U.S.

The Two-Way
9:06 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Musician Joni Mitchell Is 'Awake And In Good Spirits' In Intensive Care

Musician Joni Mitchell attends a party before the Grammy Awards in February. Mitchell, 71, was found unconscious in her home Tuesday.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

After being found found unconscious in her home Tuesday afternoon, folk music icon Joni Mitchell has been hospitalized in Los Angeles. "She is currently in intensive care undergoing tests and is awake and in good spirits," according to her website.

No other details have emerged about why the 71-year-old singer required medical attention. Mitchell, who has received eight Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

We'll update this post with any news that emerges about Mitchell's condition.

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NPR Ed
5:30 am
Wed April 1, 2015

The Opposite Of The Dean's List

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 7:36 am

No school wants to be on this list.

It was just released by the Department of Education. On it: The names of 556 colleges and universities that failed the department's so-called "financial responsibility test."

Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell says each school's finances are now being placed under a microscope because "[the government] had serious concerns about the financial integrity of the institution or its administrative capacity."

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Goats and Soda
3:55 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Engineer Turned Cabbie Helps New Refugees Find Their Way

After a long day at the Somali American Community Center he founded in Clarkston, Ga., and then at an after-school program, Omar Shekhey drives a taxi to earn extra money. Often he gives his earnings to refugees to help them with expenses.
Kevin Liles for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:16 am

This story is part of an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Almost 70,000 refugees — victims of war, hardship and persecution — are allowed into the U.S. each year. But settling into their new homes can be a challenge, from learning English to figuring out how to turn on the dishwasher.

Omar Shekhey says he's there to help. The Somali American drives a cab at night, but during the day, he runs the nonprofit Somali American Community Center, based in Clarkston, Ga.

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Shots - Health News
3:53 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Tobacco Firm Seeks Softer Warning For Cigarette Alternative

Will this maker of these snus, an alternative to cigarettes, be allowed to claim they are less harmful?
Swedish Match

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 9:01 am

The Food and Drug Administration weighing whether to allow a tobacco company to do something it's never done before — claim that one of its products is less risky than cigarettes.

The company, Swedish Match of Stockholm, has applied to the FDA to designate its General brand of snus (rhymes with "loose") as safer than other versions of tobacco.

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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Closing Arguments To Begin Monday In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

The defense rested its case on Tuesday for admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after just a few hours of testimony. The defense called four people to testify compared to the 92 called by prosecutors.

Tsarnaev's lawyers have admitted he did what he's accused of doing. Their single aim is to try to cast Tsarnaev as less in charge than his brother Tamerlan — who died while they were running from authorities — and therefore less deserving of the death penalty if it gets to that.

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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Federal Judge Says South Dakota Officials Violated Native American Families' Rights

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:59 pm

Two of South Dakota's largest tribes won a sweeping victory in federal court that could reverberate for tribes across the country.

A federal judge has ruled that the state Department of Social Services, prosecutors and judges "failed to protect Indian parents' fundamental rights" when they removed their children after short hearings and placed them largely in white foster care.

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It's All Politics
5:59 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Supreme Court Deals Medicaid Blow To Doctors And Health Companies

The 5-to-4 vote crossed the court's usual ideological lines.
Molly Riley AP

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that private Medicaid providers cannot sue to force states to raise reimbursement rates in the face of rising medical costs. The 5-to-4 decision is a blow to many doctors and health care companies and their complaint that state Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that health care providers often lose money on Medicaid patients.

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Politics
5:46 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Obama's Diplomatic Gamble On Iran Adding Instability In Middle East

"We must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement, pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time," Obama said five years ago, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:00 pm

Even before he became president, Barack Obama was imagining the possibilities of a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran. His willingness to reverse decades of official U.S. hostility was one of the things that set Obama apart on the campaign trail.

"We have to have a clear break with the Bush-Cheney style of diplomacy that has caused so many problems," Obama told NBC's Meet the Press in November 2007.

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Law
5:46 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Defense Rests Case In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The defense rested its case today for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after just a few hours of testimony. NPR's Tovia Smith was in court, and she joins us now. And Tovia, to begin, we're talking five hours over two days. Why so short?

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NPR Ed
5:38 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Activists Stop Paying Their Student Loans

Makenzie Vasquez (from left), Pamala Hunt, Latonya Suggs, Ann Bowers, Nathan Hornes, Ashlee Schmidt, Natasha Hornes, Tasha Courtright, Michael Adorno and Sarah Dieffenbacher are refusing to pay back loans they took out to attend Corinthian Colleges.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:51 am

Latonya Suggs says she borrowed thousands of dollars in student loans to attend the for-profit Corinthian Colleges but has nothing to show for it. Most employers don't recognize her criminal justice degree.

"I am completely lost and in debt," Suggs says. And now she's doing something about it: She's refusing to pay back those loans.

Suggs and 106 other borrowers now saddled with Corinthian loan debt say their refusal to repay the loans is a form of political protest. And Tuesday, the U.S. government gave them an audience.

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