Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.
A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.
North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:23 am
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking female Republican in the U.S. House, occupied a coveted spot Tuesday night: She delivered the televised rebuttal to the president's State of the Union.
Yet the Washington congresswoman and mother of three young children didn't have the spotlight to herself. She faced competition from within the ranks of her own party, a stark reflection of the divisions that have riven the GOP.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:10 am
Undercover police officers say they bought heroin at a McDonald's in Pittsburgh, acting on a tip that included a code phrase. An employee allegedly sold heroin out of the restaurant's drive-thru window to any customer who said, "I'd like to order a toy."
"Customers then would be told to proceed to the first window, where they were handed a Happy Meal box containing stamp packets of the drug," reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The year is 1984: A Soviet defector dashes across the Korean border — chased by North Korean troops. American troops shield him and open fire on the North Koreans. There are dead and wounded on both sides.
Now, 30 years later, one of those Americans is finally receiving his medal for bravery.
Mark Deville was just 19 on that November day in 1984, part of an American Army unit patrolling the tense border between North and South Korea.
It took four years in a prison cell for Palestinian Abdel Hamid el-Rajoub to decide to work as an Israeli informant. Not that he ever planned it that way. Rajoub is in his 60s now. He grew up in a Palestinian village near Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He says he was 19, an emotional young man, when he got involved in fighting Israel.
"It was my right," he says, "to fight Israel and the occupation."
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
The ongoing Syrian peace talks in Geneva have raised hopes for humanitarian relief in cities, towns, and villages across the country that are under siege by government or rebel forces. And no place is more in need than the central city of Homs, whose residents were among the first to rise up against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Ben Bernanke steps down this week as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The new chair, Janet Yellen, will take over on Saturday. After a two-day meeting, the message today from Fed policymakers was simple: Stay the course. The Fed released a statement saying it will continue dialing-back its stimulus.
NPR's John Ydstie has more on that decision and Bernanke's legacy.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama is on the road today. He's busy making the case for some of the ideas he rolled out last night in his State of the Union address. First stop, a warehouse store in Maryland. There, the president made a multipronged pitch around raising the minimum wage. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith begins our coverage.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Expect to hear this a lot in the coming weeks and months.
A lot of parents like to think their kids will simply outgrow baby fat. But the risk of becoming a severely overweight adult can actually start as early as kindergarten, research suggests.
"As parents, as a society, as clinicians, we need to think about a healthy weight really early on," says Solveig Cunningham, who led the study. But that doesn't mean putting young children on calorie-restricted diets.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:46 am
Saying Edward Snowden has "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order" by exposing U.S. surveillance practices and forcing a new debate over security and privacy, two Norwegian politicians nominated the former intelligence contractor for the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday.
If he were to win the award, Snowden, who gave a trove of classified documents to media outlets last summer, would join the ranks of popular Nobel Peace laureates such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.
Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:56 am
Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.
But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.