National

Education
1:37 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

States Want Kids To Learn A Lot — Maybe Too Much

A fifth-grade student uses her cursive skills at a school in Baltimore. The Indiana Senate recently passed a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing as an educational standard.
Lloyd Fox MCT/Landov

Jean Leising admits she's no expert on brain development, but she still hopes to do something about the way kids learn.

Leising serves in the Indiana state Senate. Last month, she convinced her Senate colleagues to pass a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing to the state's educational standards — the set of skills and knowledge kids are expected to master in each grade level.

Even in the email age, teaching cursive might be a great thing. But when legislatures impose mandates on instruction, professional educators get nervous.

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The Edge
1:15 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

U.S. Men's Hockey Beats Slovenia, Securing Spot In Quarterfinals

USA forward Zach Parise reaches for a loose puck in front of Slovenia goaltender Luka Gracnar during the 2014 Winter Olympics men's ice hockey game on Sunday.
Matt Slocum AP

The U.S. men's hockey team nearly shut out Slovenia in the Winter Olympics on Sunday but allowed one goal in the final seconds of the game. The 5-1 win gives the U.S. team an automatic spot in the quarterfinals.

Virtually every hockey game here in Russia is, of course, an away game for the U.S. team. The opposing teams have more fans, more flags, more face paint.

Each time one of Slovenia's players prepared to shoot, its fans chanted. But it was only at the very end of the game that they got to stand and cheer their lone goal.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Kerry Warns Indonesia: Climate Change Threatens 'Entire Way Of Life'

Secretary of State John Kerry gestures while speaking about climate change in Jakarta on Sunday.
POOL Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 12:11 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is continuing a push to move climate change to the top of the global agenda, telling an audience in the archipelago nation of Indonesia that rising global temperatures and sea levels could threaten their "entire way of life."

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The Edge
9:42 am
Sun February 16, 2014

U.S. Men's Alpine Skiers Grab Bronze And Silver

Bode Miller of the United States makes a jump during men's super-combined downhill training at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games on Tuesday.
Luca Bruno AP

Athletes prepare for years to compete in the Olympics, and then, in a flash, it's all over. For American speed skaters it's been a terrible Olympics, but U.S. men's Alpine skiers are managing to turn around a medals drought.

In the men's super-G competition Bode Miller won the bronze. At 36 years old, he is the oldest person ever to win a medal in Alpine skiing at the Olympics. It makes him one of the most decorated American winter Olympians, winning a total of six medals in three different Olympics.

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Business
9:09 am
Sun February 16, 2014

The Green Rush Begins: Investors Get In On Pot's Ground Floor

Marijuana is sold for recreational use in Denver. Legalization of pot has set off a "green rush" to invest among venture capitalists.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

In the past, you could go to jail for selling marijuana. Now, depending upon where you live, you could end up going to the bank.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states, and legislation is pending in 13 others. It's become a $1.5-billion-a-year industry, and it's expected to triple in just a few years. With legal cannabis one of the world's fastest growing market sectors, investors are seeing green.

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Law
8:50 am
Sun February 16, 2014

It's Proven To Save Lives, So Why Is Maine Opposed To Narcan?

Naloxone hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, is an overdose antidote that many states have made available to first-responders.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

Dr. Lynn Ouellette, a psychiatrist from Brunswick, Maine, asks herself "What if?" a lot these days. What if they had found her son just a few minutes earlier? What if they had gotten him to the hospital sooner?

What if they'd had the overdose antidote Narcan in the house?

"What we know is that this saves lives and it gives addicts another chance," she says.

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Education
8:10 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Schools Fall Behind In Helping Students With Mental Health Issues

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

A recent Newsweek investigation found that at many colleges and universities, being open about a mental health disorder can mean getting kicked out of school. Newsweek reporter Katie J.M. Baker speaks with NPR's Rachel Martin about the story.

Law
8:10 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Fla. Man Guilty Of Lesser Charges In 'Loud Music' Murder Case

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In Jacksonville, a murder case that revolving around issues of race and right to self-defense, ended last night with mixed results. Michael Dunn was accused of shooting and killing teenager Jordan Davis outside a convenience store in a dispute over loud music. The jury couldn't agree on that murder charge but found Dunn guilty on four other counts.

NPR's Greg Allen has more in this story, which we should say includes some strong language.

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Around the Nation
8:10 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Texas Town Brings Out Its Debs For George Washington's Birthday

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Tomorrow, Presidents Day, is supposed to be a day to honor George Washington and our other founding fathers. But for many of us, it's just a day off from work. Not so in Laredo, Texas, where Presidents Day is one of the most important events of the year. There's an elaborate parade, citizens dressed in colonial garb. But the main event is a debutante ball, honoring the wife of the first president, Martha Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as character) Laura Alicia Gassa (unintelligible).

(APPLAUSE)

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Parallels
5:31 am
Sun February 16, 2014

How Most Anyone Can Find Photos Of Secret Government Sites

A North Korean KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile rolls past in a military parade in Pyongyang in July to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice. A team of U.S. researchers recently found the buildings where the North Korean military is believed to be assembling the launchers.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 1:30 pm

Last August, Jeffrey Lewis saw a North Korean propaganda video, posted in April 2012, which showed its missile launchers holding intercontinental ballistic missiles, shot from an oddly-shaped building.

He was curious. So with a team of students, he modeled what the building would look like and searched for what North Korean defectors had said about the building where the missile launchers were supposedly made.

"I will admit I got a little bit obsessed with this," he says.

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