On a Sunday morning, 7-year-old Maisie shows off her pink bedroom in her family's Connecticut home. It could be an early morning scene in any household, until you look closely at the family photo above Maisie's bed. Her older sister Ella explains.
"I have three parents and a little sister," the 10-year-old says.
The man in the photo, Howard Forman, was the sperm donor for Ella's two mothers, Kristin Mattocks and Kim Callicoatte.
When we first met Brad Stevens, he was living in Lakeport, Calif., a struggling massage therapist in a struggling town on the southern tip of Clear Lake. Stevens had been uninsured his entire adult life, and used to believe firmly that clean living and exercise could stave off any need for medical care.
The deadline for H-1B Visa applications is April 1. In the week after that deadline, a lottery system will determine which high-skilled workers are able to stay and work in the US. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Bhavik Bhatt, who has already struck out once before in the lottery, but is taking his chances again.
As part of a series called "My Big Break,"All Things Consideredis collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
Long before Cesar Millan became the "Dog Whisperer," with TV shows and a best-selling series of books, he had to learn how to ask for a job in English.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York tries to play tennis a couple of times a week. Sports have been part of her life for a long time, going back to high school when she played tennis and soccer.
Later, at Dartmouth in the late 1980s, Gillibrand served as co-captain of the squash team. What the future senator did not do in college was participate in student government. "I'd gone to one or two young Democratic events, and interestingly, it was almost all male — and all of the men were very aggressive," she says. "And so I didn't really feel like I fit in."
Border Patrol checkpoints aren't always near the border. Some aren't even on roads that go to the border. Take Arivaca Road; it's an East-West route 25 miles north of the Mexican border in Southern Arizona.
A Border Patrol checkpoint has been operating there around the clock for seven years. Some residents of the town of Arivaca say agents at the checkpoint go well beyond their legal authority; searching vehicles and questioning citizens without cause. So they've begun their own monitoring — to inspect the process.
Activists who support an overhaul of the immigration system are angry and frustrated. The immigration bill that passed in the Senate in June is stalled out. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is on pace to deport some 2 million illegal immigrants since taking office six years ago.
A group of independent researchers has found that the chemical crude MCHM is still present in some West Virginia homes. That's the coal-cleaning chemical that spilled into the Elk River back in January out of a storage tank operated by the company Freedom Industries. The spill contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. The research group was formed by West Virginia's governor after public pressure.
Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports on the research group's latest findings.
The story of Noah's Ark is getting blockbuster treatment in Hollywood's new biblical epic Noah. Darren Aronofsky's film about the Old Testament shipbuilder has been sparking controversy — but there's no denying that the Great Flood, digitized, is a pretty great flood.
Thirty-nine year old widower A.J. Fikry is an unlikely romantic hero: He's cranky, he drinks too much, his bookstore is failing and don't get him started on the state of publishing. He's also at the center of Gabrielle Zevin's new novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.
This week, astronomers discovered a new dwarf planet at the outer reaches of our solar system. It's a pink, icy ball that's beyond Pluto's orbit. Its official name is 2012 VP113, but scientists have given it the nickname "Biden."
So long winter, so long spring training, the American past time gets back in full swing on Sunday and Monday, as Major League baseball begins around the country. But actually, officially speaking, it began already halfway around the world on a cricket ground in Australia. That's where the Los Angeles Dodgers won two games from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Syrian civil war has been a major headache for President Obama. Critics at home and abroad, like Saudi Arabia, where the president was on Friday, have urged the U.S. to do more.
But the U.S. isn't the only country that's faced difficult choices over Syria. Iran and Syria have been close allies for decades. And in Iran, discussions about Syria are surprisingly frank, complex and demonstrate growing divisions over how to handle a costly war that has no end in sight.
Michigan State University could risk losing half-a-million dollars if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.
A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It's a reaction to MSU's recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College.
Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule.
It's that time again, when primary voters start casting their ballots for the midterm elections. As in recent years, voters face new rules and restrictions, including the need in 16 states to show a photo ID.
But this year, some voting rights activists say they're seeing a change — fewer new restrictions and, in some places, even a hint of bipartisanship.
Making poetry out of something as messy as the recent housing crisis may sound like a tall order, but Nick Lantz has done it. The collection is called "How to Dance as the Roof Caves In." Our reviewer, Tess Taylor says calls it biting but tender.
Using the labor of dozens of undergraduate students, scientists have built a customized yeast chromosome from scratch.
It's a milestone in the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology, where organisms can be tailored for industrial use. In this case, the near-term goal is to understand the genetics of yeast, and eventually the genetics of us.
This was quite an undertaking. Yeast have about 6,000 genes packed in 16 tidy bundles called chromosomes. Each chromosome is an enormous molecule of DNA packed in proteins.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
We now have the results of an internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. Today's report was commissioned by the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and it finds the governor did nothing wrong. It won't be the last word. Critics question the report's credibility, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
Fifty years ago today, the most powerful recorded earthquake in North American history struck Alaska. The quake, which measured 9.2 on the Richter scale, was also the second largest in recorded history. The trembler and the ensuing tsunami resulted in 30 deaths and caused massive destruction, including landslides that destroyed scores of city blocks in Anchorage.
The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.
Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tissue samples from children without autism didn't have those characteristic patches.