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Code Switch
4:41 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

2013 Signoffs: Short Stories About A Few Remarkable Lives

Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman's writing often drew from her struggles as a black woman. She died at age 67 in November.
Chris Felver Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:31 pm

Before 2013 ends, the Code Switch team pauses to remember some remarkable individuals who died this year and whose stories you might not have heard.

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National Security
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

'Times' Report Finds No al-Qaida Involvement In Benghazi Attack

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:58 pm

In a 7,000-word investigative report published by The New York Times on Sunday, David Kirkpatrick revisits last year's assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Kirkpatrick finds that — contrary to much commentary from mostly Republican members of Congress — al-Qaida was not involved. He joins Robert Siegel to talk about his reporting and the backlash against his conclusions.

Business
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Mexican Auto Industry Revs Up For Big Year

Industry officials say they are on course to boost production to as many as 4 million autos annually. That's good news for Mexico but has many in the U.S. worried, especially as Audi gets ready to build a new luxury line plant in Mexico and not in the U.S.

Europe
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Suicide Bombings In Russia Raise Concerns About Olympics Security

Investigators in southern Russia say two deadly bombings in the city of Volgograd appear to follow the pattern of attacks by Islamist separatists from the nearby North Caucasus region. It's a dire concern for the Russian authorities, who worry that this could be the lead-up to attacks during the Olympic Games in Sochi in February. Security analysts say the bombings could even be a diversionary tactic to distract the security forces before an even bigger attack. It also raises concerns about security for New Year's crowds in major Russian cities.

Around the Nation
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Priest Released After Court Overturns Child Endangerment Charge

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In a Philadelphia courtroom today, a judge agreed to release a Catholic Church official who's serving prison time for his handling of sexual abuse claims. Last week, a Pennsylvania appeals court overturned Monsignor William Lynn's 2012 conviction. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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Around the Nation
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

FAA Names Test Sites For Drones In U.S. Airspace

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:13 pm

The FAA announced Monday which states will become test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles. Congress has asked the agency to come up with a plan to integrate UAVs into the nation's airspace. State leaders hope the test sites will lead to jobs and industry investment.

Sports
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

At Long Last, Female Ski Jumpers Can Go For Olympic Gold

First-place finisher Jessica Jerome competes in the women's ski jumping event at the U.S. Olympic trials in Park City, Utah, on Sunday.
Jim Urquhart AP

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:50 pm

In Park City, Utah, on Sunday, ski jumper Jessica Jerome, 27, became the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

But to get to this point has been a fight.

Ski jumping has been an Olympic sport since the advent of the Winter Olympics — that is, men's ski jumping. But for the women — who often soar just as far if not farther than the men — it has been a fight that took them to a Canadian courtroom and was marked with years of setbacks. They were told again and again that women's ski jumping wasn't at a high enough caliber to be in the games.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

New York City's Bloomberg Leaves Mixed Results On Health

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg holds a 64-ounce cup, as Lucky's Cafe owner Greg Anagnostopoulos stands behind him during a news conference at the cafe in New York.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 11:40 am

On the November day in 2001 when Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor, two things were prominent in New York City's air: fumes from the World Trade Center's smoldering remains, and tobacco smoke in the city's bars, restaurants and other public spaces.

Now they're both gone.

Bloomberg helped the city rebuild after the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. And he led the charge against smoking.

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All Tech Considered
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Because You Liked Chemistry, We Recommend These Classes

Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:51 pm

The same kind of technology that recommends movies on Netflix or purchases on Amazon is now helping students choose college courses.

A new program developed on a campus in Tennessee uses predictive analytics to suggest classes, and now the technology is spreading across the country and is seen as a way to make higher education more efficient.

On average, graduates take a year's worth of classes they could have done without, or they drop courses before making a bad grade. For Nashville State Community College student Jonathan Hudspeth, it was anatomy and physiology.

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Law
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Supreme Court To Take Up Campaign Finance, Abortion Protests In 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to resume work in a couple of weeks. Among other cases, the justices will be deciding the rules that govern campaign finance and they will hear arguments in cases regarding the so-called buffer zones around abortion clinics and the Affordable Care Act's requirement that for-profit companies cover contraception in their health plans.

Business
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Looking Ahead At The Next Top Tech IPOs

Every year, research firm CB Insights offers up a report on the fastest growing and most highly valued private companies in technology — basically, the ones most likely to go public. Audie Cornish speaks with Anand Sanwal, CB Insights' CEO, for a look at the top tech IPO's expected in 2014.

NPR Story
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Remembering The Boston Marathon Lost To The Bombing

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:08 pm

Alex Ashlock of member station WBUR covered this year's Boston Marathon, as he has for the last 13 years. He remembers when that tragic Monday in April was just another thrilling, magical morning that was shattered when two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line.

Sports
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Five More Coaches Sacked As NFL Enters Postseason

The NFL playoffs are set. We'll find out who the favorites are going into the postseason.

The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

On Evolution, A Widening Political Gap, Pew Says

A drawing of the scientific theory of evolution, which states that living things evolve over time.
Martin Wimmer iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:45 pm

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on their views of the scientific theory of evolution is widening, according to a new poll released by Pew's Religion & Public Life Project.

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Shots - Health News
4:22 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

People drew maps of body locations where they feel basic emotions (top row) and more complex ones (bottom row). Hot colors show regions that people say are stimulated during the emotion. Cool colors indicate deactivated areas.
Image courtesy of Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, Riitta Hari, and Jari Hietanen.

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:08 am

Close your eyes and imagine the last time you fell in love. Maybe you were walking next to your sweetheart in a park or staring into each other's eyes over a latte.

Where did you feel the love? Perhaps you got butterflies in your stomach or your heart raced with excitement.

When a team of scientists in Finland asked people to map out where they felt different emotions on their bodies, they found that the results were surprisingly consistent, even across cultures.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Doctors And Teens Both Avoid Talking About Sex And Sexuality

Almost half of high-schoolers have had sexual intercourse, but teens almost never ask their doctors about sexual health.
Nicole Young iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:09 pm

Many doctors aren't asking teenagers about sex or sexuality, and those who do are spending just 36 seconds on the topic, on average. That's not much time to get into sexually transmitted diseases or birth control, let alone sexual orientation, dating or other big topics.

And teenagers are so bashful when it comes to asking questions about sex and health that they won't bring it up if the doctor doesn't, researchers say.

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Code Switch
3:50 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Why Being 'Gypped' Hurts The Roma More Than It Hurts You

The Three Stooges movie Gypped In the Penthouse is one of many pieces of media that uses the pejorative.
Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 11:13 am

I never thought about the etymology of the verb "gypped" until the end of college, when my friend, lamenting his stolen iPod, said the word and immediately retracted it. "Isn't that offensive?" he wondered. Until that moment, I had never thought about it either. What sparked our unease was the sudden realization that "gypped" was somehow tied to "gypsy."

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Metropolis
3:28 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Metropolis: 12/28/13

Toro Y Moi is featured in this week's edition of Metropolis.
Courtesy of the artist

In this week's mix, Jason Bentley features tracks from Toro Y Moi, Hot Natured, Burial, James Blake, Phoenix and remixes by Psychemagik, Diplo, Prefuse 73, Breakbot and Special Request.

Playlist

  • Toro Y Moi, "Rose Quartz"
  • Flume, "Sleepless (feat. Twin Shadow & Jezzabell Doran)"
  • Kauf, "Relocate (Psychemagik Remix)"
  • Emiliana Torrini, "Speed Of Dark"
  • Ultraista, "You're Out (Prefuse 73 Remix)"
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All Tech Considered
3:17 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

5 New Year's Resolutions From Women To Watch

Maya Penn
Marla Aufmuth TED

New Year's resolutions: Sometimes we make them; usually we break them. The annual goals are intended to bring out the best in us — but what if you're already extremely accomplished?

These five women have worked hard to help others, through businesses, innovation and writing. Four of them were speakers at the TEDWomen conference earlier in December in San Francisco (Katrina Alcorn was an attendee).

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Official In Charge Of Creating HealthCare.gov Steps Down

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:28 pm

Michelle Snyder, the official who oversaw the creation of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website, is retiring.

In a statement on Monday, Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced Snyder's departure from the agency, saying she had originally planned to retire at the end of 2012 but had stayed on at Tavenner's request to help "with the challenges facing CMS in 2013."

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