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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 12:21 pm

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.

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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 snus, an alternative to cigarettes, be allowed to claim it is less harmful?
Swedish Match

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:30 pm

The Food and Drug Administration is 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
7:51 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

READ: Commutation Letter President Obama Sent To Inmate

President Obama's letter to Terry Andre Barnes of East Moline, Il.
White House

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:29 am

President Obama commuted the sentence of 22 federal prisoners who were serving time for drug-related crimes.

Obama has done this in the past, saying that under current laws those inmates would have already been released.

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The Two-Way
7:26 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Oversight Committee Issues Subpoena To 2 Secret Service Agents

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 7:10 am

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued subpoenas to two Secret Service agents, setting up a confrontation with the embattled agency.

The subpoenas are linked to an investigation into an incident in March, when two potentially drunk Secret Service agents appeared to bobble the investigation into a potential bomb near the White House.

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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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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Despite Criticism, Arkansas Passes Religious Freedom Bill

Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock (center), leads protesters outside the House chamber at the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock on Monday.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:14 pm

Despite criticism and protests, Arkansas legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Tuesday that is similar to the one passed by Indiana.

NBC News reports:

"Protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning. A final vote in the state House could come later in the day.

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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 11:03 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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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Lufthansa Says It Knew Of Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz's Depression

Andreas Lubitz competes in the Airportrun in Hamburg, Germany, on Sept. 13, 2009. Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot, is believed to have deliberately crashed his plane carrying 149 others into the French Alps last week.
Michael Mueller AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:09 pm

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed his aircraft into the French Alps last week, had informed Lufthansa in 2009 of a "serious depressive episode," the German airline said in a statement.

Lufthansa says a note about a "previous depressive episode" was found in email Lubitz apparently sent to the Lufthansa flight school when he resumed his training after a months-long interruption.

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