Having offended its own staff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has canceled a course intended to help employees "speak with a more neutral American accent."
During these hot summer days, lots of kids are taking advantage of the closest swimming pool, but only a few are diving in for the local swim team. That’s why USA Swimming has kicked off an aggressive campaign to remind kids that swimming is, in their words, “the funnest sport there is.”
One of the ads in the SwimToday campaign shows a girl wearing goggles, dropping into a pool of blue water in slow motion. Then, you hear a voice saying, “Basketball... softball... cannonball... Which sounds the most fun to you?”
Matt Farrell is Chief Marketing Officer of USA Swimming. He says he wants kids to know there are other sports to consider. Farrell says their survey shows parents are one major problem when it comes to getting kids in the pool - 80 percent of parents overlook swimming as an organized sport.
“It was as if parents said, 'I’ve taught my kid to swim, I’ve checked the box, I’m a good parent, I’ve made them safe. Now let’s go play soccer, let’s play basketball,'” says Farrell.
Misha Neal, 15, of Durham, North Carolina swims for her high school team and for the YMCA. She remembers when it was time to make that big decision.
“I was doing a lot of sports at the time... I was also in gymnastics and track, and I had to pick. I remember Daddy telling me that I was better at swimming,” she says.
Misha has thrived, often coming in number one in the 50 Freestyle. USA Swimming is working to remind more kids of all the positives the sport has to offer, like teamwork, confidence, health and fitness.
Mark Anthony Neal, Misha’s dad, says Misha adores her teammates and has overcome the obstacles of swimming competitively.
Even the hair issue: "We knew that our daughter was serious about swimming, you know, when she was told matter of factly she wouldn’t be able to get a perm, she wouldn’t be able to put any chemicals in her hair, [and] she said 'That’s fine.'”
After caring for Ebola patients for several months in West Africa, Dr. Kent Brantly noticed last week that he had symptoms. The 33-year-old immediately put himself into a Liberian isolation ward.
The Obama administration is slapping stronger sanctions on Russia. The sanctions — which target key sectors of the Russian economy, including finance and defense — come as a response to Moscow's alleged involvement in Ukraine. The move comes on the same day that the European Union announced sanctions of its own.
The public corruption trial is now underway for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. In dramatic opening arguments, lawyers described the McDonnells' marriage as a shambles. For more on the trial's start, Ari Shapiro turns to Jeff Schapiro, who is covering it for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy is introducing a bill to overhaul the way the National Security Agency collects telephone data under the Patriot Act.
The Obama administration is accusing Russia of testing a banned cruise missile, thus violating a long-standing treaty that helped put an end to the Cold War. To learn more about the situation, Audie Cornish speaks with Steven Pifer, the director of the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at the Brookings Institution.
China has begun investigations into one of the country's senior politicians. Zhou Yongkang was a former domestic security chief, and he's suspected of "serious disciplinary violations."
The Eid festival, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, serves as a time for visiting relatives and exchanging gifts. But one family's holiday in Gaza traces the death and displacement wrought by the war between Hamas and Israel.
In the early '90s, only one Chinese family in ten owned a refrigerator. Today, 90 percent of urban Chinese households have one. This mass move toward refrigeration had a huge effect on the country’s economy, culture and environment.
Refrigeration is a multi-billion dollar industry in China, heavily subsidized by the government.
China is “refrigerating for the exact same reasons we did” says Nicola Twilley, who wrote about refrigeration in China for New York Times Magazine. “You can’t really feed an urban population of consumers without refrigeration.”
In her article, Twilley visits a factory that belongs to Sanquan, one of the largest frozen dumpling manufacturers in China. Many freezers in Chinese homes are filled with these dumplings, much the way you’d find TV dinners in American freezers.
Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.