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The U.S. Supreme Court hears two important cases this week on the on same-sex marriage, an issue that a new poll says young Americans support in ever larger numbers.

Marking Forgotten Slave Burial Sites, Online

Mar 24, 2013

It all started on a former plantation in Tennessee. That's where Sandra Arnold's great-grandfather, Ben Harmon, who was born a slave, is buried next to his wife, Ethel. Their final resting spots are clearly marked, gravestone and all, but next to them, Arnold noticed an entire area of unmarked slave graves. She wondered if they could be family, too.

Her research started on that plot, then expanded to the state of Tennessee. Eventually, Arnold learned that it wasn't uncommon to find unmarked slave burial places across the country.

When you hear the words "social network" you probably think of Facebook or Twitter. But years before either of those websites — when most of us weren't using the Internet at all — a smaller, stranger community was emerging around something called, a 15-year-old subculture that's dedicated to the $1 bill.

In the New York City prison system, the outlook for juvenile offenders is bleak. They're falling through the cracks, being arrested repeatedly, and being re-released onto the same streets only to be picked up again.

The criminal justice system is failing these 16- and 17-year-olds, says Dora Schriro, the commissioners of the city's Department of Corrections.

After four years of self-imposed exile, Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has come home. His plan is to run for office and reclaim political influence, but death threats and legal battles complicate his return.

Overnight temperatures are dipping below freezing and the forecast calls for snow, but cold, boredom and discomfort haven't stopped more than 30 Supreme Court die-hards from camping out for a seat to history.

"I just really wanted to be part of this moment, so I had been planning to come down for months," said Darienn Powers, a college student who came to Washington from New York. "No matter what, it's worth it to be in there and really experience what's going on."

U.K. Police Investigate Death Of Exiled Russian Oligarch

Mar 24, 2013

Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who made headlines in 2000 after falling out with President Vladimir Putin and moving to the U.K., was found dead at his home on Saturday. He was 67.

Backyard chickens have become a coveted suburban accessory, one that packages cuteness, convenience and local food production in one fluffy feathered package.

But animal husbandry can be a nasty business, a fact that's often glossed over by poultry partisans like Martha Stewart and New Yorker writer Susan Orlean.

Update at 3:52 p.m. ET.: Kerry Reacts

Speaking in Baghdad, Secretary of State John Kerry responded to news of Khatib's resignation, saying it "is not a surprise."

"It's almost inevitable, in the transition of a group such as the opposition, for these kinds of changes to take place as it evolves," he said.

Here's more from his comments:

Secretary of State John Kerry is on an unannounced trip to Baghdad Sunday, and according to an official, the buzzword of the trip is "engagement."

NPR's Michele Kelemen, who's traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast Desk that Syria is on his agenda:

Wyoming has the highest per capita suicide rate in the nation. Guns are also a big part of everyday life: The state has one of the highest rates of gun ownership.

One hundred thirty-one prominent Republicans have signed a pro-same-sex marriage legal brief that is clearly at odds with the House GOP leadership and the party's platform in the most recent election. Because of the prominence of the signers, the brief stands out among the more than 150 friend-of-the-court briefs filed in two same-sex marriage cases to be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

The man who rounded up the group is Ken Mehlman, the former political director for the George W. Bush White House.

Saturday's NCAA men's basketball shocker? Wichita State toppled Gonzaga, 76-70. Gonzaga is the first top-seeded team to be eliminated, and it's the first time Wichita State is heading to Sweet 16 since 2006, The Associated Press reports. The AP adds:

"Wichita State had the Zags down 13 early. Though Gonzaga (32-3) fought back, the barrage of 3s was too much for the small school from Spokane, Wash."

Explore the documents from the 2010 Mount Carroll, Ill., incident that describe what happened when two young employees died inside a grain bin and detail workplace safety violations found by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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The night before he died, Wyatt Whitebread couldn't stand the thought of going back to the grain bins on the edge of Mount Carroll, Ill.

The mischievous and popular 14-year-old had been excited about his first real job, he told Lisa Jones, the mother of some of his closest friends, as she drove him home from a night out for pizza. But nearly two weeks later he told her he was tired of being sent into massive storage bins clogged with corn.

Joe Weider, a legendary figure in the world of bodybuilding whose name became synonymous with the sport, died Saturday at the age of 93.

Weider's publicist, Charlotte Parker, told The Associated Press that the bodybuilder, publisher and promoter died of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.

Can Detroit Return To Its Former Glory?

Mar 23, 2013

The newly appointed emergency financial manager of Detroit begins the Herculean task Monday of turning the once bustling capital of the car business back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Though Detroit still has its cultural centers, architectural gems, funky restaurants and packed sporting events downtown, the city has suffered an urban blight that has slowly eaten away at its neighborhoods.

It wasn't so long ago that a handful of Vermont legislators in a shabby Statehouse committee room struggled over what to call their proposal to give marriage-like rights to the state's gay and lesbian residents.

Democrat Howard Dean, governor at the time, had already made clear he'd veto any legislation labeled "marriage." Suggestions like "domestic partner relationship" were too clunky; "civil accord," they decided, evoked a car model.

Back in 1996, a group of baby cicadas burrowed into soils in the eastern U.S. to lead a quiet life of constant darkness and a diet of roots. Now at the ripe age of 17, those little cicadas are all grown up and it's time to molt, procreate and die while annoying a few million humans with their constant chirping in the process.

San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.

Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.

But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.

Anyone looking for a glimmer of bipartisanship in Washington might want to pay attention to the medical device tax that is part of Obamacare. It took a notable, if largely symbolic, hit this week from the left and the right.

The 2.3-percent excise tax on devices ranging from MRI machines to pacemakers to stethoscopes was meant to raise $20 billion over 10 years to help pay for extending health care coverage to the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

But so far it has raised more ire than revenue.

The gastric brooding frog may be coming back. Does that give us a lot to brood about, too?

This week scientists at the University of New South Wales' Lazarus Project announced they have reproduced the genome — that bit of biological material that carries our genetic structure — of a gastric brooding frog.

Another big shock from the NCAA tournament: Florida Gulf Coast "busted a load of brackets" Friday, beating second-seeded Georgetown, as The Associated Press reports.

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles managed a 78-68 victory over the Hoyas, only the seventh time in NCAA history that a No. 15 seed beat a No. 2, the AP says.

The soul-searching over the Defense of Marriage Act went viral last week after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a social conservative and original co-sponsor of the 1996 bill, sought out CNN to say something no one saw coming.

Portman said he'd decided to oppose DOMA and support same-sex marriage, two years after learning his college-age son was gay.

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

In Chicago, parents are fighting to prevent the city from closing 54 public schools. The Chicago Teachers Union is planning a rally against the cost-cutting proposal next week.

School closings are nothing new, but in a growing number of districts around the country, what was once seen as a local decision to close schools has now morphed into a politically charged campaign.

The Affordable Care Act turns 3 on Saturday, and it seems just as divisive as the day President Obama signed it.

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 5: A return to shore finds that people prefer cars to corals.

It's not every day you open an in-flight magazine and read an ad touting "spitwater pressure cleaners for the mining industry." Flip the page and you'll also see an ad cajoling you to "snorkel, sip, snooze" on the Great Barrier Reef.

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on gay marriage, Maggie Gallagher, one of the nation's leading voices in opposition to same-sex marriage, is also preparing for what might come next.

Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, likes to call herself an "accidental activist." After graduating from Yale in 1982, she thought she'd become a writer and focus on what she called "important things," like money and war. She never fathomed she'd end up on TV almost daily, smack in the middle of the war zone over gay marriage.

Saturday Mail Delivery: Safe For Now?

Mar 22, 2013

Does the budget bill passed by Congress this week derail the United States Postal Service (USPS) plan to end Saturday delivery of first class mail?