News Archive - January 28, 2014

5 Things We Learned From The President's Speech

Much of what was in President Obama's fifth State of the Union address was signaled in the days leading into the speech. Even so, there were a few revealing moments.

From Establishment To Tea Party, Republicans Rebut President

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who delivered the official GOP response Tuesday evening, didn't have the spotlight to herself — there were also three other Republican rebuttals.

WATCH: Obama Tells The Story Of A Wounded Soldier

It was a moment during the State of the Union that brought a bitterly divided chamber to its feet.

55 Bodies Exhumed At Reform School Site In Florida

The number of bodies found by university researchers represents 24 more remains than official records say should be there. Researchers used ground-penetrating radar to locate the bodies over the course of three months.

Transcript: Obama's State Of The Union Address As Prepared For Delivery

President Obama's State of the Union address as prepared for delivery on Jan. 28, 2014.

Morrie Turner, 1923-2014: Drawing Gentle Lessons In Tolerance

Morrie Turner's Wee Pals was the first nationally syndicated comic strip by a black cartoonist. It featured a rainbow tribe of young friends and gentle lessons in tolerance.

Reading Scores In D.C., Maryland, Virginia Show Widening Income Gap


Reading scores for third graders are improving across the D.C. region, but the gap between low income and high income students is only becoming more pronounced.

Las Vegas Braces Itself For Record Highs — In The Low 70s

The National Weather Service says Las Vegas could surpass record warm temperatures for late January, with Thursday's high predicted near 74 degrees.

Drama In The Virginia Senate As Democrats Toss Old Rules On Committees

With control of the state Senate confirmed after a recount in Norfolk, Virginia Democrats are looking to wrangle control of the Senate committees.

Decrying Washington Stalemate, Obama Calls For 'Year Of Action'

In his State of the Union address, President Obama challenged Congress to overhaul immigration laws and increase the federal minimum wage.

Cool Runnings: The One-Man, East Timor Version

Before he could be sent to Sochi, Yohan Goutt Goncalves, 19, first had to take the unusual step of creating his country's national skiing federation.

Maryland House Approves Healthcare Exchange Stopgap

A bill that offer healthcare to those left behind by the glitches to the Maryland exchange has passed the state House of Delegates.

The State Of The Union Through Your Eyes

For some Americans, it feels like the country is in tatters. For others, life is good and a recovering economy means a dream house.

D.C.’s Crack Users Were On the Streets — And In City Hall

As D.C.’s police and politicians responded to the crack epidemic, the man charged with leading the fight — Mayor Marion Barry — became a user himself.

State Of The Union Prompts Road Closures Around Capitol


For those across the country, the State of the Union means an interruption in their usual evening programming. For residents of the District, it means temporary road closures around the Capitol building.

Federal Inspectors Review Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Shutdown

The winter storm last week caused a shutdown at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland, prompting NRC officials to investigate the specific causes and effects.

The Strange Case Of Marlise Munoz And John Peter Smith Hospital

After collapsing on her kitchen floor, Munoz was hospitalized and kept on life support despite her wishes. A Texas law protects a hospital from liability as long it keeps a pregnant patient on life support.

Food Stamp Cuts, Cold Weather Put Extra Strain On Food Pantries

Food pantries are bracing for higher demand from their communities in the coming weeks. National hunger organizations say the best way to help is to give money to local food banks and pantries instead of donating food.

Cantaloupe Farmers Get Probation Over Deadly Listeria Outbreak

The 2011 outbreak killed 33 people in 28 states. The Colorado farmers were sentenced to five years probation and six months of home detention.

Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building Won't Reopen This Year

The Smithsonian Institution won't reopen one of the oldest buildings on the National Mall this year as planned.

Who Are The Long-Term Unemployed? (In 3 Graphs)

In 2013, nearly 40 percent of unemployed workers had been looking for work for six months or longer.

Full Interview: NPR's Michele Norris Talks About Dooney Waters

Dooney Waters came to symbolize the impact that D.C.'s crack epidemic had on children, and NPR's Michele Norris was the person who introduced the world to him while she worked at The Washington Post.

Illinois Train Conductor's Challenge: Keep The Beer From Freezing

In extreme cold, beer is particularly vulnerable when it's waiting to go into "the beer house." The bottles and cans are fairly safe as long as the cars they're in are kept moving, a train conductor says.

China Is Poised To Force 'Times' Reporter Out Of Country

The development comes despite objections from Vice President Joe Biden, who has urged senior officials in Beijing not to punish U.S. journalists with de facto expulsion. China has not granted a request for a new visa that was made last summer.

No, Queen Elizabeth Is Not Down To Her 'Last Million'

She's not going to be a pauper anytime soon. Yes, the royal household has drawn down its rainy day fund. But the queen is still worth about $500 million — not counting the billions more in assets that belong to the crown estate.

Sushi Chefs Aren't Feeling California's New Glove Law

The new law aimed at improving food safety requires chefs and others who handle raw food in restaurants to wear gloves. Sushi chefs say it takes the feel out of hands-on sushi.

Top Moments In State Of The Union History

When was the first State of the Union delivered? Did every president give one? Who delivered the "Four Freedoms" speech? Find out here.

Super Bowl Tickets Are 'Cheap,' And Weather Isn't Only Reason

The forecast for temperatures near or below freezing on Sunday has likely kept resale prices down a bit, brokers say. But an even more important factor may be that the matchup — the Denver Broncos vs. the Seattle Seahawks — just isn't drawing interest from some fans.

College Students Can Learn To Drink Less, If Schools Help

Drinking too much may seem like an essential part of college life for many students. But interventions aimed at getting students to drink less dangerously do work, a study finds. The efforts need to go beyond generic online courses and involve students on a personal level.

Obama's State Of The Union, Playing On A Second Screen Near You

The Obama administration is flooding just about every major social media platform in its major digital push before — and during — the State of the Union address.

Philippine Police Used 'Wheel Of Torture,' Rights Group Says

Punishments, which were chosen by spinning a roulette wheel, included a "20 second Manny Pacquiao" in which suspects were punched for 20 seconds, according to Amnesty International. The practice allegedly was used on more than 40 detainees, mostly suspected drug traffickers.

Fixing The NFL: Put Robots In The Super Bowl

To avoid concussions, bypass drug problems and boost ticket sales, maybe the league should start drafting droids.

Despite Soundproof Box, Egypt's Morsi Is Defiant In Court

Deposed President Mohammed Morsi appeared in court on charges related to a 2011 prison break. It was Morsi's second appearance in court since he was ousted in a military-backed coup in July amid nationwide protests against his rule. The trial was adjourned until Feb. 22.

Special Election In Arlington Prompts Debate Over Columbia Pike Streetcar Plan

The Columbia Pike streetcar is a hot political issue in Arlington, and the Democratic candidates running in a special election for the county board are laying our their positions on the project.

Virginia GOP Pushes For Audit Of Medicaid Program Before Voting On Expansion

Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates leaders have said that they will not vote on whether to expand Medicaid until after a comprehensive outside audit of the state's program is conducted.

How A Divorce Can Boost Health Insurance Subsidies

If a couple divorces, each person's eligibility for insurance-related tax credits will generally be based on his or her own annual income. The former spouse's income won't be counted, even if the couple filed taxes jointly the previous year.

Opposition 'Gaining Ground' In Ukraine?

The prime minister is quitting. Anti-protest laws have been repealed. Moves are being made that may give protesters amnesty. But the opposition says it will remain in the streets until the government agrees to its demands, which include new elections.

Democrat Wins Hotly Contested Virginia State Senate Seat — By 11 Votes

After a recount of a contested state Senate seat in Norfolk, Democrat Lynwood Lewis has been certified as the winner, leaving the Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

One Way Lawmakers Are Trying To Prevent Government IT Disasters's launch problems inspired legislation aimed at ending a cycle of costly federal IT failures. The measure would create a Digital Government Office charged with reviewing and guiding major IT projects and boost competition for contracts.

Barry Released From Hospital After 16-Day Stay

The former four-term mayor was treated for an unspecified ailment; he has suffered from prostate cancer and diabetes and underwent a kidney transplant in recent years.

In China's Hugely Indebted Cities, Some Big Bills Are Coming Due

China's rapid growth has been fueled in large part by rampant borrowing. Local governments have racked up nearly $3 trillion in debt. Experts say such growth isn't sustainable, but the Communist Party controls the banking system, so defaults aren't likely.

FDA Found Drugs Used In Food Animals To Be 'High Risk'

Documents show that Food and Drug Administration scientists allowed 18 drugs to be sold to farmers despite a risk to human health. Critics say the agency now needs to get companies to commit to phasing out the drugs given to animals at low doses to make them grow faster.

Top Stories: Pete Seeger Dies; Obama Prepares To Address Nation

Also: The Deep South braces for a rare blast of winter weather; some Republican lawmakers shift on immigration; central banks move to boost emerging markets; and while the crisis in Ukraine continues, an anti-protest law there has been abolished.

Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contracts

The president will announce in his State of the Union address that he's signing an executive order to lift the pay in new federal contracts. A top adviser tells NPR that Obama has "warmed up to" the idea of using executive orders to move his agenda ahead.

5 Things To Expect In Obama's State Of The Union Address

The populist issue of income inequality will get a full airing in President Obama's fifth State of the Union speech. But immigration could run a close second in a speech designed to advance the president's second term agenda.

Pete Seeger, Folk Music Icon And Activist, Dies At 94

Seeger had been a mentor and an influence on younger musicians for decades. He will be remembered for his music and his social activism.