Education
11:01 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Tennessee Teachers Find It Hard To Make The Grade

Janna Beth Hunt, a first-grade teacher at Nashville's Norman Binkley Elementary, is disappointed with how she scored on her first observation under the new system.

Blake Farmer for NPR

Tennessee overhauled its teacher evaluation system last year to win a grant from the federal Race to the Top program. Now many teachers say they are struggling to shine, and that's torpedoing morale.

For Janna Beth Hunt, who teaches first grade at Norman Binkley Elementary in Nashville, it's been a disappointing process. Tennessee's new observations grade teachers on a scale of 1 to 5. Many are scoring what feels like a C, which under the system isn't enough to get the job security of tenure.

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Around the Nation
11:01 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Exploring Occupy Wall Street's 'Adbuster' Origins

An onlooker takes a photograph of Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park. The demonstrations were inspired by a blog post by Kalle Lasn, editor of Adbusters magazine.

Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

The protests go by a variety of names: "Occupy Wall Street," "American Autumn," "The 99 Percent." And the lack of a unified message is matched by a lack of centralized control. But the protests share a common spark: a disillusioned Canadian adman.

The "Occupy" protests seemed to come out of nowhere. But the early participants, like John Garcia, in downtown Seattle, point to a very specific catalyst.

"I get Adbusters, so that's how I heard about it," he says.

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Election 2012
11:01 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

A 'Spirited' Primary Could Be What The GOP Needs

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (left) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry got into a heated exchange about immigration during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 10:50 am

Tuesday night's brawl of a debate in Las Vegas erased any doubt that the fight for the Republican presidential nomination would get bitter. Texas Gov. Rick Perry aggressively parried former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who looked rattled for the first time.

If that hand-to-hand combat continues, the Republican primary could just become a long, drawn-out fight. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for the eventual nominee is unclear.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:53 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

To Curb Abortions, Opponents Focus On The 'Supply-Side'

States enacted a record number of abortion restrictions in the first half of 2011, many of them requiring 24-hour waiting periods, ultrasounds or parental permission to deter women from obtaining abortions. But these types of "demand-side policies" have not had much of an impact in the past on national abortion rates, according to an article in the most recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Mass. High Court Throws Sales Of Some Foreclosed Homes Into Limbo

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has thrown into doubt the ownership of some foreclosed homes, when it decided that buyers of a house that was improperly foreclosed are not the legal owners of the property.

The Boston Globe reports:

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After three years covering the Middle East for NPR, Kelly McEvers is taking on a new country: the U.S. In the fall of 2013, she will become a correspondent for NPR's National Desk.

Previous to this role, she was NPR's international correspondent based in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to moving into that reporting location in January 2012, McEvers was based at NPR's Baghdad Bureau.

The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Watch Out! More Space Debris Coming Our Way

The X-ray satellite ROSAT was shutdown in 1999 and will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere this weekend.

German Aerospace Center

It's happening again: This time instead of a NASA satellite, it's a German satellite that will burn through the Earth's atmosphere and crash somewhere unknown. If you remember, in September a decommissioned weather satellite fell into the South Pacific.

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NPR Story
4:41 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Amish Reel From Bizarre Beard-Cutting Attacks

Sam Mullet, father of two of the three men arrested for allegedly going into the home of other Amish and cutting their hair and beards, is seen outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio. Some who have left Mullet's community have accused him of abuse.

Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 5:56 pm

On the night of Oct. 4, Myron and Arlene Miller were asleep in their home in Mechanicstown, Ohio, when they heard a knock on the door. According to their friend Bob Comer, when Myron came downstairs, he found five men standing on his doorstep.

"They pulled him out in the front yard, and they have scissors and a battery-powered shaver and everything," Comer says. "They're trying to hold him down and cut his beard off and cut his hair off."

Miller yelled at his wife to call 911. Then the men let him go and ran back to the trailer and had the driver take off, Comer says.

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Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's international desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia and how immigration has transformed European societies.

Since joining NPR's foreign desk in 1982, Poggioli has traveled extensively for reporting assignments. Most recently, she travelled to Norway to cover the aftermath of the brutal attacks by an ultra-rightwing extremist; to Greece, Spain, and Portugal for the latest on the euro-zone crisis; and the Balkans where the last wanted war criminals have been arrested.

Shots - Health Blog
4:00 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Heart Failure Lands Fewer Seniors In Hospital

Clayton Hansen iStockphoto.com

Which illness puts more elderly people in the hospital than any other? Heart failure, a serious impairment of blood-pumping power.

But, as some Yale researchers have found, the rate of hospitalization for heart failure has gone down a lot, according to Medicare data for the decade ending in 2008.

The analysis is pretty complicated, and makes adjustments for a bunch of risk factors, but the upshot is clear: The rate of heart failure admissions in 2008 was 29.5 percent lower than in 1998. It's the first study to show a national decline.

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