2:21am

Sat April 20, 2013
Around the Nation

Officials Seek Answers In Aftermath Of Deadly Plant Explosion

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:47 pm

An explosion leveled a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on Wednesday. The blast killed 14 people, injured more than 200 others and damaged or completely destroyed at least 80 homes.
Charlie Riedel AP

With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.

On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn caused a stir when he suggested that there might be many more people missing than thought.

Read more

2:21am

Sat April 20, 2013
Around the Nation

Two Decades Later, Some Branch Davidians Still Believe

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 2:15 pm

Flames engulf the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, on April 20, 1993. A 51-day standoff at the compound ended in a fire and the deaths of about 80 sect members, including two dozen children.
Susan Weems AP

Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh's Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It's remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history.

Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land.

The Raid

Read more

7:14pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Cops & Courts

'The Hunt Is Over:' Police Apprehend Marathon Bombing Suspect

After a massive manhunt that locked down most of the Boston metropolitan area, police apprehended Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whom the FBI had identified as suspect 2 in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Read more at NPR's The Two Way.

1:43pm

Fri April 19, 2013
It's All Politics

Stubbornly, Manchin Maintains Optimism On Background Checks

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 2:49 pm

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., meets in his office last week with families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. A bipartisan plan to expand background checks for gun buyers was defeated Wednesday in the Senate.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who lent his name to bipartisan legislation that would have extended background checks for gun purchasers to gun shows and online sales, isn't letting go.

At least not yet.

To Manchin, the bipartisan compromise he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican of consistent conservative credentials, fell victim to a steady stream of misinformation spread by some gun rights absolutists, including the National Rifle Association.

Read more

1:41pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Concerts

For Boston: A Dave McKenna Concert

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 6:58 am

Fresh Air pays tribute to Boston with a 1988 performance by the late jazz pianist Dave McKenna. From 1981 to 1991, McKenna had a standing gig at Boston's Grand Dame Copley Plaza Hotel. He was also a loyal Red Sox fan. He died in 2008.

1:41pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Explosions At Boston Marathon

David Bianculli On Media Coverage Of The Marathon Explosions

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:41 pm

Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli talks with Terry Gross about the media coverage surrounding the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

1:30pm

Fri April 19, 2013
The Salt

Fertilizer Shows Its Deadly Side

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 2:06 pm

Workers at a cooperative farm near Shanghai scatter fertilizer across fields of winter wheat. Image from the May issue of National Geographic magazine.
© Peter Essick National Geographic

My first reaction when I heard details of this week's deadly fertilizer explosion in Texas was horror.

My second thought was, "Maybe I shouldn't have pushed to change that headline."

Read more

12:38pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Transportation

California's high-speed rail gets first contractor

California's planned high-speed rail system (via flickr user Richard Masoner)

The first construction phase for California’s high-speed rail plan to link San Francisco and Los Angeles in under three hours has a builder. And the bid came in $200 million under expectations. 

The California High Speed Rail Authority has chosen the Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons joint venture as the winning bid for initial construction on the first 28-mile segment of the the line in California’s Central Valley between Madera and Fresno.

"Today is a significant milestone," Authority CEO Jeff Morales said in a statement. 

Read more

12:36pm

Fri April 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Boston On Lockdown: 'Today Is So Much Scarier'

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:20 pm

A sign calling for citizens of Boston to "Shelter in Place" hung across I-93 Friday in Boston.
Elise Amendola AP

Update at 7:10 p.m. ET. Back Inside:

Following reports of sudden, heavy police presence in Watertown, Boston police have asked residents to once again stay indoors. Just about an hour earlier, the governor had lifted the shelter-in-place advisory. The police tweeted: "Police operations in the Franklin Street Watertown area. Residents shelter in place."

Update at 6:25 p.m. ET. "Shelter-In-Place" Advisory Lifted:

Read more

12:21pm

Fri April 19, 2013
The Two-Way

FAA OKs Boeing's 787 Battery Fix

A part of a charred battery from a Japan Airlines 787 on display at the NTSB headquarters in January.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved changes to the design of the Boeing 787's battery system — the first step toward returning the grounded aircraft to service.

The approximately 50 787 "Dreamliners" delivered to airlines worldwide were grounded in January after incidents involving overheating problems in lithium-ion batteries.

Read more

Pages