourced schools, Alhambra doesn't have a swim team.

"We will work with you in your swimming abilities," Boyle says.

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Latin America
5:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Guatemala's First Female Attorney General Takes On Country's Biggest Criminals

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Guatemala has seen its share of misery from the 36-year-long armed conflict that killed more than 200,000 people, to the current wave of drug crime. Well, Guatemala is now one of the most violent countries in the world, but there are also signs of progress. One public official is seeking justice for crimes of the present and the past with impressive results.

NPR's Carrie Kahn has this profile of Guatemala's first female attorney general.

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