National News

How Many Crimes Do Your Police 'Clear'? Now You Can Find Out

Violent crime in America has been falling for two decades. That's the good news. The bad news is, when crimes occur, they mostly go unpunished.

In fact, for most major crimes, police don't even make an arrest or identify a suspect. That's what police call "clearing" a crime; the "clearance rate" is the percentage of offenses cleared.

In 2013, the national clearance rate for homicide was 64 percent, and it's far lower for other violent offenses and property crimes.

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens holds classes for people who are learning English as a second language. A teacher leads the class in a rendition of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Night."

In New York's Multinational Astoria, Diversity Is Key To Harmony

Queens, N.Y., is one of the most diverse urban spaces in the world, and one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Queens is Astoria, across the East River from upper Manhattan.

Astoria has a reputation as New York City's Greektown, but it's more like an urban United Nations. People from nearly 100 countries live there, according to census data.

They coexist pretty peacefully, but that wasn't always the case. The explosion of diversity has helped foster a more tranquil community.

Detective Mark Williams (right) speaks with an officer in Richmond, Va. A decade ago, amid a surge in violent crime, Richmond police were identifying relatively few murder suspects. So the police department refocused its efforts to bring up its "clearance rate."

Open Cases: Why One-Third Of Murders In America Go Unresolved

Martin Kaste reported this audio story in two parts. Listen to Part One above, and tune into All Things Considered Monday to hear Part Two. The audio for Part Two will also be available here Monday after 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

If you're murdered in America, there's a 1 in 3 chance that the police won't identify your killer.

To use the FBI's terminology, the national "clearance rate" for homicide today is 64.1 percent. Fifty years ago, it was more than 90 percent.

Frances Stevens uses a custom ramp leading to her van. An accident at work 17 years ago left her unable to walk. She received full workers' compensation benefits until two years ago when the insurer suddenly withdrew her medications and home health aide. Her lawsuit is a test of the state's use of anonymous independent medical reviewers.

Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes

Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office.

"I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed."

Cushing, Okla., is a major oil storage site. Amid record oil production, some analysts worry the U.S. will run out of places to put it all.

With So Much Oil Flowing, U.S. May Be Reaching Storage Limits

Never before in history has the U.S. had so much oil spurting up out of the ground and sloshing into storage tanks around the country. There's so much oil that the U.S. now rivals Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer.

But there's been some concern that the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. Some analysts speculate that could spark another dramatic crash in oil prices.

For a more invigorating workout, nonprofit worker Chris Lane uphill skis near Aspen four times a week.

Uphill Skiing Gains Traction In Colorado

It's spring break season and families and college students are heading to Colorado's ski resorts. You've heard of downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, but a growing trend in these areas involves people skiing uphill.

It's midday in Aspen, Colo., and uphill skier Chris Lane is on a break from work at a nonprofit. He clicks into his ski bindings and begins his 1,600 vertical foot journey uphill — on skis.

He's going against downhill traffic, so he stays on the side of the ski run.

NPR senior Washington editor Beth Donovan walks on a treadmill desk in her office in Washington, D.C.

Sure, Use A Treadmill Desk — But You Still Need To Exercise

First off, I need to be upfront: I have a treadmill desk. I got it about two years ago, prompted by all the studies showing the dangers of sitting all day. The idea is to get people more active and walking while working. The problem is, I don't use it. In fact, I probably only used it for a few months. I still stand all day, but I'm not walking.

Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross pulls on compression sleeves before a 400-meter race at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul in 2012.

Compression Clothing: Not The Magic Bullet For Performance

Maybe you've seen them in the gym, or even squeezed into them yourself: super-tight T-shirts, leggings, knee and calf sleeves, even tube tops. More and more athletes are wearing compression garments, hoping they will improve their performance and recovery.

But do they work? This is a question Abigail Stickford, a postdoctoral researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, wanted to answer.

Michigan State is headed back to the Final Four, where they'll meet Duke next Saturday night. Afterward, Wisconsin takes on the still-unbeaten Kentucky Wildcats.

Michigan State, Duke Join Kentucky, Wisconsin In The Men's Final Four

We've got a Final Four.

Michigan State and Duke will join Kentucky and Wisconsin in Indianapolis next Saturday night.

In Syracuse, N.Y., Michigan State and Louisville traded leads all game. As the clock wound down, the Spartans led by one point, 65-64. But they missed their chance to extend the lead when freshman Marvin Clark Jr. missed two free throws with 22 seconds to go.

But just seconds later, they fouled Louisville forward Mangok Mathiang, who made one free throw to tie the game, but couldn't hit the second.

Hawaii ranks 49th in the nation for use of home health care services during the last six months of someone's life. Videos from ACP Decisions show patients what their options are at the end of life.

Videos On End-Of-Life Choices Ease Tough Conversation

Lena Katakura's father is 81. He was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer and doctors don't expect him to survive the illness. Katakura says a nurse at their Honolulu hospital gave them a form to fill out to indicate what kind of treatment he'd want at the end of life.

"And we're looking through that and going, 'Oh my, now how're we going to do this?' " says Katakura. Then the nurse offered to show them a short video and Katakura and her father said "Great!"

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