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U.S. shot putter Adam Nelson has been awarded a gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics, after his rival at those games, Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, was stripped of the victory last December for violating doping rules. The International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Olympic Committee made the change official Thursday.

The father of the Chechen immigrant who was killed in Florida during an FBI interrogation over his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects says his son was killed execution-style.

At a news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed reporters 16 photos he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue.

"I want justice. I want an investigation," Todashev said. "They come to your house like bandits, and they shoot you."

Only a few years ago, even large commercial vessels wouldn't take on the ice-bound Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific via the Canadian north — but climate change has changed all that.

Now, a group of hearty adventurers hopes to be the first to row the 1,900-mile route this summer.

In the more than eight years since it was written, the open-source operating system Ubuntu's "Bug #1" has been seen as a rallying call. After all, the bug's title is "Microsoft has a majority market share."

But the entry was officially closed Thursday, partly because the "broader market has healthy competition" as Ubuntu leader Mark Shuttleworth writes in his comments on closing the bug today.

Joblessness Shortens Life Expectancy For White Women

May 30, 2013

At a time when many people live longer, it's been a mystery why white women without a high school diploma have been dying increasingly earlier those with more education.

A study in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior tries to understand this growing mortality gap, and finds two key factors: smoking — already well known as detrimental to life expectancy — and, more surprising, unemployment.

'Chicago Sun-Times' Fires Its Photographers

May 30, 2013

The shrinking of the staffs in the nation's newsrooms continues.

The Chicago Tribune broke the news Thursday that its Second City rival The Chicago Sun-Times has "laid off its entire photography staff."

As the American military winds down its efforts in Afghanistan, grand plans for nation building are giving way to limited, practical steps: building up the Afghan forces and denying the Taliban key terrain, especially the approaches to Kabul.

About an hour south of the capital Kabul, one Green Beret team returned to a village where American forces had pulled out.

Lt. Col. Brad Moses, who was in the Sayed Abad district four years ago, wandered around the government center and expressed disappointment at the scene.

As Congress mulls changing America's border and naturalization rules, a study finds that immigrant workers are helping buttress Medicare's finances.

Immigrants contribute tens of billions of dollars a year more than immigrant retirees use in medical services.

Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has lived in Texas for three decades, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

Last October, Arbabsiar pleaded guilty to plotting to kill the ambassador. He also admitted to working with Iranian military officials on the plan.

A letter mailed to President Obama that is similar in some way to two possibly ricin-laced letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was intercepted Thursday at a mail-handling facility, the Secret Service and other law enforcement authorities confirm.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says in an email to NPR that:

Since it was found in 1911, an Egyptian iron bead has sparked wonder and debate over how it was produced — made around 3,300 BC, it predates the region's first known iron smelting by thousands of years. Now, researchers say the iron was made in space and delivered to Earth via meteorite.

Priest, Author And Critic Rev. Andrew Greeley Dies

May 30, 2013

Rev. Andrew Greeley, who was a best-selling novelist as well as a liberal thinker known for "sometimes scathing critiques of his church," died Wednesday night in his sleep, The Chicago Tribune and other news outlets report. He was 85.

People who had ADHD in childhood are more likely to problems with substance abuse as adults.

But there's been disagreement about whether treatment of ADHD with stimulant medications like Ritalin reduces that risk or makes future problems with alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs more likely.

The latest look finds that young adults who took stimulants as kids were no more likely to have substance abuse problems later than those who had ADHD but didn't take stimulant drugs. It's the broadest and deepest analysis yet, but it still leaves many questions unanswered.

Update at 7 a.m. ET, May 31:

Since we first posted about the reports of what Syrian President Bashar Assad said regarding the delivery to his military of Russian anti-aircraft missiles, new reports have surfaced:

-- "Russian S-300 missiles unlikely to reach Syria for months." (Reuters)

Paterno Family Sues NCAA To Reverse Sandusky Sanctions

May 30, 2013

The family of late football coach Joe Paterno has filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania Thursday, seeking the reversal of NCAA sanctions against Penn State that resulted from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Update at 3 p.m. ET. Lawsuit Filed, Posted Online:

Unfortunately, the forecasts have been pretty accurate in recent days. The National Weather Service warned there would be more tornadoes and severe storms on Wednesday — and there were.

One-and-a-half million Americans today claim Arab ancestry, according to a new Census Bureau report.

That's less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

Still, Maryam Asi, a demographer at the Census Bureau who co-wrote the report, says the Arab-American community is "growing," with a 76 percent increase since 1990 and 25 percent increase since 2000.

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

That basically confirms what the agency said a month ago, when it released its initial estimate for gross domestic product growth in the quarter. Then, it reported the economy had expanded at a 2.5 percent pace.

There were several emotional moments during Wednesday's nationally broadcast "Healing in the Heartland" benefit concert to raise money for victims of the May 20 tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., and nearby communities.

The newborn boy whose rescue from a sewer pipe in eastern China drew attention around the world earlier this week has been released from a hospital and is now in the care of his mother's family, according to media reports from Beijing.

There's also word that the mother will not be facing any charges. According to The Associated Press:

"Name any high office in federal law enforcement ... odds are Jim Comey's had it over the years."

That's some of what NPR's Carrie Johnson had to say early Thursday on Morning Edition about the man who she has been told, by two sources with knowledge of the decision, will be President Obama's choice to be the next director of the FBI.

Book News: Sci-Fi Author Jack Vance Dies At 96

May 30, 2013

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

There were questions Wednesday about whether U.S. regulators will approve the takeover of Smithfield Foods Inc., the company that sells all-American hams, hot dogs and bacon, by China's Shuanghui International.

A farmer in Oregon has found some genetically engineered wheat growing on his land. It's an unwelcome surprise, because this type of wheat has never been approved for commercial planting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's investigating, trying to find out how this wheat got there. The USDA says there's no risk to public health, but wheat exporters are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react.

Years Of Combat Experience, And Just Turning 20

May 30, 2013

Luis Bedoya is baby-faced and skinny.

And he looks ever the boy when he puts on an industrial-sized apron, thick gloves and a metal helmet - the tools of an apprentice welder at the Don Bosco center in this city in southern Colombia.

It's a big complex, complete with classrooms, basketball courts, a dormitory and work rooms. It's home to boys and girls, as well as very young adults, who defected from the FARC rebels or were captured by the Colombian army.

In the middle of the night a few weeks ago, 15-year-old Yusra Hammed watched Israeli soldiers arrest her brother Tareq. Two years older than Yusra, Tareq Hammed was among several Palestinian teenagers taken into custody that night, accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers in their village, Silwad, in the occupied West Bank.

While he was being detained, his mother described him as a patriot.

"He wanted so badly to do as same what his father did, to defend his country," Suhaila Hammed said, sitting on a tawny gold couch in their home in Silwad.

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

The Houston area produces about a quarter of the nation's gasoline, and about a third of the plastics that are in our cars, cupboards and just about everywhere else. So it is no surprise that this heavily industrial area has a problem with air pollution. But in the past decade, Houston's air has improved dramatically.

How that happened is a tale of good science, new technology and a Texas law that prompted companies along the Houston Ship Channel to disclose their emissions.

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