Now to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where American snowboarder Shaun White attempted a three-peat today. He was trying to be the first three-time gold medal winner in the half-pipe competition, actually the first American man to win three consecutive golds in any Winter Olympic event. And NPR's Robert Smith watched the action today and joins us now from outside the half-pipe venue. Robert, how did things turn out for Shaun White?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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Janet Yellen made her first appearance on Capitol Hill today as the new leader of the Federal Reserve. Her message was clear. There will be no sudden changes in Fed policy. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep pulling back its big stimulus program despite concerns about the economy.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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Sports history was made today at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. For the first time, women were allowed to compete in ski jumping. And some of the women who jumped today had been fighting for equality for their sport for more than a decade.
NPR's Tamara Keith was there at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center and joins us now. And Tamara, let's start first with the medalists, who came out on top today?
From long-term climate patterns now to today's weather. Another blast of unusually wintry weather is hitting the Deep South. More than five inches of snow fell in north Alabama this morning. In Georgia, there was snow and freezing rain. It was only two weeks ago that a couple of inches of snow brought Atlanta to a frozen standstill. People were stranded in cars and kids spent the night at schools.
So this time, as Rose Scott of member station WABE reports, state officials are in winter preparation overdrive.
Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina.
Jennifer Spivey has been a teacher for three years at South Columbus High School, on the north side of the border between the Carolinas. She's been recognized as an outstanding teacher; she has a master's degree, and last summer she won a prestigious Kenan fellowship to improve education. But she still lives in her parents' basement.
One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.
According to a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.
Tuesday saw a rarity in Congress these days: a "clean" bill.
The House passed one to raise the debt limit, a move that avoids a possible default later this month.
In the past, House Republicans have used this debate to extract concessions from President Obama and congressional Democrats.
But not this time. House Republicans demanded nothing in return. The House passed the no-strings-attached debt hike Tuesday evening — though just 28 Republicans voted with the Democratic minority to pass the extension, 221 votes to 201 votes.
The HPV vaccine was created to protect women against the virus that causes cervical cancer. But it also helps prevent genital warts, a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the same virus, a study finds.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:21 pm
When Woody Harrelson's character got hired as a bartender on Cheers, he was so excited, he insisted on working for no more than the minimum wage. "I'd work like a slave," he said, "and, of course, I'd wash your car."
Most bar and restaurant workers would prefer to bring home a little more cash. They may be in luck.
As part of his plan to raise the minimum wage, President Obama has called for substantially increasing the base wage paid to tipped workers for the first time in decades.
Frank Wess' new album, Magic 201, is a sequel to last year's similar helping of ballads and midtempo strollers, Magic 101. The new album is very nearly every bit as good, and made a little more poignant by Wess' death just before Halloween. On his last session as a leader in 2011, he was still sounding strong at 89.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:58 am
In a story that you'd think was ripped straight from the headlines of America's foremost made-up-news website, The Onion said it's coming up with ads to promote health insurance for young people in Illinois.
But it's true.
Get Covered Illinois, the state's health insurance exchange, has hired Onion Labs, The Onion's in-house ad team, to develop banner ads, a video and other online material to persuade people to sign up for insurance coverage.
Dr. Kevin Fong works on "the edges" of medicine — researching how humans survive extremes of heat, cold, trauma, outer space and deep sea. "We're still exploring the human body and what medicine can do in the same way that the great explorers of the 20th century and every age before them explored the world," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
In his book Extreme Medicine, Fong describes how avant garde medicine is challenging our understanding of how our bodies work and the boundary between life and death.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:41 pm
Saying the practice is "inconsistent and unequal," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was issuing a moratorium on the death penalty in his state.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Inslee said there were too many doubts raised about capital punishment and too many flaws in the system. With so much at stake, he said, it's not possible to accept "an imperfect system."