And the Obama administration is trying to reduce prison time for some people convicted of less serious crimes. Attorney General Eric Holder outlined a new approach to criminal justice yesterday in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco. He's targeting what he says is expensive and racially biased overcrowding in American prisons.
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ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: Too many Americans go to too many prisons, for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. James "Whitey" Bulger - the mobster who once reigned over Boston's underworld - was found guilty yesterday on 31 of 32 counts in a federal racketeering indictment. The laundry list of allegations against him included murder, extortion and illegal gun possession. The verdict came after a 20-year quest to bring the gangster to justice. From member station WBUR in Boston, Asma Khalid reports.
And our last word in business today is: Traffic Solution.
One way to beat bumper-to-bumper traffic is a vintage and very rare 1954 Aerocar, offered for sale by Courtesy Aircraft in Rockford, Illinois.
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This vehicle apparently converts from car to airplane in about 10 minutes and tops out at 60 miles per hour on land, 110 in the sky. That's pretty fast. But with an asking price just shy of a million dollars.
NPR's business news starts with BlackBerry weighing its option.
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GREENE: The Canadian telecom firm announced yesterday that it maybe looking for new owners. BlackBerry was valued at more than $80 billion back in 2008. Then the iPhone and Android came along and stole its dominance of the smartphone market. Now BlackBerry is worth only about $5.4 billion and its market share is plummeting.
Writer Kiese Laymon has had the kind of year every first-time author dreams of: two books published to critical acclaim. But none of that came easily. The title of his most recent book, an essay collection released on Tuesday, hints at how tough the road really was: It's called How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.
A federal judge in New York City has ruled that the New York City Police Department's stop and frisk policy is unconstitutional, amounting to, quote, "indirect racial profiling of young men of color." Mayor Michael Bloomberg lambasted that ruling, and as reporter Arun Venugopal of member station WNYC found, the reaction in the most affected communities is mixed.
You can thank brainy billionaire Elon Musk's Hyperloop proposal for bringing electro-magnetic-powered transportation and the linear induction motor back into the public consciousness.
The Hyperloop is a system for really-really rapid transit. If built, Musk claims it can carry people about 800 miles per hour, which could get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes.
When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn't take long for accusations to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.
The Detroit River is the mile-wide boundary that separates the United States and Canada. And the city park on the Windsor, Ontario, side of the river offers a better view of the Detroit skyline than anywhere else.
In a quirk of geography, Detroit actually sits north of its Canadian neighbor. Natives like Stephen Santarossa, who's from Windsor, love this bit of trivia and relish the puzzled look on visitors' faces as they try to draw that mental map.
"Do you realize that you are now looking north?" he says.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 2:59 pm
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Monday a controversial measure that overhauls the state's election laws. It requires government-issued photo IDs at the polls, reduces the early voting period by one week and ends same day registration.
A federal judge in Georgia threw out the discrimination claims against Paula Deen on Monday in a lawsuit that sparked widespread criticism, led sponsors to jump ship and the Food Network to drop her show.
My parents married young — both were still undergraduates — and so by the time my father started graduate school in mathematics, he and my mother were the harried parents of three small children. They wanted us to see America. And so my father chose the University of Arizona — about as far as you could go from our West Virginia home without falling off the country's opposite edge. On our way, we stopped in Tombstone.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:38 pm
A 19-year Army veteran was given a summons and told to leave the oceanside boardwalk in North Wildwood, N.J., Thursday, after a police officer refused to accept the presence of the veteran's service dog. Jared Goering says it was the first vacation for him and his wife, Sally, in years.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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I'm Robert Siegel.
For many communities around the country, the yellow school bus is the quintessential sign that school is in session. Well, one school district is taking its buses off the roads. Citing the need to cut costs, district officials in Hoover, Alabama are canceling school bus service starting one year from now.