Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:42 pm
Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET
A senior State Department official announces:
"In response to the changing security situation in Yemen, the United States Embassy in Sana'a has further reduced its American personnel working in Yemen. Our Embassy in Sana'a has been on ordered departure since last September.
"While the Embassy remains open and is continuing to operate, we may continue to re-align resources based on the situation on the ground."
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:57 pm
After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.
This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:06 pm
Researchers in Europe have managed to read from an ancient scroll buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. The feat is all the more remarkable because the scroll was never opened.
The Vesuvius eruption famously destroyed Pompeii. But it also devastated the nearby town of Herculaneum. A villa there contained a library stacked with papyrus scrolls, and the hot gas and ash preserved them.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:11 pm
NPR and ProPublica have been reporting about nonprofit hospitals that seize the wages of lower-income and working-class patients. Now, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says hospitals could be breaking the law by suing these patients and docking their pay. And he wants some answers.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:13 pm
There's an inconspicuous metal box mounted on the wall of the gym at San Francisco County Jail No. 4.
When Kate Monico Klein turns a knob, the machine releases a condom in a small cardboard packet. Machines like this one — dispensing free condoms — are installed in all of the county's male jails.
"We set [the machine] off to the side, so that people would have a minor amount of privacy," explains Monico Klein, director of HIV services for Jail Health, a division of the county's health department.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:26 am
Overturned chairs and shouts of protest briefly shattered the formality and calm of the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.
The session had just begun when protesters in the back of the chamber began yelling things like, "One person, one vote," "We are the 99 percent," "Money is not speech," and "Overturn Citizens United." This last was a reference to the Court's 2010 decision, issued on this day five years ago. That decision struck down limits on corporate and union campaign spending, uncorking a flood of campaign cash.
While reporting my story on how foods earn a label certifying them as "non-GMO," I came across a comment that struck me – and it might surprise you, too.
The comment came from Ken Ross, the CEO of Global ID. (He didn't make it into the final story.) Global ID is the parent company of FoodChain ID, one of the companies that traces ingredients to determine whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.
"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."
Facebook's on a mission to make your News Feed a little more truthful.
The social media giant has announced it will start doing more to alert users when stories they're seeing in their feeds are fake. And it will allow users to start flagging hoaxes themselves. But Facebook says it won't remove false stories. And the company says it won't start "reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."
Two days after the State of the Union address, President Obama will sit down for a round of unusual interviews. There's a good chance he'll get a question that none of his predecessors have ever had to answer.
One distinct possibility: "Mr. President, is you OK? Is you good? 'Cuz I wanted to know."