News Archive | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

News Archive - February 26, 2013

Obama Visits Newport News To Talk Sequestration

President Obama highlighted the impact of pending budget cuts on the state's defense industry at Newport News, where looming furlough would effect the area

Apple Agrees To Hand Out $100 Million In iTunes Credits To Settle Lawsuit

The lawsuit alleged Apple allowed children to make in-app purchases without the consent of an adult. Apple has agreed to give $5 of iTunes credit to about 23 million customers.

Should You Fear The 'July Effect' Of First-Time Doctors At Hospitals?

Conventional wisdom holds that summertime — when medical students graduate and become first-time doctors — is the most dangerous time to check into a hospital. But a recent study of surgeries at 1,700 hospitals suggests the fear of newbie docs is overblown.

Because Of Budget Cuts, U.S. Releases Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrants

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its detention facilities would be strained by the Congressionally-mandated across-the-board cuts that will take effect March 1.

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

The Supreme Court is reviewing a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, originally designed to wring institutionalized discrimination from voting in the Old South. It follows an election season when the act was used to forestall proposed changes in several states.

GM Denies Asking For $2.1 Million Pay Raise For CEO Dan Akerson

The government still owns part of GM and when the automaker took a $49.5 billion bailout, it agreed to have executive pay approved by government.

Is There Room For Smartphones Beyond Android And iOS?

Between them, Google Android and Apple's iOS account for more than 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, with Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a few smaller players rounding out the mobile market. But the tech world never stands still and other players are making a run for a piece of the growing mobile pie.

Anesthesia Care And Web-Surfing May Not Mix, Nurses Say

Is the operating room staff Facebooking when they should be monitoring vital signs? The nurse anestheticists say that's a potential patient safety problem.

Liberal SuperPAC Under Fire For Tweets About McConnell's 'Chinese' Wife

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is married to former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan. The PAC has been pushing messages that try to draw connections between McConnell's politics and his wife's heritage. His spokesman calls those messages "disgusting."

It's A Trap! 4 Possible Presidential Pitfalls

President Obama has begun his second term with great momentum, but history warns that he will be challenged to sustain himself by forces all around — and within — him.

Pastagate: Quebec Agency Criticized For Targeting Foreign Words On Menus

A government agency in Quebec, Canada, has come under intense criticism after attempting to get pasta stricken from a restaurant's menu. The move had nothing to do with the food: Officials said Italian words such as pasta, calamari, and antipasto should be replaced with French words.

Smoking Ban Extended Inside Orioles, Ravens Stadiums

Baltimore sports fans will subjected to the smell of smoke no longer, as Maryland officials have banned smoking inside the stadiums of both the Ravens and the Orioles.

John Kerry To German Students: Americans Have 'Right To Be Stupid'

On his first foreign trip as Secretary of State, Kerry defended America's tradition of civil liberties. He said our tolerance for the airing of controversial opinions is a virtue.

Fairfax Homeless Population Subject Of Vulnerability Study

Volunteers are taking to the streets in Fairfax County this week to conduct surveys of the area's homeless populations with the hope of ultimately providing housing.

Women To See Higher Prices For Long-Term Care Insurance

Rates for female applicants could be up to 40 percent higher under the new pricing policy from Genworth Financial, the country's largest long-term care insurer. The company says women account for two out of every three dollars spent on claims.

Orange Line Delayed Through Rush Hour

Unexpected track work at the West Falls Church station on the Orange Line means that commuters in and out of Virginia will face longer travel times.

Senate Allows Nomination Of Chuck Hagel To Move Forward

The full Senate is expected to hold a final vote Tuesday afternoon. Earlier this month, Senate Republicans took the unprecedented step of filibustering his nomination.

Among Oscars Fanfare, Visual Effects Industry Faces Difficult Times

In a business where effects-laden movies bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, many of the studios that create those effects are barely staying afloat.

Disputes Expected Before Virginia Takes Over Failing Schools

The Virginia General Assembly has already passed legislation clearing the way for underperforming schools to be administered by the state, but some say legal challenges are inevitable.

Daytona 500 Ratings Hit 5-Year High; Viewership Spikes In Cities

The Daytona 500 posted its strongest TV ratings since 2008, thanks to a buildup of attention drawn by Danica Patrick's history-making pole position and a horrendous crash during a race at the track Saturday. The biggest gains in viewership seem to have come in big cities.

FDIC Says In 2012, Banks Posted Second-Best Earnings On Record

U.S. banks made $141.3 billion in net income last year. That's second only to the profit they made in 2006, before the financial crisis. Many of the banks that profited the most, have benefitted from a government bailout.

Judge Rejects Motion To Dismiss Charges Against Bradley Manning

The pretrial hearing of Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking state secrets to the Wikileaks website, resumed Tuesday with the military judge concluding that most of the pretrial delays were justified.

To Build An Empire, Hold The Anchovies

Civilization cannot live on anchovies alone. The ancient Norte Chico people of Peru were long thought to have built a complex society in South America while dining on a diet based on the tiny fish. But archaeologists now say they ate the food that fueled empires throughout the hemisphere — corn.

'Pope Emeritus' Benedict XVI Will Wear White, But Trade In Red Shoes

Outgoing Benedict XVI will be referred to as "His Holiness" and carry the title of "pope emeritus," the Vatican says.

Prince George's Police Reveal Details About Murder Of Marckel Ross

The identity of the Travon Bennett, accused of killing an 18-year-old Central High School student last September, was revealed Monday, along with his alleged motive.

Force Behind Race-Law Rollback Efforts Talks Voting Rights Case

The head of the conservative Project on Fair Representation has spent years pursuing legal channels to roll back a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. His efforts helped bring the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court, which hears arguments Wednesday.

Donations Pour In For Homeless Man Who Returned Ring He Got By Mistake

Billy Ray Harris held on to Sarah Darling's diamond ring after she accidentally put it in his change cup. When Darling retraced her steps, he returned it to her. His honesty has led to more than $150,000 — so far — in online pledges to help him.

Home Sales, Consumer Confidence And Bernanke All On Positive Side

But the Federal Reserve chairman warns Congress that the "sharp, front-loaded spending cuts" that would come with the so-called sequester could hurt the economy. He recommends "policies that reduce the federal deficit more gradually in the near term but more substantially in the longer run."

U.S. Doctors Head Overseas To Train, Not Just Treat

Many American doctors are nurses are helping to build medical schools abroad, as funding agencies push for this collaborative style of philanthropy. Even former President Clinton is getting involved. He's launched a $15 million initiative to revamp Rwanda's health care system.

Winter Weary Central Plains States Getting Walloped Again

Still digging out from one major winter storm, parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri are in the path of another.

Scientists Trace Origin Of Destructive Russia Meteor

The Chelyabinsk meteor was part of a group of Earth-crossing objects known as Apollo asteroids, scientists believe.

Today's 3 'Should-Read' Stories About The Sequester

As Friday's deadline approaches, we're pointing to stories that should help everyone get ready. Today's choices: "Sequester, never heard of it;" "when will the cuts be felt;" and "is Obama telling the truth?"

'The Worm' Turns Up In North Korea: Dennis Rodman Is On Visit

The flamboyant former NBA star, now 51, has gone to the communist country for some basketball diplomacy and to take part in a film being made for HBO.

Oxfam Gives Big Food Companies Bad Behavior Grades

When it comes to protecting the environment and issues like worker well-being and women's rights, 10 of the world's biggest food producers get failing grades from Oxfam, an activist group for the poor.

Book News: 50 Poems From Rudyard Kipling Discovered

Also: Some authors are buying spots on bestseller lists; the legacy of Philip Roth; and details of Thomas Pynchon's next novel.

Tourist Tragedy In Egypt: Hot Air Balloon Catches Fire; Many Aboard Killed

The death toll is reported to be near 20. What caused the fire and crash has yet to be determined. Balloon rides over the ancient city of Luxor and nearby historic sites are popular among tourists. Those killed are said to have been from Japan, Britain, Belgium and France.