3:10pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Africa

S. African Leader Under Fire After Awkward Visit With Mandela

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

In this image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma sits with ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela on Monday. Mandela was hospitalized in late March with a lung infection, and in images from the visit, appeared largely unresponsive.
SABC AP

In South Africa, controversial images of a frail and ashen Nelson Mandela being visited by South Africa's current president aired on national television this week. Some people claimed it was a political publicity stunt.

The footage is fueling fresh debate about what is proper and what constitutes invasion of privacy regarding the ailing, 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid legend.

President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by two other top officials of the governing ANC party, visited Mandela at his Johannesburg home on Monday.

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2:45pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Snow & Fishing

Snow Storms Good News for Anglers

Credit http://www.fryingpananglers.com/Photos-2013/fly-fishing-photos-4-April-1Jason.html

Recent snow showers have boosted local snowpack levels much higher than at this time last year. Yesterday the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Watershed registered 107 percent of normal. It’s good news for anglers who dealt with warm and dry conditions last year.

The latest “Fishing Report” on the Frying Pan Anglers website reads, “...this last week has put us in the best position all year, with the best water in the entire state.”

Owner Warwick Mowbray wrote that entry. He says recent storms paint a good picture for the upcoming fishing season.

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Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Larry Abramson is NPR's National Security Correspondent. He covers the Pentagon, as well as issues relating to the thousands of vets returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prior to his current role, Abramson was NPR's Education Correspondent covering a wide variety of issues related to education, from federal policy to testing to instructional techniques in the classroom. His reporting focused on the impact of for-profit colleges and universities, and on the role of technology in the classroom. He made a number of trips to New Orleans to chart the progress of school reform there since Hurricane Katrina. Abramson also covers a variety of news stories beyond the education beat.

2:25pm

Wed May 1, 2013
The Two-Way

Justice: Prison Compassionate Release Programs Inconsistent

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:18 pm

Inmates file by a guard tower at California's Chino State Prison in 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

"Compassionate release" programs that free inmates with terminal illnesses and limited life expectancies are poorly run and lack clear standards, the Department of Justice's inspector general said on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports:

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2:24pm

Wed May 1, 2013
World

Why Chemical Weapons Have Been A Red Line Since World War I

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Soldiers with the British Machine Gun Corps wear gas masks in 1916 during World War I's first Battle of the Somme.
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

President Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons could change the U.S. response to the Syrian civil war. But why this focus on chemical weapons when conventional weapons have killed tens of thousands in Syria?

The answer can be traced back to the early uses of poison gas nearly a century ago.

In World War I, trench warfare led to stalemates — and to new weapons meant to break through the lines.

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2:19pm

Wed May 1, 2013
It's All Politics

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:33 am

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

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1:47pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Renewable Enegry Fight

Rural Power Cooperatives Fighting Legislation Requiring More Renewables

Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/79604620@N00/11350061

A bill requiring rural electric cooperatives to use more renewable energy sources is

on its way to the State House. Senate Bill 252 narrowly passed the senate earlier this month, over objections by rural republicans and some cooperatives.

 

The legislation would increase the amount of renewables, like wind and solar, coops must use from the current 10 percent standard to 25 percent. If it passed, these electric groups would have to meet that mark by 2020. Lee Boughey of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association says that's a difficult target.

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1:29pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Measuring the Snowpack

Snowpack, Good - Cold Temps, Better

Credit Photo by Elise Thatcher

Most residents in the Roaring Fork Valley probably won’t be surprised to hear

there’s more snow in the mountains. Drought conditions are in the area again this year... but while the snow is helping... it’s cold temperatures that are making the biggest difference.

Wendy Ryan is with the Colorado Climate Center. She says the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Valley is at 87% of what’s normal.

"It’s way better than we had been just a few weeks ago, so April has brought us some really good moisture, mainly along the northern tier of the state."

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1:20pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

Mate Doesn't Have Your Back? That Boosts Depression Risk

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 7:21 am

Having a special someone won't fend off depression if that person doesn't have your back.
iStockphoto.com

Having a mate is supposed to be good for your mental health.

But if that mate is critical or can't be counted on when the going gets tough, that's worse than having no mate at all, researchers say.

"The quality of your relationships matters more than quantity when it comes to depression," says Dr. Alan Teo, a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan who led the study.

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