In a midterm election that's expected to hinge on the demographic composition of the electorate, single women could be the key to Democratic chances to hold on to the Senate in November.
While Republicans have a longstanding problem with female voters, this year it's Democrats who have the more urgent problem: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.
Here are five things to know about single female voters.
Let's get an update, now, about something we heard a year ago in the series Joe's Big Idea. It's a computer game designed by a scientist to help map all the connections of nerve cells in the eye. Now, that scientist says the game is working, as we learn from NPR's Joe Palca.
There's a fight in Washington over the future of homeownership in America. At issue is a bipartisan bill to dramatically reshape the housing finance industry — the industry that was at the heart of the financial crisis. It's also an industry that's at the heart of the American dream — and the bill before Congress may affect who can afford to buy a house.
The Obama administration supports the bill. But civil rights groups and housing advocates say it would weaken rules that push banks to lend to low- and moderate-income homebuyers.
Today's last word in business is: A change of underwear.
New York City's Robert Burck is a Times Square street performer known as the Naked Cowboy.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
There's a bit of exaggeration in calling him naked, but only a bit. Mr. Burck performs wearing only a guitar, a 10-gallon hat, cowboy boots and a pair of white briefs. Starting tomorrow, he trades in the briefs for a set of boxers - for a fee.
It seems hard to believe now, but the tit-for-tat ethnic killing that threatens to tear apart the country of South Sudan began with little more than a political tug of war. I was almost pulled into it myself on a trip there in December. One early evening, I was in the middle of interviewing the former Minister of Education Peter Adwok when police came to arrest him.
Brain training is big business, with computerized brain games touted as a way to help prevent memory loss. But new research shows you might be better off picking up a challenging new hobby.
To test this theory, Dr. Denise Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas, randomly assigned 200 older people to different activities. Some learned digital photography. Another group took up quilting.
Remember that famous line in the movie Jerry Maguire where Renee Zellweger says to Tom Cruise, "You had me at 'hello' "? Well it turns out there is some scientific evidence to back this up. People use voices to instantly judge people, researchers say.
Alex Livingston graduated from Harvard Business School last year. He was offered a pretty sweet job at a startup, but he turned that down in favor of something a lot more ambitious.
He's 27 years old, and he wants to be a CEO, not in 15 years but now. He and his business school classmate, Eddie Santillan, knew they wanted to run a company together. They just didn't know which company. So they went to investors and asked them to be their partners — to give them some money so they could find a company to buy. If the company did well, the investors would, too.
It looked like some kind of bizarre wedding procession: Instead of flowers, participants held bicycles. Music played as they walked solemnly down the aisle toward the altar in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City on Saturday.
There were fancy bikes tricked out with neon-colored tires, folding bikes, bikes laden with saddle bags. One woman brought a bike-share bicycle.
As part of a series called "My Big Break,"All Things Consideredis collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers. The following is what you might call an "almost big break."
Trevett Hooper was one of the first chefs in Pittsburgh to promote the local food movement. Now he and other chefs around the country are expanding their locally grown menus to include meat. But it's been a challenge to embrace this hot new ranch-to-table trend while still meeting customers' expectations for a fancy night out.
Hooper, the executive chef at Legume restaurant, is no stranger to sourcing meat locally. Just about every bite of meat he served in 2013 was raised in Pennsylvania.
If you're just joining us, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. What connects the films "Drugstore Cowboy," "Pet Cemetery," "Batman Forever" and "Frida?" You can skip Kevin Bacon and connect them all with just one name, composer Elliot Goldenthal.
This week, the NFL will hold its annual draft of college players. And if one name has risen beyond the sports pages, it's Michael Sam who will become the first openly gay player in an NFL locker room. Last season at the University of Missouri, Sam was an All-American and a co-defensive MVP of the toughest conference in college football. But some draft watchers say there's a chance Michael Sam won't be drafted at all. Here's NPR producer Phil Harrell.
And if you're just joining us, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. Climate change is melting polar ice at an alarming rate. While this terrifies many people, especially those living near sea level, some businesses are seeing an opportunity, a big opportunity. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the year-round ice cover in the Arctic is now half the size it was in the 1980s. And previously inaccessible natural resources are now there for the taking.
Inspectors have yet to determine what caused Sunday's horrifying accident during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance in Providence, R.I.
Rhode Island Hospital in Providence admitted 11 patients with varying injuries, spokeswoman Jill Reuter told The Associated Press. One was said to be in critical condition. Nine performers were injured when a support apparatus failed during an aerial stunt, while an unknown number of others suffered less serious injuries.
Bishop Gene Robinson says he and his husband, Mark Andrew, are getting a divorce. The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Robinson retired last year, a decade after his election alienated many conservative Anglicans.
The pair had been together for 25 years. Robinson disclosed the divorce this weekend, in an email to the Diocese of New Hampshire and in a column for The Daily Beast in which he wrote:
Gerry Adams, the leader of the mostly Catholic party Sinn Fein, was released Sunday after five days of police questioning about a 1972 murder. Adams' arrest had rattled the delicate power-sharing arrangement in Northern Ireland. His release was confirmed by a police statement today.
Urging the release of separatists detained during Friday's unrest that left dozens dead, more than 100 pro-Russia activists surrounded a police station in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa Sunday.
Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: More Activists Released
Police in Odessa say 67 pro-Russia activists were freed Sunday.
CNN quotes the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's website:
Darth Vader walks the Earth today. By that, we mean he's walking all over the place. Fans of the sci-fi franchise are celebrating Star Wars Day — or May 4 for the less geek-inclined.
The day brings an excuse for people to dress as storm troopers and rebels and celebrate the films that first hit theaters in 1977. Star Wars Day is also being commemorated by businesses offering deals — discounts on videos, comics and other merchandise, from backpacks to Vans sneakers. You can find a list of the deals here.
The postseason continues for the Los Angeles Clippers, who won a pivotal Game 7 Saturday night, days after the team's owner was banned for life by the NBA. The Clippers ended the Golden State Warriors' season in a back-and-forth game that came down to the final minute.
In a high-octane game that was marked by the Warriors' 3-point shooting and the Clippers' late dunks, Los Angeles held on to win, 126-121.
A gun store in Maryland had been set to become the first in the country to sell something called a smart gun. But after receiving death threats, the owner of that store has changed his mind. The Armatix iP1 is electrically programmed to make it hard for anyone but the gun's owner to fire the weapon. Some gun rights activists worry that if the pistol is popular, lawmakers will require all firearms to adopt this technology. That, they say, will encroach upon second amendment rights. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. There is more grim news out of Afghanistan this weekend. As many as 2,500 people are feared dead after two devastating landslides in the northeastern part of the country Friday. Torrential rains caused a hillside to collapse, burying hundreds of homes and more than 30 feet of mud.