Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:36 pm
It was in the single digits in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, and that seems warm compared with some places around the country. Cities in the northern part of the country, like Minneapolis, saw the temperature dip well below zero — and coupled with wind chills, it felt like minus 60 in some places.
Around the country, flights have been canceled and schools have closed. Even activities people might take for granted in some towns are suffering. Because of the polar vortex:
By Monday evening, he'd apparently had enough of the sub-zero temperatures gripping the Bluegrass State and much of the rest of the nation. Vick showed up at the office of the Sunset Motel in Lexington and asked the clerk to call the authorities.
Novelist Gary Shteyngart was a wheezing, asthmatic and fearful 7-year-old when he and his parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to Queens, New York, in 1979. (This was soon after America negotiated a trade deal with the Soviets that included allowing Jews to immigrate to Israel, Canada or the U. S.) He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his health was a deciding factor in his parents' decision to move.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. In a few minutes, we will hear from former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. He had a solid eight-year career in the NFL until he was released last year. Now he's saying in a newly released open letter that it was his support for same-sex marriage off the field, not his performance on it, that cost him his job. He'll tell us more about why he thinks that in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:16 pm
Eighty former New York City police officers and firefighters were charged on Tuesday in connection to a fraudulent scheme that prosecutors allege led to undeserved Social Security payments.
Authorities said the public servants falsely claimed that their actions in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, left them unable to work because of psychiatric conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:55 pm
Smithfield, the world's largest hog and pork buyer, announced Tuesday that it's asking the independent farmers with whom it has contracts to get rid of stalls for pregnant sows to improve the animals' living conditions.
To nudge these farmers to make the changes to their facilities by 2022, Smithfield is offering to extend their contracts once they've converted their gestational stalls into group houses, which are generally considered more humane.
Yet again, Iraqi civilians are fleeing violence in Iraq's sprawling western province of Anbar. Years of under-the-radar daily tension and bloodshed has erupted into another al-Qaida surge and retaliatory Iraqi government airstrikes.
But the violence that brought Iraq back to the headlines, while tragic, was not surprising.
For months, observers had been warning about the combustible combination of the Syrian civil war next door and the alienation of Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority.