National

Around the Nation
3:33 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

A map of Detroit is spread on a table; on laptops, workers see the same map, overlaid with a grid of the city and blue dots representing surveyors in the field.
Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:39 am

Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.

"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."

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Around the Nation
3:30 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Mayor Wants To Drive Horse-Drawn Carriages Out Of NYC

Stephen Malone, spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association, gets his rig ready in New York City. Some say horse-drawn carriages are inhumane; if the mayor has his way, the practice will end.
Amy Pearl WNYC

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:33 pm

During New York City's mayoral race last year, then-candidate Bill de Blasio promised to fix big-picture problems, like income inequality and universal pre-K.

So he raised some collective eyebrows when he announced what one of his first initiatives as mayor would be:

"We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," he said. "They're not humane; they're not appropriate to the year 2014; it's over."

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Education
3:29 am
Tue February 18, 2014

College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't

Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. But one new study shows that high school performance, not standardized test scores, is a better predictor of how students do in college.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:26 pm

With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.

That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. But a first-of-its-kind study obtained by NPR raises questions about whether those tests are becoming obsolete.

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Around the Nation
4:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Digging Graves The Old-Fashioned Way: 'This Ain't No Easy Job'

Everard Hall estimates he's dug about 2,500 graves over nearly 50 years. Some have been special: "I buried my mother, my father, my grandfather, and two aunts and two uncles. And I buried my sister Marilyn."
Jennifer Mitchell Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:54 am

It's windy. It's winter. There's a funeral in three days, and the churchyard in rural Addison, Maine, is frozen solid. Everard Hall is hard at work, digging graves.

"No, this ain't no easy job, tell ya. You've got to have a lot of determination, a lot of willpower. And you can't be lazy," he says.

In his nearly 70 years, no one has ever accused him of that.

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Technology
4:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Cold War Technology Sought By Spy Is In Your Pocket — Sort Of

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

And now to All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

CORNISH: Today is a tricky business of keeping some American technologies out of foreign hands. When a man from Hong Kong met with an aerospace company in Seattle last week, he was really dealing with an undercover Homeland Security agent. See Kee Chin allegedly tried to buy $85,000 worth of highly specialized accelerometers. He was arrested and charged with trying to smuggle the parts to China.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Woman Arrested For Not Returning Movie Rented In 2005

Jennifer Lopez back in 2005 when Monster-In-Law was just coming out. An old video of the movie has landed a South Carolina woman in trouble with the law.
Michael Germana Landov

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 4:34 pm

The first thing we thought of when we heard this news was the Seinfeld episode known as "The Library" — the one where Jerry's tracked down by Lt. Bookman after 20 years for not returning a copy of Tropic of Cancer.

But this isn't a plot from a TV sitcom. This apparently really did happen last week in Pickens County, S.C.:

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Penn State Picks New President: Florida State's Eric Barron

Eric Barron, Penn State's next president.
Patrick Mansell PSU.edu

Penn State University, which dismissed its president and its legendary football coach in late 2011 for their roles in dealing with allegations that an assistant coach had been molesting young boys, announced Monday that Florida State University President Eric Barron is leaving the Sunshine State to be PSU's next l

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Pennsylvania Woman Claims To Have Killed At Least 22 People

Miranda Barbour, who has told a newspaper that she's killed at least 22 people.
WNEP.com

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:29 pm

This is among the day's more disturbing stories:

A 19-year-old woman who's already a suspect in one murder has told a central Pennsylvania newspaper that she's a satanist who has been killing people since she was 13.

Miranda Barbour claims that after her 22nd victim, "I stopped counting."

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Snowden's Leaks About NSA Lead To Awards For 4 Reporters

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:23 pm

The four reporters who broke the first stories about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's revelations are among those being honored with 2013 George Polk Awards in Journalism.

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Shots - Health News
3:39 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Finessing Health Coverage: When To Buy Insurance For A New Baby

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 9:59 am

We're heading into the home stretch to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year. The open enrollment period ends March 31 for most people.

But there are exceptions. And they are the subject of many of our questions this month.

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