As the U.S. government has militarized the California and Arizona segment of the Southwest border over the last two decades, illegal crossers have moved to another area. South Texas has become the new border hot spot.
The Rio Grande Valley is also the closest route to Central America. Two-thirds of those caught crossing are from that troubled region.
The Border Patrol and local authorities are straining to keep up.
Last year, revelations that the U.S. had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone soured relations between the two allies. In Europe, President Obama's recommendations to reign in the NSA when it comes to listening to foreign leaders was met with a lukewarm reaction. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that Germans are especially skeptical that the changes will mean an end to American eavesdropping.
We all know talking on the phone or texting while driving is dangerous. More than 41 states have laws that make it illegal to text while driving. Most have laws that forbid new drivers from using their cell phones at all. But that doesn't stop drivers of all ages from talking and typing away. In December, reporter Alisa Roth rode along with a New York state trooper to see how the ban is working there. Here's an encore broadcast of her story.
If you're a football fan, Sunday is kind of like Christmas.
Two conference championship games will determine the teams that advance to the Super Bowl, and the matchups couldn't be more exciting: Denver vs. New England (Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady). And some would say the other game, pitting San Francisco against Seattle, might just feature the two best teams in the league.
America shows its love for the sport in many ways beyond breathless anticipation of big games. It also gives back to the National Football League with tax breaks and publicly funded stadiums.
Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 3:28 pm
A bill introduced in the Missouri Statehouse adds a firing squad as an option for carrying out the death penalty in the state.
The bill would give the state another option besides lethal gas and lethal injection, which has run into speed bumps because pharmaceutical companies have halted the sale of one of the drugs used in those executions.
The North American International Auto Show opens to the public today. That's the fancy name for the Detroit car show. NPR's Sonari Glinton has been getting a sneak preview in the Motor City, hanging out with engineers and auto execs. And he's with us now. Good to talk with you, Sonari.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: It's good to be here, Lynn.
NEARY: Now, you've spent, I think, four days at the car show. What are the standouts?
President Lyndon B. Johnson went to eastern Kentucky in 1964 to promote his War on Poverty. But when he did, he opened a wound that remains raw today. People in the region say they're tired of always being depicted as poor, so when NPR's Pam Fessler went to Appalachia to report on how the War on Poverty is going, she was warned that people would be reluctant to talk. Instead, she got an earful.