National

U.S.
4:05 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Being Postmaster General Isn't What It Used To Be

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, in 2011, appears before a Senate committee looking into the Postal Service's economic troubles.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

The job of postmaster general was once one of the country's most politically powerful. It is also one of the oldest; a version of the position existed before the Declaration of Independence.

But today, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe finds himself continually caught in the political crossfire. Donahoe is tangling with unions and members of Congress over how to manage the Postal Service's future — as it faces huge losses, dwindling mail volume and ballooning costs.

It may seem strange now, but Donahoe was originally drawn to postal work by the money.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

NFL Tight End Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder

Aaron Hernandez was cut by the New England Patriots after he was arrested Wednesday. Hernandez faces first-degree murder charges in the death of Odin Lloyd, 27.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Pro football player Aaron Hernandez, who until today was a member of the New England Patriots, was charged with murder and other crimes in a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday. He was arrested this morning and formally charged this afternoon, with authorities blaming him for the death of Odin Lloyd, 27, whose body was found on June 17.

A judge has ordered that Hernandez be held without bail.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Black Bear Roams In D.C., Days After Red Panda's Jaunt

A black bear was captured in northwest Washington, D.C., Wednesday, two days after Rusty the red panda escaped from the National Zoo into a nearby area.
YouTube

First there was Rusty, the red panda. Now there are reports that a bear was captured after roaming around in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, prompting (mostly unserious) concerns of a possible siege on the nation's capital.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

After DOMA: What's Next For Gay Married Couples

Edith Windsor is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court on March 27, when the court heard oral arguments in the case that challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 3:47 pm

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?

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Parallels
1:09 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Angry Chinese Workers Resort To Direct Action

American Chip Starnes, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, waves Monday from a window where he is being held by angry workers inside his plant at the Jinyurui Science and Technology Park on the outskirts of Beijing. He remained confined to the plant on Wednesday.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 1:31 pm

When Chinese workers have a grievance, they are increasingly taking dramatic and direct action.

As we've reported, an American executive at a Chinese factory has been prevented by workers from leaving the plant since Friday. Chip Starnes of Specialty Medical Supplies says it's a misunderstanding following a decision to shut down part of his medical-supply business and move some jobs to India where wages are lower.

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Beauty Shop
12:31 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

'Devious Maids' On TV: Thumbs Up Or Down?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, Texas is scheduled to execute the 500th prisoner since the death penalty was reintroduced. We are going to introduce you to Kirk Bloodsworth, who was the first prisoner released from death row 20 years ago because of DNA evidence.

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Shots - Health News
12:24 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Men Pick Robotic Surgery For Prostate Cancer Despite Risks

A billboard advertising robotic surgery hangs outside Boston's Fenway Park in 2009. Hospitals and doctors have heavily promoted robotic surgery.
Charles Krupa AP

Pretty much every medical organization has told men to back off on screening for prostate cancer, because it can lead to unneeded treatment, including surgery that can leave a man incontinent and impotent.

But it's hard to resist a robot.

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Race
12:19 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Martin Says It's Time To Move On From The Past

Celebrity chef Paula Deen appears on NBC News' Today show on Wednesday.
NBC, Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 5:35 pm

I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness – a subject that's been coming up quite a bit lately because, really, how could it not?

As I was putting my thoughts together, Paula Deen, one of the queens of high-calorie Southern cookery, was still on her apology tour, trying to explain a few things, like her use of the N-word and the desire to dress up an army of black male waiters so that her brother could have the fun experience of being served by them at a, quote, "true Southern plantation-style wedding."

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Law
12:19 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

SCOTUS Ruling: A Giant Leap Forward For Gay Marriage

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we want to talk about a new TV show that has people thinking about how Latinas are depicted on TV. We'll head into the beauty shop for that conversation. But first, we are going to turn back once again to the Supreme Court, which released two major rulings today on the issue of same-sex marriage. The court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which has barred federal benefits to same-sex couples.

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Law
12:19 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

From Death Row To Free Man

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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