National News

The Morning After: Lawmakers Vote to Reduce Amtrak Funding

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 12:48

In Philadelphia, an Amtrak train derailed on Tuesday. But in Washington on Wednesday, transportation supporters still could not get the House on track for providing more funding.

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Senate Reaches Deal To Vote On 'Fast-Track' Trade Bill Thursday

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 11:22

The deal calls for separate votes on bills that Democrats had wanted to move as a single package, with a vote on a customs bill that includes safeguards championed by Sen. Charles Schumer.

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Why Would A Fish Make Its Own Sunscreen?

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 11:16

Research suggests that genes that make a natural sunscreen jumped from algae to an ancestor of vertebrates hundreds of millions of years ago. Some animals kept the ability. Others didn't.

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How To Feed A Numbat: Zoo Cookery Aids Endangered Species

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 10:29

Zoo nutritionists these days have to do more than try to keep displayed animals happy and healthy. Sometimes the goal is to bring endangered wildlife back from the brink.

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Vatican Officially Recognizes State Of Palestine

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 10:02

In a treaty between the two sides, the Holy See switches its diplomatic relations from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the State of Palestine. Israel said it was "disappointed."

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Nothing More To Say On Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw Says

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 08:40

The former NBC Nightly News anchor's comments came on Fresh Air. Williams, the man who succeeded him, is serving a six-month suspension for exaggerating his experiences in the Iraq War.

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Harriet Tubman Wins Unofficial Contest To Be On $20 Bill

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 08:16

The Women on 20s campaign is petitioning President Obama to put the face of Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who led others to freedom, on the $20 bill. She edged Eleanor Roosevelt in a close vote.

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What It's Like Living On The Block That Philadelphia Bombed 30 Years Ago

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 08:01

Long-time Philly resident Gerald Renfrow wants you to know that there's more to his block than what happened on May 13, 1985.

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I'm From Philly. 30 Years Later, I'm Still Trying To Make Sense Of The MOVE Bombing

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 07:55

Philly native Gene Demby was four years old when city police dropped a bomb on a house of black activists in his hometown. Thirty years later, he's still trying to make sense of it all.

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One Woman's Struggle To Survive 'Too Much Vacation' In France

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 07:18

NPR Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley doesn't expect a ton of sympathy when she complains about unending holidays in France. But when you have a kid who's always off school, it's tough. Really.

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Military General In Burundi Claims Coup Against Its President

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 06:55

The country has been the scene of mass protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza seeking a third term. It's unclear whether the coup has the support of the full military.

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Nepal Update: Quake's Death Toll Rises; U.S. Chopper Still Missing

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 06:35

Emergency officials in Nepal say at least 76 people have died in Tuesday's earthquake, which hit as the small country is still coping with a prior quake that killed more than 8,000.

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Here's A Radical Approach To Big Hospital Bills: Set Your Own Price

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 06:09

Some companies are refusing to pay employee hospital bills that they think are out of line. Instead, they pay what they think is reasonable. So far the gambit appears to be working.

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Bill Endorsing Illegal Immigrants To Serve In Military Splits GOP

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 05:03

Some members of Congress would like to allow immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally to serve in the armed forces. But some Republicans are threatening to hold up a key defense bill over it.

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A Rust Belt Story Retold, Through Portraits Of The Women Who Lived It

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 05:03

LaToya Ruby Frazier's photography tells the story of the black community living in the shadow of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill through portraits of her grandmother, her mother and herself.

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Jury Will Hear Final Arguments In Sentencing Of Boston Marathon Bomber

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 04:25

The jury will decide whether 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be sentenced to death or life in prison. They are expected to begin deliberations today.

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Spy Agency: North Korea Executes Its Defense Chief With Anti-Aircraft Guns

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-13 04:25

Officials from South Korea's intelligence agency say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's latest high-level purge took place in front of hundreds of onlookers at a shooting range.

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PODCAST: Uber loans

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-05-13 03:00

On top of Macy's reporting disappointing profits Wednesday, there's news that retail sales last month were flat. More on that. Plus, we'll talk about Facebook luring publishing companies into putting their content directly onto the social media site. And Uber has a finance program for potential drivers with bad credit. Getting more drivers on the road means more money for Uber. But those loans can have high interest rates and some drivers are struggling to make the payments. 

Who are AOL's two million dial-up users?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-05-13 02:59

Verizon's purchase of AOL will include not just AOL's digital content properties and online advertising business, but also about two million dial-up subscribers. 

They are among as many as nine million Americans who still use dial-up for a variety of reasons, including cost and geographic availability of broadband, says Aaron Smith of the Pew Research Center, who looked into dial-up users.

"They're a little bit older," Smith says. "42 percent of dial-up users are over the age of 55. They're also a little bit different in their socio-economic makeup. About half of dial-up users have a high school diploma or less."

Smith says most dial-up users would switch to broadband if it was cheaper or easier to get. But he says a fifth of dial-up users are happy with the service, and just aren't interested in broadband.

So should Verizon make an effort to convert dial-up die-hards?

"The best [Verizon] can do is nothing," says telecom analyst Roger Entner of Recon Analytics. "There is a segment of the population that just wants to have occasional access to the Internet and only pay 10 dollars for it."

Entner says everyone who wants to convert to broadband probably already has. Except, he says, in the most remote and rural parts of the U.S., where a copper telephone line and a dial-up modem may still be the best way to get online. 

Who's the dial-up user?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-05-13 02:59

Verizon's purchase of AOL will include not just AOL's digital content properties and online advertising business, but also about two million dial-up subscribers. 

They are among as many as nine million Americans who still use dial-up for a variety of reasons, including cost and geographic availability of broadband, says Aaron Smith of the Pew Research Center, who looked into dial-up users.

"They're a little bit older," Smith says. "42 percent of dial-up users are over the age of 55. They're also a little bit different in their socio-economic makeup. About half of dial-up users have a high school diploma or less."

Smith says most dial-up users would switch to broadband if it was cheaper or easier to get. But he says a fifth of dial-up users are happy with the service, and just aren't interested in broadband.

So should Verizon make an effort to convert dial-up die-hards?

"The best [Verizon] can do is nothing," says telecom analyst Roger Entner of Recon Analytics. "There is a segment of the population that just wants to have occasional access to the Internet and only pay 10 dollars for it."

Entner says everyone who wants to convert to broadband probably already has. Except, he says, in the most remote and rural parts of the U.S., where a copper telephone line and a dial-up modem may still be the best way to get online. 

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