NPR News

NPR News
6:04 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast Killed Several, Injured Dozens

A chemical trailer sits among the remains of a fertilizer plant.
Mike Stone Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 7:04 pm

After a fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others, rescue workers on Thursday are still sifting through the smoldering rubble hoping to find survivors.

Here's what we know at this hour:

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NPR News
4:12 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales

President Obama makes a statement on gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and family members of Newtown, Conn., shooting victims look on at the White House Rose Garden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:36 pm

A bipartisan compromise that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases has been rejected by the Senate.

The defeat of the measure by a 54-46 vote — six votes shy of the number needed to clear the Senate — marks a major setback for gun-control advocates, many of whom had hoped that Congress would act to curb gun violence in the wake of December's Newtown elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six adults were killed.

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11:49 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Authorities Make Arrest In Poison Letter Case

A Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) truck outside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:04 pm

Update at 8:44 p.m. ET. Authorities Make An Arrest:

Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the suspicious envelopes sent to a senator and President Obama.

The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis.

The The Clarion Ledger reports:

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NPR News
5:44 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Envelope Sent To Senator's Office Tests Positive For Ricin Poison

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:45 am

Quoting "congressional and law enforcement sources," CNN is reporting that an envelope sent to a senator's office has tested positive for the poison ricin.

"After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said," CNN reports. "The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing."

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5:28 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Boston Blasts Lead To Heightened Security Elsewhere

U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Park Police officers stand guard on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House Monday. Security there was tightened after at least two explosions went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 4:23 am

Monday's explosions in Boston have led to heightened security elsewhere, with New York, Washington and Los Angeles among the cities taking action within hours of the blasts.

"We're stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD's critical response vehicles until more about the explosion is learned," Paul J. Browne, the deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department, .

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4:59 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Two Explosions Rock Boston Marathon Finish Line; At Least 3 Dead, Dozens Injured

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston on Monday.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 4:20 am

Two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon this afternoon, leaving at least three dead and dozens injured, the Boston Police Department reports.

The explosions happened in quick succession four hours after the beginning of the race, the world's oldest and one of the most prestigious road races in the world. At that point, the majority of 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line. Thousands, however, were still out on the course.

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12:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

'He Saved Hundreds': Army Chaplain Gets Medal Of Honor

In this copy of a photograph on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, Kan., a wounded soldier is helped by Army chaplain Emil Kapaun (on the soldier's left) during the Korean War. The Kansas native died a prisoner of war in 1951.
Mike Hutmacher MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:15 pm

It took more than 60 years, but an Army chaplain who died as a prisoner during the Korean War will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama on Thursday.

Capt. Emil Kapaun was a Catholic priest serving with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division who died at age 35 in 1951. And he's not only a war hero — the Catholic Church is also looking into whether he should be made a saint.

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12:39 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Facebook Phone Is 'A Family Of Apps,' Zuckerberg Says

CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Thursday's "Facebook phone" announcement.
Robert Galbraith Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:06 pm

Facebook is going to "turn things around," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday, by turning "your Android phone into a great, simple social device" that is "designed around people."

He came on stage just after 1 p.m. ET at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to talk about a very poorly kept secret — the so-called Facebook phone.

But, Zuckerberg said at the start of his talk, "we're not building a phone and we're not building an operating system."

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NPR News
12:06 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

The Sky Isn't Falling Over The Korean Peninsula — Yet

In this photo released in March by the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), leader Kim Jong Un is said to be using a pair of binoculars to look south during an inspection of army troops stationed on two islands.
Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:04 pm

Almost every day, there's some new threat out of North Korea.

It's hard to determine how seriously to take these threats. War on the Korean Peninsula could be catastrophic, so the bluster can't be dismissed. On the other hand, North Korea has a long history of hyperbole, of making threats it doesn't follow through on.

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NPR News
3:11 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

U.S. Adds F-22 Fighter Jets To Military Exercise In South Korea

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 12:11 pm

The United States has sent two F-22 Raptor fighter jets to take part military drills in South Korea, a move that is meant to show U.S. commitment to the defense of the region from its North Korean neighbor, a Pentagon spokesman told the Associated Press.

Also on Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye appeared to give her country's military permission to strike back at any attack from the North.

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