NPR News


The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Conservative Think Tank Study Finds Teachers Are 'Overpaid'

A new study tries to answer the age-old question: Are teachers underpaid?

Brooke Getty Images

The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think thank in Washington, D.C., is causing waves with a study (pdf) it released today that found teachers are overcompensated in comparison to "similarly educated and experienced private-sector workers."

The organization said it took a "comprehensive" look at teacher's salaries and tried to take into account what it says are unique areas of compensation for teachers, including generous pension plans and better job security.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:56 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Obama: 'Fit For Duty' And Smoker No More

A relaxed and fit President Obama meets with senior advisers at the White House in early July.

Pete Souza The White House

All middle-aged men should be so healthy.

A summary of the results from President Obama's latest physical were released yesterday, and he's looking good. Very good.

Navy Capt. Jeffrey Kuhlman, the president's doctor, declared him "fit for duty."

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:34 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

CDC: Time To Curb 'Shocking' Epidemic Of Narcotics Overdoses

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 5:14 pm

Federal officials say they're making headway in their push to stem abuse of addictive painkillers. Still, they say, U.S. doctors are prescribing enough narcotics to medicate every American around the clock for a month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses may soon overtake car crashes as the nation's leading cause of fatal injury.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

House To Vote On Reaffirmation Of 'In God We Trust' Motto

The words "In God We Trust" are seen on U.S. currency.

Alex Wong Getty Images

The United States House of Representatives is expected to vote on a reaffirmation of "In God We Trust" as the country's official motto, today. The bill would also encourage public buildings to include the motto in their architecture.

Read more
3:40 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Inmates May Be Freed By Crack Cocaine Case Review

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 5:07 pm

Across the country on Tuesday, federal judges began reviewing the prison sentences of thousands of men and women jailed on crack cocaine charges. Many inmates could be released or see their sentences sharply reduced.

Congress voted last year to ease federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine. But a decision this summer to revisit old drug cases has sparked new controversy.

Some History

Read more
The Salt
3:28 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

When Lactose Intolerance Makes You Scream For No Ice Cream

A customer studies a display of milk and dairy products at Bryan's Grocery in San Francisco in March.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 1:18 pm

Babies digest milk with ease, but it can get harder with age, unless you picked up a gene from your northern European ancestors. Between 30 million to 50 million American adults can't crank out enough of the enzyme that digests lactose, or milk sugar, which can turn a bowl of ice cream into a roller coaster of stomach discomfort.

Lactose-intolerant people who want to indulge in dairy without suffering the consequences have two options: take supplements of the enzyme lactase, or buy lactose-free dairy products, which are made by adding lactase to break down the milk sugar.

Read more
3:24 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Greek Inaction Or Democracy In Action?

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou leaves a news conference after a meeting with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Oct. 13 at EU headquarters in Brussels. EU leaders were surprised and angered Tuesday when Papandreou said he would place a debt restructuring proposal before Greek voters.

John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 9:12 pm

Greece, the birthplace of democracy, may be suffering from an overdose of public input.

The decision by Greece's government to hold a January referendum on its deal with the European Union to restructure public debt has thrown the pact — and investors — onto shaky ground. Stocks around the world took a sharp dive on Tuesday's news, and other European leaders left little doubt over how they felt.

Read more
'Darkhorse' Battalion And The Afghan War
3:11 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

As Casualties Mounted, So Did Marine Families' Fears

Amy Murray at home with her daughter Harper in Oceanside, Calif. Her husband, Capt. Patrick Murray, with the Darkhorse battalion, returned home from Afghanistan, in April 2011; 25 Marines from his unit did not.

David Gilkey NPR

A year ago, nearly 1,000 U.S. Marine officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment deployed to restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. By the time their tour ended in April 2011, the Marines of the 3/5 — known as "Darkhorse" — suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the past 10 years of war. This week, NPR tells the story of this unit's seven long months at war — both in Afghanistan and back home.

Third of seven parts

Read more
The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

To Assure Japan, Official Drinks Water From Fukushima Puddle

Japan's Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office Yasuhiro Sonoda drinks a glass of decontaminated water taken from puddles inside the buildings housing reactors 5 and 6 at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Jiji Press AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 2:08 pm

He had assured Japan that the water inside the nuclear reactors crippled after the tsunami was safe. Yasuhiro Sonoda, a Japanese MP, said he so sure of the safety, he'd drink a glass of decontaminated water from the Fukushima reactor in front of reporters.

Monday, he made good on his promise. Here's the video:

Read more
Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Book Review: 'Mrs. Nixon'

11/22/63 is the latest book from author Stephen King.