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3:49 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Closure Of Private Prison Forces Texas County To Plug Financial Gap

A riot late last month forced officials to close the Willacy County Correcitonal Center in Wallcy County, Texas.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:58 am

The Willacy County Correctional Center is empty now. The tall security fences and dome-like housing units set out on the coastal prairie have no one inside them.

One morning late last month, the prisoners rioted. They set fires and tore the place up. Guards put down the uprising in about five hours. But the destruction was so severe that the sprawling detention compound has been shut down. All 2,800 inmates were transferred.

Willacy County is now facing the question — what does it do now that its biggest moneymaker is out of business?

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It's All Politics
3:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Capitol Hill Ready To Rest Its Near-Annual 'Doc Fix' Exercise?

If Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner win and their plan becomes law, it would kill what's known on Capitol Hill as the "doc fix."
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:54 am

Doctors who treat Medicare patients will face a huge cut, 21 percent, if Congress doesn't act by the end of the month. This isn't a new problem. While Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients has long been broken, over the years they've been unable to pass more than temporary patches.

But the leaders of the House from both parties have come up with a plan that they think can fix a problem that has bedeviled Congress since 1997. On Thursday, it goes to the House floor for a vote.

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The Salt
5:28 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

In Havana, A Journey Into The Forbidden With A Provocative Artist

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera poses for a photograph near the statue of José Martí in Havana's Revolution Plaza. She was arrested in December for planning a political performance there.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

It was still dark when Tania Bruguera hopped into a cab with us on her way to Revolution Square.

"All of a sudden it looks quite subversive what we're doing," she said. Her voice revealed a little nervousness, but it translated into a giddy laughter.

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Animals
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

'Super-Termite' Could Be Even More Destructive Than Parent Species

The male Asian subterranean termite (brown abdomen) and the female Formosan subterranean termite (orange abdomen) are surrounded by their hybrid offspring (eggs, larvae, workers, soldiers) in an eight-month-old colony.
Thomas Chouvenc University of Florida

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:40 am

Termites are among the world's most destructive pests, causing more than a billion dollars in damage each year in the U.S. alone. Scientists in Florida have tracked the development of a new hybrid species of termite — one whose colonies grow twice as fast as the parent species.

Researchers say the new "super-termite" is even more destructive than other species and may carry a significant economic cost.

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race?

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a 2016 hopeful, takes a selfie with an Iowa supporter earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Just after midnight Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scooped his own big announcement by about 10 hours. Ahead of a planned speech, he posted the news of his presidential bid on Twitter.

"I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!" he tweeted.

The tweet, which included a 30-second video, was retweeted more than 3,000 times in 30 minutes. Cruz's announcement generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, posts, comments and shares) Monday on Facebook. And during his planned speech at Liberty University, his staff live tweeted lines from the speech on his account.

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Goats and Soda
4:15 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Mosquitoes Can Smell Inside Your Blood

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:10 pm

Garlic lovers: You can smell them before you see them. Some people would say they even stink!

Hours after you eat garlic, your breath can still smell bad, as your body digests compounds in the plant and releases them into your blood.

Now scientists say a similar process might explain why people infected with malaria attract more mosquitoes than those not infected.

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Shots - Health News
4:14 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

University And Biotech Firm Team Up On Colorblindness Therapy

A simulation from the Neitz lab of what colorblindness looks like, with normal color vision on the left and red-green colorblindness on the right.
Courtesy of Neitz Laboratory

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

More than 10 million Americans have trouble distinguishing red from green or blue from yellow, and there's no treatment for colorblindness.

A biotech company and two scientists hope to change that.

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The Salt
4:13 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Arsenic In California Wines: Should Drinkers Be Concerned?

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:44 pm

There's been a lot of buzz around the story that some inexpensive California wines, including a Charles Shaw (aka two-buck Chuck) white Zinfandel sold at Trader Joe's, have been found to contain traces of arsenic.

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National Security
3:59 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Female Marines Carry The Load And Kill The Enemy?

Sgt. Courtney White carries her machine gun before a live fire exercise at the Marine base at Twentynine Palms, Calif.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

More than a dozen Marines from Alpha Company fan out across California's Mojave Desert, far into the distance. Machine-gun fire gives them cover. The small forms dash ahead. Some drop to one knee, others fall on their stomachs, firing at pop-up targets.

Only one woman is part of this group. Until last fall, Sgt. Kelly Brown was fueling helicopters and trucks. Now she's running with an assault rifle.

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