NPR News

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that private Medicaid providers cannot sue to force states to raise reimbursement rates in the face of rising medical costs. The 5-to-4 decision is a blow to many doctors and health care companies and their complaint that state Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that health care providers often lose money on Medicaid patients.

Despite criticism and protests, Arkansas legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Tuesday that is similar to the one passed by Indiana.

NBC News reports:

"Protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning. A final vote in the state House could come later in the day.

Jay Z doesn't do anything small. His album drops feature entire new apps. His tours (with his wife, Beyonce, or collaborator Kanye West) gross hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. So of course the launch of his recently acquired streaming music service, Tidal, would have to be just as big.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Even before he won the White House in 2008, President Obama discussed redefining the U.S. relationship with Iran. So a potential nuclear deal with Iran might fit into Obama's broader foreign policy vision.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Greece Cracks Down On Longtime Tax Evasion Problem

22 minutes ago

Greeks don't trust their own state to give them good services, so for decades they have evaded taxes. Now the new leftist government says it will crack down on rich tax evaders to bring in revenue to pay back state debts.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latonya Suggs says she borrowed thousands of dollars in student loans to attend the for-profit Corinthian Colleges but has nothing to show for it. Most employers don't recognize her criminal justice degree.

"I am completely lost and in debt," Suggs says. And now she's doing something about it: She's refusing to pay back those loans.

Suggs and 106 other borrowers now saddled with Corinthian loan debt say their refusal to re-pay the loans is a form of political protest. And today, the U.S. government gave them an audience.

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act five years ago, but it didn't impose tax penalties for failure to obtain health insurance until this year.

So a big question has hung over this tax-filing season: Would the ACA unleash mass confusion as Americans grappled with new tax rules?

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen today said that so far at least, all has gone "swimmingly."

And for that, we can thank software geeks, he says.

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed his aircraft into the French Alps last week, had informed Lufthansa in 2009 of a "serious depressive episode," the German airline said in a statement.

Lufthansa says a note about a "previous depressive episode" was found in email Lubitz apparently sent to the Lufthansa flight school when he resumed his training after a months-long interruption.

This week, Comedy Central announced that Jon Stewart's replacement on The Daily Show will be a South African comedian, Trevor Noah. To get some perspective on this surprise decision, we contacted Noah's colleague and friend Loyiso Gola, a comedian who hosts Late Nite News, his own satirical news program on South African television. Gola spoke to us by telephone as he rushed to the Johannesburg airport — running late — to catch a flight to New York, where he is performing this weekend.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal rocked Penn State University in 2011 and the fallout from the case continues today. A series of lawsuits are on-going and, now, a campaign is underway to restore the legacy of the university's former head football coach Joe Paterno.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

If you are the parent of a preteen, you are all too aware that they suddenly seem to value the opinions of their peers far more than yours.

The good news, if there is any, is that you're not alone. Young teenagers ages 12 to 14 are more influenced by their peers' opinions than they are by adults', a study finds. That's true only for that age group, not for older teens, children or adults.

In the annals of journalism, there is a long tradition of newsfolks — reporters, writers, broadcasters — pulling April Fools' Day tricks on readers and listeners. Sometimes the prank prevails; sometimes it fails.

A controversial law in Indiana has made its way into the 2016 presidential race. Supporters praise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's for protecting religious convictions, but the law has drawn wide criticism from those who say it allows businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian patrons.

This week marked 15 years since Vladimir Putin first came to power. He won over 50 percent of the vote and took the reins from Russia’s first President, Boris Yeltsin.

Today, Russia’s main polling agency recently recorded his support at around 85 percent. That popularity at home is a far cry from the image of Mr. Putin in the West, where he’s seen as a power-hungry leader and a threat to European security.

The BBC’s Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford explores what makes Putin so appealing to Russian voters.

Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign says President Goodluck Jonathan called to concede defeat, paving the way for a peaceful transfer of power in Africa’s richest and most populous nation.

An aide in Jonathan’s offices says the president is preparing to make a speech.

Buhari’s campaign office sent text messages to journalists saying Jonathan had called Buhari to say he will concede.

IBM announced Tuesday that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new “Internet of Things” division that will be charged with finding ways to use its data in the growing market of Internet-connected devices.

The announcement comes the same day IBM also revealed a new partnership with The Weather Company, known for its media properties like the Weather Channel and weather.com.

Dozens of countries have slid under today's deadline to join a China-backed infrastructure development bank that is opposed by Washington.

U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia were among the more than 40 nations that signed up at the last moment as founding members of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The White House says the U.S. is supplying Egypt with 12 F-16s, 20 Harpoon missiles and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits – delivery of which was suspended in 2013 after a military-backed coup ousted President Mohammed Morsi and cracked down on his supporters.

A White House statement also said President Obama directed the continued request of an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance, in the form of foreign military financing.

Roast rack of lamb or a platter of smoked, glazed ham — which dish should be the centerpiece of the Easter table?

Lamb is rich in religious symbolism: A sacrificial lamb was first served by Jewish people on Passover, and Christians often refer to Jesus as the lamb of God. But ham feeds more guests and makes tastier leftovers.

Brain researchers are joining forces with computer hackers to tackle a big challenge in neuroscience: teaching computers how to tell a healthy neuron from a sick one.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly called his rival to congratulate him on his victory.

The AP reports that opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari's campaign said Jonathan made the call on Tuesday, after partial election results showed Buhari leading by close to 3 million votes.

The AP reports:

Staff at Windsor Castle, one of Britain's most popular tourists sites, begin voting Tuesday on whether to go on strike over low wages. It is the first time Queen Elizabeth is facing such an action by members of the royal household.

The union representing 120 employees at Windsor Castle — everything from wardens to ticket office personnel — will ask members to decide whether to take action.

In 1970, Warner Bros. Records had an unusual philosophy: they'd sign artists and, instead of wanting a hit single immediately, they'd develop them over several albums. This way, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Little Feat, and Randy Newman got big career boosts. They also took a chance on Captain Beefheart, and although neither a hit single nor a hit album resulted, some very interesting music did. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story.

Pages