National

The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Indiana's Governor Signs 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, on Thursday, where he signed into law a bill that would allow business owners with strong religious convictions to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:32 am

Indiana business owners who object to same-sex couples will now have a legal right to deny them services after Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law.

The legislation, approved by Indiana's GOP-controlled House and Senate, prevents state and local governments from "substantially burdening" a person's exercise of religion unless a compelling governmental interest can be proved.

Read more
Parallels
1:56 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

How Yemen's Chaos Stretches Beyond Its Borders

People examine the rubble following an air strike near the airport in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Thursday. Saudi Arabia said it carried out bombing raids in neighboring Yemen as Houthi rebels, allied with Iran, continued their offensive in the country. Yemen's president fled the country Wednesday and was reported to be in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Khaled Abdullah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:31 pm

Yemen's downward spiral toward civil war is a disaster for the poorest country in the Arab world and adds one more member to the growing list of Middle East states that have imploded in the past several years.

But how important is Yemen to the wider world?

One argument holds that Yemen is, and always has been, an isolated backwater. The chaos is tragic for Yemenis, but remains largely an internal feud between rival groups and will have limited spillover beyond its borders.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:59 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Skinny Jeans, Expanded Waistlines, And A Washington 'Fix'

Congress tries every year to plug a loophole that would otherwise result in a 21 percent cut in Medicare doctors' pay. But it doesn't exactly always tighten its belt in the process.
Key Wilde Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:07 pm

Every year about this time, after a Washington winter of inactivity, I notice my pants have grown a little tighter. Years ago, I resolved to address this by cutting back on burritos and beer.

But the (ever more abundant) flesh is weak. And burritos are soooo tasty. So instead, every spring I simply let out my waistband a bit, while promising to redouble my dieting efforts next year. I call this, "The belt fix."

Sound familiar?

Read more
Code Switch
12:00 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Some Messy History Behind A Fight Over A Restaurant Called 'Chop Chop Chinaman'

The logo of Chop Chop Chinaman restaurant sits on a window outside the dinning area Thursday in Chicago.
Armando L. Sanchez Chicago Tribune/TNS/Landov

Over in Chicago, a restaurant called Chop Chop Chinaman has been getting a lot of heat for its name. In February, Chicago-area resident Jeannie Harrell was arrested for scrawling "F*** this hate crime s***. It's 2015" in lipstick on the restaurant's window, right next to the shop's decal sticker of a rickshaw and a man wearing a triangular hat.

Read more
Animals
11:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

SeaWorld Ads Counter Criticism Over Treatment Of Whales

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:18 pm

Two years after the release of the documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld continues to struggle. The film shone a critical spotlight on the theme park's treatment of its captive orcas, also known as killer whales.

Since then, SeaWorld has experienced a decline in profits. Attendance was down by a million people last year. But it is launching a new ad campaign aimed at restoring its image and winning back the public.

Read more
NPR History Dept.
11:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Board Games That Bored Gamers

istockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:51 pm

Gaming is a way of life for Americans of all ages.

We play games on Facebook, on our phones, on phantasmagorical home systems. We play on fields and courts and dining room tables. Contemporary culture mavens speak of the gamification of education and the workplace and our day-to-day communications.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

High-Deductible Health Plans Cut Costs, At Least For Now

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:07 pm

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn't pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? You're a foot soldier who's been drafted in the war against high health costs.

Read more
NPR Ed
9:05 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Are Women's Colleges Doomed? What Sweet Briar's Demise Tells Us

Students in the Powell Reading Room at Sweet Briar College, circa 1950.
Rebecca Thomson Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 9:21 am

Sweet Briar College in Virginia will close its doors in May, after 114 years of teaching women at its scenic campus in western Virginia.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Released From Prison

In this Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, arrive at federal court in Washington to learn their fates when a federal judge sentences the one-time power couple for misusing $750,000 in campaign money.
Susan Walsh AP

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has stepped out of a federal prison in Alabama and now goes to a halfway house to complete a 2013 sentence for spending hundreds of thousands in campaign money on personal items.

WLS in Chicago reports: "The Jackson entourage, consisting of his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson; his wife, Sandi Jackson; and the former congressman's two children, arrived at Maxwell Air Force Base around 4:15 a.m. Thursday."

Read more
Code Switch
8:33 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Why It's So Hard For Us To Agree About Dong From 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

The gesture Kimmy's making doesn't mean the same thing to Dong.
Eric Liebowitz Netflix

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:01 pm

The very first time we encounter Dong Nguyen, one of several hotly debated characters in Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, he has just introduced himself to Kimmy in their GED class. And, as surely happens to Dong all the time, ever since he immigrated to New York from Vietnam, she's stifling a giggle over his name.

Read more

Pages