An arctic air mass is blanketing the eastern half of the nation today, bringing with it high winds and heavy snow accumulations in some areas. Thousands of flights have been cancelled, schools are closed and federal government offices are closed. Those who don't have to drive or be somewhere also have an opinion on the weather.
Papers documenting allegation of sexual abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese were released to the public today by victims' attorneys. The documents cover only 30 of at least 65 priests for whom the Chicago church says it has substantiated claims of child abuse. The papers, put online, were made available through settlements between Church and victims' lawyers. Church officials said most of the abuse occurred before 1988, none after 1996, and that all were ultimately reported to authorities.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife have been charged with illegally accepting gifts and loans from a political donor. The indictment, filed by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, marks a substantial escalation of a scandal that has marred the end of McDonnell's term in office.
A new report released Monday claims to show direct evidence of torture by the Syrian government, presenting documents and photographs of scarred, emaciated corpses. For more about the findings, Melissa Block talks to Professor David Crane, the first chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and one of the authors of the report.
Controversy has dogged an article published last week on the website Grantland. The piece is called "Dr. V's Magical Putter," and it tells the unusual tale of Essay Anne Vanderbilt, who designed a golf putter that attracted positive attention. In the course of reporting the article, writer Caleb Hannon discovered that several purported facts about Vanderbilt's life had been falsified. Hannon also learned that Vanderbilt had been born a man and was living life as a woman. Critics of Hannon's article have alleged, among other things, that his reporting contributed to Vanderbilt's suicide in October 2013.
Chinooks, podengo pequenos and rat terriers are the three new breeds headed to New York City to compete with some of the best canines in the country for "best in show" at this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show in February. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Westminster Kennel Club's David Frei about these new furry competitors.
The Rosetta spacecraft has awakened. It was put in hibernation for 31 months while its orbit took it nearly half a billion miles from the sun, too far for its solar arrays to keep the spacecraft operational. But now it's close enough, and European Space Agency mission managers will start preparing for Rosetta's rendezvous with a comet later this year.
In Nairobi, four men are on trial for assisting the terrorists who stormed Westgate Mall in September in an attack that killed at least 67 people. On Tuesday, the judge and lawyers on both sides left the stuffy confines of the courtroom and took a field trip — back inside the mall itself. The prosecution said that the trip was necessary to understand how and where the attack was carried out. But the trip — and this trial — has also seemed like a search for closure, in a case that four months later still has so many unanswered questions.
Thailand's government has declared a 60-day state of emergency in an effort to rein in the anti-government demonstrators who are intent on disrupting next month's snap election. The state of emergency means that the Thai authorities can impose curfews, detain suspects without charge and ban public gatherings of more than five people. But officials insist they will not use the declaration to attempt to remove anti-government protesters from the sites they have been occupying in Bangkok.
A peace conference on Syria is due to begin Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland. The start of the conference comes after more than three years of violent conflict and 24 hours of uncertainty over Iran's surprise invitation. But the invitation has been withdrawn, and the diplomats are set to assume their places at the negotiating table.
This week in Iran, international inspectors are stepping up surveillance of the country's nuclear program. The inspections are at the heart of a landmark deal which freezes Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from sanctions, but they are just a first step.
Over the past decade, thousands of mentally ill people have been funneling in and out of the nation's jails, landing in places that are ill-equipped to treat them. Illinois' Cook County Jail has some of the most innovative programs in the country, but staff say it's a far cry from actual treatment.
In 2013, the Chicago Public Schools decided to close some 50 schools to save money and consolidate resources. In recent months, the system has been emptying out those buildings, creating a giant collection of reusable materials, from textbooks to Bunsen burners, to desks and chairs. From member station WBEZ in Chicago, Linda Lutton takes a look at all the stuff that is getting reused.
Hospitals in rural regions in the U.S. are adjusting to many new requirements under the Affordable Care Act. For those in states that are not expanding their Medicaid roles, that adjustment is even harder. Rural lobbies are pushing these states for the expansion, saying that without it, many of their hospitals could close.
Since 1969, Ray Benson has been the frontman for country swing band Asleep at the Wheel. The band's wild productivity has meant that Benson has released only one solo effort, 2003's Beyond Time. On Jan. 21, he releases his second solo album, A Little Piece. Meredith Ochs has a review.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing new allegations about whether he used the powers of his office to punish a local politician. This time, the charge is that he withheld a city's federal recovery money for Superstorm Sandy because the mayor wouldn't support an ally's redevelopment project. Matt Katz of member station WNYC reports on the unfolding accusations.