Ernie Lopez hugs his daughter, Nikki Lopez, for the first time since 2009. Ernie was released from prison on March 2 in Amarillo, Texas, after nine years, while he awaits a new trial.
Credit Katie Hayes Luke / Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
Ernie Lopez was convicted of sexually assaulting a 6-month-old girl and spent the last nine years in prison. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that his original attorneys failed him by not calling potentially important medical experts as witnesses.
Credit Photos by Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
William McKinney Jr. will represent Ernie Lopez at his new trial, expected to begin in the Fall.
Ernie Lopez calls it his "rebirth." After spending nearly nine years in prison for the sexual assault of a 6-month old girl, a top Texas court threw out the conviction. And on Friday, the 41-year-old Lopez walked out of the detention center in Amarillo, Texas, where family and friends were waiting.
Ever since The Rising in 2002 — and arguably since 1984's Born in the U.S.A. — Bruce Springsteen releases have functioned as State of the Union addresses as much as pop LPs. Wrecking Ball does, too, beginning with its Occupy-era lead single "We Take Care of Our Own," an anthemic bit of wishful thinking which, like "Born in the U.S.A.," seems easy to misinterpret by 180 degrees if you don't pay attention to the verses between the chorus.
Sushi seems like the perfect modern food: Light, healthful and available at seemingly every supermarket in the nation. But is it sustainable?
That's the question behind "The Story of Sushi," a new video that's been pulling a lot of clicks in the past week. Maybe that's because its adorable format, with tiny, handcrafted figures used to tell the tale, stands in stark contrast to its depressing message: Most of the sushi we snarf up is harvested using unsustainable methods.
Robert Staake, the cover artist for the New Yorker's March 12 cover took a story that's an oldie but goodie — Mitt Romney strapping the kennel containing Seamus the family dog atop the family car during a vacation road trip — and gave it a new spin with Rick Santorum filling in for the dog.
There's little dispute among educators that kids are not reading as well as they should be, but there's endless debate over what to do about it. Now, a growing number of states are taking a hard-line approach through mandatory retentions — meaning third-graders who can't read at grade level will automatically get held back.
To those pushing the idea, it's equal doses of tough and love: You are not doing kids any favors, they say, by waiving them on to fourth grade if they aren't up to snuff on their reading.
Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 12:50 pm
Toola may not be a household name, but she made quite an impression on the staff of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where she lived most of her adult life.
Just look at how Dr. Mike Murray, an aquarium veterinarian, described the sea otter:
"I will argue that there is no other single sea otter that had a greater impact upon the sea otter species, the sea otter programs worldwide, and upon the interface between the sea otters' scientific community and the public."
Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 12:22 pm
Gregg Williams, who has spent time as an assistant or head coach at six NFL teams, is meeting with league investigators today to talk about what he's admitted was "a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the last three seasons that rewarded players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games while he was the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator," The Associated Press reports.
On stage, Teller, half of the magician team of Penn & Teller, rarely says a word.
But now he's talking, explaining how magicians harness scientific research on deception to trick audiences into falling for their illusions. And their work, in turn, makes them interesting to brain researchers.
The human brain craves predictability, according to neuroscientists, and when politicians appear to flip-flop, our brains don't like it. Often, we feel betrayed. NPR science correspondents Jon Hamilton, Alix Spiegel and Shankar Vedantam talk about why we're hard-wired to appreciate consistency.
Popular movements during the Arab Spring paved the way for democratic elections in Egypt and Tunisia. In Egypt, Islamists are assuming powerful roles. Many women's rights activists fear that a shift toward democratically-elected Islamist rulers will limit personal and political freedom for women.
You'd think that scary numbers from the big dogs in infectious disease would be enough to make raw milk drinkers reconsider that choice.
But don't count on it. Just 7 percent of raw milk consumers say they trust health officials' recommendations on what foods are safe to eat, according to a new study.
That means that 93 percent of those folks aren't convinced when health officials say that raw milk products can cause diseases like bovine tuberculosis, Q-fever, and brucellosis, as well as more common food-borne illnesses like Listeria and Salmonella.
Dierks Bentley has a nice, deep voice; an open, friendly demeanor; and a knack for working in a variety of country-music genres, from bluegrass to power ballads. For all that, it's always been difficult to pin down what Bentley aims to do. Although he's only in his 30s, Bentley sounds as though he's working through a bit of a midlife crisis on his new album Home. Take, for example, the single "Am I the Only One," a novelty tune about going out to party with a twist — not many of Bentley's pals want to join him, because they've settled into adulthood, and he hasn't.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.
Coming up, some advocates for more expansive reproductive rights say women are being disrespected and demeaned by state and national debates about access to abortion and contraception, particularly those debates that include few, if any women. We are going to hear from a female state lawmaker who has flipped the script and crafted legislation focused on the reproductive choices of men. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, you've heard the phrase: A mind is terrible thing to waste. That's the longtime slogan of a group that worked to get more African-Americans into college. Well, now a group is saying: Ice time is a terrible thing to waste. There's a new scholarship to try to get more college students of color into hockey. We'll hear more about that in just a few minutes.
Think about something it took you a really long time to learn, like how to parallel park. At first, parallel parking was difficult and you had to devote a lot of mental energy to it. But after you grew comfortable with parallel parking, it became much easier — almost habitual, you could say.
Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 8:05 am
With Iran and its nuclear program looming over the discussions, President Obama said this morning that "the United States will always have Israel's back." The president's comment came with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the White House for talks today, by his side.
For his part, Netanyahu told reporters that the U.S. and Israel stand together on policy toward Iran, The Associated Press reports.
The two leaders just held something of a photo op. Other reports on what they had to say:
A new study suggests ways newspapers can survive in the digital world. Here dead-tree versions of front pages from around the country announce the death of Osama bin Laden in front of the Newseum in Washington on May 2, 2011.
Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 11:42 am
Newspapers are dying, right?
You probably think so because, for one thing, you're not reading this in a newspaper.
It'd be a reasonable thought. Newspaper readers gradually have been stopping their subscriptions for many years. And the Internet (NPR.org, too) has steadily stolen readers and advertising revenue for the past decade.
With lots of topics to choose from, including the economy, the 2012 presidential race, Syria, Iran's nuclear ambitions and his meetings today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there will be plenty to ask President Obama about Tuesday afternoon when he holds a just-announced news conference.
President Obama told AIPAC, the influential Israel lobbying group, Sunday that his policy on a potential Iranian nuclear weapon was one of prevention, not containment. And in a warning seemingly aimed at Israeli and U.S.
Renee Montagne speaks with Kim Banta, assistant superintendent of schools for Kenton County, Ky. The town of Piner, which is in Banta's school district, was one of the hardest hit by recent tornadoes: at least four people were killed. But many residents are trying to return to normal life Monday — and that includes going back to school.
For those who just felt the earth shake in Northern California, the U.S. Geological Survey says there was a 4.0 magnitude temblor in the "San Francisco bay area" at 5:33 a.m. local time (8:33 a.m. ET).
There's no word yet on whether there was much, if any, damage.
The USGS says the quake was centered about 1 mile from El Cerrito, Calif.