National

Around the Nation
6:39 am
Sat February 2, 2013

For New Orleans, Superdome A Symbol Of City's Spirit

The San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.

During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.

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The Salt
5:17 am
Sat February 2, 2013

How To Save A Public Library: Make It A Seed Bank

The seed library is a partnership between the Basalt Public Library and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. Seed packets encourage gardeners to write their names and take credit for their harvested seeds.
Courtesy of Dylan Johns

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

Despite the cold and snow, some signs of spring are starting to break through in Colorado. The public library in the small town of Basalt is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds.

In a corner of the library, Stephanie Syson and her 4-year-old daughter, Gray, are just finishing a book with a white rabbit on the cover.

When Gray approaches the knee-high shelves filled with seed packets, she zeroes in on a pack labeled "rainbow carrots."

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Around the Nation
5:17 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Undocumented In The U.S.: 11 Million And Counting

While a vast majority of undocumented immigrants in the United States come from Mexico, many also come from Central American nations, China, parts of Africa and India.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 8:06 pm

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and it's a number you might have heard a lot about this week from Washington lawmakers.

Since the 1970s, Jeff Passel, now senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, has been keeping tabs on a group that actively tries to stay off the radar. He says many actually do participate in the census count and other surveys.

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Economy
6:22 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Pentagon Remains Big Target In Likely Budget Cuts

The winding down of the war in Afghanistan and efforts to slice the budget deficit will likely mean more spending cuts for the Pentagon.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:17 pm

The economy shrunk in the fourth quarter — for the first time in three years — and one of the critical reasons was a drop in defense spending. Apparently, contractors took precautionary steps and held onto money in case the federal government failed to avert the fiscal and tax crisis known as the fiscal cliff.

But there's now a new deadline — automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, which may hit at the beginning of March.

The Effect On Contractors

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It's All Politics
6:13 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

What's Behind Rubio's 'Full Circle Back' On Immigration?

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, is among a bipartisan group of eight senators who this week announced a plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:17 pm

Marco Rubio has been the junior senator from Florida for barely two years, but he's already considered a likely 2016 presidential contender.

The 41-year-old Republican's political star rose still higher this week when he joined a bipartisan group of senators offering a path to citizenship to millions of unauthorized immigrants.

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U.S.
5:47 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

For Some Donors, Boy Scouts' Ban On Gays Doesn't Add Up

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls delivers cartons of petitions to the Boys Scouts of America national board meeting in Orlando, Fla., last May, calling for an end to anti-gay discriminatory practices. Helping to carry the cartons are Mark Anthony Dingbaum and Christine Irvine of Change.org.
Barbara Liston Reuters/Landov

Years of criticism and even a U.S. Supreme Court challenge couldn't force the Boy Scouts of America to admit openly gay members and leaders. But money talks, and after the defections of major donors, the 103-year-old organization is poised to lift its national ban.

Just last summer, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed the ban after a lengthy internal review. Several incidents since then have tarnished the organization's image and fueled an aggressive nationwide protest led by an Eagle Scout.

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The Salt
5:45 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Carrot Juice Instead of Coke? USDA Proposes New School Snack Rules

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed new rules for school snacks promote healthier options, like the fruits and vegetables served in this Palo Alto, Calif., cafeteria.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:24 am

The Department of Agriculture has proposed a new "Smart Snacks in School" rule that aims to promote more healthful options in school vending machines, snack bars and cafeterias across the country.

The USDA's updated regulations, which are open to public comment for 60 days, will set nutrition standards and calorie limits for snack foods that are sold in schools.

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It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Why Steven Chu Was One Of Obama's Most Intriguing Choices

Energy Secretary Steven Chu tours the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, Ga., last year.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:43 pm

Of all the individuals in President Obama's first-term Cabinet, physicist Steven Chu was arguably the least likely to be found in official Washington.

The Energy Department secretary, after all, was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from the University of California, Berkeley, the first science laureate to serve as a Cabinet secretary.

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Remembrances
5:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch Oversaw City's Renaissance

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to take a few minutes now to remember former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who died early this morning. Koch was a colorful and pugnacious force in New York City politics, serving three terms as mayor from 1978 to '89. He presided over the city's recovery from a fiscal crisis while grappling with homelessness, rampant crime and the outbreak of AIDS. He did all that in a very New York tone, as we hear from Jim O'Grady of member station WNYC.

JIM O'GRADY, BYLINE: Ed Koch sounded like no mayor who'd come before him.

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Sports
5:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Former Football Player Jim Brown Among The Game's Best Running Backs

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. With the Super Bowl this weekend, football fans are renewing a perennial debate about the game's best players, but not just this year, of all time. Jerry Rice is arguably the best wide receiver. Linebacker Ray Lewis, who will play Sunday for the Baltimore Ravens, gets mentioned, alongside Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus, even Lawrence Taylor.

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