Coming up in a few minutes, we'll dive a little deeper into what's going on with the abortion debate in Texas. But first, we want to talk about a development that's affecting recipients of housing assistance in Los Angeles County. The U.S. Department of Justice this week ordered LA County and the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, California to pay a total of $12.5 million in damages to residents of subsidized housing. That follows a two-year investigation by the department.
The next couple of days will bring fireworks, hot dogs — and a new unemployment report.
At least the first two will be fun.
As for Friday's job-market assessment, the Labor Department report likely will show little or no change in the 7.6 percent unemployment rate. "There is still a general weakness in the labor market," says Daniel North, economist with Euler Hermes, a credit insurance company.
Over 25 years as a federal judge, Royce Lamberth has touched some of the biggest and most contentious issues in the country. He led the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court after the Sept. 11 attacks, reviewed petitions from detainees at the Guantanamo prison, and gave a boost to Native Americans suing the federal government.
Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping three women while he held them prisoner in his house for about 10 years, has been declared mentally competent to stand trial. The finding comes one week after a Cleveland judge ordered Castro to undergo an evaluation.
The results of that analysis were presented at a court hearing this morning.
In Chinatowns around the country — in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York — a peculiar financial scam is targeting elderly Chinese women.
This so-called "blessing scam" isn't much of a blessing. By asking lots of personal questions, the scammers convince their targets that they face terrible tragedy that they can only avoid if they place their valuables in a bag — and then pray over it. Usually, the victims place their jewelry and money in a bag that the thieves swap out for an identical one. And then the thieves tell the women not to open the bag for days.
It's much better to prevent illness than to treat it: less time, less money, less suffering. But prevention is a surprisingly hard sell with doctors and the public. That's true even though preventable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are the most common causes of disability and premature death in the U.S.
If you died 55,000 years ago in the lands east of the Mediterranean, you'd be lucky to be buried in an isolated pit with a few animal parts thrown in. But new archaeological evidence shows that by about 12,000 years ago, you might have gotten a flower-lined grave in a small cemetery.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. This summer, Death Valley is a really hot tourist destination. Record-breaking temperatures are drawing crowds of visitors, where they're frying eggs on sidewalks and posing next to a big, unofficial thermometer showing temperatures as high as 132 degrees. Another draw is the aptly named Furnace Creek. Next Wednesday, it will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the hottest recorded temperature on the planet there, 134 degrees. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. I think having a tall one at the bar is a good thing. But a bar owner in Britain disagreed. The owner of the Nutshell Pub asked a customer named Adam Thurkette if he'd mind staying away during busy hours. Adam is 6 foot 7. And the Nutshell is reportedly Britain's smallest pub, 15 feet by 7 feet. The owner says Adam just takes up too much room.
Adam wasn't even offended. He admitted his height is better suited to his work as a tree expert than as a customer in crowded bars.
A huge celebration has begun in Egypt's Tahrir Square, after army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi proclaimed that Mohammed Morsi is out as president and the country's constitution has been suspended. The new plan calls for Egypt's chief justice to lead an interim government and set a date for early presidential elections.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
The Obama administration set off some pre-4th of July fireworks last night. They announced a one-year delay in implementing a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. Employers with 50 or more workers will now have until 2015 to meet new health insurance requirements for their workforce.
And let's look now at some disturbing health news. At study out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows women are dying from overdoses of prescription painkillers at a much higher rate than men. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Men still die from these overdoses at a higher rate than women. Women are dying from the overdoses at a much higher rate than ever before.]
Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women overdosing. NPR's Patti Neighmond reports.
The family of Justin Carter, the 19-year-old Texas gamer who made offensive Facebook comments that landed him in jail, is working with new urgency to get his $500,000 bail reduced because they say he's getting beat up behind bars.
David Green is a man on a mission to drive down the cost of medical devices and health services.
His tactic: Use market forces and slightly tweaked business strategies to make health care accessible to even the poorest people. And he's had some amazing success.
I caught up with Green (no relation to NPR's David Greene) at a company he is launching in Chicago that's taking on the high cost of hearing aids. He's demonstrating how to program his company's new hearing device on a cellphone.
When you think summer, you might think of cold beer at a barbecue, maybe a bottle of wine with a Sunday picnic. A lot of people take it for granted that they can just go to the store and pick up alcohol.
Not in Indiana.
While many states have laws restricting liquor sales, Indiana is the only one where you can't buy packaged beer, wine and liquor on Sundays, and it's the only state that regulates alcohol sales based on temperature. Only liquor stores can sell cold beer.
It may seem like wildfire Armageddon out there, given the tragic deaths of 24 wildland firefighters this year, more than 800 homes and businesses burned to the ground, nearly 1.6 million acres scorched and over 23,000 blazes requiring suppression.
But as dramatic as it's been, the 2013 wildfire season has yet to kick into high gear.
"We have seen, overall, less fire activity so far this year," says Randy Eardley, a spokesman at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
You may not know the name Marie Duplessis, but odds are you know some stories about her. She inspired a French novel, which was turned into a successful play, several movies (including one starring Greta Garbo), a ballet and, most famously, a great Italian opera — La Traviata.
At gay pride events throughout the country last weekend, marchers celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Now, the rainbow flags are giving way to calculators and sharp pencils, as gay and lesbian couples start to grapple with the practical impact of what the ruling means for them.
President Obama has directed Cabinet members to implement the ruling "swiftly and smoothly" by extending federal recognition to same-sex marriages for the first time. But that will be easier for some federal agencies than others.
It looks almost like the Millennium Falcon, creeping ever so slowing, taking up the entire roadway on New York's Long Island. A team of spotters walks alongside, calling out trees that need cutting and road signs that need to be taken down.
Its name is the Muon g-2 (pronounced g minus two) and it's a very powerful electromagnetic ring capable of carrying 5,200 amps of current, says Chris Polly, the lead scientist for the ring's experiments.
"It creates a very strong magnetic field that allows us to store a special particle called a muon," he says.