Law
2:32 am
Wed July 9, 2014

States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back

The Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in downtown Lafayette, La. By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, but sentencing reformers have loosened some of the state's mandatory minimum sentences and made parole slightly easier to get.
Denny Culbert for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:01 am

Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.

By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.

But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.

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It's All Politics
6:03 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

A Senator Turns His Bible Into A Political Tool

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., walks with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill on June 4.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:10 pm

Here are two rules of American politics: Never let an opponent's attacks go unanswered, and if you're running in the South and have a good reason to be pictured holding a Bible, go for it.

The first is a long-standing rule. The second is hard to argue with.

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War On Poverty, 50 Years Later
5:39 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

To Break Cycle Of Child Poverty, Teaching Mom And Dad To Get Along

Brittiny Spears, 26, is not with the father of her daughter, Zykeiria, 4. "He just still wanted to go out and party and be a little boy," Spears says.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:52 am

After a half-century of the War on Poverty, an anti-poverty agency in Ohio has concluded that decades of assistance alone just hasn't changed lives. Instead, it says, the ongoing breakdown of the family is to blame.

"You're seeing the same people come year after year, and in some cases generation to generation. And so then you think, why is that happening?" says Jennifer Jennette, program manager of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties in Ohio.

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Latin America
5:39 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

The Collective Anguish Of The Brazilian Defeat

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now on to Sao Paulo, where NPR South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro caught the game at a bar. And, Lourdes, I assume there is collective anguish, albeit very loud anguish right now. What's the mood?

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Sports
4:14 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

In One-Sided Semifinal, Germany Hands Brazil A Devastating Loss

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:46 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The images out of Brazil right now are of fans in tears, faces with looks of disbelief, hands covering mouths in shock. In the first of two semifinal World Cup matches, the home team is losing and it's losing big. Germany is leading 5-0. Let's go to NPR's Tom Goldman in Rio de Janeiro. Tom, what's the scene where you are in Rio?

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Parallels
4:14 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Against 'Islamic State' Militants, Treasury May Need To Try New Tools

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:24 pm

In the fight against terrorist organizations, one weapon has been effective in the past: cutting off their funding.

Terrorist groups tend to get their money from outside donors or charities. But the Islamic State, the group that now controls huge areas of Syria and Iraq, doesn't get its money that way. So the methods the U.S. Treasury has used to fight terrorist groups in the past won't work as well.

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Science
4:14 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

In A Lab Store Room, An Unsettling Surprise: Lost Vials Of Smallpox

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:13 pm

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health made an unpleasant discovery last week as they cleaned out an old laboratory: The lab contained vials of the smallpox virus, previously unknown to authorities. The vials have since been transferred to a secure lab at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Germany Gives Brazil Das Boot With 7-1 Win, Enters World Cup Final

Pretty much sums it up.
Leo Correa AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:01 pm

Update at 6:08 p.m. ET

Germany steamrolled over host Brazil 7-1 on Tuesday in their semifinal game to enter the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Five of Germany's goals came in the first half.

Thomas Muller scored in the 11th minute, Toni Kroos scored in the 24th and 26th minutes, Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira scored in the 23rd and 29th minutes, respectively, and Andre Schurrle in the 69th and 79th minutes.

Oscar scored Brazil's consolation goal in the 90th minute.

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All Tech Considered
4:00 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

The Hazards Of Probing The Internet's Dark Side

Journalist Brian Krebs spends time in the dark areas of the Internet, where hackers steal data off credit cards and sell the information in online underground stores. Krebs has learned computer code and how to get onto black market websites and cybercrime networks.
iStockphoto

Late last year, hackers breached Target's data security and stole information from millions of credit cards. Brian Krebs, who writes about cybercrime and computer security for his blog, Krebs on Security, broke the story. A few days later, he broke the story of a credit card breach at Neiman Marcus.

Krebs spends time in the dark areas of the Internet, where hackers steal data off credit cards and sell the information in online underground stores.

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The Salt
3:59 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

3 Kickstarter Food Projects That Leave Potato Salad In The Dirt

Would you pay someone $60,000 to make this?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:14 am

Within days of asking for a total of $10 to crowdsource his first potato salad, Ohioan Zack Danger Brown raised tens of thousands of dollars. He promised people he would read their names aloud as he made this salad, which was apparently an irresistible draw.

Being the geeks we are, we asked our NPR Science Desk interns Nicholas St. Fleur and Kara Manke to do a little back-of-the-envelope calculation.

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