National

Science
2:03 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science

An oiled murre passes the darkened shoreline near Prince William Sound, Alaska, less than a month after the March 1989 spill.
Erik Hill Anchorage Daily News/MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:36 am

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

Twenty-five years of research following the Exxon Valdez disaster has led to some startling conclusions about the persistent effects of spilled oil.

Read more
All Tech Considered
1:45 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Tech Week: Robots, Turkish Twitter And A Frustrated Zuckerberg

A BigDog robot at Boston Dynamics in 2010.
Suzanne Kreiter Boston Globe via Getty Images

Happy weekend! If you've missed our tech coverage and the larger conversation at the intersection of technology and culture this week, here's your look back. ICYMI is what we reported on NPR, The Big Conversation includes news from all sorts of places, and Curiosities are important or fun links we think you should check out.

What was on your radar? What should we look out for next week? Tell us in the comment section below. We do read them, you know.

Read more
Parallels
12:22 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Always Watching: A Fragile Trust Lines The U.S.-Mexico Border

Dob Cunningham (left) and his friend Larry Johnson look over the edge of Cunningham's 800-acre ranch in Quemado, Texas.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 2:21 pm

We drove 2,428 miles on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and it's safe to say that for much of the road trip, we were being watched.

Border Patrol agents, customs officers, cameras, sensors, radar and aircraft track movement in the Borderland. None of that has stopped the struggle to control the border, or the debate over how best to do it.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:40 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Cops Can't Have Sex With Prostitutes, Hawaiian Lawmakers Say

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, with Diamond Head in the background. State lawmakers are vowing to get rid of a provision in Hawaiian law that allows law enforcement officers to have sex with prostitutes if doing so is within the scope of their duties.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 12:36 pm

Headlines across the nation and around the Web — such as the one we posted on Friday that read "In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops" — have led to promises of quick action:

-- "Hawaii lawmakers to end prostitution exemption," says Honolulu's KITV.

Read more
Around the Nation
9:37 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers

On a typical weekday, riders make a total of about 300,000 trips on the Chicago Metra commuter line.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:38 pm

During the morning rush at Chicago's Union Station, commuter trains pull in, the doors open and a crush of people, newspapers and coffee cups in hand, pour off like a flood.

Financial analyst Nader Kouklan says he makes the trip from the suburbs to Chicago's downtown every day.

"It's easier and just a faster way to get to work, rather than having to deal with the traffic of the morning commute," Kouklan says.

Law student Amalia Romano rides Chicago's Metra line, too.

"I take it because I don't want to pay $16 to park every day," Romano explains.

Read more
Europe
7:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Russia Warns It May Undercut Iran Talks Over Sanctions

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The U.S. and Russia are also supposed to be cooperating on Iran. Russia's played an important role in attempting to negotiate restrictions on Iran's nuclear program. But Russia's deputy foreign minister recently suggested that Moscow might change it's position on those talks because of the disagreement over Crimea and Ukraine. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from Istanbul. Peter, thanks for being with us.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

Read more
Europe
7:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

How Much Will Russian Sanctions Hurt The EU?

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. U.S. and European leaders have been weighing how to try to tighten economic screws on Russia following its seizure of Crimea. But how much economic pain can the U.S. inflict on Russia without hurting itself in return? We're joined now by Ian Bremmer, who's president of the global risk research firm Eurasia Group. He joins us from New York. Thanks so much for being with us.

IAN BREMMER: Scott, delighted to be with you.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:27 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Insurance Chief Suggests Adding A New, Lower Level Of Health Plan

America's Health Insurance Plans President and CEO Karen Ignagni says she would loosen regulations on which insurance plans comply with the Affordable Care Act by adding a "lower tier" option that could entice healthier people.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:26 pm

Rather than letting people keep their old health plans that don't comply with the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the head of the group that represents the nation's health insurance companies is floating an alternative: weakening the requirements.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Declined: Visa, MasterCard Freeze Out Targeted Russian Banks

A woman holds a portrait of Russia's President Vladimir Putin during celebrations on the main square of the Crimean city of Simferopol after in its official annexation on Friday.
Shamil Zhumatov Reuters/Landov

In what has likely come as a rude shock to some Russians, Visa and MasterCard have stopped processing payments at several of the country's banks as part of U.S. sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

The BBC reports that four banks have been affected, "all of which have links to Russians blacklisted by the U.S."

Russia's RIA Novostri reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:48 pm

A federal judge has struck down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, making the state the latest to see such a prohibition overturned on constitutional grounds.

The Associated Press reports:

"[U.S. District] Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday, two weeks after a trial. Two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

"It was not clear if gay marriages could begin immediately."

Read more

Pages